Palo Alto County Towns

Incorporation of Towns


Ruthven was incorporated in 1878. Robert and Alex Ruthven owned the land.
They gave half of the land to the Railroad Co. in return for locating the town
plat there.
The first resident was Thomas Miller. The first store was run by John
McDonald. Later C.W. Hastings bought our McDonald and Potter and
Scovington also put in a store.


West Bend was settled by Jeremiah Kelly of Ruthven and a man named Jones.
It was named after the bend in the river that made a sharp turn to the west

Kelly built the first frame house here. Jack Gallegar opened a saloon
in 1881. James Evans owned a store. In the fall of 1881 Edward Bagley opened
a hardware store. James Tilford also opened a store and H.H. Jacobs opened
a large store. James Johnson was the first postmaster. Frank Minger was
the first blacksmith. Elmore Minger built the first barn. L.E. Hampton
ran a clothing store. J.C. Felhauser built West Bend House Hotel with
Dan Kelly as proprietor. The first doctor was E.W. Backman.


Rodman is in Fern Valley Township. Rodman offered the railway half interest
in land to plat a town and name it Rodman.
William Sloan was the first postmaster. Thomas Bates built the
first house and worked for the railroad. E.E. Shriner built a store in
1888. M.L. Fritz built a hotel.


Area farmers saw the advantages of having a rail depot. They bought the Jerry
Conway farm and then offered to donate it to Burlington Co. in return for a
rail station. The railway agreed in 1881.The town was first called Blairgowrie
after the farm to the East. Later people petitioned to name the town Osgood
after the town in Canada which was the home of E.P. McEvoy. Mr. McEvoy
owned the land where the town was laid out. In 1882 C.H. Geddings built
a store and was the first postmaster. Z.F. Dickinson and A.A. Wells
started many different enterprises.


The railway went through in 1882. For several years only August Reichle
lived there. In 1885 J.A. Spies and his father settled there. In 1887 George
Zahm built a store and then sold it in 1888 to N. Oshier. Zahm then
built a new store and sold it to Preston Fahenstock. Together J.A. Spies
and George Zahm owned the first lumberyard. Preston Fahenstock built a creamery
in 1892. Henry Baum built a hotel in 1890. In 1895 H.N. Oshier opened
the grain elevator. Miss Anna Mahan was the first teacher.


Cylinder was named after Cylinder Creek. It started out as a large hay barn
built by Brown and sons in 1885. They put in siding in able to load hay.
In 1889 John Goeders built a store and was also the postmaster. In
1890 Charles Terwilliger ran a store. John Ganzley was the first
blacksmith. E.E. Hughes ran a hotel and livery barn. George Wells
was the first mayor in 1901 and M.N. Oleson was the first Marshall.


In 1882 Curlew was a rail station. It was named by the president of the Des
Moines and Fort Dodge Railway, a man named Whitehead, for the many curlew birds
he found in the area. S.A. Easton opened a hotel. In 1888 Melvin Fish bought
his hotel and later built a livery, feed barn and grain elevator.


Mallard was incorporated in 1882. George Inman gave the railway 1/2
interest to locate on his land in Rush Lake Township. President Whitehead of the
railway named the town for its great quantity of ducks. Joseph Mihlfread
built a small shack. Hackenburg ran a store and was the first postmaster.
John Mertis was first official resident. In 1883 C.H. Sands started
a grain, coal and lumber business. Orrie Kendall built a hotel. Charles
Ziegler opened a hardware store in 1883.

West Bend

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