IAGenWeb Project

Shelby County


1889 History Index

Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon Counties
History of Shelby County, Iowa




Silestia Lodge, No. 371, A. F. & A. M., at Shelby, Iowa, was organized in 1876, with a charter membership of ten persons.

The first to serve as officers of their lodge were: S. B. Frum, W. M.; A. O. Snyder, S. W.; Silas Davis, J. W.; John Edwards, Treasurer; J. H. Shively, Secretary; J. N. Frum, S. D.; George Tate, J. D.

The first to be made a Master Mason at this point was J. D. Cochran. The present membership is fifty-six. The present officers are: S. B. Frum, W. M.; John Davis, S. W.; W. D. Buckley, J. W.; C. R. Benedict, Treasurer; G. H. Runk, Secretary; J. H. Frum, S. D.; S. C. Eschelman, J. D.; Silas Davis, Tyler. The present condition of the lodge is excellent in all of its workings.

The Odd Fellows Canopy Lodge, No. 401, of Shelby, Iowa, was organized October 21, 1880. The highest number of members up to this date (1888) has been 120. The first officers were: W. F. Howard, N. G.; J. G. Walters, V. G.; John A. Cook, Secretary; D. H. Boget, Treasurer.

Those holding official places in 1888 were: B. L. Watson, N. G.; A. F. Meier, V. G.; W. F. Christopher, Treasurer, and W. H. Helm, Secretary. The order is active and has a good many of Shelby's best business men among its members. The lodge room, situated over Christopher's harness shop, is well furnished and kept, ranking with any town of its size in Iowa.

Rebecca Degree, I. O. O. F., was instituted October 1, 1886. The charter officers of the society were: John Burwell, N. G.; Mrs. J. H. Helm, V. G.; Mrs. A. Jones, Secretary; Mrs. B. Watson, Treasurer.

The present officers (1888) are: Mrs. A. Jones, N. G.; Benjamin Watson, V. G.; John Burwell, Secretary; M. F. Myers, Treasurer. This order has a membership of forty persons, and is in a flourishing condition.

The Good Templars Lodge, No. 230, of Shelby, Iowa, was instituted August 1, 1887. The first officers were: J. H. Helm, W. C.; Mrs. J. P. McEwen, Vice; Ed Abbott, Secretary; Mrs. J. H. Helm, Treasurer. At one time this society numbered seventy members, but at present only enjoys about thirty-five, in good standing. The present officers are: Will Osborn, W. C.; Mrs. J. H. Helm, Vice; Mrs. A. Curry, Secretary; Mrs. J. P. McEwen, Treasurer.

The Iowa Legion of Honor, Shelby Lodge, No. 10, was instituted August 4, 1881, by J. H. Helm, who lives at Shelby, and is acting as general agent for the Legions of Honor for Iowa, having served in such capacity for four years. The first officers were: W. F. Cleveland, President; Thomas Chatburn, Vice; George H. Rink, Secretary; J. D. Caughan, Treasurer. The officers now holding are: S. P. Silliman, President; H. W. Helm, Secretary, and N. Jasper Jones, Treasurer.

Dick Yates Post, Grand Army of the Republic, No. 364, Shelby, Iowa, was mustered October 1, 1884. The charter members were: S. W. Taylor, Commander; D. C. Cooper, Vice-Commander; William H. Brown, Jr. Vice-Commander; L. W. Osborn, Quartermaster; Ortho Means, Chaplain; F. M. Keeney, Adjutant; W. A. Babb, Officer of the Day; Thomas Brown, Officer of the Guard. The remainder of the charter members were: T. C. Hendricks, George W. Cennedy, J. S. Dee, M. H. Skinner, F. S. Hubbard, C. H. Best, J. D. Cunningham, E. C. Anderson, James Hawkins, J. K. Smith.

At one time the post numbered forty nine, but at present is forty-four. They meet at the Odd Fellows Hall. A drum corps, most of whom belong to this post, are of much service to the order.

The officers of 1888 are: W. H. Brown, Commander; Thomas Brown, Senior Vice-Commander; C. H. Best, Junior Vice-Commander; F. M. Keeney, Adjutant; Dr. L. Benham, Surgeon; Otho Means, Chaplain; J. L. Buckley, Quartermaster; M. T. Keeney, Officer of the Day; F. S. Hubbard, Officer of the Guard; J. V. Watson, Sergeant-Major; J. S. Dee, Quartermaster-Sergeant.


The postoffice at Shelby was established in 1869, with J. W. Campbell as first postmaster; he was succeeded by James Garmong, H. Harrod, J. H. Shively, who served eight years under Presidents Grant and Hayes. The present incumbent is I. D. Prouty. The first money order issued from Shelby post-office was dated October 1, 1877, by Luther Doty, for the sum of $3.30, payable at Iowa City, Iowa. Up to November 1, 1888, there had been issued 11,384 postal money orders.


Shelby is located in the midst of one of the richest farming sections of Iowa, and enjoys an excellent trade, and is one of the best of markets for grain, corn and live stock. The business interests of the place in 1888 were in the hands of live, energetic men, as follows:

Abbott & cooper,grain dealers.
Bank of Shelby.  
Benedict, C. R.,loans.
Benham, L.,physician.
Benham, L. A.,proprietor Shelby House.
Blotcky Bros., (Joseph and Solomon),general store.
Boune & Morton,furniture.
Boyden, C. H.,pumps and windmills.
Burwell, John,painter.
Bushfield, Mrs. T. M.,dressmaker.
Carline & Buckley,contractors.
Central House,M. Graham, proprietor.
Christopher, W. F.,harness-maker.
Cooper, D. C. & Co.,hardware.
Cox, H.,carpenter.
Davis & Co.,druggists.
Davison, Thomas,carpenter.
Dee, J. S.,live stock.
Dow, J. & Co.,grain elevator.
Esty, John F.,painter.
Fancher, C. H.,attorney.
Fancher, Mrs. C. H.,music teacher.
Foster, H. C.,photographer.
Gabriel, Rees & Co.,lumber.
Garmong, W. P.,hardware.
Heilig, Enoch,blacksmith.
Helm, J. H.,life insurance.
Hills, Ward H.,general store.
Jones, N. Jasper,physician and surgeon.
Keeney, F. M.,live stock.
Kostelecky, Charles,livery.
Loomis, J. F.,farm machinery.
Ludden, A.,apiarist, and boots and shoes.
McCombs, Z. H.,blacksmith.
McCown,W. M.,justice of the peace.
McDonald, Miss M. L.,milliner.
Means, O.,insurance.
Meier, Ferdinand,restaurant.
Mickey, T. C.,blacksmith.
Miller, F. A.,live stock.
Moore, L. L.,barber.
Morgan, J.,meat market.
Penn, C. W.,livery.
Pickett, A. J.,mason.
Pomeroy, John,Publisher News.
Pomeroy & Pierce,general dealers.
Reed, H. D.,station agent C. R. & P. Ry.
Shelby Roller Mills,J. Wolkey, proprietor.
Sieffert & Wiese,lumber dealers.
Sievers, H.,wagonmaker.
Smiley, J.,physician.
Sunier, Emil,baker.
Ward, F.,dentist.
Ward & Campbell,drugs.
Watters, P. K.,live-stock.
Wiese, P.,general store.
Winters & Morgan,live-stock.
Worth, F. A.,grocer.

The milling interests of the place are in the hands of the proprietor of the Shelby Roller Mills, which is one of the two mills located within Shelby County. Its history dates back to 1878, when J. W. Chatburn, the pioneer miller of southwestern Iowa, came to Shelby and built a burr flouring mill operated by steam-power. It was a large mill, and was completed in February, 1879. In January, 1884, he sold to J. Wolky, who remodeled the plant, and converted it into what is known as a combination mill, having two runs of burrs and five sets of rollers, giving a capacity of seventy-five barrels per day. He managed it in all about three years, and sold to the present owners, Fred. Craigg, John Lenhard and C. H. Fancher. The original mill cost Mr. Chatburn $16,000.

Previous <=== Continue Reading ===> Next

Transcribed by Cheryl Siebrass, August, 2015 from "Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon Counties", Chicago: W. S. Dunbar & Co., 1889, pg. 274-276.

Site Terms, Conditions & Disclaimer