Minburn History

This town is a station on the Des Moines and Fort Dodge railroad, situated on sections 7 and 8, in Sugar Grove township, and is the only town in the township. It is situated in the midst of a good farming community, and surrounded with a class of active enterprising, well-to-do farmers. It is a prairie town, and the bountiful products from the rich broad prairie flow into it abundantly, making it one of the best shipping points for grain and stock and other agricultural products, of any town of its size and age on this railroad.

The town was laid out in 1869, by J. B. Hill and D. F. Rogers.

The first house was built by F. H. Baker, who was also the first merchant and postmaster of the town.


The post-office was established the same year (1869). In all it has had three postmasters since its establishment. A. O. Nims succeeded Baker, who kept it but a short time, and was followed by the present incumbent, John Warford.


This town has two general stores, John Wafford and A. J. Knowles.

Two hardware, G. F. Brayton & Bro. and Jesse Pilbean.

Drug Store.- William Seidler.
Physician-E. R. Aiken.
Restaurants.-Joel Cushman, William Mitchell.

Blacks1niths.-Frank Edmunson, V. W. Beeson, Brown & Gosselin.

Livery Stable.-John Oklund.
Hotels.-Frank Knowles and John W. Gillan.
Grain Buyer.-M. W. Gribben.
Saloon.-M. M. Maurer.

They also have a Cornet Band, conducted by William Osborne.

The population of the town is about 300.

They have shipped from this point during- the year 1878:

Corn 100,000 bushels.
Oats 25,000 bushels
Wheat 4,000 bushels
Hogs 7,500 head
Horses 18 head
Butter and Eggs 35,000 pounds


This mill is owned by Osborne Bro's. It was formerly set up on the North Raccoon river, and moved to its present location three years ago. It has a capacity of from 3000 to 6000 feet.

The same firm have also a planing mill and lumber yard in connection with their saw mill, and are also contractors and builders, at which business they have quite an extensive custom.


Minburn is an independent school district, and has two frame buildings devoted to school purposes, one room each.

There are eighty-three pupils enrolled, and the schools are in good condition.

Two teachers are employed: Principal-S. H. Lauder; Assistant - Sophie Burnent. The principal receives $42.50 per month, and the assistant $30 per month. The present principal has been in charge of the school for two years.


Of Minburn was organized first at a school-house near Minburn, in the year 1859. When the town was laid out the place of meeting was moved to Minburn, in the year 1870. In the summer of 1869 Rev. J. Hestwood, pastor at Adel, preached at Minburn and organized a small class, consisting of the following named persons: Rhoda A. Hill, Minnie J. Knowler, Abbie Baker, Mark J. Newley and Margaret Newley. These two organizations were united in the year 1870, and known as the Minburn Society.

The following pastors have served the society: Rev. I. Mershon, in 1810; Rev. W. C. Smith, in 1871-2; Rev. D. Lamonte, in 1873; Rev. J. R. Osborne, in 1874; Rev. B. F. Shetterly, in 1875; Rev. Wm. Abraham, in 1876-7, and Rev. W. C. Smith, returned in 1878, and is the present pastor, to whose kindness we are indebted for these statistics.

One of the first officers in the church was Edward P. Vail. The present officers are: Mathew Crawford, Albert Birdsall, George Blackman, William Mortimer, Rhoda A. Hill, and Lizzie Minnis. The present membership is fifty-three.

The society is in a prosperous condition, growing encouragingly, and is free from debt.

The church building is a neat, substantial, frame structure, erected in 1877, and dedicated in February, 1878. It is 30x48 feet, cost $1,400, and will seat about two hundred and twenty-five persons comfortably.


Of Minburn, was organized in August, 1869, in a log school-house, two miles south of the present town site, before the town was laid out.

The church was organized by Rev. W m. Campbell, formerly of Adel. The names of the original members are William Luellen--to whose kindness we are indebted for these particulars-Eliza Luellen, Lizzie Luellen, Ruth D. Rogers, J. M. Porterfield, Clara Porterfield, and William McFarland, making six in all.

The names of the various pastors and, stated supplies who served this church, are as follows: Rev. H. H. Kellogg, Jr., 1869, who served the church one year.

During the year 1870 the church was supplied only occasionally. In 1871, Rev. George K. Smith supplied for four months, and in the fall of the same year, Rev. Wm. Reed commenced his labors with it, and served until the spring of 1873. In December of the same year, Rev. P. H. Jacobs was employed, but only preached two Sabbaths, when he was suddenly stricken down with a stroke of paralysis, and the church remained without regular preaching until July, 1874, when the Rev. W. H. Goodison commenced his labors with it and continued with them for four months, when it was again left vacant until May, 1875. On the last mentioned date, Rev. J. M. Smith served as a stated supply for four months, and then returned to the Theological Seminary, finished his course there, and returned to the church in May, 1876, continuing with them as a stated supply until May, 1877, when he was ordained and installed as their pastor, and remained as such until the fall of 1878, on account of ill-health. The pastoral relations were dissolved, and since that the church has had only occasional services.

The following officers were elected at the time of organization:

Elder-William Luellen.

Trustees-William Luellen, Samuel Edmundson, William McFarland.

March 24, 1875, J. A. Thompson was elected an elder.

Joseph A. Thompson was elected trustee in the spring of 1871, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the removal of Wm. McFarland out of the bounds, and in 1875 D. F. Rodgers was elected, vice S. Edmundson, resigned. The above constitutes all the officers up to the present date.

The present membership is twenty-three; the number deceased, one; the number dismissed by letters, five.

The church, at present, though without any regular preaching, carries on a good Sabbath-school, which has been kept up all winter with a good average attendance.

The building was erected the summer of 1871, at a cost of $2,000, and has never yet been dedicated. It is a frame structure 28x42 feet, and will seat one hundred and seventy-five persons comfortably.

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