Iowa GenWeb


Hamilton County IAGenWeb


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Known books that relate to Hamilton County, Iowa

 All these books are available at the Kendall Young Library in Webster City.


The History of Hamilton County, Iowa  by J.W. Lee, 1912

Originally published by the S.J. Clarke Publishing
Company in 1912 

Available online -Volume 1 

Available online -Volume 2

History of Hamilton County, Iowa extensively chronicles the people and
events that helped shape the history of the county.  Volume I includes
narratives detailing pioneer life and early settlers, early schools and
churches, organization of local government with political events, Hamilton
County during the Civil War and lists of recruits, establishment and
organization of each township with reminiscence and events of interest, the
arrival of the railroad, and more.  Volume II contains portraits and
biographical sketches of many notable local residents: their origins, family
life, education, community work, military service, vital dates, and

Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Webster and Hamilton
Counties, Iowa 

        The Lewis Publishing Company, 113 Adams Street, Chicago, 1888
          (Contains portraits of all the Presidents of the United States from
        Washington to Cleveland with accompanying biographies of each; portraits
        and biographies of the Governors of the State, engravings of prominent
        citizens in Webster and Hamilton Counties, with personal histories of
        many of the early settlers and leading families.)

Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Hamilton and Wright Counties, Iowa 1889 index online.


A Biographical Record of Hamilton County, Iowa   index

        New York; S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1902, 645 pages

History of Hamilton County, Iowa 

Published 1985


Early Days in Hamilton County, Then and Now

            By Bessie L. Lyon, 1946

            Published by Freeman-Journal Publishing Co.

            Webster City, Iowa


“This State of Wonders” The Letters of an Iowa Frontier Family, 1858-1861

            Edited by John Kent Folmar, 1986

            University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, IA

History of Randall, Iowa and Adjoining Area, 1673-1976 

            by Mrs. Albert Holt


Echoes of Spring Valley

            By J. Clarine J. Boyken

            Published by Boyken, 1978

            Spring Valley School was located in Scott township, about 5 miles from Ellsworth.  


Reminiscences of Newcastle, Iowa 1848-

 A History of the Founding of Webster City, Iowa

Narrated by Sarah Brewer-Bonebright

Written by her daughter, Harriet Bonebright-Closz

Published by the Historical Department of Iowa, Des Moines, 1921


Walter Willson and his Crooked Creek Railroad

A. P. Butts, copyright October, 1976, Fred Hahne Printing Co., Webster City, Iowa 50595              This book is about the pioneer Walter C. Willson who built up most of Webster City, gave it its name, built four hotels, an opera house, brought the Iowa Falls and Sioux City railroad into Webster City from Alden, Iowa in 1869 and then continued running the line to Fort Dodge and then Storm Lake.  Later, to bring his coal from Lehigh, Iowa he constructed  the Crooked Creek narrow gauge line from Lehigh to Judd and then another branch to Webster City.  He was killed in 1900 when one of his cars carrying slag from the mining operation toppled over and crushed him.  His funeral was the largest funeral ever held in Webster City, bringing trains of miners from Lehigh and also from Fort Dodge.

Hamilton County, Its Towns and Settlements, Martin E. Nass, copyright 1976, Fred Hahne Printing Co., Webster City, Iowa.                  This book gives information about 36 settlements and towns that have existed at various times in Hamilton County history. Available at the Iowa State Historical Society library in Des Moines and Iowa City.
Webster City, Past and Present, Martin E. Nass, copyright 1978, Grant Press, Webster City, Iowa.              This book is a picture book of Webster City's past.  Each picture is accompanied with a facing page description of the place shown. Available at the Iowa State Historical Society library in Des Moines and Iowa City.
Main Street, USA, Webster City, Martin E. Nass, copyright 1985, Grant Press, Webster City, Iowa.            This book gives a rather complete account of the development of Webster City, Iowa.  A complete index is included.  Some accounts were written by friends such as John McMurray's account of the Boy Scout Troop 2, Alan Glascocks account of Webster City Junior College. Available at the Iowa State Historical Society library in Des Moines and Iowa City. 

Hamilton County Memories, Martin E. Nass, copyright 2007, published by The Daily Freeman-Journal, printed by The Messenger Printing Co., Fort Dodge, IA. Stories from the early days of Hamilton County, Iowa.

The Passing of the Prairie by a Fossil, written by Nehemias Tjernagel and edited by his grand-niece Margaret Harstad Matzke, 2009.
Nehemias, the well known Tjernagel family farmer, writer, composer and historian, began about a hundred years ago to interview and collect biographical material on pioneers in living in Story and Hamilton counties in Central Iowa.  These pioneers had settled the Iowa prairie in the 1850s and 1860s.  Some left their barely established farms to serve in the Union Army in the Civil War.  These survivors of war, prairie fires, drought, blizzards, and other sufferings spilled their life stories to Nehemias, who they knew would understand as he had lived among them since his birth in 1868.  Nehemias' intimate connection with the pioneers through blood or friendship is reflected back to us modern readers, thanks to his fluid prose.


Two Webster City Historical Videos

sponsored by the Webster City Rotary Club, have been produced that depict the history of Webster City, Iowa.  They are:

 1. Stories in Stone, researched and narrated by Ed Nass, local historian.  Produced in 2000.

    This video tells the story of 28 different settlers of Webster City narrated at their gravestones.  The film has a length of 41 minutes.  

2.  Webster City...Its Beginnings, researched and narrated by Ed Nass, local historian.  Produced in 2002.

    This video relates the history of Webster City from its beginnings in 1850 and continues to the turn of the century in 1900.  The video shows the location of the major occurrences in our history.  If the building and places no longer exist, still pictures are inserted to illustrate the story.  This film run 58 minutes in length.