ARCADIA AND ARCADIA TOWNSHIP
In the western part of Carroll County, two-and-a-half miles this side of the county line, on the Chicago and Northwestern Railway, lies the progressive and German little town of Arcadia, which was earlier called Tip-Top on account of its high elevation. It has about 500 residents, who are mostly German immigrants from the old Fatherland, or of German descent. It is a lively little town which, on account of its large and good businesses in all imaginable commercial goods, its good rates for grain, cattle and hogs, and its lumberyards, conducts quite a considerable business and economically dominates a large part of the surrounding territory. The business people of the town practice according to the concept that a quick sale with moderate prices is beneficial to both the buyer and the seller, and business and trade are conducted with this healthy notion, whereby the town itself strides forward and the population figures increase from year to year.
Three beautiful churches reach their steeples toward heaven, allowing their golden symbols of Christianity to shine forth over the nearby fields. In the southern part of town, surrounded by shade trees, is the Catholic Church. It is a strong parish to which about 150 families belong and gather each Sunday in the church to hear the word of God, attend the Mass, and be edified by prayer. The Rev. Father John Schulte, a worthy and devout pastor, is the spiritual leader of this good parish, and the faithful are quite attached to him. Just a few months ago, his residence was suitably enlarged, so that the Rev. Father now has a beautiful parsonage located next to the church. The best attention has also been given to a parochial school, so that a spacious schoolhouse, with large rooms for the various classes, is located nearby. It is very capably administered by three respected Franciscan Sisters. On a hill in the northern part of town, lies the German Evangelical Lutheran Church. It is a very beautiful house of worship, which bears witness to the devoted and Christian mind of the parish. This parish is administered to the satisfaction of its members by Pastor August Berner, an energetic young gentleman. There is also a German Presbyterian parish in Arcadia which has its own church. Until recently, this parish was led by Pastor Fred. Heilert, but for a time it has been a mission church administered by Pastor Huendling of Wheatland Township, who comes every 14 days and conducts religious services in the pretty and charming church.
The little town of Arcadia was incorporated in 1881, and the following men were the first involved in conducting municipal business: D. J. McDougall, mayor; T. A. Charles, clerk; D. H. Mohr, treasurer; E. H. Agnen [sp?], marshal; F. B. H. Koepke, Jos. W. Moore, John M. Lock, [Mr.] Bell and [Mr.] Frost, town councilmen. The present city officials are: Geo. E. Hoch, mayor; E. E. Mohr, clerk; J. B. H. Feenstra, Jr., treasurer; H. H. Kruse, marshal; Frank Hagen, Dr. Feenstra, Grd. Berger, Jacob Kleespies, Jos. Noethe, and Detlef Hagge, Jr., town councilmen. On 19 January 1893, a gathering of 14 German citizens of Arcadia formed the “Deutsche Verein” [German Club]. The first officers of the club were: D. H. Mohr, president; Detlef Hagge, Jr., secretary; Heinr. Kuhle [possibly Kuehl], treasurer; Heinrich Olberding, Fritz Martin and Hans Boock, board of directors. The club grew slowly but steadily in membership, and today it counts 44 active members. The new hall, which the young club built, is a credit to the town and the pride of the club. The present officers of the club are: Wm. Bargfrede, president; Detlef Hagge, Jr., secretary; Peter Morthorst [or Mordhorst], O. D. Storejohan [possibly spelled Stayohann or Storjohann], and John Peters, board of directors.
Regarding the business occupations, there are four notable general merchandise stores in Arcadia; the substantial business of Mr. D. H. Mohr, who also conducts a successful implement business; then the business of Mr. Ed. Rehker, who also has a successful creamery; Mr. H. F. N. Radden, who in addition to his brisk trade in groceries also conducts a successful shoe business; and the respected [business of] Rottler [or Rattler] and Pruter. There is also a hotel in Arcadia run by Geo. Reiff, a restaurant run by F. D. Bohr, in addition to his barbershop, the harness-maker’s shop run by John Terlisener [or Terlisner], the butcher shop of Geo. Reif, the blacksmith shop and wagon works of John Erdmann, and the blacksmith shop of John Fischer. In addition, there are two doctors and pharmacists. Arcadia also boasts an independent district school with three classes; two lumber and coal dealers, namely the D. Joyce business managed by Mr. Frank Hagen, and the C. Erp business which also includes a grain [or produce] business. But the description of the town would not be complete if we did not mention the friendly innkeepers [or tavern owners] who conduct business in the finest manner and enjoy good success. There is Mr. Engelbert Hagen, a very friendly South-German, who always keeps an excellent brew on tap. Then there is Mr. John D. Arps, who, in addition to his successful tavern, also conducts a wholesale trade in the excellent Davenport Beer.
[The next few pages consist of local biographies, and then the article concludes with the following paragraph.]
And so here we bring an end to the description of Arcadia Township, the most beautiful township of Carroll County, and its good residents, and include a short overview so that this lovely little spot of earth may always have a place in the history of Carroll County. It is among the most beautiful spots in Carroll County, situated at a high elevation. The township boasts softly rolling land of the most productive earth to be found far and wide. In spring, when everything sprouts and shoots forth, it is a happiness and a joy to visit Arcadia Township. The residents are mainly honest Germans who have preserved the good German ways and customs and are proud of their origins. May the good farmers of Arcadia Township also hold fast to them in the future, and increase their welfare in health and happiness.
NOTES: Arcadia was originally laid out by Mr. Isaac Newton Voris in 1872. In addition to “Tip-Top,” it was once also known as “East Side.”