Dallas Center History

     This town is a neat and flourishing station on the Des Moines & Fort Dodge Railroad, full of life and business.

     It is a prairie town situated in the midst of a broad, fertile tract of farming land in the northeast corner of Adel township, Dallas county, Iowa, on the north half of section 2, the railroad passing nearly centrally through the town plat, and the north line of the township constituting the north line, also, of the town plat. The surrounding view over the broad, rich prairies in the summer season is of more than ordinary interest and attractiveness, and there are few towns of its size and age that can rival Dallas Center in business and enterprise, especially for a western town in a new country.

     The land on which the town is located was formerly owned by Percival & Hatton, and R. D. Kellogg.

     Percival & Hatton bought the portion that Kellogg owned, and May 7, 1869, laid out the town, christening it Dallas Center, it being located within about four miles of the center of the county, east and west, and almost in the exact center north and south.

     The survey of the town was made by Francis Pelton, and the plat was recorded in June, 1869.

     There was none of the land in the original town plat deeded to the railroad company, but it was entirely a private enterprise of Percival & Hatton, who sold the lots at private sale, accordingly as they came into demand, and still own the greater part of the vacant lots in town. Huber & Vandercook's addition was afterward made to the town.

     The first goods were sold in the new town by O. N. Steele, in the last of June, 1869, on the east side of the railroad track, in a shanty out on the open prairie. This was the first and only business firm in the town for a while, and the shanty in which the goods were sold was, perhaps, the first building erected in the town. This house was afterward sold and moved to the country.

     T. R. North soon afterward followed with a stock of hardware and groceries, and also J. E. Fleischman with dry goods and a general mixed stock, giving the new town quite an encouraging appearance of business and enterprise from the very start, which it has never since lost, but continued to increase, and has built up very rapidly as a stirring business point, gaining the patronage and confidence of the surrounding community.

     The first regular and comfortable dwelling house built in the town was by W. B. Fuller, in June or July, 1869. It was a frame two-story structure, comfortably finished and fitted for a dwelling house, and continued in use as such for some time.

     The first birth in the town was that of a child of B. F. Huber.

     In September, 1878, Mr. Melick took the census of the town and found the number of inhabitants to be 547, at that date, but says they will now number at least 560.


     They have a large two-story brick school-building, with four commodious, well ventilated, neatly furnished rooms, two up stairs and two down stairs.

     This building was erected about five years ago, at a cost of $10,000, and is fondly cherished by the citizens of the town, who spare no effort or expense to make it a thorough and valuable school.

     There are three teachers now employed, and a large number of pupils are in attendance.

     The teachers at present are: T. K. Whitlock, principal; Miss E. Garretson, intermediate; Miss Mary Thornton, primary.

     This is an Independent School District, and the officers of the district, as well as the members of the school board, use all due diligence to make their school a success and have it compare favorably with any of the public schools in other places, and in this respect their efforts are not in vain, but are being crowned with a rich reward in furthering the educational interest of their own children.


     At the beginning of the year 1879 the business firms in the place stood about as follows:

Dry Goods.-Melick & Fox, mixed stock of dry goods, groceries, etc.; J. E. Fleischman & Co., dry goods, groceries, queens ware and general merchandise; A. B. Smith, dry goods, groceries, etc.; G. W. look, dry goods, groceries, etc.

Drug Stores.-James Brainiff, drugs, medicines, clothing, groceries, etc.; I. G. Morgan, drugs, patent medicines, etc.

Hardware.-Townsend & Cartright, hardware, groceries, queens ware, furniture, etc.; Martin & Woodward, hardware, stoves and agricultural implement; J. Purinton, hardware and tin-shop.

Agricultural Implements.-F. Hubbard, general stock-several other firms also keep implements.

Harness Shop.-T. W. Ferguson, harness, saddles, whips, blankets, etc.

Furniture Store.-Townsend & Cartright.

Bank.-O. Mosher, proprietor.

Bakery and Restaurant.-Nazarene & Ringer.

Merchant Tailor.-Charles Bomberger; cutting, fitting and making done.

Milliner Shops.-Mattie Fleming; Mary Brockway & Co.


Boot and Shoe Shops.-E. J. M. Stevens; J Narvey.

Meat Market.- Clarey Brothers.

Blacksmith Shops.-J. F. McGrath; Dan. Collins.

Wagon Shops.- F. Pillne & Balcom; Wm. Gorman.

Postmaster.-O. N. Steele.

Jeweler.-Jed Brockway, at the post-office.

Land Office.-Smart & Steele, office at post-office.

Grain Dealers.-Schamel & Loughran; Kenworthy Brothers, also deal some in stock.

Stock Dealer.-W. H. Brenton.

Lumber Dealer.-J. S. Easton.

Hotels.-Dallas Center House, Mrs. A. A. Perkins, proprietor and owner;
Grant House, Mrs. Lucy Hutchinson, proprietor and owner.

Livery Barn.-W. S. Jamison, proprietor.

Insurance Agents.-W. T. Allen; J. L. Loring.

Physician and Surgeon.-B. H. Criley.

Dentist.-A. E. Rawson.

Lawyers.-J. M. Hoopes; O. Mosher; J. L. Loring.

Justices.- W. T. Allen; R. R. Richmond.

Notaries.-O. N. Steele; J. M. Hoopes; O. Mosher; J. L. Loring.

Carpenters.-D. F. Neff; M. S. Van Dusen.

Saloons.-Henry Saunders; J. Freund; P. McGrath.

     This town has one newspaper, "The Globe", an account of which is found in the general history, under the article on "The Press".

     There are two good mills in Dallas Center, one grist mill, known as the "Union Mill", owned by R. Roberts, and one planing mill, owned by O. Rathburn & Son. These mills do good work and are having quite an extensive run of custom. Their presence in the town adds greatly to its interest and enterprise, in drawing customers from a distance in different directions to get milling and planing work done, and thus they bring trade to the other departments of business.


Delta Lodge, No. 356, A. F. &: A. H.-This Lodge was established under dispensation sometime during the summer of 1876. The first officers under dispensation, and the first elected before the date of Charter, were: D. Smart, W. M.; W. M. Y. Ustick, S. W.; J. E. Fleischman, J. W.; O. B. Rathbun, Acting S. D.; O. N. Steele, J. D.; W. H. Brenton, Treasurer; O. Mosher, Secretary; A. Ustick, Tyler.

The Lodge was organized under Charter, with some twenty members, about July 1, 1876, and has continued under a good degree of prosperity until the present.

The Charter officers were: David Smart, W. M.; O. B. Rathbun, S. W.; J. E. Fleischman, J. W.; Wm. H. Brenton, Treasurer; O. Mosher, Secretary; 1. G. Morgan, S. D:; O. N. Steele, J. D.; J. M. Hoopes, S. S.; J. Cruickshank, J. S.

The present officers are: David Smart, W. M.; S. R. Small, S. W.; N. A. Townsend, J. W.; O. N. Steele, Secretary; Wm. H. Brenton, Treasurer; J. W. Humphries, S. D.; J. A. Richmond, J. D.; J. J. Cramer, Tyler.

The membership will now number about forty, and the Lodge is reported to be in a prosperous condition.

Dallas Center Lodge, No. 1248, I. O. O. F., received dispensation Aug. 14, 1872, but held no meetings until the date of their organization, Oct. 5, 1872.

They were organized with six members, all of whom received offices at the first election, and the list of first membership is also shown in the following list of first officers: J. L. Loring, N. G.; F. Hubbard, V. G.; W. M. Clark, Secretary; A. K. Clark, Permanent Secretary; S. S. Grossman, Treasurer; W. P. McClure, Warden.

This Lodge was instituted by the District Deputy, Gerald Master, M. C. Twitchell, with Ward Redfield, and M. C. Thomas, assistants.

The present officers are: S. P. Melick, N. G.; T. W. Ferguson, V. G.; J. L. Loring, Secretary; G. W. Zook, Permanent Secretary; F. Hubbard, Treasurer; E. J. M. Stevens, Warden.

The Lodge is generally prosperous. At one time it had as high as 35 members, but by removals and changes the present membership is reduced to about 22.


     This Church was organized about 1873, with about some twelve or fifteen members, among whom were the following: Old Mr. Scott, Mrs. Whitman, Mr. Jennings and family, some six or seven in an, Mr. John White, and two daughters, and Mrs. Rathbun. A small organization had existed for some time before in the country a few miles from town, and sometime during the spring or summer of 1873, Rev. Geo. R. Smith, a student from a Theological Seminary in New York, being out on vacation, stopped off the cars at Dallas Center, went to work with zeal and earnestness, gathered up the scattered elements of Presbyterianism in town and county round about, and succeeded in organizing quite a flourishing church here.

     The small organization from the country (above mentioned) came in, and with united effort, and the liberal help of the outside community, they erected, the same summer, a comfortable house of worship, about 50x34 feet, which served for the accommodation of all denominations until others were erected.

     Mr. Smith returned to the seminary in the fall again, and afterward purchased a beautiful communion set which he sent to the church as a present.

     The following ministers have supplied the church since its organization: Reverends George R. Smith, Reed, Goodson, Jacobs, James Smith-the latter resigned about the close of 1878, on account of ill-health. Prof. M. E. Philips, of Adel, now supplies the church every Sabbath morning and evening.

There is now a membership of about twenty.


     Previous to 1873 this church belonged to the Waukee Circuit. The ministers who have been over it as pastors are as follows: Revs. G. S. Wharton, D. Thompson, H. M. Sexton, J. J. Caldwell, James Lisle and Cyrus Smith, the present pastor.

     The church was incorporated in 1873, by B. W. Thomas, T. W. Garmon, J. Slocum, J. M. Hoopes, N. M. Y. Ustick, F. Hubbard and J. Purinton as trustees.

     The present trustees are J. Slocum, M. Slaughter, J. O. McClure, J. M. Hoopes, S. P. Melick, F. Hubbard, John Fox, J. Purinton and G. L. Robertson.

     A parsonage was built in 1876, at a cost of between $600 and $700, which building is situated on parts of lots Nos. 15 and 16, block 26.

     The chapel was built in 1877, on a leased lot, No. 13, block No. 39, at a cost of about $600. . It is a comfortable, neatly furnished frame structure.

The present membership of the church is about fifty.

     The above particulars were furnished through the kindness of Mr. S. P. Melick.

     Dallas Center has never been incorporated, though several attempts have been made.

Shipped from Dallas Center station for the year 1878:

Cattle ..................1,084 head
Hogs .,.................. 12,000 "
Rye ........................800 bushels
Wheat ...................25,000 "
Oats ..................... 40,000 "
Corn ....................200,000 "
Potatoes ...................1,000 "
Hay .......................30 cars, baled.

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