county is now divided into seventeen sub-divisions, or civil
townships. The following is an historical account of these townships, including the various towns situated within their borders. In most instances
the schools and churches of the townships are found within separate general
chapters of this work, hence have not been repeated in these township histories.
The incorporated towns of O'Brien county are Sheldon, Sanborn, Hartley, Moneta, Archer, Primghar, Calumet, Paullina and Sutherland. Its unincorporated towns are Gaza, Plessis and Germantown. Its elevator stations are Ritter, Evander, Max and Waterman Siding.
The incorporated town is under the immediate city or town government composed of a mayor, city or town council, city clerk or recorder, city attorney or solicitor, marshal, street commissioner, and other city officials and committees. The school governmental affairs are noted in the Educational chapter. Sundry town, township and school items will be considered under other various heads and articles.
townships of the county are Hartley, Lincoln, Franklin, Floyd,
Sheldon, Omega, Center, Summit, Carroll, Grant, Highland, Dale, Baker,
Waterman, Liberty, Union and Caledonia.
The townships of the county as numbered north from the mouth of the Arkansas river, according to the system of land surveys in Iowa, are numbered 94, 95, 96 and 97, and the ranges, which are numbered from the east line of Jones county in Iowa, are numbered 39, 40, 41 and 42.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 355
356 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
The following is a list of the plattings of the several towns and additions thereto, with the names of persons platting same and dates thereof. It will not mean the dates of the first beginnings of the towns, as in some cases the actual plattings occurred after the towns were in fact started. This list will mean the record plattings, and will illustrate the dates and periods of the general growths and demands of the several towns for enlargements, as the towns have grown.
Original town, January 3, 1873, by the Sioux City & St. Paul Railroad.
First Addition, July 16, 1875, by the railroad.
Second Addition, September 26, 1879, by the railroad.
Third Addition, October 25, 1883, by the railroad.
Fourth Addition, September 11, 1883, by Frank H. Nash and Scott M. Ladd.
Fifth Addition, July 23, 1888, by O. M. Barrett and William H. Sleeper.
Sixth Addition, May 29, 1893, by Henry C Lane.
Seventh Addition, April 25, 1894, by Henry C. Lane.
Eighth Addition, March 25, 1904, by James Griffin.
Bishop's Addition, May 4, 1892, by J. W. Bishop.
Dean's Addition, August 11, 1896, by Stephen S. Dean.
Normal College Addition, May 29, 1893, by Henry C. Lane.
Drake's Outlots or Addition, November 15, 1894, by executors of Elias F. Drake.
Sunny Side Addition, July 17, 1895, by Angeline Donovan.
Original town, November 8, 1872, by W. C. Green and James Roberts.
Brock & Stearns' Addition, May 24. 1876, by A. J. Brock and John T. Stearns.
Schee & Stearns' Addition, November 3, 1887, by Geo. W. Schee and John T. Stearns.
Shuck's Addition, May 3, 1887, by E. W. Shuck.
Shuck's Second Addition, December 30, 1887, by E. W. Shuck.
Peck & Shuck's Addition, August 17, 1887, by J. L. E. Peck and E. W. Shuck.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 357
Derby & Rowan's Addition, September 1, 1887, and January 28. 1888.
by F. N. Derby and James Rowan.
Slocum, Turner & Armstrong's Addition, September 5, 1887, by George R. Slocnm, Frank A. Turner and William S. Armstrong.
Original town, December 18, 1878, by Jonathan A. Stocum and John Lawler.
Teabout's Addition, May 9, 1885, by J. L. Green and Frank Teabout.
Alexander's Addition, February 13, 1883, by T. J. Alexander.
Highland Park Addition, May 26, 1802, by M. M. Burns, G. H. Klein, E. J. Hatch and R. P. Edson.
Phelps' Addition. April 3, 1893, by D.R. Phelps.
Original town, January 15, 1881, by J. S. Finster and Horace E. Hoagland.
Mickey's Addition, August 8, 1889, by W. A. Mickey.
Crossan's First Addition, October 22, 1886, bv Allen Crossan.
Crossan's Second Addition, September 22, 1887, by Allen Crossan.
Crossan's Third Addition, June 30, 1888, by Allen Crossan.
Woodward's Addition, December 17, 1887, by R. A. Woodward.
Brown's Addition, July 15. 1890, by W. L. and Isaac Brown.
Patch's Addition, September 7, 1895, by Frank Patch, F. A. Ahrens and J. H. Capecius.
Crossan's Park Addition, April 16, 1896, by Frank Patch.
Nelson's Addition, June 30, 1888, by Bertha Nelson.
Young's Addition, April 14, 1896, by M. J. Young.
Young's Pleasant Hill Addition, October 23, 1896, by M. J. Young.
Patton's Addition, March, 19 14, by J. W. Patton.
Town of Moneta, May 17, 1901, by Charles H. Colby.
358 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
This town was first platted as Cyreno, by Gustav Wells, April 3, 1900, but owing to the fact that there was another town by that name in the state it was later changed.
Town of Archer. February 10, 1888, by William Van Epps and Charles E. McKinney.
Town of Paullina, December 31, 1881, by Western Town Lot Company.
Harker & Greene's Addition, August 22, 1885, by William Harker and
J. L. Greene.
Out Lots K. to S., June 6, 1899, by Western Town Lot Company.
Blocks 25 to 31, August 22, 1904.
Original town, March 6, 1882, by Western Town Lot Company.
Freimark's Addition, May 6, 1882, by Julius Freimark.
Lutzell's Addition, May 13, 1882, by Nicholas Lutzell.
Bonath's Addition, July 6, 1882, by August Bonath.
Peck's Addition, April 13, 1883, by Horace Peck.
Original town, November 12, 1887, by Western Town Lot Company.
W. B. Morse Addition, June 3, 1893, by W. B. Morse, Mary E. Stewart and George W. Louthan.
First Addition, January 20, 1900, by Western Town Lot Company.
W. M. Bunce First Addition, May 18, 1895, by W. M. Bunce.
W. M. Bunce Second Addition, March 27, 1895, by W. M. Bunce.
W. M. Bunce Third Addition, December 3, 1906, by W. M. Bunce.
This town was first platted and named Woodstock and later changed to Gaza by reason of there being another town in the state by that name.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 359
Germantown, June 10, 1901, by Fred Kluender, George Eggert and Edward Beerman.
following are the descriptions by section, township and range of
the sundry town plats of O'Brien county from the earliest to the present
The first village platting was that which surveyor J. H. Davenport executed for what was known as "O'Brien," situated in the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 36, township 94, range 39, consisting of a forty-acre tract. It was dated August 23, 1861 (page 1 of book "A," Deed Records). The original description, as made of the town plat by County Surveyor Davenport, is written on a sheet of legal cap, which was pasted later to the first page of the county's deed record book, and it is a curiosity for several reasons. Among these may be mentioned the fact that the surveyor thoughtlessly stated in the record that the principal streets were to be fifty-four feet and thirteen inches in width, meaning of course fifty-five feet and one inch wide. The survey was made in August, 1861‐the opening year of the great Civil War, and, strange to relate, the streets were named in many instances after men who became prominent in putting down the Rebellion, for example there was Lincoln street, Hooker street, Sherman street and Grant street.
The land on which O'Brien was platted was in what is known as Waterman civil township. It was sold to the county, or rather to John H. Irwin, Robert A. Queen and Samuel L. Berry, for five hundred dollars, by William M. Snow and wife, April 12, 1859.
This was the original town platting of O'Brien county, but was long since used for farming purposes, as the town site never developed into a real live town. However, it was the first county seat.
Primghar was platted November 8, 1872, on section 36, township 96, range 41. The names of the proprietors, as shown by record, were W. C. Green and wife and James Roberts.
Sheldon was platted January 3, 1873. on section 31, township 97, range 42, by the Sioux City & St. Paul Railroad Company.
Sanborn was platted January 8, 1879, on the west half of the northeast
360 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
quarter and the east half of the northwest quarter of section 35, township
97, range 41, by J. A. Stocum and wife.
Hartley was platted April 18, 1881, on section 32, township 97, range 39, by E. N. Finster, J. S. Finster, Horace E. Hoogland and wife.
Paullina was platted January 20, 1882, on section 9, township 94, range 41, by the Western Town Lot Company.
Sutherland was platted March 21, 1882, on section 7, township 94, range 39, by the Western Town Lot Company.
Calumet was platted November 16, 1887, on section 22, township 94. range 40. by the Cherokee and Western Town Lot Company.
Gaza was platted as "Woodstock," April 18, 1888, on section 28, township 95, range 40, by the Cherokee & Western Town Lot Company.
Archer was platted August 25, 1888, on section 24, township 96, range 42, by William Van Epps and wife, Charles E. Kinney and wife.
Max was platted July 11, 1899, on the northwest quarter of section 32, township 97, range 40, by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad Company. This platting is within Lincoln township.
Germantown was platted June 10, 1901, on sections 22 and 23 of township 94, range 42, by Edward D. Beerman.
Moneta was platted May 10, 1901, on sections 13 and 24, township 96, range 39.
Cyreno (later and now called Plessis) was platted August 15, 1901, on section 10, township 97, range 40, by Gustav and Lena Wills.
Ritter was platted as a station point on the Chicago, Minneapolis & St. Paul railroad, on section 5, of Floyd township. It is a new town and naturally has but little business importance at this date.
Plessis, a new town site, platted on the southeast of section 10, Lincoln township, is a station point on the Rock Island system, northwest from Hartley.
The vicinity of Erie post office on section 33, township 94, range 40, was platted as "South O'Brien," by John H. Roe and Frank E. and Emma E. Whitmore, April 15, 1872, on the northeast quarter of section 33, township 94, range 40. It never amounted to anything and was finally vacated by O. H. Montzheimer and wife (owners) in full of the original plat. It was legally vacated on April 30, 1892.
The city and town governments in O'Brien county are managed and conducted bv a mayor, a city council of five members, a treasurer, clerk or
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 361
recorder, assessor, marshal, fire marshal, city physician, city solicitor and such other officials and committees as situations demand. The town council is in effect the legislative or law-making power in the passage of ordinances which become the laws of the town. This council becomes and organizes as the local board of health. It manages the revenues and finances of the town. The mayor is the executive officer, and as a court, in addition to enforcing the ordinances, has largely the jurisdiction of a justice of the peace, both in criminal and civil matters. The town may own or manage all needed public utilities. They are the city fathers.
The townships are managed by a board of three trustees, a clerk. assessor and road supervisors. Each township has two and may under certain conditions have four justices of the peace. This is in reality the people's court. It comes nearer in touch with the people than any other court. The justices may render judgments for one hundred dollars and by consent of parties up to three hundred dollars. A justice's jury consists of six jurors. Constables, two in each township, execute and serve the writs and notices of the court. The justice may perform the marriage ceremony, deals with estrays, may act as coroner in his absence, and perform sundry lesser duties. The trustees expend the township funds and oversee all road questions and act as fence viewers and determine questions arising by trespass of stock, make the township levies, and act as a township health board and other duties. The assessor makes the property assessments for the township. The road supervisors manage the road work. It is one peculiar feature of a township that it can neither sue nor be sued in the courts of Iowa. This becomes a protection to a township. It is so done for the reason that townships at best are indefinite in the perpetuation of their records. Indeed, this is true to such an extent that main townships do not at all times maintain a full set of officials and vacancies and resignations and removals are numerous.
On April 1, 1872, what is now Floyd township was set apart from Liberty and what is now Franklin was detached from Center and the two called Floyd, and the first election was held at the house of John D. Butler, on the northwest quarter section 22, in the township. Floyd township was named after Sargent Floyd, who, in 1803, made the long voyage of dis-
362 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
covery along with and as part of the Lewis and Clark expedition up the Missouri river to the Pacific coast. On the return
trip this young soldier died
of a fever on board a Missouri river
transport and was buried in a lonely
bluff near the river. Later his remains were removed to, and a fine monument erected to his
memory on a sightly bluff just to the south of the city.
Floyd river was also named in his honor.
This is the extreme northwestern subdivision of O'Brien county. The Floyd river courses its way through the township from the northeast to the southwest. The Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Paul & Omaha railroad line extends through the western portion of the territory, with station points at Sheldon and Ritter, while the Illinois Central (Sioux Falls and Cherokee division) clips the southwestern corner at Sheldon. The Milwaukee railroad runs through the entire southern tier of sections.
This township had a population of five hundred and seventy-five in 1910. It has some of the finest land and best improvements to be seen in all northwestern Iowa. Sheldon, the largest town in the county, is noted for being full of the spirit of genuine modern enterprise and industry. It made a hard fight in years gone by for the county seat, but was foiled by the decision of the masses, who believed that the center of the county was the proper place for the seat of justice.
During 1871 the following persons came to Floyd township for the purpose of making permanent settlement. Commencing with John Hart, who
settled on the southeast
quarter of section 14, where he resided continually
1896, then removed to Missouri.
J. W. Davis settled here in 1871, on the southeast quarter of section 22, but in a few years left for other parts, later settling in Missouri, where he died in 1911. He was a blacksmith and had a shop on his claim. Daniel Gress lived in this township a number of years and fought grasshoppers on the northeast quarter of section 2, while his son, William, located on the southeast quarter of the same section. The elder Gress finally retired in Sanborn. Charles Whitsell of section 18. C. H. Lingenfelter located on the southeast quarter of section 6, later removed to Wisconsin. Calvin Hook, noted music teacher, on the southwest of section 36, later moved to Hull, Iowa. David Chrisman settled in the township in 1871, on the northwest quarter of section 2 and later years lived in Sanborn. Others who added to the settlement in 1871 were John D. Butler and son, John H., who
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 363
selected their claims. The former located on the northeast quarter of section
22 and the latter on the northwest quarter of the same section. They wintered
near Cherokee and returned in the spring of 1872, and both built a sod shack.
The first election in Floyd township was held in J.W. Davis's sod claim shack
in the fall of that
C. W. Copping settled on the southwest quarter of section 14, while his brother. E.J., located on the southwest quarter of section 24, both coming in 1872. The grasshoppers made it so uncomfortable for these settlers that they finally left the county.
Other settlers of about the date of 1871-72 were Timothy Donaghue of section 36 (Mr. Donaghue in later years was a member of the State Legislature of Iowa); E. R. Gregg, in the spring of 1872 on the southeast quarter of section 24. Both he and Eliza W. Gregg moved away during the days of grasshoppers; P. C. and A. W. Hicks settled on section 4 in 1872; the same year came C. W. Beach to the southeast quarter of section 36. Then followed Lyman Kellogg on section 6; H. H. Hawley on the southwest quarter of section 22; he was a local preacher and left the county many years since. Robert J. Cliff came in 1872, as did also J. M. Van Kirk. When Van Kirk took his claim several persons wanted the same land‐four in all. They reached Sioux City on the same train and there was nothing left by which the claim could be decided, save a foot race, and this they all vigorously entered into, but Van Kirk was the fleetest and entered the land office first, yelling at the top of his voice, "I want to file on the east half of the northeast quarter of 32 in 97, 42," and mingled with the last of his words was a chorus of the same from the rest of them. He was given the land.
Isaac M. White settled on the southeast quarter of section 32 in 1872 and William Whitsell, the same year, claimed land in section 36. John M. Wood settled on section 28 in 1872, but later removed to Sheldon. John F. Walters claimed the southwest quarter of section 28, where he died a few years later. Edward Wells took the southwest quarter of section 4 and remained many years. In 1872 L. S. Stone claimed the northwest quarter of section 18. He at once planted out a very large, nice grove, which grew rapidly and was known far and near as Stone's Grove.
We come now to speak more especially of the first settler, who was Thomas Robinson, who came to the township in the month of May, 1870, and laid claim to the east half of the southwest quarter of section 30, on which he broke three acres that summer, and put up a shack in which to live. He wintered elsewhere the following season and returned in 1871, and cross plowed the three acres. He brought his family in 1871 and he there resided
364 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
until his death in 1882. He was a man of
deep thought, a good writer and
very conscientious man. He had seven children, all well known in
this county in later years.
Three of Warren Potter's sons came in the fall of 1870. These were Lyman, William and John Potter. They drove through from Wisconsin, landing in Cherokee, where they were advised bv relatives to look over O'Brien county, so, with Mr. Sprague to pilot them, they finally landed in Floyd township. Lyman selected land in section 8, and John H. took the south half of the section. William was not yet old enough to file. They went to the land office at Sioux City and made their filings and the next spring returned, built shacks and became actual settlers. The father, Warren Potter, came in the early spring of 1871, settling on the south half of the southeast quarter of section 8, and Eugene, another son, on the north half of the same quarter. The Potter boys raised some corn on the land broken the year before.
A. B. Hicks came to the township in 1870, settling on the southeast of section 18. He started the first grove in Floyd township. After several years he removed to the Pacific coast, where a few years later he died. Ben Jensen settled the northwest of section 32 in 1870, built a typical sod house and remained there until 1876, then pushed on further west. Swan Peterson came with Jensen and claimed the northwest of section 32, and he also moved west in 1876. He was a man possessing an inventive turn of mind and was working on a perpetual motion machine which he hoped, of course, to make a fortune out of. He failed, as have all others who have tried the impossible. The curious contraption of a machine, with its many wheels and pulleys, was left behind when he moved.
A goodly number of German settlers came to this township in 1870-71. John Meyers was among this class. He located on section 18. He was overtaken by the grasshopper plague in 1873 and, being discouraged and tired of life, finally ended all by taking his own life. He stood before a mirror and, placing a revolver to his head, committed the fatal deed.
J. A. Brown was another pioneer here; he came in 1871, claiming the northeast quarter of section 8. Later he was the well-known landlord of the Sheldon House. He died in Sheldon, respected by all.
Others of about that date‐all certainly early in the seventies‐were A. Bloom, Seymour Shrylock (northwest quarter of section 8), Carey, William Lyle, Isaac Clements (southwest quarter of 6), James Glenn and others whose names appear of record in the land office, also L. Hacket and B. F.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 365
Luce. Isaac Clements later on in years was county recorder four years and for many years since has been and now is a merchant in Primghar.
Sheldon, the largest town in O'Brien county, had its commencement when the Milwaukee and Omaha lines, as now understood, reached the point where now stands the city, July 3, 1872, the surveyors having laid out the town the summer before. It was on this day that the construction train for the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha road reached Sheldon, soon passing on to the southwest towards its objective point, Sioux City. The town was really laid out by the land company of the Sioux City & St. Paul Railroad Company, and was named from Israel Sheldon, one of the stockholders of the company, living in New York City. Soon after the first train car loads of lumber were hurried to the spot. A big Fourth of July celebration had been planned for weeks, and settlers from all over Sioux and O'Brien counties were present to greet the first of railroads in the county. The day was cold and disagreeable, and men had to wear heavy coats and some had on overcoats. Each brought well-filled baskets of "dinner" and tables were constructed from planks borrowed from the construction crews. It was a great lay-out and all seemed happy and had their best, appetites with them! No "funny business" such as fire-crackers and fire-works was to be seen, but music swelled the breeze. An organ had been secured and this was placed under a cover made by poles and horse blankets. The Declaration of Independence was read by C. S. Stewart, and an oration delivered by ex-Governor Miller of Minnesota. Thomas Robinson also delivered a telling speech. This was certainly the first celebration of any kind held in Sheldon. In these days of more radical opinions concerning temperance, it may sound strange, "perfectly awful," to have it stated that the first building in the town was the saloon erected by Highly, of Storm Lake. It stood on the west side of block No. 8 and was burned in 1895. The second building was by H. C. Lane for a lumber office. His yard was opened about July 10, 1872. S. S. Bradley followed with a second yard in a few days. The third to handle lumber was James Wycoff. The general store of W. A. Fife was completed later in July. Getting plenty of lumber, it was necessary to have a hardware store and this was soon supplied by B. E. Bushnell. The next building was the law office of D. A. W. Perkins, soon followed by the warehouse of Benj. Tones (he was later for six years a member of the board of supervisors and is still residing in Sheldon, honored and respected by all within the county
366 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
many manly traits of character). His residence was soon erected.
During the autumn of 1872 there were numerous buildings erected, including
those built by the Sheldon Mail and H. C. Lane. George Colcord occupied
the last named for his
drug store; the same fall lawyer Perkins sold his
building to A. J. Donavon, who started a shoe store and carried gentlemen's
furnishings. He it was who advertised himself as a "Live Yankee from
Boston." The first coal dealer was
Benj. Jones. The first issue of the
Sheldon Mail was
pulled from the press January 1, 1873, and this paper has
withstood the storms of the elements and
political strife during all these
The first "Christmas tree" was planted Christmas eve, 1872, and it consisted of a four-inch-square pine stick with auger holes bored into its four sides, into which were inserted pins of wood and from these hung the various Christmas gifts, not costly, but showed the good will of Christmas-tide. The evening closed with a dance, the music of which was chiefly furnished by Linn Cook.
Of the churches and civic societies, other chapters will treat those in which the city of Sheldon is interested especially.
The first child born in Sheldon was Inez Wycoff, born July 11, 1873.
The first school teacher was Columbia Robinson.
The first sermon preached in the town was by Elder Brasheers, in August, 1872. in the depot.
The first postmaster was A. J. Brock, appointed in July, 1872, who resigned and was followed in January, 1873. by D. A. W. Perkins.
The first marriage in town was that of Tom De Long and Samantha Jones, the ceremonies being performed by H. C. Lane, and many an amusing incident took place at that pioneer wedding, mention of which may be made elsewhere in this volume. The date was January, 1873, in the first year's history of Sheldon.
Sheldon was provided with a postoffice in the summer of 1872, with A. T. Brock as its first postmaster. Since that date the following have served as postmasters: Andrew J. Brock, May 24, 1872; D. A. W. Perkins, January 9, 1873; D. R. Barmore, May 25, 1874; E. C. Brown. February 17. 1882; J. J. Hartenbower, May 27, 1885; R. E. Kearney, November 19, 1888; F. T. Piper, March 21, 1889; Robert E. Kearney, June 13, 1893; W. W. Reynolds, September 17, 1897; James C. Stewart, January 21, 1902; Joe Morton, Janu-
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 367
ary 30, 1906; A. W. Sleeper, December 14, 1908; Warren A. Edington,
July 31, 1913.
The office is now a second class office, with four free delivery routes extending to the outlying country. The business of the Sheldon office, exclusive of money order business, for the year ending June 30, 1913, was twelve thousand dollars. The office became a free city delivery office in February, 1905. The present office force consists of the following persons: Postmaster, Warren A. Edington; clerks, C. V. Miller, John A. Dougherty, Frank A. Hura, Harry T. Barrett; sub-clerk, Clara Smith; city carriers, John Mondabaugh, Christian Smith; rural carriers, John J. Donohue, Alvin S. Ruby, Fred C. Bandler, F. R. Smead. The amount of deposit in the postal savings department in November, 1913, was one hundred and twenty-five dollars.
In March, 1875, application was made for incorporating Sheldon. The
appointed by the court was as follows: D. R. Barmore, A. W.
J. C. Elliott, J. A. Brown and Benj. Jones. The election was held
April 19, 1875, but the incorporation was defeated. In March, 1876, another
move was made
along the same lines, and other commissioners were disappointed. The election was held March 25, 1876, and resulted in forty nine votes
being cast for incorporation and eleven against the measure.
May 1, 1876, the first town officers were elected. It was a hotly contested
election and much bitterness
engendered. The two candidates for the office
mayor were H. B. Wyman and J. C. Elliott. Wyman received forty-six
votes and this was a
majority of seven over Elliott; L. F. Bennet was
elected recorder over Husted; and the councilmen were
J. M. Stevenson. J.
Wycoff, Scott Harrington, George Boutelle and Charles Allen.
The subjoined gives a list of the regular mayors who have served Sheldon to the present date, 1913: 1876, H. B. Wyman; 1877, H. B. Wyman; 1878. H. B. Wyman; 1879, H. B. Wyman; 1880. J. J. Hartenbower; 1881, James Wycoff; 1882, H. B. Wyman; 1883, H. B. Wyman; 1884, J. J. Hartenbower; 1885, W. S. Lamb; 1886, L. S. Bassett; 1887, C. L. Guerney; 1888, Joseph Shinski; 1889, J. Shinski; 1890, John Bowley; 1891, John Bowley; 1892, John Bowley; 1893, C. Stinson.
In 1893 the town of Sheldon (incorporated) was changed to that of a city of the second class. The city was divided into three wards and the following were duly elected officers of the enlarged incorporation government:
368 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
Mayor, E. Y. Royce; treasurer, W. L. Ayers; solicitor, D. A. W. Perkins;
assessor, W. E. Higley; councilmen—first ward, W. C. Kemper and L. J.
Button; second ward, H. J. Cram and H. C. Lane; third ward, William
Wing and A. E. Boyd; clerk, P. W. Hall; street commissioner, J. W. Hicks;
marshal, George Hudson.
The following" completes the list of Sheldon's mayors: 1895, E. Y. Royce; 1896, P. W. Hall; 1897, P. W. Hall; 1898, F. T. Piper; 1900, A. J. Cram; 1904, A. w. Sleeper; 1906, R. B. Piper; 1908, Henry Shipley; 1910, P. W. Hall, resigned and A. J. Schaap elected to fill vacancy; 1912, Fred Frisbee.
The present city officials are: Fred Frisbee. mayor; Scott Martin, clerk; F. E. Frisbee, treasurer; George Hudson, marshal: James B. Linsday, attorney; W. E. Farnsworth, street commissioner; J. W. Rodgers, superintendent of water works; H.J. Brackney, health officer. The council is as follows: George Bloxham, George Holmes, Charles Peters, H. A. Strong, J. D. Wilson.
No regular system of water works was installed in Sheldon until April
29, 1894, when the city was bonded for about eighteen thousand dollars and
three excellent wells provided in the nearby creek bottoms, from which a
splendid supply of water is obtained. It is pumped to the city, where there is
a high water tank and tower, centrally located, which gives a pressure of
fifty pounds per square inch. There are now fifty-five street hydrants or
plugs, five miles of water mains and other improvements that go with a
complete city water works system.
In 1913 there are four miles of sewer mains, the first of which was laid in 1905. The city now has ten blocks of paved streets, all laid in 1913. No northern Iowa city has a more beautiful park than Sheldon. It occupies four blocks, with play grounds attached, and is all finely improved, being covered with a fine growth of artificial trees, including fair-sized elms and soft maples, best adapted to this climate. Then there are cement walks, rustic seats, a number of picnic tables, flower beds artistically arranged, and the whole illuminated at night by electric lights. All in all, it is a reminder of the saying that "A thing of beauty is a joy forever."
During the year 1913 the city of Sheldon expended $33,455 for paving, $5,185 for sewer extension and $1,800 for its system of electroliers.
The city has during the present autumn‐ 1913‐provided its chief busi-
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 369
ness streets with more than thirty modern electroliers (electric street lights), each being a cluster of live lights, which add much to the utility and appearance of the business center of the enterprising town.
light plant is a private concern owned by an old citizen, M.
F. Logan. It is located at the Big Four flouring mill and affords ample light,
power for the present city's demands. The first electric light of
put in in a small way by A. E. Knight. Later this was superseded
by the plant owned and operated by the Diamond Light and Power
Company, which virtually failed and was followed by the present system,
gives general satisfaction. This plant was at first run by O. E. Logan,
who, in September, 1911, transferred it to the present owner.
The public school building at Sheldon consists of a handsome brick structure, erected in 1903, at a cost of sixty thousand dollars.
The population of Sheldon, according to the United States census reports in 1910, was two thousand nine hundred and forty-one, but is now somewhat more.
As another index of the thrift and intelligence of the people of this city, may be cited the handsome, substantial library building erected in 1908-9, at a cost of ten thousand dollars, as the gift of Andrew Carnegie, through whose liberality there have been erected hundreds, if not thousands, of public libraries. The foundation for the present Sheldon library was away back in 1894, when the women took hold of the enterprise. It was the work and wisdom of the members of the Ladies Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle (aided largely by the untiring zeal of Mrs. W. H. Sleeper) and composed of Madames C. Artman, J. D. Bunce, H. W. Conant, H. C. Hollenback, M. Long, J. W. Merrill, W. W. Reynolds, W. I. Simpson, William H. Sleeper, and Misses Edith N. Bowne and Mary S. Heath. Rooms were opened March 15, 1894, over Smith's hardware store and this was destroyed on March 17, 1894. The ladies held various public entertainments, and as a result had saved up fifty-six dollars and twenty cents, which was all lost in the fire, but was made good to them by the citizens of the place, who raised the amount by private subscription. There was soon formed a Public Library Association, with the following officers: Addie M. Sleeper, president; Mary (24)
370 O BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
S. Heath, vice-president; Mrs. Florence S. Conant, treasurer, and Mrs. Lida Simpson, secretary. This was incorporated April 20, 1894, when the council of Sheldon appointed an advisory board of trustees. In the autumn of 1894 the library was placed in the Shipley & Company dry goods building and they then had two hundred books. A fee of fifty cents a year was charged for books taken from this circulating library. In 1895 this library was given to the city and trustees appointed. In the spring of 1897 a tax was voted to maintain the library and the books were moved to the Harris music store and Mrs. Mark Harris was appointed librarian. In October, 1902, the library was removed to the McColm shoe store building, with Mrs. McColm as librarian, who was followed by Mrs. B. F. McCormack. After Mr. Carnegie donated the ten thousand dollars for a library building to Sheldon in 1908, the library had really been in existence as a city library only four years. In the autumn of 1913 there were four thousand five hundred volumes on the shelves of this library. The library board consisted of S. S. Bailey, president; Mrs. W. L. Avers, vice-president; W. H. Barragar, secretary; Dr. W.H. Myers, Henry Shipley, Superintendent Thomas, Mrs. John McCandless, Mrs. Fred E. Frisbee and Miss Nellie Jones. Since May. 1913, Miss Margaret McCandless has served as the efficient librarian. This institution is growing in strength and importance.
After the close of the Spanish-American War what was Company E of the Forty-sixth Iowa Regiment of Guards was mustered out and abandoned so far as its former home was concerned, for it had existed up to that time at the town of Hull, but was soon changed and mustered in at Sheldon, where more general interest was taken in military affairs. It was organized at Sheldon June 16, 1902, with J. B. Frisbee as its captain. He held the position for about four years, when W. H. Bailey was appointed and served till 1909, when he was appointed major of the regiment, and elected lieutenant colonel in October, 1912, when Dr. H. J. Brackney became captain of the Sheldon company. After a year he was followed by C. C. McKellip. The present officers of the company are: Captain. H. G. Geiger; first lieutenant, Spencer M. Phelps; second lieutenant, Arthur Pierce. A stock company was formed in 1905 and a massive brick armory was provided for this military company. It is situated on Ninth street and is sixty by eighty-six feet, with a fine basement used for reading rooms, shower baths, lockers, storehouses, officers' rooms, boiler room and a shooting gallery. This hall cost twelve
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 371
thousand dollars and is always used for guard purposes when needed, but is also used for all special occasions, such as conventions, public gatherings, speeches, dances and lectures. At this date the number enrolled in this military company is fifty-eight, with three officers. The company is fully equipped and has its ten-day annual encampment and seven-days encampment for the officers' school of instruction.
One of the
progressive enterprises that has given Sheldon much popularity in years gone by, as well as at present, is its district fair, embracing
originally several counties. This association was organized in 1880, as a
fair association, and so continued until 1888, when it held its last fair under
original plan. Then, in 1900, the Sheldon District Fair was organized,
with F. L. Wirick as its
secretary. His successors have been James Mitchell,
E. L. ("Steve") Richards, James Mitchell, J. L. McLaury, Jo Morton, Ed
Williams, George Gardner. The officers of this organization are at present
(1913): Fred J. Nelson, president: George Gardner, secretary; F. E. Frisbee, treasurer; directors, A. W. Sleeper, F. J. Nelson, C. E. Tangney, C. H.
Runger, F. E. Frisbee, William Meiers, Chet Lynch. Charles Myers, Charles
In 1900 the society purchased twenty-seven acres of land near town, on the west, but just over in Sioux county, for which one hundred dollars per acre were paid. It would now easily sell at four hundred dollars per acre. It was bought of James Merrill. The price paid was thought to be high at the time. Six thousand dollars worth of improvements were put onto these grounds. These included the half-mile track, floral hall, cattle and horse sheds and barns suitable for training horses for racing, trotting and pacing. Here Jason Henry trains from twelve to fifteen fast horses continually. Among the speed records produced here may be recalled that of "Adrain R," 2:07;3/4 owned by J. Muilenberg, of Orange City, Iowa; "Castlewood," 2:09:1/4 owned by C. H. Runger, of Sheldon; "The Pickett" with a mark of 2:13:1/4, owned by C. H. Runger, of Sheldon; "Miss Cuppy" with the mark of 2:17:1/4, as a pacer; "Montauk," the pacer, with a mark of 2:13:1/4 ; and "Moretell," the pacer, marked at 2:13:1/4.
These annual fairs and races bring people in from far and near and give the horsemen of the great Northwest a chance to speed their nimblefooted animals to the best advantage. Thousands attend annually.
372 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
In this connection the prominent breeders should not be left out. In swine there is Peter Ellerbroek (estate), breeders of the large type of Poland China hogs; J. A. Benson is another breeder of note; in red hogs there is A.J. DeYoung and L. L. DeYoung; also Henry Brothers and C. H. Runger, breeders of fancy Poland China hogs.
From the earliest date Sheldon has been famous for her large flouring mill plants, of which there are but few in Iowa doing a better or larger annual business in the production of first-class family flour. This industry started in the midst of the growing wheat fields of northwestern Iowa in the seventies, when the first mill was built by the Iselin brothers, John and Harry. These men came to this town with considerable money and were enterprising and free-hearted. They built the original "Prairie Queen" flouring mills and also several residences on the south side of the tracks. They came in a time that did not prove a financial success to them. John died in the nineties and Harry was at last accounts living in New York, from which place they had come. The mill above referred to passed into the hands of others and met with reverses until finally it was purchased by its present owner, Scott Logan, who came to O'Brien county in 1880 from New Jersey and settled on a farm in Floyd township. For a time he operated a wind grist mill. He grazed cattle for four years on the open free prairie lands, after which settlers came in too numerous and this was abandoned. In 1882, through lack of good management, the Iselin brothers failed and the property was bought in by the Sleepers, who, with W. B. Bowne, operated the mills a few years, lost money, and in 1885 they sold to G. Y. Bonus, now of the great Leeds (Sioux City) milling plant, who converted the mill into a roller process. In 1886 he sold one-half interest to Scott Logan, and about five years later Mr. Logan bought out Bonus. Since 1890 Mr. Logan has been sole owner and proprietor, and he has practically rebuilt the mill twice, adding improved machinery each time. The last improvements were put in about 1907, and the capacity is four hundred barrels a day in the "Prairie Queen" mill and his other mill, the "Big Four," has a capacity of three hundred barrels daily. The last named was built in 1890 and operated two years and its builders failed, and it was taken over by the New York stockholders, who operated it four years, when, being involved, it was turned over to the Sheldon Bank.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 373
This concern failed in
1904, when its holdings went under the hammer and
Scott Logan bought it at receiver's sale and remodeled it in 1905, at an expense of thirty thousand dollars, making its capacity three hundred instead
of one hundred barrels
daily. These mills have been operated by the Scott
Logan Milling Company since 1907, with a capital of one hundred and fifty
thousand dollars, and has now a total daily output of seven hundred barrels
of flour, and a wheat
storage capacity of one hundred thousand bushels.
Agencies are kept for the sale of this flour at Dubuque and Springfield. Hence
it will be observed that the beginning of the Sheldon milling industry was
when the Iselin brothers, in 1874, built their little buhr stone mill six miles
to the north of Sheldon. In 1879-80 they projected the Sheldon mills which
have come down to Mr. Logan, the present owner.
These mills have come to be the largest in this section of country and they are well and favorably known for their product, which has sale in many quarters of the country. Here hundreds of thousands of bushels of wheat have been converted into family flour with the coming and going of the years. The three great northwest Iowa mills are the Sheldon, LeMars and Leeds.
In the autumn of
1913 the various enterprises and business factors in
Sheldon were carried on as follows:
Attorneys‐ I. N. Mclntire, George Wellman, Phelps & Lindsay, George Gibson, Charles Babcock, T. Diamond.
Auto garages‐Frank & Griffin, Sheldon Auto Garage, the E. Tripp garage.
Banks‐First National, Sheldon National, Sheldon Savings Bank, Union (private institution).
Bakeries‐"The City." by D. J. Haagsman, Hunt's Bakery.
Bottling works‐The Sheldon.
Barber shops‐R. P. Scott, James Kestner, M. Lewis.
Contractors‐Jack Wilson, L. N. Wilsey, H. M. Bosnia and Geiger.
Cigar store‐Charles Woodruff.
Clothing‐Hospers & Schaap, William Flindt & Company.
Cement workers‐Runger & Wilson, Archie Hint.
Creamery‐"The Sheldon" by D. A. Miller.
Confectionery‐Henry Hosper. Swortorh Brothers, E. C. Van Epps.
Dye works‐The Swanson works.
Drugs‐Avers Brothers, W. C. Iverson, W. J. Hollander.
374 O BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
Dray lines‐Myers, Bean & Company, John Rider, George Hill, Frank
Elias, C. E. Brown.
Dentists‐Drs. A. W. Beach, Brown & McKay.
Department stores‐Starrett Brothers, William Myers & Company, Sheldon Mercantile Company, Ellenbroek Brothers.
Elevators (grain)‐Farmers' Co-operative Company, J. Button & Company, Sheldon Trade Company, Logan Milling Company, F. M. Slagel & Company.
Furniture‐S. O. Beanblossom, Nash & Wood.
Feed barn and sheds‐John Montgomery.
Grocers‐Sheldon Grocery Company.
Hardware‐E. P. Messer & Son, Daniel O'Kane and Mr. Lubbers.
Harness stores‐E. L. Richards, W. H. Beacom.
Hotels‐The Arlington, the Howard, the Royce, the Sheldon.
Hospitals‐The Dr. Cram Hospital.
Implements‐George A. Miller, W. H. Beacom, Dermott & Duisterman.
Jewelers‐E. A. James, Hal Nervobig.
Lumber‐Sheldon Trade Company, H. A. Strong, Pynchon & Ling, Slagel Lumber Company.
Livery‐Myers, Bean Company.
Laundries‐C. E. Miller and a Chinese laundry.
Meat markets‐Runger and Wilson markets.
Music house‐Wilsey & Son.
Millinery‐Starrett Brothers, Sheldon Mercantile Company, Miss Kate Donovan, Mrs. A. Smith.
Mills (flouring)‐"Prairie Queen" and the "Big Four."
Mills (wood‐working)‐The Sheldon Fixture Company.
Marble works‐Elliott & Hagy.
Moving pictures‐D. H. Harvey and Fred Brenneman.
Newspapers‐The Sun and the Mail.
Opera house‐W. H. Sleeper.
Photographs‐Pratt & Son, Mrs. L. Fredericks.
Physicians‐Drs. F. W. Cram, W. R. Brock, W. H. Myers, F. L. Myers, H. G. Brackney, C. V. Page, Roy Moreshell, Miss Deneen.
Plumbers (aside from hardwares)‐James Leveret and Charles Prentice.
Produce houses‐Swift & Company, Clarence McKillep.
Restaurants‐Charles Myers, Gleason & Wood, Will Fritts, Oliver Pierce.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 375
Stock buyers‐Runger & Wilson.
Second-hand stores‐Holly Vanderbeck.
Shoe stores‐Kleins and Harley A. Cobb.
Tailors‐John Klasbeck, J. A. Larson.
Veterinary surgeons‐L. U. Shipley, Dr. Ridell, T. E. Andrews.
Sheldon is on the great "North Iowa Pike," the automobile route from Sioux Falls, North Dakota, to McGregor, Iowa. This was laid out in 1911, and when thoroughly improved will be one of the greatest thoroughfares for northern tourists in all this country. Sheldon is the hub from which routes of this highway branch off to LeMars, Cherokee, Mankato, Sioux Falls and Mitchell; also to Mason City on the east.
January 8. 1878, on petition of J. H. Wolf and nine others, what is
now Franklin township was detached from Floyd and called Franklin, and
the first election held at the house of William Gavin. This township was
named for Benjamin Franklin.
No better introduction to this chapter can be had than to quote the words of pioneer J. H. Wolf, of the Primghar Bell, who wrote of this township several years ago as follows:
"Franklin township, now one of the most prosperous and populous, second to Floyd only, in fact, was one of the last to be organized as a separate township, being attached to Floyd.
"William H. Dummit, of section 8, with his family, being the first residents, locating as a homesteader on the northwest of section 8, in either 1871 or 1872. The family had some sad experiences, like most other frontier people. During the blizzard of January, 1873, a child died and was three days in the house after death, the storm being too bad to venture out to inform the neighbors. Mr. Dummit, by strict attention to business, industry and economy, has raised his family well, and now (1897) owns three hundred and twenty acres, paid for, and all well improved and well stocked. Such men always make farming pay.
"J. H. Wolf and family were the second to locate in the township, settling on section 14, in April, 1873. Their nearest neighbors were more than four miles away. The first winter they lived on the farm they were snowed in for eleven weeks, from January 8th to March 28th, not seeing anyone, the snow being too deep to travel. Mr. Wolf threshed their first crop, several hundred bushels, with the flail, his wife turning the fanning mill to clean it up.
376 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
"Rev. Ira Brashears, the same spring, that of 1873, had some breaking done, built a shanty, and lived a short time on the land now occupied by E.
T. Parker, adjoining Sanborn. Afterward several hundred acres were broken
up, or for, a man named Buck, on section 31. About the same time some
land was being broken up on section 12, but not farmed, the land being
up on the wrong section. B. F. McCormack can tell the particulars.
"Isaac Daniels broke land on section 14 in 1874, and built a house and moved his family thereto soon after.
"Thomas Burns and family located on section 31, we think in 1874 or 1875, and John Neese and Charles Sechman located on sections 28 and 29 in 1876. In 1878 there were voters enough, ten, to organize the township, which was done. J. H. Wolf and Isaac Daniels were appointed to locate the roads. The first election was held in the fall of 1878, at the house on section 30 then occupied by Mr. Gavin, twenty-one votes being cast, six or eight of them by men working on the railroad, legal voters."
From that day on settlement was made more rapidly and hence cannot here be traced in detail. The present population is about five hundred.
The only town in Franklin township is Sanborn, started in 1878 and early in 1879. It made a rapid growth for twenty years and more. It was platted January 8, 1879, on the west half of the northeast quarter and the east half of the northwest quarter of section 35, township 97. range 40, by J. A. Stocum and wife. This city is six years younger than Sheldon and five years younger than Primghar was when it became the county seat. Sanborn was another child of the railroad system now styled the "Milwaukee." Its predecessor, the McGregor & Missouri Railway Company, had undertaken to build across the state from McGregor to intersect with the Sioux City & St. Paul road in the vicinity of Sheldon. After reaching Algona, seventy five miles east of Sanborn, either from lack of good management or money, they stopped, unable to go further, until 1877, when the road passed into the hands of the Milwaukee Company, which at once started up its rapid building and further western extension. The first construction train reached Sanborn November 1, 1878. The site was owned by Messrs. Lawler and Stocum, who laid out the town. They platted into town lots about sixty acres. It was first designed to name the new town Edenville, but better judgment prevailed (possibly) and the town was named, not after the Garden of Eden,
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 377
but after the then
superintendent of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad Company, George W. Sanborn.
Building number one here was hauled from Primghar by L. C. Green, its owner, and used as a dwelling house, although about the same date E. R. Wood, for Teabout & Valleau, had a building there. Primghar saw the building of a new rival town only seven miles to the north, and became alarmed at the scenes there being enacted. It was a railroad town‐Primghar was yet without one. Mr. Green was the first to become alarmed and really enthused over the business prospects at Sanborn, and was the first to remove hither. He landed with his building December 12, 1878. He and L. C. Green were the first to occupy any building in the town of Sanborn. The next to move to Sanborn was that enterprising carpenter and builder, Hiram Algyer, who well understood that Sanborn would be a first-class place in which to ply his trade. His dwelling was the third building in the place. By a terrible railroad accident while as a carpenter remodeling a car he had both lower limbs severed, losing his life. L. D. Thomas moved a building to the town site and used it as a carpenter shop. When Miss Cora Thomas married Mr. Willits, they settled down to housekeeping in this same building. This was in January, 1878, during which month there were several other buildings built or removed to Sanborn. Mr. Barns, who had kept a hotel at Primghar, moved his building over to Sanborn, where he continued in the hotel business.
The first store was opened by S.W. Clark, whose stock, for a time, was kept at the depot, until his building could be removed from Primghar and made ready for his stock of merchandise.
It was in November. 1878, that a freight box-car was set out at Sanborn siding to be used as a depot until a better one could be provided. The first agent in charge was L. E. Whitman. W. Dunbar and he both resided in the depot together, for a time. Dunbar was the road master for this division of the Milwaukee road. It was indeed a novel sight to behold one town, and the county seat at that, being transported to the site of another seven miles distant. The prairie was literally dotted with buildings going from Primghar to Sanborn, the new and rival town of Primghar. But, be it said, all this fuss was useless, for as the years have rolled by it is seen that both places have a useful field and there is plenty of room for both towns, even if Sanborn did not get the county seat.
E. M. Brady, one of the early settlers, established himself in the hard-
378 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
ware business at Sanborn before others had pre-empted the field. He served
as a worthy member of the county board of supervisors for a number of
years; was also a member of the Iowa Legislature from this district.
The first banking institution in Sanborn was started in January, 1879, by I. W. Daggett, who had for a time operated at Primghar. The first mail service between the two rival towns was established in February, 1879. L. C. Green having been appointed mail carrier, the mail was always on time, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Samuel Hibbs opened the first meat shop in Sanborn. He also moved his building from Primghar. The depot was used for a meeting house by those inclined toward religion and the better things of life.
The first warehouse in Sanborn was that of Teabout & Valleau, in February, 1879. Between Clark's store and the depot, a telephone (not electric but vibratory) was placed in operation, the first in this county. Now there are hundreds of miles of modern improved telephones, and everyone can whisper their thoughts around the county at will!
The first celebration of Fourth of July at Sanborn occurred in 1879, when the procession marched to an improvised bowery. Allen Crossan read the Declaration of Independence and J. L. E. Peck, of Primghar, delivered the oration.
The first child born in Sanborn was in August, 1879, when a daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Hazeldine. The family soon removed from the town. The year 1879 was truly a busy one in the new town, the hotels and all stopping places being full and running over. The first issue of the Sanborn Pioneer was run off November 7. 1879. The earliest drug store was that opened by Dr. Charles Smith. David Algyer taught the first school in the place in the winter of 1879-80; he also taught music with much success.
The town of Sanborn was fortunate in being the end of a division on the great Milwaukee system of railroads. These divisions are about one hundred miles apart. It follows, therefore, that only one town in twenty or more in the state can be so selected. In result Sanborn has become the home and residence center of a large number of expert railroad men and their families, engineers, conductors, train dispatchers, railway mail agents and their scores of railroad assistants.
It was in 1879 that Sanborn and Sheldon were both pulling hard for the county seat. In six months the town doubled its population. The Methodist church was built and the round-house of the railroad was opened for work. The first death chronicled in the young place was the youngest child of W.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 379
W. Barnes, named Minnie. In 1880 the "House of Lords," a saloon, was opened by Harry Sherman; 1880 saw a population of five hundred souls and business went forward at a rapid rate. In September, 1880, J. L. Green and William Harker opened a banking house. Mr. Harker died in 1895 and his widow still continued to conduct the bank and was its president, the only lady who held such position within the borders of the county.
In 1880 Sanborn saw the
necessity of becoming an incorporated town.
Upon a petition presented to the district court, Mart Shea, L. C. Green, S. W.
Clark, A. G. Willits and Cal Broadstreet were appointed commissioners to
call an election for
voting upon the matter of incorporation, for and against
proposition. That election was held March 13, 1880, resulting in forty
votes for and
twenty-four against. The First town officers were elected April
3, the same year, and were as follows: Mayor, E. M. Brady; recorder,
Perry; councilmen, Mart Shea, S. W. Clark, L. C. Green, H.
Algyer, W.F. Jones, Cal Broadstreet; marshal and street commissioner, T.
D. White; treasurer, Frank Patch.
The mayors have been in the order here named: 1880, E. M. Brady; 1881, A. J. Devine; 1882, Harley Day; 1883, F. Teabout; 1884, D. R. Phelps; 1885, A. McNaughton; 1886, W. D. Boies; 1887, W. H. Noyes; 1888, N. L. F. Peck; 1889. J. E. Drake; 1890, J. E. Drake; 1891, D. R. Phelps; 1892, W. C. Green: 1893, W. J. Francis; 1894, W. J. Francis; 1895, W. J. Francis; 1896, G. O. Wheeler; 1897, W. J. Francis; J. A. Wilcox, 1900-04; B. M. Flint, 1904-10; J. H. Cannon, 1910-12; J. B. Stamp, 1912, resigned to become county auditor; J. H. McNeill, 1912-14.
The 1913 town officers are: J. H. McNeill, mayor; Will A. Solon, clerk; J. A. Johnson, treasurer; Fred Benham, marshal; J. H. Daley, E. A. Main, B. M. Flint, W. B. Cantrall, Samuel Omer, councilmen.
Sanborn has a good town hall and a public park covering a block and a half, planted out in 1890 to trees that now make a beautiful shade and wind break. Within this park stands the high water tower, which may be seen for a dozen or more miles around the town. Walks and rustic seats adorn and make useful this park, all of which bespeaks the intelligence and refinement of the place. The G. R. Healey private electric light plant affords the town ample illumination. This was installed in the nineties under a new franchise, the old company having gone out of business at that date.
380 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
The town of Sanborn has ample water supply through its modern water
system, secured in 1896-97, by bonding for six thousand dollars. A
deep well of large size was put down in Highland Park addition in 1912,
when the old well had become inefficient for the demand. The old works
were situated in Greene's addition. The
present system affords fine water in
abundance. There are about
thirty-five fire plugs. A volunteer fire company
looks well to the matter of providing safety to the town. Sanborn has a
school house of
eight main rooms and three class rooms, costing sixteen
The Sanborn post office is of the third class; has three rural free deliveries and one star route extending out to outlying districts. During the administration of Postmaster Boyd the safe was twice blown up by men, who were never captured. The loss was light and fell on the postmaster. The postmasters here have been: Ira Brashears, to 1884; D. R. Phelps, 1884 to 1888: Chauncey Owens, 1888-92; J. F. Kerburg, 1892-96; R. M. Boyd, 1896 to August 15, 1913 (seventeen years); E. L. Helmer, from August 15, 1913, to present date.
Churches, lodges, schools, etc., are mentioned under separate chapters.
years to come the following will be read with no little interest:
Auto garages‐Alexander Amelung, M. W. Cuppet. C. Hoffa.
Banks (state and savings)‐See Banking chapter.
Barbershops‐J. J. Lowrey, G. S. Travaille, George Casely.
Bakery‐J E. Wilson.
Blacksmith shop‐George Smith.
Clothing, exclusive‐Kelley & Donohue.
Cement block works‐Anderson Lumber Company.
Cream station‐Hanford's Produce Company and another corporation.
Drugs‐J. W. McKinley, E. C. Sprague & Company.
Dray lines‐Heman Gibbs, L. E. Foote, David Pippenger, D. Bernier, Thomas Farnsworth.
Dentist‐F. W. Farnsworth.
Elevator (grain)‐The "Hunting" and "Western," Farmers' Co-operative.
Furniture‐H. I. Hennebach.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 381
General merchandise‐E. A. Mayne, Ellenbrock & Bomgaar, Otto Kas.
Groceries (exclusive)‐Henry Addy, B. F. Pitts, Quillash Brothers.
Hotels‐"The Phoenix," the old Clark House, also the Omer House.
Harness shop‐J. W. Hill, E. A. Crandall.
Hardware‐A. Hoeven, Haber & Wright, E. A. Crandall.
Implements‐B. F. Flint, Dick DeGraff.
Jewelers‐F. D. Gibbs.
Lumber dealers‐Anderson Company, Farmers' Co-operative Company and Consumers' Independent Lumber Company.
Meat market‐B.W. Cantrall.
Millinery‐Rose Steuch, D. Tennesen.
Newspapers‐The Sanborn Pioneer.
Opera house‐A company of citizens.
Photographs‐J. D. Long.
Pool halls‐Garrett Jepma, Thomas Maroney.
Physicians‐Drs. F. M. Horton, Ed. Rutterer, W. M. Kuyper.
Restaurants‐Omer Hotel luncheon.
Stock dealers‐F. L. Inman, O. D. Eaton.
Telephone‐W. H. Barker system.
Tailors‐Pirie & Anderson.
Veterinary surgeon‐J. F. Wall.
Wagon repair shop‐L. Leaver.
In 1884 Sanborn made improvements footing to the amount of twenty five thousand five hundred dollars. Perhaps the best interest at Sanborn is the railroad division. Here in Sanborn the freight and passenger trains are made up; here the crews exchange places, one going out and the other coming in for a lay over. Here the round house and repair shops have always been located, and by reason of this much money has been annually paid out by the company. As a general rule railroad men are lavish and liberal in what they spend. Tens of thousands of passengers have stopped in transit at Sanborn and taken one or more meals. Here they have spent other money. Some of these have been induced to locate in the place and become citizens and good business men. There have been numerous passenger conductors who have made this their home for a period of more than a quarter of a century. Their runs have been made to the east and to the west. Among such capable men may be recalled E. Hoxsie, M. M. Burns and Charles E.
382 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
Foote. The faces of these popular conductors have been seen by an almost countless number of persons, during their many years' run over the Milwaukee system running in and out of Sanborn.
This library was organized in April, 1901, by the Twentieth Century Clubs of Sanborn. The ladies of this club secured donations of books and services as librarians. The first regular librarian elected was Miss Mavme Johnson. The building, most of the money of which was donated by Andrew Carnegie, was erected at a cost of four thousand eight hundred dollars, and it was dedicated May 22, 1912. It is located on Main street. The present number of volumes is about two thousand five hundred. The trustees are at present: Mrs. M. M. Burns, president; Miss Zaidee McCullow, vice-president; Mrs. J. A. Johnson, secretary; J. H. Daly, treasurer; Henry Kissler, Dr. F. W. Horton, Mrs. F. C. Sprague, Mrs. Earl Mayne. The various librarians have been Miss Z. McCullow, Miss Hannah Johnson, Miss Helen Foote, Miss Marguerite Kings, Miss Irene McNeill.
township was formerly included in old Waterman township, but
county grew in population it was necessary to sub-divide and hence we
have what is now Lincoln
This township is situated in the north part of the county, between Hartley and Franklin townships. The old Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern railway (now the Rock Island route) runs diagonally through its northeastern portion, with a small hamlet for a station point, located on section 10, called Plessis, which is the only trading point in the township. The land here is not unlike the majority of that in northern O'Brien county, well adapted to general farming purposes; is rich and increasing in value annually. Plenty of farms would sell today for one hundred and eighty-five dollars per acre, but few are to be had for sale. The owners do not conceive of a place where, if they continue in agricultural pursuits, they could duplicate the values, hence refuse to sell in most cases. The contrast with those early years, when homesteaders were discouraged and would have sold at a mere trifle, is indeed great. The main line of the great Milwaukee railroad system runs through the entire lower tier of sections, with the towns of Sanborn
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 383
and Hartley on either side of the township a few miles, thus giving good
The earliest settlers in Lincoln township were I. M. Silverthorn and family, who came in from Hardin county, Iowa, in 1870, locating on section 30. This family came two years before any other family appeared on the green glad solitude of the prairie township. They went through the grasshopper period and one season Mr. Silverthorn had one hundred acres cf land in wheat and harvested not a single bushel—the little winged pests had destroyed his entire crop, not even leaving him enough for his seed and bread. Subsequently he became a citizen of Hartley.
In 1881 this township had a population of twenty-three souls; in 1885 its population had increased to fifty-three, and its present population is about four hundred and eighty-five.
On section 36, in this township, Frank Teabout, as early as 1874, conducted a large ranch. In fact, it was his headquarters, from which he managed several large farms or ranches. Mr. Teabout was a brainy man and a practical business man and farmer, and a man of pronounced personality and a self-made man. He passed through the whole grasshopper scourge of 1874-79 in these large farming operations, and even with these setbacks made money and accumulated more land and became worth one hundred and fiftv thousand dollars or thereabouts. He being thus forehanded even among impoverished conditions, enabled him to overcome that which blasted the hopes of many of the old homesteaders.
It was in this township where Major Chester W. Inman, once county treasurer, was killed in an altercation over a boundary line. It was over his death that the one and only murder trial ever in the county was had resulting in conviction.
As stated elsewhere, it was a point jealously guarded and contended for in those early politics and before the board of supervisors, that each old homestead township, like Carroll, should have an unsettled, or, as they were then called, a deeded township, like Lincoln, which it could hold and levy taxes for school and road purposes, and then expend it all in the old township. Thus Hartley claimed Omega, Highland claimed Dale, and Floyd claimed Franklin. Now thus far they were contiguous territory in each case. Poor Carroll township stood out alone. It could not attach either Summit or Baker, because those townships considered themselves of enough importance
384 OBRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
to resent being owned by anybody, having enough settlers to preserve their own identity. But Lincoln had no settlers. Carroll could look across the prairie space of six miles and covet the uninhabited Lincoln, but how could she become contiguous? How could she leap across that six mile chasm? This scheme was evolved. The board of supervisors was induced to set off a row of forties like a fiddle string on the north side and clear across Summit, and then it called the whole thing Fiddle String and all Carroll, and Carroll township collected taxes for many years from the whole. The early settlers of Lincoln began to arrive and soon resented the idea of being called "one end of a fiddle string," and organized as Lincoln at the first opportunity, by snapping this fiddle string and telling Summit and Carroll to play their own tunes. This farce was much of a joke, even at the time, but it served a political reality, and in fact met the legal requirements of a township.
On October 14, 1878, a petition was filed to set off what is now Hartley township from Center. It was rejected at that session, but on June 2, 1879, it was again brought up and successfully set off and named Hartley, and the first election held at the house of J. M. Silverthorn.
The town of
Hartley had its beginning with the coming of the Milwaukee railroad in
1878, and was named after one of the surveyors and engineers
participated for the road in its building. The first platted part of
the town was made
by W. A. Mickey, the father-in-law of Jacob H. Wolf,
of the Bell, in the platting of Mickey's addition on August 8, 1879. It was
one case where the addition was
platted prior to the main town. Indeed, it
part of the main portion of the town today. In fact, buildings were started
plattings of record. The census of 1910 gives the population of
Hartley at one thousand one hundred and six.
The town was not incorporated until about ten years later. On April 2, 1888, James S. Webster, still a resident and prominent business man of the town, headed a petition with forty others directed to the district court, asking that all of section 32 in Hartley township be incorporated. On May 23, 1888, in a regular proceeding in open court before Hon. Scott M. Ladd, presiding judge, a hearing was had, and thereupon the court appointed James S. Webster, William S. Fuller, S. H. McMaster, E. B. Messer and R. G. Allen
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 385
as the five court commissioners under the law to call an election to vote on
the proposition whether it should be incorporated or not. This election was
July 2, 1888, three of the commissioners acting as judges of the election.
eighty-seven votes cast, and the vote stood seventy-nine for incorporation and eight against. At the first election for officers the following
corps of officials were elected:
Mayor, E. B. Messer; recorder, W. H. Eaton; councilmen, Samuel Smith, L. C. Green, I. N. Drake, S. H. McMasters, L. Mosher and W. J. Lorshbough; marshal, J. M. Herron; treasurer, W. S. Fuller.
The town of Hartley has enjoyed and still enjoys an extent of trading territory not held by any other town in the county. The next east and west railroad to the north is very close to twenty miles away. The towns of Ocheyedan, Harris, Lake Park, Spirit Lake and Milford, the next nearest towns to the north and northeast, range from eighteen to thirty miles away. This has given Hartley an exceptionally large trading chance, and its business men have followed up this opportunity.
The mere statement of the fact that Hartley has three banks, with a savings bank as part of one of those institutions, and the only town outside of Sheldon having more than two banks and more than one railroad, simply evidences the result of this large trade territory.
Hartley is one among those towns whose business district is compact, its banks, stores, depots, elevators, lumber and other yards, hotels, etc., being all located on adjoining blocks.
Hartley, like other towns, in its school history has passed through first the primitive period, finally arriving at the up-to-date period in the highest sense. The very first school in the town was not held in a school building, but in the upper story of Finster & Fuller's store building, and was taught by O. M. Shonkwiler, who later on became a hustler in many lines, including actual farming on a large scale, and as a public man in various ways, including membership on the board of supervisors. Hartley, however, was among the very early towns in the county to have a modern brick, up-to-date school structure. One unique feature of the Hartley school building is the fact that it has in the third story a magnificent auditorium, which is used by its citizens, not only in public school functions, but for general public audiences. Like all towns, it got along first with its one-story frame school building, then later with its two-story building, which in its time was built on large proportions and which later became frame residences near town. (25)
386 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
Hartley, like all the prairie towns, started under primitive conditions
grew. For instance, in 1878, when the railroad was built, in the
get things moving the road first used a box car as a depot, presided
over by George Titus as the first railroad magnate or depot agent. Finster
& Fuller, composed of those old settlers, J. S. Finster and William S. Fuller,
ran the first store. Soon there after Pumphrey & Chrysler, made up of John R.
Pumphrey and J. G. Chrysler, among the first merchants in Primghar, started
the second store for
Hartley. N. Plawson followed with a grocery and
saloon, and Frank Matott and W. J. Guenther a saloon and billiard hall.
J. K. P. McAndrew opened up and was landlord of the first hotel, known as the Commercial House. It might be appropriate here to say that Mr. McAndrew was the godfather and responsible for the city of Max, just west of Hartley, where for years he ran an elevator. It was McAndrews, or Macks or Max. Later on Mr. McAndrew was for some years an efficient member of the board of supervisors. Indeed the town of Hartley and vicinity has furnished to the county sundry of its officials: O. M. Shonkwiler, John Sanders, H. J. Merry and now Peter Swenson, on the board of supervisors, John T. Conn, county attorney and county auditor, John W. Walters, clerk of the courts, and ex-Sheriff George Coleman, now a resident and telephone manager.
One odd incident occurred in the very first years, when the town was small and pioneers were few, bringing together both the preacher and saloon on an occasion which was neither a raid nor a camp meeting. In those earliest times the preacher did not always fare sumptuously, and was not always inquired about. He was needy and appealed to a farmer. At Frank Matott's saloon the question arose and a good sized fund was raised and provided for, with Frank as treasurer of this aid society, under which management the preacher was provided with forty-five dollars per month. Williams Brothers, of Primghar, built one of the early brick store buildings of size and conducted a store for some time. David Gano combined a meat market and hardware store. H. J. Guenther shipped in a stock of boots and shoes all the way from New York and Milo Silverthorn started a livery, so the first people of the town could go either afoot or on horseback.
One of its quite early public buildings was its very ample hotel of southern seashore appearance and comfort, with its unusually large porches on two full sides. Indeed, this hotel was built in such large proportions that it has well served as the permanent, up-to-date hotel of the city and well known as the Park Hotel.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 387
It was a passing joke at the time in Hartley's first barber shop that its
customers shaved themselves in turn. However, Claud Charles soon relieved
this situation by installing a common bench for a barber's chair, which Claud
straddled, with the victim lying on his back, as he proceeded with the surgical operation, with his outfit consisting of a cake of Russian soap, a razor and
leg of a boot for a strap and hone.
Brick buildings followed these early conditions, as we now witness on its streets. On sundry improvements and situations see the chapters on Banks and Banking, the Press and the Churches and other incidental items mentioned in various parts of this history.
The township of Hartley was wholly what was known as a deeded township, with not a homestead claim in it. Its settlement was sparse and scarcely started until 1879 and 1880. It had no pioneers in the sense of the homesteaders in other townships. O. M. Shonkwiler was one of its very early real farmers residing on the land itself. Among other of the very early ones in the township were Frank Patch, E. T. Broders, I. N. Drake, C. H. Colby, Henry Krebs, Mary E. Colby, George W. Walter, Peter Swenson, C. B. Olhausen, Paul Kahler, J. C. Mansmith, George W. Schee, Stephen R. Harris, J. D. Edmundson, William Steinbeck, I. M. Silverthorn, A. H. Bierkamp and others, who either resided on or owned or opened up the early farm lands.
Its present (1913) officials are: Mayor, George Coleman; clerk, H. T. Broders; treasurer, Freeman Patch; assessor, George Rector; councilmen, Ed. Burns, T. H. Burns, O. E. Horst, Julius Eichner and Earl Miller.
Since writing the above, this March, 1914, a new city administration was selected: E. G. Burns, mayor, and W. A. Simms, William Lemke, Peter Nelson, E. Krutzfeldt and H. J. Grotewohl, councilmen.
Hartley established a system of water works in 1895 at a cost of five thousand five hundred dollars. It obtains its water supply from a large well two hundred feet deep, the water being first pumped to a tower tank one hundred and twenty-five feet in height. Like most other towns. Hartley has had some trying experiences, in her case with quicksand. In 1914 the town put down a second well. Its pumps are operated by an electric motor.
388 O"BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
The fire department is made up of a volunteer company and has done efficient work in several fires. It is provided with chemical engine, hooks and ladders, hose and other equipments.
Hartley is specially proud of its excellent and up-to-date lighting system. This system was installed in 1908 and the first lights turned on February 10, 1909, all at a total cost of thirty-five thousand dollars. The meter system is in use here. The machinery producing the electric current consists of a one hundred-and-ten-volt direct-current dynamo, one eighty-horse-power gas producing engine and one "50-60" Alamo oil producing engine, one thirty and one fifty kilowatt generator, with a one hundred and thirty-two cell storage battery. The streets are brightly illuminated, and the whole system is a success.
following is a list of the postmasters of Hartley: O. M. Shonkwiler, 1878; J. S. Finster, 1879-85; R. A. Woodward, 1885-88; Frank Potts,
1888-90; Leonard Miller, 1890-93; S. A. Smith, 1893-98; J. E. Wheelock, 1898-14.
The board of education of the independent district of Hartley is as follows: J. E. Wheelock, president; L. Cody, J. S. Messer, J. C. Joslin and William Lemke; clerk, G. E. Knack; treasurer, W. J. Davis.
The great pride, not only of O'Brien county, but of Hartley especially, is in its soldiers' monument, erected by Mr. and Mrs. George W. Schee in 1891. It was unveiled June 4, 1891, in dedication-day exercises, and an extended program and reunion and memorial eulogized by Judge William Hutchinson, Doctor Hutchins and Thomas F. Ward, then an attorney of Primghar. It was truly made a county-wide occasion. For instance, Capt. Charles F. Albright led two hundred citizens from Primghar in a body. Like sized companies came in procession from many townships and families came from everv direction. The Milwaukee train alone brought five hundred from
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 389
Sheldon and Sanborn. A fine
military band from Hull led the procession.
Old soldiers, Sons of Veterans, and Women's Relief Corps, with banners,
badges and flags, called forth both enthusiasm and patriotism. The monument itself, during the program, was surrounded by old soldiers, with guards
pacing to and fro, guarding the emblems and symbols of the army and navy.
Each procession and train was met by committees and bands and escorted to the place assigned. The monument is white bronze, standing twenty eight feet above ground in height. The figure or statue of a full-sized soldier, six feet four inches, stands at the top. Its weight, exclusive of foundation, is three thousand pounds, and cost two thousand six hundred dollars. It is seventy feet around the base, which required four car loads of stone, lime and cement to built it. The monument is ornamented on the several sides with medalions as follows: Bust of Grant, Lincoln and Logan. The names of all the members of the Hartley Grand Army of the Republic Post, giving the names of companies and regiments, are beautifully inscribed. Also the words "Presented to G. A. R. Post and Town of Hartley by Mr. and Mrs. George W. Schee," are inscribed. During the program, in addition to speeches named, Commander James S. Webster delivered the Proclamation of Peace as an impressive part of the services. The Sheldon Male Quartette rendered vocal music. Altogether it was one of the great occasions in O'Brien county.
following is a complete roster of the business interests of the town:
Attorney‐John T. Conn.
Agricultural Implements‐Burns Brothers, E. B. Messer & Son. Auto Garages‐Messer & Johnson, Palmrquist Auto Company.
Banks‐Hartley State Bank, First National Bank, Farmers Savings Bank and German Savings Bank.
Barber Shops‐Smith Brothers, Ray Jones and David Orres
Blacksmiths‐A. Hopper & Son, Peter Lefferenson, Joseph Green.
Clothing‐O. F. Olson, Eichner Brothers.
Cement Blocks‐P. C. Ecklers & Son, George Rector.
Creamery‐Hartley Creamery Company.
Drugs‐T. L. McGuire, Coordes Drug & Jewelry Company.
Dentists‐S. F. Conn, Dr. Baker.
Dray Lines‐Clifford Dray Line, John Adolph, Will Erbes, R. E. Miller.
390 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
Furniture‐Berne & Broders, Lemke Brothers.
Feed Store‐C. H. Bets, Farmers Elevator Company.
Grocers (exclusive)‐Albert Tagge.
General Dealers‐J. C. Keiffer & Company, Lemke Brothers, Herbert & Davidson.
Hospitals‐Dr. Callman's, Dr. Hand.
Hotels‐Park Hotel, The George Hotel.
Hardware‐O. E. Horst, H. L. Failing.
Harness Shops‐L. C. Cody, August Feldhahn.
Jewelry‐Knap & Jones, Coordes Drug & Jewelry Company.
Lumber‐The Floete Lumber Company, The Superior Lumber Company, Hartley Lumber Company.
Livery‐Jap Burson, Hartley Livery Company, Swanson Brothers.
Meat Market‐Ewaldt & Melvin.
Newspapers‐Hartley Journal, Hartley Sentinel, Crimson & Gold.
Physicians‐Dr. F. J. Coleman, Dr. C. E. Phelps, Dr. J. B. Sherbon, Dr. C. W. Hand, Dr. J. W. Conaway.
Photographers‐F. J. Janson.
Rent Wants‐W. R. Wagner, Clarence Hens, J. H. Ray.
Stockdealers‐Burns Brothers, Peter Nelson, James Campbell.
Shoe Store‐W. C. Vogel.
Veterinary Surgeon‐Charles Johnson.
Wagon Shop‐Charles Guenther, Hopper & Son. Editors‐Eugene Peck, of the Journal; Claud A. Charles, of the Sentinel; Clarence Peck, of Crimson and Gold, a school magazine published each school month.
Lodges‐Masonic, Yeoman, Woodmen of the World.
Churches‐Methodist Episcopal, Presbyterian, three German churches, Christian Science, Roman Catholic and Seventh-day Adventist. The churches, lodges, newspapers, banks, etc., will also be noted in the special chapters on those subjects.
The mayors of the town have been as follows: E. B. Messer, 1888-89; Frank Kelley, 1890-91; L. Miller, 1892-94; W. B. Waldo, 1894; L. Miller, 1895; W. B. Waldo, 1896; E. Kelley. 1897-99; R. A. Woodward, 1899-04; O. K. McElhinney, 1904-05; F. R. Lock, 1905-12; George Coleman, 1912-14.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 391
April 1, 1872, the present townships of Carroll and Summit were set
Liberty and called Carroll, the first election to be held in Ben Hutchinson's
store, on the southwest quarter of section 24. This store was conducted
by Ben Hutchinson on the prairie during the earliest homesteading years prior
to the coming of the railroad to Sheldon. This township was named in honor
of Patrick Carroll, who homesteaded the south half of the southeast quarter
of section 34 in the township, and who raised a large family.
This township is situated on the western line of the county, second from the northern line. The Sioux Falls branch of the Illinois Central railroad runs through the township from northwest to southeast. Its only station point is the thriving village of Archer, on section 24, about midway between Sheldon and Primghar. The Little Floyd river takes its rise in Franklin township and enters Carroll on section 1 and leaves it from section 7. The incorporation lines of Sheldon take in a portion of this township.
Travel where one may, it is difficult to find a more attractive agricultural district that can be seen in this portion of the county. The farms are all well improved, land is steadily increasing, is now nearing the two-hundred-dollar mark, and men of judgment declare the limit is not nearly reached yet. With good soil, good water, good markets, good schools, etc., it is no wonder that land commands such high figures. Where in all of Iowa's broad domain of excellent land could a farmer better his condition if he is fortunate enough to own one of these farms in Carroll township?
In 1881 the township had a population of only three hundred and twenty nine; in 1885, it had reached three hundred and ninety-six and the United States census books for 1910 gave it as having six hundred and twelve population. But the change in condition and values has been greater than the increase in population.
W. E. Welch came from Jefferson county, New York, in March, 1871, and at Fort Dodge chanced to meet Archibald Murray, who induced him to accompany him to O'Brien county, and there he remained with Murray as a stopping place for the next two years. Murray secured the south half of section 28 for Welch. He built upon this land in 1872, lived there for a time, then traded for land in Baker township where he continued to reside until 1885, then settled in Sheldon. Welch was at one time a member of the
392 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
county supervisors, and a thrifty citizen of this county. He was
acting sheriff under Sheriff Nissen.
Pennsylvania sent forth one of her sons to become a pioneer in this township; this was in the person of James Roberts, who first located in Poweshiek county and later came to Cherokee. He found there Mr. Woods of this county, who located him on section 28, Carroll township. Forbes Williamson had the claim covered up, as it was then called, but Roberts paid him twenty-eight dollars to get rid of him. He went back and wintered in Poweshiek county in the winter of 1871-72, and in the winter following he was in Pennsylvania. In 1875 he broke out a hundred and twenty acres of his quarter section, and farmed the same, partly himself and partly rented to another. This was the first grasshopper year and he only saved a portion of his crop, which at first was very promising. Ten acres of his land had oats on it and not a bushel was harvested therefrom. Threshing machine men that year in Carroll township charged twenty-five dollars per day for threshing, without regard to the amount of grain yield. When he returned in the spring of 1874, at the Day school house he saw forty odd settlers gathered in a crowd, as he supposed one of the settlers had died, from the dejected look upon the faces of the men there assembled, but soon learned that they were there to receive their apportionment of a relief fund that had been raised and sent into the county to tide the settlers over another year. Mr. Roberts finally came through all right and owned a half section of land in 1897 and a residence in the town of Sheldon.
William Huston Woods, better known as "Huse" Woods, referred to below as having located sundry homesteaders, and referred to in other places in this history as a surveyor, filled much of a needed niche with the old settler in thus getting located. Mr. Woods was the husband of Mrs. Roma W. Woods, who writes one chapter of this history in reminiscences of the early day. This explanation would not have been necessary twenty-five years ago, as then everybody knew him, but we now have seventeen thousand people. He himself homesteaded on the section adjoining the present town of Sutherland. In coming to the county many settlers first landed at Mr. Woods' claim to secure his services. Those in Carroll township, many of them, coming from down near Dubuque, Durant and other places, would make their first trip across the county thus piloted by him. These pilgrimages tramped down the prairie grass and did the first "road work" on the long angling road
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 393
from Mr. Woods'
place, via Primghar, through Carroll to Sheldon. It was
quite indispensable to this settler, who was staking his little much and all to
make a home, even though a shack, to know that he was on the right eighty
acres of land. Much of this
county being within the railroad limits under
the grant of Congress, most of them only got eighty acres. A difference
eighty rods in a survey might mean the whole tiling to him. They were
dealing with Uncle Sam, an exacting individual. Mr. Woods was a highly
educated man, a hue mathematician and an accurate
surveyor. He had been
a college chum of Col. William P. Hepburn, member of Congress from the
eighth Iowa district. The old United States surveys were even then more
twenty years old, and the tall prairie grass shut out from view many
government corners. They had to be "found." The prairie grass
all looked alike. This sameness to so
large an expanse made this item quite
a problem. It is probably correct to say that Mr. Woods thus located a full
half of the six hundred homesteaders, as likewise many settlers on the deeded
townships. He understood the "pits and mounds," put on the treeless prairies
by Uncle Sam's surveyors. His actual mileage in foot travel in the decade
1870-1880 would run into the many thousands in these surveys. He was a
man much in
politics, but never sought an office. He probably spent more
actual time than
any other half dozen men during the same years as leader
organization of the Taxpayers' Association in earnest effort to defeat
agreed was an unjust debt. One quite primitive, yet practical,
by the early pioneers, and even by these surveyors in their trial
efforts to find corners and lines was to tie a handkerchief to the
spoke of the
buggy or wagon, and count its revolutions as one drove along, first measuring
the tire, to make the computation. Many land agents did this for years
later on. The writer has thus counted these revolutions of wheels in the
many thousands in single days to determine some corner. In these tedious
surveys to find corners, the actual government corner was the main feature,
and in these locations of
early homesteaders Mr. Woods may be said to have
literally and in fact the "Pathfinder of O'Brien County."
Pioneer W. H. Woods also located W. C. Butterfield in 1870 on section 4 of Carroll township. He returned in 1871, proved up and brought his family on to become permanent settlers. He hauled lumber from Cherokee and erected a small, but comfortable, house in the fall of 1871. He had formerly been a merchant in Durant, Cedar county, Iowa. Later, he embarked in business in Sheldon. He was also a shoemaker and in 1873 "cobbled" many a pair of boots and shoes for homesteaders for which he was never paid a cent, and really never asked pay.
394 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
Charles F. Butterfield, son of the Vermont Yankee Butterfield, located
in Carroll township in 1871 on section 4. He broke up land the first season,
wintered at Durant, Iowa, and returned the following spring. He made the
first track through the wild prairie grass between where Primghar now stands
place, and this trail was long used as a well traveled wagon road.
Subsequently, he located in the shoe trade at Sheldon. His brother also
claimed land here, remained a while, moved to Montana and died many years
younger son became possessed of a good paying government
position in the Rosebud Indian agency, being at the head of the Indian
J. J. Hartenbower, later a large capitalist in the city of Des Moines, settled on section 34 in 1872. He was desperately poor, but forged to the front and became a wealthy man of the state and later mayor of Des Moines, as likewise he had been mayor of Sheldon.
Another settler was W. H. Dorsey, brother of "Star Route" Senator Dorsey, who was an early settler on the southwest quarter of section 2.
Other pioneers in Carroll township were, J. R. Deacon, on section 6; Gladney Ewers, on section 32; L. G. Healey, long a deputy sheriff, on section 14, who later died on the Pacific coast; B. Hutchinson, on section 24, who kept a store there until Sheldon came into existence. Also A. J. Brock, on section 10; D. Barrett, on section 24; Nancy A. Bush, on section 32; R. H. Cook, on section 2; Paul Casely, on section 22; R. H. Cook, later of Dakota; John Clements, on section 28; Robert Cowan, on section 30; Harley Day, on section 26; James B. Frisbee, on section 14; Frank Frisbee, on section 14; E. S. Huber, on section 23; L. A. Hornberger, on section 34; M. H. Hart, on section 27; C. P. Jones, on section 18; T. M. Lemaster, on section 24; Harvey Luce, section 30; C. C. Miller. section 4; D. N. McElwain, section 4, came in 1872, and died many years later. He was known as "Uncle Nick," and was a sturdy character and always lived by the Golden Rule. Dan McKay located on section 6, in 1871, many years a deputy sheriff and many years later removed to Tacoma. His son, who was trained and schooled in this county, is now a well-known attorney in Tacoma.
John Griffith settled on section 2, which land was kept in the family ever afterwards. William Moffitt settled on section 20, as did Dan Moffitt, while Frank located on section 22 and Erwin on section 28. John W. Nelson claimed a part of section 24, where he spent the remainder of his life. Peter A. Nelson made his original settlement on section 36, worked at the mason's trade in Sheldon and died in the nineties.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 395
Reynolds settled on section 22 of Carroll township and later
on was for
many years a member of the board of supervisors; he was by
trade a mason and a
prince among his fellow men; he died at Sheldon. J. F.
Stone located on section
8, and later became a furniture dealer in Sheldon.
Henry Whitmore located on section 4 and Louie and Nick Younger on section
30; C. D. Pottinger settled on section 16; Silas Poole claimed a part of section 26. and
Mary Priest was on section 14.
George W. Schee, who is prominent in the county and in this history, settled on the southwest quarter of section 26, in 1872.
George Mennig, from Davenport, Iowa, first located in Liberty township in 1869 and the following year built a shack and broke up some of his claim. In the fall of 1870 he filed a contest on the southeast quarter of section 18 in Carroll township and was successful in his contest. He settled there in April, 1871. Three years hand running he lost his crops by grasshoppers and dry weather, but steadily kept pressing onward.
Claus Klindt and family came in with Mr. Mennig in the spring of 1871, settling on the northeast quarter of section 18, Carroll township. C. P. Jones and family came in the same time with Klindt and located on the same section. Klindt was a peculiar man and later in Dakota committed suicide, it is said.
Thomas Holmes, homesteader on section 22, was an Englishman and cousin to John H. and William Archer and William Briggs. He was a member of the board of supervisors from Carroll for six years during the trying times in getting the county on a cash basis, and with Ezra M. Brady, George W. Schee and others, deserves much credit for that county financeering. M. F. McNutt has for some years been a later member of that body from Carroll, doing corresponding work, but belongs to the later and building period of the county, as likewise was E.H. McClellan, a member for some years. A. H. Herrick, Miss C. A. Herrick and Frank L. Herrick, for four years later on county recorder, all homesteaded on section 12. George N. Klock, long known as an eccentric and wit and now for years residing in Sheldon, settled on 8.
D. A. W. Perkins, editor, lawyer, politician and author of one of the first histories of O'Brien county, effected his settlement in Floyd township, and made his home at pioneer Butterfield's, before named, as being associated with the pioneer band of Carroll township. Mr. Perkins now resides at Highmore, South Dakota. He is a many-sided man and possessed of many manly traits of character, and in several wavs a man of more than ordinary
396 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
ability. He and a well-known Methodist minister had a claim contest which
gives an account of in his old history of this county, which shows
the condition of things here in the early seventies, also the make-up of the
claiming the same land, under the homestead rights, hence we quote
Mr. Perkins' account in full:
"The writer returned to Wilton, in Muscatine county, where he was living, after completing the sod shack and filing in the land office. In the spring of 1872, with some others of Dubuque, I returned, drove up from Cherokee, and about the first of April landed on the claim again. As we drove in sight of it we could see a building had been placed there during the winter in the writer's absence.
"Truly, here was a dilemma, a difference in opinion as to who had placed that building on the claim, whether he was a pigmy or a giant, an innocent member of the Young Men's Christian Association, or a cow-boy. Upon inquiring, however, in a few days we learned it was a Methodist preacher with only one arm. This, of course, settled the question of muscular supremacy, for we felt if we could not get away with a one-armed preacher, he was entitled to that quarter section, with the sod shack and its belongings thrown in. About two weeks after that we went down to Cherokee for provisions, and while at the depot when the train came in from the east, the writer saw a one-armed man get off the train. He had the garb of a preacher, and the thought was, of course, here was the offender and the cause of all our prospective trouble, and not even his clerical position shall save him from a going over, and perhaps a trouncing if he was the slightest inclined to talkback. Someone knowing the circumstances and the parties, brought the preacher and the writer face to face and introduced us. The preacher at once, without fear of man or God before his eyes, 'So you are on my claim, are you?' The gall of the fellow was immensely audacious and for a moment we were paralyzed, not with fear, but surprise. We recovered, however, enough to say we had moved a building up against his building and against his door; that we had three Winchesters, four bowie knives, an oak club with knots on it, and a bull-dog, and the first attempt he made even to go to his claim he would be slaughtered right there, and his miserable carcass thrown to the prairie wolves. This was said with dramatic pose, and in such a way that the preacher walked off, muttering to himself. He did come around, however, in about two weeks and mildly inquired if he would be permitted to haul his building away, and was mildly told that he could. He sold it to Ed. Bache, in Floyd township, where it still stands on Ed's claim.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 397
preacher was vanquished and peace was restored. This was Rev.
Ira Brashers, who was pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church at Sheldon
and Sanborn afterwards, and was also
postmaster at Sanborn."
Having traced out the location and dates of many of the pioneers of Carroll township, it is now left to state something concerning the first actual settler within the limits of the township—Patrick Carroll, for whom the township was named, and rightfully, too. He came from Illinois in the spring of 1870, with two teams and wagons and with his entire family, a wife and eight children. They were three weeks enroute to Chrokee. Coming up from Cherokee, Mr. Carroll met a team whose driver was asked about where he would find the "town of Waterman," having been told that it was quite a good sized place, when, in fact, it consisted only of the humble habitation of Mr. and Mrs. Waterman, the first O'Brien county settlers. The reply came from the son of the Emerald Isle, quick and full of wit, "A divil a bit of use is it for ye's to be enquiring for a town in a new country like thot." Mr. Carroll soon found the Irishman was correct! He finally located on the southeast quarter of section 34, this township, he dug a well and with his covers from the wagons made a tent in which the family lived until he could do better. He traded his horses for oxen and with them broke his raw prairie land sufficient to raise a crop the following year. In the fall of the year he worked on the railroad grade and thus kept the wolf from the door. He finallv succeeded and became well off. He died in March, 1896, his good wife having passed away on November 23, 1883. The township of Carroll, bearing his name, will ever be his monument to future readers of local annals. The one town in this township is very appropriately named Archer. John Archer for whom it is named, owns about four thousand acres immediately adjoining the town. He was the founder of and he has the chief business in the place today.
We should also mention Robert T. Hayes, now deceased, who owned the plat just on the north of the town of Archer, where he resided until his death, and where his widow and six children now reside. He was an unique and original character, in that he had a very retentive memory and could repeat the history of his town and township and that part of the county in all its details and dates. William W. and John S. Bonderman, who also have resided upon and owned land immediately adjoining the town for many years on the south and west, have done much for both the town and township. Austin Watson and his son George, just east of the town, but in Summit township, have done far more than the usual part in building up Archer as
398 O"BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
a thriving, wide-awake business place, and in making it one of the best markets in the county. Mr. Watson has been in more ways than one, both to the individual and to the town, "a friend in need," and taken a prominent part in politics and public affairs, and in putting both Archer and his part of the county on the map. Archer has been very exceptional in this, that, though one of the smaller towns, with population of three hundred and fifty-one, it has actually tested out as a vigorous rival of the larger towns in the county in extent of shipments and business. Archer has been specially fortunate in the loyalty of its farmers towards the town.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 399
building erected was a blacksmith shop in March, 1888. Within a few months a
post office was established with T. B. White appointed as
postmaster, but, failing to qualify, A. A. Bisbee, the pioneer merchant
partner with West & Bisbee, who started the first store, was appointed
qualified. Milo Benedict was the first station agent. The firm of Wrest
& Bisbee, soon after failing in business, was succeeded by H. H. Parish,
who became in turn
postmaster and built up a large trade. W. J. Sinyard
soon after became
depot agent and acted in this capacity for several years,
and until he became cashier of the Bank of Archer.
The following is a full list of the postmasters: A. A. Bisbee, H. H. Parish, H. L. Williams, H. H. Parish, H.K. Smith, Eugene Sullivan, Joe Larrikin, C. M. Pederson, H. A. Lemkuil and C. M. Pederson.
The business interests of Archer in the year 1914 are represented as follows: Goodrich & Co. and Garrett Vander Schoor, general stores;
Chris Peterson, harness shop;
Jacob Duinstra, hardware merchant;
Henry Teimens, blacksmith;
Mrs. John Tanner, restaurant;
John Harn, pool hall;
A. J. Byers, barber;
Henry Kleinheksel, livery;
Joseph Lamkin, meats;
Edmonds Londergan & Co., lumber, etc.;
Archer Co-operative Grain Co., grain, etc.;
C. S. Goodrich, auto garage;
B. S. Renswick, creamery;
C. M. Pederson, postmaster and telephone manager.
For the statement and history of the Bank of Archer, see the chapter on Banks and Banking, and for its churches, see the chapter on churches.
The professional interests are well taken care of by Dr. M. D. Kiely, who located here in 1898 and has built up a very extensive practice.
The town of Archer, in its school relations, has had an unique experience, in this, that its school building and grounds are owned by the incorporated town of Archer, as a municipal corporation. This is not true of any other town in the county. It came about in this way. Archer is not an independent school district. It is a part of the school township and in one of its districts. The town being on the edge of the school township, thus twenty-four miles around it, the rural districts could not bring themselves up to the point of voting funds for a building adequate for town purposes. Undaunted, the enterprising citizens of the town, in the year 1900, by private subscription erected a two-story school building at a cost of three thousand five hundred dollars. The town or district then entered into a friendly
400 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
agreement with the school township whereby the town shall furnish the school building and the school township shall bear the management expenses.
township was not settled as soon as other parts of the county,
but is now all well
developed and land sells from one hundred and fifty dollars
to two hundred dollars
per acre. Its population in 1905, according to the
state census returns, was five hundred and fifteen. It was organized as
follows: On May 7, 1873, all of section 36 of what is now Summit, whereon
Primghar now stands, was set off from the then Carroll and added to Center.
Therefore Primghar at one time belonged to Center. On December 27,
1873, what is now Summit was detached from Carroll. In describing what
should be Summit it declared it was to be bounded on the east
and on the South
by "95-41," so that in effect it set back Primghar to Summit. Later on in the
years all the territory within the limits of the incorporated town of Primghar was made part of Summit township. This puts
Peck & Shuck's addition and Slocum. Turner &
Armstrong's additions to
Primghar, which are in congressional Center, into Summit township and also
puts Derby & Rowan's addition to Primghar, which is in congressional Dale,
into Summit, as at present situated.
A portion of the town of Primghar is situated within the southeast corner of this township. There are no other towns or parts of towns in this sub-division of the county. John and Will Archer were early comers to this part of O'Brien county. The last named was at one time connected with the Primghar Savings Bank and was a very liberal man and highly public spirited. He donated much toward the present Methodist Episcopal church at Primghar and after its completion he donated a pulpit set, and chairs for infants' use in Sunday school. He moved to Burlington, Iowa, where he engaged in the manufacture of crackers. Others were Drew Arnold and Barney Snyder. The latter took a homestead which he proved up on and still lives there in good circumstances. John Archer's father-in-law, Mr. Ballon, was very early in the settlement and is still living, but not a resident of the township. In the north part of the township was Charles Burns, who still resides in O'Brien county, honored and respected. Another was William Artman, who came in the eighties, made good improvements and accumulated much property.
This township had some tree claims, but few homesteads, when the
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 401
settlement was effected. One
"forty" in some way slipped the notice of all
very late, when David Algyer, an abstracter, now living
at Paullina, discovered it and entered it as his homestead. He made the
usual improvements and finally sold it after proving up. This was on section 29 and is the forty owned by Joseph Hulbach. Other pioneer settlers
here were as follows: Joseph Potter, who came just after Mr. Holbach,
Ray, now residing in Primghar, a carpenter by trade, settled in the
part of Summit in the seventies; married, reared his family and
then moved to
town, having rented his farm. Joseph Geister, ex-sheriff of
county, was early in the township, as was his father-in-law, Mr.
Harges, who came to the county with over twenty thousand dollars. He was
a plain dressed man and wore an odd coonskin cap. He appeared at the
teller's window at a bank in Sanborn and wanted to
deposit money. The
banker did not believe he had a
dollar, but treated him gentlemanly and soon
he drew from one
pocket several thousand dollars and deposited that and
then dug up more from other pockets in his plain clothes, until he had taken
out the sum of
twenty thousand dollars. Then he commenced picking up
land in O'Brien
county and at one time had many broad acres.
Another one recalled by present-day settlers was James See's father, who located near Mr. Geister's present farm. The old gentleman is now deceased.
Summit is also one of the deeded townships it only having three homesteads in it. Stephen J. Jordan was an old soldier and homesteader. He met with an accident in a runaway, from the injuries of which he died. The Stephen Jordan Grand Army post at Primghar was named for him. George B. Davids was one of the very early settlers, but soon became a banker with the Ellis brothers and Morton Wilber at Sanborn, in the State Bank. John H. Archer has the credit of being the largest farmer in the county, having about four thousand acres, nearly all of which lies in Summit township. Mr. Archer himself resided with his family on a part of this long stretch of farm, or farms, for more than twenty-five years. While also a banker on a large scale, he has been personally and actively engaged in farming. Philip Brundage was one of the oldest timers in this township on section 22. Two of his sons, John R. and William, still reside in the township. Another son, Selonius, and two daughters, Mrs. M. D. Finch and Mrs. Anna Bradley, reside in and near Sheldon. The court house and all the business part of Primghar lies in this township. (26)
402 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
early times each settled township for taxation purposes wanted
a deeded township to aid in revenue and taxes. It was the law that territory
any one township must be contiguous. Carroll was almost surrounded
by settled townships. She wanted Lincoln for company as a township.
To avoid the dilemma the novel idea was
suggested and carried out, and the
north row of forties of the
present Summit was detached from Summit, and
with Lincoln made Carroll. The now Lincoln and Carroll were thus united,
like the Siamese twins,
by this fiddle-string ligament. A genuine case of
"taxation for revenue
only," as the political phrase then went, all done to
make the territory contiguous as by law in such cases provided. This fiddle
string was given back to Summit June 8, 1880.
It should be added that there is now and has been for several years another civil township in O'Brien county, not usually known to many within the county, even in Sheldon city itself. This is known as Sheldon township, and includes all of the incorporation of the city of Sheldon, and no more territory. It was so created that the city of Sheldon might have two justices of peace within her corporate limits.
Of the railroad towns of the
county, Primghar is second in point of time,
though sharing with Sheldon its start in the same year, 1872, with Sheldon a
few months ahead.
Primghar has had some unique experiences. Its first
forty acres of platted ground was elected by the votes of the county on
November 11, 1872, by a vote of three hundred and sixty to fifty-three to be
county seat, before it was named—before it was born, so to speak.
It has a distinct claim to originality in its name. Its name was made up from the initials of the names of the eight men chiefly taking part in platting it:
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 403
Primghar became a town when there were but six and one-half miles
of railroad built in the
county, the Sioux City & St. Paul railroad to Sheldon.
During the first fifteen years of its existence it was without a railroad, and
was in its sixteenth
year when it was incorporated as a town.
All these items had their reasons. The land grant by Congress of May 12, 1864, provided that the Milwaukee railroad should be built through O'Brien county "as near the forty-third parallel of latitude as may be." This forty-third parallel is two miles south of Primghar. Its people reasonably expected to be thus the one big town in the county at date of platting. One other clause of that grant provided that the Milwaukee road should make a junction with the Sioux City road inside of O'Brien county. The Sioux City road the following year entered O'Brien county at Sheldon, and resulted in the Milwaukee road being compelled to build six miles north of town. This new plan of railroad building had the effect of putting the Milwaukee road through the north tier of townships, and the Northwestern railroad through the south tier of townships, and finally the Illinois Central Railroad angling through the county and through Primghar, saving to Primghar a railroad, it is true, for which it had worked and fought for fifteen years. All this, however, distributed the towns and divided up the county into six lesser sized towns, instead of perhaps two large towns, Primghar and Sheldon, had the original intent of Congress been carried out. To get the county seat into the "exact" center was still another thought fixing its destiny, this exact center being in fact inside its corporate limits.
These facts left Primghar "in the air," as it were, for all these fifteen years, both on county-seat and railroad expectations. As all things have their causes, this in large part resulted in giving Primghar the unusual experience of having engaged in four full fledged county-seat fights. No other county in the state has had a like experience.
This long wait was much occupied in all sorts of railroad meetings by the people generally, reaching out to the Legislature, Congress and to Eastern capitalists, to get anybody interested who might build a road. All sorts of railroad schemes and building scares and false prospects were chased up. It became even a joke through the towns and the county that whenever any other town started a county-seat agitation, that Primghar always had a ready-made railroad project or series of public meetings to head it off, and much money was uselessly spent, more than its people could afford. All these ideas and contentions were handed down and became a part of its numerous contests for its very existence, the county seat.
404 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
J. L. E. Peck, one of the editors of this history, lived in Primghar for ten years without a road and passed through these situations. It did not get its road until 1887. In the meantime the other towns, secure in their roads, outgrew Primghar. As we can see, this of necessity left Primghar very much of a target, which target idea it did not outgrow, in the county seat contentions, for many years after it in fact got its road. Primghar thus hung in the balances for this full fifteen years, or even more, with from one hundred and fifty to two hundred and twenty-five people, and during this fifteen years could only have two stores and other items in proportion, with the people living on hope and waiting for a road from year to year. This, however, made of Primghar very much of a united town in the numerous contentions she passed through. Its trade was small because its people were few. The writer hereof once wrote some scribblings or items to a neighboring paper, and wrote this joke: "That that week Primghar had a man and a boy, a horse and a dog in town, all trading the same day." While it was a joke, it was too grimly true.
Inasmuch as Primghar's families could then be numbered by less than two score, we will give the charter families of its first five years, 1872-1877: John R. Pumphrey, Beuren Chrysler, Isaac W. Daggett, Henrietta Wheeler Acer, Capt. Robert C. Tifft, R. G. Allen, John Hollibaugh, Ed. A. Nissen, McAllen Green, William Clark Green, George W. Schee, Judge A. H. Willits, John W. Kelly, Peg Leg Allen. John Richardson, Dr. H. C. West, T. J. Alexander, W. W. Barnes, J. G. Chrysler, A. J. Edwards, Warren Walker, Charley Allen, Stephen Harris, Rev. C. W. Cliffton, James Daniels, Lemuel C. Green, J. L. E. Peck, A. J. Brock, Harley Day, Ed. C. Brown, Ed. C. Dean, Dr. A. C. Smith, Charles Titus, Mart Shea.
On November 8, 1872, William Clark Green and Melvenah S. Green, his wife, and James Roberts dedicated and platted the original town, consisting of thirty acres, into fourteen blocks and one outlot. Its then only attorney, Dewitt C. Hayes, was the draftsman. It was crudely surveyed. As Benjamin F. McCormack informed the writer, in the hurry, winter coming on, buildings were in process of construction by guess, before it was measured off; that he actually measured it off with an ordinary four-foot
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 405
lath; that he started out at the center government stone of the county, thence west twenty rods to provide for the ten acres not owned by the donors, then north the eighty rods. But at this point he neglected to measure back east to correct up, to be sure that his line was straight. In fact, he got this point twenty feet too far west. This left a wedge-shaped variation among all the blocks in town. The plat itself was platted regular, with right measurements, but every stake in town was wrong. All this gave much contention for years as to lot and building lines. This accounts for some buildings even to this day being out in the street sundry feet. At one time a livery barn near the school corner was fourteen feet into the street, being built according to McCormack's measurement in fact, then in the prairie grass. These contentions continued until 1888, when the whole town entered into an agreed petition in an actual suit in equity in court, entitled E. W. Shuck vs. George W. Schee and fifty others, the district court appointed a surveyor from Sioux City, and a resurvey was made and all corners located with stakes and stones with charcoal footings at all the points where the recorded plat placed them.
The petition to relocate the county seat at Primghar was circulated and presented to the board, September 5, 1872, by Dewitt C. Hayes, the first attorney in Primghar, and which resulted in the election or vote on same being ordered on November 11, T872.
Messrs. Green and Roberts, in their dedication deed, generously provided for the public business, the future of the schools and the moralities, by donating one whole block of two acres each, respectively, block 12 to O'Brien county for a court house, block 13 for a public school, and block 14 to the Methodist church. Later on, in the year 1876, this church block was exchanged for two church sites for the church proper on block 16 and parsonage on block 17, on which the properties of that church now stand.
The public square was immediately taken possession of by O'Brien county. The board of supervisors in 1878 planted this plat of two acres to trees. William D. Slack did the planting and Emanuel Kindig, a member
406 O"BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
of the board, cultivated them during the year. This grove, now thirty-six years old, forms the splendid park in which not only Primghar takes a pride, but a like pride is kept up throughout the county, and in which many notable and large gatherings of old settlers, conventions and public meetings have been held. The first part of the summer of 1878 was excessively dry, and the little sprigs, having been practically planted in the prairie sod, did not leaf out until the rains began in August. The two court houses and additions thereto built on this square will be noted in the article on court houses. In 1891 the county, the town of Primghar, George W. Schee and C. S. Cooper combined or contributed in hauling down the dirt from the grading of the hill at Mr. Schee's residence, in all about two thousand yards of earth, covering the square from six to eighteen inches deep. The south and west sides of the square was then a boggy and muddy slough, which made this necessary. Later on, from time to time, the county constructed a fine cement sidewalk entirely around the square. Still later on, in 1911, the county paid its share in the sum of one thousand one hundred dollars for the construction of the sewerage system constructed in Primghar that year. This system was constructed in its proportions as estimated by the board of supervisors and the constructing engineer to be adequate for all time in its future public buildings.
In the fall of 1872 buildings were rushed up. Clark Green built the first store building in the summer of 1873, and immediately installed a stock of goods, in fact was selling goods in it before completion. It was in size about forty-four by seventy. Here he dished out groceries and goods to the old homesteaders until 1879, when it broke him up and he made an assignment for the benefit of his creditors. This building was on the site of the Bell block. In 1873 Warren Walker built a large office and residence thirty by sixty, near Nye's store. Charles F. Albright erected the first hotel on the site of Reynoldson's store building. It was perhaps forty by fifty in size. Payne's store, for years conducted on section 8, in Highland township, was moved on back part of the block north of the square, and occupied as a court house until the then new court house was built on the northeast corner of the square in 1874, and was in size about forty feet square, with a stairway running up on outside. Judge A. H. Willits, in 1872, built a residence on the site of the Northside restaurant, with a small printing office, to which he moved the O'Brien Pioneer and at once commenced publishing that paper.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 407
He had conducted it at Old O'Brien not quite a year. John R. Pumphrey at once built a small bank building, about twenty by thirty in size, with a common iron safe, in the same, on the present site of the Hub hotel. Capt. R. C. Tifft built what he called the Arctic restaurant, in which he ran both restaurant and saloon. In 1873 was built the first school building, in size about thirty by sixty, two stories in height, with two rooms. A little later, in 1874, John W. Kelly built the Kelly hotel, standing just west of Pumphrey's bank, in size about twenty-four by sixty. Church services were in the meantime, and until 1879, held in either the school room or court room. Charles Titus built the first livery on the site of the present Southside livery. The public officials moved to town and each built houses. These constituted the buildings until 1878, when it became settled that the town would not get the Milwaukee road.
During this year, 1878-79, there were about or close to fifty to seventy five buildings moved to the town of Sanborn and in 1881 to Sutherland and Paullina when the Northwestern road was built. Thus Primghar furnished many of the first buildings to those three towns. It was "Blue Monday" for Primghar. The sound of hammers was as vigorous in destruction and removal as if in construction. It indeed continued in uncertainty. But the country was by this time reviving, land was advancing, and there was plenty of business for those actually remaining here, and everybody prospered nevertheless.
Possibly the town population at this period, 1878, numbered close to three hundred. Never was there a better Lyceum conducted in any town anywhere, where the whole citizenship took part in the discussion of the county problems then in agitation, and other subjects, than were held during those five years. Everybody was everybody else's equal. The town citizenship conducted the play of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" one winter, and played it twice, at which it had large delegations from Sheldon, and with the proceeds outfitted a band costing one hundred and fifty dollars. Charles H. Allen, attorney, was a skilled bandmaster, and Primghar never had so good a band as in those years of its pioneer time. Sociables, advertised as "hay twisters" sociables, were held. After the close of the lyceum proper, and the preacher had been invited to go home, the seats of the court room were whirled to the
408 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
sides of the room, and Mr. Allen, with his musicians, rendered music for an old-time dance until twelve o'clock. Mrs. Henrietta W. Acer, a really skilled pianist, conducted the choir for the one and only church, and a church organ was purchased in 1876, costing four hundred dollars and was fully paid for. The one help-out for Primghar was the item that goes with all pioneer communities, namely. "Everybody was on hand at early candle sticken," as Pomp McCormack used to announce the public functions.
But with all this discouragement and even before a railroad was assured and despite the uncertainty, Primghar brisked up with new buildings and enough people to make up the lost ones moving to Sanborn. One Alexander Davidson, a Scotchman, opened up a hardware store east of Mr. Schee's office. In 1886. amid all these situations, William S. Armstrong, since and still identified with Primghar's best, came on from Wisconsin and started a cheese factory, and erected a good-sized building east of Mr. Schee's office, which he conducted for some years with success. This improvement gave new heart to the people and held the stage, as it were, until the railroad was actually built in 1887. While in this exodus John R. Pumphrey closed his bank, which he sold to Schee & Achorn, composed of George W. Schee and Clinton E. Achorn, who in turn sold to Slocum & Turner in 1883 (composed of George R. Slocum, who in reality founded the First National Bank, and became a man of affairs in the county, and Frank A. Turner, clerk of the courts). In 1886, and before the road was built, the Primghar State Bank was started in the present office of Mr. Schee, by a strong company of men, composed of George W. Schee, president, Fred and Frank Frisbee and Dr. C. Longshore, of Sheldon, and R. Blankenberg, now (1913) mayor of Philadelphia. The first large burglar-proof vault was built in this bank. J. L. E. Peck was cashier. It continued for eight years. As will be seen under the title of churches, the first church building was built in 1880. In 1886 the present and then new court house was built. The old Green store was opened up and continued by several parties in turn, Walter Lorshbaugh, Lew Fairbanks, Mr. Schee and others. A new fence was built around the public square to protect the now growing park grove. As will also be seen under churches, the Congregational church first organized itself in the court house and later built the first part of its church. Herb Thayer, about 1886, built the present Griffin building, at the southeast corner of the square, and started
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 409
his land and abstract office. In 1886, and before the railroad coming, "Pomp" F. M. McCormack hove into town with his first number of the O'Brien County Bell. All this created a real revival. Whisperings of the possible Illinois Central Railroad began to be heard. By many it was considered too good to be true, and laughed out of court as part of the same old railroad scares.
These railroad whisperings continued in the dawn, but this time to rise like a halo of glory to its long-waiting citizens. The definite order or invitation came at last in about April, 1887, from Superintendent Gilleas, and one of the main officials of the Illinois Central Railroad, to meet them at Cherokee, naming a specific day and hour. While its citizens were ready to go to Washington, or Texas, for a reality, yet they went down much like doubting Thomases. Ten of us went down. They dealt with us from a cold-blooded standpoint. They laid down the one and only proposition that was made. Primghar gently tried for some little leeways, but the hard fate to be met was before us. The railroad must be had even on hard terms. It was none other than that its ten citizens present should sign a written guaranty already prepared, to furnish and hand over warranty deeds, with good title and clear of encumbrance, to the right of way for twenty-two miles, and thirteen acres for depot grounds at Primghar. There was no choice. The instrument was executed and signed bv the following ten citizens of Primghar: George W. Schee, George R. Slocum, Frank A. Turner, William S. Armstrong, Frank N. Derby. Charles H. Winterble, Charles F. Albright, E. W. Shuck. J. L. E. Peck and F. M. McCormack. This was signed up without the least idea of what it might cost, though sundry guesses were made. It, in fact, cost something over ten thousand dollars. Every man in town was assessed. He did not only subscribe, but was assessed, as the amount had to be raised. Every man did his part. Sundry of its citizens spent the best part of the summer at the work. This twenty-two miles extended from Archer to the Cherokee line.
The work of the surveys and building commenced forthwith and with dispatch. The road took possession of parts of the right of way before the town had made contracts for same. The whole road was finished during the summer. Primghar citizens were given the choice to have its depot east of
410 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
Reynoldson's store, or where it is. In a public street meeting with Superintendent Gilleas, the location was decided. The depot grounds and right of way where it is could be purchased cheaper. Later desires would have said at the other point.
It was on Sunday, November 1, 1887, the greatest event, vital in its results, that ever occurred in Primghar. The construction train that laid the actual iron rails as it moved, arrived. The whole citizenship of Primghar broke the Sabbath day in righteous celebration and were all present. It was a sight within itself to see a large gang of husky men handle and lay those heavy rails, but to Primghar it was the looking of Moses into the promised land. "Pomp" McCormack mounted the front of the engine a mile below town, with a flag, the Stars and Stripes waving, and he shouting and yelling at the top of his voice. Primghar was at last on the map as a railroad town. Trains at once followed and the depot was built.
A new town jumped into existence. New buildings, new people, everything moved. The new buildings were still frame, however. Too many stores were at first started. In the hustle the true measure could not be taken on all lines. This caused some break-ups a year later. The Ober hotel, called the Commercial house, was built in 1893, south of the savings bank. Reynoldson & Metcalf, composed of Joseph Reynoldson and Joseph Metcalf, arrived in 1887 and built a frame hardware store on the site of Metcalf's brick block, built later in 1893. Mr. Ostrander and Reader & Edington, composed of Rice Reader and Ira Edington, each erected buildings and put in a general store on the south side. Henry L. Williams, the same year, 1888, built his large line of department store buildings, covering all classes of goods. W. A. Rosecrans and Charles Lockyer built and opened up a furniture and undertaking store. W. J. Semmons also put in a large store building and opened up. Thus far these buildings were all frame.
The first brick building was the present post office building, now owned by Gust Strandberg, and erected in 1889 by J. L. E. Peck and C. S. Cooper
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 411
The first fire in the business section of the town occurred in 1900 and burned the old bank building of John R. Pumphrey and the Kelly hotel building. The second fire, in 1901, burned the Commercial hotel and some lesser property. The third fire occurred in 1902. The fire caught in the then post office building on the South side, and practically burned down as far as Metcalf's store. The three fires destroyed twenty-one buildings. The city council then passed an ordinance to the effect that no further frame, and none but brick, buildings should be erected on the square.
Dated December 8, 1887, Frank A. Turner and forty-nine others circulated a petition directed to the district court praying for an order of court to incorporate the town, to include three hundred and sixty acres of land in the three townships of Summit, Center and Dale. This petition was filed December 30, 1887. At the January term for 1888 the order was made. This term was presided over by Hon. Scott M. Ladd, then district judge, now one of the judges of the supreme court of Iowa. On January 13, 1888, the court appointed William S. Armstrong, David Algyer, George W. Doyle, E. W. Shuck and W. A. Rosecrans as commissioners to call an election of the voters to determine whether it should or should not be incorporated. Notice was published and an election held on February 14, 1888. The vote stood fifty-seven for incorporation and forty-seven against. Thereafter the town became a municipality.
At the next regular election, held on the last Monday in March, 1888, the following men were elected as its first mayor and council: Mayor, Charles F. Albright; councilmen, E. W. Shuck, J. L. E. Peck, George R. Slocum, George W. Doyle, E. L. Ballou and W A. Rosecrans; recorder, J. A. Smith.
Mayor William H. Downing; councilmen, William Briggs, M. S. Metcalf,
R. Hinman, B. Bertelson and C. W. Smith; Earl Rosecrans, recorder.
The following is a list of the mayors of Primghar, the several officials
412 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
commencing their terms in March of the years named: Charles F. Albright,
1888; Frank A. Turner, 1890; William H. Noyes, 1891; S. A. Carter, 1892;
F. C. Whitehouse, 1893; J. L. E. Peck, 1896; George R. Whitmer, 1898;
Armstrong, 1900; Peter R. Bailey, 1902; W. W. Artherholt, 1904
Thomas J. Trulock, 1910; W. H. Downing, 1912.
The sundry items relating to court houses and county affairs and the erection of the Hub hotel taking place in Primghar will be found under other heads.
Probably but few people now in Primghar ever knew that the town once had a regular old-fashioned grist mill, to which people brought their grists of wheat and other grain to be ground on a one-tenth toll. It was built about 1875 and removed to Osceola county in 1878. It was owned and built by Christian F. Krueger, then a farmer both in Summit township and in Osceola county. It stood on the location of the present residence of Isaac L. Rerick, east of the Methodist church.
This epidemic occurred during the winter of 1879 and 1880. Twenty six children and young people died. The following families were among those who suffered from this dread disease: Daniel W. Inman, two daughters; John W. Kelly and Harley Day, each a daughter; James E. Daniels, a son and daughter, all the children they had; William Newell, their whole family of four children; Joshua W. Davis, half their number of eight; John Richardson, a son and daughter, and several others that now cannot be determined.
Following the three other towns, Sheldon, Hartley and Calumet, which towns already each have a hospital, Primghar has (this 1914) a hospital under construction. It is built under the benefaction and donation of George Ward, now and for some years one of its chief citizens and a former successful farmer in Center township. It is in size thirty-two by forty feet, built of cement blocks. On the first floor will be found a reception and dining room and kitchen. It will be two stories in height, exclusive of basement for laundry and modern needs. It will be equipped with an operating and sterilizing room, with five patients' rooms, each large enough for two beds
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 413
necessary. It is donated to the town, but with the idea on Mr. Ward's
part that, being centrally located, it will be county wide for the benefit of all
people, all of whom he urges to co-operate. Enthusiastic public meetings
have been held in Primghar, assuring this co-operation. It is Mr. Ward's
idea that when once built it will be
This history has carried the county up through the pioneer period, then through the growing and building years, and now as the larger successes of life are maturing, the county is passing up into the generous and philanthropic, where the human hearts are thus able to play those better parts, in the language of the Great Physician, to "heal the sick."
On November 8, 1872, W. C. Green and James Roberts dedicated as
part of the town a two-acre block for school purposes. Primghar has had
buildings. The first building was about twenty-six by forty
size, was two stories high and built in 1873 by S. E. Stewart, of
Sheldon, at a cost of four thousand dollars. It contained two school rooms,
one above and one below. This
building was used for school, church, conventions, dances, lyceums and public gatherings. It was sold in 1887, when
the new building was built, to S. T. Hill for two hundred dollars and moved
to Alton, Iowa.
Up to February 21, 1887, the Primghar schools were part of the Summit township school districts. At that time the independent school district of Primghar was organized. On May 31, 1890, a contract was let to H. E. Reeves for a school building forty-five by sixty feet in size, containing four school rooms and superintendent's office, at a cost of five thousand two hundred dollars. On May 16, 1896, a further contract was let to E. Miller to build an addition to this then building of the same size, forty-five by sixty feet, thus making the whole structure sixty by ninety feet in size, and in all containing eight school rooms, with library room used as a recitation room, and superintendent's office, at a cost of three thousand two hundred dollars. A hot air heating plant was installed, at a cost of one thousand one hundred dollars.
414 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
petition of citizens. This was followed by the letting of a contract May 27,
1912, to Bosma & Geiger, contractors of Sheldon, for the main building for
twenty-three thousand eight hundred dollars, and the heating contract to the
Mathey Plumbing Company, of LeMars, to put in a steam plant at a cost of
five thousand six hundred and
sixty dollars. The building cost thirty-one
thousand dollars when
Before the adoption of any plans the board of directors sent J. L. E. Peck, president of the board, W. W. Beach, the architect employed, and Prof. J. J. Billingsly, county superintendent of schools, to visit and inspect other school buildings at some five towns, to enable them to make use of their experience in the adoption of desirable features and to cull out the undesirable.
The building is constructed of vitrified pressed brick from the Sargent's Bluffs yards, and is seventy feet by one hundred in size, with tile brick for backing. Its basement is practically above ground, the whole window being above ground, being practically a three-story building. The basement contains a well equipped and finished gymnasium for athletics, a janitor's office, a manual training room for the boys and domestic science room for the girls. The assembly room will seat one hundred and twenty. It has five grade rooms on the first story, and assembly room, four recitation and two grade rooms, and superintendent's office and lady teacher's office and library room upstairs. Its chimney, coal room and furnace room are all outside the building, to minimize fire danger. It is built in sizes, proportions and facilities about one-fourth larger than present needs, with the idea of development and growth. The city employs eleven teachers, including the superintendent. Its annual expense in administration is ten thousand dollars. Five of Primghar's school superintendents were later county superintendents of this county. Its superintendents since 1872 have been: Harley Day, Stephen Harris, Frank C. Wheaton, H. O. Smith, G. E. Pooler, C. H. Crawford, Miss Belle Cowan, J. J. Billingsly, E. J. English, R. B. Daniels. H. A. Mitchell, W. T. Demar, H. R. Wood, E. E. Richards.
The present board of education and who conducted the erection of the new school building were: J. L. E. Peck, president; Lester T. Aldinger, C. N. Williams, J. G. Geister, William H. Ortman, members of board; William H. Downing, secretary; William Briggs, treasurer; Prof. E. E. Richards, superintendent of schools.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 415
Primghar has one of the very best city water systems. It is pumped
Dry Run and has a fine filter bed, in which the wells are sunk. The
pure and at all times is an enjoyable drink. It is first pumped into
a large cement reservoir, forty-six feet square, and then forced through the
by air pressure. Its fine sewerage system was constructed in 1911.
Sundry other subjects relating to Primghar. as, for instance, its banks, the court house, jail, county seat, public square and other items, will appear under other heads.
The following persons have served as postmasters of Primghar, beginning with the year named: W. C. Green, 1873; A. H. Willitts, 1876; Dr. John M. Long. 1882; W.J. Lorshbaugh, 1885; Lew Fairbanks, 1886; George J. Clark, 1888; W. J. Semmons. 1896; Jacob H. Wolf, 1900; Fred B. Wolf, 1908; W. W. Artherholt, 1911.
It may be interesting in after years to note in whose hands the business
of Primghar was at the date of compiling this history, hence the subjoined
will be given:
Attorneys‐O. H. Montzheimer, J.L.E. Peck, W.H. Downing, R.J. Locke and W.W. Artherholt.
Auto garages‐Primghar Auto Company, Ed. Hastings.
Banks‐First National Bank, Primghar Savings Bank.
Blacksmith shops‐Ed. Hastings, Ernest Johnson.
Barber shops‐M. H. Rooney, Charles Farran.
Clothing and general stores‐Williams Brothers, Mast Siemon & Company, Rosecrans & Clements. J. A. King.
Cement workers‐J. H. Wadsworth.
Drug stores‐Emil Olander. Primghar Drug Company (Williams Brothers).
Dray lines‐W.J. Warner, George Neath, John Bloom, W. S. Courtright, Harry Freelund, Ernest Breyfogle.
Dentist‐Dr. C. E.Summy.
Department stores‐Williams Brothers.
416 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
Elevators(grain)‐Farmers' Mutual Co-operative Company, D. C. Peck.
Furniture stores‐Joseph Reynoldson, Joseph Metcalf, Williams Brothers.
Feed harns‐F. P. Baker.
Grocers‐Williams Brothers, Rosecrans & Clements, J. A. King, Mast & Siemon.
Hardware‐Joseph Reynoldson, Joseph Metcalf, J. S. Nye.
Harness shops‐D. R. Carmichael, J. A. Carmichael.
Hotels‐Hub Hotel(Primghar Hotel Company, George Hicks, manager). Primghar Hotel (Lydia A. Manderville, manager).
Implement dealers‐Joseph Reynoldson, Joseph Metcalf.
Jewelers‐Emil Olander, Primghar Drug Company.
Lumber‐A. J. Warntjes, Thomas Patton (estate).
Livery‐F. P. Baker.
Meat market‐Williams Brothers.
Millinery‐Thompson & Thompson, Mrs. Martha Squire.
Moving picture shows‐J. A. Klink.
Newspapers‐O'Brien County Bell (J. H. Wolf, editor), O'Brien County Democrat (Frank A. Vaughn, editor; later, 1914, Ira Borland).
Opera house‐Williams Opera House (Williams Brothers).
Physicians‐Dr. H. C. Rogers, Avery & Avery (Dr. Milo Avery and Dr. Roy Avery).
Restaurants‐Frank Mackrill, Lydia A. Manderville.
Stock dealers‐Martin & Son (William H. Martin and Jabez Martin) and Fred G. Maronda.
Veterinary surgeons‐Dr. William Anderson.
Telephone exchange‐Primghar Telephone Company (D. C. Peck, manager).
Pool hall‐R. B. Culberson.
Abstracters of titles‐Henry Rerick & Son (Henry Rerick and Kenneth Rerick), Frank L. Herrick & Company.
Postmaster‐W. W. Artherholt.
Cream stations‐George J. North, Williams Brothers.
Variety store‐M. L. Bryant.
Auctioneer‐W. S. Armstrong.
Real estate dealers‐W. J. Bennett, Walter L. Briggs.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 417
township corners at the southwest with Highland, Dale and Summit
townships, with a portion of the town of Primghar in its borders. It was
organized as follows: On February 20, 1871, what is now Center and Lincoln were detached from Waterman, and what is now Franklin was detached
Liberty, and the three townships, Center, Lincoln and Franklin, called
It had a population in 1905 of six hundred and twenty-two, exclusive of those residing in Primghar. Of its early settlement it may be said that John Kane and his family settled in this township in 1871. John and his son Albert filed on eighty each, on the northwest quarter of section 34. A daughter, Olive, married C. H. Murry. John celebrated his golden wedding in Primghar in 1895. Albert engaged in trade at Primghar.
One of the pioneers of this county was a settler in Center township. We refer to Claudius Tifft, later of Sanborn, but who located in section 2. His brother Robert preceded him to this township. He filed on his land and returned to St. Paul, from which city he came, and brought his family on in the spring of 1872. When Sanborn started he went to that town to reside. He was a soldier in both the Mexican war of 1846 and the civil struggle of 1861-65.
Another early settler in Center township was D. C. Chapman, who located on a part of section 32, but later moved to Primghar. Daniel Bysom, of section 30, was also a pioneer here. He was many years a prominent citizen and a justice of the peace and still lives here.
Other early comers were Ira Boat, section 6; Minor Blossom, section 8; William H. Brown, section 8; A. L. Creamer, of section 20; S. R. Charlton, section 4; J. P. Blood, section 12; Joel Bresee. section 26; S. C. Coleman, section 6; Charles Chandler, section 32; David Culbertson, section 34; John and Francis Duffy, section 22; R. M. DeWitt, section 30; Oliver Evans, of section 24, came in 1869. John Evans, of section 24, came in early; William Flood, of section 22; Peter Farley, of section 22; J. R. H. Gibbs, section 4; Daniel Griffith, section 8; H. A. Gardner, section 16; D. M. Gano, of section 2; Samuel Alexander and Heman Gibbs, section 34; Mark Hannon, section 10; J. E. Halliday, section 26; J. M. Hicks, on same section; D. Ingraham, early on section 12; Robert Jones, of section 24; Abe Keepher, section 6; Charles Moore, section 6; John Murray, section 22; J. J. Miller, section 26; (27 )
418 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
A. McClaren, section 30; J. H. Morton, section 32, Fabian Matott, section
10; J. M. Royer, section 20; William Robinson, section 32; David Palen
settled on section 12 at a
very early date.
Others who were early in the township were Ezra, Charles and Erastus Smith, of section 18. Robert Sanford located on the same section early. He was accidentally killed at Primghar in 1895 by a fall. John Weist settled on section 26; Byron Wooster on section 22; Calvin Waggoner on section 34; and Henry D. Year on section 26. Taking the advice of Horace Greeley to "go west and grow up with the country," E. C. Foskett, in 1870, landed in O'Brien county from Connecticut; he pre-empted the southwest quarter of section 20 in Center township, and later, after proving up, took a homestead claim in section 32. There he reared his family and became widely known as a good citizen.
About the same date‐1870‐came in J. H. Ober, Hugh Scott, E. Scott and Thomas Scott, on section 28; C. J. Clark settled on the southwest quarter of section 20, in 1870. He came from Linn county, this state, but originally from Ohio. He removed to Medford, Oregon, in 1889.
In 1884 Henry D. Year, Fred and Michael Stueck, Julius Freimark and a few more built St. Emanuel's Lutheran German church in Center township, on section 26, at a cost of one thousand dollars. Two acres of land were donated by Mr. Year and one acre by Mr. Stueck for church and cemetery uses.
Center township has no towns or hamlets within its borders, except the part of Primghar that is located in the southwest corner.
June 6, 1881, A. P. Powers and eleven others presented a petition
to have what is now Omega set apart from Grant. They presented the
Peterborough. The board said it was too long for a name, and that
it would take too much ink to write it, and that the
county had started up
on a basis of
economy and the petition was tucked away. J. L. E. Peck,
who was then
county auditor and clerk of the board, suggested that as it
was the last township they had better call it Omega, the last letter of the
alphabet. The petition was at once pulled out and, on motion of J. H.
Wolf, then a member of the board, this O'Brien county's youngest township was christened Omega and the first election was held at the house of
A. P. Powers on section 32.
Being settled at a time when its territory was included in Center town-
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 419
ship, mamy of its "first settler" notes occur in the last mentioned township. It should, however, be stated that it was settled by a thrifty set of people who have made the prairie wilderness "blossom like the rose" and today, on every section, are well tilled farms and many excellent farm houses and artificial groves that lend enchantment to the rural scenes. To be a possessor of a farm of almost any size in this goodly township is but to be known as a well-to-do man. The population of Omega township in 1905 was five hundred and fifty-seven. This was exclusive of the village of Moneta, which had at that date a population of fifty-nine, but has double that now. Land sells at from one hundred and twenty-five to one hundred and fifty dollars per acre.
This is the
only town or hamlet in the township and was platted on
13 and 24, township 96, range 39, on May 10, 1901, by C. H.
Colby. The first house on the plat was the lumber office of C. H. Colby,
1901, in which there was also kept a small general store and a
boarding hall, by F. H. Howard. The second building was the railroad
depot. The first general merchandise store, proper, was that of F. H.
Howard; the first hardware was put in by E. E. Dodge; the first meat
by F. H. Howard; the first grain dealers was the firm of
Haas & Ruwe.
The business interests of today are in the hands of the following persons: Bank, The Moneta Savings; blacksmith, John Lunbach; auto-garage, Louis Ruwe; restaurant, Mrs. H. S. Moeller; meat market, Lawrence Monsen; lumber, Flote Lumber Company; depot agent, I. E. Crane; grain dealers. Farmers Elevator Company, C. H. Betts; general merchandise, E. T. Dunlap, Byers Brothers; pool hall, Louis Ruwe; hardware implements, Jepsen Brothers; cream station, Fairmont Creamery Company and Hanford Produce Company.
Moneta was legally incorporated in 1902, with A. C. Wede, mayor. He was succeeded by Henry Ruwe and the present mayor, J. W. Jepsen. The officers of 1913 are: J. W. Jepsen, mayor; Charles Burlet, clerk treasurer; Louis Ruwe, marshal; Henry Jepsen, L. F. Anderson, Henry Killmer and Martin Martinsen, councilmen.
420 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
postoffice was established here in 1901 and the postmasters have
been F. H. Howard, Hugo Riessen, Frank Hemmingway, P. F. Riessen
J. W. Jepsen. It is a fourth class office and has one rural delivery of
twenty-four miles length.
The town has had several fires, including that of March 8, 1910, when the lumber yard, a general store belonging to P. A. Riessen, the bank, a restaurant and other buildings were consumed by the flames. This portion of the town was all soon rebuilt. In 1911 the grain elevator was burned and in 1913 an oil house of Ed. Dunlap's was burned.
The Methodist Episcopal church is the only one in town: it was erected in 1903 at a cost of about two thousand five hundred dollars.
Baker township was organized as follows: On April 1, 1872, what is
now Baker and Caledonia were set
apart from Liberty and called Sutter.
The first election was held at the house of George Sutter on section 14,
in the township of what is now Baker. On October 4, 1873, a petition
was filed before the board of
supervisors to have this name of Sutter changed
to Eldorado. It was
passed over, first to the January meeting for 1874
and then to the
April meeting for 1874. An election in the township was
called to determine the
question in the meantime, which election determined that it should be called Baker, and which was confirmed by the
board, April 6, 1874. The township was named for General N. B. Baker,
who about this same
year was taking an active part in securing and distributing the relief voted by the Legislature, and contributed by relief committees, as otherwise stated.
The census of 1910 gives this township a population of six hundred and thirty-five. This is a township without a town or village and is on the west line of the county, second from the south line of the county. It was here that George Sutter made the first settlement. He came in the early spring of 1870 and built quite an extensive house for a homesteader. His son, S. G. Sutter, came in 1869 and secured the claims for the family. George Sutter had several grown-up sons who became residents of the county. He located on the southwest quarter of section 14; D. Sutter, on the northeast quarter of section 10, and Samuel, on the northeast of section 2. The father died in the nineties; S. G. removed to Missouri and Austin to Storm Lake.
John Wagner made the next settlement in the township. He was
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 421
also accompanied by his brothers, George and Wesley Wagner. They came
early in the summer of 1870 and built a sod house on the center of section
22, so that it would stand equally on each quarter section, thus enabling
each to hold down his claim. Their cousin, named Wilson, had the fourth
quarter of the same section. John Wagner became a prominent man in this
In the summer of 1871 came in Byron and James Donoyan, brothers, from Iowa county, Iowa, where the Wagners came from. Byron located lands on section 20 and James on the southwest of section 12. A. J. Donoyan, another brother, came to the township in 1872, settling on the southeast quarter of section 12. Besides having a residence on his claim he also had a store. This general store was known all over the western part of O'Brien county and carried on a thriving trade until the starting of Sheldon. The mother of these boys and a sister, Lottie, came on soon and took each a claim, in Baker township, but sold them without making final proof and removed to Sheldon.
John Wood and his brother, Robert, came to Baker township in 1871. John settled on the northwest quarter of section 20, while Robert located on the south half of the same section. Robert came in first, in June, in time to do some breaking. John arrived in November and batched with the Wagner boys, at their sod shack, until he built his own claim shanty. He was an early justice of the peace and a good all-around citizen. Later he removed to Clayton county, Iowa. Robert also sold and removed to a point somewhere in eastern Iowa.
Among other pioneer settlers may be recalled Levi Allison, who removed to Lyon county, Iowa. D. W. Wellman located on the northwest quarter of section 12, in the spring of 1872, although he had made his selection the previous autumn. He was from Madison county, this state, and was a justice of the peace for many years, and the Sheldon lawyers had many tilts before his court.
Enoch Philby came in from Madison county, Iowa, in 1870, and located on the northwest quarter of section 10, in Baker township. He was then a single man. He hauled lumber from Marcus and first built the usual claim shack, in which he lived until Sheldon was started, when he purchased lumber from H. C. Lane and erected a good dwelling. In 1890 he donated land on the northwest quarter of his section for a Methodist Episcopal church, which building was erected that year. Its spires stands as a monument to his generosity and liking for religious things.
422 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
On June 8, 1880, on petition of A. J. Carman and eleven others, Dale
township was set apart from Highland and the first election held in the school
house, on the corner of section 6, and A. J. Carman, Louis Woodman and
H. A. Cramer made
organization judges of the election.
In the census reports, published in 1910, Dale township was given five hundred and eighty-seven population. This is one of the central subdivisions of the county. A portion of the town of Primghar is situated in the northeast part of its territory. Throughout this six-mile square tract of fertile land one today sees many beautiful farm houses and excellent general improvements. The soil, in common with all the county, is the richest in all the great Northwestern country. All grains, grasses and corn grow in great abundance, and crop failures are seldom, if ever, known. Lands here range from one hundred and twenty-five to one hundred and ninety dollars per acre and are steadily increasing. This price would not obtain unless the soil could be annually counted upon to bring in wonderful yields, which it does.
The numerous schools of the township have been noted in the chapter on education, hence need not here be repeated. The settlement here was made by excellent men and women who have reared splendid families to do their family name honor. To be a land owner in this goodly township, in this, the thirteenth year of the twentieth century, is indeed to be an independent American citizen. From the numerous homesteaders and squatters of forty years ago, the land owners are today well-to-do farmers, with plenty and to spare.
This township was not settled to any extent until about the eighties, when several families came in, including O. P. Tjossem and L. Goodmanson, of Marshall county, Severt L. Tow, A. L. Tow, O. K. Tow and H. Graden, of Benton county, with J. P. Tjossem, from Ida county, and they purchased all of section 26, in Dale township. They located on these lands in the spring of 1884, and at once began improvements after a modern style. O. P. Tjossem, having all confidence in the country, purchased the southwest quarter of section 24. also. S. L. Tow also added to his original farm by purchasing an eighty in section 35. Hardin county, Iowa, was represented here by C. Thompson, who bought the southeast quarter
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 423
35, in the autumn of 1884, commencing his improvements in
the spring of 1885. Iver Goodmanson, a cousin of the last named, purchased an eighty in the same section, in August the same year.
Another settler in this vicinity was Mr. Crosbie, of Cedar county, Iowa, formerly of Glasgow, Scotland. His land, however, was situated in Union township, on section 24. He was a minister in the Friends Society. Dale township was largely what was known as a deeded township, which meant that most of its land went to title direct to a purchaser, from the United States, and not by homestead. There were but few early homesteads, though later on there were many squatter homesteads. In that chapter those items will appear. In Chapter III. on "Where the People Came From," we made mention of the Scottish settlement in 1881, by Hector Cowan, Sr., Alexander Scott and other Scotchmen. His son, Hector Cowan, Jr., was for many years a large section farmer in this township. William P. Davis, in 1881, opened up a large farm on section 36 and later became a banker in Sutherland. The three families of John M. Thayer and his two sons, Hiram C. and Herbert E. Thayer, were among the earliest settlers, the latter becoming a land agent and abstracter of titles in Primghar. Archibald Shearer, father of Arthur and Douglass Shearer, settled on section 4, where these sons still reside with their mother. One daughter. Miss Ethel Shearer, is the present primary instructor in the Primghar schools. Miss Sarah is in Twin Falls. Lewis Woodman, on section 6, still resides on same. The succeeding settlers, in the hundreds, are too numerous to give in detail.
February 20, 1871, what is now Highland township was detached from Waterman, and what is now Dale detached from Liberty, and
townships. Highland and Dale, called Highland. In 1881 Dale
was detached from
The township of Highland had, according to the federal census of 1910, a population of seven hundred. It is well developed with the richest of farms and the best type of buildings in the county. Its people are both prosperous and happy. Land is steadily advancing in price and within a few short years there will be none at less than two hundred dollars per acre. There are no towns except Gaza, which is located on section 28. It is a station point of no little importance on the Sioux Falls branch
424 O BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
of the Illinois Central railroad, and was started soon after that road was
constructed through the county. It derives its name from that other Gaza,
situated upon the waters of the Mediterranean sea, in the Holy Land, and
which is spoken of in the Bible. The town now under consideration was
platted as "Woodstock," April 18, 1888, on section 28, township 95, range
40, by the Cherokee and Western Town Lot Company, but when it was
found that Iowa contained another town
by that name it was changed
The first store building and general stock of goods here was the property of H. Ehlers, who began operations in 1887. He was also first postmaster. A Congregational church was erected at Gaza in 1896 and had for its pastor a lady, Mrs. A. L. B. Nutting.
Highland township was one of the townships within the railroad limits where the homestead law permitted, in many cases, only eighty acres, but this resulted in more families and more people. Several very large families grew up in Highland. Among them was an Englishman, known as "Uncle" George Johnson, on section 32. One son. William W. Johnson, was for many years a member of the board of supervisors and is now a banker in Sanborn. Another son, Robert W. Johnson, still resides on section 18. Others of this large family are widely scattered. The family of William King, on section 9, was still larger and many are still in the county, down through the generations. Anderson M. Cleghorn was an old soldier and old homesteader and raised another large family, Mrs. William Smith, of Dale, being one; the widow, Mary Cleghorn, and W. S., a son, being still in the county. Mr. Cleghorn was an early-day veterinary of the self-made school. Horatio Stanley, on section 2, from Connecticut, was the father of Mrs. Daniel Bysom, Mrs. F. P. Jenks, Wakeman Stanley, deceased, and Mrs. Lyman, and lived to be ninety-two years old. George W. Doyle, on section 12, raised seven children, John F. Doyle, in Primghar, Mrs. George McDowell, at Archer, and others scattered. Mr. and Mrs. James T. Dewey reside in Primghar, the parents of Mrs. Dr. H. C. Rogers. Mr. and Mrs. William Welch, on section 12, live in Primghar and are the parents of sons still in the county. Melchoir Husquin. on section 6, was an eccentric bachelor and a Belgian. Charles F. Albright and his wife, Mrs. Adaline C. Albright, homesteaded the quarter adjoining Primghar, on section 6. He was a member of the board of supervisors, built the first and other buildings in town, was at one time mayor, and was the father of Mrs. Esther Winterble and Roy Albright, dentist. Mrs. Adaline C. Albright will long
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 425
be remembered for the hundreds of sick she cared for, among the early settlers and later citizens, not simply in one neighborhood, but in many throughout the county. Her monument lies not in mere mention herein but in the hearts of the scores of families as the Good Samaritan and mother to the sick and afflicted. Russel Salisbury, on section 30, raised two sons, Norman and Herbert, stock shippers at Gaza for many years. Mrs. Catherine Debricka. on section 14, was the mother of Mrs. James Brosh and Frank Dobricka, who also homesteaded on section 14. Jacob Klema was the father of Thomas and Frank Klema, residing at Sutherland. Emanuel Kindig was a member of the board from this township in the first uplifts of affairs. Frank D. Mitchell, county recorder four years, homesteaded on section 2. William A. and Mrs. Henrietta (Wheeler) Acre on section 6. Mrs. Acre was perhaps the only member of a school board, which place she held for three years at Primghar. She was a woman who had seen some of the best situations and opportunities in life and had experienced some of the hardest of homestead trials. Mr. and Mrs. William E. Baldwin, on section 34, took much part in public early matters. Ed. C. Dean, the first resident of Primghar, still resides there. James Fraser was the father of another large family. Lem C. Green, brother of Clark Green, on section 26, and their father. McAllen Green, county recorder, both settled on section 26. George Hakeman and William W. Johnson, both members of the board, each settled on section 20.
In the fall of 1913 the following interests were maintained at Gaza: There are two general mercbandise stores, one by Harry Gerner and one conducted by Mr. Grending. There is also a good blacksmith shop and implement house, by Mr. Smith; a garage by Hans Peterson; Bruce Edgerton Co. operate a first-class lumber yard and buy grain of all kinds; the banking business is carried on by the Farmers Savings Bank, organized in 1910, with ten thousand dollars capital, and now has a surplus of two thousand five hundred dollars. They own their own banking building. The present officers are Frank Martin, president; Henry Lake, vice-president; C. F. Reifsteck, cashier. The above with Charles Schnoor constitute the board of directors. It was in this township, on section 7, wdiere Paine's store was conducted from 1870 to 1872, before Primghar was started.
426 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
Prior to the organization of Dale township, in 1880, it belonged to and was a part of Highland. Highland at this time was well settled. The Dale end of the big township only had about one-third of the voters. Each of these old settled townships desired to retain one of these new or raw townships as part of itself as long as possible, in order to collect from that township the school and road taxes from the raw township. The old homesteaders of Highland township resented these doings of what was termed that little wild upstart of a township. The campaign was on for county officers, with a hot fight, two sets of candidates being out for each office. The fight was quite evenly balanced over the county, it being conceded that the crowd that could control Highland would win in the county. At the time of the calling of the township caucus Dale township was only half organized. The record proceedings to organize a township occupied about four months, and this was in the midst of organization. Everybody in both ends of the township was on hand. This peculiar, long-headed scheme was carried out. The voters and candidates were all on hand. One bunch had studied it out thus. They could see that the Highland end of the township could control. One of the candidates on that side simply arose and made objection to Dale township participating, shooting it into Dale that they had seceded. The human nature of this, as can be seen, was to line up the two ends of the township against each other on any question that would arise. This clannishness of the two divisions thus held together, and they of Highland naturally went to the bunch of candidates who appeared to be espousing their cause. The bunch of candidates on that side, however, saw to it that they only went so far as to object and raise the question, but not to insist on it, as that would or might bring Dale out with a new Dale caucus, which was desired to Be prevented. The voters en masse of either township never fullY realized that the whole scheme had been studied up during the afternoon before. This knowledge of human nature was taken advantage of. It was a political maneuver that could only be worked once, but that was enough. It was a hit growing out of township organization.
Grant township was originally a part of old Waterman township, but later in the history of the county was set off as a separate township. On January 3, 1870, the south tier of sections of what is now Grant was set
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 427
apart from Waterman to Grant, except the southeast quarter of section 36 of
January 21, 1871, the southeast quarter of section 36 of same was
likewise set back to Grant.
In 1910 the population of Grant township was placed at six hundred and thirty. Land was rated and actually sold at from one hundred to one hundred and ninety dollars per acre.
This sub-division of the county is second from the southern line of O'Brien county and is on the extreme eastern line of townships.
Waterman river, or creek, courses through the territory from north to south. To be the possessor of a farm within this six-mile-square tract of fertile land is indeed to be fortunate in life. To appreciate the rural scenes here, one must needs travel through the country in midsummer when the waving grain and dark green corn roll in all their shadowy billows.
Just who had the honor of being the first settler in what is now Grant township, no one seems to be able to determine. It is perhaps sufficient to say that Alfred B. HusteD and family resided on section 4, on his claim, which was entered in 1868, at which time he said there were eleven voters in the township. Mr. Husted came from Sac county, Iowa, and in 1897 was one of the four first settlers in the county, then residing here. He entered the land in 1868 and the spring following moved his effects here. At first he worked at Old O'Brien for Major Inman and built his own house on his land at odd spells when work for others was slack. He was a carpenter by trade—the first in this county. He it was who built the school house at Sanborn and also was employed on the Teabout store building of the same town.
In the spring of 1869 came to Grant township D. B. Harmon, locating on section 36, his claim being on the southeast quarter. He came from Wisconsin, from which state he had written to several points in Iowa to learn about cheap lands and homesteads. A letter from Ft. Dodge set him thinking about O'Brien county, and hence he left home and went to Ft. Dodge, having to walk from Iowa Falls, the end of the railroad, a distance ot forty miles to Webster City, where he chanced to get a ride with a farmer the balance of the journey. He came on to Old O'Brien to work under a promise of receiving four dollars per day, but he never realized that amount. On the way up he met Horace Gilbert, William Wager and others. Having decided to set his stakes here in Grant township, he sent back for his wife, who arrived in Fort Dodge in the latter part of May. He purchased oxen and, borrowing a wagon, brought his effects on up as far
428 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
as he could
get. The roads were "out of sight" in mud and water. While
crossing "Hell Slough," the water up to his wagon box, his ox-yoke broke
in two, in the middle of the slough. He was forced to carry his young wife
to the shore on his shoulders, after which he carried the wagon and provisions
over, piece by piece. He then mended his yoke and went forward.
That summer he lived in a tent and in the fall built a sod
first season he broke out
twenty acres and put it into crop the next year.
He had broken the sod too
deep and the rainy year that followed caused
him a slim
yield in wheat—the sod was very tough. His wife, who had just
left her schoolroom duties and was not used to the duties of a housewife,
trying times in the new prairie country. Adjoining this farm was
the claim of William Wager, who also settled in this township in 1869.
He was from Canada and, like Mr. Harmon, had many early-day discouragements, but finally came off ahead and held much valuable real estate. Another 1869 settler was Mr. McBath. Later than these was Frank Martin, of
30. He came to Peterson in 1871 and to Grant township in 1872.
In 1870 came J. S. Brosh, who filed and settled on the west half of the
quarter of section 14 in Highland township. His wife died from
the effects of a stroke of
George W. Jones, a soldier from New York state, settled here in September, 1870, on section 6, where he took up a homestead and proved up on the same, or rather his wife did, for he died about 1875, after which the widow married R. Powers and, while they still retain the farm in the family, Mr. and Mrs. Powers reside in Primghar. Some time before 1870 came John Lowder, also William Wilson, who later moved to the far West. These men became sick of the country in grasshopper days. Charles Stearns was another pioneer in Grant township: he lived to the south of the Jones homestead, on land taken up way back in the seventies.
Mrs. Jones-Powers, above mentioned, relates how her first husband had to draw provisions from Cherokee, and wood from down on the Waterman, in the southeast part of this county. Later the timber was all cut off and settlers were compelled to burn prairie hay during the long winter months. The Germans did not begin to come into this township until the eighties, when they swarmed in in large numbers.
Among the old settlers in Grant we should also mention N. L. Chesley, who raised a large family, among them being Henry Chesley, for many years postmaster in Sutherland. O. A. Sutton was an old soldier arsd homesteader on section 14. Samuel J. Jordan still resides on section 30 and is one of the first and one of the half dozen largest farmers in the
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 429
county. We have already noted him among Sutherland's bankers. E. J.
Frush, Byram Eckman, James Magee are others who raised large families
there. William Slack homesteaded on section 6, in 1869, but died in 1874.
His widow. Mrs. Lucy Slack, was among those chiefly interested in the
erection of the Covey church and other early enterprises. Her son, Charles
S. Slack, resided with her on the claim until her death. Major Chester
W. Inman was an old soldier, ex-county treasurer, and opened up a seven hundred-acre farm, and built one of the first of the large residences. He
was later killed in an altercation over a boundary line. Uncle Don C.
Berray was an old homesteader, a very eccentric character and will be long
remembered for his fun and
geniality. He left a large family.
Other settlers of an early date were the Inman Brothers, southeast of the Jones homestead settlement. They arrived about 1869-70 and remained many years. One of the brothers was known as Major Inman and had served in the Civil War.
Of schools, churches and other items of interest in Grant township, the reader is referred to chapters on such general topics elsewhere in this volume.
We often hear the railroads severely upbraided for getting their railroad land
grants and handling them greedily and not to the interest of the
people. Desiring to give each side of the varied questions that have arisen
county, as historic facts, notwithstanding the editors hereof have
participated on one side or the other of most questions for thirty years,
we wish to call attention to one bunch of railroad lands patented to the
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad by John H. Gear, governor of
Iowa, by patent dated April 26, 1880. This patent covered twelve thousand two hundred and four and
seventy-eight hundredths acres, covering
eight hundred and ninety-eight acres in Grant township and
nine hundred and six acres in Waterman and a small tract, each in Hartley, Omega and Highland townships.
The Milwaukee road built from McGregor west through O'Brien county, under the land grant by Congress of May 12, 1864, hence earned divers lands right up and into O'Brien county, in fact earned the above lands before it struck what have been called the "overlapping" lands in dispute, as detailed elsewhere. Lands at the time were worth, in the county, about five dollars per acre. This road at once put these lands all on the market by public announcement at five dollars per acre, with the stated inducement
430 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
to the purchaser to deduct the sum of two dollars and fifty cents per acre for each acre broken up for cultivation within two years, and as further stated by the company as an inducement to get the country opened up and improved, and with the idea that more settlers and more farming would produce more shipping. This was practically equal to purchasing from the government. Practically every purchaser took advantage of this inducement. The reader must pass judgment.
January 3, 1878, on petition of Leonard Hill and twelve others,
what is now Caledonia township was set off from Baker and called Caledonia, and the first election ordered held in the school house, but as there
was only one school house in the township there was no trouble.
In 1910 the United States census reports gave this township a population of eight hundred and nine. It is in many ways the richest, best improved part of O'Brien county. It is, and always has been, largely held by thrifty, Americanized Germans, who know no such word as fail. For them work—hard work—is but play. Men, women and children all join in doing useful labor and in this manner they thrive in health and wealth getting. The scores of beautiful farms, with tall groves set up by pioneer hands, grace the entire territory. The roads and fences and general building improvements bespeak of naught but value and contentment, while prosperity is found on every hand. They are both a religious and educational people—believe in good churches and schools and have provided them for the rising young about them. They believe in teaching and speaking both the German and English language.
Many a fond memory clusters around the farms where the pioneer first
settled. The land the first settlers claimed as their own has come to be
holy ground to the children of these pioneers. The first person to
effect a settlement in Caledonia
township was H. B. Robeson, who came early
in 1871. The township was not of that class of land that could then be settled
upon as government land could. It had to be purchased of the individual
spending a few years there pioneer Robeson retired to Marcus and became an honored citizen of that
thriving town in Cherokee county.
The next actual settler, after Robeson, was John Schwebach, who
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 431
came to this township in 1872. Thomas Barry soon followed in the march
of enterprising settlers. This is a decided German settlement; almost to
a man they are of this class. Among other pioneers of this goodly township may be recalled these: Leonard Hill, of section 7, who now resides in
Granville, Sioux county, this state; Messrs Upham and Arnold, of section
12, removed from the county many years since; H. F. Kluender came in the
spring of 1881, from Cook county, Illinois, and after a time settled on his
present farm, a hundred and twenty acres in the northeast quarter of
section 18, where he has made excellent improvements and has a valuable
property enjoyed by himself and his estimable family. Another still living
in the township is Fred Boss, of section 25; Henry Hoermann was a pioneer
and removed to Kansas; John Stamer, of section 5, and William Steinberg,
of that section, settled here, but are now numbered among the dead; Nic
Malget, of the northeast quarter of section 7, is still an honored resident
of the township; also Henry Richter, of section 14; W. O. Boyd was another
very early pioneer to this part of the county; he owned at one time all
of section 22, but later sold out and retired at Ames, Iowa, where he
What was named Shabbona post office was established on the southwest quarter of section 2, in 1888, six years after the building of the railroad through the township. The postmaster was Theodore Brum, but short was his term of office, for the same was abandoned after two weeks' trial. It had been proposed to establish a town and sidetrack station at that point but it never materialized. The Chicago & Northwestern railroad runs through the southern portion of the upper tier of sections of this township, going almost on a straight line till the center of section 6 is reached, when it bears to the northwest before entering Sioux county. Land sells in this township from one hundred fifty to two hundred dollars per acre and is really not in the market, for all the land owners are content with the prosperity which now surrounds them.
Among the citizens of this township who have held county office should be mentioned such men as Henry Herman and William Klein, who were members of the county board of supervisors many years ago. Klein was a farmer and preached sometimes; he now lives in Chicago.
This is the only village or hamlet within this township. It is situated on the corners of sections 14, 15, 22 and 23, in township 94, range 42. and, was platted June 10, 1901, by Edward D. Beerman.
432 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
post office was here established about 1892, but when the introduction of rural free mail delivery came in it was abandoned and mail has
since been brought daily by the carriers on the route from Paullina. The
first events were the establishment of a blacksmith
shop, by John Berkley;
the first store of merchandise in Germantown was
opened by L. F. Magers
in 1887-88. He sold out to Charles Nichols after about five years. A
creamery was operated in connection with the general store. Nichols let
it run down and
eight farmers bought out his creamery, as well as the
store. At this date (1913) J. C. Lange has the store. The village blacksmith is now Ben Devrier, who also sells farm implements. The creamery
company was recently re-organized and changed to that of a farmers' stock
company. They run wagons, five in number, to the surrounding country, collect cream and make butter. The
only other industry is that represented
by Fred Fiddelke as carpenter and contractor.
Township officials here have ever been of the best type of citizens. The first officers were elected October 8, 1878, and were as follows: Jacob Diederick, Thomas Barry and H. B. Robeson, trustees; Newall Upham, justice of the peace; George Arnold and Charles Meyer, constables; Henry Hoermann, road supervisor; F. L. Jenkins, clerk; Leonard Hill, assessor. At the present time the trustees are William Hellmann, Fred Pauling and Emil Gebert. For the last twelve years there has been no demand for the offices of constable and justice of the peace, hence none have ever qualified, though regularly elected. This speaks of peace and harmony among the inhabitants of the township of Caledonia. When, for any reason, a peace officer is needed, the sheriff is called upon; Ed. Dobberttin is present assessor; the township clerk is H. F. Kluender, who has held the position since 1901. There are now about one hundred and eighty voters in the township, and it is said that only one American lives in the precinct and he is a renter in the south part of the township. Very few in the township but have been naturalized. One here finds the best class of foreigners, who are practical, religious, law-abiding people of great worth to a county, in the fact that they produce and at the same time expend for the comforts and luxuries of life, yet do not destroy and tear down as do some classes of people from the Old World. There are now several large farm houses in this township that have been provided with modern electric lighting plants for house and barns as well. That they believe in education, it should be stated that in addition to the large parochial school at Germantown, they maintain nine (the Tow9 regulation number) district schools in the township.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES. IOWA. 433
A history of the Evangelical Lutheran church‐the church of the entire township‐will he seen in the church chapter elsewhere in this volume, and should be read, as it is certainly a part and parcel of the history of Caledonia township. And with this are given the facts concerning the school that is connected with the church.
people of Union township, Paullina, and the surrounding country
are a splendid mixture of American-born citizens, Germans, Scandinavians,
Scotch, Irish, with a sprinkling of Bohemian, and they constitute a sturdy,
thrifty, self-respecting citizenship, of which any community might well feel
All of the above is proven by the splendid farms, neat, commodious dwelling houses, spacious barns, always well filled with the best products of earth, that adorn this beautiful prairie country, giving it the true appearance of wealth and substantial prosperity and financial responsibility found only where the soil is of the best quality.
In speaking of the improvements of Union township, it must not be overlooked that O. S. West, the "Duroc" hog raiser, has the best farm house in the state of Iowa, at least it was so conceded in Wallace's Farmer of Des Moines, Iowa, a few years ago. It cost many thousands of dollars, and is truly a monument to the industry, not only of Mr. West, the owner, but of the country generally, and it will be admitted by any visitor of this community that the farmers of Union township are as well housed and have barns for their products and stock second to no farm improvements anywhere on earth.
With the intermarriage of these peoples we have and will have a citizenship surpassed, in intelligence, sobriety and industry by none.
On the 6th day of September, 1880, on petition of B. F. Rozell and eleven other citizens, filed with J. L. E. Peck, then county auditor of O'Brien county, and by him presented to the board of supervisors of said county, Union township was set off from Liberty township and organized into what has since been known as Union township. Prior to this time Liberty, including Union, had been set off from Waterman township, (28)
434 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
prior, in i860, the whole county had been called "O'Brien Township," and governed as one township.
A commission was issued by J. L. E. Peck, county auditor, to B. F. Rozell, B. C. Howard and John Warnke, on the 11th day of September, 1880. They held the first election of officers for Union township at the residence of B. F. Rozell, on section 8, township 94, range 41, on the 2d day of November, 1880, at which election the following named persons were elected as officers of said township: B. F. Rozell, John Warnke and Reuben W. Young, trustees; E. A. Howard, township clerk; Carl Levernz, assessor; B. C. Howard and William Levee, justices of the peace; Henry Johnson and D. N. Latham, constables. Thus was the machinery of the government of Union township started, so many years ago, and the writer begs to add that the affairs of the township have always been handled by the best, wisest and most prudent citizens of the township, and he challenges any township in this county to make a better showing of prosperity of all public enterprises than Union township.
During the years 1881 and 1882 the Chicago & North western Railway, one of the great arteries of commerce, constructed its line through O'Brien county and consequently through Union township, thus opening a great, gateway for the products of this magnificent farming country, making it possible for the farmers to lay their products down in Chicago, within a few hours from time of delivery to the railway, and from a value of four dollars per acre the land around Paullina has advanced to one hundred and fifty dollars and even to two hundred dollars per acre, owing to the quality of the soil, improvements and facility of disposing of the farm products. The advance has been like the gaining of riches by "Sinbad the Sailor," and the end is not yet; indeed the people realize that our farming industry is like all else; we are in but the infancy of development, and the wisest cannot foretell future developments or the future possibilities of Union township and the surrounding country.
The Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company, having established their line of railway through Union township, on the 20th day of January, 1882, the Western Town Lot Company filed the original plat of the town of
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 435
began to sell lots for business and residence purposes. This
plat was indeed a novel and, I might add, beautiful design for a town, showing an avenue, named Garfield avenue, one hundred feet in width, encircling
the town, making a truly beautiful driveway all around the town. For some
reason, not generally known, the Western Town Lot Company had this Garfield
avenue, with the consent of the town council of said town, vacated
years after the founding of the town, thus depriving the town of a
most charming street.
Immediately after the town was platted, lots were sold and the town began to grow in a good, healthy, substantial manner, and soon acquired the name of "The Gem of the Prairie," which was and is a fitting name.
There have been several additions platted to the town, as follows: Metcalf's addition, platted and filed January 9, 1886, by John and Thomas Metcalf; Harker & Greene's addition, platted and filed September 3, 1885, by William Harker and J. L. Greene, of Sanborn, Iowa; re-plat of outlots by the Western Town Lot Company, filed December 13, 1890, December 30, 1890, October 26, 1905, and July 8, 1911; Dealy & Harris' addition, filed for record in July, 1909.
The prosperity of the town of Paullina has been owing to her early citizenship, to men who laid the foundation of a good town in sound morality, in a spirit of fairness, generosity and correct business dealings, so that whenever farmers came to the town they were assured of fair dealing and just returns for their products. Among the men who first came to Paullina, and those who have since assisted in making the town what it is today, are the following John Baumann, George Hakeman, W. W. Johnson, J. A. Warner, D. H. Adkins. L. Wollenberg, John V. Adkins, John Metcalf, C. C. Smith, Dr. C. S. Paul, Hubert Sprague, Thomas Metcalf, O. D. Harnstreet, J. D. Simpson, O. M. Smith, A. P. Jacobs, John Cowan, Sr., and many other enterprising citizens that space forbids to mention. The history of the newspapers of Paullina will be found in the chapter devoted exclusively to this topic.
On the 23d day of August, 1883, A. Hanson and twenty-seven other citizens, by their attorney, O. D. Harnstreet, who, by the way, was the first attorney of the town of Paullina. filed their petition in the circuit court of the state of Iowa in and for O'Brien county, before J. R. Zuver, judge, asking that a commission be issued to commissioners and that the town of
436 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
incorporated. After hearing said petition, said court, on the
27th day of September, 1883, appointed the following citizens of said town
as commissioners: A. Hanson, C. C. Smith, C. S. Paul, J. M. Baumann and
O. D. Hamstreet, to conduct the proceedings of incorporation and election.
A notice of election was ordered published for four consecutive weeks in the Paullina Times. The election on the question "Shall the town of Paullina, Iowa, become incorporated, under the laws of the state of Iowa," was submitted to the electors as by law provided on the 30th day of October, 1883. Election was held as per notice given, which resulted as follows: There were fifty-one votes cast, of which forty-four were for incorporation and seven votes cast against incorporation, whereupon said commissioners declared that the proposition was carried.
Thereupon said commissioners proceeded to call an election of officers for said town, and after due notice, as by law provided, an election for the 23d day of November, 1883, was held, and the following named citizens were duly elected, as the first officers of the incorporated town of Paullina, to-wit: I. L. Rerick, mayor; Stephen Harris, recorder; and A. Hanson, John Baumann, George Veeder, J. P. Bossert, W. W. Johnson and D. H. Adkins, as the first council of the town.
All of said officers took the oath of office on the 27th day of November, 1883, and were duly installed in their several offices, and the wheels of the city government of Paullina began to turn and on the 30th day of November, 1883, at a special meeting of the council, several ordinances were passed for the guidance and government of Paullina.
The first great public utility of the town was its water works. At an election called by the council as by law provided, on the 13th day of June, 1891, to determine the question: "Shall the town of Paullina erect a system of water works and bond the town therefor," there were eighty-one ballots cast, seventy-two votes being for said proposition and nine against the same.
The council then proceeded to carry out the expressed wishes of the people and commenced the erection of a system of water works that has always furnished the town with an abundance of the best of water, and the. system being worth not less than twenty-five thousand dollars today, showing how wisely and well the affairs of the town have been administered and proving that municipal ownership is a grand success when properly managed by intelligent officers.
Paullina also has a system of electric light, twenty-four hours service every dav and seven days every week, valued at not less than twenty-five thou-
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 437
sand dollars and for all
practical purposes is as good as any system in any city
in the United
States, and is also an example of what a municipal-owned light
system can be made by prudent, conservative, but determined action.
Paullina also has a system of telephone, operated twenty-four hours every day, seven days every week, and has connection with all parts of the county, and long distance service that is very satisfactory.
It must not be overlooked that the town of Paullina has an exceptional manager of its public utilities in the person of Wells Sutherland, who is verily an expert workman in electricity and the control of machinery of every character and who is a tireless worker for the interests of the town, and when anything is necessary to be done, he illustrates the "Johnny on the Spot" idea of prompt and efficient work.
Besides the water works and electric plants, the town owns its hall, used for keeping fire apparatus, general meetings and elections, owing to its central location. This property is, at a low estimate, worth two thousand five hundred dollars.
About seventeen years ago Fred G. Frothingham made a bequest of the sum of two thousand dollars to Paullina for library purposes, and this sum soon accumulated, being at interest in the Bank of Paullina, and the town council called an election for the purpose of voting on the proposition:
"Shall the town of Paullina purchase the necessary real estate for a site for a public library?" There were seventy ballots cast, of which fifty-five were for the proposition and fifteen against.
The council then purchased the present site of the library on the east side of Main street. The citizens of Paullina then made donations of about five thousand dollars in cash, and the council commenced the erection of a building composed of cement blocks, which, when completed, made a very commodious library building, giving good rooms for library purposes and an auditorium that seats six hundred people, the floor of which is used for gymnasium purposes and basket ball, etc.
When completed, Governor Albert B. Cummins made the dedication address and the same was one of his masterly efforts. The library can now boast of at least one thousand dollars worth of books, and all the appliances of a modern public library, also belonging to the town of Paullina, and valued at ten thousand dollars. The people enjoy all the good reading advantages of a large city library, so far as books are concerned, without the expensive and rare and reference books and paraphernalia of the city library. The mayor appointed the following named citizens, first trustees, of the "Froth-
438 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES. IOWA.
ingham Free Public Library," as our library is named: C. C. Cannon, E. Lustfeld, John E. Ullman, John Cowan, Sr., George W. Harris, G. A. Lage, A. Bock, George Raw and B. J. Maytum. The above appointed trustees qualified by taking the oath of office and organized their board by electing Ernest Lustfeld president, and John E. Ullman, secretary, and by lot determined the length of office of trustees, three to go out in three years, three in six years and three in nine years, and all members of the board to be appointed by the mayor of the town.
Pursuant to notice given by the secretary of Union township school
qualified electors of that part of Union township, comprising
sections 1, 2,
3, 4, 5, 6. 7. 8. 9, 10, 11 and 12 met on the 3d day of July, 1883,
at the depot of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company, in Paullina,
and voted on the
question : "Shall said above described territory be organized
into an independent school district, known as independent school district of
yery large majority of the votes cast being in favor of the
organization, it was declared adopted by the people, and notice according to
given for an election of officers of the newly erected district. Pursuant to said notice, the electors of the independent school district met for
first election of officers on the 16th
day of July, 1883. C. S. Paul acted as
president and O. D. Hamstreet, secretary of the meeting and at the same
judges of the election, and at the close thereof it was found that the
following named citizens were elected and declared the first board of education of the independent district of Paullina, to-wit: George Hakeman, A.
J. B. Patton, directors. On the 17th day of July, 1883, said
directors having qualified as by law provided, proceeded to organization by
electing A. Hanson, first president, and Stephen Harris, as the first secretary,
and John Baumann as first treasurer.
The following named citizens have been presidents of the board of education since the organization of the district: A. Hanson, I. L. Rerick, John Metcalf, Hudson Mickley, D. H. Adkins, Ralph Dodge, A. P. Jacobs, W.J. Hakes, John Cowan, Sr., and R. W. Young.
The independent school district now owns property valued at twenty thousand dollars and is entirely out of debt and has several thousand dollars in its treasury. (Mr. Algyer has kindly written of the churches, lodges, newspapers.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 439
banks, etc., in Paullina, and they appear in their respective chapters in this
In addition to what Mr. Algyer has written on this town and vicinity the author has gleaned the following concerning early days there:
Paullina was named in honor of the Paullin brothers, who owned the land on which the town was finally platted. This is one of the few towns that started in advance of the railroad, in anticipation of its coming. When the first train of cars came in there were already several business houses on the plat of an embryo village.
The first to establish themselves in business at this point were Adkins and Davis, of Jasper county, Iowa. Their store was ready for use about the middle of March, and in it was placed a general merchandise stock, which found ready sale. Many were the days when their sales amounted to six hundred dollars. B. F. Rozell built a small house used for hotel purposes, and was named the "Pioneer House." Travelers and local guests swarmed about this hotel, and he did an excellent business from the time he was able to feed the hundreds that made application at his place. He soon had to provide larger quarters, which he did promptly. The firm of Sprague Brothers, of Primghar, was the next to open up at Paullina. It was this firm that established themselves in the livery business. This business grew and was enlarged from time to time. People had heard of the new town "out on the Hawarden branch" and wanted to see what it held in store for them. Others were mere real estate men, looking up lands in a country they knew to be valuable, in the near future, and they counted that aright.
T. E. Shrader was next to swell the number of business men, and he started a restaurant, building a large two-story building, used for both a residence and restaurant room. A bar was later added to this establishment, but not to the real betterment of the town in general.
The first regular saloon opened in Paullina was that opened by Cal Peterman in a tent near the depot grounds. Soon, however, he found his quarters too small and erected a shanty of boards, and this, later on, was replaced by a substantial building, in which he also ran a pool and billiard hall.
The first contractor and carpenter was F. C. Daniels, who began contracting and building, having in his employ as high as ten men at one time. Buildings grew as if by magic under his supervision. But still the flood of immigration swept in to Paullina. The only obstacle in the way of advancement was the fact that the building material
440 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
all had to be hauled in from a distance of
eighteen miles by team. But notwithstanding this, several pushed forward and were successful in getting
buildings speedily erected ahead of the railroad's coming. Among these
may be recalled C. C. Smith, who erected a large building for holding his
complete hardware stock. The stock was purchased from Johnson & Hakeman, of Primghar. So great was the trade at Paullina in this important line
that additions and wings and warerooms had to be built from time to time.
The next enterprise was the hotel building erected for C. R. Waterman. It was completed and thrown open on July Fourth and christened the Paullina House. Soon the trade demanded more rooms and they were added. Very soon Waterman saw the need of a meat market and opened one. Many weeks as high as ten beeves were slaughtered, besides many hogs and sheep. "The Home and Restaurant" was the name given to another hotel, which was also opened to the public on Independence day, that year. H. Godfrey was the proprietor of the place. Perhaps the "Railroad Store," as it was styled, was doing the most business of any in Paullina at the close of the month of June. The sales run to eight hundred and fifty dollars per day. After the railroad grade was completed this stock was removed to Silver Lake, in Dickinson county.
The German shoe man from Grundy county, Theodore Wiechner, who came in from Reinbeck, hauled his lumber from Sanborn and erected his store building and opened up a boot and shoe store on Broadway.
In August, the first year of the town's history, proper, the train service was established, and it was then that the lumber business of Johnson & Hakeman, of Primghar, was removed to this point. Hundreds of car loads of lumber and coal and builder's material came rolling into the village before six months had gone by—nothing like this was ever seen in O'Brien county before nor since. J. H. Queal & Company, the great lumber operators, soon headed in this way and established a yard and sold immense quantities of both lumber and coal. The Paullina fever caught hold of some residing in Primghar and they at once rolled their buildings on wheels over to the new village. Among those who thus removed was William Hastings, who lived in his residence while it was being transported to Paullina. He also brought his blacksmith shop along and set up his glowing forge and commenced to wield his sledge. In the middle of July A. Hanson began the erection of a building, the first floor being for a hardware store, while the second was used as his residence.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 441
Bossert & Davis started a
clothing store that season; they also added
groceries and found quick, profitable sales from the start. The pioneer druggist was J. H. Stevens, from Tama county, who came that summer and put
in a stock of drugs in charge of Dr. C. S. Paul. Harker & Green, of Sanborn, erected four good-sized store buildings. Dr. H. C. West, a former
physician of Primghar, located in Paullina, building him a residence and an
The first attorney of the place was Oscar D. Hamstreet, who came in July, erected his office and remained. In October of that eventful year, an elevator was erected by L. D. Bechtell, but the largest thing in this line was the splendid grain elevator built by Edward Paullin. Its cost was about seven thousand dollars. In six months after Paullina had started it had erected buildings, the total cost of which reached more than forty thousand dollars.
That the people were possessed of culture, refinement and education it only needs to be added in this connection that in the eighties her people put a play on the boards which was entitled "The Soldier of Fortune." The parts in this excellent play were carried out by J. P. Bossert, L. A. Douglass, Frank Cooke, B. L. Pratt, Stephen Harris, Charles Harris, W. S. Loveless, J. W. Bunker. The three ladies in the play were Mrs. B. L. Pratt, Miss Jennie Gruver and Mrs. Ida Harris.
The shipments of grain for the season of 1888, shipped by two firms, were: Oats, 264,000 bushels; wheat, 64,550 bushels; barley, 185,500 bushels; flax, 46,000 bushels; corn, 86,200 bushels; timothy, 5,860 bushels; rye, 1,600 bushels.
The first Fourth of July celebration for Paullina was in the year 1885. W. R. Johnson was president of the day and J. L. E. Peck was orator. There was also a German oration by Rev. E. Zuerrer. The day was full of novel and interesting scenes, including the parade of the "Hipizorinktums," the base ball clubs, music, and foot and horse racing, the wind being too strong for the balloon to "go up" as advertised.
In 1887 a company was formed and incorporated for the purpose of building a town hall, which was completed in February, 1888. It was in 1886 that the people caught the county-seat fever and on paper (only) made a fair showing. They also wanted the division of the Northwestern road, but failed in the two projects.
442 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
In addition to what has
already been said by Mr. Algyer, in his article
history of Union township and Paullina, it may be added that Union
township, second from the west and first from the southern line of the county,
population in 1910 of six hundred and seven.
The Norwegians were early settlers in this part of the county. The first to locate were O. S. and C. R. West, accompanied by their mother and S.J. Norland, all coming from Marshall county. These all came in the spring of 1883, locating on section 13, two and a half miles south of Paullina.
In the fall of 1883 O. P. Tjossem and L. Goodmanson, of Marshall county, Severt L. Tow, A. L. Tow and H. Graden, of Benton county, with O. P. Tjossem, of Ida county, purchased all of section 26 in Dale township, and had more or less to do with the development of Union township as the years went by. These, with the Yankee settlers who came in a little later, made up the pioneers of this township. Aside from the business transacted at Paullina. this is purely an agricultural district and is among the finest garden spots to be found in the great and growing Northwest.
Liberty township was organized in 1869 as one of the three townships of the county, as then divided.
There was not much improvement or settlement in Liberty township until the building of the Sioux Falls and Cherokee branch of the Illinois Central railroad in 1887. It is in a beautiful and very productive portion of O'Brien county and has a population of about six hundred and sixty. Its town and trading place is Calumet, which unfortunately is not situated at the crossing of the two railroads that cross the township, the Northwestern and Illinois Central lines. It is located on section 22 and is a sprightly town for its size. It is on a fine prairie land and has two principal business streets, running north and south and east and west. After the completion of the track laying in the autumn of 1887, the first building erected was the depot. The first to build on the town site was a carpenter named Douglass. The first dealers to build were Wheelock Brothers, carrying a general stock of merchandise. After many changes the business was finally purchased by D. C. Fields, one of the first settlers in the township of Liberty. A post office was established as soon as the town was platted,
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.443
and the first
postmaster and depot agent was Mr. Thornbnrg, who was in turn
by Messrs Jones and George Reifsteck. The German parsonage
was among the first houses erected and that served for a time for a hotel,
but in 1890 a hotel proper was built. In 1897 the town contained several
good business houses, including the business carried on by the J. H. Queal
Company, the elevator, etc. The Methodist Episcopal and the German Lutheran churches were the first in the
religious field at Calumet. The
Calumet Bank was established in 1889 by Horstman Bros. & Seaman, of
Sutherland, who sold to John C. Craig in 1890 (see Banking chapter).
In 1895 Calumet was incorporated and the court's order answering the petition of the citizens interested made the town to
comprise "The south half
of the northwest
quarter and the north half of the southeast quarter of
section 22, Liberty township." The incorporating commissioners appointed by the court were W.M. Bunce, B. Harrington, J.W. Neild, L. Reifsteck
and D. C. Fields. At the election to see whether the town should be
incorporated or not, the vote stood nineteen for and ten against. The
measure having carried, the first election for town officers was held April
17. 1895, when the following were elected: W. M. Bunce, mayor; J. W.
Neild, recorder; L. Reifsteck, D. C. Fields, Ernest Pape, E. W. McComber,
Peter Rehder and Lewis Meade, councilmen. The mayors of the place have
been William M. Bunce, many years; George Reifsteck, many years; Fred
Nott, E. Mann. The town officers in 1913 are: Mayor, E. Mann; recorder,
A. Sohm; treasurer, Frank Worden; councilmen, Ernest Boldt, J. W. Mathern, John Riechers. William Meier and Fred Nott.
Calumet has a good town hall, erected in 1889-90, at a cost of four thousand dollars. It seats three hundred and has a large stage. It stands on the north side of Main street and was built by the subscriptions of citizens in both the town and township. It is used free of cost to the people of the neighborhood; they only have to provide the lights and fuel. Here are held the public meetings and gatherings of the neighborhood. The town also purchased a full block for park purposes and in 1906 there were planted out fourteen hundred maple and box elder trees, and these have already come to be a handsome sight and provide a good shade in summer time. At the entrance to the park stands a United States cannon, secured through the efforts of the late honored Congressman, Elbert H. Hubbard, of Sioux City.
The only fire protection of Calumet is the chemical engine, two street wells, with hose and hook and ladder appliances. The electric light plant of the town is the private property of Fred Nott. It was installed in 1911,
444 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
supplies the town with a twenty-four-hour service in the most modern
lighting. The town is in touch with the outside world by the
use of the Calumet
telephone line, together with twelve farmers' lines, and
the Iowa State and New State
company's lines, with which the Calumet line
A good brass band was organized here a few years since, consisting of twenty-two pieces. It was formed and is instructed by the foreman of the Primghar Bell, Ralph Langley. It is a credit to the vicinity.
The history of the Calumet post office shows that one was established here as soon as the place was platted. The depot agent, Mr. Thornburg, was made first postmaster and was succeeded as follows: D. C. Fields, Daniel Harrington, George Reifsteck, Ezra McComber, Thomas Rehder and the present incumbent, Gust Linneweh, in whose store the post office is now kept.
On May 19, 1897, Calumet met with a serious loss by reason of a sweeping fire, destroying five of its best business houses. Books, papers and goods were totally destroyed by the flames of that fire. The total loss was estimated at the time at about twelve thousand dollars.
The present population of Calumet is about three hundred. The business interests of the place in the autumn of 1913 were as follows:
Bank‐Bank of Calumet, George Reifsteck.
Blacksmith and machinery‐E. Boldt.
Cream station‐R. Branco.
Concrete bridge work‐Lewis Mead.
Cement factory‐Frank Worden.
Contractor and builder‐A. F. Sohm.
Drugs‐J. E. Farnsworth.
Hardware and furniture‐James Ewaldt.
Harness‐C. H. Merry.
Lumber‐J. H. Queal & Co.
Merchandise(general stores)‐Gust Linneweh, Henry Freer.
Pool hall‐John Schimmer.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 445
Physicians and surgeons‐Dr. O. T. Jacobs, Dr. Sievers.
Stock buyer‐Henry Wolter.
Telephones‐Calumet Iowa Telephone Company and New State Telephone Company, Pearl Steen operator.
The town supports two churches, the Methodist and German Evangelical, an account of which is found in the chapter on churches.
What is known as an independent school in Liberty township is located at the incorporation line of Calumet, where, in 1910, at the expense of seven thousand five hundred dollars, a modern school house was erected. It is on section 22 and is free to all pupils within the townships.
county was at first one township, and called Waterman
township after Hannibal H. Waterman, the first inhabitant of the county,
as was likewise Waterman river named for him. On November 10, 1861,
what is now
Hartley, Lincoln, Franklin, Floyd, Omega, Center, Summit,
Carroll, Dale, Baker, Union and Caledonia was organized into O'Brien
township and the first election ordered to be held at the house of Archibald
Murray, March 1, 1861. The county continued with these two townships.
Waterman and O'Brien, until September 24, 1869, when O'Brien township
was discarded and the
county was divided into three townships as follows:
Waterman township to consist of what is now Waterman, Highland, Center,
Lincoln, and the south tier of sections of Grant. Grant township to consist
of what is now Grant, except the south tier of sections. Grant township
was named after Gen. U. S. Grant.
Liberty township to consist of what
is now Liberty, Union, Dale, Summit, Caledonia, Franklin, Baker, Carroll
and Floyd townships.
On January 3, 1870, the south tier of sections of what is now Grant was set apart from Waterman to Grant, except the southeast quarter of section 36 of same. On January 21, 1871, the southeast quarter of section 36 of same was likewise set back to Grant.
The first settlement effected within the borders of O'Brien county was by Hannibal H. Waterman, who with his wife Hannah H. and their one child, Emily A. Waterman, came in from Bremer county, Iowa, during the month of July. 1856, fifty-seven years ago. They came with an ox team and had all of their household goods along with them. The government land had not as yet been surveyed, so Mr. Waterman became a "squatter," following up his filing, later, when the land office was established
446 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
City. He selected for his claim the northwest quarter of section
22, township 94, range 39, now in Waterman civil township. There he
log house, eighteen by twenty-two feet. It stood in all its glory,
the pioneer dwelling place of a brave, praiseworthy man now so well known
county, but who has long since passed from earth's shining circle.
His next house was built in 1860, a much better building, and this served
until 1887, when it was burned in the month of April. In the old log
cabin, first used by Mr. and Mrs. Waterman, was born the first child to
light of day in O'Brien county, as far as is known among the white
race. This child was Anna Waterman, who became the wife of D. W. Kenyon, and in 1888 lived in Woodbine, Harrison county, Iowa, where in December, 1889, she died.
This township of Waterman was indeed the mother hive of all the townships. Several men later prominent in the public affairs homesteaded in this township. Among them was Ed. C. Brown, for thirty years a banker in Sheldon, who homesteaded on section 30. Archibald Murray, who figured so much in this history, in the early day, filed the first homestead entry on the west half of the southwest quarter of section 14. Ed. A. Nissen, who was an early sheriff for eight years, settled on section 8, and Michael Sweeney on section 14. Silas Steele, still residing at Sutherland, on section 18. Henry C. Tiffey, who was on hand at the very organization of the county and who sold to the county forty acres for court house purposes, settled on section 36. William Houston Woods, popularly known as "Huse" Woods, and who was the main leader in the Taxpayers' Association movement and made a vigorous fight to get rid of the old bad debt from his viewpoint, on section 8. We have already in other items recited Hannibal Waterman's early life in the county, and it will not be necessary to repeat it here.
We will remark in general, relating to these old homesteaders, there were about six hundred in all, and a complete list of them may be found in flie book of original entries, a book made up and certified to at the United States land office.
The next settler to occupy the land of this goodly county was he so well-known as "Dutch Fred," or Fred Feldman, who, it is related, was a real character study, being odd and original in all his manners. He claimed to have been a deserter from King William's army in Germany. He was wont to remark that here "All hold office but me, and I am de beoples." He lived a secluded, lonely life and in 1873 was taken ill, and when his true condition was known he was kindly and tenderly cared for by the will-
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 447
ing hands of the pioneer settlers. He refused to have a doctor called and
said his time had
come, and wished to die, and he did die and was buried on
his own claim in Waterman
township. His claim was the northeast quarter
34, township 94, range 39.
Following the last named settler came in Daniel W. Inman and brother, Chester W. Inman; these came in the spring of 1868, and were followed the same season by several others, and W. H. Baker came in the spring of 1869. C.W. Inman married Kate, daughter of W. H. Baker. D. W. Inman emigrated to Oregon many years ago and his brother, C. W., died in 1894, at the hands of a neighbor, who was convicted of manslaughter and served two years in the penitentiary. Inman was known as Major Inman, having served in the Union cause in Civil war days and participated in the last battle of that great conflict, Bentonville, where he commanded the advance picket line, under such hard tiring that his conduct was mentioned by General Logan in his official reports. His widow settled in Primghar.
Another settler who came in about that date was H. F. Smith ("Hank"), who in February, 1868, when a mere strippling of a boy, landed in Old O'Brien and viewed all of the first events of that historic starting point and landmark of O'Brien county. The first settlers, some of them, had left, but those still residing there when Smith came in were the Inman boys, R. B. Crego, H. H. Waterman, A. Murray and Andrew Brown, a school teacher. Young Smith was not of age and could not enter land, but worked in the neighborhood faithfully until he became old enough to act like other men. He followed teaming for the most part. The same year he came the settlement was added to by the advent of E. T. Parker, then about the same age of Hank Smith, both being counted the liveliest lads in the new county. Parker and his brother, H. F., came together, driving across the state of Iowa with a horse and buggy, but walked most of the way on account of bad roads and a heavy load of supplies. Parker came chiefly with the view of trapping and hunting. He traded his horse off and secured a mule team and was the happiest of mortals at the possession of a real genuine team of mules. It was not long before Hank Smith and Ed Parker were partners and doing a very extensive teaming and freighting business. They built the first bridge in O'Brien county, though thousands of dollars had been appropriated for such purposes in this county prior to that date. This bridge was over a creek east of Old O'Brien, not far out from that village.
In speaking of this pioneer bridge, a writer many years since said: "They cut the native timber, made it into the proper length of logs, of which
448 O"BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA
there were four, stretched across the run on proper rests, and on these were
placed five cross pieces. They then hauled logs to Peterson's mill, which were
planks, and with these in place, and the grading completed, the
bridge was done, and it was a good job. The boys were two days in building
it, and got two dollars per day each, thus earning eight dollars between them,
but the bridge cost the county five hundred dollars, as this amount in warrants was issued to the contractor."
Soon after Parker's arrival at Old O'Brien, he went out on a hunting expedition in the timber of Waterman township and at a point a mile distant from pioneer Baker's house, he killed a deer, which was brought in by the men in town, after Parker had informed them of his success at shooting game.
But prior to the coming of Smith and Parker, there came S. B. Hurlbert, commonly called "Governor" Hurlbert. He came into the township in the autumn of 1866, and his wife was the first white woman who ever lived on the west side of the Little Sioux river in O'Brien county. Hurlbert constructed what was styled a trapper's fort at the mouth of what has since been styled Hurlbert's creek, and there put in several seasons at trapping and hunting. In the fall of 1869 he was elected sheriff of his county. He was a thorough frontiersman; had lived in Wright county, this state, at an early day, when the family of which he was a member had to go seventy miles to mill. He later removed to Texas, where he engaged in photographing.
The old Major Inman house was burned in March, 1897. It was first started in the autumn of 1869, and several years later it was largely added to. The lower story was of stone, while the remainder was of frame. It was near Waterman creek. In the construction of the original part of this house the lumber was hauled from Fort Dodge. The farm on which it stood was what is now known as the Cedar Cliff farm, later owned by Messrs. Peck, Artherholt and Ingham; it is a part of section 26. On the same section George Hulbert built his log cabin in 1867, afterwards selling his claim to Major Inman.
Sutherland is on the Chicago & Northwestern railroad line, on section
7, and was named for the Duke of Sutherland, who was visiting a railroad
official at the date the town was
projected, hence he named it in honor of
him, it is related.
Joseph Cowen erected the first building on the plat in 1882. The West-
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 449
ern Town Lot
Company, of course, laid out this as well as numerous other
along this line of road. G. W. Meader built the first store building, and in it was kept a hardware stock. Charles Briggs started the second
hardware store of the
place. A. M. Cilley was the first to dispense drugs.
The Park hotel was the
pioneer traveler's home, erected with the first year's
history of the place. It was built by James Reager and was known as the
D. M. Sheldon erected a building for the first general stock, but it was destroyed by a cyclone which went through the town in June, 1882. Among the early buildings in the place were the saloon and the railroad land office. The cyclone made sad work among the new buildings and at first stunned the various enterprises.
The real pioneers, all of whom were there before the close of 1883, were A. Towberman & Son, furniture; R. M. Van Horn, blacksmith; L. W. Fairbanks, general dealer; Mrs. A.W. Hoyt, millinery; H. A. Peck, land office; Briggs & Cobb, druggists; Horstman Brothers, general store; J. F. Shepard, restaurant; L. Schwertferger, shoe store; Vulgamott Brothers, meat market; J. N. Slick & Company, grocers and boots and shoes; Thompson & Porter, lumber office; F. E. Farnsworth, restaurant; Cleveland & Bark, livery stable; S. Gracey, clothier; E. H. Farnsworth, groceries and provisions; E. C. Cummings, liveryman; J. B. Dunn & Company, land office; Sage & Healey, land office; D. M. Sheldon & Company, grain, coal, stock and lumber; M. E. Hoyt. livery; C. E. Johnson. Cleveland Hotel; William Kugel, barbershop; D. W. Nichols, real estate office; M. D. Purcell, auctioneer; J. M. Louthan, physician and surgeon; J. C. Bonham, homeopathic doctor; George F. Colcord and J. B. Dunn, attorneys-at-law. The above were all identified with Sutherland early in the spring of 1884.
The newspapers of Sutherland will be treated in the Press chapter.
One of the potent factors in Sutherland, and one that tends to show the character and intellect of the population, is the well selected list of volumes in the public library. It is known as the Baker Library and was named in honor of General Baker, so greatly beloved by the settlers of O'Brien county. It was established in Waterman township in 1874, and to Mrs. Roma W. Woods must ever be given much credit for its establishment and final success. During "grasshopper" days it was hard to keep this library alive. Mrs. Woods, in a well-written article in 1884, said: "Two years of enthusiasm, in the centennial year with its magnificent promise of crops. Alas! for (29)
450 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
library, also for us all. As the grain was whitening for the harvest,
locusts filled the air with
silvery brightness, and covered the ground with
brown ugliness, destroying the crops entirely."
"Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Doling, of Liberty, and Stephen Harris, of Primghar, were able to pay their interest that year, and they alone. The next year the young locusts sprang from every inch of ground.
"In the long winter that followed, our library was a friend indeed. But few could pay their interest, but the books went everywhere. The height had been reached the second year, and for six years we traveled the lowlands. The income of the library was but nominal; a few new books were added each year and during the fourth year there was sent a box of periodicals from Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Brewster, of New York City, also a box containing forty choice books, the gift of Hon. George W. Ellis and wife, Hon. Edward Russell and wife of Davenport, Iowa, and Stewart Ellis and wife of Moline, Illinois. I am sure these friends have never realized how valuable and timely were their gifts."
The county fair ground is located immediately adjoining the town of Sutherland. While this fair is county wide in its scope, and state wide in its legal intendments, it is like unto the state capital question at Des Moines. There can be but one state capital and it can only be located in one spot. The people, state wide, take a pride in its greatness. It must be Iowa size in proportions. Likewise there can be but one county fair in a county. Des Moines also takes a city pride in the proper appearance and management of its state buildings and surrounding grounds. Likewise, as Hartley in civic pride points to its soldier's monument, erected by a public spirited citizen of the county; likewise, as Sanborn delights in her large railroad round house and shops, in the great work of preparation in management of one hundred miles of a great railroad system, in moving our crops, products and travel; likewise, as Sutherland and Sheldon point with educational pride to their public libraries, and as the latter points to its district fair and three railroads ; likewise, as Primghar feels a satisfaction in the county-seat location; like as every citizen in this county points out the twenty-five and fifty-thousand-dollar farms in this exclusively agricultural community, so Sutherland points out the county fair. Sutherland has indeed for now twenty-seven years put in that energy and mass citizenship organization, as all public men will recognize as necessary to keep up and maintain such an enterprise. The very fact that it has been so conducted for now more than a quarter of a century speaks its own stability in public affairs as so successfully carried out by this town.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 451
beginning of Fourth of July celebrations in Sutherland commenced
in 1884, when George F. Colcord read the Declaration of Independence and
J. B. Dunn delivered the oration. It was a rainy day and it was difficult to
carry out an interesting program. Two thousand people were in town that
day. At nightfall, fireworks illuminated the dark skies.
The first great destruction by the fire fiend was November 30, 1884, when Towberman & Sons' store caught fire in the evening, and the store and contents were totally ruined. An implement warehouse was also burned.
On August 8, 1885, the loyal citizens of Sutherland paid their last loving respects to the dead soldier and statesman, ex-President U. S. Grant. Exercises were held in Wood's grove. A procession a full half mile in length, with not less than one thousand people, including many old Grand Army comrades, marched in line to this beautiful grove. Hon. E. C. Herrick, that faithful attorney and orator of Cherokee, delivered a befitting oration.
In the eighties there was a large amount of grain shipped from the new town of Sutherland. From August, 1885, to February, 1886, there were shipped, in all, four hundred and fifty-seven car loads of various kinds of grain, raised on the near-by farm lands.
legally incorporated in 1883, with officers elected to serve
until the March election of
1884, at which time the following were elected
town officers: W. S.
Hitchings, mayor; C. H. Brintnall, recorder; A. M.
Cilley, treasurer; C. W. Inman, assessor; A. Horstman, J. M. Slick, A.
C. Bliss, C.W. Briggs, H.E. Hoagland. C P. Gracey, trustees; C. Nelson,
The mayors have been in the following order to 1889 (the record later being incomplete): W.S. Hitchings, A.M. Cilley, J.C. Bonham, W.P. Davis, D.F. Shumway, J.C. Briggs, E.W. Parker, who commenced in 1904.
The corporation officials for the town of Sutherland in 1913 are: E.W. Parker, mayor; C. H. Jenner, clerk; T. B. Bark, treasurer; E. L. Cobb marshal; J. O. Hakeman, Otto Peters, Adolph Pringel A. J. Sieh, H. J Briggs, councilmen.
A good system of water works was provided by the issuing of bonds to the amount of three thousand five hundred dollars, running twenty years. This system was commenced in 1903 and consists of a well two hundred and six feet deep that affords an abundance of the purest water. A system of compressed air forces the water over the town. This, with a chemical engine,
452 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
ladders and hose, protects the place from fires. The town also provided itself
septic tank and filter, which was planned and installed by men of experience from Ames and this gives universal satisfaction. There are two and
a half acres of land on which the
city has its waterworks plant.
In 1906 a complete sewer system was installed in Sutherland, making it a healthy town in which to reside. In 1893 the authorities purchased a full block of four hundred feet square, for park purposes, and the same year planted out many hundreds of beautiful maple, elm and ash trees. These have already made a fine growth and in the summer the lawn is kept well mowed and cared for by competent persons, making this spot one of rare beauty. Here the native birds and squirrels abound in goodly numbers.
The lighting of the town is furnished by a private corporation known as the Peterson Power and Mill Company, which established here a lighting system by electricity derived from the power gained by the dam across the river at Peterson. This improvement came to Sutherland in 1913.
The post office at Sutherland is of the third class and has three rural free delivery routes extending to the country adjacent. The following have served as postmasters here: E.H. Farnsworth, July, 1884, to February, 1886; H.A. Sage, from February 1886, to October, 1889; C. E. Achorn, from October, 1889, to June, 1893; George Colcord, from June, 1893, to June, 1897; H.L, Chesley, from 1897 to June, 1906; Mrs. Edna Chesley, June, 1906, to October, 1907; Charles W. Briggs, from October, 1907, to present date.
In the mouth of November, 1913, the following were engaged in business at Sutherland:
Auto garages‐Lewis Goss, Frank Klema, Marcus Jones.
Banks‐State and First Savings.
Barber shops‐John Hamann, Thomas Doling.
Blacksmith shops‐Oliver Smith, Charles Spencer.
Corn-plow shovel factory‐Charles Burmeister.
Clothing‐J. C. Paulsen.
Dray lines‐Powell & Townsend, D. W. Parks.
O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA. 453
General stores‐E. Lampman & Son; W. H. Plager, A. H. Schultz,
Farmers Co‐Operative Store and E. B. Michael.
Grain dealers‐Farmers Co-Operative Company, Metcalf & Cannon.
Hotel‐The City, by Mrs. Greene.
Hardware‐J. O. Hakeman, Charles Van Etten.
Hack line‐J. Coulter.
Harness shop‐C. H. Merry.
Implements‐R. H. Tinkham, D. S. Shumway, Charles Nott.
Jewelers‐Charles Spurlock, W. J. Pickrell.
Livery‐L. O. Bidwell.
Lumber dealers‐J. H. Queal & Co., A. J. Sieh.
Meat market‐A. Mueller.
Millinery‐Miss Olds and Miss Strand.
Opera House‐Charles Nott.
Physicians‐D. T. Kas, B. S. Lonthan, E.W. Parker, F. L. Nichols, G. A. Auperle.
Photograph‐J. C. Claussen.
Produce‐Hafords Produce Company. Pool halls‐Fred Nott, Will Behmer, Dick Rumper.
Restaurants‐H.J. Briggs, Burt Phinney, Andrew Hilbert, Mrs. Butler.
Stock dealers‐Metcalf & Cannon, Jo. Shaeffer, Otto Peters.
Shoe shop‐Henry Goetch.
Well maker‐Ed. Clift.
lodges of the town are the Masons, Odd Fellows and Knights of
Pythias; see chapter on lodges in this volume.
The churches are the Methodist, Christian and Catholic, all mentioned in the church chapter. See account of the N. B. Baker public library, by Mrs. Woods.
Many years ago there was organized here a Good Templars lodge and they were provided with a suitable hall which is still in use. This organization accomplished much good in and around Sutherland.
The writer participated for thirty years in many of the pioneer strenuous incidents, as for instance, the fraudulent debt excitements, the Sanborn raid, the squatter questions, with its contests for possession, and the county-seat
454 O'BRIEN AND OSCEOLA COUNTIES, IOWA.
contests and other items. While on sundry of these excitable occasions they became in effect tumults, and while I knew at times that many had revolvers, it never occurred to me that I needed one, or that I even desired to hurt any person physically. I always treated even those excitements as merely public questions, in which I was but an individual part. I never in my life carried a revolver for a single hour. Even in the midst of the Sanborn raid, in which I took a part, George W. Schee and myself, right there on the ground while it was going on, talked of it and decided that whatever else took place we would hold our temper and not bring on a conflict, though we did participate in cutting harness and pulling the nuts off the wagon wheels, but in the act decided that we would desist if a physical conflict came on. We then and there decided that the merits of the question would solve the proposition. Indeed I don't think, serious though it was, that I ever had as much solid amusement and fun and laughter, so to speak, as I did during the week of the Sanborn raid on the court house, with all its details and jokes and oddities, though we all insisted on the rights of the public and the county as we viewed it. The reader will perhaps pardon the use of the pronoun I by the writer hereof at times, inasmuch as he personally participated in these matters.