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

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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 54 of 56)
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ized and prepared to do business on Main street, their building cost-
ing $4,800. The officers were Adolph Lange, president; John B.
Utt, vice-president ; Ben Schemmel, cashier. Business was begun in
January, 1896. In 1904 the city had two banks, six general stores,
three hardware stores, four manufacturing plants, three grain ele-
vators, two wholesale liquor houses, two breweries, one creamery,
four lawyers, two real estate offices, three physicians, three milliners,
excellent graded and parochial schools, and Catholic, Methodist,
Episcopal and Lutheran churches.

In 1 88 1 A. Limback & Co. conducted a large creamery. The
German State Bank was established in 1886, with a capital of
$25,000, of which $15,000 was owned by Dubuque capitalists.

In 1889 Dyersville had two newspapers, a bank, was a famous
hog market, had 254 business houses of all kinds, and in 1888 had
spent a total of $210,295 in buildings of all sorts. In that year the
total business of the German State Bank was $1,250,000. In busi-
ness enterprises there was invested about $1,000,000. The total
postoffice business was $15,695. The Catholic church was one of
the finest in Iowa and cost about $115,000. The News Letter was
established in 1888-9.

The Hickory Valley Creamery Company was incorporated in
1891, and Richard Barry became president. This year the Nen'S
Letter and the Commercial were official organs of the county ; Chris


Smith edited the latter. In 1893 the town erected its city hall and
engine house, 40 x 112 feet, and duly dedicated it on October 24.
Hon. John B. Utt was orator. In 1896 Henry Steffen sued Mayor
D. A. Gehrig for $10,000 damages for assault: upon committing
the assault the mayor promptly pleaded guilty before a justice and
paid a fine of $1, but this did not satisfy Mr.' Steffen. The Dyers-
ville Canning Company was established in 1900; in 1902 it put uj)
150,000 cans of corn. The Harvest Home picnic in 1906 brought
out a large crowd. A fire in August, 1907, destroyed about $30,000
worth of property. In 1909 the Waterloo Canning Company leased
the establishment of the Dyersville Canning Company. The First
National Bank of Dyersville opened its doors in January, 1910, with
Frank L. Drexler as president.

Dyersville, in 1910, was lighted by electricity, had fire department,
opera house, two or three banks, two weekly newspapers — Coiiniier-
cial and Nexvs Letter — many excellent stores — dry goods, hardware,
clothing, boots and shoes, jewelry, drugs, groceries, etc.. saloons,
lumber yards, physicians and surgeons, shops of all sorts, dentists,
marble works, lawyers, undertakers, contractors, mills, furniture,
photographer, churches for the Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans
and Methodists, a malting company, etc.

The village of New Vienna was first settled in 1844 by Fred
Rohenkohl. H. Tauke, John Fangmann and H. Weichmann. It
was first platted as New Wein. Henry Schemmel was first post-
master. About 1846-7 Mr. Fangmann built a saw mill on the river;
in 1865 ^ grist mill was erected near. About 1848 Frederick Rohen-
kohl started the first store. Henry Schemmel & Brothers established
a woolen mill about 1849. John Klosterman taught the first school.
The woolen factory and flouring mill were destroyed by fire in
November, 1863; nearly 3,000 bushels of wheat were burned; the
loss was about $13,000; a large quantity of wool was destroyed;
the property belonged to the estate of Joseph Schemmel. Frank
Knippling was interested in the property and lost hea\ily. New
Vienna was incorporated in 1895 in response to a petition signed
by thirty-two citizens. There were polled 56 votes, 42 for the
incorporation and 14 against it. The officers elected were John
Vorwald, mayor: J. W. Schaetzel, recorder; H. Huberty. J. Kerper,
John Wessels, Jr., A. Lange, T. B. Boeckenstadt and Joseph E.
Erdmann, trustees.

In 1904 New Vienna had three general stores, one hotel, one
harness shop, one furniture dealer and undertaker, one brewery,
one restaurant, one physician, one blacksmith, and two wagon shops.

Taylor Towuship (township 88 north, range i west). This por-
tion of the county was quite early settled — had election precincts
and road districts for several years prior to the creation and organi-
zation of the township proper. The voters in 1838 went to the house
of Jacob Hamilton, on the Great Maquoketa, to vote. The first


settlers had to go to Dubuque to get their mail, but in 1840 received
it at what is now Cascade.. In September, 1840. it was made a
part of White Water election precinct, and in December of the same
year was assigned to the first county commissioner's district. As
originally created in February, 1843, it was part of four townships,
which cornered at sections 20, 21, 28 and 29 (see elsewhere herein).
It thus remained until February 7, 1849. when Taylor Township
was created and then embraced the present Dodge Township. On
January 11, 1850, Taylor was cut down to its present boundaries,
and elections were ordered held at the house of Peter Melingner.

This portion of the county contained good citizens. Daniel
Hogan arrived in 1837. Other early ones were the Wilmotts, Briggs,
Kidders, Johnsons, Youngs, Walkers, McKees, Hatches, Wilsons,
Grafiforts, Kehoes, Smiths, Dickinsons, Shermans, Kennedys,
Grays, Jennings, Greenwoods, Murphys, Tracys, Healeys, McDer-
motts, Striefs and many others.

In 1854 the famous "boiling springs" of this township first be-
came generally known. There were originally seven large springs
flowing into a common outlet and all furnishing enough water
}X)wer for several mills. Mr. Smith became the owner of them
in 1854; later Mr. Sherman became associated with him and soon
they had one of the best stock and grain farms of the county.

Epworth originally comprised forty acres and was laid out by Dr.
William Johnson and the village was named in honor of the birth-
place of John Wesley. The first residents were Hezekiah Young.
Otis Briggs and Zephaniah Kidder, who were there in 1855, a
short time before the plat was made. Hiram Young was there
early also.

The postotfice of Hogansville, named for Daniel Hogan, was
established about 1840 at what is now Epworth, but no village
grew up there until the survey of the railroad in 1855. In the spring
of that year eighty acres were platted and the name of the postoffice
was changed from Hogansville to Epworth.

The proposed construction of the Illinois Central railroad
(known through this county in 1855 and later as the Dubuque &
Pacific railroad) was the cause of the platting, settlement and
growth of Epworth. Several years earlier a store at Drake's, about
one mile east of Epworth, was opened by Benjamin H. Wilmott ;
in the spring of 1855 he moved his store to Epworth. Mr. Kidder
erected a building and started a store. E. G. French built a small
hotel and also opened a small store. After a short time Robert
Wilmott succeeded B. H. Wilmott in charge of the store. Otis
and Thomas G. Briggs began burning bricks in 1855. The village
grew rapidly. David and John Edwards opened the Graffort
House the first year. It was well kept and became favorably known.
E. G. French taught the first school in 1855-6. Other early resi-
dents were J. V. McCune, Silas Moore, William Magill, Philip


Keagv, Jacob Wynant. Rev. S. T. Wells, Frank Richardson, A. S.
Atkinson, a blacksmith, Dr. W. B. Fox, W. W. Wilkinson, Mr.
.Mexander, J. T. Williams, O. J. Metcalf and David Edwards.

J. H. and Edward Dodson conducted an early store; so did Alex-
ander & Companv. Edward Tuttle was a painter. Epworth Lodge
No. 84, A. F. & A. :M.. was founded in 1856. In 1857 Dr. E.
Jackson, a homeopathist. was here, and Benjamin Goodrick con-
ducted a shoe shop and store.

On July 4, 1857. the Methodist Sunday schools for Dyersville,
Bankston's Prairie, Center Grove, Rockdale and the Union met at
Epworth with the Sunday school there to celebrate the day. The
Epworth school received the others at the station. All marched
to Seminary Grove, where the Declaration was read by Dr. William
Johnson, of Epworth. and addresses (leli\ered by Rev. P. E. Brown
and Rev. E. L. Stout, both of Dubuque.

In September, 1857, the Times contained the following account
of Epworth: "It now numbers some 350 inhabitants and is daily
increasing. There are many inducements to settle here. There are
four stores in the place. A tinware and stove depot, owned by S.
Young, and a very tine boot and shoe establishment, carried on by
Goodrich & Watk'ins. The Methodist society have a nice church
in the place. The Presbyterians are now building a fine house of
worship. The new academy, now nearly completed, is a beautiful
structure and admirably adopted to the purpose for which it is de-
signed. Its cost, when completed, will be nearly or quite $8,000,
and it must ever be an ornament to Epworth. We are informed the
institution will open some time in November. There are two hotels
here. One is kept bv T- D. GratTort." — (Cor. Times, September 5,


At Epworth in 1858 wheat was reported half a crop; potatoes
were infected with rot. A new and fine steam flouring mill was
being erected, to which a saw mill with power for lathes and cabi-
net shop, was attached. The owners were Ridder & Chesterman.
The main building was 30x40 feet and cost $10,000. The seminary
was in a flourishing condition, with goodly attendance. Examina-
tions of the public schools were satisfactory.

Bethel cemetery is one and one-half acres, donated by James
McGee for burial' purposes. Most of the early Protestant settlers
of that locality have been buried there, the first interment being
that of Joseph'jenkins in 1856. After that it filled up rapidly until
about 1875, when the early settlers began to disperse. Bethel
church was erected about 1855. opposite the cemetery, on an acre
of ground donated by John Hilman. and was used for worshiping
purposes most of the time until 1875. while it was left vacant until
1884, when sold to I. L. McGee and removed of¥ the ground and
used for a barn. The few members left were transferred to Farley


The Fourth of July was celebrated at Epworth, the academy
pupils uuder Rev. Kee'ler leading. Rev. Robert Collier delivered an
address there. Rev. Mr. Brush, president of the Upper Iowa Uni-
versity, also delivered an address. At the celebration in the woods
D. N. Cooley, of Dubuque, delivered the principal oration.

From i860 to 1865 the following were at Epworth: Shoe store
by Benjamin Goodrich, mill owned by Mr. Kidder, academy, two
or three churches, excellent public schools, a moral atmosphere
superior to any in the county ; the big store of Robert Wilmott,
another by Metcalf & Vibber, another by P. Keagy, blacksmiths,
carpenters, stone and brick masons, milliner, etc. In 1867 a large
co-operative union store was established, owing to the high prices
and hard times. In 1861 Silas Moore was postmaster. He con-
ducted a hotel, the Graffort house having been destroyed by tire in
1859. T. D. Graffort, of Dubuque, had owned this house, which
was conducted by Mr. Osborn at the time of the burning.

Previous to 1870 the seminary was the property of the Upper
Iowa Conference, but in that year it fell to the ownership of the
Methodist church. In 1879 Epworth was incorporated upon the
petition of thirty-five residents. At this time they claimed not less
than 300 population. At the incorporation election eighty-three
votes were polled, fifty-six for incorporation and twenty-seven
against incorporation. The town has a regular corporation tax.
The officers in 1880 were J. M. Kirkpatrick, mayor; Joseph Fogg,
recorder; J. B. Albrook, John W. Foster, Timothy French, T. J.
Briggs, William McKinlay and Daniel Durham, trustees. Iowa
Lodge No. 324, I. O. O. F., was instituted in 1875. and Epworth
Lodge No. 135, A. O. U. W., in 1877. The Epworth Seminary
Association was incorporated in 1880.

Epworth now has Baptist, Catholic and Methodist churches, a
bank, excellent schools, several general and special stores, hotels,
liveries, physicians, milliners, grocery and hardware stores, con-
tractors, lumber yards, barbers, dressmakers, teachers, stock dealers,
drug stores, farm implement shops, etc.

Farley. — It seems that Joseph G. Wilson, in the fall of 1852, was
among the first to locate at what is now Farley. He erected a
frame house. Lawrence McGuigan located there in 1853. When
the railroads were built in 1856-7 he sold out to the Iowa Land
Company and the latter at once platted the village. The place was
named in honor of Jesse P. Farley, of Dubuque, who was actively
and prominently connected with the construction of both railroads.
The village at once began to grow, Daniel Hill, E. A. Irwin, Dennis
Sullivan, John Kimball, John Lehee, the Walkers and many others
being among the first residents. The Sherman house was built

The W. G. Long residence was burned in May, 1863. The move-
ment of the Good Templars against the liquor interests in 1868 was


notable. The citizens were determined to keep out the grog shops.
In October, 1863, the cornerstone of the Catholic church at Farley
was laid ; 300 persons were present. Father AIcGauran celebrated
mass and Father Maloney, of Holy Cross, conducted the services
of dedication.

In 1872 the Stoll elevator at Farley burned down. It contained
sixteen carloads of grain.

By 1869 there were at Farley the following improvements:
Norling & Fitzgerald, store; A. C. \\'alker & Co.. store; Vibber &
Co., store; McGee Brothers, store; A. Maryatt, store; Catholic and
Methodist churches, pastor of the former. Rev. Fr. McGauran, and
of the latter, Rev. Mr. Houghton, from Epworth; three hotels;
A. Gillespie, teacher: W. B. Dubois and W. H. Tuthill, lumber
dealers; Samuel J. Thompson, agricultural implements; H. Stoll,
elevator; Smith & Kephart, cheese factory, etc.

In 187 1 the Farmers' Harvest Home assemblies commenced.
They were held in the woods near town and drew large crowds and
were the means of uniting the people in the cause of industry, edu-
cation, morality and good citizenship. Alexander IMcKee was
president in 1871. The next year Robert W'ilmott served as such
and A. C. Walker was secretary. The "home" has been held often
ever since. In 1886 P. F. Walker was president. As many as
6,000 people have been present at the annual meetings. In 1875 a
big fire at Farley destroyed the railway machine shops. In Sep-
tember, 1875, ^^^ Methodist Episcopal church was dedicated by
Rev. E. K. Young: it cost about $4,000. In 1879 Farley was
incorporated as a town, thirty-six persons signing the petition. At
the election seventy-two voted for incorporation and fifty-seven
against it. The Ryans, of Dubuque, contemplated a packing plant
at Farley, but it did not materialize.

A very destructive fire at Farley in January, 1896, caused the
loss of over $25,000 in property. Among the losers were Loomis,
Vibber & Heald, Ransom, Newton, Ewen, Cattron, Plunkett,
Asquitt, Bank of Farley and several societies. The Loomis opera
house block w-as almost wholly destroyed.

Farley in 19 10 had Catholic, Episcopal. Methodist and Presby-
terian churches, graded schools, two banks, two newspapers —
Advertiser and Nc2t.'s — general stores, and stores of hardware,
drugs, jewelry, milliners, etc., resturants, hotels, liveries, doctors,
lawyers, dentists, furniture, harness, real estate, lumber yards, shops,
water works, undertakers, live stock dealers, etc.

The Farley State Bank was organized June 26, 1906, with a
capital of $25,000. B. E. Loomis and J. B. Cook solicited sub-
scriptions to the stock. There are about seventy stockholders,
mainly farmers. On January i, 1907, the deposits amounted to
$35,436.82; on January 25, 191 1, they were $264,572.65. The
first officers were J. P. Sanner, president ; B. D. Heald, vice-presi-


dent; F. S. Ferring, cashier, and they still manage the institution.
The bank pays 4^/2 per cent on time deposits.

Farley was incorporated in 1879, with A. C. Walker, mayor;
R. L. Vibber, treasurer: Charles A. Joseph, recorder; J. F. Wil-
mott, street commissioner and marshal ; A. T. Garner, J. J. Wilson,
L. N. Arcouit, D. Moynihan, S. Goodale and Solomon Carpenter,
trustees. The city has a library association. Nearby are the famous
Farley quarries of building stone.

Kidder Siding is a small place in the northeast part, and Placid
another in the southeast part.

Cascade Toci.'nsIiip (township 87 north, range 2 west) was
organized as road districts and election precincts before the town-
ship as such had an official existence.

As an election precinct it was Great Maquoketa in 1838 and
elections were held at the house of Jacob Hamilton. It was also
called White Water precinct. In August, 1839, elections were held
at the house of Joseph Hewitt. Patrick Finn, James H. Kirkpatrick
and Willis Thompson were judges of election. The military road
was built in 1839 and thereafter Cascade had a postoffice of its
own. Arthur Thomas was postmaster at the "Falls" in 1840. In
1840 the township was in the third county commissioners' district.
As first created, in 1843, the township embraced parts of the present
townships of Cascade, White Water, Taylor and Dodge. It was
given its present boundaries in 1849.

Nicholas Belong was the first settler of Cascade township. He
first came in 1834, when he plowed a small tract and planted it in
corn. The next spring he returned and sowed a field of wheat.
In 1836 he brought out his family, consisting of wife, daughter
Susan and five sons, William, John, Parley, Jacob and Perry. His
cabin was located on the present townsite. John Sherman arrived
about 1836 and bought a part of the water power and in partner-
ship with Arthur Thomas about 1837 erected the first flouring mill
and began business. At the same time they established a store
and built a hotel. The next year the Belong brothers built the first
saw mill about two miles above. Previous to his arrival here
Nicholas Belong had been a miner, probably at Bubuque and per-
haps at Galena. In about 1841 Caleb Bucknam, whose daughter
married G. G. Banghart, bought the Belong property, and in 1842
laid out the \illage. Alvin Burt, Peter Summers, Egbert Macom-
ber, C. O. Freeman, Elan Rafferty, Lyman Billon, Mahlon Lupton,
John Rafiferty and Asa Leek were all early settlers of this township.
L. A. Styles was postmaster — about 1842. W. W. Hamilton arrived
about 1842. G. G. Banghart kept a large general store. Judge
Taylor was here early.

Joseph Bean, Caleb Bucknam, Levi A. Styles, Peter Knoop,
W. W. Hamilton, Arthur Thomas, Alonzo Meecham, Asa Leek,
Nathan W. Botan, John Gibson were all useful citizens.


The citizens of the Xonh Fork of Maquoketa. on February- 17.
1S3S. assembled and organizeil for the protection of their pre-
emption riglus and for the regulation of their claims. They adopted
a constitution and assumevi the name "Xonh Fork of NIaquoketa
Association" for the mutual protection of settlers' claims on gov-
ernment lands. No settler could have more than three quaner sec-
tions of land. Xo j^ierson under sixteen years could hold a claim.
The followjjig were the officers: Charles \V. Harris, president:
Webster M. Dowell. vice-president ; Francis M. Hamilton, secre-
tary- : .\bndiam Daniels. Samuel GrofF. John Hanley. Fidden
Braden. James HotTnian. Thomas Owens, E. Richardson, X'incent
D. Smith and James B. Powell, grand comminee.

The water power was the origin of Cascade, both of the name
and the village. The militar>- road, after 1S30. was extensively
traveled and caused Cascade to grow. Caleb Bucknam bought out
the Delong? aK'>ut 1^0 and laid out the west towni. L>-man Dillon
owned the saw mill and G. G. Banghan opened a store. James
Coolev was here early : also the Powells, Haraihons. Smiths and
McGintys- Mr. Bucknam donated land to the Catholic and Prot-
estant churches and to their cemeteries. In 1S4-; the place was
called West Cascade in the records of the couniA*. About this time
a road was established from Cascade westward to the county-
seat of Delaware county. The act of Februar\- 16. 1S4.;, declared
the Big Maquoketa a na\-igable highway. A large temperance meet-
ing at the house of .\nhur Thomas in 1S4J organized \\-ith twenty-
persons and with William Collins as president. The Methodists
organized in 1S41 and erected a church in 1S44- The Congrega-
tionalists built in 1S45,

.\bout fifty Irish families, just o\-er from Earope and now at
St. Louis, sent one of their nimiher. a young Irishman, to Dubuque
comity to select a location for all oi' them. He selected points
along the Maquoketa in ilie southwestern pan of Dubuque county.
— ^Bloomington Herald. June 10, 1^4^.^

.\ mass meeting of the citizens of Cascade was held at the Metho-
dist church in village on January- .x), 1S4S, to take into con-
sideration the expediency of making Cascade a point upon the
contemplated Dubuque & Kec4cuk railroad, according to the chaner
granted by the last legislature. William Johnscai was chosen presi-
dent of the meeting: Joseph Dean, vice ' X. P. Cook
and W. S. Hall, secretaries. The f^ „ -^ to draft
resolutions was appointed : Dr. B. F. Dewey. George Banghan.
Jc4in McGinty-, James S. Hamilton and Joshua Johnson. The
meeting was addressed by George Banghan. C- O. Freeman, Dr.
B. F. Dewey and Rev. L.' H. Woodford. The res ' nly
favored the selection of Cascade as a point on tl..- :ed
railroad line-
In 1847 William Lawther & Co. conducted a large store in Cas-


cade. The leading hotel at this date was managed by Henr)- Miller.
William W. Hamilton, a Scotchman and a lawyer, was here early
and became ven.- prominent.

At a large railroad meeting in Cascade in December. 1852, G. G.
Banghart served as chairman and Dr. G- \\'. Trumbull as secretarj-.
W. S. Hall. T. S. Denson, L. Bamett, Lemuel Litton and .-Mfred
Darling were present. The inhabitants here were endeavoring to
secure the Dubuque & Pacific railway, or any other. The McGinty-
Clark murder and suicide occurred near Cascade in 1855. ^X
August, 1856, the village had a population of about 450 people.
McCann was hotelkeeper. At this date there were seven or eight
merchants, the big flour mill owned by the Chews, saw mill, brick
yard, private schools, the academy, mechanics, blacksmiths, etc.
James Hill laid out a large addition to the village. John Bates
resided here.

In an e.xamination before David F. Barr. justice, at Cascade, in
June, 1857. Michael Flanigan was given a preliminarv- trial for the
murder of James Xewell by striking him on the head with an ax
handle. Both resided in Jones county. The defendant was bound
over to court in the sum of 84,000. on the charge of manslaughter.
Bail was furnished. The alleged crime was committed at Francis
M. McXally's grocen,-. Charles Winchel. a storekeeper, saw the
blow struck. William Bucknam, a shopkeeper, was a witness. At
this date Ruthorp owned a shop, Taylor had a store and Dr. Baker
practiced medicine, also Dr. Beman. Frank May's brewerj- was
there in 1856.

A grand mass meeting to be held at Cascade July 25, 1857. was
called to consider the proposed new constitution. The best speakers
from Dubuque were advertised to be present. Resolutions against
the proposed new constitution were passed. In July, 1857, a mob
of over 300 men surrounded the dwelling of Jack Parrot, of Cas-
cade, intent on hanging him on the charge of horse stealing. At
this time Parrot was constable of the township.

Cascade in 1858 had a jxjpulation of nearly 1,000. Over seventy-
five new buildings, it was claimed, were erected in 1858. They were
built on both sides of the river. The falls in the river gave rise to
the name Cascade, and were about nine feet high. There were two
large mills at the town — a flouring mill on one side of the river
and a saw mill on the other. There were four large dn.- goods
stores, one drug store and several grocen,- stores. There were four
churches already up and two more being erected. A large brick
academy and a brick public school were in flourishing condition-
There were five blacksmith shops, three wagonmaker shops, two
cabinet shops, besides carpenters, shoemakers, tailors, etc — fEd.
Acsac in Dubuque Herald; the name reversed spells Cascade.)

In 1858 Cascade Academy was under the superintendence of Mr.

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 54 of 56)