Homer Howard Field.

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

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welfare of their city at heart.

Morally and religiously it is perhaps neither better nor worse than other
cities of its size. The wheat and tares are still growing together, but we
believe the wheat to be gaining. The street fair and carnival held in Sep-
tember was another success, netting over $3,000. which is to be expended in
public improvements. The management announced that as the last to be
given under their supervision.

The season now closing has been a very busy and prosperous one for


both city and county. In the city more buildings have been erected and
more street paving done than in any one year in its history.

Although Council Bluffs cannot as yet lay claim to being a manufac-
turing city, it is gradually taking steps in that direction as will be seen fur-
ther along, where they are given special notice. At an early day Council
Bluffs had a distillery and three breweries, but owing to unfriendly legisla-
tion, they have long been discontinued, but our sixty saloons find no diffi-
culty in getting supplies from neighboring states. Whether this is to our
advantage from either a moral, religious or commercial standpoint is still a"
debatable question. Only Geis' Bottlings Works is all that remains of a
former large industry.

As considerable attention has been given to the cultivation of fruits, flow-
ers and vegetables, we will proceed to notice some of the establishments en-
gaged in this business, after which we will look at some of our infant manu-


Prominent among the industries of Council Bluffs is that of floricul-
ture. TIiq. largest of these establishments is that of Mr. J. F. Wilcox, on
East Pierce street. This business was started back in the seventies by Mr.
L. A. Casper, for whom the present proprietor worked for a number of
years. Ever since the commencement of Mr. Casper the business has had
a constant growth, and proved quite remunerative, so much so that by 1892
Mr. Casper was content to retire on a handsome fortune, and sold out to
Mr. Wilcox, who has since conducted the business with the same skill and
energy that has characterized its management from the beginning, until it
has reached mammoth proportions. Four hundred and twenty-five thou-
sand square feet of glass enter into the construction of the hot houses, while
miles of piping is required for keeping the proper temperature. Besides this,
he has an establishment just outside of the city, in Garner township, for
supplying fresh vegetables at all seasons of the year. Altogether 5,000 tons
of coal is consumed in a year to maintain the proper degree of warmth. The
business has become continental in extent, as, at his office at 521 West Broad-
way, orders are received from New York to Seattle, and from Minneapolis
to St. Louis.

His residence at 1132 East Pierce street is one of the finest in the city.


The above industry was started in 1885 by the father of the present
proprietor. At first the business consisted of raising vegetables exclusively.
Having five acres under cultivation, and furnishing fresh vegetables at all
seasons of the year. During the year 1889 the elder Mr. Meyer died, since
which time the business has been conducted by the son. above named, and
to which he has added the raising of flowers. One acre has been devoted to
this branch and enclosed with hot houses. Although this addition has been
made but recently, one hundred and fifty tons of coal was required to keep
the plant at the proper temperature. The raising of vegetables is contin-


ued, and in addition two acres have been set to raising choice varieties of

Fred L. Lainson, gardener, has 35,000 square feet of glass in his hot
houses at 1308 Canning street. Two eighty horse-power boilers force heat
through three miles of piping, and requiring 1,000 tons of coal per annum
to keep the right temperature.

His business is raising vegetables and supplying them fresh the year
round at wholesale. So far he has not been able to supply the home mar-
ket and that of Omaha, but is enlarging his plant, with a view of supplying
the increasing demand.


Thomas Capel started a market garden on East Pierce street in 1905 in a
small way, but is compelled to enlarge, and at the present time (1907) he has
30,000 feet of glass in his hot houses, with one mile of piping, and requiring
250 tons of coal per annum to keep the 'proper temperature. The rapid
growth of Omaha and Council Bluffs creates a great demand for these prod-
ucts, which they furnish the year round. His business being vegetables
exclusively and has $10,000 invested in the plant.


The above named firm started business in 1905, on the corner of
Twenty-ninth street and Ninth avenue. They make a specialty of cut
flowers, which they furnish at wholesale and retail.

Although started but two years ago, their greenhouse has 40,000 feet of
glass, the main building being 250x100 feet, besides office and packing room.-.
They ship as far east as Chicago and west as far as Denver. Tiny employ
six persons besides themselves and families. It takes eight hundred tons of
coal per annum to maintain the proper temperature.

The value of the plant at present is $30,000.


Fruit raising during the early settlement of the county was not at-
tended with much success. At first the young trees would kill out during
the winters, some of which were severe, but the real cause was found to be
the long distance from which they were brought.

A few of the pioneers, however, had faith, notably Mr. Terry, of Cres-
cent; Mr. McDonald, of Kane; Mr. Cooledge, of Mills, and later. Mr. Ray-
mond, of Garner, also Mr. Rice of Kane. Nurseries were started and fruit
raising became infectious until at this time a farm without an orchard or
vineyard, or both, is the exception. In a few years the crop more than sup-
plied the home market, and steps were taken to find others.

In 1891 a number of the fruit growers incorporated for mutual benefit
with a capital of $1,000. A building was rented temporarily in which to
handle the crop and they began shipping. The business grew and in 1905


the company erected a warehouse 36x60 feet of two stories and basement, in
which the business was conducted for two years.

In the spring of 1907 the company was reincorporated with a capital
stock of $35,000 under the name of the Grape Growers' Association, with
J. A. Aulabaugh, president; Alex. Wood, vice-president and chairman of
the board of director-; ; J. J. Hess, secretary, and Charles Konigmacher, treas-
urer. The warehouse built, not being sufficient, an additional one has been
added, 60x160 feet. This also is of brick, two stories and basement. The
shipping facilities are of the best, being located on the Great Western track.
The company has reliable agents in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Denver, Pueblo,
Duluth and Salt Lake, besides intermediate points.

The new warehouse above mentioned is probably the strongest in the
city. It is already rented, to take effect as soon as the grape season closes,
lor storage of 150 carloads or 7,500,000 pounds of sugar.

Among the leading fruit growers of western Pottawattamie are Rev. G.
G. Rice, D. L. Rover, Robert McKinsey, A. Wood, D. J. Smith, W. T.
Keelinc Harry Kingston, O. J. Smith, W. II. Kuhn, Mark L. Stageman,
Chas. Konigmacher, Wm. Arnd, A. Rosner, J. W. Dorland, W. G. Rich, N.
P. Dodge. Wm. Bomburg, Anton Kerston, James Peterson, J. A. Alabangh,
J. F. Gretzer, C. D. Parmale, John Johnson, M. R. Smith, Henry Sperling,
G. C. Hansen, Peter Peterson, Miss Nance Avery, Dr. A. P. ITanehett, J. F.
Wilcox and Charles Beno.


This company was incorporated in 1901 with a capital of $25,000.
President, C. Hater; secretary, W. W. Hafer; treasurer and manager, P. I.
Van Order.

The business of this company is general contracting. Their business
differ- from thai of mosl contractors in their keeping all material in stock
for all the branches of building, commencing with the foundation, includ-
ing stone, brick, lime, cemenl and sand; also a full line of hardware and
paints, a- well as all standard sizes of doors and window.-, and in addition
it has a large factory equipped with the most improved machinery for mill
work of every description, including planing, scroll and band sawing and
turning. In connection with the lumber yard a full line of wire fencing i>
also kept. It also has its architecl and skilled foremen in every department.
An average of one hundred mechanics are employed and the payroll now
amounts to $7,500 per month.

The business during the year of 1906 reached $200,000, and that of
1907. counting contracts already made will reach $250,000 or over.

Among the buildings erected since starting arc the residence of E. E.
Hart, the Goodrich hotel, the Jennie Edmundson hospital.

Tlie establishment occupies 100 feet front on Pierce street.




Among the numerous industries operating in the city is one of E. Chil-
dren's Sons Manufacturing Company. The business was started here in
1892 by E. Children and his two sons, who came here from Wisconsin and
engaged in the manufacture of agricultural implements, and the business
was conducted successfully for eight years under that management until the
death of the father, which occurred June 13, 1900, having been constantly
increasing and extending its business. After the death of the senior part-
ner it was incorporated with F. R. Children as president; W. C. Children,
treasurer, and E. G. Anderson, secretary, with a capital of $110,000. The
principal articles manufactured at this time are cultivators, grain drills,
sweep rakes, hay stackers, feed mills, elevators and dumps and horse powers.
The location of the establishment is well suited to their business, leaving
ample room for present or future needs, with trackage to facilitate ship-

The main building is 200x50 feet and two stories in height. The
foundry occupies a separate room of one story, being 100x50 feet, while the
finishing and sales departments each have separate rooms 100x50 feet, of
one story, while the power house is 50x50 feet and entirely disconnected
with the other buildings.

All are of brick and great care is taken to keep the several departments
separate as a protection against fire.

Nearby is a large lumber yard stocked with hardwood sawed at the mills
to the dimensions required for the several different articles of their manu-
facture, and no part of which is permitted to be used until it has seasoned
for two years. It is a hive of industry, where eighty men are employed, and
their trade constantly increasing.


Incorporated with a capital of $50,000, the officers are: E. P. Searle,
president; L. W. Kinyon, vice-president ; H. A. Searle, secretary and treas-
rer, and F. H. Searle, superintendent.

The plant consists of a main brick two-story building, 100x50 feet, be-
sides storage rooms, all located at the corner of Sixth street and Eleventh

The business consists in the manufacture of high-grade greases and lub-
ricating oils. The location is fortunate in having trackage connecting with
all the railroads entering the city.


The above named brothers commenced business in Council Bluffs in
1892, in a small way, in the manufacture of weighing scales, freight and
passenger, hand, electric and belt-power elevators.

The plant is situated on the corner of Ninth street and Eleventh ave-
nue. The business grew and in 1900 was incorporated, with C. E. Kimball


as president; B. Mclnnerney, vice-president and manager, and W. H. Kim-
ball, treasurer, with a paid-up capital of $100,000. All are practical mechan-
ics and especially skilled in these specialties, so much so that they are at
this time filling an order for two of their elevators to be shipped to New
York city, also one to Cleveland, Ohio, and another to Pittsburg, Pa.

The way their business is increasing, they will soon require more room,
their lot being but 200x130 feet. They have good shipping facilities, the
Union Pacific, Rock Island and Milwaukee railroads passing their doors.
On their payroll are seventy-five names.


Among our manufacturing industries the Sprague Foundry and Manu-
facturing Company should not be overlooked.

It was established in 1885 on Third street, where it conducted a small
business until 1893, when it succeeded the Ogden Iron Works, and in 1902
moved to its present quarters at Eleventh street and Third avenue, and in-
corporated with a paid-up capital of $25,000.

The officers are: President and treasurer, C. C. Sprague; vice-presi-
dent and manager, R, M. Sprague; secretary. George S. Wright.

In addition to general foundry and machine work they have several
specialties, amonii which are the Rose patent shaking grates. Western Un-
derfeed furnaces, iron and brass castings and architectural iron work.

The business is showing and, though winking forty men, they .ire be-
hind with their orders.

The John T. Henderson Novelty Work.- is another industry, consisting
largely in the manufacture of toys. Mr. Henderson i- quite an inventor,
making Ins own machinery, and has secured several valuable patents.


This establishment located in the city in 1902. coming from Rock
Island. 111., and occupying the building on the southeast corner of Twelfth
street and Ninth avenue, is engaged in the manufacture of farm machinery.
consisting of furrow opener-, disk sharpeners, wind mill regulators, stock
waterers, hay bunchers, sweeps and stacker-, woven wire fence, washing
machines and other specialties. The main factory is 50x100 feet, with
wing 50x50 feci, for foundry and powerhouse. At present time thirty men
are employed besides a traveling salesman. The location affords ample
facilities for shipping.

Peter Wind, contractor and builder, has a mill for planing, scroll and
1 mild sawing, all kind- of mouldings, turning and, in fact, doing all kinds
of mill work required in the line of building; also has kiln for drying lum-
ber. Has been one of the leading contractors for a quarter of a century.
\t this time lias sixty men in his employ. Capital invested, $25,000.

The plant is located on the southwest corner of West Broadway ami
Thirteenth street.



A prominent building in the western part of the city is the factory of
Keys Brothers, for the manufacturing of carriages, surreys, buggies, spring
wagons, etc. They came in the winter of '88, and, after looking the ground
over, considering the facilities for distribution of finished work, concluded to
locate here, and the following spring purchased the ground and erected
their main building, which is 160x60 feet, and four stories high. They at
the same time secured ample ground for any enlargement that might be
required. They were from Ohio and, in addition to their plant here, are
largely interested in an establishment for doing the mill work required by
modern usage. So far the enterprise has proved a success, as the demand
for their work has increased each year. They have just added a wing to
the main building, 58x52 feet, of three stories. These, with the houses and
sheds for storing the materials, occupy two acres, and their shipping facili-
ties are of the best.

The concern is incorporated with a paid-up capital of $100,000, with
an average payroll of one hundred men.

On the 3d of September the above establishment was nearly destroyed
by fire, but at this writing, October 24, is being rebuilt larger than before.


This company was incorporated in 1900 with a paid-up capital of $30,-

The officers being: E. Kritchmer, president and treasurer; J. C. Kritch-
mer, vice-president, and George E. Smith, secretary.

The senior member of the company had been for years engaged in the
manufacture of all kinds of bee-keepers' supplies in a small way on his
farm in Montgomery county, where he had made a study of the habits of
the bee, and the best methods of profiting by its industry.

So successful were his efforts, that his growing business required larger
facilities, both for manufacturing and shipping, and, after looking over
several localities, he decided on its present location on Third street, near the
Wabash freight depot, where it secured abundant room for buildings, lum-
ber yard, etc, also trackage for bringing the raw material and shipping the
finished, product.

Since coming here it has added the manufacture of steel and wooden
tanks. The main building is two stories, 100x90 feet, with the most ap-
proved machinery for making the bee supplies, while a smaller one, 25x60,
is used in the tank work exclusively, both being hives of industry.

It is encouraging to learn that the bee supply work has proved so satis-
factory that its sale is not confined to the home market, but that orders are
already received and shipments made to foreign countries.

Thirty-five men are on the present payroll.

The Alfalfa Meal Company was incorporated in 1904 and is quite an


extensive concern. President, M. M. Breen; secretary and treasurer, J. T.
Brooks. Capital, $80,000.

The plant is on the northeast corner of Twelfth street and Ninth ave-
nue. The main building is 100x100 feet of three stories, with storerooms
adjoining, 100x90 feet, part of which is one and part two stories. The
business is the manufacturing and sale of stock food. It employs on an
average twenty-five men and finds ready sale for its products.


The Growers' Canning Company is a corporation formed in 1905. Its
officers are: Wm. Arnd, president; A. P. Hanchett, vice-president; J. J.
Hess, secretary, and E. E. Hart, treasurer, with a paid-up capital of $25,-


The purpose is the production of high-grade canned fruits and vege-

The plant is situated on the corner of Third street and Twelfth ave-
nue and consists of a main building of two stories, 100x50 feet, besides stor-
age rooms and platforms with all of the most approved modern appliances
for prosecuting the work. During the active season it employs seventy-five
people, and has a capacity for producing 65,000 cans per day.


In 1893 R. H. Bloomer commenced the manufacture of wire and flat
fence, in a small way, employing a dozen men, and after getting fairly
started, had the misfortune to be burned out, but rebuilt on the same ground,
to which was added the manufacture of woven wire fence to the business, and
was incorporated, enlarged and employed forty workmen, besides fifteen
traveling salesmen.

In the spring of 1907 it was reincorporated as the Bloomer Ice and Cold
Storage Company, with R. H. Bloomer, president; E. C. Smith, vice-presi-
dent; Thomas Green, secretary, and Dr. A. P. Hanchett, treasurer, with a
capital stock of $125,000, and adding the manufacture of artificial ice and
operating a cold storage plant.

In establishing this the company has just erected a six-story brick
building, 100x86 feet, that has a capacity of 200 cars and requiring thirty
tons of ice per day in maintaining a temperature from freezing point to 15
degrees below zero. Although this has but just started, it requires a force
of thirty men, with every prospect of enlargement, and for which the com-
pany has abundant ground space and trackage.


The above establishment is successor to the firm of Duquett & Co. and
commenced business in its present quarters in 1895. in tbe manufacture of
a general line of candies, with a capital of $50,000. The building in which
the business was started was the three-story brick, known as the Mynster


building on West Broadway. The increase of business required additional
room, and in 1899 a building 66x80 feet and four stories was added, also a
fourth story was added to the original structure, besides packing, shipping
and storage rooms, sheds and platforms, so that the entire plant at the pres-
ent writing is 165x100 feet.

In addition to the candy business, in sinking an artesian well at the
depth of 800 feet, an abundant supply of water was struck, possessing medi-
cinal properties, the bottling and sale of which has become a large addition
to their already extensive business. It also affords fire protection by having
an immense tank high above the roof constantly filled, from which the
entire plant can be instantly flooded in case of fire. From two to three hun-
dred persons are constantly employed in the works, many of whom are
girls and boys, besides a dozen to fifteen salesmen are kept on the road. The
goods find sale from the Atlantic to the Pacific.


This is a hive of industry, in which seventy-five women are engaged. It
is no "sweatshop," being roomy with the best of light and ventilation, sit-
uated at the southeast corner of Main and Fifteenth avenue. The sewing
machines are driven by electricity, and the output being from sixty to sev-
enty dozen per day. The entire force, including the superintendent, is com-
posed of women.

The Standard Manufacturing Company was incorporated in November,
1904, with G. G. Wooden, president and treasurer, and J. F. Hughes, vice-
president and secretary, with a paid-up capital of $25,000.

The business is the manufacture of wagon boxes and shovel boards.
The company secured ample ground, being half of the block on West Broad-
way, running through to First avenue, affording the most convenient ship-
ping facilities. Their main building is 150x160 feet, with another 130x40
feet for painting and storage. The lumber used is southern yellow pine, of
which a large quantity is kept on hand in their yard. It requires a force
of thirty men to enable the company to keep up with their orders.


Brick probably enters more largely into the construction of a city than
any one commodity.

The Council Bluffs Brick Company was incorporated March 10, 1907,
with a paid-up capital of $10,000. President and general manager, E. A.
Wickham; secretary, William Arnd; treasurer, Ernest Hart.

The plant is located at the foot of the bluff in the northern part of city,
the great bluff furnishing an inexhaustible quantity of the raw material, and
the yard is equipped with all the most approved facilities for prosecuting the
work, which includes all varieties of common and pressed brick.

The product this year, 1907, will reach 3,000,000.


Wickham Brothers are located under the same great bluff, where they
have been engaged in the manufacture of the same quality of brick from
вАҐthe time that the memory of man runneth not to the contrary. Most of
these are used by them in works, for which they are the contractors.

Their output will average 50,000 per day during the working season.


The above manufactory was established in June, 1906. The plant con-
sists of a two-story and basement building of pressed brick, 100x90 feet, with
all the most modern facilities for producing bread and cake of all varieties,
also ice cream. This establishment is located on Mynster street, and the
daily output runs from 4,000 to 5,000 loaves of bread, with a corresponding
amount of cake and ice cream.

In connection with this is a retail store and restaurant at 523 and 525
West Broadway. Twenty-two employes are now on the payroll and the
business growing.

Nearby is about the latest manufacturing establishment in the city, viz.,
The Orcutt Manufacturing Company. Incorporated June 1, 1907, with D.
M. Orcutt, president and treasurer; G. E. Fisher, vice-president, and W. E.
Orcutt, secretary, with a paid-up capital of $15,000.

The principal business is the manufacture of weighing scale- of all
kinds, including the pitless wagon scale.

Although so recently established here, their business requires the active
service of twelve skillful machinists.


Incorporated with F. J. Duerr, president and manager; A. C. Walker,

Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 13 of 59)