IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Table of Contents

History of Clayton County, Iowa
Chapter XXXV

Mendon Township

North McGregor
West McGregor

Mendon Township
(page 937)

Mendon Township is the northeastern one of the county, and is situated in townships 94 and 95, range 3 west.  It contains in all twenty-eight whole sections and seven fractional sections.  The surface generally is very rough, but there is much good soil in the township, and the land is cultivated successfully by many prosperous farmers.  The soil is watered by Bloody Run and other small tributaries of the Mississippi.

The history of Mendon Township is almost entirely embraced in the history of the city of

(page 937-962)

McGregor was laid off on parts of sections 17, 21 and 22, township 95 north, range 3 west, by John M. Gay, Surveyor, July 24, 1846, on land belonging to James McGregor and Duncan McGregor, and the survey was filed for record July 24, 1850.  West McGregor was surveyed upon the northeast quarter of section 28, township 95 north, range 3 west, by Sanford L. Peck, Surveyor, on land belonging to Rueben Noble, Harriet C. Noble and John Linton.  The survey was filed for record July 25, 1857.  Additions to McGregor have been made by Jones and Bass, Orlando McCraney, James McGregor, McGregor Land Company, Bigelow & McLaughlin, Duncan McGregor, George D. Gardner, Ann G. McGregor, Giard Land Company, L.L. Johnson, Willis Drummond and Gregor McGregor.

In 1836 Alexander McGregor, then living at Prairie du Chien, established a ferry from the latter place to this point, which in consequence became known as McGregor's Landing.  In 1840 the United States Government commenced the building of Fort Atkinson, on Turkey River, some fifty-five miles in the interior, and as the supplies had to reach that point from Prairie du Chien or Fort Crawford by the way of this landing, the ferry became very profitable, and McGregor's Landing became an important point.  Prior to this, McGregor had located his claim here and built a cabin.  In May, 1840, the Government leased of him and of Thomas P. Burnett, of Prairie du Chien, grounds for warehouse purposes at this point, and during the same season a warehouse was erected at the foot of what is now Main street.  Considerable opposition was made to McGregor by the agent of the American Fur Company, who succeeded in getting the soldiers to make a road through the northern part of township 95, by furnishing them with whiskey while at work, and carriages for the officers to ride in, without any order for such work from Washington.  The road was known as the Upper Ferry Road, and made a junction with the McGregor Road at Monona.

Still the influence of this diversion was only temporary.  In 1847 McGregor moved across the river with his family, and occupied his log cabin at the foot of Main street.  This house, the Government warehouse above referred to, and a few shanties occupied by soldiers on the river bank, were all the buildings at that time in McGregor. The first frame house was built during the same year, and Alvah C. Rogers kept the first hotel in it in 1848.  The second house, completed in 1848, was that of Alexander McGregor, a portion of which is still seen in the rear appendage of the present McGregor residence at the foot of Main street.

In the basement of the old McGregor residence H.D. Evans opened the first store in 1848.

Prior to 1850 the place contained but few buildings, and the business carried on here was transacted with Indians, soldiers and a few immigrants who crossed at this point for the interior.  But immigration setting in more rapidly, business and population increased, and the place which had been known to boatmen and travelers was McGregor's Landing, soon began to assume the more definite proportions of a busy village.


As McGregor increased in population it was deemed best by the citizens that the place be incorporated.  A petition was therefore prepared, bearing date Sept. 1, 1857, and signed by V. R. Miller and forty-nine others, asking the County Court to order an election at which the people should vote for or against incorporation.  This election was held March 2, 1857, the Judges being V. R. Miller, H. C. Scott and Michael Weaver, and resulted in a majority of votes being cast for incorporation.  The county judge then ordered an election held on the 8th day of April, 1857, for the purpose of selecting three men to prepare a charter or articles of Incorporation for the town.  At this election G. S. C. Scott, J. H. Merrill and J. T. Stoneman were elected. These gentlemen faithfully performed the duty for which they were elected, and a charter was presented to the people for acceptance or rejection, at an election held on the 27th day of April, 1857.  At this election there were fifty-eight votes cast, thirty-five of which were for the charter, twenty-one against, and two against the corporation.

Hon. Eliphalet Price, County Judge, then issued a proclamation setting forth that "the town of McGregor, in the county of Clayton, and State of Iowa, is from and after the date of this proclamation an incorporated town, and that the legal voters thereof have full power and authority to elect their town officers, and do all other things as authorized by the charter of said town of McGregor."  The judge then appointed A. T. Jones, T. Durant and J. T. Stoneman, judges of the first election held under the charter.


The first election was held on the second Saturday in May, 1857, and the officers from that time to 1882 are as follows:
    1857--Mayor, A. T. Jones; Trustees, A. E. Wanzer, G. S. C. Scott, R. McMorrine, J. H. Merrill, J. G. Bass, Charles Southmayd; Recorder, J. T. Stoneman.
    1858--Mayor, A. E. Wanzer; Trustees, C. C. Bicknell, S. M. Lampson, G. L. Bass, M. M. Sherman, James Durand; Recorder, J. R. Jarrett.
    1859--Mayor, George L. Bass; Trustees, John Low, Samuel Merrill, William Koss, L. Benton, Jr., W. A. Durham; Recorder Douglas Lefflingwell.
    1860--Mayor, George L. Bass; Trustees, William Koss, D. K. Hobert, J. H. Kinnaird, D. B. Hoffman, D. Baugh, E. Bradley, A. Pearsall; Recorder, Douglas Lefflingwell.
    1861--Mayor, D. K. Hobart; Trustees, H. C. Martin, D. Baugh, J. Boettcher, J. R. Jarrett. P. McDonald, Homer Kennedy; Recorder, L. Benton, Jr.
    1862--Mayor, Homer Kennedy; Trustees, G. S. C. Scott, M. O'Brien, V. Daubenberger, William W. Werder, J. R. Jarrett; Recorder, Louis Benton.
    1863--Mayor, J. T. Stoneman; Trustees, Wm. F. Huntting, David Allen, Jr., Hiram Aber, Fred Hencke, P. McDonald; Recorder, L. Benton, Jr.
    1864--Mayor, D. Lefflingwell; Trustees, G. S. C. Scott, Henry C. Hayt, G. L. Bass, Peter Stauer, E. R. Barron; Recorder, D. Baugh.
    1865--Mayor, D. Lefflingwell; Trustees, H. W. Burlingame, J. F. Liebhardt, Augustus French, B. H. Lampson, J. Kramer, H. E. Newell, F. Richards, O.W. Shaw; Recorder, D. Baugh.
    1866--Mayor, D. Lefflingwell; Trustees, Jacob Kramer, F. Miller, H. E. Newell, F. Richards, W. Kriebe, B.H. Lampson, S. J. Peterson, E. R. Barron; Recorder, D. Baugh.
    1867--Mayor, D. Hammer, Trustees, E. R. Barron, F. Hencke, W. F. Huntting, S. J. Peterson, M. Boyles, M. Knight, F. Miller, T. W. Wood; Recorder, D. Baugh.
    1868--Mayor, Homer Kennedy; Trustees, W. F. Huntting, F. Hencke, E. R. Barron, P. Mullen, G. McGregor, M. Boyles, T. W. Wood, P. Stauer; Recorder, D. Baugh.
    1869--Mayor, Homer Kennedy; Trustees, Oscar Burdick, Gregor McGregor, Gideon Townsend, Peter Stauer, P. Mullen, J. R. Jarrett, John McLenahan, Henry Gutheil.
    1870--Mayor, Gregor McGregor; Council, Gideon Townsend, George Crooke, Oscar Burdick, J. R. Jarrett, J. McLenahan, Louis Metzger, H. Gutheil, W. L. Calkins; Clerk, P. N. Trahn.
    1871--Mayor, Gregor McGregor; Council, George Crook, F. B. Rich, J. R. Jarrett, Oscar Burdick, Louis Metzger, T. W. Wood, W. L. Calkins, Martin Knight; Clerk, P.N. Trahn.
    1872--Mayor, E. P. Clarke; Council, F. B. Rich, John Williams, Oscar Burdick, Fred Bergman, T. W. Wood, H. H. Barnes, Martin Knight, A. Samuels; Clerk, William A. Drips.
    1873--Mayor, E. P. Clarke; Council, John Williams, Charles Budde, Fred Bergman, Charles W. Walker, H. H. Barnes, T. W. Wood, A. Samuels, W. L. Calkins; Clerk, William A. Drips.
    1874--Mayor, Gregor McGregor; Council, Charles Budde, H. E. Newell, J. N. Gilchrist, F. A. Hawley, T. W. Wood, Joseph Andrews, W. L. Calkins, Charles Reeves; Clerk, Daniel Lacy.
    1875--Mayor, J. P. Patrick; Council, H. E. Newell, David Cawelti, J. N. Gilchrist, F. A. Hawley, Joseph Andrews, H. H. Barnes, W. L. Calkins, Henry Gutheil; Clerk, Theodore Brown.
    1876--Mayor, F. A. Hawley; Council, G. C. Cone, Martin Fagrie, J. N. Gilchrist, J. S. Wilson, H. H. Barnes, Joseph Andrews, Henry Gutheil, Patrick McCall; Clerk, Robert Grant.
    1877--Mayor, J. N. Gilchrist; Council, Martin Fagrie, Charles Miller, J. S. Wilson, Homer E. Newell, Joseph Andrews, N. W. Williver, Patrick McCall, H. H. Ferguson; Clerk, Robert Grant.
    1878--Mayor, C.W. Cowles; Council, Charles Miller, Gregor McGregor, John Jacobia, W. E. Odell, N. W. Williver, Joseph Andrews, H. H. Ferguson, Homer E. Newell; Clerk, Robert Grant.
    1879--Mayor, M. T. Kennedy; Council, Gregor McGregor, Charles Budde, W. E. Odell, John Jacobia, Joseph Andrews, J. N. Baird, D. D. Fraser, A. C. Boyle; Clerk, Robert Grant.
    1880--Mayor, M. T. Kennedy; Council, Charles Budde, Daniel Lacy, John Jacobia, Theodore Brown, J. N. Baird, John J. Clemens, A. C. Boyle, D. D. Fraser; Clerk, Robert Grant.
    1881--Mayor, C. W. Cowles; Council, Daniel Lacy, Gregor McGregor, J. R. Jarrett, George E. Pearsall, Wm. Werder, J. N. Baird, D. D. Fraser, A. C. Boyle; Clerk, Robert Grant.
    1882--Mayor, William E. Odell; Council, Gregor McGregor, Charles Fox, J. A. Coard, C. C. Bicknell, J. N. Baird, A. E. Barker, D. D. Fraser, A. C. Boyle; Clerk, Robert Grant.

In 1863, over fifty of the voters of McGregor petitioned for an abandonment of the old charter, and the adoption of a new city charter, according to a law of Iowa passed in 1860.  This was submitted to an election, which was held Sept. 15, 1863, at which fifty-eight votes were cast in favor of the change, and seven votes against it.  The city of McGregor was then declared organized under the law of 1860, and the same officers which had been elected under the old charter held over under the new until the next regular election.  John T. Stoneman was Mayor at this time.


McGregor is justly proud of her school system, which is second to none in Northern Iowa.  Her citizens from the first have recognized the fact that the only basis of good government, and the only safeguard of a republican community, lies in the proper education and training of the young.  At much trouble and expense, the public-school system of McGregor has been brought to its present high standard, and it is now the pride of the county as well as the city.  Of course this school system had small beginnings, and for an account of these we are largely indebted to an able sketch which appeared in the McGregor News, Dec. 11, 1878.

In the winter of 1854-'55 a destructive fire swept away a number of buildings on the east side of Ann street, between Second and Third.  Among these small buildings was the first school-house this district ever had.  It was a small brick structure, 12 x 16, of one story, with small windows and door.  It was built about 1856, by Alexander McGregor.  Previous to that date this coulee between the hills was only known as McGregor's Landing, and consisted of a couple of cabins and Mr. McGregor's house at the landing, which touched on these shores in that early day.  This was the second school north of Turkey River.

To the old settler, this little brick school-house under the hill had many interesting associations about it.  Who the first teacher in it was not known for a certainty.  Allen Humphrey, a New York relative of Amos Pearsall, was the first male teacher.  It is generally though that the pioneer distinction belongs to Mrs. John Bass, who taught a very small school in a cabin as early as 1849, when there were but three or four houses in this part of the county.  Miss McLaury, afterward Mrs. Captain Kinnear, of Burlington, is also thought by some to be the first teacher.  It is claimed that this lady taught a private school, of which there were an number in the early history of McGregor.  From this diminutive institution, during one summer only, on the banks of the mighty river, surrounded by forests and all the exposures and dangers of frontier life, have sprung our present educational advantages, which are second to none in the Northwest.

The little brick school-house was used for several years, only summer terms being taught.  In it was taught the first Sunday-school, and this the Methodists claim the honor of organizing.  Mr. John Burbridge, a carpenter, now residing in Decorah, was the first Superintendent, and the school continued after the public school ceased to be taught in that building.  This pioneer Sunday-school has always remained independent when others were united as a union school.

With the growth of Pocket City in prominence as a business point, her educational facilities were necessarily enlarged.  In 1857 a company was formed called the McGregor High School Association.  It was made up of the most influential citizens of that day, and among them were:  H. B. Evans, A. T. Jones, George L. Bass, Alexander McGregor, V. R. Miller, Amos Pearsall, Jerry Merrill, Thomas Arnold, Judge Brown, John Chambers and many others.  Alexander McGregor was President of the association.  Col. A. P. Richardson, then the leading journalist in the Northwest, took an active part in forming this association, both by personal investment and through his paper.  It is remembered as a lasting honor to Col. Richardson, that he was always ready and willing to befriend every plan of an educational nature, whether public or private

The High School Association issued stock, and proceeded to erect a school-house on the site of the present new building. It was a solid two story structure of brick, and contained four large rooms, then much too large for the population. It should be remembered that this was not a public school, but an institution purely of the character of a private enterprise, and devised to meet a growing demand for higher education.

The building was completed at a cost of about $3,000, and for the first year of its occupation was leased to D. D. Fraser, who taught the first High School, paying a rent of $160 per annum. Mr. Fraser successfully conducted this school for a year, having an attendance of about fifty scholars, and instructing them in the plain English branches. This first High School was attended by the children of the leading citizens at that time, and many of them have since become our most prominent citizens. Among the youths who attended the school were Gardiner and Gregor McGregor, Eugene and Will Scott, the Jones boys, Hodges Bass, Tom Wynne, Henry Flanders and Theodore Miller. Among the girls in the same school were Ella Douglas, Anna Douglas, Corinda Wynne, Elizabeth Wynne, Cynthia Ford and Belle Spaulding. Though all of these have reached middle life and are married, they will always remember their pleasant school days under Professor Fraser, who was then himself fresh from some Eastern institution of learning, keen to teach, and displaying energy and ability.

In that early day, when the youth partook in a measure of the vigorous nature of frontier society, it became a pedagogue to conduct his school more with a view to discipline than to learning. The fond parent in those days often suggested to the teacher that should his boys be recreant about anything in school, the teacher should not neglect to take exercise and recreation in a dose of corporal punishment. However little such things as these are tolerated at present, they formed a leading part in those stirring times. This school was very popular, moreover, and the community was entirely in sympathy with the modes of teaching. The tuition was $4 for a term of three months, and many pupils came in from the country and boarded at private houses in the city.

At the end of this, the first year that McGregor enjoyed superior educational advantages, the gentlemen who composed the stock company raised the rent of their academy to $200 per year. Mr. Fraser withdrew, and his adventurous spirit led him to take an extra trip to Pike’s Peak, but he soon returned to the Pocket City.

A Mr. Moon now began operations, based upon the success of the first year of the High School. “But it seems that he was not a full moon as an educational character, and in spite of the hearty co-operation of many warm friends, he reached the last quarter of his career in the first quarter of his school, and passed from the horizon of McGregor history.”

Mr. Fraser returned from his travels about the time Moon got his school well begun, and was immediately urged to re-open his select school to his former pupils. This was done, and successfully. This private school was held in the second story of G. C. Cone’s first hardware store on Main street, a frame building afterward used for a carpenter shop. But the unfortunate termination of the Moon school soon began to affect the public mind, and there was a general demand for a well-conducted district school. The select schools dwarfed the little district school, when it was open at all, and the poorer classes clamored for a better free school.

Accordingly the school district was organized into the independent school district of McGregor early in 1860. The brick building and the lot, 100 x 100, constituted the real estate of the High School Association, and this was now bought by the independent district. The purchase consisted in the transfer of the stock to the amount of $3,000 at 40 cents on the dollar. This was a high price for the stock, which after the “eclipse of the Moon” and the success of the Fraser school went down to 10 cents on the dollar. The lot of ground upon which our school-house stands was originally a part of the claim entered by Alexander McKinnie, who sold it to the High School Association for $25. The school officials have since added to this lot by purchase.

The first Principal was E. B. Wakeman, and he was succeeded by a Mr. Tomlinson, who was followed by H. H. Barnes.

The present fine school building was completed in the latter part of 1878. It is one of he best planned and most substantially build school edifices in the country. The erection was under the supervision of the architect, H. F. Hyde, of Dubuque. The foundation is of heavy masonry, and a good quality of building stone. The walls of the superstructure are of red pressed brick, and with the floor and ceiling joists anchored and bound with iron. The entire building is finished off with cut stone from the beautiful cream-colored limestone quarried near the city. The tower is ornamented with large plates of cut stone, and very heavy sills and caps of single pieces. The heaviest cut-stone masonry is composed of stones obtained from Judge Williams’s large quarries near Clermont.

The whole building can be made to have a seating capacity of nearly 700 pupils. As it is now divided, there are fourteen rooms and twelve wardrobes, besides the basement, which is entirely occupied by heating and ventilating apparatus. On the first floor are the A, B, C and D primary grades; on the second floor, A and B grammar, high school and two recitation rooms; on the third floor is the C grammar. There is also one room for music teaching, and one large room for the superintendent, as well as a smaller one for the library.

The cost of this building was about $28,000. The heating apparatus cost $2,500 extra. The course of study is very thorough, and fits students for our best universities. Students go from the High School at McGregor to the University at Michigan. The system now in force in Michigan, of making certain high schools preparatory departments to the university, will soon be adopted in this State, and the McGregor High School is one of the few that can conform to the high standard required by this system.


The postoffice at McGregor was established about 1849, and H. D. Evans was the first Postmaster. Since him the office has been held successively by V. P. Miller, L. H. Packard, A. P. Richardson, W. A. Benton, Robert Tompkins, C. F. Bell and R. Hubbard, the present incumbent. The office was established as a money-order office in 1866. The first order issued was dated Aug. 6, 1866, and was sent by Frederick Kurz to Johanna Kurz. It was drawn on Galena, Ill., and was for the sum of $25.00. The first money-order advice received was dated at Chicago, Aug. 6, 1866, and was from H. A. Holmes to W. P. Holmes. It was for the sum of $40. There were 653 money-orders issued the first year. The whole number issued to date is 23,223. The total amount of the money-orders paid per annum is now $35,000. The amount of those issued is $30,000. An average of thirteen lock-pouches are dispatched and received daily, and the total number dispatched per annum is 4,056. The number of registered packages handled per annum is 30,000. Postage stamps yield a revenue of over $6,000.


The first bank in McGregor was organized in 1856, by Lee & Kinnaird, which continued in existence until 1861, but was not a financial success. In 1858 a private bank was organized by H. S. Granger & Co. The McGregor branch of the State Bank of Iowa was established Jan. 2, 1860, with sixty-four stockholders, and a cash capital of $50,000. The first officers were as follows: President Mayor E. V. Carter; Cashier, Ole Halverson; Directors, O. C. Lee, S. Merrill, D. B. Hoffman, Frank Larrabee, B. F. Schroeder, J. F. Thomson, A. C. Newcomb, E. V. Carter and G. L. Bass. This bank continued in operation until 1863, when the First National Bank was organized, with a capital stock of $50,000. The first Directors were : William J. Gilchrist, E. V. Carter, Samuel Merrill, Ole Halverson, J. D. Dearborn. Samuel Merrill was elected President, and Ole Halverson, Cashier. Samuel Merrill resigned Oct. 30, 1867, being elected Governor of the State, and he was succeeded as President, by J. Merrill. At the same time the present Cashier, W. R. Kinnaird, was elected as an assistant. Aug. 31, 1871, Ole Halverson resigned, and W. R. Kinnaird was elected to fill his place. J. Merrill resigned July 10, 1872, and J. K. Graves was elected President. He was succeeded the following September by Frank Larabee, the present incumbent. The present Directors are: William Larrabee, Isaac Havens, J. O. Crosby, James T. Bassett, Calvin F. Bell, W. E. Odell, James N. Gilchrist, Frank Larabee and W. R. Kinnaird. IN 1864 the stock of the bank was increased to $100,000.

The Clayton County Savings Bank was established at McGregor, Nov. 20, 1869. The incorporators were William J. Gilchrist, J. H. Merrill, Ole Halverson, H. E. Merrill, C. F. Burr, W. R. Kinnaird, J. N. Gilchrist and R. Noble. William J. Gilchrist was elected President, and J. H. Merrill, Treasurer. Mr. Merrilll was succeeded in 1872 by W. R. Kinnaird. The bank continued in business until 1879, when it closed, after paying depositors and stockholders in full.


The extensive carriage works of Amos Pearsall & Son, located at the corner of Main and Fourth streets, near the school building, were erected in March, 1871, by G. Hawley & Sons. In August of the same year Amos Pearsall, who had for fifteen years kept a livery stable in McGregor, and who had sold out in May, purchased a half interest in the works, and the firm became G. Hawley and Co. In 1880 Mr. Pearsall purchased Mr. Hawley’s interest, and took his younger son, Charles A., into partnership with him. The business is now conducted under the firm name of A. Pearsall & Son. A personal sketch of Mr. Pearsall is given elsewhere.

This enterprise gives constant employment to from twenty to twenty-five men, and sometimes more. The capacity has been about the same since the works were begun, and the annual business has been from $40,000 to $60,000. This establishment makes only fine carriages and gentlemen’s road wagons, and does no cheap work. Repairing is done on light work in addition to the manufacturing. About 200 buggies are made annually, and everything in the construction of them is made in the shops; nothing is purchased by the firm except the raw material. The trade extends in various directions, and to great distances. Their work was sold, in 1881, in seventeen States and Territories. One lot went to Ireland, others to New York and California. The building is 75 x 80 feet, three stories high, and is built of red brick.


The firm of P. Stauer & Co. started in business in 1862, and was then composed of Stauer & Schillinger. The latter soon retired from the firm, and Mr. Stauer was alone until 1865, when he took as partner V. Daubenberger. In 1871 O.H. Lufeld was admitted to the firm. In that year they built the mill where Mr. Michael’s elevator now stands. In 1873 the mill was removed to Prairie du Chien. Their pay-roll averages $4,000 a month.


The McGregor brewery, owned by J. F. Hagensick, was built in 1845. The main building is 78 x 20, four stories in height. It cost $25,000, and has a capacity of 10,000 barrels per year.


First Methodist Episcopal Church — The first sermon preached in McGregor under the auspices of the Methodist church was preached by Rev. Elisha Warner, of Prairie du Chien, in the second week of January, 1852. The services were held in the carpenter shop of J. M. Burbridge. The first regular pastor was Rev. J. L. Kelly, appointed by the bishop the same year.

Rev. A. Bishop, the second pastor, formed their first class of which Mr. Burbridge was the leader. Mr. Burbridge was also the first Superintendent of the Sunday-school. Rev. J. R. Cameron was their next pastor, and he was succeeded by Rev. John Webb and F. C. Mather. Mr. Webb was returned the second year, with Rev. William McCormack as his colleague.

They were succeeded by Rev. J. D. Havens, through whose instrumentality the first church building in McGregor was erected. In the spring of 1858, a building committee, consisting of G. S. C. Scott, C. C. Bicknell and D. Baugh, was appointed, and work was immediately commenced in the excavation of the hill over the lot corner of Ann and Fourth streets, for the foundations. The struggle was a hard one, financially, but through the munificent gifts of the people and the energy and zeal displayed in their work, the committee had the satisfaction of seeing the little frame church dedicated in June, 1858, the Rev. Larkins officiating, and Rev. Alfred Brownson, of Prairie du Chien, preached the dedication sermon.

From that time on the society struggled bravely, and the membership, constantly increasing, worked with a hearty good-will of the furtherance of the good cause. After the lapse of ten years, in October, 1868, with renewed zeal, the work of clearing the lot for the present grand edifice was commenced, and a foundation built up as far as the old church would allow. In May, 1869, the work was again renewed, the old church removed, and by fall the new structure was enclosed and the basement completed so that services could be held in the lecture-room. This was formally dedicated in December, Rev. Dr. Reed officiating. The building committee was O. McCraney, O. C. Buck and C. C. Bicknell.

In the spring of 1873, with the promise of aid and contributions, it was decided to complete the edifice. This was done, and the result was a satisfaction to all.

After Mr. Havens, who came as pastor in 1859, the following ministers have been assigned to McGregor: 1860, H.H. Keith;1861, C. W. Babcock and Isaac Newton; 1862-‘3, J. K. Fuller; 1864, F. C. Wolfe; 1865-‘6, S. Pancoast; 1867-‘8, P. E. Brown; 1869, W. P. Watkins; 1870, W. H. Sparling; 1871-‘2, William Fawcett; 1873, L. H. Carhart; 1874-‘6, W. Heald; 1877-‘8, J. W. Clinton; 1879-81, J. W. Casebeer.

The membership of the church is now about 135. There is a flourishing Sunday-school connected with the church, which has thirteen teachers and about 125 scholars. G. S. Baker is the Superintendent. It meets every Sunday after church services, in the basement. It has a good library of 300 volumes. The Sunday-school at North McGregor is a branch of this. Miss Abbott is its Superintendent, and there are about ninety-seven members.

Congregational Church — For much of the following account of the Congregationalist church, we are indebted to Robert Grant, Esq., whose fertile pen has prepared so much valuable history.

During the year of 1856 a few families of that faith and order having located at McGregor and in view of its prospective growth and importance, much interest was manifested by the ministers and members of the neighboring churches, as well as citizens of the place in the early establishment of a Congregational church there.

On Saturday evening, Jan. 3, 1857, a meeting was held at the residence of Mr. J. H. Merrill, and the first steps taken in the organization of the First Congregational Church of McGregor. On the following Sabbath morning the first public services were held. Rev. O. Emerson, Jr., agent of the American Missionary Association, and Rev. L. L. Radcliff, of Prairie du Chien, officiated, when seven persons (Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Merrill, Robert Grant, Mrs. J. L. Dearborn, Mrs. A. T. Jones and Miss Clorinda Rowan) united in giving solemn public assent to the articles of faith and covenant, and were declared duly organized a Church of Christ. Rev. M. M. Wakeman, of the Farmersburg church, officiated as minister through the winter, preaching every alternate Sabbath. During the summer no services were held except occasionally as come minister was stopping in town. In October of the same year, the Rev. Joseph Bloomer was called to the pastorate. He came with the zeal and enthusiasm that such an ardent temperament alone possesses. His was a profitable, busy life, during the week attending to many things which necessarily must be done, when almost everything is undeveloped, and upon the Sabbath preaching inspiring, helpful sermons. The Sabbath school was organized and members received into the church, but his work was soon finished and he was called up higher. It was a grievous and mysterious providence to the little band that was so happy in their church-work under his leadership.

He was soon succeeded by Rev. T. A. Wardsworth, who labored faithfully till the spring of 1859, when the relations between him and his people were amicably dissolved. It was during his ministry the church received its first members on profession, all previous members having united by letter.
The same month that Mr. Wardsworh’s relations with the church were dissolved, Mr. H. G. McArthur began to supply the pulpit, and in August following was ordained and continued his ministry until September, 1860. During the time the house in which the church now worships was built, although the dedication did not occur until after his resignation. Soon after the dedication the Rev. L. P. Sloan commenced his labors, and after continuing his ministry for seven years with great acceptance and attaching himself very strongly to his people and the community, he was installed as pastor and continued to be their faithful under shepherd until his death, Oct. 29, 1870. Seldom have there been more attached to and untied in a pastor, and they sorrowed as for a near and dear friend. He was not only held in the highest esteem by his own people, but also by his neighboring churches and the minor and general associations, and ever considered a wise and safe counselor. He was always up to the times and deeply interested in the advancement of every good work, not only in the church but in the well-being of our country, and inspired his people with the same feeling. His people were very near to him and were remembered in his last moments. Tell my people to be established in the Truth, I have no fears, was his last message to them. One hundred and fifty were added to the membership during the ten years of his pastorate, seventy-three on profession of their faith. During his absence as chaplain in the army, in the winter of 1862 and ’63, the Rev. T. Wilcox, in whom this church became much interested, served as pastor for a time, and for a few months in the first of 1870, while he was absent in New Orleans for the benefit of his health, the Rev. J. K. Grun, missionary at Broosa, Turkey, supplied the pulpit. The Rev. D. R. McNab began his labors serving the church very acceptably. At every communion season during his ministry members were received into church-fellowship—twelve of the twenty-one uniting on profession. The Rev. S. F. Millia* entered upon his labors in January, 1873, with more than a general average number of additions to the church, twenty-six of whom were united on profession of their faith. Rev. S. F. Millika* was succeeded by Rev. C. C. Cragin, the present incumbent. Under his pastorate the church has been prosperous and has had an unusual good influence in the community. The present membership is about 135.

The Baptist Church — As a result of efforts of friends of the Baptist church, a meeting was held at Kennidge’s Hall April 29, 1861. Rev. W. W. Moore was called to the chair, and E. R. Barron was chosen secretary. Articles of incorporation were adopted, the incorporators being W. G. Luther, H. C. Martin, Selah Bates, G. C. Cone, Thomas Arnold, W. L. Calkins, George M. Colgate, D. G. Goodrich and E. R. Barron, all of McGregor. May 6 another meeting was held, and a constitution and by-laws were adopted. The rapid growth of the society and its bright prospects, associated with the prosperity of McGregor, led the members to take steps toward the erection of a suitable church edifice. In July of the same year committees were appointed to select a site for the house, to make estimates of the probable expense, and to solicit subscriptions for building the same. Subscriptions were liberally given, and the society at once began the erection of a church, which was completed in a few months.
The first pastor was W. W. Moore. Since him there have been several pastors, among them Rev. L. M. Whitman, Rev. C. L. Tucker, Rev. John Jackson, Rev. Mr. Wright, Rev. E. R. Cressy and Rev. Thomas Ure. Mr. Ure was their last pastor, the church discontinuing services in 1880.

The Sunday-school connected with the church was organized very soon after the church, and has had a good membership since its organization. After the church suspended, the Sunday-school continued its meetings until the close of 1881. Since that time the school has been organized as a mission school. The Superintendent is Miss Mary Hofer; Secretary, Miss Amelia Hofer; Treasurer, Miss Abbie Arnold; Librarian, Miss Winnie Egbert; Organist, Miss Rowetta Killinger.

The Episcopal Church was established in 1864. Among the first members were: Lewis Benton, Mrs. Lewis Benton, Dr. Frederick Andros, Isaac Matthews, Mrs. Matthews, Miss Matthews. Later members were Dr. J. Hunt, Mrs. Dr. Hunt, Mr. Bannard, wife and daughter, now of Milwaukee, Mrs. Frank Hawley. Meetings were held in the German Presbyterian Church. A Rev. Mr. Caufield came about 1875 and remained two years, but the society has never had any other regular pastor. The society is not now organized.

Presbyterian Church — In the spring of 1856 Rev. Samuel Wells, laboring in the church extension department of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church, was instrumental in the organization of a church of that order, comprising Thomas Baugh and wife, W.W. Allen and Mrs. William Paul. To this congregation Rev. Mr. Price ministered statedly for about one year.

The German Presbyterian Church was organized May 7, 1862, in the house of Jacob Kramer. The first members were Jacob Kramer, Nicholas Kriebs, Peter Walter, Charles Opitz, John Walter, John Cawelti, Martin Knecht, Christian Bloedel, Charles Gerndt, Louis Hartwig, Heinrich Gutheil, Heinrich Shuler, and William Troutfetter, with their wives. The first pastor was Rev. William Buchren, who had held services for two or three months previous to the public school-house. The same year, 1862, the society erected a church at the north corner of Fifth and Ann streets, at a cost of $965. Tower and bell, afterward put up, cost $300. This church is the same which is now used by the society.

After Mr. Buchren, who was with this congregation eight years, Rev. Mr. Weiss came, remaining but a few months. Then Rev. W. H. Bailey officiated two years. In 1873 Rev. G. F. Murray was called to the charge and remained four years. He was succeeded by Rev. Lucas Abel, who preached about eighteen months. Then Rev. John Leyer accepted the pastorate, and he is the present minister.
Jacob Kramer and Charles Opitz were the first Elders; Peter Walter and Martin Knecht were the first Trustees. William Troutfetter and Jacob Kramer are the present Elders, and Frederich Kurz, G. F. Widman and William Troutfetter are the present Trustees.

The church will seat about 120 persons comfortably, and is a frame structure. The present membership is about forty. The church was most prosperous about 1865, when it had a membership of seventy. Many have since moved away, and hence the membership is now smaller, as is that of most other churches in McGregor.

There is a good Sunday-school connected with this church, meeting every Sunday, which has a membership of eighty-four. Wm. Troutfetter is the Superintendent. There are fourteen teachers. The Sunday-school library is in good condition, and contains a number of German publications of merit.
The German Lutheran Church was organized about 1862. Rev. Mr. Himmler was the first pastor. Among the first members were Michael Malsly, Mr. Ringling, Mr. Shuler, Mr. Haverly, Mr. Stamm and Mr. Schmidt, and their families. August Kurzrock and others afterward joined the church. Their church was built soon after the society was organized. It is twenty by thirty, frame, and will seat about 100.
Since Mr. Himmler, their pastors have all come over from Prairie du Chien to hold services, generally once in two weeks.

St. Mary’s Church — This congregation attached to the church was properly established in the year 1855. Although visited occasionally by other clergymen, there was no resident pastor till the arrival of the Rev. Richard Nagle.

The first religious exercises of the Catholics of McGregor were celebrated in a little home, owned by Mr. Patrick O’Brien, on Ann street. As the congregation increased a church was soon built near Third street. Several additions were made to the church from time to time as necessity demanded and the taste and means of the congregation permitted.

Father Nagle remained connected with St. Mary’s Church till the year 1868. On the first Sunday after Easter, 1868, Rev. Bart Lenehan was appointed as pastor.

Shortly after his arrival he formed a Catholic school. This school was composed of but a few children in the beginning, but as the population of McGregor increased a new school was required. The Sisters of Charity took charge of the school and have remained till the present, laboring strenuously for this cause of instruction.

Father Lanehan was succeeded by Rev. Martin Dunn, who remained but a few months, when Father Sullivan took charge of the parish. During Father Sullivan’s pastorate the present parochial residence was built. During the repairing of the Cathedral Father Sullivan was moved to Dubuque.

After Father Sullivan the next resident pastor was Rev. Mr. O’Carroll, who came to McGregor on Feb. 9, 1876. During his pastorate a desire was manifested to move the church to the head of Main street, but this was not to be accomplished, for before this desire could be materialized the church was burned to the ground, some supposing it to be the work of an incendiary. Being destitute of insurance the building and furniture was of course a total loss. Steps were immediately taken to re-build, but Father O’Carroll was not left to accomplish his design and he was succeeded by Rev. Father Brennan. Father Brennan remained but ten months here though in his time the corner-stone of the new church was laid. Failing health Father Brennan retired and was succeeded by the present incumbent, Rev. Garrett T. Nagle, of Dubuque.

Though young and having just completed his seminary course at Montreal, Canada, and having served six months as pastor and assistant at the Cathedral of Dubuque, still he has none the less courage to attempt the task of building a church.

The proposed edifice is at the head of Main street; dimensions, fifty by eighty; height, twenty-five feet; tower, seventeen feet spire, 150 feet high; material, stone and brick, Gothic style, costing when completed about $10,000. It will be enclosed in the fall of 1882.


Bezer Lodge, No. 135, A. F. & A. M., was organized in the early part of 1857. George L. Bass, John Chambers, G. W. P. Harding, Samuel L. Janes, G. S. C. Scott and M. J. Brown met Feb. 19, 1857, at a room previously arranged as a Masonic Hall. They met under dispensation granted them by the Most Worthy Grand Master of the State of Iowa, J. F. Sanford, dated Jan. 24. This dispensation appointed George L. Bass, W. M.; John Chambers, S. W.; G. W. P. Harding, J. W. G. S. C. Scott was appointed Secretary of this meeting. It was received to hold this first regular meeting of Bezer Lodge at their hall, Monday, Feb. 23, 1857.

The officers appointed at the first meeting served until the charter was granted, which was not until June 7, 1858. Among the first members, besides the officers above mentioned, were Robert Grant, John G. Bass, Jedediah Brown, D. D. Fraser, Ira Hurlbut, H. B. George, M. J. Fraser, J. S. Wilson, M. M. Sherman, D. Baugh, S. M. Sampson, T. M. Hopkins, B. Strouse, D. S. Cook, Lemuel McKinney, Isaac Cramer, O. F. Brewer, E. Bradley and P. G. Parker.

The lodge has always prospered, and, although its membership was at first small, it has always been animated by one purpose of fraternal love, and its proceedings have always been marked with harmony.

The lodge meets the first Monday in each month, at Masonic Hall. The present membership is 74, and the lodge is in a thriving condition. The present officers, elected in May, 1882, are: M. T. Kennedy, W. M.; George Keen, S. W.; D. D. Fraser, J. W.’ C. H. Barron, Treas.; H. W. Burlingame, Sec.; G. R. Luther, S. G.; H. D. Bowen, J. D.; J. Hirshfeld, S. S.; A. F. Hofer, J. S.; E. Hopkins, Tyler.

Clayton Chapter, No. 27, was organized under dispensation, Oct. 29, 1860, at Masonic Hall in McGregor, by Companion N. Pullman, as proxy for the G.H. P. of Iowa. The first members were E. Bradley, B. Strouse, J. Williamson, P. G. Wright, O. Hough, J. Kenelly, L. R. Nicholson, J. H. Bader, N. Pullman and A. Loebentritt. The officers elected first were: E. Bradley, H. P.; N. Pullmann, King; G. P. Wright, Scribe. Other officers were appointed temporarily. The charter was received July 10, 1861, and the first officers elected under it were: E. Bradley, H. P.; G. L. Bass, K.; G. S. C. Scott, S.; E. R. Barron, C.H.; B. Strouse, P. S.; J. T. Stoneman, R. A. C.; O. C. Lee, Treas.; T. Updegraff, Sec.
The chapter has been highly prosperous during the twenty-one years of its existence, and now numbers seventy-four. The present officers are: G. R. Luther, H.P.; Borren Curley, K.; W. A. McDonald, S.; W. R. Kinnaird, T.; H. C. Clark, C. H.; George Keen, P. S.; Theodore Brown, R. A. C.; W. C. Austin, G. M.3dV.; August Benson, G. M. 2dV.; Charles Fox, G. M. lst V.;E. Hopkins, Sent.; N. W. Williver, Sec. The chapter meets the first Friday in each month at Masonic Hall.

Honorius Commandery, No. 8, was organized April 19, 1866, by John C. Baker. The first officers were: John C. Baker, E. C.; H. H. Hemmingway, G.; Z. H. Sherwin, C. G.; John C. Rudd, S.W.; Benedict, J. W.; W. H. Thompson, W.; P. B. Mason, S. B.; George E. Baker, Sentinel; John C. Baker, Prelate. The present officers are: J. P. Patrick, E. C.; R. Hubbard, G; H. H. Clark, C. G.; D. Baugh, Prelate; W. R. Hubbard, G; H. H. Clark, C. G.; D. Baugh, Prelate; W. R. Kinnaird, Treasurer; Charles Fox, Recorder; B. Curley, S.W.; G. Keen, J. W.; F. Wilson, S. B.; M. T. Kennedy, S. B.; W. Moncrief, Warder; E. Hopkins, Sentinel. The present membership is thirty-eight. The commandery meets the second Friday in each month in Masonic Hall.

Itasca Lodge, No. 111, I. O. O. F., was organized Oct. 31, 1857, in the old brick school-house. The first officers and charter members were: George C. Harvey, N. G.; B. F. Spaulding, V. G.; L. F. Bigelow, Treasurer; Horace Bagely, O. G.; H. C. Scott, P. S.; Rayen Davidson, R. S. The present membership is sixty. The lodge is very prosperous, in every way, and owns $3,000 worth of property. The present officers are: John Schott, N. G.; P. Anderson, V. G.; H. C. Bloedel, R. S.; L. Hirshfeld, P. S.; T. Farrington, Treasurer. The lodge meets in Odd-Fellows’ Hall, Masonic Block.

Keystone Lodge, No. 111, A. O. U. W. was instituted April 4, 1877, with a charter membership of twenty-eight. The first M. W. was James A. Coard. It meets in William’s Hall on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, and elects officers every six months. The following have held the office of M. W.; James A. Coard, George P. Lewis, D. E. Grout, George D. Wells, W. P. Shaffer, John J. Clemens, Don D. Fraser, Wm. J. Wallis, Joseph Killinger and George H. Otis. There have been three deaths in the lodge since its establishment, each of whom has received $2,000. Their names are Joseph A. Ramage, died Feb. 5, 1878; Daniel J. Jones, drowned June 5, 1880; Homer E. Newell, died Oct. 2, 1881. The lodge is in good condition financially and otherwise. The present membership is forty-eight. In the Grand Lodge of this order, George P. Lewis represented the lodge until the session of 1882.

Pocket City Lodge, No. 37 — Iowa Legion of Honor was organized in August, 1879, with twenty-five charter members. The first President was John N. Baird, who served two terms, and was then succeeded by James A. Coard. The lodge meets the second and fourth Mondays of each month. This organization, similar to the other insurance organizations, has been remarkably successful during its three years’ existence. The Grand Lodge meets biennially. The representative from this lodge at the two sessions of the Grand Lodge has been both times Colonel George H. Otis. The present membership is twenty-one.

McGregor Collegium, No. 90, V. A. S.; was organized March 23, 1882, at the hall of the United Workmen, by D. S. Malthy, Deputy Chief Rector of the Chief Collegium of Iowa. There were thirty charter members. The officers elected at the first meeting were J. P. Patrick, Rector; W. R. Kinnaird, Vice-Rector; C. C. Bicknell, Scribe; Q. A. Sloan, Quaestor; J. F. Widman, Usher; C. W. Page, Speculator; J. N. Baird, W. C. Koop and W. A. Hall, Curators. This collegium is in a flourishing condition for one of its young age, and is already one of the prominent societies of McGregor. The V. A. S. fraternity was founded but three years ago, though confined to Iowa, it already numbers nearly a hundred collegiums. That at McGregor meets the first Tuesday in each month.

The W. C. T. U. was organized Nov. 17, 1876, at the Methodist Episcopal church, by Mrs. J. Allen Foster. Among the first members were Mrs. C. C. Bicknell, who was President of the organization for the first three years, and has been always as now a prominent worker; Mrs. N. H. Ellsworth, Secretary; Mrs. S. E. Lindsay, Treasurer; Mrs. A. P. Richardson, Vice-President from the Baptist church; Mrs. O. C. Buck, Vice-President from the Methodist church, and Mrs. Alonzo Pearsall, Vice-President from the Congregational church. Mrs. Kinnaird, Mrs. Conant, Mrs. Sloan, Mrs. Hubbard (deceased April 18, 1880), Mrs. A. M> Wedgewood (President one year), and Mrs. A. T. Jones were among the most prominent members, but they were ably assisted by many other of the first ladies of McGregor. Nearly all those whose names are given above are still faithful workers in the cause, but the total membership is somewhat reduced by removals from the city and other causes. The present officers are Mrs. J. B. Casebeer, President; Mrs. S. A. Lindsay, Secretary; Mrs. W. S. Conant, Treasurer; Mrs. Cragin, Vice-President, from the Congregation church; Mrs. A. P. Richardson, from the Baptist church; Mrs. C. C. Bicknell, from the Methodist. The society now meets once in two weeks, three months in the Methodist church and then three months in the Congregationalist church by turns. The organization has labored faithfully since its organization, and has accomplished much good. It has continually gained in the estimation of the citizens, and is now recognized as one of the permanent missionary organizations of the city of McGregor.

The I. O. G. T. formed a lodge in McGregor about 1858, which lived only about three years. It was revived about 1865, living five years more. Among its first members were E. B. Wakeman and wife, O. C. Buck and wife, R. Davidson and wife, W. L. Calkins and wife, Willis Drummond and wife. The lodge was at one time very prosperous, having about fifty members during its first existence, and nearly a hundred after its revival. The society accomplished much good work during its existence, and had a history as proud as many that kept up a nominal existence much longer.

The Band of Hope organized in connection with the I. O. G. T. lodge flourished many years and after the lodge suspended the band was revived for a while.

The Tribe of Jonathan was organized March 3, 1878, over Daniels’ shoe store. The first officers were: C. B. Taylor, President; John Forsythe, Robert Lindsay and Wm. Alden, Vice-President; Henry Bell, Cor. Secretary; George Wood, Fin. Secretary; Robert Lindsay, Treasurer; Thomas Wallace, Chaplain; Henry Worden, Steward. The membership was about 200. The organization held its last meeting in October, 1880, though the officers still hold. A public reading-room was supplied in connection with this, by the W. C. T. U., in which several newspapers and periodicals were kept on file.


In June, 1879, the young men of McGregor and North McGregor organized a Young Men’s Republican Club, the following officers being elected: George Pearsall, President; C. F. Spalding, Secretary and Treasurer; Ernst Hofer, H. A. Odell and H. A. Keen, Executive Committee. Regular meetings were held and seventy members enrolled. A mass meeting was held under the auspices of the club just before the October elections, Hon. Governor John H. Gear and U. S. Senator Samuel T. Kirkwood addressing large audiences at the Athenaeum. That year the club had a representation among the delegates to the county convention, and they did good, earnest work in the campaign following. The constitution of the club sets forth that it is the purpose of the organization to inform its members concerning the politics of county, State and nation. It adjures using the club influence for any individual promotion. To the executive committee is entrusted the general management of club. On July 6, 1880, the club was reorganized for the presidential campaign, and elected Bowen Curley, President. W. E. Odell and J. H. Larson were added to the executive committee, the other officers being re-elected. Preparations were made for holding a series of political meetings throughout the campaign. The first speaker to address the club during the memorable campaign of 1880 was D. B. Henderson, of Dubuque, on Tuesday evening, Oct. 5. He delivered a stirring speech. He was followed by able addresses by Hon. E. H. Williams and Hon. F. B. Daniels, District Elector. In 1881 the club reorganized, increased its members to 100, and elected J. H. Larson, President, the executive and financial committees remaining as before, and the club met regularly until the last President Garfield was assassinated, when they adjourned sine die. The club will be fully prepared to take an active part in the campaign of 1882, and as it is a permanent organization its influence is destined to be felt in the future.

North McGregor
(page 962-963)

North McGregor was incorporated as a town May 12, 1874. The petition for incorporation was dated Feb. 13, 1874, and was signed by George Keen and thirty-five others. The vote on the question of incorporation took place April 25, and stood forty-five in favor, thirty-eight against. The first election for town officers was held July 6, 1874. The officers elected then and each year since have been as follows:
    1874.—Mayor, George Keen; Councilmen, G. Wingen, D. Kerwin, L. Hanke, O. Nelson, S. Ellis; Recorder, Peter Trahn.
    1875.—Mayor, J. S. Barr; Councilmen, Thomas Edgar, L. Keen, G. Wingen. George Crowns, George D. Wells; Recorder, M. L. Phelps; Assessor, Ole Nelson; Treasurer, H. Rienow.
    1876.—Mayor, George Keen; Councilmen, Lewis Keen, August Budde, Henry Rienow, Thomas Edgar, Eli Rice; Recorder M.L. Phelps; Assessor, Ole Nelson; Treasurer, G. Wingen.
    1877.—Mayor, George Keen; Councilmen, Joseph Wissen, S. P. Gale, Henry Rienow, Thomas Edgar, Michael Doyle; Recorder, H. A. Keen; Assessor, Ole Nelson; Treasurer, G. Wingen.
    1878.—Mayor, W. P. Hancock; Councilmen, John Hopkins, Ole Bratsburg, M. P. Finley, S. P. Gale, M. L. Shugars; Recorder, H. A. Keen; Assessor, Ole Nelson; Treasurer, G. Wingen.
    1879.—Mayor, W. P. Hancock; Councilmen, Ole Bratsburgn, John Hopkins, Joseph Wissen, M. L. Shurgars, Arthur Dunn; Recorder, H. A. Keen; Assessor, Ole Nelson; Treasurer, G. Wingen.
    1880.—Mayor, D. E. Grout; Councilmen, Ole Bratsburg, M. L. Shugars, Joseph Wissen, W. H. Sloan, John O’Donnell; Recorder, D. J. Jones; Assessor, W. A. McDonald; Treasurer, G. Wingen.
    1881.—Mayor, Henry Rienow; Councilmen, W. H. Sloan, Thos. Edgar, M. L. Shugars, Ole A. Bratsburg, John O’Donnell; Recorder, D. E. Grout; Assessor, W. W. Moncrief; Treasurer, G. Wingen.
    1882.—Mayor, John Ecker; Councilmen, M. P. Finley, Arthur Dunn, W. W. Wheeler, James Presho, M. McNamara; Recorder, W. P. Hancock; Assessor, W. N. Moncrief; Treasurer, G. Wingen.

The First School Board was --- George Keen, President; W. W. Wheeler, Vice-President; Geo. Spangler, Secretary, and A. T. Lipe, Treasurer; Directors, John Moshmann, Henry Reinow, Anetrew Scheckner. This board was elected the first day of August, 1867. The present board, 1882, is George Keen, President; W. N. Moncrief, Secretary; G. Wingen, Treasurer; Directors — Lewis Keen, John O’Donnel, W. T. Hancock, M. L. Shugars, J. T. Jones. The school building was erected in 1865 and rebuilt in 1869, at a cost of about $7,000. The following persons have acted as Principals, serving in the order named: T. W. Ana, E. B. Wakman, W. F. Cook, Miss A. M. Stewart, C. A. Stowbridge, W. A. McDonald, C. W. Bean, F. A. Sykes. The latter is the present incumbent.


This was established in 1858 by John Thompson and George Keen, under the firm name of Thompson & Keen. These gentlemen were in partnership till 1869, when Mr. Keen purchased Mr. Thompson’s interest and ran the works for seven years. Then, in 1876, Mr. Keen took his sons into partnership, and the foundry is now conducted by Keen & Sons. Formerly the firm did work almost exclusively for the railroad, but now their business is more general in character. They manufacture engines, mill-work and all kinds of iron work. The original foundry was of brick, some distance south of the present location. This shop he leased to the railroad company for $2,400 a year, and fitted up his present place temporarily. The largest building is 46 x 80 feet. The next in size is 35 x 42 feet. Another is 32 x 40, and the smallest is 22 x 32.

About eight men on an average are employed at this foundry. The business is prosperous, and is quite an important enterprise in North McGregor. It is located on North Street, northwest of the railroad depot. Mr. Keen is the brother of the Mr. Keen who built the little steamboat on the Turkey River, whose peculiar history is given elsewhere in this work.


The firm of W. & J. Flemming embarked in business in 1863. In 1867 they built a small mill, and the following year a gang mill was built. They now do an immense business, employing 120 men, and having a pay-roll of $5,000 per month. Their trade extends all over the Northwest, and especially into Western Dakota.

West McGregor
(page 964)

West McGregor was incorporated in March, 1881. The following officers were then elected: Mayor, Michael Klein; Recorder, V. R. Miller; Councilmen, J. G. Kiesel and J. W. Hughes; Assessor, V. R. Miller. There were forty-three signatures attached to the petition for incorporation.
The West McGregor brewery was erected in 1857, by Michael Burnetts. After two years Michael Klein and John Van Staden purchased the brewery, and they continued in partnership for twenty years. Michael Klein then purchased Mr. Van Staden’s interest and is now the sole proprietor. About 1,000 barrels of beer are manufactured annually in this brewery. The main building is 50 x 100, and is valued at $4,000.


This chapter concludes with biographical sketches.


transcribed by Sally Scarff
source: History of Clayton County, Iowa, 1882, Chicago: Inter-State Publishing Co., 1882; CHAPTER XXXV; pg. 937-964


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