Franklin T Oldt.

History of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 1) online

. (page 53 of 56)
Online LibraryFranklin T OldtHistory of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 1) → online text (page 53 of 56)
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•code committee were Judge Lenehan, William Graham, J. B.
Powers, W. J. Knight and D. E. Lyon.

In December, 1898, there were fifty-one resident members of the
Dubuque Bar Association ; four were not engaged in practice. N. E.
Utt was president. In 1899 the new firm, Matthews, Lindsay &
Frantzen was formed.


Bowen (E. E. ) & Fitzpatrick ( T. J.), one of the strongest law
firms here, dissolved partnershi]) in January, 1904: they became
associated in the practice in 1896. Mr. Fitzpatrick became comity
attorney and otherwise prominent.

In November, 1903, Judge Oliver P. Shiras resigned his seat on
the Federal bench. President Roosevelt, upon accepting his resig-
nation, said : "It is with great regret that I accept your resigna-
tion. I cannot allow the occasion to pass without congratulating
you upon the signal success which has marked your labors on the
Federal bench, and I trust that the period of retirement, upon which
you are about to enter and which you have earned so well, will be
as full of usefulness to the nation."

In 1905 the grand jury returned 194 indictments and thereby
broke the record ; they were slot machine cases mainly. In Sep-
tember, 1905, R. W. Stewart, who had practiced for many years,
passed away and was followed by J. B. Powers in October. This
year the old proposition to abolish grand juries was discussed pro
and con in this county.

Early in 1905 several charges of unprofessional conduct on the
part of certain lawyers, presumably in good standing, were circu-
lated in the newspapers. This led to a meeting of the bar to take
steps to investigate the charges. Mr. Gibbs was made chairman
and G. T. Lyon appointed secretary. W. J. Knight, M. M. Cody
and G. W. Kiesel, a committee previously appointed, reported that
no tangible evidence to support the charges had been found. "From
this we can draw no other conclusion than that the reports hereto-
fore circulated of unprofessional conduct on the part of members
of the bar have no foundation in fact," said the committee. At
this meeting a motion by Colonel Lyon to continue the custom of
the bar to attend funerals of deceased members in a body was voted
down. Colonel Lyon said that thirty-six years before there were
1,800 cases on the docket and that he was on one side or the other
of nearly all of them. The officers of the association for 1905 were
J. P. Frantzen, president ; George Barnes, first vice-president ;
P. J. Nelson, second vice-president ; H. C. Kenline, secretary and

In February, 1908, William J. Knight, one of the ablest lawyers
ever here, passed away. He was born in 1838 and was a native of
Ireland. He was closely connected with the most intricate and diffi-
cult practice of northern Iowa for many years. He was attorney
for the Illinois Central Railroad Company.

From 1833 to 1836 the county judges of Dubuque county, Wis-
consin Territory were Milo H. Prentice, John King and Lorin
Wheeler. David Irwin was district judge in 1836 and Charles
Dunn the same until Iowa Territory was formed in 1838. Thomas
S. Wilson served as district judge from July 4, 1838 to April 26,
1847: then James Grant served until May, 1852, James Burt to


January i, 1871, and J. M. Brayton until November, 1872. D. S.
\\'i]son and Sylvester Bagg served also for short periods. The
Probate court was created by the Territorial act, but was merged
into the County court in 1852, which, in turn, became part of the
Circuit court in 1868. Ezekiel Lockwood was probate judge in
1834; Joseph T. Fales from 1838 to 1839; Charles Corkery
from 1839 to 1847; Valentine Glenat from 1847 to 1849,
and William W. Hamilton from 1849 to 1852. William G.
Lovell was first county judge in 1852, Stephen Hempstead
the same from 1855 to 1868, when the court was abolished.
The Circuit court held its first sessions in January, 1869. William
T. Barker was first judge and served until 1872, when he died and
David S. Wilson was appointed to fill the vacancy. He resigned -
in September of the same year to accept the office of district judge,
having just been elected. He was succeeded by B. W. Poor, who
served until 1873. He was succeeded by Sylvester Bagg. B. W.
Lacy was elected to the same position in 1879 and served until
January i. 1874. The present judges are Fred O'Donnell and
i\Iathew C. Matthews. The City court was organized in 1859 with
Samuel Pollock as judge, but was abolished in July, 1862.

In 1909 the Dubuque lawyers were as follows: G. A. Barnes,
E. E. Bowen, M. N. Cody, J. G. Chalmers, George Crane, P. W.
Crawford, John A. Cunningham, Mathias Czizek, John Deery, T J.
Fitzpatrick, L. J. Flynn, John P. Frantzen, .Andrew P. Gibbs, W.
& J. B. Graham, John Hawe, Hurd, Lenehan & Riesel, Kenline &
Roedell, J. W. Kintzinger, Lacy, Brown & Lacy, S. B. Lattner,
W. A. Leathers, Oliver Longueville, Lyon & Lyon, McEnony.
D. E. Maguire, Henry Michel, F. L. Mu'ekel, Millany & Stewart,
P. C. Murray, Nelson, Duffv & Denison, Fred O'Donnell, Hubert
O'Donnell, t. J. Paisley, Wells Rupert, H. F. Salot, lames H.
Shields, C. M. Thorne. J. B. & S. M. Utt, John R. \\'alier, E. H.
Willging and W. S. Wright.

In 1909 John Glab and H. L. Buckley were judges of the city-
police court. Both were justices of the peace. At this time M. C.
Matthews and Robert Bronson were judges of the District court.
The United States Circuit and District courts met in the custom
house, Judge Henry T. Reed presiding.


Nezi' Wine Tozoiship (township 89 north, range 2 west) did not
have an early existence as such, but was made a part of the Upper
Catfish precinct and \oters were required to poll their votes at John
Regan's house. In 1839 it became a part of Hewitt's precinct. In
1843 what is now New Wine Township became parts of the town-
ships of Liberty and Iowa, both of which then had much larger
extent than in 1911 (see elsewhere herein). In 1849 what is now
New Wine was made the western half of Iowa Township. On
January 11, 1850, the present New Wine Township was given an
independent existence.

The vicinity of Dyersville was first settled about 1837-8 by the
Whitesides — Abraham, William, John and Mack. Hewitt, Henry
Mounce}', Thomas Riggs and a little later John Christoph, Thomas
Finn, Theophilus Crawford and others arrived. Many of the first
settlers of this part of the county came almost directly from the
counties of Somersetshire and Devonshire, England. Life here then
was rude and wild, and privations and hardships were numerous and
often appalling.

In 1847 James Dyer bought the land at Dyersville. James Dyer,
Jr., came in 1848 and James Dyer, Sr., and William Dyer arrived
the following year. Rev. William Trick arrived in June, 1849. He
preached the first sermon in the place. In 1850 the Dyers projected
a town at the present site of Dyersville, but for some reason delayed
definite action. About this time other settlers located near, among
whom were Henry Popham, James Plaister, Robert Whiting, John
Gould, John Bailey and others, who had previously settled at Du-
buque. In the winter of 1850-51 some half dozen of the residents,
headed by the Dyers, had the town laid out and at once it began to
assume shape and promise. George Hyler, James Plaister and A.
Limback built early residences. Judge Dyer, in 1853, resided at
Main and Chestnut streets, where he had a store, and at the start the
Dyers planned a saw mill and a grist mill, and built both. A Mr. Col-
lins was an early resident. In 1853 the Dyers built a log bridge over
the river, which was used until 1869. In 1853 Orsemus F. Foote
bought a half interest in the grist mill in course of construction, and
at once began to erect a hotel — a two-story brick, which for many
years was an immense advantage to the village and a great accom-
modation to the traveling public — just what was needed.

In 1854 a postoftice was established here, other brick stores were
built, shops sprang up and soon the farmers could get here about



all the supplies they required. A little later a Masonic lodge was
organized and met over the store of Henry Popham. In 1855
cholera took away several lives and spread terror over the whole
community. Six deaths occurred in one day. Doctors Cainer,
Warmouth and Jones ministered to the wants of the sick, refusing
to leave.

The postal route from Dubucjue to Dyersville was establislied in
March, 1853, at which time the latter village contained about 350
or 400 inhabitants. A good saw mill, run by water power, was
already in operation. A large flour mill, a church, several stores and
about a dozen dwellings were being erected. The Dubuque Express.
in writing of the founder of this village, used the expression :
"Judge James Dyer, an intelligent, temijerate, active, enterprising
and thoroughgoing business man of English birth." In June, 1853,
Mr. Stanton, of Dyersville, exhibited in Dubuque a good specimen
of slate from the premises of Judge Dyer, near Dyersville.

In 1855 Caleb C. Chester was postmaster at Dyersville. In
October and November, 1855, James Dyer & Company advertised
for sale building lots in the village of Dyersville, twenty-six miles
west of Dubuque. He said : "We ofifer for sale building lots in
this village, suitable for residences, shops, stores, etc., at very low
prices, conditional on early improvements being made on them.
Being on the straightest road to Independence, Cedar Falls, Fort
Dodge, etc., and containing fine water power mills, hotel, churches,
stores, lumber yard, etc., great inducements are presented to those
wishing to find a permanent stopping place."

In December, 1856, John Stanton, of Dyersville, advertised that
there were wanted in that town 10,000,000 brick, tinners' tools and
one Crocker machine. .\ brickmaker was wanted to open up busi-

In the Weekly Express and Herald of December 3, 1856, a corre-
spondent — H. C. K. — gives the following account of Dyersville, the
information being furnished by Judge Dyer, T. F. Allen, Dr. Ford
and others : "Dyersville is situated near the western edge of Du-
buque county, twenty-seven miles from the city of Dubuque, on the
banks of the north fork of the Maquoketa river, which winds
through the town. Bear creek empties into the river at this place.
The country surrounding is the best farming district in Dubuque
county ; the soil is rich and strong. The town was laid out by
Judge Dyer, from whom it derives its name, about four years since,
and now numbers over seven hundred inhabitants. It is not yet
incorporated, but soon will be. It has thus far labored under the
disadvantages of ri\-er and railroad facilities, and goods and lumber
have been wagoned at a high cost, consequently the population of the
place has been seriously kept back by the want of houses and hotel
accommodations, and hundreds who have come to settle have thus
been comjjelled to go elsewhere. The prospect of the speedy com-


pletion of the Dubuque & Pacific Railroad to this point has given a
surprising impetus to all building operations. The town plat is
nearly a mile square and contains over 500 acres. The town is
owned principally by the Iowa Land Company and Judge Dyer,
who offer the most liberal inducements to business concerns and
home seekers. The rails for the railroad will be laid to this point
by the middle of December or the first of January. As soon as the
railroad shall be completed here this town will be made the starting
point for all the stage lines to the westward and northward, thus
avoiding the heavy grades near Dubuque. At least eight stages will
arrive and depart daily, besides many extra vehicles. It is estimated
that there is a daily average of four hundred teams on the different
roads which converge into Dubuque, and that all must concentrate
here. Already a fine brick station and freight depot have been
erected here. Two new hotels are being built. The Western and
Northwestern Stage companies are building stables. The proposed
Northwestern & St. Paul Railroad will likely connect here with the
Dubuque & Pacific. Talk of building a branch railroad to Coles-
burg, about twehe miles away, is indulged in. Among the new
buildings recently erected or now under way are the following:
Station and freight depot. Dyer's hotel, John Young's hotel, William
Dyer's commission house. Dyer's stable for the Western Stage Com-
pany, same for the Northwestern Stage Company, same for Pierce
& Hannum of Dubuque, F. J. Stanton's planing mill and sash
factory, and the following projected buildings : Railroad engine
and repair shop, Presbyterian church, Episcopalian church, graded
school building to cost $2,000. There were standing, the Methodist
church, Rev. Lee ; public school, Mr. Gano, teacher ; Young Ladies'
Select school, Mrs. B. Douglas ; Iowa Land Company, incorporated
December, 1855, R. B. Mason, president; T. F. Allen, secretary;
offices of the Dubuque & Pacific Railroad. Three hotels were in
operation, conducted by H. P. Rice, J. Olney and W. Hatch. In
operation was a large grist mill, owned by Judge Dyer ; it was ona
of the largest and most complete flouring mills in the state. It was
operated by water power from the river. The race was nearly a
mile long and cost $8,000. T. J. Stanton and Bailey & Co. con-
ducted saw mills. Among the stores were the large one with depart-
ments, owned by Judge Dyer; D. C. Salisbury, dry goods; D. S.
Smith, druggist and deputy postmaster; A. Hoynck, grocery; J.
Waldor, grocery ; John Young, furniture ; Richard Green, furniture ;
John Dyer, harness ; H. Popham, wagons ; A. Hoynck, bakery ;
Bethell, Toogood & Wilkinson, brewery ; Page & Day, stores. The
physicians were S. L. Lord and E. Covell. The only lawyer was
H. B. Allen. There were blacksmiths, tailors, shoemakers, brick
yards and stone quarries. There were many fine residences in the
place. Business lots on Main and Union streets were worth from
$5 to $15 a front foot; lots for private residences were rated from


$50 to $150 each. About a mile from town was the fine farm of
W. L. Randall, who was one of the largest wool growers in Iowa,
owning at this time 1,500 sheep.

"In addition to my statistics of Dyersville property, I would wish
to notice that a large addition has been made about a year since
on the east side, which is called East Dyersville. This was laid out
by John Stanton, F. Stanton and Miss Green, and plats recorded.
On the East Dyersville plat are several fine dwellings, one furniture
and general store, one wagon-maker's shop, and contracts are being
made for the erection of a dry goods store, turner's shop and a
bakery. The railroad and stage roads run through it. The county
roads from Rockville. John's Creek, New Wine and Bankson con-
centrate here. Richard Gadsden and John Stanton have deeded a
lot for .school district No. 7: it will be ready in the spring. The
ladies of Dyersville have established and manage a public library. It
is yet in its infancy, but standard w^orks are on its shelves; Miss
Green is the president. This addition is laid out in fine sized build-
ing lots and are offered to actual settlers on liberal and easy terms."
— (H. K. C. in E. & H.. December 3, 1856). The Clarendon hotel
at Dyersville was kept by Mr. Jackson in 1857. On July 25. 1857,
the Jesup lands — 2,520 acres — lying near Dyersville, in Delaware
county, were oflfered for sale here at pubUc auction. The sale was
for the purpose of closing up the Jesup estate. In October or
November, 1S57. the Dyersville Mercury was first issued by F. J.
Stanton. It was neutral in politics and its motto was "Devoted to
Iowa, the Union and Ourselves."

In the winter of 1857-8 a lyceum was conducted in Dyersville,
and a Masonic lodge was organized there. John Young made an
assignment during the panic of that year.

Dyersville was located in a burr-oak opening on the Maquoketa
river. In 1856-7 its population doubled. In the summer of 1857
se\-en stores were going up at one time — also a score or more of
dwellings. There were three brick yards there. The Methodists
were building a church to cost $10,000. Their old building was sold
to the town and converted into a public school house, with L. Gano
teacher. Randall Brothers conducted a banking business there — the
only one in the place. There were one drug store, one hardware
store, one tin shop, two wagon shops, one harness shop, two furni-
ture stores, three blacksmith shops, three hotels, four dry goods
stores and six groceries. The Clarendon House, owned by Judge
Dyer, cost $30,000. A large warehouse was owned by B. P. Power
& Co. — {Times, August 3, 1857).

The completion of the Dubuque & Pacific railroad to Dyersville
in 1857 was an important event and at once caused the village to
grow rapidly. The Clarendon hotel was erected about this time by
Judge Dyer, and was leased by him. The railroad was continued
westward, but the panic of 1857 fell upon this community as upon


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all else and business was dull and improvement languished. It was
about this time that Henry and Barney Holscher and Rev. W. H.
Heu di Bourgh located, the latter being a member of the Congre-
gational church. He at once began to secure subscriptions for a
church of that faith, and ere long the same was built. In the end
he owned a large property near the village.

In April, 1858, the editor of the Dyersville Mercury published a
strong appeal to the people of that village and vicinity to come for-
ward and assist him to maintain his paper or he would be obliged
to move his outfit to some other place. Owen McGee shot and killed
Jerry Kelly at Dyersville in September, 1858. The house of Daniel
Higgins, near Dyersville, was burned September 25, 1858, and was
a total loss.

In March. 1859, Mr. Stanton, editor of the Dyersville Mercury,
boasted that he had a "smattering knowledge" of the following
tongues : Hebrew, Greek, English, Douay. Latin, Italian, French,
Flemish and Spanish.

The Herald called Stanton "the Douay editor," and rejoiced when
he was beaten by a printer named William Corbett.

"Piles on piles of airy nothings, gossamer castles, were upreared
on the frail base of the imagination — on the cornerstone of a single
isolated but almighty dollar." — (Stanton in Dyersville Mercnr\).
"Git eout !"—(£. & H., June 25, 1859).

The Fourth of July, 1859, was publicly celebrated at Dyersville;
thirteen guns were fired at day break. A procession marched to wooded
grounds, where L. M. Gano read the Declaration ; B. F. Fotterall de-
li\ered the oration, and Colonel Rickard, of Dubuque, also addressed
the assemblage. There was good music by Professor Flude and
others. The military band was a feature. The day ended with a
ball at the Clarendon hotel.

In describing the 4th of July ( 1859 ) celebration at Dyersville the
Mercury said : "The anniversary of that glorious day which gave
a distinctness to all the energies of the patriots of '76, that gave
a soul-stirring earnestness to all the noble deeds which they accom-
plished ; that struck the keynote of the heart-strung sympathies of a
people whose children and children's children should hand down to
posterity this heirloom and eternally entailed heritage of heaven-
directed nobility; at early morn the reverberating echoes of distant
hills, where awakened from their apathetic slumber, the vales of the
North Maquoketa gave birth to echoes whose like was never heard
since Jehovah's thunders called them into being. * * * Here
a grand federal salute greeted the ear which, with hundreds of
happy throats, swelled the baptismal anthem, making the welkin
ring again with its awakening echoes."

In April, 1861, the citizens of Dyersville voted as to who
should be postmaster of that town, and John Dyer won by two
majority. Dyersville was established in 1861 as an independent


school district under the code. George Rebman's house, near Dyers-
ville, was burned down August 14, 1864. The family was absent.
Two farmers, George Kruepfel and Mr. Leopard, were held up and
robbed near Dyersville in September, 1865. They were on horse-
back when two men with pistols held them up. Kruepfel handed
over $100. A boy with them had 10 cents which they took. Jerry
Boland built the Dyersville bridge in 1865. In June,' 1865, a party
of four or five persons were drowned at Dyersville. They iiad
attended a wedding at Colesburg and on their return, while attempt-
ing to cross Bear creek, which was greatly swollen, were drowned.
They were Mr. Storker, Mr. Adam, Mrs. Adam and child, and per-
haps others.

In January, 1866, Dyersville shipped 3,7^0 hogs, which, at $10
per hundred, were worth $93,297.20. A flood, in February, 1867,
swept away the wagon bridge at Dyersville.

In April, 1868, Rev. R. Swearingen and Rev. J. W. Hanson
debated at Dyersville the question of future state, the former main-
taining the doctrine of endless punishment and the latter that of
universal salvation ; they did not settle the question. In 1868 among
the leading business houses of the place were T. D. Hall, store and
hotel; Chesterman & Trick, agricultural warehouse and hardware
store; Collins & Schemmel, an agricultural warehouse; W. Dyer,
extension to elevator ; Moreland & Kramer, a new store ; Halscher
Bros., grain elevator, which was previously owned by J. B. Hawley ;
Limbeck & Co., store: Moreland & Stocker, store; Rohenkohl '&
Son, store. John Dyer was postmaster about 1865-6, but it then
passed to D. L. Smith.

The following is a summing up of Dyersville in 1869: Claren-
don hotel, 70 to 80 rooms, built by James Dyer in 1856-7; Congre-
gational church. Rev. H. L. Chase: Methodist church. Rev. J.
McCormick; Roman Catholic church. Rev. Fr. Kortencamp; Lu-
theran, supplied from Dubuque ; public graded school. N. W. Boyes,
principal: merchants, A. Limbeck & Co.; Halscher & Bro., hard-
ware; J. B. Hawley: Raper & Trum; Collins & Schemmel; F.
Luthners, woolen factory: Chesterman & Trick, Robelcol &
Kramer; John Dyer, etc. There were two grain elevators, two
breweries. Doctors Kepler. Treniain, Miller and Menges; J. D.
Alson, lawyer; A. Kroffl, Gadsden, Halscher & Co. and Sexton,
grain buyers. At this date Dyersville was one of the largest ship-
ping points for its size in the state. Immense quantities of hogs,
grain and wild fowl were sent to market. There were three lumber
yards, grist mill of J. Schemmel & Co., Masonic Lodge No. 132.

In 1870 a new bridge was built to take the place of the one washed
away a year or two before. ^

In 1870-1 Dyersville and Cascade had rival baseball teams that
met on more than one desperately fought field ; they also had rival
billiardists. In one baseball game played at Dyersville April i, 1871,


the score was Dyersville 50. Cascade 26. In 1873 Rose & Son
founded the Dyersville Commercial. In 1880 Charles E. Sloop
became connected with it ; the sheet was Democratic.

Dyersville was incorporated in 1872; the new town started as
such with a population of about 1,000; forty-nine persons petitioned
to have the place incorporated. William Trick was elected mayor;
J. A. Limback, treasurer; John Morley, recorder; A. Liniback,
C. C. Chesterman, D. S. Smith, A. Kropfl and A. Muehe, council.

The large Howe truss bridge at Dyersville was erected in 1874
at a cost of $4,500.

The Teutonia band was in existence in 1874. On the question of
a new school house to cost $7,000, in 1874, the vote of the corpo-
ration stood — for the house, 115; against it, 87. The building was
duly erected ; it was of brick and stone, 44 x 56 feet. By 1875 the
leading streets were macadamized and put in good condition, side-
walks were built and other needed improvements made from the
license fees of the saloons; the license was $100 annually. The
following is a summing up of the town in 1875: Merchants, A.
Limback & Co., Holscher Bros., William Trick, John Christoph,. the
Godsdens, the Schemmels, David Smith, Nick Till, Bunker, Burley,
Morley, Rohenkohl, Alsop, Rose and others. In October the new
brick school house was nearly finished, at a cost of about $8,000,
and with a capacity of about 400 pupils.

In December, 1895, the Farmers' State Bank of Dyersville organ-

Online LibraryFranklin T OldtHistory of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 1) → online text (page 53 of 56)