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 55 of 56)
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and Mrs. H. D. Wilson, A. M. The fourth session of this schocd


began Monday, September 7, 1858. Instruction in all branches
usually taught in colleges was given. The tuition was from $4 to $8.
The trustees were Anthony S. Chew, G. W. Trumbull and W . W.

In July, 1858, wheat near Cascade was not over half a crop; oats
were injured by rust, but the corn prospect was good. The Cascade
Juvenile Vigilance Committee enforced the hog law — they penned
up about thirty head at one time and asked owners to pay charges
and take them away. The Cascade Philomathean Society held
regular meetings; the Masons had just organized, and despite the
hard times and uncertain currency about twenty new dwellings were
erected in 1858. The Catholics were about to commence on a new
church there, the Methodists already had laid the basement of their
large brick church in the eastern part. — (Cascade cor. E.&H.. July
20, 1858.) A tornado swept through the county about two miles
west of Cascade in July, 1858, prostrating crops and timber. Cyrus
Gofif was a brick manufacturer ; Hastings and Scott were at work in
the "gold mine" near Cascade; the Irish neighborhood near Cas-
cade was in a prosperous condition.

In 1858 Thomas Palmer was indicted for keeping a gambling
house at Cascade. He kept a saloon there. He was found guilty
by a jury in the District court before Judge T. S. Wilson.

In 1858 there were three new mail routes extending out from
Cascade: from Cascade to Iowa City, from Cascade to Tipton,
from Cascade to Wyoming. In Augiist there were eight mail routes
coming into or passing through the village.

The academy at Cascade was conducted by Professor Wilson in
1858. During the spring term there were about seventy pupils in
attendance. While out hunting with a party of men a Mr. Con-
nelley, of Cascade, accidentally shot a young man named Banghart
with a full charge, but did not kill him.

On July 4, 1862, Cascade turned out to celebrate. The Declara-
tion was read by Prof. C. W. Von Coelin and speeches were deliv-
ered by M. B. Mulkern, Austin Adams and J. M. King. Washing-
ton's farewell address was read by Doctor Trumbull. Simon Cham-
berlain was postmaster in 1863.

The following citizens of Cascade, in August. 1864, notified the
public that the new Cascade Academy, with the ablest and most
experienced teachers, would be open for the reception of students
September 15: G. W. Trumbull, John Taylor, G. G. Banghart,
W. S. Hall, T. J. Chew, T. Litton and L. and L. Benham. Prof.
J. Nolan, A. M., was principal. Sixty students were enrolled b\'
November i.

In 1864 the paper mill two miles from Cascade was established
by Mullally, Hutchins & Co. They first made wrapping paper,
niainly from rve and oat straw, but later advanced to printing
paper' The main building was 30x40 feet and two stories high.


McNulty was connected with the company. He seems to have
secured Hutchins' interest. Their paper was on the market in Du-
buque in November and was exhibited at the county fair. In
October, 1869, the mill was destroyed by fire caused by the explo-
sion of a kerosene lamp. The loss was estimated at $30,000.

The Spring Valley mills on section 26 were built in about 1870
by F. Gilleger and had three run of stone.

In December, 1866, there was published in the Dubuque Herald
the following" description of Cascade abridged: Cascade is on the
Maquoketa river, where there were falls about ten feet high, with
power sufficient for forty or fifty pairs of buhrs. The town was in
a heavily timbered section and was surrounded with a well settled
and prosperous farming community. The Cascade flouring mill,
owned by T. Chew, but leased by Crane Brothers, had four run of
stone. T. Chew ran a saw mill; Thomas Crawford & Co. ran a
cabinet factory ; there were several stores and shops ; German Cath-
olic church, Rev. M. Lynch; Irish Catholic church, same pastor; a
new Catholic church just finished, 100x50 feet, built of stone; new
Methodist church. Rev. Wortz ; Baptist church, Rev. Reas ; New
Presbyterian church, Rev. Sawhill ; Second Advent church, Rev.
Hufif; Cascade Academy, R. G. Gislon, principal, and two district

In November, 1867, Cascade had a population of about 1,000,
seven dry goods stores, seven groceries, three drug stores, three
hotels, three schoolhouses, six churches, a large grist mill, a saw
mill, two cabinet and other shops, three wagon and carriage makers,
four blacksmiths, four shoe shops, a distillery, doctors, lawyers, etc.
In 1868 one span of the Cascade mill, then under construction, fell
into the river, carrying down eight men. No lives were lost, but
the property loss was about $2,500. The Cascade Pioneer was
established early by C. H. Monger and did a great deal to build up
the town and improve the community under J. W. Baldwin.

September 19. 1878, was a great day for Cascade. The first
ground was turned on the narrow gauge railroad which extended
from Bellevue to that town. About 2,500 people were present when
John W. Tripp threw the first shovelful of earth. A large pro-
cession, under Chief Marshal R. R. Creston, paraded the streets
and marched out to the grove, where the speaking took place. Fred
O'Donnell was orator of the day, but speeches were also made by
Gen. L. A. Wright, Dennis A. Mahony, Dennis O'Brien, Mr. Tripp
and others. The first locomotive arrived at Cascade in December,

The stock fair held at Cascade in 1880 was well attended and a
success. Many excellent animals were exhibited. At this date, De-
cember, 1880, the village was incorporated as a town. There were
161 votes, of whom 128 favored incorporation and 32 opposed
it. In 1 88 1 a squad of people at Cascade tarred and feathered a


man, whereuiKiii lie commenced suit against them for damages. In
1886 a new bank was estaijlished, with B. B. Richards, of Dubuque,
as president.

The fair at Cascade in 1891 was attended by 5,000 people on the
best day. It had ah-eaily given fame to this little town. "No man's
land," at Cascade, began to be famous about this time. The five
hundred yard law concerning liquor selling was the cause in this
town, situated in two townships, in two counties and on the two
sides of the river. There was almost open war between the Jones
county officials and the saloonkeepers of Cascade. The Cascade
opera house was built in the early nineties. The Cascade bank and
the Farmers 'and Merchants' bank gave much needed accommo-
dation to business men. In 1894 the Cascade water works were
put in for $10,792 b)- the Smedley Manufacturing Company. Two
hose carts and about 1,000 feet of hose were secured. The cor-
poration tax in 1895 was $1,082.45. The Cascade Light & Power
Company was established in 1895 with D. M. Finley president. It
began with a capital of $7,000 and with about twenty-five to thirty

In December, 1895, thirty-six of the heaviest shippers of Cas-
cade — merchants, live stock dealers, foundrymen, mill owners, lum-
bermen, liquor dealers and other shippers — petitioned the State
Board of Railroad Commissioners, asking that the railway service
be improved. Twenty-six carloads of corn for Cascade were not
forwarded for want of cars. A short crop necessitated the importa-
tion of this grain.

In 1896 the Cascade Courier was established by Bruce Baldwin.
The county joined Cascade in 1897 and both held a joint fair that
was a signal success. This was the sixth successful fair held at
Cascade. There was a good track and a number of fast horses
present. A baseball tournament was scheduled, with prizes of
$100, $60 and $40. Five thousand people attended. The fairs of
1898 and 1899 were successful, though interest began to wane.

Cascade in 1904 had a water system, electric light plant, two
newspapers — Pioneer and Katholischer — Cascade mills, two banks,
two creameries, one railroad and German Catholic, Irish Catholic,
Presliyterian, Baptist and Methcxlist churches.

Cascade in 1910 had five churches, public and parochial schools,
two banks, two weekly newspapers, many general stores, grocery,
hardware, drug, clothing, boot and shoe stores, hotels, restaurants,
mills, saw and flour, physicians, lawyers, milliners, shops of various
kinds, saloons, builders, band, creamery, electric light plant which
cost $7,000, an insurance institution, lumber dealers, city watet
works, opera house, telephones, live stock dealers, livery, under-
taker, jewelers, marble yards, barbers, real estate dealers, photog-
raphers, etc. It is one of the best towns of its size in the state.

White Water Township (township 87 north, range i west) was


settled earlv, among the first residents being Jacob Hamilton, Rob-
ert Rogers', Peter Summers, Matthew W. Hutton, John Graham,
William C. Olmsted, Christopher Drew, John A. Kennedy, Thomas
W. Phatigan, James McDermott and others.

In the fifties considerable gold was found along White Water
creek in the black sand and doubtless could be found at this day
where tlie black sand is. Fillmore was established as a postoffice
in 1850 and William Heitschew was the first postmaster. Quite a
large village grew up there in time and increased in population after
the construction of the railroad. It now has a store or two, me-
chanics, a co-operative creamery, etc.

Gray's mill, in White Water township, one mile from White
Water bridge and twenty miles from Dubuque, was offered for sale
in July, 1855. It had two run of French burrstones ; also a quarter
section where the mill was located, 100 acres of adjacent prairie, a
tract of timberland, two dwellings and other buildings were offered
in lots to suit pmxhasers.

On September 7, i860, a miniature tornado swept across White
Water, Prairie Creek and Washington townships, leveling fences,
stocks, trees and houses. Its course was from northwest to south-
east. No lives were lost.

Jacob Hamilton lived at or near Hempstead or, as the postofiice is
called, Fillmore. Here in very early times the settlers came from
many miles around to vote. Jacob Kitler lived near him. The
bridge at Hempstead was built in 1861. This place, no doubt, was
named in honor of Governor Hempstead, a Dubuquer.

Vernon Tonmship (township 88 north, range i east) was settled
at an early date. It was made a part of Catfish precinct in 1838
and voters were obliged to go to the home of John Paul to cast their
ballots. In September, 1840, it was made a part of Regan's pre-
cinct. In February, 1843, it was divided among four townships
(see elsewhere). On February 7, 1849, it was created with its
present boundaries and named Mount Pisgah, but late in the same
year the name was changed to Vernon.

Among the first settlers were the Grahams, Younts, Newells,
Sparks, Sloans, Moores, Jordans, Champenoys, Moheisers, Mc-
Cants, Snodgrass and Averinghams. From 1849 to 1853 many
families, attracted by the monastery, came here to reside, among
whom were James and Patrick Murray, George Brown, Frank
Burns, Peter McLaughlin, Patrick Madigan, Michael Merrigan.
John McGrath, Patrick Walsh, Peter French, Edward McDonnell,
Thomas Logan, Michael Nolan, Martin McCarthy, James O'Hagen
and Thomas Grace.

Peosta was laid out in 1853 by Simeon Clark and Elisha Brady
on a tract of thirty acres. Among the first residents were Simon
Clark, S. Hildebrand, who opened a store ; Milo Burleridge, W. W.
Miller, A. W. Beodell, a store : William Oldridge, Mr. Dunn, Mr.


Brasher and others. Methodist, Presbyterian and CanipbelHte
churches were started early. A hotel was built in 1857. During the
Civil war the Union Leaguers effected an organization, and pre-
viously had organized as a home guard. This was one of the few
spots in the county to be loyal to the administration of President
Lincoln (see elsewhere). At a loyal flag raising here in 1861
Alfred Tliomas addressed the audience. The flag was lowered to
half mast as a mark of respect to Senator Douglas. This little vil-
lage has had at all times a few business houses for the surrounding
farmers' convenience, and has a population of about 150.

The monastery of the monks of La Trappe is in this township
(see elsewhere for an account of this interesting community). As
early as 1853-4 the monks began to raise fine stock, securing several
fine animals from Kentucky. They owned and raised Durham and
Devon cattle and did much to improve the breeds in this county.

Brother Murphy, of the monastery, was one of the largest hog
dealers in the state. He took from near Cascade several thousand
head in November, 1867. They were fattened for market. He
shipped away about 300 a week for some time.

In i860 the monks of La Trappe raised upwards of 5,000 bushels
of wheat on their farm at Melleray, in Dubuque county. — {Herald,
August 22, i860.

In 1853 William Potts was postmaster at New Melleray, on the
Cascade road. His house was a favorite resort for picnic parties
from Dubuque.

In Vernon township, eight miles from Dubuque, in April, 1863,
was a den of wolves which had multiplied from year to year until
they numbered nearly or quite fifty animals. They were fierce and
had become very bold, attacking i)igs. lambs, calves and even per-
sons. During the winter of 1862-3 they often entered the door
yards and barn yards of Mr. Courtney and otiiers and battled with
his dogs for domestic animals. A young lady belated was attacked
but managed to elude them and reach a place of safety. Sportsmen
of Dubuque were asked to go there with dogs and guns and hunt and
kill the pack. — {Herald, April 22, 1863.)

Peru Tonmship (township 90 north, range 2 east and part of
township 91 north, range 2 east) was among the first to be settled.
The village of Peru was founded in 1833; in fact, earlier than that
year, notwithstanding the occupancy by the Indians. Elections
were ordered held at the house of General Gehon in Peru village in
1834, at the time Michigan territory was formed. General Gehon
was one of the first county supervisors, in 1836. The village was at
first thought to be a rival of Dubuque, and was ordered surveyed
under the act of Congress, and elections were held there regularly,
but in 1838 were held at the house of Myron Patterson. At this
date also Durango was made an election precinct and the polling
place was the residence of J. Devin. Both Peru and Durango were


election precincts in 1840. The Peru township created by act of
February, 1843, embraced all of the present Peru and parts of the
present Jefferson, Center and Dubuque (see elsewhere). The town-
ship, as it is at present, was cut down in February, 1849.

Among the first settlers were Francis Gehon, Thomas McKnight,
M. Patterson, M. W. Powers, Augustus L. Gregoire, Samuel Mor-
ris, Tuck Baker, Samuel W. Barrington, Thomas Carroll, B. B.
Bushee, Felix McBride and Mr. Brayton. Chester Sage and B. B.
Bushee were at Sageville and there was established in 1833 the
first saw mill in the county. The following year buhrs were added
and corn was ground. Thomas McKnight operated a hot-air
furnace at Peru. Gen. Francis Gehon conducted a large general
store at Peru — sold hardware, dry goods, clothing, boots, shoes,
hats, caps, groceries, queensware, etc. M. W. Powers established a
large store there about 1834 and sold liquor. Presley Samuels
located at Durango (sometimes called "Timber Diggings") in 1834
and about the same time Thomas McCraney, John R. Ewing, Ne-
hemiah Dudley and Richard Marston located near him. When
Wisconsin territory was created in 1836, Francis Gehon was ap-
pointed marshal. Michael W. Power was postmaster at Peru in
1838. "Kentucky" Anderson died here "with his boots on" about
1838. He was shot under great provocation by Adam Sherill.
Ambrose Eagle settled here in 1837. Francis Gehon assisted in
taking the territorial census in 1840 and was paid $350 at one time
and $150 at another for his services. Presley Samuels was post-
master for many years at Durango. J. H. Thedinga settled early at
Peru. The hopes of Peru and Durango expired when it was seen
by 1836 that Dubuque was the coming city. After that neither
advanced beyond a small country hamlet, with a store or two and a
few mechanics, though at one time the settlement of many miners
at Durango promised large and substantial growth.

It was during the forties that the race track at Peru began to
be used by the sporting men of Dubuque, but nothing notable
occurred there until the fifties. The races were at their best in 1858.
In April, Iowa John beat Roan and Spot in a mile trotting race for
a purse of $25; best time 2:54. In July the horse General Wash-
ington beat the horse Bay for $75. At the same time Lucy Harris
defeated the Maid of Pittsburg in a trot, three best in five, for $50 ;
best time 2 :^y. Lunkhead defeated Brown Pete and Iowa John.
Other horses were Peosta, Curly Jane and Julien. In August, 1858,
J. Leyden was killed at the track by William Dailey. In a running
race Fox beat Wild Bill in a half mile for a purse of $200; time,
54 seconds.

The postoffice at Sageville was established in the forties, but was
discontinued there during the Civil war. August Heber was post-
master in 1862. Bridges were built at Peru and Sageville from


1859 to 1863. In October, 1865, Samuel T. Whitehead committed
suicide at Durango.

Henry Myers, of Peru township, killed a wildcat on his farm in
February, 1862. It measured three feet ten inches from the tip
of the nose to the end of the tail. It had killed about twenty
chickens and se\'eral geese.

Thompson's mill, near Sageville, was a prominent industry for
many years. The land passed to J. A. Rhomberg many years after-
ward. The villages of Peru, Durango, Sageville, Zollicoffer Sta-
tion, Edmore Station, Ainsworth Springs and Specht's Ferry are
small centers.

Center Tozi'iiship (township 89 north, range i east) was settled in
the early thirties. The first settlers voted at Dubuque, but in 1839
this portion of the county was constituted Paul precinct for voting

In 1843 it was made a part of Julien, Jefferson, Concord and'
Center townships. In February, 1849, it ^'^s given its present

Among the first settlers in Center township were W'illiam Morri-
son, John Morgan, Thomas C. Judd, E. McDowell, Martin Hag-
gard, Peter R. Benner, James Kimbrel, John M. Moore, David
Haggard, William Stratton, Elisha Brady, Felix W. Flahertv,
Thomas B. Wilson, William D. Scott, D. M. Buie, Samuel Well's,
Antoine Loire and P. L. Sharp, who arrived before 1845; also
Louis Fettgather, C. ]•". Humke and the Bahls. The township had
an abundance of good timber and limestone. Considerable char-
coal was burned early. During the fifties there were built three
saw mills and two grist mills.

The village of Dacotah was founded early in the fifties as a
result of the survey for the Dubuque & Pacific railroad. The first
lots offered in March, 1854, sold for $25 each; in May they were
worth $200. It was to be the first station west of Dubuque and
grew rapidly. In 1855 its name was changed to Centralia. The
county agricultural society met there in the fall of 1854. In June.
1855, the place had three stores, several mechanics, a postofiice and
a population of about 200. "This village now contains 200 inhabi-
tants. The present prospects indicate that in less than ten years
the county seat of Dubuque countv will be established at Cen-
tralia."— ("A Citizen," in E. & //.,' June 6, 1855.) In 1863 the
postoffice there was suspended. At an early day, P. Lattner &
Brother opened a woolen mill on the Little Maquoketa, three miles
north of Peosta. They paid the highest price for wool and cardedv
spun and wove woolen garments, etc. The residence of James
Hood was burned in October, 1852, by an incendiary. In the fifties
a big barbecue and harvest home was held at Twin Springs and was
attended by 2,000 people. The speakers were Alphons Matthews,
Dr. J. P. Ouigley, T. J. Paisley, C. J. Rogers and Andrew Bahl.


William Stratton donated the land at Centralia. It has; the Catholic
church, several stores, hotels and among the business men there
have been William Morrison, Mr. Rittenhouse, Antoine Loire, A. D.
Anderson, Louis Blew, Felix Flaherty, Mr. Philbrick and others.
Lattner and Lora are small hamlets.

Washington TozvnsJnp (township 87 north, range 2 east) was
among the first settled. The voters first went to Dubuque to poll
their votes, and so continued probably until 1840, when the town-
ship became a part of Ferguson precinct. In 1843 the township was
duly created and named, but then embraced all of the present Wash-
ington and portions of Vernon, Prairie Creek and Table Mound.
In February, 1849, it was given its present boundaries.

Early in 1857 a petition signed by twenty-five citizens of Wash-
ington township, Dubuque county, was sent to the governor, ask-
ing him to withliold his signature to an act dividing three school
districts (one in Dubuque county and two in Jackson county) for
the purpose of forming a fourth. D. Cort was the author of the
act, which was passed near the close of the session.

A boy named Lawrence Conley, aged about 14 years, was killed
at Buncombe June 30. i860, by being hurled by a runaway horse
with great violence against a rail fence.

Among the first settlers were Jonathan Higgins, who came about
1833. A little settlement was formed around him and was called
Higginsport, and a postoffice was established there. Henry Hunter,
Mr. Clark and Mr. McAllister came early. Daniel Cort and John
Wallace came in the forties; the former was prominent in politics.
Zwingle is located on the Cort place. Three Wallaces served in the
Union army. Other settlers were the Carpenters, Gaggarts and
Cheenys around Buncombe, Dr. I. S. Bigelow, Robert Kennedy,
Ulric Leffert, Martin Denlinger, U. S. Deahl, Jacob Wolfe, Mathew
Powers, Daniel DeKoven, William Gaul, the Earlys, Watchs, Cotas,
Timmins, Kinsellas. Donahues, Stranes, Henry Hunter, Nathan W.
Dobon, Michael Malony, Thomas Hurley, Thomas Donohue, Am-
brose Meeker and Walter Baker. Christian Denlinger came with
Dr. I. S. Bigelow and Robert Kennedy. George Salot had a store in
the township very early.

At a meeting of the Democrats of Washington, held at Bun-
combe September 29, 1858, the following persons were present:
Daniel Cort, Joseph Musey, J. R. Foster, C. Denlinger, William C.
Simpson, Dr. I. S. Bigelow, D. Kifer, M. D. Cune, R. Kennedy,.
Jonathan Higgins, John Dunn and Mathew Powers.

"New Flouring Mills. — We are indebted to Messrs Kifer, Bus-
sard & Co. for a sack of very excellent flour of their own manufac-
ture. Their mills are located in Washington township, sixteen
miles from here, on Lytle creek. They have experienced workmen
and can manufacture just as good flour as can be made anywhere-
in the Union." — {E. & H., June 21, 1859.)


Buncombe is a discontinued jjostoffice ; a church, school and a
business house or two constitute the village. It was discontinued in
1864. Emma is also a discontinued postoffice. A big bridge over
Otter creek at Zwingle was built in 1863. In 1864 the residence of
Daniel Cort was burned to the ground. St. Joseph's church is in
this township. In 1892 a sudden flood nearly carried Zwingle
away; stores, elevator, w'agon shop, blacksmith shop, etc., were
washed away. Considerable live stock was drowned. A serious
railroad accident occurred near Zwingle in 1907. Two persons were
killed and eleven injured.

In December, 1900, the village petitioned to be incorporated, and
the next year was duly made a town, with mayor and other neces-
sary officers.

Bennetsville, Sylva and Washington Mills are small places.

Prairie Creek Tozmship (township 87 north, range i east) is one
of the best in the county. In 1834 it was made part of the Maquo-
keta election precinct, the polling place being at the house of Jacob
Hamilton. In 1840 the precinct was called White Water, but later
in the same year w^as named Regan's precinct. In 1843 it was made
a part of Clinton and Washington townships. In February, 1849,
it was limited as it now stands and for the first time was called
Prairie Creek.

Among the first settlers were Samuel Litton, James McDermott,
Patrick Nagle, Timothy McCarthy, J. D. Dickinson, Mr. Graham,
Mr. Maloney, Maurice O'Brien, Jonathan Paul, Samuel Fetters, J.
Brombaugh, James Larkin and the Lenehan, Delaney, Ogden, Calla-

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 55 of 56)