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Towns and Ghost Towns

Throughout history there have been several towns and villages, both incorporated and unincorporated, in Boone County. Two townships in Boone County, Beaver and Cass, never had any towns or villages develop. Today there are ten incorporated towns in the county - Beaver, Berkley, Boone, Boxholm, Fraser, Luther, Madrid, Ogden, Pilot Mound and Sheldahl.

The town of Beaver was laid out June 30, 1879 and is located in Section 32, Township 84, Range 28. The town of Beaver drew considerable trade from neighboring Greene County. In 1914 it had two churches, two general stores, a barber shop, pool hall, three grain elevators and a population of about 100 people. In 2000, the population was 53 people.

Ericson was established in 1904 when the Newton and Northwest Railroad was built, running diagonally through Colfax Township. Located in the norwest corner of the township, Ericson became one of the stations on the line. It had a grain elevator, some corn cribs and a small grain office, however, that‚€™s all that became of the station at Ericson.

Hull was a post office in Section 19 from 1873-1875.

Napier was established in 1904 when the Newton and Northwest Railroad was built, running diagonally through Colfax Township. Located in the southeast corner, Napier, became one of the stations on the line. Napier was situated on the farm of James Judge and had a grain elevator, general store and a church. The station of Napier was the only village that developed in Colfax Township.

Des Moines
Boone was laid out by John I. Blair, March 4, 1865. The town site was orginally named Montana and was located in Sections 21 and 26. In 1872, the name was changed from Montana to Boone. In 1892 the town of Boonsboro was incorporated into the city of Boone. Boone is the county seat of Boone County and in 2000 had a population of 12,803 inhabitants.

Boone Station
Bonoe Station was the first post office at Montana and operated from 1866-1867. It was also the name of Montana for a very short time after it was incorporated.

The town of Boonsboro was laid out in the summer of 1851 and the plat is dated September 1, 1851. The original town was located in the northwest quarter of Section 29, Township 84, Range 26. By 1865 four additions had been added to Boonsboro. In 1892 the town of Boonsboro was incorporated into the city of Boone.

Booneville was the first post office in Des Moines Township. It was located in Section 33, Township 84, Range 26 and was established August 28, 1850. On November 29, 1851 the post office was moved to Boonsboro.

Montana was the original name given to the present city of Boone. It was known as Montana from 1865-1872, then the name was changed to Boone.

Fisher‚€™s Point
Fisher‚€™s Point was shown as another name for Mineral Ridge on maps in 1808 and 1869.

Fraser was the second town laid out in Dodge Township. It was platted on September 21, 1893 by the Fraser Coal Company. Fraser is situated in Section 34, Township 85, Range 27. Fraser was a mining town and a large amoutn of coal was shipped from the Fraser mines between 1894 and 1912. By 1900 the population was nearly 1,000. Ten years later, in 1910, the population had fallen to a little over four hundred. As of the Census of 2000, there were 137 people, 49 households, and 34 families residing in the town of Fraser.

Mineral Ridge
Mineral Ridge was the name given to a range of hills and bluffs, with elevations and peaks that rose high above the surrounding country. The early settlers could not get the needles of their compasses to work upon the ridge. They said there were deposits of iron beneath the ridge and so they named it Mineral Ridge. The name Mineral Ridge was also given to the post office that was located at the village of Ridgeport from 1854-1903. Mineral Ridge is also the name of the cemetery located near Ridgeport.

The village of Ridgeport was situated near the summit of the Mineral Ridge and was laid out in May, 1854, by John Ridpath and Absolom Kelley, located in Section 18, Township 85, Range 26. The village never grew substantially. It had one general store, one blacksmith and wood work shop, two churches and a number of good residences.

Belle Point
On November 27, 1849 a post office was established in the home of Jesse Hull, the third settler in Douglas Township. The area where the Hull family resided was up to that time called Hull‚€™s Point. Because Mr. Hull‚€™s wife, Elizabeth Hull was appointed postmistress, the government named the office Belle Point, in her honor. The post office was located here from 1850-1857.

Elk Rapids
The town of Elk Rapids was laid out in 1851 by Mr. Williams located on the east bank of the Des Moines River, in Section 34, Township 82, Range 26. It was the first town laid out in Boone County. Elk Rapids developed into a fair-sized pioneer village and in 1855 had three stores and dwellings for 150 people. A post office was established in 1850. By 1914, the town was only a memory. The Elk Rapids Cemetery was located in Section 34 near the village, however in 1975 the interrments were moved to Dalander Cemetery. The first burial in Douglas Township was in Elk Rapids Cemetery in 1847, the wife of Mr. Williams.

Hull‚€™s Point
Hull‚€™s Point was the original name for the area where the Hull family lived along a point of timber in Douglas Township. The area was later called Belle Point.

Madrid is located in Section 36, Township 82, Range 26 on which claim Mrs. Anna Dalander and her sons and daughters settled in September 1846. Madrid has on file four town plats. The first two were filed under the name of Swede Point, but between the dates of filing the second and third plats, Mrs. Anna Dalander died and Charles W. Gaston was appointed as administrator of her estate. When he had the third plat surveyed he changed the name from Swede Point to Madrid. The town was incorporated in 1883. Madrid had two lines on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway system. Madrid‚€™s economy was based on agriculture, however, coal mining was a major industry from 1910-1945. During that time many Italians and Croatians emigrated to Madrid to work in the mines. Madrid is the oldest continously inhabited Swedish settlement west of the Mississippi River. The population has grown from about 1,000 citizens in 1910 to about 2,500 in 2000.

Rapids was a post office located on the Des Moines River, about three miles northwest of Madrid, from 1851-1901.

Swede Point
Swede Point was the original name for the town of Madrid. It was platted in 1851 and a post office located there from 1857-1880. The name of the town was changed to Madrid in 1855.

Wheeler is shown on 1930 maps in Section 12 along the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad.

Garden was a post office located in Section 4 from 1875-1881.

Garden Grove
Garden Grove was a post office, located in the same location as the Garden post office, from 1873-1885.

Garden Prarie
Garden Prarie was a commonly used name in Garden Township. There was a Garden Prarie schoolhouse, Garden Pairie Church and Garden Prarie Cemetery.

Hat Grove
The first entry of land in Garden Township was made in December, 1848, by Jacob C. Overly, who entered nine hundred acres in Sections 22, 25 and 28, which included a body of timber known as Hat Grove. The farm built upon that place was known as the Hat Grove Farm and was inhabited by various parties who leased the property.

The town of Sheldahl extends over the county line and takes up a small piece of land in Garden Township. Portions of the small town of Sheldahl are also located in Palestine Township (Story County) and Lincoln Township (Polk County). Sheldahl was incorporated as a city on January 18, 1882. In the year 2000, the town had a population of 336.

Boxholm, the only town in Grant Township, was laid out April 21, 1900. It is located in Section 15, Township 85, Range 28. In 1914, Boxholm was on the Newton and Northwestern Railroad and had two general stores, two implement stores, two hardware stores, two garages, one drug store, one lumber yard, one blacksmith shop, two grain elevators and two banks. In the year 2000, the population of Boxholm was 215.

Bridgeport was shown on Parker‚€™s map of 1856 in the northwest corner of Grant Township.

Griffin was a post office located in Section 8 from 1897-1900.

Mackey was a small hamlet located in Section 16 and was first settled by Sebastian Mackey in 1856. In the late 1850s a schoolhouse was built and later a church.

Mackey‚€™s Grove
Mackey‚€™s Grove was a post office in Section 22 from 1871-1878. It was the original name the settlers gave to the settlement of Mackey.

Harmon‚€™s Switch
Harmon‚€™s Switch was the second name given to the current town of Jordan.

Jordan is an unincorporated town located on Section 32, Township 84, Range 25. The place was first called Midway, then Harmon‚€™s Switch, but was finally changed to Jordan. Jordan contained a station on the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, a post office, one store, blacksmith shop, grain elevator and a number of residences. In 1914 the population was about 100. As of 2000 the population was listed as 13.

Midway was the first name of the present town of Jordan.

Zenorville was situated on Section 12, Township 84, Range 25. In the 1870s it was discovered that there was a considerable quantity of coal deposited under the surface. In 1880 there were three mines in operation at Zenorville, the J. Clemens Mine, Hutchinson Brothers Mine and the Joseph York Mine. The village grew to a population of about 400 people. There was a store, post office from 1881-1900, blacksmith shop, meat market, one church and a schoolhouse. When mining operations ceased the houses were gradually sold and moved away. The Zenorville church and schoolhouse were moved to the west on the public highway. The land where Zenorville once stood is now cultivated and no trace is left of the village.

Coal Valley
Coal Valley was laid out in Section 2, Township 83, Range 27 by Amos Elliott in September 1867. It was intended to be a miner‚€™s town only and while the supply of coal lasted it was a place of considerable activity.

Marcy was the name of a post office located about three miles southwest of Moingona from 1863-1867.

The town of Moingona was a product of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad and of the coal mines in its immediate vicinity. It was laid out July 6, 1866, and a railway station was established there. The town was located on Section 12, Township 83, Range 27. During the coal mining days its population grew to about one thousand people. For a number of years Moingona was incorporated and maintained a city government. The town surrendered its charter as business declined.

Noah‚€™s Bottom
The first settler in Marcy Township was David Noah. He settled on the beautiful bottom in Section 36, Township 84, Range 27. This place was known as Noah‚€™s Bottom.

Quincy was the first town platted in Marcy Township. It was laid out by Jerome Gordon and Thomas Shaw, in Section 14, on November 2, 1854. The town failed to build up and only the Methodist Episcopal Church and a schoolhouse stood where the town of Quincy was once planned.

Prairie Hill
Prarie Hill was the first post office located in Peoples Township. It was established in 1867 and was located in Section 12. It continued operations until 1885.

Pilot Mound
Carson‚€™s Point
Carson‚€™s Point was a post office located in Section 9 from 1859-1863.

Casady‚€™s Corner
Casady‚€™s Corner was a post office located in Section 4 from 1865-1881.

Pilot Mound
The town of Pilot Mound was laid out on September 8, 1881. In 1914, Pilot Mound had two general stores, one drug store, two grain elevators, one lumber yard, one blacksmith shop and a bank. In the year 2000, the population of Pilot Mound was 215.

Wolf is shown on the maps in 1930 in Section 31 on the Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern Railroad line.

In 1885, Angus was the largest coal mining town in Iowa. It rose in a boom over five to six years and at its peak reached a population of more than five thousand inhabitants. In 1910 the municipal incorporation was abandoned and the buildings and homes moved to neighboring towns.

Berkley was the third town to be laid out in Union Township. It was laid out in 1883 and is situated on Section 4, Township 82, Range 28. In 1914 the town had a population of 150 and had a post office, two general stores, one implement store, a bank, a grain elevator, a blacksmith shop, one restaurant, church, schoolhouse and many residences. In 2000, the population of Berkley was 24.

Buffalo Grove
On Beaver Creek in Union Township there was a prominent little body of timber which was known from the earliest settlement as Buffalo Grove. In 1849, John D. Moore and his family settled on the edge of Buffalo Grove.

Coaltown was the original name for Angus.

About 1858, a town was laid out by Edward Vail and Calvin Brown, which they named Unionville, but they failed to make it materialize, and for this reason it has never appeared on any county maps.

Paducah was located in Section 34 and shown on maps in 1808 and 1809.

Grayson is shown on many maps, including the 1930 maps, it was located in Section 11 on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad.

A post office was established at Luther in 1884, however the town was not laid out until January 26, 1893. In 1914 there were three stores, one bank, a blacksmith and woodwork shop, livery barn, telephone office, practicing physician, two grain elevators, two churches, schoolhouse and a number of residences. In the year 2000, the population of Luther was 158.

Parkersburg was laid out in November 1852 by David Parker at the point of timber known as Pea‚€™s Point. Parkersburg never got a start at being a town. The old Boone County House, kept by David Parker, became one of the most prominent country hostelries ever kept in central Iowa. This country hotel was the only substantial establishment Parkersburg ever had.

Pea‚€™s Point
Pea‚€™s Point was the name given to the point of timber where John Pea and his family settled on May 26, 1846. It was located in Section 2, Township 83, Range 26. When the raid on the Lott family was made by the Sioux chief, Si-dom-i-na-do-tah, at the mouth of the Boone River, the settlement of Pea‚€™s Point was the nearest one to the scene of the historic event.

Badger Point
Badger Point is referred to as the place in Yell Township where the first election was held.

Centerville was laid out in 1855 by James Corbin and Henry Fisher. It was situated on the west bank of the Des Moines River in Section 12, Township 84, Range 26. A mill was in operation on the river when the town was laid out and it thought that this would help the town grow. After a few years Centerville grew large enough to have two stores and a blacksmith shop. The town only lasted about three years and about that same time the mill was washed away by the river. In 1914 only a few houses remained.

Daily City
The town of Daily City was laid out on July 26, 1855, by Jacob Daily. It was situated on Section 4, Township 84, Range 27, in Yell Township. Daily City never materialized, nor did it have a place upon any of the county maps.

Incline was situated on Section 23, Township 84, Range 27 along the Des Moines River. It was a coal mining village and a post office was located there from 1893-1900. There was a coal shaft which did good business in 1880, but was long abandoned by 1914. All the machinery was moved to other parts and in 1914 the only remains of the village of Incline was a large mound of cinders and the brick and stone contained in the foundations of the buildings that once stood there.

Logansport was located in Section 14, along the Des Moines River. It is shown on maps in 1905.

Ogden was laid out by John I. Blair and the plat was recorded on June 6, 1866 and is located on Sections 31 and 32, Township 84, Range 17. It was named in honor of W. B. Ogden, a distinguished railroad man and capitalist. It was incorporated in May 1878.

Riverside was located in Section 12 near the west bank of the Des Moines River. There was a post office there from 1857-1880.

Smith‚€™s Point
Smith‚€™s Point was located in Section 4 and is shown on maps from 1863-1869.

Yough was located in Section 21 and a post office was located there from 1861-1869.