Homer Howard Field.

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

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list, but not more than 1,400 could be found. The city council allowed $15.00
a month for rent and Mr. Everett gave the use of a room, so that the money
allowed might be used in the purchase of books. The women enlarged the
subscription list and collected money by various entertainments, increased the
number of books and made the reading room a pleasant place of resort.

In 1875 an effort was made to levy a tax but it was a failure.

Six years later the women decided to petition the council to submit the
proposition to a public vote, had their tickets printed, and carried the election



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t- 1



by a large majority in favor of a free library, and in August, 1881, the first
tax was levied. All difficulties being removed and the success of the library
assured, all the book.*, cases and pictures were turned over to the city by an
instrument of donation signed by the trustees and all members of the associ-

On April 24, 1882, it was opened a* a free public library with between
two and three thousand books on the shelves, after which it outgrew its orig-
inal quarters, and in 1889 was installed in the Merriam block, where it con-
tinued to grow.

In compliance with petition of the trustees the mayor and city council in
August, 1902, made a tax levy of three mills for the purpose of enabling the
board of trustees to purchase suitable grounds on which to erect a library

Likewise in 1903 a levy of one mill was made.

At a meeting of the trustees in July, 1903, the site known as the Pusey &
Pusey property was selected and the purchase effected, the price being $9,000,
and correspondence opened with Hon. Andrew Carnegie, which resulted in
the donation of $70,000, to be made in sums of $5,000 or $10,000, as the work

On September 15, 1903, the board elected J. C. & W. Woodward, of
Council Bluffs, and Patton & Miller of Chicago as architects, and on approval
of plans submitted by them on March 8, 1904, the president and secretary were
authorized to receive bids for its construction, which resulted in awarding the
contract to Winchester & Cullen, of Rockford, 111., and Janesville, Wis., for
$55,822, leaving a balance to apply on other contracts of $14,178.

Early in June, 1904, Trustee Bender suggested that in commemoration of
the one hundredth anniversary of the landing of the Lewis and Clark expedi-
tion at Council Bluffs that during the six days carnival to take place, com-
mencing September 5, that being a holiday, the propriety of setting apart
one day for laying the corner stone of the library. The suggestion nut
the approval of the board and the 26th was designated. On the 28th of
June, 1904, ground was broken and work progressed so that the substructure
was prepared for the ceremony, which was conducted in the presence of
3,000 people. At 9:30 a. m. September *'>. the assembly was called to order
by President Rohrer, after which music, both vocal and instrumental, and
addresses by eloquent speakers were listened to. The stone was formally
laid by Exalted Ruler Searl of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks,
he using a silver cup and trowel in spreading the mortar. In a copper box
in a large cavity were deposited many articles for the edification of future

From this time on work progressed .satisfactorily until completion and
acceptance by the board. Formal delivery was made and possession taken
July 1, 1905, and 27,000 books were moved to their new quarters.

The selection of the site was most fortunate and the building a success
from an architectural point of view and the foundation being laid on concrete
piling, is sufficient to sustain one or two additional stories in case more room
should be needed in the future.



At this writing the board is constituted as follows : Trustees, Mrs. Mary
L. Everett, C. R. Tyler, John M. Galvin, W. S. Baird, Dr. J. H. Cleaver, J. J.
Stewart, M. F. Rohrer. II. W. Binder and Dr. W. F. Dean. President, John
M. Galvin ; secretary. Victor E. Bender.

Library Service— Librarian, Mrs. Mary E. Daily ; first assistant, Miss Mar-
garet E. Sherman; second assistant, Mrs. Bessie K. Black; third assistant, Miss



On entering the average district court room if a trial is on we are impressed
with the striking resemblance existing among them all. The same judge
partially bald sitting on a comfortable arm chair which for a thousand years
has been called the "bench/' the same attorneys sitting by tables down in
front called the "bar," the same twelve good and lawful men sitting in the
most uncomfortable of chairs, called the "box." From three to four of these
are usually professional, while the others are from the country, taken from
their farms during the busiest season, to their great pecuniary disadvantage,
while they would have felt slighted it' they had not been summoned. The
same witness, having been sworn to tell the whole truth, and stopped by one
or the other of the attorneys if he attempts to, while the judge looks up at the
ceiling and appears wise, and if the answer i- calculated to shed any light
on the matter in controversy will sustain the objection. But if permitted to
answer it is in an inaudible voice to the attorney, instead of an audible voice to
the jury. The same bailiff ready to maintain the dignity of the court and
keep the inevitable pitcher filled, and a few young lawyer- are absorbing wis-
dom. It is not often that a clown gets onto the bench, but it happen- occa-
sionally, as in the case of Sloan, our first district judge, and later of Judge
McIIenry "f I>e- Moim-. As a sample of profound Legal instruction we submit
the charge to the jury by Judge Sloan in the cause entitled the state of Iowa
vs. Robert and Margaret Key-, charged with breaking into the store of C. 0.

Mynster and stealing therefrom some I ts and handkerchief-. It was a gem in

its way. as follow-:

"Gentlemen of the Jury: I wish to address you. I am weak and cannot
be expected to speak long. I do not wish to. You have taken it upon you to
try this ea-e and a true verdict give. It has been told y<>u. a pari of you
should come out of the .jury room and a part remain and the jury be discharged.
This i- to be the last resort. The laws of Iowa have been so framed a- to pre-
vent evasion. It is provided that if you do not find the charge sufficiently
proved in testimony but find a lower degree of the same nature of crime it is
for you to act thereon. You will not take into consideration anv act or any
evidence that i- not founded on fact, and is not satisfactory, and you will be
aware that much extraneous matter has been introduced, the more solid as well
by the prosecution as by the defense. The manner in which the case came up
I was satisfied what course would be taken. First the defendant tried to gel the
other bill dropped and have this one tried, and when they did not succeed they
took up the other and agreed to separate trials, and when the prosecution came
to prosecute the bill they again arose and demanded that this case be tried, and


the prosecuting attorney withdrew the other bill and consented to try this, or
I should have held them to the other."

After these instructions the court cited the jury to such sections of the code
as he considered best for their guidance and after retiring the jury returned a
verdict, whereon the judge, reproving them, declared he would rather have
paid ten dollars out of his own pocket to have had it gone the other way.

The next judge to preside in this county was S. II. Riddle. Although
elected all right the canvassing board refused to give him a certificate of
election owing to the fact of his not being a lawyer. His opponent also was
refused a certificate, which left a vacancy in the office and Gov. Hempstead
out of regard to the wishes of the people appointed Kiddle to serve until the
next election, and in the meantime he was admitted to the bar, was re-elected
and held the office until 1858, when he was succeeded by Judge Sears. The
first bar was composed of attorneys of average ability. Among them were
Orson Hyde, Hadley D. Johnson, A. C. Ford and George Stiles. With the
gradual exodus of the Mormons and the incoming of the Gentiles the court
assumed more dignity, and although Judge Riddle off the bench was socially
inclined, and not averse to a quiet game of draw poker with friends, when sit-
ting as a magistrate it was a different matter, as W. C. James once discovered
while conducting a ease before him in the old courthouse on First street.

During the trial James, presuming upon his familiarity of the court, in
the heat of trial reflected upon a ruling of the court in terms unbecoming to the
dignity of that or any other court, whereupon the judge ordered him to be
imprisoned in the old cottonwood jail close by, which was promptly carried
into effect. When court adjourned for noon the judge in passing called to

James, saying, "Now, d you. if you will promise to behave, I will let you

out." To which James replied, "I'll be d if I will," but he changed his

mind, apologized and all was lovely again.

As at the dawn of Christianity wise men came from the east, so from time
to time they appeared here, though not impelled by the same motive.

Among the first were C. E. Stone, R. L. Douglas, Frank Street, D. W.
Price, J. P. Casady, J. D. Test, W. C. James, D. C. Bloomer. A. V. Larimer,
and later Caleb Baldwin, Samuel Clinton, W. F. Sapp, Geo. F. Wright, L. W.
Ross, C. R. Scott, Robert Percival, Finley Burke, Joseph Lyman and D. B.
Daily. All of these became prominent here and have passed to the highest of
all courts.

Of these the firms of Clinton and Sapp and Baldwin and Wright were the
strongest of their time. A. V. Larimer, D. B. Daily, Robert Percival, R. L.
Douglas and later Finley Burke were lawyers of more than average ability.

Continuing with us are W. A. Mynster, dean of the bar association, Hon.
Walter I. Smith, Geo. Carson, Flickinger Bros., J. J. Stewart, Spencer Smith,
John N. Baldwin, Mayne & Hazelton, N. M. Pusey. Harl & Tinley, D. L. Ross,
J. J. Hesse, E. E. Aylesworth, J. B. Sweet, W. S. Baird, Ballenger & Ballen-
ger, Fremont Benjamin, Frank Cappel, John D. Organ, John M. Galvin, R.
J. Organ, Reed & Robertson, C. S. Saunders, H. J. Chambers, Simms & Kill-
pack, S. B. Snyder, G. H. Scott, Clem F. Kimball, Stillman & Price, T. B.
Wadsworth, Emmet Tinley, Herman W. Schurz, Emil Schurz. John Lindt,


Thos. Q. Harrison, H. 0. Ouren, Geo. S. Wright, G. W. Hewitt. W. H. Ware,
F. W. Miller and possibly others.

Of these many have achieved distinction aside from their practice in the

C. E. Stone became mayor of the city ; D. W. Price became mayor of the
city and also member of the state constitutional convention. Caleb Baldwin
became chief justice of the supreme court of Iowa and later mayor of Council
Bluffs, was also commissioner to award Alabama claims. Frank Street be-
came county judge and later mayor, as also did W. C. James; D. C. Bloomer
member of the legislature and mayor of the city ; J. H. Keattey mayor and later
judge of the United States court, district of Alaska; R. L. Douglas, judge of cir-
cuit court ; J. R. Reed, judge of circuit, district and supreme court of Iowa,
member of congress and judge of land claims; E. E. Aylesworth, Geo. H. Scott
and S. B. Snyder each judge of superior court; Geo. F. Wright state senator;
J. P. Casady county judge; Joseph Lyman member of congress; J. D. Test
member of legislature; W. S. Mayne U. S. commissioner; A. S. Hazelton state
senator and postmaster; II. J. Chambers county auditor; C. G. Saunders state
senator; W. F. Sapp member of congress; W. H. Ware representative to state
legislature; N. M. Pusey state senator; Geo. Carson judge of circuit and dis-
trict court, member of legislature, mayor of the city and justice of the peace;
Walter I. Smith judge of district court and member of congress; L. W. Ross
professor of law in the state university.

As a jury lawyer D. W. Price had few equals and no superiors anywhere.
But for an unfortunate dissipation there is no telling to what he might have
attained. To Col. Sapp and A. V. Larimer we are indebted for their able
services in the cause of the city to compel the U. P. Railroad Company to do us
justice, for which they made no charge.

Of our home grown boys several have already achieved an enviable repu-
tation and lucrative practice, but as their careers are not closed we will leave
the future historian to record their respective merits.

Hon. Caleb Baldwin was the largest man, being six feet six and weighing
over four hundred pounds; P. W. Price, the smallest, weighing but one hun-
dred and twenty pounds. Judge James and Col. Sapp were the best looking,
being each over six feet and weighing two hundred pounds.

The judges of the circuit court, now abolished, were R. L. Douglas, J. W.
McDill, F. R. Stockton, C. F. Loofborough, Joseph Lyman and Geo. Carson.

Those of the district court that have presided since Judge Sears, previously
named, were James G. Day. James M. McDill, Jos. R. Reed, C. F. Loofborough,
George Carson, Walter I. Smith, II. E. Deemer, A. B. Thornell, N. W. Macy,
W. K. Green and 0. D. Wheeler. The last four now occupy the bench and of
the others Judges Day. Reed and Deemer have served upon the bench of the
supreme court of Iowa.

This club was organized in January, 1903, and incorporation papers were
gotten out under date of January 28, 1903. Fifty of the most prominent
business men of the city being the incorporators.


Of the original fifty four have removed and four are deceased.

Regarding the purpose for which the Commercial Club was organized,
article two of the corporation reads as follows: "The business of this corpora-
tion shall be to promote the extension and increase of the trades and industries
of the city of Council Bluffs and vicinity in all its commercial and material in-
terests; to work for the common good of all in matters touching the general
welfare of said city through the consultation and united efforts of the mem-
bers hereof; to secure the location of manufactories and other business enter-
prises in the city and vicinity; to promote c mercial progress and increase

trade and industry; to acquire and disseminate valuable commercial and eco-
nomic information and acquire and hold a commercial library; to increase ac-
quaintance, harmony and good fellowship among the business and professional
men of said city, and to secure the co-operation of all citizens in its develop-
ment, and to use all such means as may be best calculated to protect and
advance the interests and rights of its members as business men, tax payers
and citizens."

Article five provides that "the government of this corporation shall be
vested in a board of directors to consist of fifty members who shall have control
of the property and manage the affairs of the corporation, and who shall be
elected annually at the annual meeting of the members of this corporation.
The board of directors shall adopt such rules, regulations and by-laws as may be
deemed advisable for the government and proper business conduct of the club,
and for the guidance of its officers, committees and employes, and shall have
the power to name and define the duties of such officers as they may deem
necessary for the proper conduct of the business of the club by by-laws, and
shall generally do all such things as are calculated to benefit and improve
the usefulness of such corporation and to carry out the business of its forma-

The membership fee is $5.00 and the annual dues $12.00, payable quarter-
ly in advance.

The first officers of the Commercial Club were: President, Victor E. Ben-
der; vice-presidents, Chris Jensen and W. H. Kimball; secretary, M. F. Rohrer;
treasurer, E. E. Hart. The executive committee was composed of H. H. Van
Brunt, chairman, F. R, Davis, C. W. McDonald, H. A. Quinn and H. W.

The present officers of the Commercial Club are : President, E. H. Mcr-
riam; vice-presidents, P. C. DeVol and EH. Doolittle; secretary, W. B. Reed;
treasurer, E. E. Hart, Present executive committee is Cbas. A. Beno, chair-
man, J. G. AVadsworth, Thos. Green, R. II. Bloomer and H. B. Jennings.


Few cities have more beautiful spots for the repose of their departed
friends than Council Bluffs. Nature had already clothed them with native
trees, making them, in reality, parks, while the grass was sprinkled with
beautiful wild flowers.


Fairview is rightly named, as its crest rises to a height of two hundred
and fifty feet, commanding a view second only to that obtained from Fair-
mount park, and sloping down each way forms delightful ravines. The first
settlers were quick to observe this and immediately appropriated it, while
yet it belonged to the government. Later, when a title was obtained, a com-
pany was formed, the ground surveyed and platted. Then beautiful and
costly monuments began to appear.

It seems that even here there is an aristocracy. In sight of the massive
granite and marble monuments of the wealthy departed arc hundreds of
modest graves, where just as loving hands have adorned them according to
their means, and undoubtedly their occupants rest as peacefully as the others.
It seems to be natural for people to select hills on which to bury their dead.
The first burial place found in the vicinity of Council Bluffs was mi a high
bluff near the Mynster Spring, where were the bones of hundreds of people
supposed to be of Indians, of all ages, and all mixed together, and covered
only tn a depth of from one to two feet. The next was established after the
advent of the white man, where the Pierce street school now stands. This
was also an Indian burying ground and established after the mission was
started among them, as shown by the Christian emblems found in the
graves when the remains were removed. What is now Fairview was next
and was started by the Mormon^. The ground at that time belonged to
the government and was appropriated by whoever saw fit, as before stated.
Later, a few bodies were buried around the little frame church that stood
on Pierce street in the rear of the Ogden House, but these were soon removed
many years ago. Fairview, being the oldest ami nearest, has as yet the greatest
number of graves, especially of the old settlers.

At the northern part, on the highest poinl is the soldiers' burial place,
in the center of which is the Kinsman monument, surrounded by the graves
of his comrades. This part is especially intended for such as had no lots
of their own, and many soldiers are buried on their family lots. Among
these are Dr. Henry Osborn, surgeon, Major Lyman, Dr. Alex Shoemaker,
Harmon Shoemaker, Colonel Addison Cochran, and many others. Sonic years
ago an attempt was made to enjoin the burial of more bodies here claiming
it would contaminate the water of the city, but since establishing the water-
works this objection is removed.

Walnut Hill in the northeastern pari of the city is another beautiful and
sightly spot, and really embraces four cemeteries, as on the same hill, on the
eastern slope is St. Joseph's (Catholic), Oak Hill (Jewish), besides Hillside
(public). Here again we meet the names of many who became prominent.
Among them Judge Caleb Baldwin and wife, Rev, Joseph Knotts, Colonel
Win. Orr, Win. Wyman and wife, J. M. Palmer and wife, Dr. Henry Hart,
Captain D. F. Eicher, Dr. P. J. McMahon, and many others; and crossing
into St. Joseph's we meet with as many more. There are comparatively few
as yet in Oak Hill, and fewer still in the public ground. The view from here
is almost as fine as from Fairview.

Just beyond the city limits going east situated on another hill is the


Clark cemetery, named in honor of D. B. Clark, a pioneer, whose farm was
near by, and where he and his wife and many of the neighbors are buried.
Besides these each township has one or more.


So little has been left of numerous papers that have risen, nourished for
a time under different managements, and died, that to give an authentic
history is a pretty ditlieult proposition.

It is generally conceded that the Frontier Guardian, edited by Orson
Hyde, a Mormon elder, and assisted by A. C. Ford, was the first newspaper
published in this county. Politically this was whig, religiously Mormon.
This had a life of some four years.

The next appears to have been the Bugle. Thi- was owned and con-
trolled by Alman W. Babbitt, was politically democratic, religiously Mormon.
After conducting it for a year or two he sold it to Joseph E. Johnson.

Shortly after, Dan Carpenter, a practical printer, purchased an interest
and for a time was run by them. During 1856 L. W. Babbitt bought out
this firm, but Johnson continued to edit the paper until 1857, when he trans-
ferred his activities to the rising town of Crescent and started a paper there
called the Oracle. This left L. W. Babbitt in full control of the paper, which
was issued as a daily after '63.

In 1864 Charles H. Babbitt took an interest and it was conducted by
Babbitt and son until 1866, when it was purchased by W. T. Giles, the elder
Babbitt retiring and the younger entering the army, and at the close of the
war located permanently in Washington city. During the life of the Bugle
it was intensely democratic, so much so that it was classed as a copperhead
sheet. But however much Mr. Babbitt differed with the party in power, his
integrity was never questioned and morally and socially no one stood higher
than he. With great opportunities for accumulating wealth in office, he
knew no such thing as "graft."

Mr. Giles also started a German paper called the Council Bluffs Press,
but soon sold it, and after passing through several hands it finally was pur-
chased by F. S. Pfeiffer, who came from Oregon with his family in 1879.
He continued to publish it until his death July 16, 1899. Alois Becker is
the present editor and proprietor.

During 1868 Alf Kierolf started a paper called the Democrat. He was
a disciple of Brick Pomeroy. In the fall of that year B. F. Montgomery
bought the concern and Kierolf continued to run it until October 31, when
it suspended, and on December 12 the press and material were sold to satisfy
a mortgage held by M. M. Pomeroy.

In 1871 the Globe .was established by S. W. Morehead. The following
year Jacob Williams became editor and in 1879 Mr. Morgan bought a half
interest and it continued under this management for some time.

During the early '80s the Evening Herald was launched, with S. T.
Walker as president, F. E. Spencer, secretary' and editor, and R. E. Ingram
as treasurer. This was a prohibition paper, and after a short run was sue-


ceeded by the Independent Republican from '85 to '88, and edited by H. W.

This was succeeded by the Eagle, with W, R. Yaughan, proprietor, who,
after a short trial here, took it to Omaha, where it was finally closed out by
the sheriff.

The Globe continued as the democratic organ under different manage-
ments until 1900, when it went into the hands of a receiver.

For a time the Inland Christian Advocate was published by Rev. Joseph
Knotts. This was a Methodist organ, but was of short duration.

AVith the birth of the republican party it became necessary to have an
organ, and as such the Nonpareil was launched more than a half century ago.
The first issue was on May 2, 1857, by Maynard and Long. These men were
brothers-in-law. The latter was a practical printer and the former was un-
doubtedly the ablest editor that has yet appeared here. The first home wa-
in what at that time was the Falmer block, on the northwest corner of Broad-
way and Scott streets.

After the death of Mr. Long, which occurred during the winter of '57-8,
Mr. Maynard conducted the paper alone until the spring of "ill, when he
sold out to W. S. Burke and A. J. Bell. Previous to this, on the 28th of
January, 1863, the first issue of the Daily Nonpareil appeared, bul after a
short trial wis suspended, but in July. L864, came oul a- a daily, tri-weekly
and weekly. After Mr. Maynard's retirement from the postmastership, John
W. Chapman became interested witli him, and were together in the business

Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 19 of 59)