Carroll County IAGenWeb


A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement



Transcribed and donated by Marilyn Setzler.




Manning, the second largest town in Carroll county, was laid out after the Iowa Southwestern was built, in 1880. Its location was contingent upon the findings of surveyors, who had charge of the lines of the Iowa Southwestern, and also the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroads. It is known that the North Western people at first expected to start the Audubon branch from the line between Carroll and Harlan, at a point on section 31, Warren township. But it was found impractical on account of the topography of the land and heavy grades which would have to be encountered. The most practical line was found to be on section 16, Warren township, and the location of the junction was finally made at this place. But the location of the town was also affected by the line of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul, which was constructed in the next year. On account of the hills to the south it was necessary for the engineers of the Milwaukee road to veer to the north, and' the most feasible place for their station, all things considered, was where the Audubon branch left the Carroll and Harlan line. At the junction of the three roads the new town was located.

O. H. Manning, of Carroll, who was local representative of the Western Town Lot Company, a subsidiary organization of the railroad company, bought the land on which the town now stands and proceeded to divide it into town lots. The name of Manning was adopted in honor of the Carroll attorney who had been active in the projection of the road and helpful in carrying out the working details.

Had the North Western built the Audubon branch from section 31, it is a question where the town would have been located, when the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul came along the next year.

It was in 1881 that the town was laid out, though it was not incorporated until the next spring, May, 1882. The first organized town government consisted of: Mayor, I. W. Callimore; recorder, G. C. Hunt; councilmen, J. M. Turner, N. F. Spear, P. M. Emery, L. Hoffman, J. L. McQuaid, R. F. Tidd; assessor, Byron E. Whalen; marshal. H. Chapman and treasurer, O. E. Dutton. The first postmaster was Seth Smith and the first law firm, Doty, Hughes & Salinger.

The first bank was that of O. B. Button & Son. This bank was the antecedent of the First National bank, which was organized with D. W. Sutherland, as president and O. E. Dutton, as cashier.

The first physicians in the town were R. R. Williams, still in the practice, and T. S. McKenna, who died in 1908.

The Monitor was the first newspaper started in Manning, by S. L. Wilson, in 1882. An account of it may be found in the history of the newspapers of the county.

The first school in Manning was opened in the fall of 1881 with Benjamin L Salinger as teacher. An extract from the Monitor of December 29, 1881, says: "The school has been in operation for one month past under the tuition of Mr. B. L Salinger and the numbers are about ninety pupils. The school will be divided after the holidays and the primary department put into the hands of Mrs. Winter." B. L Salinger remained in charge of the school for two years.

The population of Manning in 1890 was 1,133; in 1900, 1,169; and in 1910, 1,434.


The original town of Coon Rapids was, next to Carrollton, the first town in the county. It was not known by that name, but there was a sort of frontier outpost at that point, on the route from Des Moines, Panora, Sioux City and points farther northwest. The land was first taken up by one O. J. Niles, a peculiar character, who attracted the attention of the early pioneers. He was elected justice of the peace and was an important individual in the transaction of business for his neighbors. In 1861, he sold a few acres of his land to a man by the name of Winfred who started to improve the mill site, on Middle Coon. In time efforts were made to establish a post-office and there seems to have been some trouble about the choice of a name. "Fairview" would duplicate a name already in use, and there were objections to Niles Grove, Ribbleton and others. But it is said that Jacob Cretsinger suggested the name of Coon Rapids, which was accepted by the post-office department. William Minnich is given credit for laying out the town, finally, but it is known that its progress was hindered by the breaking out of the war which took the boys to the front. But the old town did not prosper, and when the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad built through, in 1882, there were but few families there. The Western Town Lot Company then laid out the new town, alongside of the railroad, a mile or so west from the old site, and newcomers were numerous and the town grew rapidly. In 1885, the population was 729 and in 1910, it was 1,084. It was incorporated in 1882 with J. H. Louthan as mayor.

The town that grew up has remained a good business point to this day. It has more than its quota of churches, good schools and prosperous business houses. Its electric light plant is in the best of financial condition and it has modern and up-to-date business houses. Its citizens are full of enterprise and keep pace with advancing improvements in every direction.


Glidden was for a long time the most important point on the railroad in Carroll county. When the North Western was built in 1867 there were settlements to the north and the south of Glidden. It was the place where people came to take the train for both east and west. A large and growing settlement flourished on the North Coon, from the bend north of Scranton clear up into Sac county; and on the south from Carrollton, down to Panora, west, toward where Audubon now stands, and still further south, there were many settlers. These people came to Glidden to take the trains on the North Western and the town was regarded as one of the most promising points on the new railroad. It was named in honor of one of the directors of the new railroad and the company took a deep interest in its welfare. The first railroad agent was Lester G. Bangs, now a resident of Carroll. He and his helpful wife were active in their assistance to build up the new town and giving it an added impetus along the lines of culture and moral thrift that have never been permitted to abate. Of the first settlers of Glidden, only two are known to survive, Lester G. Bangs and William E. Potter. However, the name of Robert Dickson, living not far from town, is closely interwoven with the history of that period. He still survives and is enjoying a serene old age on his farm not far from town.

The first building, after the erection of the station house, was a store put up by A. B. Wattles. Martin L. Peters built a hotel about this time, but all the original houses of the town have been swept away by fires that have occurred within the last twenty-five years. The town was incorporated in 1872, though the post-office was established as early as 1868. A. B. Wattles was the first postmaster. His successors have been: F. M. Harding, D. R. Browning, L. M. Lyons, W. E. Foster, Thomas Rich, J. M. Campbell, M. M. Vonstein, W. R. Orchard and J. C. Scott. Glidden has four churches: the Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran and Church of God. It has two good public school buildings, two banks, a strong newspaper, and a good system of waterworks and electric lighting. The census of 1910 gave it 850 population.


When the North Western road was extended west, in 1867, it established a switch station about a mile east of Arcadia, calling it East Side. A station was located on what afterwards became Arcadia, but was called by the North Western, Tip Top. The name was significant for the reason that the watershed, dividing the waters that flow toward the Mississippi valley from those that reach to Missouri valley on the west, passed north and south at that point. The dividing line runs through Arcadia, and one may stand there and see the parting of the way, and incipient streams start in their course toward the east, or toward the west to become part of the Boyer, thence the Missouri and ultimately to meet again where the border rivers unite many miles to the southeast. Hence the railroad people used the names of East Side, Tip Top, and Westside.

The advent of a number of enterprising people from New York and New England along about 1870 brought about a change in pioneer conditions about Tip Top. L N. Voris, who bought the land in and about the station on the divide, laid out a town, which he called Arcadia. Old neighbors say that he was struck with the beauty of the location. When he laid out the town, in 1872, he induced the railroad company to change the name of the station to Arcadia. The side track of East Side was soon abandoned and Arcadia became one of the attractive towns of the county. In 1880 its population was 426; in 1890, 463; in 1900, 405; and in 1910, 390.

Among the pioneers of Arcadia are to be noticed the families of George E. Russell, I. N. Voris, D. J. McDougal, E. L. Dexter, H. Carpenter, C. A. Daniel and R. H. Winter.

Henry Carpenter opened the first store in the town; a Mr. Freelove was the first hotel keeper ; D. J. McDougal, the first grain and stock dealer; I. N. Voris, the first postmaster; Lampman Brothers, S. W. and L. J., opened the second store.

The town was incorporated in 1880, with D. J. McDougal the first mayor. While it has not increased in population, the town has always been a good trading point and the business firms have been substantial and prosperous.

When the North Western built its second track, in 1901, the roadbed was straightened from West Side east and the track through the town was abandoned. This threw the station one-half mile south of its former location, and Arcadia is now just that far from the railroad.

The New Englanders who composed the first community of that village on top of the divide in the course of years gave way to the influx of settlers of sturdy German stock, who have settled the country round about. Of all the first settlers of forty years ago only one family, that of G. E. Russell, of Carroll, now remains in the county. Mrs. Dexter resides in Princeton, Illinois, and the others have joined the silent majority, and their descendants, like the communities that disappeared from Arcadia in the story of Evangeline, have lost their identity in the multitudes that people the different states of the Union.


The town of Halbur, because of a controversy calling forth a letter from Hon. O. H. Manning, deserves more than mere mention. In a local write-up in the Carroll Times of October 10, 1907, the historian says:

"Halbur was named after Anton Halbur, whose farm was crossed by the Iowa Southwestern in 1881-2. In the latter year Halbur was located and platted on the north half of the northwest quarter of section 18-33-35, part being the Halbur farm. Stories current at that time and still believed, as it is claimed, resting on good foundation aver, that the locating of the original town, on the abruptly sloping hill was part of an agreement. The story of this in effect charges O. H. Manning, then local attorney at Carroll, of the Southwestern railroad with the deliberate intent to render the future of the town a ridiculous impossibility on account of the uncompromising territory. If that was the intent, said to have been in line with a design, to make his own namesake. Manning, the town of importance of the territory, and at the same time favor Carroll, he had reckoned without the class of people or territory included in that station's scope. They raised the grain and stock there and from the start it was a great shipping point."

Contending aforementioned version follows a letter from Hon. O. H. Manning:

"Editor, Carroll Times,

"Sir: On October 10, 1907, you published an article on Halbur's history, entitled, Halbur's History Briefly Told. 'In it you say: Halbur was located and platted on the Halbur farm. Stories current at that time, and still believed, as it is claimed, resting on good foundation, aver, that the original town on the abruptly sloping hill was part of an agreement. The story of this in effect charges O. H. Manning, then the local attorney at Carroll, of the Southwestern Railroad, with the deliberate intent to render the future of the town a ridiculous impossibility, on account of the uncompromising territory. If that was the intent, said to have been in line with a design, to make his own namesake. Manning, the town of importance of the territory, and at the same time favor Carroll, etc., etc' I am the O. H. Manning referred to by the Halbur historian, who writes this silly story into a sober history of the vigorous, growing town of Halbur.

"The town site and station of Halbur were located on the Anton Halbur farm because that farm was exactly midway between Carroll, the first station on the Iowa Southwestern line and Manning, the third station, and no other farm or tract of land on earth was. If the Audubon branch line had left the main line of the Iowa Southwestern in the southwest corner section of Carroll county, as at first proposed, about three miles southwest of where the town of Manning now stands, then the station between Carroll and that junction point would have been placed one and one-half miles further along the line and in Washington township. But the grades to get over the divides to Audubon from that point were too heavy. Nature had so ordered it that the natural location for the Audubon branch lines would be found only if the line left the main line where Manning now stands. The railroad engineers found a better grade for the construction and operation of the Audubon line, by leaving the main line where it now does than they could find by leaving it at any other point. When this was ascertained, the location of the station and town site of Manning was inevitable, as its present location. When the site for Manning was fixed it was only a question as to what tract of land on the line between Carroll and Manning was equally from both, and midway between. The surveyors claimed, and engineers maps showed this tract to be the Anton Halbur farm. There was no other place to locate the town and station except on the Halbur farm without moving it away from its logical and natural location.

"The people of Hillsdale wanted the location on the other side of Brushy Fork, and nearer them, and the people of Washington township wanted it in their township. The controlling factor was to place the station exactly midway between Carroll and Manning, thus giving it the fullest possible control of the trade of the territory contributary to it and best accommodating the people of that territory. As to the town site being 'located on an abruptly sloping hill' to kill off its prospects in advance, this is silly. The site is ideal. Carroll county has no land so abruptly sloping or mountainous for a good town site within all her borders. Rome was built on seven hills, each one more 'abruptly sloping' than Halbur's hill, and Rome became the capital of the world and the seat of the Holy See.

"Orlando H. Manning,

"New York, December 4, 1907."


The town of Ralston, population 175, is located on the North Western just near the Greene county line. For many years Slater Siding, just west of the town site, was used by the railroad for a passing track, storage facilities and similar purposes, but, in 1891, a station was established and named in honor of an officer of the American Express Company, then residing at Omaha. The first agent was H. S. Olds, who was transferred from Manning. H. H. Lester was the first merchant. He went there from Carrollton and put up a frame building in a cornfield. He had some difficulty in getting the post office established, but in time was successful, and was appointed postmaster. Ralston was incorporated as a town in 1900.


Lanesboro, population in 1910, 268, was laid out in 1901, when the Mason City and Fort Dodge Railroad, now the Chicago Great Western, was built through the county. It was named in honor of Julius Lane, one of the early settlers of that vicinity. The first postmaster was Charles H. Peters, who came from Carroll and opened a hardware store.


Lidderdale is the first station on the Chicago Great Western, northeast of Carroll. It was laid out on the farm of John Sievers, and named after Lord Lidderdale, one of the English stockholders of the company. The first postmaster was E. L. Tuttle, who was also the first man to open a general store in the town. It is incorporated and has a population of 85.


Dedham was settled when the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul road was built through the southern part of the county in 1881. It is the center of a good farming community and has been one of the substantial towns of that section of the county.


Templeton is one of the prosperous towns on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul. It is situated in one of the most fertile farming districts in the state, land adjacent always commanding as high a price as any in western Iowa.


Breda was laid out when the Maple River branch of the Chicago & North Western was built in 1877. It is situated mostly in Wheatland township, though a portion of it lies in Kniest township. The first business house, a grocery store, was started by Arts & Manemann, of Carroll. The senior member was William Arts, the veteran business man and banker. He also established an office which he used for some years as a grain buyer. In time Arts & Manemann sold their store to Fitch & Wade. But the first stock of general merchandise was put in by Clemens Bruning, who continued for many a year to be a prominent business man of the town. Breda has always been prosperous and is now one of the pretty little towns of this part of the state. It has a newspaper, owned and edited by Saul & Conley. The Breda Savings Bank, Frank Van Edrdewyk, cashier, is one of the most substantial banks to be found in any small town in the state. All lines of business are represented in a creditable manner, and the town of Breda is regarded as one of the desirable places to live in. Its Catholic church is one of the finest edifices of the kind in this diocese.


The old county seat at one time reverted almost back to its primitive loneliness. A few of the families that located there in the '50s and early '60s remained, but they served only as reminders of days gone by. Town lots were deserted and in the process of time became part and parcel of adjacent farms. The installation of rural mail delivery rendered the post-office unnecessary and the old county seat lost its identity on the map. Mail was supplied through the post-offices at Carroll, Glidden and Dedham, and in a sense the name lost all but its historical significance. Latterly, however, the consolidation of four sub-districts in adjoining territory has brought new life to the locality and the experiment of school consolidation has shown encouraging results at Carrollton.


At the time rural delivery was established, about 1902, there were post-offices in little inland towns that were considered good business points. Mount Carmel, one of the first inland towns in the county, had been a post-office since the settlement of Kniest township. But, while the post-office was discontinued, the business of the place was not affected. There Berger & Julich have continued to run their store of general merchandise and here one of the finest Catholic churches in the county is located. Hillsdale, or Roselle, lost its post-office at the time, but it continued to do business without interruption. The same may be said of the town of Willey, in Pleasant Valley township. B. Greteman, who was postmaster, continued to run one of the largest general merchandise stores in the county. At Kentner, in Sheridan township, the discontinuance of the post-office and the starting of the town of Lidderdale, put the town out of existence, and nothing remains to mark the place where once there were stores, a blacksmith shop and other indications of a town. Maple River has never been incorporated, though it has been a fair business point. At one time it had ambitions, as many thought that the Chicago & North Western road would have a freight division at that point, where the Maple River branch joined the main line. But it was too near to Carroll to justify the railroad in making any change. Benan, near the Kimball bridge on the Coon, northeast of Glidden, is another post-office gone out of existence and is now supplied by the rural mail delivery. The post-office and store kept by Benan Salisbury was at one time a popular resort for the people of the neighborhood, but with the establishment of rural delivery and the opening of a post-office and town at Lanesboro Benan went the way of the rest, and disappeared.

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