Early Rutland Businesses

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The first store building in Rutland was a small frame structure that was moved from the Bickwell farm.  Mr. J.C. Helms opened a general store in the building.  He sought to supply the buying public with the same type of merchandise that was available in Humboldt.  After six months, and a stormy tide of business, Mr. Helms closed his store and moved away. 

In 1871, a company of men known under the firm name of the Rutland Mercantile and Manufacturing Company opened a business.  The corporation was composed of Ezra A. Wilder Sr., E. K. Lord, Mr. Simmons, and Dr. Ira L. Welch.  Their business was fairly prosperous.  After two years of doing business in Rutland, the R. M. M. C. sold their interests to E. A. Wilder.  

C. N. King was the next to open a business concern in Rutland.  Mr. King was a well known pioneer of Humboldt County.  He maintained his business for about two years, and then moved his possessions to Bradgate, where he lived until his death.  During the same time period, Austin W. Creed of Rolfe, moved in with a stock of goods, but he abandoned the effort after three years.  He moved his goods to a more populated location. 

George Welch, seeing that there was a need for a general store opened a business in 1879.  Later, John A. Koob, of Dakota City, bought the interests of Mr. Welch, but he moved on after just two years of operation. 

Ezra A. Wilder, Jr. opened a good general merchandise store.  He took in as his partner Frank Briton and they conducted business under the name of Wilder & Briton.  The partnership continued until 1884, when Mr. Wilder purchased the business interests of Mr. Briton.  The business continued under the name of Wilder's until fall of 1885.  John W. Campbell traded his farm to Mr. Wilder for his interest in the business, and the offer was accepted. 

After two years of trying his hand at being a business man, Mr. Campbell traded it for the farm of Ira Pattee.  Mr. Pattee took charge and conducted a successful business until 1890 when he closed out the business and moved north. 

In the mean time, Mr. Wilder had been conducting a general business at Rolfe, and seeing the vacancy caused by the closing out of Mr. Pattee; he moved his goods from Rolfe and reopened in his old location.  In 1895 he sold his stock to P. Martins and Fred Jensen.   Martin & Jensen only remained in business a few months before the resold to Mr. Wilder. 

Mr. Wilder did not continue the business long, but in the fall of 1895 sold the stock to August Holleschau and Edward Pavey.  These gentlemen conducted the establishment for two years, when they dissolved their partnership, Mr. Holleschau remaining in the old location, and Mr. Pavey moving his share of the goods into the room of the old building.  After two more years of business, Mr. Holleschau closed out his goods and moved away.  Mr. Pavey sold his stock to E.W. Bunger, who continued it until the fall of 1904 when he sold out and moved to Cedar Rapids. 

Dr. Lord erected a small building and opened up a drug store and post office in 1872, and continued in business for two years, when he closed out and the building remained vacant for a short time, after which it was occupied by O. D. Legg as a drug store for about two years who in turn also closed out and moved away.  Sometime later a gentleman named Peabody opened a drug store and a made an unsuccessful bid for public patronage, but he likewise left for lack of support.  

In 1883, Daniel DeGroote started a general store and conducted it with success until 1889 when he disposed of it to a gentleman named Harrison and moved to Humboldt where he conducted a successful business.  Mr. Harrison continued in his business venture until 1890, when he closed his goods and moved away. 

The pioneer blacksmith shop of Rutland was established in 1871 by O. F. Shaw who moved up from Ft. Dodge.  After two years of work, he abandoned the field and moved to Nebraska.

 In 1874, D.C. Sandbo moved up from Ft. Dodge and took up the blacksmith occupation, and for eight years looked after the wants in his line of the surrounding county.  In 1882, he moved to Bode where he continued his vocation.

During the operation of the Sandbo shop, James Oxborrow opened a smithy in Rutland.  He was from Illinois, and he remained in Rutland after his rival left.  He was succeeded by Chris Bunde, who in turn sold out to John Willey.  Mr. Willey disposed of this business to David Mimmeiman in 1894, who conducted the shop alone until 1904, when he sold a half interest to Hans Quist, with the firm name of Himmelman & Quist.

 Rutland Mill

The Rutland Mill was established in the year 1871 by the Rutland Mercantile and Manufacturing Company.  The water power of the mill had always been among the best in the state, the river affording an abundance of power for all the uses of the proprietors of the mill.  It was conducted successfully until the fall of 1890 when high water washed out the dam; it was abandoned and left at a standstill.  Thus it stood until 1892, when Mr. Shaffer, a practical miller of Dakota City where he worked in the Brown Bros. Mill, associated himself with William Boothroyd, and purchased the mill and water rights and reopened it for business.  After a few years of successful work during which they fitted the mill with a complete new outfit of modern machines, the firm dissolved, Mr. Shaffer retired.  William Bothroyd continued to give the local people the best service they had ever known. 

William Boothroyd was born in Racine Wisconsin, May 27, 1857.  He is one of the early settlers of Iowa, and a sterling citizen.  April 10, 1881 he was united in marriage with Miss Hannah Warnes.  Two children, both girls, were born to bless the union.  With his family he moved to Rutland in 1902.  Mr. Boothroyd was prominent in town affairs.  He was a member of the K. P. and Woodmen lodges, and was a director of the Rutland schools.

In 1905, Rutland was a growing and thriving community, and in a special Newssheet called the Rutland Republic the following businesses were named:

Hardware—Gregory and Sheridan featuring Heating Stoves, Harness, Stove Boards


  Hardware—Mikola Dziewanowski Harness, Whips, and Tinware


General Merchandise – Johns & Phleger advertising; You get coupons at this store, and you get 5% off your bill if you pay cash.” 


General Store –Abe DeSmidt


Meat Market – Irv. Lovrein & George Whipple


Restaurant – Hotel and Livery – Bert DeGroote


Billiards, Pool & Lunchroom – J. H. Barker


West Elevator – George DeGroote


Shoe Repair Shop – Thiele’s


Blacksmith Shop –Dave Himmelman and Hans Quist


Barber Shop—Andrew Jergens


Rutland Hotel – D. A. Davenport


Rutland Roller Miller—William Boothroyd


Postmistress—Mrs. Chris Johnson


Rural Mail Carrier, Wesley Davenport


Rutland Drug Store, Andrew Arent


Dr. F. E. Welch


Millinery Shop—Mrs David Himmelman


Rutland Creamery—Joe Bogh, Butter maker


Davenport & Locke Cement Block Industry—Ice Shipping Industry in winter


Rural Union Telephone Station—Miss Laura Brown, Operator


Rutland Dray Line – John Goodell.

The shipping of livestock, great herds of cattle, sheep and hogs, mostly driven in on foot to the market to be shipped out in railroad cars was an industry that has kept alive through the years.  Also the marketing of the grain, long lines of horse drive wagons lined up waiting turn to be weighed and unloaded at the elevator.  Rutland has served her people thus from its beginning, and continues to serve them well. 

~Visit also~
1930 Rutland Businesses