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History of Council Bluffs
and Pottawattamie County
From Bushnell's 1869 Directory

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Settlement of the State - Early History of Council Bluffs - The Great Railroad
Center of the Northwest - Its Past Growth,
Present Prosperity, and Future Prospects


The information just given we have gathered as best we could. Is not Council Bluffs a railroad center, and destined to become a great city? The following is a synopsis of the above-named roads: Railroads in running order, 5; now building and rapidly approaching, 2; eastern consolidation, 1-7; westward, the Union Pacific Railroad; eastward, the Chicago & Northwestern, Burlington & Missouri, Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, and American Central Railroads; northward, the Council Bluffs & Sioux City Railroad; southward, the Council Bluffs & St. Joseph Railroad. All of these roads have their termini at Council Bluffs, and within its corporate limits.


The bridge will be of iron, on the plan of Lost's patent inflexible truss, 70 feet above water surface, resting on iron cylinders 8-1/2 feet in diameter, sunk by the pneumatic process to the solid rock at a depth of from 10 to 80 feet below water surface, and filled with solid masonry from bottom to top. The spans are 250 feet each, and the total length of the bridge proper 2750 feet. The bridge was designed by Gen. G. M. Dodge, Chief Engineer of the Union Pacific Railroad, and is built by L. B. Boomer & Co. of Chicago, under the direction of Gen. Wm. Sooy Smith, their Chief Engineer, and under the superintendence of T. E. Sickels, Chief Engineer of the bridge, in behalf of the Union Pacific Railroad Company.

This stupendous structure is one of the greatest triumphs of of successful bridge building in America. The design is a masterly exhibition of architectural skill, and unites strength and solidity with grace and beauty. It will be an honor to the Union Pacific Railroad, as well as to the twin cities which it unites. Its estimated cost is two and a half million dollars.


The first paper that was printed in Council Blufis was the Frontier Guardian, started in 1848, by O. Hyde. The Bugle was the next paper started, which was in 1850, by Babbitt & Carpenter. Next came the Chronotype. It started in 1854, W. W. Maynard editor. The Nonpareil started in 1856, edited by Maynard & Long. The Democratic Clarion started in 1850, edited by T. P. Bentley. The Times started in 1859, edited by J. E. Johnson. The German Press, edited by Wenborne & Co., started in 1867. The Council Bluffs Democrat, edited by Alf. S. Kierolf & Co., started in 1868. The Council Bluffs Post was started the present year, by L. Mader, editor and proprietor.

The statement of the above named papers is enough to show the reader that many minds have been directed to Council Bluff's for many years, and that they thought it would be a place of importance some day. And to-day we see that it is an important point - the Great Railroad Center of the Northwest.

The papers that are here to-day are heralding its present prosperity and future greatness.

The Daily and Weekly Nonpareil is published by Gray, Mill & Schermerhorn, who are live men, and are doing what they can to inform the people, far and near, as to the place (Council Bluffs) and attract those seeking homes and business locations.

The Evening Bugle (Babbitt & Son proprietors and editors) is likewise laboring in the same direction.

The Council Bluffs Post (L. Mader editor and proprietor), a German paper started this year, is a very fine sheet. It has a good
circulation, and is doing what it can to help build up our city.

Please notice their cards.


The lands adjoining Council Blufffs are unsurpassed by any prairie farming lands in the Northwest, and the lands along the different roads leading into this place by any in the world. The soil is fertile, and of remarkable depth. We venture to assert that no country on the face of the globe presents such varied and permanent attractions to the hnsbandman as the vast prairies and fertile valleys of Western Iowa, which offers homes to millions, at prices which, a year or two hence, may, and possibly will, be increased from five to twenty-fold. Hence, Council Bluffs is now, as it has long been, the depot of supplies for the cities west of it, less favored by nature. Vast trains daily pass over the Missouri from Council Bluffs, laden with the produce upon which depend near and remote communities westward on the line of the Pacific emigration. There is, therefore, a ready sale in the west for all the food which Western Iowa can bring into the market, at prices double and triple the prices ruling in the eastern cities and southern markets, being unaffected by eastern grain fluctuations. These lands are now also within the grasp of the farmer of small means and great thrift, and, simply as a matter of investment, are worthy of his most serious consideration.

Then, let it be known that such are the facts, and wise men will turn this way. May the many who are coming west stop at Council Bluffs. Yes, start for this place at first. Don't pass any other way than by way of Council Bluff's, that the garden of the world—the future metropolis of the Northwest—may be improved soon.


Hardin Joneh, County Auditor
E. B. Bowman, Deputy County Auditor
George A. Haynes, County Recorder
E. F. Burdick, Deputy County Recorder
W. G. Crawford, Clerk of the District and Circuit Courts
Wm. Siedentopf, Deputy Clerk of the District and Circuit Courts
Wm. Porterfield, County Treasurer
E. A. Huber, Deputy County Treasurer
Perry Reel, Sheriff
R. Caywood, County Surveyor
William J. Gates, Deputy County Surveyor
H. Stein, M. D., Coroner, office drug store*
G. L. Jacobs, County Superintendent of Common Schools*
James O'Neil, County Jailer

All except those marked * have offices at the Court House.


Jesse Wright, Boomer Township
John Smith, Center Township
C. G. Mcintosh, Crescent Township
Wm. Garner and Wm. Groneweg, Kane Townslip
R. H. Woodmancy, Macedonia Township
Josiah True, Knox Township
John Anderson, Silver Creek Township
John S. Goss, Rockford Township
O. C. Whipple, Walnut Township
J. L. Tetter, Chairman, James Township
J. M. Strong, Grove Township
J. G. Maxfield, York Township.


Charles Allen, Thomas Jeffener, Directors
William Garner, Chairman
J. D. Edmundson, Clerk.


Chas. Allen, N. C. Richards, and Thomas Jefferis.


J. C. Fargo, City Marshal
Henry Warren, Treasurer
W. J. Midler, Assessor
S. J, Hanna, City Attorney
J. D. Edmundson, Township Clerk
E. R. Donus and F. M. Baker, Justices
A. J. Bump, Chief of Police
E. W. Jackson and J. J. Churchill, policemen


E. Thornton, First District
D. L. Spooner, Second District.


D. C, Bloomer, Mayor
J. F. Evans and J. B. Lewis, First Ward
J. P. Williams and J. B. Atkinson, Second Ward
J. T. Oliver and L. Kirscht, Third Ward
L. L. Spooner and J. W. Morse, Fourth Ward
John Huntington and L, W. Babbitt, Fifth Ward
F. A, Burke, Recorder.


D. C. Bloomer, President
C. B. Jacquemin, Vice President
Dr. P. B. McKay, Secretary
A. Slyter, Treasurer
D. B. Clark, C. E. Provost and, J. F. Evans, Directors.


F. T. Johnson, Chief Engineer
P. D. Wooman, First Assistant
H. Herbert, Second Assistant.


R. L. Guanella, Foreman
O. P. Wickham, First Assistant
B. H. Miller, Second Assistant

Legislative Officers -
James McFee, President
John J. Ryan, Vice President
P. B. Brown, Secretary
A. H. Orr, Treasurer.

Members, including officers, 64; honorary members, 74.

The Engine House and meeting room are corner of Pierce street and Glen avenue, near Broadway, back of City Building. The only fire bell in the city is on the building; weighs 600 pounds.


John Epeneter, Foreman
A. E. Steinmetz, First Assistant
Henry Myer, Second Assistant
Wm. Liethentop, President
M. Flammant, Secretary
G. F. Epeneter, Treasurer.

Six ladders, 40 feet each, 5 hooks, and 12 fire buckets.

Truck House on Main street, between Broadway and Washington avenue.


John Cown, Foreman
Wm. Barlow, Assistant Foreman
G. F. Smith, President
A. E. Harvey, Vice President
Charles E. Provost, Secretary
Wm. G. Oliver, Treasurer

Members, 62.

Engine House on Middle Broadway.


Lewis Henn, Foreman
Ed. Wittig, First Assistant
H. Bosshe, Second Assistant
H. Benedix, President
T. C. Wattenspiel, Vice President
Ed. Flues, Secretary
John Claussen, Treasurer.

Members, 55.

Truck House on Upper Broadway.


After much opposition and contention, this Institution for the benefit of that unfortunate portion of the people our State, has been located at Council Bluffs, and an appropriation made for the erection of suitable buildings. The building is now being rapidly built. About fifty men arc employed.

The Iowa institution for the deaf and dumb is at present located at Iowa City, though it is contemplated that it will be removed to Council Bluffs in October, 1870, at which point permanent buildings are in process of erection. During the last two years the institution has had a total attendance of ninety-eight, with an average attendance of about sixty-five or seventy. The institution is under the superintendence of Professor Benjamin Talbot, a man every way fitted for the responsible position he so ably fills. The census of 1867 gives the total number of deaf mutes in the State at three hundred and sixty-eight, which is probably below the real number. All between the ages of ten and twenty-five years, of a sound mind, are entitled to seven years gratuitous instruction and hoard in the institution; and the General Assembly, at its recent session, made provision for the assistance of such as are debarred from attending
on account of inability to provide proper clothing. We believe there are many in the State who ought to be receiving a course of instruction in the Institution, but who are ignorant of the facilities so generously provided for their relief. Persons who are cognizant of such cases would confer a real benefit upon the cause of humanity by sending the name and residence of any such person to the Principal of the Institution, who will then endeavor to secure attendance. We especially appeal to County Superintendents and teachers to interest themselves in behalf of these unfortunates. -  Iowa Instructor.


The Congregational Church of Council Bluffs was organized June 12, 1863. The foundations of their present church edifice were laid August 9, 1854, and in a few months the building was so far advanced as to be used for public worship. July 6, 1856, the edifice being fully completed, was formally dedicated. The church was without regular preaching from 1857 to 1860, and in consequence, became much weakened; but by the able and efficient ministry of Rev. Jas. B. Chase, Jr., is in a prosperous condition; and, the cengregation having outgrown their present house of worship, the society contemplate building a new one at an early day. Rev. H. P. Roberts, Pastor.

First Baptist Church, Rev. T. F. Thickston, Pastor. They have a fine new church, situated on William street, west of Marcy. Services at 10:30 a. m., and 7:30 p. m. Sabbath school meets at 12 o'clock. Pastor, Superintendent.

St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church parish was organized in April, 1856. The place of worship is on Pearl street, and was erected in the spring of 1863, at a cost of $1,300. The church building was enlarged in the summer of 1867, at a cost of $3,200. It will accommodate 230 worshipers. Services every Sunday, at 10-1/2 o'clock a.m. and 7-1/2 o'clock p. m. Sunday school at 9 o'clock
a.m. Rector, Rev. John Chamberlain.

The Roman Catholic Church is situated on Main street, south of Broadway; Rey. John Doxachre, pastor. They have a nice, large church, and have lately built a very fine parsonage.

German Lutheran Church, Upper Broadway. They have no regular pastor, but the society is in a flourishing condidion.

The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1860, by Rev. Wm. Simpson, who came a year or two before, as a missionary, under trying circumstances, as he first came in pursuit of some thieves. He soon had such an influence for good, that he called the people together, and formed a little church. The difficulties which had to be surmounted at that date in trying to plant the standard of Christianity were experienced by Bro. Simpson. The Mormons were among the opposers. At one time a Mormon elder, by the name of Hyde, professed to have had a revelation to the elfect that Bro. Simpson would not live very long, and communicated the same to his religious opponent, by letter, over his signature. Bro. Simpson returned the compliment by saying that, if he was injured in any way, in consequence of the curse which had been pronounced against him, the Elder himself would beheld responsible. It is enough to say that the curse was removed as publicly as it had been announced; and thus the way was paved for the successful establishment of the church. They have now a very fine church edifice, built some two years since, under Rev. J. Knotts. It was completed this year, under the labors of Rev. C. Mabee, and dedicated by J)r. Eddy, of Chicago. The entire cost of the church was about $23,000. It is built of brick, and is situated on Upper Broadway. Tliey have a very good Sunday school, the attendants of which number two hundred and upwards. The scliool meets at 2 p. m. D. A. Sovereign, Superintendent. The society is in a prosperous condition at present, under the care and guidance of Rev. C. C. Mabee, Pastor.

The First Presbyterian Church, corner of Marcy and Willow strcets, Rev. T. A. Cleland pastor, is a good building, 60x30, with a fine belfry. Its music reaches the car on the calm Sabbath morning, rcminding us of day of devotion to our creator. This cliurcli was organized October 12, 1856, with thirteen members. It now numbers 150, and has a Sabbath school of 250. The time of service is 11 a. m. and 7-1/2 p. m.; Sunday school at 9 a. m. They have a fine Sunday school, under the care of J. B. Rue, Superintendent.

The United Brethren Church is located corner of Marcy and Pine streets, one street west of the Council Bluffs Iron Works, and was dedicated June 25, 1868. We understand that they have a good Sunday school in the afternoon, and preaching at the usual hours, morning and evening. Rev. W. H. W. Reace, pastor.

The Latter Day Saints have lately dedicated a new church on Pierce street. Elder James Caffel officiates. Services every Sabbath,
at 2 and 7 p. m.

Evangelical Association (German), corner of Broadway and Stutsman street, Rev. L. Scheurer, pastor. Services every Sabbath, at 10:30 a. m. and 7 p. m. Prayer meetings every Wednesday evening at 7 o'clock.

The Liberal Christians (Unitarian) have services every Sabbath, at 10:40 a. m. and 8 p. m., in Bloom's Hall. Rev. E. Fitzgerald, pastor.


The state of society at present is good, as good, at least, as one could expect in a city where there has been such an increase of population as in Council Bluffs during the past year. During the past winter all the churches had a good many join them. Each made an extra effort to spread the cause of Christ, it is true; but there seemed to be a turning to God. There is a good interest manifested to-day for the rebuilding up of the cause of Christianity. We not only see the fruits of past labors, but an earnest Christian spirit on the part of all to advance the common cause of our Lord and Master, as evinced by the unity of action in the union meetings we have had. The churches have religious meetings, such as prayer and conference meetings; meetings of a social character, called church sociables. But the Union Sunday school meetings, we think, are not to be overlooked by any means. They are doing much good as we already see. Under the present state of facts, as heretofore mentioned, are we not justified in saying that the state of society at present is good? May the agencies which are now employed still continue to act, until we shall see many more - yes, all - confess Christ, from the least unto the greatest, before that great and notable day of the Lord comes, when "the lion and the lamb shall lie down together, and a little child shall lead them." So may every heart and mind be prepared to enjoy that notable day of the coming of our Savior.


The Young Men's Christian Association was organized Sept. 1st, 1867, with about fifteen members. The present officers are as
Rev. George L. Little, President
W. J. Midler and J. B. Rue, Vice Presidents
Nathan P. Dodge, Treasurer
Richard Gray, Recording Secretary
F. B. Hart, Corresponding Secretary
Henry Delong, Librarian

The following are the directors:
J. W. Brooks, First Presbyterian Church
Rev. C. F. Tliickston, Baptist Church
E. S. Barnett, M. E. Church
C. F. Hendrie, Congregational Church
H. Townsend, Episcopal Church;
Otto Rail, German Evangelical Lutheran Church
W. H. Clausen, United Brethren Church.

The members now number about eighty. The association has not been organized a very long time for a city as large and as old, and whose citizens are as much interested in the spiritual welfare of the people as those of Council Blulfs. It is in a prosperous condition now, and we are glad to say that many of our young men are becoming more and more interested in what is not only for their personal good, but mutually beneficial to us all. We copy a portion of the circular issued by the association: "Free reading rooms, well supplied with newspapers and other periodicals, also, a library, have been opened over Townsend & Chapman's store, entrance on Pearl street.
All citizens and strangers are cordially invited to make these rooms their place of resort. Open daily from 8 a. m. to 10 p. m. Prayer meetings every Friday evening, and a mission Sunday school, Street's Addition, 9 a.m., Henry Delong, Superintendent. Meetings for business and social intercourse the first Monday of every month."


A. Armstrong, Superintendent

High School, north side Pierce street
A. Armstrong, Principal
Mrs. A. Armstrong, Assistant

Stutsman Street School, southwest corner of Stutsman and Pierce streets
George A. Marsey, Principal
Miss Louisa J. Jacobs, Miss Susan Brock, and Miss Agnes Forsyth, teachers

Pierce Street School, First Ward, North side Pierce street
Miss Evelyn Nichols, Principal

Washington Street School, Second Ward, north side of Washington avenue, head of Main street
Miss M. Maria Boyd, Principal
Miss Mary J. Thompson, teacher

Third Ward, no houses yet; buildings to be erected the coming season.

Willow Street School, Fourth Ward, corner of Willow and Marcy streets
A. Hart, Principal
Mrs. Mary Bristol, Miss Maggie Wierich, and Miss Mary S. Home, teachers

Court Street School, Fourth Ward; corner of Cherry and Court streets
J. A. Fletcher, Principal
Miss Emily Midler, teacher

German School, corner of Pierce street and Gleudale avenue
A. Ehrenstein, Principal

Young Ladies' Seminary, corner of Center and Ramsey streets
Rev. George L. Little, Principal

Select School
Rev. John Chamberlain, Principal


Bluff City Lodge No. 71, A. F. & A. M., was organized in 1855. It now numbers about fifty members. Regular communications,
the Saturday evening on or preceding the full moon of each month. Masonic Hall, corner of Main and Broadway. This Fraternity claims a large portion of the leading business men of the city as members.

The officers of Bluff City Lodge No. 71 are as follows:
H. C. Nutt, W. M.
L W. Morse, S. W.
J. W. Heck, J. W.
Wm. Groneweg, Treas
A. E.Steinmetz, Sec'y.

The following are the officers of Excelsior Lodge, No. 259:
G. W. Lininger, W. M.
B. F. Montgomery, S. W.
Jos. Lyman, J. W.
R. Gray, Treas.
B. Newman, Sec'y.

A new Lodge has lately been organized, called Excelsior Lodge, No. 259. It is rapidly growing, and numbers among its members some of our most active and enterprising citizens. Regular meetings on the first and third Monday evenings of each month, at Masonic Hall.


A chapter of Royal Arch Masons under this name has recently been started, and is now working under dispensation. There are a large number of Masons of this degree in the city, who are fast affiliating themselves with this chapter. G. W. Lininger is High Priest.


This society is composed of our most worthy and charitable business men and its benefit is felt in all quarters; its charities reach the homes of the widow and the orphan with decided relief. Council Bluffs Lodge No. 49 was organized in 1867. The following are the officers of Twin Brother Encampment, No. 42:
R. R. Kirkpatrick, C. P.
F. A. Burke, H. P.
A. H. Orr, S. W.
Jack Peregoy, Jun. W.
W. S. Bigg, Treasurer.

T. W. Smith, Senior Chieftain
James N. Burns, Past Senior Chieftain
Miss Julia Patton, Lady Chieftain
J. P. Bushnell, Senior Recorder
Dr. W. L. Patton, Treasurer
A. G. Fuller, Senior Guide
Miss Jennie Patton, Senior Sentinel
A. Steward, Junior Sentinel
Rev. C. C. Mabee, Spiritual Adviser
Henry Belong, Chapter Counselor

Meets at the lodge room of the Sparkling Water Lodge, at Bloom's Hall, on Thursday night.

I. O. G. T.

The Good Templars were organized in the winter of 1864. Although there were temperance organizations before, the cause has prospered most under the present charter. Many of the citizens joined the order last winter, and a good number are now uniting with them. The lodges are interesting, and an invitation is extended to any and all who wish to cast their influence for temperance to come and join them. There are some two hundred members on roll, and a good attendance.

The present officers of Border Lodge No. 117 are as follows:
George Carson, W. C. T.
H. Gray, W. R. H. S.
Miss S. Amy, W. L. H. S.
Miss Hattie Williams, W. V. T.
H. H. W. Rees, W. Sec'y
T. Clifford, P. W. C. T.
T. J. Overmire, W. F. S.
W. J. Buckman, W. T.
Warren Wicks, W. M.
Mary Newton, W. J. G.
J. D. Bolen, W. O. G.
Henry Delong, W. Chaplain
H. Gray, G. L. D.

Sparkling Water Lodge, No. 506, organized April 12th, 1869, meets every Monday evening at Bloom's Hall, east side of Pearl Street, between Broadway and Court street, at 8 o'clock p. m. in summer, and at 7:30 p. m. in winter.
Wm. H. Burns, W. C. T.
Miss Fannie Kellogg, W. V. T.
O. H. P. Shoemaker, W. S.
J. K. Morse, P. W. C. T.
John McPherson, W. T. S.
J. S. Keed, W. T.
Levi Douglass, W. M.
Rev. H. H. Lyman, W. C.
Miss Bella Gilbert, W. R. H. S.
Miss Georgie Grouse, W. L. H. S.
Miss Emma Burke, W. A. M.
A. W. Smith, W. L G.
Michael Good, W. O. G.
Jas. N. Burns, Grand Lodge Deputy


The Grand Army of the Republic was organized in the fall of 1866. It is an organization of soldiers - comrades mutually agreeing to assist the widows and orphans of our fallen soldiers, and as they have suffered for their country's good, saved it by spilling their most precious blood, they will still stand to preserve the Nation. The officers at present of the post here, No. 46, are as follows:

Chas. E. Provost, P. G.
J. Bosworth, S. V. C.
E. Brown, L V. C.
A. Midler, P. A.
D. B. Clark, Chaplain
Dr. Osborn, P. Surgeon
B. W. Hight, P. I. M.

Meet every Tuesday evening.


S. Clinton, President
Thomas Jelferis, Vice President
John S. Gray, Secretary
E. H. Ryan, Treasurer
J. Lyman, Assessor and Collector

This Board was organized for the mutual good of all. Seeing that it was necessary that Council Blulfs should be better known, they intend to advertise the advantages of our growing city. This movement is supported by all who feel interested in the prosperity of Council Bluffs.


Burhop's Hall, Upper Broadway. Organized August 3d, 1363.
John Bercsheim, First Speaker
Wm. Groneweg, Second Speaker
M. Flammant, First Turnwart
H. Benedict, Second Turnwart
H. Strausburg, Secretary
L. Kuhle, Treasurer


L. W. Ross, President
C. B. Jacquemin, Vice President
J. P. Casady, Treasurer
J. D. Edmundson, Recording Secretary
F. M. Streamer, Corresponding Secretary
D. C. Bloomer, W. H. Puscy, K. W. Davenport, S. J. Ilanna, Directors

The above association met with a severe loss by the burning of their library, but they hope to have another soon, so that all will soon be prosperous again.