Another IAGenWeb Project
EARLY WESTERN TOWNS AND THEIR CHARACTER
In the early settlement of the Great West every state had its quota of land speculators, whose principal object seems to have been the laying out of towns, with out the slightest regard to the geographical importance of the site or its possible future commercial advantages. The great aim of these speculators was to sell lots to new immigrants.
An early Iowa writer (Haskins Taylor), in the "Annals of Iowa says:
Quote: "Everybody we met had a town plot, and every man that had a town had a map of the county marked to suit his town as the county seat".
Many of these Iowa towns were advertised throughout the East in a manner that did not reflect much credit upon the veracity of the advertisers. The proprietors of some of these towns along the Des Moines River, sent out circulars showing a picture of the town, with a row of three-story or four-story buildings along the river front, large side-wheel steamers lying at the landing, etc.; when the truth of the matter was that only occasionally a steamer of very light draft draft was able to navigate the Des Moines and the town consisted perhaps, of half a dozen small cabins. A few Iowa towns, by some fortunate circumstance, such as the location of the county seat, the development of a water power or building of a railroad, have grown into considerable commercial centers. Others have continued to exist, but have never grown beyond the importance of a neighborhood trading point, a small railroad station, or a post office for a moderate sized district. And some have disappeared from the map altogether.
Ref: History of Chickasaw and Howard Counties, (1919) Vol. 1, Part One, Chapter 5, Pages Edited and Transcribed by Lookup Person, Leonard Granger