Homer Howard Field.

History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) online

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The new county house at McClelland was formally opened on the 29th
of June. The cost of which was $44,000.

The glorious Fourth was duly celebrated at Manawa, where it wa?
variously estimated the crowd numbered from 15,000 to 20,000. Five thous-
and gathered at Fairmount Park. The injuries resulting from carelessness
amounted to an even dozen, some of them serious, but none fatal.

On the tenth a young man named Edward Williams of Omaha was
drowned in Manawa while fishing.

The Eagles' midsummer jubilee opened on the tenth in the western


part of the city and drew immense crowds from Omaha as well as from the
Bluffs. Their pleasure was marred however by the sudden death of Frank
Sherratt, one of their number, from heart trouble.

A man named George Gilson, on coming up town from the jubilee on
the motor car, got into an altercation with a negro named Lincoln Turner
and was fatally shot by Turner, for which he was tried, convicted and got
three years only, as it appeared there were mitigating circumstances. At
Avoca quite a saloon war was precipitated by the granting of a license to five
applicants, but turning down the sixth.

On August 16 a serious accident occurred at the crossing of Broadway
and the Northwestern track wherein a man named Floyd F. Mitchell, a carpen-
ter, was killed. He had been drinking and the company was exonerated by
the coroner's jury.

On the 31st of August the hearts of many were saddened by the death
of Mrs. E. H. Longee, one of Council Bluffs' beloved young women.

The annual street fair and carnival opened September 5 and was a great
success, as the receipts for the week were $11,129.49, and after deducting ex-
penses, which were $5,600, it left quite a balance on the right side.

On October 26 Rev. H. R. Lemen, founder of the Christian Home, died
in the midst of his great work but firm in the faith of its continuous useful-

At the election held November 8, 1904, the following officers were elected:
clerk of the court, IT. A'. Batty; auditor, W. C. Cheyne; recorder, G. G.
Baird; attorney, J. J. Hesse; supervisors, W. F. Baker and Felix Deitz.

Careful estimates of the corn crop of Iowa for 1904 gives Pottawattamie
county 8,000,000 bushels, making her the banner county of the state.

On November 18 Fred Stone, who had been tried and convicted of
assault with intent to commit murder upon Hans Clausen, was sentenced to
twelve years in the penitentiary.

On the 8th of December Karl Kurrer, who had been convicted of rob-
bing the Treynor bank, was sentenced to twelve yearn in the penitentiary.
His wife had given up $1,500 of the money in October.

On the 14th of December a case of destitution was discovered which
seems impossible in a community where there are so many benevolent insti-
tutions, so many kind hearted people and such abundance of the necessaries
of life. Failure to let her wants be known in time is the only way to account
for the mast pathetic tragedy, culminating in the suicide of Mrs. Allgood in
the southern part of the city. The husband and father was gone.
The mother with five little ones onlv had what the two oldest
children could earn. They could not go to school for lack of
clothes. The truant officer. Rev. Henry Delong, took them from
her, and discourasred and heartbroken, she suicided. Then and not till then
did help come. The children were provided for and the lather returned.

On the 10th Eddie Kruger and Harry Moloski, ten-year-old boys, while
skating on Cut Off lake struck thin ice, went through and were drowned.

During the year 1904 the amount spent in building in the city and
school for the deaf was $1,300,000. The country was prosperous and the


republicans happy over the result of the election, having made a clean sweep
of the state and county offices as well as members of congress for the ninth

On the 8th of February, 1905, Philip Wareham attempted suicide at the
Martin's Hotel. He had locked himself in his room and slashed his throat
with a razor, but was found in time to have the wounds attended to. Dr.
Macrae was called and prompt attention given. He was in comfortable
circumstances and ill health is the most probable cause for his rash act.

February 21 John Bernstein pleaded guilty to the charge of robbing the
Treynor bank. Arthur Deets elected to stand trial for the same offense.

On March 6 Wm. F. Steinbaugh was found dead on the ice in Indian
creek. Heart failure was supposed to be the cause.

On March 16 J. E. Adams of Omaha was run over by a train on the
Northwestern railroad above Loveland and when discovered his mangled
remains were scattered along the track for a mile.

On March 26 the plant of the Walker Manufacturing Company was
destroyed by fire, entailing a loss of $40,000, with only $5,000 insurance.

On April 24 Joseph Schema!, of Garner township, in a fit of insanity,
blew the top of his head off with his shotgun in the presence of his family.

At the city election for 1905-6 the following officers were elected:
Mayor, Donald Macrae, Jr.; clerk, L. Zurmuehlen, Jr.; treasurer, F. T.
True; solicitor, S. B. Snyder; auditor, P. J. Smith; engineer, S. L. Etnyre;
electrician, C. A. Atkins; judge of superior court, G. H. Scott; marshal, Geo.
H. Richmond; physician, Mat A. Finley; superintendent of markets, Wm.
Higgeson; poll tax collector, P. G. Mikesell; assessor, W. D. Hardin; chief
of police, Geo. H. Richmond; chief of fire department, C. M. Nicholson;
captain hose house No. 1, A. H. Telfer; No. 2, C. H. Mathewson; No. 3, F.
G. Hitchcock; No. 4, Clarence Hough; No. 5, Charles Withrow; park com-
missioners, A. C. Graham. Frank Peterson, J. J. Brown; aldermen at large,
A. G. Gilbert and John Olson ; alderman first ward, O. Younkerman ; second,
Thos. Malony; third, M. H. Tinley; fourth. J. P. Weaver; fifth, James Mc-
Millen; sixth, C. M. Crippen.

On April 24 the remains of Willy Lender were found on the U. P.
track near the transfer with head severed from body.

On the 27th Mrs. Margaret Peterson, eighty-one years of age, inmate of
county house, suicided by cutting an artery in her wrist. She had remarked
to others that she was tired of life.

On the 28th Samuel Steele was killed near U. P. transfer by train while
picking up coal on the track.

On June 2 Miss Clara Winslow of Omaha was drowned at Manawa, the
result of a collision of the boat she and her lover, Garret Pange, were in
with a steam launch.

On June 29 Frank Tabor fell from the top of a freight car at Neola
and was brought to the Bluffs and placed in the General Hospital, but his
injuries proved fatal, as he lived but a few hours.

The Fourth was duly celebrated at Manawa and Fairmount Park. A. S.
Hazelton was orator at the park. After the address all sorts of games were


indulged in, enlivened by music of Highland pipers. Fully 5,000 gathered
there, while fully 15,000 were at Manawa and no serious accident occurred
at either place.

July 11 the sad intelligence was received of the death of John Merkel
at Atlantic City, N. J. He was born and reared in the Bluffs and achieved a
national reputation as a delineator and minstrel performer and had been
with some of the best companies on the road.

September 2 Charles Platner, patrol driver, while in line of his duty,
in endeavoring to capture burglars, was fatally shot. It has never been
known of a certainty whether he was killed by one of the burglars or one
of the police, it being in the night. He was active, faithful and knew no
such emotion as fear.

The street fair and carnival opened on the 4th of September with 7,000
admissions the first night, and although some unfavorable weather was had
during the week it was a success both as to entertainment, as most of the
exhibits and performances were firstclass, and from a financial point of
view, as a handsome sum was realized after paying all expenses.

After a long trial Robert Little recovered a heavy judgment for damage
resulting from collapse of bridge near Minden in June, 1903.

On the 16th of September, during a terrific gale of wind, the electric
light tower on First street and Broadway fell. It was of steel, 154 feet high,
and in falling took trolley, electric and telephone wires with it, bul fortunately
it kept the street, so that no houses were hit and no person was injured.

On October 2 after dark a man named Otis Cartniehael was instantly
killed by a North western train opposite the brick yards. lie was a car painter
and worked at the car barns and was on his way home in the north part of
the city. He had been talking with friends and was sober and the only
theory was that the lights confused him.

October 8 the Eagles held a picnic at the Driving Park. Over 5,000 were

For quite a while a contest had been going on between the mayor and
city council acting a- a hoard of health and the board of education on the
subject of vaccination. The board of health making the order that all
teachers, pupils and janitors in the schools who had not been vaccinated
should submit to the treatment, and, in default, they should he refused ad-
mittance. Then the question arose as to the method, as a large number of
teachers as well as pupils were opposed to tile old arm treatment, and a nuni-
her of teachers proposed to resign rather than subn it, ami for a time more
than a thousand pupils were out. Finally the matter was submitted to the
court, and Judge Macy held that the hoard of health had no righl to discrimi-
nate as to the mode of treatment, and as there was not an epidemic of -mall-
pox, the matter was dropped.

As Mrs. O'Neil and her children were returning from mass, her son
James, nine years old, was killed by a Great Western train at the crossing of
Seventh street and Ninth avenue.

On the 3d of November the court appointed P. P. Peed receiver, with
order to sell the Masonic Temple and divide the proceeds among the stock-


holders, and also appointed G. W. Lipe, F. Everest and Win. Arnd as ap-

On the 22d of December the safe in the Macedonia postoffice was blown
by burglars, but it contained no money nor was it locked.

During the year 1905 just closing, the sales of agricultural implements
at Council Bluffs exceeded those of any previous year and were only second
to those of Kansas City.

On the 20th of January, 1906, Henry Robinson, a pioneer jeweler, died.
He and a brother started the business at a very early day; the brother wenl
west many years ago, but Henry remained at the old stand to the last.

G. W. Scott, an old and prominent citizen of Hazel Dell, died on tbe
24th of heart trouble and on the same day, in the city Jeremiah Connor
died of the infirmities of age at ninety-two.

On the 25th the corner stone of the Jennie Edmundson hospital was
laid under the auspices of the Klks' Lodge, No. 531, Mayor Donald Macrae
acting as master of ceremonies.

On March 25 Rev. J. B. Lentz had commenced preaching at his
church in Macedonia; a fearful storm came up and he was .-truck down by
lightning in the pulpit. A panic ensued, the cupola took lire. Elmer
Turnbloom did an act of heroism by climbing to the roof and extinguishing
the fire, while friends carried Rev. Lentz to a neighbor's, where lie died in
half an hour. Some of the congregation were slightly burned by the elec-
tric fluid.

On the 0th of April E. A. Parker while crossing the Great Western
track near Minden at night was struck by the train and terribly injured.
Both his horses were killed and hi- buggy smashed to kindling wood.

At the city election held in April, 1906, the following officers were
elected. Mayor, Donald Macrae. Jr.; city solicitor, Clem F. Kimball; treas-
urer, F. T. True; auditor, John L. McAnney; engineer. S. L. Etnyre; asses-
sor, W. D. Hardin; superintendent of markets. Wm. Higgeson; aldermen at
large, John Olson and John C. Flemming; alderman first ward, Oscar
Younkerman; second ward, Thos. Malony; third ward, Robert B. Wallace;
fourth ward, H. F. Knudson ; fifth ward, Peter Smith; sixth ward. Wallace
M. Hendix; park commissioners, A. C. Graham, Frank Peterson, J. J. Brown;
chief of police, Geo. H. Richmond; chief of fire department, Chas. Nichol-
son; clerk, W. F. Sapp.

On the 25th of April Mrs. Sarah, the venerable widow of Dr. Henry
Hart, passed away, he having preceded her in 1891. They came from Bath,
N. Y., to Johnston, Rock county, Wisconsin, in 1853. and from there to
West Union, Iowa. When the war broke out he enlisted in 1861, became sur-
geon of his regiment, and served during the war. They settled in the Bluffs
in 1868. Only one son, Ernest E., survives them, Frank H. died at Beloit,
Kansas, in 1884, and one daughter, Mrs. Jennie Edmundson, in 1890.

On the 30th of April Frank Kruger, a farmer living about six miles
south of Minden, suicided by drowning in his cistern. Insanity was the

On May 16 a class of sixty-seven graduated from the high school.


On the 18th ¥m. H. Kuhn, one of the foremost citizens of Garner town-
ship, died at the age of seventy-three. He came here in 1856, built a mill for
Win. Garner, married one of his daughters; was a farmer, but spent some time
freighting and mining in the early days ; was a good manager, and, although
he lost heavily by the Officer & Pusey bank failure, left a comfortable for-
tune for his family.

May 20 Philip Wareham made a second attempt at suicide, this time
by drowning. While walking with his wife he started for the creek. She
suspected bis intention and tried to hold him, but he jerked away and
jumped into a deep hole, but her screams brought help in time to save

On May 21 James Arthur was sentenced to nine years at Fort Madi-
son for the Treynor bank robbery, and Mickey Tagert to six years for robbery
of Solomon.

May 30 a man was found dead two miles above Honey Creek on
Northwestern track. From papers on his person he proved to be J. Mona-
ban of Lincoln, 111.

May 30 Memorial day was appropriately observed in the city by dec-
orating the graves in the forenoon and in the afternoon services were held
in Fairmount park. !

On June 4 a general foreman of bridge work on the Union Pacific
bridge was -truck by a Rock Island passenger engine while at work and
instantly killed. It proved to be Henry D. Baldwin, an employee of many
years' standing. His residence was No. 123 Fourth street, was fifty-four years
of age. The train was exceeding its speed limit at the time.

On the 18th William B. Cook, a switch engineer of Chicago, was crushed
to death between passenger coaches at the Great Western crossing at Sixtli
street and Ninth avenue.

Council Bluffs' crack team took first place and Xeola first in hose race at
the state tournament at DesMoines on June 21. and on the 23d Jack and
Jim went over and took first at Clinton.

June 29 a man by the name of John Dicks, insane, suicided by hang-
ing himself to a tree in John Robinson's yard at the corner of Seventeenth
street and Avenue G.

Manawa did a larger business than ever before, although the band was
inferior to that of Covalt's. The streel fair and carnival in September also
exceeded any of its predecessors.

On the 16th of October we were called upon to part with one of our
foremost citizens in the person of John Schoentgen. He was one <>f the
leading wholesale merchants, and most honorable of men.

At the election held November 6, 1908. the following officers were
elected: Representatives. H. C. Brandes and Willoughby Dye: auditor, W
C. Cheyne; clerk, H. V. Batty; sheriff, Ed. Canning: recorder, G. G. Baird :
attorney, J. J. Hes~e: school superintendent. E. R. Jackson; surveyor. J. IT.
Mayne: coroner. Y. L. Treynor; supervisors. W. F. Baker and Felix

The reunion of the officers of the army of the Tennessee was a brilliant


affair. Many distinguished soldiers and civilians were present, among whom
were General 0. 0. Howard, Archbishop Ireland, Colonel Stibbs, General
Fred Grant, Colonel W. L. Barnum, General G. F. McGinnis, General John
C. Black, Captain N. T. Spoor and Captain Joseph' R. Reed. Mrs. John A.
Logan also graced the occasion with her presence. The exercises were con-
ducted at the opera house, Major General G. M. Dodge presiding, and were
most interesting. The whole closed with a banquet at the Grand hotel,
where 500 guests were served.

On the 13th of December George F. Wright, for forty years one of the
leading attorneys of the Council Bluffs bar, passed away.

The year 1906 was a most prosperous one for the entire county. Crops
were good and much improvement was made on the roads as well as on the
streets of the city. More than a million dollars were spent in building.

January, 1907, the chief of police reports the number of arrests in the
city at 1,765. The chief of the fire department reports 132 alarm* and a
loss by fire of $142,597.

At a meeting of the Council Bluffs Bar Association on January S W. A.
Mynster was elected president; Spencer Smith, vice-president, and D. L. Ross,
secretary. After which the members to the number of forty partook of a
dinner at the Grand hotel.

On the 13th of January Andrew Hunter of Neola started oul for the
purpose of buying cattle, he going in a buggy, his two sons following on
horseback to drive the stock. At Geiss crossing of the Great Western rail-
road he was run over and instantly killed, also his team, and his buggy
smashed to kindling in plain .sight of his sons.

Charles Proctor, a widower living by himself and keeping a cigar stand,
was found dead in bed in his room back of his store on the 19th of January.
Heart trouble was the cause. He was a native of England, but had been a
citizen for many years, and was in his younger days an active member of
the old Volunteer fire department.

On the first of February the Jennie Edmundson hospital was thrown
open for inspection and more than a thousand visitors passed through.

On the second day of February, Dan Farrel, at one time connected with
the Globe, but more widely known as one of the most efficient civil officers
in the state, died at San Antonio, Texas.

On the Sth of February Royal D. Amy, the pioneer stove and tinware mer-
chant of Council Bluffs, died after being in the business for more than a
half century. He left a wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchil-
dren and thousands of friends. He was seventy-two years of age at the time
of his death.

On the 14th Fred H. Hill, manager of the Empkie-Shugart-Hill Hard-
ware Company, another of our leading business men, died of cancer at the
hospital after an operation performed as a last resort.

Royal B. Felton, banker, of Underwood, was killed by the Great Western
train at the crossing of Main street on the 21st of January.

On the 19th of March J. W. Morse died after a long tedious sickness.
Mr. Morse had been a prominent man in several ways, having been a mer-


chant, and had held the offices at different times of city marshal and justice
of the peace.

It was he and his partner, Mr. Hall, at that time doing a shipping busi-
ness, that instituted the suit by mandamus proceeding to compel the Union
Pacific Railroad Company to operate its line to Council Bluffs, which was
finally successful. He left a wife and two sons.

On the 23d of March James Anderson, janitor of the Masonic Temple,
was found dead in one of the halls with his skull fractured, supposed to have .
been caused by his falling down one story over the banisters.

On the 25th the community sustained a great loss in the death of Dr.
T. B. Lacy. As a physician and surgeon he stood at the head of his pro-
fession. He also occupied a high position in Masonry, being past eminent
grand commander of Knights Templar and past grand high priest of Royal
Arch Masons.

On April 9 the grand council of the Royal Arcanum convened here
and. after transacting business and selecting Boone for the next meeting,
closed with a banquet at the Grand hotel.

On the 21st of April two railroad employes were killed. Wm. Burns
switchman on the R. I., and A. Hofman, colored, a helper in Wabash round-

April 23 City Treasurer True reports amount spent during last year
al $244,000, of which $161,415 were for improvements and $83,047.58 city

Api-il 26, at the h c uf Henry Sperling, jii-t outside of city in Garner

township, his daughter, eight years of ngo, and Miss Mary Miller were
burned to death by lighting the fire with kerosene.

On June 13 John Beno, after three year.-' suffering, which lie bore with
heroic fortitude, quietly passed away. Perhaps no man in Pottawattamie
county was better known or liked than be. Coming here a boy in 1861, and
starting in as an errand boy, he filled every requirement. In the mer-
cantile business he went in at the bottom, and by strict integrity and indus-
try he reached the top. His family lost the kindest of husband and father
and the community one of its best citizens.

On the 26th Mrs. Mary, widow of Judge G. A. Robinson, died. She
was a pioneer, coming while the city was but little more than a Mormon

camp. She became a helpmate to her husband, wl ngaged in the hotel

business by becoming a frugal as well as popular hostess. She could adorn
the kitchen or drawing room with equal grace.

The charter of the Council Bluffs Water Works Company having ex-
pired for more than a year, it became a subject of much importance what
course to pursue, some favoring municipal ownership, while others were op-
posed to it. The present company applied for a new charter, and after a
lengthy discussion, the council passed an ordinance granting tin 1 company
a new charter, which was approved by the mayor and submitted to a vote of
the people to be taken at a. special election to ho held on the sixth day of
August, 1907, and at which it was defeated by a large majority.



The Grim Reaper the past year was very busy in Council Bluffs. In
addition to several prominent persons previously named, Dr. Donald Macrae,
eminent as a physician and surgeon, passed away.

He was a native of Scotland, born October 3, 1839, came to Council Bluffs
in March, 1867, and practiced his profession up to within a short time
previous to his death, which occurred on the 14th of August. He also took
a lively interest in public affairs and was elected and served one term as
mayor of the city.

His wife, who was a daughter of Joseph Bouchette, surveyor general of
Canada, preceded him, dying in March, 1904. He was the father of the
present mayor, Dr. Donald Macrae, now serving his second term.

On the night of July 28 two policemen were shot in attempting to
arrest a burglar. One of them, George W. Wilson, lived but a few hours.
The other, William H. Richardson, although shot through the chest, has
nearly recovered. The burglar escaped in the darkness.

On the 10th of August Peter Bechtel, another of Council Bluffs' re-
spected citizens of long standing, died at the age of eighty. He came here
in 1868, engaged in the hotel business, was prosperous for years, built a fine
modern hotel and an elegant residence, bul in his old age was overtaken by
misfortune and lost all, save his honor, and, added to this, he was afflicted
with loss of sight. He left his venerable wife and one son and daughter.

Politically Pottawattamie comity, previous to the war, was democratic.
During that period the opposition to the war by leaders of the democratic
party caused many to change to the republican columns, so that since that
time the county at large has been republican by far the largest part of the
time, while in the city it has been somewhat different. Of the thirty men,
who have filled the office of mayor, the first one was a whig. This was be-
fore the birth of the republican party. Since that time thirty-two years
have been under democratic administrations, while the republicans have had
but nineteen. Of these, four have been soldiers, Cochran, Carson, Keatley
and Macrae, Jr. Two brothers, John and Caleb Baldwin, have held the posi-
tion. Also father and son, being the two Drs. Macrae. Of these, nine are
living, being Vaughan, Bowman, Evans, Rohrer, Groneweg, Carson, Jen-
nings, Morgan and Macrae. One, John Chapman, died in office.

Taken as a whole, it would be hard to find a more honorable set of
officials. In only one or two instances did the odor of graft attach to any
of them, and, however they may have differed as to the means, they had the

Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 12 of 59)