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Full text of "History of the counties of Woodbury and Plymouth, Iowa, including an extended sketch of Sioux City, their early settlement and progress to the present time;"

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Woodbury and Plymouth, 









n Morris Company, 


118 A 

<d 120 Monroe Stheet, 




IN the preparation of this volume the publishers have endeavored to give 
a clear and concise statement of historical facts, and as well to sketch in 
fitting terms the wonderful growth, development and possibilities of this 
highly favored region; for not only are the residents of Sioux City and 
vicinity interested in its past history, but its glowing prospects for the future 
are attracting the marked attention of people in every section of the country. 

An earnest effort has been made to treat with accuracy all matters touched 
upon, and no expense has been spared to render the book attractive, and to 
more than fulfill the promises made in the prospectus. It is fortunate 
indeed, that many of the facts of history, which are here recorded, have been 
rescued from oblivion, by being placed in enduring form before the early 
settlers have passed away. 

With the exception of the chapters hereafter mentioned, which were 
written by citizens, who, from their long residence, special knowledge of the 
subjects, and official positions, were exceptionally qualified for the work 
done, the historical part of the work for both counties (including the early 
history of Sioux City, and its present interests — commercial, social and 
religious), and the matter relating to the formation and settlement of 
the townships in Plymouth county, were written by Mr. W. L. Clark; the 
chapters on the origin and formation of the townships in Woodbury county, 
and the sketches of the towns and villages therein, were furnished by Mr. J. 
E. Norris. The local writers and the chapters written by them are as fol- 

Peof. J. C. C. Hoseins, Chapter II, Woodbury county, Topography and 
Geology (of the two counties). 

Prof. J. S. Shoup, Chapter VII, Woodbury county, Educational In- 

Hon. W. L. Joy, Chapter X, Woodbury county, Bench and Bar. 

Peof. J. Weknli, Chapter VI, Plymouth county, Education. 

Hon. H. C. Curtis, Chapter IX, Plymouth county, Bench and Bar. 

The publishers wish to acknowledge their obligations to all who have 
assisted those engaged in the preparation of the work, among whom may be 
mentioned the editors of the leading journals throughout the district em- 
braced, the county and city officials, the clergy, the officers and members of 
the various societies, the managers of the numerous industrial enterprises, 
and many others. We have been allowed to present some interesting facts 
taken from A. E. Sheetz's Centennial History, and are under special obliga- 
tions to Dr. William R. Smith and the Hon. D. M. Mills for many favors 
shown, and much information given. 

The biographical sketches were so numerous that it has necessitated as 
brief treatment as the circumstances would warrant, and the publishers have 
been compelled to depend mainly upon the members of the respective fam- 
ilies for the reliability of the facts set forth. No pains have been spared to 
make this department accurate, and it is believed that it constitutes an inter- 
esting portion of the work, and that it will increase in value with the lapse 
of time. 

Trusting that the volume will prove satisfactory to its readers, it is 
submitted to their considerate judgment. 


Chicago, July, 1891. 





Topography and Geology 14-47 

Early Settlement of Sioux City and Vicinity 49-73 

Organization of the County 73-80 

County Government, etc 80-90 

Political History 90-100 

Educational Interests 100-11(5 

Agriculture 116-122 

Railroads of the County 122-131 

Bench and Bar 131-153 


Early Physicians 153-159 

The Newspaper Press 159-166 

Civil War and Indian Troubles 166-176 

Sioux City 176-186 

Sioux City, contiuued 186-192 

Sioux City, continued. — Religious Societies 192-201 

Sioux City, continued. — Civic and other Societies 201-211 

Sioux City, continued. — Industrial and Commercial Interests 211-236 

Sioux City, continued. — Events of Special Interest 236-264 



General Township Matters 264-279 

Woodbury Township 279-293 

Little Sioux Township 293-311 

Union Township .' 311-326 

Lakeport, Liberty and Grange Townships 326-342 

Rock, Kedron, Rutland, Morgan, Miller 342-353 

West Fork, Wolf Creek, Grant, Moville 353-366 

Liston Township 366-375 

Arlington, Floyd, Concord, Banner 375-386 

Willow and Sloan Townships 386-397 

Oto Township 399^06 


Introductory 409-41 1 

Early Settlement 411-419 

Organization and County Government 419-431 

Miscellaneous Items 431-439 

Political History 439-447 

Educational 449-462 

Railroads 462^169 

Agriculture and Stock Raising 469-472 

The Bench and Bar 472-479 

The Medical Profession 479-486 

Plymouth County Newspapers 486-492 


Elgin Township 493-498 

Elkhorn Township 498-503 

Fredonia Township 503-507 

Garfield Township 507-516 

Grant Township 516-523 

Hancock Township 523-526 

Henry Township 526-528 

Hungerford Township 528-531 


Johnson Township 531-536 

Liberty Township 536-540 

Lincoln Township : 540-542 

Marion Township 542-545 

Meadow Township 545-547 

Perry Township 547-550 

Plymouth Township 550-558 

Portland Township 558-564 

Preston Township 564-567 

Remsen Township 567-575 

Sioux Township 575-579 

Stanton Township 579-582 

Union Township 582-585 

"Washington Township 585-587 

Westfield Township , 587-590 


America Township 590-596 



City of Le Mars 596-623 


INDEX 1014 - 1022 



Armstrong, Allen 147 

Badgerow, G. R 327 

Beck, F. F 655 

Bruguier, Theophile 47 

Burns, W. H 795 

Chase, R. J 367 

Clarke, Willis G 483 

Cook, Dr. JohnK 27 

Crossan, Allen 

Culver, C. G 

Davis, S. T 

Eisentraut, George 
Evans, Fred T., Sr 

Felt, G.W 627 

Flinn, M. L opposite 528 

Follis, W. S 501 

Gere.T. P 227 

Gordon, Wm 387 

Green, Thos 683 

Haakinson, Ed • ■ 297 

Hagy, John 




Halseth, A 693 

Higman, W. E 317 

Hills, F. C 237 

Holmau, W. P 357 

Hornick, John 277 

Hoskins, J. C. C I 27 

Hoyt, C. F 187 

Hubbard, A. W 37 

Hunt, Frank 407 

Hutchins, James 447 

Johnson, H. H 665 

Joy, Wm. L - 67 

Kellogg, Geo. W 465 

Lambert, Fritz J 157 

Lawrence, Jos. S 645 

Lessenich, John J 703 

Lewis, C. H 437 

Louoks. R. H 377 

Lynch, J. 8 ""7 

Major, Robt. 721 

Malone, Thos 759 

Millard, A. J 3 97 

Morf, J. H 427 

Pardoe, Geo. M 555 

Pendleton, Isaac 107 

Peters, E. C 197 

Rochel, John. 741 

Skinner, E. W 417 

Smith, Wm. R 57 

Stone, T. J 87 

Swanson, John A 731 

Taylor, O.J 33 7 

Tiedeman, N 519 

Wakefield, G. W 217 

Wall, James P 3 47 

Whitfield, Wilmot 307 

Wilkinson, A. L 367 

Williams, D. A 573 

Woodford, Luther 287 

Wynn, Leighton 2 57 

Young, Geo. W 5 3 7 

City Hall and Public Library 177 

Corn Palace, 1890 2 47 

Map of Woodbury and Plymouth 
Counties 9 and 10 


University of the Northwest 117 

Woodbury County Court House 77 

Y. M. C. A. Building 207 


R.41 v ff.4ff 

JSI O 1 


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O UN T y 


Woodbury and Plymouth, 




The Change— Indian Occupancy— The "White Man's First Settlement — 
Then and ISfow — The Contrast. 

IN introducing the reader to the chapters comprising this volume, it 
only needs to be said that herein will be found an historic account 
of the great transformation which the last forty years have wrought 
out in this portion of the " Middle Kingdom " of America — the State 
of Iowa. 

Prior to April 20, 1836, the domain of all Iowa was included in 
territory subject to the jurisdiction of Michigan territory. At the 
above date, through Gen. George Jones, of Dubuque, then in con- 
gress, the territory of Wisconsin was created and organized in due 
form. It embraced " all that portion of the great west included in 
Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa." 

In 1838 the question of organizing the territory of Iowa began to 
be agitated. In November of that year congress was memorialized 
to do this and to define the line between Wisconsin and Missouri ter- 
ritories. The act of congress which admitted Iowa also gave her the 
sixteenth section of every township of land in the state (or its equiva- 
lent) for the support of schools; also seventy-two sections of land for 


the purpose of a university; also provided that her public lands 
should be exempt from any general taxation. Thus provided for as a 
bride with her marriage portion, Iowa commenced housekeeping on 
her own account. 

At first but a few counties were organized in the extreme eastern 
portion of the state — along the^Mississippi, the remainder being still 
possessed by Indians, including the Sacs and Foxes. The last treaty 
with the Indians was made in 1842 and ratified March, 1843. In this 
treaty, which John Chambers, United States commissioner, made with 
the Sac and Fox Indians at Agency City, all the lands west of the 
Mississippi river to which they had any claim, were ceded to the Gov- 
ernment. By that treaty the Indians were to be removed from the 
territory named, at the expiration of three years. A part of them 
was removed to Kansas in the fall of 1845, and the remainder in the 
spring following. 

On July 15, 1830, the Sac, Fox, Western Sioux, Omaha, Iowa 
and Missouri Indians ceded to the United States a portion of the 
western Iowa slope, including what is now Woodbury and Plymouth 
•counties. In consideration of three tracts of land the Government 
agreed to pay the Sacs $3,000; the Foxes $3,000; the Sioux $2,000; 
the Yankton and Santee bands of the Sioux $3,000; the Omahas 
$1,500; the Ottoes and Missouris $2,500, to be paid annually for ten 
years. Provision was also made for farm implements and schools of 
training for these tribes. Thus it will be observed the Indians were 
not ruthlessly driven from the hunting grounds of Iowa, but grven a 
cash consideration to go in peace. 

Prior to the coming of William Thompson, no white man had looked 
upon the fair domain now known as Woodbury county with the view 
of becoming a permanent settler. That brings us down to 1848. Be- 
hold the wondrous transformation — the almost incredible change! 
Then this section was all as a wise Creator had fashioned it. The 
beautiful prairie lands had never felt the plowshare; the waters of 
the Big Sioux, the Floyd and the lesser streams which here flow into 
the Missouri had never been spanned by a wagon or foot bridge. The 
Indians alone had hunted and fished along their meanderings and 
bathed their dusky forms in their clear and cooling waters. 

It is safe to assert that no portion of the civilized globe ever made 
more rapid and substantial growth than the Missouri valley slope has 


made, in the same length of time. History proves that in the Old 
World it has taken hundreds of years to bring 1 about even slight 
changes in a given locality. But since William Thompson built his 
little locf cabin on the Iowa side of the "Big Muddy," a few miles 
below where Sioux City stands to-day, the advancement has been like 

Its enterprising pioneers, its geographical location on the longest 
river in the world, backed by an expanse of fertile land, the rich- 
ness of which is not excelled, if equaled anywhere — have caused 
Sioux City to be one of the leading and rapidly increasing railroad 
centers of the west. Its railroad lines extend from the Atlantic to 
the Pacific and from Lake Superior to the Gulf of Mexico. The east 
sends her manufactured treasures to this point and exchanges them for 
the vegetable and mineral wealth of this "garden spot of the world." 

It matters not on what line one allows his mind to center, or upon 
which hand one looks, the same stir and bustle and genuine progress 
may be seen. 

The Indian ieepe, which fifty remaining pioneers here well remem- 
ber, as the only adorning object this spot had, aside that given by 
nature, has gone to decay — the broken Indian tribes are scattered 
like chaff before a whirlwind, and are soon to become extinct. In the 
place of these emblems of savage life, the true types of modern Chris- 
tian civilization have come to grace this goodly portion of the Hawk- 
eye State. Nearly two hundred school-houses and half as many 
church edifices within this county are good indexes, pointing to the 
work strong-minded and stout-hearted men have here been able to per- 
form in the short period of one generation. 

" Thirty years ago, my county, 

You were fair — yes very fair; 
There were no furrows on your brow, 

No silver in your hair. 
The blush of early womanhood 

Was on your rounded cheek; 
The wild flowers on your bosom 

Exhaled their fragrance sweet." 



Incomplete Survey — Surface Observations— Streams— Elevations of 
Ground— Rock Formations—Composition of Ground— All Land Sub- 
merged—Deposits from Glaciers— Evidences of Animal Life— Early 
Formation— Tropical Vegetation — Species of Trees— Later Period 
— Absence of Animal and Vegetable Life— Sudden Change — Luxu- 
riant Vegetation— Species Identical with Those of Present Time 
— Depression of the Earth— Increase of Shell-Fish — Third, or Nio- 
brara Group — Deepening of the Sea — Appearance of Vertebrated 
Fish— Largest Created Animals— Value of Clay Beds. 

TO the shame of the State of Iowa, no exhaustive geological sur- 
vey of any portion of her rich territory has yet been made, and 
our knowledge of the rocks and soils of Woodbury and Plymouth 
counties depends on the hurried and very superficial reconnoissance of 
Dr. White, and the casual observations of scientific men like Hayden, 
Marcon and Capellini, who have visited a few special locations, 
mainly with the view of collecting proofs of theories already promul- 

The writer of this treatise has endeavored to avail himself of all 
that has been recorded by these gentlemen, and has himself passed 
with eyes wide open, if not accurately discerning, over most of these 
two counties, and here records the results of his best judgment. He 
w shes, however, to state distinctly that this is not a complete scientific 
monograph; the data for such a writing do not exist, nor are the 
statements herein made to be taken as strictly exact, whenever figures 
and dimensions are set down. 

For instance, when it is stated that a certain formation has a cer- 
tain thickness, or covers a certain area, it is to be understood that such 
statements are not exact, but only approximate, their exactness being 
impossible at present, and not at all essential to our general knowledge 
of the region. It is believed, however, that there are facts observed, 
patent to all who will look intelligently, to fix the geological status of 
the region we are considering sufficiently for all practical purposes. 


Woodbury and Plymouth counties are nearly equal in area (Plym- 
outh being a few hundred acres the larger), comprising together about 
1,100,000 acres; and may be looked at, in general, as part of a larger 
plain with gentle slope toward the southwest. In riding over the 
country one is struck very forcibly with the apparent equality in 
height of all the peaks and ridges within his horizon, and with the 
certainty that the channels of all the streams and the drains that lead 
down to them, have been carved out of level ground by the action of 
water, aided in places by winds that have helped to give roundness 
and softness to the everywhere beautiful landscape. Close observation 
brings conviction that such has been the case. 

Indeed, such observation enables us to see the process of the ages 
still going on; and the brief occupation of civilized man has in many 
places assisted very perceptibly in the process. 

In the whole chapter of indirect causes there are few things more 
interesting than that portion narrating the unexpected and wholly un- 
foreseeable influence of man over external nature, and particularly 
over the conformation of the surface of the ground. 

The direct and intended changes are very meager and insignificant 
compared with the results of acts or accidents altogether unthought of, 
so far as their effects are concerned. The passage of a stream at one 
point rather than another equally easy, the wagon track up the hill at 
one point rather than at another, the felling of a tree across a ravine, 
or even the thoughtless rolling of a stone down a tempting slope, by 
obstructing or diverting a current of water, or gathering the next fall 
of rain into the slight depression of a wagon track, have produced 
changes quite important in their neighborhood, and strictly of the 
same pattern with the manifold changes which an infinite variety of 
petty forces, increasing with rapid ratio by continued action, have 
brought about in reducing the general surface to its present contour. 

An excellent and easily understood illustration of this influence, and 
of the manner in which ravines and valleys have been excavated and 
hilltops rounded, is the following: There "are now many deep and 
rugged gulches in the loess and drift, where the early settlers remem- 
ber gently sloping valleys leading down to neighboring streams, and 
covered with turf as compactly as the adjacent hillsides. How has the 
change been wrought and what has man had to do with it? Simply 
this: Man brought neat cattle with him. Now the buffalo, the elk 


and the deer in passing from one place to another in their feeding 
grounds make their trail, so far as they can, on high ground; and when 
they go down to a stream of water to drink, or to ford, they usually 
pass down the ridge of some point of high land nearest the water; but 
the habit of neat cattle is exactly the reverse; for they, when passing 
from one feeding ground to another, or to the water for drink, invari- 
ably seek the head of the nearest valley and follow it on the lowest 
ground until they reach the desired locality. So it happens that the 
frequented valley soon has a beaten path worn through the turf in its 
full extent, which gathers rain-water from the adjacent slopes into a 
narrow channel, and the heavy summer rains begin at once the exca- 
vation of a deeper vale. If it happens that when the path reaches the 
stream, the slope is steep and the bank abrupt, the overfall from the 
water-flow soon cuts out a pit in the alluvium, down to the water level, 
and every rain extends the gulch farther back into the higher ground, 
until, in some observed cases, excavations a mile or more in extent, 
with perpendicular sides of soil, and perhaps twenty or thirty, or even 
more feet in depth, are found where not so very long ago all was 
smooth and grassy turf. Nor does the process stop here, water flows 
from the side slopes over the edge of the gulch and wearing off the 
edge until in a short time the sides are no longer precipitous, but form 
a steeper part of the original slope, and here and there, from lateral 
draws, come heavier currents, and these in their turn make tributary 
gulches, cutting back into the side hill and going through the 
same process as the main excavation. So in a few years the gulch is 
excavated, the descent is diminished, the bottom widens and lateral 
tributaries are formed in the image of their parent, and we find a new 
valley with its narrow bottom ground and its central channel, or, per- 
haps, since cattle can no longer enter at the head, there may be 
no channel but smooth turf instead, and at its extreme head a deep 
and precipitous pit where the process still goes on at a diminished 
rate, because of the diminished supply of Avater. So streams of con- 
siderable size, which, when cattle came into the country, flowed in 
narrow and deep channels, between slopes well grassed over, or lined 
with bushes and with unbroken slopes, now flow in gulches with sides 
torn and ragged, cutting deep into this side or that, wherever a path 
has broken the turf on the slope, widening their beds, until in many 
places, the beginning of a new alluvial plain may be distinctly seen, 


through which the current flows between banks so low and flat that 
water from the sides has no longer excavating force. 

This illustration is given because instances of it may be found in 
every neighborhood and on almost every upland farm throughout this 
district; and in them we can see going on to-day the full process by 
which the land has been wrought from a tolerably level, smooth plain 
into its present rolling surface, furrowed at frequent intervals by the 
abrupt ravines of smaller streams, or wider valleys of the Floyd and 
Little Sioux. 

A dry weather crack in the soil and a heavy fall of rain, an un- 
usual amount of snow drifted and frozen, a pile of dry weeds heaped 
up by wind — any one of thousands of apparently inefficient accidents, 
has in past ages changed the course or concentrated the volume of 
trivial currents whose forces, singly insignificant, have in the lapse of 
centuries, carved out the beautiful landscape we now behold. 

To similar insignificant causes are due the broad and fertile bottom 
lands that border the larger streams. The accidental stranding of a 
piece of driftwood on the side, or a strong wind across the stream, or 
any one of myriad constantly occurring accidents, directs the current 
at some point against the higher ground which it wears away, and 
then carries the material down to be deposited in some eddy or gentler 
current to form a bar, or narrow the channel, and so increase its mo- 
tion or give it new direction, and so continue to wear down the adja- 
cent bluff and widen the alluvial vale. 

So from unnoticed and singly insignificant causes the stream is 
moved from side to side of the depression, reaching higher ground 
here and there, and wherever reaching it bringing down more or less 
soil and rock to increase its alluvial plane. To the effects of water, 
winds have added no little in forming the present surface. The im- 
mense volume of ashes from the annual prairie fires that have pre- 
vailed ever since the grasses grew, have had no small share in filling 
up old excavations, and even in building mounds and considerable ele- 
vations around springs where the greener unburned vegetation 
caught and retained them. So there are many places, as at Sand Hill 
lake, in AVoodbury county, sand dunes that loom up across the level 
bottom like hills of some magnitude. Indeed there is no region where 
the processes of geological change are more readily perceived and un- 
derstood than in northwestern Iowa , or where it can be more distinctly 


seen that the present active forces of nature are amply sufficient of 
themselves to have produced in the illimitable past all the wonder- 
ful earth changes apparent to our view, without any special spasmodic 

The counties of Woodbury and Plymouth are plentifully watered 
by frequent streams, flowing by gentle descents southwesterly into the 
Missouri. On the western border flows the Big Sioux from the 
northwest corner of Plymouth, in section five, township eighty-nine, 
range forty-eight, to its mouth at Sioux City, in section thirty, town- 
ship eighty-nine, range forty-seven. Its elevation where it enters 
Plymouth county is 1,150 feet above meantide, and on a direct line, 
drawn from its entrance to the mouth, it falls at the rate of one and 
four-tenths feet per mile, or probably less than six inches following 
the actual course of the stream. It forms the western boundary of 
the county and the state, and, including its tributaries, drains about 
140,000 acres of land in Plymouth county. 

Its alluvial plain is continuous, and from half to one and one-half 
miles in width, is rarely overflowed, and forms a body of land unsur- 
passed for fertility and ease of cultivation. The bluffs on its border, 
in the upper part of the county, are quite gentle of ascent, and the 
valleys opening through them have very little rough land and no stone. 
A little way below Westfield, about the north line of township ninety- 
one, cretaceous rocks begin to appear, and thence to the mouth of the 
xiver the bluffs are very precipitous, even where no rock is apparent. 
These rocks are also more or less exposed for some distance up the 
course of all the tributary streams, in many places forming consider- 
able precipices. 

The tributaries of the Big Sioux are Indian creek, Beaver creek, 
Westfield creek and Broken Kettle, which last has a course of more 
than twenty miles, and is a very important stream, with much good 
land in its valley, and it is the only stream having rock exposure along 
its valley, beyond its immediate entrance to the river bottom. 

The mouth of the Big Sioux is in Woodbury county, and thence, 
to the south line of the county, the Missouri River is the western 
boundary of the county and state, and at this point, or a short dis- 
tance above, begins that very remarkable bluff formation on the eastern 
border of the great Missouri bottom, which extends far down the river, 
even beyond the south line of the state. The first tributary entering 


the Missouri in Woodbury county is Perry creek which rises near the 
northeast corner of township ninety-one, range forty-seven, and .runs 
nearly south to section twenty-eight, in township eighty-nine, range 
forty-seven, about seventeen miles in a direct line, with a descent of 
ten and one-half feet per mile, or somewhat less than five feet, follow- 
ing the stream. 

The summit between Perry creek and Mink creek flowing 'into the 
West Fork of the Floyd river, by railroad level, is 342 feet above 
the river bottom at Sioux City, or 1,455 feet above meantide. It is 
probable that some points in this neighborhood rise to a height not 
less than 1,525 feet, and are higher than any other points of land in 
Plymouth county. The Floyd river emptying into the Missouri at 
Sioux City, in section thirty-three, township eighty-nine, range forty- 
seven, rises in O'Brien county in the northwest corner of township 
ninety-seven, range forty, runs west to the southeast corner of town- 
ship ninety-seven, range forty-two, thence west of south, entering 
Plymouth county in section thirty-one, township ninety-four, range 
forty-four, and continuing in the same direction to its mouth. It is a 
very considerable stream, with broad open valley and wide alluvium. 
There are no steep bounding bluffs beyond the Missouri bottoms, but 
the slopes rise gently on either side, and there is no waste land be- 
tween the bottom and the rolling upland prairie. No rock is visible 
in this valley north of the Woodbury county line, and it shows a con- 
stant succession of beautiful and highly cultivated farms, from its mouth 
to its source. Its average descent in Woodbury and Plymouth counties is 
about four feet per mile in a direct line. From Merrill to its mouth, 
in a direct line, a little less than twenty miles, the descent is three and 
eight-tenths feet per mile. The elevation at Merrill is 1,191 feet above 
meantide. At Merrill the Floyd receives its principal tributary from the 
west, known as Beaver creek, or the West Fork of Floyd. 

It rises in the south part of township ninety-seven, range forty- 
f our, and running thirty-five miles a little west of south, debouches into the 
main stream in section two, of township ninety-one, range forty-six. 
Its valley is open, the bottoms have no precipitous bordering bluffs, 
but the slopes rise in many places gradually from the bank to the up- 
land prairie. Among all the rich and beautiful valleys of northwest- 
ern Iowa none are more beautiful or productive. A trip through 
Plymouth county over the Northern railroad in midsummer, or better 


perhaps in harvest time, is a treat to be long remembered. The val- 
ley has a descent of about six and two-thirds feet per mile on the direct 
line. Where the West Fork enters the county, the elevation is 1,284 
feet above sea level, or 134 feet higher than the Big Sioux valley, 
directly west about eighteen miles, giving to the general plane a 
westerly descent of about seven and one-half feet per mile. 

The only important tributary of the West Fork is Mink creek, 
coming from the northwest, with a course of about twelve miles. 

From the east the Floyd river receives in Plymouth county, the 
Willow, which has a course from the southeastern part of Sioux 
county to Le Mars, of about eighteen miles, and receiving in section 
two, township ninety-two, range forty-five, a tributary, Deep 
creek, which rises in the southwestern corner of O'Brien, and is more 
than twenty miles in length. Plymouth creek, with a course of ten 
miles, has its mouth in section thirty-one, township ninety-two, range 
forty-five. The valleys of these streams are all open, with wide fertile 
bottoms and very gentle slopes. In Woodbury county the Floyd re- 
ceives from the east several small streams, all of which enter the val- 
ley through narrow and deep ravines, cut precipitously into the bluff 
or drift formation through which they flow. 

Below the Floyd river, there are no streams reaching the Missouri 
within the limits of Woodbury county. Just below the mouth of the 
Floyd, and within the limits of Sioux City, the bluffs recede eastward 
from the river, and the great Missouri bottom commences. This re- 
markable tract of alluvium extends down the east side of the Missouri 
more than 150 miles, and in some places attains a width of more than 
twenty miles. On the south line of the county the width is about 
fifteen miles, and its entire area is more than 200 square miles, or 
nearly one-fourth of the county. It is never subject to overflow from 
the Missouri, but portions are occasionally flooded from the Little 
Sioux and its tributaries. No other county in the state has an equal 
amount of alluvial soil fit for cultivation. Through the eastern part 
of this vast alluvial plain, flows the sluggish swampy stream known as 
the Big Whiskey, which has its source in sloughs far up in the southern 
center of township ninety-one, range forty-five, and runs a little west 
of south, till it debouches on the great Missouri bottom about section 
thirty-two, township eighty-eight, range forty-seven, and its waters 
spread out to join Deadman's run and Little Whiskey, and form the 


broad slough that runs southeast to section thirty-six, township eighty- 
seven, range forty-six, where it resumes its open channel, and crossing 
the county line in section thirty-two, township eighty-six, range forty- 
five, falls into the West Fork of the Little Sioux, just south of the 
county line.* Into this slough falls Elliott and Camp creeks, aud 
some other smaller streams. 

Eecently this swamp has been partially drained by the excavation 
of a canal thirty -five feet wide at the top and eight deep, with side 
slopes of one to one. Its descent is for the first 3,000 feet, two inches 
per 100 feet, or eight feet ten inches per mile, thence for 2,900 feet, 
five and one-half feet per mile and the remainder from one to one and 
a half feet per mile. It has proved to be amply sufficient to carry off 
all surplus water, and has made cultivable many thousand acres here- 
tofore given up to bog, and swamp grass and rushes. 

The AA 7 est Fork of the Little Sioux has its source in Cherokee 
county, and passing to the southwest crosses into Plymouth county, 
and thence flows westerly and south, passing diagonally through town- 
ship ninety, range forty-three, and thence nearly south through Wood- 
bury county, entering the Little Sioux in Monona county. 

It receives in Plymouth county, from the north, a fine stream ten 
or twelve miles long, also Deer creek five miles long, and Clear creek 
twelve miles in length, and in Woodbury county from the northwest, 
Mud creek and several smaller streams. From the northeast comes 
Booth creek, which has a course of ten or twelve miles, receiving on its 
south side Bear creek about five miles iu length. 

There are no other streams of any magnitude entering the West 
Fork within the county. The West Fork is a very considerable stream, 
and drains nearly 100,000 acres in Plymouth county, and with its 
tributaries, in eluding Big Whiskey and Wolf creeks, more than 200,000 

* The naming of Big and Little Whiskey creeks was the outcome of a characteristic frontier in- 
cident. In the summer of 1S5S the inhabitants of Smithland and Woodbury (now Sergeant's Bluff), 
agreed to bridge the numerous streams between those points, to avoid traveling over the almost im- 
passable Missouri bottom, which was then one vast slough. They cut and hauled timbers and willows, 
and with the aid of grass and slabs, the latter supplied by a saw-mill at Woodbury, passable bridges 
were made. The two working parties met and completed their labors at what is now called Big 
Whiskey creek. In order to celebrate the event properly, according to the rule of the times, the Wood- 
bury men had provided a five-gallon demijohn and two-gallon jug of whiskey. By the time the larger 
package had been liberally sampled, all were feeling pretty well. John Lloyd concluded that they had 
had enough, and quietly secreting the jug in his wagon, he started for home. The loss was soon dis- 
covered, and Lloyd was pursued by horsemen and compelled to turn about and bring back Ms booty. 
Despite all effort to change them, the names have ever since clung to Big and Little Whiskey 
creeks. [Ed.] 


in Woodbury, making fully 300,000 acres of drainage area. In Plym- 
outh county its valley is wide, and the slopes very moderate, but 
below Booth creek the bottom lands are divided from the uplands by 
much steeper slopes, and in places, the bluffs are quite abrupt. There 
is, however, no rock exposure so far as is known to the writer. In 
Woodbury county the West Fork and its chief tributaries lie quite 
deep below the intervening country, the general level of the plain 
being from 100 to 180 feet above the beds of the streams, and the 
streams lying so near each other as to render the country very diffi- 
cult to cross with railroads. 

The principal tributary of the West Fork on the east, is Wolf creek, 
which rises in the center of township eighty-nine, range forty-three 
and running a little west of south, loses itself in a broad marsh near the 
south line of the county in township eighty-six, range forty-four, from 
which its waters reach the West Fork by a recently excavated ditch. 
Wolf creek has a course of more than twenty miles through a beauti- 
ful and rich valley bounded by gentler slopes than the West Fork, and 
occupied by some of the finest farms in the county. 

Entering Woodbury count} r near its extreme northeastern corner, 
the Little Sioux river flows somewhat west of south and passes into 
Monona county in section thirty-five, township eighty-six, range 
forty-four. It is by far the largest and most important stream in 
northwestern Iowa. Its sources are in the state of Minnesota, the 
Ocheyeclau branch issuing from West Okabeni lake at Worthington, 
Minn., in township one hundred and two, range forty, and its 
eastern from the West Heron lake in township one hundred and 
three, range thirty-seven west. These lakes are very nearly on 
the divide between the Missouri and Mississippi waters, at an ele- 
vation of 1,580 feet above sea level. The elevation of its con- 
fluence with the Missouri in Harrison county, Iowa, in township 
eighty-one, range forty-five is 1,030 feet above sea level, showing a 
fall from its source to its mouth of about 530 feet. Its course does 
not touch Plymouth county, though some small tributaries drain about 
nine square miles of its territory, but passes nearly across Woodbury, 
draining (without reckoning its larger tributaries, as Wolf creek and 
the West Fork and Whiskey) an area of 216 square miles. It has 
within the county a descent of two feet per mile measured along the 
valley, but, as by measurement the current meanders about two and a 


half times the length of -the railroad near by, the actual descent must be 
less than three-fourths of a foot per mile. At Correctionville, the 
crossing of the Illinois Central railroad and the Chicago & North- 
western railroad is 1,135 feet above tide water, or twenty-three feet 
above the railroad at Sioux City exactly west, a distance of thirtj T -one 
miles, and seven-eighths miles below the crossing, the bed of the river 
is 1,098 feet, or nine feet higher than the bed of the Missouri river at 
Sioux City, showing that here as all the way hence to the south line 
of the county, the descent westward is exceedingly small, if indeed it 
exists at all. The valley of the Little Sioux is wide and completely 
occupied by well-cultivated flourishing farms, presenting a spectacle 
of beauty and prosperity rarely equaled. High bluffs 300 to 400 feet 
high bound this lovely valley and make access to the upper level of 
the country somewhat difficult. The principal tributary of the Little 
Sioux is the Maple, which has a course of about seven miles through 
the south-east corner of the county, cutting township eighty-six, 
range forty-two almost from corner to corner. It is a large stream, 
having its source in township ninety-three, range thirty-eight in Buena 
Vista county and debouching into the Little Sioux in township eighty- 
three, range forty-four in Monona county. Its valley is seventy-seven 
miles long, it drains an area of 732 square miles, of which sixty-seven 
are in Woodbury county, and from its source to its mouth it descends 
398 feet or five and one-fourth feet per mile. In Woodbury county 
the rate of descent is about four feet per mile. It has a wide valley 
with slopes gentler than those of the Little Sioux, and fully as pro 

Its only important tributary in Woodbury county is Reynolds 
branch, about nine miles long and draining about twenty-five square 

The Little Sioux receives, from the east, Miller creek, having a 
course of about nine miles and draining some twenty square miles of 
area, and Wright creek, running ten miles and draining about thirty- 
three square miles, and Bacon creek having a course of six miles 
due west from its source and draining eighteen square miles. These 
are all fine, rapid streams with open valleys, and Bacon creek is al- 
ready occupied by the Chicago & Northwestern railroad, while the 
Sioux City & Northeastern railroad company, have their surveys made 
along Wright creek where it will doubtless be built at an early day. 


The Little Sioux receives from the northwest, Pearson creek, which 
has a course of thirteen miles and draining nearly forty squares about 
equally divided between Woodbury and Plymouth. Its valley has a 
rapid descent, but not too steep for railroad occupancy. Three Mile 
creek enters the river from the northwest, having a course of six or 
seven miles, and Rock creek runs southeast six miles. 

This multitude of streams has each its network of smaller streams 
so numerous that it is quite rare to find a section of land within the 
upland districts that has not its springs and perennial watercourses. 
As has been before said, the general appearance of the whole region, 
to one looking down from above, would be that of a smooth plane sur- 
face, sloping very gently to the southwest, and quite closely furrowed 
with watercourses fifty to one hundred and fifty feet deep, or in the 
case of the Little Sioux, three hundred to four hundred feet, and all 
tending in the general direction of the slope. 

On the north line of Plymouth county, at the crossing of the West 
Pork of the Ployd river, the ground has an elevation of 1,284 feet, as 
before stated, while directly west, about eighteen miles, the valley of 
the Big Sioux is 1,150 feet, showing a descent westward of nearly 
seven and one-half feet per mile. The Ployd descends southerly to 
Sioux City 171 feet, or about six feet per mile, and the Big Sioux falls 
thirty-seven feet to the Missouri near the mouth of the Ployd. 

The elevation of the ground where the valley of the Little Sioux 
merges in the Missouri bottom is 1,086 feet, making the descent from 
the north line of Plymouth county, where the West Pork of Ployd enters, 
to the south line of Woodbury, where the Little Sioux passes out, 198 
feet, or a little more than four feet per mile. The banks of these 
streams, and the bluffs bounding their valleys, afford the chief infor- 
mation as to the geological characteristics of the country; and 
■with the exception of Big Sioux bluffs and those of its tributaries 
near their entrance to its valley, the Missouri bluffs at Sioux City and 
Sergeant's Bluff, and the lower part of some small streams entering 
the Floyd from the east in Woodbury county, they show nothing but 
alluvium and drift. In effect both counties, outside of bhe alluvial 
bottoms, are covered with drift from fifty to one hundred and fifty feet 
in depth. There is no rock exposure except in the narrow line of 
bluffs above mentioned, with two or three doubtful cases on the west- 
ern bluffs of the Little Sioux; but this narrow line furnishes ample 



evidence of the geological horizon to which the region belongs, and 
it has been supplemented by the borings at Le Mars and Sioux City, 
and excavations in various other places, until the general character of 
the underlying strata may be regarded as sufficiently settled. Of sev- 
eral borings upon Morton's farm, near Le Mars, all of which substan- 
tially agree in their showing, it is thought best to set down here the 
record of No. 3 upon the bluffs and No. 4 upon the Floyd bottom — 
placing them side by side for convenient comparison: 
No. 3— Section 7, Township 92, Range 45. 

FT. IN. 

1. Drift clay 46 

Sand 3 8 

Blue clay 4 4 

2. Sandstone 37 

3. Blue clay 1 

4. Sandstone 34 

5. Sharp, light colored sandstone 50 

6. Clunch clays, dark and light 

strata 46 

7. Dark blue clay, bituminous. . 4 6 

8. Light blue shale 11 6 

9. Dark clunch 6 

10. Lignite 1 6 

11. Fire clay 4 6 

12. Sandstone 35 

13. Red and white marl 15 

14. Blue clay 4 

15. Hard sandstone 8 

16. Light blue marl 3 

17. Oolitic beds, fine and coarse 

strata 52 

18. Hard sandstone 38. 


Boring No. 1 on Morton's and the boring on Woodward's land, 
nearly three miles southeast, show substantially the same results, alike 
in passing through the thin beds of impure lignite, and terminating in 
a very hard sandstone ; and the same showing, so far as it goes, is 
made by a boring in the Broken Kettle valley, some six or eight miles 
above its entrance to the Big Sioux valley. 

The Artesian well bored at Sioux City to the depth of 2,011 feet, 
can not with exactness be compared with the Le Mars borings, by 
reason of the indefinite nomenclature used by the workmen, but, so far 
as can be seen, it confirms their showing, and extends our knowledge 
to a much greater depth. The record is subjoined: 

No. 4, one-half mile northwest of No. 1 
and on the Floyd Bottom. 


1. Drift clay 25 


Blue clay 

2. Sandstone 

3. Blue clay 

4. Sandstone 

5. Sandstones and shales alternate . . . 

6. Clunch clays 

7. Liguite at depth of 145 feet 2 

8. Shales and sandstones 76 

9. Lignite 1 

*Sandstones and shales continue to 


*Red marl 

^Oolitic beds 


♦Record not complete ; thickness not given. 


Artesian well at Sioux City — Section 29, Township 89, Range 47. 

1. Soil and clay, loess and drift 60 

2. Gravel, loess and drift, 25 feet 85 

3. Shale, 54 feet 139 

4. White sand, 2 feet 141 

5. Sandstone (brown, white and gray strata), 189 feet 330 

6. Chalk rock, 100 feet 430 

7. Gray limestone, 110 feet 540 

8. Silicious limestone (water rising within 12 feet of surface) 

30 feet 570 

9. Limestones (gray, silicious and white strata), 185 feet 755 

10. Light colored sandstone, 30 feet 785 

11. Gray limestone, 20 feet . 805 

12. Shale, 98 feet 903 

13. Limestone and shaly strata, alternate, 347 feet 1,250 

14. Sandy and marly strata, 65 feet 1,315 

15. Hard rock, 205 feet 1,520 

16. Niagara group (?) 340 feet 1,860 

17. Light colored limestone(?) 5 feet 1,865 

18. Hard rock, 146 feet 2,011 

These borings, in connection with the rock exposures above re- 
ferred to, seem to establish sufficiently well that this region belongs 
to the cretaceous horizon, and the succession from above downward is 
through the loess, then the drift, then the Niobrara group, then the 
Fort Benton group, then the Dakota group of the cretaceous rocks; 
and nothing below this group can be positively affirmed, although the 
record of the borings seems to show quite clearly that the cretaceous 
rocks lie directly upon the sub-carboniferous, and that the whole series 
of strata between the cretaceous and the sub-carboniferous, if it ever 
existed, was utterly removed before the cretaceous era. 

Evidently the oolitic beds in the Morton borings which appear 
only seventy feet below the cretaceous lignite, must be identified with 
the oolites of the upper Des Moines valley which are referred by 
Dr. White to the Kinderhook beds, and which lie far below the car- 
boniferous horizon. Just where the bottom of the cretaceous sys- 
tem is to be fixed in these borings it is difficult to say with precision, 
but possibly it may be that the sandstone No. 12 in the Morton bor- 
ing No. 3 is the lowest member of the Dakota group, and the gray 
limestone No. 7 of the Sioux City boring may represent the oolitic 
beds. As to all the strata below, sufficient data have not been col- 
lected to determine their exact position. Possibly the hard sandstone 
No. 18 of the Morton borings may represent the Sioux Falls quartzite, 

" ! 

& ^L*^L 


and it may be considered quite certain that the hard rock, No. 15,. 
that is met in the Sioux City artesian well at the depth of 1,315 feet 
is the quartzite, and below that point to the bottom the rock is quartz- 
ite or granitic. One thing may be considered sure, there are no coal 
rocks exposed on the surface nor passed through in the borings, and 
therefore there can be no coal within these counties, unless there be 
some insignificant pocket outside the ground as yet examined, and 
there is very small probability that such is the case. It is to be 
hoped that no more money will be wasted in fruitless search for coal 
or any metallic ores. They do not exist in the cretaceous rocks of 
this region. In the rich alluvial soils of the bottom lands, and in the- 
loess and drift of the uplands are mines which, worked with plow 
and reaper, produce wealth with certainty and unparalleled abun- 
dance, and our people are richer by far than the possessors of mines of 
metal, even if they be of gold and silver. 

Probably one third of the area now under consideration is alluvial, 
and the present surface has been formed by the direct action of the 
intersecting stream wearing down its channel and widening and de- 
positing sediment along the widened valley. 

The process is going on under our own eyes and needs no further 
consideration, nor need much be said of the character or value of the 
soil so produced. It is the latest product of elemental action, and its- 
value is well understood to depend largely on the fineness of its parti- 
cles, and on the intermixture of matters that, having once passed 
through the processes of growth and life, are thereby better adapted 
to nourish and stimulate new growths. This is the deposit that 
always constitutes the flood plains and deltas of rivers and some of the 
terraces of their valleys. It is largely composed of sand and in places 
is of coarse material, but for the most part in this region it is very fine 
and silt like. 

The loess or bluff formation is older than the true alluvium, and of 
finer material. Its origin is much the same, indeed, in this region it may 
be counted exactly the same; though the silt was deposited when the 
Missouri spread out into a wide lake after the manner of Lake Pepin 
on the Mississippi, only vastly larger; and so, the water being quiet, 
and only the finest materials held in suspension in the lake, the loess 
is much finer and evener in its composition. This formation spread 
originally over a large extent in Iowa and Nebraska, and indeed fol- 


lowed the river down as far as Missouri. Out of it the entire bed of 
the Missouri and of the tributaries within its limits has been exca- 
vated, so that only small tracts of the original area remain. Very 
little, if any, ever existed in Plymouth county, the northeastern shore 
of the old lake just cutting across the southwest corner of the county. 

In Woodbury it extended more widely, the line of shore being 
drawn irregularly from the Big Sioux river southeasterly, including 
the bluffs that border the Missouri bottom, and extending some dis- 
tance up the larger streams, reaching a point a little above Oto, on the 
the Little Sioux, and Danbury, on the Maple. The exact boundary 
has never been followed. Most of this area has been denuded by 
the larger streams, and the material has been used to widen and 
deepen the great alluvial plain, but it may be seen that the beau- 
tiful and peculiar bluffs that form so picturesque a feature of the 
landscape, owe their strangely beautiful rounded summits, and sharp 
«cut ridges, smooth and abruptly retreating slopes, and entire absence 
•of rocky ledges except at their bases, to the bluff deposit which 
mainly makes up their mass. This deposit, in places, reaches a depth 
of more than 100 feet, and near Sioux City sometimes exceeds 150 
feet. Its material can not be chemically distinguished from the sedi- 
ment now held in suspension by the river, and as a soil it is, of course, 
fully equal to the alluvium, and indeed in some respects is much 
superior, from its superior fineness and less compactness, as it was 
laid down very slowly, and has never suffered pressure. It has in 
consequence much of a sponge-like nature, and never suffers from 
drouth or from excessive rains, absorbing the rain as it falls through- 
out its whole depth equally, and continuing to furnish moisture to the 
surface as long as any remains in its mass. One singular and dis- 
tinguishing property of this peculiar deposit is that it stands securely 
with precipitous front. The Missouri bluffs have no rocky support, 
and yet are so steep that it is difficult for a man to climb their 
declivity, and in artificial excavations a front perpendicular, or nearly 
so, stands securely. For all practical purposes of building, the ground 
it composes is as secure as any other, yet it is everywhere easily 
excavated with the spade alone. 

It remains unchanged by atmosphere and frost, so that wells dug 
to great depth — 100 feet or more — need no walls except to a point 
above the standing water, and lime kilns and potter's kilns, and even 


stables and caves for the occupancy of man, have been successfully 
carved out and used without danger for years, though their sides had 
no support save the natural tenacity of the soil. Its composition is 

Silca 82.15 

Iron 3.89 

Alumina 67 

Carbonate of lime 9.66 

and this property of remaining unchanged, when exposed to the weather, 
is doubtless due to a slight cementation of the particles of silica by 
carbonated water percolating through the mass. The cementation, 
however, is never sufficient to interfere with its porosity, as is shown 
by the fact that nowhere within it does the water ever establish cur- 
rents, but any surplus it cannot hold always drains from the bottom, 
and wells dug in it yield no water until they pass its bed into the 
strata below. 

For agriculture this is probably as valuable as any soil in the 
world, and is practicably inexhaustible. Corn will grow luxuriantly 
in soil taken from any part of its depth, even 100 feet or more below 
the surface. As to the real geological age of the bluff deposit there 
can be no doubt. It must be more recent than the drift, because it 
rests upon it and is not later than the beginning of the terrace 
epoch, because river terraces are here and there formed in it. Few 
fossils are found in it, and these are all recent, such as fresh-water 
shells and land mollusks, no true branchiate shells except unios, the 
rest being pulmonate gasteropods. It contains no marine remains, 
and is therefore not of marine origin, but is a true deposit of the 
Missouri; and, if it were possible to dam the river, somewhere below, 
to a depth of 200 or 300 feet, in the course of ages the resultant lake 
would be filled with precisely the same matei'ial as that of the bluffs, 
and if, afterward, the lower end of the basin were to sink gradually, 
thus draining off the waters of the lake, the great river and its side 
tributaries would inevitably renew all the features and conditions 
which we now behold. Cotemporary with the bluff deposit which we 
have been considering, are found in places, considerable beds of gravel 
and boulders, generally stratified more or less, and inclined toward 
the lake on whose margin they have been formed. They lie in nooks 
and coves of the old lake border, generally where the waves, driven 
by the western winds, beat most violently against the shores. They 


have been formed by the wash against the drift, the water carrying' 
the lighter material back into the depths, while the coarser gravel and 
bowlders Lave accumulated in very considerable, imperfectly stratified 

In some places, the joint action of wind, ice and water piled up 
the larger stones until they formed walls along the margin. Very 
considerable deposits of this gravel and bowlders and sand may be 
seen along the Big Sioux valley, and sometimes so placed as to be 
confounded with the genuine drif f from which they were formed. 

More than one-half of the exposed area of Woodbury county, and 
nearly all (except the alluvium) of Plymouth county, is buried deep 
beneath the drift. In a few places the streams have, near their 
mouths, cut through to the underlying cretaceous rocks, but these 
areas of exposure are insignificant, and it may be generally said the 
whole territory is good soil, susceptible of easy and profitable cultiva- 

It has been said that the bluff formation was laid down in a fresh 
water expansion of the river. It is likely that during the deposit of 
the drift in this regin, this lake-like expansion was a veritable inland 
sea, and during a portion at least of the period, so connected with the 
waters of the ocean then filling the valley of the Mississippi and the 
lower Missouri, as to be properly counted an oceanic gulf, through 
which icebergs of some magnitude could pass to the ocean below. It 
is quite certain that during the glacial period a large portion of north- 
western Iowa, including at least Woodbury, Plymouth, Sioux and 
Lyon counties and portions of Osceola, Cherokee and Ida, was beneath 
water mostly shallow, but deep enough in places, especially along the 
valleys of the Little Sioux, the Floyd and Big Sioux, to float icebergs 
of considerable magnitude. In the earlier portion of this period it 
seems likely that tracts of some magnitude lay above the surface, or 
near enough to be acted upon hj the violent torrents that poured from 
the neighboring icefields during the torrid summers; for in a few 
places there are to be found at the very bottom of the drift, streams of 
sand and gravel more or less stratified, and much waterworn, precisely 
similar to recent formations along rapid streams. During the middle 
and later portions, it is probable that the water was deep enough to 
prevent abrasion of the bottom, and that there were no rapid currents. 

It is quite certain that the great ice sheet that covered the northern 


regions to such an enormous depth, never reached the borders of 
Plymouth county, though some thin outliers may have existed here 
and there within its limits. No moraines have been observed, and it 
is believed that none exist. The front of the great glacier that moved 
down from the far north seems to have split upon the head of the 
Coteau de Prairie near the sources of the Big Sioux, and its eastern 
branch crossed into Iowa with the Ocheyedan river, and thence 
stretched southward through O'Brien and eastern Cherokee to the 
neighborhood of Des Moines, and thence turned east and northeast- 
ward, so that the country between the Little and the Big Sioux rivers 
has no subglacial or true till, such as may be seen so extensively spread 
out in the hills about Spirit Lake and along the upper course of the 
Ocheyedan. There is here a marked absence of the commingled clay, 
sand, gravel and bowlders of diverse character — in places partially 
stratified, but for the most part firmly compacted into hard pan, tough 
and resistant, often poorly fitted to support vegetation, that form so 
prominent a feature in the morainic tracts along the borders of the 
ancient ice. The true till was subglacial in its origin that is formed 
beneath the ice, by the forward motion of the glacier over rocks and 
pre-existent soil, grinding subjacent material into paste, breaking up 
rocky ledges, and rolling angular fragments into smoothly rounded 
bowlders and pebbles, a,nd pushing forward and compressing the mass 
until it was laid down in irregular ridges and hills at the terminal edge 
of the glacier ; or more likely morainic deposits having a considerable 
width were laid down mainly under the thinned edge of the ice sheet, 
rather than at the exact margin, or under its deeper portion. It is 
made up of materials collected in the glacial bed, ground up and 
moved forward by the glacial current, and the distance from which 
they have been brought is generally not great. A marked character- 
istic of a morainic region is the frequency of small lakes, ponds and 
shallow bogs. The clays of this formation, compressed by the tre- 
mendous forces of the moving ice, are impervious to watei", and wher- 
ever the ridges were left so as to dam up older channels, permanent 
lakes were formed. No better illustration of the character of primary 
till and moraines in general can be found than is presented by the 
region around the head of the Little Sioux river, and indeed the entire 
plateau dividing the waters of the Little Sioux from those of the Des 
Moines river. 


As has been said, this formation has not been observed in the limit 
here under consideration. The upper, or englacial, and superglacial 
tills are quite similar to the subglacial, but are distinguished by their 
looseness — by the larger size and the angularity of the rock frag- 
ments, by the more sandy and porous character of the earthy base, 
and by the higher oxidation of the iron compounds. This is regarded 
as material embraced within the glacial ice, or borne upon its surface, 
and by its melting, let loosely down on the true till beneath. Of 
course it lies above the true till, and is a large constituent of terminal 

It is however, often found as a thin, irregular deposit, carried for- 
ward beyond the moraines by local aud temporary ice sheets not to be 
reckoned as true glaciers ; and some small tracts of this character may 
be found in the northern part of Plymouth county upon the higher 
grounds, so overlaid by the upper or berg till that their limits can 
not be determined. 

Almost the entire area of Plymouth county, and the larger part of 
Woodbury, outside of the alluvial bottoms, is covered with the berg 
or floe till so called, very similar in character to the true tills, but 
formed under water through the agency of floating ice and sluggish 
currents and distinguishable from them: first, by a more homogeneous 
clayey base; second, by a more uniform distribution of imbedded 
erratics; third, by occasional traces of indistinct lamination; fourth, 
by its distribution, and fifth, by its stratigraphical relations. It is 
clear that finer materials settling down from suspension in water 
would distribute itself with greater uniformity than is possible to clay 
accumulated under a moving glacier, and stones falling from floating 
ice would be dispersed with a general regularity, unless there were 
currents or other circumstances that determined concentration along 
certain lines or in certain areas. The rocks stand on their edges, or 
even on their points, as though they fell from melting floats of ice, and 
were received on a soft mud bottom. Where there is laminfe, the 
lower clayey leaves may sometimes be seen flexed beneath the stone, 
and the upper ones curve over it, as though it had depressed the former 
in its fall and the latter had been subsequently formed over it. These 
deposits were formed in the oceanic gulf before referred to, as preced- 
ing in time the river expansion of the bluff formation, along the mar- 
gin of the melting glacier. These shallow, brackish waters, inter- 


sected with deeper channels, were the receptacles of the issuing; 
silt-laden glacial waters and of the icebergs that floated from the gla- 
cier front, and as different portions varied in area, depth and glacier 
frontage, so the relative amount of coarse and fine material varied. 
In places the proportion of bowlders to clay is nearly that of the true 
till, and in such places the distinction between the two is doubtful. 
The surface aspect of these deposits assists in their correct identifica- 
tion. Where they occupy broad areas the surface contour is of a sub- 
dued, undulating outline — of a type readily distinguished from the 
surface of the true till. 

In confined areas, as narrow lineal valleys, they form concave 
sheets, the sides of which lean against the slopes, and terminate at a. 
definite height in shoulders on either side. These deposits are much 
more erodible than the till proper, and have been more sharply and 
symmetrically channeled where the slopes in post-glacial times have 
permitted it. It is this deposit that gives form and character to the 
landscape of most of northwestern Iowa west of the the divide, and it 
is through it that the multitudinous water courses have cut their chan- 
nels. It is this deposit that, re-enforced by the decaying vegetation 
of unnumbered centuries, has given to Woodbury and Plymouth 
counties a soil practically inexhaustible, and certainly unexcelled by 
any other region. 

It, and not the alluvial bottoms, has made the best, corn lands 
known. It has in a marked degree, the power of resisting drought 
and excessive rain as has been spoken of in connection with the 
loess. It was deposited in waters comparatively quiet, and has 
never been subjected to pressure, so that it has that same pecul- 
iar sponge-like capacity. Its entire depth, ranging from fifty to 
one hundred and fifty or more feet, must be saturated with water be- 
fore any excess can appear, and then that excess flows away at the base 
instead of standing on the surface to the injury of vegetation. Again, 
as long as any water remains in it, the moisture is available for use 
upon the surface. In this respect it has a vast advantage over the 
region of the true tills farther east, where the compact clays and fre- 
quent ridges of hard pan confine the water in shallow pools or ponds 
upon the surface or in depressions filled with soil, and where most of 
the rainfall, unable to soak deep in the ground, runs off at once in the 
rapid streams, and much of that left behind stagnates and sours, or 


evaporates speedily to the great detriment of life, both animal and 

It is worth mentioning here that this formation, besides its great 
value for agriculture, has also in places, beds of the very best brick 
clay known. It is believed that this clay may be found in abundance 
along every valley, and it is already worked to a considerable extent 
at Sioux City on the Floyd, at Le Mars and in the Little Sioux valley. 
There is no limit to the supply, and if it were desirable, almost every 
farmer could have his brick kiln on his own premises. There are no 
fossils proper in this formation. 

It is not likely that life, either vegetable or animal, existed or could 
exist at the time when it was laid down. However, there are found 
occasionally, remains, mostly fragmentary, of animals that existed in 
the preceding time, and which have been floated hither from the ter- 
tiary or cretaceous regions farther north and west. A tooth of the 
elephas primigenious was found in the sand beds at Sioux City, and a 
tooth and vertebra of a mastodon were picked up near Mills' farm on 
the Big Sioux in Plymouth county, and silicified. wood is quite fre- 
quent. In many places among the coarser materials may be found the 
•characteristic shells of the adjacent chalk, but these are all foreign to 
the proper formation. 

Below this fruitful and beautiful surface lies the cretaceous series 
•of strata exposed in narrow limits along the Big Sioux and Missouri 
bluffs. These exposures have been quite carefully examined by com- 
petent geologists as to their horizon, and there is no longer any doubt 
that the strata are the genuine representatives in this region of the 
English and European chalk. 

They will here be treated of only in general terms as they have 
never been exhaustively explored, and, if the data were at hand, the 
space allotted to this paper is only sufficient for a very superficial 
view. But first it is proper to say a few words of what is below. The 
cretaceous strata lie nearly horizontal, with only a slight dip to the 
northwest, and disappear in that direction beneath the drift. In Lyon 
county the Sioux Falls quartzite belonging to the Laurentian rocks, 
as is believed, has a considerable dip southward and westward, and it 
disappears beneath the drift. No one has so far observed the connec- 
tion between the chalk rocks and the quartzite, nor is there anywhere 
between, any indications of intervening strata. It is, therefore, pre- 


sumed that the nearly horizontal strata of the chalk, abut against the 
more rapidly sloping quartzite, and that such is the case also with any 
strata of intermediate age that may lie between. That there are such 
strata is clearly shown by the borings at Le Mars and Sioux City, and 
that these strata belong to the sub-carboniferous series, and all other 
strata, if they ever existed (which is not probable), were eroded and 
totally carried away before the commencement of the cretaceous period, 
has been previously intimated in this article. The writer has no 
doubt whatever that these borings in every case terminated in the 
quartzite or the granitic rocks below. 

It is to be understood then that the quartzite at Le Mars lies about 
400 feet below the general surface of the ground, while at Sioux City 
it is as least 1,200 feet below; that at Le Mars, between the creta- 
ceous rocks and the quartzite, intervenes only eighty or ninety feet of 
marls and sandstone and oolitic rock, while at Sioux City, if the gray 
limestone No. 71 represents the oolitic beds, these intervening rocks 
must have a thickness of over 800 feet. However, the data are to be 
considered, as has been heretefore stated, only in general terms. The 
existence of the strata in the order given, and their geological hori- 
zon, may be relied on, but not their exact thickness, nor the exact point 
of juncture of the different overlying formations. 

The cretaceous rocks of this region have been the subject of 
greater interest and have attracted the attention of more scientific 
men than any single formation in the United States. It was for a 
long while contended that they were not cretaceous, and eminent scien- 
tists from Europe, and even the great Agassiz himself, came to Sioux 
City to see and determine for themselves. But these questions have 
long since been settled, and what will be said, therefore, will be more 
like a popular lecture than a scientific treatise. First let us look at 
the general area occupied by this formation, and its conditions when 
the rocks began to be laid down. Away back in the illimitable past 
there was in this region an intricate maze of narrow, shallow seas, full 
of islands, some quite large, all of low elevation, no mountains, nor 
any but moderate hills on islands or shores, many of them flat and 
just above the surface of water. The general conformation of the 
country was much as would be shown were the present surface to sink 
until the water nearly reached the summits of our river bluffs. In 
fact, in the preceding epoch, a vast area lay at the bottom of deep 


sea, and gradually rising at the commencement of this period, had just 
emerged from the waters enough to afford considerable areas of dry 
land, and the process of upheaval had ceased and slow depression just 
set in. Every bit of land had its stream or streams according to its 

The valleys of the Missouri, tbe Floyd, the Big and Little Sioux, 
and of some other streams, existed long before, but now they were be- 
neath the waters of the sea, and filled with debris of the older land 
which had existed and sunk in a former epoch. 

The higher ground along the courses of these ancient streams was 
the boundary of straits, bays and currents of the shallow seas. 

The eastern boundary of this sea has not been traced to the Gulf 
of Mexico, but it is found in northern Texas, and passes northerly 
through eastern Kansas and Nebraska, crosses the Missouri valley 
below Council Bluffs, passes as far east as Guthrie county in Iowa, 
and thence to the point where the Des Moines river crosses the Min- 
nesota line, thence north to the mouth of the Big Cottonwood. It has 
been seen 130 miles farther north, reported in British America, and 
is well known to have reached Greenland and the Arctic seas. Its 
western boundary is not fully determined, but presumably it is to be 
found in the foot hills of the Rocky mountains. It has been exam- 
ined for a width of more than 200 miles in the Arkansas valley, and 
in Iowa and Nebraska from sixty to one hundred miles. Through 
this archipelago of low islands, in channels intricate and sometimes 
of considerable breadth and depth, but usually narrow and shallow, 
the mighty gulf stream probably poured its tepid waters into Arctic 
seas. We behold, as the result of low level and tropic currents, a 
landscape draped in continual mist and frequent rains — no snow or 
frost — full streams, so full that the estuaries and bays were freshened 
into brackishness till fresh water shell-fish could maintain life there- 
in. The vegetation is tropical or subtropical ; luxuriant even in Green- 
land, beyond the vegetation of our present era. Every foot of land 
was clothed with trees, for the most part so densely as to preclude 
undergrowth, and so the remains of lower vegetation are few and of 
inferior grade. Nevertheless, the general effect of latitude or life is 
plainly apparent. Proceeding northward we observe that vegetation 
is not less abundant, yet it diminishes in size and in the number of 
species. In Kansas are found sassafras leaves a foot across, in Wood- 


bury county one six inches broad is a large leaf, and in Greenland the 
sassafras still grows, but with much smaller leaves. So also in regard 
to the trunks of trees. In Greenland have been found only 28 species, 
representing 16 genera of dicotyledonous trees, while in Iowa, Kansas 
and Nebraska have been gathered more than 50 genera representing 
at least 111 species, and the formation in Greenland has been very 
carefully explored. Among the Greenland trees are cottonwood, fig 
trees, sassafras, magnolias, sumach, and others akin to our forest 
trees, but here we find two species of sequoia (the California giant 
trees), 1 araucaria or South American pine, 2 firs, 1 bamboo, 1 
palm, 2 sweet gum, 5 poplars (cottonwoods and aspens), 4- trees 
(their near relations), 6 willows, 1 tamarisk, 1 birch and one of its 
kin, 1 alder, 2 beeches, 6 sycamores, 1 fig, 2 laurels, 7 sassafras, 
2 cinnamon, 1 ivy, 5 magnolias, 3 tulip trees (better known as 
southern poplars), 1 maple, 1 box elder, 1 walnut, 1 sumach, 1 
pear, 1 cherry and numerous other dicotyledonous trees. There 
had been discovered up to 1875, at least 2 orders, 7 genera, 7 species 
of cryptograms (mosses, lichens and ferns), and of phanerogamous 
plants, gymnosperms (pines, firs, cedars, etc.) 2 orders, 7 genera, 
9 species, monocotyledons (bamboo, palms, etc.) 3 orders, 3 genera, 
9 species, and of dicotyledons (deciduous forest trees) 16 orders, 52 
genera, 111 species, making in all no less than 23 orders, 69 genera, 
130 species, and this number has been largely increased by later dis- 
coveries and doubtless many more remain unobserved. 

Besides this luxuriant vegetation there are several vei - y notable 
facts to be observed at this period. First, the apparent equability of 
climate. There seems to have been no storms. Impressions of rain 
drops are abundant, but the rain fell in a quiet atmosphere. Impres- 
sions of rippling waves are frequent, but they indicate only gentle 
motion. The streams were dull and sluggish. There are no accumu- 
lations of leaves and brushwood, such as are left by rapid currents or 
are brought from a distance by torrents. The leaves fell quietly on 
the margin of the stream or sea, and were buried, mostly in horizontal 
position, by the sediment from quiet or gently moving waters. 

A second fact is the absence of animal life. In the sea a few shell 
fish were found, but no fish or reptiles; on land, so far as known, nor 
bird nor beast existed. The forests were like the dense forests that 
now clothe the middle slopes of the Alaskan mountains, the abode of 
death and desolation. 


At the close of the preceding epoch Death seems to have passed 
over the earth and left no living thing throughout this whole region; 
not even a shrub, a spear of grass or a sea weed survived the general 
fate. With the beginning of this period a new creation began with 
the vegetable world. 

We can see here that one day life was not, but soon as certain con- 
ditions prevailed it was luxuriant and varied. Below this group of 
strata in all the world, no trace of dicotyledonous trees has been found. 
Hitherto ferns, giant bulrushes, pines, firs, araucarias and cycas made 
the world's great forests. At once they give way in this epoch to 
deciduous hardwood trees in wonderful variety, no less than 111 
species, comprised in fifty-two new genera and sixteen new orders. 
What became of the old? Whence came the new? These are ques- 
tions which we have no time now to consider; they are still much in 
the dark. One thing further must be remarked, and that is that all 
these new species are identical, or near of kin with species now living, 
while of the species of larger plants in preceding eras, not one re- 
mains; only a few genera, a few orders of very simple structure still 
exist to connect the living present with the dead past. Here, at the 
base of the Dakota group, we stand between the dead and the new 
creation. Here, in place and time, so far as this region is concerned, 
God made the vegetable world. I have said before that at the very 
beginning of this epoch the progress of elevation had ceased and 
depression commenced. This depression seems not to have affected 
the eastern border of the area, but to have extended westerly, and more 
particularly to have been greater toward the northwest. During this 
slow sinking were deposited the various strata of yellowish, reddish, 
sometimes white sandstones, that make up most of the Dakota group. 
There are occasional alternations of various colored clays, and beds 
and seams of impure lignite, none of which are of economical value. 
In all the strata more or less silicified wood, and great numbers of 
leaves of higher types of dicotyledonous trees occur, but most of all 
in the very hard stratum of sandstone found at the bottom of the soft 
yellowish, heavy sandrock at the base of the Missouri river bluffs, 
and a softer, thinner sandstone some twenty-five feet higher. Down, 
gradually, the earth subsided, the water scarcely deepening, the ma- 
terial deposited nearly or quite keeping up the bottom level, until the 
accumulated strata gain a general thickness of some 400 to 500 feet of 


which about 150 feet are exposed to view in this vicinity. In all this 
thickness the only remains of animal life are a few unimportant species 
of gasteropods. Not a bone, not a tooth or scale of vertebrate fish, or 
air-breathing mammal, bird or reptile is found in the entire thickness. 

Toward the close of this period the rate of depression seems to 
have rapidly increased, especially toward the northwest and west. 
Indeed it seems possible that some sudden catastrophic sinking 
occurred, for vegetable life disappeared as suddenly as it came, except 
perhaps along the new and distant shores. 

Islands and adjacent mainland appear to have sunk suddenly be- 
neath the expanding sea. With increased depth came multitudes of 
shellfish in great variety, and so abundant, that many feet in thick- 
ness of the deposit succeeding, are made up almost exclusively of the 
shells of a single species, the well-known inoceramus problematicus. 

The pi-ogress of descent again resumed a slow and regular charac- 
ter, and there were deposited the strata of the Fort Benton group, 
attaining on the upper Missouri a thickness of 700 or 800 feet of dark 
gray, laminated clays, alternating in the upper part with seams and 
layers of soft gray and light-colored limestone. This group has not 
much thickness in Woodbury and Plymouth counties, if it exists at all 
in Woodbury. Probably the sinking during this time was slight in 
this part of the seas, and the deposits, were therefore thin, while 
toward the northwest the depression was much greater. 

The third or Niobrara group seems here to lie closely related, if 
not in actual contact ■with No. 1, or the Dakota group. The fact seems 
of little importance, for it is very difficult to draw a distinguishing 
line between No. 2 and No. 3, the overlying Niobrara rocks being so 
finely developed along the Big Sioux at Talbot's farm, just on the 
south line of Plymouth county, and all along the river upward as far 
as Mill's farm, and more especially on the Nebraska side of the Mis- 
souri, near the mouth of Aioway creek. At the beginning of the 
Fort Benton (No. 3) epoch, the rate of descent toward the northwest 
seems to have increased rapidly, and the general depth of water in- 
creased also, the sediment failing to keep pace with the descent, as it 
had nearly done while the Dakota group No. 1 was laid down. 

Now with the disappearance of land and increasing depth of water 
came animal life. At first shell, few in species, small in size, includ- 
ing a few survivors from the Dakota group. 


Oysters, nautilus, ammonites, and most of all, several species of 
inoceramus in countless numbers, until the upper strata are one mass 
of shells many feet in thickness. The inoceramus beds common to 
the Fort Benton and the Niobrara groups, suggest the waste heaps of 
some ancient gigantic oysterman, being absolutely made up of shells 
alone. This can be readily observed at any of the many abandoned 
lime quarries along the Big Sioux valley. 

In the upper beds of the Benton group, appear for the first time 
vertebrated fish, a shark, a flying fish, an apsopelix and a crocodile, the 
vanguard of the multitude of marine monsters soon to take possession 
of the deepening, widening sea. The sea was now deepening rapidly, 
and deposits of yellowish, whitish limestone, largely made up of shells, 
and mixed with scales and spines, and occasionally entire skeletons of 
fish, are slowly accumulating at the bottom. As the sea grew deeper, 
life increased in variety and in multitude. At its greatest depth the 
waters seem to have been alive with minute, almost microscopic shell- 
fish, whose shields fell quietly to the bottom, and formed thick beds 
of lead-grey, calcareous marl, whitish, sometimes resembling chalk, 
and the nearest representative of the English chalk found in America. 
Fine exposure of these beds are to be found at Pegar's, Dermody's and 
Mill's farms, and at other places in the Big Sioux valley. These beds 
abound in fish scales, teeth of sharks mixed with oyster and inocer- 
amus shells in great numbers. Now appears life of a higher order, 
and as the Dakota group represents an epoch of creation, and luxuriant 
growth in the vegetable kingdom, so the Niobrara group marks the 
first appearance in this region, of abundant and monstrous vertebrate 
life, comprising orders, perhaps some genera or even species now ex- 
isting. This is the beginning of animal lijle in forms with which we 
are familiar, though possibly all its particular species were swept 
away by succeeding catastrophes. 

These rocks have yielded two genera of lizard birds, with teeth and 
bony tails, and two species of swimming birds, one deinosaur, a 
gigantic kangaroo shaped monster, sometimes exceeding the elephant 
in size, four pterodactyls, an elasmosaur, the mightiest and most awful 
of created things, one plesiosaur and one polycotylus, four gigantic 
turtles, twenty-six pythonomorphs or serpent saurians, and forty- 
eight species of fish. Among the shellfish may be mentioned the 
giant haploscaph, of which one shell was found measuring twenty- 
seven inches across. . 


All these fossils may possibly be discovered here in this region, 
and many of them have been. Some years ago an elasmosaur ( ?) or 
mosasaur ( ?) was discovered in the bluffs of the Niobrara group near 
Ponca, Neb. The vertebra found, measured nearly forty feet in 
length and it seemed likely that the living monster must have been 
quite seventy feet in entire length. In comparison with such a mon- 
ster the ancient tales of dragons of the sea shrink into insignificance, 
and dragons of the air that in old-folk lore terrified even men of 
mature age, are scarcely worth mentioning by the side of pterodactyls 
whose jaws were thirty inches long and wings expanded more than 
. twenty feet. Some pythonomorphs, notably the liodon dyspelor were 
probably longest of all reptiles, and indeed as large in bulk as the 
great pinner whales of modern oceans. 

Are any of these monsters still in our modern seas? It is certain 
that in this group of rocks appear the first affinities to our modern 
vertebrates, and it is equally certain that of the many descriptions of 
sea serpents seen, or supposed to have been seen, in these later years, 
most would pass well for a description of the -awful liodon dyspelor, 
the tyrant of the Niobrara seas, or the elasmosaurus the most fright- 
ful and destructive of all its class. 

Before the close of this period, the land in this vicinity seems to 
have oscillated upward again — other cretaceous deposits ensued during 
the process of elevation, but probably they were very thin here, though 
of great thickness farther west and north. After a season the uprising 
land appears to have cut off the channels that poured warm water 
along far northern shores. Probably the quartzite, which stretches at 
least from the Missouri eastward across the Mississippi to the granitic 
rocks of Minnesota, rose high enough to form an impassable barrier. 

There does not seem to have been any downward movement since 
the close of the cretaceous period, the drainage of the great lake in 
which the loess was laid, being probably brought about by the more 
rapid rise of the upper portion of the Missouri valley rather than by 
any sinking of the lower portion. Indeed it is the opinion of many 
scientists that the process of elevation is still continuous. It would 
be interesting, perhaps profitable, to examine the reasons for such a 
belief and the consequences of the process if it be actually going on, 
but for that there is now neither time nor space. Upon the close of 
the cretaceous period, succeeded the great 'cosmic winter with its 


enveloping ice and destitution of all life. Of this we have already 
treated, and in conclusion we would only say a word or two of the 
economic value of the cretaceous rocks. It is true that very few strata 
are compact enough to be useful in building large or permanent struct- 
ures exposed to the elements, but in many places stone may be found 
of considerable value for common use, and in the Dakota group there 
are sandstones hard enough to be useful and durable in all rubble 
work. The inoceramiis beds furnish an inexhaustible supply of lime 
of fair quality, though generally the cost of shipping them and work- 
ing them, is, near the railroads, greater than the cost of lime brought 
by rail from more favored regions east, and so the lime kilns of 
Woodbury and Plymouth are now mostly closed. In the Dakota 
group there are some thin ferruginous strata that, if ground finely, 
make a red paint of most excellent quality. There are also in the 
Dakota group at Sergeant's Bluff and Riverside, and in the Niobrara 
group in many places, shales, which, when properly treated, make the 
best of pottery clays. There are many places where these shales have 
been exposed and have become disintegrated, forming large beds of 
the finest clay ready for use. At Sergeant's Bluff pottery has been 
made successfully for many years, and recently large kilns have been 
erected and are now successfully worked at Riverside in Sioux City. 

Clays equally good can be found almost anywhere along the Big 
Sioux in Plymouth county, and for some distance up the Broken Ket- 
tle, and doubtless in many other places. In the abundant material for 
the manufacturing of fine building brick, fire brick, tile pipe and pottery 
of every kind, these counties are far richer than if their streams 
flowed over golden sands and their hillsides were seamed with occa- 
sional veins of golden quartz. 

Jy$&y&Ui£ /%/z^f. 




Change to Civilized Life— The Clark and Lewis Expedition of 1804 — 
Sergeant Floyd's Death — Expedition of 1839— American Fur Com- 
pany — Thompson's Settlement in 1848— TheophileBruguier's Settle- 
ment on the Big Sioux— "War Eagle" became His Father-in-law — 
Settlement of Robert Perry, Jo. Leonais, Paul Pacquette and 
Gus. Pecaut — First White Family — First Child— Mrs. Sangster's 
Story— The Canadian-French— Wild Game— Pioneer C. K. Smith's 
Recollections— Dr. John K. Cook, Founder of Sioux City— Sioux 
City by the Pen of Dr. S. P. Yeomans— Life in the "Fifties"— "Ongie 
War" — Fur Trade — Big Sioux Bridge History. 

TO the readers of local history, the chapter relating to the early- 
settlement of a country is of general interest. Especially is this 
the case with pioneers themselves; those who have witnessed the 
changes that have been made ; who have seen a trackless prairie trans- 
formed into a beautiful country and filled with an enterprising, happy 
and prosperous people. The pioneer here reads slowly and critically, 
every word recalling memories of the dead past, which for a whole 
generation have been buried among the host of recollections, which 
now rise up before him like a half vanished dream. The old-time 
associations, the deeds, the trials and battles against hunger and cold, 
Avhile the settlers were few and far between; when the Avolves howled 
about the little log cabin, sending a chill to his heart; when the wind 
drove the shifting snow through the crevices — all now rise vividly before 
him. Often it is with pleasure he can recall these recollections, view- 
ing with satisfaction the thought that he lived to see a wealthy land 
dotted with school-houses and churches, villages and cities. 

But again, it will be with sadness that the past is recalled, and 
thoughts will spring up of the dark and painful side of those early 
days. How a wife, whose virtues, bravery and simplicity will always 
be remembered, or a child prattling in innocence, was called from 
earth to the eternal home, and laid away under the sod, in solemn 
quietude, by the rough, yet tender hands of a few hardy pioneers. 


Time had partially allayed the sting, but the wound is now uncovered 
by the allusion to days gone by, and the cases are not few when a tear 
of bitter sadness will course down the cheek, in honor of the memory 
of those who have departed. 

Pioneers are born, not made. Not every man or woman has the 
sterling qualities of the pioneer. Not every nation can produce them. 
The colonizing germ is not found with every race. The Anglo-Saxon 
race is pre-eminently a race of pioneers. Its greatest glory has been 
to plant colonies and form states. 

Notwithstanding, however, the many disadvantages and even sor- 
rows attendant upon the first steps of civilization, and the adversities 
to be encountered, the pioneers led a happy life. The absence of the 
aristocratic and domineering power, which is to-day so apparent, must 
have been a source of comfort. Then, merit alone insured equality, 
and this could not be suppressed by traditions. The brotherhood of 
man was illustrated in a sincere and practical way, and hospitality 
was not considered so much a Christian trait as a duty to humanity. 

But a few decades ago and the Indian tribes held this goodly heri- 
tage as a hunting ground, but some one must be the first to look upon 
the fair domain with the view of setting up a Christian civilization. 
In 1804 the famous Clark and Lewis expedition was sent out and 
passed up the " Big Muddy" (Missouri) river to its headwaters. On 
August 20, that year, one of their number, Sergt. Charles Floyd, 
died and was buried on the bluffs now bearing his name. A cedar 
post marked the spot for many years; finally the river washed in upon 
his narrow resting place, and the remains of the early explorer were 
deposited farther back from the river, where they still repose. Both 
Sergeant's Bluff and Floyd river take their name from him. 

In 1839, about one hundred men, trappers and explorers, left St. 
Louis on the steamer " Antelope " for the regions of the upper Mis- 
souri, Avhere they were engaged with the American Fur Company. 
They proceeded with the steamer as far as Little Cheyenne island, 
and then they were obliged to leave the boat on account of shallow 
water. These hardy adventurers made themselves a Mackinaw, and 
by the use of drag ropes proceeded on their way to the headwaters, 
where they engaged in hunting, trapping and trafficing with the In- 
dians. Some remained there while other's found the way back to 
civilization, and a portion of the party located in and near Sioux City. 


Among them were Joseph Leonais, Albert Peltier, Paul Pacquette, 

John La Plant, George L. Tackett, Le Blanc and Gustave Pe- 

caut. Johnny Brasos (colored), whom many of the eai'ly settlers 
remember as the violinist, and who was about eighty years of age in 
1860, claimed he came up the Missouri river to this point with the 
notorious outlaw, Mike Fink; and one day when sunning himself on 
the river bank, had his projecting heel shot off by that historic char- 
acter, as a mere sample of his marksmanship. Johnny Brasos always 
affirmed that he was the "first white man " to invade this locality. Still 
he was black as the blackest of his race. 

In the summer of 1848, William Thompson settled near Floyd's 
Bluff, and was soon followed by an older brother, named Charles, and 
another man whose name is now forgotten. They were the only 
white men to spend the winter of 1848-49 in Woodbury county. An- 
ticipating an immense immigration, he laid out a town there and 
named it in honor of himself, calling it Thompsontown (known in 
record as Floyd's Bluff). For a short period this was looked upon as 
the coming town. A log house was built there, and when the county 
was organized in 1853, this point was made the county seat. It was a 
sort of post for Indian traders for some years, but the roughness of the 
land thereabouts would not admit of the final building of a city, and 
all trace of a town site has long since been obliterated. 

During the month of May, 1849, Theophile Bruguier, a native of 
Canada, but of French descent, settled at the mouth of the Big Sioux 
river, about two miles above Sioux City. He had visited the spot 
and selected the location some three years before. He had been in the 
employ of the American Fur Company a short time, but left them and 
joined the Yankton Sioux Indians and finally married a daughter of 
the celebrated chieftain, War Eagle. Bruguier became a prominent 
man in the tribe. After he remained with them about ten years he 
concluded to change his mode of living, and with his Indian wife 
and children, came down the river and settled on the spot that had at- 
tracted his attention years before. War Eagle, his father-in-law, died 
at his house in 1851. His remains, with those of Bruguier, wife and 
two daughters, now repose on the summit of a lofty bluff at the mouth 
of the Big Sioux. From this spot may be seen, for many miles, the 
windings of the broad Missouri, the far-off Blackbird hills of Nebraska, 
the islands, the rich bottom lands, and the groves of Iowa, Nebraska 
and South Dakota. 


Some time during the autumn of 1849, Robert Perry, a somewhat 
eccentric character, but a man of fine education, came from Washing- 
ton, D. C, and effected a settlement on the creek now bearing his 
name. He remained only two years. 

In 1850 Paul Pacquette settled two miles up stream from the 
mouth of the Big Sioux. 

In 1852 Joseph Leonais purchased of Bruguier, before mentioned, 
the quarter section on which is now situated the business portion of 
Sioux City. He resided on the tract about three years. 

Gustave Pecaut, a Frenchman, who was with the party employed 
by the American Fur Company, went to the head-waters of the Mis- 
souri river in 1848, remained until 1852, when he came back as far 
as the present Sioux City. Louis Phillip, a clerk for the fur com- 
pany, returned with him, and both located lands here. Pecaut squat- 
ted on land just north from the Pacquette place. In about 1856 he, 
in company with Judge Griffey and others, platted the town of Coving- 
ton, Neb. On that plat Mr. Pecaut lived for twenty-six years. He 
now resides in Sioux City. 

The First Family. — The subjoined interview with Joseph Leonais, 
the first settler at Sioux City, gives much information concerning the 
first event of this locality. This interview took place in January, 

Joseph Leonais is a short, spare, well-preserved Frenchman. 
The sixty-seven winters that have nipped him, have but slightly sil- 
vered his hair or slowed his quick step. It was in 1837 he left St. Louis 
for a trip up the Missouri. The year previous he had left his home 
in Lower Canada to seek his fortune in the west. He says St. Louis 
was a small town then, and that he was offered the best located lot in 
the place for $25. He saw the first trace of Indians at St. Joseph, 
Mo., which place was a mere Indian trading post for the American 
Fur Company. Leonais went up the Yellowstone, visiting Ft. Ben- 
ton, Ft. Pierre, Ft. Buford and Ft, Vermillion. He worked for $15 
per month for the fur company. On each up-bound Mackinaw boat 
were twenty-five men. For miles the boat had to be pulled along by 
ropes — "cordelling," they called it. At other places the boat was 
pushed along by poles, while the men in charge sometimes waded in 
water to their necks. The goods purchased along the way were left 
at the posts, where the fur company kept from thirty to a hundred 


men. The furs were bought at about one-fifth their commercial value. 
The trip going down stream was pleasant, and the cargo of buffalo 
robes, bales of furs, etc., was very valuable. 

The only trouble with Indians was their habit of thieving. The 
Omahas, on the Nebraska side, never fought the Sioux unless forced 
to. Sometimes the small-pox would break out among the tribes car- 
rying off whole villages in a single week. When the fever seized 
them, if in winter, they would roll naked in the snow, and if in summer 
plunge into the river, which nearly always caused death. Leonais 
finally gave up his roving, and in 1852 settled down at the mouth of 
Perry creek. About three years before that Theophile Bniguier had 
built his cabin on the Big Sioux. He had rolled a few logs together 
at the mouth of Perry creek and broken up a little land by which to 
hold his claim. Leonais bought him out for $100. This claim may 
be described as 160 acres of land bounded by the Missouri river, 
Perry creek, Seventh and Jones streets of to-day. 

When Leonais was asked if he knew Robert Perry he replied: 
"Oh yes, when I was going to Bruguier's to buy my claim, I saw the 
blue smoke curling up from between the trees growing about his 
cabin, which was about where Smith's greenhouse is now (corner of 
Ninth and Pearl streets). I went to see him, but he could not talk 
much French and I but little English. He made me understand that 
he had raised some potatoes, turnips and corn, and that Sioux Indians 
had stolen all he raised. He seemed greatly .alarmed about Indians. 
He was a very strange man, somewhat crazy I believe. He lived in 
his cabin for a year after I settled in mine, then gave me what corn 
he had left, about five tons of hay, loaded his household goods on a 
little sled, hitched his pony to the sled and went down the valley. I 
never saw or heard of him afterward." 

Leonais built his cabin on Second street, near Water street, and 
put in a small store and traded with the Indians. The Santee Sioux 
were more numerous than other Indians here then. This old pioneer 
raised three crops of corn in 1852, 1853 and 1854 on his land, which 
came down as far as Pearl street. In the spring of 1855, he sold his 
claim to Dr. John K. Cook and Capt. Ryder, for $3,000. They told him 
they wanted the land for an orchard, all of which pioneer Leonais did 
not believe, but thought $3,000 a good sum and closed the trade. 

David Dodson was one of the few "squatters" of 1855; he 


claimed land where now stands the Krumann dairy. He was a North 
Carolinian by birth, but moved here from Bloomfield, Iowa. He 
located early in March, 1855. Charles, his son, the first child born 
within the limits of the present plat of Sioux City, was born April 
17, of the same year. The father, a few years later, 1857-58, was 
selected to locate the Santee Indians on their reservation near "Dod- 
son's Landing," a hundred miles or so above Sioux City. There the 
family remained several years, and were engaged as Indian post trad- 
ers. From that point Mr. Dodson went back down the river and was 
among the pioneers at Covington, Neb. He died in Sioux City 
in 1880. The mother now lives at Buffalo Gap, Wyo. Her son 
Charles, the first-born of this city, has been a western traveler, speaks 
four Indian dialects, has been engaged on the Sioux City police 
force for the past seven years, and is now city poundmaster. 

The first white woman was Mrs. Sangster, a sister of Leonais and 
the widow of Mr. Lapore, who came from Canada in 1851 and joined 
her brother at Sioux City. 'In an interview with her it was learned 
that she found it quite lonesome with no white ladies near. She 
opposed her brother in selling his claim to Cook & Ryder, and Cook 
promised her a house and lot if she would allow the trade to go on. 
She says she never got the promised property, however. 

When asked about Indians she said they were very numerous, but 
behaved well, except that they would steal whenever they could. She 
relates that their dead were placed on scaffolds on "Prospect Hill." 
The bodies remained there until the birds first, and afterward the 
wolves, had a pick at them, leaving nothing but the bones to remind 
the passer-by of the human form. 

Mrs. Sangster (then Mrs. Lapore) married Mr. Charles Sangster 
March 12, 1856— this being the first wedding in Sioux City. Febru- 
ary 15, 1857, a son was born to them, named Charles, which by 
many is thought to be the first white male child born here, but this is 
not correct, as Charles Dodson Avas born April 17, 1855. 

The next white woman to come to Sioux City was Mrs. S. H. Cass- 
ady, who was the mother of the first female child, born April 25, 
1856. She grew to. womanhood, married, and died at Council Bluffs 
in 1877. 

The Howe Affair. — Mrs. Sangster said: "I want the following to 
go into history, as a false idea has got out regarding the early French 


settlers. Young Eowe had a claim on the Floyd river, just above the 
present mill property. He engaged a half-breed to live on his claim 
while he went east. When he came back the half-breed would not 
give up the land, and Eowe built another claim cabin on the same 
tract. He was in love with a very pretty half-breed girl by the name 
of Victoria, but she sided with the half-breed who was trying to get 
Rowe's claim. Rowe was boarding at Austin Cole's hotel in town, and 
We-Washeta, an Indian girl who waited on the table, was persuaded 
by a friend of the half-breed to pour poison in his coffee. As the 
person who persuaded the girl to do this told me long years afterward, 
a vial was given We-Washeta, with the poison — some Indian drug — 
in it. The girl had the vial in her sleeve and poured it in Rowe's 
coffee. It did not kill him at once, but made him insane. He was 
taken east to his home and died. It would be very unjust to charge 
this to the French people, who were always friendly to the Ameri- 

Wild Game. — In interviewing pioneer Leonais he remarked, when 
asked about wild game: " I have seen the bluffs black with buffalo, 
turkey and deer. Elk were plenty, and bears had dens in ' Prospect 
Hill,' and lived on choke-cherries and wild pears that grew on the 
bluff-side. The beavers had a dam across the Floyd river, just east 
of town. Otter crossed the Missouri from the Nebraska side, and 
there never was a better country for game until the winter of 1856-57, 
when the snow was over four feet deep on the general level, with a 
sharp crust on top. At that time much game starved to death. The 
deer would break through the crusted snows, and if they were chased 
it cut their legs to the bone. The wolves killed a great many, and the 
settlers had no trouble in killing them with clubs. From that date 
forward settlement was more rapidly made and game grew scarcer." 

Canadian-French — Here, as in most if not all the great valleys 
west and south of the lakes, the Canadian-French were the earliest 
pioneers. At Vincennes, Dubuque, Detroit, St. Louis, Vermillion, 
Kaskaska and Fort Benton they planted the first settlements in the 
states in which these cities are found. 

Their Mackinaws (boats) were on every navigable river, their trail 
on the prairie, and their trading post in the shelter of the bluff, long 
before the English-speaking settlers came to claim the glory of being 
the first. Hardy, hospitable, simple, peaceful, just as Longfellow 


pictures them in his " Evangeline," the Acadians of Grand Pre, these 
'Countrymen of Evangeline have been the forerunners of civilization 
and usually the first actual settlers. 

Pioneer C. K. Smith's Recollections. — In an interview with Pio- 
neer C. K. Smith, regarding the first settlement in and near Sioux City, 
it was learned that Mr. Smith came with Dr. Cook — not upon Cook's 
1854 trip, but in 1855. His party when he first came, consisted of 
■George Chamberlain (who laid claim to the quarter section coming 
south to Seventh street, who was killed during a cyclone up Perry 
creek, July, 1881, having but little Sioux City property when he died), 
Frank Chappel, and men named Rowe and Ruth. It was claimed that 
Rowe was poisoned. [See account elsewhere.] 

When Mr. Smith arrived he found Joseph Leonais just on the east 
side of the mouth of Perry creek. His cornfield was upon the bot- 
tom, the center near where the vinegar works were afterward located. 
He had bought the land from Bruguier. Mr. Traversee lived on 
what later was known as the Spalding farm, east from the Floyd on 
the road to Sergeant's Bluff. St. Onge lived on the Floyd east of the 
brickyard afterward owned by Woodley; and Kirkie (""Wild French- 
man") lived farther up the Floyd in the grove opposite the Tredway 
farm. Thompson lived east of the Floyd at the foot of Floyd's Bluff, 
and was the only American settler anywhere near when Dr. Cook first 
came in with his surveying party. 

Farther down, in Lakeport township, George Murphy had claimed 
land, and two miles north of Onawa a man named Ashton had named 
a town site after himself. This constituted all the settlement until 
one came to the Little Sioux river, an account of which settlement 
Avill be found in the various township histories within this volume. 
There was but little settlement, however, away from the Missouri bot- 
tom, except here and there on the Maple and Little Sioux streams. 
The Mormons had effected a settlement at Council Bluffs in 1849, and 
extended out into the fertile valleys, both north and south. 

Mr. Smith also states that the making of a real city here has 
wrought many topographical changes in this locality. The " bench " 
was then from Fifth or Sixth streets north, and rose about eight feet 
pretty abruptly. It was very wet and marshy on the bottom, just at 
the foot of the bench, and near the corner of Fourth and Jackson 
streets there was a wide pond of water standing for years. Between 


Perry creek and Prospect Hill there was a big grove of native timber, 
with many wild grapevines of big proportions. There is where the early 
picnics and Fourth of July celebrations were held. At the time the 
United States soldiers were camped here, this fine grove was nearly all 
cut down and ruined. There was a wagon road up the west side of Perry 
creek. The stream has long since cut its channel in there and taken 
the spot where Liege Robinson built the first brick house in Sioux 
City. Kobinson there burned the first brick, a part of which went 
into his own house and a part toward the construction of Schuster's 
store, the oldest brick business house in the city. 

At first there was no trouble on account of Indians. Gen. Har- 
ney came down with his troops from beyond the Big Sioux, in 1854. 
The Sioux tribe followed him as far as that stream, stopping at Sioux 
Point timber. There they were thick enough, but did not attempt 
hostilities on this side of the river. Indeed they could gain nothing 
by coming over, as nearly all the droves of buffalo were on the west 
side, while elk and deer were plenty on either side of the Big Sioux 

It may be said in this connection, that Dr. John K. Cook, the 
founder of Sioux City, was a practicing physician, and the only one 
here for some time. Cook was agent for, and member of, the town- 
site company. The firm was known as Henn, Williams & Cook. 
Henn and Williams lived at Fairfield, Iowa. Henn was in congress 
and, aided by Gen. Jones, of Dubuque, and Gen. Dodge, of Burling- 
ton, United States senators, was successful in getting the government 
land office established at Sioux City. 

Gen. Lyon, the brave soldier of the Civil war, who fell at Wilson's 
creek, was also a land owner here, and was connected with the early 
operations hereabouts; also Hiram Nelson and Marshall Townsley. 

During the month of December, 1854, Dr. John K. Cook com- 
menced to plat Sioux City. He was of a government surveying party 
and was charmed by the advantages seen in this locality. At the 
mouth of Floyd river he found encamped, many Indians, including 
Smutty Bear, their chief, who ordered him to desist from the work of 
surveying, under threats of violence upon the part of his warriors, 
whom he would summon from the "upper country." Dr. Cook replied 
(through a French interpreter), that if he were not peaceable he would 
go at once for white men of sufficient numbers to exterminate his tribe. 
Being thus intimidated the savages struck their teepes and departed. 


Dr. Cook having faith in the natural location for a city, claimed 
land here, as did several of his party and at once begun laying out 
what has come to be the "Corn Palace City." The weather being 
delightful, work progressed rapidly and was completed January 9, 1855. 
So mild was the winter that men drove stakes, in their shirt sleeves, and 
the Missouri river was frozen over but eleven days during the winter. 

The next spring Dr. Cook purchased the Joseph Leonais quarter 
section, and upon it laid out Sioux City's "East Addition." 

In the early settlement of Sioux City, the Indians were somewhat 
troublesome, and the citizens were several times ordered to leave the 
county by the chiefs of the Yankton Sioux Indians, but no bloodshed 
occurred, to speak of. Large parties of Indians passed through the 
town with war-paint upon their dusky faces, and their war-whoop was 
not unfrequently heard, accompanied by the scalp dance of the sav- 

In the spring of 1855 there were two log cabins where now Sioux 
City stands. A post-office was established in July, and a United States 
land office established in December, but was not open for the transac- 
tion of business until 1856. In June, 1856, the first steamboat 
freighted for Sioux City landed, bringing provisions and ready-framed 
houses. The population increased that year to about 400, and about 
ninety buildings were erected. Great excitement for western land 
prevailed, real estate commanded high prices, and the land office did 
an immense business. The county seat of Woodbury county was 
removed from " Thompsontown" (Floyd's Bluff), by popular vote that 

Early in 1857 Sioux City, by a special act of the general assembly, 
became an incorporated town. It was also in 1857 that Seth W. 
Swiggett started the first newspaper — the "Sioux City Iowa Eagle;" the 
first number appearing July 4, 1857. A complete file is now in the 
city library. [See press chapter.] 

A great portion of the early settlement treated on thus fax, in this 
chapter, relates more especially to that effected by the French-Cana- 
dians. The subjoined will serve to show those who chiefly formed the 
first American settlement at Sioux City. They are given under the 
sub-heading of years in which they effected settlement, except in a few 
exceptions in the 1855 list, in which case, some came prior, but were 
here in that yeai*. 



John K. Cook (deceased, 1854). 

George W. Chamberlain (deceased, 1854). 

Theophile Bruguier (1849). 

George Weare. 

M. F. Moore. 

A. W. Hubbard (deceased). 

A. M. Hunt (deceased). 

Joseph W. Stevens. 

John C. Flint (deceased). 

Luther C. Sanborn. 

G. L. Tackett. 

J. L. Follett. 

John Powleson. 

L. H. Dese3 r (deceased). 

William B. Tredway. 

Charles Kent (deceased). 

S. T. Davis (deceased). 

John Hittel. 

T. J. Kinkaid. 

R. W. Powleson. 

TJlrick Jarvis. 

Dr. William Remsen Smith. 

D. T. Hedges. 

Charles E. Hedges (deceased). 

J. C. C. Hoskins. 

John P. Allison. 

William F. Faulkner (deceased). 

F. J. Lambert (deceased). 

John Fitzgibbon. 

James Hutchins. 

John Gertz. 

Samuel Krumann. 

A. Groninger. 

William Reinke. 

John Donavon. 

P. W. Pritchard. 

James A. Sawyer (removed). 

Joshua Lewis (removed). 

James E. Booge. 

Charles P. Booge (deceased). 

Isaac Pendleton. 

George W. Kingsnorth. 

Paul Pacquette (deceased). 
L. Letiller. 
Joseph Leouais. 
George Murphy (1854). 
Gustave Pecaut (1852). 


J. J. Ogg (removed). 

J. J. Saville (removed). 

Gottleib Hattenbach (deceased) 

O. Lamoreaux (deceased). 

N. W. Pratt (deceased). 

John H. Charles. 

Charles K. Smith. 

A. J. Millaid. 

G. R. McDougall. 

John Currier (deceased). 

John Hagy. 

Thomas J. Stone. 

A. R. Appleton (deceased). 

James Dormidy. 

Adam Falk. 

Charles K. Poor. 

Charles Collins (removed). 


Newell Sawyer (removed). 

E. R. Kirk. 

J. M. Collamer (removed). 

H. M. Sharp (deceased). 

John Beck. 

Jerry Kelley. 

R. W. McElhaney (deceased). 

Joseph Brittingham (deceased). 

L. B. Atwood. 

Daniel R. Hartnett (deceased). 

Patrick Gossen. 

John Schlupp (deceased). 

J. Kinney. 

W. L. Joy. 

O. C. Tredway. 

John W. Lewis. 


John W. Allen (removed). 
William Freney (removed). 
Matthew York. 
Joseph Borsch. 

* Many years ago an attempt was made to organize an old settlers reunion society, and at that 
time the above was complied by the pioneers themselves and is doubtless correct. 


Fred Munchrath. Daniel Kelley (deceased). 

Samuel Cameron (deceased). John Golwey (deceased). 

Jolm Doss. AVilliam Lubbert. 

Fred Doss (deceased). Charles Launsbach. 

Christian Doss (removed). Jacob Schlawig. 

Of the ninety-three pioneers who settled at Sioux City up to the 
autumn of 1858, the present whereabouts are as follows: Twenty-four 
are now dead; ten have removed to other parts and fifty-nine are still 
residents of Woodbury county. And among them may be found 
some of Iowa's most wealthy, highty-esteerned and public characters. 
Prominent among such men are A. W. Hubbard, who became judge, 
and finally held a seat in several terms of the United States congress, 
the Hedges and Booges, Weare Allison, Dr. William R. Smith, who Lave 
all come to be wealthy citizens through their enterprise and good busi- 
ness qualifications. William L. Joy and Isaac Pendleton have long 
since won high legal standing; E. K. Kirk is the present efficient 
postmaster of Sioux City, while many of the remainder are leading, 
active business men of to-day, or else retired with a handsome com- 
petency. In this connection it may be well to state that Sioux City, 
a frontier town, and now the "Corn Palace City," has always been ad- 
vanced by a genuine business tact, with considerable capital to oper- 
ate on from an early day. The following is exhibited to substantiate 
this assertion, and was taken from the internal revenue reports as 
found in the United States census, and bears date of 1888. 


Allison, J. P ' I 3,763 Faulkner, William F $ 4,188 

Appleton, 4,715 Follett, Judson L 8,050 

Bray, T. N 1,329 Golwey, John 1,500 

Bacon, J. M 4,747 Gertz, John 1,440 

Brown, L. M 2,898 Goldie, Robert 1,165 

Beck, John 1,726 Gore, Mahlon 2,076 

Buckwalter, 1,120 Groninger, A 6.629 

Booge, James E 16,000 Hutching, James 2,057 

Booge.JohnI 1,32*1 Hoskins, J. C. C 2,781 

Cole, R. W 2,700 Hunt, Andrew M 1,500 

Collamer, D.H 2,800 Haviland, S. W 2,592 

Collamer, J. M 1,728 Hedges, D. T. and 

Cleghorn, John 4,109 Hedges, C. E 6,520 

Currier, John 1,101 Hittel, John 1,340 

Charles, John H 5.412 Holman, W. P 1,837 

Doss, Christian 1,440 Howard, C. K 2,000 

Dennis, J. P 1,816 Holman, C. J 1,837 

Felt, G.W 1,317 Joy, Wm. L 3,306 



Kinkaid, T. J 1,200 Smith, B. F 1,800 

Eingsnorth, G. W 1,390 Smith, William R 4,027 

Kent, Charles 1,846 Sawyer, Col. J. A 4,200 

Kirk, E. R 2,700 Skinner, L. E 1,500 

Lawrence, Jac 14,000 Sharp, H. M 1,776 

Livingstone, W. H 1,300 Sanborn, L. C 7,250 

Lambert, F. J 1,282 Selzer, R 1,625 

Millard, A. J 1,350 Smith, C. K 1,500 

Maloney, James 2,550 Spalding, J. D 1,320 

McCarthy, L 2,075 Spalding, E. B 1,607 

McDougall, G. R ' 1,350 Stites, U. W 1,250 

Magoun, J. A 2,510 Stone, Thorn. J 8,104 

McElhaney, R. W 1,200 Turner, R. F 1,210 

McKewen, James 1,500 Wortrnan, W. H 1,218 

Powleson, R. H 1,550 Woodford, Luther 2,384 

Parmer, L. D 4,100 Wright, A. R 2,415 

Pendleton, Isaac 2,605 Webster, E. P 3,745 

Peavey, F. H 1,120 Weber, John 2,267 

Neff, Pius 1,300 Wise, M 1,713 

Runyan, J 1,600 Weare, George 3,763 

Seabold, F 1,428 Vinton, Allen 1,400 

In tlie spring of 1856, Sioux City contained 150 people; two stores, 
one ki a log-mud hut and the other kept in a tent, near the banks of 
the river. 

The same spring, by a vote of fourteen majority, the county seat 
was removed from Floyd's BlurT to this point. 

The 1st of July, a steam-mill was put in for the cutting of native 
lumber, near the mouth of Perry creek. 

July 5, 1856, the survey of the Dubuque & Pacific railway was 
commenced from Sioux City, running east, in accordance with an act 
of congress approved May 20, of the same year. During the year, 
fifteen steamboats landed at Sioux City. 

Early in 1856, during the winter of 1855-56, the Indians, who 
were encamped three miles above Smithland, discovered some un- 
husked corn under the deep snow in a field below the settlement, and 
set the squaws to gathering it. As they passed through the settle- 
ment, carrying the corn in blankets slung on their backs, they were 
accused of stealing it from cribs. Messrs. O. B. Smith and John 
Howe procured switches and began whipping the squaws, who dropped 
their burdens and ran to the camp, pursued and punished all the way 
by the aforesaid gentlemen. This so aroused the ire of the Indians 
that they began to kill the settlers' cattle in revenge. The whites 


now assembled and surrounded the Indian camp — most of the bucks 
being absent in pursuit of game — and took away all the guus found 
in the teepes. This was more than the vengeful redskins would 
brook, and, instead of going down the river to visit the Omahas as 
they had intended, they at once broke camp and started up the stream. 
This expedition, marked by depredations from the time they left 
Woodbury counter, culminated in the Spirit Lake massacre. 

During 1858, 1859 and 1860, the Santee Sioux Indians became 
very troublesome to the settlers of the northwest. They made fre- 
quent raids on the settlers, stealing their most valuable stock, and not 
unfrequently murdering some unoffending citizen. So frequent and 
alarming were such depredations, that, in the spring of 1861, it was 
thought necessary to use military force to awe the savages into sub- 
jection. Accordingly a company of " home guards " was formed, a 
full history of which will be found under its proper heading within 
this work. 

Sioux City's Infancy. *A Eeminiscence by S. P. Yeomans. — 
The location of Sioux City was rather accidental. Sergeant's Bluff 
was already an established town, well known, and having the •sup- 
port of men of influence and means. Floyd's Bluff was also so much 
of a success as to have secured the honor of being the county seat. 

The former was conceded to be a desirable and attractive location, 
hence efforts were made by those having interests there, to concentrate 
all business matters at that point. These efforts failed for the reason 
that Dr. Crockwell, Clark, and others, were so sanguine of success that 
they refused to make amicable division of their interest in the town 
site. This failure resulted in determination to start a rival town, the 
friends of which, secured the location of the land office, and this alone 
enabled them to speedily distance all competition. Sioux City then 
owes its birth to the short-sighted policy of the proprietors of the 
ground where Sergeant's Bluff and Floyd's Bluff were located, and its 
success to the aid rendered by Gen. Dodge and Gen. Jones, together 
with Bernhart Henn, who gave the town the benefit of all the favors 
congress could grant, and ever continued the firm friends of the youth- 
ful aspirant for city fame. * * * * 

I reached Council Bluffs on my way to Sioux City in October, 

*S. P. Yeomans was the first register ot the United States land oCflce at Sionx City, and con- 
tributed this article to the Sioux City Journal in 1881. 


1855. I found there a large number of mail pouches filled with blanks 
and documents for the Sioux City land office, and learned upon in- 
quiry that there was no public conveyance north from the bluffs. 
However, I prevailed upon the stage company to send up a coach, in 
which I was the only passenger - . We were two days in making the 
trip, stopping the first- night at Ashton, and I think this was the first 
stage that ever entered Sioux City. The post-office had been estab- 
lished and Dr. John K. Cook appointed postmaster, and it was said 
that what few letters he received at first, he carried in his hat, giving 
them out as he chanced to meet the parties to whom addressed. No 
contract had as yet been let for carrying the mails, but the same was 
sent by any person who chanced to go that route. 

The appearance of the town at that time was very unpromising. 
There were but two cabins on the plat, and the town site was pretty 
much covered by a large encampment of Indians. In the tree tops at 
the mouth of Perry creek, were lashed a number of dead Indians, 
while upon scaffolds upon the summit of the bluffs west of town, were 
a number more sleeping the long sleep that knows no waking. 

The eating was all clone at Dr. Cook's table, and I trust no offense 
will be taken, at this late day, if I express the opinion that the cuisine 
of his establishment did not measure up to the standard of Delmon- 
ico's; he did as well as any man could have done without supplies, and 
I don't know but the bill of fare was as good as that served at the 
"Terrific" and other early-day Sioux City hotels. 

The land office was opened in the fall of 1855, I being the first to 
take charge of it. 

There were repeated Indian alarms at that early day, and many 
were much disturbed by apprehensions of danger. William Tredway 
will remember the arrangement at the Hotel de Cook whereby it was 
understood that an attack was to be announced by the prompt military 
order, " Every man to his pants ! " 

The first sermon was preached at Sioux City by a presiding elder 
in the Methodist Episcopal church, from Mount Pleasant. I think 
his name was Lathrop. The first Methodist preacher assigned to 
the work was Rev. William Black, a young man, who if not a brilliant 
preacher, was full of zeal and courage. He is now a lawyer. * * 

The first practicing attorney at Sioux City was John Currier. He 
was a good lawyer and a native-born gentleman. He had the one 


failing which has ruined many another promising attorney. Among 
the early members of the bar were Isaac Pendleton, S. T. Davis, 
O. C. Tredway and Hudson & Joy. 

The first regularly practicing physician was Dr. A. M. Hunt; Dr. 
Cook only prescribed and practiced for a time among his near friends. 
An epidemic occurred that was very fatal, and that troubled the med- 
ical gentleman. In these days it would be termed diphtheria. We 
also had an epidemic of cerebro spinal meningitis that proved quite 
fatal. A Mr. French, it was though, lost his life through fright and 
I could name another who was scarcely less frightened, and for whom 
I prescribed tablespoonful closes of a solution of asafoetida, and thus 
tided him over a peril that might have made the number of your pres- 
ent Sioux City bankers one less! 

The first real estate firm was Cassady & Moore, who were soon 
followed by George Weare, Bigelow, Chamberlain & White and Charles 
& Stutsman. 

I look back over those early days with much pleasure, and feel a 
personal pride in the prosperity of Sioux City, for the reason that I 
was closely identified with everything connected with the first part of 
her history. I rejoice at the success of those who have well-nigh 
fought the battle of life there. They have used well the small means 
they took there, and have achieved a noble victory. 

[Signed.] S. P. Yeomans. 

Life in the Fifties. — An "Old Settler" is responsible for whatever 
of information, as well as laughter, there may be in the following : 

Our resources for locomotion in those early days, were the dugout, 
scow ferry, steamboat, stage coach and Indian ponies, which latter 
used to be fed in winter on what now might not be considered a very 
nutritious article of food, viz. : cottonwood limbs ; though we have al- 
ways maintained its advantages over the post and rink feed, not un- 
■ common in these more degenerate clays. Sometimes when there was 
no bottom to our rich and inexhaustible soil, our stage coach would 
dwindle down to a large dry-goods box placed on the axle and two 
wheels of the common wagon ; about which Pioneer Pizey, of Dakota 
City, who was known far and near as " Old Pveliable," could give many 

We shall never " forget to remember" the time in those early days 
when he brought us in his dry -goods box a bright, clapper, span new 



school teacher (who came clear from Pennsylvania), when the mud 
upon our highways was all the way from six inches to two feet deep — 
the look of utter blank and profound astonishment which stole over 
the countenance of the landlord of the old Sioux City hotel, and some 
twenty or more guests, gathered around him, when on the arrival of 
the teacher he asked the landlord if he couldn't have, his boots blacked. 
The request seemed to be flying in the face of Providence. Our good 
teacher, however, and he proved to be a good one, lived to do good 
service for his country, with the rank of captain, enlisting at Council 

There was a time in the history of Sioux City when her denizens 
were blessed with a great deal of leisure, and hence, it is said, were 
pre-eminently distinguished for their social qualities. It was then 
that some of them completely mastered the art of resting! For an 
example: One of the early settlers was sent by his spouse down town 
to get some biitter, and on his way home indulged his social instincts 
to such an extent that when he arrived home his better-half, greatly 
to the souring of her amiability, discovered that, under the magic of 
a hot sun, the butter had all melted and run off the plate, scarcely 
leaving a respectable grease spot as an evidence of her husband's 
errand down town ! 

The merchants in those days were sociable beings — a band of 
brother traders, always on the alert for each other's (and their own) 
interests. Every morning they would mingle together to consider 
how much their goods should be marked up until the next consign- 
ment was received. They were men of clear heads and understood 
the tricks of their calling. For illustration we need only' speak of 
their manner of selling fried and boiled eggs. Fried eggs were fifteen 
cents a piece and boiled ones ten cents. The reason assigned for the 
great difference was, that fried eggs had to be good, i. e., like Csesar's 
wife, above suspicion, while boiled eggs were sold at the risk of the 

In this connection it is certainly befitting to speak of the scratch- 
ing habits of the old settlers. It is said that custom breeds a habit in 
man. The "prairie digs," in those times, generated a universal habit of 
pioneer scratching. The stoic may bear pain without flinching, the 
philosopher misfortune without signs of grief, but no one can help 
scratching when they itch. The reader may have heard of the lady 


who was sick and longed to be poor that she might have the "itch," on 
account of the solid comfort, not to say downright luxury, of scratch- 
ing. Had she lived in Sioux City in the " fifties " she could have en- 
joyed herself right famously! Besides, the " prairie digs" is no vul- 
gar disease, it is quite an aristocratic affair, as much so as the gout, 
and being such it would not be at all wonderful if it should make its 
advent as one of the aristocratic events among our new settlers. In 
this degenerate day it is anything and everything for style. 

The Ongie War. — The "Ongie War," as termed by early settlers, 
grew out of a determination of the Claim Club to enforce their con- 
ception of right and justice, with reference to claims. A pre-emption 
of 160 acres of land was regarded as a very fair thing, but was wholly 
insufficient for an old settler to " spread himself on," so under the 
superior ruling of the Claim Club, he appropriated 360 acres for that 
commendable purpose, and woe to the unlucky wight who presumed 
to violate this supreme law of the land. A land law of congress that 
presumed to conflict with an old settler's notion of things, was at once 
practically squelched so far as he was concerned. Any one who ig- 
norantly violated the law of the Claim Club was at once waited upon, 
and in the name of the Great Jehovah invited in true Arkansas style, 
to "git! " If the offender did not "git," war was at once declared. 

A man named Howe, whose name occurs in one account of the early 
settlers, took a claim across the Floyd river, not far from the present 
Exchange flouring mills. He became enamored of a beautiful half- 
breed maiden, known as " Prairie Flower," but whose true name was 
Victoria Ongie. To have his charmer near him, Rowe invited her 
father and his whole family to take up their abode in his humble cabin, 
which they did. He loved well, but alas not wisely; at any rate he 
became insane and died. His mother did not enter into her son's ro- 
mantic ideas of matrimony with a hearty zest, and after his death she 
came on, and sternly invited the Ongie family to betake themselves to 
other quarters. Her cause was espoxised by the Claim Club. The 
eagerness to wreak vengeance on the Ongies might have found solution 
in the possible fact that some of the " clubbers " were rejected lovers 
of Victoria. 

Be that as it may, an attack was projected, and in the course of a 
few hours, after the plans were matured, those gallant sons of right 
and justice might have been seen deployed in true skirmish style, ad- 


vancing on the ill-fated Ongies. They placed, themselves in position 
for a final and successful assault. Two lawyers characteristically took 
up a position on the side of the cabin, where there were no openings, 
and hence where there could be no danger from a return fire. The 
Ongies having sniffed the battle from afar, were making preparations 
for defense, and by accident discharged one of their guns. At this, 
the aforesaid legal gentlemen, forgetting the safety of their well-chosen 
position, found safety in their heels, with Victoria, the " Prairie 
Flower," in close pursuit. She overtook them and by her wiles and 
smiles, succeeded as an intermediator between the Ongie forces and the 
club in bringing about a cessation of hostilities, and thus ended the 
Ongie War. One of the brave (?) lawyers, who ran away, lived to 
fight another day, and by many gallant deeds as a Union officer placed 
himself among the honored of history, and died as governor of Wash- 
ington territory. 

The Fur Trade. — The fur trade of Sioux City at an early day, was 
an item of no small commercial importance, as will be seen by the 
single local paragraph extracted from the " Sioux City Eagle " of 1857 : 
In addition to the large number of buffalo robes and skins brought to 
this place by friendly Indians, immense quantities are brought 
here by Mackinaws (small boats). Messrs. Frost, Todd & Co. are 
the heaviest dealers in furs. During one week in June. (1857) they, 
received, by steamboat, from the head-waters of the Missouri and 
Yellowstone, furs and skins to the value of many thousand dollars, 
one consignment alone containing 7,567 buffalo robes (tanned) ; 739 
beaver skins; 32 elk skins; 14 bear skins; 1 moose skin, and 35 pelt 

Sioux City Market Report — 1857. — The subjoined was copied 
from the "Eagle" of August 14, 1857: 

Flour per Bbl §12 00 

Meal " Bushel 2 50 

Corn " " 2 00 

Beans '* " 6 00 

Dried Apples per lb , 25 

Prime Brown Sugar 20 

White (crushed) " 25 

Tea per lb 75 to 1 25 

Rice " " 12* 

Star Candles per lb 35 

Soap per lb 12 


Butter " " 40 

Lard " " 25 

Side Meat per lb •' 19 

Best Pine Lumber per thousand .-.100 00 

Cottonwood " " " 3500 

Lath " " 1200 

Whiskey per gallon 40 

An odd advertisement appeared in the " Eagle " in 1859, at least it 
would seem odd to-day. It was the advertisement of Charles P. 
Booge & Co., general dealers, and contained the following: 

Headquarters, St. Louis, Mo. Branch House, Sioux City, Iowa. * * * 
Sugar, Molasses, Hams, Corn, Rio CofEee, Codfish, Tobacco, Soap, Candles, Whiskey, 
Brandy, Gin, Beer, Wine, Powder, Shot, Caps, Gun Wadding, Indigo, Glass and Nails 
all cheap, but cash must come before delivery. 

And now, after this somewhat broken history, we drop the thread, 
which might be of interest to trace out into farther detail, were it not 
for the fact that the township historian will visit each subdivision of 
the county, and from the oldest remaining pioneers, gather early settle- 
ment facts for the various civil townships as now constituted. As 
much will be gleaned upon this subject as can be, from all reliable 
sources; however, as one attempts to grasp the whole and reduce it to 
a few pages, it widens and expands, growing in importance and mag- 
nitude. Though yet comparatively new, a complete history of Wood- 
'bury county, its growth from the beginning, a mention of its heroes, 
living and dead, would fill a vast volume. Very exact and patient 
of research must he be who can do justice to all and fully perpetuate 
the memory of every event, even for the brief period which has trans- 
pired since the first settlement in 1848. The township histories will 
carry it to a later date than this chapter. 



The Location— County-Seat Commissioners— First Officers— Territory' 
Embraced — County-Seat History— County' Buildings — Renting Of- 
fices—Present Court-house— The Poor Farm — First and Early 

WOODBURY COUNTY is situated on the western border of the 
state of Iowa, with the Missouri river flowing along the south- 
western border, and the Big Sioux on the northwest. It contains 
twenty-four civil townships, and nearly twenty-five congressional town- 
ships of six miles square each. It is, consequently, one of Iowa's four 
"big" counties: Pottowattomie, Kossuth, Woodbury and Plymouth. 
For the subdivision of the county into township organizations, the 
reader is referred to the chapters on township history in this work. 

One can scarcely realize the fact that all western Iowa was one 
vast prairie wilderness forty years ago, but such is true. Five years 
after Iowa was admitted to the Union, the territory now known as 
Woodbury county, was established and named Wahkaw. The south- 
ernmost tier of townships was at one time a part of Benton county, 
and the remainder was included in Buchanan. 

An act approved January 12, 1853, provided for the organization 
of the county from and after March 1. Charles Wolcott, of Mills 
county; Thomas L. Griffey, of Pottowattomie county and Ira Perdue 
of Harrison county, commissioners appointed to locate the county 
seat, were to meet July 2. Thomas L. Griffey was made organizing 
sheriff, and the name given to the new county seat, by the same act 
of the Fourth general assembly was "Floyd's Bluff." 

Prior to this time, this territory had been included in Polk, for 
revenue, election and judicial purposes. The above act was to go 
into effect upon its publication in the "Western Bugle." On the 
same clay another act was approved, which changed the name of the 
county to Woodbury. It was named in honor of Hon. Levi Wood- 


bury, of New Hampshire, an eminent man of his time, who succeeded 
Judge Story on the supreme bench. 

At that date the laws of Iowa provided that any organized county 
might petition the county judge of the nearest organized county, and, by 
his authority, become attached thereto as a civil township, for judicial 
purposes. Hence it was that Woodbury took in all northwestern Iowa, 
each county being a civil township. Cherokee county was the first to 
be set off and organized, in 1857, as a county by itself, Plymouth fol- 
lowing a year later. 

Marshall Townsley was the first county judge. Judges Smith, 
Cook, Campbell and Allison, each serving prior to 1861, when the 
office of supervisor was created, had much to do with the organizing 
of the county. Under their guidance the first civil townships were 
created; the first highways, bridges and schools were all founded by 
the wise administration of these pioneer county judges. 

The County Seed. — -The county seat commissioners, before named 
in this chapter, selected a part of section one, township eighty-eight, 
range forty-eight, as the place for the seat of justice. It was styled 
on the plat books as Floyd's Bluff, and there the first official acts in and 
for Woodbury county were performed. William B. Thompson and a 
few other pioneers, named elsewhere, intended to build up a city at that 
point, but when Dr. John K. Cook came to these parts, in 1854, to survey 
lands in northwestern Iowa, he saw that near this point, some day, 
would stand a great commercial center, hence he formed a town site 
company, platted Sioux City, and, through the aid of Iowa congress- 
men, succeeded in having the United States land office established 
at the new town. This naturally brought hundreds of men from all 
directions, some of whom were impressed with the location, and be- 
came citizens and hearty supporters of all measures regarding the 
advancement of the new town, including the establishment of a post- 
office in 1855. This caused the former lively interest in the town site 
at Floyd's Bluff to slacken somewhat. 

About three miles farther down the bank of the Missouri river, 
another town was platted in 1857, known as Sergeant's Bluff City, 
which was located on the same quarter-section with another plat styled 
Sergeant's Bluff. April 2, 1855, a vote had been taken, however, 
upon the question of the county seat being removed to that point. 
There were twenty-four votes, all of which were cast in favor of re- 


In March, 1856, the county judge was presented with a petition, 
headed by George Weare and others, praying to have the county seat 
removed to Sioux City. At the same time a remonstrance, headed by 
T. El wood Clark, J. D. M. Crockwell and many others who were 
directly interested in the future well-being of Sergeant's Bluff City, 
was placed on file. 

At the April (1856) election, there were ODe hundred and sixteen 
votes polled, seventy-one of which favored the removal of the county 
seat to Sioux City, and forty-five of which opposed it, and as a conse- 
quence the April term of county court was held at the new seat of 

Comity Buildings. — The first county officers, of necessity, had to 
occupy the rude log houses in which they lived. Magnificent struct- 
ures were the last things thought of by the pioneers. Upon the 
final location of the county seat at Sioux City, in 1856, there were 
various opinions regarding the propriety of erecting a court-house. 
It is found by the minute book of the county judge, that Judge John 
K. Cook, whose portrait adorns the frescoed walls of the beautiful 
court room in the Temple of Justice to-day, in Sioux City, was pre- 
vailed on in June, 1857, to award the contract of laying the foundation 
of a court-house, to John Fitzgibbon, for the sum of $850. This 
building was to be located on the public square. In 1858, Judge 
Campbell was petitioned by G. W. F. Sherwin, A. Leech, F. M. 
Ziebach, S. P. Yoemans and over one hundred others, to build a 
county jail. The question being submitted to a vote of the people in 
June, the same year, the measure prevailed, and the contract was let 
to J. W. Bosler for the sum of $14,800. It was a block-house 
enclosed in brick work, and was located on lot eight, block forty-seven. 

In April, 1859, Judge Campbell made a contract with S. H. Cas- 
sady for a large brick building and a part of lots one, two and three, 
in block thirty-four, of the middle addition to Sioux City. The 
price contracted for was $25,000 in bonds and five-year warrants. 
This contract, however, was canceled, and the county rented offices in 
various business houses, one officer being in one part of town and 
others in another part. In 1874 Weare & Allison made a proposition 
to the supervisors, to erect a building for the use of the county. It 
was to be on the comer of Fourth and Douglas streets, and the county 
was to pay them $4,000 a year for the use of the same. This 


proposition, however, did not meet with approval, and the people 
having become tired of paying rent and having no home to call their 
own, a vote was taken on this question at the October election in 
1875. The vote stood largely in favor of erecting a court-house at a 
cost of $75,000, the fund to be raised by bonding the county. In 
accordance with that vote, the supervisors at once commenced looking 
about for plans for the building. The report of their building com- 
mittee will be found in the " board proceedings " elsewhere in this 

The Poor Farm. — For matters concerning the Woodbury county 
poor-farm and poor-house, situated near Sergeant's Bluff, the reader 
is referred to the "Acts of the Board of Supervisors," elsewhere. 

First and Other Early Events. — Under this heading is given a 
number of the more important events that transpired in Woodbury 
county and Sioux City, in the earlier years of their history: 

The first actual settler in Woodbury county was William B. 
Thompson, who located at Floyd's Bluff in 1848. 

The first town site platted was Floyd's Bluff, known as "Thompson- 
town." It was made the county seat until 1856, although only one 
log house ever graced the spot. 

The first election for county officers was held August 1, 1853, at the 
house of William B. Thompson, the first settler in Woodbury county, 
when sixteen votes were polled. 

The first bill against the county was made payable to Judge 
Thomas L. Griffey, for the amount of $18, for services in locating the 
county seat. It was dated January 27, 1854. 

The first post-office in the county was established at Sergeant's 
Bluff in 1855, with Leonard Bates as postmaster. J. W. Betz brought 
the mail (not by government contract) from Council Bluffs, as did 
also Gibson Bates, in an ox wagon, collecting and distributing mail 
matter along the road to persons whom they knew. 

The first saw-mill was constructed at Sergeant's Bluff in 1855, by 
Thomas Robes, and commenced operations early in September. There 
was quite an excitement over the event, and a struggle to obtain the 
first board sawed, and for a long time it was exhibited by its possessor, 
as being the pioneer saw-cut board made in Woodbury county. 

The first foreigner to become naturalized, in Woodbury county, 
was Clement Lamoreaux, February 4, 1856. 



The first presidential election held, was in the month of Novem- 
ber, 1856, during the Fremont-Buchanan campaign. 

The first steam ferry was operated at Sioux City in 1857, the boat 
being the " Lewis H. Burns." 

The first flouring-mill was run in connection with a saw-mill, by 
Bedard & Roesch. The saw mill-was commenced in 1859, and the 
flouring-mill, a small concern, in 1860, near the mouth of the Floyd. 

The first wagon bridge over the Big Sioux was built by the gov- 
ernment in 1866-67. 

The first railroad bridge to span the waters of the Missouri, was 
built by the Chicago & Northwestern railroad company in 1887. 

Sioux City was platted by John K. Cook, in the autumn of 1854, 
and the work completed early in January, 1855. 

The first white man to locate on the plat was the French Canadian, 
Theophile Bruguier, in 1849. 

The first hotel was conducted by the founder of the city, Dr. 
John K. Cook, in 1854-55. Austin Cole came next. The Terrific 
and Severe were early hotels, about which many of the old timers 
now talk, giving many laughable experiences connected therewith. 

Cassady, Myers & Moore started the first bank at Sioux City, in 
October, 1855. 

The first attorney was M. F. Moore, who came in 1855. John 
Cassady came about the same time. 

The first regular frame house in the place, was erected from a 
ready-made frame shipped up the river for the tin shop of J. C. Flint 
and his partner, Daggett, in 1856. John K. Cook had, however, erect- 
ed what might be termed a " claim shanty," a rough board struct- 
ure, the year prior to this. 

The first brick house was that of Liege Robinson, who burned the 
brick for his own, and enough more to build the Schuster building — 
the first brick business house. 

The first marriage was that of Mrs. Lapore to Mr. Charles Sang- 
ster in March, 1856. 

The first female child was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S. H. 
Cassady, born April 25, 1856. She was born on the original plat, 
while Charles Dodson was born up the Floyd river, and not then in 

The first general election was held in the land office building in 
August, 1856. 


The first Fourth of July celebration was held in 1857, at the foot 
of Prospect Hill, within a little clump of native timber. 

The pioneer school was taught in 1857 by Miss Wilkins, now of 

Yankton, Dak., Avas platted in 1859, by a company partly made 
up of Sioux City men. It was first spelled in all newspapers and 
record matters as "Yancton, Dacotah, Ty." 

The first account of "picture taking" at Sioux City was in the "Eagle" 
in 1858, in the way of an advertisement as follows: "Ambrotypes — 
Go to the City Gallery and 'secure the shadow ere the substance fades.'' 
Slade & Dunbar, at the residence of J. R. Sanborn." The art of pho- 
tography was not developed until about 1863, and ambrotypes were all 
the rage in Sioux City homes, and they now form antique curiosities, 
of which this generation know but little. 


The First Election — County Court— Removal of the County Seat — 
Several Northwestern Iowa Counties Set Off— Acts of the Boari> 
of Supervisors— The Jail— The Poor Farm— The Court-IIouse— A 
Defaulting Treasurer— Marriage Record— Population of County 
by Townships— Recorded Village Plats of County. 

WHEN Woodbury county was organized in 1853, the local gov- 
ernment was vested in what was termed the "county court," 
which consisted of the county judge, the district clerk and the sheriff. 
The judge had supreme control of matters which can now be brought 
before the district court, as well as those financial matters now in the 
hands of supervisors. His office was one of much importance and 
ofttimes abused. 

At the general election of August, 1853, at William Thompson's 
house, seventeen votes were cast and the following officers elected: 
Marshall Townsley, judge; Hiram Nelson, treasurer and recorder; Eli 
Lee, coroner; Joseph P. Babbitt, district clerk. 


County Court. — The first pages of " Minute Book A," the official 
record of the county court, contain but little, except entries of the 
amounts of small hills allowed for sundry items, and generally for 
service rendered by some one of the county officials. The year 1854 
was not eventful, and the county court had little else to do than issue 
petty warrants, and canvass the election returns. In 1855 a petition, 
signed by twenty-six names, was presented to the county judge, 0. B. 
Smith, calling for a vote on the question of removing the county seat 
of justice to Sergeant's Bluff City. In March, 1856, George Weare 
and others petitioned the court to submit the question of removing the 
county seat to Sioux City. A remonstrance was also presented by T. 
Elwood Clark, J. D. M. Crockwell and others. In May, 1857, acting 
upon proper petition, the county judge organized Dickinson county. 

July 7, 1857, the few freeholders then residing in what is now 
Cherokee county, petitioned to the Woodbury county authorities to 
be set off and duly organized. S. T. Davis was then acting judge. 

March 17, 1858, a ferry license was granted, by Judge J. L. Camp- 
bell, to C. Gagnon, to operate a ferry-boat across the Big Sioux river. 
April 10, the same year, license was granted to Paul Pacquette, to 
operate another ferry at another point on the Big Sioux. The minute 
book of the early county court was, in fact, principally filled up with 
marriage licenses, description of warrants issued and road notices. 

June 5, 1858, Ida county was set off and duly organized by Judge 
Campbell. In October, the same year, Plymouth county was set off 
and duly organized. Clay county was organized at about the same 
date, and thus rapidly the great domain originally in "Woodbury 
county began to assume separate county organizations. In October, 
1858, Buena Vista county was organized and an election called. 

In September, 1859, Hon. John A. Kassonwas allowed $500 for 
his legal services in behalf of AVoodbury county. 

Nothing of marked historic importance is found recorded in the 
county judge's book for the year 1860. The close of that year marked 
a new era in the government of every county in Iowa, for it was at this 
time that the law was changed ; doing away with many functions of 
the county judge's office, the same being transferred to the newly 
created board of supervisors, made up, at that time, by one member 
from each township. 

Acts of the Board of Supervisors. — January 7, 1861, was the day 


fixed upon by act of the general assembly, for the first board of 
county supervisors to meet. The first to hold such office in Woodbury 
county were: Samuel Cameron, chairman, A. S. Bacon, John House- 
holder and Elijah Adams. Their business during the four regular 
sessions held in 1861, was principally routine work, laying out roads, 
auditing accounts, levying taxes, etc. A complete list of the boards 
will be found in the " political chapter." 

In 1862 the supervisors let the contract to build a bridge across 
the Floyd river. 

At the October session of 1864 the following members were serv- 
ing: Luther Woodford, chairman; Samuel Cameron, John S. Ed- 
wards and A. B. Griffin. The minutes of that session present the fol- 

Resolved, That a sufficient tax be levied on all taxable property in Woodbury 
county to pay tbe sum of three hundred dollars to each soldier who has or may enter 
the Union army to fill the required quota under the last call of President Lincoln for 
300,000 more troops; this to also include those who may be drafted into service. Such 
fund, when raised, to be known as the " Special Bounty Fund." 

To bring this about a ten-mill tax was levied. 

The board of 1865, the last year of the Civil war, was composed 
of the following named gentlemen: Luther Woodford, chairman; 
Thomas J. Kinkaid, W. O. Slyter and A. S. Bacon. 

At their January meeting they voted to pay a bounty of $300 
to men who would fill up the quota required under Lincoln's call for 
300,000 more men, in county warrants drawing six per cent interest. 
The county funds were then at a very low ebb, and money was scarce. 

From 1865 to 1867 but little of an eventful character transpired 
on the board of supervisors. 

In October, 1870, the board, which then consisted of AVilliam B. 
Tredway, William P. Holman, William Mathers, Bufus Beal, Eli 
Lee, F. W. Davis, L. Yokey and M. J. Sogers, investigated the poor- 
farm question, and finally purchased of W. Clark, for $1,150, the 
northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section thirty-three, 
township eighty-eight, range forty-seven, situated a mile and one-quar- 
ter from Sergeant's Bluff depot. On this land, which was all well 
fenced, was a fair house, good outbuildings, and the whole was under a 
good state of cultivation. 

At the January session, 1871, the board appropriated (under the 


laws of Iowa) the sum of $1,000 to the Woodbury Agricultural So- 
ciety. The same year, in June, the board organized and set off the 
territory known as Osceola county. 

In July, 1871, an appropriation from the " poor-farm fund " was 
made to the amount of $175 to erect an addition to the poor-house. 

In June, 1873, Woodbury county was still without a court-house, 
for the board paid a bill of rent to Booge & Spalding, amounting to 
$225, for the quarter ending June 10, that year. 

Iu June, 1874, the boai'd voted unanimously to bond the county 
(under a recent law allowing it) for the purpose of paying off its in- 

In September, 1874, Weare & Allison proposed to rent a business 
block, then being contemplated, on the corner of Fourth and Douglas 
streets, to be used by the county for offices and court purposes, at 
$4,000 per year, but the proposition was not accepted. 

In June, 1875, James Y. 'Kennedy, J. L. Follett and James Hor- 
ton were appointed from the board as a committee to build a brick 
poor-house, not to exceed $4,000 in cost. 

At the October session the board canvassed the election returns, 
including the vote on the court-house question (the proposition being 
to build a court-house at a cost of $75,000), also the question of bond- 
ing the county for said amount. The canvass proved that a majority 
favored the building as well as the bonding. At the same meeting 
James A. Sawyer's building, on Pearl and Second streets, was re- 
leased, at $2,500 a year, until the new court-house should be ready for 
occupancy. The court-house bonds were made payable before ten 
years, at ten per cent interest. The board, at their October session, 
1875, selected a committee on court-house and jail as follows: J. L. 
Follett, James S. Horton and Norman Patterson. 

At the January term, 1876, the following were seated as members: 
James S. Horton, J. Follett, Ed. Haakinson, Norman Patterson and 
P. C. Eberley. Their first official act was to appoint William P. Hol- 
man overseer of the poor-farm for 1876. 

The court-house and jail committee then reported in substance as 
follows : 

We have visited the stone quarries of Minnesota and believe the Kasota stone the 
best for our purpose. We went to Milwaukee to view their court-house, and were not 
favorably impressed with the structure. We then visited Freeport, 111., Chicago, and 
other points in Illinois and Iowa. We now recommend the plans shown us at Des 
Moines by Architect William L. Foster. 


The plans referred to were finally adopted. 

At their March session, 1876, the board appointed J. L. Follett to 
obtain the stone for the foundation, the same to be on the court-house 
site by April 25. 

April 6, 1876, " Centennial year," a contract was awarded to 
Charles E. and D. T. Hedges, for the erection of the court-house, 
which now adorns the public square. The contract price was $74,700, ' 
and the plans and specifications spread upon record in Minute Book D, 
cover twenty-three closely written pages, but the record shows that 
about $4,800 extra was expended before the superstructure was fin- 
ished. The building was to be completed on or before January 1, 
1878. The jail in the basement is comfortable and secure, while each 
office in the superstructure is spacious and well planned. The various 
vaults are fireproof and well suited for the preservation of public 
records. The court-room is of a modern design and beautifully fres- 
coed. The symmetrical dome, which adds beauty to the building, is 
surmounted by a life-size statue of Justice, whose womanly form is 
facing the west, emblematic of the "Star of Empire." 

During the January session of 1879, the board authorized the 
attorney, then in the employ of the county, to settle a claim for dam- 
ages asked by one L. D. Wellington for injuries sustained through a 
defective bridge near Smithland. The limit they allowed him to pay 
was $500. At the same session John P. Allison was appointed to fill 
the unexpired term of Charles Kent as county treasurer, and gave 
bonds to the amount of $100,000. The board settled the salary of 
sheriff at $100 with fees ; and that of county treasurer at $1,500. They 
also appropriated $100 toward constructing a 1,000 barrel cistern near 
the court-house as a fire protection. 

At the February session, 1880, the board settled with the bonds- 
men, the case of county treasurer, Charles Kent, a defaulter, by their 
paying the sum of $17,000. The same session a petition was sent to 
Hon. C. C. Carpenter, then in congress, urging him to work for the 
holding of United States courts at Sioux City. 

During the years 1881 and 1882 the board appropriated $200, each 
year, toward the Agricultural Society. 

During 1884 the board passed resolutions canceling all the odds 
and ends of delinquent taxes over which there could be any legal 
question. Some of these claims ran back to 1855, and the resolution 


covered all between 1855 and 1877. In 1884, also, the county aided 
the Agricultural Society to the amount of $300. 

The points touched on in the "proceedings of the board of super- 
visors " as above given, were but a small percentage of their work, 
but cover the chief public interests, suitable for a record of county his- 
tory. The thousands of bridges and well-planned highways built 
since 1861, have all been fostered and managed by these various 
boards of supervisors. 

Marriage Record. — The first marriage recorded in the marriage 
books of Woodbury county is dated April 30, 1854. The contracting 
parties were V. S. Slagar and Elizabeth Aurah, and the ceremony 
was performed by his Honor, J. M. Townsley, county judge. There 
may have been, quite likely were, other marriages in the county prior 
to that date, for the early marriage records in all western counties were 
not preserved in a very excellent manner. There were, moreover, a 
few united in marriage prior to the organization of the county, but 
those were mostly half-breeds or cases where Frenchmen married 
Indian women. In 1854, also, there was one other marriage in the 
county, Francis Bercia and Mary Lasharitie, who were made man and 
wife by County Judge Townsley, May 21. The next marriage recorded 
was that of Zachariah G. Allen and Harriett Shook, May 5, 1855. 
Four marriages occurred in 1856: Louis Benoist married an Indian 
lady, June 4; Joseph W. Stephens and Nancy Mozier, were married 
August 10; Finley B. Denham and Elizabeth Courtney, September 
24; Henry Paschall and Anna Kasberg, December 26. 

The following shows the total marriages from 1854 to August 1, 
1890, by years: 

1854 3 1874 96 

1855 1 

1856 6 

1857 13 

1858 7 

1859 7 

1860 18 

1861 21 

1862 8 

1863 15 

1864 24 

1865 28 

1866 22 

1867 41 

1868 55 

1869 97 

1870 95 

1871 125 

1872 142 

1873 119 































1890 (to August 1.) 





Population of the County. — The following gives the population for 
the entire county, at different dates: 

In 1854 the county had a population of 170; in 1856, it had in- 
creased to 950; in 1860 the population was 1,078; in 1863 it was 1,106; 
in 1865, it had 1,291; in 1867, it had 1,969; in 1869, the population 
was 4,000; in 1870 it had 6,119; in 1873, the number was 6,946; in 
1875, 8,518. The census of 1880 (C. S.) gave the county, 14,785, 
while the State census of 1885 gave the total of Woodbury county as 

The subjoined table shows the population by townships, for 

1885. 1885. 

Arlington 361 Moville 276 

Banner 226 Rock 487 

Concord 408 Rutland 524 

Floyd 303 Sioux City 611 

Grange 186 Sloan 652 

Grant 529 Union 1,341 

Kedron 485 West Fork 521 

Lakeport 763 Willow 495 

Liston 864 Wolf Creek 570 

Liberty 1.065 Woodbury 678 

Little Sioux* 1,102 Incorporation Sioux City 19,060 

Miller 328 

Morgan 454 Grand Total 32,289 

Recorded Plats. — The following shows the facts connected with 
the platting of all the original villages of the county: 

What was in early days styled Thompson town (after William 
Thompson, its projector), was recorded in the plat books of Pottawat- 
toniie county, before Woodbury county was fairly organized, the record 
name being Floyd's Bluff. It was situated on the southeast quarter of 
section one, township eighty-eight, range forty-eight. The date of its 
platting was 1853, but there was never any showing toward a town, 

Sergeant's Bluff City is the title of the first plat found in the books 
of Woodbury county. It was platted on section thirty, township 
eighty-eight, range forty-seven, November 20, 1854, by T. Elwood 
Clark, Samuel F. Watts, Moses Shinn, and others. 

*Oto was created after 18S5. 




Sioux City (proper) was platted May 5, 1855, by Dr. John K. Cook 
and others. 

Correctionville was platted September 25, 1855, on section thirty- 
five, township eighty-nine, range forty -two, by George W. Chamberlain, 
Hiram Nelson, Francis Chapell, Charles B. Kustin, Horace C. Bacon, 
of the town-site company of Henn, Williams, Cook & Co. 

East Sioux City was platted May 14, 1856, by E. Bedard & Co. 

East addition to Sioux City was platted September 16, 1856, by 
Dr. Cook's town-site company. 

Smithland was platted September 23, 1856, on section twenty-six, 
township eighty-six, range forty-four, by Orrin B. Smith. 

Sergeant's Bluff was platted July 14, 1857, by a number of persons, 
and spread on record a year later, July, 1858. The name appears on 
all early records and plats with a final " 's " to both the words Ser- 
geant and Bluff, but latterly the " s " has been dropped from the word 
Bluff, and the locality is known as "Sergeant's Bluff," whereas the 
United States post-office department calls it Sergeant Bluff, which is 
also the spelling given in B. G. Dun's Shippers' Guide. It was named 
in honor of Sergt. Charles Floyd, who died en route up the Missouri 
river, and was buried on one of the bluffs overlooking the Missouri. 

Sloan was platted on the southwest quarter of section twenty-nine, 
township eighty-six, range forty-six, July 29, 1870, by the Missouri 
Valley Land Company. 

Anthon was platted February 17, 1888, on sections thirty-two and 
thirty-three, township eighty-eight, range forty-three, by the Cherokee 
& Western Town Lot & Land Company. 

Salix was platted on the west half of sectiou thirty-five, township 
eighty-seven, range forty-seven, July 29, 1875, by the Missouri Land 

Danbury was platted on section twenty-seven, township eighty-six, 
range forty-two, November 1, 1877, by Daniel Thomas and wife. 

Oto was platted February 25, 1879, on section six, township eighty- 
six, range forty-three, by Samuel B. and O. S. Day. 

Lucky Valley was platted July 22, 1882, by J. B. Jerman and wife 
and W. H. Brady and wife, on sections two and three, township eighty- 
seven, range forty-four. 

Pierson, on section twelve, township eighty-nine, range forty-three, 
was platted by the Blair Town Lot & Land Company August 3, 1883. 


dishing was platted on section one, township eighty-eight, range 
forty-four, by the Blair Town Lot & Land Company May 10, 1883. 

Hornick was platted by the Milwaukee Land Company on sections 
twenty-eight and twenty-nine, township eighty-six, range forty-five, 
April 4, 1887. 

Moville was platted by the Western Town Lot Company April 23, 
1887, on section twenty-nine, township eighty-nine, range forty-four. 

The above plats all represent town sites of to-day, the most of 
"which are flourishing places, except Sergeant's Bluff City, platted in 
1854, which is not known to-day. 

Leeds, now annexed to Sioux City, was platted April 12, 1889, by 
the Leeds Land & Investment Company. 


Eakly Politics— Early Elections— County, State and National Rep- 
resentation — Special Issues — List of County Officers by Years. 

WOODBURY COUNTY was organized three years before the 
republican party was. As will be seen by the official 
returns in 1856, when the republican party ran John C. Fremont 
against James Buchanan, the democratic nominee, this county gave 
the former 43 votes and the latter 108. In 1860 the -issues which 
finally brought on the Civil war placed a different complexion on the 
politics of this county in common with all Iowa. In the election 
returns of 1860, when Lincoln ran against Douglas, the result here 
was a complete reverse — Lincoln received 129 votes and Douglas only 
68. From that time on, through all the succeeding campaigns, Wood- 
bury county gave a good round republican majority until the prohib- 
itory liquor question was sprung in Iowa in 1882. At the next guber- 
natorial election, in 1883, the returns show a decided change in favor 
of the democracy. Buren R. Sherman had 1,825 votes, and L. G. 
Kinnie 1,847 votes, another radical change on a pure state issue. In 
1885 the republican nominee for governor, William Larrabee, received 


a small majority, as he did two years later, when re-elected. But 
Woodbury county, in common with all Iowa, made another radical 
change in the election of Gov. Boies, democrat, in 1889, when the county 
gave him over a thousand majority. The republicans claim they 
were not on guard, and did not poll their usual vote, which to some 
extent was true. But aside from local state issues, Woodbury county 
has always gone largely republican when coming to the vote for 
presidential electors. 

State Representation. — The following Woodbury county men have 
represented their county in the Iowa legislature: 

Samuel H. Cassady, member of the house during the seventh 
assembly, in 1858. 

Isaac Pendleton, during the ninth assembly, in 1862. 

William L. Joy, during the tenth assembly, in 1861; also in the 
eleventh assembly, in 1866. 

Constant R. Marks, during the thirteenth assembly, in 1870. 

A. R. Appleton, in the fourteenth assembly, during 1872. 

James H. Bolton, during the seventeenth assembly, in 1878. 

John B. Belfrage, during the eighteenth assembly, in 1880. 

Elbert H. Hubbard, during the nineteenth assembly, in 1S82. 

Squire W. Haviland, during the twentieth assembly, in 1884. 

Br. B. Bice, of Smithland, during the twenty-first assembly, in 

Willis G. Clark, of Sioux City, during the twenty-second as- 
sembly, in 1888; also the twenty -third, in 1890. 

In the state senate, Woodbury county has been represented by 
home men as follows: — George D. Perkins, during the fifteenth and 
sixteenth assemblies — 1874 to 1878; and Job A. Lawrence Avho was 
elected in 1887. 

The state binder from 1874 to 1878 was Henry A. Perkins, of 
Sioux City. 

Judicial. — Marshall F. Moore, of Sioux City, was elected judge of 
the Twelfth judicial district of Iowa in April, 1857. He presided 
over the territory now embraced in the fifteen northwestern Iowa 

Asahel W. Hubbard was elected to the office of judge of the 
Pourth judicial district in October, 1858. and was succeeded in 
1862, by Isaac Pendleton. 


Congressional Representation. — Woodbury county has furnished 
two representatives to the United States congress: Hon. Asahel W. 
Hubbard, who was elected by a large republican majority, and served 
from 1863 to 1869, three full terms, during which time no other con- 
gressman from Iowa made a more enviable record than did Judge 
Hubbard, as he was an able man, and worked for the great north- 
west with a hearty good will ; the second is Congressman George D. 
Perkins, of Sioux City, who is the able editor of the " Sioux City 

Other Representations. — Dr. William R. Smith, of Sioux City, 
had the honor of representing his district at the Paris Exposition of 
1878, and W. I. Buchanan is one of the two commissioners to the 
World's Fair (Columbian Exposition) of 1892, from Iowa. 

State and National Election. {Vote on Governors). 1851 — 
James W. Grimes (W. ). 

1857— Ralph P. Lowe (R.), 120; Benjamin M. Samuels (D.), 144. 

1859— S. J. Kirkwood (R.), 132; A. C. Dodge (D.), 163. 

1861— S. J. Kirkwood (R.), 133; W. H. Merith (D.), 111. 

1863— William M. Stone (R.), 122; James M. Stone (D.), 103. 

1865— William M. Stone (R.), 112; Thomas H Benton (D.), 87. 

1867— Samuel Merrill (R), 253; Charles Mason (D.), 237. 

1869— Samuel Merrill (R.), 475; George Galespy (D.), 313. 

1871— C. C. Carpenter (R.), 708; J. C. Knapp (D.), 236. 

1873— C. C. Carpenter (R.), 952; J. G. Vale (D.), 523. 

1875— S. J. Kirkwood (R.), 1,099; Shepherd Lefler (D.), 719. 

1877— John H. Gear (R.), 899; John P. Irish (D.), 710; D. P. 
Stubbs (G. B.), 90. 

1879— John H. Gear (R.), 1,262; H. H. Trumble (D.), 947. 

1881— B. R. Sherman (R.), 1,305; L. G. Kinnie (D.j, 858. 

1883— B. R. Sherman (R.), 1,825; L. G. Kinnie (D.), 1,847. 

1885— William Larrabee (R.), 2,557; Charles E. Whiting (D.), 

1887— William Larrabee (R.), 2,997; T. J. Anderson (D.), 2,913. 

1889— James G. Hutchins (R), 2,969; Horace Boies. (D.j, 4,051. 

Presidential Vote. — 1856 — John C. Fremont (R. ), 43; James 
Buchanan (D.j, 108. 

1860— Abraham Lincoln (R.), 129; Stephen A. Douglas (D.),68. 

1864— Abraham Lincoln (R.), 153; George B. McClellan (D.), 93. 


1868— U. S. Grant (R), 430; Horatio Seymour (D.), 323. 

1872— U. S. Grant (R), 790; Horace Greeley (D.), 439. 

1876— Eutherford B. Hayes (E.), 1,034; S. J. Tilden (D.), 937. 

1880— James A. Garfield (E.), 1,453; W. S. Hancock (D.), 995. 

1884— James G. Blaine (R), 2,805; Grover Cleveland (D.), 2376. 

1888— Benjamin Harrison (R), 4,169; Grover Cleveland (D.), 

County Judge. — Early in the history of Woodbury county this 
office, as has been stated, was one of great importance. It embraced 
the work now attended to by the entire board of supervisors as well as 
that of auditor, besides much legal and probate court business. In 
short, it was a sort of one-man power. Many of the functions of this 
office ceased, however, in 1860, and in 1868 it was abolished alto- 
gether. In 1861 the supervisor system relieved the office of much 
power, and many of its duties; and the office of county auditor, created 
and commencing to work in conjunction with the members of the 
board of supervisors, January 1, 1869, left no room for the office of 
county judge. The following is a list of those who have filled the 

Marshall Townsley, from 1853-54; O. B. Smith, 1854-55; John 
K. Cook, 1855-57; John L. Campbell, 1857-59; John P. Allison, 
1859-61; John N. Lavering, 1861-65; John H. Snyder, 1865-69. 

Drainage Commissioner. — The following shows how this office was 
filled during its term of existence: 

I. D. M. Crockwell, in 1854; Curtis Lamb, from 1855-57; Ezra 
Millard, 1857-59; Luther Woodford, 1859-61; O. B. Smith, 1861-65; 
S. E. Day, 1865-69; N. Cerfing, 1869-71; Ed. Sharpe, 1871-73. 
The office was abolished early in the seventies. 

County Treasurer. — The office of treasurer included recorder of 
deeds until 1864, and has been filled as follows: 

Hiram Nelson, in 1853; Leonard Bates, 1854; Lewis Cunningham, 
from 1854-55; T. Elwood Clark, 1855; Samuel H. Cassady, from 
1855-56; Charles E. Hedges, 1857-61; Thomas J. Stone, 1861-66; 
B. E. Smith, 1866-71; Charles Kent, 1871-79; John P. Allison, 
1879-85; Ed. Haakinson, 1885-87; D. T. Hedges, 1887-89; W. A. 
Kifer, in 1889. 

County Recorder. — From the organization of Iowa until 1864, the 
offices of treasurer and recorder were embraced in one. The following 
gives the names of recorders proper: 


A. Groninger, from 1866-68; P. I. B. Marion, 1868-70; F. J. 
Lambert, 1870-72; O. A.Smith, 1872-74; W. I. Hepburn, 1874-76; 
W. S. Follis, 1878-80; Phil Carlin, 1880-88; Charles A. De Mun, 

Sheriff. — This office has been filled as follows: 

Thomas L. Griffey (organizer), 1853; Hiram Nelson, 1854; George 
W. Chamberlain, from 1854-55; Francis Chapell, 1855-58; George 
L. Tackett, 1858-59; William H. Frame, 1859-61; F. J. Lambert, 
1861-67; George W. Kingsnorth, 1867-71; John M. McDonald, 
1871-79; S. B. Jackson, 1879-81; Daniel McDonald, 1881-87; D. A. 
Magee, 1887-89; David P. Magner, 1889. 

Superintendent of Schools. — When this county was organized the 
office of school superintendent had not yet been created. All school 
matters were looked after by what was known as the school fund 
commissioner, whose duties were untrammeled, apparently, as he 
could loan the school fund to private parties, and do about as he saw 
fit in all such matters. 

The office was created in 1857-58, since which time the following 
have served: 

H. H Chaffer, from 1858-61; Isaac T. Martin, 1861-65; J. E. 
Eockwood, 1865-67; Marshall Tingley, 1867-69; A. M. Hunt, 1869- 
71; Carrie A. Bassett, 1871-73; A. E. Wright, 1873-77; S. Eogers, 
1877-79; N. E. Palmer, 1879-83; J. S. Shoup, 1883-87; N. E. 
Palmer, 1887-89 ; J. S. Shoup, 1889. 

County Surveyor. — This office has been filled by George W. Cham- 
berlain, in 1854; George Murphy, in 1856; J. C. C. Hoskins, from 
1862-66; O. Plato (appointed), in 1866; S. AV. Davis, from 1866-71; 
A. C. Hoskins, 1871-81; George W. Oberhotzer, 1881-83; L. F. 
Wakefield, 1883-87; W. P. Whitten, 1887-89; John M. Lewis, 1889. 

Coroner. — The office of coroner has had the following incumbents: 

Eli Lee, from 1853-55; Samuel Euth, 1855-58; Louis D. La 
Tillier, 1858-61; Abel Smith, 1861-65; Leroy Snyder, 1865-67; Oli- 
ver D. Fisher, 1867-69; G. W. Vanderhule, 1869-71; S. L. Orr, 
1871-73; A. J. Weeks, 1873-74; J. J. Saville, 1874-75; W. O. Da- 
vis, 1875-83; H. B. Clingan, 1883-85; G. F. Watterman, 1885-87; 
E. E. Camiff, 1887-89; William Jepson, 1889. 

County Auditor. — This office was created in 1868, and the first au- 
ditor elected in 1869, when the office of county judge was abolished. 


It has 'been filled as follows; George W. Wakefield, 1869-73; David 
W. Moffatt, 1873-77; M. L. Sloan, 1877-83; AV. C. Hutchins, 1883- 
87 ; J. J. Jordan, 1887-91. 

Clerk of the Courts. — The following persons have served in this 
office in the years indicated: Joseph P. Babbitt, 1853-54; R. E. 
Bowe and B. E. Knox, 1854-55; Theophile Bruguier and John K. 
Myers, 1855-56; T. Elwood Clark, 1856-58; James N. Eield, 1858- 
65; E. J.. Lambert, 1865-70; E. B. Spalding, 1870-76; James Mc- 
Kewon, 1876-78; E. B. Spalding, 1878-80; J. H. Bolton, 1880-88; 
E. E. Sackett, 1888-90. 

County Supervisors. — Prior to January 7, 1861, there were no- 
boards of county supervisors. From that date to January, 1871, each 
civil township was represented by one member of such a body; but 
since then, counties have been divided into supervisor districts, and 
one officer is elected from each district annually as a rule. The fol- 
lowing have served as Woodbury county supervisors: 

1861 — Samuel Cameron (chairman), A. S. Bacon, John House- 
holder, Elijah Adams. 

1862 — Samuel Cameron (chairman), Luther Woodford, Elijah 
Adams, A. S. Bacon. 

1863 — Samuel Cameron (chairman), A. S. Bacon, Elijah Adams, 
Luther Woodford. 

1864 — Luther Woodford (chairman), Samuel Cameron, John S. 
Edwards, A. B. Griffin. 

1865 — Luther Woodford (chairman), Thomas J. Kinkaid, W. O. 
Slyter, A. S. Bacon. 

1866— P. J. Kinkaid (chairman), Luther Woodford, W. O. Slyter, 
A. S. Bacon. 

1867 — John W. Lewis, Luther Woodford, Nicholas Gambs, A. D. 

1868— John W. Lewis, Luther Woodford, Eufus Beal, A. S. Ba- 
con, Morris Kellogg, Elijah Adams. 

1869— Luther Woodford, Eufus Beal, M. Metcalf, P. Morris, A. 
S. Bacon, F. W. Davis, Johu W. Grost. 

1870— William B. Tredway, William P. Holman, William Math- 
ers, Eufus Beal, Eli Lee, F. W. Davis, L. Yokey, M. J. Eogers. 

1871 — John Galway, W. P. Holman, James S. Horton. 

1872 — John Galway, W. P. Holman, James S. Horton, Harvey 
Ingerson, George Everts. 


1873 — John Galway, J. S. Hortori, George Everts, J. Y. Kennedy, 
Harvey Ingerson. 

1874 — James S. Hortori, George Everts, J. Y. Kennedy, J. L. Fol- 
lett, Henry Arnold. 

1875 — James S. Horton, James Y. Kennedy, J. S. Follett, Ed. 
Haakinson, Norman Patterson. 

1876 — James S. Horton, J. Follett, Ed. Haakinson, Norman Patter- 
son, P. C. Eberley. 

1877— P. C. Eberley, M. W. Murphy, L. M. Brown. 

1878— M. W. Murphy, P. C. Eberley, L. M. Brown, J. J. Woods, 
W. H. McClusky. 

1879— M. W. Murphy, P. C. Eberley, TV. H. McClusky, J. J. 

1880— P. C. Eberley, TV, H. McClusky, D. T. Gilman, TV. C. 

1881— P. C. Eberley, W. C. Cameron, D. T. Gilman, John Nairon, 
A. J. Weeks. 

1882— D. T. Gilman, John Nairon, A. J. Weeks, J. S. Horton. 

1883— A. J. Weeks, E. R. Evans, M. L. Flinn. 

1884— James S. Horton, M. L. Flinn, E. E. Evans. 

1885— M. L. Flinn, E. R. Evans, D. P. Green, George Chase. 

1886— D. P. Green, M. L. Sloan, J. B. Crawford. 

1887— M. L. Sloan, M. L. Jones, J. B. Crawford 

1888— M. L. Sloan, J. B. Crawford, D. P. Green, A. L. Wilkinson, 
TV. TV. McElrath. 

1889— M. L. Sloan, J. B. Crawford, D. P. Green, A. L. Wilkin- 
son, TV. TV. McElrath. 

1890— W. W. McElrath, F. O. Thursting, Walter Strange, TV. H. 
Adams, J. O. Jerman. 

County Attorney. — This office was created by an act of the legis- 
lature that convened in the winter of 1885-86, and the first to be 
elected as county attorney in and for Woodbury county, was S. M. 
Marsh, who served one term, two years, and was succeeded January 1, 
1889, by Thomas F. Bevington. Prior to the existence of this office, 
the board of supervisors for the several counties engaged the services, 
from year to year, of some resident attorney to look after the legal 
business of the county, while each judicial district had one district 
attorney who looked after the state's interest, making all the criminal 

JrPI W^ 

fiyX aXernanWZ 


prosecutions, etc. This work now devolves upon the county attorney, 
who draws a salary according to the population of the county. 

Special Elections. — April 2, 1855, the state of Iowa took a vote, 
by counties, relative to the prohibition of the sale of intoxicating 
liquors. Upon the canvass of the vote in Woodbury county, the 
returns showed that thirteen were in favor of prohibition and eighteen 
as being opposed to it. 

Again, June 27, 1882, the people of Iowa had submitted to them 
the question of making it illegal to make, sell, or keep for sale, any 
intoxicating liquor, including ale, wine and beer. It was proposed to 
make this prohibitory measure a part of the constitution. It was 
carried in the state by nearly thirty thousand majority, but became a 
dead letter by reason of the gross neglect of an enrolling clerk; but 
the following assembly enacted a statutory law, prohibiting the sale 
of all liquors contemplated in the amendment voted upon. The vote 
in Woodbury county stood 1,163 for, and 1,220 against the amend- 

At a special election held in Woodbury county, February 11, 
1867, upon the question of donating the "swamp lands " of the county 
to the Sioux City & Pacific railroad, the vote stood 289 for, and 169 
against the proposition. 




The First, Early and Present Schools of Sioux City — Woodbury Coun- 
ty's Rank— Schools of Smithland— Sergeant's Bluff— Oto— Sloan— 
moville — salix — llston — coritectionville— rural districts— pri- 
VATE Schools— Business College— The University— School Fund Com- 
missioners— Superintendents —Yearly Enrollment — Teachers' In- 
stitutes — Norma ls— Etc. 

THE first school organization in Sioux City was effected in the 
early part of the year 1857. The first board of education con- 
sisted of Dr. S. P. Yeomans, president, Dr. J. J. Saville, secretary, and 
Gen. Andrew Leach, treasurer. At this time no money had been 
apportioned to the district, and as the citizens were exceedingly 
anxious that immediate action should be taken toward opening a 
school as soon as possible, a paper was circulated amongst the 
business men, and a sufficient amount pledged to insure a ses- 
sion of six months. The subscribers to this enterprise were: Messrs. 
Moore & Clapp, Charles & Eyall, Hudson & Joy, Weare & Co., J. M. 
White & Copelin, Culver & Betts, Bosler & Hedges, Henry Thompson, 
Gen. Andrew Leach, Dr. S. P. Yeomans, Dr. J. J. Saville, Messrs. 
C. B. Eustin, Ezra Millard, Enos Stutsman, J. N. Eield, N. W. White, 
T. J. Stone, Ezra Thompson, L. D. Parmer, Dr. Marion Hunt. 

Miss Mary E. Wilkins, of Keosauqua, Iowa (now Mrs. C. B. Eus- 
tin, of Omaha, Neb.), received the appointment of teacher for this 
first school. She arrived at Sioux City ou the first steamer of the 
season, the " Omaha," April 26, 1857. The school-house not being 
ready, there was a short delay before opening the school. May 8 
marked this important event. There were fifteen children present, 
and this little group, with three or four exceptions, had never been 
inside of a school-house before, having arrived at school age 
since their parents had been living on the frontier. In some instances 
there were almost grown children unable to read, though otherwise 
very bright and intelligent boys and girls. The teacher, in a private 


letter to the writer, says: "I devoted much time to these, as they felt 
very keenly their deprivations." The great disadvantage labored 
under at first, was the lack of proper school books. There were no 
book stores, and none of the merchants kept books in stock, so the 
teacher was obliged to make the best use of the few that some of the 
mothers had treasured up from childhood. The mother is the great 
educator, and while the father was looking forward to the accumula- 
tion of property, and the establishing of a permanent home, the 
mother was anxious to provide for the intellectual development of her 
children, and by this means some of these little ones had already 
made some progress in the way of learning. In many instances the 
teacher was obliged to draw largely on her own resources of gathered 
knowledge, until books could be obtained by the slow transportation 
of that period. 

Before the close of the first six weeks, the school had increased to 
twice the original number, had been strengthened by the accession of 
some excellent students, and a supply of books and school-furnishings 
had been received. The books used were Webster's spellers, McGuf- 
fey's readers, Kay's arithmetics, Mitchell's geographies and Wells' 
grammar. The pupils varied in age from five to nineteen. Before 
the first six months were over, the teacher had occasion to give in- 
struction from Newman's rhetoric, Andrews' and Stoddard's Latin, 
Davies' algebra, Davies' geometry and Comstock's philosophy. 

Seven hours a day the teacher worked faithfully, and her salary 
for the first six months was $50 per month. A daily record was 
kept, but no report was required. The absence of this report is 
accounted for by the teacher herself, thus: "The gentlemen who were 
responsible for the school had too much business of their own at this 
time, to attend to such outside affairs, besides, they were mainly 
young bachelors, and, perhaps, too gallant to think of such a step." 

In the spring of 1858 the apportionment of public money was re- 
ceived, and although Miss Wilkins had just finished a very success- 
ful term of school, taught under great difficulties, she understood that 
in Iowa all laws must be literally enforced, and one of these was that 
teachers paid from the public funds must pass an examination and 
receive a certificate. Hence, an examining board was formed, not 
specially for the purpose of assisting the county superintendent, by 
relieving him from an extra amount of work, as there were only three 


teachers in the county to be examined, but simply to comply with the 
requirements of law, and to relieve the compunctions of the incum- 
bent teacher. 

Then occurred the first examination of teachers held in Woodbury 
county. County Superintendent Chaffee, Rev. Mr. Chestnut and Mr- 
John H. Charles conducted the examination. All the members of this 
board were gentlemen of education and culture, and did their duty 
well. Miss Wilkins successfully passed the examination, and was 
granted a certificate. But now a new difficulty arose. It was new 
then, is still new, and will continue to arise as long as there is a school 
to be provided for. So long as the teacher was paid by private sub- 
scription, no objection was raised against paying $50 per month, but 
paying out the public money was a very different thing; the rights of 
the public had to be carefully guarded. Some of the people said $50 per 
month was entirely too much to pay to a young girl. The teacher thought 
differently, and, so we are pleased to record, did some of the board. 
They then struck upon a plan that was satisfactory to all parties. The 
teacher was to receive $30 per month for twenty-five scholars, and 
a proportionate amount for all above this number. The school proved 
to be so popular, that by this arrangement, the teacher received a 
larger salary than she did the previous term, more than sixty names 
being enrolled. "How plainly in memory," writes Mrs. Rustin, "do 
I recall many of the pleasant faces that greeted me as I entered the 
little school-house, half way up the hill! Maggie Appleton and her 
two brothers, Frank and Ollie; Miss Mary Chestnut and her younger 
sister; Mary, Maggie and Jamie Cameron; Julia Townsley, and an- 
other from that family; Walter Burgess; the little Ashes; Johnnie 
Oesterling; Mary Stafford; the Bemer boys; the McElhaneys; Will 
Robare; the four Lambs; Mattie Cole; Solon Hubbell; Henry and 
Charlie Cook, and the others — they all go trooping by, though it was 
more than thirty years ago. Parents visited the school, many of the 
business men called in, and at one time we had a visit in state from 
Gen. (then Capt. ) Nathaniel Lyons and his staff, who was on his 
way down from Fort Randall, where he had been stationed in com- 
mand. He was leaving this part of the country for a more active 
field, and looked in to say ' good-bye ' and offer a few words of en- 
couragement to the teacher and pupils." The house was a frame 
structure, 20x32 feet, one story high. " I can plainly see," continues 


the teacher. " the bell and tripod, the six steps and the little brick pil- 
lars in front." The paths to it were from all directions. It was seated 
with long wooden benches, and two long tables, or desks, were placed 
against the wall for writing purposes. It is described, by one who 
attended school there, as always being well lighted, very clean, and 
healthfully located. It was unpainted, and, compared with some of 
the magnificent school buildings in the same city now, would present 
a rather mean appearance, but it was filled with just as earnest learn- 
ers, and presided over by as conscientious a teacher as ever sought to 
lead a little group of pupils to look for something higher. It an- 
swered the 2">urpose for which it was erected, and many others besides. 

It was indeed a much-used structure, and served by turns as a 
music hall, a lecture-room and a lyceum. All the political and other 
public meetings were held here. On the Sabbath religious services were 
held, sometimes by one denomination, sometimes by another, all using 
it, except the Methodists, who had an edifice of their own. 

Miss Wilkins closed her second year's school in September, 1858. 
She handed in her report, received her money, and departed for her 
home, but she left behind her a record that the third of a century has 
not erased, for it was written on the hearts of her pupils. We have 
dwelt somewhat at length on this first school, for, compared with the 
present school system of the city, with its twenty-four school-houses, 
its more than one hundred teachers, and 9,600 pupils, it shows some- 
thing of the progress that has been made. Profs. Wright, Hunt and 
Earl were principals of the Sioux City schools under the old system, 
and were all thorough educators. Prof. Hunt died in 1873. He came 
to Iowa from Indianapolis, and engaged here in the school work, giv- 
ing it an impetus that has had much to do with forming the character 
of the subsequent schools. 

In 1869 the Independent district of Sioux City was formed. At that 
time there were two school-houses, seven teachers and 400 persons of 
school age. The city superintendents have been S. Rogers, Allen Arm- 
strong and Charles W. Deane. Prof. Rogers served seven years, Prof. 
Armstrong, twelve years, while Prof. Deane is now serving his second 
year. Prof. Armstrong was a man of great educational force, and 
was at one time president of the State Teachers' Association of Iowa. 
He was extensively known throughout the state, and was highly 
esteemed by all who knew him. During the first ten years of his 


work lie was ably assisted by his wife as principal of the high school. 
Sioux City has a full twelve years' course of study, the high-school 
course being one of the most extensive ones in the state. The princi- 
pals of the high school have been S. Rogers, Mary Armstrong, A. K. 
Del Fosse and W. F. Cramer. Of the many able teachers employed 
in the Sioux City schools, it is impossible to write and keep within 
the limits of this work, but it will be doing no injustice to the others, 
to make special mention of two, Mrs. Boehmler and Miss Nelon, who 
have each been connected with the primary education of Sioux City 
pupils for twenty consecutive years, and it is the wish of many who 
have had the benefit of their instruction, and have since grown to 
manhood and womanhood, they may long be spared to continue their 
good work. 

In 18S9 a training school was established by the board of edu- 
cation as a part of the system of schools. Mrs. Eva D. Kellogg was 
made principal for the first year. 

A class of nine young ladies was graduated last year, and it is to 
be hoped that a larger number will complete the work this year. Mrs. 
Eowe is now the principal. 

Sioux City schools have now 120 teachers and 8,000 pupils, eleven 
wooden buildings and twelve brick buildings, valued at §300,000. The 
schools are well supplied with apparatus of all kinds necessary for 
laboratory purposes. 

General Remarks. — In point of thoroughness and efficiency the 
schools of Woodbury county are equal to any in the state. The 
teachers as a class grade high, while the school officers generally are 
earnest, wide-awake, intelligent, energetic and progressive. Most of 
the school -houses are in good repair, well supplied with abundance of 
black-board surface, and good, comfortable seats. The following table 
will give some idea as to how Woodbury compares with the other 
counties of the state: 

No. of male teachers employed 65 

No. of female teachers employed 283 

Average monthly compensation of male teachers $42.83 

Average monthly compensation of female teachers !f>35. 61 

Average age of male teachers 25 

Average age of female teachers 22 

Average cost of tuition per month $1.78 

Average number of months of school 8.3 

No. of state certificates recorded 2 


No. of professional certificates granted "... 25 

No. of first-grade certificates granted 90 

No. of second-grade certificates granted 116 

No. of third-grade certificates granted none 

No. of rooms in graded schools 81 

Amount of school-house fund on hand $8,402.07 

Amount of contingent fund on hand $12,423.73 

Amount of teachers' fund on hand 156,485.88 

No. of counties that employ more male teachers \ 29 

No. of counties that employ more female teachers 5 

No. of counties paying higher salaries to male teachers. ... 5 

No. of counties paying higher salaries to female teachers. . 4 

Average age of male teachers in the state 25.5 

Average age of female teachers in the state 21.8 

Average cost of tuition per month in the state $1.79 

Average nurnher of months of school in the state 7.7 

No. of counties recording more state certificates 30 

No. of counties granting more professional certificates. ... 8 

No. of counties granting more first-grade certificates 41 

No. of counties granting more second-grade certificates.... 55 

No. of counties granting more third-grade certificates 59 

No. of counties having more rooms in graded schools 6 

No. of counties having more school-house fund on hand. . . 3 

No. of counties having more contingent fund on hand 2 

No. of counties having more teachers' fund on hand 2 

Smithland. — The first school -house in Woodbury county was 
erected at Smithland in 1855. It was built of hewed cottonwood logs, 
and the floors and doors were cottonwood puncheon. It was built 
principally by Mr. O. B. Smith, a small amount of the work on the 
building having been done gratuitously by others. The first school 
in the county was taught in this building by Miss Hannah Van Dorn, 
now Mrs. Burton, of Onawa. Only five or six children were in attend- 
ance, and these without suitable books. The school was wholly a sub- 
scription school, and Miss Van Dorn received $2 per week, Mr. O. B. 
Smith boarding her free of charge. This house was used as a school- 
building for a number of years, when a new one was erected. This 
was a frame building, and was afterward sold for a church to the Ad- 
ventists, and is now a part of the building used as a place of worship 
by this society. 

The present school building was erected in 1876. It is a two-story 
frame, 50x60 feet, with ceilings fourteen feet high, and is ventilated 
by means of double chimneys. The lower story is divided into two 
rooms, each having a seating capacity for fifty pupils. The upper 
story is all in one room, and contains seats for 100 pupils. Each 


room in the building is supplied with blackboard on all sides, and the 
halls and ante-rooms are well supplied with hooks for children's wraps 
and hats. The school is graded and has a three years' high-school 

Among the early teachers were Mrs. Price, Miss McCall, H. Scrib- 
ner and Charles Rice. The principals since the new building was 
erected have been Profs. William Craig, J. S. Shoup, J. S. McSpar- 

ran, C. P. Evans, Edmund Enwright, Hawley, W. E. Atkinson 

and C. F. Clark. Mrs. Helen Morgan, one of the very able teachers 
of the county, has served several years in this school as an assistant. 
The enrollment for 1889 was 190, with an average daily attendance of 
160. There are two other schools in this district. 

Sergeant's Bluff. — The first school at this place was taught in 
1857 by Hon. Addison Oliver, later a member of congress. We have 
been unable to learn the number of pupils, but the school was nec- 
essarily small. A. M. Holman, C. R. Woodford, Eev. Luther Wood- 
ford and Mrs. J. M. Coombs were members of this school. It was 
held in a little frame building that had been erected for a church, and 
which was the first frame structure in the county made of native lum- 
ber. Mr. Oliver taught but one term, and was succeeded by Mrs. W. 
P. Holman, who still resides at Sergeant's Bluff. She was a success- 
ful teacher and gave an impetus to the school work that was of much 
benefit. Among the early teachers we also note the names of L. C. 
Woodford, Lafayette Foster, Miss Gaylord (afterward missionary to 
Burmah), Tom Clark, Maggie Appleton (now Mrs. Ed. Spalding) and 
others who were employed for but a term at a time. W. P. Holman, 
Luther Woodford and T. E. Clark were the first board of directors. 

In 1859 this place was selected as a site for a Methodist college. 
The trustees were Presiding Elder Clifford, W. P. Holman, L. M. 
Brown and T. E. Clark. Land was donated, and work begun, but after 
the foundation was laid, from some cause, which we have been unable 
to learn, the enterprise was abandoned. In November, 1858, however, 
the county superintendent had reported twenty-six persons of school 
age, and one year later seventy-three. This rapid increase of school 
population made it necessary to build a school-house, and in 1859 a 
brick structure was erected; this was the first brick house in the 
county. Prof. Herriman was the first professional teacher, and had 
charge of the school three years; the principals since then have been 

jSz^ci <r._e y^*- 


Profs. Sherman, Abernethy, Frieze, Bowman, Westfall, Davidson,. 
Chatley and Brown. The brick school-house proved too small, and 
another smaller brick building was added. These were used until 
1888, when a new and more commodious building was erected. 
i The present building is situated near the center of a beautiful 
park of three or four acres. The grounds are well set in grass and 
well shaded, some of the trees being large elms, which add their beauty 
and grandeur to the appearance. The building is built of brick, and 
was erected in 1888, at a cost of nearly $10,000. The basement con- 
sists of three large rooms, floored and well lighted, which are used for 
play-rooms. The first story contains a hall, running the entire width 
of the building, two cloak-rooms, two stairways, the primary and inter- 
mediate rooms and a recitation room. 

The upper story contains a hall, two cloak-rooms, one assembly and 
study room, 32x50 feet, and a recitation room. The building furnishes, 
rooms for five teachers, and will seat about 240 pupils. Good black- 
boards were secured, a library case has been furnished, together with 
a complete set of the American Cyclopedia. The school has from time- 
to time added to the library, so that a goodly number of reference 
and reading books has been collected. Three years ago the school 
purchased about $20 worth of chemicals and apparatus for experiments 
in physics and chemistry. 

The school is properly graded according to a course of study, 
which embraces twelye years 1 work, three in each department. 

The high-school course includes rhetoric, English literature, gen- 
eral history, physical geography, botany, physics, civil government, 
algebra, geometry and Latin. 

The first class was graduated from Sergeant's Bluff school in 1887 
and consisted of five members; the second, in 1889, consisted of eight 

Of the graduates, Misses Bertha Dula, Ella Olson, Minnie Reed, 
and Messrs. John Mather and Fred Carter ai*e teachers in this county 
and in Monona county ; Herbert Reed is engaged in farming, Lula 
Iverson lives with her parents near town, Mrs. Eva Chezem [nee 
Purely) resides in town, Mrs. Emma Hall [nee Coombs) resides 
near Howard, Dak. ; Henry Knowles is continuing his studies at 
Sioux City; Edna Holman is attending college at Vermilion, Dak.; 
Luther Coombs is at Cornell College, Iowa, and Charles Gillette is 


attending college at "Washington, Penn. The total enrollment for this 
year is 188, twenty-four of whom are non-resident pupils. 

Oto. — The independent district of Oto, comprises the town of Oto, 
and parts of Oto, Grant and Little Sioux townships. The old school- 
house was a two-story building 50x40, but this has been sold, and a ne»w 
school-house is being erected at a cost of $4,000. The principals of 
this school have been Profs. Palmer, Goos, Gardner, Atkinson and 
Liverrnore. As soon as the new building is finished, which will be in 
September of this year (1890), a new line of study will be adopted 
with a full high-school course. There is one other school-house in 
this district. The enrollment for 1889 was 100, with an average daily 
attendance of seventy. 

Sloan. — The independent district of Sloan was organized in 1883, 
and the present school-house erected in 1888. It is a two-story frame 
structure, divided into four school-rooms, with halls and ante-rooms. 
The building is in good repair, is well ventilated and lighted. The 
principals have been Profs. J. S. McSparran and J. "W. Jayne. Four 
teachers are employed, a new course of study with full high-school 
course, has been adopted, and will be put in force this coming year 
(1890-91). The number of pupils enrolled in 1889 was 238. 

Moville. — The independent district of Moville was organized last 
year, and embraces the town of Moville and part of the township of 
Arlington. The building is a two-story frame, having two rooms. 
Prof. C. F. Bryant was principal last year, and Prof. "Wilson will have 
charge during the coming year. Moville is a growing town, and it 
will soon be necessary to have a new building, the enrollment this 
year being over ninety. 

Salix. — The school at this place is under the direction of Miss 
Lenna Prater, a very able and efficient teacher ; she is assisted by Miss 
McElroy. A new school-house will be built in the near future and the 
school properly graded. It has now an enrollment of 121 pupils. 

Liston. — The town of Danbury is part of the independent district 
of Liston. There are four school-houses in this district, the principal 
one being in Danbury. The building here is the same size and pat- 
tern as the one in Smithland, and was erected in 1880. The grounds 
consist of half a block, which is well fenced with a neat picket fence, 
and everything about the building is in good order. The school is 
well graded, having a three years' high-school course. The enroll- 


merit for 1889 was 210, with an average daily attendance of 150. The 
principals of the school have been Profs. J. S. Shoup, Will H. Demp- 
ster, C. P. Bowman, J. F. Young, and H. H. Halm. 

Correctionville. — The independent district of Correctionville was 
formed March 29, 1875. The old school-house, a two-story brick, was 
built in 1872. The school was for several years under the charge of 
Prof. Vierth. who was followed by Prof. Chapin. The present school 
building was erected in 1885, at a cost of $6,000. It is 40x60 feet, 
two stories high, and contains four large rooms, halls and recitation 
rooms. It is well ventilated and heated bj r steam. The school is now 
well graded, and six teachers are employed. The principals, since the 
school was graded, have been Profs. W. M. Wright, A. P. Hargrave, 
G. W. Scott and W. E. Atkinson. This school had a large graduating 
class last year. The enrollment for 1889 was 315, with an average 
daily attendance of 234. 

Rural Independent Districts. — Green Mound has one school, with 
twenty-three enrolled pupils; Harmony one, with thirty-three pupils; 
Spring Dale one, with twenty-six pupils ; Spring Valley one, with thir- 
ty-four pupils; Union one, with twenty-seven pupils; Little Sioux one. 
with thirty-five pupils ;Lum Hollow one, with twenty-three pupils; Park 
Hill one, with fifteen pupils ; Twin Creek one, with thirty-three pupils ; 
Denmark one, with twenty-five pupils; Liberty one, with thirty pupils ; 
Lone Elm one, with thirty-two pupils; Webster one, with nineteen 
pupils; Weed Land one, with sixty pupils; Habana one, with thirty- 
one pupils; Union Grove three, with thirty-four pupils; Bluff Center 
one, with thirty pupils; Fair Play one, with twenty-eight pupils; 
Hickory Grove one, with twelve pupils; Living Springs one, with 
thirty-seven pupils; Pleasant Valley one, with thirty pupils; Pat Col- 
lins one, with twenty-three pupils; Lone Tree five, with eighty-six 
pupils; No. Four one, with twenty-six pupils; Ridgeville three, with 
forty-nine pupils; Summit two, with thirty-two pupils; Summer Hill 
one, with twenty-four pupils; West Union one, with ten pupils. 

The new towns of Pierson, Cushing, Anthon, Glen Ellen, Luton 
and Hornick, at the present rate of growth, will soon have sufficient 
population to enable them to form independent districts and establish 
graded schools. 

The following statement gives the district townships of the county, 
and the number of sub-districts in each, together with the enrollment 
for 1889: 


Arlington has six sub-districts, with 106 enrolled pupils; Banner 
has five sub-districts, with 75 pupils; Floyd has seven sub-districts, 
with 121 pupils; Grant has eight sub-districts, with 157 pupils; Grange 
has five sub-districts, with 61 pupils; Kedron has eight sub-districts, 
with 141 pupils ; Lakeport has six sub-districts, with 203 pupils ; Moville 
has seven sub-districts, with 116 pupils; Morgan has eight sub-dis- 
tricts, with 213 pupils; Miller has seven sub-districts, with 113 pupils; 
Butland has seven sub-districts, with 196 pupils; Sioux City has three 
sub-districts, with 50 pupils; Sloan has two sub-districts, with 48 
pupils; West Fork has nine sub-districts, with 125 pupils; Willow has 
seven sub-districts, with 200 pupils; AVoodbury has two sub-districts, 
with 55 pupils; Wolf Creek has eight sub-districts, with 155 pupils. 

Private Schools. — St. Mary's Academy was established in Sioux 
City, September 1, 1881. The institution has a magnificent brick 
building valued at $25,000, situated on Seventh and Perry streets. 
The course is thorough, including every thing from the primary de- 
partment through the high-school grades, besides music, embroidery 
and arts. It is presided over by the sister superior — Sister M. Isa- 
dora — -and six teachers are regularly employed. A class of six was 
graduated last year. One hundred and seventy-five pupils are en- 

Saint Patrick's School at Danbury, was organized September 5, 
1887. It is well graded, covering sixteen grades, besides a high-school 
course, which includes book-keeping, algebra, geometry, civil govern- 
ment, etc. The present principal is Sister M. Cecilia. Ninety-eight 
students were enrolled during the year 1889. The building is a two- 
story frame, 30x90 feet, valued at $5,000. 

The Northwestern Business College is situated on Fourth street, 
Sioux City, and was established in 1882. It is a regular business col- 
lege, and has connected with it a normal department. It has graduated 
a large number of students, and is under the immediate direction of the 
president, C. H. Clark. 

The University of the Northwest, at Morning Side, is a new institu- 
tion, now in course of erection (1890). The estimated cost of the 
buildings, to be completed before 1892, is $350,000. It embraces the 
following departments: College of liberal arts, college of com- 
merce, college of didactics, college of law, college of music, college 
of medicine, and all the departments are supplied with competent pro- 


fessors and instructors. -J. C. Gilchrist, A. M., is dean of the college 
of didactics. Wilmot Whitfield, D. D., is president. 

School Fund Commissioners.- — The first election for school fund 
commissioners was held in August, 1855, whenF. Wixson was elected; 
at the election in April, 1856, I. K. Millard was elected; Mr. Millard 
resigned soon afterward, and Mr. George Weare was appointed to fill 
the vacancy. Mr. Weare remained in office until October, 1858. An 
act of the general assembly, having been approved March 23, 1858, 
provided that the office should be abolished October 1, of that year. 
The amount of notes and mortgages turned over by Mr. Weare at the 
close of his term was $1,840. 

County Superintendent s. — By an act of the legislature, an election 
for county superintendent of schools was ordered to be held April 9, 
1858. The duties of this officer were: To take general charge of 
the schools in the county- — to act as president of the county board of 
education, which was composed of all the presidents of the boards of 
directors, and to select two competent persons to assist in the exami- 
nation of teachers. The board of education were to meet at fixed 
times, arrange for the length of school terms, determine the branches 
to be taught, select text books, etc. We find no record that this board 
ever held a meeting. 

The first and only superintendent elected under this law was H. 
H. Chaffee, whose assistants on the examining board were Rev. Chest- 
nut and John I. Charles. Prior to this time teachers were required 
to be examined by a committee appointed by the board of directors. 
In 1859 the law was changed, to the effect that the county superin- 
tendent should be elected at the regular election in each odd-numbered 
year. The county board of education was abolished, and the superin- 
tendent given full control of the examination of teachers, without 
assistance. The following is the list of all the superintendents of 
this county: H. H. Chaffee, elected in April, 1858; J. C. Lininger, 
elected in October, 1859; Isaac T. Martin, elected in October, 1861; 
J. C. C. Hoskins, appointed to fill vacancy in 1862; Charles Kent, 
elected in October, 1863; J. E. Rockwood, elected in October, 1865; 
M. Tingley, elected in October, 1867; A. M. Hunt, appointed to fill 
vacancy in 1868; A. M. Hunt, elected in October, 1869; Carrie Bassett, 
elected in October, 1871; A. R. Wright, elected in October, 1873; A. 
B. Wright, re-elected in October, 1875; S. Rogers, elected in October, 


1877; N. E. Palmer, elected in October, 1879; N. E. Palmer, re-elected 
in October, 1881; J. S. Shoup, elected in October, 1883; J. S. Shoup, 
re-elected in October, 1885; N. E. Palmer, re-elected in October, 
1887, and J. S. Shoup, re-elected in October, 1889. 

The following table shows the number of persons of school age, as 
shown at the different enumerations: 

Year. Year. 

1858 248 1875 3,115 

1859 319 1876 3,415 

1860 361 1877 3,735 

1861 375 1878 .3,792 

1862 417 1879 4,033 

1863 466 1880 4,822 

1864 508 1881 5,067 

1865 521 1882 5,999 

1866 545 1883 6,719 

1867 641 1884 7,735 

1868 814 1885 10,642 

1869 1,020 1886 11,307 

1870 1,113 1887 12,201 

1871 1,165 1888 14,227 

1872 1,204 1889... 14,589 

1873 1,270 1890 16,248 

1874 , 2,736 

Teachers' InstUuies. — In October, 1870, we find that an institute 
was held in Sioux City, of which Dr. Hunt, county superintendent, 
was president, Miss Carrie Bassett, secretary, and Maj. Durham, of 
Des Moines, conductor. The names of fifty persons were enrolled, 
but only twenty-nine of these were teachers of the county. Of this 
number but one, Mrs. Boehmler, remains engaged in the work. 

The next institute was held in October, 1871. Dr. Hunt was 
elected president, Mrs. Boehmler secretary, and Prof. Rogers con- 
ductor. The leading spirit in this institute was Prof. Jona. Piper, of 
Chicago. Fifty-two persons in all were enrolled, two of whom, Mrs. 
Boehmler and Miss Nelon, still remain as Sioux City teachers. 

Miss Bassett held an institute in 1872, at which Prof. Jahrnnot 
acted as conductor; the same lady held another institute in 1873, but 
we have been unable to find any record of it. These institutes were 
held for one week only, and were different from the present normal 
institutes, which are now so popular, but were more like a teachers' 
association than an institute. 

In 1874, a law providing for a normal institute in each county was 



passed, directing that the state should pay to each county $50 annu- 
ally for this purpose, and that all teachers attending, should pay an 
enrollment fee of $1 each ; these sums, together with the examina- 
tion fee of $1, paid by each applicant for certificate, should consti- 
tute the normal institute fund. 

Following is a table of all the normal institutes held under this 
law in Woodbury county. The attendance, at first small, has gradu- 
ally increased, until now it numbers about 300. 


Duti-nuil l'lace. 

Length of Term. 


Aug. 25, 1874, 
Sioux City. 

Aug. 30, 1875, 
Sioux City. 

Aug., 1876, 
Sioux City. 

Aug., 1877, 
Sioux City. 

Aug., 1878, 

Aug., 1879, 
Sioux City. 

Aug., 1880, 
Sioux City. 

Aug., 1881, 
Sioux City. 

Aug., 1882, 


July, 1883, 
Sioux City. 

July, 1884. 
Sioux City. 

July, 1885, 

July, 1886, 
Sioux City. 

July, 1887, 

Sioux City. 



Sioux City. 


2 Weeks. 
2 Weeks. 

2 Weeks. 
2 Weeks 

2 Weeks. 

3 Weeks. 
3 Weeks. 
3 Weeks. 
3 Weeks. 
3 Weeks. 
3 Weeks. 
3 Weeks. 
3 Weeks. 
3 Weeks. 
3 Weeks. 

3 Weeks. 

A. R. Wright 
A. R. Wright 

A. R. Wright 

A. R. Wright 
S. Rogers. 

S. Rogers. 

N. E. Palmer. 
N. E. Palmer. 
N. E. Palmer. 
N. E. Palmer. 
J. S. Shoup. 
J. S. Shoup. 
J. S. Shoup. 
J. S. Shoup. 
N. E. Palmer. 
N. E. Palmer. 

J. S. Shoup. 

A. R. Wright, S. Rogers, M. A. 
Abernethy, J. S. Weaver, Miss B. 
M. Nelon, Mrs. A. C. Fay. 

A. R. Wright, S. Rogers, J. S. Wea- 
ver, J. H. Vierth, J. N. Oldham. 

A. Armstrong, J. H. Vierth, M. A. 
Abernethy, Mrs. Armstrong, A. R. 

A. R. Wright, J. S. Shoup, N. E. 
Palmer.A .Armstrong, J. H. Vierth, 
Mrs. Armstrong, Mrs. Boehmler. 

J. S. Shoup, MissB. M. Nelon, F. E. 
Chapin, J. H. Vierth. N. E. Palmer. 

J. S. Shoup, H. L. Pearsall, Miss 
C. A. Bassett, Mrs. Boehmler, M. 
A. Abernethy, C. P. Bowman. 

N. E. Palmer, J. S. Shoup, C. P. 
Bowman, A. Armstrong,Mrs. Arm- 

J. S. Shoup, A. Armstrong, C. P. 

J. S. Shoup, C. P. Bowman, A. Arm- 
strong, Mrs. Armstrong. 

S. Shoup, A. Armstrong, C. P. 
Bowman, Miss B. M. Nelon. 

J. S. Shoup A. Armstrong, C. P. 
Bowman, Miss B. M. Nelon. 

J. S. Shoup, A. Armstrong, C. P. 

J. S. Shoup, A. 
Bowman, Mrs. 

J. S. Shoup, A. 
Bowman, Mrs. 

N. E. Palmer, . 

J. C. Yocum, J. S. Shoup, — 
Faulk, Mrs. Boehmler. 

J. S. Shoup, J . Breckenridge, W. E 
Atkinson, Mrs. C. E. Williams. 


Armstrong, C 


Armstrong, C. P 


. S. Shoup, W. E 


During the year 1881, a graded course of study was prepared for 
use in normal institutes; this course, slightly changed, is still in use. 
In 1884 a course of study for common schools was prepared and put 
in use. The institute course covers a period of four years. All teach- 
ers who complete this course satisfactorily, after having five years of 
successful experience in the school-room, are granted certificates with- 
out examination. 


Rapid Advancement Made— The Base of Stjccessfttl Farming Found in 
the Elements of Soil — The East in Contrast with the "West — 
Farm Statistics— Assessed Valuation— Stock Raising— The Agri- 
cultural Society. 

AGRICULTURE has in all ages been considered the foundation 
upon which all other interests of the civilized world must rest. 
Its advancement has been the key to all other advancement. Progress 
in it must precede progress in the other branches of human industry, 
for upon it most others dejaend. No one can even question its para- 
mount importance. 

The ambition we all feel for excellence in whatever we undertake, 
is increased when rivalry obtains. The inventor sees a patent; the 
author a copyright; the soldier a promotion, and the farmer a pre- 
mium, as the result of excellence in their various vocations. 

But, first of all, the agriculturist must needs secure suitable lands; 
and the fertility of the soil he possesses, and the nearness to good mar- 
kets, point out the path to his success, while the want of these leads to 
failure. That portion of America where rocks, ridges, stone piles, 
and shallow, barren soil abound can not be classed, at this clay, a good 
farming section. In raany of the eastern and middle states one-half 
the value of the crop harvested must be expended for some sort of 
fertilizer for the production of another crop. But not so in the great 
west, and the broad valleys of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, 


for here one finds an inexhaustible fertility of virgin soil. The cli- 
max, however, is reached along the latter stream. A section extend- 
ing fifty miles or more, on either side of the Missouri river, is not 
equaled in all the earth for richness and depth of soil. In many 
parts of "Woodbury and Plymouth counties the soil is twelve feet 
deep, and the lowest foot as productive as that above it. 

It can not be wondered at, that so many farmers, coming from the 
broken and rocky surface in New England and Pennsylvania, look 
with astonishment upon the soil found here. The absence of stones, 
the dark richness of the mold, and the mile-long furrows, without a 
single obstruction, make them discontented with the home of their boy- 
hood, and they go back, sell out to those less posted, and come to the 
beautiful prairie wonderland of the west, where in a single decade 
they make for themselves better homes and more profitable farms than 
it was possible for their fathers to make in a whole lifetime. 

The following table of products grown in Woodbury county, in 
1885, shows a condition of things which is indeed remarkable when 
one comes to consider and carefully compare the figures, which tell 
no idle tale, but each means just what it says; this array of facts for a 
county so recently developed, is a record of which it may well be proud: 

Average size of farms (acres) 163 

Acres improved lands 173,604 

Acres in cultivation 114.209 

Acres unimproved lands 102,004 

Farms operated by owners 1,313 

Farms rented (crop rent) 242 

Acres of Irish potatoes 928 

Bushels Irish potatoes 90,648 

Acres of corn raised 74,189 

Bushels of corn raised ,. 2,714,690 

Acres of wheat raised 17,364 

Bushels of wheat harvested 243,096 

Acres of oats raised 11,488 

Bushels of oats harvested 348,244 

Acres of planted timber 2,172 

Acres of natural timber 6,155 

Bushels of flax seed harvested 33,596 

The acreage of Indian corn alone, planted in 1885, covered one- 
eighth of the entire county, and had the hundreds of cornfields been 
thrown together in one tract, they would have measured six miles wide 
by eighteen miles long. Think of it! — 74,000 acres of corn — three 


full congressional townships and a little more! You who came from 
New England and Pennsylvania — from the rock-bound coast, and the 
hills and dales of the " Keystone State" — and you from the stump 
country of Ohio, where years and generations of men were required to 
subdue the forest lands — indeed did wisely, did well, when you came 
to Woodbury county, where the plow point never strikes a stone, or a 
stump puller is never seen ! 

Property here is assessed at about one-third of its actual value, 
and the following table, made up on this basis, shows the assessed 
valuation of Woodbury county in 1890: 

Amount. Assessed at. 

Acres of land 506,805 33,607,753 

Number of horses 16,361 416,491 

Number of cattle 40,566 262,480 

Number of sheep 2,318 2,318 

Total assessed value $4,289,042 

Stock-raising. — Early in the history of this county, farmers nearly 
all engaged in grain growing, making wheat the leader, but as Ameri- 
can wheat lowered in price, and facilities increased for successful stock- 
raising, the better class of farmers went into stock-growing and feed- 
ing, and this industry is Woodbury county's real farm wealth to-day. 
In fact, a revolution in this respect has swept all over Iowa since the 
Civil war, and to-day Iowa, in many respects, ranks second. to no com- 
monwealth in the happy union of states, as a producer of live stock. 
All parts of the state are well calculated for the growth of stock, but 
especially is this true in western Iowa, where pure water, cheap land 
and a luxuriant growth of both wild and cultivated grass abounds. 
Other lands and other climes can produce wheat cheaper than Iowa, 
but none can equal or compete successfully with her on corn and 

Agricultural Society. — Any effort made by several persons in the 
same direction, is always more effective if organized, so that such per- 
sons may all act together. By this means energy, which might other- 
wise be wasted in foolish competition, is exerted for the common 
benefit. Organized effort is as necessary where the object is the 
furtherance of agriculture, as in anything else. For this purpose 
societies are instituted, whose object is to stimulate the efforts of all 
the farmers within their districts, by holding out the inducements that 



the one who is successful shall receive a premium to which others 
shall contribute. Such an organization was the Woodbury County 
Agricultural Society, formed November 7, 1870, by William B. Tred- 
way, E. W. Cole, Henry Ford, John Currier, William B. Smith, C. 
E. Hedges, Luther Woodford and S. W. Haviland. 

The society was incorporated under the laws of Iowa, and by the 
terms of the charter was to continue for twenty years. The amount 
of stock was fixed at $10,000, of which $5,000 was soon taken, each 
share being $25. It purchased twenty-seven acres of land from D. 
Hartnett and Patrick Gossen on section twenty — up Perry creek, a short 
distance from the center of Sioux City, and for this it paid $2,800. 
This plat was fenced and improved, a race track provided, and the first 
annual exhibition was held in September, 1870. The first officers of 
the society were Pi. W. Cole, president; L. B. Atwood, vice-presi- 
dent; C. E. Hedges, treasurer; C. L. Wright, secretary; John Currier, 
W. B. Tredway and C. J. Holman, directors. The society stood fox- 
several years, but finally, through a united interest and effort, dis- 
banded, and to-day Woodbury county has no agricultural society or 
annual fair. 

An informal county fair was held in 1858, with O. Foote, as presi- 
dent, William Bigelow as secretary, and S. P. Yeomans as treasurer. 
While the exhibit was not large, much merriment was had. 

, f| ^r^C^^^ r 




The First Railway to Sioux City in 1868— The Land Grants— The Illi- 
nois Central Line— The Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha 
Road— The Milwaukee System— The Northwestern System— Con- 
nection with the Union Pacific— Sioux City & Northern— " Pacific 
Short Line"— Lines now Projected. 

SIOUX CITY was platted before Iowa had a mile of railroad within 
her fair domain. Railroading was in its infancy then — espe- 
cially in the western states. But the very early settlers commenced 
planning for the great civilizer — the iron highway, equipped with the 
steaming monster — and to-day Sioux City is one of the leading railway 
centers of Iowa. Part of this has come about by reason of her geo- 
graphical location, and partly through the enterprise and tact of her 
business men, who have ever been on the alert regarding railroad 

A history, in brief, of the great government land grants by con- 
gress in May, 1856, will be found in the beginning of the railroad 
chapter of the Plymouth county portion of this volume, making it 
unnecessary to more than refer to it in this connection. 

Sioux City & Pacific (C. & N. W.). — The first road to enter 
Woodbury county and Sioux City, was the Sioux City & Pacific line, 
which was constructed by means of a munificent grant of land. It 
was completed from Missouri Valley, the point of juncture with the 
Chicago & Northwestern system, in April, 1868, at which time Sioux 
City entered upon a new era, and has ever since made wondrous strides 
in the matter of railway building as well as general commercial pros- 
perity. The road above mentioned is now operated by, and in con- 
junction with, the Chicago & Northwestern system. The stations on 
this road, within Woodbury county, are Sergeant's Bluff, Salix and 

This line was originally intended to run westwardly from Sioux 
City, but a change was made in the charter, and the road was built to 


Missouri Valley, and thence by the way of Blair, Neb., to connect 
with the Union Pacific at Fremont. While it would have been far 
better for Sioux City to have insisted upon the line taking its original 
survey to the southwest, and bided its time for an eastern outlet, yet 
no more welcome road ever entered Woodbury county. The line be-- 
tween Sioux City and Missouri Valley is seventy-five miles long, and 
the distance from Missouri Valley to Fremont, via Blair bridge, is 
thirty-seven miles. Several years later the road, under the name of 
the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley, was extended up the Elk- 
horn valley to West Point, and a year or so later on to Wisner, where 
it remained until 1879. By 1886 it had been extended 500 miles 
westward, to the vicinity of the Black Hills. 

AVoodbury county, but not Sioux City, was benefited by the con- 
struction of the Kingsley branch of the Northwestern system, built 
southwest from Kingsley, in Plymouth county, to Moville, in 1887. 
At present there remains a gap of twenty-four miles between Sioux 
City and Moville, the object, upon the part of the company, being 
to gain all the long haul freight east, instead of the short haul to 
Sioux City ; yet the road is of benefit to the eastern part of the county. 
The Illinois Central. — The second railway into the county was the 
Iowa Falls & Sioux City (now the Illinois Central) road, which was 
built from both termini and completed in July, 1870. This gave all 
the great western Iowa country a fine outlet for Chicago and the sea- 
board, and also provided an ample supply of coal from the Des Moines 
river coal fields near Ft. Dodge. This road was built by a land 
grant, calling for ten sections of land to the mile of road, without any 
direct taxation expense upon the people. Along this line much 
of the east-bound freight, as well as the vast amounts of lumber, 
fuel and builders' material, which went toward building up this county, 
was transported to and from the east. The line starts from Sioux 
City and runs northeast into and through Plymouth county, and its 
track is used from Sioux City to Le Mars by the Omaha line. 

In 1887 the Illinois Central constructed a branch feeder, called the 
Onawa & Sioux Falls line, running north and south from Cherokee. 
This line passes through the extreme east end of Woodbury county, 
with stations at Correctionville, Smithland, Oto and Annetta. 

The Sioux City & St. Paul. — This was the next road constructed 
into the county, and is now generally known as the Chicago, St. Paul, 


Minneapolis & Omaha line, as it is operated by them, and is really a 
part of the great Chicago & Northwestern system. It runs from 
Omaha to St. Paul, and from that point to Chicago. It is a royal 
route over which to travel. It was built by aid of a land grant of 
ten sections of wild land to the mile of road constructed, and was com- 
pleted to Sioux City in the summer of 1872. This gave Sioux City an 
outlet to the great lake region of the north, via St. Paul and Duluth; 
also connection with the Northern Pacific railroad and the Red river 
section of Minnesota and Dakota. From Sioux City this line uses the 
road-bed of the Illinois Central as far as Le Mars. The chief advantage 
given by this road, was the item of cheaper lumber and a more diversi- 
fied passenger outlet from western Iowa. It also gave direct con- 
nection with the Omaha system and the southwestern system of rail- 
way, which were built at about that time, making a rail thoroughfare 
from Lake Superior, at Duluth, to Galveston, on the Gulf of Mexico 
in Texas. 

The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul. — One of the land grants of 
congress, in 1856, was the "McGregor & Sioux City " grant of ten 
sections to the mile, terminating at a point near Sanborn, O'Brien 
county. Had it not been for the Civil war coming on, with subse- 
quent financial stagnation, this road would have been constructed 
long years before it was. 

After some changes in ownership, on account of the old company 
failing to construct the road within the limits of the land grant con- 
tract, it finally became the property of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. 
Paul company, which corporation now operates it. While the main 
line of the road runs west from Sheldon, via Canton and Rock Rapids, 
a branch was built south to Elk Point, Dak., where it intersects the 
old Dakota Southern road, which had been built, by the management 
of Sioux City men, from their city to Yankton. The first spike was 
driven on the last-named road August 12, 1872, and the track was 
completed to Yankton the following January. Chicago parties obtained 
a charter for the Sioux City & Pembina railway, and it was on this 
charter that the Dakota Southern was finally built to the Sioux bridge. 
The road secured the tax voted to the Pembina road by Sioux City 
township, and also $200,000 bonds from Yankton county, Dak., and 
a small sum from Elk Point. 

In 1875 the reorganized Sioux City & Pembina company began 


building at Davis Junction, and that year completed sixteen miles of 
the line, as far as Portlandville, Plymouth county, Iowa. This branch 
was leased to the Dakota Southern. After resting in Portlandville 
three years, work was resumed, and the road was completed to Beloit 
on the last day of 1878. The next year work was pushed on, and the 
road completed to Sioux Falls. In the early summer of 1879, the 
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul system became a contestant for the 
possession of the Dakota Southern property. John I. Blair, who had 
become largely interested, sought to control it in the interests of the 
Northwestern system. This company had succeeded to the interests 
of the old McGregor & Sioux City, which had failed at Algona, Iowa. 
The Milwaukee, gaining an extension of the land grant, from the 
state, pushed the line into Sioux county in 1878, and the following 
year crossed the track of the Pembina road at Canton, and the same 
fall completed the road to Mitchell, S. Dak. As it now stands, the 
Milwaukee system embraces what was the Dakota Southern and the 
Pembina route. Trains run from Sioux City northwest to Elk Point, 
Dak., where a junction is made, one line going to Yankton, while an- 
other runs northeast through the corner of Plymouth county, with 
Akron and Westfield as stations, thence on north, finally intersecting 
the main line running from Mitchell, S. Dak., to McGregor, and so on 
into Chicago. 

In 1886 the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul road (stimulated by 
the Sioux City & Des Moines company, then formed to connect the 
state capital with Sioux City), began to construct a road from Sioux 
City to a small town on its Council Bluffs line, known as Manilla, a 
distance of seventy-eight miles. This link of connection was com- 
pleted early in 1887, making thus for the Milwaukee, a short line to 
Chicago. The Milwaukee has ever been friendly toward Sioux City, 
which they realize is the gateway city of the Missouri river. 

The Union Pacific. — It was originally designed by Gen. Jones, of 
Iowa, then in congress (1856), that the great trans-continental rail- 
way, then talked of, should cross the Missouri river at or near Sioux 
City, but subsequent legislation marked its course via Omaha. But 
after all these years, the Union Pacific has been compelled (in 1889) 
to run a branch into Sioux City, and now leases the track for such 
purpose from Sioux City to Norfolk, Neb., of the Chicago, St. Paul, 
Minneapolis & Omaha line. So it is to-day, that Sioux City has a di- 
rect outlet over the Union Pacific system. 


The Pacific Short Line. — By far the most important new Sioux 
City connection, and indeed the most important railway enterprise in 
the United States to-day, is the so-called " Pacific Short Line," occu- 
pying a route from Sioux City to Ogden, Utah. This route lies far 
north of the Union Pacific, and occupies the most convenient passage 
that exists through the Rocky mountains; it is 120 miles shorter than 
any road between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and can be built 
for a fraction of what the Union Pacific cost. 

The road is now in course of construction, and a magnificent 
wagon and railroad bridge is now being built from the very heart of 
Sioux City, across the waters of the Missouri river, to the Nebraska 
side, which will be second to none of the numerous bridges spanning 
this mighty American river. It is designed to have this entire route 
completed in 1891; 100 miles from Sioux City, southwest, are 
already in operation, and large forces of men are at work all 
along the line to Ogden. 

Sioux City and Northern. — This company is purely a Sioux City 
enterprise. It was organized, in 1886, to build a road that would con- 
nect with the upper lake and water route to the seaboard. The line 
was located from Sioux City to a point near Palisades, Dak., ninety- 
six miles north of starting point, and at what is now known as 
Garretson, at which place it connects with the Manitoba system, now 
styled the "Great Northern Railway." The Sioux City & Northern 
leaves Sioux City via, the Floyd valley, following up the line parallel 
with that of the Illinois Central as far northeast as Merrill, Plymouth 
county, at which point it bears to the north. A tax was voted in aid of 
the line, but never collected, as the company deemed it best to purchase 
the right-of-way, and build the line unaided. Its final construction in 
1889, was a marvel of railway building. On Jiily 1, 1889, it was 
merely a " paper road," and January 1, 1890, six months later, 
it was a well-built, finely-constructed road, nearly 100 miles long. 
All of its officers and stockholders are residents of Sioux City, 
and every dollar expended was their money. Its connection with the 
Manitoba system, a branch of which runs from Wilmar, Minn., 
to Sioux Falls, S. Dak., gives a northern outlet to the Red river 
valley country; also via St. Paul to the waters of Lake Superior. The 
building of this line has given Sioux City an opportunity of getting 
a better freight rate than was heretofore possible anywhere along the 




western slope. Sioux City now dictates rates to Liverpool, England, 
and is truly the gateway of the west. The officers, January 1, 1890, 
were T. P. Gere, president; John Pierce, vice-president; F. C. Hills,, 
secretary and treasurer; C. L. Wright, solicitor; Dr. J. N. Warren, 
surgeon; A. K. Shurtleff, chief engineer; J. G. Butterfield, master 
mechanic; James V. Mahoney, traffic manager; F. A. Seaman, claim 

Among the lines now projected (and in course of construction) 
from Sioux City is the Sioux City & Northwestern, designed to run 
from Sioux City to the Black Hills, thereby entering the heart of the 
greatest mineral and stock-growing belt of the country. 

In conclusion, it may be stated that Sioux City is indebted to twc-> 
prime causes that have made her one of the most valuable of all rail- 
road centers in Iowa. First the place is by nature located well ; it is 
the only point in Iowa where the Missouri bluffs come right to the 
water's edge, and singularly enough, too, at the very angle of the- 
great south bend of a river system which has no equal on the conti- 
nent. At an early day the transportation facilities played an impor- 
tant part in building up Sioux City, bringing as it did its scores of 
heavily laden steamers from St. Louis, freighted with merchandise, 
which never broke bulk from Boston to Fort Benton. The effective^ 
work of Gen. Jones, of Dubuque, in congress, aided by Gen. Dodge 
and others, brought about the land grant act, which was the corner- 
stone and base of all main line roads across Iowa. 

The other prime cause for Sioux City being the railway center 
she is to-day, is the fact that her pioneer, and indeed present citizen- 
ship has been made up of thoroughly wide-awake business men who- 
from the first planned to build a great city at this point. One of' 
these men, whose name should never be forgotten as long as the place 
has a name among the great commercial marts of America, is one who 
stands out pre-eminently above all others. Deceased though he is, he 
still lives in the true spirit of business and prosperity of the city, and 
all western Iowa as well. We refer to Hon. A. W. Hubbard, who 
was judge, and for several terms represented this section of Iowa in 
the United States congress. Improving his opportunity, he was- 
largely instrumental in procuring the legislation which gave a grant 
of land to the McGregor & Western company, and another from Sioux 
City to the Minnesota line, making the last named city the objective 



point of both lines. He had Sioux City named, in the bill in congress, 
as the starting point for the northern line of the Union Pacific road, 
which finally took another course and went to the Missouri valley. 
In order to hasten on the railroad era, the people of this county voted 
the swamp land fund to bring about the desired end. The spirit of 
union has always prevailed here, and the vote on that question stood 
273 for and only one vote against it. Indeed, much of Sioux City's 
success is due to the fact that her people have always worked as a 
unit, and in no instance has this been more forcibly manifested than 
in the securing of her many railroads. 

The mileage of railroads in Woodbury county in 1890, was as fol- 
lows: Chicago & Northwestern company, forty-seven miles-; Illinois 
Central company, thirty-one miles; Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & 
Omaha company, thirty-one miles; Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul 
company, six miles; Sioux City & Northern company, six miles; total 
mileage, 121. 

Projected Railroads. — Sioux City is the objective point of the 
following proposed roads: The Winona & Southwestern; Sioux City & 
Northeastern; the Duluth, Red Wing & Southwestern; the "Soo" 
line; the St. Louis, Quincy & Sioux City, Missouri Pacific extension 
from Papillion, Neb. ; the Sioux City & Northwestern — Black Hills 
road; also a link connecting Sioux City with the Kock Island system. 




Their Saxon Origin— First Term of Court in "Woodbury County— The 
Judiciary — Presentation to the Hon. C. H. Lewis— Early Members 
of the Bar and Their Struggles — Land-Grant and Other Liti- 

THE judicial records of Woodbury county verify the claim that 
the Anglo-Saxon race carries its institutions wherever it locates. 
Hard by the relics of barbarism, and while yet the moccasin track 
was fresh upon the trails of the red man, tribunals of justice were 
opened, and men, who for a quarter of a century had 'relied upon the 
revolver and knife for the assertion of their rights or redress of their 
wrongs, gladly submitted their affairs to the arbitrament of law. 

The early records of Woodbury county are filled with the names 
of those who formed the connecting link between civilization and bar- 
barism. Tears ago, almost the entire race who furnish so much busi- 
ness for the courts, followed the red man as he disappeared before the 
march of civilization, and the familiar names of August Traversier, 
Henry Goulet, Erancis Bercia, Amable Gallenaux, and a host of other 
names which are as familiar as household words to the diligent reader 
of the early records of the county, have entirely disappeared from the 
later records, and are heard of no more in the community. 

Until 1857 Woodbury county was a part of the Seventh judicial 
district. The first term of the district court was held September 
3, 1855, the Hon. Samuel H. Biddle, judge of the Seventh judicial 
district, presiding. J. K. Myers was clerk, and Erank Chappel was 
sheriff. Charges of willful neglect of duty as clerk were preferred 
at this term against Theophile Bruguier, but no action appears to have 
been taken upon the charges. 

The case of the State of Iowa vs. William B. Thompson appears 
upon the docket, charging him with the crime of manslaughter. The 
record recites that he appeared in person, and demanded a fair and 


speedy trial. From the character of this frontier man, we have no 
doubt the suggestion had weight with the court. He was one of the 
first settlers of the county, and proprietor of the town of Floyd's Bluff, 
the first county seat of Wahkaw, now Woodbury county. He was a man 
of giant stature, who had long been engaged in traffic with the Indians, 
and many stories of his desperate encounters and slain enemies were 
current in the community, and if armed, as he frequently was, with 
knife, revolver and rifle, when he stalked into the court-room in search 
of justice, we can very readily see that the court might be inclined 
to grant the request. To one acquainted with the circumstances and 
the man, much can be read between the lines of the journal entry. 
The trial commenced, but the names of the witnesses not appearing 
upon the back of the indictment, the state entered a nolle, the defend- 
ant giving bond to appear before the next grand jury. 

A. C. Ford, of Council Bluffs, and H. C. Bacon, of Sioux City, 
were admitted to practice in the district court upon the presentation of 
certificates showing they had been admitted to practice in other courts, 
This closed the business of the first term of a court now almost con- 
stantly in session in this county. 

Of the April term of court, which was previously held in a log 
building on the corner of Pierce and Third streets, no record was ever 
made. Several blank pages appear where the journal entries should 
be. E. D. Thompson is said to have been clerk, but no evidence of 
his labors appears upon the records. John Currier was appointed 
prosecuting attorney, Frank Chappel sheriff, John Braden and William 
B. Tredway deputies, Judge Riddle presiding. A grand jury was 
empaneled, of which Curtis Lamb was foreman and our distinguished 
townsman, George Weare, clerk. Indictments were returned against 
Elias Shook and AVilliam B. Thompson. Shook, who lived near Cor- 
rectionville, had trouble with a young man who lived alone in a cabin 
near him, about a land claim. A few days after, the young man was 
found dead in his cabin, having been shot and instantly killed. For 
this murder Shook was indicted. Thompson, at a dance near Ser- 
geant's Bluff, at which a large number of French, half-breeds and 
Indians participated, and fighting whisky flowed freely, got into a 
quarrel with a white man and in the general row that followed, beat 
him with a gun, inflicting wounds from which he soon after died. 
For this crime he was indicted at the first term of court for man- 


slaughter, at this term for murder. Both Thompson and Shook were 
desperate characters. The county had no jail, and, while nominally 
in the hands of the sheriff, they were about at large, no one caring to 
enter a protest. A change of venue was taken to Harrison county. 
At the appointed time defendants appeared for trial, but neither 
were convicted, but why not, is one of the mysteries of those far-off 
days. It was rumored that the officers of the state were not very 
zealous in the prosecution, influenced, perhaps, by defendants' sug- 
gestion of what might happen in case of a conviction. 

The record of this term discloses the fact that the traffic in whisky 
was a fruitful source of grief, even then, and true bills were found 
against several citizens for selling the forbidden article. In the un- 
recorded records of this term, lay the foundation for the title of " high 
deputy sheriff" of Woodbury county, by which our townsman, Will- 
iam B. Tredway, was known for many years. 

The fall term of court commenced on November 24, 1856, Judge 
Biddle presiding. A grand jury was empaneled, of which Thomas 
J. Stone was foreman. 

The first case upon the civil docket is that of Henry Goulet vs. 
August Traversier. The first judgment in a contested case was ren- 
dered in the suit of Joseph Robideau vs. Francis Lachartre and Francis 
Bercia for $378.64 and costs. And the first jury trial was in the case 
of Marshall Townsley vs. August Traversier. The first recorded 
evidence of domestic infelicity is the case of Mary F. Cloud vs. John 
M. Cloud. The title is suggestive of the weakness of the race, and 
that the silken bonds of matrimony had become galling chains from 
which the gentle Mary sought and obtained release. 

The result of the labors of the grand jury are found in the State 
of Iowa vs. Frank Gardner and four other indictments, three of which 
were for selling intoxicating liquors contrary to law. The ardent 
believer in the great inalienable right to traffic in the forbidden article, 
looking backward, does not see the pathway strewn with roses. The 
traffic was surrounded with perils even in those good old days. 

The following are Mr. Joy's own words: 

The nest term provided by law was not held. I remember well the 
keen disappointment felt by the bar at the failure to hold this term of 
court. To several of us it was to have been our first experience in the 
courts of the state. Anxious days and nights had been spent in ex- 


ploring the mysteries of the code practice and preparing cases for 
trial. But when the judge arrived, instead of opening court, he 
repaired to the saloon with A. C. Ford, of Council Bluffs, an attorney 
who practiced extensively at the bars outside of the court-room, and 
there, with congenial spirits, spent the time allotted for the term, in 
giving the infant city a crimson tint. To those of us accustomed to 
the dignified and formal proceedings of a New England court, where 
the judge was attended in his walks to and from his chambers to the 
bench, by a liveried and armed attendant, such proceedings sadly 
marred one of the idols of our early days, and taught us that even 
those in high positions are of the earth, earthy. 

In 1857 this portion of Iowa was very sparsely settled. Most of 
the unorganized counties in northwestern Iowa were attached to 
Woodbury for revenue and judicial purposes, and whatever law 
business there was in this vast region of country was done at Sioux 
City. It was also the outfitting post for all the trains leaving for the 
forts and agencies on the upper Missouri, and quite prominent in the 
early days as a steamboat landing, and afterward as headquarters for 
the boat lines running on the upper Missouri. It was also the point at 
which the returning miners from the Black Hills country first reached 
civilization. They came down the Missouri in large, open boats, con- 
structed upon the Yellowstone, carrying from twenty to fifty men, who 
brought back to civilization many of the reckless and unrestrained 
customs of the mining camp. This all contributed largely to the volume 
and variety of the business transacted in the courts, and gave to the 
attorneys a wider range of business than is usual in a frontier town. 
Then, too, the United States district court for the northern district 
of Nebraska territory, was held at Dakota City for several years. 
Many of the counties in northeastern Nebraska were attached to 
Dakota county for judicial purposes. The most of the business for 
northeastern Nebraska was done at Dakota City. Here the bar of 
Woodbury county for many years brought most of the important cases. 
At both Sioux City and Dakota City were United States land offices, at 
which, from time to time, almost every kind of land contests were tried. 

During the war, Sioux City was military headquarters for the Army 
of the Northwest, operating against the Indians. And while the troops 
were in camp during the winter, the military tribunals furnished many 
interesting cases in which the attorneys of the city took a prominent 


part. The proceedings before the different tribunals gave variety to 
the practice, and required of the attorneys constant study and exten- 
sive reading, and familiarity with many branches of the law. 

The first term of court held in 1857, was at Dakota City in the fall 
of that year; Hon. E. Wakely, United States district judge for the 
Northern district of Nebraska, presided. A large hotel had been 
built during the spring and summer of that year. The lower portion 
of the building had been finished. The fourth story was all in 
one room. Sticks, shavings and refuse lumber were scattered over 
the floor. At one end of the room, upon a board resting upon two 
nail casks, with a work-bench for a table, sat the presiding judge. 
The attorneys were seated upon planks laid across saw-horses along- 
side of another work-bench, while the grand and trial jurors and 
spectators, who composed a large portion of the male population of 
northern Nebraska, were seated upon planks placed across nail casks, 
and industriously employed the time, while the court was transacting 
business, in manufacturing into every conceivable form the sticks 
and strips of lumber covering the floor. At times it looked as though 
every man in the audience, except the judge on the bench and the 
attorney addressing him, was engaged in whittling. And the jurors 
while listening to the arguments of counsel, fashioned from the 
soft pine lumber, images which had the likeness of nothing in the 
heavens above, or earth below, or in the regions beneath. Primitive 
as were the surroundings, we soon felt we were in the presence of 
one whose patient, dignified bearing, skill in presiding, clearness in 
the statement of his views, and knowledge of the law, made him one 
of the ablest trial judges before whom it has been my fortune to 

An incident occurred that shows under what difficulties the judg- 
ments of the court were enforced in those early days. The punish- 
ment inflicted upon some of the offenders, was fine and imprisonment 
in the county jail. The sheriff promptly suggested that the county 
had no jail, and he could not confine the prisoners. " Picket them 
out, then," responded the judge, and the business of the court went 
on. The attorneys soon became convinced that the laws were as 
faithfully administered and justice as nearly attained in the unfin- 
ished and unfurnished garret, as amid the forms, pomp and splendor 
of eastern tribunals. 


In the fall of 1857, M. F. Moore, an attorney of Sioux City, was 
•elected judge of the Twelfth judicial district, which had been formed, 
embracing all northwestern Iowa, and held the first term in the new 
district on December 7, of that year. T. Ellwood Clark was clerk, 
F. M. Hubbell, deputy, and S. A. Ayers, sheriff. 

At this time appeared the two famous cases which aroused the vet- 
erans of the two parties, and arrayed them in support of the respective 
•claimants for the offices. The State of Iowa ex rel. John L. Camp- 
bell vs. John K. Cook, was a contest over the office of county judge. 
John L. Campbell claimed to have been elected to the office. John 
K. Cook was the incumbent, and sought to hold another term. But, 
upon the trial, the court Avent behind the returns of the canvassing 
board, and declared John L. Campbell entitled to the office, into which 
he was duly installed, but was afterward compelled to resign at the 
point of a revolver. The other case, the State of Iowa ex rel. Charles 
E. Hedges vs. Samuel H.. Cassacly, was a contest for the office of 
county treasurer, which was also decided in favor of the claimant, 
Charles E. Hedges. . 

At the February term of court, 1858, our distinguished townsman, 
J. C. C. Hoskins, appears as sheriff; at the April term, George I. 
Tacket; at the December term, William H. Frame, showing that the 
tenure of office was somewhat uncertain, even among men who filled 
the office with credit and ability. 

Judge Moore's term expired December, 1858. The duties of 
judge interfered with his gay and festive ways of life, and he gladly 
put off the ermine which he had worn for a brief term. He was a man 
-of integrity, a graduate of Yale college, and had a fair knowledge of 
elementary law, but knew little of what the courts had held, and did 
mot remain long enough upon the bench to learn much about the 
decisions of other courts. 

At the fall election of 1858, Hon. A. W. Hubbard was elected 
judge, and held his first term of court in August, 1859. J. N. Field 
was clerk, and S. A. Ayers, sheriff. With this term of court began a 
new epoch in the judicial proceedings of northwestern Iowa. Judge 
Hubbard brought to the discharge of his duties, the knowledge and 
experience gained by many years of active practice, and a familiarity 
with the code practice and the decisions of the courts, that was of 
great value in settling the practice under the code of 1851 and 



revision of 1860. Rules of court were adopted, and something like 
order took the place of the chaotic proceedings of the earlier terms, 
and the foundations were laid for a legitimate practice. The bar and 
community owe more to Judge Hubbard than they realize, for his 
labors in shaping the practice, expediting the transaction of court 
business, and giving dignity to the tribunal, that compelled respect for 
the court and its decisions. It was fortunate for northwestern Iowa 
that a man of his experience, knowledge of law and ability, was pre- 
vailed upon to take the position, from which he retired, all too soon 
for the good of the district, when elected to congress in the fall of 
1862. His clear and fearless exposition of the law,, his desire that 
justice be done under its forms, his recognition of, and adherence to, 
the cardinal truth that all judicial proceedings should be conducted 
with a view to the attainment of justice, and protection of the rights 
of the citizens, left their impress upon the court and bar of north- 
western Iowa. 

Hon. Isaac Pendleton was Judge Hubbard's successor. He was 
elected in the fall of 1862, and entered upon the discharge of his 
duties with a limited experience in the practice of his profession, and, 
following Judge Hubbard upon the bench, the contrast between age 
and experience and youth and beauty was very great. It was a hard 
place to fill, but the business of the courts was very light. We were 
then in the midst of the excitement and turmoil of the Civil war, 
and here, as elsewhere, amid the clash of arms, the laws were silent. 
For some time but few litigated cases were tried. This gave the judge 
an opportunity for study and preparation for the more arduous 
duties that came with the return of peace. Judge Pendleton had the 
advantage of a collegiate education, was accustomed to mental labor, 
and possessed fine ability. But he never delighted in the technicali- 
ties of the law. He saw clearly the right of a case, and endeavored 
to do justice between litigants. The manner of attaining the end was 
of minor importance. The judge improved and developed, becoming 
more familiar with the practice, until, during the last part of his 
term, the ground of complaint was his habit of never doing to-day 
what could be done to-morrow. On the whole he exceeded the expec- 
tations of his friends upon the bench, but was not as well adapted for 
the discharge of the duties of a judge, as of the advocate. In the 
presentation of questions of fact to a jury, and in the knowledge of 


what influences and controls men, he had but few superiors. " Here 
Richard was himself again." His term of office expired in January, 
1867, when he returned to the practice of his profession in Sioux City, 
where he had for many years an extensive criminal practice. 

In the fall of 1866, Henry Ford, of Harrison county, who had been 
district attoney, was elected to succeed Judge Pendleton. He held 
his first term of court in April, 1867. F. J. Lambert was clerk and 
John Hagy was sheriff. After his election he removed to Sioux City, 
and held the office for two terms and until 1875. Judge Ford had a 
fine presence, and presided with dignity; had a good legal mind, was 
never very industrious, making it necessary for the attorneys to make 
a full presentation of the authorities upon legal questions involved in 
the case. If these were fully presented, his judgment upon questions 
of law was very accurate. He had many of those traits of character 
which made him warm friends and followers, and had he not become 
demoralized and made reckless by whisky, there was no office in the 
gift of the people of his district to which he might not have attained. 

C. H. Lewis, of Cherokee, who had also been district attorney, was 
elected judge in the fall of 1874, and has now nearly completed his 
sixteenth year of consecutive service upon the bench. During the 
latter part of his term he has lived in Sioux City. The repeated elec- 
tion to the office which he has so well filled, speak more clearly than 
words, of the esteem and regard in which he is held, as a man and 
jurist, by those whom he has so long and faithfully served. 

Judge Lewis commenced the discharge of his official duties just as 
he was entering upon the vigor of manhood, and for sixteen years 
wore the judicial ermine without stain. The proceedings of the 
Woodbury county bar upon the last day of the last term held by him, 
when an elegant gold watch and chain with appropriate inscriptions, 
was presented to him by the bar, were very impressive, and the reso- 
lutions then adopted show the kindly regard and esteem in which he 
was held, by those over whom he had so long presided. Upon that 
occasion, William L. Joy, on behalf of the bar, presenting the watch 
and chain, spoke as follows: 

"The revolving days have brought us to the last hour of the last 
term in the sixteen years that your honor has served this district upon 
the bench, and it is well for the court and bar at this milestone, to 
pause for a moment in the busy cares of the clay, and review the path 


along which we have traveled so pleasantly, and, we trust, profitably 
together. Many of us remember the day upon which your honor put 
on the judicial ermine, and from that day on we have toiled, each in 
our chosen paths, and from the lessons of the past we may gain some 
consolation for the present and inspiration for the future. We have 
rejoiced as we saw the firm grasp that the years of toil and labor were 
giving your honor upon those great principles that underlie our juris- 
prudence; we have admired the skill and the wisdom that came with 
years and experience in your application of those great principles to 
the affairs of our every-day life. It is not customary — it is rare 
indeed — that so long a period of service is rendered a people, as your 
honor has rendered. Although, at the time you put on the judicial 
ermine, you were in the vigor of manhood, just entering upon its act- 
ive duties, yet I imagine that your most sanguiue expectation, as you 
looked down the future, could have hardly mapped out such a course 
of usefulness as it has been your honor's privilege and lot to confer 
upon this people and upon this bar, though at that time all the valleys 
were lit up with sunshine, and the mountain peaks were radiant with 

"The lot that has fallen to you, to have so successfully administered 
the judicial affairs of this district for such a length of time, is cer- 
tainly a great commendation, and but few men attain unto that honor. 
Then, too, your honor, the territory over which you have been called 
to preside was then in its infancy; the embryo cities were springing 
up along the great thoroughfares of travel, but the country was sparsely 
settled, only here and there the smoke curled up from the cabin of the 
early settlers, when you commenced your duties upon the bench. But 
how changed! Your honor has applied the principles that underlie 
our jurisprudence, to the affairs of life in the infancy of this great 
country. It is an honor to have thus had a hand in shaping the juris- 
prudence of this vast region — vast to-day, vaster in the future, the 
home of millions yet to be, that shall refer to the record of your 
life and your work that you have left in the different counties in 
which your honor has presided, and they shall find written there, 
evidence, that in the earlier days, in the infancy of these different 
counties, the laws were faithfully, honestly and fairly administered. 
Tour honor will pardon the suggestion, and I make it for the benefit 
of the younger members of the bar, that by earnest, persevering toil 


in the God-given paths of industry, your honor has been able to 
achieve that wonderful success that has been yours; it is here, and in 
these paths alone, by these painstaking, careful and earnest labors, 
that men achieve that which is lasting, that which is worthy of attain- 
ing. The monuments that the court and bar leave to posterity, are 
largely the judicial records of the courts in which it is their duty to 
preside or practice. Tour honor, through northwestern Iowa, has left 
a record more enduring than marble or brass. You have recorded in 
the records of these counties, that which shall be read by your chil- 
dren's children; for sixteen years your honor has stood in the fierce 
light that beats around the throne ; your honor has stood where your 
every act, and where all the weaknesses of our common humanity are 
brought out in the strongest light, and yet you may point to that 
record and challenge investigation. Few, few, can lay down the ermine 
unspotted and untarnished after having worn it for the length of time 
that it has been your lot to wear it. And now, in behalf of the bar of 
Woodbury county, we desire to present some slight token of our 
appreciation and regard, and ask that your honor wear it as a slight 
memento of the warm hearts, and the affectionate regard of those 
over whom it has been your duty so long to preside, and we present 
it with the hope on the part of each, that it may mark for you only 
pleasant hours." 

E. H. Hubbard, presenting the following resolutions, said: 
"Ma}' it please the court and gentlemen of the bar: AVe do not 
willingly part with a dear friend with one farewell. We rather linger 
in our parting clasp and say ' farewell and hail,' again and again. And 
so, dear judge, in the^e hours of parting between us, as judge and 
members of the bar, it seems fitting that we should express to you, not 
alone in this personal memento, but in other ways that may endure to 
later generations, the appreciation that we have for an upright and just 
judge. For sixteen years you have sat in this place of honor. Most 
of us here are your children in the law. We have grown up under 
your administration; we have learned not alone to admire, but to love 
you as well, and it is nothing unseemly I think, at this time, but en- 
tirely fitting, that we should ask that there be placed among the records 
of this court, which have been in so large a part made by yourself, 
resolutions that may express our sense of your worth. I beg to offer 
to the members of the bar, resolutions as follows, and later, to move 
their adoption: 


"Whereas, After sixteen years of faithful service as judge of the district court of 
the Fourth judicial district of Iowa, Hon. C. H. Lewis is about to leave the bench, it is 
fitting that the bar of the court over which he has so long presided, should express to 
him their feelings of regret at his retirement, and of respect for him as man and judge; 
therefore be it 

" Resolved, 1. That the bar of Sioux City and Woodbury county tender to Judge 
Lewis their cordial and affectionate respect, recognizing in him those qualities which 
make a great judge; that unerring sense of justice which seeks for the right under 
whatever cloud of technicality; that promptness which takes from the law the re- 
proach of delay; that benevolent spirit which knows how to temper justice with kind- 
ness; that firmness which acts and fears not; that impartiality which looks wilh equal 
eye upon all men and all causes, measuring them only with the standard of truth. 

" 2. That as a lasting memorial of our regard, and as a fitting testimonial to one 
worthy of honor, we ask that these resolutions be spread upon the records of the dis- 
trict court." 

O. C. Tredway, seconding the resolutions, said: 

"My Brethren: With the single exception of the Hon. S. T. 
Davis, I believe I am now the longest in practice at the Woodbury 
county bar of any of its members, and I may say that my sands of 
professional life are nearly, if not quite, run out, and I have no wish 
on this occasion to utter words except words of candor and of truth. 

" I have, therefore, passed through, in active professional life, 
the whole official life of him whom we have here assembled on this 
occasion to bid farewell to, as an honored official, and yet, at the same 
time, welcome back into the private walks of life, in our midst with 
pride and pleasure. 

" For twenty years Judge Lewis has held within his hand, the 
wand of power in connection with the due administration of the laws 
of our county, delivered to him by the sovereign power of the land — 
the voice of the people — devolving upon him the duty in part, of pub- 
lic prosecutor in behalf of the state, and in part as judicial interpreter 
of the rights between the state and the citizen, and between the citizen 
and the citizen. 

" No higher places of weighty responsibility have been created by 
the sovereign people in the formation of their government. No place, 
more than that of public prosecutor, calls for exact justice in action 
by the representative of the sovereign power of the state. No place 
more than that which he occupies, who is wrapped about by the sacred 
folds of the judicial ermine, calls for purity of heart and wisdom of 

"In these trying places of power and trust, Judge Lewis has long 


been tested, arid now that he is about to resume the place of a private 
citizen, 'no murmur, charging tyranny, comes up from those over whom 
he has presided as public prosecutor, nor is a whisper heard against 
the integrity of his judicial decrees. 

" It is, therefore, eminently fit and proper, in my humble judgment, 
that this gift be bestowed and accepted, and that these resolutions be 
spread upon the records of the court as a lasting monument of the 
high esteem in which an able, pure and upright judge is held by the 
Woodbury county bar." 

J. S. Lawrence, George Argo, L. S. Fawcett, W. G. Clarke, S. M. 
Marsh, of the Woodbury county bar, and H. C. Curtis of the Le Mars 
bar, followed with appropriate and eloquent remarks. 
Judge Lewis in response said: 

" I trust that to-day, as in all the years of the past, I am thank- 
ful for the courtesy and kindness of the members of this bar and the 
officers of this court. Twenty years ago I began the work of district 
attorney in the Fourth judicial district of Iowa, a district then com- 
posed of twenty-two counties, and for two years served in that capac- 
ity. At the expiration of that time, the district was reduced to 
twenty counties, and for the balance of my term, two years, I served 
as district attorney in those twenty counties. After that time, sixteen 
years ago, it then being the 1st of January, 1875, I became the pre- 
siding judge of the Fourth judicial district of Iowa, a district then 
composed of twenty counties. For two years I presided as sole pre- 
siding judge of that district as then constituted; at the expiration of 
that time the district was divided and a new district was organized, 
composed of the nine counties now constituting the district. For a 
portion of the time since 1877, I have been sole presiding judge of 
the district, and later, when relief came, I have been one of the pre- 
siding judges of the district. The position has been to me one of 
pleasure, of duty and of work. Not a few of the members of the 
bar who were in the district then and in practice, are still here in the 
practice of their profession; some have gone to other counties, and 
from them we have good reports; others have gone to the beyond; 
they are away from the kindly words of friends, they are beyond the 
bitterness of enemies. The time has come when our relations as 
members of the bar, as officers of the court and as presiding judge 
must cease. You have seen fit, in this parting hour, to speak kindly 


words of praise to me and to present tokens of friendship. I accept 
these in the same kindly spirit that they have been presented. For 
them you have my kindly, my appreciative and my cordial thanks. 
You have seen fit to present to me this beautiful watch. I look upon 
its rich and its shining cases; in it are embedded the friendships of 
years, the friendships of the older and the friendships of the younger. 
I think of its springs, of its wheels and of its movements, and then 
I think of that power which moves heart to heart and soul to soul; I 
look into its open face and out of the avenues of years come the 
familiar faces which have so often appeared before me; I listen to its 
musical tick and from all along the memory of years come the voices 
that have been present to explain, to assist in the intricate problems 
of the law which have been before us. 

" And now, gentlemen, as I go from this bench, as I go out of the 
doors of this court-house, as I leave the business of this district to go, 
I know not where, I go feeling that you have faithfully performed 
your duties to your clients; I go with the consciousness and thought 
that in all my years of work upon the bench I have each day and each 
hour sought to do the best I could; that I have never intentionally 
wronged or injured any person; that I have endeavored to keep myself 
free from all of those associations and combinations which in any way 
might effect my judgment on such questions as might come before us, 
and that to some of you in your work I may have been helpful, and to 
those whom you have so faithfully represented, I have been fair. 

" It has been said that words are leaves, that deeds are fruits. 
Words are apples of gold when fitly spoken, and deeds are noble when 
rightly done and when rightly performed. I have endeavored in all 
my judicial career, to be a man and officer of deeds rather than words, 
and as I go now from the bench, I go with the full consciousness that 
I have attempted to faithfully discharge my duty, and this, I trust, 
may ever abide and continue with me. My heart, gentlemen, is full 
of thankfulness to all of you and to each of you. Good-bye." 

The watch which the judge received is one of the best ever 
made by the Elgin National Watch Company. The movement is the 
finest made, and is enclosed in a solid gold Louis XIV. case, with an 
enameled dial, illuminated with diamonds and rubies, filigree gold 
hands and gold figures. On the inside cap is the inscription: "Pre- 
sented Hon. C. H. Lewis, Judge of the Fourth Judicial District, by 


Members of the Sioux City Bar." Attached to the watch is a very 
heavy 14-carat gold chain, and a plain, square, satin-finish gold locket, 
with a large diamond in the center. 

In 1868 the circuit court was established. Hon. Addison 
Oliver, of Monona county, was the first circuit judge, and held 
his first term of court in Woodbury county in February, L869. 
This position he held until the fall of 1874, when he was elected a 
member of congress. Judge Oliver brought to the discharge of his 
duties as judge, a well -cultivated mind, a good knowledge of law, fear- 
lessness in its execution, and an earnest desire to do justice. He had 
but little use in his court for forms and ceremonies which did not 
accomplish this end, and swept away the refuges of lies in language 
sometimes more forcible than polite. 

At one time, when a druggist reported to his court, under the stat- 
ute, the amount of liquor sold during the quarter, an amount assum- 
ing gigantic proportions, the judge inquired if there had been any 
epidemic in the community, and, when assured that it had been a sea- 
son of unusual health, informed the astonished druggist, in language 
more forcible than elegant, that " his court could not be made a part- 
ner in the saloon business." 

"While holding court at Sioux City, an application was made by a 
defendant for a change of venue, in a case pending before him, on the 
ground of the prejudice of the judge, and in support of the motion, 
the affidavits of disreputable hangers-on of one of the dives on Sec- 
ond street, of whom the judge had never before heard, and who, from 
the very circumstances of the case, could know nothing of his knowl- 
edge or feelings in the matter, were read. As the attorney proceeded 
with the reading, it was apparent to the lookers-on, that the judge was 
taking in the magnitude of the falsehood. As soon as the reading 
ceased he ordered the venue changed, remarking that he " should hate 
the d — dest that any one should think he was prejudiced in favor of 
the defendant." At another time suit had been brought in O'Brien 
county, upon county warrants that were a fraud upon the county, and 
for which no consideration had been paid, to which the county was 
making but a feeble defense. Plaintiff's attorney, in proving up his 
case, offered the warrants in evidence, claiming the presumption of 
law to be that they were valid and made a prima facie case. The 
court held, that while such was the general rule in O'Brien county, 

Eng.hjXQMWams »B»^ 



in furtherance of justice, a different doctrine was established and 
fraud was presumed. Plaintiff failed to obtain a judgment. 

In the fall of 1875 J. R. Zuvier, then of Harrison county, after- 
ward of Sioux City, was elected Judge Oliver's successor, and held the= 
position two terms. He brought to the bench a limited experience 
and knowledge of the law, and such a mental make-up, that at first he 
could not see a lively fight go on before him without taking a hand in 
it. His zeal was often so great that he became a dangerous ally for 
the party whose cause he espoused. The judge had a good mind, and 
a desire to do right; was a hard worker, and gave the litigants the 
best of his judgment in the matter before him. Experience corrected 
many of the errors of his early career, and untiring industry brought 
its reward. The judge was becoming a strong man in his position, 
when disease ^blighted all his further prospects, and drove him from 
the bench and the practice of his profession. 

Geoige W. Wakefield, of Sioux City, succeeded Judge Zuvier upon 
the circuit court bench, and held his first term in June, 1885. Upon 
the abolition of the circuit court, he became one of the district judges 
for the Fourth judicial district, which position he now holds. Judge 
Wakefield entered upon the discharge of his duties in the vigor of 
manhood, with a good knowledge of law, and a habit of patient 
thought and industry, indispensable to one who would attain distinc- 
tion upon the bench. In the faithful discharge of duty, he is growing 
in the estimation of the bar and community. All are justly proud of 
the merited distinction he has attained upon the bench. 

By an act of congress passed in 1882, Sioux City was designated 
as one of the points at which the terms of the district and circuit 
courts of the United States should be held. O. P. Shiras, of Dubuque, 
was appointed district judge, and held his first term of court at Sioux 
City, February 13, 1883. A large amount of important business is 
transacted in this court. Judge Shiras is recognized by the bar as a 
clear-headed judge, an able lawyer and jurist, and already in the front 
rank of the district judges of the land. 

The bar and community have been fortunate in the class of men 
who have presided in the courts of the county. They do not suffer in 
comparison with the bench in other localities. With meager compen- 
sation for the ability and services rendered, they have discharged the 
duties of the positions faithfully and well, and are justly entitled to 


the esteem and regard in which, they have been, and are held, by the 
bar and the community. 

The early bar of Woodbury county was composed largely of young 
men who had received their education and legal training in eastern 
colleges, and came to their work well prepared by the training of the 
schools. The supposition that the extensive land grant made in 1856 
to the state of Iowa, to aid in the construction of a railroad from 
Dubuque to Sioux City, would secure its early completion, induced a 
large number of young men of more than ordinary ability and 
energy, to locate at Sioux City, and commence here the practice of 
their profession. To-day one can hardly realize under what difficul- 
ties they labored. The code practice was in its infancy, and very 
few of its provisions had been passed upon by the courts. The county 
had no court-house, and libraries were very small. Their field of 
labor embraced northwestern Iowa, northeastern Nebraska, and after- 
ward the southern portion of Dakota territory. Between many of 
the county seats where courts were held, there were no public convey- 
ances, no bridges across the streams, and but a dimly marked trail 
guided the legal pilgrims in their journey over more than fifty miles 
which intervened between county seats, without a house or other evi- 
dence of civilization. 

During the winter time, and in seasons of high water, these jour- 
neys, across the wide prairies and swollen streams, were fraught with 
many dangers. The early toilers in the profession, John Currier, O. 
C. Tredway, S. T. Davis, William L. Joy, N. C. Hudson, Isaac Pendle- 
ton, Patrick Pobb and others frequently made these trips. Many of 
the early members of the bar recall nights spent wandering upon the 
bleak prairie, searching amid blinding snow and piercing winds for 
the dim trail; days and nights spent in wet clothing, journeying 
through drenching rains and swollen streams, crossing the almost 
trackless prairies; trips on foot made through mud and water to 
Dakota City and back; crossing the Missouri in skiffs and dug-outs 
amid floating ice and angry waves, when the chances of reaching the 
shoreless land were better than those of making the home port. 
Then, too, for many years the possibility was ever before them in 
their journeys that the, red man might be lurking for them in every 
ravine and clump of trees. This constant exposure to danger made 
them fearless almost to recklessness. 


Whatever the clangers to be overcome, and hardships to be 
endured, the attorneys Avere always present at the terms of court; and 
often without reward and with but little hope of receiving anything 
like an adequate compensation, tried the cases with a care, skill and 
earnestness that entitled them to far greater reward than they ever 
received here. But let us hope that under the benign law of com- 
pensation, somewhere in the great future they may receive an adequate 
reward for their labors and toils. Nowhere were the interests of 
clients more carefully guarded, and their rights protected, than by the 
Sioux City bar. 

Though the bar has largely increased of late years, and many 
worthy and promising men have been added to its numbers, and a 
suitable and convenient court-house with appropriate furnishings and 
extensive libraries have taken the place of the school-house, church 
and hall in which the early courts were held, it is doubtful whether 
cases are tried with more skill or are more clearly and eloquently 
presented to court or jury than in those early days. Excessive zeal 
in the interests of clients often induced attorneys to pass the bound- 
aries of decorum and use very vigorous language with reference to 
opposing counsel and their clients. But in their professional relations 
a high sense of honor and integrity characterized their intercourse. 
In those days the word of an atttorney was as good as his bond, and 
was taken and acted upon without hesitation, by his brother attorneys, 
in matters of the greatest importance. 

Most of the important cases tried in northwestern Iowa and 
northeastern Nebraska, for many years, were conducted in whole or in 
part by Sioux City attorneys, and an extended statement of their labors 
would be almost a recital of what the court records contain. In those 
days the contest frequently commenced in the justice court, and while 
our distinguished citizens, J. C. C. Hoskins and John P. Allison, held 
the justice courts, legal questions were presented and discussed before 
them with all the care bestowed upon their discussion in a court of 
record, and their decisions upon questions of law and fact were 
regarded by the bar as entitled to almost equal authority as those of a 
court of record. Cases were tried before them, the hearing of which 
continued for days, and the ground was fought over inch by inch. 

The county warrant and bond litigation, which grew out of the 
fraudulent issue of vast numbers of bonds and warrants by the coun- 
ties and school districts of northwestern Iowa, furnished many suits in 


both the state and federal courts, which involved large amounts, and 
deeply interested the inhabitants of the respective counties. The 
holding of the courts, both state and federal, relieved the counties 
from burdens that would have taxed the energies of generations to 
have paid. 

Extensive litigations have grown out of the land grants made to 
the state of Iowa to aid in the construction of the numerous railroads 
which traverse northwestern Iowa, and the swamp-land grants. Sioux 
City attorneys have always taken a conspicuous part in the prepara- 
tion and presentation of the cases in the state and federal courts. 
This class of litigation in its various phases, involved large tracts of 
land, the homes of thousands of the hardy pioneers of northwestern 
Iowa, and deeply interested the citizens of the district. 

Before the railroads drove the steamboats from the upper Missouri, 
the admiralty practice had become an important branch of litigation. 
The first case reported in the Dakota reports is the celebrated case of 
the steamer "Cora," libeled and seized by the government, for selling 
whisky to the Indians upon the reservation. The successful defense 
was conducted by Sioux City attorneys. The noted case of the Mollie 
Dozier, tried in the district court of Woodbury county, was conduct- 
ed by them, in which the supreme court settled adversely to the pro- 
visions of the state law, the question of the jurisdiction of the state 
courts, in the seizure of a boat under process similar to the provisions 
of the admiralty statutes. 

In almost every phase of railroad litigation, from the trial of per- 
sonal injury and other cases for and against the railroads, and in the 
general management of the legal business of the roads, members of 
the Sioux City bar, have held prominent positions. The ordinary 
civil and criminal business of the county, has been conducted mostly 
by the Sioux City bar, with care, skill and ability, and wherever the 
members of the bar have been called upon to act, whether in state, 
or federal courts, they have proven themselves worthy of the trust 
and confidence reposed in them. 

The records of the courts are the monuments of the labor, skill 
and care of the bar. And let us hope that the toilers of the coming 
days will, under more favorable circumstances, build upon the founda- 
tions laid by the toils of the members of the early bar of Sioux City, 
a monument which shall be a worthy memento of the past, the pride 
of the present and an inspiration for the future. 



Tiie Value of Good Physicians— Progress in the Healing Art— The 
First Doctor in Woodbury County — Dr. John K. Cook, Who is Also 
Founder of Sioux City — Dr. William E. Smith's Recollections of 
Pioneer Physicians — A Terrible Epidemic — Dr. Crockwell— A 
Laughable Incident. 

IT is the general impression that no community can well get 
along without physicians, and this impression is well founded, 
although perhaps a little overestimated. Yet it would be, indeed, 
trying and sorry work for any community to attempt to do entirely 
without the aid of those who have made the work of allaying the suf- 
fering of the afflicted a life-study and life-object. The work of the 
physician, when needed in our homes, is not to be measured in dol- 
lars and cents, and the long years required in preparing themselves 
for the emergencies where life and death are struggling for supremacy, 
are above value. 

As to progress, the medical world has made wonderful strides, and 
in the future will doubtless keep up its onward march. Even to-day, 
medical science has so mastered its intricacies that there are remedies 
for almost every phase of disease ; and if the past rapid progress con- 
tinues a half century longer, will certainly see the science of medi- 
cine advanced to a wonderful stage of excellence. 

The medical profession of Sioux City in the early days, as remem- 
bered by Dr. William E. Smith, was as follows: 

" Dr. John K. Cook, being the founder of Sioux City, was also its 
first physician. He, however, during the years of its early settlement, 
did not regard himself as a medical practitioner, for the reason he had 
no time, and less inclination to attend to it. The good doctor being 
an Englishman, was understood to be a graduate of one of the London 
medical colleges, and had seen a good deal of medical service in some 
of its famous hospitals. He was a man of excellent judgment, and 
very competent to practice, and during the time following the ' hard 


times' of 1857, when the bottom fell out of real-estate transactions, 
and nearly everything else, he had quite a large practice, and no 
doubt had to do considerable practice from the first year he came to 
Sioux City, 1854. He was a government surveyor, and platted the 
city in 1854-55, upon his return from surveying the northwestern 
portion of Iowa. He died several years since, having spent an event- 
ful career. He was not only first in the medical fraternity here, but 
was also Sioux City's first postmaster. 

"Drs. A. M. Hunt and John J. Saville came to Sioux City early 
in 1856, and were in practice together for a year or two. Dr. Hunt 
being a skillful dentist as well, combined that with his medical prac- 
tice. Both of these gentlemen crossed the plains, by what was known 
as the 'Niobrara route,' a route of their own discovery, to Colorado, 
in 1859, during the famous Pike's Peak excitement. Another doctor 
went with them — S. B. Thompson — who had been in practice at Sioux 
City for a short time. Dr. Saville remained in Colorado, and became, 
during the Civil war, surgeon of the Second Colorado cavalry. He 
afterward resumed the practice of medicine at Sioux City, early in 
1870. He remained until he received the appointment as Indian 
agent of Ked Cloud agency, a responsible position. During his serv- 
ice at the agency and in 1874, he had a nephew, Frank T. Appleton, 
killed by an Indian. Frank was a young man of fine promise, about 
twenty-four years of age, and the son of Hon. A. P. and Mrs. H. T. 
Appleton, both pioneers of Sioux City at the time, and Mrs. Appleton 
still resides here — Mrs. Appleton and Mrs. Leightou Wynn being 
sisters of Dr. Saville. The only excuse the Indian had for this shoot- 
ing, was, that some other white man had offended him, and it gave 
him a hard heart. Dr. Saville is now located at Omaha. 

"Dr. Hunt did not- remain long in Colorado; having left his 
family in Sioux City, he resumed his practice here. During the 
war, he visited Indiana and was commissioned assistant surgeon for a 
regiment from that state. After the war he returned to Sioux City, 
and was active in local politics, and a member of the city council for 
some years. He took deep interest in the public schools, was director 
for many terms and president of the board, and the present 'Hunt 
School ' on Fourth street was named in honor of him. His first wife, 
an estimable lady, was a sister of the late Charles H. Kent, who was 
treasurer of Woodbury county for four terms. He died in 1873. 


" Dr. F. A. Wilnians was an early settler of Sioux City, and 
engaged in the practice of medicine, somewhat irregularly, in the spring 
of 1857. He was called here to amputate the frost-bitten limb of a 
gentleman, who afterward became a prominent judge, Judge Brook- 
ings of Dakota. It was told for truth that the doctor performed the 
amputation of both limbs with a bowie knife and a carpenter's tenon 
saw. The doctor drifted into the army as a surgeon, and never 
returned to Sioux City. 

" Dr. Justus Townsend, a brother of Mrs. John H. Charles, now a 
resident of this city, came here in 1856. He made a pre-emption of 
the tract now known as ' Smith's Villa Addition ' (my present resi- 
dence), and while paying special attention to real estate, at first, he after- 
ward engaged in the practice of medicine. At one time he was largely 
interested in what was considered the flourishing town site of Logan, 
a few miles down the Missouri river, in what was then Nebraska ter- 
ritory. In a few years, however, the town site owners found their lots 
had been transferred, by the ever-changing stream, to the far-off Gulf 
of Mexico, and the place that once knew them knew them no more. 
The doctor was a careful, prudent practitioner. He had one case that 
excited much attention. An old German fell head foremost against a 
buzz-saw in Sanborn & Follett's saw-mill, and had his skull and brain 
sawed almost from top to base, and yet made a good recovery. It was 
even asserted that the old gentleman's mental faculties were somewhat 
increased by the injury, but he never cared to take a dose of buzz-saw 
again. The doctor moved to Yankton, finally, and married a sister of 
Gov. Jayner. He now resides at Springfield, 111. 

" Dr. S. P. Yeomans, the first register of the United States land 
office at Sioux City, was a scholarly man and a prominent politician, 
but seldom or ever practiced medicine here. He was commissioned 
surgeon of the Seventh Iowa cavalry during the Civil war, and of late 
years has been engaged in his profession at Charles City, Iowa. 

" Dr. Frank Wixon, of the school of homoeopathy, came with Dr. 
Cook and pre-empted what is now known as North Sioux City. He 
never followed his profession here, but later on did at Yankton, S. D. 
He died several years since. 

"In the early days we had a famous character known as Dr. Crock- 
well, who practiced medicine in Sergeant's Bluff, who on his card, 
which was a double one, had a real estate card, with President James 


Buchanan and all his cabinet as references, and announced on the 
medical side of the card that he practiced medicine on the ' indipa- 
tional, inspirational and philosophical plan.'' He occasionally used, 
as a substitute for a carriage horse, a short-horn quadruded, which 
he drove single, but his transportation outfit was afterward ruthlessly 
interfered with by some young men who questioned the good taste of 
the doctor's primitive method of transit, in visiting his patients. The 
doctor was a very large man, and came near being killed while being 
initiated into the order of the festive Sons of Malta, a flourishing 
order in those magnificent days of leisure, when it required great 
ingenuity to fill up the time. The doctor finally found his affinity 
and inspiration among the Mormons of Utah. 

"I came to Sioux City in the summer of 1856, and was engaged in 
the practice of medicine until 1868, though absent a good deal of the 
time, and especially during the period of the Civil war. One of the 
striking and startling incidents connected with my practice, was the 
sudden invasion of a disease (about December 15, 1862), which, for 
want of a better name, we called spotted fever, an eruptive fever of 
peculiar character and fatal tendencies, usually ushered in by a severe 
chill of marked congestion, which was so marked a symptom, that in 
other places afterward invaded by the same disease, they termed it 
the " cold plague." In the neglected and severe cases the patient 
rarely survived one, forty-eight hours, and often died in twenty-four 
hours. The cerebro spinal meningitis of the present day is about 
the same disorder. That fatal disease was the only one ever visiting 
Sioux City, other than ordinary complaints, but that epidemic was 
fearful while it lasted. 

"To prove that our pioneer settlers could 'stand much grief I 
will state the case of a Frenchman, named Lafleur, who, either in 
1858 or 1859, got into a row with one of the rough spirits who at that 
day congregated on the frontier, and in consequence was set upon 
with a hatchet, receiving five distinct wounds on the head, each one 
penetrating the skull. In their tumbling around they had got out of 
the house and Lafleur lay prostrate in the woodpile on his back. 
The villain picked up an ax and struck him with it, the whole bit of 
the ax striking him just below the nose, making a very ugly wound. 
In addition to the above injuries he had received numerous other cuts. 
Physicians will appreciate the placid character of my patient, when I 

y ^"iMt, 



state that he made an excellent recovery, with the loss of a portion of 
the upper jaw and some teeth; his pulse never went above eighty 
during the whole treatment. 

"My immediate professional successors were Drs. Vanderhule, 
Beggs, Knott, Guyton and Bailey, whose history I cannot now give." 

Dr. Smith is excusable for not elaborating more upon his own pro- 
fessional career, but it should here be added, in justice to the doctor, 
that upon his arrival here, in 1856, he commenced and built up a very 
extended and, we may also say, lucrative practice. He was for many 
years the leading physician in Woodbury county, and had frequent 
calls at points fifty and one hundred miles away. A sketch of the 
doctor, giving more details, will be found in the biographical depart- 
ment of this work. 

Physicians of To-day. — Since Sioux City has become a large and 
rapidly changing city, scores of physicians have come and gone, as 
well as at other points in Woodbury county. The biographical 
department of this work will give much information concerning the 
whereabouts of the medical profession of to-day. 



Its Great Civilizing Power— The First Newspaper in Woodbury 
County— Sioux City Newspapers from Early Days to 1890— Defunct 
Journals— An Odd Paper — The Correctionville "News" — Smith- 
land " Exponent "— Danbury " Criterion " — Sloan " Star"— Moville 
" Mail "— Oto " Leader" and Merrill " Record." 

THE PEESS, the railroads and telegraphs have been the most 
potent factors in American civilization. No intelligent county 
can be found in this entire nation to-day, where the thud of the local 
press is not heard in the production of a newsy paper, which is read 
with interest around the home fireside of the masses. By the tone of 
a newspaper do we come to know the sentiments, politics, and religion 
of any people. A few party leaders formulate political platforms, 
while the newspaper press sounds the key-note to every rural section, 


hamlet, town and city, and the election results are molded largely by 
the voice of the press. No power is stronger to build or demolish 
correct principles than the printing press. A pure press is the 
nation's safeguard. 

The First Newspaper in the County. — As early as July 4, 1857, 
the Sioux City "Iowa Eagle" made its appearence in this locality. 
Considering the time in which it was founded, it was a marvel, both 
typographically and editorially. The mechanical work was indeed 
better than half the journals of the present day, and its local columns 
were replete with genuine news paragraphs, concerning the coming 
and going of the few hundred settlers in Woodbury aud Plymouth 

Its editor and proprietor, Seth W. Swiggett, came to Sioux City 
via Missouri river, in the spring of 1857, bringing with him the mate- 
rial of this pioneer printing office. He came from Cincinnati, Ohio, 
where he now lives, though a property owner in Sioux City. During 
the three years which the " Eagle " was conducted, Mr. Swiggett 
spared no pains to bring this portion of Iowa into prominence. He 
was a forcible, brilliant writer, and had many original ways of putting 
things. The heading of his paper, which was a seven-column folio all 
home print (this was long prior to patent insides), extended clear 
across the first page, and the sub-heading read " Independent Local 
Journal devoted to the interests of the great northwest, particularly 
of Iowa. It will contain the local news of Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska 
and Kansas." 

The subscription price was $2 per year, in advance. A complete 
file of this pioneer journal is now kept at the public library in Sioux 
City, and many points of historic value have been gleaned therefrom 
by the writers of this book. Its first number (printed on a Washing- 
ton hand press) is dated July 4, 1857. The same number contains 
an account of Sioux City's first Fourth of July celebration, which took 
place the first press day of the " Eagle." 

Among the "local paragraphs" the following appeared, and to-day 
they seem odd enough, indeed. 

" Our public school is ably presided over by Miss Wilkins." 

" Regular preaching services by the Presbyterians and Methodists 
at Sioux City each Sabbath." 

" There are twice as many buildings in our young city to-day as 
Cincinnati, Ohio, had in 1802." 


" We learn a paper is to be established at Sergeant's Bluff— also, 
another at Fort Omaha, Nebraska Ty. Pitch in, there is room for all 
of us!" 

"We now have a tri- (try) weekly mail from the east, and one to 
Fort Dodge weekly." 

"Town lots which sold in Sioux City for forty dollars eighteen 
months ago, sell for twelve hundred dollars to-day. Hurrah for Sioux 

"Board has been reduced at the hotel to eight dollars per week." 

"A steamboat went sixty miles up the Big Sioux last week, and 
we think boats can run even a hundred miles up." 

The " Western Independent," the second paper founded in Wood- 
bury county, was established at Sergeant's Bluff in August, 1857, by 
Cummings & Ziebach. It ran seven months, and in 1858 was moved 
to Sioux City, and the name changed to the " Sioux City Register." 

This was the second paper to be established at Sioux City. It 
was a democratic sheet, founded July 22, 1858, by F. M. Ziebach, now 
a government officer at Yankton, S. Dak. In 1859 William Freney 
became associate editor, and in 1860 the " Eagle " was consolidated 
with it. In 1862 Ziebach retired, leaving Mr. Freney sole pro- 
prietor of the " Register," who continued to operate the same until 
1871, when the paper died a lingering death! 

In March, 1860, Pendelton & Swiggett started a republican paper 
called the " Sioux City Times," but after a short and precarious exis- 
tence its publication ceased. 

The " Sioux City Journal " was established as a weekly paper in 
1863, but after a few issues was suspended, owing to the ill health 
of Mr. Stillman, its editor. August 29, 1864, it was revived, under the 
management of J. TV. Baugh, and its publication has been regular 
ever since. After one month Baugh was succeeded by S. T. Davis, 
the register of the United States land office at this place. Mr. 
Davis remained in charge until after the general election of 1864, 
when the plant passed to Mahlon Gore. In 1868 B. L. Northrop 
took an interest in the paper, but soon retired. Gore continued to 
publish the paper until 1869, when he sold to George D. Perkins, its 
present editor. January, 1870, H. A. Perkins bought a half interest, 
and the firm was then Perkins Bros. In April, 1870, they com- 
menced the publication of a daily. H. A. Perkins was out of the 


paper two years, then came back and was one of the proprietors until 
his death, November 22, 1884. February 20, 1885, a stock company 
was formed, with George D. Perkins president. To-day the "Journal" 
(daily and weekly) stands high among the press of the great north- 
west. In July, 1890, its editor (Perkins) who has so long fought for 
republican principles, was nominated for congressman. 

The "Sioux City Daily and Weekly Times" dates it publication 
from May 25, 1869. It is neutral in politics and was commenced by 
a company of printers from Omaha, with Charles Collins as editor. 
After a time Mr. Collins became sole proprietor, and the daily issue 
was changed from a morning to an evening paper. After three years 
the daily was dropped, and Collins continued the weekly some two 
years longer, then sold to H. L. Warner and Mahlon Gore, who 
changed the name to the "Sioux City Tribune," which name it is still 
published under. Warner & Gore issued the first number of the 
" Tribune," March 24, 1876. In November, Warner retired, being 
succeeded by C. E. Smead, who, after August 10, 1877, conducted it 
alone until December 6, that year, when Albert Watkins purchased 
a half interest and took editorial charge. Watkins & Smead continued 
until May, 1879, when Smead sold to Watkins, who ran it until Janu- 
ary 1, 1880, when J. C. Kelley, of the "Des Moines Leader," bought 
the plant. The daily was started September 15, 1884, as an evening 
paper. Mr. Kelley is still editor and proprietor. He has enlarged 
the journal from six to seven columns, and added a Gross Perfecting 
Press to his machinery. 

The "Daily Times" was started in August, 1881, by Charlie Collins, 
the best known newspaper man in the northwest country. In June, 
1884, J. E. Kathrens bought an interest. Many improvements have 
since been made, including a fine three-story brick office. About 
January 1, 1890, the plant passed into the hands of E. C. Strong, J. 
X. Brands and J. E. Kathrens. 

The "Sioux City Stock Exchange" (daily) made its appearance in 
December, 1887. Its aim is to reflect the business done at the Union 
Stock Yards. S. D. Cook is editor and manager. 

Weekly and Monthly Papers. — In addition to the " Weekly Jour- 
nal" and "Tribune," Sioux City has the following weeklies: 

The "Sioux City Courier," a German democratic sheet, started in 
1870 by Wetter & Danguard. It changed hands frequently, and in 


1877 was the property of F. Barth, who conducted it until his death, 
June 17, 1886, when it was run under the management of his widow. 

"Sioux City Volksfreund," a German paper, was founded May 7, 
1885, by Prof. C. Alexander, who died April 7, 1886. Oscar A. Hoff- 
mann succeeded to the business, and in October transferred it to a 
company, he being retained as a member and its editor. 

"The Sunday Telegram" began its career November 1, 1884. It 
was started by three young men: E. H. Brown, John P. Hinkel and 
"Walter H. Ludlow. It soon fell to Brown who still conducts it. 

"The Saturday Chronicle," published by W. B. Valentine, is 
devoted to society matters, and was established in the fall of 1888 by 
Valentine & Grady. It is still a live sheet, fulfilling its journalistic 
mission well. 

"The Stylus," circulated free, managed by Mrs. H. E. Hunt, and 
edited by Kittie Hunt, made its first appearance in the summer of 
1889. It is devoted to social, dramatic and personal matters. 

"The Grand Army Becord and National Guardsman" was issued 
July 4, 1889. It is devoted to Grand Army and kindred topics. It 
is owned by a stock company and edited by Dr. N. C. A. Bayhouser. 

" The League of the Cross," a Catholic paper, began publication in 
August, 1889. "W. A. Phelan is its editor. In a short time this 
paper took to itself the " Harp," another similar paper. 

"The Western Farmer and Stockman," an agricultural monthly, was 
founded in 1887. W. S. Preston is editor and the Western Farmer 
Publishing Company, owners. 

" The Industrial Beview" is another monthly publication, devoted to 
the industrial interests of Sioux City, and especially of Leeds. It 
was started in 1890, by the Leeds Publishing Company. 

Defunct Newspapers. — The following papers have been published, 
each a short period: 

The "Sioux City Herald" started in 1887 and ceased after six 
issues; "Daily News," founded by Albert Watkins in 1881, it sus- 
pended in 1882; "Temperance News" was published for seven 
months; the "Presbyterian" (religious), a semi-monthly sheet, was 
edited by Bevs. Knox and Herring; "Mayflower-Pilgrim" was the 
name of a Congregational church organ of Sioux City; the " Vester- 
heimen " was a Norwegian paper established in 1887. A. M. Olmen 
was editor, and the plant finally went to Dakota ; the " Columbia," a Ger- 


man democratic sheet, established in August, 1889, soon ceased to be; 
the "Cosmopolite" was a monthly journal of sixteen large quarto pages, 
and ceased in December, 1880; the "Industrial Press," a greenback or- 
gan, was started by A. McCready in 1877, but "went to the wall" in 
1888; the "Gazette" was the name of a small sheet started by R. 
Goldie & Son, in 1877; the "Weekly Call," a society sheet, was issued 
by Gray & Billing in 1884. It was sold in 1887 to F. S. Lattimer 
and he sold to E. C. Overman, in whose hands it died; the "Hawk- 
eye," a society sheet like the "Call," came out in March, 1887, and 
died the same year on the hands of E. C. Overman; a novel sheet 
known as the "Child's Paper" Avas published in March, 1866, just 
after the war. The sample copy shown the writer is a curiosity. It 
is a folio paper four inches by eight, published by James & Murray 
Hunt, edited by Nina Hunt. It contains church and Sunday-school 
directory of Sioux City, business cards, riddles and child's stories. 

The "Sloan Star" was founded October 15, 1883, by A. B. Thatcher. 
It was then a four-column quarto, but is at this writing an eight-column 
folio. The subscription price is $1.50 per year. Its political standing 
is independent republican. C. C. Ashby was a partner in 1886-87. 
J. S. McSparran & Co. became proprietors of the plant in September, 
1888. At this time J. S. McSparran is the editor. The "Star" is a 
creditable local sheet, full of " local " as well as general news items. It 
is printed on a Washington hand-press; a paper called the "Independ- 
ent" was published during 1888 at Sloan; the "Sioux Valley News" 
was founded by Chapman & Freeman in 1882. In 1883 Mr. Freeman 
purchased Chapman's interest and has owned the property ever since. 
It is now leased by William B. Mill, who has been connected with the 
paper for seven years. At first this paper was a seven-column folio, 
but was subsequently changed to an eight-column folio. The yearly 
subscription price is $1, having been reduced from $1.50. It is printed 
on a Campbell power-press and presents a neat mechanical appearance, 
and is a live local weekly paper which advocates republican doctrines. 

The " Criterion," published at Danbury, was established by the 
Danbury Publishing Company in 1882, with J. S. Shoup as its editor. 
The same year the company bought the " Danbury News," pub- 
lished by J. L. Kroesen. The paper they then published was the 
" Maple Valley Scoop," which, after four years, the company sold to 
C. P. Bowman, who published it for about one year under the name of 


the "Danbury Vidette." He then sold the plant to J. H. and Ernest 
Ostrom, who again changed the name to the " Maple Valley Scoop," 
which name Avas changed to the " Criterion " in 1888. The size of 
the paper when first established was a seven-column folio; its present 
size is that of a six-column quarto. In politics the paper is inde- 
pendent republican. The yearly subscription is $1.25; publication 
day is Friday. It is now printed on a Washington hand-press. 

The "Leader" is a live local journal published at the village of 
Oto, by F. A. Cutting. No historical data is accessible in time for pub- 
lication in this chapter. 

The "Farmers' Exponent," is au excellent local paper published 
at Smithland. It was founded November 24, 1889, by Jenness & 
Hills. It was at first a seven-columu folio, but soon enlarged to an 
eight-column. It is independent in politics, ever working for the 
farmers' best interest. It is printed on a Washington hand-press. 
The subscription price is $1.50 per year. Its columns are well filled 
with spicy editorial and local news, while the great issues of the day 
are handled in a most fearless manner. It is one of the brightest 
papers in Woodbury county. 

The Moville " Mail " was established in July, 1887, by O. M. 
Thatcher, who continued its publication until August 1, 1889, when he 
sold the plant to his brother, A. B. Thatcher, who, in partnership with 
the foreman of the office, S. H. Ashby, has conducted it ever since. 
The size was at first a seven-column, changed to a six-column for a few 
months, but finally restored to its original size. Politically it is an 
independent. Its proprietors have always been republicans. The 
subscription price is $1 per annum. The founder of this paper sold 
out in order' to take a position as postal clerk. The "Mail" is an 
enterprising local sheet, and well sustained by the business men, and 
also widely read by the farming community. 



Frontier Protection— The Home Guards— Their Numerous Expeditions 
— Trouble on the Little Sioux River — Two Old Citizens Killed 
Near Sioux City— Expedition of the Sioux City Cavalry against 
the Indians— A Flag Presentation by the Ladies. 

AT the breaking out of the Rebellion, Sioux City was an outpost of 
civilization, had no railroads, but a small population, and but 
little wealth. In place of going to the front to battle with the slave- 
holders, her people had their hands full and their energies engaged 
at home, repressing the savage Sioux Indians. For this purpose, 
mainly, was organized 

The Frontier Guards. — The reader may consider himself indebted 
to Dr. William Remsen Smith, a member of the guards, for the facts 
connected with this portion of the chapter. The same was by request 
written up for the Sioux City " Journal " in 1870, from which we draw 
part of our information. 

The Frontier Guards was a home company, organized in the spring 
of 1861, for protection against the Indian raids so common at that 
date. It also had other objects in view, as that date was just before 
Fort Sumter had been fired upon, and the public mind was in a fever- 
ish condition, and none could tell the final outcome. 

The lively apprehensions excited in the minds of citizens, and those 
living adjacent to the Floyd and Little Sioux rivers, from the depreda- 
tions of the Indians, caused people in the vicinity to think of organ- 
izing for home protection. The withdrawal of regular troops from the 
garrisons above Sioux City, along the Missouri river, and the absorb- 
ing character of events transpiring all over the country, showed the 
inhabitants that they must depend upon their own resources. 

This resulted in the organization of the Frontier Guards. Every 
occupation and interest was fully represented, as rumors of outrage 
and depreciation began to multiply, and the general excitement of 
neighbors along the Floyd and Little Sioux rivers increased in conse- 

^?S , 

*#~Z2<? L*/ 


quence of their losing, in a single niglit, the accumulation of years, by 
the thieving Indians. These facts coming to the ears of Gov. Kirk- 
wood, who was ever vigilant in the defense of our borders, and whose 
name deserves to be held in high esteem, and will be inseparably 
associated with the proudest achievements of Iowa's noblest sons of every 
field, he suggested that the original name "Home Guards" be changed 
to one more warlike, that of " Frontier Guards," ready to engage in 
service, if necessary, for the protection of frontier points regardless of 

At first they were placed under control of Hon. Caleb Baldwin of 
Council Bluffs, acting as governor's aid. He was later on succeeded 
by Hon. A. W. Hubbard of Sioux City. The original commissioned 
officers were William Tripp, captain; William B. Smith, first lieu- 
tenant; A. J. Millard, second lieutenant. It was not long before the 
services of the guards were needed, and they were ordered out to act 
against the Indians with energy and efficiency. Capt. Tripp being 
absent, Lieut. Smith, with fifteen men, started in pursuit of those 
vagrants of the prairies known as Indians. The commissary outfit was 
quite remarkable. The charge of victualing the same was placed in 
the hands of one who had, at some remote period of his life, seen a few 
months' service in the Mexican war. Through some lack of military 
genius he provided more sugar than anything else. Even whisky, 
then looked upon as a legitimate article of diet, was entirely over- 
looked, and such trifling articles as meat, flour, etc., were not once 
thought of by him. 

However, they made a strategetical detour to intercept the enemy. 
But unfortunately, the Indians, in utter disregard and defiance of all 
known military rules, failed to take the proper direction, or, in the lan- 
guage of the squad, the right chute to be intercepted. The command was 
absent three days. On returning to headquarters, Lieut. Smith made 
a stirring speech, complimenting his brave men, but he immediately 
made a ludicrous blunder by ordering his men to " present arms " from 
" order arms," which was evidence to the bystanders that his military 
genius and capacity had not yet comprehended the manual of arms. 

Again came a cry for help from the Little Sioux river, the messengers 
being two of the oldest inhabitants. Capt. Tripp was on duty now, 
and at once started with his command for the purpose of gathering 
some of those untutored children of nature to their eternal rest, chil- 


dren who failed to make proper discrimination as regards the right of 
property, especially that of good horse flesh. The command marched 
out of Sioux City midst flying banners and music, going as far as 
the Little Sioux where they passed the night, the Indians meantime 
keeping step to the music, but as usual remaining ixnobserved by the 
Guards. However, about midnight, the red-skins who had conven- 
iently observed the billeting of the troops before dark, and sagaciously 
calculated where the greatest amount of horse-flesh could be secured, 
made an audacious attempt to transfer the ownership of the same. 
Fortunately the Guards were vigilant, and the stealthy approach of the 
marauders was discovered. One of the Guards who had been advanta- 
geously posted, filled with the Christian desire of perforating one of 
the aforesaid red-skins, made sundry and divers attempts to fire his 
rifle, but did not discover the cause of his failure until after the battle, 
when ha made the discovery that, through some trifling inadvertence, 
he had failed to place a cap on his gun. Another Guard did fire, and 
brought a return shot from the Indian, which wounded one of the men 
in the side and another in the head. 

A desperate midnight charge then followed, which had the effect of 
driving the Indians out of range of the deadly missiles. Thus ended 
the campaign, and history says no more Indians were ever seen along 
the Little Sioux river. 

Fresh Trouble, Two Old Citizens Killed. — On the very day of 
their departure, July 9, 1861, the Indians, who delight in doing unex- 
pected things, managed to kill two of Sioux City's oldest and most 
highly esteemed citizens. They were about a mile and a half east of 
the town attending to their crops. The Indians stole their horses, to 
gain the possession of which, was no doubt the principal motive for the 
murder of these unsuspecting men. From appearances it seemed they 
were killed about the time they were preparing their dinner, as they 
were found dead not very far apart, one of them shot through the 
lungs and the other through the bowels. The names of the killed 
were Thomas Eoberts and Henry Cordua; both left good-sized families 
to mourn their tragic fate. After the murder, Capt. Tripp and his 
company pursued the Indians fully fifty miles, but no trace could be 
had of them. 

It may here be stated that the two wounded near Correctionville, 
before referred to, were William Roberts (a brother of the man mur- 
dered at Sioux City) and Isaac Pendleton, afterward judge of the 


Fourth judicial district and the most eloquent advocate in the great 

Toward fall, in 1861, the Guards made a vigorous campaign in 
the direction of Sioux Falls, a hundred miles away, and returned by 
Spirit Lake. This was the place where about forty men, women and 
children were massacred in the spring of 1857, forming one of the 
bloodiest pages of Indian history in Iowa. 

No casualties were reported by the Guards during this 1861 cam- 
paign, except the accidental wounding of John Currier, Esq., one of 
the rank and file, but who was later made a captain under Brig. -Gen. 
John Cook. 

During the summers of 1862 and 1863, the hostile bands of Sioux 
Indians caused serious trouble in northwestern Iowa and southern Min- 
nesota. At Mankato, Blue Earth, Jackson and other points, nearly a 
thousand lives (whites) were sacrificed in battle and massacre. This 
state of affairs kept the settlement along the Little and Big Sioux, 
as well as the entire western Iowa border, in a constant state of anxiety 
and fear, and the people looked to the guards for immediate protection, 
should danger present itself. 

While the Frontier Guards saw no heavy fighting, the mere 
fact of their being ready for action kept the Indians quiet, hence had 
the desired effect, and while not mentioned in the adjutant-general's 
reports, they certainly should have a place in history. The local histo- 
rian gives them this place, which was, no doubt overlooked by state 
authority, in the dark days of the Civil war when all had their hands 

It may be with some curiosity that the reader of to-day, acquainted 
with the business men, may read a copy of some war bills for goods 
secured at Sioux City for the Guards. The names, style of bill 
heads and prices goods were sold at now seem odd. 

" Lieut. W. E. Smith (for Co. " E ") bought of D. T. Hedges this, 
the 10th day of June, 1861, 8 lbs. of Ground Coffee $2.00." 

L. D. Parmer's bill runs thus: 

1 Bbl. (60 lbs.) Soda Crackers O 124 $7 25 

2 lbs. Jap. Tea @ $1 2 00 

3 Boxes Matches 30 

50 lbs. Brown Sugar @ 12J 6 25 

56 " Clear Side Bacon @ 12+ 7 00 

1 Keg Powder (Best) 20 00 

50 lbs. Bar Lead 6 25 

2. Grain Sacks @ 20 40 

(Allowed June 14, 1861. ) $49 45 



Another bill presented by the "Pioneer Stove & Tin House" of 
Charles K. Smith, was made on old style blue letter paper, and was as 
follows : 

12 Qt. pails and cover SI 00 

3 Pint cups @10c 30 

10 Tin Plates 1 00 

$2 30 
Following are nearly all the names that appeared upon the pay- 
roll of the Guards, some serving longer and some shorter terms. 
They only put in claims for the actual days served. A member of the 
company would frequently plow corn or cut grass for a week, and then 
be called out to go off on an expedition. Samuel J. Kirkwood, then 
governor of Iowa, in looking over the pay-roll, remarked to Lieut. 
William R. Smith, that it was a strange method, and unlike the "regu- 
lars," who always had full time. Yet he complimented the Guards for 
their honesty in the way of claims. Those serving were: 

William Tripp (Captain). I.R.Sanborn. Peter Emmet. 

William R. Smith (IstLieut.) John Girtzs. Fred Dorss. 

A. J. Millard (2d Lieut.) John Hagy. W. B. Milroy. 

John P. Allison. John W. Hook. John D. Brassfield. 

Wallace Tripp. Henry D. Stall. Henry Beck. 

I. B. Pinkney. William Ervin. A. C. Sheetz. 

G. W. Chamberlain. G. W. Hayss. Jo. Bill. 

John M. Pinkney. John A. Pea. N. W Putnam. 

William H. Pinkney. John Robertson. Thomas Dermison. 

Cornelius McNamaran. John D. Ballard. Jerome White. 

David Kelley. B. Rayner. W. Throckmorton. 

M. York. A. B. Griffin. Joseph Shearer. 

Andrew Lohey. L. H. Desey. Curtis Lamb. 

E. R. Allen. Robert Goldy. Charles Howard. 

James Dormidy. A. L. Miller. E. R. Kirk. 

Eli Avery. Joseph Buchanan. L. B. Atwood. 

August Merichkin. L. D. La Tillier. J. N. Field. 

G. Rustin. M. Comfort. Solon Hubbel. 

John Fitzgibbon. I. Borsch. D. W. Morrison. 

Charles R. Ristin. F. J. Lambert. Patrick Reilly. 

John McElhaney. Christian Dorss. John R. Kerr. 

S. T. Davis. Charles K. Woodford. C. T. Gaugh. 

John M. Lewis. Matthew Gaughran. S. Cassady. 

N. Jarvis. Patrick Gaughran. C. R. Poor. 

C. R. Poor. Henry Snider. William L. Joy. 

N. C. Hudson. Lewis Winter. F. Ziebach. 

T. Herbart. Oliver Allen. Wm. H. Bigelow. 

E. K. Robinson. C. Kelley. John Allen. 

Samuel F. Price. T. J. Hampton. A. Marshall. 

G. W. Pixley. Michael Baierlin. N. Levering. 

John McDonald. L. B. Hungerford. J. S. Swiggett. 

William Geiger. M. C. Householder. 


The Sioux City Cavalry — Expeditions Agaiiist ihe -Indians. — The 
following formed a part of the subject matter of a lecture, given by 
Dr. William R. Smith (a member of the company), at Sioux City, 
several years ago: 

" This company was raised in pursuance of a special order from 
the secretary of war, and was designed for special service on the 
western frontier. From the fall of 1861 to the spring of 1863, they 
operated as an independent military organization, and were variously 
stationed in squads, with a view of affording protection to the then 
scattered settlements on the border. These points were principally 
Cherokee, Spirit Lake, Peterson, in Clay county, and Correctionville- 

" The manner they performed this special service was, perhaps, 
best attested by the fact that not a single murder was committed and 
not an article of any kind stolen by Indians in Iowa, during this inde- 
pendent administration of military affairs. In the terrible excitement 
which pervaded the border during the summer of 1862, when more 
than a thousand persons were massacred in Minnesota, their valuable 
and arduous services secured to the people of Iowa perfect immunity 
from danger. Their services in that perilous and alarming period 
were indeed valuable to the people of northwestern Iowa. And cer- 
tain it is, that no other class of men or military company could have 
been more interested in affording such protection. 

" This company had been recruited from residents all the way 
from Sioux City to Spirit Lake. The major part of the company 
were heads of families. Protection to the frontier to them meant pro- 
tection to their wives and children. Hence the untiring vigilance that 
characterized their career from first to last. 

"In the spring of 1863 they were ordered to rendezvous at 
Sioux City, preparatory to starting on an Indian expedition, then 
organizing under the command of Gen. Sully. They were selected as 
the general's body guard, as a token of his regard for their good 
deportment, complete equipment, good discipline, and because they 
were so well mounted, each member owning the horse he rode. Lest 
this appear a little overdrawn, it will not be amiss to quote the follow- 
ing, as Gen. Sully's opinion of them: ' A better drilled or disciplined 
company than the Sioux City Cavalry can not be found in the regular 
or volunteer service of the United States.' Considering the high 
source of this compliment, it must be accepted as indeed creditable to 
the officers and men composing the company. 


" They participated in the famous battle of Whitestone Hill, on 
September 3, 1863, on which occasion they distinguished themselves 
by taking 136 prisoners. 

" On their return from the battle to the Missouri river, they were 
met by an order consolidating them with the Seventh Iowa cavalry 
as Company I. 

" On returning to Sioux City, Capt. Millard, commanding the com- 
pany, was assigned, by Gen. Sully, to the command of the military 
headquarters in Sioux City, with a sub-district embracing northwest- 
ern Iowa, and eastern Dakota, a very large area of country which 
they guarded in a manner entirely satisfactory to the citizens thereof, 
until mustered out on November 22, 1864, the expiration of their term 
of enlistment. 

" It would afford us pleasure to give the names of this company but 
we can not do so for want of space. In addition to their soldierly 
qualities, they, to-day, constitute the oldest, and are among the most 
useful and influential citizens of northwestern Iowa. Their tried 
service will be long held in grateful remembrance by the early settlers 
and pioneers of this beautiful northwest." 

Among the private letters in Dr. Smith's possession, the following 
may be quoted as showing that but little over a quarter of a century 
ago, this county was in dispute between the Indians and white men, 
and border trouble prevailed everywhere: 

Headquarters Sioux City Cavalry, August 30, 1862. 
William R. Smith, 

Sir: The report from Spirit Lake is very bad. -Six hundred troops went out from 
Mankato, Minn., to repulse the Indians, and met with a loss of about 300, killed 
and wounded. The remaining inhabitants of the upper country are all leaving and 
coming toward Sioux City. Some are going toward Ft. Dodge. The Little Sioux 
valley is ail deserted. I shall go to Spirit Lake as soon as I hear from there again. I 
would advise the people of Sioux City to retain all their ammunition. Keep at least 
100 rounds for each gun. A guard should be kept out at least two miles from town. 

Lieut. Sawyer came to camp yesterday and states that nine whites had been 
killed within fifteen miles of the lake. Sawyer left last night for the scene of mas- 
sacre, and I shall hear from him in a couple of days. 

P. S. Please tell McDougall to send me a portfolio and writing material; also, one 
overshirt. Yours truly, 

[Signed] A. J. Millard, Com. Sioux City Cav. 

Flag Presentation. — A flag was presented, July 4, 1861, by the 
ladies of Sioux City, to the Sioux City Cavalry company, and Dr. 
William It. Smith, surgeon of the company, offered the following 


acceptance on behalf of the soldiers. The same is given to show the 
reader the spirit of the people here at that early stage of the Civil war. 

"Ladies and gentlemen, citizens of Sioux City, Iowa: — In behalf 
of the officers and soldiers of the Sioux City Cavalry, allow me to 
thank you. Let me assure you, in their behalf, that they fully appre- 
ciate this precious testimonial of your regard, the offering of a grate- 
ful and patriotic people, in a manner worthy of the glorious deeds 
and glorious memories which it symbolizes. 

" We will treasure it as the proud emblem of constitutional liberty. 
And with the stern resolve of stalwart men and stout hearts, we 
pledge ourselves to present its ample folds untarnished by a single 
stain of dishonor — though assailed by domestic traitors and carped at 
by a foreign and insolent foe, we will still bear it aloft on the sea and 
in the breeze, from headland to highland, from mountain to gulf, 
from ocean to ocean, as the jubilant and inspiring sign of our national 
life, remembering ever that if we permit its folds to droop it will 
be the precursor of national dishonor and death. We, with you, 
appreciate this priceless inheritance from our sires, this symbol of 
garnered hopes and heroic sacrifices. We accept it with the eloquent 
explanation of your speaker, as the warp and woof of our political 
fabric, with no tissue color or symbol to be disregarded and no star to 
be erased, and as symbolizing the avenger of wrong, the protector of 
right, and the highest aspiration of our public hopes. 

"Your speaker has been pleased to allude to our soldierly bearing, 
to our services in the defense of your homes against a remorseless and 
savage foe. AVe can only speak of our own singleness of purpose 
and the fidelity of our intentions. We know the sentiments which 
animate us, and if we have failed to do what was expected of us, it is 
from no lack of purpose to respond to the behests of duty. 

" Fellow-citizens, the meed of praise is ever grateful to a soldier, 
and yours has been unstinted. We shall preserve the recollections of 
this day as a green spot in our memory. The hallowed associations 
which cluster around this flag of glorious memory will be treasured 
in our hearts. And allow me to add, in no spirit of levity, that the 
fair donors who have contributed their part of this precious gift, will 
also find ample place in that swelling and tumultuous repository of a 
soldier's best affections, I mean a soldier's heart. The supreme affec- 
tion of the genuine soldier rests upon his God, his country, his flag, 


his wife, his little ones, and his sweetheart. For the fervor of his 
soul and in the pride of his manhood, these objects of his affections he 
can never forget. And they will never forget this memento of your 
confidence and esteem. 

"No patriotic soldier can forget a flag, grown old in less than a 
century, by the desecration of traitors, but will rather strike to death 
the traitor. And finally, ladies, do you think it would be in a soldier's 
heart to forget you? The clarion notes of a trumpet might fail to 
arrest his attention, but the sweet, soft voice of woman, urging him on 
to duty — Never! Again, ladies and gentlemen, in behalf of the 
officers and soldiers of the Sioux City Cavalry, permit me to thank 
you for this beautiful gift." 


Descriptive— Early History — Location— Growth— Post-office History 
—Municipal — Leeds— Lynn— Morning Side— Riverside— etc. 

SIOUX CITY is 507 miles west from Chicago via the Illinois Cen- 
tral railroad. It is situated in the northwest portion of Wood- 
bury county, and is on the eastern bank of the Missouri river at the 
only point where the bluffs come near the stream on the Iowa side. 
Nowhere does the force of the expression, "God made the country, 
but man made the city," apply so befittingly as in the case of Sioux 
City, which has come to be known far and near as the Corn Palace 
City of the World, owing to the four annual exposition palaces which 
she has had magnificently decorated within and without by none other 
than the staple product of this section of country — Indian corn. 

It has, for its immediate trade — territory directly tributary to it — 
northern Nebraska, South Dakota, northwestern Iowa and south- 
western Minnesota. This section compi - ises within its limits, millions 
of acres of fertile prairie land, including the recently opened Sioux 
reservation of 11,000,000 acres, as yet untouched. In addition to 
her immediate surroundings she is just commencing to draw from the 

'•ygffi&fe-f? 1 '-'' 



untold, mineral wealth of the famous Black Hills district, as well as 
from the unsurpassed live-stock and ranch sections of Montana, utiliz- 
ing the latter by the large packing-house industry, which bids fair to 
be a sharp rival of Chicago, Omaha and Kansas City. 

Nine railroads already radiate from this gateway to the west, 
while other equally important lines are at this writing under course 
of construction. 

With the exception of a small bottom-land plateau on which the 
original city plat was made, Sioux City was left by one of Nature's 
freaks with a very uneven, hilly and broken surface. To the person 
who never visited this point prior to the railroad era, 1867, or perhaps 
even as late as 1885, it would indeed be difficult to picture the topog- 
raphy, as viewed by the little band of pioneer settlers who came here 
in 1855-56. They looked out upon hillsides and corresponding val- 
leys, which to-day have been reduced to nearly a dead level, with 
cable and electric street-car lines diverging in almost every direction, 
and which run at low grades over land at one time too steep for a horse 
to travel over. 

One addition to another has been made since the original platting 
of Dr. John K. Cook in 1854, until at this time the incorporation 
takes in nearly all of the township, a narrow strip along the northern 
boundary excepted. 

Sioux City has an assessed valuation of §16,000,000. She has 
thirty miles of water mains and one hundred and sixty fire hydrants. 
There are four daily and thirteen weekly newspapers. A magnifi- 
cent library building, to cost $100,000, is now in course of con- 
struction. Her streets are well paved with over twenty miles of 
block paving. She has twenty-two miles of sewerage and a pumping 
station costing $25,000. Her postal business during the year of 1889 
amounted to $61,000, outside of a money-order business of $500,000. 

The place is noted for her forty church societies and excellent pub- 
lic schools. Being in the center of the great western corn belt, she 
builds her business hopes, and realizes the same, on the vast amount of 
corn, cattle and hogs, together with her pork and beef packing indus- 
try, which is coming to be among the greatest in the land. 

The history of Sioux City dates from May 5, 1855, when Dr. John 
K. Cook, a government surveyor who surveyed northwestern Iowa 
into sections, came with instructions from an association of leading 


politicians and capitalists of the state, prominent among whom were 
Gen. George W. Jones, of Dubuque, the first representative the terri- 
tory of Iowa had in congress; Augustus C. Dodge, also a United 
States senator from southeastern Iowa; Bernard Henn, congressman 
from Fairfield district; Jesse Williams, of Fairfield; William Mont- 
gomery, of Pennsylvania, and S. P. Yeomans, afterward register of 
the United States land office at Sioux City, to choose for them the 
site of a city, which they believed, in the nature of things, must one 
day become a great commercial metropolis. How well he fulfilled 
their wishes has been demonstrated by the wonderful growth of the 

Through the influence of powerful friends, the city was made the 
headquarters for all government expeditions against the hostile Sioux 
Indians, and later made the terminus of several of the land-grant rail- 
roads. The United States land office was also established here in 1855. 
Under this patronage, and the tireless activity of the leading men 
in its community, probably, more than its natural advantages, the city 
has grown to its present prosperity and promising future. The popu- 
lation, which numbered but 400 in 1857, and 7,625 in 1880, has 
advanced until the present, 1890, United States census places it in round 
numbers at 40,000. 

This is a greater percentage of increase than that of any other city 
in America in the last decade, with perhaps the single exception of Su- 
perior City, Wis. Owing to its frontier location, Sioux City, which 
took its name from the Sioux river (which has its confluence with the 
Missouri at this point), and originally from the Indian tribe by the 
same name, has been quite replete with historical events. 

It matters not from what direction one enters the city, or from what 
point midst its environments he views the site of the place, the pict- 
ure is at once charming and full of interest. Especially is this true 
where one is acquainted with some of its early history. On the high 
bluff overlooking the Big Sioux and Missouri rivers, just to the west 
of the city, rests the remains of old War Eagle, the celebrated Indian 
chief, whose part in Indian warfare is too well known in history to be 
further referred to in this connection. Beside him rest also his two 
daughters. From the spot where these Indians were buried may be 
seen one grand panoramic landscape view, painted by the hand of nat- 
ure. The winding channel of the Big Sioux traces itself around in 


all sorts of fantastic shapes through the rich bottom land on either 
side. The long chain of ridges, assuming almost mountain-like pro- 
portions, extend far to the north, between the Big Sioux and Bro- 
ken Kettle creek, in Plymouth county. As far as the eye can reach, 
the great and ever turbulent waters of the mighty Missouri sweep 
down from the northwest and Yellowstone country, and are lost in the 
distance, as the stream flows downward toward the far-off gulf. 

Entering the city from the south, over the " Omaha " line of rail- 
way, one crosses a gigantic iron bridge which spans the Missouri and 
links the two commonwealths, Iowa and Nebraska, together. Just to 
the east of the end of this bridge, on the Iowa side, may be seen Sioux 
City's most beautiful, as well as valuable suburb, Morning Side, from 
the heights of which one obtains a birdseye view of the city proper, 
which so interests him, that, after taking a second look at the massive 
stone residences and the Methodist University (the pride of the 
suburb), he jumps the motor car, and, whirling through the deep cuts, 
crosses the Floyd river, leaves the great packing-houses and stock-yards 
to the left, and is soon within the din and bustle of a genuine and solidly 
built western city. If at night time, it presents a bewildering illumi- 
nation of modern time, lit up by arc electric lights, which stand like 
so many sentinels on guard, through the long watches of the night. 

With the rising of the morning sun, one beholds the incoming and 
outgoing railway trains, some of which speed on up the pretty valley 
of the Floyd river, halting at the busy manufacturing suburb of Leeds, 
where the tall smokestacks of foundry, shop and mill blacken the 
morning air, and cause one to think of a city a century old. 

A ten-minute ride on a cable car brings one to the northern portion 
of the city where man's tact and ingenuity have been taxed in leveling 
the score and more of hills and filling the intervening valleys. This 
is destined to become the principal residence part of the city. The 
present terminus of the cable line is over three miles out, and the 
power-house is situated about midway. This is the only cable line 
in Iowa to-day, and was built by men who have faith in the future 
of Sioux City. 

"Whether one stands at the north end of this line and overlooks the 
Perry creek valley, or retraces his steps to the bank of the Missouri, 
or climbs Prospect Hill, he is impressed with the same feeling — that 
he is in the center of a wonderful farming section. Dakota county, 


Neb., the finest agricultural district in all the west, presents a feast to 
the eye, while the heavily loaded trains of grain and stock, which are 
just crossing the magnificent new, combined wagon and railroad 
bridge, from the Nebraska shore, convinces one that the same inex- 
haustible resource is found along the entire pathway of the " Short 
Line," running from Sioux City to Ogden, Utah. 

In 1880 Sioux City had a population of 7,500; in 1884, 15,514; in 
1886, 22,358; in 1887, 30,842; and in 1890, 38,700. 

The past four years show indeed a marvelous growth in Sioux City, 
and 1890 bears comparison well with former years, splendid as their 
record has been. 

Examination shows that the same story is told, whatever witnesses 
are called as to the city's progress, whether the witness be the banks, 
the packing industry, the post-office, the railroads, the express, tele- 
graph or telephone companies, or the record of building improvements, 
private and public. They all testify to the one central fact of the sure 
and rapid growth of Sioux City. 

The manufacturing interests are just beginning to develop. There 
are now seventy different concerns, including one of the largest linseed 
oil-mills in the world, and a roller flour-milling plant which has a 
thousand-barrel capacity daily. The oat-meal mills, Paris stove 
works, covering five acres at Leeds, and the paving-brick industry are 
second to none in the great west. [See Commercial and Industrial 
chapter elsewhere.] 

July 1, 1855, a post-office was established under President Pierce's 
administration, at Sioux City, Iowa. Dr. John K. Cook, one of the 
government surveyors and town-site proprietors, was the first post- 
master. He kept the office in a log building near the river, on lots 
now occupied by the wholesale house of Tollerton, Stettson & Co. 
It is said by some of the old pioneers that Dr. Cook's office was the 
crown of his hat for some time. 

Great has been the change in Sioux City since the mail was 
thrown from the stage coach — tri-weekly, to the log house on Second 
street, between Pearl and Water streets, and the present free delivery 
system of to-day, with carriers delivering the mail four times a day, 
some on foot, some in a buggy and still others riding a Columbian 
bicycle, over a mile stretch of paved streets! 

Dr. Cook was succeeded in office by Charles K. Smith, who 


retained the position until the administration o£ President Abraham 
Lincoln, when A. E. Appleton was commissioned by President Lin- 
coln in 1861 ; he served only a year and was succeeded by J. C. C. 
Hoskins, who held the position nearly sixteen years. In 1878 E. R. 
Kirk was appointed, under President Hayes' administration, holding 
the office eight years, until he was removed for political reasons by 
President Grover Cleveland, in December, 1885, at which time E. B. 
Crawford was appointed and held the office until September, 1889, 
when he was removed by President Benjamin Harrison. E. R. Kirk 
was then appointed and is the present postmaster. 

John K. Cook, the father and founder of Sioux City, it will be 
observed, was the first postmaster. He held the position, nominally, 
for two years, but the last year the work was attended to by S. T. 
Davis. Over twenty years after Dr. Cook went out of the office, he was 
notified that his account as postmaster had been audited, and tbat a 
balance of $30 was due him. Indeed, an honest government. 

Sioux City leads all other offices in Iowa in growth during 1889. 
The receipts for that year gave an increase of $10,000 over the year 
prior. The postal receipts for the years 1887-88-89 were as follows: 
In 1887, $39,684; in 1888, $50,777; in 1889, $60,810. The money- 
order business for the first half of the year 1889 amounted to $255,112. 
The total expense of the eleven carriers for 1889 amounted to $9,394. 
February 1, 1889, the office was removed from Garretson Hotel 
block, on account of lack of room, to its present spacious quarters, 
every foot of which is now used. The business of a post-office is 
always indicative of the general commercial standing of a town or 
city. It was made a money-order office July 1, 1865. The first order 
was issued to John M. Pinckney, for $20, payable to John R. Welch 
& Co., at Chicago. During the twenty-five years that have elapsed 
since then, there have been 86,067 orders issued, also 86,125 postal 
notes. It was made a free-delivery office October 1, 1884, and now 
employs fourteen men as carriers. 

It was in 1857 that Sioux City first saw the advantages of becom- 
ing an incorporated place. Under the old code of Iowa, such a step 
could only be brought about by a special act of the state legislature, 
which body, in January, 1857, granted such .privileges to this city, 
which had less than 400 population at the time. Many of the persons 
who figured conspicuously in those matters are still residents of the 


city, some of them among the wealthiest and most highly esteemed of 
the present populace, who, upon perusing this item, will revert with 
no small degree of pride to those early years when they laid the cor- 
ner-stones and built the framework of a place now taking second rank 
to none in all Iowa. 

As an old pioneer of the place remarks, " the first dozen years of 
our incorporated life did not amount to very much." Laws were dif- 
ferent then, and, indeed, the demand for municipal government was not 
very great. Up to 1868 the mayor had no voice in the city council, 
and seemed a mere figure head, whose only duty was to sign warrants. 

Here, as everywhere throughout Iowa, the change of the law of 
1862, caused much legal difficulty in making good the acts of incorpor- 
ations. Sioux City abandoned her original charter in 1862, and then 
incorporated under what they believed to be a law, but courts finally 
questioned the legal step. But in 1874 the state passed a law cover- 
ing and making good all prior ordinances and rules, and from that 
date on, places were incorporated under a general law. Sioux City 
continued to be a city of the " second class " until her population 
reached 15,000, which was in 1886. At that time she incorporated as 
a city of the "first class." 

The following list gives the names of the mayors of the city from 
1857 to 1890, inclusive: 


J. B. S. Todd. 


Robert Means. 


William H. Bigelow. 


G. W. Chamberlain. 


John K. Cook. 


John K. Cook. 


William R. Smith. 


Charles Kent. 


J. L. Follett. 


George Weare. 


C. K. Smith. 


F. M. Ziebach. 


F. M. Ziebach. 


D. T. Hedges. 


S. T. Davis. 


G. W. Kingsnorth. 


R. F. Turner. 


H. L. Warner. 


H. L. Warner. 


S. B. Jackson. 


S. B. Jackson. 


S. B. Jackson. 


S. B. Jackson. 


C. F. Hoyt. 


William R. Smith. 


William Z. Swartz. 


William Z. Swartz. 


William Z. Swartz. 


D. A. McGee. 


J. M. Cleland. 


J. M. Cleland. 


J. M. Cleland. 


J. M. Cleland. 


E. C. Palmer. 

The following were the first city officials of Sioux City : 
J. B. S. Todd, mayor; W. M. Buchanan, marshal; C. K. Smith, 
recorder; S. A. Ayers, treasurer; T. J. Stone, assessor; Justus Town- 


send, Franklin Wixson, E. K. Eobinson, Jolm H. Charles, Enos Stuts- 
man and H. C. Ash, aldermen. 

The present city officials are as follows : 

Mayor, E. C. Palmer; clerk, W. G. Linn; auditor, W. G. Linn; 
treasurer, John Hittel; councilmen, George Meyrs, L. H. Grumn, 
W. J. Risley, W. E. Powell, "W. C. Cody, Knude Sunde, Thomas Ma- 
lone, G. Meade; chief of police, John F. Shanly. 

The city has been divided into six wards. 

The present police force numbers fourteen, besides the chief -police 

The fire department consists of four well-drilled companies. George 
M. Bellow is chief. But few cities in Iowa are better equipped 
against the fire fiend than Sioux City. 

Leeds. — This part of Sioux City was platted in the spring of 1889 
by the Leeds Land & Investment Company, with George W. Felt as 
its projector, and is located about three miles from the city proper, up 
the Floyd valley, and has come to be the manufacturing site of the 
city. The growth of the place has been phenomenal. In December, 
1889, nothing marked the spot but the sign-board " LEEDS." To- 
day (October, 1890) finds a thriving town, with hissing steam-jets 
and roaring forges. During this month this suburb has been 
annexed to the city, and is now under the same government. It is on 
the Illinois Central, Omaha and Sioux City & Northern railways, and is 
already the scene of activity in the line of factories. Here we find 
the Great Northern roller-mills, the Paris stove works, covering 
twenty rods square, the scraper works, the Sioux City engine and ma- 
chine works, and a boot and shoe factory already begun. 

Other suburbs of Sioux City are Morning Side, to the south and 
east, a lovely resident spot, and the seat of the University of the 
Northwest and College of Liberal Arts; Riverside, a few miles to the 
west, on the banks of the Big Sioux river, connected with the city 
by a rapid transit line ; also Lynn, to the east of Leeds. Morning 
Side is attracting a large number of people as a home site, and 
already many residences costing from $5,000 to §50,000 are located 
in this beautiful suburb, and consequently property is rapidly advanc- 
ing in value. Thousands of the wealth and culture of this rapidly- 
growing metropolis will be residing here within the next few years. 



SIOUX GITT— Continued. 

United States Land Office at Sioux City — The Establishment of the 
Office— Territory Embraced— List of Officers, by Years— Business 
of the Office— Land Warrants— Pre-emptions— Homesteads — Con- 
tests—Selling Lands at Auction— The Great Rush— Removal of 
the Office to Des Moines— Five Million Acres Reduced to Two 
Thousand Acres. 

AGOVEBNMENT land office was established at this point in the 
month of December, 1855, and continued nearly twenty-three 
years and did a vast amount of business. The district assigned 
to it comprised all of the lands from and including range thirty-four, 
west to the Missouri river to about range forty-nine, an average dis- 
tance of eighty-five miles, east and west; and reaching north from 
townships eighty-six to 100, inclusive, or about ninety miles, making 
the territory included nearly 8,000 square miles, or equal to 5,000,000 
acres of land. This territory is now comprised in the counties of 
Lyon, Osceola, Dickinson, Sioux, O'Brien, Woodbury, Clay, Plymouth, 
Cherokee, Buena Vista, Ida and Sac and the western tier of townships 
in Emmet, Palo Alto, Pocahontas and Calhoun counties. 

The following served as registers: 

Dr. S. P. Yeomans, from 1855 to 1861; William H. Bigelow, from 
1861 to 1864; S. T. Davis, from 1864 to November, 1866; P. M. Zie- 
bach, from November, 1866 to March 4, 1867; William G. Stewart, 
from March 4, 1867 to June 1867, at which time he died; John Cleg- 
horn, from July 19, 1867 to July 19, 1871; George H. Wright, from 
July 19, 1871, until the office was closed and transferred to Des 
Moines in July, 1878. 

The receivers of the office were Gen. Andrew Leech, from 1855 
to 1860; Bobert Means, from 1860 to 1861; James P. Edie, from 1861 
to 1865; Dr. William Bemsen Smith, from 1865 to March 1, 1867; 
Capt. C. L. Bozelle, from March 4, 1867, for a period of four days, his 
term expiring under the tenure-of-office act, a short interregnum fol- 

I /, 



lowing; Dr. William K. Smith, from April 17, 1867, to the final closing 
of the office in July, 1878. 

Locations and entries of public lands by individuals were made 
after a variety of methods, of which the following were the most 
usual: Location of land warrants issued by the* government at various 
times, as a sort of bounty to soldi ei's who served in the war of 1812 
and the Black Hawk and Mexican wars. 

Purchasers for cash, in which the title passed from the government 
to individuals for a definite consideration as soon as the transfer could 
be made at the general land office at Washington. 

Pre-emption, in which the purchaser is given one year's time from 
date of settlement thereon, in which to pay for land already offered for 

Location of Agricultural College scrip, which in 1862, was appor- 
tioned to the several states for the benefit of agriculture and mechan- 
ical arts. 

Entry of land as homesteads, under an act of congress of 1862, 
which provided that persons living on such lands five years should 
receive a title to the same by the payment of the survey and other 
expenses. He who had served in the Union army during the Civil 
war was entitled to a reduction of time equivalent to the time he had 
served in the army. 

Timber culture entries being provided for by acts of 1873-74 for 
the encouragement of tree-planting, provided the occupant a free title 
if he produced one- fourth of the tract in groAving trees by the end of 
ten years. 

The number of locations and entries at the Sioux City land office 
from date of opening, up to the last year it transacted business was as 
follows : 

Land warrant locations 6.000 Agricultural College scrip entries. . 1,505 

Cash entries made 4,862 Homestead entries 8,993 

Pre-emption of offered lands 9,846 Homesteads proved up 4,493 

Pre-emption of uuoffered lands. .. . 7,122 Timber culture entries 307 

The years 1856-57 were the times when the most rushing business 
was done in land warrant locations and cash entries; but 1869 is noted 
as the year of the largest cash sales, the receipts from this source 
during that year being. nearly §1,000,000. Some single days it went 
as high as §40,000. More homesteads were taken in 1871 than in 


•any other one year, the number amounting to 1,950. During Octo- 
ber of that year 411 were taken. The month of January, 1876, saw 
the greatest number of " final papers " proving up home-steads — 
there being 234. 

The number of "contests" to which the land officers were called 
upon to attend to, reached far up in the thousands, many of them 
loccuping two weeks' time. 

The United States land office was, in years gone by, much of a 
'help to Sioux City. It brought thousands of men from all parts of 
the east with money to invest in lands. We quote from the Sioux 
City " Journal," date of December, 1877, a description of the burning 
of the old land office building, in which that paper said: "* * The 
material for this old landmark structure arrived from St. Louis on a 
steamboat in 1856, all ready framed, to be erected on Douglas street, 
above the corner of Sixth street. In it the first general election ever 
had by the Sioux City people was held; that was in August of 1856 
— the Buchanan-Fremont campaign. In this building was sold more 
land than at any other point along the Missouri slope. During the 
ipalmy days just preceding the collapse of 1857, time was, literally, 
money here in Sioux City. There were crowds of settlers and specu- 
lators who came here to locate land warrants and scrip, and it was im- 
possible to transact, in any ordinary way, the business which pressed 
in upon them. A rule was therefore made that applicants for locations 
should register their names in the order of their arrival at the office, and 
that each should be allowed only ten minutes for business. There was 
a number of men who had no special business to attend to, Avho would 
Tegister their names and then sell out their chance or "turn" to those who 
had warrants with which to locate lands. The usual price was $50 for 
•each ten minutes, which was freely given, especially where the buyer 
stood near the foot of the long column of men seeking entrance. The 
seller would then go and register again, and dispose of his chance 
when it appreciated in value by nearing the top. Men were just 
wild, and the scramble was terrific. Prior to this plan, it was "first 
come, first served," but this soon led to such conflict and disorder it 
had to be changed. Men would remain up all night, forming a line 
leading to the office door, and he whose hand grasped the door-knob, 
slept there." 

Selling lands by auction was followed, also, and Judge J. P. Alii- 


son was auctioneer. Sales were made in forty-acre lots, and no bid 
received under $1.25 per acre. Some tracts in Sioux county sold as 
high as $3.50 per acre. Sales usually reached as high as a township 
per clay, and one can hardly appreciate how tiresome it was to dispose 
of so much territory in such a short time. 

With the close of the year 1877, an order from Washington re- 
moved the office (which had outlived its usefulness) to Des Moines. 
From 5,000,000 acres sold in 1856, the offerings had dwindled down 
to about 2,000 acres of land so rough as to be untillable. Just think 
of it! Only 2,000 acres in all northwestern Iowa which nobody 
wants ! 

The old land office building was used for a meat-shop until de- 
stroyed by fire in 1877. It was the earliest erected in Sioux City, and 
in it was deposited the first ballot cast hereabouts. The years have 
told profitable and unprofitable stories for those who so eagerly 
scrambled at the land office for titles to portions- of Uncle Sam's 
domain, and the scene of their strife has gone with the memories of the 
great majority of those who engaged in them. Those who are now 
big folks, but who then were little folks, will no longer be reminded 
of those pioneer days by the sight of the old brown building, for it 
rests in ashes! 


SIOUX CITY— Continued. 


The Oldest Church— The City Noted for Churches— The Presbyterian — 
Methodist— Congregational — Baptist— Roman Catholic— Lutheran 
Evangelical— Christian — Savedish Lutheran— Unity— Latter Day 
Saints — Episcopal and Reformed Church— Young Men's Christian 

SIOUX CITY is pre-eminently a city of churches, for no place in 
Iowa outranks it in this respect. There are thirty-eight church 
organizations, and all have houses of worship but three. 

Where the church spires and public school buildings are numerous, 
the " stranger within the gates " — no matter what his own belief may 
be — feels that he is in a safe and goodly abiding place. No better 
index can be given of a city than to learn of the welfare of its religious 
and educational institutions. 

It will be the aim in this connection to give as much as possible 
concerning each society. 

The oldest church organization of the city is the First Presbyterian, 
whose house of worship is on the corner of Sixth and Nebraska streets. 
According to its pastor, it was formed August 2, 1857. 

In July, 1856, Rev. Charles D. Martin preached to this people at 
Sioux City. The original membership of the church was twelve, and 
the first pastor was Rev. Thomas M. Chestnut. Since then the pastors 
have been Revs. Stephen Phelps, A. E. Smith, E. H. Avery and 
George Knox. The present pastor, Rev. H. D. Jenkins, was installed 
December, 1889. The present membership is about 375, including 
its mission. Its home Sabbath-school numbers 225. The property 
held by the church is worth $65,000. A $5,000 parsonage was 
erected in 1889, and a new edifice is now being planned, the present 
building having a seating capacity of about only 400. 

The Second Presbyterian church was formed in 1887, and has 


about fifty members. Their place of worship is situated on Cook 
street, between Fourth and Fifth. It has a seating capacity of 125. 
The property is valued at $6,000. 

The Third Presbyterian church was formed in 1888, and is still 
a small society. Kev. H. C. Herring has charge of this and also of 
the Second Presbyterian church. The value placed upon the property 
of this society is $3,000. 

The First Christian church, holding services in the court-house, was 
organized in 1888, and now numbers sixty-seven. Rev. R. A. Thomp- 
son is the present pastor. 

Emerson Heights Christian church was organized in 1888. It now 
enjoys a membership of sixty devoted Christian workers. Their 
church property is valued at $3,200. The pastor of the First Chris- 
tian church also presides over this society. 

The First Congregational church is one of Sioux City's first 
religious denominations. It was in the fifties that believers in this faith 
petitioned Home Missionary Rev. Mr. Gurnsey, of Dubuque, to have 
a minister sent to this section. In July, 1857, two Congregational 
men were visited here by Rev. John Todd, of Tabor, with a view of 
organizing a church. It was deferred until August 9, when W. H. 
Bigelow, H. D. Clark and Ed. C. Foster, met with Mr. Todd at Bige- 
low & Chamberlain's banking house on Douglas street, between Sixth 
and Seventh streets, and effected the organization. No further serv- 
ices were held until 1859, when Rev. George Rice, of Onawa, held 
communion services and added eight to the church. Union services 
were held with the Presbyterian people in a school-house on Nebraska 
street, until the completion of the Presbyterian church. Early in 
1861 they decided to call a pastor and worship alone. May 1, 1861, 
Rev. Marshall Tingley began his pastorate here, preaching his first 
sermon in the old council chamber town hall. The society passed 
through vicissitudes which befell so many early-day organizations. In 
1868, by self-denial and liberality, the present frame edifice was com- 
pleted and dedicated October 22, by Rev. Mr. Bull. Rev. Tingley 
was followed by Rev. J. H. Morley, who served for eight years. The 
frame building spoken of, stands just opposite the Oxford hotel, and 
has recently been sold, together with the lot, for many thousand dol- 
lars, and a new edifice is now about completed, on the corner of Ne- 
braska and Eighth streets, that will seat 800 people. Its cost is to be 


$60,000, exclusive of a $4,000 pipe organ. The material of this 
edifice is Ohio sandstone. The present membership of the church is 
350, and they own $75,000 worth of property. 

Mayflower Congregational church, located on Center, between West 
Sixth and Seventh, has a seating capacity of 200. The valuation of 
the property is $3,600. The society was organized in 1887. Rev. R. 
W. Jamison is pastor. 

Pilgrim Congregational church was organized in 1888, and now 
has a membership of 163. The society holds property worth $10,000. 
Their edifice seats 200 people, and it is located on Seventh street, 
between Wall and Iowa. Rev. J. E. McNamara is present pastor. 

The first Methodist Episcopal church of Sioux City was organized 
in 1858. It is one of the pioneer church organizations in the place, 
and has ever been aggressive and zealous to the best religious interests 
of the city. Many of the most talented ministers of Iowa have, from 
time to time, been sent to this charge. Among those whose names will 
not soon be forgotten are Rev. Whitfield, Rev. R. C. Glass, Rev. John 
Hogarth Lozier and George Haddock, all of whom were active work- 
ers, not alone in strict church work, but who became great prohibition 
leaders, and from the Methodist Episcopal pulpit sounded forth words 
of wisdom, which ere long were put into practical use by the citizens 
of the place in the suppression of intemperance. This, however, was 
not brought about until Rev. George Haddock's life was sacrificed at 
the hand of a saloon element mob, who shot him down in life's prime. 
Concerning this tragedy see full account elsewhere in this work. This 
church has occupied numerous buildings as a worshiping place. Eor 
many years their church was located on Pierce and Sixth streets, where 
the Corn Palace has been built four years in succession. They sold 
that property for about $12,000, and built, in 1883, their present 
beautiful brick edifice on the corner of Seventh and Nebraska streets. 
The seating capacity is 375. The total value of church and parsonage 
is $35,000. The present membership is 430. Rev. W. D. Johnson 
is the present pastor, a man of fine attainments. It is designed to 
place a $3,000 pipe organ in the church during the present year. 

Grace Methodist Episcopal church, located at Morning Side, has 
the following history: Rev. R. C. Glass began preaching at the little 
frame school-house at that point on the first Sabbath of November, 
1888, to a little congregation made up of the scattered families residing 


in that outlying portion of Sioux City. A few weeks later a Sabbath- 
school was formed, with I. N. Stone as superintendent, which num- 
bered some forty members. Early in 1889 a class was organized with 
six members, consisting of Mrs. I. G. Whitfield, wife of the presiding 
elder, Eev. Wilmot. Whitfield, Mrs. E. C. Glass, Miss Lula Glass, 
Mrs. Lizzie A. Andrews, and Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Simons. In the lat- 
ter part of March, 1889, the little society was duly organized and 
incorporated as Grace Methodist Episcopal church. The first board 
of trustees consisted of the following persons: E. C. Peters, James A. 
Jackson, F. H. Ludlow, Wilmot Whitfield, John T. Cheeney, E. C. 
Glass, E. D. Allen, H. E. Douglass and T. H. Stevens. Steps 
were at once taken to build a church edifice, which resulted in 
the erection of a beautiful brick structure, costing, with furnishings^ 
about $10,000, which was dedicated to the worship of Almighty 
God, according to the forms peculiar to this church, December l r 
1889, by the Eev. Bishop Henry W. Warren, D. D., LL. D., in the 
presence of a large congregation. The church has continued to pros- 
per, and at this date, August, 1890, numbers some forty members. 
Eev. E. C. Glass is still its pastor. He is also connected with the 
new university, now being built at Morning Side [see history else- 
where]. Eev. Wilmot Whitfield was presiding elder at the date Grace 
church was formed, and the same board still holds, with the exception 
of A. S. Garretson, recently added. 

Haddock Memorial church, on the corner of Steuben and Fifth 
streets, Eev. J. B. Kilbourn, pastor, was organized in 1886. It now 
has a membership of 140. The seating capacity of their neat 
chapel is 225. The total value of church property is $10,000. 

The Norwegian-Danish Methodist Episcopal church, on Iowa 
street, Eev. James Peterson, pastor, was organized in 1881, and en- 
joys a membership of eighty-five. The seating capacity of their church 
is 125, and the value of church property is $5,000. 

The German Mission holds services at a private place on Omaha 
street; Eev. Frank E. Moll is superintendent. 

The German Methodist church, located on Steuben, between 
Third and Fourth streets, Eev. C. A. Schuldt, pastor, was organ- 
ized in 1886, and has a membership of fifty. The value of church 
property is $8,000. The seating capacity of their chapel is 125. 

The African Methodist Episcopal church, on Main and Sixth 


streets, Eev. S. McDonell, pastor, was formed in 1884, and now has a 
membership of fifty. The seating capacity of their church building 
is 200. Total value of property, $4,000. 

The First Baptist church of Sioux City was organized in 1860, 
and now is one of the strongest in the city. It has a membership of 
over 550. Their property, which is valued at $50,000, stands in the 
very heart of the city. The estimated wealth of its membership is 
$4,000,000. The present pastor is Eev. C. H. Strickland. 

Immanuel church, Oto, between Fifth and Sixth streets, was 
organized in 1886, and now has a membership of seventy. Rev. A. C. 
Blackman is pastor. Their building seats 350 persons, and the total 
value of their property is placed at $3,500. 

Fourth Baptist church, located on Fourth street, between Howard 
and Clark, was organized in 1888, and numbers fifty-five. J.W. Rees 
is pastor. The supposed value of this society's property is $8,000. 

The First Swedish Baptist church is located on Virginia and 
Tenth streets. It was formed in 1874, and numbers thirty-five. 
Valuation of property, $7,500; L. J. Ahlstrom, pastor. 

St. Thomas Episcopal church was one of the first organized (in 
1857), and they erected a frame chapel in 1859, which building served 
until 1870, when it was enlarged, and again added to in 1882. In 
June, 1890, the property was sold and another site procured. The 
original location was the corner of Seventh and Nebraska streets, and 
their recent purchase is on the corner of Twelfth and Douglas streets, 
upon which ground it is proposed to erect a magnificent edifice to cost 
|50,000, the plans for which are now being made in New York. 

The present membership of this society is 275. The following 
have served as rectors: Eev. M. Hoyt, Eev. George W. Pratt, Eev. W. 
W. Esterbrook, Eev. L. Eamsey, Eev. Richard Ellerby, Rev. William 
Richmond, Rev. George H. Cornell. The present (1890) officials are: 
Wardens, Luther C. Sanborn, William D. Irvine; vestrymen, J. C. 
French, W. H. Beck, George D. Hicks, J. H. Bolton, J. M. B. Floyd, 
H. G. Pierce. The first vestrymen were elected in November, 1859, 
as follows: James M. Bacon, H. C. Bacon, William R. Smith, John 
H. Charles, John P. Allison, George Weare. 

St. Paul's Episcopal church was erected in 1885 at a cost of 
$1,200. It seats 150 persons. It is located on the corner of West 
Sixth and Center streets. The present membership of the society is 


seventy-two. The rectors have been William Richmond, W. E. Jacob 
and E. H. Gaynor. 

Calvary church (Episcopal) is situated at Morning Side. It is a 
new society there. A chapel was erected in 1889 at a cost of $1,000. 
It has a seating capacity of about 150 persons. The present rector is 
Eev. E. H. Gaynor. 

The First Swedish Mission (Lutheran) church, corner of Court 
and Seventh streets, Eev. F. O. Hultman, pastor, was organized in 
1874. It now has a membership of 250. Their new church edifice, 
built in 1889, seats 300 and cost $15,000. Total value of property, 

The Swedish Lutheran Augustana church is one of the finest in 
the city; it was dedicated in February, 1890, and is located on the 
corner of Sixth and Court streets. It is built of Sioux City pressed 
brick, arranged in Gothic style. Its size is 54x98 feet, and has a 
tower 115 feet high. The seating capacity of the building is over 
1,000. The present membership of the society is 400. The pastor, 
Eev. A. P. Martin, a native of Sweden, has been in charge since 1886. 
The church is in a flourishing condition, and possesses a property val- 
ued at $45,000. The Swedes are a church-going people. " America 
need not be afraid of them — they love Sweden as their mother and 
America as their bride." 

The German Evangelical church, on Jennings street, is the home 
of the society which was formed in 1889, and now enjoys a working 
membership of fifty. They have a neat church, valued at $7,000. 
Eev. W. Jones is the pastor. 

The Trinity English Lutheran was formed in September, 1886, by 
Eev. D. L. MacKenzie, the present pastor. The membership is now 
sixty-three, with a Sabbath-school of 150. They own a fine church 
property on Eleventh and Nebraska streets, dedicated in May, 1889. 
Its cost was $10,000 aside from the $5,000 grounds. Only $100 
stood against the entire property in 1889. 

The First Unity church, one of the most refined and popular socie- 
ties in the city, dedicated May 5, 1889, a beautiful church on Douglas 
street; it seats 600 people and cost $20,000. The society is a strong 
and growing one. It now has a membership of 325. Its devoted 
ministers are Revs. Mary Safford and Elinor Gordon. It may be 
added, this church is noted for fine music. A $3,000 pipe organ was 
placed in the church a few months since. 


St. Mary's Catholic church was organized in 1863. Its present 
congregation numbers 4,000 souls. They owned a $75,000 church 
property (including lot) on the corner of Sixth and Pierce streets, 
which was sold and torn down in July and August, 1890. It was a 
brick structure with a seating capacity of 600. A new edifice is being 
erected on Tenth street, costing $50,000, intended for the cathedral of 
the Northwestern Iowa diocese. The new building has 2,000 sittings 
and is to contain a $4,000 pipe organ. At the time of gathering this 
data Father T. Treacy was pastor of the congregation. 

St. Boniface Catholic church was formed in 1886, and now has a 
membership of 400. The value of their church property is $12,000. 
Rev. J. A. Gurlman is pastor. Their building is on Main street and 
West Fifth. 

St. Eose Catholic church, at Morning Side, Avas organized in 1888, 
and has become a prosperous society, numbering about 200 souls. 
Their new church building and grounds are quite valuable. 

The French Catholic church was formed in 1889, and has a mem- 
bership of seventy-five souls. A neat chapel was completed in 1890, 
which, with the lot, is valued at $7,000. It stands on Seventh, be- 
tween Pearl and Water streets. Its seating capacity is 250. 

Grace Reformed church, corner Cook and Sixth streets, was organ- 
ized in 1888, and has a membership of twenty-six. Rev. F. Wetzel is 
the pastor. Services are now held at Smith's hall. 

The Sioux City branch of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter Day Saints was formed May 20, 1885, and now numbers 
about twenty-five. The headquarters of this society, for Iowa, is at 
Lamoni, Decatur county, and the nearest branch to Sioux City is at 
Little Sioux, where there are about 200 members. 

Trefoldigheds church, Rev. K. Skyburg, pastor, northeast corner 
of West Sixth and Bluff streets, was organized in 1872. It now has 
a membership of ninety. The cost of their edifice was $3,000 and of 
the parsonage, $2,000. The church seats 250 persons. 

Zion Norwegian church, north side of Seventh, between Court and 
Iowa, Rev. H. Yderstad, pastor, was organized in 1885, and has a 
membership of seventy-five. The church seats 125 and the property 
is valued at $1,200. 

St. Paul's Evangelical church, Rev. C. Runge, pastor, was formed 
in 1875 and has a membership of sixty-six. The property of this 
society is valued at $10,000. 


St. John's church (Norwegian), on the corner of Court and Sixth 
streets, Rev. L. Harrisville, pastor, was formed in 1884, and now has a 
membership of seventy-five. A small edifice stands on property- 
worth $8,000. 

SIOUX CITY.— Continued. 


Knights of Pythias— Odd-Fellows Order— The Masonic Fraternity- 
Miscellaneous Societies— City" Library— University of the North- 

RIGHTLY interpreted, secret organizations are as beneficent as 
they are authoritative. The Masonic order, ancient and honora- 
ble, rests on the foundation of broad human sympathy. Its objects 
are by precept and practice to foster virtue, to inculcate charity, to 
bind the members together in enduring bonds of brotherly love. It 
is, in short, a professor and teacher of every moral and social virtue. 

What is true of Masonry is equally true of other civic orders, of 
more recent origin. These societies are all based on deeply laid 
hopes, aspirations and affections of men. If this were not true they 
never could have come down through the long period covering their 
existence, adapting themselves to society, evolving and developing 
with the lapse of time and working in line with the higher attainments 
of cultured and civilized life. 

Masonry. — The earliest meeting of Masons of which any record 
can be found, was held March 25, 1857, in a log building on Pearl 
street, near the corner of Third. This meeting was held under dis- 
pensation granted, for the purpose of forming a lodge, and this pur- 
pose was carried out at this time by the organization of Sioux City 
Lodge, No. 103, now known as Landmark lodge. The following 
brethren were present and filled the offices indicated : E. K. Robinson, 
W. M. ; John J. Saville, S. W. ; A. W. White, J. W. ; A. C. Sheets, 


S. D. ; E. B. Wixson, J. D. ; George Avery, sec, Dr. E. Wixson, 
treas. At this meeting Messrs. Matthew Saville and James B. Curry, 
both of Indiana, applied for membership under demit, and were 
accepted, it having been resolved, that any demitted Mason should be 
admitted to membership. 

The second meeting occurred on April 8, at which time the 
stated meetings were fixed on the Wednesday in, or next preceding, 
the full moon. At this meeting one application for initiation was 
received. At the meeting of May 6, A. M. Hunt acted as W. M. 
At a special meeting on May 13, the applicant of April 8, was ini- 
tiated. The next meeting shown on the records occurred July 15, 
at which the charter election took place, the following persons being 
chosen: A. M. Hunt, W. M. ; E. K. Eobinson, S. W.; A. W. White, 
J. W. ; George Avery, sec. ; John K, Cook, treas. ; A. C. Sheets, S. 
D. ; E. Wixson, J. D. ; tyler, no choice. These officers were in- 
stalled in due and ancient form by L. D. Palmer, of Muscatine, Iowa, 
who had been deputized by the Grand lodge for that purpose. At 
this meeting ten persons applied for membership and were each duly 

On August 5, a committee was appointed to secure a suitable 
room for the meetings of the lodge. The records do not show any 
action in this direction, but it is known that the lodge removed dur- 
ing the autumn to a building just completed, on the east side of 
Douglas street, between Sixth and Seventh. This building is now the 
property of Judge Pendleton and occupied as a dwelling. 

Tyrian Lodge, No. 508, A. F. & A. M., was instituted March 12, 
1890, by sixty-one members. The first elective officers were C. Q. 
Hopper, W. M. ; J. C. Dunlavey, S. W. ; A. B. Walker, J. W. ; E. 
Morley, treas.; L. A. Altona, sec. The present officers are: J. Q. 
Hopper, W. M. ; J. C. Dunlavey, S. W. ; A. B. Walker, J. W. ; W D. 
Irvine, treas. ; L. A. Altona, sec. The lodge now numbers sixty-six 
members and is the last lodge instituted at Sioux City. 

Sioux City Chapter, No. 26, Koyal Arch Masons, was instituted 
April 9, 1860, by nine charter members. The first elective officers 
were L. D. Parmer, H. P.; Kobert Means, king; C. K. Smith, 
scribe ; J. H. Charles, treas. ; C. B. Rustin, sec. The present mem- 
bership of the chapter is 117. The present officers are W. D. Irvine, 
H. P. ; C. C. Wales, king ; E. Jenkinson, scribe ; E. Morley, treas. ; 
L. A. Altona, sec. 


Columbian Commandery of Knights Templar, No. 18, was insti- 
tuted December 18, 1869, with ten charter members and the following 
officers: Sir Kt. K. T. Bower, E. C. ; Sir Kt. William Eelan, G. ; Sir 
Kt. C. D. Kollin, P. ; Sir Kt. William H. Johnson, E. ; Sir Kt. L. D. 
Parmer, S. W. ; Sir Kt. J. H. Bird, J. W. ; Sir Kt. W. G. Swan, W. ; 
Sir Kt. W. Wingett, S. B. ; Sir Kt. E. V. Derrickson, C. G. The 
commandery is now in a fair condition, and has for its elective officers 
Sir Kt. J. W. Martin, E. C. ; Sir Kt. A. L. Beach, G. ; Sir Kt. C. C. 
Wales, C. G. ; Sir Kt. C. H. Strickland, P. ; Sir Kt. G. S. Thompson, 
T. ; Sir Kt. J. B. Jordan, rec. 

Knights of Pythias. — This flourishing order which is now attract- 
ing the attention of the better class of young men throughout the 
country, was first represented at Sioux City by the institution of 
what is known as Columbia Lodge, No. 13, April 8, 1872. The char- 
ter members included the following:- P. P. Boyce, George W. Kings- 
north, Frank Moulten, J. B. Crawford, Charles Wise, J. B. Brink, J. 
E. Smith, D. A. Magee, C. D. Woodley, L. M. Bodgers, Charles Gun- 
derberg and W. N. Bradley. The charter was granted in July, 1872, 
and good work followed, but the lodge finally went down. It was 
reorganized in December, 1875. They removed to the new hall January 
1, 1883. On January 9, 1885, the hall and all its contents were 
destroyed by fire, including the record books. The building was 
rebuilt and leased by the K. of P. in October, the same year. The 
present membership of the lodge is 130. 

The Grand Lodge met at Sioux City in October, 1884. 

Scanda Lodge, No. 234, K. of P., was organized in June, 1889, 
with fifty-six members, Special Deputy Grand Chancellor A. Fellner 
officiating. The first officers were A. Halseth, P. C. ; John H. Swan- 
son, C. C. ; C. M. Anderson, V. C. ; William Williams, prelate; John 
N. Murphy, K. of B. and S. ; C. J. Stransberg, M. of E. ; C. C. Tel- 
ander, M. of E. ; John E. Gross, M. at A. The present membership 
is eighty-six. The present officers are C. M. Anderson, P. C. ; 
William Williams, C. C. ; C. C. Lattimer, V. C. ; W. H. Beaumont, 
prelate; O. L. Johnson, M. at A.; John Olson, M. of F. ; C. C. Tel- 
ander, M. of E. ; John A. Swanson, grand lodge representative. 

Sioux Lodge, No. 14, K. of P., was instituted August 4, 1885, with 
twenty-two members. The highest membership to this date is 115. 
The first elective officers were C. E. Foster, P. C. ; B. E. Sackett, C. 


C. ; F. H. Peavey, V. C. ; John Ansler, prelate; William A. Kirk, M. 
at A. ; E. N. Monigan, M. of E. ; H. E. Stetson, M. of F. ; William 
Fuchs, K. of E. and S. The present officers are W. L. Eagan, P. C. ; C. 
T. Westcott, C. C. ; E. N. Monigan, V. C. ; S. G. Humphy, prelate; 
A. Fullner, M. of F. and K. of E. and S. ; L. L. Kellogg, M. of E. ; Frank 
Loveitt, M. at A. They meet at their finely equipped hall in Haakin- 
son's block, corner Fourth and Nebraska streets. 

Uniform Eank Division of Sioux City, No. 6, was organized No- 
vember 8, 1883, with forty-eight members, by Col. E. H. Hibbens, 
A. D. C. The original officers were John E. White, capt. ; W. L. 
Wilkins, first lieut. ; William Swartz, second lieut. The present 
(1890) officials are E. W. Sloan, capt.; William L. Eagan, first 
lieut. ; E. N. Monigan, second lieut. The present membership is 
sixty. They meet at Sioux Lodge, No. 14, K. of P. hall. The Iowa 
Brigade officers of this division are Col. Fred T. Evans, Jr., asst. 
quartermaster-gen.; Maj. A. Fellner, A. D. O, brigadier-general's 
staff. The regimental officers are Col. W. A. Kirk, com. fourth 
regiment; Lieut. B. J. McKean, adjt. ; Capt. Cornell, chaplain. 

Hussar Mounted Division, No. 34, K. of P., was organized July 
6, 1889, with thirty-two members. It was instituted by Col. E. H. 
Hibbens, of Marshalltown, Iowa. The present membership is fifty. 
The regiment and brigade are represented by A. D. Collier, lieut. - 
quartermaster of Fourth regiment. The first officers of Hussar 
division were G. W. Kingsnorth, capt.; A. D. Collier, first lieut.; 
G. J. Eoss, second lieut. The present officers are G. W. Kings- 
north, capt. ; G. J. Eoss, first lieut. ; C. C. Lattimer, second lieut. 

This was the first mounted division to be organized in America, and 
at present only one other exists, that of Chicago, 111. At the grand 
annual conclave at the city of Milwaukee, in July, 1890, these two 
divisions were present %nd won high honors. A special train was run 
from Sioux City, which conveyed the knights and their horses. 

Odd Felloivs. — Sioux City Lodge, No. 164, Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows, was instituted October 26, 1868, with six members, as 
follows: T. J. Kinkaid, P. P. Eoyce, F. McKercher, F. W. McManus, 
Charles Breun, A. F. Brown. The first noble grand was T. J. Kin- 
kaid. The lodge is the oldest in the city, and now enjoys a member- 
ship of 138. The present officers are William Ellemund, N. G. : Joseph 
Lovoliett, V. G. ; H. Osborne, treasurer ; C. E. Marks, recording 


secretary ; W. S. Garcl, permanent secretary. At the present, and for 
the past six years, this lodge has occupied the K. of P. hall on Fourth 

Sioux City Encampment, No. 44, of I. O. O. F., has eighty-seven 
members. It was formed with seven members, to-wit: T. J. Kinkaid, 
E. B. Spalding, K. B. Kimball, H. A. James, Robert Ramsey, Joseph 
Langdell, D. F. Urmy. The first elective officers were T. J. Kinkaid, 
0. P. ; Robert Ramsey, H. P. ; J. Langdell, S. W. ; R. B. Kimball, 
J. W. ; E. B. Spalding, scribe ; H. A. James, treasurer. The present 
officers are Charles Johnson, C. P. ; J. Metzell, S. W. ; J. B. Walker, 
J.W., M. F. Metzell, H. P.; W. A. Gilman, scribe; George W. Coul- 
son, treasurer. The amount of funds now on hand is $600. 

Canton Sioux, No. 18, of Patriarchs Militant (I. O. O. F.) was 
organized April 17, 1888, with twenty-eight charter members. The 
present membership is the same. The first officers of this degree 
(the highest of the order of I. 0. O. F. ) were J. K. Prugh, capt. ; 
Frank Clark, first lieut; M. W. Gardner, second lieut. (ensign). The 
present officers are Frank Clark, capt. ; F. J. Metzell, first lieut. ; 
J. B. Walker, second lieut. They meet the first Wednesday of each 

In addition to those already named, there are the following socie- 
ties: Ancient Order of Hibernians, James P. Wall, president; Ancient 
Order of United Workman, J. W. Lloyd, past-master workman; Mod- 
ern Woodmen of America, A. Fellner, clerk; Royal Society of Good 
Fellows, M. V. B. Johnson, secretary; Sons of Herman, Dr. G. Brasch, 
president. ; Grand Army Posts — B. F. Smith Post, No. 22, George H. 
Stultz, adjutant, and Hancock Post, No. 396, M. B. Davis, adjutant; 
Woman's Relief Corps, Mrs. E. N. Peterson, president. The Knights 
of Labor have a strong assembly here also; J. A. Bernard is master 

Social Societies. — That Sioux City is, and has been for years, a 
place of great sociability, is evinced by the fact of her present clubs 
and associations, formed for amusement, literary cultivation and bodily 
exercise. Those who may chance to read this book away down in the 
next century, will doubtless find things herein of interest, that the 
present generation can not fully appreciate. To note the changes in 
church, state, society and lines of commerce, from one part of a cent- 
ury through the various generations of men, is indeed valuable, as 


well as replete with interest. Prominent among the societies may be 
mentioned the following: 

The Cooking club is composed of a band of ladies, who, for a few 
years past, have been improving themselves in the culinary art. In 
the meantime they have given some very swell receptions to their 
friends, serving elaborate teas. 

The Hawkeye club, composed exclusively of gentlemen, has ele- 
gant club-rooms, having purchased the E. R. Kirk residence property 
for $40,000. They give very elaborate banquets, and royally enter- 
tain their friends at home and from abroad. 

The Euclid is a new club, formed among the young men, with a 
membership of about fifty. 

The Elks is another organization among the gentlemen for purely 
social purposes. It is its province to banquet visiting celebrities from 
the musical, theatrical, commercial or literary world. In fact any 
visitor of note is always looked after and entertained by the Elks. 

The Amitie club comprises a membership of thirty ladies, who 
meet one afternoon of each week for social enjoyment (and some 
gossip!). They bring their fancy work, and compare patterns and 

A tennis club was organized in 1889, and the game has come to 
be a great pastime for both sexes. 

The Sioux City Boat Club own a fine boat-house at Riverside, ou 
the Big Sioux, and have it equipped with many boats, from which 
much pleasure is derived in the summer months. Every day there is 
boating, racing, picnics, and each week a grand dance is given at their 

Among the literary societies should be named the Agaihoi-Philo 
club, the oldest in the city; the Anahrisians, now in existence ten 
years; the Delvers, who study the' Chautauqua course, meet each 

The Young Men's Christian Association has come to be a society of 
wonderful power, and the means of great moral good in Sioux City. 
The matter of organizing such an association began to be discussed in 
the spring of 1884. Several young men who had been members else- 
where, became leaders in the good work. Other business men, to- 
gether with pastors of the various churches, soon became interested. 
In August, that year, an organization was perfected by State Secretary 


C. G. Baldwin. The original officers were W. P. Manley, presi- 
dent; J. H. Keith, treasurer; J. F. McClelland, corresponding secre- 
tary. Booms were secured on Pearl street, near the old variety 
theatre. The growth has been far above the average in cities of like 
size. At the end of the fifth year, September, 1889, the total mem- 
bership was 820. The work has outgrown its present quarters and a 
magnificent building is now being erected on the corner of Pierce 
and Seventh streets. It is to be occupied solely by the association. ■ 
Its cost will be $80,000; lot, $20,000. The present officers of the 
association are "W. E. Hignian, president; S. W. Hallam, vice-presi- 
dent; W. P. Manley, treasurer; Oscar Middlekauff, recorder; John L. 
Speers, general secretary; D. Chapman, assistant. 

University of the Northwest is located at Morning Side, the most 
beautiful suburb of Sioux City. A person can stand on the campus 
and have a bird's eye view of the city. The waters of the broad Mis- 
souri stretch away to the west and south under the eye of the beholder, 
while the undulating hills and valleys of Nebraska and South Dakota, 
with an unobstructed view of from twenty to thirty miles, add pictur- 
esqueness to the scene. Indeed, a more beautiful site for an institu- 
tion of learning would be hard to find, while for healthfulness it could 
scarcely be excelled. It is two and one-half miles from the center of 
the city, and is easily reached by the rapid transit and elevated rail- 

While this is not strictly a Methodist Episcopal college., yet it has 
the fostering care of the church, which, in company with eastern cap- 
italists and Sioux City men, have undertaken to carry the gigantic 
enterprise through. It will be second to none in the west, and before 
long will probably be one of the educational factors of the Methodist 
Episcopal folks for this portion of the northwest, yet free from strict 
sectarian discipline. A college of liberal arts and a medical depart- 
ment will be special features. The buildings now in course of construc- 
tion are of the famous "Jasper" stone of Minnesota, and in design and 
size equal the best known to our modern builder, while the large 
campus is destined to be a spot of beauty seldom seen. It is expected 
that the buildings will all be completed by January 1, 1892. The 
officers are Bev. AYilniot Whitfield, D. D., president; Bev. Ira N. 
Pardee, financial agent and secretary; E. C. Peters and Bev. B. C. 
Glass, vice-presidents; A. S. Garretson, treasurer. 


The City Library. — Among the tilings in which the people of 
Sioux City take a just pride, is the city free library, which, at an 
expense which is not felt by the tax-payer, embraces a good assortment 
of books in all departments of literature, and is at the disposal of all 
the citizens, and also to the stranger who seeks the reading of good 
books. This institution has, like every good thing, cost time and 
money to start. 

The idea of a free library was first put into practical shape by the 
Young Men's Literary Association, a society which originated in the 
autumn of 1869. In November of the same year, the executive com- 
mittee of that association held its first meeting, Hon. A. W. Hubbard 
presiding, and Rev. G. B. Pratt, J. H. Bolton and L. Wynn were 
appointed a library committee. Among the enterprises conducted by 
the association was the procuring of lecturers. Brock L. Mc Vicar 
was the first, and addressed an audience November 30, 1869, and was 
followed by noted men throughout the winter and spring. From the 
proceeds of this lecture course a fund was raised for the purchase of 
books to form the nucleus of a library. All these matters appear 
from the minutes of the meetings, and from the same source it 
appears that Charles Collins donated the first books of what is now the 
public library. 

The first purchase of books arrived in March, 1870, and on the 
nineteenth of that month the library was opened to the members of 
the association and their friends. The members then took turns in 
acting as librarian. On May 7, that year, the books show that there 
were 322 volumes on hand, fifty of which had been donated. In 
March, 1875, Capt. B. F. Smith, who had been much interested in the 
affair, with T. H. Conniff, Jr., and H. W. Chase, prepared a propo- 
sition for submission to the voters, asking the city council to levy a 
library tax, under the provisions of the state law; but it was not until 
the March election of 1877 that this proposition was submitted. 
It carried almost without opposition, and the Young Men's Associa- 
tion then turned over the 600 volumes they held, which had cost 
them $1,500. The library was kept a year or two, in the rooms 
of the Ladies' Christian Association on condition that the city add not 
less than $200 worth of books each successive two years. Having 
ratified this agreement with the city, the association adjourned for 
one week, but never met again. The city being in possession 


of the library, a tax of one mill was levied for the purchase of 
new books, room rent and salary of a librarian. The levy amounted 
to $850. 

The council appointed, as a committee of citizens to select books: 
J. C. C. Hoskins, E. H. Avery, B. C. Lenehan, A. A. Norman, F. 
Munchrath, Dr. William R. Smith and Capt. B. F. Smith. T. H. Con- 
niff, Jr., who was city clerk at the time, was chosen as the first librarian. 
In 1878 a levy of one-half a mill was made, which brought $425, 
and in 1879 a levy amounting to $900 was made. In 1880 the 
library contained 1,591 books. Miss Helen Smith, the librarian, in 
1880 gave a statement of the order in which books were called for as 
follows: First, novels; second, travels and adventures; third, poetry; 
then history, biography and scientific works. 

From 1880 to 1890 the library had its sunny and also cloudy days, 
but at last it is on a solid basis. Money is on hand; a most excellent 
lot, on the corner of Douglas and Sixth streets, has been purchased, 
and a library building is to be erected in the near future. At present 
the books are kept in one of the city buildings, and the rooms are 
daily thronged with visitors. 


SIOUX CITY— Continued. 


The First Store — The First Steamboat— The "Omaha" — Pioneer Mer- 
chants—Messrs. Jackson and Livingston— City Directory of 1866 — 
As a Eaileoad Center— Wholesale and Jobbing— Manufacturing 
■ Plants — Packing-Houses — Stock-Yards — Banking — Miscellaneous 
Interests— Gas and Electric Lights— Water-Works— Rapid Transit 
Lines, Elevated Railroad, etc.— The City's Wonderful Growth- 
Jobbers' Association, etc. 

TO find the cause of the rapid growth of Sioux City needs no mys- 
terious unfolding of circumstances; it has grown because of the 
marvelous richness of its farming vicinity ; of its being the center of 
the great corn belt, and because of its being in the very heart of the 


country producing the greater portion of live stock raised in the west. 
Other chapters have told how the site of this city came to be selected, 
and before the present resources and future possibilities are consid- 
ered, the reader is asked to briefly retrace the years of the city's his- 
tory, and, if possible, learn who and what the pioneer business men 
were, and what impress they left behind them, as a perpetual legacy 
for all time to come. 

The present city's magnificent retail establishments are in striking 
contrast with the three or four rude frame and log cabin stores, which 
were huddled together at the corner of Second and Pearl streets in 
1860. But few can realize the hardships seen by merchants in those 
early days. There were no railroad trains, no steamboats regularly 
coming and going and no stages or mail. 

To James A. Jackson belongs the honor of establishing the first 
real store at Sioux City. Dr. Cook, Mr. Jackson's father-in-law, had 
surveyed much of the territory in this part of Iowa, and was fully 
posted, and he selected this place in 1854 as a most propitious site for 
a commercial center. He made known his opinion to Mr. Jackson, 
who was then in partnership with Milton Tootle, the firm having 
stores in Council Bluffs and Omaha. Tootle & Jackson agreeing in 
the opinion of Dr. Cook, that Sioux City would become, at no late 
date, a great distributing point, an agreement was entered into where- 
by this firm was to open a branch store in Sioux City the following 
spring. Dr. Cook then returned to Sioux City, and purchased of 
Pioneer Leonais, the site of the town, paying him $3,000 for it. 

There being no means of transportation, other than wagons, Mr. 
Jackson journeyed to St. Louis in June, 1856, where he chartered the 
steamer " Omaha," paying the captain $24,000 for the trip up to 
Sioux City. He then stocked the boat up with a cargo valued at 
$70,000, consisting of a saw-mill, lumber, furniture, dry goods, hard- 
ware, and all other goods found in the general stores of those days. 
Two-thirds of the cargo were for Sioux City. Dr. Cook, meanwhile, 
had built a log store on the corner of Second and Pearl streets. Mr. 
Jackson arrived with the boat in June, 1856, and opened up the store, 
remained six weeks, and then left the establishment in the hands of 
Samuel Holland. When the "Omaha" landed at the wild banks of 
the turbulent Missouri, there were only two houses to greet the eye 
of the pilot. The firm above named, finding their business here was 


a success, had a frame store built in St. Louis and brought here 
in sections. This was the first frame store in the embryo city. It 
cost $800, and the cost of getting it up from St. Louis was about the 
same amount. The building still stands between Second and Third 
streets, on Pearl. 

In 1857 Mr. Jackson purchased a steam ferry for the Sioux City 
Land & Ferry Company, paying $6,000 for the same. Prior to 
that, a flatboat was propelled across the river with oars and poles. 

Of the five small stores in Sioux City in 1860, it may be said that 
their proprietors are all gone, and none any way connected with them 
remains, except W. H. Livingston, who clerked for Jackson & Tootle, 
and finally embarked in trade for himself. Of those pioneer trading 
days Mr. Livingston says: " We had a population of about 600 when 
I arrived in 1860. I was five days coming here by stage from Mis- 
souri. On the way up, we passed through Council Bluffs, which was 
then a dirty little place, and Omaha, of still less consequence. I was 
only twenty years old then. The traders then in business were as 
follows: H. D. Booge & Co., Milton Tootle, L. D. Parmer, T. J. Kin- 
kaid, general dealers, and D. T. Hedges, a grocer. The enterprising 
merchant of that day carried about everything: tobacco, shoes, sash, 
doors, whisky, etc. Jobbing was a good percentage of Sioux City's 
trade, even at that early day. The stores supplied the forts of the 
northwest, and then, as now, the extent of the country dependent 
upon goods from Sioux City was large." 

It seems that hard work was the lot of the clerks and proprietors 
in those days, and Mr. Livingston, now the biggest dealer in the city, 
tells of how he was kept busy handling sash, doors, salt, pork and other 
heavy articles, until, some days, he well nigh gave out. In 1863 he 
left the store of Tootle & Charles, and opened the first exclusive dry- 
goods house in the place, under the firm name of W. H. Livingston 
& Co., the " Co." being his old employers. 

City Directory of 1866. — To show what Sioux City was twenty- 
four years ago, the following has been carefully copied from a local 
paper published at that date: 

Merchants— L. D. Parmer, Tootle & Charles, T. J. Kinkaid, H. 
D. Booge & Co., D. T. Hedges, G. H. Sinister & Co., E. B. Kirk & 
Co., Appleton & Westcott, W. F. Faulkner, J. H. Morf, A. Groninger. 

Jeweler — D. H. Collamer. 


Boots and Shoes — Mat. Gaugran, Sain. Krumann. 

News Depot — John Pinkney. 

Drugs and Medicines — C. Kent, C. K. Howard. 

Meat Shops— S. W. Haviland, J. P. Webster. 

Tinware and Stoves — Charles K. Smith & Co. 

Bank — Weare & Allison. 

Churches — Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal, Congregational, 
Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian. 

As a Railroad Center Sioux City stands in the fore rank of 
Iowa cities, the following roads having been built to its borders: Chi- 
cago & Northwestern; Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul, and two 
branches into South Dakota; Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and 
Omaha, and three branches into Nebraska; Fremont, Elkhorn & Mis- 
souri Valley; Illinois Central; Sioux City & Pacific; Sioux City & 
Northern; Union Pacific, making a total of eight trunk lines and 
five distinct branches. Sixty passenger trains go in and out of Sioux 
City daily over these roads. During the year 1889 the railroads 
received 52,910 car loads of freight for Sioux City, and forwarded 
24,095 car loads, exclusive of freight passing through. 

The Sioux City Terminal Railroad & Warehouse Company was 
oi-ganized, during the past summer, for the purpose of developing 
property for terminal purposes, including passenger depot and three 
immense freight warehouses. The official composition of the com- 
pany is as follows: President, A. S. Garretson; vice-president, T. P. 
Gere; acting secretary, D. E. Paulin. 

Wholesale and Jobbing Trade. — Since Sioux City first engaged 
in the jobbing trade, great changes have taken place in the west. 
Twenty years ago — 1870 — the Mississippi river towns iD Iowa domi- 
nated. Later on, some interior cities developed ambition to take the 
lead, and worked their territory with a laudable enterprise. But 
Sioux City held its own, and as the great domain north and west set- 
tled up, its jobbers pushed vigorously on to the front, distancing all 
competitors, and for several years it has been the leading wholesale 
point in Iowa, and now aspires to be second to none in the whole 
Missouri valley. 

Sioux City is the center of the finest farming section in the west 
— where crops never totally fail. She has as good railroad facilities 
as Omaha or Kansas City, and her own business men work as one 


man, to encourage and build up these wholesale and jobbing houses. 
The men of means in Sioux City build railroads to the territory they 
•wish to capture, and finally, commercially supply. She built the 
Sioux City & Northern, and is now about to build into the Black 
Hills country, all of which means an immense increase in the whole- 
sale business of Sioux City. 

The foundation of the jobbing trade was laid long before the day 
of railroads, when the great Missouri river was the means of trans- 
portation to this place and points beyond. This was the result 
of geographical relations and the inherent advantages of the site 
which had been selected for Sioux City. From British Columbia, in 
the north, to the Gulf of Mexico, in the south, there could be found 
no point more valuable for the upbuilding of a vast metropolis. 
The great rivers seem to have entered into a league, hundreds of 
years ago, to prepare the way for the commercial interests of Sioux 
City. The vast Missouri, nearly 200 miles in Dakota, changes from 
its course to the south, and for that distance runs nearly east to Sioux 
City, then bends backward to the south as it passes on to the Gulf of 
Mexico, as if its mission was to inspire this city with its presence and 
the burden of its commerce, and to bring here the millions of wealth 
represented in the thousands of square miles of fertile lands upon its 

Space here forbids going into detail, more than to outline the whole- 
sale interests, by emimerating a few of the leading firms doing busi- 
ness at the commencement of 1890, when there were forty-five jobbing 
houses in Sioux City, all doing a thriving business, using all the capi- 
tal at their command. Their sales for 1889 were about nine and one- 
half million dollars, and were represented among the following lines: 

Furniture — Number of traveling men, 4; number of men employed, 
10; annual sales, $200,000. 

Furs and hides — Number of traveling men, 5 ; number of men em- 
ployed, 15; annual sales, $500,000. 

Oils — Number of traveling men, 5; number of men employed, 25; 
annual sales, $500,000. 

Confectionery — Number of traveling men, 11 ; number of men 
employed, 69; annual sales, $290,000. 

Agricultural implements — Number of traveling men, 6; number 
of men employed, 25 ; annual sales, $360,000. 


Dry-goods notions — Number of traveling men, 9; number of men 
employed, 24; annual sales, $575,000. 

Commission merchants — Number of traveling men, 15; number of 
men employed, 60; annual sales, $1,414,000. 

Drugs— Number of traveling men, 10; number of men employed, 
42; annual sales, $1,200,000. 

Groceries — Number of traveling men, 23; number of men em- 
ployed, 44; annual sales, $2,750,000. 

Clothing — Number of traveling men, 2; number of men em- 
ployed, 4; annual sales, $100,000. 

Stationery — Number of traveling men, 3; number of men em- 
ployed, 10; annual sales, $115,000. 

Queensware — Number of traveling men, 5; number of men em- 
ployed, 12; annual sales, $150,000. 

Hardware — Number of traveling men, 7; number of men em- 
ployed, 25; annual sales, $600,000. 

Boots and shoes — -Number of traveling men, 3; number of men 
employed, 7; annual sales, $150,000. 

Saddlery hardware — Number of traveling men, 6 ; number of men 
employed, 19; annual sales, $250,000. 

Cigars — Number of traveling men, 7 ; number of men employed, 
23; annual sales, $303,000. 

Total for 1889— Number of traveling men, 179; number of men 
employed, 414; annual sales, $9,457,000. 

Among the large dealers are Tollerton & Stetson Co., C. Shenk- 
berg & Co., Donnan & Fowler Co., William Tackaberry & Co., whole- 
sale grocers; J. H. Griffin & Co., Iowa Candy Co., Sioux City Cracker 
& Candy Co., confectioners; Jandt & Thompkins, Palmer, Noyes & 
Willey, dry goods; Hornick- Drug Co., F. Hansen, drugs; Baker & 
Bissell, Knapp & Spalding Co., hardware; Peavey & Stephens, George 
H. Howell, furniture; Strange Bros., hides, etc.; W. E. Higman & 
Co., boots and shoes; I. Feldenheimer, clothing; J. K. Prugh & Co., 
queensware; Sioux City Plow Co., Weisz & Moll Co., agricultural 
implements; Northwestern Spice Co., coffee, cigars and spices. 

The saddlery hardware business of L. Humbert was started in a 
small way in 1870. Later on, the hide trade was added, and the com- 
bined business has constantly grown. A commercial salesman is 
now employed, and the full force engaged in the business of manu- 
facturing and selling is twenty. 


C. H. Martin's music business was established in 1886, and has 
come to be a big trade, extending over a large territory. The highest 
grades of musical instruments extant are handled in large quantities. 

Crowell & Martin, wholesale dealers in fruit, now doing an exten- 
sive business, commenced their operations in 1880, by shipping one 
carload of oranges and lemons, and later the first car of bananas 
ever shipped to Sioux City. At that date it was looked upon as a 
foolish piece of business venture, and it took some time to work these 
goods off, but they have steadily increased, with the growth of the city, 
and now handle several cars each week, of the above mentioned goods. 

The Independent Lumber Company, located here within the past 
year, consists of S. Barrow and J. H. Vallean, who sell in car lots, all 
grades of lumber, coming from the forests of Wisconsin and Minne- 
sota. Although a newly organized firm, these gentlemen have already 
secured a large trade among builders and contractors. 

A jobbers' and manufacturers' association was organized December 
5, 1885, which has been of great value to the city, in carrying out 
her many gigantic business enterprises, including the several corn 
palaces. The present officers are James F. Peavey, president; John 
Hornick, first vice-president; E. H. Stone, treasurer; James V. 
Mahoney, acting secretary; Messrs. Tollerton, Hornick and Gere, 
committee on transportation. 

Manufacturing. — Not until recently has Sioux City laid claim to 
being much of a manufacturing point, aside from that branch to which 
the packing industry belongs. But of late years, with the additional 
railway facilities, and the rapidly developing farming section to the 
north and west, an effort has been carried to a successful issue, in the 
inducement of manufacturers to locate here. Eastern and western 
surplus money has found a paying investment in these gigantic plants. 
Aside from the pork-packing business mentioned elseAvhere, the lead- 
ing manufacturing plants are the two great brick and tile works, the 
largest in Iowa; the Sioux City engine works at Leeds; the linseed 
oil mills, the largest in America; the pottery, soap, vinegar and wood- 
working factories; agricultural implement works, lithographing, blank 
book and auxiliary printing houses. Also the Daniel Paris stove 
works (at Leeds), which are now being erected, and will employ 400 
workmen. It is the largest Avest of Cleveland, Ohio. The milling 
interests of Sioux City have come to be of great magnitude. During 


the present year, 1890, the second largest flouring-mill in Iowa, a 
roller plant, has been built at Leeds, at which place a shoe factory 
is also being built. 

"With the Haley Iron Works and the Scraper "Works, together with 
foundries here and there over the city, no trouble is experienced in 
getting heavy castings of all kinds. 

A stock company with a capital of $2,000,000 was formed in 1889, 
to assist in the establishment of manufactories. The members are all 
heavy capitalists, who have abundant faith in building up great manu- 
facturing interests at Sioux City. Among the flourishing manufact- 
uring plants who have furnished the writer with data are the fol- 
lowing : 

The Sioux City engine works were first established in 1871, and 
incorporated in 1884. C. M. Giddings is president and manager, with 
H. J. Westover as superintendent. They build high-grade engines, 
including the automatic, their own invention. This plant was located 
in the city up to 1889, at which time they removed to Leeds, where 
their works now cover four acres. They have the capacity for turning 
out 150 engines per annum. Their specialty in engine work is the 
Sioux City Corliss, which finds ready sale in all parts of the country. 
They make them from 100 to 200 horse power. During the last year 
they have sold them in California; St. Paul, Minn.; Des Moines, 
Iowa; Chillicothe, Mo.; Omaha, Neb.; St. Joseph, Mo., and many 
smaller points. 

The Sioux City Brick & Tile Works, with office and works at 
Springdale, were incorporated November 12, 1886, by C. F. Hoyt, 
Thomas Green, H. Huerth, C. E. Marks and W. M. Stevens. The 
present officers are C. F. Hoyt, president; C. R. Marks, secretary; 
Thomas Green, superintendent and treasurer. The capital stock is 
$60,000. The output of the plant is never less than 1,000,000 a 
month, the year through. The quality of brick made is very superior; 
they were used in the foundation of the United Bank block, instead of 
stone. The supply of clay is inexhaustible at their plant, and in the 
Sioux valley. They also possess fine builder's sand and glass sand. 
$50,000 has been invested in improvements, and the plant is fully 
equipped with all sorts of modern machinery. 

The Sergeant's Bluff & Sioux City Terra Cotta, Tile & Brick 
"Works began operations in 1887, their first year's output being 4,000,- 


000. The attention of the company was turned toward paving brick, 
in the fall of 1889, and early in the spring of 1890, they constructed 
new kilns and added new machinery for such purpose. Their clay is 
of a superior quality for this work, being a hard blue shale, which in 
paving, makes the hardest and most lasting brick known. Their 1890 
output was 7,000,000. The officers of this company are Aaron Halseth, 
president; George A. Mead, vice-president; M. L. Sloan, secretary; 
George H. Brown, treasurer. The works are situated at Sergeant's 
Bluff, while their office is at Sioux City. 

Prominent among Sioux City's gigantic business enterprises rnay be 
mentioned one of the largest linseed oil-mills in the United States. 
This plant is located on the north side of Second street, with a frontage 
of 150 feet each, on Court and Iowa streets. The plant is a model of 
modern skill, and ranks second to none in the world in amount of oil 
produced. The works were built by Messrs. R. D. Hubbar'd, of 
Mankato, Minn., and T. P. Gere, of St. Paul, the location being influ- 
enced by the fact that Sioux City was in the center of the flax-growing 
belt. The construction of these works was commenced in August, 
1883, the first crushing being done for the crop of 1884 Five hundred 
thousand bushels of flax seed are consumed annually by these mills. 
The product is linseed oil and oil cake. The name of the incorporated 
company owing and operating these works, is the National Linseed Oil 
Company, and its paid-up capital is §18,000,000. The resident man- 
ager is Thomas P. Gere. 

In the line of novelty goods, made at this point, should be men- 
tioned the Martin piano truck, which was invented by C. H. Martin, 
of Sioux City, in 1889. Business was commenced at once upon 
receipt of the letters patent. The firm became C. H. Martin & Co. (C. 
H. Martin and E. H. Stone). During the first year they sold $12,- 
000 worth of trucks in all parts of the union. They own and conduct 
a large factory, and the business is constantly increasing. 

The Sioux City Butter Tub Factory commenced operation in 1881, 
with a capacity of 15,000 butter tubs; but the plant has grown, and in 
1889 it turned out 50,000 tubs, 5,000 lard barrels, 2,000 pork barrels, 
2,000 half barrels. The proprietors are W. F. Baker & Son, and the 
factory is located in the rear of 107 West Third street. 

Fletcher & Case Co., with an authorized capital of $100,000, 
was established in March, 1882, with an original capital of only $9,000, 


and employing but ten men. They manufacture all kinds of doors, 
windows, blinds, moldings, bank work, etc. In March, 1889, the 
business was incorporated, and during that year employed sixty men 
and turned out $100,000 worth of work. 

The steam heating and plumbing business of Louis Kettleson was 
founded in 1889. In 1890 the business amounted to $40,000, and 
employed ten Avorkmen. 

The Union Planing Mill Company was organized in 1889, with 
Daniel Linblad, manager; O. Soiset, president, and A. Elving, secre- 
tary. The mill is 40x75 feet, with engine room 24x25 feet. Every 
kind of planing is done by the most improved machinery. They 
employ twenty men. Mr. Linblad is a native of Sweden, and came 
to America in 1881, locating at Sioux City. 

Union Stock Yards and Packing-houses. — Nothing has been more 
successful in the history of Sioux City, than the beef and pork packing 
jjlants, which have sprung up within a few years and already rank 
third in the Union. It is now the stock market of northwestern Iowa, 
southwestern Minnesota, Dakota and Nebraska. This business has 
assumed immense proportions, and is rapidly growing. The present 
great cattle and hog industry of the west, dates its origin to the gold 
discoveries of 1860. The grassy plains lying between the Rocky 
mountains and the Missouri river, were grazed upon only by the 
vast multitudes of buffalo, elk, antelope, etc., running wild over them. 
It is from the completion of the Union Pacific road, in 1869, that 
freighting stock from the vast western country commenced. The map 
shows that several great trunk lines of railway shoot out from Sioux 
City and traverse this section, bringing in the live-stock treasure. 

The nucleus of what is now a great corporation — the Union Stock 
Yards Company — was organized in 1884, with a paid-up capital of 
$100,000. D. T. Hedges was president and treasurer; F. T. Evans, 
Sr., vice-president, and Ed. Haakinson, secretary and superintendent. 
The company was composed of men far-seeing, shrewd, and possessed 
of great executive ability. After the immediate wants of the stock 
yards proper were attended to, they began buying land on what is 
termed "the flats," at the junction of the Floyd and Missouri rivers, 
just where the eastern abutment of the railroad bridge is. The com- 
pany now owns in that vicinity, over 1,500 acres of ground and in the 
neighborhood of 400 city lots. On these grounds are located the 


mammoth packing plants of the Silberhorn company, and the Fowler 
house, now operated by Ed. Haakinson & Co., and the James E. 
Booge & Son Packing Company. These immense institutions have a 
daily capacity of 12,000 hogs and 2,000 cattle. 

The present officers of the Union Stock Yards Company are D. T. 
Hedges, president; J. E. Booge, vice-president; Ed. Haakinson, secre- 
tary; J. W. Htitchings, superintendent. The capital stock of the 
company is $1,000,000. 

The oldest and best known establishment of its kind, in this part 
of the great Missouri valley, is the one conducted by the James E. 
Booge & Sons Packing Company, an institution of which Sioux City 
is proud, and which for years past has enriched our local interests on 
every hand, to the extent of millions of dollars every year, likewise 
encouraging the hog product among the farmers of the northwest, 
covering an area of nearly 100 miles tributary to this market. For 
the past ten years this company has been engaged in packing and 
turning out the product of 2,000 hogs slaughtered each day. For 
its successful operation, 350 men are employed throughout the season. 

The AV. H. Silberhorn company was the second packing-house to 
locate at Sioux City. The main buildings consist of four immense 
structures of solid brick, four stories high, and are constructed with 
every improvement known to science and skill. The best evidence of 
the truth of this statement, is in the fact that the total cost is more 
than $750,000. The machinery is driven by two magnificent Corliss 
engines of 225 horse-power, getting their steam from the two largest 
boilers in Iowa. 

The capacity of the establishment, controlled by the Silberhorns, 
when worked to its full limit, is 3,000 hogs, 1,000 beeves and 500 
sheep each and every day ; in other words, 4,500 animals can be reduced 
to pork, beef and mutton every twelve hours. The methods employed 
are skillful in the last degree. 

The third packing-house is conducted by Ed. Haakinson & Co. 
This great establishment was originally built for Kobert D. Fowler, 
but owing to the failing health of that great pork packer, the plant 
was taken, in March, 1888, by Ed. Haakinson & Co. This great pork- 
packing house is supplied with all the latest machinery for the pack- 
ing of pork and beef. It is a splendidly laid out plant, having all those 
conveniences of the great packing-houses of Chicago. The house for 


killing and dressing beef is six stories high, 154x62; storing and 
packing, five stories, 160x160; smoke-house, 50x100; fertilizing, 50x98; 
beef- house, four stories high, 100x100, and ice-house, forty-seven feet 
high, 148x60. 

Banking. — Sioux City is now a great banking city, with greater 
prospects in the near future. Thirteen good banks are in successful 
operation, and two more (one with $1,000,000 capital) are now being 

The first attempt at banking was in October, 1855, when Cassady, 
Myers & Moore, later known as Cassady, Moore & Clark, opened a 
small private concern. The longest-continued bank in Iowa is the 
private banking-house of Weare & Allison, the same dating from 
1856. George Weare, one of the firm, came to Sioux City December 
26, 1855, when the town was made up of six log houses. He opened 
up an office in the attic of a story-and-a-half log building, on the 
corner of Pearl and Third streets, which was then occupied by the 
United States land office. That winter he built him a log building 
on Douglas street, near Sixth, where he remained until 1857, then 
moved into a one-story building, which he also erected. 

In September, 1860, Mr. Weare formed a partnership with John 
P. Allison. They then opened up a banking office in a building which 
was standing on the corner of Douglas and Sixth streets. The busi- 
ness of the young city changed, in 1862, to Second, Third and Lower 
Pearl streets, and in 1869 they erected what was known as the Spotted 
building, which was moved afterward and used by the Iowa Savings 
Bank. In 1878 they built the brick bank building on Pearl street, 
near Fourth, where they are now located. They still do a thriving 
business, being individually responsible for $500,000. Being an old 
pioneer bank, and having always conducted their business on correct 
principles, they now have the confidence of all banking concerns in the 

The First National Bank was organized August 30, 1870, with the 
following officers: A. W. Hubbard, president; Thomas J. Stone, cash- 
ier. The cash capital was $100,000. This institution succeeded the 
private banking house of Thomas J. Stone. Its present cash capital 
and surplus is $200,000, with $8,000 of undivided profits. Its present 
officers are Thomas J. Stone, president; George Murphy, vice-presi- 
dent; E. H. Stone, cashier. At first they were located on the corner 


of Pearl and Third streets, but in 1871 erected the fine banking build- 
ing on the corner of Douglas and Fourth streets, which they still 
occupy. They have over forty corresponding banks, east and west, 
including the Merchants National, of Chicago, and the Ninth National, 
of New York City. By reason of Sioux City's great wholesale and 
jobbing trade throughout the northwest, this bank controls a large 
business in Nebraska, Dakota and Minnesota. 

The Corn Exchange National Bank was organized February 15, 
1890, with a capital of $300,000. The officers then, and at present, are 
John C. French, president; C. Bevan Oldfield, vice-president; W. G. 
Harcourt Vernon, cashier. Their location is corner of Jackson and 
Fifth streets, in United Bank building. Their corresponding banks 
are Seaboard National Bank, New York; National of Illinois, at Chi- 
cago; First National Bank, of Omaha; Bank of Minnesota, St. Paul; 
Union National Bank, Kansas City. The Corn Exchange is a strong 
financial concern, with the following directors: D. T. Hedges, T. P. 
Gere, John Hornick, J. F. Peavey, C. L. Wright, M. Pierce, F. W. 
Little, Joseph Sampson, J. C. French, C. B. Oldfield and W. G. H. 

The Iowa State National Bank, was organized in January, 1889, 
with a cash capital of $100,000. Their present capital and surplus is 
$106,000. The first, as well as present officers, are D. T. Gilman, 
president; H. A. Jondt, vice-president; B. S. Van Keuren, cashier. 
Their corresponding banks are Gilman, Son & Co., New r York; Na- 
tional Bank of America, Chicago; Commercial National, Omaha; Sec- 
ond National, St. Paul. It is conducted in a correct business manner, 
and constantly growing in favor. Its location is in the Opera House 
block, on Fourth street. 

The Home Savings Bank was organized January 1, 1890, with a 
capital of $50,000. Its officers are George E. Westcott, president; 
W. S. Irvine, vice-president; H. G. Hubbard, cashier. It is situated 
on Fourth street. Its eastern corresponding bank is the Merchants 
Exchange National Bank, of New York. While it is a new concern, its 
proprietors are well known, and have the confidence of a large list of 

The Iowa Savings Bank was organized January 15, 1883, with a 
capital of $25,000. To-day it has a capital of $250,000, with a sur- 
plus of $40,000. 


The original officers were: E. Richardson, president; D. T. 
Hedges, vice-president; L. Wynn cashier. The present officers are 
E. Richardson, president; George W. Wakefield, vice-president; L. 
Wynn, cashier. This bank is situated on the southwest corner of 
Eifth and Pierce streets, where they removed in the fall of 1887. At 
first this concern started in the rear room of the Sioux National 
Bank building. Their corresponding banks are Chase National 
Bank, New York; Metropolitan National Bank, Chicago. The pres- 
ent directors are Eri Richardson, AVilliam L. Joy, E. B. Spalding, 
L. Wynn, George W. Wakefield. They occupy one of the finest 
bank buildings in all the great northwest, an elegant seven-story stone 
block of beautifully designed masonry. 

The Union Stock Yards State Bank was organized November 1, 
1887, with a cash capital of $50,000. Its present capital is $205,000. 
Its first and present officers are E. W. Skerry, president, and C. C. 
Pierce cashier. Their corresponding banks are Bank of Montreal, 
Chicago; Fourth Street National, Philadelphia; Gilman, Son & Co., 
New York; Sioux National Bank, Sioux City. This solid banking 
institution is situated at the Union Stock Yards, in Sioux City, and is 
doing a prosperous business under an able management. 

The Commercial State Bank was organized in September, 1886, 
with a capital of $50,000. Its present capital and surplus is $145,- 
000. It is situated on the corner of Fourth and Nebraska streets, and 
has for its corresponding banks the First National, of Chicago; Bank 
of North America, New York; Omaha National, Omaha, Neb. The 
first officers were Jonathan W. Brown, president; J. E. Booge, 
vice-president; Chas. F. Luce, cashier. The 1890 officials are 
Jonathan W. Brown, president; J. S. Fassett, vice-president; L. II. 
Brown, cashier. 

The Security National Bank was organized in February, 1884, 
with a capital of $100,000. Its first officers were F. H. Peavey, 
president; M. C. Davis vice-president; W. P. Manley, cashier. Its 
present capital amounts to $200,000, and the officers are James D. 
Spalding, president; M. C. Davis, vice-president; W. P. Manley, 
cashier. Their corresponding banks are Importers & Traders Na- 
tional, of New York; Continental National, of Chicago; First National, 
of St. Paul ; Security Bank, of Minneapolis ; Nebraska National Bank, 
Omaha. This is one of Sioux City's prides in the banking line. It 



is well located at 419 Fourth street, to which place it moved in De- 
cember, 1887. 

The Merchants National Bank was organized in April, 1888, with 
a capital of $25,000. To-day it runs with a capital and surplus of 
$101,000. Its corresponding banks include the National Park Bank, 
New York; Metropolitan National, Chicago; American National, 
Omaha; American National, Kansas City. They are finely located at 
the corner of Fourth and Jackson streets. This concern was originally 
the Merchants Bank, but changed to National in 1890. The original 
officers were E. W. Rice, president; George P. Day, cashier. They 
are the same now, with the addition of Edward B. Spalding as vice- 
president. The directors are E. W. Bice, E. G. Burkham, E. B, 
Spalding, Thomas J. Stone, William Wells, Alex Larson, N. Tiedman,. 
George P. Day. 

The State Savings Bank was organized November 11, 1889, as suc- 
ceeding the private bank known as the Union Banking Company. Its- 
present capital is $51,420. The officers are H. M. Bailey, president; 
S. T. Davis, vice-president. The corresponding banks of this concern 
include the National Bank of Deposit of New York. 

The Sioux City Savings Bank was organized in 1886, with a paid- 
up capital of §50,000. The original officers were J. H. Culver, pres- 
ident; Thomas J. Stone, vice-president; Edward P. Stone, cashier. At 
present the capital and surplus of this bank in $65,000, and the officers 
are Thomas J. Stone, president; W. P. Mauley, vice-president; Ed- 
Avard P. Stone, cashier. The bank is situated on the corner of Fifth 
and Pierce streets. 

The Sioux National Bank was organized in June, 1881, with a capital 
of $100,000. Its present capital and surplus amounts to $600,000. 
The original officers were W. L. Joy, president; A. S. Garretson, 
cashier, and the same still hold their respective positions. This solid 
banking concern succeeded what was known as the Sioux City Savings 
Bank. They have for their corresponding banks the Chemical National 
of New York and the Commercial National of Chicago. Success has 
marked every year's business of the above bank, and people all over the 
northwest have the utmost confidence in it. 

The Ballou State Banking Company was organized April 1, 1888, 
at Storm Lake, Iowa, and succeeded H. S. Ballou & Co. The capital 
at first was $100,000. At present it is $150,000. The original 


officers were H. S. Ballou, president; I. F. Kleokuer, vice-president ; 
J. A. Dean, treasurer. It is still officered by the same men with the 
addition of A. E. Webb, cashier. Their corresponding banks are 
Howard National, Boston; Chase National, New York; American Trust 
& Savings Bank, Chicago. 

The American National Bank was organized in November, 18S8, 
with a capital of 3150,000. Its present surplus is $50,000. Its first 
officers were B. M. Webster, president; H. A. Jandt, vice-president, 
and Herman Russell, cashier. The present officials are O. J. Taylor, 
president; H. D. Booge, Jr., vice-president, and Thomas C. Pease, 
cashier. Their corresponding banks are National Republic, New 
York; Union National Bank, Chicago; Omaha National, Omaha, Neb. ; 
Merchants National, St. Paid. 

The business men of Sioux City have reason to have a just pride 
in their home banks, and none stands higher than the American Na- 

The National Bank of Sioux City is one of the latest financial 
institutions in the city. It was organized in 1890 with a capital of 
$1,000,000, and is the largest banking house in Iowa. Its presi- 
dent is W. E. Higman; C. L. Chandler is cashier, and C. B. French, 
Jr., assistant cashier. Their place of business is in Metropolitan 
Block, corner of Fourth and Jackson streets. The demand for more 
ready capital in the city, and a large and growing commercial interest, 
caused this bank to be organized. The stockholders include many 
eastern investors who have abounding faith in Sioux City. In the 
building of a greater city and also in the construction of the various 
projected lines of railway, this bank must of necessity do a large 
business from the outset. The directors are George H. Howell, 
wholesale furniture dealer; Joseph Schulein, capitalist; W. H. Fowler, 
wholesale grocer ; F. L. Clark, dry goods dealer ; C. R. Marks, attorney ; 
W. S. Woods, president of Kansas City National Bank; AV. E. Hig- 
man, C. Q. Chander and C. B. French. 

Miscellaneous Interests. — Bradstreet's Commercial Agency was 
opened in Sioux City in 1884, by C. H. Austin as superintendent. He 
had previously been engaged in St. Paul as teller in the First Na- 
tional Bank; also at Rochester, Minn. He is a native of Minnesota, 
receiving his education in that state and in Tennessee. Eight per- 
sons are employed under him in the agency. 


Another business convenience, in keeping with the Sioux City way 
of doing things, is the American District Telegraph Company of 416 
Pierce street, of which A. B. Gould is manager. In 1888 the com- 
pany was granted a franchise to put in a system of district telegraph, 
night-watch and burglar alarm service. Its growth has been steady 
and paying, having now over 300 district "call boxes" in business 
houses; over 100 night-watch boxes in packing-houses, mills, factories 
and business blocks; also ten banks fitted up with burglar alarm pro- 

Another industry that ranks third or fourth in the United States, 
is the auxiliary printing business at Sioux City. In 1885 this busi- 
ness was first established here by two companies, the Chicago News- 
paper Union and the Sioux City Printing Company. But four cities 
in America print as many papers each week (of the auxiliary kind) as 
Sioux City. Their "ready print" sheets go out to supply hundreds 
of weekly, monthly and semi-monthly publications with the latest tel- 
egraphic news of the world. Chicago, New York and Kansas City are 
the only places which surpass the "ready print" business of Sioux 
City. It is one of the great inventions of the day, by which news- 
papers can be complete, valuable, and at the same time exceedingly 
cheap. News is taken from the wires, set in type, printed and sent 
out by fast trains to the various country offices all over the great 

The Sioux City Printing Company owes its origin to D. T. Hedges 
and John C. Kelley. To-day but one other industry employs more 
men in the city than this. 

The Chicago Newspaper Union is another immense printing plant. 

The horticultural business of I. N. Stone was established in 1868 
at Fort Atkinson, Wis., about equally divided between growing 
berries and small fruit, and nursery stock. In 1883 he commenced 
preparing grounds for a similar business, as a branch, at Sioux City. 
By 1885 this business was well established in Sioux City, and he sold 
his former place in Wisconsin, and has since concentrated his whole 
attention to his business here. This being a good point from which 
to distribute small fruit and nursery stock, with a territory almost 
unlimited, his business is one of a growing and most excellent char- 

The Gas and Electric Light Plants. — The first charter to light 


Sioux City with gas was made and granted to Andrew M. Hunt and 
his associates, successors, heirs and assigns, under the title of the Sioux 
City Gas Light Company, February 26, 1869, for the term of thirty 
years, one of the conditions being that the gas should be furnished 
through at least a mile of pipe, by the time the population reached 
7,500. The works were put in operation in 1872, when the city had 
5,000 population. The present owners of the plant live in Pennsylva- 
nia. During 1889-90 the works were greatly improved and the capac- 
ity much enlarged. An engine of great power operates an air blast, 
and pumps water and steam into the retorts, of which there are three, 
measuring five feet in diameter, by eighteen in length. Oil and steam 
are pumped in alternately and being quickly decomposed by the 
intense heat, and mingling with the fuel gas already created, the joint 
product is water gas, which burns with a brillant light, but being 
somewhat dangerous, it is mixed with coal gas before being turned 
into the mains. Four miles of new pipe were laid in 1889, two miles 
of which were along Jackson street. The company now has in use 
700 meters; gas is supplied to 118 street lamps at a yearly cost to the 
city of §22 per lamp. The building at which this gas is generated, is 
the largest in Iowa, being 40x150 feet in its ground plan, and thirty- 
eight feet high. The capacity of the plant is 3,000,000 cubic feet per 
month, which is soon to be trebled. 

The first electric light company in Sioux City was organized in 
1883, a charter being granted to E. H. Stone and Thomas Leary. 
January 30, 1888, a similar charter was granted to T. J. Stone, E. W. 
Kice, W. B. LoA?er, Thomas Leary, and others for a term of twenty- 
five years. The Sioux City Electric Company was formed in Sep- 
tember, 1S88, and has acquired the plant owned by the other compa- 
nies. The new company is composed of the same members as the gas 
company. Its power house is located on Court street, near the gas 
works, and is by all odds the largest plant in Iowa. It has a 250- 
horse-power engine of the Sims pattern, and a 200-horse-power Corliss 
engine. Either engine has power enough to run both dynamos. In 
October, 1889, this company entered into a contract with the city, to 
furnish all the arc lights needed for lighting the place for five years. 
At present seventy-six lamps are in use, and more can be added under 
the same contract by calling upon the company, as necessity demands. 
The cost to the city is $100 per year for each light. These arc lamps 
are 2,000-candle power each. 


Besides these there are operated 800 incandescent lights and 200 
gasoline street lamps, principally in the more remote parts of the city. 
The total illuminating power of Sioux City is as follows: Electric 
street arc lights, 76; street gas lamps, 118; private electric incandes- 
cent lamps, 800; street gasoline lamps, 200; private gas meters, 700. 

The Sioux City Cable Kailway Company now light certain por- 
tions of the north part of the city. Electricity is produced at the 
power house, and no charge can be made to the city for five years. 
Arc lamps appear every two blocks for nearly three miles along the 
cable line. 

City Water-works. — " Give us pure water and undefiled religion!" 
once prayed a chaplain in the Iowa legislature. In this connection 
will only be mentioned the water supply of Sioux City. The source 
of this supply is believed to be the Missouri river, by means of a 
great stratum of gravel and sand extending under the city between the 
engine-house and river, a distance of one-half a mile. The water of 
this stream, as it percolates through the vast gravel bed, covered over 
with the accretions on which the city is built, is perfectly purified by 
the natural filter. The drive-wells that tap this basin are one hun- 
dred and four in number, extending down seventy feet. The capacity 
of the present wells is 2,000,000 gallons per day. The system of 
water-works here used is what is known as Class No. 2, where there is 
a direct artificial pressure, with reservoir attachment, the latter being 
at an elevation sufficient to give the necessary pressure for fire purposes. 

The " Journal" of January, 1890, gives the following water- works 
history : 

" The first move toward the inauguration of a system of water- 
works was made eight years ago. A franchise was granted to ' The 
City Water- Works of Sioux City,' by an ordinance approved October 6, 
1881. The officers of that company were: President, D. A. Magee; 
treasurer, C. F. Hoyt; solicitor, George W. Wakefield; secretary, 
E. Morley; and the members were D. A. Magee, E. E. Kirk, George 
H. Wright, George D. Perkins, George W. Wakefield, Capt. Alex Bar- 
low, William Wingett, C. F. Hoyt, E. Morley. This company, soon 
after its organization, expended over $12,000 in sinking an artesian 
well near the base of Prospect hill, on Bluff street, near West Fourth, 
in search of a water supply. A constant discharge was secured at 
a depth of about 1,800 feet, but it was trifling in amount and the bor- 
ing was abandoned at that depth. 


" In December, 1883, a franchise was granted to the City Water- 
Works Company of Sioux City, which conferred the right to use the 
streets and alleys for laying water mains, and such other powers as 
might be necessary in the construction of a system of water-works, 
which, when completed, was to be transferred to the city. The 
officers of the company were Eri Richardson, president; Charles 
Breiin, vice-president; T. J. Stone, treasurer; E. B. Spalding, secre- 
tary. C. B. Marks was also one of the incorporators. 

" Work was begun by this company in April, 1884, and pumping 
began January 12, 1885. The reservoir was not completed until Sep- 
tember, 1885. On July 15, 1885, the company formally turned the 
works over to the city, which has since operated the system." 

Sioux City Rapid Transit Lines. — No other city on the continent, 
and no city on the globe of the size of Sioux City, has had the enter- 
prise to develop such a system of rapid transit as is here to-day. 
Twelve miles of admirably-equipped street railway, with electric 
power; four miles and a half of cable line, after the latest pattern; 
two well-developed motor lines, the one of four miles and a half of 
track, reaching westward through the " park side " of the city, and 
the other running two miles and a half through the eastern part — 
these lines, finely located, and each filling a distinctive sphere of its 
own, together constitute a consistent system, answering to the needs 
and convenience of the public; and they are so situated that extensions, 
as the growth of the city progresses, will follow logically, and cover 
the expanding field. 

But one thing was lacking to make the Sioux City transit system 
complete. This was an elevated railway. This is the latest and most 
daring feature of rapid transit in Sioux City. The road is now in 
process of construction, and will soon be completed. The enterprise 
includes the building of a mile and a half of elevated railway, con- 
necting the center of the city with the packing-house district and the 
Morning Side residence portion on the one hand, and, by means of 
connecting surface roads to be built, and the other separate systems of 
rapid transit already built, the other principal quarters of the city, giv- 
ing tliem all consistency and unity. The elevated railway would be a 
remarkable enterprise in another city, but in Sioux City it comes in the 
regular course of events, and may be taken as a measure of the scale on 
which transactions are here carried on. This is the only elevated street 


railroad in the west, aside from that in Kansas City, and the cable sys- 
tem here is second to none in the world. The inventor of this system of 
cable is a Sioux City man. 

The Sioux City Street Eailway Company was organized in December, 
1883, and three miles of track completed the first year, and had cars run- 
ning July 4, 1884. The original company was composed of Fred T. 
Evans and others. Each year the lines have been extended. In April, 
1887, James F. and F. H. Peavey bought a half interest in the line, and, 
in October, 1888, bought the entire property, and are still sole owners. 
The line was started with five " bob-tailed " one-horse cars. Electricity 
was employed as the driving power April 6, 1890. There are now 
sixteen miles of electric road and sixty-six splendid cars, including open 
or summer cars. The plant represents an investment of $450,000, 
and is already on a paying basis. An extension of this line is now being 
made to Leeds, four miles away. 

The cable line was commenced September 17, 1888, and July 1, 
1889, the line was ready for business. It was a great stroke of enter- 
prise on the part of Sioux City business men, who had unimproved 
acres " way out in the country," which to-day — less than two years' 
time — are covered with beautiful and costly homes of some of the best 
families in the city. The original plant cost $325,000. The line is 
three and one-half miles long, and employs sixteen cable cars. The 
line runs from the railroads out north on Jackson street, with the power 
house midway. In the power-house is also a plant for generating 
electricity for running the arc lights along the line, every other block 
having one. D. T. Hedges, John Pierce and others own and control 
the plant. The entire length of the line is paved, and the roadbed 
proper is cemented throughout, making it one of the finest transit 
lines in operation in America. 

The Highland Park Motor Line to the eastern bank of the Big 
Sioux river, some four or five miles to the west, was begun in 1886 
and completed the following year, since which time it has proven a 
profitable investment. This finely equipped system serves the entire 
western portion of the city, and traverses the tract of rolling land con- 
taining over 600 acres, and known as Highland Park, which overlooks 
the meanderings of the Big Sioux and Missouri rivers. It is now 
designed to soon change the steam motor, with its noise and coal 
smoke, for the electric system. During the summer months this line 


as packed with passengers going to and from the park, one of the most 
beautiful resort spots within the environs of the city. A hotel, boat- 
club house and "switch-back " railway are among the objects of sum- 
mer attraction. The banks of the river are dotted, here and there, 
with tents and campers, from the city and also from different parts of 
the country. 

The elevated railway is the last triumph in the way of rapid transit 
in this city, with such men as the following backing the gigantic enter- 
prise: E. C. Peters, James A. Jackson, S. M. Jackson, A. S. Garretson, 
D. T. Hedges, Ed. Haakinson, J. T. Cheney, James E. Booge, Taylor 
& Healy and A. V. Larimer. December 7, 1889, contracts were let to 
the King Bridge & Iron Company, of Cleveland, Ohio, for one and 
•one-eighth miles of double track, elevated road, to cost (aside from 
live depots) $242,000. It starts near the Union depot and runs east, 
crossing the Floyd river, and then connects with the surface motor line 
for Morning Side. The elevated road is twenty-two feet above the 
level of Third street, along which it runs. It is eighteen feet wide 
and supported by steel columns with their base planted on solid con- 
crete work, made at great expense. The stock for this road has found 
ready sale in the markets of the east. 

SIOUX CITY.— Continued. 


The Grasshopper a Burden— The Great Flood of 1881— The Sioux 
City Expeditions— Col. Sawyer's Wagon Road Across the Plains— 
The Black Hills Expedition— The Great Corn Palaces — How 
the First Big Sioux Bridge Was Built — Other Bridges— Assassina- 
tion of Rev. George C. Haddock. 

EVERY part of the globe has its special eras, and has, at some 
time in its history, been the scene of some startling and peculiar 
events. Each state, and likewise each county, has had a series of 
circumstances woven into its history which does not properly belong 


under regular subject or chapter heading. Hence the following items 
have been grouped under the title found at the commencement of this 

The Grasshopper a Burden. — The first appearance of grasshoppers 
iu "Woodbury county, after its settlement, was in 1857. In the month 
of August, that year, they were alarmingly numerous. They did not 
deposit their eggs, or cocoons which contain them, and there being 
such a limited area of vegetation, except weeds and prairie grass, it 
was never counted and seldom referred to by pioneers as having been 
embraced in the "grasshopper years." 

Their next advent was in July, 1864, when they destroyed nearly 
everything the land produced in the way of vegetation, which, follow- 
ing the serious injury done by the great frost of the year before in 
August, made it very discouraging for the farmers and those interested 
in raising gardens. The next spring, where they had deposited their 
eggs, the destruction of vegetation was even more complete. Fortu- 
nately a very small portion of Iowa had been visited by them, their 
incursion hardly reaching south of Sergeant's Bluff, and but a little 
way to the east, not over five miles. Beyond that limit, at that time, 
there was very little vegetation to be destroyed until the Little Sioux 
river was reached. 

It was in 1867 they came in all their glory, occupying the whole 
western part of the State as far east as Boone river in Hamilton 
county, thence south. The destruction wrought that year was very 
great, and in the spring of 1868, when they hatched out, moving in 
an almost unbroken column, growing by what they fed on, they hardly 
left a green thing in their wake except prairie grass. In their fall 
visitations and hatching-out time in the spring, it was curious, and 
almost unaccountable, sometimes to notice how many fields of vegeta- 
tion would escape their destructive ravages, which proved that there 
must have been a good many breaks in the line of their movements 
after all. From 1868 there were no more grasshoppers to speak of 
until 1873, when they appeared "like a great army of locusts," and, 
by the way, the red-legged grasshopper is supposed to be the locust 
of the ancients. They continued to come more or less until 1879, 
reaching from Manitoba to Texas, and included nearly all the states 
west of the Mississippi river and east of the Bocky mountains, the 
percentage of loss, through their destructiveness, being very great in 


some sections of this territory. The most damage was clone in the years 
1873 and 1874. To show what great hardship and suffering was caused 
by the grasshoppers to the " homesteaders " in the region immedi- 
ately associated with Sioux City at that time, the following report of 
a committee published in the Sioux City " Journal " in December, 
1873, is here given: 

Sibley, Osceola County, December 3, 1873. 

The undersigned, members of the committee appointed by the citizens of Sioux 
City, to secure aid for the suffering homesteaders in Osceola and other northwestern 
counties of our state, respectfully submit the subjoined report: 

We reached Sibley, Osceola county, which is near the center of the region devas- 
tated by grasshoppers, and from the statements of reliable men, whom we have known 
for j r ears, as well as from many of the homesteaders themselves, we are satisfied that 
there are many families suffering for the comrnon necessities of life. 

It is believed that at least one-half of the entire population of Osceola county is 
burning hay for fuel, being destitute of money with which to procure coal. This will 
be the best understood when it is known that the county is oue vast treeless prairie — 
which is true of all northwestern Iowa. 

Just at the time when all vegetation was maturing, and promised a large yield of 
farm and garden products, the grasshoppers swept away everything. This, to a class 
of men like our homesteaders, should not be allowed to discourage one of them, though 
hard is their present lot. All their means was expended in seed and labor, and their loss is 
irretrievable, unless aided by the benevolent of our state. There is in this county 
alone, 15,000 acres of land all ready for sowing wheat. These destructive pests are no 
fault of the homesteaders, and they must receive aid at once. What the people in this 
and adjoining counties want now is bedding, flannels and food. 

At Sheldon, and that vicinity, but little relief has been received, although to-day 
there are nearly twenty boxes and barrels of food and clothing, and thirty tons of 
coal now on the wa}', sent by Gen. Baker. 

To-morrow the Sioux City committee will send to Sibley, 1,000 pounds of flour and 
half as much meal, and to Sheldon the same amount, together with blankets, clothing 
and bedding. 

The local committees in all these counties are good, true men, who will see that all 
receive a portion of donations. In our inquiry in reference to the needs of home- 
steaders, Gen. N. B. Baker, of Des Moines, has rendered great assistance. It is hoped, 
by hints made by the Patrons of Husbandry, that this order will take hold of this mat- 
ter and co-operate with Gen. Baker and the committee, in securing the amount of seed 
wheat needed. For passes for ourselves, and free delivery of goods sent to homestead- 
ers, we are under obligations to the officers of the Sioux City & St. Paul railroad com- 
pany; also the express company, who are performing their whole duty in rendering 
the aid needed along the lines they represent. 

[Signed] William R. Smith, 
E. R. Kirk, 

For Relief Committee. 

Hon. George D. Perkins, who was then state senator, and who was 
made chairman of the committee appointed by the general assembly 
to provide ways and means to supply seed wheat to the destitute home- 


steaders, was very active and efficient in obtaining an appropriation 
from the state of $50,000 for that purpose. This amount secured 
from the state, was indeed a veritable God-send to the heroic pioneers, 
many of whom were old Union soldiers, who volunteered from north- 
western Iowa in the dark days of the Civil war. 

It should here be added to history, that the merchants, especially 
agricultural dealers of Sioux City, carried a heavy financial burden 
during those trying years which tested men's souls. 

We refer the reader to the Plymouth county part of this work for 
further facts regarding the grasshopper plague. 

Great Flood of 1881. — The greatest flood from the waters of the 
Missouri and Big Sioux rivers, ever known since white men possessed 
the great northwestern country, occurred in March and April, 1881, 
and was a dire calamity, never to be forgotten by those living in the 
valley of the greatest water course on the American continent, and 
will be referred to by their children and their children's children as 
one of the awful calamities, seldom equaled in any part of the world. 
The loss of human life, of live stock and general town and farm prop- 
erty was never fully known. The whole valley was inundated and the 
scene of desolation and devastation was for months, and even years, a 
picture too terrible for pen to portray. It will only be the aim of the 
writer, in this connection, to record a few facts and dates, that they 
may not be lost sight of by future generations, but the great story of 
misery, suffering and heart sadness to thousands of pioneer settlers, 
must of necessity go into Time's great unwritten book. 

The date of the flood was March, 1881, and at least 8,000 peo- 
ple suffered from the effects of it, while dozens of men, women and 
children lost their lives. While this flood did some damage at Sioux 
City, the greatest devastation was effected between here and Yankton, 
hence the details do not properly belong in a history of Woodbury 
county, except in a general way. 

The winter of 1880-81 was famous throughout the United States 
for a heavy snow fall. And this was especially true in the mountainous 
country through which the headwaters of the Missouri and the Yel- 
lowstone run. The season being earlier there, the warm weather and 
accompanying rains, caused the ice in the upper Missouri valley to go 
out first, which caused immense gorges to form at different points as 
far south as Council Bluffs, Iowa. 


This flood was termed the " Mill-tail of Hell." The main channel 
of the Missouri was changed in many places to points miles distant, 
and so remains to this day. Every town and city from the Yellow- 
stone down to Sioux City (where the great abrupt bluffs on the Iowa side 
prevented it), were more or less damaged by loss of life or property. 
The city of Yankton suffered greatly, and Vermillion was completely 
swept away. Thousands of homes were made desolate, and farm 
property was totally destroyed, and, in many cases, whole farms, con- 
taining hundreds of acres, were washed down the angry river toward 
the Gulf of Mexico, leaving their owners penniless. The charitable 
heart of the whole American people was stirred to the center, and 
liberal donations and public apjjropriations were forthcoming from all 
parts of the Union. The government assisted; the railroads and 
express companies tendered their services free; all sorts of home, 
church aud benevolent societies came forward in the time of need. 
The mayors of all the leading cities, even New York, responded nobly to 
the call for bread, clothing and money. No one man displayed a more 
benevolent spirit than did Sioux City's mayor, Dr. William E. Smith, 
who spent weeks in trying to collect together the distracted people and 
provide for their immediate wants. Hundreds of homeless families 
flocked to Sioux City; some walked, some were conveyed by flat boats 
and steamers, and others by teams. And be it said to the honor of 
Sioux City, that all were well cared for. 

The war department, through Gen. Sheridan, furnished full rations 
to 3,500 people in the vicinity of Yankton and Vermillion at the first 
alarm, and then assisted 5,000 more between Vermillion and the 
Big Sioux river, one of the oldest settled tracts in Dakota. Capt. 
Lavender and Capt. Noble rescued 450 people in six days, and con- 
veyed them from the inundated bottom lands to the bluffs, in boats. 
The scenes of this flood, if fully written, even as given by the news- 
papers, would fill a volume the size of the one you now hold. 

In "Woodbury county great excitement prevailed for a few days, 
especially in Lake Port, Liberty and Sloan townships, as well as over 
in Monona county. Quite a number of families living near the river, 
temporarily left their homes during the sudden rise of water, and fears 
of a flood extended far down the valley. The homeless folks found 
shelter among the farmers around and at Salix and Sloan, some even 
feeling unsafe until they reached the friendly heights of the distant 


bluffs. The damage here was slight as compared to that up the river. 
In the matter of relief to the flood sufferers it may be recorded that 
the following telegram was sent from Cedar Eapids: "The Mongonia 
Coal Company will donate two cars of coal to the sufferers above Sioux 
City. Our line and the Northwestern will transport these cars free — 
arrange with the committee to furnish proper shipping directions. 
[Signed] "Agent op Sioux City & Pacific E. E." 

The war and navy departments were alive to these urgent demands, 
and President Garfield, who had just been seated, called attention to 
the sufferers by this flood, and expressed a desire to have every need 
supplied at once. It was decided to issue rations for two weeks, and 
necessary clothing. Gov. Ordway was at the White House im- 
mediately after the cabinet meeting, to confer with Garfield relative to 
carrying out plans of speedy relief. 

Mayor William E. Smith, of Sioux City, received many letters 
containing $5, $10 and $100 toward the relief fund. He also re- 
ceived the following: 

Sioux Point, April 7, 1881. 

Hon. W. JR. Smith, Ma3 r or Sioux City, Iowa: Only three buildings in this place 
that are not flooded. The women and children are crowded along the banks of the 
Big Sioux. Can't you send up boats to take off about forty of all ages and sizes. They 
are very destitute, having been driven out of their homes on a few moments' notice. 

Yours etc., J. M. Adams. 

The wholesale and retail merchants at Sioux City established 
credit for themselves by the most generous, humane manner in which 
goods were dealt out for the up-country sufferers. Not a cent of profit 
was asked, simply cost, and many donated liberally besides. The 
"Journal" of April 24, said: 

" A question of some seriousness, in connection with the recent 
flood, which it is now time to consider, is as to what is to be done with 
the thousands of dead carcasses of animals in the Dakota bottoms. 
So soon as the water subsides, and the remains of these animals are 
exposed to the sun, decay will follow. From all reports, these dead 
bodies must be strewn about in such numbers as to be beyond the 
capacity of any combination of private and local enterprise to remove 
before pestilence shall be bred from them. What shall be done?" 

The Dakota City "Eagle," about that time, said: "The Mayor 
and all the noble men and women of Sioux City deserve to be remem- 
bered forever for what they have done and are still doing toward car- 


ing for and helping their flood-stricken neighbors in Dakota and Ne- 
braska. Not in all the world can be found bigger, warmer hearts and 
readier hands than in Sioux City." 

The Chicago "Times" said: " * * * Many of the poor people 
were needy when overtaken by the flood, and in haste escaped from 
the low lands almost naked, many not having a change of undercloth- 
ing. The ladies' relief committee received, by the steamers ' Niobrara ' 
and ' Beck,' from Sioux City and Omaha, several bales of female 
apparel, which they soon found ample use for. If possible, the women 
and children, including fair young ladies, more nearly appoached a 
state of nudity than the men." 

Old man " Strike the Tree," chief of the Yankton tribe of Sioux 
Indians, said that only once in his memory, extending a long way 
back, did the Missouri river ever approach the rise of March, 1881, 
and then many of his tribe were drowned along the flats. Warned 
by that calamity, the Sioux ever afterward builded on the bluffs — a 
custom which our settlers have since followed. In many places the 
river was twenty miles wide. All sorts of boats navigated from Elk 
Point to Sioux City across the flats. 

The three great flood years of the northwest were 1857, 1867 and 
1881. It may here be added, for future reference, that the great 
snow periods in Woodbury county have been the winters of 1856-57 
and 1880-81, while January, 1861, was nearly equal. 

Expeditions from Sioux City. — Sioux City, at an early day, was 
quite noted for fitting out western expeditions. Among these may be 
mentioned two of much importance, viz. : The one which explored and 
established what is known as the "Niobrara, or Sawyer's Route," 
and also the party under leadership of Collins & Russell, who were 
the first white men to venture into the wild Indian home of the sav- 
ages in and about Black Hills. 

Of the first, it may be said that Col. Sawyer was an old pioneer of 
Sioux City, and for many years operated a ferry-boat across the waters 
of the Missouri at this point. The design of the above expedition was 
to establish a short and available route for wagon trains (this was in 
1866, before western Iowa had a mile of railroad, and none was built 
beyond the Missouri river) from Sioux City to the far distant mount- 
tain country of Virginia Citj r . As will be seen by the following cor- 
respondence, the United States Government had promised to send an 


escort of soldiers, which they did not do, however, and the. brave Col. 
Sawyer went through the great western desert and established said 
route. Judge A. W. Hubbard was then in congress. 

H'b Q'ks. Army of the U. S., Washington, D. C, March 24, 1866. 
Hon. A. W. Hubbard, M. C, Washington, D. C, 

Sir: The lieutenant-general directs me to inform you that your communication 
of the 3d is at hand, and will be forwarded to Maj.-Gen. Sherman, with the instruc- 
tions he promised you yesterday. 

[Signed.] Btt. Col. Babcock, 

A. D. C. 

The instructions referred to were in compliance with the request 
of Judge Hubbard, that some of the troops going to Fort Connor (on 
the route traveled) should constitute an escort to go with Col. Saw- 
yer, an arrangement that would not have cost the government one 
dollar extra. 

Another assurance was this: 

St. Louis, Mo., March 31, 1866. 
I have arranged with Gen. Cooke to send two companies with Col. Sawyer on 
his wagon road expedition along the Niobrara. 

[Signed.] Maj.-Gen. Pope. 

For some reason, not fully understood, the escort was not forth- 
coming. The colonel then asked for some protection, in way of artil- 
lery, etc., and received the following official promise: 

Ordnance Office, War Department, Washington, May 25, 1866. 
Hon. A. W. Hubbard, House of Representatives., 

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that the secretary of war has authorized the 
issue to Col. Sawyer of two mounted howitzers, as per your request, and that Gen. 
Sully has this day been requested to let him have those at Sioux City, which will be 
replaced by others, to be sent for that purpose: 

Your obedient servant, 

A. B. Dyer, 
Bvt. Maj.-Gen., Chief Ord. 

Gen. Sully not being at Sioux City at the time, and no one else 
having the power to deliver the howitzers, one of the citizens, armed 
with the above document, went to Omaha to request Gen. Cooke to 
give the necessary order. A most polite but firm refusal was the 
response, on the sole reason that he believed the proposed wagon-road 
route not practicable. It seems that other men had been in confer- 
ence with Gen. Sherman, and convinced him that their route, which 
was from Des Moines, Iowa, via Council Bluffs, was the better one to 
adopt, so it was that these pieces of artillery were not delivered to 


Sawyer's party. However, after much parleying and disappointment, 
Col. Sawyer collected around him a few brave men, who, with Mm as 
pilot and leader, surveyed out the " Niobrara Wagon Road," which 
led from Sioux City westward over the territory of Nebraska, on 
into the gold regions of Montana. The route was the shortest, and 
avoided the famous alkali lands (the scourge of the plains) and 
afforded an abundance of fuel, water and grass, with a road-bed, which 
admitted of carrying six tons weight on two freight wagons joined 
together, without even the necessity of uncoupling, from Sioux City 
to Virginia City. That route became a great western thoroughfare, 
and was traversed by thousands of mule and ox trains of freight 
wagons, until the country was finally settled up, and the construction 
of railroads completed in all parts of the country, which at that time 
was but a barren, prairie wilderness. Much credit is due to Col. 
Sawyer's persistency, and the interest manifested on the part of Sioux 
City men in general, in the establishment of this great overland 
thoroughfare to the Rocky Mountains. 

The Black Hills Expedition. — To Sioux City belongs the honor and 
enterprise of fitting out the first civilians' expedition to the now rich 
and famous Black Hills country. Capt. T. H. Russell, of Deadwood, 
S. D., who was one of the party, and when in Sioux City, after an 
absence of thirteen years, gave the following information: 

It was October 6, 1874, that the Collins & Russell expedition 
started from Sioux City for the Black Hills. The party consisted of 
twenty-six men, who went through the Sioux nation, braving Indians, 
storms and blizzards, a very dangerous undertaking, but which proved 
eminently successful. They struck Gen. Custer's exit trail, where 
Piedmont now is, on the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley rail- 
road, below Deadwood about thirty-five miles. Gen. Custer had come 
out in July, and this party followed along his trail to where Custer 
City now stands. There they built a stockade eighty feet square, with 
walls thirteen feet high, made of pine logs. It had a trench around 
it about four feet deep. Inside the enclosure they erected six cabins. 
Port-holes were cut out every six feet, and each corner was provided 
with a bastion. These precautious were all taken to defend them- 
selves against an attack of the Indians, who then held that domain as 
a great reservation. Troops were soon sent to remove these white 
home-seekers. Capt. Mix, with the Second United States cavalry, 



arrived April 8, 1875, and took them prisoners. They surrendered 
gracefully. Gen. Forsythe complimented them on having the best 
stockade fortification along the frontier, and Capt. Mix said afterward 
that had they resisted, he would have been compelled to have gone 
to Fort Laramie for artillery, with which to batter down the well 
constructed stockade. 

From Fort Laramie the members of the expedition were paroled. 
Sioux City sent an embassador out to meet them, and Sioux City also 
furnished transportation for them to come home. John H. Charles 
of Sioux City was foremost in fitting out the expedition, and gave lib- 
erally to sustain and carry out the Black Hills project. Having once 
"broken the ice" and become acquainted with the country and trails, 
and also aided by the government, it was an easier matter for the 
whites to settle there. Capt. Russell was afterward made president of 
the Black Hills Pioneer Association, which was the first to prospect 
among the vast mineral wealth of that section. He is at this time a 
well-to-do citizen of Deadwood, where he is editing a daily newspaper. 
When one reflects, how that only sixteen years ago this little band of 
twenty-six men became pioneers in a wild country, where the North 
American Indian held his almost limitless hunting grounds, and that 
under the magic touch of modern enterprise it has come to be the seat 
of thriving cities and towns, where great systems of railroads find it to 
their interest to enter, it causes one to believe that the present is an 
age in the history of man never before half equaled. 

The present year, work is being commenced on the Sioux City & 
Northwestern railroad, projected from Sioux City to the Black Hills, 
over about the same route traversed by the twenty-six men, who made 
the above expedition in 1874. 

The Famous Com Palaces. — Athens boasted of her schools, Borne 
of her colosseum, amphitheatre and catacombs, and Egypt of her 
pyramids, but no other city on the globe attempted, and successfully 
carried out, the idea of exhibiting the vast agricultural resources of 
the country in which it was situated, as has Sioux City by her novel 
and wonderful corn palaces. It may be classed among the "wonders 
of the world." The idea was absolutely original with Sioux City 
people, and since the erection of the first palace, in 1887, the palace 
idea of exhibiting every species of earthly product has become an 
American hobby. The ice palace at St. Paul was novel in design, and 



drew its thousands, but had nothing of utility in its plan, while the 
corn palace has given the great northwestern corn and grain growing 
belt, such an universal advertisement as nothing else could possibly 
have done, besides which it has given Sioux City a world-wide fame. 
Four corn palaces have been built here, commencing in 1887, but the 
most elaborate and magnificent one was constructed for the annual 
exhibit of the crops of 1890. 

In August, 1887, a few business men of Sioux City met to consider 
some plan of holding a sort of harvest home, by which the bountiful 
crops produced that year might be displayed. At an adjourned meet- 
ing, when but a half dozen were present, some one asked " Why not 
' do St. Paul up ' on her ice palace and winter carnival by building a 
corn palace?" It was a happy thought, and soon took material form, 
and October 3, the same year, Sioux City presented, for the admira- 
tion of the world, its first corn palace. It was 100 feet square, with 
pyramid roof, numerous towers, pinnacles and projections. The result 
of much artistic experimenting was a creation of marvelous beauty. 
Every foot of surface, within and without, was beautifully adorned and 
decorated by corn in all conceivable forms, artistically woven and 
glued to the wood-work frame, though every species of grain, grass 
and vegetable common to this latitude, with many exhibits from far- 
away states, found place in the designs which bewildered one as he 
beheld its symetrical beauty and unique completeness. Every artistic 
resource was seemingly exhausted, and hundreds of Sioux City ladies 
contributed gratuitously their labor and skill. 

Sioux City being on the border line of Iowa, Dakota and Nebraska, 
the agricultural wealth of all three commonwealths unloaded their 
ripened harvest of grain, vegetables, fruit, dairy products, etc., mak- 
ing the whole, one grand exposition of all that the " kingdom of corn " 
could produce. The opening day presented a sublime, bewildering 
spectacle never presented on earth before. Such was the palace of 
1887. More than 100,000 visitors came from afar to enjoy its beau- 
ties. Excursions were run upon all railroads in Iowa. The illustrated 
journals of America and Europe contained various views of the struct- 
ure. President Grover Cleveland, then on a tour through the west, 
went far off his intended route to pay a visit to this, one of the wonders 
of the world. Chauncy M. Depew, in an address delivered in the 
palace, paid an eloquent tribute to its originality, and declared that it 
surpassed most of earth's wonders. 


The com palace of 1888, owing to past experience and more time 
in which to study and construct, was a great improvement over that 
of 1887. It was decorated with greater care. The festival continued 
two weeks. The attendance was nearly double that of the first year. 
The palace was 150x150 feet, with a hexagonal tower, 24 feet in 
diameter, rising up 110 feet. There was an interior court 70 feet square 
overtopped by a dome supported by eight arches, having a central 
height of eighty feet. In the center of the court the famous Elgin 
(111.) band gave three daily concerts. Parades, games, military drills, 
etc., added to the interest. 

The palace of 1889 was the climax in the development of the idea. 
The general purpose was the same as before, but was carried out with 
a skill and fine art not employed previously. The plan of the build- 
ing was new and more elaborate. It was 150x238 feet. The base of 
the tower was 48 feet square and extended up 160 feet, from which, 
one standing in the lookouts might view the great Missouri valley and 
gaze out over the rural and village districts of three great states. The 
interior also presented many novel features. The galleries were higher, 
broader, and everything was more spacious. The glory of the 1889 
palace was the perfect methods of decoration in corn. Corn in the 
full ear; corn sawed into slices; corn on the cob; corn shelled and 
glued to wall panels, fresco work and landscape scenes made from dif- 
ferent colored corn, grain and grass. Indeed each branch of fine art 
and handiwork was there fully manifest, and a pen picture can 
hardly give the reader an adequate conception of the magnificence of 
this palace of corn, with the vast exposition within ; it must needs be 
looked upon in order to be comprehended. Immense excursion trains 
entered the city daily, carrying thousands of people to view the palace. 
The largest one came by special train from Boston, Mass. It was a 
solid vestibuled train occupied by 100 leading capitalists of New Eng- 
land, together with newspaper men of a national record. Several other 
parts of the Union had exhibits here, including Oregon and some 
southern states. Daily concerts were given by the famous Seventy- 
first New York regiment band. The palace opened September 24, 
and closed October 5. 

The palace of 1890, being built on the site of the old one at the 
time of this writing, is designed to eclipse all former attempts. These 
palaces have been built by Sioux City capital and skill, hence it came 


about, that Sioux City took for a business motto, "We Are The Peo- 
ple!" and may justly be styled, as she is so commonly now called, the 
"Corn Palace City." 

The Corn Palace Train. — A moving pageant that spread abroad 
the fame of Sioux City and vicinity, was the Corn Palace train that 
went to the inaugural of President Harrison in March, 1889. Five 
Wagner vestibuled sleeping coaches and a baggage car constituted 
this train of splendor and novelty. The sides and roof of each coach 
were covered with corn decoration in all colors and fancy designs, 
emblematic of the patriotic occasion. The cost to Sioux City for these 
decorations was $3,000, which amount was freely made up by private 
contribution. The train left Sioux City for Washington, D. C, Feb- 
ruary 28, in the presence of fully 15,000 people. It went via the 
Chicago & Northwestern road. There were 133 passengers aboard, 
125 of whom lived at Sioux City. Company H, Iowa National Guards, 
went as a military escort. The novelty of such a rapid moving pageant 
excited curiosity all along the line. The railroads had thoroughly 
advertised the coming of the " Great Corn Palace Train," at every 
station between Sioux City and the National capital, and during the 
three days of travel, every station was thronged with people, eager to 
behold the " panorama of corn," as one writer styled it. At night the 
stations were entered midst bonfires and torch-light illuminations. 
March 1, the train remained in Chicago, and although the day was 
damp and unpleasant, fully 50,000 people made it a visit. From that 
city the train moved over the Baltimore & Ohio road to Washington. 
The night of March 2, it passed through the rugged, rocky region of 
the Ohio valley and West Virginia, but the pine torch and the pitch- 
cans lighted up the scene throughout the hours of darkness. Passen- 
gers were awakened at each station by enthusiastic people swinging 
lanterns and shouting vociferously. The great train rolled into the 
Baltimore & Potomac depot at the national capital at 10 a. m., March 3, 
and was side-tracked for general inspection. During its sojourn there 
multitudes visited the spot. President Harrison and family, members 
of the cabinet, foreign diplomates, members of the senate and house, 
by hundreds, greeted it with aright hearty welcome. March 6, the 
train left for New York City, where it remained two days, being 
inspected by the press and prominent people of America's greatest 
city. The 10th of March was spent in Philadelphia, the 11th at Pitts- 


burgh, the 12th at Chicago, and on the 13th it returned to Sioux 
City, without accident, after a trip covering two full weeks. It was a 
great advertising medium for the next Sioux City Corn Palace, as 
time proved. 

How the First Big Sioux Bridge Was Built. — From the earliest 
settlement of the country, until after the Civil war, the only means of 
crossing the Big Sioux river, at or near Sioux City, was by ferry boat. 
All the vast tonnage of freight for the " upper country," that was 
transported by teams had to wait their turn and pay toll. Judge A. 
W. Hubbard, who was elected to represent this district in congress, 
in 1862, took an active part in the passage of an appropriation bill 
for the construction of a wagon bridge over this stream. A little 
pleasantry is also connected with this important event, for such it was 
looked upon. The judge secured an appropriation of $20,000 to 
build the aforesaid bridge, but in an unguarded moment allowed a 
gentleman from Dakota to be appointed superintendent of construc- 
tion. The superintendent collected about $2,000 worth of material, 
and they concluded that as far as the interests of Dakota territory 
were concerned, it would perhaps be as well to expend the balance of 
the appropriation for sheep, and let them grow up with the country, 
and allow the citizens of Sioux City and Union county, Dak., to still 
pay toll over the scow ferry, which he did, of course, to the great dis- 
gust of the people, and especially to his honor, Judge Hubbard. 

The need of a bridge, however, was so imperative, and the abuse 
of a public trust so glaring, that Mr. B , the delegate from Da- 
kota, concluded that he would go in for another appropriation. He 
managed it so well, that he got his bill for an appropriation of $20,- 
000 through to its third reading without a balk; when Mr. Washburn, 
of Illinois, asked if Judge Hubbard had not already procured an 
appropriation for the same bridge, during the previous session of 
congress. This untimely question would have been a perfect stumper 

to most men, but Mr. B assured the gentleman from Illinois that 

he was quite correct; but the failure to ask for a sufficient sum in 
the first place was owing to the fact that Mr. Hubbard had been mis- 
informed as to the length of the bridge required to span the stream. 

It had been represented to the judge that the bridge required, 
was to be 300 feet long, whereas by actual measurement it should be 
600 feet in length. The judge realizing the necessity of this bridge, 


sat in his seat, in grim silence, and allowed Mr. B , from Dakota 

territory, to make the statement unchallenged. Washburn was satis- 
fied with the explanation, and the bill became a law. It was managed, 
however, this time, to have a man sent from Washington to superin- 
tend the work. 

The Pontoon and Other Bridges. — There formerly was a belief 
that some streams could not be bridged, but since modern skill has 
shown such belief to be erroneous, the Missouri, one of the worst 
streams to cross, has been successfully bridged in several places, 
including Sioux City. The first bridge here was the iron railway bridge, 
built by the Chicago & Northwestern in 1888, and which is described 
in the railway chapter. 

May 18, 1889, a great pontoon bridge was formally opened between 
Sioux City and Covington, on the Nebraska side of the Missouri. 
It was built at au expense of $40,000, by E. C. Palmer, J. M. Moan 
and William Luther. The immediate occasion for which this was 
built was on account of the Iowa prohibitory law closing the saloons, 
while liquor could be had by crossing over into Nebraska. For many 
months this bridge, which charged five cents toll each way, made over 
$100 per day. A wag has described it as "a row of boats with a 
thirst at one end and a beer saloon at the other end." 

In the summer of 1890, a temporary railroad bridge was put in for 
the purpose of conveying construction material across to the Nebraska 
side, and work was commenced the same fall on the bridge proper, 
which was built for the Pacific Short Line railway. It is to be one of 
the finest bridges in the country, costing nearly $1,000,000. In addition 
to the part devoted to the use of the cars, there will be a wagon and 
foot bridge, thus uniting Iowa and Nebraska for persons in all 

First Fourth of July Celebration. — The first newspaper that ever 
rolled from the printing press in Woodbury county was the " Eagle," 
which was issued on the afternoon of July 4, 1857, and it contained 
the following: 

" The glorious natal day of our independence was properly cele- 
brated for the first time in Sioux City, to-day, by the gathering of our 
citizens in the grove above Perry creek, where seats had been prepared. 
The assemblage was addressed in a spirited and eloquent manner, by 
Dr. S. P. Yeomans (register of the United States land office) and 
County Judge William Van O'Linda. 


True, there was no firing of cannon or strains of music, but every 
bosom swelled with patriotic emotion at the remembrance of that glori- 
ous and successful struggle for freedom, made by the gallant and 
rebellious sons of '76." 

Assassination of Rev. George C. Haddock. — Without exaggera- 
tion, it is certain that no crime, since the assassination of President 
James A. Garfield, has so attracted the attention of the whole country, 
as the murder of Rev. George C. Haddock, which occurred on the 
night of August 3, 1886, at Sioux City, Iowa. 

Connected with a crime like this, there is something more than the 
shedding of one man's blood. The death of Rev. Haddock added 
another to the list of American martyrs — as Lovejoy, the abolition 
advocate, Lincoln and Garfield, martyrs to civil government princi- 
ples. The millions of the future will look back to this striking lesson 
in history, which was etched upon its pages by an implement in the 
hand of the demon, rum, dipped in the life-blood of a true martyr. 
The little ones of our time will ask of us, as they grow up, the details 
of this tragedy, and learn from us the impress which it made at the 
time when a pistol flash became a light-house for the day and genera- 
tion which bartered with crime and shared in the spoils of piracy. 

A full account of this great tragedy would fill a large volume, but 
for the purpose of leaving a correct outline history of the affair, it has 
been deemed sufficient to give the following, which facts have been 
gleaned from public documents and county records, with a view of 

In the early days of this state's history, efforts were made to 
develop the grape-growing and beer-making industry, and finally Des 
Moines supported the largest distillery in the world. From the first 
settlement of Iowa there had been a strong anti-liquor element, par- 
ticularly in the rural districts, while the large towns along either of 
the great water-courses, which bound the state, grew rich in and 
upheld the traffic. 

The constitution was made to prohibit the sale of alcoholic bever- 
ages, " save ale, wine and beer." But year after year the violations 
of this law increased, and so, in June, 1882, the voters of the state 
adopted an amendment to the constitution, by which ale, wine and 
beer and all other intoxicating liquors were forbidden to be made or 
sold as beverages. Defects having been discovered in the manner of the 


adoption of this law, it was declared unconstitutional, so a statutory 
enactment was made, with a supplemental law known as the "Clark 
law," which closed the drinking places all over Iowa, except a few 
river cities, including Sioux City, where the liquor element paid no 
attention to the law. Then began the war of sentiment, and of the 
prohibition and anti-prohibition elements. The great majority of 
German citizens looked upon the law as taking away their constitu- 
tional and "personal liberties." With them being joined thousands 
of brewers, distillers, saloon keepers and their devotees from the 
lower class of society, a formidable array was made against the effort 
to keep liquor from being sold. 

At Sioux City (then possessed of a very different class of people 
than at present) the idea obtained among business men, that doing 
away with saloons would do away with a great share of trade in all 
branches, and hinder the growth of their city, hence it was that the 
general business community sanctioned, and by municipal acts even 
"licensed," places in direct violation of the law. 

The temperance people and law-abiding citizens sought to enforce 
the liquor law. Rev. George C. Haddock was a zealous worker in 
every department of religious and moral reformation, and was the first 
to die a martyr to the cause of temperance in Iowa. 

Rev. Haddock was pastor of the First Methodist Episcopal church 
at Sioux City, and being an ardent temperance worker, became a 
leader in the enforcement of the law. He preached it from the pulpit; 
worked for it, and at last became a prosecuting witness in the courts. 
This, however, Avas not until his fellow-townsmen shirked the responsi- 
bility through intimidation, daring not to stem the terrible tide of the 
whisky element then rampant in Sioux City. Two ministers' wives, at 
Sergeant's Bluff, finally took it upon themselves to sign the informations 
against the saloons, for which their own and their husband's lives were 
threatened. This was too much for Rev. Haddock, and he at once 
espoused their cause, and commenced the enforcement of the law, by 
signing the informations and appearing as a witness against the 
saloons, knowing it to be at the peril of his life. He received threats, 
insults and [indignities, all of which he bore patiently with manly 
courage. Such was the character of the man who entered upon the 
work of closing Sioux City's saloons. He realized his great danger, 
and he expected to meet violence, and perhaps death, at the hands of 




the saloon element. But with him, as many another martyr, it was 
Christian duty and good citizenship before any other consideration. 
He was a man of powerful frame and nerve, hence looked upon as a 
dangerous antagonist. He was born in Watertown, N. Y., in 1831, 
and was fifty-five years of age at the time of his tragic death. In 
early life he was a printer, and published a paper at Beaver Dam, 
Wis., but had been in the ministry for many years, and a member of 
an Iowa Methodist Episcopal conference since 1883, assuming his 
labors at Sioux City in 1885. He was a man of strong convictions, and 
often said cutting things; being of an uncompromising nature he nat- 
urally became a terror to evil doers. 

Little attention was paid by those engaged in the prosecution to 
the angry threats of saloon keepers and others who go to make up the 
so-called saloon element. Their work was recognized as dangerous, 
but Rev. Haddock and his co-laborers went straight ahead in their task 
of aiding the prosecution, looking only at the end to be attained, and 
urged on by what they considered their plain duty. Hissed by the lawless 
element, reviled by a portion of the local press; even discouraged by 
many of their clerical brethren, they proceeded steadily in the ardu- 
ous work of closing the saloons of Sioux City. This earnest prose- 
cution presented a new phase to the hitherto secure persons en- 
gaged in the illegal traffic. The law had been laughed at and derided 
as a farce. "Prohibition does not prohibit " was their war cry and 
watchword. But under the generalship of Mr. Haddock it began to 
appear that prohibition would most effectually prohibit, unless some- 
thing was speedily done to arrest the progress of the effort toward 
enforcement, and to change the public sentiment, which was steadily 
growing against the saloon element and in favor of the law. 

A saloon keepers' association was formed and a conspiracy 
hatched to prevent the progress of these prosecutions. This is well 
established in evidence, and the existence of such an association and 
such a conspiracy is well and openly attested. The direct object of 
such conspiracy was to "whip Walker, Wood and Haddock," witnesses 
for the state, with a view of intimidation. At a meeting held on the 
night of August 2, in Holdenreid's hall, the question of hiring two 
Germans to do this whipping was discussed. The man who brought 
up this proposition was one George Trieber, a German saloon-keeper 
and a person of unsavory character and reputation. Trieber said he 


had two Germans (named Koschnitski and Granda), who would whip 
the preacher if they were paid for it. The reply was made that there 
were " $700 or $800 in the treasury of the association, and if they 
wanted to do the job they could get their pay." 

On the night of August 3, Eev. Haddock and Eev. C. C. Turner 
hired a horse and buggy at Merrill's liver}' stable, on Water street, for 
the purpose of making a trip to Greenville, a suburb of Sioux City, 
where they expected to gain valuable evidence for use in the prosecu- 

Learning of this trip, the alert saloon keepers, as also appears in 
evidence, hired a hack and followed. Four men entered this vehicle, 
and others were left in the city to watch for the return of the buggy 
to the stable. Those who went to Greenville in the hack learned noth- 
ing to their advantage, and returned to the city about 10 o'clock. In 
the meantime, "Bismarck" (Koschnitski) and Granda, the hired 
thugs, had been sent to the vicinity of the stable to watch for the 
buggy. On its return, word was swiftly passed down Fourth street, 
the principal street of the city, where groups of the conspirators were 
stationed, and all hastened to the corner of Fourth and Water streets, 
within 100 feet of Merrill's livery stable. 

During the absence of the buggy containing the preachers, " Bis- 
marck " had sent an innocent and disinterested party named Fitzsim- 
mons to the livery stable, for the purpose of making inquiry as to 
whether the buggy had yet returned. When Mr. Haddock drove back 
to the stable alone, having left Mr. Turner at his home on the West 
Side, he was told of this fact by a hostler. Looking out of the door, 
through the dark and rainy night, Mr. Haddock saw the crowd of con- 
spirators on the corner, and said to the hostler: "They're laying for 
me out there, are they not? " To this the hostler replied that he did 
not know, and, with a cheerful remark, Mr. Haddock started bravely 
out. He wore a rubber coat to protect him from the rain, and carried 
in his hand a slung-shot made of a heavy iron pinion-wheel deftly 
fastened to a strong line or rope. He walked north, perhaps fifty 
feet, to the corner of Fourth and Water streets, where stands a Ger- 
man hotel, known as the Columbia House. Turning on Fourth street, 
he walked firmly and resolutely toward his enemies on the opposite 
corner. Then, from this crowd of conspirators started forth two men. 
One is described as particularly large and heavy set. When they met 


Mr. Haddock, about half-way across the street, it is in evidence that 
the assassin peered closely into the face of the minister, making sure 
of his identity, and taking one step farther, and behind him, turned and 
fired. Mr. Haddock dropped his cane and his weapon, staggered 
blindly forward to the side of the street, and fell, face down, in the 
gutter, where, in a few brief moments, his brave life ebbed away in 
the blood which mingled with the mud and water of the ditch. The 
tragedy occurred at about fifteen minutes after 10 o'clock, and, despite 
the disagreeable weather, the report of the pistol soon attracted crowds 
to the scene, which, when the identity of the victim became noised 
around, grew to a vast multitude. When picked up by John Ryan, a 
fireman and superintendent of markets, Mr. Haddock was dying. He 
never spoke after the shot, the ghastly wound in bis neck filling his 
mouth with blood, and rendering articulation impossible. 

The body was taken to the Methodist parsonage, which Mr. Had- 
dock had but a few hours before quitted, full of life, vigor and deter- 
mination. The coroner was summoned, and the report of physicians 
was sent to the coroner's jury, showing that deceased came to his 
death by an injury to the left carotid artery and other points, the 
bullet "entering at the base of the neck, a little above the left shoulder 
blade, passing directly through the neck, and making its exit at a 
point midway between the angle of the jaw and symphisis. The 
wound was made by a bullet of large size. 

The grand jury of Woodbury county indicted John Arensdorf, 
Harry L. Leavitt, Paul Leader, Fred Munchrath, Louis Plath, Albert 
Koschnitski, George Treiber and Sylvester Granda. A number of 
them fled from justice. 

Arensdorf was charged with the murder, and the remainder as 
being in the conspiracy. Court convened March 23, 1887, with Judge 
C. H. Lewis on the bench. Hon. M. D. O'Connell, States Attorney 
S. M. Marsh, Hon. E. H. Hubbard and Taylor & Spalding were attor- 
neys for the state, and Judge J. N. Weaver, O. C. Tredway, M. M. 
Gray, Judge Pendleton, W. G. Clark, S. F. Lynn and G. W. Kellogg, 
of Sioux City, and G. W. Argo, of Le Mars, appeared for the defense. 
Daniel McDonald was sheriff. 

The jury chosen to try the case was as follows: John O'Connor, 
C. C. Bartlett, John Madden, Thomas Crilley, Dennis Murphy, C. G. 
Goss, Thomas Frazier, W. P. Pannell, D. Keiffer, E. Webster, John 
Adair, John D. O'Connell. 


The trial lasted twenty-two days, and the judge's charge contained 
seven thotisand words. The jury were kept out twenty hours, and 
stood eleven for acquittal and one for conviction. John D. O'Connell, 
who voted for conviction, arose in the jury-box, and said that he would 
never be able to agree with the eleven, whereupon Judge Lewis dis- 
charged the jury. 

It was a peculiar case, wherein nearly every witness for the defense 
was, or had recently been, engaged in liquor traffic, while the only eye 
witnesses for the state were men who were implicated in the conspiracy 

Among other things confessed by " Steamboat Charley," or Syl- 
vester Granda, on the final hearing, was this: "The plan was for 
Koschnitski and Granda to assault Haddock, and then the crowd were 
to help us out. We saw him coming down the street, and commenced 
abusing him. I had a revolver in my hand, but did not intend to 
shoot him. Just then John Arensdorf grabbed the weapon I held, 
saying: ' You are too drunk to shooV Then Arensdorf fired and 
Haddock fell to the ground, and the crowd fled." 

In September, 1887, Munchrath was convicted of manslaughter, 
and sentenced for four years, but was pardoned by the Governor and 
escaped all but a few months 1 punishment at the state's prison. 

The jury having failed to agree on the first trial, a new trial was 
had in December, 1887, at which time John Arensdorf was tried for 
murder, under a chain of peculiar circumstances, with which it seemed 
impossible to convict the man whom public opinion will ever hold in 
suspicion. Had it not been for dishonest officials, and the selecting 
of seventy names from which a jury was to be drawn, each of which had 
been privately canvassed upon the subject, by a person under the guise 
(it is now believed) of a book agent, who got an expression from 
them, the guilty might have been brought to justice. 

The case was tried before Judge George M. Wakefield. The 
attorneys for the state were S. M. March, M. D. O'Connell, E. H. Hub- 
bard. Those for the defense were W. W. Ervin, of St. Paul, O. C. 
Tredway, G. W. Kellogg, George W. Argo. 

The case was a long, hotly contested one, full of all manner of 
legal cunning, and reports of the trial were printed in nearly every 
paper in the country. After the jury had been out a short time they 
appeared in open court with the verdict of not guilty, and were at 


once discharged, thus ending what is generally considered the greatest 
farce in American courts — justice defied by legal cunning. 

In speaking of this case the Sioux City "Journal" said: "It was 
a ghastly sight when Deputy Sheriff Davenport, being on the witness 
stand, unfolded the rubber coat worn by Dr. Haddock when he was 
assassinated. There it was, spotted by mud and filth of the gutter in 
which the murdered minister fell when shot down like a dog on the 
street, and there were the great black splatches of the blood that 
drained his life, while through the collar were to be seen the gaping 
holes, torn by the cruel bullet which the assassin had aimed only too 
well. A shudder ran through the audience, and a silence fell upon 
them as the bullet-rent garment — ghastly reminder that it was — was 
held up in plain view, a horrible cynosure which no one who saw it 
will ever forget." 

It may be added in conclusion of this case, that the death of Rev. 
Haddock became a powerful agency in the enforcement of the liquor 
law in Iowa. Every town and hamlet was aroused to action, and men 
who had never been active, now became leaders. The press, the pulpit, 
the believers in wholesome laws, everywhere united in suppressing the 
monster evil. From the day Sioux City was baptized in the blood of 
a martyr, she became morally regenerated. The saloons disappeared 
with all the accompanying evils; business men saw they had been in 
the wrong,, and ever since that date the city has been wonderfully pros- 
perous. Her business rapidly attained to the highest point of any 
town in Iowa, and to-day there are nearly forty places of religious 
worship. Rev. George C. Haddock was the sacrifice. 



Creation of First Township — Its Division— Second Subdivision— Ti-iomp- 
sontown— Organization— First Officers in 1853— The French Cana- 
dians—The Pioneers— Sketches of Some Early Characters— Sergt. 
Floyd— First Election— The Four First Townships— Sparse Popula- 
tion—Interesting Statistics, etc. 

IN compiling sketches of the townships of Woodbury county, a plan 
will be adopted whereby each township, as it exists to-day, will 
be described, and only those persons who were settlers within the 
present limits and the events occurring therein, will be touched upon. 
The gradual creation of twenty-four townships from one township, and 
the curtailment necessarily involved in the process, has made this plan 
imperative. It may readily be seen that were this not done, it would 
be difficult to locate any of the original settlers, for in the course of 
the evolution, many of them have lived in half a dozen townships, and 
without once moving from the spot whereon they built their rude 
cabins nearly forty years ago. 

At the organization of the county, August 1, 1853, the entire ter- 
ritory comprising the present twenty-four townships, which go to make 
up Woodbury county, was but one township, and, although there was 
but one, and notwithstanding the fact that the county was named 
Woodbury, yet this first colossal township was christened Sergeant's 
Bluff, from the locality then known as Floyd's Bluff, where was located 
William B. Thompson's house, in which the first election occurred, and 
where the organization of the county was effected. Floyd's Bluff was 
frequently called Sergeant's Bluff, both names of course being in honor 


of Sergt. Floyd, who died there in 1804, and of whom an account 
will be found elsewhere in this work. The village of Sergeant's Bluff 
was not started until a year or two later than the date of the organiza- 
tion of the county, but there is a popular impression that that event 
occurred at the town just named. Thompson's house, the first in the 
county, stood at what is now known as Floyd's Bluff, two and one-half 
miles from the present Sergeant's Bluff, and about five miles south of 
Sioux City. 

Thomas L. Griffey, a Kentuckian by birth, one of the pioneers of 
the northwest, was commissioned by the legislature of Iowa to organ- 
ize the county of Woodbury, and to set the wheels of the new candi- 
date for autonomy in motion, so that gentleman accordingly ordered 
an election to be held for county officers, August 1, 1853. There was 
no need of township officers, and there were none voted for at this first 
election ; only county officers. There was no opposition to the com- 
plement of officials placed in candidacy, and seventeen votes was the 
entire poll. There were a few others in the county entitled to exer- 
cise the great inalienable right of all American freemen, but they did 
not choose to use the privilege, but for what reason is not now appar- 
ent, possibly, however, from the fact that they did not fully under- 
stand what it was all about, owing to their inability to speak or com- 
prehend the English language, they being French Canadians. Even 
the subjects of that erstwhile great American citizen, the famous Sioux 
chief and dauntless warrior, War Eagle, failed to cast their ballots, 
the dignified old Indian braves evidently desiring to keep their 
bronzed hands clear of the questionable and muddy pool of politics. 
That they were free-born American citizens none can doubt, but they 
had no axes to grind; did not care to fill all the police and other posi- 
tions, so much sought after by a numerous class of our adopted citi- 
zens. Following were the officials chosen at that first election: 

County Judge — Marshall Townsley. 

District Clerk — Joseph P. Babbitt. 

Prosecuting Attorney — Orrin B. Smith. 

Coroner — Eli Lee. 

Treasurer and Becorder — Hiram Nelson. 

Justice of the Peace — Curtis Lamb. 

Constable — Edwin M. Smith. 

No sheriff was put in nomination, as Thomas L. Griffey had been 


appointed organizing sheriff by the legislature, and held the position 
for some time, but finally resigned. The election officers were: 

Judges of Election — Joseph Merrivall, Charles Rulo, William B. 

Clerks of Election — Edwin M. Smith, Orrin B. Smith. 

Those seventeen voters all lived, of course, in Sergeant's Bluff town- 
ship, although a few of them were dwelling along the Little Sioux, in 
the vicinity of what was at first known as .the " White Settlement," 
which afterward became Smithland. Those old pioneer voters, the 
vanguardsmen of this wild northwestern frontier, deserve more than 
the passing mention of their names. They took their lives in their 
hands, and fought and hewed their way into the heart of this then 
worse than wilderness, for they had not only the hardships of a border 
life to contend with, not only the lack of all the comforts of civiliza- 
tion and the deprivation of being away from their old homes in the 
east and the south, but the wily and relentless savage to meet and 
conquer. And the proof that they were fully armed with high pur- 
pose and brave hearts, as well as strong hands, this glorious garden 
spot of Woodbury county, with its soil bursting with luxuriant vege- 
tation as the seasons roll around, and the grandly growing city which 
bears the name of those same conquered Indians, with its marvelous 
palace of corn and palatial business blocks, amply attest. Those old 
pioneers, with ax in one hand and rifle in the other, made possible 
the scenes which we enjoy to-day. To those hardy sons of the Cau- 
casian race all this western splendor is due, and it must be so, for, 
when the contest comes, all other races, Indians included, must fall 
before the advancing hosts of the great civilizers. Some of those 
early settlers are still with us, some have moved to farther western 
fields, and some have gone to their well-earned reward many years 
since. To those who still survive it is hoped, may be granted many 
more years of usefulness. 

Marshall Townsley, who was elected the first county judge, knew 
very little about the technicalities of the law, but was a man of good 
common sense and sound judgment, and was very popular. After 
residing in the house built by William B. Thompson, he removed to the 
San Juan country, but what has become of him latterly, is not known 
in this vicinity. 

Thomas L. Griffey, a Kentuckian, was a man of strong physique, 


and his build and carriage at the present time, notwithstanding an 
affliction that he encountered a few years ago, indicate the strength 
and determination he possessed in his younger days. Tom Griffey, 
as he was familiarly called in the early days, was a man with whom it 
was dangerous to trifle. He is still residing in Sioux City, in the 
enjoyment of a well-earned competency, ample enough to satisfy his 
every want. 

Orrin B. Smith, the first prosecuting attorney of Woodbury county, 
as seen above, was at the time of his election to that usually im- 
portant office, not particularly noted for his knowledge of abstruse 
questions in law, but he was a man for the times, and made up in 
determination what he may have lacked otherwise. His residence 
until latterly, has been in Little Sioux township, but at present (1890) 
he is living in Florida. 

Eli Lee, one of the most respected citizens of Willow township, is 
still residing on the spot where he first settled. He held the position 
of coroner in 1853. 

Curtis Lamb, the first dispenser of law in a magistrate's office in 
this county, lived on the Little Sioux for many years, but finally, in 
consequence of a feud between himself and some neighbors, left the 
scene of his early settlement, and is at present living near Davenport, 
in this state. 

Hiram Nelson, who was selected to fill the responsible position of 
treasurer and recorder, was chosen from the supposed fact of his 
knowledge of accounts and his reliability, but so far as there was any 
danger of his skipping out with the funds entrusted to him, there was 
not much temptation. All the moneys received during the first year, 
could very conveniently be carried in silver in a vest pocket. Treas- 
urer Nelson, many years ago, went to Washington territory, and from 
there to Montana, where he died, about five years ago. 

Edwin M. Smith, the first constable, lived over in Little Sioux 
township. He was a very good officer, it is said. He is at present 
living in Colorado. 

Joseph P. Babbitt, the first district clerk, did not reside here any 
length of time. Where he is at present, if living, is not known to 
the informant of the writer, who was one of the original seventeen 

Joseph Merrivall was a Spaniard, who came in with the French 


Canadians, and whose real name was Guiseppe Merrivalli. He was 
usually called "Joe Spaniard," and was a fine horseman. 

Charles Rulo, went to Nebraska and started the town of Rulo. 
He has been dead some years. 

William B. Thompson, of whom more will be found in another 
portion of this work, was one of the three judges of the election, Mer- 
rivall and Rulo being the others. Thompson died of cancer about ten 
or twelve years ago. 

Theophile Bruguier, who never took any part in politics, was 
another of the seventeen. He is living, at a tolerably advanced age, 
although hale and hearty, in Lakeport township. 

William White, from whom the White settlement on the Little 
Sioux took its name, was one of the original voters. He was 
drowned in Silver Lake, in Monona county, while on a fishing excursion. 

Stepbans De Roi, or Stephen Devoy, as he was usually known, 
was one of the most popular Frenchmen among the Americans, and 
spoke the English language well. He died at Rulo, Neb. 

Augustus Travissee, also a French Canadian, who originally lived 
near William B. Thompson's place at Floyd's Bluff, moved to Dakota. 

Joseph Leonais, another Frenchman who voted, is at present 
(1890) living in Sioux City, and his aged form may still occasionally 
be seen on the populous and well-kept streets where he once had a 
large cornfield. He sold his property to the Sioux City company in 

There were three other French Canadians in the settlement at the 
time of the election, and one of them cast a ballot, making the seven- 
teenth voter, but which one it was, can not now be remembered by our 
informant. These three were Francis La Sharite, Bersha and Bedard. 
It is altogether probable that La Sharite cast the vote, as he was an 
old man and influential among his countrymen. He was father-in- 
law of De Roi and Bersha. The old gentleman, La Sharite, was 
eighty years of age at the time of the organization, but attended all 
the primitive frolics, and danced as nimbly as a young man of twenty 
years. He was very fond of the " flowin' bowl " and made his own 
whisky. He lived about two miles below Floyd's Bluff. All three 
are dead. 

Paquette and Ayotte came in not for from the date of the organi- 
zation. They both had ferries. Ayotte had been one of Fremont's 


guides in his expedition across the continent. He was a small, wiry 
Frenchman, active as a cat, and reminded one of that animal, from his 
movements and the unusual color of his eyes (for a Frenchman), 
which were a bluish green. He was nicknamed " Blue Eyes." 
What became of him the writer could not ascertain. 

At a second election, which took place April 3, 1854, the records 
make mention, after a preliminary statement of the election having 
been held, of township officers as follows: "For the office of township 
trustees there were fourteen votes cast, of which R. Hazzard, William 
White, and Stephen Devoy received each fourteen. For the office of 
township clerk there were twelve votes cast, of which Leonard Bates 
received twelve. For assessor, William B. Thompson received fourteen 
votes, the whole number cast." 

Another precinct, called Little Sioux precinct, was opened as a 
voting place for the election which occurred for state officers, August 
7, 1854, at which the highest number of votes cast was nine. The 
election was for state senator, and was held at the house of Curtis 
Lamb, on the Little Sioux. At the date mentioned, an election was 
also held at the Sergeant's Bluff precinct for state officers, at which 
a small increase over the April poll was shown. 

The original boundaries of this first township, Sergeant's Bluff, 
according to section 27 of chapter 9, of the laws of the third general 
assembly of the state of Iowa, approved January 15, 1851, were co-ex- 
tensive with those of Woodbury county, and were as follows: "Begin- 
ning at the northeast corner of township eighty-nine north, of range 
forty-one west; thence west to the middle of the main channel of the 
Big Sioux river; thence down in the middle of the main channel of 
the said Big Sioux river, to the middle of the main channel of the 
Missouri river; thence down the middle of the main channel of the 
Missouri river to the intersection of township line, between townships 
eighty-five and eighty-six; thence east on the line between townships 
eighty-five and eighty-six, to the southeast corner of township eighty- 
six north, range forty-one west; thence north on the line dividing the 
ranges forty-one and forty-two to the place of beginning." 

Until April 2, 1855, there does not appear upon the records any 
indication of more than the one township of Sergeant's Bluff, but on 
the date named there were two elections held, one for the original 
township and the other for Little Sioux township, when separate sets 
of township officers were elected as follows: 


Sergeant's Bluff Township. — T. Ellwood Clark, justice of the peace; 
constable, George Mills; assessor, A. B. Denton; supervisor of roads, 
S. P. Watts; township trustees, J. W. Brown, J. Samuels, William 
H. James, Marshall Townsley; township clerk, Leonard Bates. Sam- 
uels and James were tied in their vote, and the matter was decided 
by lot. 

Little Sioux. Township. — Justice of the peace, Morris L. Jones; 
constable, C. A. Cobb; assessor, M. D. Metcalf; township trustees, 
William Turman, James McDonald, Mendal Metcalf; township clerk, 
J. B. Day. 

At these same elections a vote was taken on the prohibitory liquor 
law, which resulted in a poll of thirteen votes for, and eighteen against 
the law. 

Elections were again held, in August of the same year, 1855, in 
both townships, but why they were held so close upon the heels of 
the others does not appear. They resulted as follows: 

Sergeant's Bluff Township. — Justice of the peace, Austin Cole; 
constables, R. E. Bowe and John Blevins; township trustees, M. 
Townsley, H. Nelson, J. Clark; township clerk, H. D. Clark; road 
supervisor, C. C. Thompson. 

Little Sioux Township. — Two justices of the peace were elected to 
fill vacancies, John Howe and William Turman; township clerk, C. 
A. Cobb; township trustees, E. E. Petty, A. Jones, M. Metcalf; con- 
stables, M. Metcalf, T. Davis; assessor, Ira Pierce; road supervisor, 
Alvah North. 

Sergeant's Bluff Township, April 7, 1856. — At an election held on 
this date, the following persons were chosen to fill the township offices: 
Township trustees, E. Chapel, Hiram Nelson, P. M. West; township 
clerk, Jay Sternburg; justices of the peace, Abel W. White, H. D. 
Clark; constables, John Braden, Samuel Smith; supervisor of roads, 
W. B. Tredway. 

Little Sioux Township, April 7, 1856. — The election in this town- 
ship resulted as follows: Township trustees, James McDonald, Jona- 
than Leech, T. E. Howe; township clerk, Greenleaf L. Levett; 
constables, Jonathan Leech, L. D. Wellington; assessor, E. F. Petty; 
justice of the peace, Elanson Livermore. 

In consequence of the great increase in population and business of 
Sioux City, which had been established in the spring of 1855, a move- 


merit was started to remove the county seat from Thompson town, 
where it had been located by Thomas L. Griffey and Ira Perjue, com- 
missioners appointed for that purpose by an act of the legislature, to 
the city named. Accordingly the court ordered an election to be 
held, to take the sense of the voters of the county on the question of 
removal, which resulted in a majority for removal of nine votes, as 
shown in the records. There was considerable opposition to the 
measure on the part of the eastern and southern portions of the 
county, as appears from the vote, which was as follows: 

Sergeant's Bluff Township — For removal 70 

Against 45 

Little Sioux Township — For removal 10 

Against 26 

Total vote of the county 151 

At the election for township officers, there were at this time only 
187 votes: Sergeant's Bluff, 105; Little Sioux, 32. But the vote of 
the then entire tenth state representative district, comprising the 
counties of Harrison, Monona, Audubon, Crawford, Shelby and Wood- 
bury, only polled 706 votes. By the fall of 1856, however, the vote 
had climbed up to the satisfactory figure of 212, which was cast for 
the presidential electors. 

The boundaries of these two townships were as follows: 
Sergeant's Bluff: All the territory within the county of Woodbury 
lying and being between the northern and southern boundaries of the 
same, west of the center of the West Fork of the Little Sioux river to 
the western boundary of the county. 

Little Sioux: All that portion of the county lying east of the 
center of the West Fork. 

In consequence of the increasing population of the county, and 
the desire of those living at remote points from the voting precincts 
to more easily reach them, coupled with the peculiarly American idea 
of getting closer to, or taking part in their government, no matter how 
unimportant that government might be, caused petitions to be sent to 
the authorities, asking for a further subdivision of the townships, and, 
in response to those requests, on March 2, 1857, the county court 
ordered divisions as follows: 

Correctionville Township. — " Ordered, that all that portion of Lit- 
tle Sioux township lying and being north of congressional township 


number eighty-seven, shall constitute and be a new township, and 
shall be called Correction ville township, its south boundary to be the 
north line of congressional township number eighty-seven, and its 
other boundaries to be as heretofore." 

Little Sioux Township. — It was also " Ordered, that the township 
of Little Sioux shall be bounded on the north by the north line of 
congressional township number eighty-seven, and its other boundaries 
to remain as heretofore." 

Sergeant's Bluff Township. — " Ordered, that the township of 
Sergeant's Bluff be divided into two parts. All that part of Ser- 
geant's Bluff township lying and being south of the north line of sec- 
tion number twenty-four, in congressional township eighty-eight, 
and ranges number forty-eight, forty-seven, forty-six and forty-five, 
and on east to the west line of Little Sioux township, shall constitute 
a new township, and shall be called the township of Sergeant's Bluff, 
the other boundaries to remain as heretofore." 

Sioux City Township. — " Ordered, that all that portion of Ser- 
geant's Bluff township north of the north line of section number 
twenty, in congressional township number eighty-eight and ranges 
forty-eight, forty-seven, forty-six and forty-five, and as far east as it 
may be to the west line of Little Sioux township, shall constitute and 
be the township of Sioux City, and shall have its election and officers 
the same as the township of Sergeant's Bluff before the division, and 
its other boundaries to remain as heretofore." 

In connection with the creation of those four townships, the follow- 
ing orders were promulgated on March 4, 1857 : 

"Ordered, that a warrant organizing the township of Correction- 
ville be issued to Zachariah G. Allen, and for the purpose of electing 
certain county and state officers, at the house of said Zachariah G. 

" Ordered, that a warrant organizing the township of Sergeant's 
Bluff be issued to T. E. Clark, and an election to be held on the first 
Monday of April for such officers as may be required by law." 

March 16, 1857, notices were issued and warrants formulated, for 
the organization of Little Sioux and Sioux City townships similar to 
those above. Also notices to the townships of the holding of an 
election for county assessor. 

The elections were held as ordered, but a very important matter 


was overlooked, that of swearing the judges and the clerks, and when 
the canvassing board came to a knowledge of the fact, they rejected 
the returns in true modern style, in consequence of that omission of 
the little formality of an oath. The officers elect, it is said, violently 
objected, and the incumbents protested, but an arrangement was finally 
reached by which the voice of the people was respected, and all were 
made happy. The clerks at these four elections were Jacob Ruth> 
Frank Chapel, Hiram Nelson, Charles E. Hedges. 

There were only three school districts in the county in 1858, when 
superintendent of schools H. H. Chaffee reported as follows: 

The whole number of persons between the ages of five and twenty-one years in the 
several districts are 

No. 1. Sioux City 154 

No. 2. Sergeant's Bluff 26 

No. 3. Little Sioux 68 

Total 248 

A very perceptible increase in the population of the townships is 
shown two years later than the above date. A report made April 2, 
1860, gives the gratifying figure of a total of persons of school age at 
319, as follows: 

Males. Females. Total. 

Sioux City township 72 88 160 

Sergeant's Bluff township 41 32 73 

Little Sioux township 40 28 68 

Correctionville township 10 8 18 

Total 319 

The liberality of those who had sought this far northwestern re- 
gion at a time when a dollar represented considerable more than it 
does to day, is well shown in the amount of money raised for school 
purposes, which was $2,361.84, a sum that was probably as much as 
all the settlers of the county possessed six or seven years prior to that 
time, 1860. This fund was distributed as follows: 

Sioux City $1,184 62 

Sergeant's Bluff 540 49 

Little Sioux 503 47 

Correctionville 133 26 

Total. $2,361 84 

The following were the presidents of the school districts: 

Sioux City H. C. Bacon. 

Sergeant's Bluff W. P. Holman. 

Little Sioux (no name given). 

Correctionville George Everts. 


Thomas J. Stone was the first clerk of Sioux City township, having 
been elected in April, 1857. The judges of the election for township 
officers in April, 1858, were William Croft, Noah Levering and Ezra 
Millard. The clerks of this election were Thomas J. Stone and 
Charles S. Murphy. The clerks of the four townships elected in April, 
1860, were: 

Sioux City township George W. Ckamberlin. 

Correction ville township . Harvey Phillips. 

Woodbury township L. M. Brown. 

Little Sioux lownship James Moon. 

The general assembly of the state having by act authorized the 

county supervisor system, it was inaugurated in Woodbury in 1861, 

and the first meeting of the board was held on January 7, of that 

year, the members being as follows: 

Sioux City township Samuel Cameron. 

Woodbury township." John Householder. 

Little Sioux township Elijah Adams. 

Correctionville township A. S. Bacon. 

Chairman, Samuel Cameron; clerk, J. N. Field. 

From 1861 till the close of the Civil war, and in fact for a year or 
two thereafter, no great influx of immigration set in as it did later on. 
The gigantic struggle between the north and south, with its bloody 
harvest of death and desolation, paralyzed for the time the great 
northwest. There was danger enough in the more thickly settled 
portions of the United States, and possible emigrants to the northwest 
did not desire to add to their fears, by placing themselves within range 
of the hostile savages who had become bolder and bolder as the fate 
of the nation grew more alarming. Some sections of the county lost 
population, instead of gaining it, but in 1867 and onward for 
several years, settlers in search of the rich lands of the Missouri bot- 
toms and the Big and Little Sioux and Maple valleys came pouring in. 
The prospective building of railroads also had a wonderful effect on 
all western interests, and what might be called a boom in that direc- 
tion struck Woodbury county with a force that has resulted in making 
Sioux City one of the great railroad centers of the country. In 1867 
the Sioux City & Pacific railroad company, having made certain prop- 
ositions, an election was held in the various townships upon the 
question of the donation or transfer of the swamp and overflowed lands 
belonging to Woodbury county, to the railroad company named, and 
the result is here given: 

'IvJamtsn.RUvaSons.r*- 1 



For. Against. 

Sioux City township 273 1 

Woodbury township 15 15 

Little Sioux township 1 144 

Correctionville township 39 

Total 289 199 

It will be seen that the two western townships favored it the more, 
although the sentiment in Woodbury township was equally divided, 
whilst the two eastern townships out of a vote of 184, gave only one 
for the proposed donation. 

The foregoing chapter has only touched upon the four original 
townships in a general way. They continued to exist in the form and 
dimensions given above until 1867, when the dismemberment began, 
and continued until 1884, when Oto township was constituted, leaving 
the entire territory of Woodbury county divided into twenty-four 
approximately equal townships. In the following pages those twenty- 
four townships, with the exception of Sioux City township, which is 
treated upon elsewhere in this work, will be taken up in the order of 
their creation, and under the names by which they are now known, and 
all matters pertaining to their early settlement, so far as the compiler 
could obtain them, will be given. 


Organization— A Rich Section— Surface, Timber, Bluffs, etc.— Peculiar 
Scenery— The First White Settler— Early Explorers— William B. 
Thompson — Leonais'Leap — Laying out of Sergeant's Bluff— County 
Seat— Its Removal— First Child Born— First Newspaper in County— 
Drs. Crockwell and Cook— The Pioneer Preachers— Revs. Black and 
Taylor— The Blizzard of 1856-57— Hardships of the Pioneers— Some 
Early Names— Game, Hunting and Hunters— The Lively Grass- 
hopper, etc 

WOODBUEY TOWNSHIP up to February 6, 1860, was known 
as Sergeant's Bluff township, and comprised at the date named, 
and until 1867, the southwestern one-fourth of the county. Septem- 
ber 5, 1859, the county court upon application of petitioners, ordered 


the name changed as just stated, but in consequence of not sufficient 
notification to those who might be opposed to the change, the order 
was not carried out. January 2, 1860, however, the court ordered 
that a hearing of the applications would be in order at the next regu- 
lar term, which occurred, and no one appearing to object, Judge John 
P. Allison declared the prayer of the petitioners granted. From 1867 
onward, successive divisions and subdivisions reduced the territory of 
Woodbury to its present dimensions, about seven miles east and west, 
and six north and south, two sections and a half being invaded by the 
young giant, Sioux City, the limits of that rapidly growing western 
metropolis projecting into the township. Its boundaries are Sioux 
City and Concord township on the north, Floyd township on the "east, 
Liberty township on the south and the Missouri river on the west. 
About one-half of the township is Missouri river bottom land, as rich 
and productive as any soil on earth, and it is generally level, but in 
some places slightly rolling. The other half of the township consists 
to a large extent of bluffs and other elevations, somewhat broken, but 
there is a source of wealth within those bluffs which will in time make 
them far more valuable than the low lands. 

Immense beds of brick and pottery clay underlie those water- 
formed mounds, and already much of it has been utilized, as will be 
shown hereafter. Beds of the finest glass-sands are occasionally 
found, being nearly pure silicate, and equal to any of the Ohio or 
Pennsylvania sands. Very little timber is to be found in the town- 
ship, except cottonwood, and here and there a clump of the salix 
longifolia (common willow), which grows along most of the prairie 
streams. With the exception of a few drift-rock embedded in the 
bluffs, and a straggling bowlder or two, which have evidently been 
exposed by the action of the waters on the bluffs, there is no stone of 
any consequence. The native rock of the entire township has been 
too thickly coated by the drift and silt deposits, to make any surface 
showing, except at the beds of streams. Gravel pits tell the tale of 
the glacial epoch, and those beautifully rounded and polished diminu- 
tive true bowlders suggest the untold ages that have rolled between 
the time they were crushed from their parent rock in the far north, 
and the present progressive days of modern civilization. In addition 
to the Missouri river, which washes the western boundary of the 
township, there are the Big and Little Whiskey rivers, or creeks, in 


the eastern portion, and Deadman's run which empties into the big 
slough which has its source in Woodbury, and stretches diago- 
nally across Grange township. Other inferior and nameless streams 
afford plenty of water to the township. 

The peculiar scenery presented to the view along a considerable 
portion of tbe Missouri river, is to be seen in Woodbury in its most 
beautiful aspects. For miles the eye is gladdened by the singularly 
rounded formations. The smooth, almost perfectly hemispherical 
hills, of ever-varying size, without a tree or bush, but clothed with 
an even greensward, as regular as a well-kept lawn, delight the vision 
by their very oddity, and illustrate the resources of nature, whereby 
she ca"n, without rock, tree or stream, please the eyes of her children 
with scenery as grand as can be found anywhere. To this section, 
then, and to this scenery came the first settler of Woodbury town- 
ship, who, consequently, was the first settler of the county, for not a 
white man lived within fifty miles of the point where he located. 

Undoubtedly the first white man to set his feet in Woodbury 
county, and to pass along the Missouri river in that portion of it 
known as the Sergeant's Bluff section, was a French interpreter, M. 
Durion, who preceded the exploring expedition under Capts. Lewis and 
Clarke in 1804, by several years. M. Durion was a French Canadian, 
but the exact date of his visit to this section is not now known. Those 
forming the expedition named, arrived at what is now known as 
Floyd's Bluff, August 20, 1804. One of their number, Sergt. Charles 
Floyd, a soldier of the United States army, died on the day of their 
arrival here, and he was buried on the bluff which now bears his 
name. For many years before the arrival of the first man whose 
intentions were to locate permanently in Woodbury, there were a num- 
ber of French-Canadian trappers and hunters, some in the service of 
the American Fur Company and others working on their own account. 
These, of course, at the time indicated, can not be called settlers. 
There were also a number of traders who dealt among the Indians, 
and many of these two classes afterward became residents of the 
county, some of whose descendants are here to-day. 

In September, 1848, William B. Thompson came from Morgan 
county, 111., where he had been living, and where he had lost his wife 
by death. Having his strongest tie thus broken, he set out for farther 
western fields, and the Indian title to northwestern Iowa having been 


extinguished the year previous to his coming (1847), he landed at what 
was known even then as Floyd's Bluff, and took up a claim, which he 
shortly afterward staked off as a town, calling the bantling, Thomp- 
son town. The town grew to the proportions of a log house, and, 
although it attained the dignity of " county seat " for a brief period, 
yet, it never got beyond its original dimensions — "one little hut 
among the bushes." Old Bill Thompson, as he was familiarly known, 
is said to have possessed a kindly heart, and would do almost anything 
to accommodate a friend, and was very slow to anger, but when he did 
get "riled," everybody had to "stand from under." He was a tall, 
wiry and muscular man, of great strength, and somewhat eccentric in 
manner. Not long after the arrival of Thompson, his brother, Charles, 
came in, and was followed later by Marshall Townsley and his wife, 
who occupied the cabin that had just been built by William B. Thomp- 
son. A number of French-Canadians also came in about this time, 
all of whom took up claims, and among them were Augustus Travesee 
and Guizeppe Merrivalli, a Spaniard, known usually as Joseph Mer- 
rivall, and more commonly as " Jo Spaniard. " Townsley afterward 
purchased the claim of Merrivall, who went westward and finally set- 
tled on the Cache le Poudre. He had married a Sioux squaw. He 
always had fine horses, and was a splendid horseman, bestriding his 
animal with exceeding grace. " Jo Lean," as a writer on the early 
events of Woodbury county calls him, but who was no other person 
than Joseph Leonais, also stayed about the vicinity of Thompsontown. 
He it was who purchased from Theophile Bruguier the 160 acres of 
land used as a cornfield, and which is now the heart of Sioux City. 
He was also a French-Canadian and a daring horseman, and when well 
loaded with "tangle-foot" would do the most reckless things. It is 
said that he leaped with his Indian pony from the summit of Floyd's 
Bluff, a distance of about 150 feet, almost perpendicular, down to the 
water's edge, and came out of the affair with but a scratch or two. 
The principal part of the " leap," however, must have been a roll and 
a tumble, judging from the present appearance of the bluffs. Early 
tales of this character are very like snowballs — they gather as they 
go. For several years after these first settlers came in, and until after 
the organization of the county in 1853, very few names can be added 
to the list in the section that is now strictly Woodbury township. 
And a proof of the slow growth at that early day, lies in the fact that 


the entire county, at the date named, could only muster up seventeen 

By the spring of 1854, a number of persons had settled in and 
around what has since become Sergeant's Bluff, and among those were 
J. D. M. Crockwell, who forthwith proceeded to lay out a town which 
he called by the name just given. He was instrumental also in having 
the county seat removed from Thompson's embryo city to Sergeant's 
Bluff, where it remained until its removal to Sioux City, which was 
decided at an election held April 7, 1856. Eighty votes were cast for 
the removal and seventy-one against it. Crockwell and T. Ellwood 
Clark and all the other residents out of the influence of Sioux City, 
remonstrated against the act, but the fiat had gone forth, and there 
was nothing left to be done by the chagrined Sergeant's Bluffians but 
to submit. During the years 1854 and 1855 came William P. Holman, 
Leonard Bates, Gibson Bates, T. Ellwood Clark, William H. James, 
and a few others. Mr. Holman built a frame house, the first of the 
kind in the township, and opened the first hotel in the township. The 
lumber used in this building was the first that was sawed at a mill 
which had just been erected by Thomas Robinson and Samuel Watts, 
who came from the eastern part of the state, and located about half 
way between Sergeant's Bluff and the Missouri river. The building 
was of cottonwood lumber, and it stood many years afterward. It 
had been built in the fall of 1855. The first crockery dishes brought 
to the township were possessed by Mrs. W. P. Holman, and were con- 
sidered quite luxurious and aristocratic, in that pioneer time, when tin 
was universally used among the settlers. H. O. Griggs came, among 
others, in 1855. The first white child born in the township was 
Charles Ritz, son of John W. and Nancy Ritz. Mrs. W. P. Holman 
died in July, 1856, she being the first woman to die in the township. 
In the fall of 1855 the first post-office was established at Sergeant's 
Bluff, and T. Ellwood Clark was appointed postmaster. By 1856-57 
Luther Woodford, Harry Lyons, Samuel F. Watts, L. M. Brown, 
James Allen, J. W. Mather, John W. Bitz, E. K. Kirk, F. M. Ziebach 
and A. Cummings had arrived in the township. 

In 1854 Leonard Bates- put in a crop of corn on the farm which 
afterward came into the possession of A. R. Wright. Bates also 
started the first blacksmith shop. In the spring of 1855 Harry Lyons 
brought a stock of goods from Des Moines, and opened it in a small 


building in Sergeant's Bluff. He had a general stock of everything, 
and not much of anything. Indian goods were prominent in his col- 
lection, as he had great expectations of trade with the red-skins. 

Early in 1857 F. M. Ziebach and A. Cummings started the first 
newspaper in the county at Sergeant's Bluff. It was named "The In- 
dependent," and after running for about seven months was moved to 
Sioux City, and became the "Register." Zeibach afterward went to 
Dakota, where he became, and still is, prominent in politics. In 1857 
J. D. M. Crockwell & Co. began running a steam ferry-boat from Da- 
kota City to the eastern bank of the Missouri, for the purpose of 
bringing a portion of the crossing trade to the vicinity of their town, 
but, after operating it for about two years, it was discontinued for lack 
of paying patronage. The first brick made in the township were pro- 
duced by T. Ellwood Clark in 1856, and were sold for $25 per thou- 
sand. The first physician was J. D. M. Crockwell, the founder of the 
town, who, like the founder of Sioux City, Dr. J. K. Cook, was a phy- 
sician. Dr. Crockwell was an excellent physician of the old school, 
and his services in a new country, as this then was, were invaluable. 
He was a man for the times, and highly respected. The first school 
taught in the township was conducted in the winter of 1856-57 by 
Judge Oliver, who was afterward elected a member of congress from 
the tenth congressional district of Iowa, which included this county 
and some half dozen others. The school was taught in a small build- 
ing, which is still standing, or was some time ago. About ten or fifteen 
scholars attended the school. Iii May, 1858, an election was held, and 
a tax of one-fourth of one per ceut was voted to be levied for school 
purposes in the township, which shows that at that comparatively 
early day, the citizens of Woodbury were alive to the fact of the great 
benefits of proper educational facilities. 

The first sermon preached in the township was delivered in Oc- 
tober, 1855, and the minister was Rev. Mr. Black, the store-room of 
Harry Lyons, in Sergeant's Bluff, being used for the purpose. The 
preacher was an itinerant Methodist Episcopal worker in the vine- 
yard of the Lord. Methodism and Catholicism are more generally in 
the outer fields of Christian work, where man is trying to push his 
civilization, than any other of the Christian denominations. Opposite 
as they are in many of the fundamental points of their respective creeds, 
and differing as they do in the forms employed in their church serv- 


ice, yet they are one, when it conies to the hazarding of the lives of 
their priests and preachers for the sake of spreading the gospel and in 
assisting the pioneers to hew out from nature's crude materials, such 
examples of civilization as one can witness anywhere throughout the 
west. These grand old soldiers of the cross, these henchmen of the 
Lord, these valiant knights errant in the cause of religion, render 
service that is as valuable as though they themselves were the actual 
pioneers with ax and gun. Man by nature is essentially religious. 
He must have his church as well as his dwelling place and school, and 
when he goes out into the wilderness, the next thing that he looks 
after when he has builded his rude cabin and provided for his family, 
is somebody to preach to him. He was raised to respect religion in 
his New England home or in the sunny clime of the south, and the 
words of the traveling preacher in the little primitive school-house, or 
under the shadow of the trees in the forest, are golden to him. They 
remind him of his far-off home where he was born, and they bring to 
him consolation in his time of hardship. They encourage him to 
renewed exertions in his efforts to make the wilderness blossom. They 
nerve him to meet the savage foe, and impart strength to his arm for 
any emergency. And the itinerant preacher and mission priest were 
not faint-hearted. They were prepared on many an occasion, to draw 
a bead and use the knife on savage or brute, as promptly as they 
were to enforce their doctrines or console the dying. Mr. Black was 
the pioneer preacher of the northwest, and he was followed by Rev. 
Landou Taylor, who was appointed presiding elder of what was then 
known as the Sioux City district. Mr. Taylor arrived at Sergeant's 
Bluff in the spring of 1856, and was met by T. Ell wood Clark, who 
gave him a "hearty reception," as the minister expresses it in his 
book published in 1883, "and kindly proffered to take me in; and at 
Sioux City, Brother and Sister Yeomans had always an open door" 
for him. The salary paid the new minister was not sufficient to keep 
him, and he raised a crop of corn. He remained on this (Sergeant's 
Bluff) circuit until the summer of 1858, when he was succeeded by Rev. 
George Clifford, as presiding elder. Mr. Clifford was a very zealous 
worker and a worthy successor of Mr. Taylor. Whilst here, in 1860, 
he was instrumental in organizing what was projected as the "Wood- 
bury Seminaiy and Collegiate Institute," at Sergeant's Bluff. The 
institution was to be a Methodist college, and considerable funds were 


raised for the purpose, but the matter fell through from various causes. 
The mouey raised, however, was appropriated to the erection of two 
good school-houses. 

In 1856 a small board building was erected in Sergeant's Bluff for 
church purposes by the Methodists and other friends of religion, 
Avhich was used till the building of the school-house some time in the 
sixties. In 1880 the present neat building was erected. The pastor 
(1890) is Kev. T. Edson Carter. 

A church society of Congregationalists was organized in 1873, 
but the regular church organization took place in the fall of 1874, 
which was effected by Rev. John Morley of Sioux City. There were 
at the time about eighteen members. Mr. Morley preached the first 
sermon in the old school-house. The present church was built in 
1887. It is a handsome structure and cost about $2,500. The first 
preacher in this new church was Rev. John Marsland, who remained 
only about six months. The present pastor is Rev. John Gray. 

The winter of 1856-57 will be remembered by all who were living 
in Iowa at the time, as the most severe that ever occurred within their 
experience. Hundreds of cattle and even deer and elk perished, and 
a number of human lives was lost in the terrific storms of Decem- 
ber and February. Rev. Landon Taylor, who, as related above, 
arrived in Woodbury county in 1856, writes of his experiences so 
vividly that a quotation from him will tell a portion of the tale so 
well remembered by all the early settlers now living here: 

The fall of 1856 was very beautiful, and within a few days I went to work and put 
me up an office 12x16, and before cold weather I had it furnished, using it for a study, 
bed-room and chapel. Council Bluffs was 100 miles south of us, upon which we de- 
pended for provisions, but the weather had been so pleasant during the month of No- 
vember that a supply had not been obtained. On the first day of December, winter 
commenced with snow from the northwest, increasing in severity until the afternoon of 
the second day, when the climax was reached. To give my readers something of an 
idea of its character: About 2 P. M. I started from my office to dinner, about ten rods dis- 
tant. When about one rod on my way I became lost; not being able to see my hand be- 
fore me, and the storm cutting my breath, I halted and queried: " Strange if I should 
perish within a few feet of my door." But I thought " as I am facing the storm north- 
west, if I return southeast I will strike my office," and this happy idea brought me into 
safe quarters, but dinner was dispensed with for that day. The storm continued for 
three days and snow reached the depth of four feet on the level, accompanied with a 
crust so hard as to bear up a man. No one could travel for weeks, and the people 
being short of provisions, many had to subsist upon hominy and a few potatoes. 

The preacher and his friends had a little bacon in addition to corn 

f7 v ^-' 


and potatoes, but those soon were about to run out; so lie and T. Ell- 
wood Clark planned a trip to Council Bluffs, a description of which he 
gives thus: 

Brother Clark aud myself, each one wilh a team, started out upon this perilous jour- 
ney of 100 miles. When we met a team loaded we gave the whole road. In that event 
we shoveled a side track sufficiently large to admit one team until the other went by, 
and thus we continued until we reached our destination. Having obtained our supply, 
we faced the storm, which at times was so furious that we could scarcely see our teams,, 
the drifts filling up the road as soon as it was broken, when on the eighth day we reached 
home. * * * Such was the depth of snow during this winter that in some 
instances it was dangerous to venture far from home, in view of the hungry wolves. A 
Mr. Little, where we put up one night, had been out to his grove about a mile from home 
after a load of wood, when his large dog was set upon by wolves, and in less than five 
minutes the hungiy brutes left nothing of the poor dog but his bones. In another 
instance a negro had been out a little distance from home chopping, when he was driven 
into a fence corner by a pack of the wolves, who left nothing of him but his bones, by 
the side of which was his ax and six dead wolves. These were found when the snow 
had partially left the soil bare. 

Many scenes similar to those related are said to have occurred. 

The following in regard to several of the early settlers has been 
furnished the writer: William H. James, who lived at Sergeant's 
Bluff, went to Dakota City. He was probably the first lawyer to come 
to Woodbury county. He came in 1854, and none among the other 
settlers could claim to have studied Blackstone and Chitty. Marshall 
Townsley, the county judge, and Orrin B. Smith, the prosecuting 
attorney, knew nothing of the principles and practice of law, save what 
they may have picked up in watching trials before they came west. 
There were only fourteen votes cast at the April election of 1854, 
although there were probably ten or a dozen others in the county enti- 
tled to vote. Among those, whose names and location the writer has, 
there was no lawyer. James was elected secretary of state of Ne- 
braska, and the governor dying, he became governor through the pro- 
visions of the law made and provided for the emergency. He was 
termed the "accidental governor," but very ably filled his position. 
Samuel F. Watts, one of the partners in the steam saw-mill that was 
put into operation in 1855, between Sergeant's Bluff and the Missouri 
river, was a surveyor. He moved to Colorado, and the last heard of 
him he was living near Julesburg. B. E. Bowe was from New York. 
He boarded with Marshall Townsley, and was eccentric in manner 
which finally developed into insanity. He died in 1856, or about that 
date. B. Haszard worked for Thompson at Floyd's Bluff. He was a 


wild, reckless fellow, and a great scrapper and wrestler. He went to 
Denver and became a miner. Several years ago he was very severely 
injured by being thrown from his pony. L. Cunningham was the 
first assessor. He stayed about Thompson's. 

The origin of the very singular name that has been bestowed upon 
a small stream which runs through the center of "Woodbury township 
— Deadmans Run — is as follows: About 1853 the body of a man was 
found near the little stream mentioned, or rather, as the best authen-' 
ticated account gives it, attention was called to the body by one of 
the party to which the dead man belonged. A party of surveyors 
was encamped near the stream, and one of them, a young man, whose 
name was never given, was killed, either accidentally or by design. 
One of the party went to the settlement at Floyd's Bluff and informed 
the authorities there, who held an inquest on the corpse where it was 
found, and buried it on the spot. There was considerable mystery 
surrounding the affair, and the truth did not leak out till some time 
afterward, when it was ascertained that the young man who was killed, 
and his slayer, were lovers of the same young lady, who lived not far 
from Council Bluffs. They either fought a duel, or got into a quar- 
rel which resulted in the death of one of the men. There was, evi- 
dently, nothing underhanded in the affair, as the rest of the party 
would not do or say anything to criminate the unfortunate slayer. 

Game was very plentiful in the early days, such as buffalo, elk, 
deer, turkeys, beavers and all aquatic animals peculiar to the north- 
west. The Indians lived truly on the fat of the land, for it was only 
a matter of going out and shooting a fine elk or half a dozen turkeys, 
whilst beaver-tail was on the figurative red-skin bill of fare, whenever 
a bronze Lucullus so desired it. Elk occasionally passed along the 
bluffs in full sight of the settlements, and Mr. W. P. Holman in 1855, 
saw a herd of these beautiful and powerful animals numbering per- 
haps fifty. They were grazing along the bluffs not far from the 
village of Sergeant's Bluff. As soon as they discovered they were 
seen they took flight to the northward, and before the hunters could 
get their guns, they were far on their way to Minnesota. Wild bees 
were to be found in great abundance, and in some instances, literally 
tons of honey could be gathered, being the result of the work of years 
of countless myriads of the industrious little insects. Battlesnakes 
were also abundant, entirely too much so, and a sad case of bite of 


the venomous reptiles would occasionally occur. Wild fruits of the 
choicest and most luxuriant character, indigenous to the western coun- 
try, were to be found here in great quantities, such as plums, grapes, 
blackberries and raspberries. 

Prairie fires were of annual occurrence, and did much damage. 
They were usually the result of careless hunters, who would be the 
means of destroying thousands of dollars worth of property in crops 
and improvements. Some special cases will be found in another por- 
tion of the sketches of the townships. The cyclone would now and 
then give an intimation that it was around, but like the prairie fires, 
an account of its doings will be deferred to other townships, where it 
made more display of its power. The grasshopper is such a hack- 
neyed subject that one feels a hesitation in giving anything in regard 
to it. It is difficult to say anything new in relation to that terrible 
plague, but the ravages were so dire, that a word or two will not be out 
of place. A gentleman in Sergeant's Bluff, among many others that 
could be quoted, states that the 'hoppers, in less than three hours 
time, ate two fields of corn and oats so completely, that not a sign of 
anything green could be seen in the entire space. The genuine 'hop- 
per — he with the voracious appetite, and not our comparativelv harm- 
less annual summer visitor — always comes from the northwest, hopping 
or flying to the southeast, only resting when the winds anchor him for 
a space, or when he seeks the earth for his breakfast, which lasts all 
day, and night, too, for that matter. 

Corn, of course, is now the principal product of the township, but 
some little oats and fine potatoes are also raised. No improved fruit 
of any consequence is to be found, and not as much wild fruit as for- 
merly. There is some stock-raising, cattle and hogs, but not as much 
in that line as there was a few years ago. Fine beds of clay, how- 
ever, make up for any lack of productions otherwise in the township. 
Near, or rather within the village of Sergeant's Bluff, there are de- 
posits of the finest pottery, tile and brick clay to be found in the state- 
They have been pronounced very superior in quality for the purposes 
mentioned, and their value was recognized many years ago. As early 
as 1858, parties at Dakota City worked these beds of clay. Zeigler & 
Eckhart went into the manufacture of earthernware at the town named, 
but there being no market for their wares sufficient to justify them, 
the business was abandoned. The manufacture of stoneware was 


again commenced, but at Sergeant's Bluff, some years ago, and now 
J. L. Mattocks conducts the business on quite an extensive scale. He 
finds sale for his products, not only in Woodbury county, but ships 
much of it to various points in Iowa, Nebraska and Dakota. The firm 
of C. J. Holman & Bro., who commenced business in 1866, in quite a 
modest way, and who own the fine deposits of clay, sand and gravel 
where their works are located, just at the edge of Sergeant's Bluff, 
have improved their means of production to such an extent as to make 
their works one of the most important businesses of the northwest. 
They manufacture paving and sidewalk brick, hollow brick, ordinary 
building brick and drain tile. They run the latest improved machin- 
ery, and use the circular oven kiln, which insures more uniformity in 
the application of the heat to the brick and tile. This firm also do 
considerable in pork-packing in the fall and winter, and the Holman 
lard is a well-known staple in Sioux City and the surrounding country. 
The Sioux City & Sergeant's Bluff Brick company is also a large 
concern, located at Sergeant's Bluff, and working the same class of 
deposits of clay as the Holman company. They have extensive works, 
all the latest improved machinery and brick and tile kilns, and their 
output is about equal to their competitor, the two plants turning out 
annually, about 10,000,000 bricks. The principal office of this com- 
pany is at Sioux City. 

Sergeant's Bluff (the oldest town in the county that has survived 
Thompsontown, which was staked off first, but which never became a 
town) was unfortunate in being so near its large sister to the north of 
it. It has one of the most beautiful locations in the state and many 
natural advantages. It had quite a set-back in 1857, in consequence 
of hard times, when many of its residents left for more prosperous 
points. The stagnation lasted till the Sioux City & Pacific railroad 
reached it, since which time it has grown very perceptibly. Many 
new buildings have gone up, and it has good business establishments. 
It has a fine graded school, and an excellent building, with four teach- 
ers. There are two other schools in the township. In 1863 Mr. 
Holman laid out a cemetery, which has since been purchased by the 
township authorities. The Y. M. C. A. was organized in March, 1886, 
and the first president was G. A. Coombs; vice-president, R. Hall; 
secretary, W. P. Holman ; treasurer, F. E. Woodford. Present officers 
(1890) are: President, E. A. Brown; vice-president, S. Sweet; secre- 


tary, G. A. Coombs; assistant secretary, C. H. Blake; treasurer, G. 
H. Dula. The association has a very nice hall for their meetings, 
with library and. organ, and receive about thirty different periodicals 
and newspapers. They keep hanging in their .room, the banner carried 
off by Woodbury county, as a reward from the corn palace exposition 
company for the best display in the procession of 1889. The business 
interests of the town are as follows: General stores, C. J. Holman & 
Bro., J. A. Taft, E. G. Bitz; drugs, Carl Ingvolstad; saddles and 
harness, Mr. Knutson ; butchers, A. Hansen, A. Krouse ; confectionery, 
N. Welch; millinery, Mrs. Gundersen; blacksmiths, H. Carter, M. 
Swalley; hotel, E. B. Evans; physician, F. W. Marotz; postmaster, J. 
A. Taft; dealers in cattle and hogs, Baker & Cheeseam. 

Glen Ellen is a station on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul 
railroad; also a post-office, with Mr. Lukins as postmaster. Ed. 
Webster deals largely in stock at this point, and considerable quanti- 
ties of grain are handled here. 


Second Division of County — Products — Rich Soil— — Fine Scenery — 
First Settlet.s— Ourin B. Smith — Mormon Settlers — White Settle- 
ment— Smithland— A Militia Major— Some Sketches— Wesley Tub- 
man — Rev. Landon Taylor — An Adventure— First Marriage- 
Firstlings— Hardships of the Pioneers— The Weeping Prophet- 
First Officers— Storms— Intense Suffering— Indian Outrages— Ink- 
padotah's Band— Town of Smithland, Its Business, etc. 

LITTLE SIOUX TOWNSHIP, the second division of the county 
created in 1855, originally comprised, as shown in a preceding 
chapter, all that portion of Woodbury county lying east of the west 
fork of the Little Sioux river, but, by a gradual partitioning off and 
subdivision, it has shrunk to its present dimensions, one congressional 
township, the same as nearly all of its sister townships. Little Sioux 
retained a size of twice the bulk of the other townships till 1884, 
when Oto township was created from its ample substance. It is the 


third running westward of the southern tier of townships, and is 
bounded on the north by Grant, on the east by Oto, on the west by 
Willow and on the south by Monona county. The surface is con- 
siderably broken, and ranges of bluffs traverse many portions of it. 
The land, however is extremely rich, especially in the valleys, and 
very varied crops may be raised. Wheat is well adapted to the soil, 
or the soil to wheat, and oats, barley and all small grains, as well 
as corn, are produced to perfection, corn, of course, predominating as 
a crop. The soil is a black loam, easily cultivated and practically in- 
exhaustible in consequence of its freedom from any extraneous con- 
stituents not needed for plant growth, and from its depth. The same 
fields, in many instances, have been put to the same crops for many 
years successively, and to-day yield as abundantly as they ever have. 
Below this fine deposit of surface soil, lies a stratum of clay which will 
produce the best of brick, and there must also be a stratum of pottery 
and tile clay, as there are in many of the bluffs throughout the county. 
There are also fine beds of sand, some of it as excellent as any to be 
found in Ohio or Pennsylvania, used in the manufacture of glass. 
The township is well watered, the Little Sioux river running through 
the southeastern portion, and the Lynn Hollow, AVeber and Cotton- 
wood creeks watering other sections of the same. There are num- 
erous springs here, and one of them, known as Medicine spring, on 
the property of M. L. Jones, at Smithland, was thought by the 
Indians to possess great healing properties, as they used to come long 
distances to bathe themselves in its waters. Timber is more plenti- 
ful in this section of the county than in any other, and is more varied 
and of better quality. Very excellent bur and red oak, are to be found 
here, as well as walnut, elm, hackberry, box elder, maple and bass- 
wood, or linn, while some of the hardier small fruits are produced in 
Little Sioux township, and throughout the Little Sioux valley gener- 
ally. Game of all kinds has always been plentiful, and fish are to be 
caught in abundance in all the streams, _such as buffalo, pickerel, pike, 
suckers and catfish. Stock-raising is carried on to a considerable 
extent, and fair quantities are shipped over the Cherokee & Dakota 
railroad, a feeder of the Illinois Central system. 

The scenery in Little Sioux township is very beautiful, and reminds 
one, more than any other portion of Woodbury county, of the eastern 
or middle states' landscapes. The quiet little valleys and the thickly- 


wooded hills, between which run gurgling streams, afford a very 
pleasant contrast to many other portions of northwestern Iowa. 

There has been some controversy among old residents of Wood- 
bury, as to who was the actual first settler of the county, and some 
have claimed that it was Orrin B. Smith, who at present is residing 
in Florida, but the claim is not supported by sufficient evidence to 
make it tenable. The facts, so far as they can be ascertained, are as 
follows: William White, Curtis Lamb and J. Sumner, known at the 
time, as apostate Mormans, left the Mormon settlement at Kaneville 
(now Council Bluffs), and came to the Little Sioux valley, where they 
squatted upon land, one of them upon the site of what is now Smithland, 
and the others in the vicinity. Just what time these three men came, 
is not now known, but it must have been about 1850 or 1851, possi- 
bly earlier, for in the fall of 1852, Orrin B. Smith, his brother, Edwin 
M. Smith, and John Hurley came from Council Bluffs to this section 
on a hunting expedition, and upon their following up the Little Sioux 
river, they were surprised to find the three white men named above, 
living comparatively comfortable in the then wilderness. They 
stopped with Sumner a short time, as he had made some improve- 
ments on his property, aud then proceeded on their way up the river. 
On the return of the hunters, Orrin B. Smith, Avho was so struck with 
the beauty of the location where Sumner had squatted and held two 
claims, that he made the latter an offer for his rights in them, which 
was accepted, the sum paid being $100 in gold. Smith took posses- 
sion and shortly afterward returned to Council Bluffs, where he sold 
one of the claims to Eli Lee, who, with his family, came out in the 
following February, 1853. Smith moved his own family out shortly 
after the date named, and the little settlement began with these six, 
some of them with families: The two Smiths, Lamb, White, Lee and 
Hurley. What became of Sumner the writer could not ascertain. 
The settlement at first was known as the White settlement, so called 
for William White, who, however, afterward moved to Monona county, 
and was drowned in Silver Lake. He put in the first ferry across the 
Little Sioux river. 

Following those named in the preceding paragraph, came, about 
the middle of August, 1853, William Turman and John McCauley, 
then John Turman. In 1851 M. L. Jones and John B. Pierce came 
in, as well as Joseph and Thomas Bowers, Alvah North, James Mc- 


Donald, Martin Metcalf and two or three others. Metcalf was a 
Methodist exhorter and it might be claimed that he was the first per- 
son to conduct Christian religious exercises in "Woodbury county. 
Pierce was a native of Canada, and died many years ago. Ira Price 
came in 1854 or 1855, but went to Nebraska in 1856. Alvah North 
went to Salt Lake City in 1857. George Coonly was an early resi- 
dent of Smithlaiid, but he got tired of the west, and iiually went back 
to New York. There is a grove near Smithland which is still called 
by bis name. John Howe also lived at Smithlaiid, but went to Cali- 
fornia at an early day. Ebenezer F. Petty was a resident of Little 
Sioux township, and did the principal tanning of buckskin. He is 
said to have been " constitutionally tired," and that he was very much 
opposed to hunting, because it required too much exertion, but that he 
was an excellent fisherman, enjoying the shade of a tree to perfection. 
Albert Jones came to Smithland in February, 1855, and afterward 
went to Pike's Peak, on the tide of 1859, remaining in Colorado until 
1884. He is, with his brother, M. L. Jones, in the merchandising 
business in Smithland. T. Davis was one of the early ones. C. A. 
Cobb came in 1855, and died in 1860 with heart disease. He was a 
cousin of M. L. Jones. R. H. C. Noel was a resident of Smithland, 
and ran for county judge in 1855. He remained only about one year, 
when he went to White Cloud, Minn. Noel was a highly educated 
man and a talented lawyer, but with no energy. Seth Smith, who 
lived across the line in Monona county, but who was identified with 
Little Sioux in all things except actual residence in that town- 
ship, was from Ohio, and had been in that state a militia major. 
He brought with him a full suit of regimentals, cocked hat, gilt 
epaulettes, glittering sword, and split-tail coat, and these insignia 
of greatness made him a man of mark. It elevated him, of 
course, when the occasion came, to the captaincy of the party who 
waited upon the Indians in the winter of 1856-57 for the purpose 
of inviting the red-skins to evacuate that neck of woods, some of the 
details of which will be given farther along. 

Wild fruits of many kinds were very abundant in those early 
days, and game, the best in the land, was to be had by shooting or 
trapping. Along the streams beaver, mink, otter and other aquatic 
animals were very plentiful, and many an old hunter reaped a rich 
reward from their skins, which sold as high as $8 and $10 in some 



sections. An occasional pair of buffalo would stray down the valleys, 
and even a moose from the upper regions would graze along south- 
ward till he was in sight of the settlements, when he would spring, 
startled, back toward his northern prairies, as though he had been 
absent minded and forgotten where he was, in his enjoyment of the 
rich grasses of the untrod hills and dales of the Little Sioux region. 
Droves of elk, also, as well as deer, would sometimes be seen feeding 
along the slopes, but this animal, so wary of the approach of man, 
and so fleet of foot, could but seldom be found on the homely boards 
of the pioneers. A gentleman, whilst traveling along the prairie not 
far from Little Sioux township, in 1857, thus describes a scene that 
he witnessed: " In ascending a little bluff, as I reached the top, 
before me stood 100 elk of various sizes. As I approached they crossed 
the road a little in front of me, then formed a ring, the mothers 
with their fawns within; the males with their great horns completing 
the circle without. There they stood, in this fortified position, until 
I was out of sight. This was the grandest horned battalion that I 
ever witnessed, and'was worth a journey to see. I stopped my horse 
for some time to look at this living fortress, but they faced me with 
a look of defiance, as much as to say, 'come on if you dare!'" 

The first birth (or births, for twins were born) was two children 
born to Edwin M. Smith, in 1854, and the first death was that of one 
of these same children, who did not long survive its entrance into this 
world. The first marriage was that solemnized on July 4, 1855, 
between Morris Metcalf and Melinda Hatch. If a minister married 
them it must have been Rev. Mr. Black, for he was the only one in 
the county at the time. A justice of the peace possibly tied the nup- 
tial knot. The first store in the township was opened in 1855, in the 
then newly laid-out city of Smithland. Howe Brothers, who came 
from Massachusetts, were the proprietors. The first hotel was started 
in the same city by William Jackson, in 1856, and the first log cabin 
in the entire eastern half of Woodbury county was that put up jointly, 
it is supposed, by White, Lamb and Sumner, before 1853. The first mill, 
a steam saw-mill, was put up in 1856, within what is now the corporate 
limits of Smithland. It was owned and operated by Swett, Baker, 
Smith and Wellington. During the year of its erection, Smith acci- 
dentally fell upon the saw and was killed. The first physician to do 
any practice was Rev. Mr. Haven, a Methodist minister, who had 


studied both professions. He did not regularly practice, but his 
knowledge of the healing art was used by the early settlers, and it 
came into good play in that primitive time. The first post-office was 
established in Smithland, in 1855 or 1856, and the postmaster was 
Orrin B. Smith. A mail route had been established about that time, 
which ran from Fort Dodge to Sioux City. The first roads to run 
through the township, was the Panora and Sergeant's Bluff, and the 
Reel's mill and Correctionville road. The first fine large barn erected 
in Little Sioux township and for ten or a dozen miles around it, was 
built by Orrin B. Smith. It still stands within the corporate limits 
of Smithland. This barn was inaugurated, or dedicated, by a dance, 
which was attended by old and young for many miles around. Every- 
body took a hand, or rather a foot, in the frolic, and the"flowin' bowl" 
was passed around pretty lively, but as a general rule, there was very 
little drinking along the Little Sioux. The settlers there left that to 
the French-Canadians, half-breeds and Indians, over along the Big 
Sioux and Missouri rivers. The first school in Little Sioux was pre- 
sided over by Miss Hannah Van Dorn, in 1855, and the first school- 
house, a small log structure, was erected in Smithland. 

The first minister to preach in Little Sioux township was Rev. Mr. 
Black, who came to Woodbury county in the fall of 1855. He was at 
Smithland the following spring of 1856, and went out to meet Rev. 
Landon Taylor, the presiding elder, who had just been appointed as 
such by the Iowa conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 
Rev. Taylor was accompanied by another minister, Rev. D. J. Havens, 
son of the noted old-time Methodist preacher, Rev. James Havens, of 
Indiana. The younger Havens had come with Taylor, presumably to 
take the place of Mr. Black, as the latter left shortly afterward, and 
we hear no more of him in thisTegion. The two new ministers were 
conducted by Mr. Black to the house of Mr. Van Dorn, near Smith- 
land, where they remained over Sabbath, and on that day, the presid- 
ing elder preached his opening sermon on his circuit, in the cabin of 
Orrin B. Smith, and at night Rev. Havens filled the primitive pulpit, 
figuratively speaking, for the only pulpit visible was a rough kitchen 
table, and a modest chair of homely fashion. But the surroundings 
of the man of God made no difference in the unction with which he 
expounded the gospel. The people of the settlement turned out their 
full number, and no matter to what particular branch of the Christian 


church they held allegiance before they came out to the wilderness, 
they united as one in giving the brave old pioneer preacher a hearty 
welcome and a rich response to the "glad tidings" he brought them. 
In a frontier settlement, where each must cling to the other for mutual 
protection and sympathy, all creeds and special formalities, great and 
small, are, as they must be within the Pearly Gates, dropped or buried 
out of sight. Rev. Taylor was called the "weeping prophet," from 
the fact that he always cried when he preached. The father of the 
young man, Havens, the old itinerant of Indiana, worked in the same 
or similar fields as the Rev. Peter Cartwright, and he could, as well 
as Brother Cartwright, not only bang a Bible, but the eye of any bor- 
der bully who had the temerity to interrupt him during his religious 
services, and the young man is said to have been a chip of the old 
block. Mr. Havens, whilst in charge of the Smithland circuit, was 
making a convert of the lady whose husband was killed by falling on 
his circular saw some time previously, and in due course she changed 
the plebian name of Smith for that of Havens, at the residence of 
Doctor Yeomans, in Sioux City. The happy couple left for "other 
fields and pastures green," in the course of a year or more. 

As an illustration of the trials and hardships of the pioneer min- 
ister, the following experience of Revs. Taylor and Black, after leav- 
ing Smithland, at the close of their pastoral engagements in Woodbury 
county, is given: "We came to a large stream, widening out ten or 
twelve rods, and now what was to be done? Brother Black, my trav- 
eling companion, can not swim, the water is too deep to ford, some of 
our articles must not be wet, and now I will test its depth by wading 
through. Carrying our blankets in my hands, extended upward, I 
started for the other shore, and found that I could just go through, 
the water coming over my shoulders. Safely landed, I deposited my 
load on the bank, and then swam back after the second. Thus I con- 
tinued wading and swimming alternately until all were over, excepting 
Brother Black and the buggy. Well, what disposition is to be made 
of them? Fortunately for us we have a rope on hand, and sol fasten 
this to the shafts of my buggy, lash the preacher fast to the rear, and 
Fanny, my mare, brings all over in safety. It was amusing to see a 
very short man rolling and whirling in the stream, but it was the only 

Bev. George Clifford succeeded Mr. Taylor in his work here. 


When Mr. Taylor left in 1858, the state of the Methodist church on 
his circuit was as follows, which will give an idea of the sparse popu- 
lation: Members, 141; probationers, 36; baptisms, 24; churches, 1; 
Sunday-schools, 6; scholars, 158; preaching places, 10. 

In 1855, at the creation of Little Sioux township, the trustees 
elected were: Township trustees, William Turman, James McDonald, 
Mendal Metcalf. Metcalf lived in that portion of Little Sioux now 
comprised in Oto township. In 1858, at the April election, O. B. 
Smith, the founder of Smithland, had submitted to the voters the 
important question whether they desired an addition to that embryo 
city. The sovereigns decided that they wanted the addition, which 
was accordingly recorded. The judges of this election were E. Todd, 
William Turman, Daniel Metcalf and the clerk, E. M. Smith and C. 
A. Cobb. 

The cyclone, at least by its comparatively modern name, was not 
known in the early days of Woodbury, although evidences of its visit 
are not wanting in some sections of the county. That great terror of 
the "wild and woolly west" of the present day, might jump down on a 
prairie or on to the summit of one of those smoothly shaven and 
beautifully rounded bluffs, and stand on its hind legs and howl for a 
month, and nobody would have beeii the wiser, simply because nobody 
was near enough at the time. The increase in population in the 
cyclone belt during the last thirty years, has brought the monster into 
notoriety. The blizzard, also, by name but not in fact, was conspicu- 
ous by its absence. This hyperborean fiend was simply called a heavy 
snow-storm. But when those of northwestern Iowa said " heavy 
snow-storm " they meant what they said, and those who were in this 
section during the winter of 1856—57 will never forget their experi- 
ences with one of the kind indicated. There was great suffering all 
over the state, and those who lived along the Little Sioux and were 
partially protected by the hilly nature of the country were no excep- 
tion to the general rule. Families were so cut off from neighbors 
that they were on the verge of starvation. Many of the settlers lived 
on corn and potatoes for weeks at a time, and numbers of persons had 
limbs frosted, resulting in one or two cases of amputation. A writer 
who resided in the county at the time, gives so graphic a description 
of the state of affairs during the great storms of wind and snow dur- 
ing: the winter indicated, that one can do no better than give his own 


words in regard to it. He says: "On the 2d and 3d days of Decem- 
ber one of the most terrific snowstorms that ever blew out of the 
heavens, swept over this section of country, hurling snow into every 
crack and crevice that air could penetrate, and into drifts of fifteen 
and twenty feet in depth, burying cattle, sheep and other stock so 
deeply that hundreds perished from the extreme cold. On the 7th 
day of February following, another severe snowstorm, nearly equal to 
the one of December, added much to the distress of many of the set- 
tlers of the northwest, as but few. were prepared for it. The snow 
was now about four feet on the level, which completely hemmed in 
some settlers who were living remote from the more populous portions 
of the county, and whose stocks of provisions gave out before it was 
possible to get more. Some killed their cattle and subsisted upon 
them for days after their flour and meal had given out, whilst others 
lived upon parched corn." A man who had built a small cabin in one 
of the little valleys along tbe Little Sioux, about fifteen miles from the 
nearest purchasing point, managed to get through the drifts to that 
point, where he paid $10 for a small sack of flour. The same writer 
quoted from above, says in relation to the party just mentioned: "By 
the time the flour was consumed, the snow had increased in depth, and 
he and his wife were so afflicted with scurvy that he could not go for 
more flour." They were compelled to kill a poor starving cow, all 
bones and no flesh, upon which they managed to subsist for several 
days, when succor arrived. Their firewood also had given out, and 
they had to go a long distance to timber. After consuming all the 
wood in their reach, they attacked the walls of their cabin by chop- 
ping and splitting blocks from the logs. In this manner they man- 
aged to pull through; and to add to the distress and hardships of the 
hardy and honest old pioneers, when the snow began to melt and the 
ice to thaw in the streams, torrents of water rushed and foamed along 
every river and creek and run in the county. The Little Sioux and 
West Fork were swollen far beyond their banks, and great damage 
was done by the merciless waters. 

Truly the trials and tribulations of the early settlers of most por- 
tions of the great west were many, but the foregoing were noT; all they 
had to encounter. The devastating fires that would break out every 
autumn among the rank and dry grass of the prairies, would send a 
chill of horror to the heart of many a lone settler in his little log 


cabin as he saw the distant smoke and watched with eager eye to 
ascertain whether the wind blew toward his humble home, or whether 
there was a likelihood of its doing so, if it were in another direction. 
He well knew that no power he or his neighbors could command 
would arrest the fiery demon in his merciless march. Powerless he 
was, indeed, when in the track of the roaring, raging, irresistible 
storm of flame, and all that was left him to do was to grasp his child 
in his arms and his wife by the hand, and fly for life from the onward 
rush of the surging simoon of death. And the grasshopper, too, had 
to come to plague the luckless soldiers in the vanguard of the army of 
civilization, but the little pest did not come in such force on his first 
noticeable visit to this section in 1858, as he did later on. He only 
gave a foretaste, or rather took it, of what he might be capable when 
he would get on his war paint and get his appetite up to its normal 
condition. The first visit was bad enough, but he seemed only to be 
reconnoitering, or skirmishing about the camp of the enemy, for he 
confined his captures to garden truck almost entirely. He may have 
been more dainty then, in the selection of his bill of fare than he was 
in 1864, when saw logs, Des Moines radishes, trace chains and Council 
Bluff's beef, stood no more chance than a stranger in Omaha with 
$4.25 in his pocket in the shades of evening. In the two most noted 
visits, the first in 1864, as stated, great destruction followed in the 
path of the innumerable millions of these insects, but fuller accounts 
will be found elsewhere in these pages. 

In 1855, a Californian named Ordway, who had made his pile in 
the golden state, came to Smithland on a land-buying expedition and 
obtained accommodations at the cabin of Orrin B. Smith. Mr. Smith 
was not home at the time, but his wife took charge of a heavy valise 
the traveler carried and stowed it away at the head of a bed. About 
the same time a man named Wilbur Eddy arrived with a wagon and 
team, and, it being snowy, stormy weather, was permitted to put up his 
team in Smith's yard. He also had a head or two of cattle which he 
turned loose to graze. All went to bed as usual at night, but in the 
morning the valise was gone, which the traveler said contained $3,500 
in gold. The man Eddy said, also, that his pants had been stolen. 
He was suspected, however, of the main theft, and M. L. Jones and 
others commenced to investigate matters, when they found a track 
that led down to the river, following which they discovered the valise, 


emptied of the money, and the pants stuck under the ice among some 
brushwood. In going back to Smith's house Eddy said that his cat- 
tle had strayed away up the hill into the woods, and he started in that 
direction. He was followed at a little distance by Jones who kept 
behind the trees, and was rewarded for his detective service by seeing 
Eddy kicking the snow up against a hollow tree. When Eddy passed 
on, Jones crept up to the hollow tree and took out a package that con- 
tained every cent of the §3,500. The thief was arrested as soou as he 
came back, and taken to Sergeant's Bluff, the county seat, but a law- 
yer got out a habeas corpus, and, no witnesses appearing, he was dis- 
charged from custody. Mr. Ordway, now a wealthy old gentleman, 
paid a visit to Smithland in remembrance of the adventure, in the sum- 
mer of the present year (1890). 

The hard winter of 1856-57, together with the stringency of the 
times and the Indian scare induced by the Spirit Lake massacre, caused 
many of the settlers along the Little Sioux to leave the county, and 
either go farther westward or return to their original homes. The 
killing of Pennell, for which Shook was tried, also had some effect on 
the settlers farther up the river. Some of these returned and others 
did not. Land fell in price, and there was wide spread depression. 
The Civil war coming on a few years later, and the increasing boldness 
of the Indians of the northwest, added still more to the retardation of 
speedy settlement. Not until about 1866 or 1867, did the tide turn, 
but when it did, the increase was healthful for many years. Some few 
came in during the war, but very little increase in population occurred 
till the latter dates mentioned above. 

In the late fall of 1856, a band of renegade Indians, headed by 
Inkpadotah, came into Little Sioux township and camped. There were 
twenty-two of them, all, or nearly all of them, being outcasts from the 
Sioux and Winnebago tribes. At first they were comparatively peace- 
able, but as they gradually discovered that their numbers were about 
equal to the able-bodied men of the white settlement in their vicinity, 
they began stealing corn, or anything of that kind easily unrecogniz- 
able, until finally, they got to stealing an occasional hog or steer, and 
still later, shooting cattle without any apparent fear of being molested, 
but the pioneers, after complaining to several of the leaders about 
their depredations, resolved to take stronger means to rid themselves 
of the thieves. So they got together, twenty-one of them, and made 


Maj. Seth Smith, who lived just across the line in Monona county, 
captain of their party, in consequence partly, because he was a good 
man for a leader, and partly because he owned that magnificent suit of 
regimentals, with its quivering epaulettes, gaily bedecked cocked hat 
and flashing sword. These would strike terror to " the souls of fright- 
ful adversaries." The party consisted of the twenty-one mentioned, 
and below are the names of eighteen of them, as furnished the writer 
hereof, by one of the number now living on the Little Sioux; the other 
three our informant could not remember: 

Seth Smith, captain. O. B. Smith. Thomas Davis. 

Eli Lee. William Tin-man. Welsey Turman. 

John Howe. Ed. Howe. John Floyd. 

Eli Floyd. John Kinnea. Thomas Bowers. 

Jim Kirbey. Thomas Nagle. Jonathan Leach. 

M. L. Jones. M. B. Mead. A. Livermore. 

This party proceeded to the Indian camp, but some of them were 
away. Capt. Smith demanded that the Indians should leave that 
vicinity, when they replied that the snow was so bad up north that they 
could not get anything to eat there. They, however, said they would 
like to go down to the Omaha reservation and shake hands with them 
and bury the hatchet. The whites of course did not care where they 
would go, but they wanted them to " go — go at once, and not stand on 
the order of their going," and that they would help their red brothers 
to get to the Omahas in the morning. Capt. Smith and his warriors, 
however, in leaving, thought that a little precaution might be a good 
thing, so they took the guns from the savages and carried them home 
with them. In the morning when the whites went to the camp to assist 
the Indians in getting off, and restoring to them their guns, they found 
that they had left during the night. The Indians fled to the north- 
ward, committing depredations everywhere, which finally culminated 
in the horrible butchery known as the Spirit Lake massacre, a recital 
of which is not in place here, it having happened outside the territory 
comprised in this work. There have been many versions of this affair, 
but the above facts were obtained from parties who were concerned in 
it. It might possibly be, as one writer states, in an endeavor to 
palliate the atrocity, that individual Indians were whipped at Smith- 
land, but one can feel assured that if such were the case, the red-skins 
deserved it. That was not a sufficient motive for the crimes they 
afterward committed. The same writer says that the great mistake of 



the whites was in driving the Indians away. One of the gray-haired 
old veterans who helped to form the famous twenty-one, told the writer 
that the only mistake they made was that they did not shoot the whole 
party of red devils when they had them in a trap. 

Smithland. — Orrin B. Smith first surveyed this town in 1855, but it 
was not recorded. In 1856 it was again surveyed and platted and put 
on record. It was incorporated in June, 1890, and the first mayor 
was It. C. Itice, and the present mayor is C. Ashwoi - th. 

The present business of the village is as follows: General mer- 
chants, M. L. Jones, J. J. By an & Co. ; dealers in coal, lumber, hard- 
ware, farm machinery, wagons, etc., Jones & Barlier; druggist, B. C. 
Bice; groceries, B. C. Fisher, Mrs. McKenzie; furniture, J. 0. Buthroff; 
harness-maker, L. G. Garnet; millinery, Mrs. W. J. Wolf, Mrs. C. M. 
Foster; livery, John B. Oldis, Tadlock & Merritt; bankers, Bice & 
Smith; training stables and veterinary hospital, conducted by C. H. 
Hidden; meat shop, John Yothers; meat and notions: Frank Young; 
restaurant, J. S. Wise; physicians; Charles Bice, C. P. Ashworth; at- 
torney at law, J. A. Prichard; hotels, St. George, John H. Oldis, 
proprietor; Central house, Charles Edgar, proprietor; two blacksmith 
shops; Smithland Mills, grinds grain and saws lumber; Smithland 
Butter & Cheese Manufacturing Association, separator process, 
capacity 1,000 pounds butter per day, president, M. L. Jones, secre- 
tary, F. H. Smith. 

About 1871-72 the "Little Sioux Valley Beporter," a weekly news- 
paper, was started by B. C. Bice, who ran it about two years. The 
" Smithland Advertizer " started in the spring of 1887, published by 
the Advertizer company ; it was run for nearly a year. The "Smithland 
Exponent" was started November 24, 1887, and name changed to the 
"Farmers' Exponent" in the spring of 1890, proprietors, Jenness & 
Hills. Smithland high school is a very fine institution of three grades, 
the principal is C. F. Clark; intermediate department, Miss Bosena 
Warne ; primary department, Mrs. Helen Morgan. There is a very flour- 
ishing Farmers' Alliance, a W. C. T. U., a lodge of Knights of 
Pythias and a lodge of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons. There is 
also a very beautiful cemetery at Smithland, but no church, no post- 
office, and no mill or other industry outside the village. 

There was, as has been shown, preaching by Methodist ministers 
way back shortly after the first, settlement of Little Sioux township, 


but no church building belonging to the denomination till about ten 
years ago, when the present edifice was dedicated in the spring of 
1880. Rev. I. B. Kilburn was the pastor when the church was dedi- 
cated. The present pastor is Rev. Freeman Franklin. 

Adventist preachers have visited this section and held services at 
various places for many years past, but about fifteen years ago they 
purchased the old school-house, and have used it since as a place of 
worship. Ministers of that faith occasionally come along and hold 
services. The proper name of the denomination is Seventh Day 
Adventists, and their belief is considered peculiar, but it may not be 
more ultra in that direction than some of their sister churches. They 
keep Saturday as the Sabbath, and work on Sunday when they feel 
like it. 

There was no Congregational preaching in the township until 
within a few years. Bev. Mr. Herrick, of Cherokee, first came, about 
June, 1887, and was followed shortly afterward by Bev. Mr. Towle, 
from Grinnell. There were a few Presbyterians and some others who 
did not affiliate with the other denominations, who resolved to form a 
society. There were eleven, and they met in the Adventist's church. 
Bev. Herrick preached the first sermon. Bev. Mr. Skinner, pastor at 
large, preaches every four weeks. They have a Sunday-school at- 




—First Officers— Paper Towns — A Howling Wilderness — Elias 
Shook — Killing of Pennell — Some First Settlers— First White 
Woman— A Stampede— The Great Blizzard of 1856-57— Frightful 
Prairie Fires— Great Suffering— Frozen to Death— First Preach- 
ers—A Wedding Scene— Uncle Johnny Freeman — A Trapper — Ot- 
ter, Mink and Beaver— Indian Scare of 1861— A Night Attack— Cor- 
rectionville, Its Business, Churches, Societies, etc. 

UNION TOWNSHIP is the result of the last subdivision of Cor- 
rectionville township, which, as shown in another chapter, com- 
prised at its creation, March 2, 1857, the northeast one-fourth of 
Woodbury county. The name, Oorrectionville, was retained by the 
township through all the curtailments of its territory, and up to No- 
vember 27, 1871, when a majority of the citizens petitioned to have it 
changed to "Union," which the supervisors of the county granted. 
The order of the board, September 2, 1872, making the last division 
and leaving Union what it is now, is as follows: "Ordered that one- 
half of section thirty-four, all of sections thirty -five and thirty-six in 
township eighty-nine of range forty -two, be detached from Pock town- 
ship and attached to Union township." This was procured at the 
instance of Jesse Said and others. Union comprises one complete 
congressional township, the northeastern one of the county. It is 
bounded on the north by Plymouth county, on the east by Ida county, 
on the west by Putland township and on the south by Pock and Ked- 
ron townships. The township is one of the richest in Woodbury 
county, and is well watered. Two lines of railroad traverse it diago- 
nally — branches of the Illinois Central and the Chicago & Northwestern. 
The surface of the country is generally gently rolling prairie land, very 
fertile, and, as showing the state of intelligence of the inhabitants, 
school-houses dot the landscape in every direction. In contrast to the 
present fine showing in the matter of education, and as an indication of 


the sparse population of Correctionville township in 1860, reported by 
the superintendent of instruction of the county, and recorded in the 
proceedings of the county court, the following statement is given: 
Correctionville township, school-age children, males, ten; females, 
eight; total, eighteen. 

James L. Gaston was the first clerk of the township, being elected 
on the first Monday in April, 1857. At the next April election, 1858, 
G. A. Willitts was elected justice of the peace. The judges of the 
election were John R. Householder, John M. Downing and Abel S. 
Bacon, and the clerks were William A. Estey and G. A. Willitts. 

There were, possibly, no settlers in that portion of Correctionville 
township now comprised in Union, in 1854, or even in 1855, unless 
they came in the fall of the last year named. It is true that the town 
of Correctionville was surveyed in September, 1855, but that is no 
evidence that anybody was living there at the time, for the hundreds 
of cities laid off in 1855, 1856, 1857 and 1858 would, if they had 
grown to the size of even 1,000 population, have made Iowa one mass 
of humanity as dense as that of the city of London. A gentleman, 
who was in this state at the time named, wrote the following, in 
1871, in regard to the rage for laying off towns and cities: "During 
the years 1856 and 1857, the town mania ran to an alarming extent 
among the settlers of the northwest, while corn and wheat fields were 
sadly neglected. Very many good quarter sections were spoiled, by 
being driven full of stakes and gorgeously displayed on paper, while 
the only perceptible improvements were the aforementioned stakes, and 
the only citizens, gophers, who held the lots by right of possession, 
and who seriously objected to having their range intercepted with 
Cottonwood stakes." In consequence of the northern border of Wood- 
bury county, especially the eastern half of it, being so 'far from the 
settlements along the Little Sioux and Missouri and Big Sioux, set- 
tlers were slow in coming to the section indicated. For it will be 
remembered that the entire country north of Woodbury was simply 
a howling wilderness clear up to the British possessions. Thousands 
of savage Indians roamed and hunted and fought in that terra in- 
cognita, as unmolested in their scalping frolics as the wind as it swept 
down from its home in the northwest. One can scarcely realize that 
in all the grand aggregation of now prosperous states to the northwest of 
Woodbury county, Iowa, teeming with life, should have been, less than 



forty years ago in the condition just stated. Very few persons cared 
to risk their scalps in making settlements so far north as the spot 
now occupied by Union township. 

It is generally conceded that Elias Shook, he who was charged 
with the killing of Pennell, if not the first settler in the northeastern 
corner of the county was one of the first. M. H. Pierson, for whom 
Pierson's creek was named, was also one of the first to make a settle- 
ment here. The wife of Mr. Pierson, who is still living, at an 
advanced age, is, probably, the first white woman who came to the 
township, unless the two Shook women, Sidney and Sarah Sbook, who 
appeared at the trial of Shook, were here before her. Morris Kel- 
logg, Fred Spengler, D. H. Robbins, William Dewey, Isaac Guth- 
ridge, Harvey Phillips, Frank Davis, L. Richardson, Erastus and 
Zach Allen, G. W. J. Garoutte, and a few others were all early settlers. 
Later on, in the sixties, quite a number came in and made settlements, 
and among them were John M. Freeman and John Watson in 1863, 
and others. 

Settlement was considerably retarded about 1856 and 1857, several 
matters combining to depress those who were already here, to such an 
extent as to cause them to discourage their friends who had an idea 
of migrating westward, from coming. Many of the settlers who had 
made good improvements sold out cheaply, and moved away. Three 
causes are said to have been principally instrumental in producing 
the exodus. First, the murder of Pennell horrified a great many per- 
sons; then the great prairie fire of the fall of 1856; and lastly, in the 
spring of 1857, the horrible massacre of settlers about Spirit Lake and 
elsewhere. The causes leading to the massacre by the Indians have 
already been given, and a few words in a general way about the prairie 
fire, and a mention of the Shook murder case. The summer and fall 
of 1856 was very beautiful, with just enough rain to make vegetation 
splendid and the grass on the untouched prairies rank. The hot sun 
of the dog days ripened every sprig of grass, and by the later fall 
months everything was as dry as the figurative powder-horn. At this 
time some careless person across the line, in Monona county, threw 
some fire out of his pipe, which smoldered along without attracting 
any attention, until it suddenly burst forth into flames. In an instant, 
says our informant, who saw it from a bluff in the distance, the roaring 
fires rushed onward, almost with the speed of lightning. Nor could it 


have been otherwise, with the perfectly inflammable condition of the 
long dry grass. It almost flashed like powder, crackling and snapping 
and seething before a stiff breeze that blew steadily from the south. 
Onward it flew, spreading to the east and west, far to the northward. 
In some places, where it would not be intercepted by streams that 
were too large for the monster to leap, it spread a distance of ten 
miles. It passed over a large slice of the eastern portion of the 
county, lapping over into Ida county. Starting, as stated, in Monona 
county, it extended its ravages far up into the regions which at that 
time were only inhabited by roving bands of Indians. Fighting this 
flaming flood was as practical as battling to resist the fury of the 
modern cyclone. Nothing but rain or lack of fuel could avail to stop 
its devastating march. The scanty crops raised here and there, which 
were housed in the primitive barns, or stacked in the fields, all, of 
course, fell a prey to the devouring element, and many a sad pict- 
ure was presented to the view of the pioneer and his family, when they 
made their way back to their humble home, from which they had fled, 
after the passage of the resistless fire. Buildings, crops, household 
goods, fences, everything combustible, was utterly destroyed. They 
either had to make their sad way back to their original homes in the 
states farther to the east, or throw themselves upon the charity of 
more fortunate neighbors, who lived beyond the fire line. 

Elias Shook, who was tried in the spring and summer of 1856, 
for the murder of a man named Pennell, is said to have been a very 
tough character. He had been a miner at Galena, and the man who 
conducted him from Correctionville township to Sioux City for trial, 
informed the writer that there was scarcely a spot on his face and 
hands that did not have a scar upon it. He was a large, muscular and 
wiry man, and had a decided stammer in his speech. The killing 
occurred in what is now Union township, and the facts appear to be 
about these: Shook had come into the township and had taken up two 
claims. He endeavored to hold them both, placing himself on one, 
and his little son on the other. Pennell also came in about the same 
time, and, liking one of the claims held by Shook, concluded to make 
improvements thereon, knowing that Shook had no right to hold more 
than one. Matters went on some little time, until one morning Eras- 
tus and Zack Allen in passing Pennell's cabin and seeing no signs of 
any body being about, entered the house and discovered Pennell ly- 


ing partly out of his bunk, dead, evidently having been so for many 
hours. It is said that the Aliens expected foul play in consequence 
of something that Shook had let slip some time previous, and 
their suspicions could rest on no one else than him — no one else 
had any motive, and settlers were too valuable to be sent off by the 
rifle route without some good reason. Shook was arrested and tried, 
but the technicalities of the law gave him his liberty, but no one ever 
doubted who the murderer was. His character was so well known to all 
persons, that the deputy who escorted him to the county seat, informed 
him before starting, that if he made the least motion to escape, or raise 
his hand without good reason, that he would instantly shoot the top 
of his head off, so he went along as peacefully as a lamb. The names 
of the following persons, who were witnesses in this first cause cele- 
bre of Woodbury county, are given as showing some additional in- 
habitants in the eastern portion of the county: E. R. Allen, Z. G. 
Allen, Alexander Stephens, Thomas Hawes, G. W. J. Garoutte, 
Edward Livermore, Elizabeth Stephens, E. G. Livermore, Sidney 
Shook, Sarah Shook, Hiram Bostwick. 

During the prevalence of the December blizzard of snow in 1856, 
a man named Garoutte, evidently the one mentioned in the list of 
witnesses above, was caught in that frightful storm and perished. 
He lived not far from the present site of Correctionville, and had gone 
to Sioux City for supplies, having a wagon and a pair of horses. He 
went before the storm came on, and, finding that there might be 
great difficulty in getting back to his home after it commenced, if he 
delayed, he concluded to venture out while it was snowing and blow- 
ing fearfully. He had reached a point a few miles from his home, 
when he found that his progress with his team was so slow that he 
was fearful, it is supposed, of being caught by the night, as it must 
have been near dark ; so he abandoned his team and started on foot. 
His team wandered out of the road, and were afterward found frozen to 
death, but the body of Garoutte was not discovered till the snow 
melted toward the spi-ing. 

Religious services were few and far between in the early days, but 
it is thought that Rev. Mr. Black and Presiding Elder Taylor preached 
at one or more of the cabins in the vicinity of Correctionville in 1858, 
at least, as these ministers were along the Little Sioux at that time, 
and those two pioneer Christians never lost an opportunity "where two 


or three were gathered together," of urging their fellow mortals to follow 
the cross of the Redeemer. The population was so scattered that it 
was difficult to get many together, and when the settlers desired to 
hear the Word expounded, they went down to Smithland. The first 
school-house built, in the old township of Correctionville, stood about 
where the main building occupied by Cathcart & Woodruff, in Cor- 
rectionville, now stands, and the school-house forms a portion of the 
rear of the building. There are now six or seven schools in the town- 
ship outside of the high school in Correctionville. 

Relating some of the old-time scenes, one of the early settlers told 
of a wedding that took place, and of a few of its peculiarities, which 
illustrate the crudeness of the period. One of the Bacons, with his 
affianced, called in Squire George Everts to officiate at the marriage 
ceremony, and to tie the nuptial knot into a double -twister, as some one 
expressed it. When the groom, who had on a pair of blue overalls 
tucked into his boots, and a flannel shirt, stood up with his bride 
before the magistrate, he saw a basket of eggs on a table near by. As 
the justice was about to propound the usual questions, Bacon reached 
out, and getting one of the eggs, cracked it on the edge of the table 
and sucked the contents, after which he remarked to the blushing 
bride: "If we don't have much to eat hereafter, we'll have bacon and 
eggs to-day anyhow." 

Mr. John N. Freeman, or " Uncle Johnny," as he is familiarly 
called, first settled at Smithland, and began the erection of a mill at 
that town, but he sold out and moved to Correctionville before it was 
completed. He then commenced to build a mill in 1864, on the site 
where the present one in Correctionville is located, or rather it is just 
outside of the town limits, in section thirty-four. There was another mill 
built not far from town, and with improved machinery, roller process, 
etc., but the dam was badly constructed, causing it to leak, making the 
water power unreliable, hence it was abandoned for the time being. 

Hunting and trapping was carried on to a large extent during the 
early settlement of the township, and many of the settlers, when they 
first came, found their only means of obtaining any ready cash, to be 
in selling the skins of the aquatic animals to be caught along the 
many streams that traverse the county. Mr. Freeman was one of those 
who was very successful in enticing the valuable otter, mink and bea- 
ver into his traps. They were comparatively plentiful, but the older 


ones of the animals named, were so wary of traps that it was difficult, 
unless extraordinary means were used, to hold them after they had 
been caught in the traps. With his strong teeth the beaver could 
gnaw away any kind of wooden stake or other wooden device to which 
the trap might be fastened and walk away with it. Mr. Freeman told 
of how he caught a very large beaver, that he knew to be in a certain 
stream, and he knew that no ordinary device would bag the sly old fel- 
low. So he found where the beaver always went into the stream, and at 
that point he set a heavy steel trap, at the bottom under the water, and so 
fastened it down that the beaver could have no opportunity to come to 
the surface for air, for although a beaver can stay under water for a 
considerable length of time, he must have air, and he can be drowned 
just as readily as a human being. The trapper had driven a stake into 
the bottom of the creek, and piled rocks around it where the chain 
holding the trap was fastened, so that the animal could not get at the 
wood to gnaw himself loose. The morning after setting his trap Mr. 
Freeman went out to it, and found, lying on his back, drowned, the big 
fellow he was after. The poor brute had actually removed all the rocks 
around the stake, and made one or two feeble bites at the wood, when 
he gave out, fell back, and expired. He must have been without air 
for an unusually long period, and his strength must have been almost 
completely exhausted, to have given up just at the moment he reached 
the wood. The skin of that beaver and a number of others, including 
several otter and mink skins, the fortunate trapper took to Sioux City 
and sold for $90. Otter skins brought $7 and $8, mink $5 and $6, 
and beaver $4 and $5. 

The streams along which the trapjring was done are quite numer- 
ous throughout Union township. In addition to the Little Sioux 
river, which runs through the southeastern portion, and Pierson creek 
in the southwestern, there are East Pierson creek, Garner creek and 
numerous smaller runs and brooks. On section number six in the 
northwestern corner of the township, George W. Ruck has utilized 
one of the smaller streams for the purpose of the cultivation of Ger- 
man carp, which has, in recent years, been introduced into many sec- 
tions of the country. Mr. Ruch also raises native fish, such as the 
black bass, perch, catfish, buffalo and sunfish. He usually has about 
500 carp, for which he finds a very ready home market. He com- 
menced the culture of the native fish in 1885, by simply making a 


pond that is on his place, more habitable for fish, by keeping it clean 
and supplying some food occasionally. The experiment worked like 
a charm; the fish grew fast, became more numerous and were of bet- 
ter flavor. In 1888 he constructed improved ponds, placing in them 
apparatus for changing the water and affording better facilities for 
spawning and hatching. He has named his place Union Ridge Carp 

The second Indian scare to the settlers along the upper Little 
Sioux river was one of much local note. To one of the gentlemen 
who took part in the affair the writer hereof is indebted for the 
appended account, which tells the tale so well that we give it in the 
words of the gentleman himself: "For several years prior to 1861 
the San tee Sioux Indians became more and more troublesome to the 
settlers of northwestern Iowa. They made frequent raids on the 
settlers, stealing their most valuable stock, and not infrequently mur- 
dering some of the unoffending citizens. So frequent and alarming 
were those depredations, that in the spring of 1861, it was thought 
necessary to use military force to awe the savages into subjection. 
Accordingly a company of home guards was formed in Sioux City, 
and the vicinity. These troops were afterward called ' frontier guards ' 
as it sounded better. * * * * This grand cavalcade 

of braves took up their line of march for the tented field of the 
Little Sioux valley, and after a four or five clays' march from Council 
Bluffs, where they had been ordered to rendezvous, and after many 
strategic movements to intercept Mr. Lo's party, with whom they 
could not catch up, they returned in good martial order with their 
captain, the ' great medicine chief,' Dr. Smith, at their head, covered 
with glory, and their scalps in a good state of preservation, but they 
had hardly finished recounting the deeds and exploits of a bloodless 
campaign, when they were startled once more by the tocsin of war 
again sounding in the Little Sioux valley, and the cry of the settlers 
that, ' Indians are upon us; come over and help us.' The response 
was echoed back in good military style, ' we will come.' Our brave 
captain had now returned to fight, bleed and die with his brave ' coun- 
trymen and gentlemen soldiers,' as he delighted to call them. We 
were soon on our prancing war steeds, and making rapid strides in 
the direction of the foe. Arriving in the Little Sioux valley, our 
captain, in order to give ample room and opportunity for his brave 


soldiers to make a full display of their courage, divided them into 
small squads in the different settlements along the river. Sergt. 
Stephens was stationed at the house of Morris Kellogg, at Correc- 
tionville, and had under his command N. Pratt, Adam Falk, William 
Eoberts and Isaac Pendleton. At night the sergeant quartered his 
braves in the house, removing some of the chinking from between the 
logs, in order that they might discover, through the orifice, any ap- 
proaching enemy. Pratt, being an elderly man, was permitted to 
retire to bed upstairs. A guard was posted, it was a bright moonlight 
night, and Roberts was that guard. About 2 o'clock in the moi'ning, 
when looking through a crack in the wall toward the stable, which 
stood a few rods from the house, he discovered a fine specimen of an 
Indian stealthily approaching the house. He moved very cautiously, 
making a few steps softly, and then stopping to listen. After he had 
come up between the house and stable, he halted for a few moments, 
and hearing no alarm, he returned to the cornfield just in the rear of 
the stable, when the guard quietly awoke the sergeant, with the start- 
ling intelligence that ' the Indians are upon us,' who, in turn, aroused 
the remainder of his command, who were luxuriating in the arms of 
Morpheus. They were placed in position, around the room, Pratt 
upstairs at the window, Roberts at the door opening toward the sta- 
ble, the door being slightly ajar, and Pendleton just back of Roberts, 
in full range of the opening. No sooner were they placed in position 
than four of the enemy approached the stable door, which was in range 
of the deadly missiles of the soldiers, and they tried to open the 
door; finding it chained and locked, they produced a file, and com- 
menced filing, when Kellogg said, in an excited manner, 'I see an 
Indian.' No order had yet been given to fire, but on this remark 
from Kellogg, Roberts fired, the others following. The Indians im- 
mediately returned the fire, twice in rapid succession. One buckshot 
or slug took Pendleton in the forehead, the missile ranging around 
the skull to the back part of the head, and one taking effect in his 
cartridge box. Roberts was also wounded, a ball striking him in the 
left side, and ranging around on a rib, fracturing it. The Indians 
escaped. The next day the wounded were .conveyed to Sioux City." 
Up to this time the Indians had stolen twenty-one horses from the 
settlers at various points — ten were stolen near Smithland, two at 
Mapleton, five on the Floyd river, two at Correctionville and two at 


Ida Grove. Another scare occurred in the latter part of July, 1861, 
and a company was again rendezvoused at Correctionville, but there 
was no more trouble with the red skins in this section. 

Correctionville. — The town of Correctionville was surveyed Sep- 
tember 25, 1855, but no improvements were made there for several 
years afterward, at least nothing that could give it the character of a 
town. It was never boomed, not even by the railroads, but like Topsy, 
it " just growed." John Kohlhauff put up the first hotel. In 1869 
A. D. Graves was postmaster, he was also an attorney at law. He 
kept a kind of a store in connection with the post-office, but had few 
goods. Jaynes' patent medicine almanacs were sent to him and he 
had printed on the back of them " A. D. Graves, wholesale dealer in 
rope, soap and Jaynes' medicines." Graves came from Kansas, and 
died about 1880. Johnny Erwin, as he was called, used to come into 
the Correctionville settlement with a covered wagon in which he car- 
ried a small stock of general merchandise, selling his goods from 
his seat in his vehicle. He afterward opened a small general store 
in a building that stood on a portion of the space now occupied by the 
fine brick block on Main street, west of North street, and his business 
increased till he had a large trade. He died about four years ago. 

Correctionville was incorporated on December 25, 1882. The first 
officers were: 

Mayor— J. S. Ellis. 

Councilmen — M. E. Crowther, A. L. Ellis, D. H. Ferguson, E. A. 
Hall, Daniel Griffith, J. S. Stauffer. 

Treasurer — E. S. Hatfield. 

Clerk — D. K. Freeman. 

Mayor, 1890.— L. P. Adams. 

Councilmen— A. J. Weeks, Ed. Lent, G. W. Fitchner, F. L. Wat- 
son, W. M. Wright, J. O. Thompson. 

Treasurer — R. S. Hatfield. 

Clerk — Henry Maennel. 

The present business of the town, which seems to be in a very 
thriving condition, is comprised in the appended list of the various 
incorporated concerns and private firms. There are a number of very 
handsome and commodious buildings in the business portion of the 
place and many fine private residences. 

Hanford Produce Company is a branch of the Sioux City Hanford 


Produce Company, wholesale packers and jobbers of fancy dairy and 
creamery butter, eggs and poultry, and all dairy and creamery stuffs. 
A. S. Hanford, president; C. M. Hanford, vice-president; W. H. Han- 
ford, secretary. The establishment at Correctionville was stai-ted 
three or four years ago as the Palace creamery, but the Hanford com- 
pany purchased it in 1889. J. H. Reynolds is manager at this place. 

Dealers in grain — Northwestern grain company; A. W. Briggs, 

Lumber — Joyce Lumber Company, branch of the Lyons company; 
J. B. Heritage, manager. 

Plymouth Boiler Mill & Elevator Company, of Le Mars — O. C. 
Foster, manager at Correctionville. 

Lumber, coal and building materials — George S. Sardam & Co.; 
Frank Sardam, manager. 

Sioux Valley State bank — Incorporated in August, 1882. First 
officers were: President, L. Tinkel; vice-president, E. A. Hall; 
cashier, George A. Bailey. Present officers: President, Joseph Y. 
Hinchman; vice-president, E. A. Hall; cashier, George A. Bailey; 
assistant cashier, O. A. Cate. Capital, $50,000. 

Merchants' bank — Organized in April, 1888. B. H. Scribner - , 
president, cashier First National bank, Cherokee, Iowa; N. Farnsworth, 

Real estate, loans and insurance — Adams & Bunn. 

Insurance — M. A. Petty. 

General merchants — George W. Fitchner & Co., Goss & Co., Cate 
Bros., E. A. Hall, Williams Bros. 

Drugs, books and stationery — A. J. Weeks, W. M. Wright. 

Hardware and farm machinery — Cathcart & Woodruff. 

Hardware — Page & Martin. 

Groceries, boots and shoes — O. H. Newell. 

Groceries and crockery — A. Orner. 

Groceries — R. S. Hatfield, Bancroft Erwin. 

Boots and shoes — John Madge. 

Shoemaker — Mr. Jenkins. 

Harness and saddlery — William Rheubottom. 

Merchant tailor — O. M. Otloe. 

Millinery — Lyman & Co., Mrs. Q. A. Christy, Mrs. Hitchcock. 

Meat markets — Myers' Sioux Valley Meat Market, Orr & Anderson. 


Jewelry and watches — Castle Bros. 

Furniture — C. A. Butler. 

Confectionery — W. K. Patrick. 

Tinware — William Coe. 

Wagons and blacksmitking — C. B. Cleasby. 

Blacksmiths — E. Lent, William Betzlauff, Hollister. 

Painter — A. J. Kannal. 

Barbers — A. C. Smith, Isaac L. Hardenbrook. 

Restaurant, fruits, etc. — Thomas McNear. 

Hotels — Petty's Hotel, Thornton House. 

Livery — Thompson Bros., Catlin Bros. 

Dealers in cattle, hogs, etc. — R. O. Rodgers, Burlingham & Miller, 
Orr & Anderson. 

Lawyers — W. C. Miller, Earl Edmunds, J. M. Sammon, 0. J. 

Physicians— W. F. McQuitty, J. G. Biller, A. J. Weeks, J. A. 

Postmaster — D. K. Freeman. Only postoffice in township. 

The " Sioux Valley News." — This bright and very readable news- 
paper was established in 1882, by Chapman & Freeman, who con- 
ducted it about two years, when D. K. Freeman purchased the interest 
of Mr. Chapman, and has continued to be the owner of it to the pres- 
ent time. Mr. W. R. Mill, who has been an old attache of the paper 
for many years, took the management of the "News" in September, 1889. 
They have a Campbell power press, jobbers and other machinery, 
and turn out good work, whilst the paper is ably edited and conducted. 

Methodist Episcopal Church. — The very neat and comparatively 
commodious structure owned by this denomination was built in 1880, 
under the auspices of Rev. Mr. Gardner. Before this edifice was 
erected, preaching and other religious services were conducted in 
school-houses. Rev. J. W. Lothian is the present pastor. 

Baptist Church. — This church edifice was built in 1883, and is a 
neat building for the purposes to which it is dedicated. Rev. G. Hus- 
ton served for three years as pastor, until February, 1890, when Rev. 
Mr. Day was called to the charge. 

There was a Catholic church here, built in the fall of 1884, but it 
blew down and was utterly destroyed in the following spring, and was 
never rebuilt. 


A very beautiful cemetery is located just east of the town, and 
there is another in the township on section ten. 

The Correctionville high school is an institution that would do 
honor to any city. Prof. Atkinson, the principal, with his able assist- 
ants, have raised the standard of education in Correctionville very 

Burning Bush Lodge, No. 474, F. & A. M. — This lodge worked 
under dispensation from March 28, 1885, until June 11, 1886, when 
it was chartered. The charter members were George A. Bailey, 
W. L. Ehlers, C. Torrey, George S. Todd, C. B, Gilger, F. W. Tib- 
betts, W. E. Messerole, S. W. Hester, Wesley Goss, I). H. Harris, 
D. H. Furgason, J. A. Bush, A. Anderson, B. Delameter, George B. 
Hutchcroft, A. L. Brockway. Officers under dispensation : George A. 
Bailey, W. M. ; W. L. Ehlers, S. W. ; C. Torrey, J. W. ; George S. 
Todd, sec; F. W. Tibbetts, treas.; W. E. Messerole, S. D. ; S. W. 
Hester, J. D. ; Wesley Goss, tyler. Present officers: W. L. Ehlers, 
W. M.; A. J. Weeks, S. W. ; A. W. Bush, J. W. ; Henry Maennel, 
sec. ; H. A. Castle, treas. ; George A. Bailey, S. D. ; C. W. Orr, J. D. ; 
D. H. Harris, tyler. Meet Saturday evening on or before the full 
moon. Sixty -two members. 

Stella Chapter, No. 17, O. E. S., was organized May 5, 1887. Charter 
members were A. W. Bush, W. L. Ehlers and wife, E. C. Laub, Henry 
Maennel and wife, W. E. Messerole and wife, C. G. Messerole and wife, A. 
J. Weeks and wife, W. F. McQuitty, C. G. Goss, Miss Ella Goss. Charter 
received August 6, 1887. First officers: Mrs. Jennie Maennel, W. 
M. ; W. L. Ehlers, W. P. ; Mrs. J. Weeks, A. M. ; Mrs. Delia Newell, 
sec. ; Miss E. Lyman, treas. ; Mrs. Emma Ehlers, conductress ; Mrs. 
Emma Messerole, associate conductress ; Present officers : Mrs. Jennie 
Maennel, W. M. ; W. L. Ehlers, W. P. ; Miss Ella Goss, A. M. ; Henry 
Maennel, sec. ; Mrs. Carrie Biller, treas. ; Mrs. Emma Ehlers, con- 
ductress; Miss E. Lyman, associate conductress. Twenty-nine mem- 
bers. Meets Tuesday after regular communication of Blue Lodge. 

Agamemnon Lodge, No. 255, K. of P., was chartered April 11, 
1890. Charter members: F. W. Woodruff, A. J. Weeks, Orson D. 
Castle, George Thorn, W. B. Chapman, Allen Orner, C. G. Goss, W. 
E. Mill, J. O. Thompson, M. E. Thompson, F. S. Catlin, William Cat- 
lin, A. Bower, W. W. Overholtzer, J. S. Bogers, Frank Watson, W. 
M. Kheubottom, O. A. Cate, George S. Cate, A. W. Bush, W. M. 


Wright, W. L. Ehlers, William C. Miller, Frank Davies, W. H. Petty, 
H. Maermel, George W. Fitchner, J. T. Kiggins, W. E. Atkinson, 
George L. Castle, L. P. Adams, D. B. Shontz. First officers: W. L. 
Ehlers, C. C. ; F. W. Woodruff, P. 0. ; W. 0. Miller, V. C. ; H. Maen- 
nel, K of R. & S. ; W. M. Wright, M. of F. ; O. A. Cate, M. of E. ; 
A. W. Bush, M. A. ; George S. Cate, prelate ; George Lewis Castle, 
I. G. ; Frank Davies, O. G. Lodge meets every Friday. Thirty 

Sioux Valley Lodge, No. 470, I. 0. O. F. — Charter received January 
1, 1884, and opened with the following officers: Charles Lee, N. G. ; 
David Moffatt, V. G. ; Will Miller, sec. ; Frank Lanam, treas. ; charter 
members five. Present officers: P. S. Hatfield. N. G. ; George L. 
Castle, V. G. ; J. W. Zeman, sec. ; Allen Bowers, treas. ; number of 
members, fifty-three. Meets every Thursday night. 

William Baker Post, No. 298, G. A. K— Organized March 19, 
1884. First commander, A. H. Petty; those following, to the present 
time, were Appolos Laughlin, George Hoskins, J. A. Bunn, Samuel 
Allison, L. P. Adams, J. A. Livingston. Post meets every first and 
third Monday of month ; membership about seventy-five. 


Lakeport Township— Its Early Settlement — Boundaries, etc. — Some 
First Officials— Inexhaustible Soil— Luxuriant Vegetation— Corn 
and Timber— Curious Lakes — Fine Farms — Theophile Bruguier— 
The French Canadian — American Fur Company— Interesting Facts 
— Bruguier's Pluck— War Eagle's Daughters— First Settlers- 
Liberty Township— Its Settlement — Counterpart of Lakeport— 
Kich Land— Corn, Cattle and Hogs— Weedland— Salix, Its Busi- 
ness, etc. — Grange Township — Its Creation — Settlement — Its 
Streams— First Settlers— Cattle and Hay Kanches— The Great 
Ditch — Luton, etc. 

LAKEPORT TOWNSHIP stands fifth in the order of creation, 
and was constituted June 3, 1867, ten years after the division of 
the county, in 1857, into four townships. The fact of the four divis- 
ions remaining intact for so long a time, shows how slowly the county 


settled up at that period; but during that ten years the Civil war 
raged, and people had no time to think about changing their homes 
in the middle or eastern states for a doubtful betterment of their con- 
dition in the northwest, especially as the Indians, becoming cognizant 
of the fight Uncle Sam had on his hands, had grown exceedingly bold. 

The order setting apart a portion of Woodbury township, as passed 
by the supervisors, bounds and describes the new township, as follows: 
"All of townships eighty-six and eighty-seven, ranges forty-seven 
and forty-eight, and the fractional townships west of said townships 
eighty -six and eighty-seven, ranges forty-seven and forty-eight, and 
also township eighty-six, range forty-six." An election was ordered, 
which took place October 8, 1867, when the following officers were 
elected : 

Supervisor — Rufus Beall. 

Justices of the peace — Joseph Greville, Hurlbutt Brower. 

Township clerk — James Allen. 

Assessor — John W. Mather. 

Constable — Robert Brower. 

The judges of this first election were H. Brower,W. D. Brassfield, 
Jacob Van Order. 

Clerks — J. Greville, J. Allen. 

Lakeport is bounded on the north by Liberty township, on the 
south by Monona county, on the east by Sloan township, and on the 
west and southwest by the Missouri river, and its soil is entirely Mis- 
souri river bottom land, than which there is none better on the green 
earth. The soil is wonderfully productive, and one would needs go to 
the tropics to witness more luxuriance of growth than is seen on these 
bottom lands, and they are practically inexhaustible. Mr. Theopbile 
Bruguier informed the writer hereof, pointing from his portico to an 
immense field of growing corn, that he had put that field in corn for 
the past twenty-four years successively. When Lakeport was first set- 
tled there was considerable excellent timber, but the two saw-mills in 
the township, one belonging to John Nairn and the other to Mr. Glower, 
have sawed the most of it into lumber. A great deal of care is now 
taken with the young trees, thousands of which are to be found grow- 
ing where the older ones have been cut, and it will not be many years 
until there will again be fine timber in the western portion of the town- 
ship. A singular condition exists in Lakeport in the matter of running 


streams of water, for, notwithstanding that the Missouri washes nearly 
half of the boundaries of it, and there is in its central portion what is 
known as Sand Hill lake, yet there is no stream that is entitled to be 
called such. The lake mentioned is a singular formation. It is about 
six miles from head to foot, and resembles a monster snake lying in a 
curved position, representing a rude crescent. It evidently was at one 
time the bed of the Missouri river, or a large bayou, as each of its ends 
are very near the stream mentioned. It contains no water, or at least 
not enough to call it a lake, and the name given to it arises from the fact 
that its banks are ridges of sand, which are elevated above the sur- 
rounding soil. The scenery of this township is peculiar. The land- 
scape presented to the eye is striking. One stands in the midst of miles 
of land as flat as a floor, not the rolling prairie type that is seen almost 
everywhere in Iowa, but simply a level stretch, except along a narrow 
portion that skirts the Missouri. To the westward, however, the eye is 
relieved by the Nebraska bluffs, for along this portion of the county the 
bluffs leave the Iowa side. The impression left, and the fact is doubt- 
less true, as the geologists state, is that this whole river bottom was at 
some time, and not many hundreds of years ago, either, the Missouri 
river. The present stream is simply what is left of the mighty torrent 
that once rolled its surging waters from north to south, now subsident 
against the bluffs indicated above. Wild fruit and game of all kinds 
were plentiful, and tons of honey were to be found in the forest trees. 
Up to the arrival of the early settlers, less than forty years ago, herds of 
buffalo and elk grazed on these rich lands of what is now Lakeport. 

As examples of what can be done with a soil so rich as this town- 
ship has, the farms, or rather plantations, of Theophile Bruguier, the 
Eveleths, John Nairn and J. C. Currier, may be mentioned. The 
latter gentleman only moved onto his present place in the upper part 
of the township about twelve years ago, and in that time he has created 
a farm which, for variety of productions and exuberance of growth, 
can not be* excelled anywhere. The wonderful fullness of the trees and 
bushes of the smaller fruits and berries, and the height and closeness 
of timothy and other grasses, is almost beyond belief. Mr. Bruguier, 
whom everybody knows in the northwest, although not one of the first 
settlers of Lakeport, having first settled up at the mouth of the Big Sioux 
river, is entitled to the distinction of being the old settler, pre-emi- 
nently. John Nairn, William Benner, the Eveleths, and some others, 


were here quite early. From the lips of the old Canadian-French- 
man the writer hereof obtained some interesting facts. 

, Theophile Bruguier (and this is the proper way to spell his name, 
for he so spells it himself, everybody else always spelling it, court 
officials and all, some other way) was born in La Assumpcion, below 
Montreal, Canada, in 1813. He grew up to be a stout lad, 'hardy and 
daring, not knowing the meaning of fear, and with that spirit of advent- 
ure which seems to have always dominated the French-Canadians, 
and which produced those heroic characters known as voyaguers. 
Having the training of a hunter, trapper and woodsman in his native 
country, young Bruguier at the age of twenty-two left his home on 
October 14, 1835, and arrived in St. Louis some weeks thereafter. 
The headquarters of the American Fur Company was located at St. 
Louis., M. Choteau and some of the other Frenchmen representing 
the company, residing in that city. Bruguier entered the service of 
that company, and left for the Indian country November 19, 1835. 
He and some companions started on horseback, and after a long and 
tedious ride arrived at Fort Pierre on January 1, 1836. They followed 
the Missouri river along the most of their route from St. Louis to the 
upper country, and in passing along the bluffs on the Nebraska side, 
Bruguier noticed the fine bottom lands where he now resides. He 
passed along those bluffs thirty-five times, and in 1839 he camped on 
the very farm where he now lives, picking it out for future entry, 
which desire he was gratified in, as he pre-empted it as soon as -the 
land came into market, although he was living in the upper portion 
of the county. He moved to where he now lives, in the upper por- 
tion of Lakeport township, in 1879. He landed at the mouth of the 
Big Sioux river May 13, 1849, about six months after Thompson came, 
as shown in another chapter of this work. As a sample of the per- 
fectly fearless character of Mr. Bruguier, an incident is related of him 
by others who have known his character in days gone by. He does 
not tell this himself, and is as modest about his personal exploits as it 
is possible for any man to be. If he would only relate some of the 
adventures he has had during a life of nearly fifteen years among the 
Indians of the northwest, fifty years ago, it would make a book as 
interesting as any ever penned by a Du Challieu or a Stanley. Before 
1840, Bruguier was landed at a point on the upper Missouri for the 
purpose of making his way across the country to the Fur Company's 


camp, and almost as soon as he landed he was surrounded by a number 
of Indians, who, thinking to have a little fun at his expense, com- 
menced to howl at him and prod him with arrows, but they had as 
yet not learned the character of Theophile Bruguier. He whaled 
away with the butt of his gun and stretched out one of the red-skins 
(some say he never got up again). He then stepped back and told 
the balance (for he could talk Indian) that if they molested him again 
he would kill the whole party. There is nothing that the fighting son 
of the forest respects so much as courage; so they shook hands with 
the dauntless young trapper, made him a Sioux warrior, and were 
always such friends that he could go alone anywhere in the northwest. 
He took to wife in Indian fashion, two of the daughters of the famous 
Sioux chief, War Eagle, and lived with them in this country, they 
dying respectively in 1857 and 1858. He had several handsome chil- 
dren by these wives, and two of the boys were educated at Ann Arbor 
and St. Louis. One of the boys, after being highly educated, went 
up among the Sioux tribe, the wild instinct implanted by nature's 
immutable fiat cropping out, no matter what the circumstances be. 
M. Bruguier married again, a Canadian woman, and the old couple 
are now living very pleasantly at their home in Lakeport. A voung 
man named Clark lived with Bruguier on the Big Sioux, who fell in 
love with a half -breed girl, and as she did not reciprocate his affection 
for her, he went off and did what Koko in the opera of the Mikado 
describes the torn tit as having done, drowned himself, through dis- 
appointed love. 

Mr. William B. Holman, of Sergeant's Bluff, in speaking of the plen- 
tifulness of honey in the olden time, related that he saw at the home 
of William Benner, in Lakeport, over a ton of honey, and that Ben- 
ner had twenty-two trees more to cut. 

A creamery on a modest scale, was started during the present year 
in the township about one and three-fourths miles south of Salix. 

A cemetery was laid off a few years ago by Mr. J. C. Currier, 
south of his residence, which is almost surrounded by beautiful trees. 
There are fine schools in the township, but no church, village or post- 
office, the towns of Salix in Liberty and Sloan in Sloan township, pro- 
viding for the necessities in those regards. 

Liberty Township was constituted November 10, 1868, and was 
formed from Woodbury township, bounded and described as follows: 


"West half of township eighty-seven, range forty-six, all of township 
eighty-seven, range forty-seven, and fractional township eighty-seven, 
range forty-eight." The boundaries at present being Woodbury on 
the noi'th, Grange on the east, the Missouri river on the west, and 
Lakeport on the south. Liberty is so similar in almost everything to 
Lakeport that a description of one is a description of the other, 
although the former is much larger than the latter. They are similar 
in shape and have the same western river boundaries. The same rich, 
productive soil, the same level bottom lands, and Liberty also has a 
curved lake, evidently once a bayou, if it were not the main channel 
itself. It is called Brown's lake, and lies in the southern portion of 
the township. There is not a stream of water, nor is there a rock 
above ground, in the township. There is considerable timber, mostly 
cottonwood, in the western portion, and some of it elm, ash and willow. 
The main crop, of course, is corn, corn, corn, but there is considerable 
buckwheat raised also. Some fine horses are bred in the township, and 
large numbers of hogs are shipped from Salix, whilst as fine cattle as 
can be found anywhere, may be seen all over the country. There 
being no streams or springs, drive wells are sunk, which furnish a fine 
supply of water. All small fruits are raised in abundance. The pop- 
ulation is composed of Canadian-French, Danes and a large sprinkling 
of the enterprising Yankee. There is a curious vein of sand running 
through the township from the northwest to the southeast, about fifty 
feet wide. It commences at the Missouri river, and evidently marks 
some ancient channel of that tortuous and unstable stream. The lake 
mentioned above, Brown's lake, as well as Brower's lake, in 
the northwestern portion of the township, like the Sand Hill lake 
in Lakeport, are both fast drying up. Within the memory of the early 
settlers these lakes were filled with water. Wild game was plentiful 
during the first years of the settlement of Liberty township, which 
began in 1854. All the larger, as well as the smaller animals peculiar 
to the northwest, were to be had for the killing, and as late as 1868, 
two fine buffaloes were killed by Jim Allen in the bottomlands, about 
three and a half miles south of Sergeant's BJuff. A gentleman, who 
ate some of the steak from the animals, related the incident, and said 
that they had crossed the Missouri river from Nebraska. These two 
were the last seen in Woodbury county. 

The first persons to make a settlement in the territory now com- 


prised in Liberty were, possibly, J. M. Cloud, A. S. Dutton and 
John W. Brown. M. L. Jones, now of Smithland, first settled in this 
section of the county, but did not stay long, moving to Little Sioux 
township. Joe Samuels was an early resident of Liberty. He was 
a Virginian, an Indian trader, and married a half-breed, a daughter 
of a French-Canadian and an Indian squaw. He moved farther west- 
ward. A. S. Dutton, mentioned above, went to Colorado, when the 
tide set in in that direction, in 1858. At the beginning of the Civil 
war he joined the Second Colorado regiment, and was wounded, whilst 
on a scouting expedition, by an Indian. Our informant could tell 
nothing further in regard to liim. His name appears in the early 
recoi'ds of the county, in connection with several official positions. 
The first marriage in the county was that of J. M. Cloud, a resident 
of Liberty township, and the first divorce was that of the same couple, 
both events happening not far apart, in 1854 or 1855. The first jus- 
tices of the peace to be elected after the creation of the township, were 
John Mathers and G. F. Robinson, and the first clerk was Edwin 
Sharp, the same being also constable. 

Weed! and is the term by which a very rich and productive section 
of Liberty township is known. It is quite populous, and is situated 
west of Brower's lake, the settlement containing about 350 per- 
sons. It was at one time in contemplation by the residents of the dis- 
trict to apply for its separation from Liberty and its creation into a 
new township, to be called Weedland, but the project fell through. 
It is one of the richest spots of ground in the world, being more than 
half surrounded by the waters of the Missouri, which makes a tre- 
mendous bend half around it. Fine water-melons, vegetables and 
fruits grow abundantly. In the early days the spot was covered, as 
thickly as they could stand, with all manner of weeds, ten and fifteen 
feet high, hence the name. At one point the nucleus of a village 
exists in the shape of a store and a blacksmith shop. 

Liberty township, like most of the others in Woodbury county, 
suffered terribly during the great grasshopper raids. The townships 
bordering on the Missouri possibly suffered more than those in the 
eastern and central portions of the county, as the 'hoppers struck the 
western line first. Some years ago an old resident of the county, who 
has since removed from this section, wrote of the pestiferous little 
winged plague as follows: "On the 23d of July, 1864, the ever-memorable 


grasshopper raid began in northwestern Iowa and southern Dakota. 
Myriads of these winged miscreants put in an appearance. They were 
as thick and pestiferous in numbers as the creeping lice and slimy frogs 
were in Egypt, in the days of God's judgment. So thick were the 
clouds of these little invaders that the sun was at times darkened ; houses, 
fences, trees, etc., were literally covered with these little pests, and, in 
fact, the whole face of the earth ; where they struck a house they fell 
down in piles from one to two feet in depth." A lady in one of the 
towns where the 'hoppers paid a visit, had gone out calling, and upon her 
return they were piled up so deeply at her door, that she had to get her 
husband to remove them with a shovel. Fields and gardens looked 
promising, but in three hours not a vestige of the growing plants was 
left, and the fields were trimmed down to a half-inch stubble. Squash 
vines were the only green thiDgs left, which, for some unexplained 
reason, the 'hoppers seldom or never touch. " Hundreds of acres of 
luxuriant corn, whose rustling leaves inspired the poor settler with 
hope, were in a few hours swept away." Many of the settlers left 
and never returned. 

The thriving and busy little town of Salix commenced to take on 
the appearance of activity and life about fifteen or eighteen years ago. 
It received its name from the fact of there being so much willow in the 
vicinity of the town and in the township. They did not want to call the 
future city Willow, so they hunted up the botanical term for the com- 
mon willow, and found it to be salix longifolia. The following busi- 
nesses are conducted here: 

The E. H. Smith Company have an elevator, and shell and grind corn 
and grind buckwheat. 

Salix bank, J. C. Currier & Sons ; established in 1886 does a general 
banking business. 

General merchants — Huntley & Ingerson, F. J. Jauron. 

Lumber and building materials — J. C. Currier & Sons. 

Hardware — E. H. Lowe <fc Co. 

Drugs — Chadwick & Co. 

Meat market — G. Duhaime & Sons. 

Confectionery — F. M. Corr. 

Agricultural implements — Davis & Co. 

Harness and saddlery — Albert Devine. 

Blacksmith — Claus Ericksen. 


Wagon shop — E. Harrington. 

Live stock dealers — Huntley & Story. 

E. E. Huntley, postmaster. Samuel Taylor was first postmaster 
in township; no other post-office in the township; telephone service 
in operation; there are two good schools in Salix and six in township 
outside the village; one hotel — the Keeler house, James A. Keeler, 
proprietor. G. M. Gibbs started a newspaper some time ago, but it 
gave up the ghost, and now the Salixians must get their reading matter 
somewhere else. Dr. J. N. Legault is the only physician in the town- 
ship. About four miles north of Salix, It. Hall manufactures weed 
cutters, which are said to be very superior machines for the purpose 
for which they are intended. 

Methodist Episcopal Church. — It is altogether probable that the 
Methodist ministers stationed at Sergeant's Bluff in the early days, 
preached in some of the settlers' houses in Liberty, as the settlements 
extended clear clown into Lakeport. No church, however, was built 
by this denomination until 1879, when the present edifice was erected. 
The first pastor was Rev. W. F. Gleason ; the present pastor is Kev. 
O. A. Luce. The cemetery used by the Protestants is located just 
beyond the southern line in Lakeport. 

St. Joseph's Catholic Church. — - There were doubtless visiting 
priests among the Canadian-French people, who came here at an early 
day, but no account of them could be obtained. Before the building 
of the present fine structure, services were occasionally conducted at 
the houses of members, until a small frame building was put up. 
This blew down in a small cyclone in 1878 or 1879, when the present 
one was built. The church was first served from Sioux City by Fa- 
ther McNulty. Father Lenehan was the first priest of the present 
church. The present pastor is Father J. F. Griffin, who came in July, 
1887 ; membership, 105 families. The denomination has a cemetery 
in the northeast corner of section sixteen, not far from the railroad. 

Grange Township was created by the board of supervisors on Octo- 
ber 20, 1874, the order reading as follows: " The east one-half of town- 
sh ip eighty-seven, range forty-six, be detached from West Fork township, 
and that the west one-half of township eighty-seven, range forty-six, be 
detached from Liberty township, and that all of township eighty-seven, 
range forty-six, be formed into a new township to be called Grange town- 
ship." The boundaries are as follows: Floyd township on the north, Sloan 


on the south, West Fork on the east and Liberty on the west. The first 
election was held in the Bayne school-house October 12, 1875, and the 
judges of the election were James "Waddle, W. O. Sluyter, M. W. Met- 
calf, and the clerk, L. Burns. 

Grange varies from the three townships that lie west of it, in that 
about one-half of it is level prairie or bottom land and the other half roll- 
ing and slightly broken. It is well watered with, a number of small 
streams, most of them flowing into the Whiskey slough, which traverses 
the township from the northwest corner to the southeast corner. This 
slough is supplied with water from the Big Whiskey, Little Whiskey, 
Elliott and Camp creeks and other brooks and runs as stated. The 
creeks named are all outside of Grange, being in Woodbury and Floyd. 
The township was, until lately, rather too wet, but measures have been 
taken to effectually drain it, an account of which will be found farther 
along. There is one small lake on the Garrettson ranch, which is 
nearly dry, except in wet seasons. The landscape begins to assume 
more of the rolling-prairie type as one goes northeasterly, where the 
most of the little streams appear. Along the edge of the bluffs are 
a few bowlders, none of them rounded, however, thus showing less gla- 
cial action upon them, or a lesser distance from whence they were torn 
from the parent rock. There are some fine clay beds in the bluffs, 
which have been pronounced excellent for brick or pottery ; also sand 
deposits. Some tolerably fair timber may be found along the streams, 
but it is mostly cottonwood and willow, with here and there an elm, to 
break the monotony. There is still a fair showing of game, such as 
prairie chickens, quail, jacksnipe, etc., and an occasional wolf is shot 
for his scalp, the county still offering a bounty on the varmints, just as 
they did thirty-five years ago, when they were numerous and destruct- 
ive. The principal products of Grange are corn, of course, and cattle, 
hogs and hay. The country being open to the westward, gives some 
liability to the cyclone, but no particular damage has been done. The 
first settlers who came into Grange township and made improvements 
were James Waddle, John Hunt, Morris Metcalf, Henry Bayne, John 
Huston and Charles Brown, who were followed by Adam Woodruff, 
George Silvers and some others. Charles Brown constructed a dug- 
out, in which he lived when he first came. It was the first dwelling 
place of a white man in the township. The first white child born in 
Grange was a son of Morris Metcalf, and the first death was, probably, 


Charles C. Metcalf. On the road, which runs through the township 
from Sioux City to Smithland, there used to be an old tavern, a stage 
station, kept by Harry Adams. Before the advent of the railroads, the 
old stage line did a line business, carrying passengers from the south- 
eastern section of the county to the settlements in the northwestern 
portion, and along the Big Sioux and Missouri rivers. About ten 
years ago there was living at the tavern a Dr. Grosvenor, the first phy- 
sician to take up his domicile here. The first post-office was also at 
the old tavern, established about twelve years ago, and Dr. Grosvenor 
was the postmaster, who at the time kept the hotel. 

The first preaching in the township was by Rev. George Clifford, 
presiding elder of the Methodist Episcopal church, and Rev. I. K. 
Fuller, of Sioux City; also Rev. Mr. Plummer. They all preached in 
the old Bayne school-house, as that was the only place suitable. 
There is a Baptist church at the foot of the bluffs in the eastern part 
of the township, near the old Grange hotel. The first minister of 
this denomination to preach in this church was Rev. Mr. Jones. The 
settlement thereabout is generally Baptist in its faith. Rev. Mr. 
Jones is the regular pastor in attendance. The Bayne school-house 
was built about seventeen or eighteen years ago, and Miss Luella 
Read and Miss Eliza Bayne were, possibly, the first teachers in the 
township. There are now six school-houses and another school taught 
at a private house. The Methodists of the eastern portion of the 
township hold services in the Bayne school-house, and Rev. Mr. 
Lougell preaches for them. There is another Baptist congregation, 
which assembles in the Camp creek church, a small structure on the 
stream named, and Rev. Jones also officiates there. 

Grange is noted for the fine cattle, corn and hay, which are its 
principal products. A. S. Garretson's cattle ranch is a well-known 
enterprise throughout the northwest. This gentleman has 3,000 
acres of as fine land as there is on the continent, and his improvements 
have been made regardless of expense. The ranch is located mostly 
in the central portion of the township, Luton being located on its 
western edge. His water supply is complete in all particulars and 
its cost alone was over $3,000. The main barn is 540 feet in length 
and sixty feet in depth. He has a herd of Hereford cattle, recorded 
animals; also a herd of Polled Angus, and some Holsteins, keeping 
usually seven and eight hundred head. His cattle have a reputation 
in all western markets. 


Strange's hay ranch is another large enterprise, located in the 
vicinity of a sub-station known as Strange's Siding, where the 
immense quantities of hay which the firm, Strange Bros., of Sioux 
City, raise, is baled for market. Two steam presses are constantly 
running for about six months, and the view from this station leaves 
the impression that nothing but hay is raised in the county, for on all 
sides little is to be seen but stacks of hay clotting the prairie as far 
as the eye can reach. The ranch is located partly in the southern 
portion of the township. 

D. T. Hedges has annually over 3,000 acres in corn, most of 
which is in Grange, the balance in Sloan township. He has put up 
twenty-five buildings on his land for the use of his workmen, and 
quite a community is collecting in consequence. 

The Big Whiskey slough alluded to previously, so called from the 
creek of that classic title emptying into it, runs diagonally across the 
township, and has always been the cause of making the soil too wet, 
and injuring much of the growing crop. Recently, however, a 
remedy for this state of affairs has been applied. Messrs. Garretson, 
Hedges, Strange and Marsh have had a ditch dug through the center 
of the slough from Elliott's creek to the southeastern corner of the 
township. This ditch is thirty-five feet wide and eight feet deep, and 
effectually drains the entire township, much land being now dry that 
formerly was wet at all seasons of the year. It is a commendable 
piece of work on the part of the capitalists who have accomplished 
it, and deserves mention here. 

Luton, in the western part of Grange, is -one of the projected 
railroad towns, it being a station of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. 
Paul railroad. It is the only post-office in the township, and has a 
store, blacksmith shop, church and school-house. Considerable corn, 
cattle and hogs are shipped from this station. B. F. Bayne is a 
dealer and shipper of- cattle at this point. Greenholder & Phillips 
deal in hogs and run a general store and the post-office. The church, 
which belongs to the Methodist denomination, was built in 1889, and 
the pastor is Bev. Mr. Luce, who resides at Salix, he having three 
charges. \ 

The township officers (1890) are: Trustees, W. O. Sluyter, H. 
C. Bayne, Aaron Wilson; clerk, G. N. Holder; assessor, Robert 
White; justice of the peace, E. S. Phillips; constable, J. E. Inley. 




Rook Township— Its Organization— First Officials— Some Early Names 
—Indian Outlaws— First Things— Gushing, Its Business, etc.— Ke- 
dron Township— Rich Land— Streams— Products— Early Settlers- 
Preaching— Indian Mound— Silas Bacon— Anthon, Its Business, etc. 
— Heavy Shipping Point— Rutland Township— Its Late Creation — 
An Unique Section of Land— Pierson — A Thriving Town — Fine 
Business, etc.— Morgan Township— Strictly Agricultural— Corn, 
Cattle, Hogs and Hay — First Settlers— Miller Township — First 
Officers— Fine Scenery — Well Watered — Early Settlement — 
First Preacher— Schools, etc. 

ROCK TOWNSHIP, at least that portion of the original Eock 
comprised in the present township, was of comparatively late 
settlement. When constituted it was a considerable portion of Cor- 
rectionville township, which comprised one-fourth of the county. The 
order for the creation of Eock was passed June 3, 1867, and reads as 
follows: " All that tract of land of Correctionville township lying and 
being south of the ' correction line ' and belonging to Woodbury county." 
The remaining portion of Correctionville to be as heretofore. The elec- 
tion for officers took place October 8, 1867. The judges of the elec- 
tion were George Everts, John Kohlhauff, C. W. Hepburn ; clerks, W. J. 
Hepburn, A. B. Barker. The officers elected were: Supervisor, A. S. 
Bacon; justices of the peace, Joseph A. Bush, J. H. Cornell; township 
clerk, O. Plato. The township is bounded on the north by Ida county 
and Union township, on the south by Morgan, on the east by Ida county 
and on the west by Kedron township. The surface is generally roll- 
ing prairie land, slightly broken in the central and northei-n portions. 
It is well watered by Wright creek, which flows westerly through the 
center, and Bacon creek through the northern tier of sections. Minor 
streams empty into the two streams named, which supply sufficient 
water, and make Eock township one of the best in the county. Wheat, 
corn, oats and the small fruits are raised, though corn, of course, is 
the principal crop. Some fine cattle and hogs are also produced, and 


large shipments made from Correctionville and dishing. A portion 
of Correctionville lies in Eock township, and there is a mill about 
three-fourths of a mile beyond the southeastern limits of that town, 
that was built in 1862 by Jacob Cornell. It is not in operation at 
the present time, and has not been for several years. 

The first settlers came not earlier than 1856 or 1857, and the causes 
of this have been related in other portions of this work. Richard 
Gendreau was here about as early as any one, coming in 1857. John 
Kohlhauff and B. Bobey came in 1863, and the year following, 1864, 
came N. B. Benning, Ellis Hogue, Charles Hepburn and others. The 
first settlers of Eock were among those upon whom the savages, engaged 
in the Spirit Lake massacre, committed their first depredations in 1857. 
In passing through this township from the vicinity of Southland, 
where they had encamped during the winter, the party of red-skins 
under Inkpadotah, stole considerable stock from the unprotected settlers 
of the upper townships, and committed other outrages. The murderous 
villains had not as yet worked themselves up to the massacre point, 
when they passed along here, or the settlers would have felt their 
tomahawks and scalping knives. But it is probable that fear of pur- 
suit prevented them from any killing until they reached a safer north- 
ern distance. Not only in Eock but in Kedron a number of valuable 
horses were stolen and cattle killed and their best poi'tions carried off. 
It was during the night that the Indians passed through, and the set- 
tlers were not aware of their losses till next morning'. 

•The first white child born in the township was Jeanette Gendreau, 
a daughter of Eichard Gendreau, but the exact date is forgotten, pos- 
sibly about the fall of 1857. John Kohlhauff, in 1864, built and 
started the first hotel in Eock township and called it " Travelers' 
Best." It was located in the southeastern part of Correctionville. He 
ran it till some time during 1882. The history of this township is so 
closely connected with the adjoining ones of Union and Kedron that 
nothing new can be said in that regard. 

The village of Cushing is the only post-office in the township. It 
is a station on the Chicago & Northwestern railway, and is an enter- 
prising, growing little town, and considerable business is transacted 
there. A great deal of grain is shipped, there being an elevator and 
accommodations for handling stock and grain. Considerable building 
material is sold to all sections of the township, as well as to the 


adjoining county of Ida. It has a very good location and will 
undoubtedly grow. The business of the town is comprised in the fol- 
lowing list: 

General store, Meek & Seitz; general stock ancl furniture, S. H. 
McCarl; grocery, C. B. Daniels; drugs, R. R. Rogers; hardwax*e, C. 
Ruggles; harness and saddlery, Robert Milne; grocer and butcher, 
T. D. Lake; C. D. Sanborn deals in farm machinery and runs an ele- 
vator; lumber, etc., D. Joyce; Mr. Vorlies runs an elevator; stock 
dealer, W. H. Gilman; physician, Dr. Smith; postmaster, C. B. 

There is also here a good hotel, livery stable, barber shop, black- 
smith shop, wagon repairing shop, a fine uniformed band, with Dr. 
Smith as leader, and a newspaper, called the "Cushing Paralyzer,"with 
C. D. Sanborn as editor and proprietor. 

Kedron Township was created June 4, 1872, by the supervisors of 
the county, and the order reads as follows: "All of township eighty- 
eight, in range forty-three, be detached from Rock township, and be 
formed into a new township, to be called Kedron township." It is 
bounded on the north by Rutland and Union, on the south by Miller, 
on the east by Rock and on the west by Wolf Creek townships. 

Kedron is one of the richest in products of the townships. It has 
the best of soil, and fine wheat is raised here, as well as corn and 
other grains. There is a great deal of upland, which places the crops 
beyond any danger from freshets or too much water, although the 
entire township is well supplied with streams. The Little Sioux river 
runs through the full length of the territory, entering in section one, 
the northeastern corner, and, flowing diagonally, leaves Kedron at sec- 
tion thirty-three, east of Anthon. Rock creek, Wright creek and a 
portion of the south branch of Big creek are other streams, and there 
are a number of smaller brooks and runs that furnish ample water for 
all purposes. The principal product is corn, but considerable wheat 
is also raised, whilst cattle and hogs are to be found in all sections, 
some of them as fine as any to be procured anywhere. There is some 
timber along the streams, some of it very good, such as oak, elm and 
lynn, also the usual cottonwood. Sand deposits occur in the bluffs, 
and as the same formation is here as in other localities in the county, 
where brick and pottery clay is found, it is altogether probable that 
good clay can be unearthed below the rich soil in the hills. 


The first settlers of that portion of Correctionville township which 
now is comprised in Kedron, were here before 1857, and A. S. Bacon, 
Silas Bacon arid George Everts were among the number; O. Plato 
came a little later; also Tom Jeffray, who took a claim on section one, 
on the Little Sioux river. He came from New York state, but went to 
Council Bluffs to live about 1864. Elias Shook built the first cabin 
in Kedron. No dug-outs were used on the east side of the West Fork, 
as there was plenty of timber; so the cabin of Shook was of logs. 

There was preaching in one or two houses as early as 1857, and 
Bev. E. P. Billings, of the Methodist Episcopal church, held services. 
Kev. Mr. Havens, whose circuit of appointments took in this section, 
preached in the upper eastern corner of the township, as well as in the 
southwestern corner, in 1858. Drs. Kice and McCaull came in 1857, 
and practiced their profession from Smithland to the northern bound- 
ary of the county. A number of Indian relics have been found in 
various sections of the township, and as fine a specimen of a corn- 
pounder as has ever been unearthed is in the possession of Messrs. 
Adams & Bunn, of Correctionville. A very symmetrical mound stands 
to the east of Anthon. It is about ten or fifteen feet in height and is 
perfectly rounded. It is a true mound of the prehistoric races, or at 
least of early Indian construction. It is very ancient, for the present 
Indian race do not, and have not for hundreds of years, built any 
mounds, if that race ever did at all. It is not an elevation produced 
by the washing of the waters, but a true mound, from the fact that the 
soil upon which it rests is gravelly, whilst the mound itself is con- 
structed of soil taken from the adjacent hills. It is evidently a mound 
of sepulture, as, in 1857, S. K. Day, Asel Hall, Isaac Hall, William 
Mead and others dug into it and found a considerable quantity of 
human bones, all of which crumbled upon being exposed to the air. 

During the Indian excitement of the early years of the war, a 
humorous incident occurred, or rather a joke was perpetrated by one 
of the settlers. Silas Bacon was considerable of a wag and somewhat 
of a blusterer, but good-hearted and well-meaning. When the settlers 
were about preparing for an attack on the Indians, who were expected 
to make a raid in his vicinity, Bacon got the largest pair of shoes, 
number thirteens, that he could find, and put them on. As they were 
too large for him they attracted the attention of some one, who asked 
him why he got his shoes so large. He replied that when the red-skins 
saw his tracks in the snow they would know that a man was after them. 


Anthon, one of the most thriving towns on this branch of the Illi- 
nois Central railroad, is located on portions of sections thirty-two and 
thirty-three, not far from the Little Sioux river. It is the only post- 
office in Kedron township, and, being located so far to the south, the 
upper residents get their mail at Correctionville. The village was 
incorporated during the present year (1890). It is claimed that it is 
the heaviest shipping point on this branch of the Illinois Central rail- 
road, Washta coming next, especially for cattle, large quantities of 
corn and wheat being also transported to Chicago and other points. 
There is a large cattle ranch in Kedron, known as Benson's ranch. 

The Roman Catholics have a very nice church in Anthon. The 
church was first at Lucky Valley, but it was moved in the spring of 
1890. Father Tierney officiates as pastor. 

The Christian church was built in 1890, and is a very neat struct- 
ure. Rev. Mr. Thompson visits the members occasionally and holds 

A Methodist Episcopal church society, with a goodly member- 
ship, exists here, but they have no church building. 

The " Anthon Monitor," a very neat and creditably conducted news- 
paper, is published here. It was established July 26, 1888, and Mr. 
C. H. Cattermole is editor and proprietor. 

There are many members of secret orders and fraternities in and 
around Anthon, but no lodges. The ladies have an aid society and a 
mite society. The following are the business firms and associations: 

Anthon Exchange bank, cashier, John R. Welch; Anthon Build- 
ing Association, branch of the Omaha Provident Loan & Building 
Association; elevators, Wilson & Cooney, J. D. Heritage; stock dealers, 
Wilson & Cooney; cattle dealer, John Jerman; lumber, coal and build- 
ing material, Libbey & Smith, George S. Sardam & Co. ; postmaster 
and notary public, J. H. Carver; general merchants, J. D. Heritage 
& Co., J. H. Carver; hardware and farm machinery, E. B. Booher, F. 
C. Williams; drugs, Daniel Teefey; harness and saddlery, Charles H. 
Genet; meat market, N. Stahl; restaurant, George McKenna; milli- 
nery, Miss Lida Bradley; barber, Abraham Watson; blacksmiths, 
Bartow Bros., William F. Coffin; hotels, Carney House, Hotel 

In addition to a good school in Anthon, there are four outside of 
that village in Kedron township. 


Rutland Toivnship was created from the surplus of Union town- 
ship April 2, 1872, and the order reads as follows: " All of township 
eighty-nine, range forty-three, be detached from Union township and 
formed into a new township to be called Rutland township." It is 
bounded as follows: Plymouth county on the north, Wolf Creek and 
Kedron on the south, Union on the east and Arlington on the west. 
Rutland was one of the latest townships to be settled, and not until 
about 1869 or 1870 were there any permanent residents within the 
territory now comprised in the present bounds, although it is claimed, 
that to take it throughout, it is the best township in Woodbury coun- 
ty. It is high-lying and consequently dry, but not too dry, as the 
gently rolling nature of the surface, which has no large stream, 
retains the moisture without retaining too much, as is the case with 
flatter lands. There is one section for which is claimed the distinc- 
tion of being unique, and standing alone, among all the sections of 
the county, in two or three regards. Section sixteen can be plowed 
over its entire surface and not leave an inch that may not be turned 
with the plow. There is not a rock, tree, stream or anything else to 
obstruct, only pure, unadulterated land. Two or three small streams 
start on their oceanward course, just outside the limits of this highly 
favored section, but do not dare to overstep the line. The township 
is well watered, however, as Pierson's creek, Booth creek, Wolf creek 
and Rock creek all have their head waters in Rutland, some flowing 
easterly to the Little Sioux, and others westerly to the West Fork. 
Very little timber, in fact none, that can be so called exist here. There 
are very good sand and gravel pits on the property of F. W. Joslyn, 
near Pierson. Cattle, hogs and corn are the crops. 

Andrew Baker, Thomas Frazier and Thomas Welch are conceded 
to be the first actual settlers, and a Mr. Landon followed about 1870. 
B. Dayton came about 1872-73. There is a considerable number of 
Germans in the township, a very thrifty class of citizens, most of 
whom are members of the Lutheran church. The balance of the 
population is American. 

The first preaching that took place in the township was by Rev. 
Benton Sellman, a Methodist Episcopal minister. He delivered a 
sermon in a school-house in 1870. The German Lutherans contem- 
plate erecting a church about four miles southwest of Pierson, they 
having already erected a parsonage. The first school was taught on 


section nine. The township cemetery lies about four miles south of 
Pier son. 

Pierson is strictly a railroad town and a busy little one it is. 
There seems to be a life about it that some of the other towns in the 
county could well imitate. It is a station on the Sac City branch of 
the Chicago & Northwestern railway, and has in addition to telegraph 
facilities and express, telephone service. A great deal of corn is 
handled here, keeping three elevators busy. Following is the busi- 
ness, etc., of the village: 

Bank of Pierson, S. F. Benson, cashier; elevator, M. D. Stevens, 
Chicago, managed and run by W. W. Burgess; elevator, dealers in 
coal, etc., Vorhes Bros.; elevator, H. Keeney & Son; general stores, 
J. H. Keyes, J. C. Mills, William Southall & Co. ; drugs, A. Ander- 
son & Son; hardware, William Mann & Sons, also dealers in farm 
machinery; harness and shoe repairing, R. Pattison; dealer in live 
stock, William Southall & Co. ; lumber, building materials and coal, 
D. Joyce ; insurance, E. Paddock ; meat-market, J. B. Opdycke ; wagon- 
maker, R. Messerole; blacksmiths, B. Dayton, H. Riser; hotel, G. B. 
Baker, proprietor; livery stable, I. J. Ellis; 1 physician, Dr. W. J. 
Efner; Pierson Tornado band, leader, J. W. McGuire; postmaster, J. 
H. Keyes. 

Rock Branch post-office was established 1880, at which time John 
F. Wood opened a store, which he still continues. He is postmaster 
as well as merchant. There is a Methodist Episcopal church here, 
also; pastor, Rev. F. W. Allnut. There are four schools in the town- 

Morgan Toionship was created September 1, 1879, the order of 
the supervisors reading as follows: " All of township eighty-seven, 
range forty-two, be and is hereby formed into a new township to be 
called Morgan township." The officers elected at the ensuing election 
October 14, 1879, were: Justices, J. J. Morgan, William McKenna, 
William Clark; township clerk, J. J. Morgan. 

This township is strictly an agricultural and cattle-raising sub- 
division of the county. Within its bounds, which are Rock on the 
north, Liston on the south, Ida county on the east and Miller town- 
ship on the west, there is no post-office, no store, no mill, no church, 
no cemetery, and no industrial establishment of any kind, simply corn- 
growing and cattle and hog-raising. The land is first-class, and some 


of the finest cattle produced anywhere, are sent to the railroad stations 
for shipment, whilst large quantities of corn are sent to Anthon and 
Liston. The township is well watered by small creeks along which 
grow a little timber, but scarcely good enough in kind to be classed 
as timber. Morehead creek flows through the eastern portion of 
Morgan ; South branch of Big creek in the northwestern ; Reynolds 
and Koker creeks in the southern and a branch of Miller creek in the 
western. The township is pretty thickly settled, especially in the 
southern portion, and it is well provided with schools, there being a 
school-house on section eight, one on section twenty-two, one on 
section twenty-eight, and one on section thirty-five; still another is 
about being erected. 

In the matter of first settlers very little can be said, but J. J. 
Morgan, familiarly called Jerry Morgan, was about the first to come. 
William McKenna and William Clark were here at an early day also. 
The township is of so late a date that there is none of the usual old 
history in connection with it. Mr. C. C. Frum has a cattle and hog 
ranch, which is the leading feature of Morgan. 

Miller Township came into existence as a separate township the 
year following Morgan, its eastern neighbor, it being created June 7, 
1880, the order of the board of supervisors reading thus: "All of 
township eighty-seven, range forty-four, be detached from Grant town- 
ship, and that all of township eighty-seven, range forty-four, be and is 
hereby formed into a new township, to be called Miller township." 
The first officers, elected November 2, 1880, were: Township trustees, 
Luke Case, E. Hall, James Reddin ; clerk, G. Durst. The township 
is very varied in its surface conformation, the eastern portion being of 
the same character as Morgan, while the western is hilly and broken, 
and reminds one of the eastern states, excepting that the land here is 
far superior to the exhausted lands of the states indicated. All the 
beauty of the valley and stream and gently rising hill are here seen. 
The Little Sioux river flows in tortuous course from section four, where 
it enters the township to section thirty-one, where it passes into Oto 
township. The valley formed by this beautiful stream is certainly one of 
the loveliest to be seen anywhere, and the finest wheat can be here raised 
as well as corn. The streams are full of fish, such as buffalo, catfish, 
perch and suckers, and there are still many aquatic animals to be trapped 
or shot along them. There are other minor streams in the township: 


Plum, Miller and Kelly creeks. This valley was a noted camping ground 
for the Indians, possibly for centuries, for here they had excellent 
water and fine hunting and fishing, whilst the hills in winter pro- 
tected them from much of the fierce northwestern blasts. Here it was, 
among these hills and along these streams, that Wesley Turman, the 
Indian fighter and hunter, would bring down his game. The Cherokee 
and Dakota branch of the Illinois Central railroad runs the entire length 
of the township on the western edge, but there is no station in Miller, 
Anthon being just out of this township on the north, and Oto also out 
of it on the south. 

The territory comprising Miller was one of the earliest sections to 
be settled. It was a portion of Little Sioux township, and as early as 
1854, Alexander Stephens and Thomas Haws were here. In 1855 
came James S. Miller, Albert Livermore and Martin Livermoi'e and 
one or two others, and by 1857, Ed. Hall was here and several others 
settled near by. A daughter of William Turman who came to Little 
Sioux township in 1853, is living in Miller. She was a little girl 
when her father and mother and her uncles came, and afterward mar- 
ried Minor Mead, also one of the earliest settlers. Mrs. Mead has a 
fund of recollections of the pioneer days, its hardships and its priva- 
tions, as well as the fun and frolic engaged in by the boys and girls. 

Rev. Mr. Snyder, an itinerant Methodist Episcopal preacher, trav- 
eled and preached all along this section of country at an early day, but 
like Morgan township, there is no church here; neither is there a 
store, mill, post-office or cemetery, but there are three school-houses. 




West Fork Township — Eakly Settlement — Surface, Crops, etc.— Wild 
Fruit and Game — Ranches— Splendid Township — A Prairie Scene — 
Early Names — Rev. George Clifford— Grasshoppers— Cyclone- 
Climbing Hill, Its Business, etc.— Wolf Creek Township— First Set- 
tlers—Hardships of the Pioneers— Small-pox Epidemic — Dug-out 
Cabins— First School and Preaching — Lay of the Land— Springs- 
Grant Township— Early Settlers— First Cabin— Friendly Indians- 
General Surface— Crops— Streams— The Great Road— Peiro and 
Lucky Valley— Moville Township— Fine Farming Land— Farmers' 
Alliance— Late Settlement, etc. 

WEST FOEK TOAVNSHIP, constituted June 2, 1868, and 
formed out of portions of Woodbury and Little Sioux town- 
ships, originally comprised a much larger territory than it now does, 
it having been portioned out into several other townships. It is 
now simply one congressional township eighty-seven, range forty-five. 
The dimensions as laid down by the supervisors in 1868 were: "All 
of townships eighty-six and eighty-seven, range forty-five, and also 
sections five, six, seven, eight, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, 
twenty-nine, thirty-one, thirty-two of township eighty-six, range forty- 
four." The first officers of the election held in October were: Judges, 
Elanson Cody, John E. Harrison, Eli Lee; clerks, Noyce Snyder, M. 
W. Metcalf. 

The surface of West Fork is slightly rolling and somewhat broken 
toward the bluffs and about the streams, but the land is excellent, and 
quite varied crops can here be raised. It is well watered in all sec- 
tions. The West Fork of the Little Sioux river runs through the cen- 
ter of the township from north to south. Wolf creek passes through 
the northeastern portion, and several smaller streams contribute their 
waters to the needs of the husbandman. These streams also afford 
good fishing, and in the olden time when the Indians encamped along 
them, and for many years after the white man made his settlements! 
some of the most valuable fur -bearing animals were found in large 


numbers, such as the beaver, otter, mink and muskrat, and even at the 
present time some of these animals are trapped or shot. There are 
numerous roads running through West Fork, as the township lies in 
the route of the road from Sioux City to the southeastern portion of 
the county. On the west of the bluffs these roads are very crooked, 
but when they reach the east portion of the township they mostly run 
along the section lines. Wild fruit was found in abundance when the 
first settlers came in, and along the streams some is still gathered in 
season. Fine beds of sand exist in the bluffs near the West Fork and 
at other points along the bluffs. Hay, corn and stock are the principal 
products, and several large ranches overlap from the adjoining town- 
ships. D. T. Hedges' stock and hay ranch is partly located in West 
Fork, the rest of it being in Grange, Willow and Sloan. It covers 
about six sections of land, and immense quantities of hay are raised, and 
large herds of cattle may be seen grazing upon the rich prairie grass. 
These cattle are all used in the Sioux City stock yards and packing 
establishments, and afford employment to hundreds of workmen 
throughout the year. Skinner's hay and stock ranch is another large 
enterprise, which also affords work for many persons. This firm has 
erected on the ranch a considerable number of houses for the ranch- 

West Fork is, take it all in all, one of the best townships in Wood- 
bury county, the laud being varied from bottom and prairie to well 
elevated upland. The scene presented to the eye from any of the higher 
points is one of the most charming to be witnessed anywhere. A 
writer, describing a scene somewhat similar, so well puts it that an 
extract is here given: " Eastward of these elevations the country for 
a few miles is broken into bluffs and ridges, but beyond these come 
the broad and elevated prairies that roll away to the eastward in suc- 
cessive elevations and depressions, resembling in appearance the long 
swells of the ocean." Numerous streams can be seen glittering in the 
sunshine like silver threads, and those farthest distant fading away 
and reappearing as the angle of the sunlight is changed. On the west, 
at one's feet, almost, are the rich bottom lands of the Missouri, where 
now can be seen Sioux City, sitting like a queen among the hills, and 
southward is Sloan and Hornick, and over yonder to the westward lie 
Sergeant's Bluff and Salix, whilst beyond all these stretch the fertile 
prairies of Nebraska and Dakota. Everything is covered with lux- 


uriant vegetation, embellished with fragrant flowers of every hue, and 
up to the top of every ridge of bluff it is the same. Winged song- 
sters of the air are reveling amid the leafy boughs, and warbling their 
sweetest strains, and then a little valley between two high bluffs, with 
a crystal stream winding its serpentine form through the willows and 
cottonwood that line it almost its entire length. These were the 
scenes that met the gaze of the pioneer settlers when they came in 
thirty-five or forty years ago, and no wonder they were so charmed. 

Mendall Metcalf, W. O. Sluyter, C. E. Ostrander, J. E. Harrison 
and Henry Decamp are admitted to have been the first to make set- 
tlements in that portion of Little Sioux and Woodbury townships 
now comprised in the territory known as West Fork, for the present 
West Fork was cut from two of the original townships which had 
been created in 1855. Mrs. Mendall Metcalf was the first person to 
die in the township, which event occurred not many years after the 
first settlement. C. E. Ostrander is said to have erected the first 
house. Some dug-outs had been constructed prior to the building of 
Ostrander's cabin. There used to be a hotel near Climbing Hill, 
which was kept by George Henry, but it is now simply a stopping 
place for the stage that runs from Sioux City to Danbury, making the 
round trip in two days. The line is kept up for the purpose of carry- 
ing the mails to points not reached by the railroads. This old tavern 
was a great place of resort for the country boys before the advent of 
the iron horse. The first post-office in the township was kept by this 
same George Henry, and the mail station called Odd post-office. 

Thirty years ago Rev. George Clifford, who succeeded Rev. Landon 
Taylor as presiding elder of the Sioux City circuit, preached in the 
old school-houses, there not being a church in West Fork, or any- 
where else in the vicinity. It is altogether probable that Revs. Black 
and Taylor also preached at one or more of the cabins before Mr. 
Clifford came. Rev. Mr. Plummer also preached occasionally. There 
are now two very good churches in West Fork, both of them Method- 
ist Episcopal. One of them is at Climbing Hill, built in 1882, with 
Rev. Mr. Stephens as pastor, and the other is Beulah church, located 
in the southern portion of the township, which is supplied by visiting 
ministers. There is a cemetery on section twenty-two. The town- 
ship is well supplied with schools, there being school-houses on sec- 
tions two, three, five, seventeen, twenty-one, twenty-three, twenty- 
nine, thirty-two and thirty-four — nine in all. 


West Fork has bad its share of the disasters that have visited 
Woodbury county in various shapes, during the past thirty years and 
more. The grasshoppers played havoc there during their great raid, 
and the western portion of the township more particularly. One im- 
mense cloud of these pests dropped down as though it were a cloud- 
burst, and covered the fields instantly with the crawling, hopping 
insects. Every green thing fell before the devouring plague, and 
when they rose again to hie them to newer fields and pastures green, 
the earth was left almost as bare as after a raging prairie fire. The 
freshets, that occasionally occur on all streams, make no exception to 
the West Fork of the Little Sioux. Some damage was done in 1868, 
but nothing very serious. A small cyclone passed across the town- 
ship a few years ago, but with the exception of blowing a couple of 
outhouses down and injuring some fruit trees by tearing away limbs, 
nothing serious occurred. Prairie fires occur nearly every year, some 
years more serious than others, when a barn or two is destroyed. 
These drawbacks to the farmer and stock-raiser, taken altogether, are 
very discouraging, but the extreme productiveness of the land iu good 
seasons, is so great as to fully equalize matters, and present balance 
sheets that tally. 

Climbing Hill is the only post-office in the township, and a very 
pleasantly located little hamlet it is, lying near the very beautiful 
West Fork river. It has two general stores, kept by S. D. Bayne and 
W. H. Hurd. Ed. Bassford is the village blacksmith. Dr. S. D. 
Angle, a practicing physician, formerly lived at Climbing Hill, but 
his practice not being sufficient, he moved away, to a more thickly 
settled community, or where the climate is not so distressingly healthy 
as West Fork. There was at one time a grist-mill near Climbing Hill, 
which was permitted finally to lapse into "innocuous desuetude." 

Wolf Creek Township was constituted June 2, 1868, being formed 
out of portions of Correctionville, Rock, Woodbury and Sioux City 
townships, and was bounded and described in the order of the super- 
visors of the county as follows: "All of townships eighty-eight and 
eighty-seven, range forty-four, and all of sections one, two, eleven, 
twelve, thirteen, fourteen, twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five, twen- 
ty-six, thirty-five, thirty-six, township eighty-nine, range forty-five." 
It has since been curtailed, until it is but one complete congressional 
township, number eighty-eight, range forty-four, bounded on the north 


by Arlington and Eutland, on the south by Grant, on the east by 
Kedron and on the west by Moville. The first officers were: Justice 
of the peace, M. B. Keister; and the township clerk, F. A. Dawes. 

The first settlers to come to Wolf Creek township were Ben Flath- 
ers, Jake Thomson, Doc. Thomson, W. J. Hines, Sam Hardin, E. C. 
Bennett, Henry Gillette, and two or three more who lived a little 
remote from those whose names are mentioned. They came to the 
then wild region, determined to carve out a home for themselves and 
families. They left comparative comfort behind them in their old 
homes, for the rude fare and ruder surroundings of an untrod wilder- 
ness, where none but the Indian and his wild brute game ever trod 
before, unless, to trap or hunt, the white adventurers of this upper 
country had passed along here. But those old pioneers of the early 
past knew no fear, dreaded no hardships, and were ever ready to lend 
a helping hand to their needy neighbors. Except in fancy, one can 
not realize what the vanguard of civilization has to contend with, what 
he has to battle for. As though nature had not placed upon him 
burdens enough in the struggle for life with the elements and for 
bread, the relentless savage must be added to the discom-agements of 
his situation. He must carry his gun with his plow, for, from out the 
tall grass may peer the head of a wily Indian, ready to kill and scalp 
the moment the pioneer is off his guard. And the wife and children 
at the rude cabin near by, what must be their feeling when their pro- 
tector is away, or when, in the silent watches of the night, unusual 
sounds are heard — stealthy, and well recognized as the sneaking red- 
skin on the hunt for his prey, the white man? 

A little later along than the coming of the very first settlers, came 
N. Conaway, in the spring of 1868, who settled on section twenty- 
four. Lewis Peck came about the same time as Conaway, but in con- 
sequence of some technicality he lost his claim, a party coming in and 
jumping it. Peck shortly afterward left and never returned. Samuel 
and Kufus Conaway, brothers of N. Conaway, came shortly after the 
latter arrived, and both settled near him. John T. Thatcher also came 
in the spring of 1868, and settled on section twenty-two. About this 
time three brothers, hearing of the fine land open for claimants in 
northwestern Iowa, came out for the purpose of casting their lot with 
some friends who had already reached their future homes. These were 
Henry, John and J. N. Dicus. Henry settled on section twenty-three, 


and the others near by. William Graham also came in 1868. The 
first death that occurred in the township was that of Mrs. Dicus, the 
wife of the elder Dicus. She died in December, 1868, of small-pox. 
There was a slight epidemic of that fearful and disgusting disease in 
the winter of 1868-69, and considerable of a scare, but only one death 
resulted from it. It was supposed that some new comers had brought 
the germs of the disease in their clothing, the person bringing it, not 
being susceptible to it, having been vacciuated. The person who was 
first to fall ill declared, and her friends knew, that she had not been 
anywhere where there was small-pox prevailing. It was a year's won- 
der where the first patient contracted the dread malady. 

The Conaways, soon after coming in, built a dug-out, in which they 
lived for several years, and this only twenty-two years ago, shows, 
the primitive state of affairs, for Conaway was one of the best off of 
the settlers. A Mr. Wetmore built the first house in 1869. E. T. 
Armitage also came in 1869, and J. P. Bowers a little later. A man 
by the name of Perkins, some years ago started a store on section 
twenty-five, but he soon gave it up, there not being business enough 
to justify even the small expenses he required. There has never been 
another store opened in the township since, the people doing their 
trading at Moville, Lucky Valley, Anthon and Correctionville. There 
is no mill, or other enterprise of any importance in operation in the 
entire township. The first school was taught on section twenty-three. 
A small house was built for the purpose by private subscription, and 
the first teacher was a Miss Brush. There are now eight good schools, 
in the township. 

One of the oldest roads in the county passes along the upper edge 
of Wolf Creek township. It is the Sioux City & Correctionville 
road, which was laid out about 1855, for, be it remembered, that the 
same company which founded Sioux City also laid out Correctionville. 
These two places occupy, or originally did occupy, the same relative 
positions, respectively on the east and west ends of the " line of cor- 
rection " of the surveyors, within the bounds of Woodbury county. 
This old road, as straight as a surveyor's line can make it throughout 
its entire length, with the exception of a few miles as it appi'oaches 
Sioux City, was the great thoroughfare east and west in the early 
days, and is yet a much traveled road. There was formerly a post- 
office called Wolf Dale, on this road on the Arlington side above 


section five of Wolf Creek, but it was discontinued. On January 10, 
1890, a j)ost-onice was opened on section sixteen of Wolf Creek, and 
the name Wolf Dale was adopted. J. M. Wade is postmaster, and 
this is the only post-office in the township. 

The first sermon delivered in Wolf Creek was by Eev. J. Brush 
in 1869, in William Graham's house, and the first church organization 
was effected in 1872, in school-house number three, by Eev. James 
Patrick ; but as yet they have no church. There is a Methodist Epis- 
copal church on section one, with Eev. Mr. Allnut as pastor, and 
another congregation of the same denomination hold their services in 
school-house number eight, with Eev. C. W. Cobb as pastor. There 
was a Eoman Catholic church on section thirty-five, built in 1883, but 
the building was removed to Anthon, and remodeled and erected in 
that town in 1890. A cemetery belonging to the township is located 
on section one, and the Baptists have one on section twenty-two. A 
Farmers' Alliance, with a membership of about fifty of the best citi- 
zens of the surrounding country, meets at school- house number five. 
The nationality of the citizens of Wolf Creek is mostly American, 
and a thrifty population it is, too, as their fine farms attest. 

The surface of the township is rolling, but inclined to be rough in 
some sections, especially in the southern portion, although there are 
not many elevations of any height. This roughness, however, does 
not detract from the producing quality of the soil, as Wolf Creek is 
highty fertile, and this same broken character lends a charm to the 
landscape that does not exist in the plain prairie country, where the 
eye tires with the monotony of the landscape. The township is 
extremely well watered, and there are more streams that take their 
rise within the limits of Wolf Creek than in any other township in 
Woodbury county. Nearly all the small branches that unite to form 
Wolf creek originate in the many springs to be found in the thirty-six 
sections of this township, and there is not a section but what has its 
little stream. Some of the springs are of good size and furnish the 
finest water. Beds of clay and sand can be reached not far below the 
surface. The township has never been visited by any very serious 
disaster, with the exception of a very severe hailstorm in the early 
clays, but, as there were very few settlements at the time, a corres- 
ponding lack of damage was done. The lively grasshopper, of course, 
paid his respects to Wolf Creek, but he had to live on plain prairie 


grass and cottonwood, mostly, as he came before there was much popu- 
lation here. Stock-raising, cattle and hogs, and corn producing, are 
the principal industries of the township. It is well supplied with 
schools, there being six in operation. 

Grant Totvnship was created by order of the supervisors in 
response to petitions of citizens of the section interested, November 
10, 1868. It formed a part of Little Sioux township, which at the 
time comprised about one-fourth of the county of Woodbury. The 
order of the board reads as follows: " All of toAvnsbip eighty-seven, 
range forty-three, and all of sections one, two, three, four, nine, ten, 
eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, twenty-one, twenty- 
two, twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven, 
twenty-eight, thirty-three, thirty-four, thirty-five, thirty-six, in township 
eighty-seven, range forty-four." The first justices of the peace elected 
at the ensuing election were Joseph Cross and Elias Horton, and the 
first township clerk was W. T. Clark. Some of the above territory 
has since been clipped from Grant to help form another township, 
which leaves Grant now one congressional township, number eighty- 
seven, range forty-four, bounded by Wolf Creek on the north, Little 
Sioux on the south, Miller on the east and West Fork on the west. 

As Grant is one of the Little Sioux valley townships, and not far 
distant from where William White, Curtis Lamb and John Sumner 
made their first settlements about 1850 or 1851, and near where Orrin 
B. Smith founded Smithland, it was one of the sections of the county 
to receive some of the first searchers after homes in the northwest. 
Thomas Flower and William Flower settled on section thirty-six in 
the spring of 1854, and made the necessary improvements for holding 
their claims, in which they were successful. They afterward, during 
the same year, sold their claims to Thomas Golden and Ed. Young, 
. who made improvements and began a settlement in earnest. Also in 
1854 came a German named Jowler (pronounced Yowler in the Ger- 
man and he was so called), who made improvements and secured his 
claim. He built a cabin and broke up considerable land, but his 
humble home caught fire some time afterward and was consumed. He 
managed to save the most of his household effects, which at that day 
could almost be carried out in one armful. An Indian camp was in 
the vicinity, the party being on a hunting expedition along the streams 
of the Little Sioux valley, which was a famous hunting ground for 


not only the red-skins but their white brothers. These friendly Indi- 
ans helped the unfortunate son of Vaderland to save his effects, but 
the little building was entirely lost. This disheartened Yowler, and 
he sold his claim to B. D. Chapman and departed for scenes of a more 
civilized character. He is now probably a retired manufacturer of 
the foaming amber beverage in some city of the effete orient. Golden 
and Young, also, lost faith in the northwest, and sold the claims they 
had bought of Thomas and William Flower in 1854, to Isaac Hall, 
who still further improved the property. 

A number of other persons came in about 1855 and 1856, but the 
Indian depredations of the spring of 1857 scared many of them away. 
Minor Mead, at an early day, built a small tavern at Lucky Valley, but 
it disappeared many years ago. After the Civil war a great many 
Germans settled in the township, and now form a large proportion of 
the population. They are here, as they are everywhere else, extremely 
thrifty, and farm for all that there is in it, their property being well im- 
proved, and the land kept clean and dry. The rest of the population 
is mostly American. 

The surface of Grant township is, like the adjoining one of Wolf 
Cieek, rolling and broken, but the land is excellent and highly pro- 
ductive, corn, wheat and buckwheat be raised in good quantities, while 
some cattle and hog-raising is carried on. The township is well 
watered, numerous streams flowing almost on every section. The east 
branch of Wolf creek flows into the township in the northeastern 
corner, and continues its tortuous course in a southwesterly direction, 
leaving Grant exactly at its southwest corner. Numerous branches of 
this creek flow into it from all directions, and the west fork of the 
same stream flows through the northwestern portion. Springs are 
abundant, and some of them supply the finest water. Roads are very 
numerous, and seem to run in any direction without system or regu- 
larity, but if you take one of them you will usually arrive somewhere, 
and frequently, if you do not mind your compass, they will land you 
just exactly where you started from. The " great road " from Sioux 
City to Danbury, which crosses the bluffs in West Fork township, 
passes through Grant, and its sinuosities would do credit to a West 
Virginia hillside worm fence, or the track of a " rattler " through 
prairie grass. But roads are great blessings to the traveler, and the 
more the merrier. 


The village of Peiro is located on section twenty-one, and is on 
the stage route from Sioux City to Danbury, heretofore mentioned. 
Mr. Griffin is the postmaster, and also runs a general store. There 
is a blacksmith shop also here. Bethel Methodist Episcopal church 
is situated near by, and a cemetery. 

Lucky Valley, another village, is situated at the extreme edge of 
the township, on parts of sections two and three. There is a general 
store here, a Methodist Episcopal church, with Rev. Mr. Stephens as 
pastor, and a cemetery near by. Six school buildings afford educa- 
tional facilities. 

Moville Township was cut from Wolf Creek and Floyd townships 
September 2, 1872, the order of creation by the suj)ervisors reading as 
follows: " The east half of township eighty-eight, range forty-five) 
be detached from Wolf Creek township, and the west half of town- 
ship eighty-eight, range forty-five, be detached from Floyd township, 
and that the whole of said township eighty-eight, range forty-five, be 
formed into a new township, to be called Moville township." The 
bounds are Banner and Arlington on the north, West Fork on the 
south, Wolf Creek on the east, and Floyd on the west. 

This township has no superior in Woodbury county as a farming 
section, and few equals, as it is very little broken, whilst it is abun- 
dantly provided with water. The West Fork of the Little Sioux river 
runs through the center from north to south and Wolf creek flows 
through the eastern portion. It is gently rolling, and the soil is the 
best. Corn, cattle and hogs are the products, and immense quantities 
of the first are raised, and large numbers of the latter two are shipped 
from Moville village, in Arlington township, the present terminus of a 
branch of the Chicago & Northwestern railroad. Moville township 
is simply and strictly an agricultural one. It has no post-office, no 
church, no store, no railroad, no mill, no ranches, and not even a 
cemetery. The buildings are farm-houses, barns and schools, of the 
latter there being no less than six, which is evidence that the inhab- 
itants should be classed among the reading and thinking class of Wood- 
bury's population. This showing of schools in a township that has 
only one hundred voters is a silent comment that speaks volumes. The 
inhabitants are nearly all well-to-do, progressive and enterprising, and 
although a large proportion of the voters belong to the Farmers' 
Alliance, they do not fool too much with politics. Nearly all the mail 


matter for the population of Moville is received at the town of Mo- 
ville, just across the northern border of the township, where all busi- 
ness, also, is transacted, which is no small matter, if one can judge by 
the wagons that enter the village named from the south. 

The township, although one of the richest and most fertile in the 
county, was settled at a very late day, and it seems like straining 
matters to speak of the old settlers of Moville ; there are really none — 
or none, compared with the Sergeant's Bluff and Smithland settle- 
ments. It is true the northern edge is traversed by the upper great 
road, the one from Sioux City to Correctionville, along winch passed 
the renowned company of citizen warriors raised at Sioux City for 
the defense of the threatened settlers about Correctionville; the com- 
pany, a squad of which had such a thrilling adventure at the house of 
Mr. Morris Kellogg, and in which the now genial Judge Isaac Pen- 
dleton was wounded. The exploits of these dauntless foemen with 
the relentless red-skins is related elsewhere, and the circumstance is 
alluded to in order to show that persons frequently passed through 
the upper portion of Moville; yet there was land nearer the more 
advanced settlements, and upon this the claim-seeker squatted. 
There were three of the Metcalfs, however, who came pretty early — 
William, John and Wilbur Metcalf. This family was, and is yet, one 
of the most numerous in the county, as the name will be noticed in 
several preceding and succeeding townships. J. B. Smith was another 
early settler, but nearly all those who form the population now, came 
in at a comparatively late date. 



Order of Creation— Bounds— First Settlers— Dan Thomas— Streams, 
Surface, etc.— Good Land— Early Roads— Cyclones— The Great 
Prairie Fire — Early Preachers— Elder Taylor's Indian Scare — 
Danbury— Origin of Name — Its Business, etc. — Churches, Schools 
and Societies. 

LISTON' TOWNSHIP is one of the most important in Woodbury 
county at the present time, owing to its position, railroad facili- 
ties, general business enterprise of Danbury, and the fertility of its 
soil, together with the fact of its lying in one of the most beautiful 
and richest valleys of the northwest. It is one of the post helium 
townships, created at the time things were taking a start in Woodbury 
county in earnest. It will be remembered that the county was divided 
into only four parcels up to so late a date as 1867, but at that time a 
dozen or more subdivisions commenced and continued to increase, 
till at last there are twenty-four townships. The supervisors on 
November 10, 1868, passed this brief order: "Townships eighty- 
six and eighty-seven, range forty-two, to be constituted Liston town- 
ship." The territory was taken from Little Sioux, which at that time 
had more than it could handle, and was done at the instance of Will- 
iam H. Seaman and others. Seaman was a very active and enter- 
prising citizen, alive to all the best interests of his township, but 
things not going on as actively as he liked, moved away. Liston, it 
will be noticed, comprised two full congressional townships, but the 
township of Morgan was afterward detached from it, which left it as 
it now is, congressional township number eighty-six, range forty-two. 
Dan Thomas was the first justice of the peace elected after the crea- 
tion of Liston. The boundaries are: Morgan on the north, Monona 
county on the south, Ida county on the east and Oto on the west, it 
being the extreme southeastern township. It is traversed in the 
southeastern portion by the Chicago & Northwestern road, the only 
station within its limits, however, being Danbury. 



'■^^fc'.-JS'*^,--- ' 

T. ! :n 




Numerous creeks, branches and runs flow everywhere in Liston, 
the principal streams being the beautiful Maple river in the southeast, 
Reynolds creek and Koker creek, both being branches of the Maple. 
Many springs are found, also, at the heads of these waters. The sur- 
face is somewhat rolling, and broken in one or two sections, but it is 
well wooded, some good timber being cut along the streams and on 
the ridges. The best timber is nearly all the result of planting, a 
great deal of which has been done, and the good work still continues. 
Good roads run all through Liston, and here terminates the stage line 
from Sioux City. The principal products are, as in all sections of 
Woodbury, corn, cattle and hogs. There are some fine deposits of 
blue clay, but none of them are worked; also sand-beds, one especially 
on the old Castle place, on section nineteen. Cyclones have several 
times visited this region, and considerable damage has resulted. In 1883 
a church, a school-house and several residences were badly wrecked. 
Some little damage has occasionally been done by freshets, after the 
melting of the snows of hard winters. The nationality of the population 
of the township is mostly American, but there is a considerable num- 
ber of Irish, especially in Danbury. 

A few settlers were here at quite an early day, but a number of 
them left in consequence of the great prairie fire of 1856, and the 
Spirit Lake massacre of 1857. Some of them returned, but others did 
not. A portion of Liston, at that time the southeastern corner of Lit- 
tle Sioux township, was right in the track of the great conflagration 
mentioned previously, which swept over an extent of country ten and 
fifteen miles wide. The sight of that immense sheet of flame, of the 
width indicated, and extending far noi'thward, was appalling. The 
heavens were lighted up at night as though the whole globe was on 
fire, and in the day time the smoke obscured the rays of the sun to 
such an extent as to leave the impression of deep twilight. A gentleman 
who witnessed the scene, infoi'med the writer that it is beyond the 
power of tongue or pen to describe it, but says that he can still see the 
awful billows of fire as they rolled along in their resistless course. 
Those out of the fire were fortunate, and stretched a helping hand to 
those driven from their homes. The first actual settler, with his 
family, to come into what is now Liston township, was Joseph L. 
Edwards, a brother-in-law of M. L. .Tones, of Smithland, who came in 
1854; and the next one to make a settlement here was George L. 


Crane. A man named Reynolds also came at an early day, but left 
during the war and never returned. Reynolds creek, a branch of the 
Maple river, was named after him. Edwards built the first log-house 
in the township. 

The first minister of the gospel to preach in this section, as well as 
any other portion of Woodbury county, was Rev. Mr. Black, of whom 
frequent mention has been already made in this work. Presiding 
Elder Lauclon Taylor also visited here as well as Rev. D. J. Havens. 
United Brethren preachers were here at an early day also. There 
was no church building, and they usually preached in the school- 
houses or at the houses of the settlers. Rev. Taylor traveled along 
this country in 1857, at the time of the great Indian scare, when 
everything was in excitement, and when every swaying bush and every 
stump in the woods assumed the form, in the imagination, of bloody 
savages. They were thought to be lurking behind every tree and hid- 
ing among the tall grass of the prairie. Every horseman in the dis- 
tance was viewed as the advance guard of a horde of relentless red- 
skins, and the cry was heard everywhere "the Sioux are coming!" 
The truth was that the Indians were not within a hundred miles of 
Woodbury county, but they were fleeing to the northward after the 
Spirit Lake affair, for when they realized the enormity of their crime, 
and ascertained that the whites were after them with blood in their 
eyes, they fled as fast as they could from the vengeance they feared 
would overtake them. Just at this time good brother Taylor, filled 
with the Indian scare, had occasion to cross the country a little north 
and east of Liston, and while passing alone along the lonely road, met 
with an adventure which will be given in the words of the pious old 
worker in the vineyard of the Lord: "On my return from Denison, 
homeward, riding on horseback, I made a very narrow escape. The 
road was along a willow creek, while before me I could see some dis- 
tance. Directly ahead of me, about thirty rods, in a little opening of 
the willows, I saw my enemy sure enough. The main road would 
have taken me within eight rods of the place of concealment. 'What 
shall I do?' My thoughts ran fast. Fortunate for me, before I 
reached them, the road made an inward curve behind a little bluff out 
of their sight, and at the center of the curve a ravine ran up to the 
left, which would take me into the main road, a distance of about a 
mile. You may rest assured that I improved my advantage, and 


Fanny went up that road with speed. Within a few minutes I was 
safe in the main i-oad and out of the reach of danger, and I thanked 
God for the rescue." 

Danbury. — : Just north of the town site of Danbury, for some years 
before the laying off of that town, there was a store kept by Dan 
Thomas, who was postmaster also of the office kept in his store, which 
was named Liston post-office. This was the first store in the township, 
and the nucleus from which has arisen the very pleasant and progres- 
sive town of Danbury. The land was owned by Mr. Thomas, and when 
the railroad came along that way, he gave to the company the town site, 
provided they would make it a station and build a depot there, he to 
retain every alternate lot. It was accepted by the railroad people, and 
Thomas named the stripling city Danbury; but he and the inhabitants 
of the little burg desire it to be particularly understood that their 
town is not named after Danbury, Conn., although they have had a 
newspaper called the Danbury "News," which would seem to be a con- 
firmation of this Connecticut idea. But no, Mr. Thomas constructed 
the title from the front part of his own name and the rear end of the 
name of the county — Dan and bury. The railroad reached this point in 
1877, and Danbury began to grow. The founder of the town, Mr. 
Thomas, opened the first general store, and R. H. Loucks commenced 
the drug business soon after, in the spring of 1878. First hotel was 
opened in the fall of 1878 by Melvin Chapman, and was a portion of 
what is now the Castle hotel. George Hoskins, a blacksmith, also 
commenced business in this same year, and the first doctor was J. M. 
Condron, a veterinary practitioner, who also exercised his skill upon 
humanity. Dr. C. A. Bradley was the first regular physician, and lie 
came to Danbury in the spring of 1880. In 1881 Dr. S. A. McNer- 
ney located here, where he practiced till his death, October 8, 1888. 
This gentleman was highly respected for his skill in his profession 
and for his many social virtues. He was a man of fine education, 
conscientious in his treatment of patients, and affable to all, which 
qualities built him up a practice that was creditable and remunerative. 
Danbury grew quite fast from the very beginning, until in 1882, the 
citizens thought they ought to make a municipality out of their pros- 
perous little town, so they accordingly made application to the court 
for an order of incorporation, which was granted, and an election 
ordered to take place March 7, 1882, when the following officers were 


Mayor — Dan Thomas. 

Trustees — George N. Castle, George W. Hoskins, William Cook, 
David Tangeman, H. J. Peters, L. D. Herrington. 

Recorder — J. S. Shoup. 

The present officers are: 

Mayor — J. H. Ostrom. 

Trustees — Samuel Boyer, C. F. Kueny, W. Hand, William Rine- 
hold, M. D. Cord, John Kampmeyer. 

Recorder — C. F. Seibold. 

The business firms and other industrial, economical and social 
interests may be summed up in the following condensed lists: Banner 
Mills, patent roller process, Godfrey Durst, proprietor, are located 
just east of the town; elevators, Godfrey Durst, F. H. Hancock; ele- 
vator and dealer in grain, etc., David Tangeman; lumber, W. F. 
Seibold; lumber and building material, S. H. Bowman Lumber Com- 
pany; general merchandising, Seibold Bros., C. C. Cook, John Kamp- 
meyer, Jacob Welte ; drugs, R. H. Loucks ; hardware, W. Hand, J. B. 
Hash; grocery, V. D. Lyons & Son; furniture and hardware, W. B. 
Booher; harness and saddlery, H. T. Wilcox; blacksmiths, three 
shops; confectionery and restaurant, D. B. Newcomer, Con Keleher; 
barbers, J. B. Howe, J. Millington; jeweler, W. Endes; millinery and 
furnishing goods, Mrs. C. C. Frum; meat market, J. H. Hart; variety 
store, R. R. Glassey; shoemaker, Theo. Litzelschwab; live-stock 
dealers, P. C. Keitges, C. C. Frum; livery stables, Bray & Drea, G. 
N. Castle; hotels, Castle House, G. N. Castle, proprietor, Commercial, 
Pat Collins, proprietor; Danbury State Bank, capital $40,000, paid 
up, Alex. McHugh, president; A. J. Santee, vice-president; A. L. 
Wilkinson, secretary; J. W. Hamilton, cashier; I. B. Santee, assistant 
cashier; bankers, Baxter, Reed & Co.; physicians, G W. Murphy, 
W. R. Keeny, C. F. Kueny; lawyers, J. H. Ostrom, D. H. Kerby; 
insurance, P. C. Keitges; real estate, J. H. & E. Ostrom; loan and 
land office, Joseph O'Doherty; auctioneer, T. W. Frentess; wind- 
mills, R. L. Canty; postmaster, V. D. Lyons. 

Danbury high school is an institution that takes a very credit- 
able rank among the higher grade of schools of Woodbury county. 
The school building, which was erected in 1879, is a finely appointed 
and commodious structure. There is an attendance of about 100 schol- 
ars. It is conducted by Prof. H. H. Hahn, principal; Miss Stella 


Ostrorn, intermediate grade, and Miss Jessie Smith, primary depart- 

The " Criterion " is the title of a very ably conducted and well printed 
quarto newspaper, now under the management of J. H. and Ernest 
Ostrom. This journal was established in 1882, as the Danbury "News" 
by J. L. Krozen, who ran it about oue year, when it passed into the 
hands of a company, which changed the name to "Maple Valley Scoop," 
with Prof. J. S. Shoup as editor. The company was known as the Dan- 
bury Publishing Company. At the end of a year the company sold 
the plant to C. P. Bowman, now of Oto, who changed the title of the 
paper to the Danbury " Vidette." Under this name and management it 
was run about one year, when the company which had transferred it, 
took the paper off the hands of Mr. Bowman. In April, 1885, J. H. 
Ostrom leased it, and commenced the publication of the " Maple Valley 
Scoop" once more, and during the year Mr. Ostrom bought all the stock 
of the company. In 1886 the son and daughter of the gentleman 
named took entire charge, and in 1887 the name was changed to the 
present title " The Criterion," and the size of the paper doubled, mak- 
ing it a large quarto, it having been up to that time a folio. 

St. Patrick's Roman Catholic church would do credit to a much 
larger town than Danbury, as the church edifice is commodious, hand- 
some and well arranged, whilst the site upon which it and the buildings 
connected with the same are located, is one of the finest in the county. 
After the entrance of the railroad into Liston township, the Catholics, 
who had come in with the new order of things, organized, and in 1881, 
although few in number and poor, actually raised funds among them- 
selves, with a little assistance from some friends, Protestant as well as 
Catholic, enough to build the first building, which cost about $2,500. 
These zealous Christians raised the funds without one dollar's assist- 
ance from the church authorities. It was attended from Sioux City 
at first by Father Barron, and until the present priest, Father 
Meagher, a relative of the well-known Gen. Thomas Francis Meagher, 
the Irish patriot and American general during the late Civil war, 
took charge in 1883. But the first little modest edifice was not des- 
tined to stand long, for in April, of 1883, a violent cyclone swept 
across Liston township, and utterly demolished the church building, 
only, however, to give place to a better one. A fine parochial resi- 
dence and a parochial school edifice are also completed, at a cost of 


$12,000, the school being under the direction of nuns of the Order of 
Presentation. The school has an average attendance of eighty-five, 
and is well conducted and prosperous. Mother Cecelia, a highly 
accomplished lady, is in charge of the school. 

The Methodist Episcopal church was built in 1881, and is a very 
handsome structure, being large and well finished. The congregation 
is quite large for the extent of the population of Danbury, seeing that 
the Catholic church has so numerous a congregation. Before the 
erection of this building, services of this denomination were held in 
the school-houses, as shown elsewhere in this sketch of Liston. Rev. 
P. S. Johnson is the present pastor in charge. 

Due Guard Lodge, No. 387, A. F. & A. M., Avas chartered July 
29, 1878, the lodge having worked under dispensation for a short while 
previously. The charter members were And. H. Runyon, R. H. 
Loucks, Robert B. Mills, George W. Hoskins, Dan Thomas, William 
Smith, Abel A. Stowell, A. L. Brockway, John P. Creegor, Solomon 
J. Merritt. First officers Avere, W. M., And. H. Runyon; S. W., R. H. 
Loucks; J. W., Robert B. Mills; secretary, William Smith; treasurer, 
A. A. Stowell. Present officers are, W. M., J. H. Ostrom; S. W., C. 
C. Yockey; J. W., C. A. Segan; secretary, G. W. Murphy; treasurer, 
M. D. Cord. Lodge meets Wednesday, on or before full moon. 

Order of the Eastern Star, Danbury chapter, now working under 
dispensation (July of 1890), was instituted in spring of 1890. It has 
a membership of forty-one. The officers are, W. M., Miss Jessie N. 
Smith; W. P., Mrs. C. C. Yockey; A. M., Miss Stella Ostrom; secre- 
tary, G. W. Murphy; treasurer, R. H. Loucks. 

There is a lodge of Ancient Order of Hibernians here, also, with a 
very good membership. 




Arlington Township— Organization and Officers— Rolling Surface — 
Streams, Timber and Crops— First Settlers— Peter Van Norman — 
Other Early Names— An Old Tavern— Nationalities— Fine Farms— 
Moville, Its Business, etc.— Floyd Township— First Settlers— Ex- 
cellent Land — Fine Stock— Good Crops — The Destructive 'Hopper — 
Habits and Instincts of the Pest— Concord Township— Its Creation 
as Joy Township— Simply Farming and Stock-raising— Surface, etc.— 
Banner Township — Similarity to Concord— First Settlement- 
Original Homesteader — Sparse Population, etc. 

ARLINGTON TOWNSHIP was created by order of the super- 
visors April 5, 1871, as follows: "All of township eighty-nine 
of ranges forty-four and forty-five, be and is hereby detached from the 
townships to which the same now belong, and formed into a new 
township to be called Arlington township." At the time of its cre- 
ation, it will be noticed that Arlington comprised two congressional 
townships, one of which it lost by the detaching of Banner township 
in 1879. The present boundaries are Plymouth county on the north, 
Moville and Wolf Creek townships on the south, Rutland on the 
east and Banner on the west. The first officers elected after the pas- 
sage of the order of creation, were James E. Gordon, justice of the 
peace; township clerk, M. Baumgardner; constable, Charles F. Booth. 
Like the adjoining townships, Arlington is slightly broken in cer- 
tain sections, but the general lay of the surface is rolling. This roll- 
ing character is highly advantageous during dry seasons, as it retains 
the moisture far better than the flat, and at the same time it is never 
liable to be too wet. The West Fork passes through the township, 
which with Booth and Mud creeks supply plenty of water. A num- 
ber of minor brooklets and branches traverse almost every section. 
There are also a number of small springs in various localities through- 
out the township. Sand and gravel beds are reached by going down 
tolerably deep, and rock is almost an unknown quantity, there not 
being one larger than a bushel measure, they being bowlders. These 


are found at the bluffs, where they stranded hundreds of years ago. 
Arrow heads are occasionally found on the bluffs, lying, possibly, 
where they were shot by the aborigines ages ago, the arrow to which 
they were originally fastened having rotted away long since. Timber, 
also is a scarce commodity, at least timber that can be classed as good. 
The usual cottonwood, willow and a few of the softer kinds of tree- 
growth may be found along the larger streams. 

Peter Van Norman is acknowledged to be the oldest settler of the 
region where he now resides, having been here before the organiza- 
tion of the township. He lives upon a very beautiful farm just west 
of the town of Moville. Isaac Long was one of the very earliest 
settlers, and it is said that he constructed the first dug-out, in which 
he lived for some time. Anderson Wright was one of the first to 
come in and make a settlement, and he is said to have built the first 
frame house in the township. A. H. Roberts, E. H. Booth, William 
Jackson, M. E. Twitchell, John Grosh and the Thomases are looked 
upon as early settlers, as well as W. W. McElrath, who came in at a 
comparatively late date. The township having been settled up at so 
late a date, as compared with some of the others, genuine old settlers are 
scarce in Arlington. The east and west road between Correctionville 
and Sioux City passes along the southern boundary of the township, 
and at a point on section thirty-six, the southeastern corner, there 
formerly was a post-office known as Wolf Dale, which was canceled 
some time since, and removed to Wolf Dale township several miles 
south. At this point some years ago, Jacob Grosh kept a tavern, 
which is also discontinued. 

The nationality of the population of Arlington is mostly Ameri- 
can, some of the inhabitants coming from Pennsylvania, Illinois, 
Indiana, the New England states, New York, Kentucky, etc. There 
are a few Germans and Norwegians, also. The principal industry of 
the township is fanning and stock-raising, cattle, hogs and corn being 
produced in abundance. Considerable flax is raised, one firm at 
Moville having shipped in 1890, over 2,000 bushels of flaxseed, and 
another firm about 1,000 bushels. Supervisor W. W. McElrath has 
one of the largest and finest farms in Arlington on sections nineteen, 
twenty and twenty-one, comprising some 1,500 acres of land in the 
county. In addition to the usual farm products of this section, Mr. 
McElrath handles about 400 head of cattle yearly. The first store 
was kept by Frank Thomas on section thirty-two. 


t Moville. — This business-like and growing town is the present ter- 
minus of the branch of the Chicago & Northwestern railway projected 
to run westward through the townships of Banner, Floyd and Wood- 
bury to Sioux City. It is the shipping point for a large extent of 
country, and has some very good mercantile establishments. 

On May 27, 1889, the district court of Woodbury county, in re- 
sponse to the petition of W. L. Sanborn, B. E. Boyd, W. H. Dewey, 
and others, asking the incorporation of the town of Moville, the court, 
after due examination of the premises of the petitioners, ordered that 
W. L. Sanborn, B. E. Bojd, W. H. Dewey, J. W. Hippie and A. B. 
Thatcher, be appointed commissioners, who shall at once call an elec- 
tion of the voters residing in the territory to be embraced, the limits 
being the southwest one-fourth of section twenty-nine, township 
eighty-nine, range forty-four. The election to be held on Saturday, 
August 10, 1889. Notice of the election was published in the Moville 
"Mail." At the election seventy-four votes were cast, fifty for in- 
corporation, twenty-three against incorporation, one vote reading 
"against." At a subsequent election held August 29, 1889, for cor- 
porate officers, the following was the result: 

Mayor — H. S. Becker. 

Recorder — A. B. Thatcher. 

Trustees— W. L. Sanborn, W. H. Dewey, R. M. McCarter, J. W. 
Hippie, B. E. Boyd, C. A. Beard. 

Rules and regulations were formulated and passed at a subsequent 
meeting. At the same meeting W. J. Welch was unanimously elected 
marshal, and J. W. Mohler, treasurer. The present officers (1890) are: 

Mayor— C. A. Beard. 

Recorder — A. J. Beem. 

Trustees— W. H. Dewey, L. Case, R. M. McCarter, H. S. Becker, 
J. M. Emmick, J. W. Hippie. 

Assessor — Ed. Sherrard. 

Marshal — J. L. Foltz. 

Treasurer— W. E. Hall. 

W. W. McElrath erected the first store building in Moville in 
1887, and B. E. Boyd put in the first stock of goods. The first hotel 
was kept by L. Case. The business and other interests are as follows : 
Steam elevator, W. W. McElrath, dealer in grain, live-stock and real 
estate; steam elevator, W. L. Sanborn, dealer in cattle, hogs and 


grain; general merchants, Varley & Son, W. H. Lee, J. M. Emrnick; 
Farmers' Alliance have a co-operative general store; grocery, J. C. 
Guinn, George McMaster; hardware and farm machinery, Beem & 
Bevelhymer; agricultural implements and hardware, R. McCarter & 
Son; jeweler, Frank Dewey; drugs, Hippie & Gibson, W. H. Dewey; 
saddles and harness, John Harney ; furniture, W. E. Hall ; millinery, 
Mrs. W. E. Hall; boots, shoes and clothing, J. A. Huston; lumber, 
building materials, coal, wood, etc., Redinon & Moore; lumber, coal, 
wood and building materials, J. & W. C. Shull; wagon shop, F. F. 
Hall; blacksmiths, G. R. Dennin, E. B. Ray, Sam Laughery; livery 
stables, A. L. Brockway, John Rounds ; butchers, Beard & Paris ; 
restaurants, C. A. Herrick, John Rounds, Samuel Jenner ; shoemaker, 
J. W. Gibson; barber, John Cook; Farmers' Bank, R. McCarter, 
president; N. M. McCarter, cashier; real estate and loans, R. C. 
Sherrard; lawyer, C. R. Metcalfe; physicians, W. H. Dewey, J. W. 
Hippie; postmaster, B. E. Boyd. 

The Moville " Mail " is the title of a very neatly printed and ably 
edited six-column folio newspaper. A. B. Thatcher is the editor and 
proprietor, and he is a live go-ahead young gentlemau, who not only 
runs his paper, but is a justice of the peace, which makes his police 
reports come at first hands. The " Mail " is now in its fifth year. It 
was started August 1, 1887, by O. M. Thatcher, and the present pro- 
prietor took charge in August, 1889. 

There are three hotels: Northwestern, Mark Traves, proprietor; 
Case House, L. Case, proprietor; Fargo House, S. E. Smith, pro- 

Moville cornet band, Ed. Ray, leader. 

Congregational ministers have been visiting Moville for many 
years. Rev. Mr. Sinnett was one 'of the first who came. They 
preached in school-houses and at private residences at fii-st. In 1887 
the society, which had existed for a long time, built the edifice which 
stands in the town. Rev. Francis Lawson is the present pastor. 
They formerly had a church near the cemetery, about a mile from 
town. It was just about completed when a stroke of lightning set it 
on fire and it was consumed. 

The United Brethren in Christ have a very neat church edifice in 
Moville. It was built in 1889, and Rev. A. J. Patterson was instru- 
mental, largely, in the building of this church. He preached the first 
sermon in it. The present pastor is Rev. William H. Adams. 


There is a Methodist Episcopal church society here, but they have 
no church building. They use the United Brethren church, through 
courtesy of that denomination, every other Sunday. Kev. C. W. Cobb 
is pastor. 

The Roman Catholics hold services in Moville, in the school-house, 
every four weeks. The priest in charge at Kingsley conducts che 

A Methodist Episcopal church congregation exists in the northern 
part of Arlington township, but they have no church building. The 
cemetery near Moville is under the control of the township authorities. 

The Moville high and primary school is known as independent 
school district number one. Prof. A. E. Bryant is the principal, and 
Mrs. Mattie L. Bryant is assistant. The attendance is about ninety. 
The school was organized March 1, 1889. The directors are R. M. 
McCarter, John Harney, J. W. Mohler. There are seven schools in 
the township in addition to the Moville school. A very good library, 
known as the Parmele library, is maintained by the citizens of Moville. 

Moville Lodge, No. 509, I. O. O. F., was instituted May 14, 1890. 
The charter was issued to James Farrar, N. G. ; H. M. Thomson, V. 
G. ; F. J. May, secretary; A. J. Herbert, treasurer; A. B. Thatcher, 
P. S. Meets every Wednesday evening. 

A Farmers' Alliance was started in April, 1890, and has gathered 
in quite a respectable membership. 

Floyd Township was created April 5, 1871, by supervisors' order, 
as follows: "That the west half of township eighty-eight, of range 
forty-five, and all of township eighty-eight, of range forty-six be and 
the same is hereby detached from the townships to which the same now 
belong, and formed into a new township, to be called Floyd township." 
Originally, as seen by the above, it consisted of one and a half con- 
gressional townships, but one-third was afterward taken from Floyd, 
which left it as it now is, one complete congressional township, with 
bounds as follows: On the north by Concord and Banner, on the south 
by Grange, on the east by Moville and on the west by Woodbury 

Floyd is one of the best sections of Woodbury, it having a diversi- 
fied surface. It has much of the rich bottom land and considerable of 
the bluff or upland formation. The soil is inconceivably rich, and it is 
well watered. Elliott's creek, the Big Whiskey and minor branches 


traverse the township at all points. It is a strictly agricultural sec- 
tion, there being only one extremely small store on section four, at 
what is known as Crawford's post-office on the stage route from Sioux 
City to Moville. There is no church, no tavern, no mill, no physician, 
but splendid farms and ranches. 

The first settlers of Floyd were Alexander Elliott, "William Elliott, 
John Law, Jacob Amick, George Anderson, Jerome Jones, William 
Lee, and one or two others. Alexander Elliott, built the first house, 
which was the only one between Sioux City and the settlement in Little 
Sioux township, Southland. The road between the two points named, 
runs through Floyd township, and the old stage line is still kept up, 
making three round trips per week. The principal products here, as 
generally in Woodbury, are corn, cattle, hogs, with the exception in 
Floyd, that sheep is added to the list. Alexander Elliott has a ranch 
upon which he raises a great number of sheep, keeping usually from 
1,500 to 2,000 head. He sells from $3,000 to $5,000 worth of wool. 
He also deals largely in cattle and horses, and raises some fine stock. 
His ranch comprises a tract of land about 2,000 acres, highly improved 
and with all modern appliances for the proper operating of his large 

The. Chicago & North western's proposed extension of their branch 
line which now terminates at Moville, runs to Floyd, but the railroad, 
through a policy that is difficult to understand, unless it be to create 
a longer haul to Chicago than a shorter one to the Sioux City mai'kets, 
and thereby get the benefit of the same, has delayed the construction 
of the gap, which is only about twenty miles. 

During the great grasshopper raid, Floyd suffered greatly from 
those pests. Every green thing, or any other color of vegetable life, 
except the trunks of trees and their larger limbs, fell a prey to the 
devourers. Great masses dropped into fields and gardens. Garden 
products were tried to be saved by digging ditches around them, which 
had some effect upon the little beast, but the ditches only kept out the 
young ones. A gentleman who has somewhat studied the habits and 
instincts of the 'hopper, says they have an irresistible instinct to fly or 
hop in a southeasterly direction, and they will brave all obstacles to 
go in that direction. They are hatched in the British possessions, and 
why these subjects of good Queen Vic desire to invade us, is past 
understanding. And when they have flown, or are blown, or hop as 


far to the southeast as the season will permit, the instinct of direction 
is reversed; they want to get back home as badly as they wanted to get 
away from there at first. They and their habits, instincts and appetite 
are a sealed book to us. What they are just exactly made for is beyond 
the ken of man, but they might with just as much grace, ask the same 
question of their questioner. 

A sad occurrence was the death of one of the old settlers and his 
son, a few years ago. In 1874 William Lee and a son about eleven or 
twelve years of age, went out for some wood during a very cold spell, 
and a heavy snowstorm coming on they were frozen to death. They 
were not found until the next clay, their friends having become alarmed 
and going in search of them. About three years ago another man, 
named William Parker, was also frozen in a heavy storm. 

Concord Township was created September 3, 1873, and organized 
under the name of Joy township, but by petition of citizens inter- 
ested, that title was changed in January, 1874, to Concord. Following 
is the order of the supervisors: "All of township eighty-nine, range 
forty-six, to be detached from Sioux City township and formed into a 
new township to be called Joy township." The boundaries are: 
Plymouth county on the north, Woodbury and Floyd townships on 
the south, Banner on the east and Sioux City on the west. 

Owing to the proximity of Concord to Sioux City, the township 
has rather been overshadowed in the way of any kind of business or 
other enterprise than farming. There is no post-office, no church, no 
store, no tavern, no mill and no railroad, with the exception of just a 
touch of the iron rails at the extreme northwestern point of the north- 
western section, number six, but no station. The limits of Sioux City 
on the east is the line of Concord, and to that thriving city all things 
trend in the township. But the land is fine, although broken and 
very rolling. Here it is that one may see the singular beauty of this 
extraordinary landscape. To pass over it leaves the impression of 
being very much elevated, and of course it is correct, but it is not 
higher than the rolling prairie lands in the interior of the state. 
Immense regularly rounded waves of the richest soil on earth, with 
the possible exception of the valleys of the Nile and Amazon, rise up 
to the view on every hand, all green and seemingly shaven with a 
lawn-mower as clean-cut as a landscape gardener could do it. Only 
the fields of waving corn diversify the surface, and in July, here and 


there in the distance, may be seen a field of golden wheat. The 
wonderful depth of this soil is marvelous, and its richness beyond 
the conception of the ordinary eastern farmer. - A recent writer in a 
leading periodical, discourses so well and analytically upon the soil of 
this section that an extended quotation from the same will be here 
made: "Dr. Hayden, in his report to the government, says this soil 
contains over thirty per cent of phosphates of lime. Indian traditions 
that have been handed down show the extraordinary productiveness of 
this section to have been well known to them, for in this vicinity, at 
the mouth of the Floyd, the Big Sioux and the James rivers, they 
cultivated their corn, and in the fall of the year, before going on a 
hunt, ' cached ' the crops in large excavations carefully concealed 
from rival tribes. The chief advantage of this soil, however, lies 
not merely in its exceptional fertility, but its marvelous capacity to 
resist the effects of both drought and rainfall. As a matter of fact, 
a failure of the corn crop is unknown here. An examination of the 
soil shows that the surface of this section is one mass of pulverized 
deposit varying in depth from 100 to 200 feet. It forms both the soil 
and subsoil. Its fineness is due to the soft composition of two rocks 
of this vicinity which readily crumbled away under atmospheric 
influences and glacial action into an unfathomed deposit of inexhaust- 
ible productiveness. Now, remembering that this soil is at least 100 
feet deep before the stratified rocks are reached, two vital conse- 
quences follow: In the first place there are near the surface, no 
indurated clay or rock strata to retain excessive moisture, consequently 
the soil is naturally underdrained and can absorb an amount of rain- 
fall that would be disastrous in any other place in the world. On 
account of the same conditions no other soil can equally resist the 
effects of drought. The vast depth of fine deposit acts as a sponge, 
whereas a thinner soil in a hard basis would soon be impoverished." 
Concord is well watered by a number of small streams, which have 
their source in numberless springs, some of which are quite large, 
two of the largest being in the northern part of the township. The 
settlement of Concord came comparatively late, although it is so close 
to the first settlements at Sergeant's Bluff and Sioux City. The 
broken appearence of the country, and the unknown quality of the 
land, which seemed to those who did not investigate the matter, to be 
only sand hills, impelled the early settlers to seek the bottom lands, 


and those where there was more timber. Peter Eberly, however, was 
one of the first to come in and make a settlement here. The town- 
ship is well provided with schools of its own, in addition to the advan- 
tages it has in the fine schools of Sioux City. 

Banner Township is one of the later created subdivisions of the 
county, and its early history is so connected with Arlington township, 
from which it was detached, that a sketch of the latter covers all the 
early events of the former. It was erected into a township June 4, 
1879, by order, as follows: " All of township eighty -nine, range forty- 
five, be detached from Arlington township, and that all of township 
eighty-nine, range forty-five, be, and the same is, hereby formed into 
a new township, to be called Banner township." The boundaries are 
Plymouth county on the north, Floyd and Moville townships on the 
south, Arlington on the east and Concord on the west. The first 
officers elected at the ensuing election, October 14, 1879, were: 
Trustees, Isaac Long, John Carraher, Joseph Law; clerk, M. M. 

John Carraher was the first homesteader, and a man named Tevis 
came in quite early; also Joseph Law. Tevis was frozen to death 
some years ago. This section of the county was very sparsely settled, 
even up to twenty-five years ago, as has been stated previously, and 
its history, in the matter of early settlement, is so nearly similar to 
that of Concord, that it would be redundance to go over the same 
points again. Noah Levering, a former resident of the county, says, 
in one of his letters to the state historical magazine, that in the latter 
part of 1861 there was not a house along this section of the country 
from Sioux City to Correctionville, from which one can form some idea 
of the delay in settlement on the splendid land that is now blooming 
like a rose. "Where but a few years ago was seen the smoke ascend- 
ing from the red man's teepee, now is seen curling heavenward the 
smoke of the cabin and mansion, the homes of the hardy pioneer and 
the wealthy farmer; where then the war whoop of the savage broke 
the monotony that reigned around, now is heard the cheering hum of 
industry; where then was heard the thundering tramp of the buffalo 
and herds of elk, now is heard the tinkling bells of the lowing herds 
of ' cattle on the thousand hills.' Those prairies that then yielded but 
luxuriant grass and fragrant flowers, now, by the strong hand of indus- 
try, yield fields of golden grain." 


The surface of Banner is very similar to Concord, but not quite so 
broken in the eastern portion of the township, it being more gently 
rolling. It is well watered. Elliott, Muddy and Mud creeks supply 
this need. Like Concord, there is no store in Banner, no post-office, no 
mill, no tavern, no railroad as yet, but one is projected ; but it has a very 
good Presbyterian church on township sixteen, and fine school-houses. 
The population is mostly American, with a few Germans, and the land 
is cultivated to a very high degree, yielding the great crop of Wood- 
bury county — corn — in abundance. 


Willow Township— Order of Creation — First Officials— Eli Lee — 
First Settlement— Diversified Surface — Cattle Ranches— Good 
Crops— Early Trapping and Hunting— Streams— Toe Skinner Ditch 
— Lek School-house— First Bridge in County— Holly Springs. Its 
Business, Churches, etc.— Hornick, Its Business, etc.— Sloan Town- 
ship— Peculiarities— No Stream, No Lake, No Spring, No Timber 
— But the Best of Missouri Bottom Land— Fine Crops and the Best 
Cattle— First Settlers — First Child — First Death— First Actual 
Settler, George B. Beall— Sloan— A Thriving Town— Its Business, 
Churches, Schools, Societies, etc. 

WILLOW TOWNSHIP was created October 20, 1874, as 
Lee township, but June 7, 1875, on the petition of J. S. Shep- 
herd and others the name was changed to Willow. Following are the 
description and boundaries as given in the proceedings of the super- 
visors: "All of toAvnship eighty-eight, range forty-five, be detached 
from West Fork township and formed into a new township, to be 
called Lee township." The first election was held in the Arnold 
school-house, October 12, 1875, and the judges of the election were 
T. W. Armstrong, M. P. Metcalf , E. N. Seward ; clerk, Noyce Snyder. 
One of the first settlers of the county, Mr. Eli Lee, who is still 
living at an advanced age, in Willow township, has had an experience 
in living in a number or townships without moving a peg from where 
he first located when he came to this section in February, 1853, before 


the county of Woodbury was organized, and at which organization he 
was elected the first coroner by sixteen votes, there being only seven- 
teen cast, Mr. Lee, presumably, not voting for himself. He first 
lived in Sergeant's Bluff township, and when this large township was 
divided, he found himself in Little Sioux, and next, he had taken up 
his domicil in West Fork, and a little later he had to vote in Willow. 
Morris Metcalf was also an early settler, and James Snyder; then 
came Samuel Baker, Phillip Weaver, Michael Myers, and some others 
not far from these. 

About one-third of the surface of Willow is bluffy and somewhat 
broken, and the rest Missouri bottom, the best land on earth. There 
is no timber of any consequence. The streams are the West Fork of 
Little Sioux river, Wolf creek, Slough branch, Lum creek and numer- 
ous minor branches and runs. Messrs. Skinner & Co., the proprietors 
of the Skinner cattle ranch, are now (1890) engaged in digging a ditch 
for the purpose of turning the waters of Wolf creek into the West 
Fork, and have about twenty-five teams and a large force of workmen 
engaged on the excavations. The purpose is to control the waters of 
Wolf creek while the ditch is being dug down through the township. 
The ditch will be of about the same dimensions as the one in Grange 
township. Freshets during the spring season occasionally occur, 
but no damage of a serious nature has happened for many years. 
Neither are prairie fires of enough importance to notice. The streams 
furnish fine fishing, and buffalo, cat and pickerel are easily obtained. 
Game, the smaller, at least, is plentiful. There were formerly herds 
of deer, but they have now disappeared. Wolves are occasionally 
seen, but they rarely live long thereafter, as there is a bounty on each 
scalp. Prairie chickens, quails, ducks and geese are quite plentiful. 
There are some aquatic animals, but of a less valuable sort than there 
were thirty or forty years ago. The Winnebago Indians come to the 
streams of Willow township during the winter season, and trap consid- 
erably for the mink and muskrat that are left. There is some wild fruit 
along the streams. Very excellent clay beds are found in the north- 
eastern part of the township, and some sand and gravel deposits. 
Principal products of Willow are corn, cattle and hay. 

The first bridge in the county of Woodbury was built over the 
Wolf creek on the Sioux City road in what is now Willow township, 
that is, the first bridge of any consequence ; there may have been 


bridges over some smaller streams, two or three logs fastened together. 
The bridge mentioned was built in 1855. The old Lee school-house 
was the first building for educational purposes erected in the town- 
ship. It was located at Holly Springs. The first store was opened 
at Holly Springs by E. A. Batman, and the first tavern was at the 
same place, kept by Morris Metcalf. The township cemetery is located 
near Eli Lee's place. 

Skinner's cattle ranch is the great industry of the township. 
This firm, D. H. Skinner & Co., have about 3,000 acres of land, and 
are breeders of fine cattle, also Norman and English coach horses. 
They have usually about 1,200 head of cattle, and 150 head of horses. 
They have fine imported Percheron and coach stallions. A portion of 
the Hedges' ranch is in Willow township also. 

Holly Springs lies on the old Sioux City road, and is a very pleas- 
ant little village, admirably located. There is here a Methodist Epis- 
copal church, with Rev. A. J. Langdell as pastor in charge, services 
every Sunday; also a Sunday-school. The church membership is 
about thirty-five, and the school about sixty, of which E. N. Seward is 

The Christian church society have a membership of about twenty- 
five, but no church building; Eev. Mr. Pirtle is the pastor. They 
have a Sunday-school attached with an attendance of forty-five, and 
E. A. Batman is superintendent. 

The business interests of the village may be comprised in the fol- 
lowing : 

Postmaster, E. A. Batman; general stores, Wingert Bros., E. A. 
Batman ; Holly Springs Hotel, A. R. Gardner & Co. ; blacksmith, W. 
P. Metcalf. A very good school is conducted here, where thirty-five 
pupils are enrolled. 

German City is another hamlet, located among the hills in the 
northern part of the township. The population of this section is 
largely German, and they have a neat and comfortable church build- 
ing of the denomination known as German Lutheran. They have no 
minister at present (1890), the late pastor having left. The business 
is as follows: 

General store, Henry Bose; blacksmith, John Bosler; postmaster, 
Henry Rose. 

There is here a hall, which is used for social and festive purposes. 


Hornick is a station on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul rail- 
road, and is strictly a railroad town,- having been a result of the com- 
pletion of the road named. It has evidences of continued growth, and 
the metropolitan suburban sign board may be seen here, bearing the 
legend, " These lots for sale." 

A Methodist Episcopal church society, with a membership of 
about thirty, exists at Hornick. They have no church building and 
worship every two weeks in the school-house. Rev. A. J. Langdell is 
pastor. They also have a Sunday-school with about forty scholars, 
and Mrs. C. G. Swope as superintendent. 

The Christian church, pastor, Rev. Mr. Pirtle, is also at Hornick. 
It is in a prosperous condition and doing a good work, membership, 
about twenty. 

The business, etc., is as follows: 

Elevator, J. E. Crawford, shells and grinds corn; Wilder & Booge, 
dealers in corn; Hornick & Skinner, real estate, owners of town site; 
postmaster, B. E. Jennings; Clary Bros., general store, and dealers in 
live stock, coal, and farm produce of all kinds, also dealers in agri- 
cultural implements (they have a fine establishment and are doing 
a rapidly growing business) ; A. P. Madden & Co., general merchan- 
dise; Haviland & Bigelow, hardware and drugs, also handle farm 
machinery; S. L. Spencer, lumber and building material; W. C. Gib- 
son, meat market ; Murray Crow, blacksmith ; Jennings House, B. E. 

There is a good school building at Hornick, and an enrollment of 
pupils of thirty-five. Miss Annie Harrington is teacher. 

The Farmers' Alliance has two organizations in the township, one 
at Hornick and the other at Holly Springs. The officers of the first 
are: President, N. A. Baker; secretary, John Walker. The latter: 
President, Lemuel Burns; secretary, Lee Mullinix. 

Sloan Township, up to the time of its creation, on June 8, 1875, 
was a portion of Lakeport township, which was the first subdivision 
after the late war, in 1867. The order of the supervisors reads as fol- 
lows: " All of township eighty-six, range forty-six, be detached from 
Lakeport township, and formed into a new township, to be called Sloan 
township." The boundaries are: Grange on the north, Monona county 
on the south, Willow on the east, and Lakeport on the west. The 
first election was held in the school-house in the town of Sloan, October 


12, 1875. The judges of the election were F. O. Hunting, Dennis 
Collins, J. Washburn; clerk, J. R. Coe. 

This township is peculiar in its lack of several features common to 
all and every one of the other townships of Woodbury county. It has 
no stream of water, no lake, no spring, nor is there any timber that 
can be called such; originally there was not a tree, and what few 
there now are, have been planted of late years. In all the other 
townships streams, varying in size from the Big and Little Sioux 
and West Fork to the smallest branchlet, are found; yet, here in 
Sloan there are none. Yet the land is as rich and productive as 
any on the globe. As explained in a previous sketch, the depth of 
soil is so great that it retains moisture for months, and imparts it 
when a dry season occurs. Water for ordinary purposes is obtained 
by drive-wells, and the windmill is a familiar object in the level land- 
scape. This township is Missouri river bottom, pure and simple, as 
flat as a floor, and tropical in its fertility. Corn, cattle and hogs seem 
almost of spontaneous growth ; these, of course, being .the principal 
products. If it lack water in the ordinary manner of nature's 
provision, it does not lack wind, as the cyclone occasionally makes a 
hurried visit, two of those disasters having occurred within the past ten 
years. No loss of life, however, has as yet happened, owing, possibly, 
to the knowledge of the monster's habits by the population, and conse- 
quent avoidance of him. The first cyclone struck the township some 
six or eight years ago and blew down several houses, and in 1889 
another, more severe than the first, struck the town of Sloan, demolished 
the Congregational church and knocked the chimneys off of several 
other buildings. Some years ago a man was killed by lightning. The 
population of Sloan is mostly American — from the New England states 
and New York, with a few from other points, Illinois, Indiana and 
Pennsylvania. The roads of the township, which are quite numerous, 
are all straight lines, running between the sections, with the exception 
of two or three short stretches, on sections twenty, twenty-eight, 
twenty-nine and thirty-five. The Sioux City & Pacific railroad, a 
branch of the Northwestern system, passes over the southwestern 
corner of Sloan, and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul over the north- 
eastern corner. The former has a station at Sloan, but the latter has 
none in the township. There are three school-houses here, including 
one large one at Sloan. 


The first settlers, or at least a number of them, who were here at 
quite an early day, are comprised in the following: Joseph Gravell, 
Frank Moorehouse, Joseph Coe, John Coe, Sidney Curtis, Kobert 
Murray, Jesse Washburn, Ed. Haakinson, George R. Beall, John Flit- 
croft, Andrew Fee, And. Chapin, Flavius O. Hunting and others. 
The wife of James Johnson has the honor of having the first child 
born in the township, and Capt. Eufus Beall was probably the first 
white person to die here. George R. Beall was the first actual settler 
to come in and remain. Some others came but left soon afterward. 
The first post-office was established at Hamline and Joseph Gravell 
was postmaster, but when Sloan Village sprang up the office was dis- 
continued at the former place and one opened at the latter, with James 
B. Johnson as postmaster. The first school teacher in the township 
was Miss L. Hosmer, and the first church building was erected in 
1881. Ed. Haakinson, now of Sioux City, where he is engaged in the 
packing interest, opened the first store in Sloan, where the brick bank 
now is, at the time the railroad was completed to the village. The 
first hotel was opened in Sloan by Fred Evans about the same time 
that Haakinson started the store. It was called the Evans House. 
The first house erected in the township was by either George R. Beall 
or Barnard. The first physician to locate was Dr. O. N. Ainsworth, 
and the first newspaper was published by Charles Hunting, if it can 
be called a newspaper at all. It was small and was not printed in 
Sloan. Joseph Gravell kept a stage station at his house at an early 
day, and the mail was left with him. 

Sloan, the only village in the township, is a station on the North- 
western railroad. It is the greatest cattle handling center of any 
town of its size in the northwest, the population being about four 
hundred and fifty. Sioux City alone exceeds it in the county. The 
town is well improved with good sidewalks, and everything has an air 
of progress, prosperity and thrift. It has a country surrounding 
it which gives assurance of certain success to the endeavors of its 
enterprising citizens. They have telephonic and telegraphic service, 
a good town hall, fire apparatus, a brass band, and a number one local 

The village was incorporated in 1883. In pursuance of the peti- 
tions of citizens of Sloan, the circuit court of Woodbury county passed 
an order on September 7, 1883, for the holding of an election to take 


the sense of the voters in the matter of the incorporation of the town 
of Sloan, and the commissioners appointed were J. B. Crawford, W. 
D. Buckley, T. J. Mitchell, W. E. Barnard and F. E. Chapin. 

The result of the election was a vote of fifty-four, forty-two for 
incorporation and twelve against incorporation. An election for offi- 
cers was held November 5, 1883, but in consequence of the notice of 
election not having been published in the Sloan "Star" as ordered, 
the election was declared void. Another election was held on Novem- 
ber 2C>, 1888, which resulted in a tie vote for mayor and several trus- 
tees. The two candidates for mayor, J. S. McSparran and Joel Bird, 
drew lots, and Mr. Bird was declared elected. The trustees elected 
were C. A. L. Olson, F. E. Chapin, T. J. Ainsworth, L. A. Mercure, 
J. W. Pike and D. E. Hubbell ; recorder, W. B. Barnard. The board 
of trustees elected J. W. Whitten as treasurer. 

A set of rules and regulations were formulated and passed for 
the governing of the meetings of the board, and ordinances were 
enacted for the government of the town. The mayors in suc- 
cession have been: 1884, J. B. Crawford; 1885-87, T. J. Mitchell; 
1888, J. W. Whitten; 1889, T. J. Mitchell; 1890, D. D. Searles. 
The present officers are: Mayor, D. D. Searles; recorder, J. S. Mc- 
Sparran; assessor, M. B. Hiltz; treasurer, J. W. Whitten; trustees, 
J. B. Dobbs, W. L. Koon, George S. Jeffrey, C. W. Lewis, E. W. 
Schreiber, George B. Wall; marshal, George Armstrong. 

Following are the business firms, dealers, etc., of the town: 

W. L. Koon & Co., elevator, shell and grind corn; general stores, 
Hendee & Wall, T. B. Brader, J. W. Whitten, C. A. L. Olson; hard- 
ware, August Olson, W. D. Utter; Farmers' Bank, George S. Jeffrey, 
cashier; Sloan State Bank, J. W. Whitten, president; O. J. Irish, 
cashier; furniture and confectionery, L. A. Mercure & Co.; grocery, 
D. Backer; harness, Plye & Chandler, George Allen; millinery, 
Napier & Denham; dressmaking, Miss Linda Page; drugs, G. D. 
Montross; blacksmiths, F. W. Schreiber, Law Bros; hotel, Mitchell 
House; books, stationery, etc., J. S. McSparran; shoe dealer, P. A. 
Finney; jeweler, Bichard Lee; barbers, F. H. Farley, Bichard Lee; 
butchers, J. B. Dobbs, J. T. German; liverymen, S. K. Williamson, 
Will G. Lee; lumber, coal, etc., S. L. Spencer; live-stock dealers, O. 
J. Irish, A. W. Chapin, Olson & Evans, Smith & Co. ; real estate and 
insurance, W. D. Buckley, who is also a lawyer; physicians, O. N. Ains- 


worth, M. B. Hiltz, E. D. Frear; brass band, J. J. Hook, leader; 
Sloan Fire Co. have a hand engine, ladders, hose reel, etc., fire chief, 
C. A. L. Olson; postmaster, J. S. McSparran. 

The "Sloan Star" was started in the fall of 1883, by A. B. 
Thatcher, who ran it about five years, when J. S. McSparran & Co. 
purchased it, in September, 1888, and continue to be the proprietors. 

The first sermon in Sloan township was preached in 1869, by Bev. 
Mr. Crane, who came from Maple Landing. He delivered his sermon 
in a store, kept by Beall & Evans. There were at that time (1869) 
but two Methodists in the township, the wife of George B. Beall and 
the wife of B. C. Barnard. Mr. Crane preached occasionally, until 
the present Methodist Episcopal church was built and dedicated, in 
1881. The first stationed minister was Bev. Mr. Faucett. 

Congregational church services were held in the school-houses 
before the church was built in 1883. Bev. A. M. Beaman, from 
Waterloo, Iowa, who was stationed at Sergeant's Bluff, preached at 
stated times. In 1889 a cyclone blew the church down, when the 
present edifice was built. Bev. A. A. Baker was in charge of the first 
church, having this and Sergeant's Bluff congregations to attend to. 
The present pastor is Bev. John Gray. The membership is about 

A fine school building, wherein is conducted an excellent graded 
school is the pride of Sloan. It was remodeled in 1888. Principal, 
Prof. J. M. Jayne. 

Sloan Lodge, No. 465, I. O. O. F., was organized June 21, 1883. 
F. W. Schreiber, N. G. ; T. J. Mitchell, V. G. ; J. E. Mitchell, sec. ; 
S. L. Spencer, rec. sec. ; T. B. Brader, treas. Membership is 
forty-five. The lodge meets in Odd Fellows hall every Saturday 
evening. Present officers, July, 1890, George Armstrong, N. G. ; 
James H. Heenan, V. G. ; W. G. Butcher, sec. ; C. C. Ashby, rec. 
sec. ; J. W. Owen, treas. 

Sloan Encampment, No. 71, I. O. O. F., was instituted April 2, 
1888. Its officers were T. E. Brader, C. P. ; T. J. Mitchell, S. W. ; 
C. W. Lewis, J. W.; H. G. Wilmot, H. P. ; W. L. Koon, scribe; C. A. 
L. Olson, treas. Present officers, C. A. L. Olson, C. P. ; George 
Armstrong, S. W. ; C. W. Lewis, J. W. ; B. S. Moore, H. P. ; C. C. 
Ashby, scribe; W. L. Koon, treas. Its membership is twenty, and 
the lodge meets the first and third Wednesdays of each month. 


Attica Lodge, No. 502, A. F. & A. M. — A dispensation was granted 
by the Grand Lodge in November, 1888, under which the lodge worked 
till June, 1889, when a charter was issued to J. W. Owen, F. H. Far- 
ley, William G. Lee, J. B. Crawford, B. S. Moore, E. D. Frear, A. J. 
Moore, J. T. German, John Walker, T. B. Beam, W. D. Buckley, W. 
H. Bigelow, D. Backer, A. Hollenbeck and W. D. Utter— fifteen. The 
first officers were: W. M., J. W. Owen; S. W., F. H. Farley; J. W., 
William G. Lee; sec, B. S. Moore; treas., J. B. Crawford; S. D., 
E. D. Frear; J. D., A. J. Moore; tyler, T. B. Beam. The present 
officers are W. M., J. W. Owen; S. W., E. D. Frear; J. W., David 
Barker; sec, F. Schreiber; treas., J. B. Barnard; S. D., J. M. Jayne; 
J. D., J. D. Edgecombe; tyler, W. D. Utter. The members meet in 
Odd Fellows hall on Tuesday on or before the full moon. The mem- 
bership is thirty-five. 

Star Lodge, No. 511, I. O. G. T., was organized December 7, 1889, 
by W. W. Andrews. Its officers were: C. T, E. D. Frear; V. T., Mag- 
gie Montross; S., L. B. Chapin; F. S., D. M. Utter; M., A. Bird; G., 
Ella Olson; S., Ernest Smith; C, J. S. McSparran. The present offi- 
cers are C. T., J. S. McSparran; V. T, Maggie Montross; S., C. F. 
Montross; F. S., Sallie Kennedy; M., L. H. Irish; G., Susie Farley; 
S., John Hunting; C, Bev. J. E. Bay; P. C. T., E. D. Frear; S. J. T, 
Mrs. F. E. Chapin. The membership is forty-seven, and the lodge 
meets Monday nights in Odd Fellows hall. 



/ /// 





Last in Order of Creation, but One of the First Settled— Fine Land 
—Good Crops— Surface— Streams— Game— A Rara Avis— Moose— Rock 
and Timber— Some Early Names— First House— First Mill — First 
Road— Terrific Cloudburst— Singular Phenomenon — A Pest of 
Frogs— Indian Mounds— Inkpadotah's Band of Outlaws— Some In- 
dian Names— The Great Sioux Chieftain, War Eagle— His Courtly 
Manner and Burning Eloquence— Schools and Churches— Oto— Its 
Business, Churches, ScnooLS and Societies. 

OTO TOWNSHIP, although the last to be constituted, was one of 
the first to be settled, it being a portion of Little Sioux town- 
ship, and retaining that connection till the passage of the following 
order of the supervisors, November 12, 1884: "All of township eighty- 
six, range forty-three, be and is hereby formed into a new township, 
to be called Oto township." 

The lay of the country in Oto is the same as in the parent town- 
ship, Little Sioux. The surface is rolling and much broken, especially 
along the section bordering on the river, but the soil is rich and highly 
productive, corn, wheat, oats (and fruit in limited quantity) are easily 
and profitably raised. The three first products, as well as potatoes, 
are the principal crops. Cattle and hogs, also, form a great source of 
revenue, many being shipped from Oto and Smithland, the two rail- 
road stations most convenient to the township. The scenery along the 
Little Sioux valley is, like that of the other townships which lie in 
that beautiful section, very fine. Hill and dale and stream unite to 
make a charming outlook. Many creeks and branches are scattered 
all over the township, furnishing water in abundance, whilst springs 
are to be found in numbers, some of them being large, especially one 
on the Grant. Timber is more plentiful here than in the eastern or 
western townships. There is red oak, burr oak, good walnut, elm, 
hackberry, box elder, maple and basswood. The streams are full of 
fish, and have always afforded fine sport. There are still many aquatic 


animals along the Little Sioux river and the larger creeks, but for- 
merly, when the white men first came in, beaver, otter, mink and other 
game of value were to be had in abundance, and many a settler lived 
off of the proceeds of his sale of the pelts of these animals. There 
was one bird that was seen in the early days, and which remained for 
many years afterward, but which has now disappeared from north- 
western Iowa, that was admired for it peculiarities. This was the 
American kite, or forked -tail hawk. Very rarely is one now seen 
sailing along high in air in Woodbury county. He was in size about 
that of the common chicken-hawk. The head white and wings glist- 
ening bluish, body black with white under the body. The tail is 
beautifully forked, and they sail in a peculiarly graceful manner mov- 
ing the tail slowly and regularly. Skimming along with a curved 
motion, they would suddenly, without any apparent reason for it, 
tumble over and over, and then resume their flight. The larger ani- 
mals have, of course, all disappeared, but as late as 1858, a moose 
track was seen by Wesley Turman and Alexander Elliott. Elk were 
originally plentiful, and Turmau and the other hunters brought down 
many of those graceful and powerful animals. Buffaloes were occa- 
sionally seen, a stray one or two that had wandered down the ravines 
and bottoms along the streams from the northward. There are good 
sand and gravel deposits at various points in the township, and fine 
deposits of clay, which is utilized in the manufacture of brick. Pot- 
tery clay can be obtained by going a little deeper than the brick clay, 
but it is not utilized to any extent as yet. There are indications of 
coal, especially along Fern creek. Oto is distinguished in having 
more surface outcropping of rock, or at least more drift rock, than 
any other section of the countjr. There is a true bowlder, one of the 
northern visitors brought down during the glacial epoch, one that 
became stranded, and could not get away when the ice melted and the 
waters subsided. It is on Fern creek and measures four feet across. 
It is not entirely rounded, showing that it did not come from more 
than a few hundred miles northward. Another rock, a drift specimen, 
projects from the side of a hill and is much larger than the bowlder 

Almost simultaneously with the settlement at Sergeant's Bluff and 
Southland, settlers began coming into that portion of Little Sioux now 
comprised within the bounds of Oto township. In the spring of 1854 


John McCauly came in and made a settlement, and in November of 
the same year, Samuel E. Day, Isaac Hall and Parley Morris came 
from Ohio, and took up claims. Mr. Day, who now lives comfortably 
in the village of Oto, in the enjoyment of good health and fine sur- 
roundings, lived, the first season he came, on "johnny cake and cat- 
fish," so he says. In 1855 came A. W. Livermore and Larson Liver- 
more. Also in the same year arrived Thompson Mead, and shortly 
afterward Daniel Metcalf and Charles Parmelee, who settled in the 
southwestern portion of the township. In the fall of 1855 came 
Elijah Adams, and Minor and James Miller. 

Jane Livermore, possibly, was the first white child born in Oto. She 
was a daughter of A. W. Livermore. Achilles Mead was the second child 
born. The first marriage was that of Parmer Hall, and Elizabeth Adams, 
daughter of Elijah Adams. The first death was an old gentleman, Mr. 
Parmelee, the father of Charles Parmelee, who came in 1855, the father 
coming to his son some little time thereafter. The first house erected 
in Oto township was built, on section six, by John McCauly. It was 
a log structure, and was considered a great improvement in that primi- 
tive day, 1854. As timber was plentiful in this section of the county, 
no dug-outs were used. The first store was opened by Daniel Koons, 
on the spot where now is Oto village, in 1868. First tavern, or hotel 
as we now call them, was built by W. W. Squires and kept by him in 
1877, in Oto village, and the first physician to locate here was Dr. E. 
M. Blachley, who came in 1878. The first mill was started about 
1861-62, in Oto, by Edwin Hall. It is now owned by J. S. Horton. 
It was at first only a saw-mill. Then a set of corn burrs were put in, but 
afterward the property was greatly improved by putting in the roller 
process. The first county road laid out, that ran through the town- 
ship, was from Peel's mill, near Council Bluffs, to Correction ville. 
The first post-office established, and the only one in the township at 
present, was created in 1862, and Samuel R. Day was the postmaster. 

On August 8, 1863, there was a terrific cloud-burst near Oto 
village, which raised the Little Sioux fourteen feet in two hours. A 
singular phenomenon accompanied the downpour. A mill-dam had 
just been constructed across the river, and when the water came down 
in such immense volumes it pushed the supports and timbers of the 
dam a mile and a half up stream. With such force and quantity did 
the rain fall at one point not far below the dam, that it spread the 


waters of the river out in both directions, up and down the natural 
current of the stream, and the extraordinary circumstance of the water 
flowing northward, was witnessed by a number of persons. The 
upward flow lasted some time, and when the return came, it swept 
everything before it. The gentleman from whom this account was 
obtained, was the first to notice the singular freak, and fearing that 
he might not be believed, ran and obtained other witnesses. 

In 1857 there was a very heavy rainfall, and the season was very 
wet. There were ponds and puddles of water standing for months 
at places that usually were dry. These ponds gave great opportuni- 
ties for the spawning of frogs; so the following year, 1858, in addition 
to the grasshoppers, a plague of frogs swept over a large portion of 
the township. These small amphibians were everywhere. The roads 
and fields were covered with them. They got into cellars, cupboards 
and doughtrays, and one could scarcely walk without treading upon 
the slimy creatures. 

There have been found a number of Mound Builders' or Indian 
implements of domestic use, as well as some axes and hatches and 
arrows, that bear evidence of great antiquity. Several Indian mounds 
are to be seen not far from Oto, between that place and Smithlaud, and 
a few graves of the aborignes have been opened. In 1855 a party 
of settlers dug a number of specimens of ancient pottery, among 
which was a jar, that originally would have held about three gallons. 
It contained the bones of an infant, which, upon being exposed to the 
air, crumbled and were entirely lost. 

Oto was the scene of a great many of the depredations perpetrated 
upon the white settlers in 1856-57. The band of Indians composing 
the party, were mostly stragglers from other tribes. They were not 
recognized by the government at the time as a tribe, but attended the 
distributions with the Yankton Sioux, and drew annuities just the 
same. These stragglers were from the Sisseton and Yankton Sioux, 
with a slight mixture of low caste Winnebagoes. " They were originally 
known as the Two Finger tribe, having taken their name from its chief, 
Si-dom-i-na-do-tah (two fingers), who had lost two fingers in battle. 
After Si-dom-i-na-do-tah's death, his brother, Ink-pa-do-tah (red 
top), succeeded him as chief. It was then known as Ink-pa-do-tah's 
band. They spent much of their time hunting and fishing about the 
lakes and rivers of northwestern Iowa. There were among them 
several half-breed whites." 


One of the early settlers of Oto knew the party well, and informed 
the writer that there was a number of desperate villains among them, 
capable of committing any crime. He mentions Bohonica, the son of 
Inkpadotah, who was at once a fox, a wolf and a bull dog, and who 
scrupled at nothing, being strong, wiry and quick as lightning. Star 
Forehead was another powerful Indian, over six feet in height. Then 
there was Blue Coat, and Charley, and Long Tooth, and Supa, and 
many others who were terrors in their way. These were some of the 
leaders in the Spirit Lake massacre, which sent a thrill of horror 
throughout civilization, and which forever sealed the fate of the Indian 
in the United States. 

In contrast to those outlawed savages, the kingly War Eagle, chief 
of the Sioux, seems to have been of a different race. An old-time 
writer who saw the courtly savage said of him many years ago: "War 
Eagle was a rare specimen of his race, tall, athletic, muscular, with 
massive forehead, bespeaking an amount of intelligence seldom found 
among his race. A few words of his burning eloquence were suffi- 
cient to arouse his people to war and deeds of blood, or to bury the 
tomahawk and sheathe the scalping knife. He was zealous in the 
defense of the rights of his people, and against any encroachment upon 
that soil which natirre and nature's god had given them an inalienable 
right to. The love of country and people is not confined to civilized 
man alone, but swells the heart and nerves, the arm of the untutored 
red man of the forest as well. War Eagle was emphatically one of 
nature's noblest children, upon whom she had bestowed much intellect 
and ability. In point of oratory he was excelled by but few of the 
leading orators of the age in which he lived. But, notwithstanding 
all his great natural abilities, like too many of our own great men, he 
yielded to that baneful monster, alcohol, who is daily fastening his 
poisonous fangs upon the vitals of thousands, and with his fiery tail 
sweeping countless numbers from the stage of action. It was when 
in a beastly state of intoxication, he laid out upon the cold grouud, with 
no covering but the starry heavens, and, drenched with a heavy raiD, 
he took a severe cold, from which he never recovered." At the conflu- 
ence of the Big Sioux and Missouri rivers, on a high bluff, slumber 
the remains of the great Sioux chief, while his spirit, it is to be hoped, 
is in the happy hunting grounds. 

The first preaching in Oto was, of course, by Kev. Mr. Black, the 


presiding elder Eev. Landon Taylor, and Rev. Mr. Havens, who 
were here quite early. Eev. Mr. Snyder, also was an early preacher. 
The first church was erected in 1882, and Rev. Mr. Fish was the first 
preacher in this church. The Roman Catholics have a very nice 
church on section five, with a cemetery near by. The church is served 
by Father Meagher, of St. Patrick's church in Danbury. The Con- 
gregation alists are (in 1890) about building a church in Oto village. 
There is a cemetery on the division line between Little Sioiix and 
Oto townships that is a partnership affair between the two townships. 
It is on a portion of section seven of Oto and the same proportion of 
section twelve of Little Sioux. 

In addition to a good school in the village of Oto, there are three 
others in the township. The first school opened in the township was 
taught by Miss Kate Rachford in 1864. Mrs. S. R. Day taught the 
next season. The difficulties under which the primitive school teacher 
labored were many, in the matter of getting suitable books, in the 
inconveniences of getting to school in winter and in keeping the little 
log huts comfortable. Even in summer they had their trials. Snakes 
were very abundant thirty years ago, and it is related that while a 
young lady was sitting in her seat teaching, she happened to look up 
to the ceiling, or rather where the ceiling ought to have been, for it 
was simply some poles and a lot of grass or hay piled on them, when 
she saw five snakes hanging down above her head with their wicked 
eyes glistening upon her, and their forked tongues running in and out 
of their wide open mouths. She did not scream as our modern lady 
school teacher would do, but she calmly got up and walked toward the 
cabin door, when to her horror, there were a couple more of the rep- 
tiles hanging clown from the upper part of the door frame. But she 
made a cpuick dart, followed by her scholars, and resumed her teach- 
ing on a log near by, the children standing in a semi-circle about her. 

Oto. — This a station, formerly called Annetta, on the Cherokee and 
Dakota branch of the Illinois Central railway, and is a point where 
considerable business is transacted. Large shipments of corn, wheat, 
oats, hogs, cattle and potatoes are made here. The village is beauti- 
fully located on the Little Sioux river, aud a portion of the town slopes 
back on to the ridge that runs for some distance through the township. 
The town has always been noted for its fun and innocent frolic, and if 
there is to be a dance anywhere in the surrounding country, Oto is 


always relied upon to furnish the best of it, music and all, for they 
have a fine band. The village was incorporated in 1888, and the first 
mayor was F. M. Smith; the second, C. P. Bowman, and the present 
(1890), E. H. Brooks. The business interests, firms, organizations, 
economical and social, are as follows: 

Elevator, Walter Bros., proprietors, deal in grain, live stock and 
coal ; lumber, G. Gerner ; dealer in grain, E. M. Dickey & Co. ; butter 
factory, Welch & Smith, who use an improved process for restoring old 
butter, making it over, etc., have what is known as a "cold cellar;" 
general merchants, Welch & Smith, Charles N. Martin; clothing, 
boots and shoes, Miles & Co. ; harness, F. M. Selvy ; hardware, J. 
W. Russell; drugs, W. R. Brooks; new roller-mill, J. S. Horton & Co. ; 
farm machinery, J. M. Hodges; jewelry, A Buser; insurance, C. P. 
Bowman, E. H. Brooks, B. E. Bellows, F. 11 Cutting; lawyer, C. P. 
Bowman; physicians, Dr. G. A. Dillon, Dr. G. F. Waterman; fur- 
niture, Brooks & Thomas; contractor and builder, W. W. Squires; 
architect, B. F. Bellows ; barber, J. M. Hodges ; wagon repairer, B. 
H. McKown; painter, C. H. Bogers; blacksmiths, K. H. Duffuld, W. 
A. Welch; hotel, W. W. Squires; builder, L. W. Haley; wind-mills, 
etc., K. T. Arnold; meat market, H. A. Cutting; grocer, H. Martin; 
livery stable, N. C. Wilson; mantua-makers, Misses Ells & Kirk- 
land; millinery, Mrs. M. E. Smith; music teacher, Etta M. Russell, 
Oto Brass Band, L. Gerner, leader; postmaster, Wesley Davis. 

The " Oto Leader " is published every Saturday, by F. H. Cutting. 

Oto Lodge, No. 343, I. O. O. F., was organized in April, 1889; its 
membership was forty-five, and its officers were first noble grand, W. 

A. Welch; second, N. C. Wilson; third, Charles N. Martin. Of Sid- 
ney ler Post, No. 458, G. A. R., F. H. Cotton is commander, and 

B. Bellows, adjutant. 

' 'iere is also a Farmers' Alliance, with a membership of thirty-six. 

, > L ^r^fe^,^ 





Plymouth County, 



THE traveler, as lie now wends his way through this portion of 
Iowa, can scarcely realize the great transformation that has been 
wondrously wrought here in less than a third of a century. From a 
trackless prairie wilderness, beautiful farms, villages, towns and flour- 
ishing cities have sprung up, fostering the busy hum of machinery ; 
and commercial industry on every hand resounds and gives back her 
happy echo! 

About thirty-four years ago that portion of Iowa now embraced 
in Plymouth county was still a wilderness. No effort had been made 
to cultivate its broad and fertile prairie lands. The native forests 
were undisturbed by the woodman's ax, and all things were as they 
came from the hand of Nature's God. Now what a change one 
beholds! Where once the wigwam of the red man was erected, pi-os- 
perous towns and thriving cities now appear; where the Indian 
passed slowly along on the trail of his forefathers, the Iron Horse 
goes puffing by. The change is indeed great, and one can but marvel 
at the rapidity with which it has been brought about. 

It is the duty of the historian to record these changes; to show 
how and by whom made; to narrate the trials and adventures of the 


little band of hardy pioneers who first invaded the wilds of this por- 
tion of Iowa, and thus present to generations yet unborn lessons of 
usefolness, for it is from the experiences of the past that the lessons 
of to-day are learned. He who writes of events to which the eye- 
witnesses are numerous, has no room for fancy pictures or flights of 
imagination, but he is confined between the perpendicular walls of 
cold, solid facts. 

Nothing is stronger than pioneer instinct, and many of those 
white men who were just behind the Indian and the buffalo here, are 
yet at their heels still farther on toward the setting sun, and can not 
now furnish desirable data for this work. Death, too, has been busy, 
and while some of the pioneers of Plymouth county are sleeping in 
the " city of the dead," others are tottering toward their last resting 
place. So it behooves the historian to quickly gather all the informa- 
tion he can, while yet these pioneer tongues may tell their story. 

Before beginning the record of human events, the reader is invited 
to a chapter concerning the strange handiword of an all-wise Creator, 
who fashioned the landscape and formed the hillside and lovely valley 
of this section, a chapter treating on the geology and topography of this 
and Woodbury counties. [Seepage 14.] After first learning something 
of the surface and soil so remarkable in its geological formation, the 
leaves of Time's great book will be turned back to about 1856, when the 
stranger would have gazed out upon a landscape of marvelous beauty, 
the one selected by the Sioux and the Dakotahs, as their camp and 
hunting grounds. The waters of the Big Sioux river coursed the 
same meandering channel then as now; the vast expanse of prairie 
was even greener than it now is, and the wilderness was bedecked 
with wild flowers, the fragrance of which is still remembered by some 
of the pioneer band of the first settlers here. All was as Nature bad 
left it — in summer a perfect paradise of fresh blooming flowers, and in 
midwinter a snow-mantled desert. But the scene is forever changed, 
the dusky warriors' tents have given way to the costly and comfortable 
farm-houses and city residences. The farmer plows and reaps over 
the selfsame fields where, forty years ago, the Indian killed the buf- 
falo, deer and elk; and the locomotive, swifter than the fleetest deer, 
follows the pathway then trod by savage tribes, which are now almost 
extinct, and this whole domain is under the supreme reign of a Chris- 
tian civilization. 




Extracts from Pioneer A. E. Sheetz' Centennial History — Additional 
Facts Furnished by Hon. D. M. Mills— Settlement of Floyd Val- 
ley — Settlement of Sioux Valley— The Prairie Settlements— 
"Homesteaders"— Early Schools and Chorches — The Railroad Era 
—1869— Subsequent Development— Also an Account of the Indian 
Scare of 1862. 

IT was during the summer and autumn of 1856 that the first actual 
settlements were made in what is now Plymouth county. These 
settlements were made simultaneously in the Big Sioux and Floyd 
river valleys.* 

The settlers who remained during the winter of 1856-57, ever to 
be remembered as so severe and long, were chiefly as follows: J. B. 
Curry, E. S. Hungerford, Corydon Hall, Thomas Downing and a Mr. 
Brown and their families. Mr. Brown had his quarters at the junc- 
tion of Floyd river, eight or ten miles farther up than most of the 
settlement. These all endured great hardship — greater, doubtless, 
than at any other period in their lives. These included about all the 
settlers in the Floyd valley, at that date. 

The settlers in the Big Sioux valley were a family of Swiss people, 
named Veragath, in township ninety, range forty-eight; Fred Ulrich, 
a Swiss; Barney Roney, James Dormidy, in township ninety-one, 
range forty-nine, and Mr. Guilliams, in township ninety-two, range 
forty-nine; and their families, and they all fared roughly in conse- 
quence of the severity of the winter. 

With the opening of the spring, so welcome to pioneers who had 
withstood the privations and sufferings of the memorable winter of 
1856 and 1857, came new recruits to the little settlement. Among 
those who came to the Floyd valley were members of a German 
colony: Philip Schneider, John Schneider, Mrs. Elizabeth Schneider, 

*Many facts connected with this chapter have been gleaned from A. E. Sheetz' " Centennial 
History," read at the Fourth of July celebration, in Miller's Grove, near the city of Le Mars. Other 
items were furnished by Hon. D. M. Mills. 


with her sons, Jacob, Daniel and Henry; also Christian Schmidt, 
Peter Shintel and Peter Emmert. The Americans who came were, 
A. C. Sheetz, Z. Stafford, Eobert Stafford, Benjamin Stafford, Mrs. 
Elizabeth Stafford and her sons, Joseph, Morgan, John and William; 
also Thomas Jarrel and A. Carter, with their respective families, to- 
gether with a number of others, whose settlement was not permanent. 

The next settlement along the Big Sioux was effected by J. B. 
Pinckney, D. M. Mills, John Hipkins, I. T. Martin, B. Videto, 
Squire W. Haviland, Patrick and John Jasson (brothers), also 
Thomas McGill. 

During the summer a town site company, composed of G. W. F. 
Sherwin, J. C. Flint, Messrs. Daggett, Mathews, and one or two 
others, staked off a village plat of 240 acres, on section six, township 
ninety-one, range forty-five, and named the same Plymouth, intending 
to secure the location of the county seat there, at the proper time. 
About half a mile' below this point another village plat was laid off by 
the proprietors, H. C. Ash, and J. J. Saville of Sioux City. This was 
named Junction, some say, through the belief these men entertained 
that the point would soon become the junction of two railroad lines 
corresponding to the Chicago & Northwestern and Dubuque & Sioux 
City land grants. 

At the same time, what was known as the Western Land & Town 
Lot Company, with headquarters at Dubuque, under Col. Thomas, 
laid out a large tract of land in the Big Sioux valley, in township 
ninety-two, range forty-nine, also designed to be the county seat of 
Plymouth county. The chief resident shareholders were I. T. Martin, 
John Hipkins and Bratton Videto. 

The winter of 1857-58, in agreeable contrast to the preceding one, 
was mild. Summer birds and even mosquitoes made their appearance 
as early as February. The spring of 1858 found several new comers 
seeking a home in this section of Iowa's fair domain. Among those 
on the Floyd river were William Van O'Linda, afterward county judge, 
and A. E. Rea. At that time this county was yet a part of Wood- 
bury and these settlers had to go to Sioux City to exercise the right 
of franchise, to pay their taxes, etc. This inconvenience soon brought 
about the organization of Plymouth county, which at first was made 
into two precincts — •" Plymouth " and " Westfield " civil townships. 
W. Van O'Linda was elected first county judge, with his office on 


section twenty-nine, township ninety, range forty-six, on the Floyd 
river; I. T. Martin, as treasurer at Westfield, township ninety-two, 
range forty-nine; A. C. Sheetz, clerk, headquarters on the Floyd, 
section twenty -nine, township ninety, range forty-six; D. M. Mills, 
sheriff, residing on the Big Sioux river, section fourteen, township 
ninety-one, range forty-nine. Thus the little craft was rigged and her 
moorings set free that she might glide whither coming breezes might 
carry her. A short time convinced tax-payers that a seat of justice 
must be had, and some respectable place in which to hold county offices. 
Accordingly, Andrew Leach, of Sioux City, and Lemuel Parkhurst, of 
Cherokee, the men chosen to locate, reported to Judge Van O'Linda, 
that they designated the southeast quarter of section thirty-four, 
township ninety-one, range forty-six, where the village of Melbourne 
was at once laid out. This was in October, 1859. A court-house was 
there erected, costing the county $2,000. 

It was during the fall of 1859 that the Brookings-Booney murder 
occurred, mention of which appears elsewhere. A variety of incidents 
took place earlier in that year, some of which must needs be recorded 
here. It has already been shown that the Germans figured conspicu- 
ously in the first settlement days in this county. Of those before 
named it should be said they were industrious, temperate, frugal; and 
their habits and deportment most praiseworthy. The facts show that 
these people first introduced the gospel into the county, July 5, 1859. 
Bev. J. F. Schriber, of the German Evangelical society, conducted 
public worship at the home of Philip Schneider. Services were held 
at private houses until 1866, when a chapel was erected and dedicated. 
This society increased rapidly, and in 1876 numbered 150. The 
traveler may now behold two magnificent temples, as a city set on a 
hill, adorned with high towers and joyous sounding bell proclaim- 
ing " peace on earth, good will to men." 

In November, 1859, Bev. Bogers, a United Presbyterian minister, 
held services at Judge Van O' Linda's house. 

Early in 1859 a plantation corn-mill, propelled by wind-power, was 
put in operation by A. C. Sheetz, this being the first attempt at mak- 
ing flour or feed in the county. It served its good purpose until De- 
cember, 1868, when the water-mill was started on the Floyd river. 

The first public school in the county was taught in December, 1859, 
at Melbourne, by William Van O'Linda. 


In June, 1859, William ("Billie") Barrett moved his family to 
section sixteen, township ninety, range forty-six. He finally became 
a great figure-head in Plymouth county government affairs. 

The year 1860 marked many important and interesting events. 
The taking of the eighth national census, by Charles Smeltzer (deputy 
marshal) exhibited the status of the county in point of population and 
industrial callings as rapidly advancing. 

About this time another civil township was erected by the county 
board, which they named Lincoln, in honor of the republican candidate 
for president of the United States. Those of the opposite faith at- 
tempted to overthrow the name by appealing to the courts for redress, 
claiming all had not been legal. The court, however, took no action 
in the matter, and soon after Mr. Lincoln's election, and after he had 
issued a call for volunteer soldiers, petty differences were lost sight of 
and Plymouth county, like her ninety-six sister counties of Iowa, re- 
sponded freely to the various calls for men and money to aid in quell- 
ing the Rebellion. 

The first post-office, says A. C. Sheetz in his " Centennial History," 
was established "at Melbourne, and went into operation in October, 
1862, with A. C. Sheetz as postmaster. In the course of a few months, 
however, the postmaster had occasion to remove to his farm residence, 
on section twenty-eight, township ninety, range forty-six, and no suc- 
cessor was ever appointed to take his place." 

Early in the autumn of 1862 there occurred an almost tragical and 
yet an amusing event, connected with Indian affairs. There had 
been frightful outrages committed by the Sioux Indians at New Ulm, 
Minn., and Spirit Lake, Iowa, the disclosures of which caused intense 
alarm and disquietude among the settlers on the Floyd river. The 
constant reiteration of these atrocities being the only common topic of 
conversation, their fears and alarms reached the uncontrollable point, 
and, without the least preparation or preconcerted plan, the entire 
settlement fled, panic stricken and in the wildest confusion. Many 
stopped at Sioux City and undertook to fortify against an Indian raid 
by erecting earth works and a stockade. Word rapidly spread from 
one settlement to another, and all the settlers along the Big Sioux val- 
ley, the Floyd and adjoining country, seemed seized with the same 
terror. This state of affairs only lasted, however, for a few days, 
when the wandering settlers came back to enjoy the homes they had 


so swiftly fled from, fearing that if they remained, a fate like the 
blood-curdling incidents of Spirit Lake might soon overtake them. 
There were some so badly frightened that they never returned to their 
homes, but found more congenial locations. This, the last " Indian 
scare" ever had in Iowa, resulted in great demoralization, and loss of 
property to many. The settlement along the Big Sioux valley was 
abandoned for several years. Even in 1876 Mr. Sheetz wrote, concern- 
ing this affair: " Where once stood the hardy pioneer's cabin home, 
and the well-tilled fields, fenced and homelike in many respects, there 
remains no memeiito to-day, save the decaying cabin and torn- 
down fences of those first settlers who left to escape such a fearful 
death as had been so vividly portrayed at Spirit Lake in April, 1857, 
when forty lives were sacrificed at the hands of the bloodthirsty 

In an interview with Hon. D. M. Mills, the first settler in the Big 
Sioux valley, he related that he raised and threshed the first wheat 
grown in Plymouth county. It was in 1860, and was threshed out by 
horses treading around in a circle. Mr. Mills distinguished himself 
by being, the only settler in the valley who remained, despite the 
Indian scare of 1862. He lived on his farm until 1864, when he was 
unable to procure help to operate his lands, so he removed to Elk Point, 
Dak., and remained until 1871, serving as a member of the territorial 
assembly in the meantime. 

Nothing of singular importance transpired in this county for sev- 
eral years subsequent to the year 1862, unless it may be of interest to 
note that in February, 1864, occurred the first coroner's inquest. It 
was over the body of a Swiss trapper, in the Big Sioux valley, named 
Fred Busse, whose mortal career had been suddenly terminated, but 
just how or by whom did not develop itself, but it was, doubtless, by 
violence — not on his part. His remains were decently coffined and laid 
away to rest, under authority of the county. 

In July or August of 1864, took place the first grasshopper raid 
known to white men in Plymouth county, their advent being heralded 
by a noise resembling the approach of a violent storm. 

In 1865 a new impetus was given to immigration by reason of the 
passage of the " Homestead Act," which granted free homes to 
" actual settlers." To avail themselves of this novel and valuable 
opportunity of gaining a prairie home, there might daily have been 


seen multitudes of men, coming and going, making choice of lands, 
which, by remaining on for five years, would become their own. This 
stream of new comers did not seem to slacken until every acre of this 
choice government land had been claimed and settled upon under the 
simple provisions of the law. 

The advent of the Iowa Falls & Sioux City (now Illinois Central) 
railroad, in 1869, marked another important era in the settlement of 
the county, at which time markets were opened up, and this, the great 
western slope, was connected with the outside world by an iron high- 
way and telegraphic lines. Le Mars was founded, the county seat 
removed from old Melbourne, and all things seemed to take on a new 
life, arid glorious prosperity crowned the labors of the husbandmen 

The above portion of this chapter on the early settlement of this 
county has been given in a general way, showing where, when and by 
whom the first settlement was effected, together with some of the more 
important events in the history of the county. We will now refer the 
reader who may be interested in tracing out the early settlers and 
their whereabouts in each of the twenty-four civil townships, to the 
Township History department of this work, found elsewhere, where 
the matter is treated of at greater length, and includes the first events 
and general development of each subdivision of Plymouth county, 
giving a complete history of organization, schools, churches, towns 
and villages; also a record of many of the fatal accidents, murders, 
suicides, great storms, grasshopper plague, etc. 





Organization— First Officers Elected— Early Kecords— Form of Gov- 
ernment — County Judge System — Supervisor System — Pioneer 
Court-House— First and all Subsequent Boards of Supervisors- 
Official History of County by Years— Financial Condition of 
the County^ in 1890. 

WHEN Plymouth county was organized in the year 1858, having 
been detached from what is now known as Woodbury county, 
the local government was vested in what was termed the county court, 
or county judge system, which consisted of a judge, sheriff and clerk. 
The county judge had sole jurisdiction of, and, so to speak, was 
supreme ruler in all matters which were not within the jurisdiction of 
the district court. The chief powers then vested in the county judge, 
rest now in the hands of the board of supervisors and their clerk; the 
county auditor, which office was created in 1868, and that of county 
judge, have been virtually abandoned. 

The record books of Plymouth county are well preserved, and 
fortunately were fairly kept by men whose penmanship would, indeed, 
put to blush many an official of a more recent date. The data for 
this chapter has principally been gleaned from the records, commenc- 
ing in October, 1858, with minute book "A" and coming down to 
book "five" of the proceedings of the board of supervisors of 1890. 

The First Officials of the county were elected in the autumn of s 
1858, and were as follows: William Van O'Linda, county judge; A. 
C. Sheetz, district clerk; Daniel M. Mills, sheriff; E. S. Hunger- 
ford, coroner; A. O Sheetz, surveyor. 

Under the county judge system there was one supervisor elected 
from each civil township in the county; and as Plymouth county 
began its organization with two such subdivisions, there were two 
members of the board. This law, however, did not take effect until 
1860, hence it was that from 1858 to 1860, two years, the affairs of 
the county remained in the hands of one man, the county judge, who, 


be it said to his credit, was a prudent manager of all that devolved 
upon him to do. He was chiefly engaged in issuing orders and coun- 
ty warrants, which in those days were not counted as good as specie! 

The school fund for 1859 amounted to $222. Judge William Van 
O'Linda went to Chicago and concluded to remain there, and in July, 
1860, sent in his resignation as judge of this county. At the next 
election, that same season, he was -succeeded by A. E. Rea, who made 
an efficient officer. It was about the date of his election that the new 
state law, above mentioned, went into effect, by which fact, the two 
civil townships of Plymouth and Westfield each sent a supervisor to 
represent them in the government of the county affairs, also one 
supervisor at large. This form of local government did not begin, 
however, until January, 1861. 

Early Becords. — In August of 1860, bids were asked for by the 
county, to furnish suitable county offices, and one was finally accepted. 
The contract called for the erection of a court-house for $2,000, the 
same to be completed by October 1, 1860. Prior to that the county 
court was held at the judge's residence. 

It was during 1860 that G. W. F. Sherwin (afterward county 
judge of Cherokee county), was awarded the contract of taking one 
L. D. Brookliugs, who had committed murder in Plymouth county, 
and was then in jail at Sioux City, to the state's prison at Fort Madi- 
son, which being nearly in the extreme corner of the state, with no 
railroads, seemed a long and tedious undertaking. For this service 
Mr. Sherwin was to have received $250 in county warrants, the same 
being, at that time, worth about 25 per cent of their face value, but 
through carelessness the prisoner escaped, and was never recaptured. 
Seven hundred dollars' worth of warrants were also given by this 
county to the person who had charge of and boarded the above pris- 
oner in AVoodbury county. So it will be observed criminal prosecu- 
tions cost the people large amounts even in the pioneer days of Iowa. 

Boards of Supervisors. — The board of 1861 was composed of E. 
S. Hungerford (chairman), John Hopkins, of Westfield, and W. A. 
Carter. They met the first week in January, and the minutes show 
that their - first official act after organizing was to purchase a stove for 
the court-house, for which they paid $67 in county warrants. At 
that session a wail of poverty and financial embarrassment went up 
from the board in the following language: 


" Wheeeas the present condition of Plymouth county is deplor- 
ably embarrassing, with resources so limited that it is impossible to 
conduct the affairs of the county, even on the most economical scale, 
unless some speedy and efficient relief is obtained : Be it resolved, 
therefore, That the county judge use all legal means, from time to 
.time, to secure a better financial standing. Again, that the citizens of 
the county suggest any means that may occur to them to bring about 
the desired end." At this session the board insured the court-house 
and county books in the Hartford Insurance Company, and ordered 
three office desks " like those used in the court-house at Sioux City." 
Benjamin Stafford furnished them for the sum of $300 in county 
warrants, which were then negotiable at twenty-eight per cent of their 
face value. • Outhouse and front steps to court-house were paid for 
by $140 worth of warrants. 

The school fund for 1861 was $470. The total number of pupils 
was thirty-two. The assessment for 1861 was as follows: 44,170 acres 
of land, $136,110; 2,350 town lots, $7,503; personal property $6,023. 
The tax levy was: State tax, 1^ mills; school tax, 2 mills, and county 
tax, 4 mills. The matter of using the swamp land of the county to 
clear up the indebtedness was considered at the January session. 
A horse ferry was licensed by the board, the same being granted 
to Milton M. Kich on section twenty-eight, for the purpose of crossing 
the Sioux river. The rate of toll fixed was : One team and wagon, 
25 cents; one horse and wagon, 20 cents; single horseman, 15 cents; 
footman, 10 cents; sheep and swine, 5 cents each. Double these 
amounts to be charged at night or during high water. 

The board of 1862 consisted of W. A. Carter (chairman), E. S. 
Hungerford and D. M. Mills. By their proceeding it is found that 
Plymouth county had, January 1, 1862, for school funds for the ensu- 
ing year, $142. In June the board called an election to decide whether 
the swamp land should be sold to relieve the great burden then rest- 
ing upon the county. In October they leased the back part of the 
court-house to the government, to be occupied by a division of soldiers 
then camped within the county, and who needed winter quarters. The 
reader will bear in mind this was the second year of the Civil war. 

The board of 1863 was made up as follows: E. S. Hungerford, 
Morgan B. Stafford and (chairman) D. M. Mills. Their first business 
was that of auditing bills, paying for wolf scalps, issuing warrants to 


court officers and drawing their own pay. At this, their first session, 
they changed the bounds of Plymouth and Westfield township, and 
ordered the drainage commissioner to sell an amount of swamp lands to 
the highest bidder. 

The assessment for 1863 was upon 48,594 acres of land, valued at 
$2 per acre, amounting to $97,188; town lots, $438; personal property 
$4,150, making a total of $101,773. The record shows a militia list 
for 1863, of eleven men from Plymouth township, four from Lincoln 
and one from Westfield, sixteen in all, subject to military duty. The 
tax levy for the same year was: State, 2 mills; school, 1 mill, and 
county, 4 mills on the dollar of taxable property. At the October term 
the board ordered the clerk to take the necessary means to put a stop 
to the court-house rooms being used as warerooms for corn, grain and 
other farm produce, as had been allowed in the past. 

The board of 1864 was constituted of William Barrett (chairman), 
John A. Veraguth and D. M. Mills. They convened at the residence 
of A. C. Sheetz, on account of the unsuitable condition of the court- 
house. This board, realizing that the county was hopelessly in debt, 
moved to levy a special tax to clear up the overhanging indebtedness. 
The proposition was submitted to the people June 1, 1864. The returns 
show that fifteen votes were polled for a special tax and nine polled 
against the measure. At the same election a vote was taken on a propo- 
sition to sell the swamp land to the American Emigration Company 
for $2,000. The vote stood thirteen for and twelve against the measure. 
At the September term, D. M. Mills, member from Westfield, was 
absent, and was cited to represent his township or deliver up the books 
of the same. He came before the board and informed them that on 
account of the hard times his township had become depopulated, and 
he himself had been compelled to remove to other parts, in order to 
provide for his own family. Hence he surrendered all books, papers, 
etc., belonging to Westfield township. In November the board again 
assembled at the house of A. C. Sheetz. Those present were E. S. 
Hungerford and John Snider, who had taken the place of William 
Barrett, who had entered the Union army. 

The board of 1865 were Messrs. Hungerford and Snider. West- 
field civil township having been depopulated, the territory was set 
back into Plymouth and Lincoln. *The board in February, ordered 

*The records up to this time had been written with a quill pen. 


an election to determine whether the county should pay $300 to men 
who would volunteer to enter the army. The tax levy for 1865 was: 
State, 2 mills; county, 4 mills; school, 1 mill; special tax, 10 mills; 
soldiers' tax, 20 mills, and bounty tax, 5 mills. 

The board of 1866 consisted of John Snider and William Barrett. 
Their minutes show a bill paid for the "Iowa State Homestead," pub- 
lished at Des Moines, at a subscription price of $2.50. The sheriff, 
Philip Smith, was paid a salary of $19 for his year's service, and was 
glad for even that amount. 'The tax levy was: State, 21 mills; county, 
4 mills; special, 10 mills; school 2 mills. The board ordered the school 
lands of the county opened up for actual settlement at $1.50 per acre. 

The board of 1867, composed of William Barrett (chairman), 
William S. McCurdy, and E. S. Hungerford at large (his place taken 
finally by A. T. Reed), met and ordered the court-house put in order, 
cleaned and repaired by the time court was to convene. In July, Henry 
Morf made application to rent a part of the court-house in which to 
operate a grocery store. The board granted him the use of same for 
one year, free of charge, providing he left same as good as when he 
found it. The tax levy was: State, 2-J mills; county, 4 mills; school, 
2 mills; bridge, 1 mill, special, 10 mills. In September the board 
created the civil townships of America and Sioux. 

The board of 1868 was made up of William Barrett, from Lincoln 
township; John Snider, of Plymouth; William S. McCurdy, of 
America, and A. T. Reed, of Sioux township. They ordered an appraise- 
ment of all the school lands. A. C. Sheetz, who was school superin- 
tendent during that year, received a compensation of $10. ' It was this 
board that sent long resolutions to the state legislature, asking them to 
see that the old Dubuque & Sioux City railroad line, surveyed in 1858, 
was not changed in its original course through Plymouth county. 
At the June session, the board granted license to W. H. Pinckney 
to operate a horse . ferry-boat over the Sioux river, on section one. 
township ninety-one, range forty-nine. The toll rate to be as follows: 
Team and wagon, 40 cents; one horse and wagon, 25 cents; one horse- 
man, 20 cents; one footman, 10 cents; sheep and hogs, 5 cents each. 
Double these rates for night and high-water work. The valuation of 
property was fixed by the board as follows:. Lands, $107,265; town 
lots, $100; personal property, $26,400; total, $134,124. 

The board of 1869 was composed of William Barrett (chairman), 


William MoOurdy, W. Hunter and John Snider, with A. E. Rea, 
county auditor, as clerk of the board. The property valuation was 
placed at $182,994 on lands; $28,343 on personal property, making a 
total of $211,337. The tax levy was: State tax, 2 mills; county tax, 
4 mills; special tax, 5 mills, school tax, 2 mills. Nothing of much 
importance transpired that year, except routine business, such as 
letting contracts for bridges and establishing public highways. 

The board for 1870 consisted of William Barrett, John Snider and 
William Hunter. The first business after organizing was to nominate 
Constant R. Marks for special agent to settle with the United States 
land office, in swamp-land matters. They agreed to pay all expense 
incurred and give said Marks twenty-five per cent of all lands finally 
recovered for the county. It was in June, 1870, that the board created 
the civil townships known as Johnson, Stanton, Elgin and Perry. The 
total valuation of assessment for 1870 was: Lands, $271,274; personal 
property, $59,707, or a total of $330,981. The tax levy was: State, 2 
mills; county, 4 mills; school, 2i mills; bridge, 3 mills. At the October 
meeting this board transferred the soldiers' fund, raised in time of the 
Rebellion, to the bridge fund. This board purchased a bridge pile- 
driver for $400. 

The board of 1871 was made up of Andrew Black, George Viedto 
and Carlos Little. The salary of the county auditor was fixed at $900. 
At the June session the board created what is known as Washington 
civil township. 

The board of 1872 consisted of Andrew Black (chairman), George 
Viedto and William Barrett. The county auditor's salary was raised 
to $1,000 per year. During their September meeting it was deter- 
mined that Melbourne was no longer a proper location in which to 
have the county offices, and in view of the fact that the people of Le 
Mars had offered to furnish suitable offices for the county, they re- 
solved to avail themselves of this offer, and hence met, September 28, 
in Andrew's block, at Le Mars. 

lich consisted of Andrew Black, William 
^. fc and W. "* office of Struble Bros., in Le 

Mars. The proposition of Y )ung <fe Corkery to erect a building to be 
used for two years by the county officers, was ^cepted, and they moved 
to the same in April, 1873. The board at their January session made 
the " Sentinel " and " Liberal " the official papers of Plymouth county 


for one year. They also deemed it wise to offer a premium of $500 to 
any person who should discover a paying coal mine within the limits 
of the county. They purchased two fire-proof safes of a safe company, 
for the sum of $1,850, delivered at Le Mars depot. The question hav- 
ing been previously submitted to the people, as to the policy of remov- 
ing the county seat to Le Mars, this board found upon a canvass of the 
vote, that 587 voted for removal, while 111 voted to have it retained at 
Melbourne. At this time the salary of the county clerk was fixed at 
$900 per annum. 

The board of 1874 consisted of E. H. Shaw, Stephen Reeves, 
Leonard Koenig and William Barrett (chairman). This was during 
the grasshopper plague days of this portion of Iowa, and owing to 
the failure and destruction of crops, relief was sought by the people, 
in way of seed grain, etc. A memorial was sent the legislature by this 
board, and many of the taxes were, by authority of the supervisors, 
remitted. At the February session the question of submitting to a 
popular vote the matter of borrowing $15,000 for a period of five years, 
was considered and finally carried, but before the board adjourned 
they rescinded their action. This board sold the old court-house at 
Melbourne to Anton Nigg for the sum of $31. At the April meeting 
the board voted to appropriate the sum of $3,000 to erect a court- 
house and jail, at Le Mars, on block thirty-five. William Barrett and 
E. H. Shaw were appointed to superintend the construction of the same, 
and it was to be completed November 1, 1874. The lots had been 
donated the county by the Sioux City & Iowa Falls Town Lot & Land 
Company. Three thousand dollars ($3,000) of the swamp-land fund 
was appropriated to seat, paint and furnish the new court-ho' lr - and to 
provide suitable vaults for the same, all to be coi 
26, 1874. 

The board of 1875 consisted of E. 1 i Jeeves, 

William Barrett (chairman!, and. O. E. Hardy. John G. \\ elliver 
was made "sealer of weights and r.e.asures : " fur the county, under a 
state law passed the winter previous to this. This board seeing the 
necessity of cheape: fuel in this locality, offered a premium of $1,000 
to any person who snould discover a paying coal field within Plymouth 
county. The assessed valuation of property was placed for 1875, as 
follows: Land, $2,052,409; town property, $126,596; personal property, 
$130,135; total, $2,529,715, from which an exemption was made, on 


account of growing trees, to the amount of $45,000. The tax levy was: 
State, 2 mills; county 6 mills; bond, 2 mills; bridge, 3 mills. 

The board of 1876 consisted of William Barrett (chairman), E. 
H. Shaw, L. Koenig, Andrew Wilson and A. W. Parsons. The first 
act of this board was to fix the salary of the various county officials, 
as follows: Auditor, $1,200 and fees; treasurer, $1,500; clerk of the 
courts, $300 and fees; sheriff, $200. The board purchased the Sher- 
man Patent Window Blinds for the court-house at an expense of $328. 

The board of 1877 consisted of William Barrett (chairman), A. 
W. Parsons, Andrew Wilson, L. Koenig and O. AV. Bennett. At the 
June meeting an appropriation (under recent enactment of the legisla- 
ture) of $250 was made, in favor of the Plymouth County Agricultural 

The board of 1878 was composed as follows: L. Koenig (chair- 
man), A. W. Parsons, A. Wilson, O. W. Bennett and G. W. Cham- 
berlain. They leased the land known as the poor farm to Henry Davis, 
agreeing to make an addition to the residence on the same. They also 
reorganized a civil township, which had become depopulated and dis- 
organized years previous. It is what is known as Westfield township. 
Mill owners were all notified to construct fish dams in compliance with 
a state law, passed the previous winter.* The tax levy for 1878 was: 
State, 2 mills; county, 6 mills; bridge, 3 mills; bond, 2 mills; county 
school, 1 mill; insane, 1^ mills on the dollar. 

The board of 1879 consisted of the following: L. Koenig, O. W. 
Bennett, George W. Chamberlain (chairman), L. W. Doty and Wal- 
lace Winslow. P. P. Dalton, who had been acting as financial agent 
for Plymouth county, was honorably discharged from further duty. 
But little, save the usual routine of business, came up before this 
board. However, each year nrach work and responsibility was exacted 
of the supervisors in the matter of supplying the large county with 
proper highways, bridges, etc. 

The board of 1880 consisted of George W. Chamberlain (chair- 
man), L. Koenig, L. M. Doty, Wallace Winslow, and George E. Pew. 

The board of 1881 consisted of Wallace Winslow, L. M. Doty, 
James Hughes and C. D. Hoffman. Nothing of special importance 
transpired during this year. 

The board of 1882 consisted of E. D. Hoffman, William Barrett 

*ThIs law was never well received or enforced, and is now a " dead letter." 



(chairman), James Hughes, A. W. Parsons and T. W. Lias. During 
the June term the board granted a license to H. Johndrow to operate 
a horse ferry over the Big Sioux river, at a point on section nine, town- 
ship ninety, range forty-eight. 

The board of 1883 was C. D. Hoffman, T. W. Lias and A. W. 
Parsons. At the October election they considered the matter of levy- 
ing a 2|- mill tax for the purpose of raising funds with which to pur- 
chase and improve a poor farm. It was finally submitted to the voters 
of the county. 

The board of 1884 consisted of C. D. Hoffman (chairman), A. 
W. Parsons, T. W. Lias and George Evans. It was this board that 
made an offer of $5,000 to any person who should discover a paying 
coal field within the limits of the county by the year 1886. 

The board of 1885 consisted of 0. I). Hoffman (chairman), James 
Hughes, George Evans, D. Bradley, John Lang. Nothing special 
marked the year's work of this board. They paid Nicolas Kass $1,300, 
balance due on the purchase of the poor farm property. A committee 
was appointed to superintend the building of an addition to the poor- 
house. They also, at the August session, voted to build a brick addi- 
tion, for vault and office purposes, to the west side of the court-house. 

The board of 1886 was composed of James Hughes (chairman), 
George Evans, John Lang and D. Bradley. 

The board of 1887 was the same, with the addition of J. B. 

The board of 1888 consisted of James Hughes (chairman), 
George Evans, A. Doring. It was during this year that the county 
made an exhibit of the grains, grasses, fruits and vegetables grown 
in the county, at the famous " Corn Palace " at Sioux City, Iowa. Super- 
visor George Evans superintended the collection. At the September 
meeting they voted to submit to the people the question of levying a 
2-mill tax for the purpose of erecting a jail. When submitted it stood: 
For the measure, 625 votes, and against the measure, 1,941. 

The board of 1889 consisted of James Hughes (chairman), Eli 
Peters and John Becker. At the September session the jail tax ques- 
tion again came up for consideration, as the judge had repeatedly 
stated that he would not confine prisoners any longer in the one then 
in use, it being unsafe as well as unhealthy. The board finally left it 
again to a vote of the people of the county, who decided by 197 majority 


to have the tax levied and the jail erected. The board of 1890, during 
the month of May, awarded the contract to build an $11,000 jail, which 
will be one of the finest in all western Iowa. 

The board of 1890 consisted of James Hughes (chairman), Eli 
Peters, John Becker, Albert Doring and D. Bradley. 

Financial Condition of Plymouth County in 1890. — The follow- 
ing has been compiled from the county auditor's report, January 1, 

State fund $ 473 

County fund 326 

Schoolfund 2,219 

Bridge fund 166 

Teachers fund 4,355 

School-housejfund 1,134 

Contingent fund 1,676 

Road fund 597 

City fund 650 

School-house site fund 35 

Insane fund 295 

Permanent school fund 3,167 

Temporary school fund 2,594 

Swamp-land fund 398 

Poor-farm fund 376 

Teachers' Institute fund 3 

Cemetery fund 82 

Dog fund 516 

Sidewalk fund 66 

Portland Bond fund 39 

County road fund 487 

Special township fund 199 

Total amount on hand $19,810 

The assessed valuation of all property in the county, January 1, 
1890, was $5,883,095, with an exemption of $338,973 for forest trees 
planted and now growing. Marked is the contrast between the finan- 
cial showing of the above with those of earlier years! An assessed 
valuation of nearly $6,000,000 is indeed a wonderful showing for one 
western Iowa county, settled in 1858. 



The Grasshopper Plague— Recorded Village Plats— Population by 
Townships at Various Dates— Marriage Record — Comparative 
Table — First Events in the County. 

IpVEEYONE who lived in Iowa from 1873 to 1879 knows more 
\j than the historian of to-day can possibly write, concerning the 
fearful and wonderful destroying plague of the grasshoppers, which in 
armies of multiplied millions devasted northwestern and central Iowa. 
Much concerning their times of coming and going, together with some 
of their peculiar characteristics, will be found under the proper head- 
ing in the Woodbury county part of this volume. However, it should 
be said in this connection, that the Indian, with all the thirst for blood 
of which he has been accused, never began to retard settlement and 
devastate the country in general, as did the raids, made during these 
years, by the grasshoppers, which were not unlike the scriptural locust, 
sent as a blighting curse upon the Egyptians, both in their form, size 
and destroying effects. 

No writer has ever been able to fully describe the enormity of the 
late Civil war — its suffering and misery must needs be experienced in 
order to gain any fair conception of what that terrible conflict was to 
those who fought for what they believed to be a just cause. So it 
may be said concerning the grasshoppers, which, by the way, were too 
great an army for man, with all of his ingenuity, strategy and 
strength, to even begin to cope with — they took the field, destroyed 
all they found and moved on to greater conquests, undismayed 
and seldom sacrificing any of their vast winged army. Their work 
brought gloom, sadness and poverty upon hundreds and thou- 
sands of Iowa farmers, who fought manfully year after year, hoping 
that every year would be the last. There are hundreds of young men 
and women here to-day, who, in those unfortunate times, went thinly 
clad during the long severe winters from having their entire crops 
swept away. 


The church and other benevolent societies farther east made many 
contributions — boxes of clothing, food, garden seeds, school books for 
the children, etc. — all of which were appreciated, and the kindness of 
such donations are even now often referred to by men and women 
whose locks are fast whitening. 

In 187G the grasshoppers were so numerous that trains of cars on 
the Illinois Central railroad were stopped by them. They accumu- 
lated on the 'road-bed and filled the entire space between the ties and 
the track, so that when pressed down by the moving trains they were 
crushed to a jelly-like mass and had the same effect upon the rails as 
oil or soft-soap would have produced, causing the drive-wheels of the 
locomotive to slip and revolve without making any forward progress. 

The appearance of the grasshoppers in the sky had the effect of 
darkening the very heavens at noonday, against a brightly shining sun. 
When flying rapidly with the wind, upon a clear day, they caused the 
sky to resemble a heavy snow-storm. They seemed to have their 
course mapped out, and were seldom known to fly in any other 
direction than the one planned by their instinct, always waiting until 
the winds were blowing in such direction. 

Many ingenious devices were invented for the capture and destruc- 
tion of the pests. Among the plans used was that of stretching a wire 
or rope from one side of the field to the other, and have two men draw 
the line through the field of grain, which, in some instances, put them 
to flight and saved the crops. But the most successful plan was to con- 
struct a huge tin or sheet-iron scraper, similar to a road scraper, about 
twenty feet in width. To this horses were attached, and it was then 
drawn over the fields; within this "dust-pan" shaped contrivance was 
placed a quantity of kerosene oil. When thrown into the oil the grass- 
hopper at first seemed to enjoy the bath, but soon curled up his wire-like 
limbs and died. Many farmers went over their fields in this manner, 
and then dumped their load of grasshoppers at the side of the field, 
where they were burned, dead or alive. One Plymouth county farmer 
says he remembers of thus destroying nine barrels full in a single 
half day. Some curious devices were patented by men who believed 
their inventions worth more than their Plymouth county farms. 

The "Sentinel" of August, 1876, had the following: "Sunday, 
August 6, the grasshoppers came down in considerable numbers at Le 
Mai - s and spread out over the entire south half of the county. The 


best judges say corn is damaged fully fifty per cent. The belt of 
country the grasshoppers cover is about one hundred by one hundred 
and fifty miles in extent, east of the Missouri river, and west as far as 
the Rocky Mountains." 

The editor of the above local paper warned the farmers in the 
following style: 

Don't Bum The Prairies! — The only certain cure here against grasshoppers is 

fire — fire hot as ! If the grass is burned this fall, it is an invitation to the young 

hopper-grass to help himself to another spring crop of grain. It is of vital importance 
that the grass be saved until spring — say May 15. We wish we could make each farmer 
feel the force of the words don't burn the grass till spring ! as that will destroy all the 
grasshoppers and their eggs. There should be township committees appointed to see 
that this plan is carried out. Let the full penalty of Iowa law concerning the setting 
of fires be strictly enforced. Never mind Hayes or Tilden, politics or politicians, but 
make a grand fight to save the prairie grass until next May, and then let the fire be 
applied and we may exterminate these pests. 

Recorded Plcds. — The following is a complete list of the village 
and city plats of Plymouth county: 

Le Mars. — The original plat was executed by John I. Blair, June 
4, 1870. It is situated on the south half of section nine, and the north 
half of section sixteen, township ninety, range forty-five, west. The 
first addition to Le Mars was platted June 10, 1874, by the Sioux 
City & Iowa Falls Town Lot & Land Company. The West Eud addi- 
tion was platted by Benjamin and Martha Foster. Young & Corkery's 
addition was platted October 7, 1872, by William A. Toung and 
Charles E. Corkery. Young & Corkery's second addition was platted 
by the above named proprietors May 2, 1873. Young & Corkery's 
third addition was platted November 8, 1873. The third, fourth and 
fifth additions to Le Mars were all executed by the Sioux City & Iowa 
Falls Land & Town Lot Company, September 1, 1881. The sixth 
addition was platted by Nicholas Herron, July 3, 1882. The seventh 
addition was platted May 10, 1883, by the Sioux City & Iowa Falls 
Town Lot & Land Company. South Side second addition was 
platted March 9, 1885, by a number of Le Mars citizens. A. R. T. 
Dent's first addition to Le Mars was made by Mr. Dent, May 11, 
1887. The second addition to Le Mars was platted by Benjamin and 
Elizabeth Beecher, March 1, 1878. The South Side addition was 
platted by Benjamin O. and Martha C. Foster, April 1, 1871. The 
West End addition to Le Mars was platted July 11, 1873. Wemli's 
addition to Le Mars was executed by J. Wernli and wife, May 27, 


1882. The eighth addition to Le Mars was platted by the railroad 
company May 10, 1883. 

Melbourne (defunct) was platted April 12, I860, by C. C. Orr, on 
the southeast quarter of section thirty-four, township ninety-one, 
range forty-six. It was for many years the county seat of Plymouth 

Plymouth City (defunct) was platted on section six, township 
ninety-one, range forty-five, May 7, 1857, by G. W. F. Sherwin, 
Henry R. Daggett, John C. Flint, Amos French, John McClelland, 
D. Whitmer, George W. Gregg, John Barber. 

Remsen. — The orignal plat of Remsen was executed August 28, 
1876, by the Sioux City & Iowa Falls Town Lot &'Land Company. It 
is situated on the south half of the northwest quarter of the north- 
west quarter, and the north half of the southwest quarter of section 
six, township ninety-two, range forty-three. The first addition was 
platted by J. Brooks Close, October 4, 1881. The second addition 
was made May 22, 1882, by the Sioux City & Iowa Falls Town 
Lot & Land Company. The third addition was platted July 22, 
1884, by the Sioux City & Iowa Falls, Town Lot & Land Com- 
pany. The fourth addition was platted September 6, 1887, by the 
Sioux City & Iowa Falls, Town Lot & Land Company. The fifth 
addition was platted June 25, 1888, by the Sioux City & Iowa Falls 
Town Lot & Land Company. 

Akron. — This plat was originally named and known as " Portland- 
ville," being in Portland civil township. It is situated on the north- 
east quarter of the southwest quarter of section thirty-one, township 
ninety-three, Range forty-eight, and was platted by Edgar W. Sargent, 
Lewis N. Crill and Celina Crill. The date of platting was June 5, 
1871. Sargent's addition was made May 10, 1876, by A. W. Hubbard, 
and B. W. Sargent. 

Westfield was platted on the northwest quarter of the southwest 
quarter of section twenty-six, and on the northeast quarter of the 
southeast quarter of section twenty-seven, township ninety-two, range 
forty-nine, on August 3, 1877. 

James was platted May 26,1876, on the south half of the southeast 
quarter of section thirty, and the northeast quarter of section thirty- 
one, township ninety, range forty-six. It was platted by the Sioux 
City & Iowa Falls Town Lot & Land Company. 


Merrill was platted on the northwest quarter of section eleven, 
township ninety-one, range forty-six, February 27, 1872, by the Sioux 
City & Iowa Falls Town Lot & Land Company. Frost's addition to 
Merrill was made by William Frost and wife, Ed. Fullbrook and wife 
and John Hornick (trustee), June 28, 1888. 

Dalton was platted February 1, 1890, on the northeast quarter of 
the northwest quarter of section thirteen, township ninety-two, range 
forty-six, by the Northern Land Company. 

Struble was platted December 4, 1889, on the south half of the 
southwest quarter of section five, township ninety-three, range forty- 
five, and on the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 
eight, township ninety-three, range forty-five, by the Northern Land 

Seney was platted by the Sioux City & St. Paul railroad company 
on the southwest quarter of section twenty-three, township ninety- 
three, range forty-five, on December 7, 1872. The first addition to 
Seney was made by the Sioux City & St. Paul railroad company, June 
3, 1884. 

Quorn was platted by J. B. and F. B. Close, September 18, 
1880, on the east half of the northwest quarter of section twenty-five, 
township 90, range forty-four. The first addition to Quorn was 
effected by F. B. and J. B. Close, September 4, 1882. 

Oyens was platted October 22, 1886, by the Sioux City & Iowa 
Falls Town Lot & Land Company, on the east half of the northwest 
quarter of section five, township ninety-two, range forty-four. 

^_ Kingsley was platted June 4, 1884, 'by T. L. Bowman, on the 
northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section thirty, township 
ninety, range forty-three. Shaller's addition to Kingsley was made by 
Charles L. Early, July 14, 1884, on twenty-one acres of the south- 
east quarter of the southeast quarter of section nineteen, township 
ninety, range forty-three. The second addition was made by the Blair 
Town Lot Company, June 24, 1884. Kingsley's addition was made 
October 16, 1884, by Willian Warner Johnson and David Jordan. 

Population by Townships. — -The following gives the population 
of Plymouth county by the various civil townships which existed at 
the several periods of census enumeration: 















































Following are the county comparative statistics of population: 
Married persons, 5,393; single persons, 9,719; widowed persons, 350; 
divorced persons, 19; persons entitled to a vote, 2,840; persons who 
can not read or write, 101; number of aliens, 539. 

First Events. — The first book of marriage records for Plymouth 
county shows that the first marriage license was granted December 15, 
1860, by County Judge A. B. Eea, to Martin Veragath to marry Miss 
Barbery Indermawer. The following gives the total number of mar- 
riages in the county for each subsequent year to 1890: 








1868 (no record). 

1869 (no record). 


















6 122 

7 142 

8 140 

9 164 

Total 1,672 



The first ccnmty warrant issued by authority of Plymouth county, 
was dated April 6, 1859, and drawn in favor of N. W. Mills & Co., 
of Des Moines, Iowa, in consideration of $342 worth of blank books, 
etc., made for the county. County Judge W. Van O'Linda's name is 
signed to the warrant. 

The first deed recorded bears date July 24, 1856. It was given 
by Benjamin and Elizabeth Stafford, to John Barber, for the consid- 
eration of ,1600, on the undivided part of a twenty-six acre lot, on the 
south half of the northwest quarter of section six, township ninety-one, 
range forty-five. 

The first mortgage granted in the county was dated June 10, 1856. 
The amount covered was $280. It was given by Joseph N. Field to 
Willard Barrows and secured by lands situated on the northwest 
quarter of section twenty-four, township ninety-one, range forty-nine. 


Good County Government— The Dominant Party— Prohibitory Amend- 
ment Brings About a Change— State and National Bepresenta- 
tion — The Official Vote by Years. 1858 to 18&0— •' Amendment" 
Vote by Townships. 

TTIHE political history of a county is always one of general interest, 
JL and especially is this true in a free land, where; in the eye of the 
law, all are upon equal footing, where it has been shown that even 
the humblest, the rail splitter, the tailor or the tow-path boy, can 
attain the highest position in the gift of the people. We all delight 
to see merit rewarded; we are pleased with the onward progress of one 
from the lower walks of life, as, step by step he mounts the ladder of 
fame. Every good citizen has a kind of political ambition, and while . 
he may never reach the highest pinacle, there is a possibility that his 
children may. 

There is an excitement about a political campaign which nearly 
every true American enjoys, and although personalities are too fre- 
quently indulged in, as a general thing, all yield gracefully to the 


verdict of the people — a majority vote — and submit to the " powers 
that be." 

The political history of Plymouth county is quite clearly given by 
a careful study of the abstract of votes for the various years since its 
organization in 1858. Up to the time of the agitation of the prohib- 
itory amendment to the state constitution, in June, 1882, this county 
had always given large republican majorities, but since that date it 
has usually gone democratic — the large foreign-born element being 
opposed to having that restriction placed on what they termed, and 
still look upon, as their "personal liberties," vouchsafed to them 
under the constitution of the United States. 

It may here be stated, that with but few exceptions, Plymouth 
county has always enjoyed good government, under which the bleak, 
wild prairies of her large domain, found by the pioneers who organized 
the county in 1858, have been developed; the angry streams, which so 
deceived and harrassed its early settlers, have all been bridged at 
numerous points; nearly two hundred school-houses have graced the 
county and adorned the beautiful landscape given by nature. The 
prairie wilderness has been dotted with thousands of tasty farm-houses ;. 
enterprising towns and cities have sprung into almost magic-like 
existence. While unworthy men, at times, may force themselves into 
office, it can not but be acknowledged that the great body of office- 
holders of this country are truly representative men — men of positive 
force and character. They are of the number that build up and 
strengthen a town, county and state. 

In this chapter will appear the official election returns, by years, 
from the time the county was organized to the present time. But 
before going into this it should be stated that Plymouth county has 
been ably represented in the state senate by A. H. Lawrence, who was 
elected in the autumn of 1879, serving one term. 

In the house of representatives, the county has furnished the fol- 
lowing: Hon. S. B. Gilliland, elected in the fall of 1879; Hon. William 
Barrett, elected in 1881; Hon. H. C. Curtis, elected in 1883; Hon. A. 
M. Duus, elected in 1885; Hon. W. H. Dent, elected in the fall of 

Hon. I. S. Struble, of this county, was elected to a seat in the 
United States congress in 1882, and is still the honored representative 
of this district, having served his fourth term, being elected by the 


G. H. Ragsdale, editor and proprietor of the Le Mars " Sentinel," 
is now holding the office of state printer. 

Official Vote. — -In this connection is presented the official vote of 
Plymouth county for each general and special election from the first 
which was held in 1858, down to the election of November, 1889. 
The subjoined is a true record transcript of all the elections above 

In 1858, John L. Campbell, being judge of Woodbury county, to 
which the territory now called Plymouth county was attached prior 
to that date, appointed William Van O'Linda as organizing sheriff of 
Plymouth county. It became his duty to post election notices ten days 
before the annual election, and he was instructed to post notices call- 
ing for an election to be held in Plymouth township, at the house of 
Morgan Stafford, also at the house of Isaac T. Martin, in Westfield 
township, these two civil subdivisions then constituting the entire 
territory known as Plymouth county. 

This election was held October 12, 1858 — now follow the official 
returns, by years: 

1858, October, for county judge — William Van O'Linda received 
26 votes; for district clerk — A. C. Sheetz, 27; for sheriff — David 
M. Mills, 27; for coroner — E. S. Hungerford, 29; for surveyor — 
A. C. Sheetz, 13. 

1859, October, for governor — Samuel J. Kirkwood, 24 votes, A. 
C. Dodge, 11; for county judge — William Van O'Linda, 29, D. M. 
Mills, 2; for treasurer and recorder — Nathan W. Putnam, 26, John 
Hittle, 6; for sheriff — David M. Mills, 24; for superintendent of 
schools — Joseph V. Stafford, 32, Henry Gates, 1; for drainage com- 
missioner, J. B. Pinkney, 34; for surveyor — A. C. Sheetz, 33; for 
coroner — Z. Stafford, 32, Henry Ford, 1. 

1860, Special Election, June 12. For appropriating $5,000 of 
Swamp Land fund toward the erection of a court-house — Plymouth 
township, for, 16 ; against, 11 ; Westfield township, for, ; against, 13. 

1860, November, for president of the United States — Abraham 
Lincoln received 32 votes, Stephen A. Douglas, 6; for county judge 
(vacancy) — A. E. Pea, 37 ; for district clerk — A. C. Sheetz, 24, 
Samuel F. Price, 14; for treasurer and recorder — Joseph V. Staf- 
ford, 25, M. M. Kich, 14. 

1861, October, for county judge — David M. Mills received 21 


votes, A. E. Eea, 15, J. V. Stafford, 1; for treasurer and recorder — 
A. E. Eea, 20, J. V. Stafford, 18; for sheriff— Henry Schneider, 22, 
Benjamin Stafford, 16; for drainage commissioner — Z. Stafford, 38; 
for school superintendent — Jo. V. Stafford, 17, A. E. Eea, 17 (de- 
cided by lot in favor of Eea) ; for surveyor — A. C. Sheetz, 35, A. E. 
Eea, 4; for coroner— J. B. Pinkney, 15, Christian Smith, 13. 

1862, Special Election July 5. Proposition to sell 4,480 acres of 
Swamp Land to pay off county debt — For proposition, 17; against, 0. 

1862, October, for district clerk — A. C. Sheetz, 8. 

1863, October, for governor of Iowa — William M. Stone, 22, 
James M. Tuttle, 5; for county judge — William Barrett, 14, Peter 
Shindel, 2; for treasurer and recorder — A. E. Eea, 18; for sheriff 
— Henry Schneider, 18; for surveyor — A. C. Sheetz, 18; for school 
superintendent — A. C. Sheetz, 15, J. V. Stafford, 3; for coroner — 
Philip Schneider, 2, Philip Smith, 1 ; for drainage commissioner — J. 
V. Stafford, 19. 

1864, November, for president of the United States — Abraham 
Lincoln received 19 votes, George B. McClellan, 0; for county clerk 
—A. C. Sheetz, 16; for recorder*— A. 0. Sheetz, 9, A. E. Eea, 6; 
for county judge — Fred Held, 10, E. S. Hungerford, 7; for sheriff 
— Philip Smith, 16, Lewis Winter, 2. 

1865, October, for governor of Iowa — William M. Stone received 
23 votes; for county judge — Philip Schneider, 10, Fred Held, 4; for 
treasurer — A. E. Eea, 12, Henry Schneider, 8; for superintendent of 
schools— A.- C. Sheetz, 12, A. E. Eea, 4, John Winters, 4; for 
sheriff — Philip Smith, 15, L. M. Eogers, 3; for surveyor — A. C. 
Sheetz, 16, A. E. Eea, 4; for drainage commissioner — Philip Held, 4, 
A. C. Sheetz, 3. 

1866, October, for county clerk — A. C. Sheetz received 27 votes; 
for recorder — Henry Schneider, 16, A. E. Eea, 14.. 

1867, October, for governor of Iowa — Samuel Merrill received 
50 votes, C. Mason, 5; for county judge — A. E. Eea, 21, Philip Sch- 
neider, 20, B. B. Sutton, 9 ; for treasurer— J. H. Morf, 50, A. E. Eea, 
1; for sheriff — Joshua P. Eiley, 22, Daniel Hauser, 16, Thomas S. 
McElhaney, I for surveyor— A. C. Sheetz, 27, Fred Held, 1; for 
school superintendent — A. C. Sheetz, 39, William Pinkney, 10; for 
coroner — Andrew Black, 24, Thomas McElhaney, 18, A. Sutton, 9. 

*It was at this date that the office of " Treasurer and Recorder" was, by state law, made 
separate offices. 


3, November, for president of the United States — U. S. Grant 
received 95 votes, Horatio Seymour, 23; for county clerk — A. C. 
Sheetz, 108 ; for recorder— J. H. Morf, 87, Henry Schneider, 23. 

1869, October, for governor of Iowa — -Samuel Merrill received 
96 votes; for county auditor*— A. E. Eea, 98, S. B. Gilliland, 6; 
for treasurer — J. H. Morf, 105, scattering, 3; for sheriff — Thomas 
S. McElhaney, 37, J. P. Eiley, 32; for surveyor— A. C. Sheetz, 78, 
John E. Robison, 29; for school superintendent — William Hunter, 
40, A. C. Sheetz, 23; for coroner — Andrew Black, 60, Jacob Folsome, 
20; for drainage commissioner — E. S. Hungerford, 1, no opposition. 

1870, October, for county clerk — John H. Bestsworth received 
191 votes, A. A. Albine, 144; for recorder— J. H. Morf, 193, Proctor 
Kent, 152; for coroner— Wm. Hilbert, 217, J. A. Folsome, 24. 
Prohibition of Ale, Wine and Beer (Constitutional Amendment) — for 
amendment, 157, against, 106. 

1871, October, for governor of Iowa — C. O Carpenter received 
360 votes, J. C. Knapp, 124; for county auditor — A. E. Eea, 294, 
George W. Chamberlain, 189; for treasurer — John H. Morf, 322, 
Proctor Kent, 155; for sheriff— E. E. Van Sickle, 287, D. C. Clark, 
196; for school superintendent — J. C. Buchanan, 316, H. C. Par- 
sons, 161; for surveyor — Samuel E. Bay, 315; for coroner — M. Hil- 
bert, 313. 

■1872, November, for president of the United States — U. S. Grant 
received 469 votes, Horace Greeley, 141; for county clerk — E. E. 
Blake, 476, C. L. V. Berg, 138; for recorder— M. Hilbert, 336, N. 
Redmon, 224. 

1873, October, for treasurer — John Herron received 531 votes, 
William Asbury, 269; for county auditor — Gustave Heirling, 458, A. 
W. Parsons, 344; for sheriff— John L. Innis, 479, A. B. Griffin, 321; 
for surveyor — F. W. Gurnsey, 800; for school superintendent, J. 
A. Harroun, 402, E. P. Walker, 399; for coroner— D. K. Charles, 
722, J. H. Wiggins, 28. 

1874, October, for county clerk — E. E. Blake received 736 votes; 
for recorder— M. Hilbert, 463, C. L. Berg, 272; for coroner— J. H. 
Wiggins, 722, scattering, 11. 

1875, October, for county auditor — G. Heirling received 573 
votes, A. P. Brown, 522; for treasurer — John Herron, 687, O. 

*At this date the office ot county judge was abolished and that of county auditor created. 


Hardy, 397; for sheriff— A. A. Albine, 344, J. G. Guthrie, 298; 
for school superintendent — J. A. Harroun, 583, F. B. Sibley, 542; 
for surveyor — J. B. Winn, 506, scattering, 69; for coroner — J. H. 
Wiggins, 454, Paul Stockfield, 611. 

1876, November, for president — Samuel J. Tilden, 502, Buther- 
ford B. Hayes, 835, Peter Cooper, 12; for county clerk — E. E. Blake 
received 834 votes, George M. Smith, 495; for recorder -^-M. Hilbert, 
799, John McAllister, 528. 

1877, October, for governor of Iowa — John H. Gear received 
779 votes, John P. Irish, 487; for county auditor — Gustave Heir- 
ling, 768, A. P. Brown, 644; for treasurer — John Herron, 1,005, 
Samuel E. Day, 232; for sheriff — James Hopkins, 947, John C. 
Morris, 460; for school superintendent — F. W. Gurnsey, 638, S. 
E. Spinden, 284; for surveyor — F. W. Gurnsey, 806, H. W. Albine, 
390; for coroner— F. A. Xanten, 703, A. B. Griffin, 239. 

1878, October, for recorder — George Stanley received 513 votes, 
M. B. Tritz, 482, M. Hilbert, 402; for county clerk— W. S. Will- 
iver, 908, A. E. Eea, 302, A. W. Parsons, 130. ' 

1879, October, for governor of Iowa — J. H. Gear received 813 
votes, H. H. Trumble, 700; for auditor— A. M. Duus, 611, David 
Gibbs, 547 ; for treasurer — John Herron, 718, George W. McLain, 
438, A. Aldrich, 394; for coroner— Frank N. Myers, 1,251; for school 
superintendent — F. W. Gurnsey, 882, Daniel O'Brien, 707; for sur- 
veyor — F. W. Gurnsey, 1,510, scattering, 10. 

1880, November, for president of the United States — James A. 
Garfield, 884, W. S. Hancock, 756, J. B. Weaver, 60; for county 
clerk— W. S. Williver, 1,013, Daniel O'Brien, 582; for recorder- 
George Stanley, 917, M. B. Tritz, 712. 

1881, October, for governor of Iowa — Buren Sherman received 
1,106 votes, L. G. Kinnie, 814; for auditor— A. M. Duus, 1,454, 
C. E. Bobinson, 486; for school supei-intendent — J. W. Wernli. 
1,214, J. S. Gehan, 717; for surveyor— A. C. Sheetz, 1,924; for 
coroner — F. N. Myers, 1,861, J. C. Cunningham, 73. 

1882, Special Election, June 27, vote on prohibition of liquor in 
Iowa — For Amendment, 750; against, 1,186. 

1882, November, for county clerk — W. S. Williver received 1,155 
votes, B. F. Heirling, 1,125; for recorder— W. S. Freeman, 962, Will- 
iam C. Lawrence, 740, George Stanley, 598. 


1883, October, for governor of Iowa — B. R. Sherman received 
1,296 votes, L. G. Kinnie, 1,378, J. B. Weaver, 47; for county 
auditor — A. M. Duus,2,199, John Porsch, 514; for treasurer — William 
McClintock, 1,583, James Hopkins, 1,109; for sheriff — Gustave Heirl- 
ing, 1,619, E. H. Miller, 1,061; for coroner— F. N. Myers, 1,950, G. 
W. Hunt, 408; for surveyor— F. W. Gurnsey, 1,879, A. C. Sheetz, 756. 

1884, November, for president of the United States — Grover Cleve- 
land, 1,710, J. G. Blaine, 1,648; for county clerk— W. S. Williver, 
1,823, S. H. Roberts, 1,524; for recorder— W. S. Freeman, 1,882, John 
P. Neth, 1,425. 

1885, November, for governor of Iowa — William Larrabee received 
1,485 votes, Charles E. Whiting, 1,930; for auditor— Fred Becker, 
1,860, Peter Egan, 1,590; for treasurer— C. A. Rodolf, 1,917, Henry 
Henrich, 1,502; for sheriff— F. D. Fuller, 1,789, J. W. Hawkins, 1,602; 
for surveyor — L. K. Bowman, 3,280; for school superintendent — Car- 
rie Byrne, 1,846, C. P. Kilburn, 1,356; for coroner — C. J. Corkery, 
1,827, P. L. Brick, 1,547. 

1886, November, for county attorney* — G. A. Garard received 
1,576 votes, S. J. McDuffie, 1,550; for county clerk— W. S. Williver, 
1,550, J. E. Arnodt, 1,545; for recorder— W. Winslow, 1,532, W. S. 
Freeman, 1,530; for coroner — J. C. Morris, 1,558, John Buehler, 1,492. 

1887, November, for governor of Iowa — William Larrabee re- 
ceived 1,357 votes, T. J. Anderson, 1,864; for treasurer — C. A. 
Rodolf, 1,858, John Beely, 1,372; for auditor— Fred Becker, 3,169, 
C. S. Rowley, 51; for school superintendent — Carrie Byrne, 3,069, 
C. Varnum, 51; for sheriff— William M. Boyle, 1,754, E. D. Cad- 
well, 1,486; for surveyor — L. K. Bowman, 3,200, D. M. Kersey, 55; 
for coroner — L. M. Doty, 1,840, Robert Ramsey, 1,366. 

1888, November, for president of the United States — Benjamin 
Harrison received 1,755 votes, Grover Cleveland, 2,140, R. Fisk 
(prohibition candidate), 58; for recorder — Wallace Winslow, 2,213, 
John Bechm, 1,729; for county attorney — Patrick Farrell, 2,120, Frank 
Amos, 1,820. 

1889, November, for governor of Iowa — Horace Boies received 
2,319 votes, Joseph Hutchinson, 1,275; for auditor — Fred Becker, 
3,525, C. S. Rowley, 37; for treasurer— J. F. Albright, 1,848, W. 

*The legislature which convened in the winter of 1885-86 created this office, which hitherto 
had been filled by appointment by the board of supervisors, but is now an elective office. 


J. Wernli, 1,748; for sheriff— William M. Boyle, 3,496, W. M. Mar- 
tin, 47; for surveyor — L. K. Bowman, 3,546, D. M. Kersey, 36; for 
school superintendent — Carrie Bj^rne, 2,407, Dale Hunter, 1,163; 
for coroner— J. C. McMahan, 2,220, George Carter, 1,552. 

1890, November, for secretary of State — McFarlancl received 1,255 
votes; Chamberlin, 2,027. 

Prohibitory Liquor Amendment. — At the special election held 
June 27, 1882, the question as to whether the following should be- 
come an amendment to the state constitution of Iowa, was voted upon: 

No person shall manufacture for sale, or sell, or keep for sale, as a beverage, any 
intoxicating liquor, whatsoever, including ale, wine and beer. 

The subjoined table shows the vote of Plymouth county, by town- 
ships, there being at that time only twenty. 

TOWNSHIPS. For. Against. 

America. 419 269 

Elgin 33 32 

Elkhorn 73 30 

Fredonia 12 60 

Grant 26 45 

Hungerford 14 52 

Johnson 45 49 

Liberty 5 48 

Lincoln 8 58 

Marion 24 121 

Meadow 42 1 

Perry 3 34 

Plymouth 26 49 

Portland 78 9 

Preston 10 25 

Sioux 7 13 

Stanton 35 43 

Union 30 20 

Washington 32 31 

Westfield 17 6 

Total 939 995 

¥ sl<Vlu9 

' Sst^S&Uts* 




Eakly School System— The Growth— First Normal Institute— 1875— 
Graded Schools— School Superintendents— Normal School and 
Business College — The Departments— The Present Faculty — Paro- 
chial Schools— General Remarks— Abstract of Superintendent's 
Reports From 1858 to 1889— An Abstract for 1890 by Townships. 

THE educational history of a county is very similar to that or a 
nation, not only in its beginnings, but also in its relation to the 
physical, intellectual, and moral condition of its inhabitants. Nothing 
is more interesting than the study of the beginning of new settlements, 
and the beginning of new educational systems therein; to read 
the opinions of the pioneer superintendents and teachers, to notice for 
some years the entire absence of educational reports, when the pages 
of the official records are filled with reports on highways, bridges, 
appropriations and petitions of different kinds and imports. A close 
observer and student can easily detect the grade of general intelli- 
gence, even the nationality, and the religious condition of the set- 
tlers. A very limited space is allotted to the history of education iu 
Plymouth county, therefore it will be brief. 

In 1858 Plymouth county was organized by the court of Wood- 
bury county, with the county superintendent, the school board, and 
the school district with a school therein. In these prompt beginnings 
we see the wisdom and the good influence of the law, passed by con- 
gress years ago, appropriating land in each township for the mainte- 
nance and support of public schools. Every township organizes at 
once in order to reap the advantages offered by the state in form of a 
state appropriation to each organized school taught a certain number 
of months. 

At the first election in Plymouth county, held October 16, 1858, 
D. Videto was elected county superintendent. But it seems that 
neither the distinguished honor of the office, nor the salary connected 
with it, could induce the gentleman to qualify. The board of super- 


visors filled the vacant chair July 9, 1859, by appointing A. E. Kea 
county superintendent, as only by a report of this officer was the 
organized school district of the county entitled to an appropriation 
from the state for its school. In 1859 Plymouth county, having then 
112 inhabitants, reported one school in the county, in Plymouth 
township, which then, with Westfield township, embraced the entire 
county. The number of the school population, from five to twenty- 
one years of age, was reported as twenty-six. The school-house is 
now located in Lincoln township. The name of the first teacher was 
James Moreton. 

How many scholars were in attendance the official report does not 
tell. At the general election of 1859, J. V. Stafford was elected 
county superintendent of schools. As an example of the princely 
salaries of the office, it is here mentioned that his bill for services 
rendered as county superintendent from November 1, 1859, to March 
1, 1860, was $8.32, which was duly allowed by the board, and paid in 
county warrants. The recompense was so insignificant that some of 
our former county superintendents did not quality, and others did not 
properly report, or otherwise attend to their duties as school officers, 
holding at the same time some other, better-paying county office. 
The annexed table will show the deficiency of the annual reports to 
the state superintendent. No records are found in the county super- 
intendent's office for the years from 1858 to 1872. These notes were 
gathered from the well-kept minutes of the board of supervisors, and 
the reports to the state superintendent. If, however, the expenses for 
the county superintendency would be as large per school now, as they 
were in 1860, the superintendent's salary would amount to over $5,000 
per* year. 

During the year 1860 the number of inhabitants increased to 148. 
A county school tax was raised of 1^- mills. Plymouth township 
raised that year 9 mills for school purposes, and 4 mills for a school- 
house in sub-district No. 2. The township district of Westfield raised 
6 mills for school purposes, but never reported a school until after its 
reorganization, many years later. During this year Lincoln township 
district was organized and the school funds of Plymouth district were 
divided, Lincoln receiving $248.14; while Plymouth got but $214.77. 
But as Lincoln had not maintained a public school for a sufficient 
length of time, a re-division was ordered; and, at this, Lincoln re- 


ceived but $174.94,. and Plymouth $323.68. The average length of 
time the schools were taught during 1860 was but two and four-tenths 
months. The school report for 1860 records three schools, two 
gentlemen and one lady teacher, a school population of forty-three, 
but only fifteen enrolled, and three school-houses, valued at $950. 

From 1861 to 1866 the population of the county did not increase 
perceptibly. The new settlers came and left again. Having no railroad 
they had no market. In 1863 the number of inhabitants had decreased 
to ninety-three. The school report of 1863 shows but two schools, with 
thirty-one children between the ages of four to twenty-one years, the 
number enrolled nineteen, and the average attending but eleven. Two 
male and two female teachers kept the schools. But the schools were 
taught but two or three months that year. During 1866 the same num- 
ber of schools, with fifty -nine school population, and twenty-sis attend- 
ing, are reported. At the general election, October 19, 1861, A. E. Rea 
and J. V. Stafford were candidates for the county superintendent's 
office, and received an equal number of votes. Thereupon they were 
called to the county seat to draw lots, which decided for A. E. Eea. 

During 1867 the number of inhabitants reached 214. The ap- 
proach of the Illinois Central railway encouraged the people to settle 
the wild prairies near the Big Sioux, whose very name had before 
kept them away. Now, with the immigration from the east, instead 
of from the west, and the laying of an "iron trail," new life was in- 
fused into the county, and " progress " became the watchword of our 
public schools. 

In the fall of 1869 William Hunter was elected county superin- 
tendent. In his printed report to the state superintendent, he reports 
twenty schools — six-month schools; twenty-seven teachers, of whom 
twelve were males. The number of school population from 1869 to 
1871 increased from 324 to 1,024, or about 250 per cent. The num- 
ber of scholars enrolled was but 319, of whom only 117 attended the 
school regularly. The total school expenses for 1871 were $5,671 ; 
or $48 per scholar for six-month school; a costly education, indeed. 
This amount of tuition includes all expenses for school purposes, as it 
should by right. 

County Superintendent W. Hunter writes that his salary for the last 
year amounted to $125, paid in county warrants, whose market value 
then was 60 cents on the dollar. He visited every school, and speaks 


very highly of the school-houses, but desires more power and better 
pay as superintendent. He favored the organization of the township 
district system, for which so much has been petitioned since, but with- 
out any visible effect. 

In 1871 John C. Buchanan, of the Le Mars " Sentinel," a well- 
qualified school-man, was elected county superintendent, but very 
soon he resigned, seeing that a county superintendent had neither the 
power to do much good, under the existing laws of that time, nor any 
pay for his labor, receiving but $3 per day, and no traveling expenses. 
This low pay for the office of a county superintendent, who needs to 
be one of the best teachers of the county, showed more clearly than 
anything else the want of intelligence of the average legislator. The 
expenses of a superintendent with team are at least $3 per day. The 
more he visits schools the less pay he gets. At the rate of the 
present salary, $4 a day, his net pay is 50 cents less than a common 
day laborer. Were it not for the. hospitality of the people, county 
superintendents would have to live on the honor of the office. And a 
man who has any self-esteem, would hardly be satisfied with living on 
the kindness and hospitality of his neighbors. The vacant office was 
then filled by appointing John L. Innis. During his administration 
tbe number of schools increased to fifty-seven, all ungraded; twenty- 
four male and forty-six female teachers taught these schools; the 
school population rose to 1,648, of which 957, or about fifty-eight per 
cent were enrolled. 

In the fall of 1873, J. H. Haroun, a practical teacher, was elected 
county superintendent. The schools increased fast, and already the 
schools of Le Mars were felt in Plymouth county. 

The First Normal Institute was held in Plymouth county in 1875. 
J. Wernli, then living at Chicago, 111., was called to conduct the 
same. The number of teachers attending was forty-two, from a num- 
ber of ninety-four then in the county. In the fall of this year 
seventy-one schools were conducted six and nine-tenths months, 
taught by thirty-six gentlemen and fifty-eight lady teachers. With 
this year a new era commenced for our school system. With the 
teacher's institute new thoughts, new methods, and new demands were 
brought to the teacher. 

The first result of the institute was, that the teachers learned that 
teaching does not merely imply to "keep" school; that the qualifi- 


cations of a teacher require more than the ability of merely to read, 
write and spell; that his responsibilities are of a higher order; and 
that his influence for good or bad is without an end. This knowl- 
edge created in our better teachers a desire for higher qualifications, 
and many of them went to the state normal school and other noted 
educational institutions to prepare themselves for the great work. 
Thus, year after year, the teacher's standard of qualifications was 
raised, and the schools became more efficient. 

The improvement was steady, but slow. Too soon do our noble 
lady teachers quit their work in the public schools, for which they 
have so well qualified themselves, to enter those high and sacred 
duties for which nature has especially adapted them ; to bring peace 
and happiness into some new homes in the northwest. Many of our 
best gentlemen teachers also leave the educational field for some voca- 
tion which pays better and gives steady employment. But even in 
their new positions they will disseminate their practical knowledge, 
and prove to be important factors for the improvement of our public- 
school system. 

The normal institute was for years the principal school that did 
real professional work for our teachers. While a great deal of 
academic work was required, yet this was done in such a manner and 
with such improved methods, the reason for every new step taken so 
clearly explained, the duties of the teacher to the school, the pupils, 
the school board, the parents, and the public in general so deeply im- 
pressed, that the old way of teaching, without plan and purpose, is 
abandoned, and more and more the teachers try to develop their 
pupils in accordance to the true principles of education. The very 
best of instructors were engaged, and no money expended by the 
teachers is of more benefit to them, and to the public schools, than 
the money spent in and for the teachers' institute. It might seem a 
strong statement, but it is nevertheless true, that many teachers of 
experience, at the time of the introduction of the normal institute, 
could neither properly conduct a recitation in reading, nor analyze an 
example in multiplication or division of common or decimal fractions; 
but many regarded the proper methods as useless innovations. What 
a change in our educational system has been achieved during the past 
fifteen years! The normal institute has gained in favor and im- 
portance since its beginning. It is now well graded; it is attended 


by every teacher, and all those intending to make teaching their 
business, and it acts as a powerful agent for the higher qualification 
of the public teacher. 

Graded Schools. — Another important factor, that works for the 
improvement of public education, is our system of graded schools. In 
this respect the public schools of Le Mars are the most important; 
they have given to the country schools many better qualified teachers. 

The citizens of Le Mars are, in general, well educated, many of 
them of high culture. Their endeavor was to establish as good 
schools in their town as could be procured for money. The best 
teachers they could obtain were imported. As early as 1874 the town 
had a graded school. During the summer of 1877 the present 
high-school building was erected, and the school transferred from 
the former two-story frame building, 24x36 feet, into that new and 
beautiful building. The first year only four rooms of the new school- 
house were occupied. Now Le Mars has three beautiful brick build- 
ings with twenty-one teachers, and one of the best school systems in 
Iowa. Le Mars has reason to be proud of her public schools, and 
very seldom a school-board can be found that works as systematically 
and disinterestedly as that of Le Mars has worked from the creation 
of that independent district until now. 

The example given by Le Mars was soon followed by Akron, on the 
Big Sioux, which, in 1882, built a fine brick structure, as an educational 
temple, for their graded school. That town, too, hired only teachers 
of experience and superior qualifications, and had a very flourishing 
school from the beginning. Many of our teachers were educated in 

The same year, Kingsley was laid out and built up with wonder- 
ful rapidity, and at once established an independent district, built a 
school-house of four rooms, and organized a very good and prosper- 
ous graded school, from which many students graduated, and either 
began to teach or went to normal schools to obtain the professional 

In the year 1885 Eemsen established its graded school with the 
same salutary and happy results. These schools were a blessing, not 
only to their respective districts, but also to the entire county. It is 
only surprising that the township districts had not, long before this, 
followed the examples of the towns, and also established union schools 


in their townships, and thereby graded their schools. What advan- 
tages they would derive from such a system! At the general election 
of 1875, F. B. Sibley, a young and scholarly gentleman, was elected 
county superintendent to supersede J. H. Haroun. Mr. Sibley spent 
his time and energy for the schools of Plymouth county. He insisted 
upon a better attendance at the normal institute, and worked especially 
for uniformity of text-books. The diversity of text-books was one of 
the greatest obstacles of progress. During that time all kinds of 
text-books in the United States were represented in the county. Four 
scholars in the fourth-reader class had four different books and formed 
four reading classes. An effort by the teacher to get uniformity was 
met with objections by the parents. How little a teacher can do under 
such circumstances any one ought to see; but neither the people nor 
the school boards took the necessary steps to remedy the evil. During 
Mr. Sibley's administration the schools increased to eighty. Sixty- 
six teachers attended the institute; physiology was added to the com- 
mon-school branches; the questions of the teachers' examinations 
were issued by the state superintendent, and made uniform for the 
whole state ; and higher and more uniform qualifications was demanded 
of the teachers. 

Work of County Superintendents. — From 1877 to 1881 F. W. 
Guernsey was county superintendent, and also county surveyor. He 
continued the policy of his predecessors, and tried to raise the standard 
of the teachers' qualifications. During his term of office the schools 
increased to 106, the school population to 3,444, the enrollment to 
2,065 and the average attendance to 1,134. The expenses of Plym- 
outh county for school purposes reached about $40,000 per year. 
In 1881 he resigned, and was succeeded by J. Wernli, formerly county 
superintendent in Wisconsin, and a teacher of many years' experience. 
He held the office two terms, when he, too, resigned. His principal 
objects were: 

To qualify the teachers for their work by teachers' institutes and 
teachers' conventions. 

To eliminate the poorer elements from the teachers by making the 
examinations more professional. 

To create more interest for the public schools in the country by 
visiting not only the schools, but by addressing the citizens on educa- 
tional topics. 


To arouse the energy and diligence of the pupils and teachers by 
instituting a series of township and county examinations. 

To interest the citizens of the county for the establishing of a 
state normal school at Le Mars. 

He but partly succeeded in his plans. The teachers' conventions 
did good work, and were well attended; the teachers' institutes in- 
creased in usefulness; the proposed examinations of the scholars by 
townships and their selected delegates in our great county assembly 
was carried through and proved successful; but many of the older 
teachers who did not intend to change their habits of " keeping 
school," secretly opposed these examinations in their townships, as 
useless and even hurtful innovations, and thus paralyzed the efforts 
of the better teachers and their superintendent in those neighborhoods. 
The proposed conventions of the school officers were not sufficiently 
attended to do a great deal of good. Some of the best and wide- 
awake officers attended regularly, while those that were not aware of 
the great importance of their office remained at home, and could not 
be reached. The county was firmly united in its efforts to obtain a 
normal school, and to vote aid for it, but for various reasons which 
will be mentioned hereafter, the plan could not be carried into effect. 

During his term of office the minimum salary of the superintendent 
was raised to $4 per day by the legislature. Many counties paid 
their superintendents higher salaries, which they are permitted to do, 
and which they considered necessary, in order to get well-qualified 
persons for this most important office. That $4 per day does not pay 
a county superintendent for him and his team when visiting schools, 
needs no further demonstration. A county as large as Plymouth, 
however, would need the time of the superintendent, even of two, 
every day of the year, to work in the schools and among the people, 
to wake them up to action and lead them to a higher and uniform 
standard. The most faithful officer gets tired and discouraged if he be 
not sufficiently assisted by the people, and properly paid. J. Wernli 
declined a re-election at the end of the second term. 

During his administration the number of district townships had 
increased to twenty-four, the independent^districts to three, with 
graded schools, the sub-districts to 121, the number of graded 
schools to twenty-three, and ungraded to 125. The schools were 
taught on an average of seven and one-half months, by sixty-four male 


and 160 female teachers; the school population had risen to 5,551, 
the enrollment to 4,214, of which eighty-eight per cent were attend- 
ing school regularly. The expenses of the county for school purposes 
— as many new school-houses were built — amounted, in 1885, to 
$78,381, of which about $40,000 was for teachers' wages. The value 
of the school-houses was estimated at $94,069. The teachers' insti- 
tute was attended by 139 teachers, of whom only twenty-four were 
gentlemen, showing clearly that the ladies are, year by year, gaining 
ground as public teachers, and that before long, at this rate, the popu- 
lation of Plymouth county will be educated by ladies. The number 
of candidates examined during this term was 249. 

In the general election of 1885 Miss Carrie E. Byrne was elected 
county superintendent. This was the first time that a lady was 
elected to this office in Plymouth county. She is a practical, 
experienced teacher, who taught for many years in the Le Mars schools, 
with progressive success. Wherever she was employed as teacher, she 
had distinguished herself by her faithful and thorough work, yet 
many of her friends were a little anxious in regard to her work in the 
superintendency. But it was not necessary. Her experience, her 
practical scholarship, and her common sense aided her determination 
to succeed in her new and difficult task. She took up the plan and 
the work of an experienced predecessor and carried it successfully 
onward and upward. Every one, not prejudiced, will acknowledge 
that she is one of the best and most successful county superintendents 
we ever had. The small pay of $4 per day did not hinder her spend- 
ing all her time for the schools of the county. None of the gentlemen 
superintendents before her could afford to spend so much time for so 
little pay. And this steady work, combined with her firmness of pur- 
pose, coidd soon be noticed, especially in the teachers' convention and 
in the normal institutes She is a true friend to the good and faithful 
teacher, and forces the lazy ones to improve. The schools have been 
greatly advanced under her management, and our people, without 
limit of party or "ism," are supporting her. During her administra- 
tion, the county having increased in population also, the township 
districts were, in 1889, increased to twenty-three; independent dis- 
tricts to four; the sub-districts to 134; the schools to 171; the 
number of months taught was eight and three-tenths ; the number of 
teachers 174; the number of people entitled to free tuition in the 


common schools was 6,520; enrolled were 4,947; and the average 
attendance 2,943. The tuition per month averaged $2; the 146 
school-houses were appraised $122,100. The expenses for teachers' 
wages amounted to $50,000, and the entire expenses tor school pur- 
poses to $75,000; the normal institute was attended by twenty-five 
gentlemen and 195 lady teachers, and at a cost of $448; 189 appli- 
cants were examined, of whom twenty-five were rejected. Of the 164 
teachers examined in 1889, seventy-two had second, sixty-two first, 
thirty professional, and three state certificates. Two teachers have 
diplomas for life. 

Thus the public schools of the county haye grown in magnitude 
and importance, at present forming the greatest factor of the welfare 
of our commonwealth. 

The Northwestern Normal School and Business College at Le 
Mars. — As the improvement of our teachers, and thereby our schools, 
is indebted in a great measure to this institution of learning, its his- 
tory is necessarily a part of the educational history of Plymouth 

That our county might have one of the best schools in Iowa, was 
for many years one of the leading thoughts of the people. In order 
that this object might the sooner be accomplished, they applied as 
early as 1880 to the legislature for an appropriation, and a law to 
establish a state normal school at Le Mars. Every effort by our citi- 
zens, even the offer of a fine site, and $20,000 in cash as an aid in the 
construction of a building, had no effect. Every attempt since to 
obtain aid and recognition by the state was of no use. 

Prof. J. Wernli having been county superintendent and institute 
conductor for years in the northwest, and being thoroughly acquainted 
with the public-school teachers aud their wants, after having tried in 
vain to induce some leading normal teacher to establish a private nor- 
mal school in Le Mars, until something would be done by the state of 
Iowa, concluded to open a school and to conduct it until a state nor- 
mal would be established. Aided by the citizens of Le Mars, he 
bought the former school- house, which had been enlarged, and after 
having fitted it up in first-class style he, with his associate and friend, 
Prof. J. F. Hirsch, opened the normal, March 28, 1887, with eleven 
students. It grew rapidly in numbers and favor. The first year they 
were assisted, free of charge, by Eev. D. W. Fahs and G. W. Foster, 


M. D. Soon they had to engage other help in order to meet the 
demands of the classes. During the first year 125 students, the sec- 
ond year 190, and the third year 197 attended the school. Till June, 
1890, over 400 students had received instruction in the instution, and 
more than 125 of them are now engaged as teachers in the public 
schools of the northwest. And this result was obtained without any 
agent except the attraction of the school by its superior work upon the 
young people of the northwest. From its beginning it was owned, 
supported and carried on by the work and the financial aid of its 

The citizens of Le Mars, however, having been aware of the tend- 
ency and the usefulness of the school, in the summer of 1890, relieved 
J. Wernli from his arduous task, and, upon his repeated solicitations, 
made arrangements with his former partner, Prof. J. F. Hirsch, and 
Prof. A. W. Bich, a very successful normal teacher, to rent the build- 
ing, and to continue the school. 

The school is divided into six departments — preparatory, normal, 
business, college preparatory, musical and military. 

The faculty for 1890-91 is as follows: A. W. Rich, principal — ■ 
didactics, mathematics and English ; J. F. Hirsch, associate principal 
—science, vocal music and German; Mrs. A. W. Rich — geography, 
United States history and word analysis; Mrs. Luella C. Emery — ■ 
instrumental music; C. Jay Smith — voice culture. 

Thus private enterprise carries on the cause of education where 
it is neglected by the government, or sectional strife. This private 
normal has become a blessing to the northwest, and is now esteemed 
highly by the citizens of Le Mars and Plymouth county. 

Parochial Schools. — In addition to these schools the county has 
two parochial schools, one supported by German St. Joseph's church 
society, at Le Mars, under the care of the sisters. This school is in a 
flourishing condition. The other is at Remsen. 

In conclusion, it may be remarked, that our school-system has 
grown wonderfully. The schools have increased in number, have 
been classified, and partly graded. They have a uniform course of 
study, and better qualified teachers. The standard, intellectually is 
higher than formerly, and is steadily rising. If now our teachers 
and citizens will take special care of the innocent young pupils, and 
give them that moral instruction and training which is valued higher, 



and worth more, than all mere intellectual growth, our schools will 
become a source of real blessing to our county, and will lead the 
growing generation to real happiness. 

Our educational system should not be the tree of knowledge, which 
cheats our children out of their paradise; but rather the tree of life 
which leads our people to their salvation! 

The following table will show the growth of our schools. Its 
completeness is due to the kindness of State Superintendent Sabin, 
and to his secretary, Mrs. A. B. Billington, and to the records, kindly 
opened to the writer by Miss Carrie E. Byrne, the county superin- 
tendent. The table speaks for itself: 

Following is an abstract of school reports from 1858 to 1889, in 
Plymouth county: 











•~ ^ 














^ "' 

ft p, 








> s 


m - 

6 S 


£ 3 


ti I 3 













jS S H 

1858. . . 









1859. . . 




1860. . . 





- 2 





0$ 146.75 

1861. . 










. . . . 890.00 

1862. . . 










. . . . 490.00 

1863. . . 









.. .. 467.00 

1864. . . 









. . . . 222.06 

1865. . . 









. . . 220.00 

1866. . . 










. . . . 321.00 

1867. . . 










. . . . 432.00 

1868. . . 










1 885.00 

1869. . . 










1 2,378.00 

1870. . . 










1 . . 5,943.00 











1 .. 5,671.00 

1872. . . 











1 . . 13,857.00 

1873. . . 








No re- 



1874 . . 












1875. . . 












1 .. 38,042.00 

1876. . . 












. . . . 45,800.00 

1877. . . 












. . 1 43,300.00 

1878. . . 












. . 1 42,247.00 

1879. . • 












.. 1 51,770.00 

1880. . . 












. . 1 36,320.00 

1881. . . 












. . . . No report 

1882. . . 












. . 1 47,446.00 

1883. . . 












. . 2 62,000.00 

1884. . . 












. . 3 77,300.00 

1885. . . 












. . 3 78,381.00 

1886. . . 












. . 3 72,573.00 

1887. . . 












.. 3 71,000.00 

1888. . . 












. . 2 75,802.00 

1889. . . 












. . 2 75,800.00 



The subjoined gives the chief factors of the present (1890) pub- 
lic-school system in and for Plymouth county: 









Hungerf ord 










Ply mouth 





Washi ngton 


Independent district Le Mars. 
Independent district Kingsley. 
Independent district Remsen . 

Total 3 

















The Value of Railroads— Railroad Land Grants— The First Grant- 
First Road Built — Hindrances— The Civil and Indian War— The 
Minneapolis & Omaha Line— The Chicago & Northwestern Sys- 
tem—The Milwaukee & St. Paul— The Sioux City & Northern — 
Total Mileage in County. 

IN general and special terms, no internal improvement lias accom- 
plished as much for Plymouth county as has the construction of 
its railway lines. Indeed, the locomotive, the printing press, and the 
electric current move the whole globe. 

Up to within the memory of this present generation, new countries 
had to be opened up and developed by the toil of hardy pioneers. 
The soil and mineral wealth had to be developed by this class before 
capital would invest in building an iron highway, but now railways 
outstrip civilization and wind their way on into the great prairie 
plains of the ever changing west, and are finally lost in the darkness 
of some long mountain tunnel in the " Rockies." Then commences 
the settlement. 

Railroad Land Grants. — It was early realized that without rail- 
roads the public lands in the great northwest — an empire in extent, of 
inexhaustible fertility, and rich in its undeveloped resources — would 
continue comparatively valueless, and long remain unsettled. To 
insure the speedy construction of railroads, and at the same time 
harmonize their cost with the benefits conferred, on principles of 
justice to the public, was a problem to which the attention of congress 
was earnestly directed. The whole theory of our system of govern- 
ment forbade their construction by the United States, from appropria- 
tions made out of the national treasury, while it was evident that 
without government assistance of some sort, the railroads could not be 
built for a number of years, if ever. Influenced by these considera- 
tions, congress finally settled upon a plan of granting one-half the 
lands, being the odd numbered sections within certain specified limits, 


to aid in the construction of designated lines of railroad on them, at 
once doubling the price of the remaining lands, thus giving aid to the 
roads during the time they might be expected to be non-paying, and 
at the same time protecting the public land interest of the country. 
This was a well-solved problem — one which both parties coincided in 
and were responsible for. Indeed with all that demagogues may say 
during campaign times, pro and con, it was a wise piece of congres- 
sional legislation. It was, in fact, an act to civilize the entire west and 
cause the fertile prairie lands to become the grain garden of the world. 
The First Grant and the First Railroad. — The first grant made to 
the state of Iowa to aid in the construction of railroads was approved 
May 15, 1856. One of the lines designated was to run from the city of 
Dubuque, across the entire state, to a point near Sioux City, Iowa. 
The lands thus granted were conferred on the Dubuque & Pacific 
railroad company, but finally fell to the corporation known as the 
Dubuque & Sioux City company. So much of this land as was 
included in the grant on account of the construction of the line from 
Iowa Falls west to Sioux City, was transferred to the Iowa Falls & Sioux 
City company, by contract executed by and between that company and 
the Dubuque & Sioux City company, January 7, 1868, and legalized 
and confirmed by the Iowa legislature April 7, the same year. 

To the people of Plymouth county, what few settlers there were, 
a railroad seemed a needed blessing. 

The original survey planned to continue on a line running through 
Correctionville, thence into Sioux City, but the survey of the Sioux 
City & St. Paul (present "Minneapolis & Omaha" line) brought a 
change in matters. The Iowa Falls & Sioux City saw that they could 
run a line from near Fort Dodge to where Le Mars is now located, and 
at said point form a junction with the road surveyed from Sioux 
City to St. Paul, and thus save building a line from Le Mars to Sioux 
City. Again, the Iowa Falls company saw the great prospective field 
for a paying line from Le Mars on west across the Big Sioux river 
at Akron — then " Portlandville '•' — to Yankton, Dak., which, in 1864, 
came into great prominence through what was known as the Yankton 
colony from western New York. Hence they determined to connect 
at Le Mars and use a road-bed on into Sioux City, in common with the 
Sioux City & St. Paul. As it terminated, however, the Illinois Cen- 
tral got control of that part of the line, and now lease to the Minne- 
apolis & Omaha. 


But the pioneer must needs wait still another period, and depend 
upon Sioux City for markets and mail outlets. The railroad, so much 
spoken of in the late fifties, on account of the dark Civil war cloud which 
hovered over the nation from 1861 to 1865, silenced every farmer's 
hope, and finally the whole railroad promise was looked upon by 
pioneers as a gigantic farce, and the people calmly submitted to being 
shut up in a little isolated republic by themselves. 

Emigrants and land seekers seldom thought of and never visited 
the domain, so fair and beautiful, now known as Plymouth county, 
as it was north from the old direct state road and mail route to the 
Missouri river. 

In 1863 the passage of the homestead act once more shot a new 
ray of light and hope into the pioneers' hearts, but then came the 
fearful Indian massacre at New Ulm,Minn., near the Iowa line. This 
sent a thrill of horror to every heart, and seemed to fix the final destiny 
of the little band of settlers in Plymouth county. The blood-stained 
visions of Spirit Lake haunted the old settlers, and a fear that the inde- 
scribable horrors of an Indian war were about to break upon them, 
paralyzed the shattered remnants of a once hopeful settlement, nestled 
along the Big Sioux and Floyd valleys. 

However, the Indian trouble culminated in the rightful hanging of 
thirty-eight Sioux Indians at Mankato, Minn., in the fall of 1863. 
The Civil war closed in 1865, leaving a free and united country. 
Business again looked up, money sought new channels for investment 
in railroads as well as general improvements throughout the great 
northwest. From that date on the railroad problem was only a matter 
of time in which to build the long-looked-for railroad from Iowa 
Falls to Sioux City. During the year 1869 the work of building was 
pushed with a vigor, making busy times all along the line. The 
withdrawal of lands from cash-entry fee checked speculation, while 
the homestead act gave the country a goodly number of men who 
came to remain and make for themselves homes. 

In October, 1869, the road was finished from Sioux City as far 
east as Meriden, Cherokee county, while the line from Iowa Falls had 
pushed through to Webster City. The spring of 1870 was one of 
unusual activity; immigration set in, and July 27, 1870, the eastern 
and western sections of the present Illinois Central road met near 
Storm Lake, which gave Sioux City a connection with the great 



eastern market world by rail, thus ushering in a new and golden era 
to all western Iowa. Soon after completion the road was leased for a 
term of ninety-nine years (conditional at the end of twenty years), to 
the Illinois Central company. As soon as it could be brought about, 
stations were made iu Plymouth county at Plemsen, Oyens, Le Mars, 
Merrill, Hinton and James, thus giving settlers a chance to ship what 
they raised and receive in exchange lumber and building materials. 

The Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha R. R. was com- 
pleted from Worthington to Le Mars in the autumn of 1872, with 
stations located at Seney, in Elgin township, and at Le Mars, at 
which point it made junction with the Illinois Central road, using the 
same line into Sioux City, by right of a lease. This has come to be 
the best paying road of any in Plymouth county. Solid trains run 
over this " royal route " from Omaha to St. Paul and Chicago, and 
a vast tonnage of freight goes and comes annually. More pounds of 
freight were shipped from Le Mars by this road, in 1889, than over 
the Illinois Central. It is a popular road, well managed, and is a part 
of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway system. Its grain and lum- 
ber shipments are immense. At the present time, July, 1890, there 
are fourteen passenger trains passing through Le Mars daily over 
this line and the Illinois Central. 

Sioux City Branch of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Rail- 
road. — This line, over which there has been no little litigation from 
time to time, owing to the land grants and non-compliance of contracts 
in regard to the same, was completed through the northwest corner 
of Plymouth county, in 1874 and 1875, with station points at Akron, 
in Portland township, and Westfield, in Westfield township. This road's 
completion, however, did not increase actual settlement much, for the 
lands were claimed by the government, and also by the railroad com- 
pany, and, being in litigation until about 1882, but few settlers came 
in. So it is that this portion of the county is now comparatively 
thinly settled. Yet the road has been a valuable adjunct in settle- 
ment, and has come to be a highly-prized highway to the northwest. 

Kingsley Branch of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway. — This 
road, a part of the great Northwestern system, enters this county 
on the east line of Garfield township, traverses that township 
from east to west, and runs through a part of Elkhorn township, 
thence on into Woodbury county, its terminal now being at Moville. 


Its objective point is Sioux City, however. This railroad was com- 
pleted in 1883, in time for the fall business, and has been of great 
help to the speedy settlement of the southeastern part of Plymouth 
county, providing an outlet for stock and grain to the Chicago and 
St. Louis markets. This road crosses the Sioux Falls branch of the 
Illinois Central road at Correctionville. The town of Kingsley is the 
only station within the limits of Plymouth county. 

The Sioux City & Northern Railway. — This is the last iron high- 
way built in Plymouth county, and but few roads in America have 
been planned, surveyed, graded, ironed and equipped with rolling 
stock in so short a space of time. The road was conceived of in the 
fertile minds of a few enterprising business men of Sioux City, who 
believed that their own city might gain a better, cheaper freight rate 
to the far-off seaboard, by having an independent line of their own, run- 
ning to the northward, connecting with the Great Northern (Manitoba) 
system, touching the vast Red River valley of the north, and connect- 
ing with water transportation at Duluth. Hence it was that in the 
autumn of 1889, a home company was formed and the line projected 
and built a hundred miles to the north, now terminating at Garretson, 
S. Dak. The line parallels the Illinois Central road from Sioux City 
through Woodbury and Plymouth counties as far as Merrill. From 
that point it diverges to the north, missing Le Mars — some say 
intentionally — only about three miles, establishing a station called 
Dalton, just west of Le Mars. The company maintains stations at 
James, Merrill, Dalton and Struble in Plymouth county. The entire 
work was executed, and the road open for business, early in the spring 
of 1890, and to-day it is one of the best-paying roads entering Sioux 
City. It is operated in connection with the Great Northern route, and 
while only a few months have elapsed since its last rail was spiked 
down, yet it has caused a cut in freight rates, north and east, never 
heard of before. 

The following gives the mileage of railroads in Plymouth county, 
June 1, 1890: Chicago & Northwestern (Kingsley division), thirteen 
miles; Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul (Sioux City division), fifteen 
miles; Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha, ten miles; Illinois 
Central (D. & S. C. line), thirty-five miles; Sioux City & Northern, 
twenty-eight miles; total mileage, 101. 




Richness of the Soil—" King " Corn—" King " Wheat— Commencement of 
Stock Growing— The Annual Crop Product — Figures From the Cen- 
sus Report— The County Fair— Its Society and Officers— Extract 
From Report to Secretary' of State Agricultural Society — Etc. 

THE wealth of Plymouth county, in common with nearly all western 
Iowa, is found in the extreme richness of the soil, and needs only 
frugal and painstaking management upon the part of the farmer to 
bring it forth in great abundance. To him who has been reared midst 
the rocky sections of one of the New England or even middle states, 
this county is indeed a real wonderland. The summer season, though 
very short, gives ample time for the planting, cultivation and final 
reaping of a bountiful harvest of everything that tends to support a 
prosperous people. 

Wheat and Com. — Here one finds corn and wheat, crowned 
kings. A single six-mile-square township (of which Plymouth boasts 
of twenty four) is capable of producing more bushels of grain, more 
bushels of corn, more pounds of pork and beef and more wagon loads 
of vegetables than half of all the counties east of the Alleghany mount- 
ains will average. 

Nor is the end yet reached, for this county still has a mine of 
agricultural wealth, not one-half developed, but which, with the march 
of time, must inevitably become more and moi'e valuable. Early in 
the history of Plymouth county, wheat was the main crop grown, but 
now corn surpasses all other products grown, both as regards acreage 
and value. And along with the conquest made by corn over wheat, in 
this locality, has sprung up another industry, that of successful stock- 
raising, in which the most money is made to-day. 

Other Products. — To give the reader a clearer understanding of 
the county's agricultural growth, it is deemed best, in this connec- 
tion, to introduce some of the officially compiled comparative statis- 


tics of the county. In 1840 the United States census gave the follow- 
ing crop product for the entire state of Iowa: 

Bushels of Indian corn raised, 1,406,241; wheat, 154,693; oats, 
216,384; rye, 3,792; barley, 728; buckwheat, 6,212. In Plym- 
outh county alone, in the year 1884, the following was produced: 
Indian corn, 105,722 acres, (producing 2,455,401 bushels; wheat, 45,599 
acres, producing 670,706 bushels; oats, 35,941 acres, producing 996,- 
641 bushels; rye, 733 acres, producing 11,714 bushels; barley, 2,860 
acres, producing 48,236 bushels; buckwheat, 47 acres, producing 693 
bushels; sorghum, 55 acres, producing 755 gallons; acres of native 
timber, 920; acres of planted timber, 3,820; bearing apple trees, 
3,471; acres of timothy, 2,803; acres of flax, 5,997; number of cattle 
sold to slaughter, 4,743; number of hogs sold to slaughter, 24,033; 
number of sheep on hand, 1,987; average size of farms, 188 acres; 
improved land, 195,204 acres; unimproved land, 111,641 acres; culti- 
vated land, 145,460 acres; pasture land, 24,430 acres; farms rented, 
512; farms operated by owners, 1,276. 

It will be observed that Plymouth county produced as much, and 
of some products more, than did the whole state of Iowa, in 1840 — 
fifty years ago! 

The County Fair. — Seeing the advantages to be gained by an 
annual exhibit of farm products of Plymouth county, her citizens 
organized what was known as the " Plymouth County Agricultural 
Society," in June, 1873. A meeting was held at the court-house, and 
the following officers were elected: A. E. Rea, president; E. H. 
Shaw, vice-president, and Dr. Hilbert, secretary. The board of direct- 
ors were: Robert Steele, N. Redmon, Robert Ramsey, George 
Reeves, T. D. Romans, George Small, L. Koenig, E. J. Porter, J. J. 
Madden, W. Wingett, George W. Chamberlain, Andrew Wilson, and 
William Asbury. At a meeting in July, the same year, articles of 
incorporation were adopted. 

The subjoined gives the president and secretary for each year 
until the society was abandoned — merging into the present Trotting 
Park Association: 

1874— President, H. S. Payn; secretary, Dr. Hilbert. 1875— 
President, H. S. Payn; secretary, Dr. Hilbert. 1876 — President, H. 
S. Payn; secretary, Dr. Hilbert. 1877— President, G. W. Chamber- 
lain; secretary, H. C. Parsons. 1878 — President, G. W. Chamber- 


lain; secretary, Dr. Hilbert. 1879 — President, I. D. Smith; secre- 
tary, 0. W. Bennett. 1880 — President, B. F. Betsworth; secretary, 
Dr. Hilbert. 1881— President, C. P. Woodard; secretary, Dr. 
Hilbert. 1882— President, C. P. Woodard; secretary, Dr. Hilbert. 

In 1881 the society erected an amphitheatre costing $750, built 
Floral hall, Vegetable hall, suitable stock sheds, etc., upon their 
grounds, southwest from the city of Le Mars, on the southeast quarter 
of the southeast quarter of section seventeen, township ninety-two, 
range forty-five, comprising forty acres. They provided a half-mile 
race track, and had the grounds inclosed. During the whirlwind of 
1882 their buildings were totally destroyed. The amphitheatre, how- 
ever, was rebuilt, but the other structures were not. The society 
became indebted to W. H. Dent, who finally, to make good the 
amount, had to take the property, which was soon conveyed to the 
Trotting Park Association, now a part of the Northwest Iowa Circuit. 
It is now used for racing, base-ball games, polo, etc. The present 
president of the Park Association is W. H. Dent, and the secretary is 
George E. Loring. The Agricultural Society held several most excel- 
lent and profitable annual fairs, but the same old story, found in many 
parts of Iowa, existed here. There seemed to be one faction of stock- 
holders who opposed such premiums as were paid to the fast horse- 
men, while the sporting and stock men refused to co-operate with the 
farmer element. Hence the failure of the once flourishing society, 
which should by all odds, be again reorganized, as Plymouth can not 
afford to be without a county fair. The first annual fair was held in 
the autumn of 1873, at Young & Corkery's stock yards, about two 
miles from Le Mars. A large new barn served as a floral hall. Much 
enthusiasm was the result of a premium offered to the best looking 
baby born in the county, not over two years or under six months of 
age. Dr. M. Hilbert, who was secretary of the Agricultural Society 
at that time, included the following in his report to the secretary of 
State Agricultural Society: 

" Three hundred condemned horses from Chicago were sold on 
time, to our homestead farmers, at an average price of $75. 

" The loss by grasshoppers in this county the past season, was, on 
wheat, fifty-five per cent; on oats, seventy-five per cent; on corn eighty- 
five per cent ; on barley, sixty-six per cent ; on potatoes, fifty per cent. 

" There are no bearing apple trees here, except a few crab apple. 


* * No fences, save a small amount of wire and board pasture 
lot fence. 

" One township of Plymouth county contains forty acres of cotton- 
wood, box elder and poplar timber. In the entire county 206 acres of 
timber came under the exemption act. 

" We have three mills and have received and shipped the following 
during the past yeai\ 1873: From Merrill station, shipped out 16,400 
bushels of wheat; 1,600 bushels of barley; 4,800 bushels of oats and 
120,000 pounds of home-made flour; received, sixty cars of lumber; 
twelve cars of coal. At Le Mars, shipped out, two cars of cattle 
and two cars of hogs; wheat, 690 cars; received at Le Mars, 
eighteen cars of grain; 505 cars of lumber; 1,204 cars of coal; sixty- 
four cars of farm implements; ninety-two cars of live stock, and 
4,886,408 pounds of merchandise." 

The above shows Plymouth county was indeed yet a new country 
in 1873. 


The Profession of the Law— The Judiciary — The Bar— Different 
Law Firms. 

IN reviewing the history of the bench and bar — the judges and at- 
torneys — it must be borne in mind that as the prosperity and well- 
being of every community depends upon the clear and well-inter- 
preted meaning of the law, it follows that a record of the members of 
the bar forms no unimportant part in the history of a county. Upon 
a few principles of natural justice is erected the whole superstructure 
of civil law tending to meet the desires and requirements of the 
masses. The business of the lawyer is not to make laws, but, rather, to 
apply them to the every-day affairs of common life. The laws of yester- 
day do not meet the requirements of to-day, for the former relations do 
not now exist. New and satisfactory laws must needs be enacted and 
established. Hence, a lawyer is a man of to-day, and his capital is his 
ability and pure individuality. Every lawyer is in a sense debtor to 


his profession. If Avorthy, it gives him an honorable calling. The 
good lawyer loves and prizes his chosen sphere. 

The "bench and bar" of Plymouth county have many things 
connected with their history, since the organization of the county, to 
the present time, of interest. It is not claimed for her that she has 
had abler judges or a more brilliant constellation of lawyers than 
many other counties of the state. Yet one thing may be said of her 
judges and lawyers which can not be said of some parts of the state — 
a splendid good-natured, harmonious feeling has always existed be- 
tween both. 

The Judiciary. — Judge Isaac Pendleton, who was its first judge, 
was at that time a young lawyer, beginning his legal career at Sioux 
City, Iowa. He was an able lawyer and kind to all, good-natured and 
universally loved by all who came in contact with him. He was judge 
of the district court at a time, when in the early days, Plymouth county 
was attached to Woodbury county for judicial and political purposes. 

The first election for judge of the district and circuit court of the 
Fourth judicial district of Iowa occurred in 1874, at which election 
Hon. Henry Ford of Harrison county was elected district judge and 
Hon. Addison Oliver was elected judge of the circuit court, Fourth 
judicial district, and Hon. C. H. Lewis, of Cherokee county, was the 
first district attorney for the Fourth judicial district. 

At an early day and about 1870 the Fourth judicial district com- 
posed more than twenty-six counties of the northwest part of the 
state, extending as far south as the south line of Harrison county, and 
as far east as the east line of Buena Vista county. So far as the his- 
tory of Plymouth county is concerned, touching the bench and bar, 
its judges and district attorneys were similar to those of Woodbury 
county and many other counties of the state, all being in the then 
Fourth judicial district. 

Hon. Henry Ford, who was presiding judge of the district court 
when the writer came to Plymouth county, was a man of fine bearing, 
polished, cultured and possessing a peculiarly fine and well-balanced 
legal mind. He had a rare capacity for grasping the most intricate 
legal questions, and his decisions were rarely reversed by the supreme 
court of the state. 

Hon. Addison Oliver, of Monona county, was the first circuit 
judge of Plymouth county. To see him as he went about quietly by 


himself, one would at once say that he possessed no rare qualities of 
any kind, and a mental capacity only the most ordinary. He has> 
many times, while on the bench, and while member of congress, been 
taken for the plainest sort of a western farmer. But when you came 
to look him square in the face to converse with him, he would brighten 
up, and intelligence beam from every feature. As a jurist he was able ; 
as a man he was scrupulously honest and true. No more honest and 
truthful man ever lived, nor one who was truer to his friends. On the 
bench his decisions were quick, accurate and sound. He was a great 
favorite of the young members of the bar, was always ready to give 
them advice, or help them out of an embarrassing position in the trial 
of a case. He commanded the respect and confidence of all who 
knew him. He was called the "Granger judge." He was unpretentious, 
yet deep, able and possessed a wonderfully active brain, and a mind 
capable of dealing with the most knotty legal question. As a politi- 
cian he was a prodigy. Somehow when a man pledged him his sup- 
port he was sure to get it at the polls, in caucus or convention. 

Judge Henry Ford was succeeded on the bench as district judge by 
Hon. C. H Lewis, of Cherokee, who had been for a number of years 
district attorney under Henry Ford. Hon. C H. Lewis has now been 
on the bench as district judge for fourteen years, and since Judge 
Ford retired in 1874. 

Judge Addison Oliver resigned his position as circuit judge to go 
to congress, to which position he was elected in 1874. He was suc- 
ceeded on the bench as judge of the circuit court by Hon. J. R. Zuver, 
of Harrison county. Judge C. H. Lewis was born a natural judge, 
and for his usefulness and efficiency as district judge he has been kept 
on the bench to the present time, with a good prospect of continuing 
in the same position for years to come. He has a number of times 
been presented to the republican state convention for nomination as 
supreme court judge. 

Hon. J. E. Zuver continued judge of the circuit court of the Fourth 
judicial circuit from 1874 till about 1881 or 1882, when failing health 
compelled him to resign. 

Judge Zuver was a man of strong conviction, and would not swerve 
an inch from what he thought was right as he saw it. He was able 
and possessed a good legal mind — was really calculated for a trial 
lawyer, and before going on to the bench was a grand success as a 
trial and jury lawyer. 


Judge Zuver was succeeded on the bench by Hon. D. D. McCol- 
lum, of Osceola county, who held such position until the legislature 
of the state abolished the circuit court. At the general election of 
1886, Hon. C. H. Lewis, Hon. George W. Wakefield and Hon. S. M. 
Lack! were elected judges of the district court for the Fourth judicial 
district, and at the present time continue to hold such positions. Hon. 
S. M. Ladd presiding, by assignment of the three judges, over this, 
Plymouth county. 

The Bar of Plymouth County. — The first attorney, so far as we 
know, who lived and practiced his profession in Plymouth county, was 
A. V. P. Day, who came to the county from the state of Ohio in 
about 1869. His office was on the streets, on the prairies, and in the 
saddle. While "Andy," as he was familiarly called, did not claim to make 
a specialty of the law, nor claim to be very profound, by reason of not 
giving his entire time to the profession, yet we may now say, Day was 
a born lawyer, possessed a keen intellect, and was much safer to 
obtain counsel from, than many who professed much more. He was 
whole-souled, generous and kind-hearted, and had many splendid 
impulses. He removed from Plymouth county in the year 1878, going 
to Wyoming. 

H. C. Curtis, F. H. Clarke, G. W. Argo, James H. Struble, I. S. 
Struble and A. H. Lawrence, all members of the bar, came to Plym- 
outh county at about the same time. The first two arrived from 
Independence, Iowa, in October, 1871, and formed the firm of Clarke 
■& Curtis. They continued in the practice from 1871 to 1879. Mr. 
Clarke having been fatally attacked [by consumption, Mr. Curtis con- 
ducted the business of the firm for one year, when he bought out Mr. 
Clarke just prior to the latter 1 s death, and in 1880 sold a half interest 
to A. W. Durley, who had, four years before, settled in Le Mars, com- 
ing from Hennepin, 111. Curtis and Durley were partners from 1880 
to 1888, when Mr. Curtis sold his one-half interest in the business 
to A. W. Durley, who is still in the practice. 

* The firms of Clarke & Curtis and Curtis & Durley were good, 
solid, fighting firms of attorneys, were fairly successful, and had a 
good paying practice. No one ever questioned the integrity of 
either firm. Mr. F. H. Clarke possessed one of the finest legal minds 

* [Note— Owing to the fact that Mr. Curtis kindly furnished this chapter— a valuable part of this 
volume— the publishers relieved him of making personal mention of himself; this part of the chap- 
ter is accordingly gleaned from other members of the bar.] 


of the bar of the state — was polished and scholarly, broad and deep. 
Mr. Curtis was a hard student; would work all night, if necessary, to 
win a case, and if he did not win the case for his client it was not his 
fault. Mr. Curtis probably made and saved more money than any 
other member of the bar of the county. While in the practice he had 
a rare tact for collecting what money he earned. 

G. W. Argo may be said to be a self-made man and lawyer. He 
usually has been successful, and has a large practice, both civil and 
criminal. He makes a specialty of criminal law, and when a case is put 
in his hands he goes to the bottom of it and fights tremendously to win. 
He is remarkably successful as a trial lawyer. He has continued in 
the practice from 1871 to the present time. Mr. Argo is not a great, 
scholar, nor polished, but he is a keen judge of human nature, and 
really ingenious in the trial of a case, and always makes an able and 
convincing argument to a jury. 

A. H. Lawrence began practice here in 1871-72, but soon branched 
off into the land and collection business and loaning money, and has 
continued in such business to the present time. He has been senator, 
and is a man well educated and competent to transact most any 
kind of legal business, his counsel is safe and his integrity unques- 

Hon. I. S. Struble, now representing the Eleventh congressional 
district in congress, and his brother, James H. Struble, came to Plym- 
outh county and began the practice of the law early in the spring of 
1872. The former came from Illinois; the latter from Tama county, 
in this state. Hon. I. S. Struble continued in the practice until 
1882, when he was elected to congress. He has been elected four 
successive times, and it is understood is now a candidate for the fifth 
term, with good prospects of renomination. Until about 1878, I. S. 
and J. H. Struble were in partnership in the law and collection busi- 
ness, and during the time from 1872 to 1878 made a strong and relia- 
ble law firm. Both are men of honor and of good ability and perfect 
integrity. J. H. Struble is still in the practice and doing a good 

A. W. Durley has been in the practice of the law here since 1876. 
Mr. Durley is not an active practicioner at the bar in the trial of jui-y 
cases, but is more nearly an equity lawyer. While a partner of Hon. 
H. C. Curtis, he was in the strictest sense an office lawyer, doing the 


equity practice of the firm and office work. He is clear-headed, 
accurate, and a splendid judge of law, and probably no better counsel 
can be found in northwest Iowa. As an office lawyer he ranks high, 
and it may be said there is no better in the state, so that he was 
invaluable as a co-worker for eight years with H. C. Curtis, who tried 
nearly all jury cases. Mr. Durley is in every sense a gentleman and 
a polished scholar, being a graduate of Amherst College. 

Col. Frank Amos came to Plymouth county in 1875, from Jackson 
county, Iowa. He carries a withered arm from the effects of a gun- 
shot received while leading his men to battle before Atlanta, Ga., 
July, 1864. He was a brave soldier, and though getting gray and 
old, and partly helpless from the wound received, his mind is clear; 
and although he has not had a large practice since coming here, he is a 
man of good ability, possessing good reasoning powers. He is socia- 
ble with every one, and if he has an enemy in the county no one 
knows it. 

E. W. Meeks, a prominent and brilliant attorney, came here in 
1876, from Indiana, and was for a time associated with G. W. Argo 
in the practice. Mr. Meeks, while in Plymouth county only a short 
time, made many friends and was a clean-cut gentleman of intelligence 
and honor. Por some reason he returned to his native state, after 
remaining here about two years. 

Joseph C. Kelly came to Plymouth county with T. L. Bowman 
and C. Haldine in 1877, from Carroll, Iowa. Joseph C. Kelly was 
a splendid type of our brave soldier boys, losing an arm in the famous 
battle of Shiloh. Soon after coming to the county he associated him- 
self with G. W. Argo, and was his partner in the law business until 
1886 and up to tbe time of his death. He was able, possessed high 
ability as a lawyer, and was a man of integrity and honor. 

I. J. McDuffie came to Plymouth county from Green county, Iowa, 
and took the place of J. C. Kelly in the law firm of Argo & Kelly, 
about four years ago. Argo & McDuffie make an able law firm and do 
a good business. Mr. McDuffie is a genial gentleman, a good scholar 
and lawyer, a splendid judge of law, and a good practitioner. 

P. S. Rishel, of the law firm of Struble, Rishel & Hart, came to 
the county in 1883 from Cambridge, 111. He at once became tbe part- 
ner of I. S. Struble and has since continued as a member of such firm. 
Mr. Rishel is a live and able practitioner, a good trial lawyer, and 


thoroughly skilled in his profession. No member of the bar possesses 
more personal honor or greater integrity than he. 

C. H. Hart, the junior member of the firm above named, came to 
Le Mars from Wisconsin in 1884, and for a short time was the junior 
member of the law firm of Curtis, Durley & Hart. Soon after he 
withdrew from such firm and became a member of the law firm of 
Struble, Eishel & Hart. Mr. Hart is a young man of good ability, and 
is strictly honest and reliable. He is at present manager of the AVest- 
ern Investment company of Le Mars, Iowa. 

I. T. Martin, Frank Gainor, F. M. Eoseberry, J. W. Sammis, John 
Adams, Charles Schmidt, G. C. Scott, T. M. Zink, Sam Hussey and 
G. W. Harper have come to Le Mars or been admitted here since about 
1886. They are all honorable men, and doing fairly well in the pro- 
fession. Martin and Gainor are old practitioners and constitute a 
strong firm. J. W. Sammis and John Adams read law, and were ad- 
mitted to the bar, under the instruction of Curtis & Durley, and seem 
to be pushing to the front rapidly as lawyers, both doing a fine busi- 
ness. Many others have come and gone since the organization of Plym- 
outh county. Among them E. E. W. Spargur, A. K. Webb, C. Gotts- 
chalk and many others. 

D. AY. AVood and T. B. S. O'Day and a number of others have 
been in the practice at Kingsley since the organization of that town, 
which is in the southeast part of the county. Mr. O'Day is at present 
a member of the bar of Woodbury county, and is a man of good 
ability. Mr. AVood still remains at Kingsley, is enjoying a very good 
practice, and is a man of more than ordinary ability. 

Mr. Farrell is the present county attorney of Plymouth county, 
and makes an able prosecutor; he is honest and devoted to his clients; 
is affable and genial, and will in time make a strong lawyer. 

F. M. Eoseberry was, until recently, in the practice at Eemsen, 
Iowa, is now a fixture at Le Mars. Mr. Eoseberry came here from 
New Jersey, and while he is young in the profession, he is working 
up a good practice, and is in every way honorable and trusty, and 
devoted to his clients. 



Usefulness of Physicians— Honor of the Fraternity' in Plymouth 
County— Hardships Endured— Physicians of Le Mars— Present Doc- 
tors— Rejisen Physicians — Akron Physicians — Kingsley Phy'sicians— 
Other Doctors. 

IN health we care but little for doctors and their formulas or pre- 
scriptions, but there is sure to come a time when the brow becomes 
feverish and when our vital organs refuse to perform their regular 
functions, a time when life's thread seems abraded and almost 
snapped asunder. At such a time we seek after the best medical man 
— the successful physician. We are anxious that the "good doctor" 
watch by our bedside, lest the grim messenger, Death, make his 
appearance and call us hence. In all ages of the world's history, 
among civilized as well as uncivilized nations, the art of healing has 
been held in high esteem. Whether it be the learned professor, who, 
perchance, has studied all branches of the science of medicine, or the 
"great medicine man" of the untutored savages, who, from actual 
experience, has made discoveries of the healing powers of herbs and 
roots, honor awaits him upon every hand. The weary patient, lying 
upon a bed of pain, and the no less anxious watchers by his side, 
wait for the coming of the doctor, and on his arrival, his every move- 
ment and expression of countenance is watched for a single ray of 

The medical fraternity of Plymouth county has been an honor to 
the profession it claims to be master of, and has ever been ready to 
respond to the call of duty, amid summer heat or the chilling frosts 
and severe winds of winter. Its members have been compelled to 
cross the trackless prairies, to face " blizzards " from the icy north- 
west, often, too, with no hope of reward, but only to relieve, if possible, 
those who pleaded for their coming and their counsel. All these 
things have been encountered by the physicians of this county, and 
that without a complaint. When the names of the pioneer physicians, 


with those of a more modern day, are mentioned in this connection, it 
is hoped and believed that the hearts which perhaps now beat in 
robust health will be touched, and at least all of the early settler 
readers, who, with their doctors forded the same unbridged streams in 
summer and plowed through the same snow-drifts in winter, will 
heartily respond "May God bless them!" 

Physicians of Le Mars. — The first to practice in a regular way in 
Le Mars was Dr. Earl, who was not a regular graduate, but seemed 
fairly successful for the time he remained here. The town was very 
small, the county thinly settled and not much was required except the 
administering of simple remedies, such as that class of doctors were 
conversant with. 

The following came to Le Mars in the order in which they are here 
given, or nearly so: Dr. Stanley, Dr. Wiggins, Dr. Jenkens, Dr. Hil- 
bert; last named soon left off the practice of medicine and engaged in 
other business. He has held county and city official positions, and is 
noAv an honored citizen, engaged in the real estate and abstracting 
business. The next to practice medicine here was Dr. Xanten, a regu- 
lar school graduate of the State University at Iowa City. Then came 
George W. Foster, M. D. (regular.) 

Dr. W. H. Ensminger located at Le Mars in February, 1877. He 
came from Ottawa, 111., where he had practiced for several years. 
Prior to that he had practiced in Putnam county, 111. He is a gradu- 
ate of Jefferson College, Philadelphia, and is now the oldest practitioner 
in Le Mars, having been here thirteen years, during which time the 
profession has undergone many changes. 

Dr. W. B. Porter, a graduate of Push Medical College, Chicago, 
came in about this time. He was associated for a time with Dr. Lind- 
ley. Porter got into personal difficulty here, was shot in the neck by 
one of the citizens, and was finally convicted of a dastardly crime and 
served several years in state prison. He subsequently removed to 
Sioux City, where he died some years ago. 

Dr. C. J. Hackett came here from Sioux City in 1878. He is a 
" regular" and graduated from the Medical College of Virginia in 1860, 
and from the University of the City of New York in 1861. He is one 
of the present successful physicians and surgeons of Le Mars, and one 
who stands high in his chosen profession and is a constant student in 
all that pertains to medicine. Through his influence and rapidly 


growing practice, Dr. J. W. Hines, a graduate of 1861 from the Uni- 
versity of Virginia (regular), came to Le Mars and became his part- 
ner — the same relation still existing. He had practiced in Virginia 
and West Virginia until he came here about 1880. He, too, is a credit 
and honor to his fraternity, being a thoroughly posted physician and 

The next to open an office and offer his services to the people in 
this section of the county, was Dr. Paul Brick, a graduate from the 
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago. He had practiced 
here some time prior to his obtaining his diploma, in 1890. Next was 
Dr. A. W. La Eue, a graduate of Starling College, Ohio. He is now 
deceased. Dr. Lee was the next physician to locate at Le Mars. 
Dr. W. O. Prosser, a graduate of McGill University, Canada, and 
one of the successful practitioners of to-day at Le Mars, was the next 
to enter the field. He is from a thorough college, which has fitted 
many hundreds of able physicians and surgeons, not a few of whom 
are now practicing in Iowa. Dr. Bennett and wife, both of the homoe- 
opathic school, practiced at Le Mars about two years. Another physi- 
cian, who remained only a short time, was an old gentleman named 
Warren. He was a " regular," and had practiced for a time at Sheldon, 
Iowa. Dr. Richey was the next to locate here. He is a graduate of two 
most excellent medical colleges in Kentucky. He is still in practice 
at Le Mars, where he gets a good patronage, and is successful in the 

A homoeopathic physician, named Dr. H. P. Bowman, came in next, 
and is one of the honored members of the Plymouth county medical 
fraternity. Following him came Dr. Garisch, who was county physi- 
cian several years. He was from an eastern college of the regular 
school. Dr. Clark, of Rush Medical College, Chicago, came in next. He 
afterward removed to Colorado. Dr. Peter Schwind, of the State Uni- 
versity at Iowa City, was next to locate here ; he is still practicing at Le 
Mars. Dr. J. C. McMahan, a graduate of the St. Paul Medical College, 
of the class of 1885, first practiced in Michigan, where he made rapid 
progress and was eminently successful for a young practitioner. He 
■came to Le Mars and located in the spring of 1887, and is now num- 
bered among the good physicians and surgeons of his town and county. 
He is at present county coroner - , and county and city physician. His is 
a genial, whole-souled nature, and his manner, as well as his knowledge 


of medicine, is always certain to achieve for him success in any com- 
munity. Dr. C. M. Hillebrand, a native of Germany, came to America 
when a mere lad, in 1855, and grew to manhood in Freeport, 111., where 
he received a good education. He then went to Prussia and studied 
medicine, finally graduating from the University of Berlin in 1868. 
He then entered the practice of his profession at Freeport, 111., where 
he was very successful for many years. He was injured in a railway 
wreck near that city, and was obliged to give up his practice for sev- 
eral years, but finally regained his health sufficiently to commence again. 
He removed to Le Mars in January, 1890, having been impressed with 
the place and surrounding country some time before. He is now fast, 
gaining a large practice. The next to enter practice at Le Mars was 
Dr. Mary Breen, who located here in the spring of 1890. Her practice 
but proves that woman has a useful sphere among the highest of pro- 
fessions, and that proper training makes a lady master of science, as well 
as her brothers, who, not many years ago, were supposed to have a sort 
of God-given monopoly of the science of medicine. 

Physicians of Remsen. — The first physician to practice at the 
village of Kemsen was Dr. Arbuthnot. He was a graduate from the 
Keokuk (Iowa) Medical College. He came to Remsen in the early 
spring of 1883, practiced a few months, and then removed to Nebraska. 
Dr. Henry Jay Brink, a graduate from the University of the 
City of New York, commenced practice at Remsen May 27, 1883, 
having practiced a short time at Warren, 111. He is a skillful doctor, 
and has already won a large and lucrative practice in the entire 
northern and eastern portion of Plymouth county. Dr. James T. Mars- 
den, of Utica, N. Y., located at Remsen about January 1, 1884, where 
he continued to practice about eleven months, after which time he 
removed to Denver, Colo. He was a graduate from the medical depart- 
ment of the University of the City of New York, in the class of 1882. 
Dr. Seigel came to Remsen from Des Moines, Iowa, May 25, 1888, 
and practiced four months. He was a graduate from the Eclectic 
College, of Cincinnati, Ohio. Not liking the town he located at 
another point. Dr. Jenkens, a graduate of the Omaha Medical College, 
came to Remsen about June 1, 1888, and remained for five months. 
Dr. George Ropke and Dr. H. J. Brink are the only physicians now 
practicing at Remsen. 

Physicians of Akron. — The physicians who have practiced in and 

yfz±^& &«~* 


about Akron are as follows: E. B. Clark, M. D., from Bush. Medical 
College, Chicago, 111. (regular), practiced for a time in AVisconsin, 
and during the month of May, 1876, located at Akron. He is a man 
possessed of a broad mind, is skillful in his profession and an hon- 
ored member of society throughout the Big Sioux valley, in which 
section, for the past fourteen years, he has been steadily building up 
a large and successful medical practice. G. V. Ellis, M. D., is a part- 
ner of Br. Clark. He graduated from the Omaha Medical College, 
first practiced at Calliope and Hawarden, Iowa; he located at Akron, 
April 22, 1888. Jolin Tremaine, M. B. (eclectic), came from Bakota 
in 1886, and practiced for a short time. Br. A. M. Cross (homoeo- 
pathic), a graduate of the medical department of the Iowa State Uni- 
versity, at Iowa City, practiced at Missouri Valley, Iowa, a while, then 
a short time at Akron. The writer has been unable to get further par- 
ticulars regarding these physicians. 

Physicians of Kingsley. — The first to practice medicine at Kings- 
ley was Br. J. W. Walcutt, a graduate from Louisville (Kentucky) 
Medical College. He located at Quorn, and when the business was 
moved to Kingsley he became the pioneer at that point. He still prac- 
tices. Br. R. B. Mason, a most estimable gentleman and skillful practi- 
tioner of the regular school, is one of Kingsley's most trustworthy 
and successful physicians and surgeons. He came to the place in the 
autumn of 1888, from Belaware county, Iowa, where he had practiced. 
He is a graduate of the class of 1887 at the State University at Iowa 
City, Iowa. Br. J. J. Wilder, a graduate of the Keokuk (Iowa) Med- 
ical College, located at Kingsley a little prior to 1888, and is still one 
of the successful practitioners of to-day in this locality. Br. E. H. 
Banks, a graduate of one of the Ohio medical colleges, also practices 
here, and is proprietor of a drug store at Kingsley. At Merrill, a 
Br. Jenkins, a new comer, is the only physician at present. At Hin- 
ton, Br. Henry Nigg, who graduated at Iowa City in 1888, practiced 
for a time, but is now engaged in the drug business at Merrill. 



The Power of the Press in Developing the County— Liberal Patronage 
—Historical Value of Newspapers— The Sentinel the First Paper 
—Buchanan a Fearless Writer— Iowa Liberal— The Democrat — The 
Globe— The Herold— People's Friend— The Mirror — The Leader — 
The Sun— Despatch — Record — Portlandville Blade — Plymouth 
County Record— The Delta— Kingsley Times — Remsen Bell — Daily 
Globe, etc. 

PLYMOUTH COUNTY has had an abundant opportunity of test- 
ing the value or the newspaper press as an aid in building up 
and making better known the county's resources to the great world 
at large. Its civilizing influence has been almost unlimited, and, 
usually speaking, the people of this county have been liberal in their 
support of all respectable newspaper enterprises that have, from time 
to time, been inaugurated in their midst. It must truthfully be said 
that in dispensing their patronage to the local press, they have, indeed, 
been tolerant and magnanimous, as they have been reasonably gen- 
erous to journals of all parties and various political principles. 
Especially is this true of all that honorable class of men who have 
worked for the common good and the general upbuilding of the 
county, with its numerous towns and hamlets. In every community 
there are shriveled souls whose participation in the benefits of enter- 
prises is greater than their own efforts to promote public welfare. 
There are the men who will never subscribe for a newspaper, but will 
ever be on the alert to receive gratuitously the first perusal of their 
nest-door neighbor's paper. These persons are the chronic croakers, 
who predict evil and see disaster in every public undertaking. With 
but few exceptions Plymouth county has never been over-cursed with 
such drones and dead-heads. As records of current history, the local 
newspaper should be highly prized and carefully preserved. These 
papers are a repository wherein are stored away the facts and the 
events, the deeds and sayings, the undertakings and final accomplish- 


ments, that eventually go to make up history. One by one these 
things are published in the paper and bound (or should be) into 
volumes of local, general and individual history, to be laid away 
imperishable. The volumes, thus collected, are rifled by future his- 
torians, and the result is a forthcoming and almost invaluable record 
ready for the library. 

As a general rule not enough attention is paid to keeping files of 
local papers, even at the publisher's office; still by diligent research 
and much inquiry, enough data have been gleaned to supply a tolerably 
accurate record of the press in this county; but should any inaccuracies, 
or possibly, omissions, occur in this chapter, they must be charged to 
the lack of complete files of the various journals issued from the first 
to the present time. The first attempt at journalism in Plymouth 
county was the founding of the Le Mars " Sentinel," February 3, 1871, 
by J. C. Buchanan. Its first form was an eight-column folio, half 
home print, and was run on a hand press until 1878, when the office 
demanded a change, and placed in operation a Campbell power press. 

The "Sentinel" was then one of Iowa's most truly radical repub- 
lican journals. Mr. Buchanan was not only an excellent but most 
fearless writer. He was not at' all times just correct, but in the main 
was a grand party exponent, and he became widely known. He ever 
worked, voted and wrote for the solid upbuilding of Plymouth county. 
He had a novel and sensational way of attracting his readers' atten- 
tion by striking headlines. At the time of the Black Hills (Dakota) 
excitement he came out with a vindication of his own county, as 
against that mountain wilderness, which he had headed in big black 
type as follows : 


" The Black Hills for Catamounts and Red Skins — FOE US, Gold 
Edged Furrows of Plymouth County Soil — Immense Excitement at 
the ' Gateway City,' 1 Where Half a Million Dollars has just been In- 
vested in the Development of the Gold Placers Between Cherokee 
County and Dakota — Room for 10,000 more men, and the one altogether 
lovely — Save Your Scalp by Staying Here." 

Every issue of his paper had some similar, flaming captions — a real 
typographical curiosity and wonderful word-picture of sentiment. 

"Buck" (as every one called him) was always trying to break the 


county "ring." In this he made himself popular to one class, and to an- 
other class very unpopular. In his style of putting things, he was not any 
too choice in his language, and often resorted to vulgarisms, not quite 
in keeping with true, dignified journalism. The editorial controversy 
which was for many months carried on between the " Sentinel " and the 
Okolona "States," a radical southern paper, edited by Will Kernan, 
gave great demand for both papers — north and south. The articles 
were rampant, fire-eating editorials, full of sense (and also nonsense). 
They finally became personal and extremely abusive. "Wishing to be 
nearer his antagonist, Mr. Kernan removed to Le Mars, and associated 
himself with the "Democrat" for a time. Perhaps no one newspaper 
war was ever carried to such extremes in all the country, and the files 
of the " Sentinel " show comments from hundreds, if not thousands, 
of papers, some applauding, others crying, "Give us a rest!" 
The great issues of the Civil war, long since passed, as well as recon- 
struction acts, were by these articles rehashed, and thoroughly con- 
tested again. The "bloody shirt" was the sign bj' which both sought 
to conquer. 

In May, 1883, Mr. Buchanan sold the "Sentinel" to G. H. Bags- 
dale, who again revived the daily, which Buchanan had started and 
run for a short time. In January, 1884, it was cut down to a semi- 
weekly, which is its present issue. Its former proprietor, Buchanan, 
drifted into Springfield, 111., where he purchased a third interest in the 
" Illinois State Bepublican," but the stockholders soon " froze him 
out," and he finally started a small weekly journal in Kansas. 

In 1888 Mr. Bagsdale was made state printer, and, being compelled 
to be away, he took as his partner E. D. Chassell, formerly of the " Osage 
News," who now has full control of the paper, and is counted one of 
northwestern Iowa's best newspaper Avriters. He is a young man, 
full of energy, possessed of good morals and a thorough republican. 
His friends are indeed " legion." 

Mr. Chassell was made secretary of the republican state commit- 
tee, in 1890, an important position which he well fills. From the time 
Mr. Bagsdale bought this paper and commenced to edit its columns, 
it assumed a higher moral standing than it ever had achieved before. 
It worked for the best interests of the county, was strongly a party 
organ, yet handled politics in a political way, never stooping to many 
of the low personalities so frequently indulged in by party organs. 


Perhaps no Iowa weekly paper ever became so widely known among 
the masses as the " Sentinel." 

In the spring of 1887 Mr. Ragsdale added a large book-binding 
establishment to his printing plant. He secured the services of J. 
M. Ainslie, of Ft. Dodge, together with part of a job office and 
bindery, which he (Ainslie) had been connected with at that point. 
Under Mr. Ainslie's foremanship the "Sentinel" bindery and job de- 
partments have ranked high among the offices of the northwest. 

The " Iowa Liberal," an independent, weekly republican journal, 
was established in 1871, by John Curry, at Le Mars. It was a six- 
column paper printed on a Washington hand press. In 1875 it be- 
came the property of Col. J. M. Emery, who conducted it for two 
years, then leased it to C. F. Leidy. Not long thereafter it was sold 
to Leidy & Phippen, who conducted it until Mr. Ragsdale bought the 
plant and consolidated it with the Le Mars " Sentinel." 

The " Liberal " was a popular journal, well edited and cut a wide 
swath in the Iowa journalistic field, and was quoted by a large ex- 
change list throughout the west, generally. 

The " Democrat " was founded in 1882 by Kelley & Hopkins and 
edited for a time by the noted "Will Kernan, of the Okolona " States." 
The " Democrat " was finally sold to G . W. Hunt, who came here from 
Fonda, Iowa; he conducted it until about 1884, when it suspended — ■ 
the material going into the Globe Printing company's outfit. G. W. 
Hunt removed to Sioux City, and his son and daughter are now con- 
ducting a society paper at that place. 

The "Globe" (daily and weekly) was established by the Globe 
Printing company, Vol. I, No. 1, being dated October 2, 1884. It was 
a democratic paper — a six-column quarto in size and form, and printed 
on a Prouty power press. W. H. Clark edited it for a time. On the 
second year of its publication it was sold to Mat. Wurth, who still 
owns and operates the paper. In February, 1886, the daily edition 
was dropped, and since that time a semi-weekly has been printed. It 
is now printed on a Campbell power press propelled by a gas engine. 
W. A. Simpkins, who has been connected as foreman and otherwise, 
since the founding of the paper, was made its editor and manager, 
in January, 1890. The subscription is $2 per annum and its days 
of issue, Tuesdays and Fridays. It is all home print. 

The " Herold," a seven-column quarto paper, printed in the Ger- 


man language, and democratic in politics, was founded at the same 
time as the " Globe " and is now owned by Mr. Wurth. It is published 
Thursdays at a subscription price of $2. About 200 copies go to 
Europe to German friends. The plant was moved to its present 
quarters — the city hall building, in 1887. This paper is generally 
taken by the large body of intelligent German citizens of Plymouth 

The " Volksf reula " (People's Priend), a German publication, was 
established by Prof. Alexander, in 1883. It was suspended after 
about one year's trial, and the material it used was transferred to the 
" Globe " office. Prof. Alexander, subsequently died at Sioux City. 
The paper was a six-column folio, printed entirely in German. A 
part of the time, the presswork was executed at Sioux City, but later 
at the "Democrat" office at Le Mars. 

The " Mirror " was a paper launched by Charles E. Hunt, at Le 
Mars, in the "eighties." It lived for only about six months. 

The " Leader " was established in 1887 by George Brockway, who 
stood the storm about a year and discontinued it. He ran a daily a 
few months, but found he had over-estimated the capacity of Le Mars' 
people to devour so many local papers each week, so he left the field. 
His material finally went toward making up the outfit employed in 
the publication of the " Sunday Sun." 

The " Sun" is a weekly paper, published every Thursday by Rich- 
ard Goldie, the first numbers of which appeared as a Sunday paper, 
December 30, 1888, with McCurdy & Kroesen as proprietors, and so 
continued until the latter retired from its publication in April, and 
the former in July, 1889, since which date it has been conducted 
under a lease by Mr. Goldie. It is a six-column quarto, independent 
in politics. 

The " Despatch" was founded (on the sands) by J. C. Buchanan, 
who had for years run the " Sentinel," but sold the same to Mr. Rags- 
dale, with the express understanding that he would not engage in the 
newspajner business in the county again. To avoid this contract, the 
paper was run under the name of J. W. Buchanan, son of J. C. 
However valid in law the scheme was, the business men of Le Mars 
would not give it their support, hence " it went the way of all the 

The Merrill " Record" was founded in August, 1890, by the Mer- 
rill Publishing Company. It is a five-column quarto. 


The Portlandville "Blade" was established at Portlandville (now 
Akron) in 1878 by J. W. Skeppard. It was a five-column folio paper, 
independent in its politics. It continued its issue only about one year, 
when the plant was removed to St. Helena, Neb. 

The Plymouth county "Record," which followed the " Blade" at 
Akron, was established in 1881 by F. T. Sheppard, a brother of the 
other editor. It was a sis-column folio sheet, printed on a Washing- 
ton hand press. It was republican in politics. Mr. Sheppard con- 
ducted the paper a year, then sold it to W. H. Clark, who operated it 
a short time and then moved it to Le Mars. In a few weeks Mr. Shep- 
pard founded the " Western Delta " at Akron. This was in June, 
1882. At present it is in its eighth volume. Mr. Sheppard owned 
and edited this paper a year, then sold it to G. W. Peck. He sold 
out to J. C. Button, after whom came J. J. Clifton, who changed the 
name to the " Sioux Valley Journal." From his management the 
plant drifted into the hands of W. F. Wade, then on to Smith & Rob- 
ertson, and finally, March 1, 1890, back into the hands of its original 
founder, F. T. Sheppard. He changed the name back to the " West- 
ern Delta." It has always been a republican sheet, with the excep- 
tion of the three weeks, when conducted by Mr. Clark. The paper is 
now well edited, contains much live local matter each week, and en- 
joys a fair advertising patronage. Its publication day is Thursday, 
and its subscription price is $1.50. 

The Kingsley " Times " was established in 1883 at Quorn — the 
rival old village of Kingsley. It was at that time known as the Quorn 
"Lynx." It was a six-column folio, independent republican in politics, 
and was edited by Frank Calhoun. In a few months the plant moved 
over to Kingsley. F. L. Gregg managed it four months and then 
Charles Brandon until December, 1889. It was then leased to Howard 
C. Tripp, who, March 11. 1890, purchased the office and is still con- 
ducting it. It is now an eight-column folio, published every Thurs- 
day, and the subscription rate is fixed at $1.50. It is read by all in- 
terested in the growth of Kingsley and vicinity. Its present editor is 
peculiarly well adapted for editing a live, racy, first-class local jour- 
nal, free from all slang and bitter, personal grievances. It is a clean, 
pure sheet. 

The Remsen " Bell " is the name of a good local journal, represent- 
ing the sentiments of the people around Remsen. It was established 


in December, 1887, by J. P. Kieffer, as a seven-column folio with an 
eight-page supplement. It is democratic in political faith and teach- 
ings. It is published each Friday at the subscription price of $1.50 
per year. It may be said it is a paper within a paper, as the " Bell " 
is printed in English, while the same subject matter is also set up and 
printed in German and styled the Remsen " Glocke." This issue 
comes forth for the large German population of Plymouth county, as 
well as a large circulation sent to friends in the Fatherland. It now has 
1,100 subscribers. Its editor founded the "Herold" at Le Mars in 
the fall of 1884, and was also stockholder and former editor of the 
" Daily Globe " at Le Mars. He is a forcible, ready writer on all 
topics, and stands high in the esteem of his patrons. 



Description— Organization— Railroads-First Settlement-First Events 
— Village of Seney — Post-office— Churches— Schools — Struble Sta- 

THE part of Plymouth county now known as Elgin civil township 
was taken from territory once included in America township- 
It is described as congressional township ninety-three, range forty- 
five, west. Being six miles square, it contains 23,040 acres of land, 
than which there is no finer tract in the limits of any county in Iowa. 
It was detached and organized through an act of the board of 
supervisors, June 8, 1870. Its boundaries are Sioux county on the 
north, Fredonia township on the east, America on the south, and 
Grant, on the west. The Floyd river meanders through several sections 
of the southeast corner of the territory; the West Fork of Floyd 
river courses its way continuously through the western portion. Wil- 
low creek also is another stream found in the south and eastern parts. 
These streams and their many small feeders provide the township with 
an ample supply of water for stock purposes, and, also, give a thor- 
ough and natural drainage system, which pre-eminently fits the soil 


for the bountiful crops so frequently harvested in this part of Plym- 
outh county. 

The Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha railway crosses this 
township diagonally from northeast to southwest, while the Sioux City 
& Northern railroad crosses the north and west portions of the town- 
ship. The villages of this township are Seney, on the former named 
railroad, and Struble, a station on section five, along the line of the 
recently constructed Sioux City & Northern railroad. 

In 1885 Elgin township had a population of 600, which was made 
up of 400 American born and 200 foreign born, the greater per cent 
of whom were either German or English. The present census returns 
will certainly show a marked increase in population, as well as in 
valuation of property. 

The First Settlers. — Around the first cluster of pioneer settlers 
who venture out in advance as vanguards to civilization, there is 
always connected more of interest and curiosity than about those of a 
subsequent coming. The first to invade the wild prairie lands of 
Elgin township was Jacob Eubel who came from Philadelphia, Penn., 
and went to Omaha, Neb., in 1867. At that time he could have pur- 
chased almost any lot in what has now come to be the great central city 
and railroad hub of the Missouri valley, for $300 or $400. He went 
north to Sioux City, then a small town, and from there he walked to 
where Le Mars now stands, and stopped over night with Capt. Bets- 
worth, who lived, " monarch of all he surveyed," in a log cabin on the 
east bank of the river. Mr. Eubel finally claimed, as his homestead, 
the west half of the southwest quarter of section thirty-four. This 
was October 3, 1867, and he at once moved to his place, and is still an 
honored and well-to-do farmer, now possessing 240 acres of as fine 
land as the county, or even the state of Iowa, affords. The greater 
portion of his excellent farm is located in America township, but joins 
his homestead, which is across the line in Elgin. This first settler, 
a German — relates much of interest, showing the hardships and priva- 
tions of a prairie frontiersman. To show that all was then wild and like 
a wilderness, it needs only to be stated that even two years after his 
coming he found many droves of elk and deer. In the winter of 
^1868-69 he found a drove of over 100, which had been run down, and 
were so wearied by their chase for life, that they could easily be 
approached, and Mr. Eubel was able to get within a few feet of them, 


and after looking them all over finally drew his old-style musket and 
killed a fine one. He quartered it and surprised the family upon his 
return, with plenty of fresh meat. After having killed the animal, 
however,' he had great difficulty in finding his way home over the 
trackless prairie, which was then mantled in deep snow. 

The next settler to take a homestead in Elgin township was Robert 
Taylor, who settled on section thirty-four, in the month of December, 

1867, finished his claim shanty on Christmas day, but moved from 
the township in 1871. Cassa Boyes was next to claim a homestead 
upon Elgin's fertile soil. He came in 1868 and settled on the north- 
east quarter of section thirty-six, where he is still a prosperous farmer. 

Stephen Reeves settled on the southwest quarter of section thirty- 
six, in 1868. He was one of a large number of persons who came 
from near Elgin, 111., and in honor of their old home this township 
was named, in place of the time-honored custom, in many localities, 
of naming after the first settler, which, in this case, would have been 
Rubel. Mr. Reeves is still a resident of Elgin township and one of 
its most highly esteemed citizens. In company with him, came his 
son, Samuel Reeves, who claimed the north half of the northeast 
quarter of section twenty-six. About 1880 he removed to Nebraska. 
George and John Reeves, brothers of Stephen, came about the same 
time, from the same part of Illinois. John died early in the eighties. 
John Trigg, who is still a resident of the township, came in and 
claimed land, in 1868, on the south half of the northwest quarter of 
section twenty-four. Henry Dougherty, who came from Illinois in 

1868. settled on a homestead, taking a part of section twenty-six, 
which he still owns. A Swede named Charlie Johnson came in 1868, 
to section thirty, where he still resides. He was also from Illinois. 
Two brothers, named Wood, emigrated with the Illinois company, in 
1868-69, and settled on section twenty-eight. K. O. Wood settled on 
the northeast quarter of the section and remained until 1885, when 
he removed to Sioux county, Iowa. His brother, Saviliau, generally 
known as "Jack," went to the Black Hills at the time of the first 
great gold excitement, and was killed by the Indians. James 
Haviland and sons came from Illinois in 1868 or 1869, and home- 
steaded on section twenty-eight. The entire family removed to 
Washington territory early in the eighties. The north half of the 
southwest quarter of section twenty-six was homesteaded by Harry 


Hammond in 1869. He proved up after the five-year limit, and then 
sold out. He now lives on the farm of Capt. Betsworth, his father-in- 
law, in America township. 

George Darvill came from Illinois in 1868 and homesteaded the 
northeast quarter of section twenty-six, where he still resides. James 
Aldison, who was a New Zealander by birth, had seen much of the 
globe, but finally concluded this the place he wanted to make a home 
in, and consequently claimed land on section twenty-six in 1868. 
He remained until 1885 and then removed to California. He is a 
single man, living on the money he has made. 

U. B. Keniston was another settler of 1868. He homesteaded 
the west half of the southwest quarter of section twenty-four. In a few 
months be became homesick, and sold his claim to Mr. Beeves. He 
finally relocated elsewhere in the township, but is now living in Akron 
village. A man by the name of Elder Dacons settled, in 1868, on the 
above-named Keniston farm. C. B. Hobart was an early settler of 
1869. He came from Illinois and purchased land on section twenty- 
four and also homesteaded some. He removed several years later to 
Kansas, but still retains his lands in Elgin township. John Detloff, 
another settler from Illinois, settled about 1869, on section seventeen. 
Joseph Obermaier came early in the seventies and claimed land on 
section seventeen, where he still resides. G. J. Balsinger came to 
this township from Illinois in 1870, and took land on section thirty- 
four. He is a native of Switzerland and is among the highly honored 
men of Elgin township. Another settler of 1870 was F. A. Wood, 
who also came from Illinois, and located on section thirty-three, where 
he still resides. George Wright came in 1870 and claimed land on 
section twenty-eight as his homestead right. He moved away many 
years ago. 

First Events. — The first house was built by Jacob Bubel of cotton- 
wood lumber, which cost him $28 per 1,000 feet in Sioux City, and 
he remarks that it cost nearly as much more to get nails with which to 
hold the boards from warping off the farm. This building stands as a 
curious wooden monument of what homestead life was at an early day 
in Plymouth county. 

The first child born in Elgin township was Joseph S. Rubel, son 
of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Bubel. He was born July 21, 1868, and is 
now living in Chicago, an enterpi-ising young man, who is an honor to 
his parents and his native township. 


The first death in the township was that of Mrs. Taylor, wife of 
William Taylor, a pioneer homesteader. She died in 1870. 

The first marriage within the township was that of Mr. W. S. 
Clark and Miss Anna McGulpin, about 1870. It proved an unhappy 
marriage on account of rum, which has ruined and blasted so many an 
otherwise fair home. 

The first school-house was erected in 1871 on section twenty-four. 
The first term of school taught was private, and kept by the seventeen- 
year-old daughter of Pioneer Stephen Beeves, Miss Elsie, now the es- 
timable wife of George Darvill. This term was taught in 1870, with 
only a few children, but the teacher was good and faithful — even as 
she is to-day — a model woman, who has since that time seen many 

Village of Seney. — Seney is a station on the Omaha railway line, 
platted December 7, 1872, on section twenty-three, of Elgin township. 
While it is but a mere hamlet, yet it serves well its purpose, as here 
are general stores and grain markets sufficient for the convenience of 
the surrounding farmers, who find it too far to go to Le Mars, eight 
miles to the southwest. 

The first to engage in any sort of trade at this point, were Reeves 
Bros., who dealt in grain and lumber, in the autumn of 1873. In 1874 
I. S. Small opened up a general store, principally groceries. He sold 
out to George Beeves, and soon the firm was Beeves & March ; next, 
March Bros. ; then, Y. B. March ; then, E. March. The store property 
burned while in the last-named person's hands — in 1886. 

A general store was also opened in 1 878 by J. T. Beeves & Co., which 
later ran as J. T. Beeves alone. He sold in 1887 to I. E. Eldredge, 
Avho still conducts the business in a successful manner. 

In addition to the above general store, there is a grocery and hard- 
ware combined, operated by E. March, which was opened in Septem- 
ber, 1889. 

The present blacksmith of the place is S. A. Aukerman, who also 
does wagon repairing. 

The grain business, in 1890, is in the hands of F. H. Peavy & Co. 
and A. W. Gilbert. The live-stock interests are represented by I. E. 
Eldredge, who buys and ships large numbers of hogs and cattle. 

A post-office was first established at Seney in 1873, with S. J. 
Howe as postmaster. In 1874 he was succeeded by I. S. Small; then 


followed George Reeves, and next, Mr. March. From him the com- 
mission fell upon J. T. Reeves, and in 1887, after eight years, it 
passed from him to his successor in trade, I. E. Eklredge, who took 
the office June 1, 1887. It became a money-order office July 1, 1884. 
The first order was issued to J. T. Eeeves, for the amount of f 1, pay- 
able to W. N. Davidson, Luverne, Minn. The business is increasing. 
The last serial number of money order, granted June 4, 1890, was 
646, while there have been issued 941 "postal notes." 

The Methodist Episcopal church of Seney had its commencement 
by the formation of a class in 1870, which numbered about thirty 
souls, all faithful, self-sacrificing men and women, with Stephen 
Eeeves as their leader. They assembled at Mr. Beeves' house, where 
many precious meetings were held for worship. Upon the comple- 
tion of the school-house on section twenty-four, in 1871, they met 
there until the school-house was built at Seney, in 1876, Here they 
met until they erected a church edifice at a cost of $1,600, in 1880. It is 
a frame building, twenty-eight by forty feet, will seat 175 people, and 
is provided with a 760-pound bell. The work was done by Mr. Mar- 
sters, and the lots, two in number, were donated by the railroad com- 
pany. A parsonage, which cost $450, was built prior to the church 
edifice. The present membership of the church is forty-five. A good 
Sabbath-school, which averages fifty-five pupils, is a great aid to the 
church proper, W. C. Lancaster is the superintendent. The follow- 
ing have served as pastors at this point: Rev. J. T. Walker, Rev. H. 
D. Brown, Rev. Thornberg, Rev. Bachelor, Rev. (" Prof.") Binks, 
Rev. Edgar, Rev. Pendel, Rev. Edgar, Rev. Parfitt, Rev. Rigby, Rev. 
Allnutt, Rev. Benedict, Rev. Delano and the present pastor, Rev. 

The society wish to have it made a matter of record in history 
that they have not always been favored with the most spiritual or 
talented clergymen, and in consequence of this, as much as any one 
thing, the society to-day is not in a prosperous condition. One of the 
earliest pastors, it is related, was actually so lazy that he used to sit 
in his chair, with his coat off, in the warm summer days of the early 
seventies, and preach to his people, instead of mustering enough ambi- 
tion to stand for thirty minutes, while the congregation suffered 
what he had to give them. One old pioneer tells us that this preacher 
missed his calling, because he was too lazy to hear the call, while 


another says he had understood the Scriptures' to mean "laziness 
(instead of cleanliness) is next to Godliness." The officers of this 
society in 1890 (present year), are; Pastor, Bev. King; stewards 
F. A. Wood, Walter Darvill, John Lancaster, Thomas Smith, Wat 
Freeman, Henry Darvill; recording steward, John Lancaster. 

Siruble Station. — This is one of the last villages platted in the 
county, and dates from the fall of 1889. When the Sioux City & 
Northern railroad was built, this became a station on section five. It 
was also made a post-office about March 1, 1890, with O. D. Laird as 
postmaster. The only business found here now is a general stock, 
kept by Eldredge & Laird, who embarked in merchandising and grain 
shipping in February, 1890; a hardware and implement store, by 
Bitter Bros. ; live stock shippers, Isaac Speer and Peacock & Sons. A 
blacksmith shop completes the list to June, 1890. 


Descriptive— Organization— First Settlement— Schools— First Events 
—A Big Wheat Farm— Village of Quorn— First Railroad— Pioneer 
Newspaper — Homesteaders. 

ELEHOBN TOWNSHIP is that portion of Plymouth county 
described by congressional township ninety and range forty -four 
west. It is on the south line of the county, with Garfield township to 
its east, Union on the north and Lincoln on the west. Not unlike 
the remainder of Plymouth county, this township is noted for its 
excellent land and fine natural drainage system, formed by numerous 
creeks and rivers, amongrwhich may be mentioned the West Fork of 
the Little Sioux river, in the south and western portion; also Muddy 
creek, in the western part, leaving the territory from section four; 
John's creek is another small prairie stream. These principal water 
courses are each supplied with many lesser feeders. 

Elkhorn township was constituted a separate civil organization, 
by an act of the board of county supervisors, dated September 3, 


1877. Prior to that time it was included in what was styled Lincoln 
township. The population, which now numbers about 500, in 1885 
was only 300, 240 of which were American born. 

The village plat of Quorn, on section twenty-five, was platted in 
September, 1880, but owing to the building up of the railroad town 
of Kingsley, a mile to the east, it is now defunct, virtually. 

First Settlement. — In going about, along well-improved highways, 
with excellent farms on either hand attracting the attention of the 
passer by, the question naturally arises, to-day, "Who was the first 
to claim laud and build for himself a home in this goodly territory?" 
By careful research among the pioneers, it is learned that in 1876 
Charles Bullis came from Franklin county, Iowa, and purchased land 
in the autumn of that year, on section twenty-six, township ninety 
and range forty-four, which now constitutes Elkhorn civil township. 
At that date there was not a house of any description to be seen in 
Elkhorn's eastern neighboring township of Garfield. 

Mr. Bullis said, in an interview with the collector of this his- 
torical matter, that the settlement, in general was made as follows: 

Four members of a family named Higday settled in the northwest 
corner of the township. One moved away; two are deceased; and 
one, named Joseph, is still a resident. 

Nearly all the pioneers of this township made homestead entries, 
George Evans locating on the southwest quarter of section seventeen. 
John and "Mike" Trow claimed land on the southeast of section 
seventeen. The former is still living there; his brother, Gresh, who 
located on section nine, is now dead. A Mr. Mann settled along the 
west line of the township, and remained until about 1886. Hugh 
Mason, who is still an honored resident, effected a settlement on sec- 
tions thirty-one and thirty-two. J. J. Edwards settled on section 
twenty-nine, but subsequently removed to another county. P. J. Ward 
was one of the very earliest settlers, and is still a resident of this 
township. He settled on section twenty-four, where he now enjoys 
the fruit of his labors, in the possession of a most valuable farm, up- 
on which is situated a magnificent grove, planted and cultivated by 
his own hands. S. North settled on the north half of the southwest 
quarter of section fourteen. He is now deceased. Henry Addington 
located on a part of section twenty-four, but soon removed. A man 
named Cain settled on the northwest of section thirty-two ; and one 


named Bruseau on section twenty. They subsequently removed to 

From about 1877 settlement was made more rapidly. In 1876 the 
township had about twenty voters within her borders. 

Schools. — The first term of school was taught in 1868, at the Hig- 
day school-house by Al. Higday. The first school-houses were 
erected on section thirty-two and section six — both built the same year. 
As the settlers increased, new sub-districts were made, and provided 
with good frame buildings, until to-day the township has six sub- 
districts, each having a good school edifice. The total enrollment of 
pupils in 1889 was 142. The schools are in an excellent condition, 
and keep pace with new educational methods in all respects. 

First Events. — The first marriage in what now comprises Elkhorn, 
was that of Arthur Dufty, in 1872. 

The first religious services were held at the Higday school-house, 
by Eev. C. W. Batchelor (Methodist), in 1868. 

The first death was that of Sarah North, in 1877, aged sixty-seven 
years. The first child born was Emma Kane, in 1872. 

A Big Wheat Farm. — In August, 1881, the subjoined item was 
published in the "Sentinel:" "The Paullin Brothers' great wheat 
farm of Elkhorn township contains 4,000 acres, one-half of which is 
now under cultivation. The farm is managed by Hudson Mickley. 
Last spring 785 acres were put into wheat and the last of it was cut 
last Monday. Four celebrated Walter A. Woods' twine-binders were 
employed, which, aided by a few men, placed an average of forty-five 
acres per day into the shock. They begin threshing next week. The 
Nichols & Shepard steam thresher will have to hum lively for fully 
three weeks, as there are about 7,000 bushels of last year's crop to 
thresh, besides this year's. The same men also have a 400-acre field 
in O'Brien county, besides 1,200 acres of flax in one body." 

Village of Quom. — October 2, 1880, there was platted by the 
Close Brothers, a village named Quorn, located on section twenty-five 
of Elkhorn township. It was expected that the Chicago & Northwest- 
ern railway line would eventually be constructed through its limits, 
but the company, not liking the Johnny Bull methods of inducing 
railways to their embryo towns, finally platted Kingsley, one mile to- 
the east, which fact forever blighted the fair hopes of Quorn and its- 
projectors. However, before this much had transpired, the village had 



commenced to thrive and put on western city airs. Several general 
stores were being operated ; a post-office was petitioned for and granted, 
and John Gaspar was the first to hold the office of postmaster. A roll- 
er-mill was built and operated by Heacock Brothers, and still does a 
paying business. Gaspar Brothers, Rathbun & Ireland and Mr. Var- 
ner all conducted good stores, from which general goods and hardware 
were sold. A newspaper, known as the Quorn "Lynx," was estab- 
lished at this point in 1883 by Frank Calhoun, who subsequently re. 
moved it to Kingsley, and gave it the title of " Kingsley Times." 

With the oncoming of immigration, and the push which always cen- 
ters around a new railroad town, the village of Quorn was left out in the 
cold, and now may justly be classed among the defunct places of the 
county. But while there remains nothing save the old mill and a 
few foundation stones, together with a few residences, to remind the 
passer-by of a town -site, yet, so long as memory is theirs, the old settler 
— the early pioneer of long-ago days — will often refer to Quorn and 
think of the good time fully come, when they could get flour to eat and 
mail matter, including a home paper to read, within that half-deserted 
plat — the village of Quorn. 


Location— Organization— Topography— Early Settlement — The Home- 
steaders—The Change Wrought in Twenty Years — High Water- 
Hard Winter— First Events— Schools — Accidents— First Religious 

FREDONIA is the second civil subdivision from the eastern line of 
the county, and lies on the county's north line. It comprises 
congressional township ninety-three, range forty-four west, thus con- 
taining thirty-six even sections. Sioux county bounds it on the north, 
Meadow township on the east, Marion on the south and Elgin on the 
west. Its territory formerly belonged with that of Elgin township, 
but, by an act of the board of county supervisors, June 5, 1871, it 


was made a separate civil township. It is a most excellent agricult- 
ural section, and has come to be well improved throughout. Among 
its citizens may be found many of the well-to-do people of the county. 
The soil is famous for its great productiveness, and all the grains, 
grasses arid fruits common to this latitude are grown in abundance, 
with seldom a failure of a crop. 

The water courses of Fredonia are Willow creek, which flows from 
the northeast to the southwest part of the township, while the Floyd 
river is found in the northwest corner. Both of these streams have 
several lesser tributaries, which afford good drainage as well as water. 

In 1885 the state census gave Fredonia a population of 562 peo- 
ple, 336 being American born, while the greater part of the remainder 
were German and English. The forthcoming census (1890) will 
doubtless show that the township contains several hundred more 
people, as five years have wrought many changes, and it is reasonable 
to conjecture that this goodly section of Plymouth county has received 
her share of increase by immigration. 

Early Settlement. — To give the reader of local history an intelli- 
gent understanding of the section to be written about, much labor and 
painstaking research must be had, in first establishing the fact as to 
who it was that first claimed the location as his home — who was the 
first actual settler. In this township the honor, for such it is, belongs 
to a man named Elder Dacons, who entered a homestead on a part of 
section six, in the autumn of 1868. He removed to Elgin township 
about 1875, and now lives in Cherokee county. Prior to his coming, a 
claim had been taken by a man named Romans, who selected lands in 
the summer of 1868. 

The second settler in Fredonia township, as now constituted, was 
William Jackson, who came from Oconomowoc, Wis., in the fall of 
1868, and took up land on section eighteen. He built a house and 
improved his land, and is still an honored pioneer of the county, now 
living at the village of Seney. 

Next came two cousins, Web and Watt Freeman, who came from 
De Kalb county, 111. ; they landed here March 4, 1869, the day of Gen. 
U. S. Grant's first inaugural, which historic fact impressed the date 
of their coming indelibly upon their minds. They entered home- 
steads on section eight, which they still retain. Web was a single 
man at that time, and in the fall of 1882 he was elected county i'e- 


corder, and served acceptably for four years. He then returned to 
his farm, remained until January, 1890, when he engaged in the drug 
business at Le Mars. 

Other early homesteaders in Fredonia were Wallace Winslow, 
now a resident of Le Mars, who claimed a part of section eight, as did 
George Darville. William and C. K. Sweetzer settled on section four ; 
they later sold and moved to Oregon. Mrs. N. W. Knowlton home- 
steaded on section four. She remained there until her death, in 1884 
or 1885. E. D. Gould settled on section eighteen. 

Milton and Morgan Coolbaugh, two brothers, settled on section 
twenty, where they still reside. E. M. Varnum came from Canada in 
the fall of 1869, and selected lands on section four, where he now re- 
sides, an honored and thrifty farmer. Henry Heide came from Illinois, 
in 1870, and claimed a portion of section four, which he still lives 
upon. Other early comers will be mentioned in the biographical depart- 
ment of this work, as well as much concerning those already mentioned. 

Great has been the change since the first few homesteaders squat- 
ted upon the broad trackless prairies of Fredonia, in 1869, and the 
present time. Then there was no sort of improvement or mark of 
civilized life between this township and the settlement near Mankato, 
Minn. These first few settlers were compelled to draw their supplies 
from Sioux City. The roads were in a bad condition, few bridges 
were in the county, and the whole aspect was anything but cheery to 
the pioneer's heart, which, however, bravely endured all, and many 
have succeeded in " pulling through," and are now in comforta- 
ble circumstances, and surrounded by railroads, schools and churches. 

The people of to-day know but little of the days of hard winters 
and high-water marks in this county. It is a law of nature and 
philosophy that the older and more improved a country becomes, the 
greater the rainfall, but the streams we term rivers and creeks 
become correspondingly diminished, as the upturned soil absorbs the 
moisture instead of serving to convey it to the larger streams, and, 
eventually, to the ocean. 

It is the opinion of Mr. Freeman, one of the first homesteaders of 
Fredonia, that the highest water-mark along the streams of this por- 
tion of Plymouth county, since its settlement at any rate, was in the 
spring of 1870. Many places the water was several miles wide. On 
one occasion Mr. Freeman attached his wagon-cover to his tight-jointed 


wagon-box, and sailed several miles across the bottom lands along the 
Floyd river. 

The most noted winter for deep and long-continued snow storms 
was that of 1880-81, which was nearly as bad as the famous winter 
of 1856, which settlers in Cherokee and Ida counties tell so much of. 
The pioneers of Fredonia speak of valleys and ravines fifty feet in 
depth being filled to the level, and then crusted so as to enable teams 
to pass over them, while all the tall native trees were beneath them. 
The following spring every bridge across the Floyd river, except the 
big iron bridge at Sioux City, was swept away, at great loss to the 

First Events. — The first man to claim land in Fredonia township 
was Mr. Romans, who came in 1868. The first actual settler was 
Elder Dacons, who came in the fall of 1868 and built the first house, 
the lumber for which was brought from Sioux City. 

In all probability the first person born in this township was George 
Varnum, son of Mi\ and Mrs. R. M. Varnum. The first death was 
that of Herbie Sweetzer, in 1872. The first three marriages were 
those of William Elsworth, James Haviland and Charles Sweetzer. 
The first voting done by citizens from this township (when it was 
yet included in America), was at the special election in February, 
1870. It was held at the log school-house, known as the Redmon 
school-house, located two miles south of Le Mars. 

The first term of school was taught in a granary building belong- 
ing to Watt Freeman, on section eight. It was in 1870. In 1872 the 
frame school-buildings in districts Nos. 1 and 2 were erected. 

The first religious services in the township were also held in the 
granary of Mr. Freeman in the spring of 1870. It was conducted by 
the Methodist people. After the school-houses were erected services 
were held in them. There are no church buildings in the township. 

Among the accidents which proved fatal in this township may be 
mentioned that which befell a young German, who was instantly killed 
by lightning while in a cellar, to which he had gone for refuge froru 
a terrible thunderstorm, some time in the seventies. About the same 
time Frank Kass had two sons — young men — killed in a barn during 
a cyclone. 

Schools. — At this date, 1890, the schools of Fredonia township are 
in a flourishing condition. There are now seven sub- districts, each 


having a good frame school building. The total enrollment of pupils, 
according to the county superintendent's last annual report, was 204. 
The best of teachers, mostly female, are engaged to teach after 
improved and advanced 'methods. 



Origin of Name— How Located — When Organized— First Settlement — 
Early Events— Village of Kingsley— Its Incorporation, Business 
and Social Interests— Post-office History. 

GAEFIELD, a fine township in Plymouth county, which was 
named in honor of one of the presidents of the United States, 
is the southeast corner township, and comprises congressional town- 
ship ninety, range forty-three west. At one time this subdivision 
was embraced in what was known as Elkhoru civil township, but 
since September 6, 1882, it has had a separate organization. 

It is bounded on the east by Cherokee county, on the south by 
Woodbury county, on the west by Elkhorn township, and on the north 
by Henry township. The enterprising village of Kingsley, located on 
section thirty, is a thriving station on the Kingsley spur of the great 
Chicago & Northwestern railway system. This is a magnificent agri- 
cultural district, and at this time is among the most thoroughly 
prosperous in all Plymouth county. The chief stream meandering 
through the fertile prairie' lands of Garfield is the West Fork of the 
Little Sioux, which runs southwest through the territory. In 1885 
the population numbered about 400, of which 300 were American 
born, and 100 foreign — mostly German and English. 

First Settlers. — To a man named C. Gard, belongs the historic honor 
of being the first to make an actual settlement in what is now known 
as Garfield township. He located on the southwest quarter of section 
thirty-four in 1878. 

Close brothers (Englishmen) took a large body of land next, and 
the same year they came in, they broke a large amount of land, erected 


thirty-six farm-houses, and rented most of their lands out. The fol- 
lowing constituted the first settlers: C. Gard, Mr. Mickley (section 
thirty-two), J. J. Heacock and the Close brothers in 1878, S. Ham- 
mer, Hiel Heald, F. Amos, Henry Cook, I. A. Fish (1879), L. H 
North (1880). 

Early Events. — The first school was taught in 1881 in a building 
erected on section fourteen. 

The first regular preaching services were conducted in 1883 at 
Kingsley and at the school-house, section fourteen, Rev. G. W. 
Kliner of the Methodist church officiating. The first religious services 
in the township were held by the United Brethren people, S. V. 
King officiating. The first birth was that of Frankie Amos. The 
first birth in the village of Kingsley was Kingsley Bowen, in 1883. 
The first death in the township was that of a child of Mr. and Mrs. 
J. J. Heacock, in 1878. The first marriage was that of Percy Clarke 
to Catharine Cloeman in October, 1880, L. H. North, a justice of 
the peace, officiating. 

Kingsley. — This is an incorporated town, located on section thirty, 
of Garfield township, and was platted June 4, 1883. It is the chief 
town in the south half of Plymouth county, and furnishes a grain and 
stock market for an immense territory, and hence is one of the most 
thoroughly prosperous towns in the county. Its streets are daily filled 
with farm teams, and the merchants are usually busy. It has a popu- 
lation of about 800 people, nearly all of whom are Americans. Kings- 
ley has the merited name, far and near, of possessing the most enter- 
prising and best class of merchants and tradesmen to be found in this 
section of Iowa. 

The town depends upon the Chicago & Northwestern railroad for 
its shipping facilities. At present, 1890, there are over sixty busi- 
ness houses, all doing a flourishing business. There are two good 
banking houses, several churches, a live local paper — the " Kingsley 
Times " — and one of the best public schools, outside of Le Mars, in 
the entire county. The town is beautifully situated on rolling, high 
ground, with broad well-kept streets. The first attempt at business at 
this point was in the summer of 1883, when the railroad was com- 
pleted. The old town, post-office and trading point for this vicinity, 
as has been stated, was Quorn, which was platted in 1880, by Close 
Brothers, with whom the railroad company had some misunderstanding, 


and as a result they changed their route and located what is now known 
as Kingsley. The few dealers at Quorn at once removed to the newly 
platted town, about a mile to the east. 

The first to engage in trade in Kingsley was Gaspar Bros., with a 
general store. They moved from Quorn in August, 1883. J. F. Var- 
ner, who was also a pioneer at Quorn, moved his stock at about the 
same date. The first house erected was built for saloon purposes. 
The first hotel was the Curtis House, built by John Curtis. The first 
hardware was sold by Bathbun & Ireland, who removed from Quorn. 
The first to deal in agricultural implements were Rathbun & Ireland. 
The first lumber dealers were Lewis & Brockman. The pioneer 
grain dealers were Herron Bros., who still operate in that line. They 
also bought the first live stock shipped from Kingsley. The first to 
deal in furniture was C. H. Loring. The first blacksmith to pound 
and weld by his glowing forge in Kingsley was Charles Bowers. 
The first wagon shop was conducted by M. A. Oberholser. The first 
to engage in the harness trade at this point was M. A. Condon. The 
drug biisiness was first represented by Marshall & Banks. The vil- 
lagers were first supplied with meat by Scott Bros. The pioneer 
liverymen were Hamil Bros. 

Kingsley soon saw the necessity of becoming an incorporated 
town, and so the step was taken in the spring of 1884. The names 
of the mayors and recorders for each year are here subjoined: 

1884— Mayor, J. S. Ellis; recorder, John T. Ireland. 1885— 
Mayor, G. A. Garrard; recorder W. B. Savage. 1886 — Mayor, G. A. 
Garrard; recorder, I. S. Knowles. 1887— Mayor, C. B. Oldfield; 
recorder, I. S. Knowles. 1888 — Mayor, C. B. Oldfield; recorder, I. 
S. Knowles. 1889— Mayor, C. B. Oldfield, recorder, I. S. Knowles. 
1890 — Mayor, F. E. Eobinson; recorder, J. A. Ingalls. 

The incorporation government has always been of the best, most 
enterprising type, and good order has ever prevailed. Much atten- 
tion is paid to public improvements, including the building of side- 
walks, etc., all of which tend to make the town a desirable place in 
which to live. 

The first post-office in this section of Plymouth county was at 
Quorn (but was subsequently transferred to Kingsley), which office 
was established in 1880, with Peter Gaspar as postmaster. He was 
succeeded by C. E. Ireland, and he was followed by M. L. Marshall. 


From his hands the office passed to those of F. A. Winchel, and then 
back to those of Peter Gaspar, who was succeeded by the present 
incumbent, O. D. Heald, April 1, 1890. It was made a money-order 
office in August, 1884. The first money order was issued to John S. 
Ellis, for the sum of $1.80, payable to J. E. Simpson, Dubuque, Iowa. 
There had been issued, up to May 29, 1890, 2,922 money orders, and 
7,426 postal notes. The office has been kept in different store build- 
ings until this season, when the present postmaster erected a neat 
frame building on North Second street, to which he moved May 20, 
1890. No other business is transacted therein, and it gives greater 
satisfaction to the general public. " Star routes " run from Kings- 
ley, to and from Le Mars, via O'Leary and Neptune. The mail from 
points east and west comes over the Northwestern railroad. 

Commercial Interests, 1890. — Kingsley has come to be an excellent 
town, surrounded by an unequaled rural district. While it is in the 
newest portion of the county, it is well developed, and accounted as 
a fine business point for all trades and professions. The men who 
conduct the several commercial and professional callings to-day are as 
follows : 

Attorneys — J. M. Wormley, John A. Dewey, D. W. Wood. 

Agricultural implements — S. A. Tennant, Knowles & Smaltz, Law 

Banks — Bank of Kingsley, Kingsley Bank. 

Blacksmiths — Charles Bowers, Charles Price, C. C. Schneider, F. 
A. Barns. 

Boots and Shoes — John Gasper. 

Coal Dealers — D. Joyce. M. A. Moore. 

Drugs — Martland & Banks, J. J. Wilder, Wilson Bros. 

Furniture — C. H. Loring. 

Grocers — 'Clarence Wood, M. S. Snider, C. Stortz & Co., Gaspar 
Bros., J. F. Varner, J. J. Filson. 

Grain — Cathcart Bros. 

General dealers— William Kieke & Bros., W. F. Howard, M. G 
Evans, Martin Kalbfleisch, W. H. Miller. 

Hardware — S. A. Tennanb, Knowles & Smaltz, Law Bros. 

Harness shops — M. A. Condon, H. Bhode. 

Hotels — Georgies, Stowell Hotel. 

Jeweler — C. E. Smith. 


Lumber — D. Joyce, M. A. Moore. 

Livery — Trotter Bros., James Grieve, D. W. Peer. 

Miller — J. J. Heacock. 

Photograph gallery — George A. Fox. 

Press — The "Kingsley Times." 

Physicians— Drs. J. J. Wilder, E. H. Banks, E. D. Mason, J. E. 

Eeal estate— J. S. Ellis, J. M. Wormley. 

Stock-dealers — Herron Bros. 

Saloons — Three "Holes in the Wall " (unlicensed saloons). 

Veterinary — Peter Elliott. 

Wagon shop — M. H. Oberholser. 

Churches. — No better index can be given of the morality of a 
town than the church spires pointing heavenward. It leads one to 
believe, though an entire stranger in the land, that he has come among 
a God-fearing people, with whom it is indeed good to dwell. At 
Kingsley the Christian element predominates to a good degree, as 
may be evinced by the fact that here one finds a Methodist, Congre- 
gational, Catholic and Baptist church, one of which, the Methodist 
Episcopal, numbers about 200 members. 

The Methodist Episcopal church of this section of the county was 
at first formed by a class at Quorn, and belonged to the Le Mars cir- 
cuit. In 1883 it was organized at Kingsley, as soon as the plat was 
surveyed, almost. At first they occupied unfinished buildings as 
places for worship, but in 1885 a neat frame building was erected, at 
a cost of $2,500. It is thirty by sixty feet and seats 300 persons, 
comfortably. Opera chairs are provided for a part of the seats. The 
church tower has a bell which cost $115. A neat parsonage was 
erected for the society in the fall of 1887, at an expense of $600. It 
stands alongside the church building. Hugh Mason was class leader 
at Quorn. The following have served as pastors of this church: Eev. 
G. W. Kliver, one year; Eev. C. C. Stire, one year; Kev. J. W. For- 
syth, one year; Eev. A. J. Beebe, one year; Eev. F. E. Drake, Eev. 
D. M. Beams, Eev. G. W. Klepper, six months; Eev. Hugh Hay, the 
present pastor. The present membership of this church is 200. The 
well-managed Sabbath-school averages an attendance of about sixty- 
six. Its superintendent is W. F. Smith. The 1890 church officials 
are: E. H. Lacy, class leader; J. F. Varner, recording steward; J. S. 


Ellis, district steward. In Kingsley, as in most new towns, the Meth- 
odist people have been first on the ground, and have worked with 
heart, Land and money to further the glorious gospel tidings. 

The first Congregational church of Kingsley was formed February 
14, 1886, by the following charter members: W. C. Bundy and wife, 
F. J. Laude and wife, Mrs. C. E. Stowell, George E. Willhoite and 
wife, Mrs. Cassiday, Mrs. Moulton and J. D. Buckingham. At first 
the society assembled in Loring's hall, but in the summer of 1887 
they erected a frame building, thirty-four by forty feet, which cost 
$2,200, and seats about 150 persons, comfortably. It stands on the 
corner of Main and Third streets, and was dedicated December 1 8, 
1887, Bevs. Walter A. Evans and T. O. Douglass officiating. Six 
hundred dollars was raised and pledged on the day of dedication. 

The pastors who have served are as follows: Rev. D. E. Skinner,, 
a short time; Bev. M. T. Bainer, about three years, and Bev. J. W. 
Chaffin, the present pastor. The present membership is about thirty- 
three. At one time the society had a larger membership, but on ac- 
count of removals was lessened to the above. An excellent Sabbath- 
school of thirty-five pupils is of great help to the society. Its super- 
intendent at present is Dr. B. D. Mason. The first church officials 
of this society were: Dr. W. C. Bundy and George B. Willhoite, 
deacons. The last named was church clerk. The present officials 
are: John Norris, A. E. Gosting, deacons; B. D. Mason, clerk; E. 
J. Norris, treasurer; D. A. Oltman, F. J. Laude and R. D. Mason, 

The first Baptist church at Kingsley was organized November 7, 
1886, with ten constituent members, with appropriate ceremonies eon- 
ducted by Bev. C. E. Higgins (now deceased), missionary, Iowa Bap- 
tist State convention. In response to letters, a council composed of 
representatives and delegates from sister churches, of like faith, con- 
vened in Kingsley, September 9, 1887. Deacon J. D. Gates, of Cher- 
okee, Iowa, was chosen moderator, and Deacon S. D. Holden, of 
Correctionville, Iowa, was chosen clerk. The result of that meeting 
was the reorganization of a regular Baptist church. Bev. W. H. 
Breach, of Cherokee, Iowa, preached the sermon and Bev. A. J. Pat- 
terson, of Kingsley, offered the prayer; Bev. Breach gave the charge 
to the new church, and J. B. Henderson, of Cherokee, extended the 
hand of fellowship, on behalf of the council. 


The society is as yet compelled to worship in rented buildings, 
but the matter is being discussed regarding the erection of an edi- 
fice — a fit temple in which to worship. The present membership is 
twenty-four, and upon an average each has contributed $35 during 
the past year, 1889, toward church support. Help has been solicited 
from abroad with which to build, but thus far the fund has not yet been 
paid over to the Kingsley church ; considerable, however is now in the 
hands of the state association. Perhaps no more worthy, devout, 
self-sacrificing C