Homer Howard Field.

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

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D. B. Daily; major, J. R, Reed; officer of tin day. E. F. Holmes; adjutant.
C. H. Warren ; quartermaster, D. J. O'Neil ; officer of the guard, Henry Gen-
himer; chaplain, B. W. Hight.

The first death was that of A. Van Order. March 13, 1889. During the
eighteen years since, out of an enrollment of one hundred and ninety-three,
up to June, 1907, fifty-five deaths have occurred, and mil of said enrollment.
sixty-three were wounded.

The present number of members is seventy-five.



The Ladies' Auxiliary to the Union Veteran Legion was organized Sep-
tember 23, 1891.

The first officers were as follows:

President, Mrs. Mary Crisp; senior vice president, Mrs. Blanch Loveland;
junior, Mrs. Etta Miller; secretary, Mary R. Anson; chaplain, Sarah Watts;
conductor, Mary Steigal; guard, Elizabeth Sherwood.

The society was reorganized August 4, 1903, and the following officers
elected and are serving at the present time (1907) :

President, Nellie Burrows; senior vice president, Bitha Bolton; junior,
Martha Hobbs; conductor, Ada Martin; chaplain, Addie Mitchell; secretary.
Theducia Williams; treasurer, Catharine Hess; guard, Nancy Cadwell; color
bearer, Clara Whitell.

The present membership is forty-two.


The first military company formed in Council Bluffs a- a part of the
Iowa National Guard, according to the records in the adjutant-general's
office was known as Company A, Fifth Regiment, and was mustered into the
state's service May 4, 1887, by Captain M. H. Byers of Company < '. who was
detailed for that service by the adjutant-general of Iowa. Captain Byers was
afterwards appointed adjutant-general of the state, and has been succeeded
in that office by Captain William H. Thrift, Company A, Fifty-third Regi-

In a reorganization of the Iowa National Guard, the Council Bluffs com-
pany became known as Company L of the Third Regiment and was known
by that name until the regiment was called into the service of the United
States in 1898.

The following is the roster of the original Company A of the Fifth Regi-
ment: Captain, Wm. S. Messner; first lieutenant. Charles Highsmith; sec-
ond lieutenant, Hugh W. Patterson, with thirty-one rank and file.

The Fifty-first Regiment, of which the Council Bluffs company was a
part, left Des Moines for San Francisco, June 5, 1898, arriving at Camp Mer-
ritt June 11. On July 29 they were removed to Camp Merrfam, remaining
there until November 3, 1898, when they left Camp Merriam and returned
to San Francisco and embarked on board the transport Pennsylvania. The
transport reached Honolulu November 16. -Arrived at Manila bay on Decem-
ber 6, 1898. After nearly a month in Uoilo bay, the transport departed for
Cavite, arriving at that place January 31, 1899, where the troops went into

The Fifty-first Regiment participated in the occupation of San Roque,
February 29, 1899, and the various companies were in a number of engage-
ments during their stay in Cavite, losing in battle and by death a total of
forty-one men. The following is a list of engagements in which the com-
panies of the regiment participated: Guadaloupe Church, March 5, 1899;


Quingus, April 23, 1899; East and West Pullian, April 24, 1899; Calumpit,
April 25; San Thomas, May 1; San Fernando, May 5, May 25, 26 and 31,
June 16, 22, 30 and July 4, 1899 ; Calulut and Angeles, July 9, 1899.

On September 6, the troops broke camp and moved to Manila prepara-
tory to returning to the United States and sailed on the transport Senator,
September 22, 1899.

Here the Fifty-first Regiment was mustered out of the service on Novem-
ber 2, 1899, and the various companies returned at once to their various sta-

The home-coming of the Fifty-first was the occasion of a great and
memorable celebration in Council Bluffs. The company, for a number of years,
made its headquarters in rented rooms until, through the generosity of Gen.
Dodge, it was provided with its present armory, located on the corner of Fifth
avenue and Pearl street. The armory was dedicated January 17, 1905, and
is one of the best in the state and the boys, as well as the citizens generally,
are proud of it. The present officers of the company are: Captain, S. A.
Green; first lieutenant, A. M. Peterson; second lieutenant, Percy Lamson;
first sergeant, S. A. Walters; quartermaster-sergeant, R. H. Lackley; sergeants,
N. V. Sanders, J. F. Norman ; cook, H. W. Snyder ; musicians, L. R. Kirk-
patrick and Eugene Marr.

On July 14, 1904, pursuant to an order from the adjutant-general, Dr.
Donald Macrae, major and surgeon, organized a hospital corps, which was
temporarily attached to the Fifty-sixth Regiment. Orders were sent out from
headquarters at the same time for the formation of three other detachments
of the corps to be stationed at different points in Iowa. The roster of the Council
Bluffs detachment upon its organization is as follows:

Dr. Donald Macrae, major and surgeon; first lieutenant, Dr. C. W. McDer-
mott, Spencer, Iowa; second lieutenant. Dr. John Middleton, Davenport J first-
■ class sergeant, Wm. Anderson: second-class sergeant, Arthur E. Lane; enlisted
men, Dan. P. Cowles, Jas. Macrae Jr., Ray B. Beardsley, Clement C Smith,
Harry B. Evans, Egbert D. Aylesworth, Harry B. Sackett, Merl F. Warner.
The corps has its headquarters in the armory of Company L, where all its
equipment is stored, the men being drilled once a week in their duties.


The fire department of Council Bluffs had its beginning as far back as
1853, after the disastrous fire that consumed a large portion of the business
houses as well as the merchandise. This consisted of a hook and ladder com-
pany and a bucket brigade. The hook has been kept as a relic by the depart-
ment, but the rest of the apparatus, like its members, has passed away.

On July 12, 1868, at a meeting at Johnson and Orr's shop, the Rescue
Engine and Hose Company was organized, with a small hand engine and hose.

Competition now entered, and in August, 1868, the Bluff City No. 2
was organized, and a steamer and horse hose cart were ordered by the city. The
company was a strong one.

The Rescue had hoped to get this steamer but failed. They, however,
continued their organization and became a part of the departra


The old Bluff City steamer arrived here in September, 1868, in charge
of H. A. Sillsby, of the Sillsby Manufacturing Co., and was given a trial at
the Sixth street bridge over Indian creek, by W. Savage, an engineer from
the factory and who was retained in charge of the engine.

Bluff City Engine Company perfected its organization and was officered
as follows: Foreman, F. T. C. Johnson; first assistant, 0. P. Wickham; sec-
ond, Ben Miller; president, James McFee; secretary, R. B. Brown; engineer,
W. Savage; fireman, Thos. Homer. Heretofore the department had been inde-
pendent, but the city having purchased the steamer as well as the hose cart,
it appointed the officers of the department as follows: Chief engineer, F. T.
C. Johnson; first assistant, P. D. Mooniaw; second assistant, George Herbert.

In January, 1869, a large company was formed called the Protection
Hook and Ladder Company, and the same month the Confidence, afterwards
called the Phoenix Hook and Ladder Company, was organized, and being rec-
ognized by the city council, was placed in charge of the truck, and the Pro-
tection disbanded and became absorbed by the other companies.

The city built a brick engine house on the corner of Pierce street and
Glen avenue for the Bluff City, and Sam Morrison, an experienced stage driver,
given charge of the team, while an immense horse, weighing over 1,800
pounds was installed, with Neil Voorhis as bis driver of hose cart. This horse
was named Pat in honor of Chief Lacy, and for many years served the depart-
ment faithfully, outliving his driver and finally, in his old age, was degraded
to sewer work. He was a favorite with all the boys, and they gave him an
appropriate funeral when his labors were ended.

In the latter part of 1874 the city disposed of the old Rescue, and for
about nine months the company were without apparatus, but they retained
their organization, and on September 8, 1875, the department was increased
by the arrival of a new hand engine called the Rescue, which was given to
the Rescue company, as was also a hose cart that came at the same time.
This engine was used by the Rescue company until June, 1880, when it was
sold to the town of Griswold, Iowa.

The second steamer ever owned by the city arrived here in June, 1880.
and was given a trial on Upper Broadway and also at the Scott street bridge,
under the direction of G. F. Hawscotte, vice-president of the Ahrens Manu-
facturing Company, builders of the engine. The trial was entirely satisfactory,
and it was accepted by the city and named the Rescue, and during the same
month it was taken to the state tournament at Marshalltown, where it took the
first prize on time, throwing one hundred feet in five minutes eight and one-
half seconds from lighting the fire. The best time ever made by an engine
at a tournament in this state was made by the Rescue at Sioux City in 1877,
time three minutes and fifty seconds. Up to the time of completion of our
waterworks this engine sustained her tournament records in actual service.
On the 22d of February, 1869, the Rescue company gave the first firemen's
ball ever given in the city. It was largely attended, over two hundred couples
being present.

The first parade of the department was on May 13, 1869, the occasion
being a double one, the welcoming of the first train coming over the Rock


Island Railroad, after which the ceremony of laying the corner stone of the
Ogden House was performed.

Following P. D. Muma as chief of department came Ralph Guennella,
fourth, R. D. Amy; fifth, P. Lacy; sixth, John L. Templeton. Mr. Temple-
ton was in at the close of the volunteer and inauguration of the pay depart-
ment. With the completion of the waterworks the old volunteer department,
with its many pleasing association, passed away, and while Mr. Johnson and
Mr. Muma, the two first chiefs, are still living, their successors, Guennella,
Amy, Oliver and Lacy, have passed away, as well as Engineers Savage and
Homer, and Drivers Morrison, Voorhis and Neely and many of the others,
officers and rank and file.

As chief in '84-85, C. D. Walters succeeded Templeton. In '86-7 Temple-
ton succeeded Walters and again in '88-89 Walters became chief, to be suc-
ceeded by F. R. Levin during '90 and '9-1. Charles Nicholson served as chief
during '92-93-94, after which John Templeton served during '95-96-97, to be
succeeded by John Bates during '98-99, when John Templeton was returned
and served during 1900-01-02-03. when Charles Nicholson was again appointed
and served two years, when R. W. Jones was appointed and served until 1907,
when Charles Nicholson received the appointment and at Ibis writing, 1907, is
serving in the capacity of chief.

This department has been noted for its efficiency, but in many instances
has been handicapped from failure of pressure, owing to mains being too small
at a distance from central part of city, also by the great extent of territory
and unpaved streets.

The department at this writing | L907), consists of chief. Charles Nichol-
son; superintendent of alarm, James Bradley, and twenty-two men stationed
as follows:

No. 1, South Main street and Eighth avenue, with four men, hose wagon
and team. A. Telfer, foreman.

No. 2, West Broadway and Twentieth street, four men, hose wagon and
team. Charles Matheson, foreman.

No. 3, intersection of North Main and Bryant, five men, combination hose
wagon, also chief's wagon. Frank Hitchcock, foreman.

No. 4, Upper Broadway, six men. hose wagon and hook and ladder truck.
Foreman, C. Hough.

No. 5, Eighth street and Nineteenth aveaue, three men, chemical engine
and team. Foreman, Charles Withrow.

It is doubtful if a more efficient department can be found in the state.


Of music, previous to the" coming of the Mormons, nothing is known.
They, however, were a music-loving people and it entered largely into all their
entertainments. But as the most talented of their musicians followed the


great body to Utah, we find but few that stayed behind on the coming of the
Gentiles. Of these, Fred Lord, James Orton, Robert Russel, John Clark and
a Mr. Wagner, although not schooled, produced pretty fair music for the
social gatherings. The first named was killed in 1854, but the others did duty
as a quartette for some years : Jas. Orton as first violin ; Mr. Russel, second ;
Mr. Wagner, clarionet and Mr. Clark, bass. The following year, '55, D. W.
Griffey appeared, and although it is doubtful if he ever took a lesson, as a
performer on the flute or piccolo he was a phenomenon, but like many artists,
was of a roving disposition, of irregular habits, and died prematurely. In
185S C. C. Kuhn organized and instructed the first brass band. The members
of this band were "Up Town" men, and the rivalry between the two parts
that has been noticed elsewhere then existed, and another was organized the
following year, "Down Town." This also was taught by Prof. Kuhn. He
had brought it up until it could perform plain pieces creditably, when he was
taken sick and died. The band acted as pall bearers at his funeral. Some
years after, a brother came and wished to find the grave, and strange as it
may appear, not one could remember where he was buried. At that time
the ground was not platted. The old sexton was gone, and like the grave of
Moses, "No man knoweth the place thereof unto this day."

During '56 Miss Annie Van Arnam came among us. She was gifted with
a charming soprano voice, and captivated her audience every time. She also
captivated Judge W. C. James, and their eldest daughter inherited her mother's
talent and later achieved fame in opera.

Fanny Kellogg was another bright star of home growth, but left here for
a larger field.

After the death of Prof. Kuhn, the bands became demoralized for a
time. Finally a teacher named Minkler got the fragments of the two together
and for a time we had a tolerable band. About this time we received an
addition in the person of James Madden, a cornetist who made his home here
and became a reliable member for many years. Joseph Mueller appeared.
A more extended notice of him will be seen in another part of this history.
Prof. Powell came about '70; was a fine teacher and performer on the piano,
and for a time was associated with Mr. Mueller. W. H. Goff appeared about
'68 and getting the straggling musicians together, organized a pretty good
band that held together for two or three years. He located permanently here
and reared quite a family, among which was a son (Arthur) that from infancy
was a phenomenon, astonishing as well as captivating his audiences by his
marvelous performance on the cornet. Like many precocious children, he
died at twelve years of age and his father soon followed him.

Among the ladies of the early times, Miss Fanny Cook and Miss Julia
Hoffman were fine performers on the piano and later Miss Nealy Stevens,
also Miss Officer, both as teacher and performer.

During the winter of '56 H. H. Field formed a small orchestra that, with
an occasional change in its membership, lasted for more than twenty years.
This was reinforced during the '70s by Prof. Alex. Glenn, who has been
associated with music, either performing or selling, ever since. Prof. Albia
was another band and orchestra leader that reigned for a season and disap-


peared, to be followed by Prof. P. Olker, who succeeded in getting up a pretty-
good band and orchestra. About '82 the little Bavarian band made its appear-
ance, but dissolved after a year or two, leaving us only Jake Schmidt (the
tuba), but he fits in anywhere. During the 80's the venerable Prof. Batens
came among us. He is a teacher of the violin of the old school, contempo-
raneous with U. C. Hill and Joseph Tosso of Cincinnati, the latter of whom
was H. H. Field's teacher sixty years ago. Prof. Zerooski and Albin Huster
are also teachers of the violin as well as leaders of orchestras. Mrs. D. J. O'Neil
was for years a successful teacher of vocal music, and later Mrs. Dillon. Miss
Bella Robinson has achieved an enviable reputation as a pianist. Professor
Dalby appears to be another phenomenon, having organized and brought
bands to a high state of efficiency and composed and arranged many pieces
that have been favorably received by the best band*, while he has never taken
a lesson in music.

Among the ladies of modern times whose singing has always been in
request are Mrs. Mullis and the Merkel sisters. Hang Hollow or Glendale
seems to possess the right soil for cultivating music. Commencing at the upper
part we find the Oliver sisters and Mrs. Shepherd, nee Gerty Gleason; Mrs.
Wakefield, nee Ida Tostevin; Perry Badolet, cornetist and Frank, a flutist of
national reputation; Mrs. Merrick, nee Maud Cavin; the Tuleya family; Miss
Beebe and Max Baumeister, violinist from the Royal College of Music, Wurts-
burg, Germany. Mrs. A. R. Hypes ami Mrs. A. Covalt are also accomplished

Some of the ladies above namul are not in the Glen now, but having been
born and reared there, are still claimed by its people.

Coming down to the present time ( 1907) we find Govalt's band in the
lead, witli several of lesser note in this and other cities of the county, as is
also Whaley's orchestra. The Elks' quartette, composed of .1. R. Gerke, first
tenor; W. S. Rigdon, second tenor: Dr. C. P. Lewis, first, and C. S. Haverstock,
second bass, are drawing cards everywhere.

Besides Mr. Goff and his son, whose death was noticed. Mr. Fox. a mem-
ber of Covalt's band, has recently died.

It is next to impossible to keep a musical organization together in a small
place. The most proficient being in demand at places where better pay can
be had.

This, with the roving disposition peculiar to all arti.»t.<. leaves us only
such as have other business to hold them, while using the music as a side


Council Bluffs is justly proud of its parks. Fairmount Park is rightly
named, as its highest point rises three hundred and twenty feet above the
Missouri. Grander views can be had from mountain tops, but for rare beauty
it is doubtful if the scenery from Prospect Point is excelled on this little globe
of ours.

Thousands of dollars are paid by lovers of art for a picture made by an
eminent painter when, without money, you can gaze on one such as man alone


is unable to produce. No pen of author or pencil of artist can fitly portray
this picture. Take a seat; it is free, and feast your eyes. The picture before
you is ninety miles long by ten wide. Most of the work was done thous-
ands of years ago by the Infinite Artist, while for sixty years civilized man
has been putting on the finishing touches. That great yellow ribbon winding
in graceful curves is more than four thousand miles long and we are near the
middle of it. It is very busy; it has a contract for filling the Gulf of Mexico
and is carrying down a thousand cubic yards of earth every hour to do it. Two
miles north more than a century ago is where Lewis and Clark held the coun-
cil with the Indians that gave us a name. Down in front of you is the west-
ern half of the city, itself almost a park. That locomotive that is running
and screaming is started for Chicago over the Illinois Central. This one that
is shooting out down below you is the Rock Island. That one creeping north
under the bluff is on the Northwestern. That one climbing the grade going
west is bound for San Francisco. This one pulling out below our left is
bound for St. Paul. This one creeping north close to the bluff is for Sioux
City. This one down in front yelling for dear life is for Burlington. That
one scooting southeast across the prairie is for St. Louis over the Wabash, while
this one that is cutting the foot of the bluff almost under you is on the Great
Western, and that one headed south is bound for St. Joe and Kansas City.

These, with the trolley cars, make a moving picture rarely to be seen.
But look off south four miles and Lake Manawa lias glistening in the sun,
while away beyond that point surmounted by a college the Platte joins the Mis-
souri : while five miles to the west looms up our young sister city, which is only
fifty-three years old but now larger than any city in the United States at the
time of the war of 1812.

Look away south again. Those farthest blue hills are back of Nebraska
City, fifty miles away. Although it costs but a nickel by way of carfare to view
it, it must not be inferred that it is a cheap copy of the work of some eminent
master. On the contrary it is the real thing. The greatest of all masters pre-
pared the groundwork, and during sixty years a hundred millions of dollars
has been spent in its completion. If satisfied with the picture stroll down
through the beautiful glens. Interview Graham's Pets, go through an eighty-
foot cut and find the soil just as fertile at the bottom as at the surface, and
you get. a pretty good impression of Fairmount Park, the original cost of
which, by good management, was but $1,600.

Lake View Park consists of what was once called Big lake and a consid-
erable body of land adjoining at the northern limit of the city. This was
secured through the efforts of Mr. Graham and Col. Sapp while he was a mem-
ber of congress.

Island Park, south of the city, in Lewis township, was obtained in like
manner at trifling cost, and like Lake View, is being held for future devel-

Cook Park, a pretty tract of three acres, and Graham Park, a six-acre
tract, both shaded by native trees, being reserved when the Morning Side addi-
tion was platted, came as donations to the city.

Prospect Park, next to Bayliss. is the oldest in the city. This, too. was


reserved in laying out the Galesburg addition, and although these last five are
not improved to any great extent, we have them and future generations will
appreciate them.

Bayliss and Cochran parks, both gifts to the city, have been treated in
another part of this history and speak for themselves.

To Mr. A. C. Graham, more than any other man, are we indebted for these
beauty spots that adorn our city. Since the memory of man runneth not back
the care of the parks has been a religion with him. He loves parks, even as
Carnegie loves libraries, as Col. Baker good roads.

With Mr. J. J. Brown and Mr. Peterson, his lieutenants, all men of enter-
prise and taste, their care is assured.


The free public library, as we now know it, has not always been known as

The inception of a library for general reading was first had under dif-
ferent auspices and it has developed into its present form through various

The first effort to form a library in Council Bluffs was made in March,
1866 under an organization called the Young Men's Library Association, with
D. C. Bloomer as chairman.

Several hundred books were collected and the library placed in the Empire
block, which, with all its contents, was destroyed by fire in June, 1867. Two
years later Prof. Armstrong, superintendent of the high school, feeling the
need of books to aid the pupils in the literary department of the school, organ-
ized with the help of Horace Everett the High School Library Association. It
was again incorporated in 1871 as the Public School Library, and in 1873,
through the efforts of A. W. Street, an active member of the Young Men's
Christian Association, a combination was formed between that body and the
Public School Library, by which the latter had the use of a room in the
Woodbury building free of rent, and W. T. Robinson of the Young Men's
Christian Association gave his services as librarian. This arrangement con-
tinued for five years, but as few books were added and the old ones were
wearing out, the library was in a fair way to die a natural death.

In 1878 the Council Bluffs Library Association was formed, and as there
was some difficulty in collecting money, the directors determined to call the
women to their aid, and at the following election of directors seven women and
two men were appointed. There were 1,900 volumes on the accession book

Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 18 of 59)