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Homer Howard Field.

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

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Company; lumber yard, Green Bay Lumber Company; livery barn, Louis
Ehlers; saloons, H. J. Hesly, August Kaven, Peter Schwensohn and Fred
Priest; blacksmiths, E. G. Krundel, Fred Schultz and G. H. Muhlstein; phy-
sician, Grant Augustine; one millinery store, one harness shop, one meat
market, three hotels, Mrs. Dorscher, Mrs. Schmidt and T. J. Groepper; one
church, Zion Congregational; Masonic Lodge, No. 575; one I. O. O. F., one
Woodmen of the World, German verein; graded school, with L. B. Pruitt,
principal, and five teachers; opera house, two pool halls, one wagon shop,
printing office, Times-Herald (weekly) : one tank manufactory, canning
works: building contractors, August Bostedt, Henry Schilling and Herman
With; two stock buyers, Henry Piper and Hesley Thompson; two barber
shops, two dray lines: city waterworks, from wells to tank fifty feet high, an
elevation of one hundred feet; Independent Fire Company and brass band of
twenty pieces, Julius Stuhr, leader. Population of town. 400; mayor, John
Geiger.

The township officers axe Benry Holzfoster, Joseph Holm ami Peter
Langer, trustees; Julius Stuhr. clerk; John W. Crow and John Geiger, justices
of the peace; G. A. Leitzke, constable and Gustave Baumsberger, assessor;
school board, Henry Blumcr. president; John Geiger, secretary, and Fred
Blumer, treasurer.

There arc nine subdistricts in the township. According to the census of
190.") there were in the township outside of town .if Mimleii three hundred
and thirty-one of school age. of which one hundred and seventy-one were
males and one hundred and sixty females.

In town of Minden there were one hundred and forty-seven, of which
sixty-six were males and eighty-one females.

The people are largely German and have brought the industry and thrift,
for which that nation is noted, and which so readily assimilates with the
American, and, as such, we welcome and congratulate them on their pros-
perity.

The present city officers are as follows: Mayor, John Geiger; clerk, Lewis
Rohlfs; council. A. E. Grueman. J. U. Reesy, Jacob Geiger, G. H. Muhlstein,
E. P. Otto and D. H. Auper.

NEOLA TOWNSHIP.

This is a full township of thirty-six sections. It is bounded on the north
by Harrison county, east by Minden, south by Norwalk and west by Boomer
townships.




MASONIC TEMPLE, COUNCIL BLUFFS.



HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY 225

June 10, 1872, a petition, signed by H. G. Fisher, George Remington,
Fielding Steele and seventy-eight other citizens, was presented to the board of
supervisors, asking that honorable body to form a new civil township to com-
prise a part of the townships of York and Boomer. It was ordered by the
board of supervisors that township 77, range 41, and township 77, range 42, is
hereby organized into a civil township, to be known as the township of Neola.
It is broken only along the streams. It is doubtful if two per cent is uufit
for cultivation. Nearly the whole surface is rolling prairie and very produc-
tive and will raise all the staple crops in abundance.

The township is drained by Mosquito and Pigeon (.-reeks and their tribu-
taries, nearly all of which are fed by living springs.

G. W. Henderson claimed the honor of being the first permanent white
settler in the township. He came from VanBuren county, Iowa, in March,
1855, pre-empted the southeast quarter of section 12, and began at once to
build a shelter for his family and to break ground for a spring crop.

Mr. Henderson's first neighbor in Neola township was Mr. Norman Ab-
bott, who settled in section 19 during the latter part of the same month. Mr.
Abbott remained a resident of the township until 1865, when he sold his
farm to Thomas Cellars, who, in turn, sold it to a man named Hillsworth.
William Tidwell came to the new country and settled in section 18, near Mr.
Abbott. Joseph Balsley and Joseph Mecklin settled on Pigeon creek in 1855.
Mr. Balsley continued a resident of this township until his death. The next to
choose a home in the prairie now within the boundary of Neola township was
John O'Brien, who settled on section 23. Prominent among the early set-
tlers was Mr. Z. Remmington and family, who settled on section 33. Mr.
Remmington, however, did not become a resident of this township until 1858.
He lived on his place of first settlement until his death.

He was a striking figure, very large and very careless of his personal ap-
pearance and dress, but a very learned man, a surveyor by profession, a man
of strong connections, an uncompromising republican, and for a time the only
one, he claimed, in his township, and used to send himself down as a delegate
to conventions, and was always seated. Old Ike Sigler,"who was just as strong
a democrat, but a good, jolly fellow withall, used to say Mr. Remmington
might stay, but they would not admit any more republicans into the town-
ship. But both of them have long ago passed from view, but not from the
memory of us old-timers.

Neola township had no special attractions until 1869, when the Chicago,
Rock Island and Pacific Railroad was built and the town laid out on the lands
owned by Messrs. Withrow, Wright and Allen. The first house where the city
now stands was built by D. Little about 1868, who kept store in the building.
The second was put up by Mr. Kuhl, a harnessmaker. Mr. Norris was the first
blacksmith to open a shop in Neola, and it was in the loft of this shop that
Mrs. Doane taught the second term of school in the town. The first term was
taught in Neola in the winter of '69-70. Miss M. Webster was the teacher,
and the school was held in the building owned by David Tostevin.

The Neola. house was among the first buildings in the town, and was
erected by Charles Hamilton.



226 HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

It was built for a hotel and has been used as such.

A postoffice building was erected in 1870 by Mr. Duncan, who was also
the first jiostmaster.

Daniel Flynn erected a building the same year and opened a saloon. Mr.
C. Dillin engaged in the grain trade as early as 1873, to which he added the
sale of coal and lumber, and built up an extensive trade in each of these com-
modities.

In 1878 Mr. Dillin built a grain elevator of a capacity of 10,000 bushels
per day, and was the first permanently located dealer, though Mr. Duncan was
the first to buy any grain marketed at Neola.

The first grain elevator was built by Mr. C. Hamilton. Both elevators,
however, were built in 1878, and their capacity was about the same. Mr.
Dillin began operating his October 1 and Mr. Hamilton began a month
earlier.

In 1882 the town received its charter and became a city, and elected the
following officers: J. P. Organ, mayor; C. M. Crippen, recorder; O. L. Davis,
marshal. The city council was composed of T. Rishton, W. Downs, J. W.
Butler and R. F. Lovell. The principal business at that day was done by the
following persons: Grain. C. Dillin and J. A. Hamilton; general merchan-
dise, H. Mendel, B. Rishton, J. W. Butler, F. Rishton, Eggleston Brothers and
Bradley & Burton; druggists, Vanness, C. F. Robbins and B. A. McKay; hard-
ware, Reichart Brothers, C. M. Witt and C. B. Stone; clothing, Remmington
Brothers and C. M. Crippen; stock buyer, G. W. Rogers: newspaper, Neola
Tribune. E. P. Innes, editor; real estate, IT. L. McWilliams and D. Tostevin;
hotels, Commercial, S. Burgess, proprietor; Neola house, McKinney, proprietor;
bank, Neola, Mr. Henry, president; Mr. Lodge, cashier: meat markets, Hag-
gerty & Reichart and Handbury & Sills; livery stable-. A. King and Downs &
\lott: insurance, II. L. McWilliams and Riley Clark: millinery, Mrs. F. M.
Gallup; arpenters, Purcell & Rogers, Eli Vickery, Win. Sehierbrook and Mr.
Pulgen; physicians, Drs. Barton, Vanness, 1 1 aney, Todd and Lawrence; attor-
neys, TT. L. McWilliams and .1. P. Organ: postmaster, G. W. Remmington.

The school statistics for the township for 1881, outside of the city, were:
Number of subdistricts, six.; ungraded schools, six: months taught, nine; teach-
ers employed, males eight: females, four: compensation per month, males,
$34.16; female-:. $33.75; number of school age. males, one hundred and
thirty-five; females, one hundred and sixteen : school house-:, frame, six; value,
$4.47." : apparatus, $1.85.

The Independent Order of Odd Fellow- was the first secret society to
organize 8 lodge in Neola.

Neola Lodge. No. lln. was organized on May 27. 1880. The first offi-
cers were: J. A. Hamilton. N. G. ; E. E. Harris. V. G.; J. C. Chapman, secre-
tary, and Jacob Brown, treasurer. There were forty-four members in 1881.

Irwin Lodge, No. 1 L8, Iowa Legion of Honor was the next secret society
to effect an organization in Neola. This was on August 15, 1881. The first
officers were : E. Reichart. W. P. ; John Watson. V. P. ; E. L. Eggleston, R. S. :
C. M. Witt, P. S..; J. Buchannan, C; C. B. Stone. T.; A. W. Loomis, D.; K.
Panning. S. ] S. N. Harvey. M. E. ; L. W. Todd. M. E.



HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY 227

Agate Lodge, No. 423, A. F. and A. M., was organized in March, 1882.
The first officers were: A. S. Avery, W. M. ; S. L. Harvey, S. W. ; W. Harper,
J. W. ; H. Mendel, S. ; J. W. Butler, T. ; J. D. Garrison, S. D. ; W. Phillips,
.J. D.; N. W. Watson, tyler.

On the 22d of March, 1880, by authority of the Presbytery of Council
Bluffs, a church was organized by a committee consisting of Revs. G. M. Lodge,
F. H. Cleland and Elder J. S. Love.

The members were John Buchannan and Jessie, his wife, and their
children, Katie, Jennie, Kennedy and David, Lawrence Hunter and wife,
Mrs. Anna Remmington and Dr. Harvey and wife.

All members rose to their feet, made confession of faith, and the church
was pronounced fully and properly organized. John Buchannan was elected
a ruling elder and Lawrence Hunter a deacon.

A short time subsequent to the organization a fund was raised, which,
together with $500 contributed by the Presbyterian board of missions, they
were enabled to erect a church, which was completed in March, 1882, at a
cost of $1,500.

At this time Neola had two railroads, which afforded shipping facilities
not excelled by any place in the county, except Council Bluffs.

From 1882, the close of the above history, to 1907 is a long reach.
Kingdoms and empires have risen and fallen during this time. It is five
years longer than Rip Van Winkle slept in the Catskill mountains, and it
behooves us to leave something for future generations by which they may
know we have existed or be, like him, "too soon forgotten."

But if other people have been sleeping, those of Neola have not. We
now find a full-fledged city of 1,200 inhabitants, with its waterworks, elec-
tric lights and miles of cement walks.

At this date (1907) Neola has five stores of general merchandise as fol-
lows: One by G. L. Cooper, one by J. L. Wilber, one by Wm. McGuire, one
by Hamilton & Smith, one by M. O'Connor and one by E. M. Palmer & Co. ;
one large stock of clothing, shoes and hats by George N. Remmington, one
of shoes, exclusively of shoes, by Joseph Jacoby. two of drugs by Herman
Rolfes and Dr. J. T. Vanness, respectively; implements and hardware,
Schierbrook & O'Connor, and one by T. W. McDermott. two of hardware by
the Frank West Hardware Company and A. E. Pearce, respectively; two
millinery stores by the Haggerty Sisters and the Brandenberg Sisters; two
banks, the Neola State bank and the Farmers' and Merchants' State bank;
one newspaper, Neola Gazette-Reporter, L. G. Merrill, editor; two meat mar-
kets, Sexion & Shawgo and Sam Gaymen; Green Bay lumber yard, George
Menke, manager, and Rees-Gabel Lumber Company, John Maitsen, man-
ager; one wallpaper store, two elevators, the Wells-Hord Grain Com-
pany, John Hannan, manager, and the VanDorn Grain Company, H. H.
Pogge, manager; one graded public school, with principal and six assistants;
one parochial school, with two hundred pupils of both sexes, while the
Catholics have a large church, with congregation numbering nearly 1,000,
while the Methodists, Presbyterians and Lutherans each have churches. Of
hotels the city is provided with the New Clifton. Williams house and Haggerty



228 HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

house, and three restaurants will feed any overflow from these. The
waterworks and electric plant are owned by the city. It has a volunteer
fire company that carries the state belt, having won for three years. The
city also has two livery stables and five saloons and a brass band of thirteen
pieces.

The fraternal organizations are represented by a Masonic lodge, one of
the Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias and Knights of Columbus.

The city government at this time is as follows: Mayor, Fred Foss; coun-
cil, Ed. Rattigan, George Remmington, N. B. Chrisman, A. Ransom, H. S.-
"Watkins and G. W. Giese; marshal, George Murphy, and James Hayes,
deputy. The police is limited to these two, the first doing day duty and the
latter at night.

The township officers are as follows: Trustees, J. D. Porter, John R.
Willmott and Frank Spencer; clerk, J. S. Hermsen; justices of the peace,
Riley Clark and Thomas Kennedy; constables, C. J. Maxfield and Ed. Rati-
gan ; assessor, W. C. Wilmott.

According to the state census of 1905, there are in the township, exclusive
of city, three hundred and thirty-two of school age, of which one hundred
and seventy-seven are males and one hundred and fifty-five are females.

In the city there are three hundred and fifty-four, of which one hundred
and seventy are males and one hundred and eighty-four females.

Board of education, K. Buchanan, president: G. M. Buchanan, secre-
tary, and August Sundell, treasurer. Teachers salaries, $40 and $35 for first
and second grades respectively..

NORWALK TOWNSHIP.

Norwalk township was organized June 6, 1873, and was named Norwalk
by Mr. R. Foote in honor of Norwalk, Conn., where he formerly lived.

It is bounded on t lie north by Neola, east by York, south by Hardin and
west by Hazel Dell townships. Three-fourths of its surface is drained by the
Mosquito, and the southeast fourth by Keg creeks. The first settlers were
Mormons, but finally they all went on with the last detachment to Utah. It
possesses the same rich soil as its neighboring townships, and might be said
to have no waste land.

The principal early settlers were Joseph Holman, Ezekiel Downs, Asa
Downs, William Cox. William Hendrix, Johnson Lane and William Yocum.
They all arrived and settled from 1845 to 1850. William Yocum was a wreck
physically. He came from Missouri and while there joined the mob at
Horn's mill against the Mormons. During the fight he received seven bul-
lets in his body, from the effects of which he never recovered. He died in
Pottawattamie county.

As early as 1847 Ezekiel Downs and A. Smith built saw and flouring
mills on Mosquito creek. They wore two-story buildings of hewed logs.
Both mills were run by water power furnished by a dam built in Mosquito
creek. Both mills did a good business until a flood in 1850, which demolished
the grist mill. The dam was injured as well as the saw mill, but were re-



HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY 229

paired and finally sold to William Garner, who continued to run the saw-
mill for years. In the winter 1863-4 the first school was taught in Norwalk
township. It was in a log cabin built by the farmers. The first teacher was
Miss Jane Davis. From this little beginning the schools grew, until in 1881
there were six subdistricts ; graded schools, five ; months taught, seven ; num-
ber of teachers, males, six; females, five; average pay per month, males,
$32.41 ; females, $26.07 ; persons of school age, males, one hundred and sev-
enty-three; females, one hundred and thirty-eight. Total cost of school
houses, $3,350. In March, 1882, at Downs schoolhouse there was organ-
ized a Society of Friends, under the auspices of Revs. Lewis and William
Smith.

The following is a list of the original members. George F. Ward and
wife, Jane Ward, Archibald N. Ward, Mary Fleck, Catharine Whitney, her son
William Whitney, A. Mott and wife, Martha Mott, Ada Mott, Lena Yezy, Albert
Shaw, Lizzie Vezy, Drucilla Downs, Minerva Downs and Joseph Whitney.
It is crossed by three railroads вАФ the Rock Island and the Milwaukee running
parallel with each other along the Mosquito creek, while the Great Western
cuts diagonally through the southeast quarter.

These furnish excellent facilities for shipping and, as a result, quite a
young city has grown up, which will require separate notice.

The town of Underwood was started simultaneous with the advent of
the Rock Island Railroad and has made steady growth since that time. At
this writing (1907) it has three general stores, one drug store, two hotels,
one restaurant, one meat market, one lumber yard, with large stock, one liv-
ery stable, one machine shop, one blacksmith shop, which, in addition,
handles farming implements; one harness shop, one shoe and harness repair
shop, one creamery, two elevators, one savings hank, two barber shops, one
cement block factory.

The town has two churches, German Lutheran and Latter Day Saints.
The Modern Woodmen and Royal Neighbors also have lodges here. The
town has a graded school, with one hundred and thirty pupils, of which sev-
enty-two are males and fifty-eight females.

Norwalk township, exclusive of Underwood, according to the state census
of 1905, has three hundred and seven of school age, of which one hundred and
sixty are males and one hundred and forty-seven females. Teachers receive
$40 and $35 per month for first and second grades respectively.

C. G. Reese is president of the board of education ; F. T. C. Johnson, sec-
retary .and K. W. Klopping, treasurer.

The following are the township officers: Trustees, K. W. Klopping,
Henry Bensen and William "Whitney; clerk, W. F. Schmaedicke; justices of
the peace, E. F. Schroeder and C. D. Langfeldt; constable, George Keso;
assessor, F. Lee Johnson.

Of F. T. C. Johnson, above named, special mention should be made. For
many years he was a prominent citizen of Council Bluffs. In his young
manhood he married the only daughter of L. W. Babbitt, one of Council
Bluff's best girls, was a democrat of the old school, was public spirited, was
president of the first fire company organized in the city, a large contractor, and



230 HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

many of the best houses in the city of early times are of his workmanship,
among which was the old courthouse.

PLEASANT TOWNSHIP.

This township was organized by an order made April 7, 1873, on the
petition of L. G. Bennett, Hiram Stewart, S. T. Bender and forty-one others,
asking that a new civil township be created out of congressional township 77,
range 40. It is bounded on the north by Shelby county, on the cast by Knox
township, on the south by James township, and on the west by Minden town-
ship. The soil is all that could be desired. The land slopes gently to the
south and west. It was originally treeless, but the settlers have planted and
cultivated groves of oak, walnut and maple, which have grown until the face
of the country has been changed, not only that, but orchards have been
planted and fruit is being successfully raised. Two streams run through the
township from north to south, one called the Big Silver coursing through cen-
trally and the Middle Silver through the western part. These are clear and
fed by springs that never fail. There is not one per cent of worthless laud in
the township.

Among the first settlers were the following: Jacob and Franz Haas came
from Sauk county, Wisconsin, July 12, 1872, Joseph Frum, from Mononga-
hela county, West Virginia, and settled February -J."). 1872; A. M. Scott is an-
other pioneer. He came and bought land and commenced a farm in 1839.
He went into partnership with P. S. McCandless in opening up the farm.
When they married they dissolved, made a division, and each farmed his own
land. T. Goodwalter came into the township in 1872. The first road was
the Ballard State road, referred to in annals of other townships. Another
was located in 1870 from north to south in the west part, called the A. C.
Bennett road, and another was laid out from east to west named the Hiram
Stewart.

The first schoolhouse was built in 1871, called the No. "J. and is known
as the From school. The first school was taughl by Alonzo Bartnctt. No. 6
was the next one erected in 1874. No. 4 was also built in 1874, and John K.
Cooper, afterwards county superintendent, was the first teacher. He was a
resident of James township when first nominated on the democratic ticket
in 1879 for county superintendent, and elected by a handsome majority.
although the republicans carried the county by three hundred majority on
their state ticket. In 1881 he was again elected by about seven hundred ma-
jority, although the county went republican by over three hundred, his com-
petitor being Miss Ingeletta Smith, a sister of Hon. Walter I. Smith, member
of congress.

Mr. Cooper is a native of Maryland and served in the Union army in
Lockwood's brigade, Twelfth army corps, at the battle of Gettysburg.

No. 5 school house was built in 1877, and Miss Mary J. Trotter became
the first teacher, and No. 7, the same year, with Miss Plumer the first teacher,
and No. 8 in 1880, and Fremont Benjamin, now a lawyer in Council Bluffs.
the teacher.



HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY 231

At the first election to organize the township, held October 14, 1873, there
were fifty-four votes polled and the following officers elected: S. H. Buck-
ley, C. H. Brown and T. T. Larkin, trustees; S. B. Frum, township clerk;
William Buckley and F. N. Keeney, justices of the peace; D. Gross and A. M.
Scott, constables; William A. Clark, assessor, and Hiram Stewart, road super-
visor.

On the evening of July 28, 1879, Jacob Maason was killed by Christian
Pittman. Maason accused Pittman of tramping down his corn by running
his reaper over it, their lands joining where it happened. There were no wit-
nesses to the tragedy, only Pittman was seen to run, with Maason in pursuit.
Pittman was arrested and tried, but the jury disagreed. The case was taken
to Mills county, but the indictment could not be found and the case was dis-
missed. The case was again brought before the grand jury of Pottawattamie
county and he was indicted, and again the case taken to Mills county, where
he was acquitted. In his defense Pittman claimed that Maason attacked him,
threatening to kill him, and that he cut him in self-defense, but not intend-
ing to kill him. The stab proved fatal, the knife having struck the heart.
In the fall of '75 T. T. Larkin borrowed a gun of Claus Horst to kill a hawk.
A report of the gun was heard and Larkin was found dead from a shot in the
breast, most likely an accident. Another death was that of Peter Doll, by
his team running away at Avoca.

On the 4th day of September, 1882, an unknown man was found dead
from exposure and intemperance a mile east of the Frum schoolhouse.

The early settlers were largely Germans and the first church organiza-
tion was the German Evangelical Association, organized and presided over by
Rev. Aaron Bassart for two years, was succeeded by Wilhelm Jones, and he, in
turn, by Flegler Aschenbrenner.

This township has no town within its borders, but is in easy communica-
tion with Minden, Shelby or Avoca. It had no railroad until 1903, when
the Great Western passed through the northwest corner.

The township officers at this time (1907) are as follows: Trustees,
George Haas, C. V. Rock and Henry Flemming; clerk, C. P. Wasser; justices
of the peace, Adolph Baustain and J. L. Buckley; assessor, E. A. Bergman;
constable, W. W. Frum.

Of the present board C. V. Rock is president; E. A. Bergman, secretary,
and D- Gross, treasurer. According to the state census of 1905 there were
two hundred and sixty-six persons of school age, of which one hundred and
twenty-nine were males and one hundred and thirty-seven females. Compen-
sation of teachers is $40 and $35 per month for first and second class re-
spectively.

ROCKFORD TOWNSHIP.

The first white settlers of this township were Mormons that came with
the great exodus of those people from Nauvoo. A large detachment halted
at Kanesville and filled the ravines surrounding that section, and, spreading
northward, nestled among the timber along the bluffs, and, although their
stay was to be but temporary, they built comfortable cabins and opened up



232 HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

good farms. This was necessary, not only for themselves, but to maintain a
halting place for the pilgrims to rest and make repairs while on their two-



Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 25 of 59)