Waukee History

Excerpt from The History of Dallas County, Iowa, published in 1879 by the Union Historical Company of Des Moines, Iowa

This town is a station on the Des Moines and Fort Dodge railroad, situated on the north half of section 33, township 79, range 26. It is a prairie town, surrounded by a broad scope of farming land, and about fifteen miles from Des Moines. The junction of the Des Moines, Adel and Western railroad with the D. M. & Ft. D. R. R. is made at this point, which affords excellent advantages for shipping, and when the Narrow Gauge is extended on westward, it will make Waukee an important point as the junction of the two roads so near the Capital city.

Considerable grain and stock are shipped from it annually.

Waukee was laid out by L. A. Grant, now of Des Moines, in 1869, who formerly owned the land on which it stands.

The first house in the town was built by L. A. Grant, and stood near where the water-tank now stands.

The first goods sold in Waukee were sold by W. J. Johnson, soon after the town was established.

The first birth was Minnie, daughter of James Parker November 25, 1869. The first death was that of Mrs. A. Tyler January 26, 1870. It is supposed that John M. Atkins and Miss Dora Taylor were the first couple married in the town. The marriage ceremony was performed by C. F. M. Clark, J. P.

The town was incorporated in 1878. B. F. Halstead,G. S. Whalen, M. Sines, C. C. Tyler and C. F. M. Clark were appointed the committee on corporation and corporation election.

The following officers were elected who were both the first and present officers of the town:
Mayor - C. F. Howe, Recorder- W. E. Humphrey
Assessor - J. E. Huston.
Marshal-Samuel Shearer, vice L. Hubbard resigned.
C. C. Tyler,
Patrick Hogan
A. T. Blackman,
W. Wood, Taylor Bates, O. F. M. Clark.

The present population of the town is about two hundred and fifty.


The first post-office was established in October, 1869, W. J. Johnson being appointed postmaster, who held that office until 1870, when he was succeeded by C. F. M. Clark in 1870, who has held the office ever since, and is the present postmaster.


General Stores. - A. T. Blackman, C Middlekauff
Groceries. - Mrs. B. M. Snow; How, & Duncan.
Hardware. - Tyler & Huston.

Drug Stores. - C. F. M. Clark, W. A. Carter.
Lumber Dealers. - Tyler & Huston.
Coal. - C. C. Tyler.
Real Estate. - Miles Sines.
Grain Dealers. - Herbert & Carrell, C. C. Tyler.
Blacksmiths. - Charles Robinson, John Olke.
Hotels. - Thomas J. Sloan, James Parker.
Livery. - Thomas J. Sloan.
Physicians. - J. K. L. Duncan, George L. Piper, S. W. Aldridge.
Lawyers. - B. T. Halstead, Geo. A. Smith.
Flouring Mill. - Gurnsey & Treefry.
Harness Maker. - Geo. S. Wharton.
Restaurant. - R. McDougal.


This building is a two-story frame structure, 26x40 feet in size. There are two good school rooms and two recitation rooms. The cost of the building was $2,300. They employ two teachers. Principal - A. O. Phillips; Assistant - Sarah E. Randall.

The average attendance of pupils is about eighty-five.

Waukee is an independent school district. The members of the school board are: President - A. T. Blackman; Secretary - C. F. M. Clark; Treasurer - C. Tyler; George Bass.


Is located one-half mile south of town, contains two acres, is owned by a joint stock company. President - M. Sines; Vice - President-John Wragg; Secretary - C. Robinson; Treasurer - A. T., Blackman. Directors -M. Sines, J. Wragg, C. C. Tyler, George Bass and A. T. Blackman.


Waukee also has a library association, and quite an extensive library, which is being kept in good shape, and being added to more or less every year, and is becoming a very profitable institution in the town. The particulars regarding this were to have been furnished, but have not been sent in, which omission we regret.

I. O. O. F.

Waukee Lodge, No. 311. - This lodge was organized, under charter from the Grand Lodge, on the 14th day of March, 1875. W. W. Moore presided as the installing officer, and the following persons were elected for the first term of office: L. Swearengen, N. G.; D. Bates, V. G.; O. W. Robinson, R. S.; T. Bates, Treasurer.

The following officers were appointed: E. S. Carrell, C.; W. M. Cribbs, W.; J. W. Blackman, O. G.

The lodge is in a very flourishing condition at the present, having a fine suit of rooms, well furnished and fitted up, in which they hold regular meetings with good attendance, and the members take great delight in promoting its growth and prosperity as one of the important institutions of their town.

We acknowledge indebtedness to Mr. C. F. M. Clark for the above statistics regarding the lodge.


The First Presbyterian church of Waukee, Iowa, was organized April 24, 1870, by Rev. William Campbell, who was appointed a committee for that purpose by the Presbytery of Des Moines. "

"Twenty-one persons composed the organization. Rev. George Pierson was the first stated minister to this church. He began his labors here in May, 1871, and closed in May, 1876. The present pastor, Rev. R. J. Hughes, commenced preaching here in June, 1876.

"The first ruling elder in this church was J. A. Wick. In December, 1873, Mr. A. Tyler was elected elder. In January, 1878, Mr. Wick resigned, and Mr. J. R. Elliott was elected in his place. The present session consists of Mr. Tyler and Mr. Elliott. The first board of trustees consisted of J. A. Wick, Jacob Snyder and -. Subsequently M. H. Baugh, William Cribs and

T. K. Duncan composed the board. At present N. Nish, C. R. Storrs and T. F. Howe constitute the board of trustees.

"The church edifice stands in the southwest part of town. It is a frame building, in size 28x40, and will seat two hundred persons.

"The house was built in 1870, at a cost of $1,600. All but $400, which was given by the Board of Church Erection, was raised by the members of the church and the residents of the village. The lot on which the building stands was donated by General L. A. Grant, of Des Moines.

"In 1871 the church edifice was dedicated to the worship of God, Rev. T. O. Rice, then of Des Moines, preaching the dedicatory sermon. During the summer of 1878 the house was painted, the foundation penciled, the windows furnished with shutters, and some repairs made inside, the whole costing $100. The present membership of the church is forty-seven.

"There is a Sabbath-school in connection with this church, held during the summer season only. It has an enrollment of sixty scholars and six teachers."

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