Early Reminiscences, Personal Incidents and Anecdotes,
And A Complete Business Directory Of The County
By Samuel D. Chapman 1879
Contributed by Patty Delmott and Transcribed by Cyndi Vertrees
This town is situated in the northern part of Perry township, on the south half of section ten and surrounded by a country which in fertility of soil is not surpassed in the State of Iowa. The whole country for many miles around is dotted over with some of the finest and best improved farms in the County. The place was laid out on the Pacific branch of the Burlington Cedar Rapids & Northern Railroad, in the year 1873, at which time the extension reached this point, and being for a considerable length of time the terminus of the road the place was soon established, on land owned by Giles Taylor, and J. L. Bull.
On the 27th day of July, 1873, the iron horse first made its appearance in the place. To-day it has a population of nearly two thousand inhabitants. The same year J. R. Smith of Tama City, came to the place and opened a lumber yard, and built the first building on the town plat. Shortly after A. M. Batchelder and J. G. Strong erected a store building the new town was vigorously pursued. The music of the saw and hammer was heard on every hand. During that season a large number of buildings were erected and population increased so rapidly that hotel accommodations in many cases could not be secured and people were compelled to resort to barns, store rooms etc., for lodging.
The town is laid out with streets running east and west, north and south, and stands upon the south bank of Wolf Creek, in a natural growth of timber. In the south eastern portion of the city is found one of the nicest parks in the State, which is used by the citizens fo gatherings of all kinds, and a summer resort. This park is surrounded by a neat board fence, with a heavy growth of elm, oak and maple trees, making it beautiful and attractive. In 1875 the place grew so rapidly that it became necessary to incorporate it as acity. Accordingly, meetings and an election were held for the purpose of choosing officers, which were as follows: Mayor, Giles Taylor; Recorder, W. H. Bowen; Trustees, J. Morrison, T. H. Greelis, a. Mitchell, J. R. Smith, A. M. Batchelder, and L. Ladd. A few days afterwards the Board met and adopted such ordinances as were thought for the best interest of the place.
With reference to public schools the citizens have always taken a special pride and not without cause. From the report of the Superintendent of Schools of that place we gather the information that they are in a very flourishing condition, the general average in deportment, attendance and study being better than in any of the schools with which we are acquainted. The graded system was adopted on the completion of the new building in 1877, and has worked to the satisfaction of every one. The following named gentlemen-compose the present Board of School Directors: E. D. Langley, W. W. Wilson, C. G. Johson, G. W. McClary, C. A. Chow.
There are four religious denominations having organizations in this place, viz., United Presbyterian Church, on Walnut and Forth Streets; Congregationalists, Walnut Street; Methodist Episcopal Church, Walnut and Main Streets, and the Advents. All have good comfortable church edifices.
A better class of dwelling houses are shown in this town that in many of its size in the State.