Wednesday, January 03, 2007

   The year 2007 is a milestone year for Danbury. In June, we'll be celebrating our 125th anniversary.
   To help in the celebration, Jane Dimig has given us permission to reprint The History of Danbury by Viola Dimig. We'll be printing, hopefully, enough to get through the whole book by the end of the year. No matter what, we will print until we've printed the whole book. We're also putting the book on the Review website; eventually the entire book will be there for you to search and to read.
   If anyone out there has been compiling the history since the mid 70's and want them added on, or if someone wants to compile the last 30 years, let us know, and we'll print them, too.
   Before we begin, I want to clarify the dates. The preface states the book was read for Danbury's anniversary. While the first people arrived in 1865, the town was not incorporated until 1882. Therefore, our 125th is celebrated this year.
   Here is the beginning of the book. Next week we'll get more into the actual history.

   This history was written in commemoration of Danbury's 100th Anniversary, year 1965, and of the Dan Thomas Family who were the founders of our town. Written by Mrs. Henry Dimig of Danbury, Iowa.
   Books and Newspapers from which The History of Danbury were obtained: History of Woodbury County and Plymouth Counties, Atlas of Ida County, Mapleton Milestones, Monona County Album, Past and Present, Woodbury County History, The Palimpsest (Spirit Lake Massacre), Maple Valley Scoop, Criterion, Danbury Review, Mapleton Press, Sioux City Eagle, Sioux City Journal, Anthon Herald, Smithland Correspondence, Castana Times.
   There were many who gave information voluntarily concerning Danbury's early history. Joseph Welte, the oldest living resident in Danbury, Iowa 1962 when this history was first started, and Fourth Freedom Thomas, grandson of Dan Thomas of Princeton, Idaho, were extremely helpful. The interviews were copied in most part as written in various books and papers to show the mannerisms of speech in our area in early history, also the History of Maple Township. The story of the spirit Lake Massacre was taken from Roster of Iowa Soldiers which I presumed would be more correct as Iowa soldiers investigated these killings and buried the dead.
   I am sure there are errors in this history as there are in all histories, and probably some will disagree with statements, dates, etc., but I have written it according to my best knowledge and information received from others. It is better to have some form of history rather than none at all even though there are discrepancies. Thanks to all who helped with information so I could compile this book of memories.
Mrs. Henry Dimig
                  Drawings by Pamela J. Duecker.

   Information in this history was gathered and written during the years 1962 and 1970, one hundred years or more after the arrival of the first permanent citizens of Danbury, Mr. and Mrs. Dan Thomas and their family labored valiantly and suffered many hardships to establish the town in which we live. Danbury would not have existed today had it not been for the generous nature of Dan Thomas. To this family we are grateful and extend our thanks. This history is dedicated to the twelve living grandchildren of Dan and Mary Ann Thomas. (Banney Chapman Manney, Earl T. Denison, Chalice Thomas McIntosh, Ben Lincoln Thomas, Grant Bowser Thomas, Fourth Freedom Thomas, Winifred Horn Mason, Lyda Horn Elwill Botts, Grace Horn Hagen, Vesta Thomas Batley, Pauline Thomas Price, and William Bond Thomas.)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


By Fourth Freedom Thomas, 1965

   In 1963 I took advantage of an opportunity and visited Danbury for the first time. It was indeed a surprise to find such a lovely little town; so neat, so clean and so prosperous looking. Then I was really thrilled to think that my grandfather had played such an important part in the history of this place. We motored through the various streets, really looking the town over, and while thusly occupied I got the idea that maybe there was some person still living within these limits that would accidentally have known some of my ancestors. I stopped the car and trailer that I was driving and started on foot to find a place where someone could direct me to my goal.
   I approached a small business across from the Wilkinson Block and told the proprietor what I had in mind. He directed me to Mr. Joe Welte and gave me instructions to find his home. I drove out the indicated street, but overshot my directions, and drove on north to the cemetery gate where I turned around. Ever since that day I have wished that I had gone into the cemetery and tried to find some of the graves that mean so much to me now. The cemetery was so well kept that I am sure I would not have had much trouble locating graves that I wanted to find. However, I did not stop there as there were a crew of men working at the entrance of the cemetery and I did not want to disturb their work.
   The thrills and pleasures in looking over this much heard of place (I had been told many yarns and facts about Danbury all through my early life), were not to end with the finding of the town and the cemetery. I had no further trouble finding the gentleman to whom I had been referred, and I soon came face to face with Mr. Welte. I really had not been prepared to meet such an interesting and friendly person.
   I introduced myself, and do you know he remembered not only my Grandfather Thomas, but the names of all five of his children? He remembered and talked of my mother's folks, John Bowsers, and of the Wilkinsons who had played such an important part in my mother's girlhood life. This should have and could have gone on far into the afternoon, but my wife and I had my wife's mother with us and it had been a hard and hot trip for her that day as she was a woman of eighty years. I thought it best that I should cut my joys short and continue on our way before she became too tired.
   A correspondent has told me of the new businesses starting in the town and of the school and religious interests to be found there. Adding all this together, I can see nothing but growth in the future and added economic strength. Should a grand centennial celebration materialize for Danbury, I would be very happy to be informed of the date and would try to participate in some way. I would surely like to attend.
   I wish to thank those who are interested in finding the facts of the founding of Danbury and for their thinking of me. I promise to give these facts if at all possible for me to obtain them.
Fourth F. Thomas


Chapter 1
The Beginning

   The first persons to live and explore in Woodbury County were the Indians and the French fur traders. The fur traders had come from Canada to trap, buy and trade furs with the Indians. The Frenchmen had hunted and trapped up and down the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers since 1800. The American Fur Co. had organized in St. Louis, and they hired trappers, hunters and explorers to buy furs from the Indians as well as trap and hunt for the company. The Frenchmen had become good friends of the Indians, and many of them had married Indian women. By 1819 steamboats were sent up the Mississippi-Missouri Rivers with trappers aboard. The first boat to go up the river in 1819 was named the Thunder Canoe by the Indians, because it belched black smoke from its stack. The first steamboat to actually pass the length of Woodbury County before it was organized was the Yellowstone of St. Louis in 1831. The Antelope, another steamship carried as many as 100 fur traders and trappers up the river every Fall. These men were left off the boat in various places along the banks of the Missouri River to make contact with the Indians and try to trade or buy furs from them. Some traders and trappers went as far north as Cheyenne Island by steamer, and then by mackinaw, a flat bottomed boat to the headwaters of the Missouri River. The men working for the fur company would come down the river as far as Woodbury County in the spring with flat boats loaded with furs, and a steamer would be sent up to Woodbury County or Sioux City to pick them up. All then would return to St. Louis until the next Fall. These traders came to know this area well, and when this land was opened up for settlement, they were the first to file for land and settle in this area.


This is the family history of Dan Thomas as printed in the History of Danbury. The names in bold and slightly larger are Dan and Mary Ann's children. Dan and Mary Ann's grandchildren are indented and in bold underneath the Thomas' child.
Daniel Thomas was born on December 12, 1822, in Freeport, IL. He died on October 3, 1911, in Princeton, ID. He is buried at Potlatch, ID.
Mary Ann Smith was born on November 4, 1838, in Portage County, OH. She died on March 6, 1921 in Moscow, ID. She is buried at Moscow, ID.
Dan and Mary Ann were divorced in November, 1881. She married a second time to David Chapman who was born on December 14, 1830. He died on September 14, 1917. He is buried at Moscow, ID.


Lovina - Born on April 13, 1857 in Freeport, IL. She married Melvin Chapman in Danbury. Melvin was born on April 21, 1855 in Illinois. He came to Iowa in 1858. Lovina came to Iowa in 1864. They are buried at Port Orchard, WA.
   Danny, born on September 9, 1876
   Gertrude (Mrs. J.W. Schulen), born in 1878
   Alice (Mrs. D.B. Wainscott), born in 1881
   Nettie (Mrs. Henry Keyes), born in 1889
   Bannie (Mrs. W.E. Ruhl in 1911 and Mrs. Wallace Manney in 1940). She was born in 1892.
   Gail (Mrs. George Karb), born in 1878. She died in 1971.
Ida - Born on December 28, 1858 in Freeport, IL. She married Scott Denison in 1874. Scott was born on February 7, 1852. He died in 1930. They are buried at Moscow, ID.
   Susie (Mrs. Henry Richmond), born in 1876.
   Harvey, born in 1877.
   Frank, born in 1883.
   Tracey, born in 1888.
   Earl, born in 1894.
Abel J. - Born in December 1861. Died 1 year, 10 months later in September, 1863.
Benjamin Franklin - Born on July 26, 1863 in Freeport, IL. Died in 1942. He married Lanie Isabelle Bowser. She was born on September 3, 1864 at Blanchardville, WI.
   Chalis (Mrs. Clinton McIntosh), Born in 1893.
   Ben, born in 1896.
   Grant, born in 1899.
   Fourth, born in 1902.
   Glen, born in 1905.
Alice - Born on Febreuary 1, 1866, a twin. She weighed 2 1/2 lbs. at birth. Her twin died and is buried at Danbury, possibly on their farm as there were no cemeteries in 1866. Alice married Alonzo Horn who was born on June 19, 1850. They are buried at Rosalia, WA.
   Robert, born in 1886.
   Winnifred (Mrs. Ed Mason), born in 1888.
   Walter, born in 1893.
   Lydabelle (Mrs. Albert Elwell), born in 1895.
   Grace (Mrs. Richard Hagen), born in 1902.
A daughter was born and died on February 1, 1868 in Danbury. She was buried on the farm.
Charley - Born on January 7, 1871, in Danbury, IA. He married Dora Bond who was born on January 5, 1871. They are buried at Twin Falls, ID.
   Vesta (Mrs. Merlin Bagley), born in 1896.
   Reginald, born in 1898.
   Pauline (Mrs. Vauhn Price), born in 1904.
   William Bond, born in 1914.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Lewis and Clark Expedition


   President Thomas Jefferson planned the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1804. The group of men picked were to explore the area along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, exploring each to their source, and then on west to the Pacific Ocean. The number of men picked to make this trip varied from time to time. When the expedition began, there were 2 captains, 4 sergeants, 3 interpreters, 22 privates, 9 Frenchmen, and a negro slave belonging to Capt. Clark, the leader of the expedition. The group traveled on 3 large river boats powered by a combination of power and sail which in one day could travel a distance of 12 to 20 miles. The Frenchmen were brought along for advice regarding the terrain and rivers and to converse with the Indians as they knew the Indians well. All rivers and streams running into the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers had been named by the Frenchmen preceding the expedition, but the members of the expedition named all the mountains and rivers after they moved out of the river valleys to the West.    Sgt. Floyd, one of the members of the party, became ill when the party reached the point on the Missouri River that is Sioux City today. The expedition members camped on the bluffs of the Missouri River the eve of August 20, 1804. Sgt. Floyd died that night. He was buried on the bluff along the river just 1/2 mile below a small river which they named the Floyd River in honor of Sgt. Floyd. The Floyd Monument today marks the approximate place of his burial. He was buried with war honors, and his death was lamented by all. A cedar post was fixed at the head of his grave, and the inscription, Sgt. Floyd died here Aug. 20, 1804" was inscribed on it. This cedar post became a landmark for travelers. During a flood in 1857 a part of the bluff on which he was buried washed away. His remains were then reburied on the same bluff, but farther back from the banks of the river. In 1895 his remains were placed in urns and reburied again. The site was then marked with a marble slab. It was decided to build a monument in 1900 on this site. The cornerstones were laid in 1900, and the spire was completed in 1901.    The expedition group traveled on after Sgt. Floyd's burial to the Dakotas, Montana, and then followed the Columbia River to its mouth. Part of this trip was made on horseback. Indians along the way were helpful and friendly.    The return trip was made in 1806.

The Mormons


   The Mormons had been denied the rights of their religious beliefs in eastern United States, so in 1809 they migrated to Missouri and Nauvoo, Illinois. They were the first white settlers to come to Illinois. Soon after settling at Nauvoo, they published a religious paper, The Times and Seasons. Hiram and Joseph Smith, leaders of the religious group, became known as the Prophet and President of the Latter Day Saints, church of the Mormons. The Smith brothers' home in Nauvoo was named by the Indians and means City Beautiful.    The Smith brothers later moved to Carthage, Illinois, where more of the Latter Day Saints had settled. Citizens of other faiths who had also settled at Carthage objected to the paper published by the Smith brothers, and soon trouble erupted and the two men were jailed.    The Mormons had made a beautiful city of Nauvoo which culminated with the building of a beautiful temple in 1846. It was proclaimed to be the largest building west of the Alleghenies. The building cost nearly $1 million and was built with much hardship and sacrifice of the members of the church,. The temple was never completely finished as their leader was killed.    Angry mobs of irate citizens of other faiths attacked the Mormons and forced them to leave their homes. More than 15,000 Mormons abandoned their homes and fled into the wilderness with the hope of seeking new homes, possibly in the desert on land no one else would want. Those who did not own wagons and horses loaded carts with belongings and pulled the carts themselves over the western plains. Brigham Young was chosen as a new leader.       The Mormons crossed Iowa from the east to Kanesville, now known as Council Bluffs, early in the winter of 1846. Brigham Young wanted to keep on moving west even though winter was upon them. Many of the group wanted to camp at Kanesville over winter and continue on their journey west in the spring. A number of the Mormons continued on the trek with Brigham Young, but they endured severe hardship, and many lost their lives. When they reached land they wanted to call home, Salt Lake City, Utah, there were only 143 men, 3 women and 2 children left in the group. They said thousands had fallen by the wayside.    Most of the Mormons that did not make the journey during the winter moved on west in the spring. A few families remained in Kanesville, Iowa, and a colony of Mormons started there.    Two years after the Mormons left Nauvoo, Illinois, their beautiful temple was mobbed and destroyed.    The Mormon migration across Iowa opened up all Iowa for settlement, and it also established a route across the United States to the West. Greater steamboat traffic was created up and down the Missouri River to Council Bluffs, and many wagons were outfitted there for families to make the trip to western U.S.A. The Mormons had opened the way for settlement of the west.

Settlements Before Woodbury County Was Organized

Sioux City 1847-1848

   Sioux City became a settlement when two of its first citizens came to file for land for homesteading, 1847. The first to file was Theophile Bruguiere, a French-Canadian and a fur trader. Land for which he filed was located where the Big Sioux River emptied into the Missouri River. Theophile had become well acquainted with this land due to his many trips up and down the river, and he always thought when he retired from the fur trading business he would homestead land in this area.    Theophile was born in Assumption, Canada, in 1813. He grew up to be a strong and daring lad, not knowing the meaning of fear. He was a woodsman, hunter and trapper. His parents' wish was for him to have a good education, but he lost interest in everything after his sweetheart died of Cholera.    In November, 1835, when 22 years old, he left for the frontier. He traveled on water and foot down the Missouri River to St. Louis, making the trip in 15 days. He secured work with the American Fur Co. After he rested two days, he returned to the north to Fort Pierre in Dakota Territory. This time he traveled by horseback, and another employee accompanied him. He was to buy and trade furs with the Indians. He had may exciting experiences. Shortly after arriving in Indian Territory, he was suddenly surrounded with Indians who prodded him in the back with arrows. Theophile had no fear and began whacking away with the butt of his gun, stretching one of the warriors out on the ground. He then spoke to the others in Indian language which he had mastered will, telling them to let him alone or he would kill the whole group. The Indian liked courageous people, so all shook hands, and from that time forward he was a friend of the Indian. He was made an honorary Sioux warrior.    Theophile became a good friend of War Eagle, Chief of the Sioux during the 14 years he worked for the American Fur Co., and after he settled on his land, War Eagle and many of his warriors with their families settled there also. There were about 1,000 persons, Indians and trappers living in teepees and shacks, on Theophile's land when the county was organized in 1852.    Theophile Bruguiere married two of War Eagle's daughters, Blazing Cloud and Dawn, marrying Indian fashion. He wanted a third daughter also for a wife, but he lost her to Traversie, another fur trader. Blazing Cloud bore him seven children, Baptiste, Charles, Eugene, Andrew, Rose Ann, Mary and Selina. Dawn bore him six children, Joseph, John, William, Samuel, Julia and Victoria. These children were all baptized Catholic. Some were baptized by Father Christian Hoecken, one of the first missionaries to come to this area in 1850. These children had both English and Indian names. All could speak good English, and they were all given good educations if they wanted one. One son attended Ann Arbor, and another a college in St. Louis.    War Eagle died in 1851, and his wish was to be buried high on the bluff overlooking the Missouri River Valley. Blazing Cloud and Dawn died in 1857 and 1858 respectively, and they, too, were buried on the high bluff beside their father.    Theophile married again, this time marrying a Canadian woman, Victoria Brunette. He then purchased 400 acres in Section 10, Lakeport Township, Salix, Iowa, and he then became a country gentleman. He returned to his Catholic faith. Most of his children returned to the Indian way of life after his remarriage.    Brugiere died in 1895, and he was buried in the Salix Catholic Cemetery, but his remains were moved to the high bluff beside his first two wives in 1927.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Sioux City 1847-1848

   William Thompson "Old Bill Thompson" also came in 1847. He came up the Missouri River from Morgan County, Illinois, in a small boat, after the death of his wife in Illinois. He landed at the point known as Floyd Bluff, and he built a shack there and filed for a claim. The Sioux City settlement actually began on this spot which was known as Thompson Town, and the Thompson home became a trading post. Thompson roughly staked off and planned a town at this site. He thought it the ideal spot for a town because it was close to the river, and the Missouri River was the only access to this area in 1847.    A brother of Bill Thompson, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Thompson, and another couple, Mr. and Mrs. Towsley came the next year.    County organization and the first election in Woodbury County was held in the Thompson cabin. His site never became a town site as he was reluctant to sell when asked, and the land was also thought to be too hilly for a settlement.

Sergeant Bluff 1849

   The first permanent settler to come to Sgt. Bluff was J.D. Crockwell. The town was named in memory of Sgt. Floyd who had died in the Lewis and Clark Expedition and was buried on a bluff near the town site. Sgt. Bluff actually grew faster than the Sioux City settlement, and it was Woodbury County's first county seat.

Smithland 1851

   Smithland was an all-white settlement that started, too, before the county was organized. Three Mormans, William White, Curtis Lamb, and J. Sumner came up the Missouri-Little Sioux rivers from Kanesville (Council Bluffs) in 1851 on a hunting expedition. The men were attracted to this area as the steep hills offered protection from the cold winters and there was plenty of timber and spring water. They were the first to file claims and build cabins. The Little Sioux River also offered plenty of hunting and trapping. In 1852 Orrin and Edwin Smith and John Hurley from Kanesville also came up the river hunting and found the three men mentioned previously living fairly comfortably in this wilderness. They were also awestruck by the beauty of the valley as the leaves of the trees were in full color of reds, bronze, etc. They offered Sumner $100 in gold for two of his claims, and Sumner sold out to them. Orrin Smith returned to Kanesville and sold one of the claims to Eli Lee, a brother-in-law, and the Smiths filed for more land. They moved their families by wagon from Kanesville in February 1853. These first settlers started the settlement which later was known as Smithland. It was named for the Smith brothers. This small settlement had the first school in Woodbury County. It was a log cabin school and built by a "log-raising." The first stage lines in Northwest Iowa went through Smithland.

Woodbury County Organization

   Iowa became a state in 1846, and every few years more counties were organized. An act of Congress provided that a county, Woodbury, be established on March 1, 1853. This territory had been called Wahkaw in 1852 by the Indians, but the name was changed to Woodbury when three men were chosen to organize the county. The men appointed were Thomas L. Griffey, Ira Perdue and Charles Wolcott. The area of the county was 876 square miles or 561,000 acres. The first county seat was Floyds Bluff as Thompson had built a cabin there. There was just one township, Sgt. Bluff Township, and it extended over the entire county.    Thomas Griffey was named organizing sheriff by the Legislature. He was a judge. He was born in 1827 in Campbell County, Kentucky, the son of William and Elizabeth Griffey. He was of Welsh extraction. He left home when 16 and located at Kanesville in 1850. The county was organized in 1852, and Thomas Griffey ordered the first election of county officers to be held in 1853. There were no township officers to be elected in that first election as there was just one township and the county officers transacted the business for the whole county. Thomas Griffey held many positions throughout his life as he had a sound mind and used good judgment. He farmed a few years after coming to Sioux City and secured several thousand acres of land. In 1899 he returned to Sioux City and practiced the law profession. He was well posted on all great issues confronting the nation. Men in the four settlements of the county - Sioux City, Floyd Bluff or Thompson Town, Sergeant Bluff, and Smithland were eligible to vote. Men in the early days were proud of their right to vote. They would travel long distances to enjoy that privilege. Five men from Smithland Settlement were eligible to vote in that first election. They started for the William Thompson cabin, the voting place, the day before the election. They walked and carried their rifles on their backs. They followed an Indian trail along the Missouri bottom under the bluffs. They reached August Traversie's cabin at the day's end. August Traversie was a French-Canadian fur trader, but in 1853 he was a farmer. He was married Indian style and had Indian squaws as wives. The Smithland men received true Canadian hospitality from Traversie. The squaws in the Traversie home prepared a supper of stew of dried elk seasoned with garlic, corn cake and good coffee. In due time, all retired, but the Smithland men Orrin and Edwin Smith, Eli Lee, Curtis Lamb, and William White slept fitfully as the fleas disturbed them. In the morning, after having breakfast with the Traversies, they went on to Thompson's house to vote. They were welcomed there, and all were introduced in the Western way, Corn juice, pipes and tobacco. There were 17 votes cast in that first election. Following are the men who voted and what became of them.

  1. Hiram Nelson - Treasurer and Recorder. He was a reliable man and knew accounting. He later moved to the Washington Territory and Montana.
  2. Marshall Townsley - County Judge. He knew very little about law, but he had good sense and judgment. He lived near Thompson Town. He later moved to San Juan Territory.
  3. Orrin B. Smith - Prosecuting Attorney (Smithland). He was noted for his abstruse questions in law. By 1890 he was living in Florida.
  4. Eli Lee - Coroner (Smithland). Lived in Woodbury County near Smithland, Iowa, all his life.
  5. Curtis Lamb - Justice of Peace (Smithland). First settler in Smithland. Moved to Sioux City in 1856. After having an argument with a neighbor, he moved to Davenport, Iowa.
  6. Thomas Griffey - County Sheriff. A man of strong physique. A good business man.
  7. Edwin H. Smith - Constable (Smithland). A good officer. Later moved to Colorado.
  8. Joseph P. Babbitt - District Clerk. Moved away from the area.
  9. Joseph Merrivall - A Spaniard who was a fine horseman.
  10. Charles Rulo - Moved to Nebraska. Rulo started the town of Rulo, Nebraska.
  11. William B. Thompson - Remained in Sioux City all his life. He died of cancer in 1878.
  12. Theophile Bruguiere - Farmed in Lakeport Township, Woodbury County, all his life.
  13. William White - Early settler at Smithland, Iowa. He later drowned in Silver Lake.
  14. Stephens de Roy or Stephen Devoy - He was a popular Frenchman. He later moved to Rulo, Nebraska.
  15. Augustus Traversie - Later moved to Dakota.
  16. Joseph Leonais - He was a friend of Theophile Bruguiere. He farmed land first owned by Bruguiere. Some said he bought it from Bruguiere for $100, and other said Bruguiere gave it to him. Leonais later sold the land to Sioux City Land Company, and Sioux City as known today was built on the Leonais Land.
  17. La Sharite - 80 year old Frenchman. He attended all dances and was as nimble as a 20 year old man. He made his own whiskey and was fond of the "Flowing Bowl."
   War Eagle, Chief of the Siouxs, attended the election, but he refused to vote.

The First Settlers To Come (1854-1863)

   A few settlers came as early as 1854. There were still many Indians in this area as the Little Sioux, Maple and Soldier Rivers and their valleys were favorite hunting, fishing and trapping grounds for them. Groups of Sioux Indians and often the Winnebagoes came in the Fall and set up camp in their favorite camping spots along the rivers. The few settlers that did come usually chose adjoining land so as to help and protect one another. Cherokee, Correctionville, and Smithland all had forts were settlers could go if there were Indian uprisings.    Woodbury County was organized in 1852, and from 1852 to August of 1854 there was just one township in the county, Sergeant Bluff Township. When a township was formed, officers were elected, a postmaster was appointed, and a post office established. There were no regular stage routes in Woodbury County until 1857. The nearest point of mail delivery until 1857 was Council Bluffs. Some settler going there for supplies would bring the mail back to the settlers. The first stage route established in Woodbury County extended from Panora in Guthrie County to Sioux City in Woodbury County. This passenger and mail stage stopped at the William Wilsey home (Peter Lamp Farm) at Old Mapleton as he was the first settler to settle in Maple Township, Monona County. The stage also stopped at Smithland, Iowa. In August of 1854 a second township, Little Sioux was formed. The northern half of Woodbury County was then Sergeant Bluff Township and the southern half of the county was Little Sioux Township. On March 2, 1857, two more townships were formed, Sioux City and Correctionville Townships. Our area which had been in Little Sioux Township, now became Correctionville Township. Little was done to form more townships during the Civil War period 1860-1865 as the influx of new settlers dropped drastically because of the war. William N. Seaman, an early settler from this area, was instrumental in getting Liston Township formed. The settlers wanted more townships so that they did not have to travel so far in times of election or to send or receive mail. The formation of Liston Township became authentic in November of 1868. Morgan Township was later carved from the original Liston Township. By 1884, there were 24 townships in Woodbury County.    In 1854 the first settlers, Joseph Edwards family and Morris Leach Jones, a brother of Mrs. Joseph Edwards arrived in what is now Liston Township, but then Little Sioux Township. They had to come by wagon train to Smithland, Iowa, from Marathon, Portland County, New York. Mrs. Hannah Edwards and Morris Jones were from a family of 11, and their parents were Thomas and Hannah Adams Jones. Hannah Jones was a direct descendant of Samuel Adams. Joseph Edwards and Morris Leach Jones entered land in Liston Township near the Woodbury-Ida County line east of Danbury. Morris L. Jones and Joseph Edwards built the first log cabin in the township. In 1857 M.L. Jones married Louise Smith, and he and his wife left this area. He later returned and became a businessman in Smithland.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The First Settlers To Come


   Nathaniel Edwards, possibly a brother of Joseph Edwards, settled on land in Ida County in 1857, land later known as Hedrick Farm. He accumulated a large amount of land but lost it later. He was the first assessor in Ida County and voted in the first election. His wife died after the birth of his sixth child. He married a second time to Anna Brady Kier who was a sister of William Brady, one of the first blacksmiths in Danbury. Anna came here with a small son, William Keir after divorcing her husband Frank Kier at Prairie Du Cnien, Wisconsin. Anna worked as housekeeper for Nathaniel Edwards and afterwards married him. They had 3 children, Jay, Robert and Mable (Mrs. Herman Hansen) who all came to Danbury. The Edwards boys at one time ran a livery stable. Jay ran the first Standard Gas wagon which was pulled with horses. Bob was town cop after he moved his family off the farm.    George L. Crane was the second settler in Liston Township.    Charley A. Cobb settled on land just west of present Danbury in 1854. He married Lovina Smith, born October 22, 1840, in Lake Co., Illinois. She came to Northwest Iowa with her parents Orrin B. and Cecilia (Bragg) Smith. Orrin B. Smith and his brother, Edwin Smith founded the town of Smithland, and the town was named after the Smith brothers. The Smiths moved to Smithland from Council Bluffs. Charley Cobb and Lovina Smith were the first couple married in Smithland. Charley Cobb sold his farm to Dan Thomas in Freeport, Illinois, in 1857.    Thomas Davis came in 1854 from Illinois with the idea of speculating in land. He homesteaded the Herman Sohm 80 north of the town limits and bought several parcels of land in this area. He filed for some of it in 1854, and his patents were granted on June 23, 1857, and December 10, 1859. He arrived in Smithland early in the winter of 1856-57. It was during that winter that the Indians that were camped on the Little Sioux at Smithland gave this area quite a scare. There were 22 men in the settlement at Smithland, and Thomas Davis was one of them. He was a member of the Frontier Guards, an organization formed to protect the early settlers. The Indians at Smithland were starving due to heavy snows early in the winter, so they began to steal livestock to butcher and corn from the fields. The men at Smithland decided to ask the Indians to move as they feared trouble with them, and Thomas Davis was one of the men that went to the Indian camp and asked them to move up the river. These same Indians committed several atrocities while going up the Little Sioux, then committed the Spirit Lake massacres, and they were responsible for the uprising in southern Minnesota. Thomas Davis sold land to Dan Thomas also in 1857 in Illinois, and more was sold to him later.    Jesse Winterringer and wife, Hannah entered a homestead on June 19, 1857 (Lee farm) and the patent was granted on September 10, 1860. Mr. Winterringer lost his land to Matthew Clark, a trustee in Little Sioux Township in 1861 over a $392 debt. The land was then sold in front of the post office in Sioux City to Patrick Robb. Ethan and Mary Allen bought the farm from Robb in 1877. Peter Moore and wife Anna Clingenpeel were the owners of the Lee farm when it was purchased by James Lee on May 17, 1890 for $1,800.    Lewis Koker and his Cherokee Indian wife came here from Illinois, and they squatted on land east of Danbury where Koker Creek empties into the Maple River. Lewis would not file for land. He said if he farmed and lived on it, it should belong to him. Koker Creek was named for this family. Lot Koker, the oldest son, married Zella Chapman. Lot opened the first blacksmith shop in Danbury after Dan Thomas built the store. Lot had children: Myrtle who married Della Case, Minnie (Mrs. Frank Smith), James married Julia Shoemaker, Elsie, Daniel, Irving, Matilda (Mrs. John Kennedy) and Glenn. Rachel Koker, Lewis' daughter married George Promucior who also was an early settler here, and another daughter Mahala married John Herrington. A son, Lewis Koker died on July 18, 1881 when 21, and he is buried in the Danbury cemetery. The Koker family left here soon after his death when T.K. Frentress filed for and bought the Koker land. Mr. Koker was infuriated when he lost his land. Four families packed up and left here by wagon soon after they lost the land. They went first to Menden, Minnesota, the Indian Reservation on which the parents of Mrs. Koker lived. Wagons making the trip were Lewis and Lot Koker, Mr. and Mrs. John Kennedy, and a Chapman who had married Addie Herrington. From Minnesota they went on to Bismarck, North Dakota, and then on west. Lot and Zella Chapman Koker went to Melrose, Idaho, Nez. Perce Prairie. They died and were buried in a Melrose cemetery. Lewis Koker and wife settled near Spokane, Washington, and were buried there. Some of this group later went on to Imperial Valley in California.    Reynolds, first name unknown, came in 1850 and filed for a homestead on Reynolds Creek on land presently owned by John Cord. He built a house and dug a well near the creek bank. The creek was named for him. He left his claim in 1861 to serve in the Civil War. He never returned, so it was presumed he died during the Civil War.    Abel Stowell and wife homesteaded an 80 acres (Part of Ed Hoyt farm) when they came here in 1858. Abel built a log cabin home. Abel was one of the organizers of the first fairs held in Danbury in 1891. He owned race horses.    William Ring came to the Maple Valley in 1856, and he settled on Section 6, Maple Township, Monona County (Manley Durst farm). He came up the Mississippi-Missouri River from St. Louis to Council Bluffs, Iowa, and from there he came up the Missouri River Valley to the Maple Valley. He pre-empted 160 acres. Mr. Ring had obtained a good education in the East and had worked as a contractor and builder. William married Miss Sarah Hagerdon. In 1865 William built the first frame house in our valley. Lumber was of solid walnut which he hauled from Boone, Iowa, with wagon and oxen. Mr. Ring was elected Monona County Treasurer in 1873, and he was also road supervisor. He was in charge of the building of the first steel bridge built across the Maple River at Mapleton, Iowa, and it excelled all bridges built previously.    John and Margaret Castly (Kastle) came from New York in a wagon train in 1862. He homesteaded an 80 acres south of Danbury (Treiber place) in then Maple Township, Monona County, but now Cooper Township. He later bought another 80 acres near Old Mapleton. John's wife passed away, and John was in very poor health by 1873. A brother, George Castle and wife Catherine (Auntie) sold their land near Old Mapleton and came to live with John on his homestead, and Auntie cared for her brother-in-law. John sold his homestead to a nephew, Adam Treiber, who came from New York with his wife Bertha and two small daughters, Elizabeth and Mame in 1877. George Castle, wife Catherine and brother John then moved into Listonville which was then nothing but a name. They were some of Listonville's first citizens. All died while living here, and all were buried in the Heisler Cemetery.    Daniel and Margaret Patchen homesteaded land east of Danbury (part of Hoyt farm). Exact year of their arrival was unknown, but they came before the beginning of the Civil War. They had a log cabin home. They had children Belle (Mrs. James Pearce), Charlie who married Jessie Patterson, Margaret and Jerome. Jessie Patterson Patchen married a second time to Ed Hoyt after the death of her husband, Charlie. She had two sons from her first marriage. She had two sons from her first marriage.    James and Ellen Collins Miller settled 10 miles north of our area on a creek which was later known as Miller Creek. They came with oxen and wagon in 1855. Ellen's parents were John and Kathryn (Curtin) Collins who had married in Cork County, Ireland and had emigrated to the U.S. in 1844. They farmed in Franklin County, New York from 1844 to 1852 when they came west with other settlers and settled in Dubuque County near Guttenberg, Iowa. Ellen Collins married John Miller in Dubuque County in 1853 and came on West in 1855. They chose an area where terrain was hilly, and there were many trees and good springs for water. All ten of Ellen's brothers and sisters later came to this area, which became known as Cork Hill, as all the families were from Cork Hill, Ireland.    These were the families known to be living here before the arrival of the Dan Thomas family and before the Civil War. A John and also a Samuel Lee came in 1861, but no other information about them is known. A D.D. Mosser was listed as a trustee in Little Sioux Township in 1860, Matthew Clark a trustee on January 9, 1861, and Thomas E. Stone as treasurer on February 2, 1864.    Buel Chapman filed for land as early as August 6, 1856 near Oto which was then in Correctionville Township. David Chapman's name is recorded as having come to this area as early as 1858, four years after his marriage to Lydia Herrington in Illinois, but he returned to Illinois when called to serve in the Civil War. He came to this area with this family after the Civil War ended in 1865.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Indians in Northwest Iowa (1854-1880)
   Alcohol was War Eagle's failing, and because of this weakness he died a young man. One night while in the state of intoxication he laid on the cold ground with no covering. It rained during the night, and he took a severe cold from which he never recovered. His wish was to be buried on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River and his wish was granted in 1851 after his death. His two daughters, Blazing Cloud and Dawn, and their husband, Theophile Brugiere are all buried on the bluff beside him. Their graves can be seen from Highway 75 near Sioux City.
   Soon after War EagleÕs death the settlers came in larger numbers. If he would have lived this Sioux Tribe no doubt would have been more friendly toward the white settlers. The Government had encouraged the Indians from northwest Iowa to move into Minnesota to a Reservation near the Minnesota River. Some made the move, but a group known as the Two-Finger Tribe refused to cooperate. Two-Finger was their leader. The group was made up of stragglers of the Sisseton, Yankton, Sioux, and Winnebago Tribes. Many were half-breeds. They actually were no tribe at all but they all drew annuities, and the warriors were desperate villains. When Two Fingers died, Inkpaduta, a regal renegade, took his place as chief. An old timer from Oto claimed that he knew the group well as they often camped along the Little Sioux River at Oto. One of the group was Bahonica, the son of Inkpaduta, and he was a fox, wolf , and bull dog all at one time. He scrupled at nothing and was wiry and quick as lightning. Star Forehead was a powerful Indian over six foot in height. Others in the group were Charlie, Blue Coat, and Long Tooth. The whole group with their families numbered about 150 to 200 persons. They came each fall and fished, hunted, trapped, and roamed.
   The first settler to come to Smithland who settled in Woodbury County 1851 had a good word to say for Inkpaduta and his Tribe. Each Fall the Indians would come and set up camp. About 10 or 12 ponies dragged the teepee poles loaded with tents and a few papooses. Curtis Lamb, the settler, said he even entrusted his wife and children to InkpadutaÕs care when it was necessary for him to make a trip to Kanesville for supplies. If logs were needed for the fireplace, Inkpaduta sent squaws to carry them in. He kept Mrs. LambÕs table supplied with fresh fish and venison. The Indians camped on LambÕs place, and they would trade elk, deer, otter, mink, beaver, fox, and other skins and venison hams which Mr. Lamb would haul to Kanesville, 90 miles south, to sell for cash.
   The Lambs moved to Sioux City the Spring of 1856, and they then rented the farm to a Livermore family. The Livermores made it plain to Inkpaduta and his band the following December when they came that they were not welcome. Inkpaduta and the band of 35 men, women and children moved on along th eLittle Sioux river bank to a spot on the farm owned by Eljah Adams which was about 2 miles upstream from the village of Smithland.
   The different Indian tribes in this part of Iowa warred with each other usually over the boundary lines of their hunting ground, or the theft of horses stolen from each other. A battle between the tribes would sometimes last three days. In the Winter of 1854, a party of Sioux went as far south as the Little Sioux River in Harrison County in search of a party of Omahas with whom they were at war. The Omahas had crossed over into Iowa which was the Sioux Hunting Ground. The Sioux killed four of the Omaha tribe and took their ponies. The Omahas followed in hot pursuit to get revenge.
   In 1855 Herman Clarke stopped at William ThompsonÕs Trading Post overnight. He left for Sioux City the next morning. Upon arriving at the Floyd River he looked over the bluff into Nebraska. Under the bluff on the Iowa side were about 15 bucks having a scalp dance. They were beating tom toms and dancing with scalps on poles about twelve feet long. Mr. Clarke presumed the warriors had taken the scalps in Nebraska but did not celebrate the feat until they had crossed the river to the Iowa side. Mr. Clarke returned to ThompsonÕs cabin.
   Two settlers from Mapleton were once traveling from Mapleton to Sioux City. When they were about 12 miles past Smithland they spotted a group of about 13 warriors. They tried to avoid meeting them, but the Indians saw them then rushed toward the settlers with tomahawks, raised and yelling like wild. The settlers tried to outrun them with their horses, but the Indians were steadily gaining ground. The coming of the stage coach saved their lives. The stage was going from Smithland to Sioux City, and the Governor of Dakota Territory was aboard that stage. The band of Indians disbursed with the coming of the stage, but a courier was sent back to Smithland for help. They expected more trouble from the Indians before they reached Sioux City. A group of nine men came from Smithland and accompanied the stage to Sioux City.
   A family (Youngs) were suddenly surprised by a number of Santee warriors who streamed into their farmyard north of Sioux City. The family tried to escape. An invalid mother was hidden in a buggy and covered with a feather bed. When the Indians found her they set fire to the buggy, and she burned to death. A 15 year old boy was killed. The father and 2 sons escaped into the tall prairie grass and a 17 year old daughter was taken captive and taken to the teepee of Chief Little Crow. The girl was later freed by the Frontier Guards. She said she was well treated. She said Little Crow was married to four sisters. When he came into camp from riding, one wife helped him dismount, another put his horse away, and the other two made him comfortable in his teepee. Other hostages were taken in this raid, and the Indians wanted to sell them for ransom, kill them or they would trade them for buffalo skins.
Spirit Lake Massacre 1857
   Several events led up to the Spirit Lake Massacre. Inkpaduta and his band of 15 or more restless warriors with squaws, children and papooses had spent the Fall of 1856 at Loon Lake in Jackson County in Minnesota. Early in the Winter they proceeded down the Little Sioux River as far as the Smithland settlement. They camped on the Elijah Adams farm, and the group arrived in mid-December. The squaws frequently visited Mrs. Adams and her daughter at their log house, seeking to exchange beadwork and other handicrafts for clothing and food. When the weather permitted, the men went hunting. The Indians were quiet and sociable.
   Snow started to fall the first of December, and soon after, one of the worst blizzards ever struck. Many animals were buried alive under the deep snow. The snow kept steadily falling, and by February the snow was four feet deep on the level. The Indians could find no game to hunt, and as time went on things got worse. When the Indians were starving, they started to steal and kill the settlers' livestock. The Indians had not been camped on the Adams farm too long when they discovered unhusked corn under the deep snow in a field south of the Smithland settlement. The warriors sent the squaws to gather it. As the Indian women passed through the settlement carrying corn in blankets slung on their backs, they were accused of stealing the corn from cribs by the settlers. Two Smithland residents obtained willow switches and began whipping the squaws. They dropped the corn and ran to the camp.
   One day a large drove of elk appeared in the timber on the river. The nearly famished Indians began preparations for a hunt. The hunt was well on its way when an Indian was attacked by a settler's dog. The Indian retaliated by killing the dog. Then the dog's owner administered a severe beating to the Indian and disarmed him.
   The settlers began to assume an unfriendly attitude toward the Indians, which in turn changed the attitude of the Indians toward the whites. The settlers thought before there was more trouble they had better try to persuade the Indians to break camp. They appointed a vigilante group to talk to the Indians and devised a plan. The men selected were Eli Lee, John Howe, John Kinnea, Thomas Nagle, Eli Floyd, Jim Kirbey, M.L. Jones, O.B. Smith, William Thurman, Ed Howe, B.M. Mead, Wesley Thurman, John Floyd, Thomas Bowers, Jonathan Leach, A. Livermore and Thomas Davis. There were only 24 eligible men in the Smithland settlement. A General Harney had visited the Indians in previous years, and the Indians knew this officer of the calvary well. The man planned to dress Seth Smith, a settler, in a uniform he had when in the Ohio militia. He was to stand some distance away so the Indians wouldn't recognize him. The rest of the vigilantes went to the Indian camp and told them General Harney requested that they leave the valley, and if they didn't, General Harney was going to call his soldiers. The Indians complained, saying it was too cold and they would not be able to find game. Most of the warriors were away from camp hunting. The Indians said they might go south and make friends with the Omahas as they thought hunting would be better in the south. The settlers took the Indians' guns and told them they would be back in the morning. The Indians in the camp did not notice the deception of Seth Smith disguised as General Harney. When the militia went back the next morning, the Indians were gone. Curtis Lamb said afterwards that people then did not understand Indian nature. The Indians had been insulted and they began the journey up the Little Sioux which culminated in massacre. In the "signing up" of the dying embers of the Indian's campfire was a message if only the settlers would have understood. Near the Chief's lodge a few small upright sticks were placed near the embers. This message told the four absent hunters on their return to avoid all parties of white men, take care of their guns, and join the band as soon as possible farther up the Little Sioux The Indians joined forces near the Correctionville settlement thirsting for revenge.
   The Spirit Lake Massacre could have been avoided. The direct cause, of course, was the settlers driving them away. Couriers could have been sent ahead to warn other settlers, but no one realized what the Indians were up to doing.
   Two regrettable incidents happened at Smithland the same day the militia asked the Indians to move camp, and both incidents happened on the Elijah Adams farm. The families of Elijah Adams and David T. Hawthorn (23 persons) had arrived at Smithland on June 5, 1856. Adams, the leader, had prospered in Illinois and brought 100 head of cattle to Iowa. He purchased 320 acres of land in Little Sioux Township for $3.60 an acre the Fall of 1855. Both he and his wife were Kentucky natives. They had children: Wallace, Harry, Elizabeth and G.E. Lige. David T. Hawthorne came to Illinois from Maryland, and when a young man, worked for Elijah Adams. He married, and when the Adams family came to Iowa, David and wife came also. They had three children when they came to Iowa: Mary, John and Virginia. A son, William Franklin was born on the farm on February 3, 1857. David Hawthorne was known as "Trapper" as he was often absent from home for long periods. He trapped beaver all over Northwest Iowa. He also herded cattle for Elijah Adams. The Indians visited their homes often after the bad winter set in on begging expeditions, but both the Adams and Hawthorne families shared with them. When the Adams cattle died of starvation, the Indians ate them.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Spirit Lake Massacre 1857
Roving bands of other Indians would be met occasionally. Two Sioux brothers from the reservation of Yellow Medicine River, Minnesota, visited the camp at Skunk Lake. They proposed to purchase Abby, but Inkpaduta informed them that she was not for sale. They then traded stock for Mrs. Marble. Before leaving camp, Mrs. Marble promised Abby that if she reached civilization, she would do all she could to have her rescued.
About 4 weeks after Mrs. Marble's departure, a small band of Yanktons joined the band, and one of them, End of the Snake, purchased Mrs. Noble and Abby. It was unfortunate for Mrs. Noble that the men did not make immediate departure with the women. End of the Snake was a one-legged Indian. He did most of his hunting from a horse, and either his squaw or one of his captive women he had purchased trudged miles following him picking up his game. He had a dog that brought the game out of the water. The captive women slept in the tent of their newly adopted family. One night when the women had returned from a hunt, they gathered wood and returned to their teepee. When ready to retire, Roaring Cloud, son of Inkpaduta, came into the tent and ordered Mrs. Marble out. She refused to obey him, so he grabbed her arm and a piece of wood the women had gathered, drug her outside, and struck her three severe blows on the head. He concluded that he had killed her, came into the tent to wash his bloody hands, had a few words with the Yankton, owner of Mrs. Noble, and then lay down to sleep. Abby, who very much feared for her own life, heard Mrs. Noble groan and wanted to go to help her, but she feared she then would be attacked. The next morning, the warriors gathered around the corpse of Mrs. Noble and used her corpse for a target as well as mutilating it. They cut off her hair braids. While the warriors amused themselves, the squaws were dragging down tent poles, wrapping candles into bundles, packed cooking utensils and loaded dogs. Mrs. Noble's hair braids were tied to a 3' stick, and all that day one young Indian walked beside Abby and kept slashing her in the face with the braids.
In a few days they reached the James River, Spink County, and here they found an encampment of 190 lodges of Yanktons. One of the 17 horses taken from the families at Lake Okoboji, only one, a pony of Dr. Harriot's, had survived this journey. The cruelty of the Indians to the horses, severity of the journey, and no food was too much for them. When word got around camp that there was a white woman squaw in camp, many crowded into the tent to see Abby Gardner.
Three Indian men soon arrived wearing coats and shirts, the white man's habitat. Abby was in doubt about their visit, but she decided they were from civilized country. She soon found out they had come to purchase her. The Indians were paid 2 horses, 12 blankets, 2 kegs of powder, 20 lbs. of tobacco, 32 yards of blue squaw cloth, 372 yards of calico, ribbon and some small articles for Abby's freedom. After the bargain was closed, it was celebrated with a dog feast which was a high honor that the Indians displayed when pleased. The Indians who had purchased Abby lost no time in leaving the village as they suspected Inkpaduta of treachery. They had a wagon and team of horses hidden on the other side of the river. They hurriedly headed south. One of the Indians who made the negotiations was John Otherday or "Man Who Shoots Metal as He walks," an Indian who had always been friendly to the white settlers. At the time of the Minnesota uprising, he saved the lives of hundreds of white settlers by telling them the Indians planned to attack.
Abby soon reached civilization. She married Caswell Sharp of Hampton, Iowa, five months after the Spirit Lake Massacre. She and her husband lived in Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas, and in 1891 settled on her parents' homestead at Arnolds Park, Okoboji, Iowa. She lived there until her death in January 1921. Mrs. Marble remarried and lived out her life in California. Okoboji, an Indian name, means A Place of Rest.
Reaction of Massacre to Woodbury County Settlers
When word came back to Sioux City, Smithland, and Correctionville as to what the Indians had done since leaving Smithland, the settlers were frightened. They feared the Indians would come back for revenge. At Smithland, all hands were put to work building a fort, and they worked feverishly night and day. Many settlers gave up their land, packed and went east. One settler just arriving said he passed more wagons loaded and leaving than he saw wagons coming in. Those who did stay went to the forts for protection. The settlers organized cavalry divisions to protect themselves. These were small groups of eligible men stationed at various trouble spots. The organization from Onawa was called Monona Union Guards, and those from Woodbury County were Frontier Guards. Fort Cherokee was built in 1863. Fort Petersen at Petersen, Iowa, and Estherville also had forts. Brigade outposts of the calvary were stationed at Ocheydan, Melborne, Ida Grove, Sac City, West Fork, Monona County, and Little Sioux.
A soldier on guard brought word back about the atrocities. He rode into Sioux City and said the different tribes of the Sioux had joined together to make war on the whites. Strike the Tree, a longtime friend of the whites, reportedly had joined the Smutty Bear and all were headed for Northwest Iowa. Word was immediately given out to retain all ammunition, 100 rounds for each gun, and a guard was to be posted two miles from the settlement. Women and children then living in Sioux City were crowded into a house on Pearl Street, and the men started to build a stockade. A carrier was dispatched to Smithland and to Harrison County, asking them to muster up some troops and send them to Sioux City. This was all a false alarm. The Indians were trying to get away as they feared the settlers would come in pursuit. The Calvary was used in a few instances.
Many Indians remained in the area a number of years. Small groups were seen here as late as 1880. They would come from the Winnebago or South Dakota reservation and set up camp along the Maple, Soldier and Little Sioux Rivers. Sometimes just a couple would come and often 3 or 4 families. Favorite camping ground along the Maple in this area was near the Leslie Wildon farm and on the Koker Creek and the Maple near the Ed Dirksen farm.
Joe Welte told the story that when he was a child of 10 or 12, an Indian couple had set up camp on Koker Creek. Joe and his brother trapped for muskrat along the Maple. The Indians asked the Welte boys for the animals after they skinned the muskrat as they used the meat for food. The boys gave them the meat, and they then invited the boys in to play cards with them in their teepee.
Indians, too, often camped in Devil's Den Hill and on the Soldier River east of Herb Teut's farm buildings. The mannerisms of begging and stealing, traits of the Indians, caused a great deal of anxiety to these first settlers. Indians believed it wrong to steal from members of their own tribe but not to steal from members of another Indian tribe or the settlers. The settlers often had to guard freshly butchered meat. When game was scarce they would steal potatoes, turnips, corn, etc. from gardens and often meat from smoke houses. Mrs. Adam Treiber often told the story that one afternoon three young warriors rode into their yard and came to the house begging for food. She had just finished baking bread so gave them a fresh loaf of bread. A few days later they returned again. This time they came into the house and took all the bread she had on hand.
The settlers, at least most of them, were willing to share, but often they were depending on the food for themselves, and sharing was sometimes a hardship on them. In some areas the settlers were mean to the Indians and forts were built to protect the Indian from being persecuted. That did not happen in Northwest Iowa.
The Indians had no books of learning, but they were skilled farmers, fisherman, irrigation engineers, astronomers, weavers, potters, tanners, leather workers, dyers, craftsmen with gems, merchants, painters, architects, sculptors, carvers, musicians, poets, orators, and law makers. They had a cipher writing which they wrote on birch bark stitched with sinews. They also had a currency, different dialects, but a common language.
A monument was dedicated in Sioux City on October 21, 1922, for War Eagle. It was placed over War Eagle's grave. All descendants of War Eagle still living attended. Songs were sung in Yankton-Sioux tongue, and an Indian prayer for a long dead child were a part of the services.
The Beginning of our Town, Listonville

The Dan Thomas family, first permanent residents, came west from Freeport, Illinois, in 1864, a short time before the ending of the Civil War. Dan Thomas had purchased land from Thomas Davis, Charley A. Cobb and wife, and a Margaret Martin during the year 1857 in Freeport. Thomas Davis had speculated and bought up thousands of acres of land and then resold at a profit. One of these parties had even built a frame house on his holdings, but it was believed they left here again after the Indian scare of 1857, and that was the Fall, too, of the big prairie fire. According to records, Dan Thomas bought this land in 1857, but they did not venture on west until seven years later. Information regarding the Thomas family was provided by Fourth Freedom Thomas, son of Frank Thomas and grandson of Dan Thomas, home Princeton, Idaho.
Dan Thomas was born on December 12, 1833, in Freeport, Illinois. He was the fifth child in a family of five boys and two girls. His parents had moved from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Freeport several years previous to Dan's birth. They had sons James, Jay, Benjamin, Franklin, Daniel, and Rockwell, and daughters Lovina and Hannah. James and Jay left home at an early age imbued with adventure. James disappeared on his way to Alaska, and Jay was last known to have boarded a boat for down the Mississippi River, but neither was ever heard from again. Dan married Mary Ann Smith on July 3, 1856, in Freeport, Illinois. Mary Ann was born on April 11, 1838, in Portage, Co., Ohio, and her parents came to Freeport, also.
Dan Thomas was a very energetic and ambitious young man. He was adept at many trades, but his occupation while in Freeport was a mason. Dan and Mary Ann's first child was a daughter, Lovina, born on April 13, 1857. Another daughter, Ida, was born on December 28, 1858. A son, Abel, was born in December of 1861, but he died in 1863 when 1 year and 10 months old. A second son, Benjamin Franklin was born on July 26, 1864. Dan and Mary had been married 8 years, and besides buying some land, had saved their money and inherited some, about $20,000. They wanted to invest in more land, and Northwest Iowa was just being opened up for settlement. The Sioux Indians who had been occupying Northwest Iowa, had just signed a treaty to give up Northwest Iowa and to move to a reservation in Minnesota. There were wonderful opportunities here, much choice, cheap land. Dan and Mary decided to leave for Iowa after the birth of Benjamin Franklin in the Fall of 1864.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Beginning of our Town, Listonville
They came with two covered wagons loaded with sod-buster plow, small tools, feed some furniture, several weeks' provisions, a cow tied to the back of the wagon, and a coop of chickens tied to the side. Dan always owned good horses. It was treacherous driving on the prairies because of the many sloughs. You usually bogged down in some of these sloughs, then the wagon had to be unloaded, and when the wagon was pulled out, everything had to be reloaded. They crossed the Mississippi River by ferry at Davenport, Iowa. They came across Iowa by the southern route through Iowa City, Marshalltown, and Des Moines which in 1864 was just a fort. They crossed the Raccoon, Des Moines and Boyer rivers and several smaller streams in making this trip. From Fort Des Moines the trail went to Adel and Panora, Iowa. From Panora you followed the stage coach route to Denison. You crossed the Little Sioux River below Little Sioux, Iowa, where there was a ferry crossing. Near Onawa their wagons became mired in gumbo, and an axe was used to chop the gumbo from the wheels. They followed the Little Sioux River, then the Maple River, and came on to this area. Very little sod had ever been turned on the land he had purchased.
All one could see in any direction was prairie grass, some shoulder height to a horse, and that along the sloughs of a shorter variety, and many cattails grew in the sloughs. There were no trees except for a few along the Maple River banks. There were many wildflowers. There were thousands of prairie chickens and rabbits. There also were grey wolves, wild turkey, deer, and hundreds of muskrat houses everywhere in the swamp area. There were many beavers, and they had houses in the Maple River. There were several species of the long legged family here, too, in 1864.
The Thomas family moved into a house left by a settler on some of the land Dan had purchased. The house was small and believed to have been the small house straight west of the Danbury park which is presently owned by Arnold Ortner. Dan set to work plowing sod on which he wanted to plant his crops the next year. This gave the sod a chance to mellow and was called "back-setting." Dan also cut prairie grass with a scythe and stacked it so as to have hay for his horses and cow through the winter. He built a shed for his animals and fenced an enclosure to hold them, and it was made of willow poles notched and mortised at the ends.
Dan bought more land after he came here, most of which was low, wet and it had many sloughs. This wet land would be bought for a little as $1.25 an acres, and some of it sold up to $6 an acre. Courthouse records say Dan Thomas owned more than a thousand acres, much of it being purchased from Thomas Davis and the Iowa Railroad Land Co. He owned the present Herman Sohm farm in Sec. 21, the Ralph Scott, Glen Patterson, Herman Sohm 80 north of Danbury, and present land on which Danbury is located, all in Sec. 27, Leo Schrank land Sec. 28, Lola Durst land Sec. 26, and Norbert Brenner farm Sec. 31. C.E. Whiting and W. Ordway of Monona County also owned large amounts of land in this area.
Animals were left to graze on the prairies by day, often herded, and at night they were rounded up and yarded. Horses were often stolen, and they also were easy prey for the cougars. Fourth Thomas told this story:
"Grandfather had fine horses, and he kept them in a pasture along a creek bottom where there was shade from a few scattered willows and other trees. One day when he went to round up some of the horses, he found one mare with deep gashes that ran along her back from her withers to her rump. Evidence pieced together indicated that a panther had attacked her from a tree limb. The horse ran under low hanging branches in an effort to get the animal from her back, but in doing this the animal had clawed the horse from one end to the other."
Some of the Thomas land was too wet to farm. At one time there was a large lake extending from the present schoolhouse to present Main Street. Thomas E. Frentress, an other early timer, often told the story of the deer drinking at this lake and how he had at one time shot one. The Maple River then had two large oxbows or bends, and one bend almost extended into town limits by the Glen Patterson barn. The river was more shallow then, the banks more sloping, and there was a gravel bottom in many places. The Maple River was crossed, before we had bridges, in the bend that nearly reached the town limits. The river afforded excellent fishing of catfish, carp, buffalo, bullheads, etc. In time many of the sloughs dried up, and by 1877 T.K. Frentress said there were wheat fields from the Thomas farm in North Danbury to the river.
Dan Thomas moved to higher ground on the 80 acres now owned by Herman Sohm a couple of years after he came here. His buildings would be more centrally located to his farmland. He built a new frame house and plastered it. All lumber and material was hauled from Denison. He also built a livestock shelter and a corn crib. To make a fenced enclosure for his animals, he went to the river and cut willow trees then trimmed them and drug them home. He used the poles to make a fence. The poles were first notched and then the ends mortised. Dan Thomas also dug a well. This was not much of a problem in 1860s as the water level was close to the ground. All wells then were open wells. Water was brought up with a pail attached to a rope and a winch. In the winters these open wells were a problem. The water would freeze, and then a hole was chopped and the pail was submerged beneath the ice to get water.
Fourth Thomas said, "After getting settled in Iowa, Grandfather found it necessary to make frequent trips to Denison, Mapleton, Onawa or Dunlap to get supplies. A few other families were moving into the area, and they often asked Grandpa to haul supplies for them on the return trip. On each trip, he brought extra supplies. This business grew and finally one room of the house was set aside to store merchandise until it could be picked up by the parties ordering them. Later a small room was attached to the house to store the supplies, and he soon brought back more than had been ordered and started a trading post in his home. The trading post was started by 1866 or '67.
When the Thomas family arrived, Lovina was 7, Ida 6, and the baby Benjamin Franklin was 3 months old. A set of twins were born on February 1, 1866, and they were the first babies born in Listonville. One of the twins survived, Alice, and she weighed but 2 1/2 lbs. when born. Another baby born in 1868 died in infancy. A son, Charles Daniel, was born on January 7, 1871.
The Country School
Schools were very important to these first settlers, and as soon as they were settled on their land, a schoolhouse was built so that the children could attend school. The first school in Woodbury County was built in Smithland, Iowa. It was built near the cabin of Eli Smith in 1853. It was a log cabin structure, and it took 5 days to construct it. O.B. "Buckskin" Smith superintended the building of the school. Everyone turned out to help. A framework was built of logs, and large chunks of sod were used on the roof. Slabs of logs served as seats and desks, it had an earthen floor, and glass for the windows was obtained from a sunken steamship in the Missouri River near Sioux City. While the men constructed the school, the women prepared a dinner of wold turkey and corn pone. Only 5 or 6 children attended the school at first. None had suitable books. The school was operated by subscription money. Mrs. Hannah Van Horn was the first teacher, and she received $2 a week and Mr. O.B. Smith boarded and roomed her free of charge. A school fund commission managed the country school until 1858. The first schools were far apart, and they were built wherever some settler gave some of his land for a school. Some children walked as far as 4 miles to school.
The first school in Oto Township was a pole-like shed. It was built the year the Thomas family arrived. School was only held there in the summer months. Kate Ratchforf taught the school. Hay was used for the roof in that school. The teacher and pupils had to make a hurried exit one day because snakes were falling from the hay, and many were up above them with their tongues out and were hissing, etc. The teacher and pupils had intruded into their winter home.
In 1858 the first county superintendent, H.H. Chaffee was elected. In 1859 there were 248 pupils in Woodbury County, in 1863 there were 466 pupils enrolled, and in 1869 there were 1,020 pupils.
By 1867 Lovina Thomas was 10 and Ida 9, and neither of them had attended school. There were several other families, too, that had children of school age. Lot and Zella Chapman Koker, Davis and Lydia Herrington Chapman, John and Elizabeth Cline Bowser, William and Catherine O'Neill Smythe, and Abel Stowell were some of them. John and Theresa Townsend Herrington had come here with a son, John from Illinois in 1866. They bought land along the Maple River presently owned by Carl and Caroline Treiber Uhl. John Sr. gave a piece of his land. The school sat along the creek band across the road from the present Caroline Treiber Uhl farm. They wanted to be near water springs as they often relied on the springs for water. The school was built of lumber, some native. The name of the first school was Habana. This was an 8-grade school, and the principle subjects taught were reading, writing and arithmetic. Teachers were hired for a 3-month period. School started in September, but it was dismissed during the month of November, so all pupils could help their parents pick the corn. It resumed again in December. Many of the older boys and girls just went to school in the Winter months. Occasionally a married couple would attend school during the Winter months. A school term was 8.3 months.
Because so many older boys attended school, school masters were often hired as teachers. They could discipline these large boys, and often the school master reprimanded them with a willow stick in the woodshed. Isaiah "Pony" Davis was one of the first teachers in this school.
The schoolhouse in the 1860s and 70s was the center of all social activity. Often religious services were held there. Many debates were held there. The Hesperian Society, a debating society, would debate about some political question with some other team from Mapleton or some other town. Spelling bees and box socials, too, drew large crowds.
By 1872 more schools were needed as there were more families coming every year. A second school was built in Listonville in 1872. Dan Thomas sold a plot of ground to the county, and the school was built where St. Patrick's Church later was built. This school was named Maple Valley. It was wooden, and it had a bell and belfry. It was a small school, and it was not in use too long, as when the Danbury Public School was built in 1879, it was discontinued. One of the first teachers to teach here was Plinn Woodward who was born in Piero, taught school in Smithland, and then came to Listonville to teach in the Maple Valley School in 1876. This school was moved to the Albert Fisher farm in 1883 when the Danbury Catholics bought the property up on the hill.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Country School
   James Lee came in 1872, and he and some other settlers built the Lee School then just west of the Guy Fisher buildings. This school was later known as the Fischer School. This school partially burned a few years later. When they were going to rebuild, Albert Fischer told them he would give a school lot, but he wished they would move it to the south quarter section as the school children upset his cattle in the yards. Jake Virtue and Charley Schrunk then moved the building and built on some new parts.
   By 1875 school districts were formed. Danbury was in Liston township Independent District, and there were 6 schools in the district. Most schools changed their names whenever a new director was hired. On March 29, 1875, more school districts were formed, and from that time on, schools had to be built on the corner of a land section and no child was to walk more than 2 miles to school. Habana, which was later known as Babbe School, was moved to the corner section of the present Leo Seuntjens farm. This school was in operation until 1916. Then there was the Runyon School later Dose School, the Meisenhelder School, McAleer School, Lee-Fisher School, and a school north, the Harrigan School. All of these country schools were under the board of directors that managed the Danbury Public School. They hired the teachers and saw that the school was clean upon opening in the fall. There were at first few books and a diversity of classes; a class lasted about 9 minutes. The first schools had no dictionaries or blackboards. There was a lot of tardiness and absences. A child advanced by readers, usually 2 readers a year. Wages from $22 to $33 for 3 months of teaching, and teachers paid $2.50 a week for room and board. The School Fund Commissioner handled the money. There were no banks then. He hid the money used to finance the school in his home, usually in the straw tick. He paid the teacher her wages and bought fuel for the school. A wagon load of cobs cost a dollar. Usually one of the bigger boys started the stove in the morning and also carried water for the pupils.
   The Union Grove District was east of Danbury. The Gaylord School was no doubt the oldest. Before Danbury had a Methodist church, religious classes were held there, and the traveling ministers would come there to preach, baptize, etc. Many baptismal services were held at Schimmer's Lake. Services were held there by 1875. This school was later called Hoyt School. The Flood and Fessenbeck Schools were also in this district.
Formation of Liston Township and Listonville, Iowa
   Liston Township, 1868, was carved from Little Sioux Township. The Board of Directors ordered an election to be held after its formation on November 10, 1868. Election was possibly held at The Trading Post or at Habana School. In a description of Liston Township written in 1890 in "Woodbury and Plymouth County History," it said, "Just north of the townsite of Danbury for some years before the laying out of that town, there was a store that was kept by Dan Thomas and his family. The post office was in the store, and Dan Thomas was postmaster. At that time, the town was called Liston Post Office. This was the first store in the township. From this nucleus has arisen the progressive town of Danbury." In that first election in Liston Township, Dan Thomas was elected Justice of the Peace. When a new township was formed, a post office was also established in the township. Since Dan Thomas operated the only business in the township, he was appointed postmaster. It was then a name was given to the town. Since Liston Township had just been formed, they called the new little town Liston Town and sometimes it was called Listonville. The bedroom of the Thomas home became the first post office. A stagecoach which had been operating between Sioux City and Cork Hill then started coming to Liston Town, and it became the terminus point. The Thomas home became the stopping place for the stage which carried the mail, passengers and small freight. Benjamin Smith was stagecoach driver for many years.
   The old timers always said that Danbury started up on the hill, and this was true. Dan Thomas had the trading post and post office in his home. His home, too, was a sort of hotel. Any passengers coming in on the stage could stay there overnight and also be fed. The school, too, was up on the hill after 1872. The Thomas home was at the north end of present Thomas Street. Lot Koker was the first blacksmith, but location of his shop is unknown.
Liston Town Stages
   Dan Thomas made many trips to Denison for supplies for his store. He also made occasional trips to Ida Grove and Onawa. The first settlement in western Iowa to have train service was Council Bluffs in 1863. By 1866 this railroad line was extended to Denison. From 1863-1866 all supplies had been hauled by wagon from Council Bluffs to Denison. Each trip Dan Thomas made to Denison he carried mail for persons here who wanted to write to relatives back east, and he also brought mail back from Denison. Many of the first settlers took the Denison paper as a daily paper. He also hauled passengers back and forth until 1875. There then were no bridges over the Maple and Soldier Rivers. William Smith was mail carrier to and from Denison from 1875 to 1879.
Denison Stage - Ridge Road
   The Denison Stage followed a trail called the Ridge Road. The Maple River was crossed in present Glen Patterson pasture. The river here had gently sloping banks and had a gravel and firm bed. The trail then crossed the Herrington land southeast to Devil's Den Corner. The trail went south past the Woods and Treiber farms (John Castle farm 1862-1877). The trail crossed the Wiese farm diagonally from northwest to southeast and then turned east crossing the prairies to the Solder River. The Schoenfelt farm where Herb Teut lives at present was a stopping place. The horses were watered there and sometimes exchanged for fresh horses. Food could be obtained at Schoenfelts, also. The trail went southeasterly after crossing the Soldier where Ricketts, Iowa, is now located, then southeast and met up with the Ridge Road, a curving, winding road that followed the ridges into Denison. The Frederick Messenbrink home was a 12 mile station, and there was also a 6 mile station. Paradise Hill was on Ridge Road. This road was the first built in the area, and all work was done with dirt scoops, horses and mules. The road workers then set up camp close to work. When working one of the steep hills, one of the workmen was killed, so the hill was called Paradise Hill. The first bridge across the Soldier River was built in 1882. This stage and mail run was discontinued after the railroad come to Liston Town as mail then came in from the east by train.
Liston town-Sioux City Stage
   The first train came into Woodbury County the year Liston Township was formed, 1868. It was the Sioux City and Pacific, and it extended from Missouri Valley to Sioux City. This line was 75 miles long, and Sergeant Bluff, Salix and Sloan were on that line. Mail then came into Sioux City via train. There it was sorted, and once a week the stage traveled back and forth between Liston Town and Sioux City. Later, two trips were made a week, and soon it went to Sioux City one day and returned the next 6 days a week. Benjamin Smith was driver of this stage from 1868 to 1886. He came to Monona County , Maple Township, in 1864 and homesteaded land in the Maple Valley. He was Justice of Peace in Cooper Township in 1872. His wife, Sally died when they farmed in Monona County. They had a daughter, Elmira, too young to leave alone after the mother died, so Elmira was left with a neighbor who raised her, Mrs. George Castle or "Auntie" as everyone called her. A stage driver had very little time of his own, especially when they drove the stage 6 days a week. Their hours, too, were irregular. Changes in the weather affected their work. Benjamin Smith ran an ad in The Danbury Review, then known as the Maple Valley Scoop which read, "Stage leaves Sioux City Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays at 7:00 sharp. Stage leaves Danbury Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7:00 sharp. Fare 5¢ a mile. Light freight carried at reasonable rates."
   Benjamin Smith moved to Danbury in 1870s. He ran a meat market in Danbury at one time. He was mayor of Danbury 1884-1886. Joseph Welte remembered him well. He said Benjamin kept his stage and horses at the Levi Herrington Livery located on the corner of Liston and 2nd streets.
   The Sioux City stage went west out of Danbury past the John Bowser, Martin Smith, and the Iddings farm. The trail went through the present Ives farm, passing between the present house and barn. Oto was the first stop. Passengers and mail were picked up there. From Oto the stage went into Grant Township to Peiro, a small settlement with post office, church, cemetery, blacksmith shop, and a store. Peiro never incorporated, and the town slowly went out of existence. The stage stopped at the store which was managed by a Mr. Griffith. The next stop was in Climbing Hill, West Fork Township. This was the Half- Way Station. George Henry operated the hotel at Climbing Hill; passengers could eat and rest there. Fresh horses were hitched to the stage at Climbing Hill. The trail followed ridges of the hills, and an early history book said, "The great road from Danbury to Sioux City crossed the bluffs to West Fork Township and passed through Grant, and the road would do credit to a Virginia Hillside Worm Fences, or the track of a rattler through the grass." It was a very crooked path. The route also went through the Floyd and Woodbury Townships. This trail intersected with the Denison-Sioux City Stage Coach Route, or what was later called the Denison Highway, now Old 141. The trail then turned right past Camp Creek, then went in a northeasterly direction past Barlow Hall and into Sioux City. Barlow Hall was a baronial style mansion built by Alexander . Barlow who came to Sioux City in 1879 and purchased thousands of acres of land. He built this home 10 miles southeast of Sioux City, and it was quite a show place and an object for discussion from the earlier days of our history. This stage line operated until the railroad tracks were completed from Mapleton to Onawa in 1886. The completion of the Northwestern line between Carroll and Onawa gave Danbury connections to the east as well as to the west.
The Cross Roads Store 1873
   In 1873 the first building in present downtown business area was built by Dan Thomas. Dan Thomas hauled all lumber from Denison and built the store himself. It was a two-story building with basement. The store on first floor had a plank floor. The upper floor was to be used for a meeting hall, church services, and for a dance hall. The store was called the Cross Roads Store by many as a trail ran north and south in front of the store and east and west on the south side of the store. There was a scale on the south side of the store. The store was in the middle of a wheat field and there were sloughs all round it. A sign above the store said "Dan Thomas General Store," and the dance hall was called Thomas Hall. The stage stopped at the store after it was built, and passengers and mail were picked up there. The post office was also moved to the store from the Thomas home and the storekeeper acted as postmaster. A sort of bin was built into the south side of the store so that the stage driver, if he came in after the store was close, could put the mail into this bin so it would remain dry in case of rain.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Cross Roads Store 1873
A dance was held in Thomas Hall after the hall was completed. Scott Denison who married one of Dan Thomas' daughters furnished the music. Dan Thomas hired men to help him work his land that summer as the store he knew would be a success here. Dan prospered in both store and his own land. He had accumulated well over a thousand acres of land and had large fields of wheat. He also had to haul supplies for his store until 1877 when the railroad was extended into Danbury. The railroad was finished to Mapleton and the first train came through in November of 1877, but is was not until 1878 that supplies were shipped in numbers.
In 1874-75 Dan hired a Mr. Blackmar and wife Rebecca Coolidge Blackmar to come to Liston Town with their family and work for him. Mr. Blackmar worked in the store. His wife Rebecca died while they lived in Danbury. The Blackmars had three children, and Kitty the youngest was 9 at the time of her mother's death. She the lived with her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Coolidge (kin of President Coolidge) who also lived in or near Danbury. Kitty married Plinn Woodward on October 16, 1880 at Danbury. Plinn was born in Grant Township near Piero. He came to Danbury to teach at the Dan Thomas School about 1874 or 75. Plinn Woodward and Joe Carver managed the Thomas Store after Mr. Blackmar for a year or so, but Plinn had been studying law and had obtained his degree, so he moved his family to Sioux City. The store drew trade from a large trade area as it was situated where Woodbury, Ida, Monona and Crawford Counties met, and each year the business improved.
The early settlers seldom had money. All trading was done by bartering. The settler would bring the merchant 15 bushels of oats, 10 bushels of wheat, some potatoes or a carcass of meat in exchange for supplies needed. Dan Thomas hired a manager to run his store as he had so may interests. In 1882 he hired G.E. Carroll to manage the store. Mr. Carroll was inefficient ad crafty, ad Dan Thomas lost the store to him by 1884. Carroll then sold the store to Shepard, Field and Cook, merchants and salesmen from Council Bluffs. They sent Be Santee to Danbury to manage the sore, and Frank Gault was sent also to clerk in the store. They installed a scale on the south side of the store to weigh produce brought in by settlers for bartering. The barter system was used extensively for may years. Artificial money known as "chips" in dollar, fifty cents, quarters, etc. denominations were given to the settler for his produce, ad he bought his supplies with the chips as long as they lasted. He the brought in more produce to barter. Eggs and butter were used as barter for many years. When Dan Thomas opened his store in 1873, coffee was 10¢ a pound, eggs 4¢ a dozen, butter 12-15¢ a pound, and one could buy 3 pounds of beef steak for a quarter.
Life on the Prairies

Settlers began to arrive in the Maple Valley as early as 1854. The railroad had been extended as far as Galena, Illinois, from the east as early as 1855, and by 1860 it had been extended to the Mississippi River. The first railroad across Iowa from the east was completed in 1863, and Council Bluffs had the first railroad station in western Iowa. May of these settlers came from New York and were immigrants from the "Old Country." After some time in New York, they would come across country by rail or prairie schooner. May settled in Illinois or eastern Iowa for a time, and when new lands were opened up for sale, they would move on again so as to secure land. The most popular way of traveling was with the covered wagon as it was cheaper, and most of the settlers who came during these years were not as well to do as those coming later to buy railroad land. These settlers came after Woodbury County was surveyed, years 1849-1855 inclusive. The men who surveyed the land suffered many hardships such as Indian raids, inclement weather, swamps, mosquitoes, and prairie fires. Plots were made of the townships, and the plots were numbered, range given and numbered by section. The surveyors marked the corners of each section with a cornerstone on which was the description of the land. These plots were the sent to Surveyors and General Land Office in Washington, DC. Roads were not allowed for when surveyed. In due time these plots with instructions were went sent back to local land offices in Council Bluffs and Sioux City. The first land office was established at Council Bluffs, and the first settlers to come had to file there.
A land office was established in Sioux City in 1855. Dr. S.P. Yoemans was the registrar. The office was built of material and sent up the Missouri River on steamboat from St. Louis. The framework of the building was built in St. Louis, so it took but a short time to erect it after the boat reached Sioux City. The office was built on 6th ad Douglas streets. More land was sold in this office than at any other point along the Missouri River. During the palmy days, after the crash of 1857, time was literally money in Sioux City. It seemed everyone was interested in obtaining land. Business in this office could not be done in a normal way, because of the large crowds of settlers and speculators. A rule was made that applicants should register their names in order or arrival ad each applicant was given just 10 minutes to apply. A number of men not really caring to obtain land made good money from this procedure. They would register and line up, then later sell out their place in line for $50 to someone who had a warrant to obtain land. Men were just wild and the scramble was terrific. Some wanting land remained in the line up all night or sleeping there. Land was also sold at auction in 40 acre lots, and no bid was received for less than $1.25 an acre. Some land sold for as much at $3.50 a acre. As much as a township was sold in one day. The land office was moved to Des Moines in 1877. Year 1871 was the biggest year of sales and grants. The Sioux City Lad Office was used for a butcher shop after the office moved, but it was destroyed by fire in 1877.
In 1854, one thousand seven hundred ad forty-three covered wagons were counted a month on an Illinois prairie bound for Iowa. Woodbury County in 1854 had a population of 170. In 1860 there was 1,078 persons in Woodbury County. The population growth from 1861 until the end of the Civil War was practically at a standstill. The year the Dan Thomas family arrived, 1864, there were 1,291 persons in our county. After the Civil War there was a continual influx of settlers coming into Woodbury, Ida, Monona, and Crawford Counties. Before the end of the Civil War many came by wagon drawn by oxen as horses were hard to obtain during the war years.

A bartering account such as they had at the Dan Thomas General Store 1873
John Brown Dr. Cr.
Mar. 3 By 13 yds. cloth at $2.50 $32.50
Mar. 7 To 15 bu. oats @ 75¢ $11.25
Mar. 8 By 8 yds. cloth @ $3 $24.00
Mar. 11 To 40 bu. potatoes @ 80¢ - $32.00
17 bu. wheat @ $2 - $34.00 $66.00
Mar. 31 To balance due per bill rendered $13.15
$77.25 $77.25
Apr. 1 To balance $13.15
Apr. 2 To 15 bu. corn at 80¢ $12.00
Apr. 8 By 12 yds. fabric @ 55¢ $6.60
Apr. 14 By 5 yds. linen at $1.25 $6.25
Apr. 18 To 10 bu. wheat at $1.40 $14.00
Apr. 21 By 12 handkerchiefs @ 33¢ $3.98
Apr. 30 By balance due per bill rendered $22.34
$39.15 $39.15
May 1 To balance $22.34
May 1 To 4 lbs. turnips @ $1.40 $6.00
May 3 By cash for bill rendered Apr. 30 $22.34
May 4 To 3 tons hay @ $25 $75.00
May 7 By 6 pr. gloves @ 35¢ - $3.36
16 yds. ribbon @ 60¢ - $9.60 $12.96
May 17 To 185 lbs. beef at 9¢ $16.25 etc.
An order following Civil War, 1868, at the Trading Post:
To 6 yds. domestic @ 85¢ $5.10
To 1 ball candlewick 20¢
To 5 yds. red twill flannel at $1.25 $6.25
To 3 lbs. nails at 16 1/2¢ 50¢
To 1/2 lb. tea @ $3 $1.50
To 3 1/2 yds. hickory shirting @ 75¢ $2.63
To one plug of tobacco $1.20
To 19 yds. calico @ 45¢ $8.55
History of the Dan Thomas General Store:
1873-1882 Owner Dan Thomas
1882-1884 G.E. Carroll
1884-1890 Shepard, Field and C.C. Cook, all of Council Bluffs. C.C. Cook was a traveling salesman.
1890-1904 C.C. Cook bought out his partners, and he moved here and operated the store. I.B. Santee, Frank Gault, John Crilly, WIlliam Gibson had been managers.
1904-1907 John Crilly and William Gibson were owners.
1907-1911 John Crilly was owner, buying out Mr. Gibson
1911-1919 Approximate. William Jones and John Schrepher (went broke).
1919-1930s Approximate. Karl Paulsen, owner.
1930-1942 Matthew and John Keitges were owners.
1942-1955 Matthew sells out to John, and then John and his son, John Jr. John Jr. operated the store until his father's death. Store burned to ground March 13, 1955. Freeman Hall sits on location today.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Life on the Prairies

   There were a number of ways to obtain land. Some filed for land before seeing it. Others picked their land and then filed. Many pre-empted. This meant you filed and paid for a piece of land after you had farmed it for a year. Some obtained their land by "homesteading." A certain tract of land would become yours after living on it for 5 years. A man who had served in the War of 1812, Black Hawk, Mexican or Civil War could obtain a land grant free of charge or debt. You could purchase the land for cash through the General Land Office at Washington, DC. In 1873 and 1874 the government offered free land for Timber Culture. A free title was given a landowner if he had one fourth of the tract planted to trees at the end of a ten year period. Many of our timbers were started in this manner as the prairies were practically treeless when the first settlers came to this area.
   A squatter would claim a tract of land, and farm it, but not file for it. He claimed it as he had farmed it for a few years, but the squatters soon lost their land. A land grabber would hurry to file for land that he knew another party wanted. Luther Woodford of Sergeant Bluff had this happen to him.
   Mr. Woodford came to Sergeant Bluff in 1854. He was a clock peddler, and he had worked his way westward selling clocks. He married while living in Agency City, Wapello County in 1833. In 1854 he started west with wagon and team to look at the country. Upon reaching Council Bluffs he heard of a new settlement, Sergeant Bluff in Woodbury County. There were a few families already living there when he arrived. He selected a piece of good land and also a piece of timber. He returned to Wapello County that fall, and on his way home he entered his land at the land office in Council Bluffs. Early the next spring he started again for Woodbury County with two yoke of oxen, a team of horses, 3 wagons, some household goods, building materials and some farm equipment. His oldest married daughter, her husband and son came with him. Upon reaching Sergeant Bluff in May they began to build a log cabin. A minister offered to buy the land and cabin after he had the cabin built for $5.00 an acre, so Mr. Woodford sold it to him, thinking he would enter another piece of land to his liking when he returned to Wapello County that fall. A friend then told him that H.O. Griggs also wanted that piece of land and he had started to Council Bluffs that morning to file for it. Mr. Woodford started on horseback in hot pursuit. He passed Griggs in Sloan when Griggs stopped for dinner. Griggs passed Woodford at Ashton, south of Onawa. Mr. Woodford slept at the Little Sioux Ferry Crossing near Little Sioux after riding hard for 50 miles. He passed Mr. Griggs again the following morning. Both men reached the land office about the same time, and they then found out that both wanted a different piece of land. If both had wanted the same parcel of land, the first to make his signature on the papers would have been the owner.
   In the 23 years of business the land office transacted the following:

Land warrant locations 6,000
Cash entries 4,862
Pre-Emption 9,846
Agriculture College Scrip 1,505
Pre-emption of Unoffered Lands 7,122
Homestead entried 8,993
Homesteads proved up (soldiers) 4,493
Timber culture 307
   There were a number of families who came during years 1860 to 1877, before the railroad came. These settlers took land along both sides of the Maple and Soldier Rivers in Monona, Ida, Woodbury and Crawford Counties. Their farms were usually wet near the river, but they also had some higher ground which was farmable. When most of them arrived they lived in their wagons or a tent until an abode could be built, and some of the first homes were built near the river bank so they would be close to water. Most of these first settlers lived in a dug-out home for a number of years as there was not much timber. Some of them homesteaded, some pre-empted, and those with cash bought land.
   There were a number of large land owners who had bought thousands of acres from the government some time before the settlers came with the intentions of reselling it at a profit. Some of those owning large tracts were Thomas Porter, Thomas Davis, C.E. Whiting, Dan Thomas, Mary Bishop, and William Griffin. Most of the settlers bought either a 40 or 80 acre tract. Those first settlers were John and Elizabeth Cline Bowser, Woodbury; Benjamin and Sally Smythe 1866, William and Catherine O'Neill Smythe, 1866, Monona, then Woodbury; George and Catherine Deutzer Castle 1866, Monona, then Woodbury; James and Edna Smythe Lee 1872, Woodbury; Lewis Castle 1866, Monona; J.C. Priester 1866, Monona; George Nicholas Castle 1867, Monona, then moved to Listonville to operate a hotel 1879; John O'Donnell, Crawford County along Soldier; John F.A. Ahlwardt 1876, farmed first along Soldier, then moved to both Monona and Woodbury Counties; John and Theresa Townsend Herrington 1866, Woodbury; John Herrington Jr. 1866 married Mahala Koker after he arrived and they owned land in Woodbury; Louis and Susannah Hurst Iddings 1865, Monona; Jonathan Iddings 1867, Monona; Samuel, Thomas, James and George Iddings all came before 1873, Woodbury; Thomas E. and Amanda Dix Gray 1866, Woodbury; Samuel and Sarah Rice Cameron 1866, Monona County; Thomas and Martha Brazleton Frentress, Woodbury; Joseph Milton and Eleanor Cherrington Waddell 1872, Woodbury; Allen Clingenpeel 1874; James Clingenpeel 1874, Woodbury; John and Olive White Clingenpeel 1877, Woodbury; Aaron Wade and Eleanor Eakle Merrington 1875, Woodbury; Levi and Elizabeth McGrath Herrington, 1875, Woodbury; John and Cecelia Torrey Schrunk 1874, Woodbury; Martin Smith, wife and baby Belle, also brother Kyle 1875, Woodbury; Edward and Amanda Hayes Owens 1876, Ida; Adam and Bertha Draude Treiber 1877, Monona; Fritz and Wilhelmina Hillman Ohm 1877, Solder River in Crawford; William and Ellen Burke Penny 1875, Ida; Hiram Johnson 1870, Monona; Lewis and Melinda Denison 1871, Woodbury; William and Sophia Berndt Hillman 1877, Crawford and MOnona; Isaac and Emilie Hughs 1873, Monona; David and Caroline Munson Hasbrouck 1865, Monona; Griffith Condron 1875; John F. Shirley 1876; Peter K. Taylor 1870; Isaac and Jane Gaylord 1868, Woodbury near Ida County line.
   Others who came in these early years, but year unknown were James Pearce, R.L. Ingles, Henry and Minnie Chapman, George Chapman, Buel Chapman, Hiram Lampman, R.B. Mills, W.D. Procumier, George and Rachel Koker Procumeier, William Warmer, W.F. Churchill, Anderson N. and Loren L. Runyon, H.L. Brockway, J.F. Scott, S.J. Merritt, J.P. McCreegor, Charles Lorenzo and James Frederick, J.N. Bishop, George and Susie Quigley, C.C. Mobley, D.C. King, James, Horace and John Vredenburg, L.D. Marston, Fred Witt, John Andrews, Amos and Anna Goodwin, and Margaret Martin.
   The sod and dug-out house was built into a bank of dirt. It was more like a cave than a house. There were windows and a door in the front of the house which was made of logs or some cut lumber. Some roofs had sod on them to keep out rain and moisture. There were a few saw mills where the settlers could get lumber. Shingles were hand cut with a draw knife. They were broad and thick. Some built their chimneys of rock. Hinges and latches were wooden and hand made. Before glass was available windows were covered with greased paper or animal skins. The sod house usually had an earthen floor.
   The settler who built a frame house had to drive to Denison or Dunlap to get lumber before we had a railroad in 1877. The first frame houses were very small, 24' x 24'. There usually was one room downstairs, and a loft above for sleeping quarters. Much cottonwood lumber was used in the first buildings. Both Oto and Smithland had saw mills. Houses were never town down. They were sometimes moved and two of these small houses would be buffed together to make a larger home. Some of the first farmers went as far as Boone and Ames for lumber. The oxen were used for pulling the heavy loads of lumber as they could stand the heat better than the horses. The mosquitoes were very bothersome. Labor then was cheap. Nails were costly. One man had a basement dug for $4.00 and the laborer could have all the whiskey he wanted to drink. Whiskey cost then 40¢ a gallon.
1873 Grange Building
Pleasant View No. 7553

   It was very important that every farmer had a sod plow and a team of horses to farm. Some brought a sod plow with them. An organization known as the Grange was organized as early as 1867. The Grange was a rural family farm fraternity and a self help community group. Regular meetings were held in one of the settlers' homes. Here the settlers became acquainted, made new friends, and learned to know their old friends better. They joined in building a better place to live and raise a family. The organization seeked to improve the economic status of the rural people. A price list was given to every family four times a year. The members discussed issues of the day. A Grange building was built in 1867, and it was known as Grange Hall. It was 2 miles northeast of Old Mapleton. The Grange in Monona County possibly near the Lewis Iddings farm was chartered and it belonged to the Patron of Husbandry of Iowa. In 1873 it had a membership of 19 men and 11 women. The Grange was the first organization to give women equality with men. There later was a Junior Grange for women ages 5-14. E.E. Harkins was secretary of the Monona County Grange in 1873. The Grange also sold insurance and farm machinery. New settlers could go there and buy farming equipment. Groceries could also be ordered through the Grange, and due to the large orders, groceries could be bought at a discount. The organization strove for things benefitting the farm such as roads, tax questions, rural free delivery of mail, and farm cooperatives. The Grange was founded by a Mr. Kelley. There was also a farmer organization known as the Farmers Alliance. The group of men in Center Township, Monona organized, and they bought from Montgomery Ward for a 10% discount. Many of the settlers could not write, so a farmer, F.F. Roe who could read and write made out all orders for groceries and other needs. Men often stood in line at the Roe home waiting to have their orders made out for them. While waiting they indulged in a game of horse shoes.
   The preparation of the sod for planting after the sod was turned was done with small tools. To plant the corn, one went ahead with a hoe to make and space holes, a second person followed and dropped the seed, and a third person covered the seed. Wheat was sowed by hand. The fields were small at first, about 12 acres grain; wheat and oats were more important than corn as oats were needed to feed the horses and wheat was the staff of life. There was no market for corn. A small amount was ground for corn meal, used to make whiskey, parched for coffee, used for bartering, and it was often used for fuel. It took 5 people then to pick corn. They did not have bang boards. Two persons picked from each side of the wagon, and the fifth person followed behind and picked the down row. The average amount of corn picked per day was 30 bushels. To thresh grain, the straw was piled around a post. Horses or oxen were hitched to the post, and they went round and round the post until the grain was threshed out. The straw was then stacked and the grain put into a wagon. Those years there was so many black birds that they confiscated quite a bit of corn before the settlers got it picked.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

1873 Grange Building
Pleasant View No. 7553
The settlers raised some livestock for butchering. If they had extra cattle to sell, they drove them to Denison, the nearest railroad station. Hogs were butchered when cold weather arrived, and the carcasses would be hauled to Council Bluffs. Before Danbury had the railroad, all grain was hauled to Sioux City. Farmers having grain to sell would load the sacks on the wagon, and a couple of planks would be put on top of the corn. The planks were a necessity sometimes when crossing a stream. The farmer would start for Sioux City early in the morning using four horses to pull the wagon load of grain. The stage coach route was followed. He would reach Camp Creek before night fall. Camp Creek was on the Denison highway, or Old 141. It was a favorite camping place about 15 miles on this side of Sioux City. The next morning the wagon went on to Sioux City, and it reached the elevator about noon. After getting some ground corn and wheat and getting unloaded, the settler again started for Camp Creek where he camped again the second night. The third day he arrived home. If the water was high, he unloaded the sacked grain, made a bridge of the plank, and he carried the grain across as he did not want water to get into his wagon box for fear the grain would get wet and he would be docked on the price at the elevator. He reloaded the wagon once on the other side.
Cattle and horses grazed on the prairies. There were no fences built until 1884. Many men made their living as cattle and sheep herders. The men lived in shanties or tents on the prairie. They slept with a gun at their side for protection from wolves, and in the first years they feared the Indian. Sometimes a dog was their only companion for a long period of time. Charles Starkweather, Jacob Sohm, George Castle, Louis Plog, Evan Williams, and William Hillman were all herders. The children of a settler often herded the cattle during the day and brought them home at night.
The settler coming from 1854 had to travel as far as Council Bluffs, Panora, Dunlap or Fort Dodge for supplies. The staples then were matches, nails, cloth, kerosene candlewick, chewing tobacco, smoking tobacco, and whiskey which was popular as it was their only medicine. The railroad came to Council Bluffs by 1863. Freight wagons had hauled supplies across the state, but as the railroad neared the freight wagons, they did not have to go as far. By 1866 supplies could be bought in Denison, and by 1877 the train trackage came into our own town.
The settlers suffered many hardships. There was always the worry of prairie fires when the countryside was still virgin prairie. One that the old timers talked about in this area was the fall of 1856. The settlers had put prairie grass in stacks as hay to be fed to the livestock through the winter. The Fall of '56 was very dry. A settler, by shaking the hot coals from his pipe, set off the fire. It was a windy day. The fire started near the Monona-Woodbury County line near Smithland, and after reaching the Maple River, it came up the valley past the Liston Township line and into Ida County. It extended over an area of 15 miles in width. The flames they said leaped 20 feet into the air, and burning grass would fly even higher. The whole countryside looked red, and the thick black smoke obscured the sun's rays during the daytime, making it seem like twilight. The settlers had quite a loss as many of the buildings were destroyed and all of their hay stacks burned. Some of the settlers left again at this time as they had no feed for their livestock. Some lived with friends until the following Spring. The loss of feed for the livestock was a great hardship. The settlers learned to fight fire with fire. A second fire would be started in the path of the first fire, and when the first fire reached the area of the second burned area, it would stop. This method was called "back setting." They also plowed furrows several feet wide around their farms. Sometimes furrows were criss crossed. When the fire reached the plowed area, it would stop. Lightning and sparks from the train locomotive caused many of the fires. The railroad tracks would sometimes stop a prairie fire.
The grasshoppers plagued the settlers from 1867 to 1877, some years being worse than others. In 1872 they came in two droves, one about noon, and the second in the evening. It seemed a cloud suddenly obscured the sun's rays. Then a horde of hungry grasshoppers came out of the sky, and suddenly they were everywhere. Harnesses, sacked feed, etc. were carried into the homes. They tried to rid themselves of the pests by carrying a stretched wire or rope over several rows of corn hoping to scare the grasshoppers away. They drug 20' scrapers filled with kerosene over the pastures and hay land. They beat pans, making loud noises, hoping to scare the hoppers away. There were so many on the newly built railroad tracks that the trains' wheels would slip, and the train could not move. August Ahlwardt told the following story about grasshoppers:
"In 1875 we were ready to start harvesting when the unexpected came. Something came over the sun that looked like a cloud. It was grasshoppers, and they were hungry. Now, I will tell you a few things that they did, and I will swear to our Creator that it is the truth, so help me God. They came soon after noon, and by night about sundown there was not a leaf left on the corn. On the west side of the house where the sun shone, you could not put your finger against the house for grasshoppers. Father started to cut wheat to save what he could. Fritz drove the team while Father and Uncle Fritz Ohm bound. By night Brother Fritz ha no brim on his hat and no back left in his shirt. He would brush them off, some in front with the movement of his arms. They also damaged the harness as they like leather. In 3 days the wind changed to their favor, and they left as they came, all in a swarm, and what a noise they made as they all rose at once. I remember as we walked among them, they would all fly in or crawl in one direction. Father said that if the wind had not changed while they were over us, they would have gone on, but they could not fly against the wind. They had done their work well. There was no feed left for man or beast, and the prosperous farmer of a few days before was in bad shape. Many thought the hoppers had laid eggs and the hoppers wold plague them again the next year, so many decided to sell out and move on."
The sloughs and bogs were breeding places for the mosquitoes, and the mosquitoes, too, plagued both man and beast. Small babies were covered with mosquito netting. The frog population, too, was exceedingly large because there were so many wet bogs. The year 1858 was very wet, and they said there were so many frogs along the Little Sioux River that it was impossible to walk without stepping on them. They got into the settlers' homes and were in cupboard drawers, closets, etc. There were many flies, also. As there were many horses, there, too, were many horse manure piles. These were excellent breeding places for the flies. Bed bugs hibernated in Cottonwood trees, and if a home was built of Cottonwood lumber, the bugs would come out of the wood when the weather got warm, and they, too, created quite a problem. There also were many wolves and cougars. The wolves traveled in packs, and they would attack animals, even horses pulling a wagon. The settlers always carried a gun to protect themselves from wolves and often ran their teams to get away from attack.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007Hardships
   Mr. Van Horn told the following, an experience with wolves and mosquitoes:
   "One morning I started out early for Council Bluffs with a load of dressed hogs. I wanted to reach the Little Sioux River below Little Sioux, IA, before nightfall. It rained that afternoon, and the gumbo in this area caused me a considerable mount of trouble. The gumbo rolled up on he wagon wheels and in the spokes so badly that I had to use the hatchet several times to clean gumbo from the wheels, as the load became too heavy for the horses to pull. The mosquitoes came out that evening in large swarms. When I arrived at the Little Sioux ferry crossing, someone had placed poles in the center of a man-made bridge to keep travelers from crossing the bridge at night (a charge was made to cross the river then). The team became crazy from fighting skeeters. I removed the harnesses from the horses so that they could roll to fight off the skeeters. I thought I must do something the help the horses, or the skeeters would kill them off by morning. I went to Mr. Gamet who lived on the other side of the Little Sioux and told him my story. He said I must build a smudge. We went to his barn and loaded his hay. By setting the hay on fire and throwing on green prairie grass, a good smudge was produced. I continued the smudge all night. On this trip ravenous wolves attacked and pulled several carcasses of meat from my wagon before I could kill some and drive the others away. The damaged meat caused me to take a half cent dock on my pork. I received 2¢ a pound for the undamaged meat and 1 1/2¢ a pound for damaged carcasses."
   There are many diseases that plagued these early settlers and no doctors in Danbury until the early 1880s. Lung Fever, Small Pox, Whooping Cough, Consumption, and Black Diptheria were all contagious.
   Mrs. George Castle, or Auntie Castle as she was known, was the settlers' only doctor and nurse that these first settlers had. She was a mid-wife and they said a doctor of sort. She delivered hundreds of babies and went to homes to care for the sick when anyone was ill. She went to homes from Old Mapleton to Danbury. From 1867 when they came here until 1873 the George Castles owned a farm nearer Mapleton, but they sold it in 1873 and came to Liston Town. They lived with John Castle 1873-1877, and Auntie cared for John Castle who lived on what was later known as the Treiber Homestead. The Castles moved into Danbury when their nephew, Adam Treiber arrived to take over the John Castle farm in 1877. Auntie made her own medicines and used many home remedies. She made a brew in which some patients had to soak their feet. She saved the life of a child bitten by a rattlesnake. Joe Welte said she saved his life once when a child. He had pneumonia. She would travel miles to help others, often walking the distance between the homes. She had no fear of entering a home where there was a contagious disease. She used whiskey as a precautionary measure.
   Black Diptheria took its toll of lives in these first years. A family would lose 3 or 4 children within a week. Auntie cared for 3 of her grandsons, children of Nicholas Castle in 1879. The boys died within the week. In 1891 the Ludwig Hartleben family lost 3 grown children of the dread disease. The Frank Erlemeiers, Kings, and James and Olive Clingenpeel also lost at least 3 children to the disease. The Clingenpeel children were buried in the Heisler Cemetery, and Mrs. David Hasbrouck sang at their funeral which was held in the Heisler Cemetery. Homes were quarantined if anyone in the home had one of these dread diseases. Auntie entered many of these homes, and she helped lay out the dead and place them in coffins which were usually made by the father. The graves were usually dug at night so no one would come near the caskets as they did not want the disease to spread.
   The Hartleben family had three dead at one time, all in caskets, but not buried. One casket was in the back bedroom, another on the porch, and the third in the alleyway of the corn crib. These children died in February and were buried soon after their death, but their funerals were not held until April. They were buried in the Newmann Cemetery, now Otto Cemetery.
   Joseph O'Dougherty and wife came to Danbury when the town had just begun. He was a real estate agent, sold insurance, and was Justice of the Peace in Danbury at least 15 years. They had sons Michael, Daniel, Charles, Joseph, George, and Frank, and one daughter, Mary. The oldest boy was grown and had secured work in the Sexton Confectionery, and after it was sold he worked in Braigg's Store. He became ill, was always tired, and soon became pale. The doctors diagnosed his sickness as Consumption. He died about 1911, and soon after his death another son took the disease, etc., and in a few short years all of the six sons had died of Consumption or what we know now as T.B. (Tuberculosis). The only cure known then was plenty of sunshine and rest.
   In 1966, I, Viola Dimig, had a letter from Alma L. Castle, the wife of Auntie Castles, grandson, and I would like for you to share it with me.
Bremerton, WA
Nov. 19, 1966
Dear Mrs. Dimig,
   I am Alma Castle, George Nicholas Castle's daughter-in-law (Nicholas Castle operated Danbury's first hotel, Castle House). I have two sons bearing the Castle name, but no Castle grandsons. George N. Castle's son, Mack and I were married in August 1906. We had seven daughters and two sons. Josephine Castle, Mack's sister, was six years older than Mack (Josephine and Mack were children when our town first began). Father and Mother Castle went to Danbury from a farm near Mapleton after losing three boys of Diptheria, and started a rooming house. Father had a livery stable and hotel when Danbury was not much more than a name. Father Castle's mother was a mid-wife and a doctor of a sort. It seemed hundreds of mothers were dependent on her for the delivery of their babies. Money was scarce, and their thanks and later a baby picture paid her for her time and work. Auntie's sister, Anna Fleischman and her husband George Fleischman lived in Danbury, also. Auntie Castle and the Fleischmans were the responsibility of my precious mother-in-law, Elmira Smith, for many years (Elmira was the daughter of Benjamin Smith, the stage coach driver). From what I learned, Mother Castle served good food in the hotel, Castle House, and it brought in a generous support along with the rooming accommodations. Uncle Fleischman, who often cared for Mack, spoke only German, so when Mack started to school that was the only language he knew. Miss Jessie Smith taught him English. Through the Castles, I met a Jonas family. G.N. Castle was mayor of Danbury at one time, and Hi Jonas was his policeman. Mother Castle, Mrs. Nick Castle, died in 1918, not too long after her daughter Josephine's marriage to Mr. Runge. Father Castle wanted us to make our home in Washington. He was so proud of his grandchildren. He died in November 1932. Josephine had no children. Mack had a fatal heart attack in April 1937. He would be 83 years old. I am still living in our home at Bremerton.
Alma Castle

Heisler Cemetery 1870
   There had been a number of deaths in Maple Valley, and these first ones were usually interred on the family farm. In 1870, after the death of a child, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Heisler started a cemetery in Cooper Township, Monona County. Mr. and Mrs. John Heisler donated the plot of ground. The child died on March 4, 1870. The Henry Heislers planted a number of Walnut trees in the cemetery. Lewis Castle, who died on October 6, 1870, was the second person to be buried there.
   Traveling ministers and priests came by horseback to teach the gospel. They traveled in all kinds of weather, climbed hills, plunged through swamps and swollen streams, and lay out under the stars at night, sometimes wet and hungry. He slept with saddle blanket as his bed, saddle for a pillow, and his coat as a cover. He had to hunt to survive. Rev. Havens, pioneer minister, carried his Bible, hymn book, and text. The priest carried the necessities to say Mass. Services were held in the home of some settler. The first ministers and priests traveled in fear of the Indian, but they could draw a bead or use a knife on a savage in order to protect themselves as quickly as any guide or scout. Rev. Black was the pioneer preacher of Northwest Iowa, and he was followed by Elder Landon Taylor who was appointed Presiding Elder of the Sioux City District in 1856. He was on the Sergeant Bluff circuit until the summer of 1858. He farmed and preached to all settlers along the Little Sioux Valley, and that included Liston Township which, in 1858, was a part of Correctionvillle Township. Rev. Taylor told this story about one of his early experiences in 1857 in Liston Township. Taken from History of Woodbury and Plymouth County. (Methodist)
   "I traveled through the country in 1857 at the time of the big Indian scare when everything was in excitement and when every swaying bush and every stump in the woods assumed the form in the imagination of bloody savages. Indians were thought to be lurking behind every tree and hiding among the tall grasses of the prairie. Every horseman in the distance was viewed as the advance guard of a horde of relentless redskins, and the cry, "The Sioux are coming" was heard everywhere. The truth was, the Indians were not within 100 miles of Woodbury County, but they were fleeing northward after the Spirit Lake affair, for when they realized the enormity of their crimes and ascertained that the settlers were after them with blood in their eyes, they fled as fast as they could from the vengeance they feared would overtake them.
   Just at this time, I, Brother Taylor, filled with the Indian scare, had the occasion to cross the country a little north and east of Liston, and while passing along a long, lonely road, met with an adventure. I was riding home from Denison, IA, on horseback. The road was along a willow creek while before me I could see some distance. About 30 rods ahead of me in an opening of some willows, I saw my enemy, sure enough. The main road would have taken me to within 8 rods of the Indians' concealment. What should I do? My thoughts ran fast. Fortunately, the road turned inward on a curve behind a bluff out of their sight, and at the center of the curve a ravine ran to the left which would take me to the road again about a half mile farther down. You may rest assured that I improved my advantage, and Fanny, my horse, went up that road with speed. Within a few minutes I was back on the trail out of danger, and I thanked God for my rescue."
   Liston Town by 1869 was included in the Arcola Circuit which was organized at a Des Moines Conference. J.M. Rust served as preacher for the circuit that year. Arcola was a small settlement in the hills west of Turin between Castana and Onawa. This group of farmers, all interested in religion, planted their crops and harvested them. In the fall they set out on horseback and held religious services in different towns along the Maple Valley. Towns on Arcola Circuit were Castana, Old Mapleton, Liston Town (Danbury) and Ida Grove. H.D. Brown was the preacher sent in 1871. At a conference in Sioux City in the fall of 1872, Brother J.W. Emmer was preacher in charge. At the third annual conference held in Fort Dodge, J.W. Crone was appointed pastor (Arcola was now included in the Northwest Iowa Conference). In 1873 the 4th conference was held in Dakota Territory at Yankton, and D.P. Billings was appointed pastor.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007

   In 1875, 11 appointments were made for two weeks' work. Services would be held alternately at school house mentioned: Galords (later known as Hoy School east of Danbury), Grange Hall about 2 miles northeast of Mapleton, Grant, Kennebec, Arcola (Turin), Wiley, Cutter, Belvedere, Moorheads (Ida Grove), and Putneys. On October 1, 1876, class leaders were appointed for the circuit, and they were to hold services at the different points. Leaders were from Belvedere, Soldier, Crab Settlement, Arcola Days Mill, Grant, Center Township, Moorhead, Kennebec Town, Mapleton Township, Ida County, and Liston Town in Woodbury County. Meetings were held then every other Sunday.
   The first Catholic missionary to visit Sioux City and surrounding areas was Father De Smet. He came up the Missouri River from St. Louis in 1839, and he was the first priest to say Mass in Northwest Iowa. There actually are no records of it, but from bits of information here and there, it was thought Fr. De Smet offered that first Mass in the cabin of Theophile Bruguiere. Fr. Christian Hoecken S.J., a fellow missionary of Fr. De Smet, came to this area in 1850. He kept records that were preserved, It was on his visit in 1850 that he baptized several children of Theophile Bruguiere and his Sioux wives, Blazing Cloud and Dawn. The record of Fr. Hoecken of St. Louis said the following: "On the great river of the Sioux, November 11, the following have been baptized:

  1. Honore, son of Honore Ayot and one of the savages of the Sioux, born Dec. 1, 1848.
  2. On the same day, Celina Theresa, daughter of the same couple, born June 12.
  3. David, son of Francis Bersier and Elizabeth La Cherite, born May 3, 1849.
  4. Joseph, son of Theophile Bruguiere and one of the savages of the nation of the Sioux, born Feb. 16, 1849.
  5. Eugene, son of the same couple, born May 22, 1849.
  6. Jean, son of the same couple, born Jan. 10, 1850.
  7. Andreas, son of the preceding couple, born Nov. 10, 1850.
  8. Marie, daughter of Theophile Bruguiere and one of the savages of the Sioux, born February 1845.
  9. Paul, son of William Paul and one of the savages of the Sioux, born February 12, 1849.
  10. Elizabeth, daughter of the same couple, born in June 1849.
  11. Marie, daughter of Jean Brczeau and one of the savages of the Sioux, born Feb. 12, 1849.
  12. Narcisse, son of August Traversier and Felicite Beseant, born Oct. 1849.
  13. Marguerite, daughter of Joseph Jonet and one of the savages of the Nation of the Sioux, born in Aug. 1850."

   These were children born in the Indian settlement on the Theophile Bruguiere farm. French fur traders had come from Canada, and many of them married Indian women. They had been married by Indian marriage ceremony, and some of the men had more than one wife which was an Indian custom. These families of the Sioux Nation wanted Fr. Hoecken to establish a mission at their settlement, and they offered to help financially. One man offered $300 a year if he would establish a mission and school as he wanted his children educated. Fr. Hoecken returned to St. Louis and pleaded with his superior to establish a mission in the Sioux nation.
   Fr. Hoecken and Fr. De Smet set out for the Upper Missouri again June 7, 1851. While making this trip up the Missouri in steam boat, cholera broke out aboard. Fr. Hoecken cared for others aboard, and he took the disease and died of it. He was 43 years old. His burial was performed on the banks of the Missouri River on June 19, 1851, with all the ceremonies of the Catholic church. He was buried in a thick wooden coffin which was tarred within. Approximately 100 persons assisted in his burial.
   The first mission to be established in the area was at Jackson, NE, and it was called St. John's, later St. Patrick's. Fr. Meremiah Tracey was put in charge. Sioux City was a mission to St. John's a number of years. A priest from Jackson visited Sioux City and said Mass in various places. First settlers in Sioux City were mostly Irish and of Catholic faith. They decided on June 27, 1862, to build a church of their own. They bought their first property for $25. The men cut timber on the Nebraska side of the river and floated the logs to a sawmill at the mouth of Perry Creek. The church received just half the logs, and the men cutting demanded the other half.
   Fr. John Curtis was the first resident priest at Sioux City in 1870, but he had visited Sioux City, too, while it was a mission. Frs. Gunn, Hayes and McNulty followed Fr. Curtis. Fr. Lenihan was appointed resident priest of Sioux City in 1872, and Fr. Baron was his assistant. These two priests visited this area, and they were influential in getting a church built in this area. They traveled back and forth to Sioux City by stagecoach and then visited Catholic homes in Maple and Soldier valleys either by horseback or with team and buggy. Mass was said in the homes until a church was built n 1881. Fr. Baron purchased a Catholic cemetery, St. Patrick's in 1878 before Danbury had a church or resident priest.
   United Brethren ministers also visited this region.
The Women's Work
   The women, besides doing the housework and caring for the family, worked in the fields to help plant the crops, put up the hay, kept the garden clean, and helped harvest crops in the fall. To wash, she had to carry all water from the creek or well, and she washed all clothes on the wash board. The gardens were large as they raised enough vegetables to keep the family through the winter. Many vegetables were stored in root cellars. Corn was cut from the cob and dried. Cabbage was made into kraut in the fall, and each family would make at least a 50 gallon barrel of kraut. Pickles were salted, and later in the winter they would be freshened out with clear water and then placed in a pickling solution. They had to bake bread often as all baking was done in the home. Wild fruits were gathered during the summer - wild grapes, plums, raspberries, and gooseberries - and they were either dried or made into jams and jellies. During the winter months several head of hogs were butchered, and the meat was preserved in several ways, either by salting down, frying down, smoking, etc. Cornbread was a popular food. Every family raised a patch of sugar cane and made some sorghum. Most of the settlers did not have the money to buy sugar to preserve jam and jelly, so sorghum was used on bread and cornbread. Honey and nuts were often gathered in the fall. Each settler had a cow or two, and the women made butter and cheese. There were no separators. The milk was strained, then poured into crocks, and when the cream came to the top, it was ladled off. The can of cream was often hung in the well so it would be cool when the women of the house wanted to churn. Potatoes, butter and eggs were often used as barter at the stores. The women, too, usually split the wood and carried it into the home.
   Habana, the first country school, was the entertainment center from 1864 to 1872. Prayer meetings, spelling bees, debates, box socials, etc. were held there. These first settlers always held a dance upon completion of a barn or larger building. Dances were also held in homes. There was always someone with a violin or accordion to play at the dances. Ice skating was popular during the winters. The many small lakes and the Maple River were popular as skating rinks. Women had quilting bees. Square dancing was the most popular dance then. The men and boys liked to hunt and trap. The young boys had a "swimming hole" on the Maple River. They also liked to play baseball and did so by 1880.
   The Habana School near Listonville was the center for all debated from 1867 to 1872. In 1872 the Maple Valley school was built in Listonville, and debates were held there. The club was known as Hesperian Debate Club, and two prominent young men who first lived near Mapleton and later moved to Danbury were members of the club, and they helped to write a history telling of the Maple Valley and its growth from 1867 to 1871. These young men debated about the subject confronting our nation. Joseph Shoup and Joseph Welte were two debaters from Danbury by 1890.
   The Mapleton Milestone said the following about the formation of this club: "A permanent debate club in Maple Township, Monona County was first mentioned by Q.A. Wooster and discussed by William Smith, George N. Castle, A.D. Balke, D.A. Hall, George Dedrick, and C.H. Lee on the evening of December 13, 1871. Q.A. Wooster was appointed a committee to draft a constitution and by-laws. These men met at the Priester School (near Lewis Iddings farm) on December 3, 1871, to organize the debate club, and the two Danbury men, William Smith and George N. Castle helped to organize the Hesperian Society and also helped to write The History of Maple township from years 1854-1871. They were members of the Debating Club also. The men met again on December 17th, and Q.A. Wooster made the motion that George Nicholas Castle be made the president, pro-tem. The meeting was called to order by Mr. Castle and the following officers were elected: William Smith as president, D.A. Smith as vice president, Charley H. Lee as secretary, and Q.A. Wooster as treasurer. The first Mapleton club wrote a very interesting history of Maple Township, covering years 1854-1871. Maple Township during those years included both Maple and Cooper Townships in Monona County, and since Cooper borders LIston Township in Woodbury County and we are also in the Maple Valley, the facts revealed in the history are quite interesting.
History of Maple Township 1854-1871 from Mapleton Milestones
   Beautiful is the location of this township, the Maple River flowing through its center, and from this fine stream that the township derived its name. The level and fertile bottom lands lying on each side of this stream and not surpassed by any in United States. Away from the bottom of the township is somewhat broken, but everywhere nature has dealt out fairly with its beauty, and no wonder the Red Man sadly left the Maple Valley and its hunting grounds to be forever banished from its glorious view. Timber in general is scarce although we find some groves in some parts of the township. The varieties are Oak, Elm, Hickory, Linn, and Soft Maple. Water for man and beast is in abundance, and the climate is healthy.
   Up to the year 1855, no white man had made any settlement in what is now Maple Township, until the first day of August that year when William H. Wilsey and family arrived and pitched their tent on the piece of ground on which they now live, and amidst all the dangers and hardships of pioneer life, commenced to lay the foundation of their future home. But it seems Maple Township was the destination of others, and their arrival no doubt gladdened the hearts of Mr. and Mrs. Wilsey and family. Among them were William McCleerey, Thomas Maynard, and Esom Lee, all of whom are residing here today. The hardships that those early settlers had to endure are hardly imaginable. Imagine, dear readers, the inconveniences and dangers those pioneers were exposed to. Indians were traveling the country in every direction, and whoever heard of their cruelty and depredations stood in constant fear of every imaginable object that would present itself to their view.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

History of Maple Township 1854-1871 from Mapleton Milestones
   The nearest settlements at this time were Smithland in Woodbury County and Belvidere in this county, the former 7 miles distant and the latter 14 miles. But quite different was the distance for those early settlers to procure bread stuff, an article they could not do without. Imagine, dear reader, going to Panora to the mill, a distance of 60 miles. Here is an act that shows determination and fortitude of the early settlers.
   The first house was built by Mr. Wilsey, and it still stands as an emblem of pioneer life. With a will, those early settlers went to work, broke up prairie, built homes, and provided themselves for the coming winter. William McCleerey sowed wheat on some of his breaking, but owing to the dry weather, it turned out to be almost a failure. Courage seemed to be the watchword, and if you fail, try, try again. The year 1856 closed with no incidents worth mentioning, excepting those duties which were required by everyone, with an occasional hunt by which the early settlers provided themselves with meat, and as game in those days was plentiful, no doubt all got the usual amount. Winter passes and spring comes, and with it the monotony of indoor life and a variety of duties inside and out, new and old, now present themselves. Wheat was sowed by William McCleerey again, which owing to a good season turned out to be a fair crop, and it was threshed or tramped out with oxen as there were no horses then in the settlement.
   The full organization of the township was perfected November 1856, and the first election was held at the home of Mr. Wilsey. The number of votes cast was 12. James Buchanan, the Democratic president, had a good majority. Township officers elected were James Scott, Justice of Peace; William H. Wilsey, Assessor; Hart Warren Clerk, Benjamin Davis, David Harries, and J.C. Melton, Trustees; and William Wilsey, Supervisor.
   A schoolhouse was built by Mr. Wilsey for which he was awarded the sum of $80, but it was scarcely finished before it was destroyed by fire. School was first held in the home of Mr. Wilsey, and Miss Sarah Beatley was teacher in the year 1858, and the next teacher was Miss Sarah Porter at the home of J.C. Melton. The first mail route was established in 1857, running from Panora in Guthrie County to Sioux City in Woodbury County, making a stoppage at Mapleton. The first reaper was owned by Mr. Wilsey, and the first threshing machine by Theodore Boslaugh and John Beatley, and the same machine or remnants can be seen at the residence of S. Heisler. The first marriage was Mr. Hamlin to Miss Sarah Beatley, daughter of James Beatley. The first birth in the township was the son of Esom and Elizabeth Lee. The first death was the son of Mr. Warren who was buried on the Wilsey farm, and this piece of ground has since been used as a burial ground. The first litigation in the township was between Mr. Kellogg, plaintiff, and Mr. Wilsey, defendant, before James Scot Esq. and the case was decided in favor of the defendant.
   An interesting incident occurred during the winter of 1857-58 which shows the true friendship which the settlers had toward one another. It seems that winter set in quite severely and with an unusual amount of heavy snow which threatened to stop all communication between each other. Mr. Warren and family resided on which has been since the French Place, now owned by John C. Priester. Mr. Wilsey, Henry and Abe Carter and David Harries became alarmed about the Warrens as there was some sickness in the family, so set out at once to reconnoiter. Finding no Indians or wild beasts to intercept their progress, they finally reached their journey's end. They found the home and inmates covered with a mountain of snow. By strong efforts they finally succeeded in entering and found the inmates were still alive. As it was impossible for a team to get there to take Mrs. Warren who was ill to Mr. Wilsey's house where it was warm, they procured a hand sleigh, put the bedding and Mrs. Warren thereon, and, fixing a rope by which to pull, they, with their united efforts, finally reached Mapleton where they deposited their burden in Mr. Wilsey's house.
    In the year 1859 the population of Maple township amounted to 23 voters . Improvements were rapidly pushed forward, among which was the building of a new schoolhouse to replace the one burned down. Mr. Wilsey took the contract for $250. According to assessments, the value of real estate amounted to $4,806, and that of personal property was $3,187. Others who came to the settlement on Mr. Wilsey's farm were John Beery, John Heisler and brother Mr. French, and Mr. W.L. Ring. At the general election the following township officers were elected: J.R. Boslaugh, Justice of the Peace; Theodore Boslaugh, Constable; S.J. Colby, William McCleerey and J.R. Boslaugh, Trustees; J.C. Melton, Road Supervisor; and John A. Heisler was appointed Clerk. When Center Township was carved from Maple Township in 1874, John R. Boslaugh became the supervisor in Center Township, and William R. Ring was supervisor in Maple Township, Monona County.
   It should perhaps be necessary to show you when the first road was laid out in Maple Township. At the December term of county court, 1855, a petition was presented for a road commencing at Ashton via Belvidere, thence up the Maple to the Ida County line in a direction to intercept the state road running from Fort Dodge to Smithland. This was acted upon by the appointment of Eli Carr as commissioner with instructions to report at the next April term, but when he failed to do so at a special meeting called on the 26th of June, Joseph Dungen was appointed in Carr's place with instruction to report in July. In the August term, the report on Road No. 3 was recorded as Joseph Dungen had plotted. The road started at Little Sioux, Harrison County rather than at Ashton. This was the first established road in Maple Township and the third road for Monona County. The next road for which there is a record was March 5, 1858, two petitions were presented for roads, one from Smithland to strike the east side of the county line toward Denison, signed by John Meeker, and the other petition for a road to run through Mapleton, and it was signed by August Beatley and others. B.D. Hollbrook was appointed commissioner on both roads. There were no other roads established in the township until 1865, when J.P.D. Day acted as commissioner on the east side of the river. Other roads have since been established, so now we have 40 miles of road which required 9 bridges that are or should be 25' long.
   Maple Township with nearly all western localities has had it its share of paper towns. The first on the list was Mapleton which was set apart to be held and used as a townsite on the 13th day of July, 1857, and located on the southwest quarter of the northeast quarter of Sec. 14, and on the northeast quarter of Sec. 23, Twp. 85, Range 43 (William H. Wilsey farm). This town prospered for a while to the extent of 3 or 4 houses. Soon there came a formidable rival in the shape of another city claiming a share of the business. For, on the 27th day of July, 1857, St. George was proclaimed the metropolis of the township. These two city enterprises are said to have caused no little animosity between their prospective proprietors which at different times exhibited itself outwardly. But these days of city life are over, and neither one as yet is the capital of the nation, and it confidentially whispered that New York and Philadelphia have nothing to fear on account of their commercial and manufacturing interests. William H. Wilsey was the founder of Mapleton, and is now, 1871, the proprietor. Theodore Kellogg, the founder of St. George, has long since sought out other fields of his talents. On the 4th of September, 1865, St. George was vacated by deed of Mr. Wilsey and also part of Mapleton. The former now makes a good grain field.
   The votes cast in 1861 were 28, and the value of real estate amounted to $41,083.75 and that of personal property to $4,998 making a total of $46,171. The amount paid for teachers was 60.75 More new additions were made to the settlement, for we find in the Fall election of 1862 the votes amounted to 33, and $64 was paid for school teaching. During the years 1863 and 1864 emigration was at a standstill, or rather on a decline, for we find for both of these years 30 votes were cast. Schools were in progress for we find $60 was paid in 1863 and $141 in 1864 for teachers. Great credit is due to the school officers of the township for their attention to the interests of education.
   It is still within the memories of all readers that during those years of the Civil War when war was still in progress and drafting of more men was necessary, and as it fell to the lot of some of our citizens to go, they, like true Americans, responded to the call. From records we find that no additions in regard to settlers were made. Real estate was on the decline, land being assessed from $2.50 to $3.00 an acre, personal property arising to $13,799 and real estate being valued at $35,702. The steady increase of personal property shows that the township possessed an industrious and well-to-do people, and the principle part of a new country to perform was not neglected inasmuch as $250.50 was paid for teaching school.
   Changes such as school districts, road districts, and religious organizations are before us. Since the organization of Center Township at the Fall election in 1864, but 25 votes were cast. Q.A. Wooster was elected Justice of the Peace. Changes were also made in mail matters. The mail now came from Onawa to Mapleton twice a week. Two religious organizations were now formed in he township, Methodist and Baptists. The first sermon preached in the township was by Rev. Havens of the Methodist faith with a class of 7 members in 1860. In the he year 1866 Rev. James Patrick commenced his labors here in the Baptist faith and organized a church called Maple Valley Baptist Church. At that time seven members constituted the church here, and the first man baptized was now the deceased Louis N. Castle. The society at the present tie is quite large, and since its organization procured suitable grounds for a church and it is hoped it will be built at no distant date. In the year 1869 another effort was made to establish a Methodist church by the Rev. Hayworth who was soon followed by Rev. Woodworth who organized the church on a firm basis and labored during his stay with energy. The first Sunday School held in the township was of Methodist faith, and superintended by Mrs. Briggs in the residence of James Scott. The next one was of Baptist faith, and superintended by David Chapman and Edward Davis.
   During the year 1867 the township made rapid progress in population and improvements, the vote now numbers 33. This shows it to be a plain fact the attractions to Maple Township were superior to others on account of its rapid increase. The principle feature was the fine lands subject to homestead entry. A new schoolhouse was built in Subdistrict No. 3 at the cost of $450, and $396 was paid to teachers. A calm is always followed by a storm, so we find it in Maple Township. Difficulties arose of considerable proportions among some of the citizens, and recourse to the law was taken, but through the energy and impartial decision of the presiding judge, R.A. Wooster, all difficulties were settled.
   Providence had smiled on the town during these years, and finding circumstances somewhat easier, we see good frame houses and barns where before the log hut and dirt roofed dug-out presented itself in all its glory. Horses took the place of oxen, and thimble skein wagons the place of old fashioned linchpin sort. This is sufficient to show that by good management and industry these early settlers had established themselves in such a way that you look froward to the future with brighter hopes and anticipation.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

History of Maple Township 1854-1871 from Mapleton Milestones
   It is still within the memories of all readers that during those years of the Civil War when war was still in progress and drafting of more men was necessary, and as it fell to the lot of some of our citizens to go, they, like true Americans, responded to the call. From records we find that no additions in regard to settlers were made. Real estate was on the decline, land being assessed from $2.50 to $3.00 an acre, personal property arising to $13,799 and real estate being valued at $35,702. The steady increase of personal property shows that the township possessed an industrious and well-to-do people, and the principle part of a new country to perform was not neglected inasmuch as $250.50 was paid for teaching school.
   Changes such as school districts, road districts, and religious organizations are before us. Since the organization of Center Township at the Fall election in 1864, but 25 votes were cast. Q.A. Wooster was elected Justice of the Peace. Changes were also made in mail matters. The mail now came from Onawa to Mapleton twice a week. Two religious organizations were now formed in the township, Methodist and Baptists. The first sermon preached in the township was by Rev. Havens of the Methodist faith with a class of 7 members in 1860. In the year 1866 Rev. James Patrick commenced his labors here in the Baptist faith and organized a church called Maple Valley Baptist Church. At that time seven members constituted the church here, and the first man baptized was now the deceased Louis N. Castle. The society at the present time is quite large, and since its organization procured suitable grounds for a church and it is hoped it will be built at no distant date. In the year 1869 another effort was made to establish a Methodist church by the Rev. Hayworth who was soon followed by Rev. Woodworth who organized the church on a firm basis and labored during his stay with energy. The first Sunday School held in the township was of Methodist faith, and superintended by Mrs. Briggs in the residence of James Scott. The next one was of Baptist faith, and superintended by David Chapman and Edward Davis.
   During the year 1867 the township made rapid progress in population and improvements, the vote now numbers 33. This shows it to be a plain fact the attractions to Maple Township were superior to others on account of its rapid increase. The principle feature was the fine lands subject to homestead entry. A new schoolhouse was built in Subdistrict No. 3 at the cost of $450, and $396 was paid to teachers. A calm is always followed by a storm, so we find it in Maple Township. Difficulties arose of considerable proportions among some of the citizens, and recourse to the law was taken, but through the energy and impartial decision of the presiding judge, R.A. Wooster, all difficulties were settled.
   Providence had smiled on the town during these years, and finding circumstances somewhat easier, we see good frame houses and barns where before the log hut and dirt roofed dug-out presented itself in all its glory. Horses took the place of oxen, and thimble skein wagons the place of old fashioned linchpin sort. This is sufficient to show that by good management and industry these early settlers had established themselves in such a way that you look forward to the future with brighter hopes and anticipation.
   Personal property in 1868 amounted to $9,277 and real estate to $75,730.50, a total of $85,007.50 with land being assessed at $4 to $5 an acre. In 1868 total votes increased to 43, and the cry was ŅStill they come.Ó Farmers put in their crops, and, the season being favorable, wheat and oats never looked better or corn never more promising. Soon these promising fields took on a change for grasshoppers were flying in all directions and, without any preliminaries, took possession of anything that came in their way. Soon the look of waving fields of grain and corn changed to a dark mass of living grasshoppers. Considerable damage was done to the farmers in this township, and none felt it more than the latest settlers for on their crops laid their main dependence. None, however starved as there was enough left for their maintenance of all families. In the following year land was assessed from $5 to $8 an acre, and $451 was paid to teachers.
   In 1869 artificial groves of Cottonwood and Maple were seen spreading their foliage where once nothing but prairie grass decorated the landscape. Apple trees were planted in considerable numbers, but no definite result had been reached in regard to their culture. Farms under cultivation, ranging in size from 40, 60, 80, 100 to 300 acres, and it is the opinion of the writer that the best farmers of the township are Samuel and John Heisler, and the largest Wm. H. Wilsey. Machinery of all descriptions is now in use. A new schoolhouse was built in Sub-District No. 2 for the sum of $465, and $618 was paid out for teachers. The value of entered land according to assessment amounted to $26,210, but this did not include the railroad lands on account of their not paying taxes which they ought to have paid since coming in possession of the land. The subject of railroads had been one of much dissatisfaction among the people of Maple Township and along the valley. Long Ago the odd numbered sections of land were granted to the railroad, and up to the year 1865 it was supposed that a road would soon be built along the valley. But hope so long deferred made the heart sick, and such had been the case of the people along the Maple Valley. Justice would say we should have a road. The government has made the land grant, the railroad company has got it, and it has retarded settlement. But justice doesn't come as soon as it ought, or else the railroad company would have been obliged to long ago fulfilled their part of the contract. In 1870 a company was formed, the Maple Valley Railroad Company, who proposed to build a road from the Iowa Falls and Sioux City road to the Sioux City and Pacific. They asked for help by way of a tax from the townships along the line. Some of the townships voted a 5% tax, including Maple. The prospects now, 1871, is that they will commence work on the road this coming summer, and that such may be the case is earnestly hoped for by nearly all the people in the township.
   Now in 1870 we cast a look on the past. When we look at the handful of early pioneers and see how they toiled and labored and the difficulties they had to contend with, we can scarcely think they are the hale and hearty pioneers we see today. Our roads are in specific order, and suitable bridges span the streams. The first bridge built in the township for which any public funds were drawn was across the Maple at Mapleton and for which the county ordered paid to William H. Wilsey $230 out of the Swamp Land Fund. In 1859 five bridges crossing the small streams in the township were ordered built. The contracts were awarded to John A. Heisler, Aaron McCleerey and others; the price ranging from $200 to $350 to be paid out of the Swamp Fund. In 1869 after a hard fought battle, an appropriation was secured from the county for an iron bridge with a 40' span and end work set in piles, ordered to be built across the Maple River near the old and first bridge site. The new steel bridge built about 1870 was built under the supervision of William L. Ring, County Bridge Agent. William Ring, a resident of the township, took pride in the township's prosperity, spared no pains, and a first class bridge was erected. This was completed in 1870, and the bridge was opened for travel on January 1, 1871. It is nearly 300' long, set in good oak piles, high enough above the high water mark, and made a good crossing at any stage of water. Its whole cost was $2,200 of which the township appropriated $300. It was the longest and best built bridge in the county. Farmers living up the valley accommodated this bridge.
   Explanation: Mapleton had two bridges across the Maple at one time, a wooden one built for stagecoach crossing that went toward Smithland, and a new steel bridge for the settlers living along the valley toward Danbury.
   Population in 1870 amounted to 335 of which 70 were legal voters. In 1871 there were 151 voters. Now, dear readers, I have given you some facts up to March 3, 1871. Let us cast a view upon the past and compare it with the present. Travel along our highways and view the fine rolling farms, the comfortable houses, the barns, the sheds, the artificial groves that will plainly show you that comfort and prosperity are within. Less pass by on a fine summer day. We see the herds of cattle and horses enjoying the luxuries which nature has provided for them for which Maple Township has no equal, and where but a short time ago nothing but droves of deer and elk roamed. This has been accomplished by the sturdy and industrious population of the township. Great credit is due to the early pioneers for which we, the Hesperian Club, insert their name, nativity and age in honor of the settlement of Maple Township.
The Coming of the Railroad - Danbury

   Fourth Thomas continued in his letter: "Sometimes preceding the building of the railroad, the Maple River Valley Co. sent a man into this territory to buy land for the right-of-way for the railroad. He found the settlers reluctant to sell, and they consequently placed a very high price on their land. When the railroad representative talked of buying a townsite, no on one even seemed interested. Finally, Grandfather told the man he wanted to talk to him. He offered the railroad land for the townsite free of charge under certain conditions. His terms were that after the town was platted, the Railroad Co. would have to deed corner lots back to him every other lot in the First Addition of Danbury including corner lots when they came in order. He wanted this agreement as the Cross Roads Store he had built in 1873 was in the middle of the area the railroad was to get, and he wanted to be sure the town would be platted around the corner lot on which the Cross Roads store was built. The generosity of Dan Thomas prompted the railroad to name the town and railroad station after him as Dan Thomas had insisted when he made the agreement that a depot should be built at the edge of the town. The depot was built by the Maple River Valley Co. The name Danbury was decided upon as the name of the community: Dan, the first part of the name Dan Thomas, and bury, the last part from the name of the county, Woodbury."
   A branch line of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad was to be built from Carroll to Onawa, Iowa. When completed, towns along this line would have an outlet to both east and west markets. The building of the branch line started in early 1871 at Carroll, and each year the trackage was extended farther. The farmers living along the line worked with the railroad crews furnishing horses and hauling dirt with slips. The Railroad Co. owned hundreds of horses and mules and much equipment, but extra help was always appreciated. Women along the line often cooked for the men, often feeding as many as 30 men. The railroad bridges were built of wood as the railroad was prepared.
   Francis O'Neill, who later became proprietor of the Farmers Home Hotel in Mapleton, his wife and three daughters fed many of these railroad workers. They erected a large frame building at Battle Creek some time before the workers arrived in that area. The building had four compartments. The dining room was an extra large room with a large table extending the length of the room. Stationary benches were built for seating along the sides of the table.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Coming of the Railroad - Danbury

   Another large room served as the sleeping room for the men, and it had built-in bunks, one above the other, along the outside walls. There was also a kitchen and one large bedroom for the O'Neill family. They could not accommodate all the men, so many slept in tents and shanties. When the trackage was extended past Battle Creek, the O'Neills tore down their building and re-erected it at Mapleton so as to accommodate the workers again as they worked that way. It took an excessive amount of water and feed for the horses and mules. Living conditions were unsanitary around a railroad camp, as the manure piles created many flies. In many places the terrain was low and there were sloughs which were infested with mosquitoes.
   The trackage no doubt was nearing our community by 1876, and it was completed at Mapleton by November of 1877. Even though the plans were made to extend the trackage to Onawa, the railroad company changed its plans. They decided to build a roundhouse at Mapleton. The train then could come from Carroll to Mapleton where it would turn around and return to Carroll. This did benefit quite a few towns, but those towns below Mapleton were left without railroad accommodations entirely, and Danbury and other towns along the line were still without an outlet to the west except for stage coach. This meant all livestock would have to be shipped to Chicago. Settlers were hoping the railroad would go on to Onawa. The Sioux City and Pacific Railroad was already in operation there, and any produce shipped from here could be taken to Sioux City on that line. The first train came through Danbury on November 12, 1877, and John Allen was Danbury's first depot agent.
   There were no passenger or baggage cars on the first trains. One passenger car was added at the rear of the freight train, and persons wanting to travel would ride in it. Baggage was placed at one end of the passenger car. Railroads were being built everywhere, and the demand was more than the supply. There was extra track siding built at Danbury for ordered freight cars. There usually were 10 to 15 cars on track. The years following 1877 were busy years for the train, and each family would have from 2 to 3 loaded freight cars. These families came from Illinois, Indiana, and eastern Iowa mostly. Usually the father and his eldest son would ride in the freight car to care for the livestock. Two persons could ride free of charge that way. The mother and the other children rode in the passenger car behind the freight, and they paid fare.
   Dan Thomas and others along the line complained to the railroad that they had not lived up to their commitments in the years following 1877. Some of the Dan Thomas family left here in early 1880s, but Dan Thomas said he wold not leave until the railroad was finished to Onawa. The Northwestern Railroad finally commenced negotiations April 12, 1886. Mr. D.M. Waterman was sent to purchase necessary land on which to build the extension of the Maple valley branch. A survey was at once made and early in May 1886, the contract for the laying of the road bed was let to a corporation, the Maple Valley Railroad Company. Work was commenced and pushed with energy. The first rail was laid at Mapleton May 31, 1886, and Mark Wrigley of The Mapleton Press bolted the first new rails to the old trackage. Work commenced at Onawa on July 25th. The last rail was laid and the last spike driven on September 21, 1886. Regular trains were put on October 1, 1886, and now all towns along the line would have connections with new markets. New full passenger trains were put on the line, and they ran from Carroll to Sioux City and back to Carroll the same day. The stage coach which was still in operation to Sioux City could now be discontinued.
The Platting of Danbury
   The town was platted a few days before the arrival of the first train, November 1, 1877. It was platted by Dan and Mary Thomas and Blair Town and Lot Co. on Section 27, Township 86 and Range 42. The north and south streets were named Thomas St. because the Dan Thomas home was at the north end of that street; Main St.; Liston St. named after the township; and East St. because it was on the east part of the town. The streets running east and west were called First, Second, Third and Fourth. Thomas and Main Street extended farther north than they do today as the Thomas' expected the town to grow farther north rather than spread east and west as it did. The streets were platted around the Cross Roads Store. The store, Lot Koker's Blacksmith Shop, and a saloon or two were the only business places. The depot was built in 1877.
   The town began to grow immediately after the coming of the railroad. Melvin Chapman had married the oldest daughter of Dan Thomas, Lovina in 1875. Dan persuaded Melvin to build a hotel as there would be many travelers coming into the town, and they would want board and lodging. Melvin started to build the hotel the next Spring, and he and Lovina began to operate it as soon as it was finished. This hotel was built on the present Barry Garage lot. Melvin and Lovina's second child was born in that hotel in November 1879. Soon after the birth of the baby they sold the hotel to George Nicholas Castle who moved to Danbury from Maple Township, Monona County after the death of three sons due to Diptheria. Nick Castle added a livery to his hotel, and he met all trains with his surrey and team to haul persons wanting hotel accommodations and their luggage to his hotel. The Castles did a resounding business at Castle House a number of years. Elmira Castle, Nick's wife was noted for her good cooking, and the dining room of the hotel was always filled to capacity. Nick Castle also rented rigs and horses to others. Mr. Castle had much civic pride, and he served in many capacities when our town was very young. He always said that he thought he had planted more trees in our town than anyone. The Castles had children Mack, Josephine and William besides the three older sons who died of Diptheria. William was born in Danbury, but he died when just a small child. These four boys were all buried in the Heisler Cemetery. The Castles left Danbury when Mack was either in 11th or 12th grade, 1904, and they moved to Bremerton, Washington. They sold out to William Siebold.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Platting of Danbury
   Richard Henry Loucks, Danbury's first druggist came in 1878. He built a two-story wooden structure with balcony on Main St. The Loucks family lived in the upstairs rooms for a number of years. Mr. Loucks bought a half-block (Crilly home lot) and built a new home there soon after the family came to Danbury. The second story of the drug store was then used as dress making rooms by the Parks sisters, May and Olive. The first Danbury telephone was installed in Loucks' Drug Store, year 1890. Mr. Loucks, too, had many public offices, was notary public, and was always interested in the advancement of the town. Richard Loucks married Margie Ann Buchanen. They had three children, Alice, Grace, and Richard Jr. Alice married Christian N. Jepson, a young lawyer who came to Danbury to practice in October 1896. Mr. Jepson practiced in Danbury from 1894 to 1898. He and his wife then moved to Sioux City. The Henry Loucks family moved to Sioux City in 1910. Mr. Loucks sold out when his store was purchased as a new bank, the Danbury Trust and Savings Bank was to be built on that corner. Godfrey Durst bought the lot to the south of the drug store, and he built a new brick drug store. The Loucks house was sold to John Crilly. He had been here for 32 years.
   Dr. J.M. Condron was a veterinarian who practiced on humans as well as animals. He came in 1878.
   Deitrick "David" Tangeman was born in Hanover, Germany in 1822. He came to America with his parents when he was 10 years old. His parents farmed in Auglaize Co., Ohio. David started out on his own when 19 years old. He farmed and then became a miller. He married Minnie Wheeler in Garnavilla, Iowa. In 1878 he sold his interest in the mill and moved to Crawford Co., Soldier Twp. where he purchased a farm. After a season of farming, he traded the farm for a small lumber yard and property along the tracks west of what was later the Maple Valley Lumber Yard. He also built a small elevator on that property, and he began to buy and sell grain. He later discontinued these two small businesses and sold the property to Godfrey Durst, Sr. In 1903 he and Ben Santee bought the W.F. Seibold Elevator, and David Tangeman and sons operated the elevator until 1910. The elevator was then sold to Michael Burke on March 10, 1910. David and Minnie had four children, Louisa, Fred, August, and Anna. David married a second time, and from this marriage he had five children, Edward (Ed was the town dray and ice man for many years), Ellsford (Elzie was a livestock dealer and ran the Tie Barn), Mahala (Mrs. Ace Nicholls), Minnie (Mrs. Mark Durst) and Ethel. Ace Nicholls managed the F.H. Hancock Elevator, and Mark Durst helped his father, Godfrey Durst at the mill.
   Samuel Griffith came in 1878. He built a furniture store on the east side of Main St. He also made and sold coffins. He sold this business to W.B. Booher in 1883 as he was interested in making bricks and working as a carpenter. He built the first Catholic church in Danbury on Thomas St. He made the brick and laid the foundation for the second St. Patrick's Church. He made the brick and built the W.B. Booher home at a cost of $4,000 (present Mel Pithan home). He made the brick for many of the foundations in our first homes and also the chimneys.
   William Cook came to Danbury in 1879. He built a hardware store north of Dan Thomas' store. Andrew Lynch became his partner in 1881. They sold farm implements and hardware. They had a loading dock on the front of the store. Andrew Lynch married Mary Penny, and they had two small children when Mary died. Andrew brought the children to their grandparents, William Penny and wife who farmed in Ida County. Children were Nellie (Mrs. James Sexton Goodburn) and brother, Charley Lynch. William Cook sold his half of business to J.F. Means, and the business was then known as Lynch and Means. They later dissolved the partnership and sold the business again.
   John W. Herrington built a livery on the corner of Liston and 2nd Streets in 1878. L.D. or Levi Herrington, who had just come to this area, managed the livery. Benjamin Smith, stage coach driver, kept his horses and stage at this livery. The hay loft of this livery was a favorite place for men having too much to drink as they often went there to sleep off a drunk. L.D. Herrington was on the first official family of Danbury. Levi married Elizabeth McGrath, and their children were Frances (Mrs. Jim O'Day), Grace (Mrs. Dan Sexton), Joe, John, and Agnes (Mrs. Antone Brown). Levi also ran a dray line (the Herrington Livery).
   H.J. Peters, builder and contractor, built a two-story rooming house on the east side of Main Street where Henry Fitzpatrick Hardware was later built. He built St. Patrick's Church built in 1883 and also Danbury's first 11-grade public school in 1879.
The Dan Thomas Family 1879
   Year 1879 the Thomas family had been here for 15 years. Ida, the second daughter of Dan Thomas, year 1873, when just 16, met Scott Denison at a dance in Thomas Hall. They fell in love and wanted to marry, but Mrs. Thomas was very much opposed to her daughter marrying so young. Scott was the son of Lewis and Melinda Denison. Scott and Ida eloped, and they left Danbury by stage. Their destination was Spangle, Washington, which is about 30 miles from Spokane. Married 1874.
   Lovina Thomas, the oldest daughter, taught school for a year after finishing her schooling. She married Melvin Chapman, a school mate on December 12, 1875. Their first child, born on September 9, 1876, was named Danny after his grandfather. He died of Whooping Cough in January 1877 when only 4 months old. Melvin Chapman built Danbury's first hotel in 1878, and he and Lovina operated it until December 1879 when they sold it to Nick Castle. A second child, Gertrude Carrie was born in the hotel in November 1879 just previous to their selling the property. They left Danbury by train.
   Frank Thomas, like his father, loved horses. Joe Welte said Dan Thomas had a prettier team of horses than any other farmer here. He took good care of his horses and showed a great deal of pride in them. Frank was 16 in 1879. His father gave him a pair of spotted mares which were the envy of many of the "young bloods" about town. The team was broken to ride or drive. He no doubt was interested in Lanie Bowser, a neighbor girl, at this time. Frank told the story about his father telling him to round up the livestock on the prairie as it was going to storm. Frank rode his horse. A bolt of lightning came down upon them, knocking both him and his horse to the ground. Both were unconscious, and Frank came to first and was very much concerned about his horse, but the horse soon recovered from the shock, too, and they went on about their chores.
   In 1879 Alice was 13 and Charley 8. Ida, Frank and Alice had attended the Thomas School up on the hill, and Alice and Charlie attended the new public grade and high school after it was built in 1879.
   Dan had improved his farm. He had built a large barn and corn crib. He planted rows of nut, fruit and shade trees which ran the breadth of his farm, north to south. Dan and his wife Mary Ann were beginning to have marital troubles at this time.
Dan Thomas, First Danbury Mayor 1879-1882
   It is known for a fact that Dan Thomas was the first mayor, but there are conflicting stories as to the year he was elected. Woodbury and Plymouth County History said he was the first mayor elected after incorporation in 1882, but The Danbury Review said Joseph Shoup was the first mayor after incorporation. I believe the Danbury Review's report was going by what old timers said, but it stands to reason that with so many problems arising of civic nature such as churches being built, town wells to be dug, an public school to be built, trees to be planted, etc., that someone would have to take charge of these affairs. Even though the town was not incorporated, the town decided to hold its first election as there were so many official things to be done. This election was held either in 1878 or 1879, and officials would hold the positions until 1882. The town's first officers according to The Danbury Review:

Mayor Dan Thomas
Trustees (now council men)
George N. Castle (Castle House)
George W. Hoskins (Blacksmith)
William Cook (Hardware and Implement)
David Tangeman (Elevator)
H.J. "Jacob" Peters (Builder and Contractor)
Levi D. Herrington (Herrington Livery)
Recorder J.S. Shoup (Professor)

   In 1878 the town had no more than a half-dozen houses. The town had just been platted by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas, and businessmen were arriving daily by train, all anxious to build a business establishment on Main Street. Dan Thomas, when he built the store in 1873, had dug a well on Main Street at the intersection of Second and Main, and it had served as a horse watering place and was also used by the public if they wished to obtain water. The town now was beginning to grow, and it needed more wells. They decided to use the well on the intersection as a storage for water in case of fire. They obtained a big tank, and they always managed to keep it fenced off and keep the tank running over practically, so if they needed water in case of fire, they had it. Another well was dug at the south end of Main Street, and this is where all the animals were watered. Travelers and settlers coming to town for supplies or townspeople who had livestock could water there. The businessmen obtained their water from a third well in Loucks' Park or the town park between Loucks' Drug Store and John Hart's Meat Shop. Tin cups always hung at his well, and anyone could secure a drink there. These wells remained in use until 1898.
Fire Department 1878 "Bucket Brigade"
   Whenever the word "Fire" rang out, everyone got in motion. They dropped whatever they were doing and ran to the scene of the fire. There was an extra large pump handle at the tank on the intersection, and this handle would accommodate 6 or 8 men. They would start pumping immediately and keep it up until the fire was quelled. Everyone owned a few fire buckets, and they always laid handy to be picked up when the fire bell rang. A fire bucket had a pointed handle at the bottom of the pail, enabling the one who threw the water to throw it farther. A line of fire fighters in one line, stretching from the tank to the place of the fire, and a second row of women and children would line up beside them. The full buckets of water would pass down the line of fire fighters, and the empty would be returned to the tank by the women and children line. The last on the fire fighter line would toss the bucket of water on the fire. The buckets kept rotating. They very seldom put out a fire in this way, but they could wet down surrounding buildings, keeping them from burning.
   Mayor Thomas and his trustees, before the completion of their term, filed with the Secretary of State on February 3, 1882, and then the town was incorporated.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Public School 1879
   By 1879 the little Maple Valley School would no longer accommodate all the children who wanted to attend school as people were coming at too fast a rate. The town officials and the Danbury Public School Board worked on this new project together. Smithland had just finished building a new school, and Joseph Shoup was the school "master" there. They decided to build their school like Smithland's and also to hire Mr. Joseph Shoup to come here and help us get the school going. He came year 1880. A half block of ground was purchased from Dan Thomas and the Iowa Railroad Land Co. on the west side of Thomas St. between 2nd and 3rd (north end of block). Contractor H.J. Peters and Samuel Griffith were hired to build the school. The south end of that block was purchased a few years later for playground, etc. This school was fenced. School was just there two years when the tornado of 1883 destroyed parts of it. It was then rebuilt, the old part worked in with the new part. The building was 50'x60' dimension. It had 14' ceilings, and it was ventilated by double chimneys. It was a 2-story, the lower floor having two rooms, each room having a seating capacity of 50 persons. The upper story was all one room, and it could seat 100 people. The building was not modern. Each room had a blackboard on all sides. There were hall and ante-room with hooks for the children's wraps and hats. The grounds were fenced with a neat picket fence. Water was carried into the school in a bucket. Collapsible tin cups were used. At first only the first floor was used as a school, grades in one room, and high school in the other room. Prof. Shoup taught high school, and two sisters, Regina and Paulina Gambs from Smithland taught the grades. The school had a bell and belfry, and it was heated with heating stoves. The building had a full basement, and the second story was used for school functions, public functions, church services, etc. There were actually 16 grades then in the elementary. Students advanced by readers, and a student usually read 2 readers a year. If one could not keep up with the reading, you were held back a year. In 1879 when the school was built, there were only 3 grades in high school. It became a 4 year high school when the school was accredited. A few of Danbury's first teachers were Lizzie McConnell, Jessie Smith, Stella Ostrom, and Miss Strain. Mrs. Cora Herrington was janitor of the school many years. Each morning the first bell was run at 8:30 a.m., the last bell at 9:00 a.m. and a tardy bell at 9:05 a.m. There was a recess morning and afternoon for the first 8 grades. School was dismissed at 12:00 for the noon lunch, and school was dismissed in the afternoon at 4:00 p.m. Children from the country carried their lunch to school either in a paper sack or a syrup pail, and children from town and the teachers went home for dinner. They used the bell, too, for fire drills. The first class to graduate from 8th grade was in 1886.
   Joseph Shoup was born in Freeport, PA, of parents Henry and Ann Jane McCain Shoup. In 1852 the Shoup family moved to Galesburg, IL, by wagon train, and his father farmed. Joseph grew up and graduated from Cherry Grove University near Albingdon, IL. On June 21 he enlisted for service in the Civil War, and he served until the end of the war. He bought a cotton plantation in Marengo Co., Alabama. In 1870 he went to Council Bluffs and was elected to an important position in the Council Bluffs school. He married Nettie E. Evans. After 3 years in Council Bluffs he taught at Belleview, NE, Omaha, and SMithland before he came to Danbury. The Shoups had 8 children, Lena (Mrs. Calvin Dix), Nona Glendenning, Joseph, Mittie, Gordina, George, Mattie and George. They lived in a small house on present Barney Mohrhauser lot. He served on many educational committees, was Danbury's first recorder, and he was mayor years 1882-1884. He was interested in the town getting a Methodist church, and he often preached the sermons for the Methodists before the church was built. He was a very learned man.
   The planting of trees was a big project. Danbury was a vast prairie. Men, women and children all took part in planting trees. Some men made a living digging trees along the rivers and then selling them to the different towns. Nick Castle thought he planted more trees in the town than any other person.
   A wooden sidewalk was built from the Maple Valley School to downtown area, 1873.
New Business Men After 1879
   J. Welte General Store, 1881 - Jacob Welte built the second general store in Danbury. He came by train from Atkinson, IA, with his family. Joe Welte was 9 at that time. There were no more than 10 houses in the town, and none were for rent. The family lived at Castle House Hotel until Jacob built a small shack near the railroad tracks. After his house was built he bought a lot on the east side Main Street (present Schimmer Barber Shop). He built a two-story building with full basement. The first floor was the store, and the upper story was living quarters for his entire family. The building then was much longer than it is today, and the basement was used for storage of potatoes, kerosene, butter and the like.
   Joe Welte, a son, worked for his father, and he told some interesting facts about stores. The general store sold everything. The owner opened his doors early in the morning, and his doors did not close until nightfall. They were open, too, on Sunday mornings, and the did not close until after 3 p.m. Stores then seldom stayed open after dark. After it darkened, the buildings then were lit with lamps and candles.
   A summer house was built near the alley. The settlers brought live geese, ducks, chickens, etc. in exchange for supplies. Poultry was weighed, and the merchant paid by the pound. The Weltes butchered, picked and dressed the poultry in the summer house and sold the poultry locally or shipped it to Chicago in barrels. Crocks of butter were also brought for barter, more than the townspeople could consume. The excess butter was stored in the town cave, and when a large amount had accumulated, the butter was reworked, recolored, and repacked into ferkins (a thin wood container of the pound size). Joe welte said he could remember when he was a child writing Welte Dairy on each ferkin. They, at that time, shipped a carload of butter to Boston, Massachusetts. The first settlers never had money in their jeans. Some brought oats, wheat, corn, meat carcasses, potatoes, turnips, anything to exchange for groceries and supplies. These products were weighed on a scale south of the Dan Thomas Store. Coffee was sold in the bean and ground in the home. Salt, vinegar, apples, crackers, flour, sugar and other items came in barrels. Dried fruit and rice came in wooden boxes. Cloth was sold often by the bolt as large supplies of cloth were kept on hand as all clothing was homemade. The factories in the east started making clothing, but the settlers were slow to accept store bought clothing as they considered them inferior to homemade clothes. The cloth and clothing department was the "Dry Goods Dept." Shroud material was also sold by the yard at stores. A corpse then was wrapped in black cloth in preparation for burial.
   John Holmes Ostrom came in 1880. He practiced law and sold real estate. He built a small office on the west side of Main Street. He married Lydia Korns. Mr. Ostrom took over the publishing of the Danbury newspaper twice and published with the help of his son and daughter. Children were Ernest, Carrie (Mrs. Charley Seibold), Stella (Mrs. Leslie Sheldon) and Elmer.
   Drs. Bradley and McNerny were Danbury's first actually physicians. Dr. C.A. Bradley came the spring of 1880, and Dr. McNerny located here in 1881. Dr. McNerny was a very good doctor, but he was incompetent because of his drinking habits. He built an office on the east side of Main Street south of Jacob Welte's store. These first doctors made all country calls either on horseback or with a horse drawn vehicle. Joe Welte, when a young man, often drove the horses for the doctors making calls in the country. Settlers often brought the patient to town. In early 1880s David French, a settler along the Soldier River (Herb Teut farm), broke his leg. His neighbors improvised a stretcher, and six neighbors carried him to Dr. McNerny's office, about 7 1/2 miles. Four men could carry at a time, and 2 men alongside the stretcher. When a man carrying tired, one walking alongside the stretcher would take over. John O'Donnell, grandfather of Mrs. William Schimmer, was one of the men that carried Mr. French to Danbury, and after the leg was set, they carried him back home.
   Patrick Kennedy came with his family in 1880. He and his wife, Mary Mahoney came here by stagecoach from Prospect Hill in Sioux City when there were no more than a dozen houses in the town. They had three small daughters, Mary (Mrs. Christian Le Duc), Ellen (Mrs. Pierre Keitges) and Lulu (Mrs. Ed Driscoll). There home was to the rear of Loucks Drug Store. Mass was often said in their home by Fr. baron when Danbury was still a mission and before the completion of a Catholic church. Patrick worked as a laborer in one of the lumber yards.
Organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church
   The Methodist church was organized in 1878 when Homer T. Dudley was minister. Danbury was still on the Arcola Circuit along with Mapleton and Battle Creek, etc. There was no resident minister, the minister visited the various towns and lived at each town a short period of time. Up to 1879 church services were held in the Galord School, Dan Thomas Hall, or the public school. A week of prayer meetings were held yearly to get new members and baptize those not baptized. A picnic was often held after a week of prayer at Schimmer Lake (Joe Slota farm). Everyone came in lumber wagons with filled lunch baskets. Baptismal services were held at the lake.
   In 1879 Rev. Newell came as a circuit rider and held services at the various schools and other meeting places. In 1880 a division was made in the circuit, and Danbury was included in the Mapleton circuit, then called Mapleton-Danbury. Rev. Luce came in 1881, and it was decided that year that Danbury would build a house of worship for Methodists. Lots 4 and 5 on Block 2 on Liston Street were purchased from Dan and Mary Thomas for $1 on February 2, 1881. Two families known to help organize the church were Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Gray and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Shoup. Mr. Shoup often preached the sermons at Danbury Public School when services were held there. The minister came only every other Sunday. Only the most western part of the church plus bell and belfry was built at this time. The church was dedicated February 1882. A Board of Trustees was elected at this time. The first minister to use the new church was Rev. James Torbet. He served both Danbury and Mapleton but lived in Mapleton from 1882-1885. Church was named Methodist Episcopal.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

1878 St. Patrick's Cemetery and Organization of Danbury Catholic Church 1881
   Reverend Baron was the pioneer priest that visited this area. He was the assistant of Father Lenihan who had been appointed priest of Sioux City in 1872. Father Baron said Mass in one of the settler's homes. Even before Danbury had a church, he purchased ground for a Catholic cemetery called St. Patrick's Cemetery. He paid $230 for the ground, and the first person to be buried there was Elizabeth Uhl, daughter of Kasper and Mary Uhl who lived in Monona County in 1878. Mary Rush was interred there in 1881; two children of James and Jane King in 1881; Patrick Kennedy, one of Danbury's first residents, in 1883; and in 1886 the father of Elizabeth Uhl was buried there.
   Information regarding Danbury's first Catholic church was found in "Woodbury and Plymouth County History." It said, "After the entrance of the railroad into Liston Township, the Catholics who had come in with the new order of things, organized, and in 1881, although few in number and poor, actually raised funds among themselves, with a little assistance from some friends, Protestants as well as Catholics, enough to build the first building which cost about $2,500. These zealous Christians raised the funds without one dollar's assistance from church authorities. It was attended by Father Baron of Sioux City." Built 1881.
   The church was built by Samuel Griffith, and he also made the bricks for the foundation and chimney. It was on the west side of Thomas Street at the north end of the block between first and second streets. It was given the name of St. Patrick's as those building the church were of Irish nationality. Father Baron had visited an Irish settlement along Soldier Valley in Crawford County for a number of years, and it was these Irish families that built the Catholic church with the help of a few families that lived nearer Danbury. These families were McGraths, O'Hares, Brays, Kellys, O'Donnells, O'Connors, Barretts, Pennys, and Houlihans. In Danbury area were Hayes, Kennedys, Weltes, Treibers, Gleasons, Driscolls, and Harrigans. The church was wooden, painted white, and was fair in size. There were tie racks along the north and east. Father Baron served as non-resident priest to this mission. He drove from Sioux City every other Sunday to say Mass.
Pearce Cemetery (Ida County)
   Pearce Cemetery was on land now owned by Carl Brown on the hill above present Clem Wessling farm. The land in 1880s was owned by James Pearce. A number of early settlers were buried there.
Entertainment - July 4th
   About year 1878 the settlers started to socialize. Celebrating the Fourth of July had been popular back East since the United States had obtained its freedom, but after the completion of the Civil War in 1867 it again became popular. Many Civil War veterans had come here to buy land, and due to their patriotism, this day was set aside for celebrating.
   The day was started off with a boom. There was a village blacksmith in every town, and he set off a round of 100 shots beginning at dawn on July 4th. Gunpowder was placed between two anvils, and a thin line of gunpowder led away from the anvils a short distance. The blacksmith touched a match to the gunpowder which led away from anvils, and as the fire crept closer to the anvils, the blacksmith retreated to a place of safety. When the fire reached the gunpowder between the anvils, they would blow apart upon the explosion, and the loud sound could be heard from town to town.
   Joe Welte could recall his first Fourth in Danbury in 1881. People from miles around came to celebrate the Fourth. They drove horses and wagons mostly, and the horses' harness and the vehicles were decorated with small flags or red, white and blue bunting or ribbon. They came with well filled baskets. A parade was always scheduled, and the horses and buggies took part in the parade. The Cornet Band which Danbury had in these early days also marched in the parade, and they also played a concert in the afternoon. The business places draped the front of their buildings with red, white and blue bunting. Greetings of "Happy Fourth of July" were exchanged between persons. Some years the Rag Muffins took part in the parade. They were small boys dressed as clowns. The hotels spent days preparing food to serve to their customers, and the tables were filled time after time. Those having their picnic baskets spread a tablecloth on the ground (there was very little grass), and all sat on the ground and the food was placed in the middle of the impromptu table. After dinner a speaker talked on patriotism or read the Declaration of Independence. Horse drawn merry-go-rounds were popular then for the children, and an outside bowery was popular for dancing for the oldsters. A couple of fiddlers or an accordionist furnished the music.
   Mrs. J.C. Hammond recalled Mapleton's first celebration July 4, 1878. It was held on the banks of the Maple River as there were no shade trees in Mapleton at that time. People came in lumber wagons with two spring seats and a board across the wagon bed. Some families sang The Star Spangled Banner all the way to town, and she said her father would wave his hat at all he met and shouted, "Hurrah for the Fourth of July!" The girls wore long, white dresses with plaid ribbon sashes around their waists, and the fans tied at the sash at the side. They wore their hair in long curls, tied up on top with ribbon bows. They danced all afternoon and night on the bowery, music being furnished by two fiddlers, Green and Lix Butler. Mrs. Hammond's parents, Francis O'Neill and wife, operated the Farmers Home, a hotel in Mapleton in 1879, and Mrs. Hammond said they had even a larger crowd in 1879 than they did in 1878. Her folks and their help baked bread, pies and cakes for days before the celebration, and the night of the third they worked until midnight getting ready. They baked two hams, scraped a tub full of new potatoes and shelled peas. On the morning of the Fourth the ovens were filled with pork and beef roasts and chicken. Some beef was boiled in large kettles. They served the food family-style. The Livery Barn attached to the hotel was soon filled with horses and rigs and many teams were tied outside. They fed many. There was such a jam in the dining room that the mob had to be cleared out of the room so that they could set the tables for the next customers. Price was 25¢ a meal.
Masonic Grand Lodge 1879
   The men who established the town of Danbury and the prairie adjacent thereto, established also places where men could meet and enjoy fellowship. The charter of the Due Guard Lodge No. 387 Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons was granted by the Grand Lodge of Dubuque, Iowa, June 14, 1879. The first meetings were held in the Dan Thomas Hall. They were held there until 1910, and then meetings were held on the third floor of the new Collins Hotel. Charter members in 1879 were R.H. Loucks, R.B. Mills, Hiram Lampman, W.E. Churchill, L.D. Herrington Wm. Warner, A.H. Runyon, Loren L. Runyon, Peter K. Taylor, W.D. Procumeier, A.A. Stowell, Dan Thomas, N.L. Brockway, J.F. Scott, O. Nonis, S.J. Merritt, George Hoskins, John P. McCreegor, and Wm. Smith.
   The first officers were the following: Secretary William Smith, Treasurer A.A. Stowell, Worshipful master A.H. Runyon, Senior Warden Richard H. Loucks, and Junior Warden Robert B. Mills.
Civil War Veterans

Incorporation - Mayor 1882-1884 J.S. Shoup
The Roller Banner Mills

   Godfrey Durst came from Oto early in year 1882 to buy land along the Maple River, a suitable place for a mill. He had come from Zurich, Switzerland in 1866 after the death of his mother. He worked in mills at various places, earning the trade of a miller. In this area he worked at mills at Omaha; at Oto for Charles Watts; at Battle Creek in partnership with one of his brothers; in 1873 in a new mill at Smithland; 1873-1874 in a Castana mill; and 1874-1882 at Oto in partnership with James Horton. In all those years 1866 to 1882 he had been saving his money hoping to own a mill of his own some day.
   He bought land about 1/2 mile east of Danbury along the Maple River from Thomas W. Frentress. He commenced to build the mill after making arrangements to borrow $100 in order to start to build. Building the dam was a big project. All heavy timbers used in the construction first had to be cut from the banks along the Maple River, then sawed, and then pulled with horses to the dam site where they placed one atop the other, and secured well so that high waters would not wash them away. The course of the river had to be changed while the dam was being constructed. All work was done with horses and hand work. The mill was powered by water from the river, passing through turbine water wheels. Steam power could be used if the water failed. Imported French burr mill stones were used for grinding the grain into flour. The output was about 50 barrels of flour per day or about 250 bushels of grain per day.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007CHAPTER VI
Incorporation - Mayor 1882-1884 J.S. Shoup
The Roller Banner Mills

   The mill became a very busy place. The wagons of grain would begin to arrive early in the morning, waiting in a long line to be served. Mr. Durst knew some of his business was going to Battle Creek Mill as there was a better crossing of the Maple there. There were no bridges as yet. He and his men then cut timbers and built the first bridge across the Maple to induce farmers east of Danbury to come to his mill. The farmer first weighed his load, then shoveled off grain and reweighed so as to know the number of bushels he had to exchange or sell. He usually traded grain for flour and bran. For every bushel of grain, he received 34 pounds of flour. Bran at first was considered a by-product, so it was blown into the river. In later years it was sacked in 100 lb. bags and sold as a feeding ration to livestock.
   The brand names of the flour made were Harvest Queen, Golden Crown, and Silver Leaf. The mill became known far and wide, and farmers came from long distances. Many would have to stay overnight, so they usually secured lodging at one of the Danbury hotels.
   In 1899 the grinding system was changed, and the steel roller process was used. This increased the output to 700 bushels of grain per day. Mr. Durst also built an elevator next to his mill with a 40,000 bushel capacity and a warehouse that held about 10 carloads of the finished product. The Durst Mill set the market price for grain in all the elevators in Danbury. Any excess grain was hauled to Danbury and shipped. Several men were hired by Mr. Durst to haul grain with wagon. Flour was hauled to towns not having a railroad - Remsen, Charter Oak, Marcus and others. Mr. Durst shipped flour all over the United States and abroad. Large orders of flour went to Mexico and China. Mark Durst and his wife, Emma had an interesting experience when they visited the World's Fair at Chicago. All foreign countries had exhibits at the fair. They visited the China exhibit and purchased a cream and pitcher set. Their names and address were inscribed on the set. The Chinese lady, upon hearing their names and address, asked if they were members of the Durst family that sold flour at Danbury, Iowa. When they assured her that they were, she told them her children had learned the English alphabet from the name brand on a sack of flour she had purchased in China.
   There were at times as many as 65 persons employed at the Mill. To make it easier for the employees, Mr. Durst had several small houses built west of the Mill so that they could live close to their work with their families. At one time 17 children from this small settlement known as Durstville attended the Danbury Public School. Godfrey Durst, owner of the mill, his wife Orient and the children, Mark, Rosa, Effie, Godfrey Jr. and Laura lived in a small house north of the mill until early 1900s. Godfrey then built a new home west of the mill, a garage, ice house, corn cribs, and granaries. There was a large barn for horses which were used for work around the mill and for transporting flour to surrounding communities. Mr. Durst farmed and raised livestock, also. Through the years, he purchased over 2,000 acres of land in Woodbury and Ida counties. When the boys Mark and Godfrey Jr. married, they, too, had homes near the mill as they helped their father in the operation of the mill.
   In 1910 Mark and Godfrey Jr. took over the mill, elevator, and warehouse. In 1916 they added light and power business. They furnished electric power for the town of Danbury. The milling business was discontinued in 1919 for several reasons, one being shipping abroad became unprofitable because of the high tariff. In 1923 Durst Power Co. suffered a $2,000 loss when about 50' of heavy timbers in the 100' dam gave way in a flood and went down the river. The dam had been an expense before, but the Durst brothers thought it would take at least 30 days to repair the damage, so they decided to discontinue the dam. They built electric power by steam then for a number of years, and this method proved unprofitable.
   The Durst Mill had been good for the town of Danbury. From 1882-1919 they had set the market price for grain, and the elevators in Danbury paid the same prices. All excess grain was hauled to Danbury and either sold to the elevators in Danbury or shipped to Chicago. Much flour, too, was hauled to Danbury, and the railroad cars would be loaded and shipped out. In 1925 the light plant was taken over by Northwestern Light and Power Co., and they sold it again to Iowa Public Service which still in 1970 furnished the town with electric power.
Description of the Town of Danbury 1882-1884
   The town was booming in 1882. One could hear hammers pounding in all directions in the spring of 1882. Thomas Boyle, an early settler, described Danbury thus: "I can't give all the events of the past century, but I landed in Danbury in October of 1882. It was a lively little town then, eating, drinking, smoking, chewing and speculating. Saloon, hotels, blackmsith shops, and lumberyards were all booming. Shepard, Field and Cook and Joseph Welte were store keepers. W.F. Seibold and David Tangeman were the main spokes in the wheel then and kept things going. The most political occurrence was the election and wet and dry vote. The dries carried by 75,000 votes, but the old cronies wouldn't believe that the rapids were below them. The cyclone in the Spring of 1883 which wrecked our little Catholic church was a stunner and left it a mess of twisted lumber. I will tell you, Bill, the old quadrille, us older people knew when we were young back in 1882 was better, I am sure than the way they dance today. It can't be half the fun, the way they pace face to face, the hug, the hop, the skip for boys and girls in Danbury back in 1882 that never would have done."
   As soon as a business place was completed, a board sidewalk was built in front of it as the downtown Main Street was very wet. Crossings were boarded. A walk of board extended from the Dan Thomas home and also from the Maple Valley School to downtown area. Hitching posts were built along both sides of Main Street and on some side streets as well as in front of the churches. An ordinance said posts had to be of hard wood, stone or iron, and they had to be set 4' into the ground. The posts were to be no more than 4' apart, and not less than 3' or more than 4' from the sidewalk. The posts were to be connected with a substantial railing of chain, iron, rod or pipe. The hitching posts were removed from Main Street in 1899, and then they were just on side streets. The state sanitary law made it compulsory to remove hitching posts near the front door of business places. Hitching posts remained on side streets until 1929 when the town paved.
   Every small town had its share of saloons, and Danbury was no exception. There were always 2 of them in operation, and sometimes 4. A saloon keeper came here soon after Dan Thomas built his store, and he built a saloon on the west side of Main Street by 1877. A saloon was open from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. Many men came to town in the morning and spent the day drinking and being sociable. One old timer stated that these new farmers left the gophers take over as they spent more time being social than tending their land. The mother and children did the work at home. The Prohibition Law was passed in 1882, but it still allowed wines, ale and beer. Some arrests were made for disturbance of the peace and drunkenness, but the laws that had been made were not strictly enforced. Many a fight broke out in the saloons, and it was not all unusual to see a group of men circled around a couple of drunks to see a fight. The men were usually too drunk to fight, and then they were either placed in a jail which was built on the Skelley Schimmer lot, for disturbance of the peace or sent to the Levi Herrington Livery hay loft where they could sleep until sober. There were sometimes 4 or 5 men sleeping there. The owners of saloons and their employees kept a book known as "The Black Book." Names were recorded in alphabetical order of persons to which sale of liquor should be prohibited. This book was always open for inspection to the town marshal, trustees, and to anyone wanting to find out about a man's character. Liquor was not to be sold to one drinking in excess or one who had taken the treatment. Men who operated saloons in Danbury were Frank B. Collins, E.B. Spencer, Louis Ludwig, Joseph Meier, and Jim Keleher. The Clark Law was passed in 1886, but it was not until 1890 that the saloons really went out of business.
   There were a number of men who arrived in Danbury in 1882, and they along with Dan Thomas, Richard Loucks, Jacob Welte, David Tangeman, Samuel Griffith, George N. Castle, Dr. S.A. McNerny, and J.H. Ostrom pressed for the incorporation of the town. William F. Seibold came from Chatsworth, IL, with his family, and he built a lumber yard and sold real estate. Mark D. Cord came in 1882 from Oakland, IA, where he had worked in a mill. He was unmarried then, and he secured work at the mill helping Godfrey Durst, Sr. who was then just building his mill. Wilbert Booher also came in 1882, and he also was unmarried. He had very little education as he had helped his mother raise a large family near Iowa City after the death of his father, Sam Booher. He, upon arrival, bought a half share of the Lynch and Means Hardware and Implement Store which was just north of Dan Thomas General Store. He bought out Mr. Mean's share. Theodore Litzelschwab was Danbury's boot and shoe maker. He also came in 1882, and he built a two story building north of present German Mutual building. He made boots and shoes and also repaired shoes. He and his family lived in the upstairs of his building, and his shop was downstairs. John Mohr, a carpenter, and John H. Crilly, a clerk in Shepard, Field and Cook, both came in 1882, and these two men were both unmarried, and they roomed and boarded in the Commercial Hotel.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Incorporation 1882
   Many of the towns along the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad line wanted to become incorporated towns in 1882. Danbury had presented an application to the court in Sioux City, Woodbury County, as early as October 1, 1881, but it was not until March 7, 1882, that an election was ordered. Officers elected after incorporation were the following:

Mayor Joseph S. Shoup
Trustees William F. Seibold
Dr. S.A. McNerny
David Tangeman
Jacob Peters
Levi D. Herrington
J.F. Means
Recorder G. Nicholas Castle
Marshal Levi Herrington
St. Commissioner J.N. Ostrom
Treasurer Dr. S.A. McNerny
Justice of Peace William Smith

   L.D. Herrington, Danbury's first marshal, had to make the arrests and enforce the town's laws. The Justice of Peace held a responsible position, and he had to have good judgment as he decided the punishment of most misdemeanors. He acted almost as a judge does today. The court system of 1882 was not as efficient as it is today.
A Cemetery for Liston Township 1880
   The District Township of Liston purchased ground for a cemetery in 1880, or negotiations could have started in 1879. The cemetery was a quarter mile north of city limits. One of the trustees' names appear on the first drafts of the cemetery, John Bowser. It was platted in 1880. It is known that the Dan Thomases lost two babies, one in 1866 and another in 1868, but they must have been buried somewhere on their land. According to the first records, R.B. Mills purchased the first lot for $3.00, year 1880. Anna C. Hart Cook died in 1881, and her death was the first recorded. Melinda Denison purchased a lot fro $5.00 in August of 1882. Thomas Patterson, John Bowser, J.M. Bishop, and Lewis Koker, a young man, were all buried there in 1883. A Mr. Sanky was also buried there about this same time. The first clerk was G.E. Carroll, manager of the Shepard, Field and Cook Store. The cedar trees planted were obtained at Smithland, and they were planted by the trustees. At first there was no custodian. Weeds were cut with a scythe. Charley Juran was later hired as custodian, and he was there many years. He walked to the cemetery each day and carried his dinner pail. He mowed the cemetery with a push mower. Other known custodians have been William Brashear, Ed Krueger, and Leo Conners. Through the years, lots increased in price. In 1925 a lot for two sold for $15. In 1967 one of the same size sold for $40.
   Samuel Griffith, who owned the first hardware and furniture stores in Danbury, made caskets, and he always had several on display on the second floor of his store on the east side of Main Street. Often, a father made the caskets for the dead in his family. In the first days, the corpse was not embalmed. The dead were wrapped in a black cloth shroud usually by a midwife or a neighbor woman. Getting a corpse ready for burial was called "Laying them out."
   Calvin Pierce, a Quaker, was Danbury's first undertaker. His wife was the sister of Mrs. Richard Loucks. Mr. Pierce is believed to have built the building presently owned by Barry Brothers on the east side of Main Street. He had hardware on the first floor, and he stored caskets on the second floor. The embalming was done in the home. The dead then were waked two nights. Persons dying during an epidemic were buried, but there was no funeral held until the epidemic had subsided. The casket was hauled to the cemetery in a wagon, later in a horse drawn hearse, and still later in an auto-hearse. Flowers were hauled to the cemetery in a horse drawn cart, and the mourners all followed the hearse in horse drawn vehicles. Black cloth was used for shrouds and could be purchased in any general store. Persons in mourning wore black for a year, and they attended no public functions for a year. A widow wore a black dress, hat and veil to the funeral and other public functions she had to attend. Mr. Pierce left Danbury after Henry Fitzpatrick became a mortician. Henry was undertaker in Danbury until he retired in 1960. His son, Earl took over the business for a time and then sold out to Irven Walters who had mortuaries in several surrounding towns.
   Henry held funerals in the early days at Oto. Mike Barry was his driver. He drove an especially quiet team of horses as he did not want them to get excited as they might run away. Mike handled the team well. He never left the hearse once he had the reins in his hands. Catholic rites then were at 9:00 a.m. Everyone had to get around early so as to attend funerals then, and the days were extremely long for Henry and Mike. This business was much earlier for Henry after he had an auto-hearse, but his work was so unpredictable as the weather affected his work; snow storms, muddy roads, etc. all played havoc with him. He did well to serve the community in his capacity for 63 years.
The Tornado of 1883
   In the spring of 1883 there probably were no more than 100 persons living in Danbury. In April a fierce tornado ripped through the town. The storm clouds started to gather in later afternoon. The clouds traveled in a southerly direction. Joe Welte, who was a boy of about 11, saw the storm strike as it entered town. He was watching the storm from the upstairs window of the home (now Schimmer's Barber Shop, but in 1883 it was the Jacob Welte Store, and the family's home was upstairs). The St. Patrick's Church which had been built in 1881 was in the direct path of the storm. Joe said when the funnel cloud reached the church it seemed to explode, and debris flew in all directions. All that was salvaged was the bricks from the foundation and chimney and $75 in cash. The wood in the building was in splinters or blown away. The public school which had been built in 1879 was also damaged badly, and there was damage to several homes.
   Adam Treiber, his wife Bertha, and their small baby Anton were in the Jacob Welte store buying some supplies when someone came into the store and said there was an awfully dark cloud coming up in the west. Their home was a mile and a half south of Danbury, and they had four more children at home alone, Elizabeth "Liz" who was 8, Maria "Mame" who was 6, Charley who was 4, and John who was 2. They immediately got into the wagon and hurried home as they wanted to reach home before the storm struck. When they arrived home, Bertha took the baby to the house and placed him on the bed where another son, John was already sleeping. She told the children to stay in the house, and she was going to help unhitch the horses, etc. The storm arrived, however, before she returned. The two older girls were watching out of a window, and they saw the stove coming toward them. The small house lifted and started to roll toward the south. It soon broke apart and Liz, Mame and Charley all fell out of the structure. A part of the house landed near the creek. The rain came down in torrents. Adam and Bertha started a search for the children in the rain, and they soon found Mame, Liz and Charley who had all been cut by flying glass and were a bit bruised, but the two babies could not be found. The creek was rising fast, and they decided to search the creek banks for fear the rising water might wash them away. A section of the house was about to be washed downstream, but it was held back by a fallen tree. They finally heard cries coming from the segment of a wall. Upon investigating, they found a feather bed rolled up between the two studdings of the house, and in the feather bed were the two babies. They, too, were scared but unhurt. They salvaged what they could, and for a time, they lived in the corn crib. A trunk which they had brought from New York when they came to Iowa was broken into bits, and Adam's business papers were to the mercy of the winds. The patent or rights to his homestead was found in Danbury. A clock was found atop the hill still running.
   Adam Treiber had bought his farm in 1877 from John Castle who had homesteaded the land in 1862. In 1862 everything was prairie, and it was hard to find the boundaries of your land. John Castle's buildings were built on an adjoining tract of land. It was not until 1882 that Adam knew he had to move his buildings, so after the storm in 1883 he proceeded to do this. He moved a deserted homesteader's house from up the draw from them and fixed this up as a permanent home. The Catholics in Danbury purchased the ground up on the hill after the storm in 1883, and they built another St. Patrick's Church on that church property the summer of 1883. The public school was rebuilt also after the storm.
St. Patrick's Church 1883
   The Catholics bought the piece of ground "upon the hill" from Dan Thomas. A Maple Valley 8 grade school sat on the location on which they built the church. This property was sold to Mr. Fischer, and he moved the old school to the Fischer farm. The dimensions of the church as built in 1883 were 38'x60'. There were many who worked on the building of this church. Jacob Peters, a contractor, was in charge. Samuel Griffith made the bricks and laid the foundation of the church. The sills were of pine and were 1'x1' in dimension. The rafters were hand notched with an axe, fitted, then pinned with a hand-whittled wooden pin. Nails were the flat, square headed nails, more like a bolt. The church had a tall spire and a cross above the entry. Patrick McGrath, a farmer in the Soldier Valley, built and finished the altar. Dan Thomas plastered the church. Many of the parishioners donated their time and helped in every way they could. A barn was built at the rear of the church for horses of Fr. Meagher's; he had several Missions to attend to as well as Danbury. Fr. Meagher arrived before the completion of the church, and until a rectory was built, he roomed and boarded in the Jacob Peters Rooming House on Main Street. The church was completed by Christmas of 1883.
   The first Mass was held on Christmas day, 1883. Nearly everyone received communion, and four babies were baptized that same day. The babies baptized were Julie Ollie Struble, Honora Sullivan, Agnes Kregin, and Frances Patrick O'Meara of Ida Grove.
   Reverend Timothy Meagher was the first resident priest, coming year 1883. Fr. Meagher was born in Kilkenny, Bramblestown County, Ireland in 1855. His parents were Daniel and Ellen DeLaney Meagher. He had 5 sisters and 3 brothers. Fr. Meagher received his education at Kernans College in Ireland. He came to the U.S. after finishing his schooling. A brother, Patrick and a sister, Margaret followed him to the U.S. Fr. Meagher was assigned to St. Patrick's of Danbury when he was 28 years old. In 1883 he served several missions besides Danbury - Ida Grove, Oto, Charter Oak, and Mapleton. He had Oto as a mission a number of years. When there was a funeral at Oto, he always took his choir with him. The six girls making up the choir were Lulu Kennedy (Mrs. Ed Driscoll), Ellen Kennedy (Mrs. P.C. Keitges), Mary Kennedy (Mrs. Christian LeDuc), Jo Hanna O'Keefe (Mrs. Henry Fitzpatrick), Rosa Welte (Mrs. John Crilly), and Maggie Collins, then all young unmarried ladies. Fr. Meagher took them with horse and carriage. They left Danbury early in the morning and returned late in the afternoon.
   Fr. Meagher secured a room at the Jacob Peters Rooming House, and children of Catholic families came to his room for Catechism lessons until a rectory was built in 1884. The first academy (wooden) was built in 1887.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

St. Patrick's Church 1883
   The first Mass was held on Christmas Day, 1883. Nearly everyone received communion, and four babies were baptized that same day. The babies baptized were Julie Ollie Struble, Honora Sullivan, Agnes Kregin, and Frances Patrick O'Meara of Ida Grove.
   Reverend Timothy Meagher was the first resident priest, coming year 1883. Fr. Meagher was born in Kilkenny, Bramblestown County, Ireland in 1855. His parents were Daniel and Ellen DeLaney Meagher. He had 5 sisters and 3 brothers. Fr. Meagher received his education at Kernans College in Ireland. He came to the U.S. after finishing his schooling. A brother, Patrick and a sister, Margaret followed him to the U.S. Fr. Meagher was assigned to St. Patrick's of Danbury when he was 28 years old. In 1883 he served several missions besides Danbury - Ida Grove, Oto, Charter Oak, and Mapleton. He had Oto as a mission a number of years. When there was a funeral at Oto, he always took his choir with him. The six girls making up the choir were Lulu Kennedy (Mrs. Ed Driscoll), Ellen Kennedy (Mrs. P.C. Keitges), Mary Kennedy (Mrs. Christian LeDuc), Jo Hanna O'Keefe (Mrs. Henry Fitzpatrick), Rosa Welte (Mrs. John Crilly), and Maggie Collins, then all young unmarried ladies. Fr. Meagher took them with horse and carriage. They left Danbury early in the morning and returned late in the afternoon.
   Fr. Meagher secured a room at the Jacob Peters Rooming House, and children of Catholic families came to his room for Catechism lessons until a rectory was built in 1884. The first academy (wooden) was built in 1887.
Church subscriptions
Note: Many of these family names are now, 1970, spelled differently. In 1890 Danbury had only the one Catholic church.

Mr. Anderson $5.00
Barrett, Jacob 25.00
Barry, Pat 35.00
Barry, John 15.00
Baxter, Reed and Co. 10.00
Baekermeyer, John 15.50
Beeson, Thomas 11.00
Bolier, J. 49.50
Bollack, Nicholas 5.00
Bolster, Barney 19.00
Bolster, Joe and John 29.45
Bollig, John P. 10.00
Bollig, Matthew 10.00
Booher, W.B. 5.00
Bower, Matthew 20.00
Bower, Nicholas 20.00
Bowman, C.P. 3.00
Bowman, S.H. 25.00
Boyle, John 23.35
Boyle, Michael 97.15
Bray, James 64.00
Bray, Patrick Jr. 5.00
Bray, Patrick Sr. 450.00
Burns, John 5.00
Burns, Michael 20.00
Callahan, Chas. 30.00
Canfield, Michael 23.00
Castle, G.N. 5.00
Clerking, James 50.00
Collins, Catherine 10.00
Collins, Con 122.20
Collins, J.W. 18.00
Collins, Michael 37.50
Collins, P.H. 4.50
Collins, Pat 90.00
Colman, A. 24.80
Cook, Wm. 2.00
Corrigan, A.P. 25.50
Coughlin, John 66.00
Coyne, Peter 11.00
Craig, John 5.20
Craig, Owen 65.20
Cregan, Pat 10.00
Crilly, John 5.00
Crilly, Peter 68.45
Crilly, Thomas 5.00
Culbert, John 19.50
Curtin, Con 15.00
Curtin, Jeff 30.00
Curtin, John 20.00
Daly, Dan 5.00
Daly, Jeff 25.00
Dessel, Frank 45.50
Dummig, Henry 137.10
Dolan, Bernard 5.25
Dolan, John 59.20
Dolan, Stephen 5.15
Dorn, Bros. 25.00
Drea, Michael 15.00
Dresden, Henry 12.00
Driscoll, John 5.00
Driscoll, Murthy 44.50
Dunnery, Chas. 5.00
Durst, Godfrey 20.00
Eilers, Henry 10.00
Eilers, John 7.00
Elemire, Frank 22.00
Elliott, John 7.00
Ernest, Aloysius 10.00
Fitzpatrick, Dan 24.25
Fitzpatrick, D.F. 63.50
Fitzpatrick, T.L. 45.45
Flood, Matthew 146.75
Frum, C.C. 5.00
Funke, C.A. 92.00
Galvin, Jerry 15.50
Ganion, John 66.65
Garrison, James 10.00
Gault, Frank 6.00
Gleeson, John Jr. 5.00
Gleeson, John Sr. 29.50
Greek, Mrs. 5.00
Garrigan, John 126.50
Hartstock, Albert 70.00
Hand, Walter & Co. 25.00
Hayes, Edward 1.50
Hayes, Peter 9.00
Hayes, Willie 45.00
Hefferman, John 2.00
Henzie, Wm. 2.50
Herman, Adam 2.50
Hermonsen, Albert 2.00
Hiller, G.P. 40.00
Hittle, John 5.00
Horton, J.S. 10.00
Jones, Henry 34.91
Kampmeyer, John 10.00
Kane, Thomas 76.50
Keegan, John 44.80
Keitges, Nicholas 35.00
Keitges, P.B. 12.00
Keitges, Peter 35.00
Keitges, Pierre 15.00
Keleher, Con 5.00
Keleher, James 22.50
Keleher, Michael 84.50
Kelly, Henry 10.00
Kelly, Pat 25.00
Keough, John 5.00
Keough, Pat 5.00
Kessel, Frank 37.00
Killian, John A. 10.00
Killian, John 26.25
Killian, P.A. 6.70
Kimball, C.E. 4.00
Kueny, Killian 10.00
Lacy, James 35.00
Lacy, Moses 123.80
Liebold, Adam .50
Lenz, Nicholas 45.00
Lippold, John 6.00
Litzsenschwab, Mr. 16.00
Lombard, Mr. 5.00
Loppy, Henry 15.00
Loucks, R.H. 35.00
Lynch, Bridget 10.00
Madden, John 22.00
Mahoney, John 15.00
Mahoney, Michael 3.00
Mahoney, Wm. 8.00
McAleer, John 8.20
McDonald, Dan 10.00
McGer, Mr. 5.00
McGuire, John 1.00
McGuire, J.E. 5.00
McGuire, Pat 5.00
McGuire, Thomas 20.00
McGrath, Dan 56.00
McGrath, John 10.00
McGrath, Mary 20.00
McGrath, Michael 70.00
McGrath, Patrick 196.00
McKenna, George 20.00
McKenna, Willie 12.25
McKivergan, James 14.00
McNerny, Dr. 20.00
McNiff, John 20.00
McShea, James 10.00
Meaghan, Fr. 230.00
Means, J.F. 2.50
Meciffergin, Dan 5.00
Meehan, John 5.00
Miller, Barney 15.00
Montgomery, Chas. 1.50
Morehouser, John 26.15
Morgan, James 5.00
Morgan, Jerry 5.00
Moriarity, Sylvester 105.00
Moran, James 35.00
Morrisy, James 41.00
Murphy, Daniel 10.00
Murphy, John Jr. 34.60
Murphy, John Sr. 25.50
Murray, Frank 1.00
Nevin, Pat 20.00
Newcomer, Dan 3.00
Obereiter, William 41.00
O'Connor, James 10.00
O'Connor, John 11.00
O'Connor, John, Mapleton
O'Connor, Walter 2.50
O'Day, Daniel 84.00
O'Day, John 10.00
O'Doherty, Joe 18.50
O'Donnell, Mrs. M. 25.00
Ogan and Lyons 5.00
O'Hare, Henry 55.00
O'Hare, Hugh 10.00
Oregon, Mrs. 5.00
Ostrom, J.H. 5.00
Penny, Wm. 5.00
Peters, John 5.00
Peters, Nicholas 25.00
Quigley, John Jr. 5.30
Quigley, John Sr. 31.50
Ratchford, Michael 51.25
Reilly, M.H. 5.00
Reilly, Pat 10.50
Reinhold, Wm. 1.00
Rogers, Thomas 27.50
Rosier, Peter 16.50
Rush, Michael 30.25
Rush, Pat 19.25
Sahm, Jacob 2.50
Santee, A.J. 2.50
Santee, I.B. 5.50
Savening, Albert 26.75
Savening, Jos. 5.00
Savening, Rinehart 25.00
Scanlon, Pat 20.00
Schindler, John 5.00
Schindler, M. 10.00
Schoner, Geo. 15.20
Schrounk, John 5.00
Scrible, Henry 10.00
Seibold Bros. 5.00
Seibold, W.F. 35.00
Sexton, James 80.00
Shaffer, Ed 10.00
Shaffer, Mr. 20.00
Shepherd, Field & Cook 25.00
Siglein, Fred 5.00
Smythe, Wm. 10.00
Stodden, Martin 15.00
Stodden, N.A. 20.82
Sullivan, Con 10.00
Sullivan, Dan 10.00
Sullivan, Dennis 25.00
Sullivan, John 5.00
Tangeman, Daniel 20.00
Teefy, Dan 16.75
Teefy, Michael 27.50
Teefy, Patrick 59.00
Thankel, John 1.00
Thomas, Dan 25.00
Tonner Bros. 5.00
Uehle, John 7.55
Uehle, Jos. Sr. 10.40
Uehle, Jos. Sr. 16.60
Uhl, Anthony 65.00
Uhl, John 47.00
Uhl, Jos. 33.50
Uhl, Martin 37.50
Uhlrich, Nicholas 10.00
Ulsch, Chris 6.00
Walling, Herman 21.00
Warner, Herman 5.00
Webber, William 5.00
Weinold, Henry 8.00
Welte, Jacob 176.31
Wheeling, Barney 5.00
Wilcox, H.T. 8.00
Wilson, Louis 6.00
Wilson, Mrs. J. 6.00
Winton, Jos. 10.00
Zimmernian, Mr. 80.00
Zitzenberger, Jos. 5.50

   There were quite a number of businessmen here by 1883. Those that advertised in The Danbury Review, 1883 were the following:    G.E. Carroll - He was hired by Dan Thomas to manage the Dan Thomas General Store, but, due to unfair business practices, the store lost money, and Dan lost the store. This store served as a post office and the stage stop, 1883.
   V.A. Ostrom - Restaurant (just north of present laundromat). Later a saloon.
   Jacob Welte - General store built 1881 (Schimmer Barber Shop). Home was upstairs.
   L.D. Herrington - Livery, feed and Dray (location of Anna Steinbach residence).
   Godfrey Durst - Roller Banner Mills
   R.H. Loucks - Drug store and notary public (located on present bank corner). The family first lived upstairs.
   Walter H. Hand and Co. - Hardware, Tinware, and cook stoves. Tin smith shop was on present laundromat location. He made many of the tin articles he sold. Articles of tinware were cookie cutters, candle scones, coasters, roasting pans, combs, strainers, tin cups, graters, funnels, tin plates, and baby plates with the alphabet around them. Mr. Hand also sold stoves and stove pipe. The first telephone switchboard in Danbury was installed in his store. Walter married Cora Cameron, a daughter of Samuel and Sarah Rice Cameron. They raised an adopted son, Cameron.
   H.T. Wilcox - Whips, bridles, harness, trunks, etc. Henry was Danbury's first harness maker. His shop was on the west side of Main St. (later George Elskamp's Harness Shop). Henry married Emma Dicks. They had two girls, Eva N. and Bertha.

Following is a report of St. Patrick's Church by Fr. Meagher: St. Patrick's Records of Income and Expenses 1883-1890 Dec. 20, 1883 to Jan. 1, 1890
Insurance on old and new churches $1,642.63
Fr. Barron collected in the east 652.00
Material salvaged from old church, 6,000 bricks and cash 75.00
Fairs and festivals 3,334.80
Fr. Meagher collected from outside missions 874.55
Donated by the people of parish 6,784.20
Total received 13,363.97
Church grounds, barn, fence and sidewalks $1,361.00
Paid Jacob Peters for building church 1,017.00
For new chruch including vestments, damage
by storm, altar, stations, pews, etc. 4,983.19
Pastor's recotry and furniture 2,500.00
Church expense for the 6 years 978.45
Insurance of property from 1883-1890 304.50
Interest on money borrowed 1,126.25
Cemetery cost $230, sold lots $230
Convent, school hall and furniture 3,750.00
Total expense 16,020.39
Leaving a liability of 2,656.42
To meet liability, a note held for $905.90
and Lot in Sioux City $200 1,106.90
Total debt Jan 1., 1890 $1,549.52

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Businessmen 1883
   Elliot and Redfield Meat Market - The "butcher" bought livestock from the local livestock buyer, or directly from the farmer. The animal was driven to the slaughter house which was south of present Ralph Scott barn, nearer the river. Here the animals were yarded and butchered when convenient. There was later a second slaughter house built on corner post Gene Volkman farm. The carcasses were cooled overnight, then taken to the butcher shop. The men working in the shop sat in a heated room at the rear, but the meat was always in a cold room. The carcass was hung on a large hook and parts cut off when the customer requested certain cuts. Later, counters were installed, and cleaned, cracked ice from the river was used to refrigerate. The meat shop slogan then was "From the Stable to the Table," but the methods changed, and by 1918 the butcher was selling groceries along with the meat. The butcher then gave you a chunk of liver free and also a bone for your dog. Three pounds of steak cost a quarter. Other butcher shops in Danbury were Benjamin Smith, John Hart, Clancy and Flood, Henry Osterholtz and Elzie Tangeman, Henry Osterholtz and Wenz Gruber, Henry Crippen, and Dick "Richard" Colbert.
   David Tangeman - Grain dealer and coal. David purchased a small lumber yard when he first came here (west of Maple Valley Lumber Yard). He soon built a small elevator on this property, and he bought and shipped corn; he also had many cribs of corn about town. The corn was brought in by his renters. He later discontinued the lumber yard and just sold coal.
   W.F. Seibold - Lumber and grain. He had a number of buildings at south end of Main Street. He had an elevator, office and lumber yard.
   W.B. Booher - Furniture and coffins (bought business of Samuel Griffith 1883).
   F.H. Rose - Real estate.
   Ostrom and E. Mensinger - Real estate and loans. They had a small office on the west side of Main Street.
   J.F. Means - Hardware and implements north of Dan Thomas Store.
   Ogan and Lyon - General store.
   S.H. Bowman Lumber Yard - (on location of Maple Valley Lumber Yard).
   Santee and Gault - Managers of Shepard, Field and Cook Store. The three men from Council Bluffs bought the store from G.E. Carroll, and they sent Santee to Danbury to manager the store in 1883. Gault was a clerk. John Crilly was hired as a clerk in 1883.
   J.H. Ostrom - Attorney.
   G.E. George - Visiting attorney from Ida Grove.
   William Reinhold - Blacksmith and wagon making. William and Ellen Reinhold were in Danbury 1883 to 1889. They sold their property then to Patrick Collins.
   G.R. Myrick and A.C. Myrick - Blacksmiths.
   Theodore Litzelschwab - Boot and shoemaker. Built a two story building on the west side of Main Street north of present German Mutual building. His family lived above the shop. He made some shoes and boots, but by 1880 there were 2,000 shoe factories in the U.S. People often did not have the money to buy store bought shoes, and many thought store bought shoes to be inferior to the homemade ones. Some children went barefoot to school until the first frosts. Gunny sacks were often wrapped around the foot. Overshoes were first introduced in 1890. Theodore remained in Danbury all of his life. He died on December 15, 1892. Mr. Keller and son Irving then took over his shop, and they repaired shoes. George Elskamp who ran the harness shop repaired shoes along with his business, after the Kellers.
   R.L. Canty - Shoemaker.
   Samuel Griffith - Dealer in brick. After Samuel Griffith sold his hardware, he went into the brick business, and he also was a carpenter. Clay for the brick was obtained on the Peter Smith farm, present Gene Volkman farm. To make bricks, a large pit was dug, then alternated layers of clay and sand were placed in the pit. Water was then run into the pit until the sand and clay were wet thoroughly. A horse attached to a sweep went round and round pulling a mechanism which pulverized the mixture and mixed it thoroughly. The mixture was put into a mould the shape of a brick, excess clay was scraped from the mold with a wire bow, and when the mould was smooth, the moulds were carried to a shady and graveled yard. The moulds were stood on end and edged. When the clay was dry, the bricks were removed from the moulds, stacked, and covered with a board trough. The bricks had to be kept dry or they would disintegrate. Sam made bricks for all foundations of the first homes and chimneys, and he made and laid the brick for St. Patrick's Church built in 1883. He also made the brick and built the house presently owned by Mel Pithan. This was the Wilbert Booher home. Sam also built the first Catholic church in 1881, the one destroyed by a tornado. He also helped to build the public school in 1879.
   George N. Castle - Castle House Hotel. Nick came to Danbury in 1879 and bought a hotel built by Melvin Chapman in 1878 (on Barry Bros. Motors lot). George and his wife, Elmira opened this hotel from 1879 to 1904. They offered room, board, and livery service.
   Grey and Beery - Lawyers from Ida Grove.
   Dr. J.N. Condron - Veterinarian. He came before Danbury had a physician, and he was sometimes called to care for the sick.
   Dr. S.A. McNerny - Physician and surgeon who came in 1880. His office was in the building south of the Jacob Welte Store on the east side (next to Schimmer Barber Shop presently). He was a very good doctor, but he drank too much, so he was not very dependable. He died in Danbury when quite young.
   A.J. Smith - Auctioneer.
   Joseph O'Dougherty - Insurance Agent, also sold real estate. He was a civic leader and served on many committees and held many offices.
   W.E. Condron - Tonsorial Artist (Barber). Was a brother of Dr. Condron.
   Jacob Peters - Contractor. He built a rooming house on Henry Fitzpatrick Store location when he first arrived. He contracted and built Danbury Public School and St. Patrick's Church, built in 1883.
   Dr. C.A. Bradly - Came spring of 1880.
   George Castle Sr. - Carpenter.
   Benjamin Smith - Drove Danbury to Sioux City stage.
   Dan Thomas - Mason.
   Dr. Julius Warren Cox - Practicing physician and surgeon. He also came to Danbury in 1883, but he later moved to Mapleton after marrying Cora Bridges, a Mapleton girl.
   Charley C. Cook - One of the partners owning the Shepard, Field and Cook Store, also came to Danbury in 1883. He was the grandson of Philander Cook of New York, and he was of Dutch ancestry. His mother, Caroline F. Williams Cook was a descendant of Roger Williams who founded the colony of Rhode Island. C.C. Cook was born at Java Lake, Wyoming County, New York in July 28, 1855, the second of four children. Charley received his education at Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to which city his parents had moved when he was 8. When 15 Charley went to Lacon, Illinois, and he found employment with the railroad surveyors. When 18 he went to Council Bluffs and became a traveling salesman for a wholesale dry goods house. He along with Shepard and Field bought the Dan Thomas Store from G.E. Carroll in 1883. Charley lived in Danbury part of the time and came here often when a traveling salesman. He married Maude Knepper. They had one son, A. Delbert.
Commercial Hotel on Crilly Store Lot
   The Commercial Hotel was built and operated about 1881, but the exact year and first owners are unknown. Joe Welte said a Mr. Kelsey managed it at one time. Patrick and Anna Collins (grandparents of Esther and Lucille Collins) moved to Danbury from Cork Hill in 1885. They then took over the management of the hotel. Patrick Collins also bought the vacant lot to the north of the hotel from William an Ellen Reinhold in 1889, and he built a livery on the east of his hotel soon after he purchased it in 1885. Anna Collins continued to operate this hotel after Pat died. They hauled passengers to and from the depot. Stage coach travelers often stayed there. Three meals were served there every day at 25¢ a meal. Meals were announced by ringing a bell. The first bell meant dinner was ready, and the second bell announced it was ready to be served. Many single men roomed there. A son, John Collins and wife also came to Danbury from Cork Hill in 1903, and they took over the management after his mother quit the business. John bought the hotel from his mother on January 9, 1906. John and his wife Bridget operated the hotel until 1910. They then sold it to John H. Crilly who wanted to build a store on the location. The house was split into two parts and moved to different parts of town and made into residences (present Ed Krueger and Schenke homes).
1880 - 1885

   Every depot in eastern Iowa, Indiana, and Illinois was displaying sale bills advertising Northwest Iowa land and land extending along the new tracks which had just been completed from Clinton County to Council Bluffs in Harrison County. The land was also advertised in Iowa Homestead and other farm papers. The land for sale was along our present Highway 30, from east to west across the state, and in Northwest Iowa as far north as LeMars and Storm Lake, and as far south as Missouri Valley and Dunlap. The government had given the railroads every other section of land along the right of way of the railroad trackage, and if some of these sections were already taken, land was given to them as far back from the railroad as 15 miles. The land was given them to compensate or the cost of building the railroad lines. The government wanted the railroads to dispose of the land as quickly as possible, so as to get the land on the tax list. The land-seeking families that came at this time had more money and were better off financially as they had been farming in the East, Indiana, Illinois, or eastern Iowa for a number of years.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

RAILROAD LAND SOLD 1880 - 1885    Most of these people came by immigrant train. Some had neighbors back in Clinton County. Most people who came to Danbury were either of Irish or German nationality, and the land agents sold adjoining farms to people of the same nationality. Land north of Danbury was sold to Irish families. Germans of Catholic faith bought land in Dutch Hollow. Germans of Lutheran faith bought land southeast of Danbury in what was called the Rush Creek Settlement. The Sharon community was also a settlement of German-Lutheran families, and a church and cemetery were started at this settlement. Rush Creek Settlement    There were several sections of land sold to Germans in Monona County but bordering Woodbury County in an area known today as the Otto Cemetery location. These Germans had come all from Pommerania, Germany in 1860s and had settled on land in Clinton County, Iowa, near Lyons, Low Moor, and Camanche. At the time they came east from New York, Clinton County was the end of the railroad line. In 1877, J.F.A. Ahlwardt, wife Carolina Berndt and their three sons came to Crawford County to break sod for Mr. Hart and Mr. Moiun of Clinton County who had purchased land near Danbury (actually in Crawford County 8 miles east of Danbury). They came and liked it here and wrote back to relatives what a wonderful farming country this was and the reasonable prices of land. In a few years all had come, mostly relatives and some friends, and they all took adjoining farms near the creek Rush Creek, a creek so named because of the fast waters. Families coming were Ludwig and Frederika Ahlwardt Hartleben; John and Hannah Ahlwardt Newmann; Albert Ahlwardt, William and Sophia Berndt Hillman; William Berndt; Fritz and Wilhemina Hillman Ohm; Charley and Hannah Berndt Ladendorf; John F. and Elizabeth Brant Rhode; William and Anna Hartleben Rhode; John C. and Emma Ladendorf Rhode; George and Emma Rhode Riecks; William and Margaret Wiese and family; William Mensingers and sons Fred, William Jr., Herman, August, and Henry; Bernard and Sophia Johnck and children August, John and Amelia (Mrs. Albert Ahlwardt); William and Mary Klickow; August and Lena Bartels; Henry and John Babbe families; Antone Borneman; Carl Plog family and his brother Louis Plog; and August and Margaretha Lille and their families. Many of these families had grown children upon arriving, and as they married they took adjoining land.    These were very close knit families, and they all made an effort to help one another when in need or sickness. Hannah Ladendorf and Mary Klickow were both midwives, and they delivered all the babies and nursed the sick. Whenever there was a death in a family, they entered the home and prepared the corpse for a burial, otherwise known as "laying them out."    The children in the Rush Creek Settlement first attended school in the Thomas Porter home. It was north of the Ladendorf buildings, close to the creek bank. This was a dug out house with an earthen floor, and the light entered the house from the windows at the front of the dug out. There were field mice in the dug out, and the boys going to school there often chased the girls with the mice or placed the dead mice in girls' school desks. By 1881 Thomas Porter gave land for a school house, and it was built on the hill just west of the Ladendorf buildings. Mr. Porter was the first director, and the school was then known as the Porter School. School started in September but was dismissed through the month of November to let the grown pupils help pick corn. There were many older boys and girls who attended this school in the winters; sometimes as many as 30 pupils were attending. Church services were held in this school until a Lutheran church was built in Soldier Township, Crawford County. This school was later known as the Wiese School and the Ladendorf School.    John and Hannah Newmann owned the 40 acres on which is the Otto Cemetery today. Hannah gave 2 acres off the northeast corner of her farm for a cemetery. Her wish was that all people who had come from Pommerania, Germany, should be buried there. Her husband, John was buried there, and the second person to be buried there was her close friend, Sophia Rhode, the grandmother of John and William Rhode who died on May 5, 1877. It has since been maintained by Monona County, First Newmann Cemetery, now Otto.    William Wiese provided much of the entertainment for these early settlers. His farm is now owned by Bob Hartigan. The Danbury Stage Coach to Denison passed through his farm, and the trail came out on the north, and this is where he built a large dance hall. The floor was roofed, and there was a check room for wraps, a room for mothers to care for their babies, and a bar where beer and other drinks were sold. This was a popular dance hall for many years. The Johncks Orchestra usually provided the music, and the Danbury Stage hauled patrons out from Danbury. Many of the Rush Creek settlement could play instruments, and on Sunday afternoon they would congregate in some home and play music. Mr. Wiese also organized the Sons of Hermans Society, an organization which these families had known in Germany. This social club met regularly at the Wiese farm, and to belong you had to have certain qualifications and physical fitness was practiced. Rules were the following:

  1. You had to be chosen and have a good reputation.
  2. Be of German nationality.
  3. Be a man of means.
  4. You had to be able to keep a secret.
  5. You did not know the secrets of the inner society for many years, not until you had proven yourself.
  6. They frowned on church membership. You could attend but not become involved.
  7. They promised to defend each other in legal matters.
  8. You dared not divulge any of the club's secrets.

   The meetings were held on Sunday. There was a lake on the Wiese farm, and some went fishing. The Danbury people called this "Hermans Hoose on Wiesback," meaning Herman's House on Wiese's Lake. This was during saloon days. Many of the men who belonged to this organization were heavy drinkers, and soon these meetings became drunken brawls. This finally culminated into a tragedy. One of the members divulged some secrets of the organization. Shortly thereafter the man was found one Sunday morning floating in the Maple River below the dam. No one knew whether it was a suicide or a murder, and no charges were ever brought against anyone, but the Sons of Hermans Society received a bad name from this episode, and from that time on no one wanted to admit that he was ever a member of this organization. Rush Creek Ball Club    Nearly every family from Rush Creek had some grown boys. They had grown up in Clinton County and all had learned to play ball back east. These young men soon organized baseball clubs after arriving in Monona County. They would congregate on a Sunday afternoon in somebody's pasture. Those playing on the first team were William Hartleben and his younger brother Albert; Albert Ladendorf; Henry, Fred and Herman Mensinger; Fritz and Albert Ahlwardt; Antone Treiber; and the Driscoll boys Mike and Robert. As these young men grew up others took their place. Others who played were Gerheart and Walter Riecks, Walter and Louis Ott, James and John Scott, George and Fred Treiber, and Bart Barry came out from Danbury. There was a Rush Creek team before a team organized in Danbury. George Treiber was pitcher, and he could pitch a ball hard to hit. This team later had uniforms, and they played at many public functions, often playing Danbury or some other team from a surrounding town. Organized by 1885. Johncks Orchestra    John Johncks came from Clinton County with his parents, Bernard and Sophia Johnck and his brother, Gus and his sister, Amelia. John and Gus were both very musical, and both could play practically any instrument. John and Max Bartels always played for the barn dances, etc. in the neighborhood. Gus died of pneumonia when quite young.    John married Lena Rhode, daughter of John F. and Elizabeth Brant Rhode, and he lived on the old Johncks place 2 miles west of Otto Cemetery. Their oldest child was a son which they named Gus after his Uncle Gus Johnck. Gus was very talented, too, and his father bought him a violin when he was just 12. When the Wilkenson Hall was built and dances held there in 1888, John Johnck enlarged his orchestra, and they then played for all Danbury dances as well as at Mapleton, Ida Grove, Oto, Odebolt, etc. They traveled by train when possible, but when they played at Oto, they went by team and buggy. Members of this orchestra were John Boyer, Art Powell, Otto Schrank, George Wilkinson, John Johnck and his son Gus age 16, and Albert Ladendorf and John Putzier often substituted. Entertainment in 1880s, Danbury, Iowa Sunday Walks and Meeting the Train    People did not work on the Sabbath in 1883. There were religious services in the Methodist church most of the day at different times. The Catholic Mass was much longer. After Mass the families usually went visiting.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Entertainment in 1880s, Danbury, Iowa
Sunday Walks and Meeting the Train

   Town residents, after the coming of the railroad, liked to take Sunday walks. They would walk down the railroad tracks to the river and Mill and return to Danbury by the old Mill road.
   There was always a crowd at the depot on Sunday evening when the train came in.
   Ice skating on the Maple River was a popular sport in the winter. The boys had a swimming hole in the Maple, and 2 or 3 young men lost their lives by drowning in the Maple River.
Maple Valley Trotting Association and Racing
   This organization which sponsored horse racing was organized as early as 1879. They put out a program, and liberal prizes were offered in the different classes to assure that all pledges of the Association would be kept. Every town along the Maple River took an interest in this racing, and nearly all towns had a race track. Several Danbury families owned either trotting horses or race horses.
   Betting on horses as to speed and pulling power was also common entertainment. The betting was enjoyed as much was the races. Skids were loaded to rocks. A horse's power was judged according to the size of the load it could pull. A horse and rider running a race from one point to another, and also the game of tug of war between two teams of men were popular entertainment for the men.
   Playing horse shoes was always popular with the men and boys.
   "Maple Valley Scoop" October 18, 1883: One of the most important events of the season was a footrace at Oto Saturday between Dave Mahoney of Cork Hill and Smith from Smithland. The original stakes were $100 a side between Frank Hilliard for Mahoney and Mr. Adams for Smith. Early in the afternoon the people began to gather, work was abandoned and even a party of threshers 2 miles up the river left their job half-completed and came to see the fun. A baseball game was played between the Cork Hill and West Fork Club to quiet the nerves of the anxiously awaiting crowd. Everywhere in the village were small groups of men wagering on their favorite. By the appointed time of the race, 1,000 persons had arrived.
   The place chosen for the race was on the race track of J.S. Horton just across the river. At 4:15 the crowd moved across the race track. Wager after wager was deposited, and all through the crowd men could be seen waging from $5 to $100 bills which would be covered as soon as they were conspicuous. The crowd seemed to be equally divided, and a tight race was expected as both men had gained notoriety as runners. The distance of 100 yards was measured off when both men appeared in their running costumes. The judges were chosen and the tracks were cleared. The runners were placed in position. When the word was given, the men started, and it was plain to see from the start who the winner wold be. Mahoney was 5' behind at the end of the race. The judge declared Smith as the winner and fully $1,000 exchanged hands. Afterwards a horse race between Jenkins' mare Bally and a horse named Ketchup took place for a small purse. Ketchup was winner."
   Thought this was interesting because they evidently did not believe in all work and no play, and, although they were poor, they seemed to have money for betting.
Danbury's Growth

1884-1886 Benjamin Smith, Mayor
1886-1888 George N. Castle, Mayor
Town of Danbury's First Bank - Dorn Loan Office
   The first bank in Danbury was more of a loan office. E.D. and D.D. Dorn came to Danbury in 1884 and opened a loan office on Main Street in the Cord building. They borrowed money to these first settlers. Most came here with a plow, a team of horses, a cow, and possibly a crate of chickens, but none had the money to dig a well, buy a windmill, or put in their first crop. Interest then was 20%. You gave what property you had as security, and many a settler lost that. You actually only received $80 out of $100 that you borrowed as the first year's interest was kept out when you borrowed the money. Interest was paid in advance.
   Clinton R. Dorn wrote a letter to Fred Freeman, editor of "Danbury Review," telling him of his father's and uncle's loan office, and congratulated him on Danbury's fine basketball team which played at the state tournament at Iowa City in 1946.

Dear Mr. Freeman,
   As an old Danburyite, I want to congratulate the Danbury team on the exceptional record which they made at Iowa City. Just tell the boys I am for them, and I am especially proud of that big bunch of rooters that went to Iowa City as well, instead of staying home and milking the cows or putting the baby to sleep.
   My father, Daniel Dorn and his brother, E.D. Dorn founded the first bank in Danbury in 1884, 62 years ago. Prairie schooners poured in from back east in a constant stream and settled up the territories around Danbury. Possibly I can refresh the memories of some by recounting a few pioneer events.
   The first thing these pioneers did was to go to the country and select a tract of land which they could do by simply filing pre-emption claims and living up to certain things. But they were all optimists. As soon as they had pre-empted a tract, they headed for the bank and said, "Mr. Dorn, my name is Jones. I'm from Massachusetts. I own 160 acres of land out near town and I am busted. I haven't got a cent to buy farm implements or livestock or seed. I haven't got the money to buy groceries nor the necessities of life. You have got to stake me," and Father would loan them the money.
   Father made it a point to drive all over that part of Woodbury County to keep in touch with these pioneers. He knew when Bill would have a bunch of cattle to sell, Jim some hogs, and Joe some horses. When the crop was ready to sell, he would be on the job and pay a little more than the others so that he could get his payment in produce. He took what they produced, took out what they owed him, and gave them a check for the balance, and they were happy and so was he. They came out west to make good and paid off debts they had made back east. That's the kind of stuff our pioneers were made of. Maybe some Danburyites will remember that Father made Danbury the biggest shipping point for grain and livestock in all Iowa. We were mighty proud of Danbury.
   Barb wire fences were unknown in 1884, but an Iowa man invented barbed wire, and then the trouble began. Livestock was not used to barbed wire as they had run free-rein on the prairies for years. Today they are wise, but in the beginning the cuts that they got from the new barbed wire was frightful. A remedy had to be found. I worked in Louck's Drug Store in Danbury 3 years after attending your new school of which Prof. Bowman was principal. The barbed wire remedy was made up of sulfuric acid and turpentine. It took hours to make it as the acid, oil and turpentine certainly got hot. It had to be mixed slowly and in an open vessel outside. The mixture was healing, and it kept flies off the wounds which was very important. One day a farmer rushed into the drug store and said he wanted a gallon of black oil liniment, and he wanted it mighty quick for he was ready to start home to milk the cows. It happened that we had sold the last gallon we had made up. I told him that if he couldn't wait I could put the oil and turpentine in one jug and the sulfuric acid in a bottle. He could put the two of them together slowly when he got home. He said he guessed he knew a thing or two, and as soon as he got out the door he stopped and put the sulfuric acid in the jug. I don't think the farmer or I or anyone else seeing the commotion will ever forget the noise, and what a sight the front of the drug store was after the explosion. It was a mess of black oil liniment.
   I have very pleasant memories of Danbury, its schools, its churches, and its people.
Most sincerely,
Clinton R. Dorn

   It is true Danbury was always considered the biggest shipping point along the Chicago and Northwestern branch line from Carroll to Onawa. Several other men did as Mr. Dorn, loaned money, and then took produce for payment. W.F. Seibold had cribs of ear corn from the alley to the pump house, west to the end of the street. There were no houses on that street until 1900s. F.H. Hancock had corn cribs along the fence, inside the park, running from east to west. David Tangemen had cribs of corn running north and south behind the public school, a good number of cribs were always on railroad property south of the depot, and there were a number of cribs scattered throughout the town. Renters of these landlords hauled their corn to town as they picked and scooped it into these cribs. In the winter months the corn was shelled and hauled to the elevators or loaded in box cars for shipment to Chicago. I.J. Parks and Jerry Seaman had horse powered shellers. Tony Treiber had a steam sheller (1904). Morgan Township had no shipping point from their township, so farmers there brought their grain to Danbury. The mill, too, helped the grain business. Farmers brought grain, wheat and corn to the mill in exchange for flour. Mr. Durst built a warehouse and elevator to store grain. When the elevator was filled to overflow, the excess grain would be hauled to Danbury and shipped to Chicago.
   The Dan Thomas Store from 1873 to 1882 quoted the prices, and they were published every week in the weekly paper. Corn then was 12¢ a bushel, wheat 53¢, hogs $1.75 to $1.79 a hundred, and cattle $1.80 to $2. In 1882 Godfrey Durst quoted the market prices for the community, and everyone honored his judgement. Wheat was 50¢ a bushel in 1886, oats 20¢ a bushel, flour $2 to $2.80 for a 50 lb. sack, potatoes 80¢ a bushel, cattle $4 a hundred, and butchers $2.50 to $3.50.
   The first elevators were owned by David Tangeman and Sons (1879), W.F. Seibold and Sons (1882), F.H. Hancock (1891), and the Durst Elevator (1882). These elevators have changed hands many times during the first 100 years. The Tangeman Elevator was small and on present Welte Vault property next to the railroad tracks. That was torn down. W.F. Seibold's first elevator was rebuilt to one much larger capacity. Owners through the years have been W.B. Booher, I.B. Santee and Elzie Tangeman, Michael Burke, Tony Reimer, Nickolaissen, Russell Uhl, and a group of Battle Creek farmers (Farmers Elevator) with Elmer Bertlesen manager. Present owner of elevator is Thomas "Buzz" Sexton.
   Large numbers of livestock was shipped by rail to Chicago every year. No one fed large numbers, usually just their own raising, but sometimes feeders would be brought back to Danbury from Chicago. The livestock dealers which were in every town would try to buy the livestock from the farmer, and then he would ship them to Chicago for some profit. Many farmers shipped their own, however. Cattle were driven to Danbury Saturday morning to the railroad stockyards. Hogs were hauled in by wagon. The livestock was then loaded on railroad cars, and about 4:00 p.m. the freight picked them up. Livestock buyers through the years were C.C. Frum, P.C. Keitges, Elzie Tangeman, and M.J. Frum.
   Live and dressed poultry, eggs, butter and cream were all shipped to Chicago for a number of years. All food for stores, too, came by rail. Also the cars by 1914.
   With all the building, the lumber yards, too, had big business. Lumber, coal, bricks, cement, sand, and building supplies all came by rail. W.F. Seibold sold his lumber yard to William Schneph in 1903. Schneph sold it in 1910 to Iowa-Minnesota Lumber Co. (E.W. Oates, manager). Later a group of farmers bought the yard and William Kinney was made manager. Other owners were William Haubrich and Fullerton Lumber. The Bowman Lumber Co. across the street from Seibold Lumber Yard was owned by a family in Sioux City who had a chain of lumber yards. A.W. Hartsock and W.D. Bennett were one-time managers of the yard. A group of farmers in 1904 were looking for a location to build another lumber yard with P.C. Keitges as manager. When they advertised, Bowmans sold to them. In 1907 P.C. Keitges bought out the stockholders and became sole owner. This yard was known as Maple Valley Lumber Yard. When you think of all the new buildings, the brick, finishing lumber, etc., one wonders what we would have done without the railroads.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Adam Treiber - Clydesdale Horses
   Horses were very much in demand from 1775 to 1930. Adam Treiber came to this area in 1877 when the railroad was just being built through the town. Onawa was the closes station when he came from New York with his wife, Bertha and two small daughters. They hired a man with a wagon to haul them to Mapleton. He went to his cousin, George Nick Castle and his aunt and uncle, George and Auntie Castle. He and Bertha and children lived in a dug-out that the Castles had lived in when they first came. Adam finally bought a team of mares and a harness from Q.B. Smith. After buying a wagon, the family drove tot the John Castle farm south of Danbury where John Castle, Uncle George and Auntie Castle were living. John Castle was sick, so agreed to sell his farm to Adam, and the Castles then moved to Danbury which then was still Listonville.
   Adam wanted his mares bred as he wanted to raise more horses. One day a wild stallion followed his mares home after grazing on the prairie. He ran the stallion in the barn with his horses. This gave him the idea to raises horses and sell them to other settlers. To get mares bred, he had to travel a long distance. He drove his mares to Onawa to the Ashton farm. Mr. Ashton persuaded Adam to raise Clydesdales, a favorite work horse. Adam started with two mares that cost him $375. This seemed like a lot of money to them, but he soon bought more mares, and he bought a stallion for $1,000 as he planned to raise good horses in order to sell them. As the colts grew up, he would keep the good mares for breeding and sell the geldings. Adam's sons cared for the horses. When old enough to work, they broke them.
   Every 2 or 3 years they held an auction and sold as many as 30 horses. The auctions made a lot of work as the tails, manes, hoofs, etc. all had to be trimmed. Sometimes the horses were dec orated with colored ribbons, etc. He held these horse auctions until he retired in 1910. For years he traveled with his stallion providing horse breeding services for others. He sometimes was gone away from home for a week at a time. After he retired, his son, Adam Jr. continued the horse breeding service.
The Dan Thomas Family Leaves Danbury
   Ida Thomas had married in 1874, and she left Danbury and went to Moscow, Idaho. Lovina Thomas, oldest daughter, had taught school after finishing school, and in 1878 she married Melvin Chapman, the son of David Chapman. They built the first hotel in Danbury and planned to live there. Sometime before 1881 Lovina's mother and Melvin's father became infatuated with each other. Dan, who had always been so energetic, became a different person and started to be a regular customer seen in the saloons. He took to drinking to forget his own troubles. This made Lovina and her husband very unhappy, so they left Danbury in the winter of 1879 so as to get away from it all. Mary Ann Thomas sued Dan for divorce on the grounds of his being a habitual drunkard. Dan was hesitant about giving his wife a divorce because of this accusation. Several of Danbury's leading citizens appeared in court and vouched for Dan that he had always been a person of reputable character until his home and world started falling apart. She secured her divorce in November of 1881, and she was given custody of the two children still of minor age, Alice and Charlie. David and Mary left Danbury together by train with just their personal belongings. They married after leaving Danbury. They, too, went to Moscow, Idaho, where they homesteaded on 80 acres north of Moscow. The children of Alice and Charley, their older brother Frank and Dan remained here. Alice Thomas, the third girl, married Alonzo Horn about 1884. He was a telegrapher who worked here in the depot for awhile. They also went west, and Alonzo worked for Northern Pacific Railroad and, due to his work, they lived in many different places. Their last years were spent at Rosalie, Washington. Alice died when 85, and Alonzo when 71. Lovina and Melvin Chapman sold their hotel to George N. Castle in December of 1879. They had lost one baby, Danny and had just had a second child, Gertrude Carrie shortly before leaving Danbury. They went by train to San Francisco and by boat to Portland, Oregon. Most of their years were spent in Port Orchard, Washington. They once homesteaded some land, too, at Moscow but later returned to Port Orchard.
   Dan Thomas had made an agreement with Chicago and Northwestern Railroad in 1877 that he would give every other lot in the first addition if a station would be built here, and the railroad people had promised that they would extend the railroad from Mapleton to Onawa so the town would have an outlet to the west as well as to the east. The contract had not been filled, and Danbury's only connection with Sioux City was by stage. Dan had vowed that he would not leave Danbury until the contract had been fulfilled. Finally in 1886 the railroad company decided to complete the line. Negotiations to buy land for right of way were started on April 21, 1886. A contract was let for laying the road and work commenced at Mapleton on May 31st. A crew of men also started at Onawa to work this way to meet the crew from Mapleton on July 25th. The track was completed on September 21, 1886. At Onawa, cars could be switched to the Sioux City and Pacific Railroad Line which went on to Sioux City. Dan sold his home place to W.F. Seibold, and he and his two sons, Frank and Charley were the first to travel from here to Sioux City in September 1886.
   The two boys, Frank and Charley went to Moscow, Idaho, to visit their mother, step father and sister, Ida. Dan went on to California. Frank Thomas returned to Danbury several years after leaving here to visit his fiancee, Lanie Bowser and to finish some of his father's unfinished business. Lanie Bowser, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Cline Bowser, went to Moscow after she finished school in 1891. Frank and Lanie married on July 29, 1892, in the David Chapman home. Frank and Lanie lived in various places, Moscow, Idaho; Echo and Colville, Washington, and then back to Twin Falls and Princeton, Idaho. While the family was living at Colville in 1905, Dan Thomas returned from California. He was penniless. He lived with his son, Frank and wife Lanie the rest of his life. He died on October 4, 1911, when 78 years old. Charlie Thomas lived with his mother and step father until he finished school. He then went to the University of Idaho. He taught school for a few years but found wages poor, so he became a gas distributor and sold insurance. He married Dora Bond. David and Mary Chapman retired to Moscow. Mary Ann had a paralytic stroke during the summer of 1917 and became a total invalid. David died on September 14, 1917, when he was 87. Mary Ann was moved to her son's Frank's home and he, his wife, Lanie and a sister, Ida took care of her for 4 years. Mary Chapman died on March 6, 1921, at the age of 83.
   Even though Dan Thomas came back from California a poor man, he had lived a rich and rewarding life. Dan was a man of large physical stature. He was kind-hearted, unselfish and intelligent. He was always ready to lend a helping hand to those less fortunate than he. The town of Danbury grew because of his generosity and interest. He served in many capacities, first Justice of the Peace, first postmaster, first storekeeper, and first mayor of Danbury. He was a farmer, carpenter, mason, mailman, and bookkeeper. He gave his land in payment for a station here. He saw that the town was incorporated during his first term as mayor, and, last of all, he gave his name to the town. He was very proud of this. The editor of The Danbury News of Danbury, Connecticut, once printed that Danbury, Iowa, had conceived its name from Danbury, Connecticut. Mr. Thomas, when back east, called on the editor and told him that he wanted it understood that Danbury, Iowa, had not been named after Danbury, Connecticut, and he wanted to explain to him how it was so named. The name of Dan Thomas has never been forgotten. Each year the story of his generosity and goodness is passed on to a new group of students in our schools. The old times had nothing but praise for him. A great man. May his soul rest in peace. Dan is buried at Potlatch, Idaho.
Our Schools And Churches 1884-1888
   In 1884 the Catholics built a rectory for Mr. Meagher west of the new St. Patrick's Church, about in the center of the block. There had been many Catholics coming, and their children had attended the Danbury Public School. Pans were made in the spring of 1887 to build an 8-grade parochial school. They built a two-story wooden frame building 30'x90.' The building cost $5,000, and it was ready for occupancy on September 5, 1887. The school was staffed by Presentation Sisters of Dubuque, IA, and Mother Cecilia was in charge of the school. The school was built on the northwest corner of the church property, and it was called St. Patrick's Academy. It had an attendance of 85 the first year. The Danbury Catholics found themselves deeply in debt with $12,000 on the church and rectory and now $5,000 on the school. A barn had also been built to the north of the church. Fr. Meagher had several horses as he had to drive to several missions. White birch trees had been planted on the parking around the church property, and there was a white picket fence around the Academy. The Academy had a reputation of being a good school, and many families moved here so that their children could attend school here.
   The Methodists had built the church in 1881, and Rev. James Torbet was the first minister to use the church. He served both Danbury and Mapleton from 1883-1885. Some comments of his were found on old records taken from Mapleton Milestones:
   "I was appointed to the Mapleton-Danbury charge in September 1883. At that time the charge came to be known as Mapleton-Danbury. Arrived on work almost immediately being a transfer from the Northern Ohio Conference. I was unacquainted with the west, have done what I could considering all the circumstances and making emphatic my own weaknesses.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Our Schools And Churches 1884-1888
   The Methodists had built the church in 1881, and Rev. James Torbet was the first minister to use the church. He served both Danbury and Mapleton from 1883-1885. Some comments of his were found on old records taken from Mapleton Milestones:
   "My family had been sick most of the time. Much of my time during my pastorate here was taken by them which otherwise might have been employed profitably in church work. Our little boy 6 years and 5 months sleeps in the cemetery.
   "The form of our circuit was changed at the Conference of 1884, and our missionary money was withheld (stopped). Belvidere was put in the Onawa charge. Our salary this year was $700, but it is quite evident that $50 will remain unpaid. Work at present includes Mapleton and Danbury and 3 school appointments, Cooper Center, Pleasant Hill Center, and Priesters Maple Township. Our greatest need is scriptural revival, and next to that a genuine love of our own church and loving adherence to its method of work. We are too dead and too cold, and I fear not a few sleep the sleep of death. Finally, it behooves my successor to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. We need S.S. work and some good plan of finance should be at once adopted. Our stewards are first absorbed in business and second don't seem very good at collecting."
   Rev. Stires came to the circuit in 1885. He held a revival meeting in Danbury for 4 weeks and one at Mapleton for 9 weeks. He reported over 80 conversions at Mapleton and 35 at Danbury. He received $800 per year. He was a lover of horses and owned trotting horses. Rev. Allnut followed Rev. Stires, and he was the first minister to live in Danbury. He lived in a small house on the east side of Main Street. Rev. W.J. Gardner was here in 1887 and Rev. W.W. Brown in 1888.
   Joseph Shoup, first professor of the public school, left Danbury at the completion of the school year 1885-1886. He was then elected to the office of Woodbury County Superintendent. He also was in charge of the Normal Institutes each summer. Teachers had to go to these institutes in order to keep up their certificates. He served on many educational committees, and he also published a monthly magazine, The Woodbury County Teacher. The Shoups moved to Sioux City after he was elected to this office. Danbury regretted his going as he was a very capable man. When he was county superintendant, he came to visit Danbury quite often. He traveled with horse and buggy as he had so many country schools to visit. Prof. Bowman replaced Joseph Shoup.
New Businesses

   Joseph O'Dougherty - Sold real estate and insurance. He, too, was a learned man. He became Justice of Peace after Dan Thomas, and he served in that capacity for 15 years. He settled many an argument between settlers. He was not a lawyer, but he was very wise and fair. The Justice of Peace office then was a very responsible one. He acted sort of like a judge. Many accusations of wrongdoing were settled in his office after he heard the arguments from both sides.
   Calvin Pierce - Undertaker and Hardware. He came in early 1880s. It is believed he built the wooden frame building to the north of Cameron's Hardware. His wife and Mrs. Richard Loucks were sisters. He was a Quaker.
   John Kampmeyer - In 1886 he was a storekeeper. John was a son of Henry and Mary Lake Kampmeyer, and he was born on June 28, 1859. When he was nine he came to Clayton County with his parents. He first was employed at a store in New Vienna, Dubuque, Co. After working 3 years in a store he took a classical course in a college at Prairie du Chien, WI. He then worked in a store 3 more years. He married Mary Jordan, daughter of Anthony and Margaret Nihil Jordan. He and Mary came to Danbury when Mr. Wilkinson was building Wilkinson Block, and he and Mr. Adams took over the management of that store when it was finished, known as Adams and Kampmeyer. In 1889 John bought out Mr. Adams, and Mr. Kampmeyer then managed Kampmeyer Hall, years 1888-1889.
   Wilkinson Block, A.J. Wilkinson - A.J. Wilkinson was a farmer who came here in 1879, and he bought the farm presently owned by Arnold Ortner. He was born on July 2, 1840, in Sangamon, IL. When he was 2, he moved with his parents to Jo Daviess Co., IL. He once walked across the state of Iowa and back home again. In 1869 he started farming in Stephenson Co., IL, but not so successful, so he moved on to Boone, IA. Here he farmed for 4 years. He married Myra Leet. In 1879 he moved on west to Danbury, IA, and bought land. They had 5 children, George, Estey, Sherman, Theon, and Norman. Norman was sickly, and they wanted to take him back to Illinois where they thought there were better doctors. He died while they were en route to Illinois. This family was held in high esteem by everyone. A.J. was always interested in seeing progress, and he did his share to accomplish that. He served as County Commissioner, Justice of Peace, Town Treasurer, Director of Danbury Public School Board, and as secretary of Danbury's first real bank. He could see Danbury needed a bank because of the high interest rates charged by those who had money to loan. He built the first brick building in Danbury in 1888. It was a two-story multi-purpose building housing a bank, store, entertainment hall, and an apartment and some offices. A stairway to the upstairs separated the store from the bank. The Danbury Review took rooms in the basement, and the telephone office was upstairs. All material to build the bank was shipped in: Brick, granite, pillars, lumber, bank safe, etc. This was quite a spacious building when built in 1888. Mr. Wilkinson then organized a bank. It had a capital of $40,000, and a fair and universal interest rate was charged. First officers were President Alex McHugh, Vice President A.J. Santee, Secretary A.J. Wilkinson. A.J. Santee died on September 20, 1889, and then new officers were chosen, President William Booher, Cashier I.B. Santee, and Board of Directors John H. Crilly and William D. Gibson.
   William Gibson - 1888. W.D. Gibson and wife Jennie Thomas Gibson and family came from Irvin, IA. Mr. Gibson worked in the Shepard, Field and Cook Store when I.B. Santee left to work in the bank. In 1904 he became partners with J.H. Crilly. In 1907 W.D. Gibson accepted a position in The Danbury State Bank, and he then sold his half interest in the store to John Crilly. The Gibsons had two daughters, Mabel and Orral. Mable was interested in music and attended Morningside College. She taught music. Orral married E.P. Morlan, a former school superintendent at Danbury. Jennie Gibson died and was buried in the Danbury cemetery. Mable secured a teaching position in Long Beach, CA, in 1923, and she and her father then moved to California.
   P.C. Keitges - 1884. Pierre came to Danbury when a single man. He had rooms in the Castle Hotel. He bought and sold livestock, sold insurance, worked as a carpenter, and was finally a contractor. He married Ellen Kennedy.
   Clerks for Liston Township - J.S. Shoup 1883, Walter Hand 1884-1886, and A.W. Hartsock 1886, 1887, and 1888.
   The Ringling Brothers Circus visited Danbury twice, in 1887 and 1889. The circus then traveled from town to town with 14 wagons. They set up their tent on Main Street north of the Commercial Hotel. The circus drew a large crowd, and although small, the performers put on a wonderful show.
A Change in the Town's Image
Mayor F.J. Innskeep 1888-1890
Mayor J.H. Ostrom

   The town had changed a great deal by 1888. There were business places on both the east and west sides of Main Street. The buildings were all wooden buildings except for Wilkinson Block which was a brick structure which was built in 1888. Henry and Pat Fitzpatrick built the second brick structure on Main Street, and new hardware built in 1889. W.C. Cameron's Hardware which adjoined Wilkinson Block was built, too, about this time. Many trees had now been planted about town. Soon after Wilkinson Block was built, new cement sidewalks were built on Main Street, and the tie racks on Main Street were removed. The first telephone had been installed in Loucks Drug Store in 1890, and soon after, telephone service was available to all that wanted it. New methods of fighting fires were available in 1892, and the first fire department was organized.
   Dan and Mary Thomas who platted the town with the help of Blair Town and Lot Company had given the railroad every other lot in the First Addition in 1877. A Second Addition was added to the town, then the Tangeman and Seibold Additions, and in later years, 1919, the town bought the Burke Addition from Michael and Celesta Burke, 41 lots. The wells on Main Street were still in use, and a large tank on Main and Second Street intersection was always filled with water in case of fire in the town. The Thomases had planned that the town should expand to the north, Thomas, Main and Liston Streets all to extend on north into the Dan Thomas property and on the north of Danbury. Instead of growing north, it grew in an east and west direction. When Roller Banner Mills were built by Godfrey Durst in 1882, there was heavy traffic along Salisbury Street which extended from the present Lawrence Schimer corner to the Mill. The city fathers thought this would become a popular street and many homes would be built along that street. Godfrey Durst did build several houses for his employees near the mill, also a new home for himself and wife Orient and homes for his sons Mark and Godfrey after they married. There were several houses built at the west end of Salisbury Street, also, but the entire street filled with homes never materialized.
   Salisbury Street was named after a family that lived on that street. Wilkens Street was also named after a family. Liston Street was named after Liston Township. Walnut Street was so call because of the many walnut trees on that street. Woodbury Street was named after our county. Thomas Street was so named because the Dan Thomas family lived on that street.
   Danbury then could not be classed as a "City Beautiful." Sometimes the streets were dry and dusty, and at other times wet and muddy. In the spring the ruts on the streets were axle deep. Many dumped the ashes from their stoves on the streets. There were manure piles beside the liveries. Cows, horses, pigs, chickens, ducks, etc. at one time had free rein all over town. There were no beautiful lawns. The grass usually went to seed, and lawns were not mowed. When the fairs were first held, many of the women became interested in flowers, trees and grass. The town council made some ordinances to make Danbury more sanitary. One ordinance was to prevent accumulation of filth in streets and alleys, empty lots, etc. If not kept clean by the owner of the property, the town marshall could be ordered to clean up hog pens, privies, barns, lots, cellars, garbage, filth, dead animals, manure, rotting corn and cob piles, etc. the owner was given a notice and 24 hours to get his property cleaned up. If not, the marshall did it and the owner was taxed. Another ordinance stated it was unlawful to destroy flowers in the park or mutilate the buildings, playground, trees or fences in the park. There was a $100 fine or 30 days in jail as punishment. The state passed a sanitary law in early 1900s that all hitching posts on Main Street had to be removed, but Danbury had removed them before the state law was passed. An ordinance was passed, too, that animals and poultry had to be penned.
   The town residences looked much different in 1890 than they do today. Every lot was fenced. Nearly every family had a pen of chickens, a milk cow, and a team of horses. There was a small barn, coal or cob shed, and a toilet besides the house. There was a well and a soft water system on each lot. The families having horses and cows paid the town pasture rent in summers and let the animals graze in the park after it was acquired in 1891. A hitching post was essential.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

CHAPTER VIII A Change in the Town's Image    Persons not having a milk cow could buy milk from the Dickinson family. Lester Dickinson, son of L.D. and Wilhamine Dickinson, was Danbury's first milk man. They lived on the farm presently owned by Mable Johnson. Lester came to Danbury with his parents when about 10 years old, 1881. Since the Dickinson had more milk than they could use, they strained the milk into cans and hauled the milk to Danbury. He went up one street and down the other, ringing a bell as the wagon progressed up the street. When the housewife heard the bell ringing, she came out to the street with her milk pitcher, and Lester measured out a quart, a gallon, or whatever she wanted with a measuring can which he had attached to his milk can. Different times through the he years, the families who lived on the edge of town sold milk. At night one often saw persons walking with a pail to ne one of the farms to get milk. The New State Telephone Company 1890    People in and around Danbury were as excited about getting a telephone as they were when they knew the railroad was coming into town. Actually, the first families to have a telephone lived east of Danbury. Ollie Spotts of Ida County lived on the present Wayne Steinbach farm in Garfield Township. Ollie was interested in mechanics, and he ordered a telephone kit with instructions as to how to install the equipment. He strung lines to some of his neighbors and carried on conversations with them, one family being the Albert and Margaret McBride family. Ollie had a switchboard of a sort in his home.    The New State Telephone Company sent men into Danbury in 1890 to build telephone lines, install a switchboard, etc. The switchboard was installed in the Walter Hand Hardware and Tin Shop. Richard Loucks was the first person in Danbury to have a telephone. The business grew fast. The telephone company rented rooms on the second floor of the Wilkinson block (over bank) and moved their telephone office there. Flora Betts was hired as the first switchboard operator, and Sue and Lanie Hayden were her assistants. There was always a night shift then, and someone or possibly two stayed on duty all night. There was a manager and also two repair men on constant duty. Berdette Harvey was switchboard operator in the Hand Store. The repair men, besides first stringing all telephone lines, had to repair them when trees fell on them, when there was a bad storm, and they had to install new batteries in the telephones when the batteries got too old. Chester Watkins and William Pershing were district managers.    The telephone was used differently then. Markets, weather reports, auctions, coal car on track, a show, a dance, a circus or a funeral were all announced over the telephone. An extremely long ring meant an announcement of some kind was about to be made and everyone on the line was instructed to lift the receiver to hear the announcement after the ringing stopped. The pronouncement of peace ending World War I was announced over the telephone.    The first long distance telephone call was to Omaha, Nebraska, in 1895. Gene McGarrity and Oscar Carlson helped to string some of telephone and telegraph lines through the country. Schools    During the years 1885-1891 Prof. William H. Dempster, Prof. Overmeir, and Prof. J.F. Young headed the Danbury Public School System which, during those years, had but a 3 year high school. Supt. H.H. Hahn came to Danbury as superintendent in 1891. It was during his stay that the public school became an accredited 4 year high school. Subjects taught in high school then were Mathematics 4 years (Algebra, Geometry, Advanced Algebra, and Commercial Arithmetic); English 4 years; Science 4 years; History (Ancient Medieval, American); Sociology; Civics; Economics; Agriculture; Home Economics; and Manual Training. The Country Schools    As the population grew, more school districts were formed. The county superintendent was the supervisor of all town and country schools. Joseph Shoup, who was Danbury's first high school superintendent, was elected to be the county superintendent in 1890. His duties were to select the books to be used in the school's curriculum. He made the decisions as to salaries to be paid the teachers and hired some teachers. His duty was to visit every school in the county yearly. He traveled all through the county with horse and buggy visiting the schools. He usually stayed at the home of the director of the school overnight. He received $4 a day for his work.    It was compulsory for all teachers to attend Normal Institute for three weeks every summer. The institutes were held in Smithland, Correctionville, and Sioux City.    When a school's enrollment dropped below 5, the school was closed, and the children wanting to go to school had to go to another school.    By 1899 there were 27 independent school districts in Woodbury County. There were 36 country schools with 847 pupils. The districts, number of schools, and number of pupils were the following:

District # Schools # Pupils
Green Mound 1 23
Harmon 1 33
Spring Dale 1 26
Union 1 27
Little Sioux 1 35
Lum Hollow 1 23
Park Hill 1 15
Twin Creek 1 35
Denmark 1 35
Liberty 1 30
Lone Elm 1 32
Webster 1 19
Weed Land 1 60
Union Grove 3 34
Habana 1 35
Bluff Center 1 30
Fair Play 1 28
Hickory Grove 1 12
Living Springs 1 37
Pleasant Valley 1 33
Pat Collins 1 23
Lone Tree 5 86
No. 4 1 26
Ridgeville 3 49
Summit 2 32
Summer Hill 1 24
West Union 1 10

Attendance In Danbury Schools 1890    Danbury Public School -There were 210 pupils with an average attendance of 150. The older boys especially did not attend school regularly.    St. Patrick's Academy - Attendance at St. Patrick's in 1890 was 98 pupils. St. Patrick's became an 11-grade school 1889-1890. From 1887 to 1889 there had just been the 8 grades. The subjects taught were Algebra, Geometry, Bookkeeping, Civil Government, and 3 years of English. The first person to graduate from the 11-grade high school was Lulu Kennedy in 1893. In 1894 there were four graduates, Henry Fitzpatrick, Mary Craig Skahill, Lizzie Welte (Mrs. John Uhl), and Kate Callighan. Danbury Park and Fair Association 1891    The city park was once a segment of the Dan Thomas farm. W.F. Seibold became the owner of this property when Dan Thomas left Danbury. The city council of Danbury purchased 20 acres from Mr. Seibold in 1891, paying $2,000 for the parcel. This amount of ground seemed inadequate, so 10 more acres were purchased. A fair association wanted to rent the park for a period of 10 years for $200 a year. The council figured if they rented the park it would belong to the town at the end of the 10 year period at practically no cost.    The following men attend the fair association meeting: I.B. Santee, A.A. Stowell, J.H. Ostrom, C.A. Segar, G.N. Castle, John Herrington, J.A. Keleher, R.H. Loucks, and Dietrick Tangeman. Officers elected were President I.B. Santee, Secretary George Nicholas Castle, Supt. of Park Association John Herrington.    At a meeting on August 8, 1891, J.H. Ostrom was appointed to see to the building of a horse track. George N. Castle was appointed to see to the fencing and building of a judge's stand and band stand. He worked in cooperation with M.D. Cord who was a trustee of the town of Danbury.    On August 29, 1891, Danbury held its first horse racing events. It was a half-mile track rated excellent because of its firm bed. The first race was between High Licence owned by J.L. Livermore of Oto and William Lound's horse from Castana. The purse was $50, and betting was lively. A 2-day tournament was held October 9-10, 1891. It featured horse racing and baseball.    In 1892 the fair association decided to incorporate under the laws of Iowa, and the Danbury District Agricultural Society was born. Danbury would have a fair in the fall of 1892. To prepare the park for the fair, 15 exhibit buildings had to be built through the summer. Twelve stables for the horses were built at the southeast corner of the park, and a scale was built near the stables. A grandstand was built by George Castle, father of Nicholas Castle.    The "Criterion," Danbury newspaper said, "The grandstand was built in 1892, and it was called the best ampitheatre in Northwest Iowa with a seating capacity of 500. It was built by the Agricultural Society, George Castle in charge of the building."    A large number of trees were also planted in the park. Many of the women of Danbury helped with this project. The judges and the signal man were in the judge's stand at the time of a race. A signal man shot a gun, signaling the racers that the race had started. The judges decided who was the winner.    The fair premium books were issued, and the fair was set for days September 7-10. The officers of the first fair board were President J.H. Ostrom, Vice President J.G. Tangeman, Secretary I.B. Santee, Treasurer P.H. Loucks, and the directors were C.A. Segar, J.A. Keleher, A.A. Stowell, John Herrington, and Pierre Keitges.    There were 12 divisions in which premiums were offered. People having charge of these divisions were the following:

A.L. Wilkinson Horses
S.A. Webb Cattle
A.J. Santee Sheep
W.D. Gibson Poultry
W.C. Cameron Machinery and Mechanical Arts
Mrs. I.B. Santee Household and Fine Arts
L.H. Valentine Grain, Seed, and Vegetables
Mrs. J.G. Tangeman Dairy Products and Pantry Supplies
S.M. Iddings Bees, Honey and Mercantile Goods
Nicholas Gamb Fruit
Mrs. L.H. Valentine Plants, Flowers, Floral Ornaments

   The fair days were gala days for Danbury. Some of the fair attractions that drew large crowds were the appearance of Charlie Chaplin, the ascension of a balloon and a parachute jump, and Dan Patch, the famous race horse. Jockeys and horses came by rail from all over the state. Local horses known to have competed were Brown Dan owned by Kelehers, Bally owned by Mr. Jenkie of Salix, and Ketchup owned by a Castana farmer. W.C. Cameron and A.A. Stowell of Danbury owned trotting horses which they always entered in the harness racing event. A.A. Stowell's horse was known as Iowa Fallis. A.A. Stowell's grandson said Iowa Fallis was entered in every race, and his grandfather always bet on him, but his horse never won a race. Mr. Stowell went broke, and he left Danbury with a 14 year old son, a wagon, a horse and a mule after the death of his wife in 1897. He had owned 80 acres of the Hoyt farm. R.V. West served as superintendent of Speed at these races.    The exhibits at these fairs were always an attraction. There was always a baseball game with a neighboring town, and betting at ball games was as popular with the men as betting at the horse races. Admission to the fair was 25¢ for adults and 15¢ for children. Fairs were discontinued in 1898. The Danbury race track was considered too small for horse racing.    The race track and the fair exhibit buildings were destroyed in 1904. The park continued to be a popular place for baseball games, picnics, band concerts, bowery dances, etc. Part of the park in summers was rented out as pasture to town citizens who had horses or a cow. Cornet band    The exact year of the organization of the band is unknown, but Danbury had a band in some of the first July 4th celebrations and always marched in the parade and gave a concert. Each year new members joined and others dropped out. Persons in the first band known were Dan Newcomer, Joe and Jake Welte, Arthur Powell, John Boyer, Otto A. Schrank, Pat Scanlon, John Schrepher, C.L. Adams, Clem Dessel, George Mohrhauser who placed the bass drum, and Pat Scanlon's son who played the snare drums.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Danbury Public School Organizes an Alumni Association
   The Danbury Public School was made a 4-year accredited school (high school) in 1890 when H.H. Hahn was professor. There were two persons in the first senior class to graduate, 1891, Mahala Tangeman (Mrs. Ace Nicholls) and J.L. Boyer. In 1892 there were 10 members in the senior class. They were Elyfa Smith Richards, Alice Loucks Jepson, Anna Bowser Herrington, Nettie Thompson Innskeep, Sedona Fessenbeck Nelson, Edward Seibold, Estey Wilkinson, Charles Carroll, Lester Dickinson, and William Smith.
   It was the Class of 1892 that organized the alumni association. The class felt that a warm friendship should be formed between the alumni and the new graduates. They thought some form of reception should be given each class upon graduation. An association was organized on December 25, 1893, and a committee of three was appointed to draw up a constitution. Graduates were not compelled to join. The first officers appointed were President Edward Seibold, Secretary Seda Fessenbeck, and Treasurer Louis Larsen.
   A banquet was not always the rule, and the receptions in the past were held in various places. In 1896 a lawn party was held on the Loucks' lawn, and the refreshments were ice cream, lemonade, cake and fruit. The waitresses were May Cameron, Leola Canty (Mrs. Millard Frum), Fred Thompson, and Max Castle. Someone suggested that Mahala Tangeman and Elyfa Smith sing a duet at this reception, but some thought singing was out of order at this event. Senior graduates then had to write a speech and deliver it at the reception. In 1899 a picnic was held in the Danbury park. In June 1895 a banquet was held in Kampmeyer Hall (Braiggs Hall) and 25 persons were present. Rental charge for the hall was $3.
   In 1900 the association decided to have a social to raise money for the banquet. A meeting was held in the William Smith home, and the members on the committee hired a rig at the livery to take them to the Smith farm home. They raised $11.50 at the social, and, minus the $2 they paid the livery, they had $9.50 to spend on the banquet. A Mrs. Sisk who operated the dining room of the Commercial Hotel served the dinner for them for $10.
   Banquets were held in the Methodist Church basement, Braigg Hall, and the Masonic Hall through the years before the building of the public school in 1929. The high school cheer was first used at the alumni receptions, later in sports. Junior girls served as waitresses as early as 1917, and it became custom. The first graduates paid a fee to join, and you had to do some act planned by a committee as initiation. All members paid an entrance fee to attend. Fees ranged from 50¢ in the early days to $1.50 in later years. In 1941 the entertainment was dancing and Bingo. These receptions were discontinued in 1960 when the Danbury Public school merged with Mapleton Public School. In 1967 a committee decided to have a banquet every 3 years so as to meet the new graduates and visit with old friends.
Old Settlers Picnic 1892
   Two men from Danbury thought up the idea of a picnic each year in commemoration of the old settlers. The idea grew, and the towns along the Maple and Little Sioux rivers joined the association. The towns Mapleton, Onawa, Smithland, Oto, Anthon, Correctionville, and Danbury agreed to take turns and celebrated the event annually. F.L. Hills, formerly of Cork Hill, gave a speech at Smithland in 1931 when celebrating the Old Settlers Picnic and Woodbury County's Diamond Jubilee.
   F.L. Hills' speech: "Thirty nine years ago this fall, the idea of having an Old Settlers Picnic originated in the minds of Patrick Collins and George Castle of Danbury, Iowa. The first picnic was held in Danbury in 1892. My parents, Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Hills with their three children came to Woodbury County from Vermont in the Fall of 1866 a short time after the Civil War. At that time I was 10 years old. We left the train at Denison where we were met by Dave Phillips with his covered wagon. We stopped the first night with the Dowd family who lived on Soldier Creek. Our property consisted of a piece of prairie land about 2 1/2 miles north of Oto, Iowa. Our neighbors were Mot Rogers, Nathan Zerfling, Chris and Hank Moyer, Parley Morris, Buel Chapman, John Rose, S.R. Day, Palm Rogers, Minor Mead, Abe Livermore, Michael and Patrick Collins, John Donnery, James Miller, Henry Arnold, Billy O'Connell, and John Curtin.
   Money was scarce in those days. Nearly everyone went the year round without money in their pockets. Everyone raised a little stock and occasionally a farmer would sell a cow or steer to get enough money to pay taxes or get a few necessities. There were no banks. Taxes were from $12 to $18 on 160 acres of land. A man's word was as good as his note. Men wore blue jeans, hickory colored shirts, cowhide boots, and some men wore overalls. The women wore calico dresses, sun bonnets, and black cotton stockings. From 1867 to approximately 1872, there was an invasion of grasshoppers here. They damaged the crops every year, and at times they became so thick in their flight that the sky darkened. A railroad was built to Woodbine in 1866, and it was extended to Council Bluffs and Omaha in 1867. In 1868 John I. Blair built the Sioux City and Pacific Road from Missouri Valley to Sioux City. The Fort Dodge and Sioux City and the Illinois Central lines were built into Sioux City 2 years later.
   Some of the families living on the west side of the river at Smithland were William Thurman, Thomas Bower, Willard Smity, and Peter Gambs. Smithland citizens were O.B. Smith, Rev. D.P. Billings, Alvy Smith, William McDonald, Dr. McCall, Lew John, and Ed Yockey. Those on the east side of the river were Phil Oregon, Elijah Adams, Ike Thurman, Nicholas Gambs, Dave Wellington, and Jimmie McDonald. Several men and families visited the valley in 1867, and the visitors were Henry Gillet, William Fergason, Jerald Fergason, Wesley Davis, M.J.P. Jennes, Mot Jones, John Rollings, Sterl Wonder, and Jackson Hall."
   The Old Settlers Day was always well attended. There were parades, speeches, ball games, races, horse shoe, old fiddlers contests, picnic dinner, several band concerts, and rides for the children. Everyone had a good time and especially the oldsters who enjoyed seeing old friends and visiting. It is known that Danbury entertained on August 26, 1908; Mapleton in 1909; Onawa in 1910; Smithland in 1911; Oto in 1912; Anthon in 1913; Correctionville in 1914; Danbury in 1915 and again in 1932 when the town was 50 years old from its corporation date.
   A tragedy occurred at one celebration at Danbury when the balcony of Loucks' Drug Store collapsed. Mr. Loucks had warned that the balcony was not safe if too many persons were on it. People did not heed his warning, and the balcony did collapse in 1908. The persons on the balcony were not hurt as badly as those underneath. This caused quite an excitement as everyone feared members of their family might be hurt. Two persons were seriously hurt, Mrs. Lee (Elizabeth) Collins and Mr. O'Day. Mr. O'Day died shortly after the accident, and they thought he had been hurt internally. Several others were hurt, but not seriously.
Danbury Baseball
   The Rush Creek settlement had a baseball club during the 1880s. The town of Danbury organized a team sometime before 1890 as there was an article in The Danbury Review in 1890 that told of a dance being held for the club.
   "On October 21, 1890, a baseball dance to be held at Wilkinson Hall, Danbury, Iowa. There will be good music and the best of prompting. Committees appointed were Invitations John Crilly, Ed Tangeman and Thomas Grafford; and Floor Managers J.G. Tangeman and S.H. Santee. Tickets were 50¢."
   Joe Welte said these dances were called Programme Dances. About 12 musical numbers were pre-arranged for square dancing. Programs were printed for the ladies so they could keep track of their dances. A prompter was the caller for the dance, and the floor manager set up the squares, four couples to a square.
   The Rush Creek and Danbury clubs both had uniforms, and they often played each other. They also competed with the surrounding towns.
Eastern Star
September 11, 1890

   Chapter 84 of the Order of Eastern Star was granted its charter September 11, 1890. The first meetings were held in the Dan Thomas Hall or above Crilly-Gibson Store. Meetings were held in a lamp-lit room. Officers chosen in 1890 were Worthy Patron Jessie N. Smith, Associate Matron Stella Ostrom, and Worthy Patron Clem C. Yockey.
   Charter members of this organization were J.H. Ostrom, Lydia Ostrom, Stella Ostrom, G.N. Castle, C.C. Yockey, R.H. Loucks, Maggie Randall, Kate Smith, W.C. Cameron, Susie N. Cameron, Lillie Randall, G.W. Murphy, C.A. Segar, and M.A. Segar.
   This organization celebrated its 75th anniversary on November 22, 1965.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

German-Lutheran Church
   There were a number of German Lutheran families in Danbury, some in the Rush Creek settlement and some at Midway. A committee was appointed, and they decided to build a church and rectory in 1891. Two lots were purchased from the R.R. Land Co. for $40, and a third lot was either purchased or donated by W.F. Seibold on October 1, 1891. A church was built, and the rectory was the present Cliff Van Houten home, both on Thomas Street. Plans were to build a barn also on the property. Church services were held there 1891-1896, and a resident minister lived in the rectory during those years. The membership did not seem to grow, and there were financial difficulties. The property was sold to J.J. Witt in 1896. Most of these families then attended the Methodist Episcopal Church.
   J.J. Witt sold the German Catholics this property on January 4, 1898.
Methodist Ministers
   The Mapleton and Danbury records differ somewhat as to years certain ministers served the communities. The same minister took care of both parishes as we were on a circuit together. G.M. Dudley and Homer Dudley were mentioned following Rev. Allnut. Eben S. Johnson was appointed for years 1889-1891.
   Eben S. Johnson was responsible for the building of the Parsonage for Methodist ministers. This was quite a sacrifice for the Danbury congregation; as it was quite small. When he left Danbury he became presiding elder in the First Methodist Church in Sioux City. He lived in the parsonage a short while.
   Rev. Edison Tatlow, first resident Minister, 1891-1892.
   Rev. Thomas Maxwell 1892-1893.
Danbury Organizes Fire Department 1892
   Nearly all the towns along the Maple Valley organized and had fire departments. Members went to get ideas from other fire departments if the neighboring town was holding a drill or giving suggestions. Danbury's Co. was called hose Co., No. 1, and it had 22 members. They now hauled water on a wagon. Barrels filled with water were on wagon and always ready to go. A pump pumped the water from tanks onto the fire. It was not until 1898 that the first water works were laid and we had fire hydrants at least in the downtown area.
New Business Men
   W.C. Cameron and wife Susie Cameron came in 1889, and Mr. Cameron built the second brick building north of the Wilkinson Building. He opened up a hardware there and operated it until 1904. The Camerons were horse enthusiasts. They had trotting horses. Mr. Cameron also built a new home on the lot presently owned by Lloyd Creswell, and it was considered a very spacious home. He built a barn on the lot for his horses, and the barn was similar in architectural lines to the house. Mr. Cameron was here during the fair days, and he always entered his horses in the races, and it was common to see him and Mrs. Cameron out training and driving the horses. They were of Methodist faith. They sold out to George Braig in 1904.
   Dr. G. W. Murphy M.D. came in 1888. He was born in Epworth, IA, Dubuque Co., on September 3, 1859. His parents of Irish descent came from Cork Co., Ireland. The family came to the U.S. in 1854 and then came on west to Menlo, IA, where they farmed. George Murphy attended Simpson College in Indianola, IA, and in 1884 he obtained his B.S. degree. He graduated from the School of Medicine at State University of Iowa in 1888. He came to Danbury after graduation. He married Emma Seibold, a school teacher. Emma was the daughter of W.F. Seibold and his wife Elizabeth. They had two children, Wier who was born on April 4, 1896, and Elizabeth who was born on February 10, 1901. Doctor Murphy was a very intelligent man. He wrote several articles on medicine which were published in the Medical Journal. He discovered the ŅSister Kenny TreatmentÓ long before discovered by the Sister. In fact he used it when I was a child, about 1916, after I had blood poisoning and he feared I would be crippled for life.
   Dan Newcomer and Con Keleher - A confectionery, two story building, was built on the west side of Main St. about 1888, about the time that saloons went out. They had an ice cream parlor, sold drinks, cigars, roasted peanuts, candy and some groceries. The upstairs of this building was rented out to roomers, and Dr. Richards had his dental office there until 1911 when the Danbury Trust and Savings Bank was built.

Township Clerks:
1889-1891 C.C. Yockey
1891-1892 I.B. Santee
1892-1895 J.L. Killian
Danbury Main Street 1890-1892
Mayor J.H. Ostrom
Trustees Samuel Boyer
C.F. Kueny
Walter Hand
William R. Reinhold
M.D. Cord
John Kampmeyer
Recorder C.F. Seibold
Men In Business
Elevators Godfrey Durst Sr.
- Roller Banner Mills
and Elevator W.F. Seibold - Elevator and
Dealer in Grain W. B. Booher - Dealer
in Grain 1892
Lumber Yards W.F. Seibold David Tangeman H. Bowman Lumber Co.
General Merchandise Stores Seibold Brothers
C.C. Cook - Bought out Shepard and Field
John Kampmeyer
Jacob Welte
V.D. Lyons and Son -
Grocery Store
Postmaster V.D. Lyons
Drug Store R.H. Loucks
Hardware and Tin Shop
Walter Hand
Grocery J.B. Hash
Hardware, Furniture and Buggies
W.B. Booher sold out
to David Tangeman 1892
Harness and Saddlery
H.T. Wilcox
Confectionery and Restaurant D.B. Newcomer
and Con Keleher
Blacksmith Shops 3
Barbers J.B. Howe
and J. Millington
Jewelry Shop
Willibald Endres
Millinery Mrs. C.C. Frum
Meat Market J.H. Hart
Variety Store R.R. Glassey
Theodore Litzelschwab
Livestock Dealers
P.C. Keitges C.C. Frum
Livery Stable
Bray and Drea
Castle House and Livery
G.N. Castle Proprietor
Commercial Hotel
John Collins Proprietor
(Also Livery)
Danbury State Bank
President - Alex McHugh
Vice-Pres. A.J. Santee
Cashier - J.W. Hamilton
Assistant Cashier -
I.B. Santee
Secretary A.J. Wilkinson
Loan Office Reed, Baxter
and Co. of Ida Grove
- Pat Scanlon Mgr.
Physicians G.W. Murphy,
W.B. Keeney
and C.F. Kueny Doctors
Lawyers J.H. Ostrom,
D.H. Kerby
F.J. Innskeep
Insurance P.C. Keitges
Real Estate J.H. and E.
Loan and Land Office
Joseph OÕDougherty
Auctioneer T.W. Frentress
Windmills R.L. Canty
Furniture and Undertaking
Calvin Pierce
Farmers Hotel
McGraths 1892
Criterion News
J.L. Killion and J.W. OÕDay
Hardware W.C. Cameron
Corn Shelling I.J. Parks
(Horse Power)
Population 1890 -- 423.

Religion Divides The Town

M.D. Cord 1894-1898
Joseph Conway 1898-1900
J.F. Mohr - 1900-1902
W.B. Booher 1902-1904

St. MaryÕs -- A Second Catholic Church

   The years 1894 to 1898 were very trying for the town of Danbury. We have forgotten the past; but if the true story of our history is told, the days of unrest within our St. Patrick's Catholic Church, will have to be relayed.
   Many families of German ancestry had been coming to this area to buy lands since 1880. They could not speak English. The German language was spoken in their homes. The Germans were slow to adopt the new ideas they found in United States and wanted to continue the study of the German language. Parents had no opportunity to learn to speak English, and it was not until their children started to school that they learned to speak it themselves. The first teachers had the extra responsibity of teaching the German children English.
   The German families of Catholic faith attended St. Patrick's Catholic Church, and Rev. Timothy Meagher was resident priest at that time. A dissention between Fr. Meagher and the German parishoners began to grow early in 1890; Father Meagher thought the Germans should forget their native tongue and revert to the custons and language of U.S. now that they were Americans. The Germans wanted a priest that could talk both English and German as they could not go to confession nor could they understand the sermons because of the language barrier. Many communities had this same problem, but they solved it by having a priest that talked both languages. Two sermons were given, one in English and the other in German. Four German parishioners once went to Dubuque to talk over their differences at Danbury with church authorities there, but no remedy was forthcoming. The dissention between Fr. Meagher and the German parishoners continued and worsened.
   In 1890, instead of paying church support as we do today, you paid Ņpew-rentÓ. When you gave to church support you were assigned a pew, and your family sat in that particular pew. Of course there were many poor families at that time, and many could not give but still wanted to attend church. There were both poor German and Irish families. Fr. Meagher was very insistent and wanted people to give. Because there was a church, school and rectory to be paid for, so many of his sermons were about financial conditions. The Germans became obstinate because their demands were not met, so they became poor donors. Many sat in the rear of the church because they had no pew assigned to them. One old timer told me that he once saw Fr. Meagher take a parisioner by the shoulder and told him if he couldnÕt pay to get out. Many of the German men refused to go to church at all. They would bring their women and children into church, and they would then drive downtown until church services were over.
   One Sunday in the summer of 1897 the persons sitting in the rear of the church really became angered. When they knelt on their kneeling benches, they found sharp points of the nails protruding upward from the kneeler; so they rose and went to the rear of the church, but more and more arose so they considered this an intentional act. No one ever knew who did this, but those involved, both Germans and Irish, were furious, and they all left the church en masse. They held a meeting immediately and decided to build a church of their own. They asked Fr, Weinhold of Mapleton to come to Danbury every Sunday to say Mass for them. He drove to Danbury with horse and buggy every Sunday, and church services were held in BraigÕs Hall. Families drove to Mapleton with wagon and team to go to confession.
   Some church authorities came to Danbury after this happened hoping to settle some of the differences, but after listening to the grievances from both sides they said they believed there were enough good Catholics in th town of Danbury to support two churches.
   On January 4, 1898, the Germans purchased the former Lutheran Church property on Thomas St. from J.J. Witt. The Lutheran Community Church was no longer in use. Cost of the property was $550 with 3 lots. The Lutheran Rectory (Present Cliff Van Houten house) was included in this transaction. The present St. MaryÕs grounds were purchased about the same time. The church was moved from Thomas St. to its present location during the summer of 1898. The moving of the church was quite an undertaking due to its high spire. The old Lutheran Rectory was used for church services during the summer of 1898 as it was cooler there than in BraigÕs Hall. The parishoners began remodeling immediately. The church was made longer, re-roofed, a new floor was laid, an altar built and a few other alterations made.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

St. MaryÕs -- A Second Catholic Church

   A parishioner died before the church was completed, the mother of Mrs. Henry Diimig, Kunegunda Endres, in November of 1898. A plank floor was hurriedly put down, an altar built and some plank seats arranged so that a funeral could be held. Father Weinhold, resident priest at Mapleton continued to serve the new church which was given the name of St. MaryÕs. The choir during these years was composed of four young menÕs voices, Frank and Hugo Welte and Ben and Antone Ehrig. The three lots on Thomas Street and the rectory were sold to Elzie Tangeman the fall of 1898 for $850.00.
   St. MaryÕs School - A new school was built the year following the moving and remodeling of the church, 1899. The building was a three story wooden structure. Children who lived in the country then boarded and roomed at the school, and they were supervised by the nuns. The third floor of the school was used as sleeping quarters for the children and the nuns. Children brought the nuns produce from the farm on Monday morning, and the children were picked up again on Friday afternoon when school was dismissed. This school was not modern when first built. Water, toilets, and electricity were all added later. This was an 8-grade school. The Sisters of the Benedictine Order from Atkinson, Kansas, staffed this school from 1899-1911. For some reason they did not return the Fall of 1911. Francis Schommer, husband of Elizabeth Weber, and Miss Alice Holden taught the children 1911-1912. The Sisters of St. Francis came the Fall of 1912, and Alice Holden continued to teach that year as they were short one teacher. Two of the first nuns to teach at St. Mary's were Sr. Walburger and Sr. Matilda.
   The German language was taught at St. Mary's from 1899-1918. One day the morning classes were recited in German, and the following day the afternoon classes. In the German text, one page was printed in German, and the opposite page in English. Fr. Weinhold supervised this school 1899-1902 when he was transferred to Odebolt. Rev. A.J. Wagoner, new resident priest at Mapleton, served St. Mary's from 1902 to December 1903 when Rev. A.J. Schaeffer arrived to be resident priest at St. Mary's, Danbury, Iowa.
   St. MaryÕs Cemetery was purchased in 1899. Three German parishioners, Adam Treiber, Henry Diimig, and William Oberreuter purchased the ground for St. Mary's Cemetery for $500. This was their contribution, and for their generosity they were given their choice of lots in the cemetery. All Catholics had been buried in St. Patrick's Cemetery up to this time. The first person to be buried in this cemetery was Matt Bauer who died in February 1899, and the second person was Jacob Sohm who died in October of 1899.
   Rev. A.J. Schaefer was the first resident priest for St. Mary's. He was born in March of 1871 in Westphelen, Germany, but had attended schools and was ordained a priest in the United States. He was 32 when he arrived here in November of 1903. Fr. Schaefer was a very energetic, active and conservative man. He fired the furnace of his own home as well as the church furnace, and the parishioners said he often arrived to say Mass with a smudge of soot on his face. He rang the church bells morning, noon and at 6:00 p.m. He loved his work and his people. He supervised the building of the present St. Mary's Church in 1908 and the rectory built in 1905. The first baby he baptized was the daughter of Frank and Mary Schimmer Diimig, Eva (Mrs. Arthur Kirchner) who was born on December 27, 1903.
   Now, eighty-some years after the happening of this episode [the fighting between the Germans and the Irish], I have asked several how this could have happened. One ex-businessman whose parentage was both Irish and German said his parents had always thought Fr. Meagher had expected an about-face of the German immigrants too fast. The learning of a new language was more of a barrier to them than the Irish immigrants because they could speak English upon arriving in the United States. He said the Germans could not change that fast. Another said it stemmed from a custom they had in Ireland. In Ireland only priests were educated at that time, and so many families were very poor. In the 19th century many of the poor Catholics then went to the priest for advice when making some business transaction or when he had to make an important decision. This tended to give the priest power. Upon coming to the United States, many of the Irish still followed this custom. The Germans were independent, and they would not confide their business to others. Those I talked to all said if only the Bishop would have appointed a priest here during those times that could talk both English and German all this trouble could have been averted.
   The religious troubles had left its mark on the town, and it was going to take years for the wounds to heal. There was much hidden resentment between the two nationalities. Most of the businessmen were of Irish nationality, but to become successful businessmen, they had to have the trade of the Germans. No doubt it was the Protestants in our town that held the town together in these trying times.
Free Methodist Church
   The exact year of the organization of this church is unknown, but there was a church here by 1904. The church was a small, white building. and it sat on the lot presently owned by Mrs. Anna Weber. According to The Danbury Review printed in 1904, there was a quarterly meeting held there March 18-21, 1904.
   The pastor in charge then was Rev. W.L. Giersdorf. J.J. Woof was conference evangelist, and W.M. Evans of Correctionville gave the sermons. This meeting was an effort to increase the membership of the church. There were several revivals like this held in a tent in the park. Persons belonging to his church were sometimes referred to as The Shouting Methodists as they shouted responses to the minister's sermon. This church did not survive, and in 1908 it was standing vacant. The town bought it and moved it to house the light plant.
Methodist Episcopal Ministers

   W. L. Mayhood was appointed to Danbury for years 1893-1895. The trustees of the church in 1894 were Ace Nicholls, Joseph Weinand, William Gibson, R.H. Loucks, Mr. Lyons, Thomas Gray, Peter Smith, R. West, I.B. Santee, W. Cameron, L.H. Valentine, M.D. Cord, John Virtue, William Smith, Miss Lydia West, and Godfrey Durst. Some of these were stewards and were chosen to attend a conference on September 14, 1894, along with Rev. Mayhood.

   Prof. H.S. Stein was Superintendent of Danbury Public Schools During these years, and H.B. Collison was basketball coach and principal.
Method of Farming Changed by 1890
   Farming methods changed with the coming of the railroad. The farmer was very slow to accept many of the new inventions which implement dealers were trying to sell them. The farmer called them "new fangled ideas." All machinery in 1890 was horse driven. There were only two machinery manufacturers in Illinois. John H. Maney and John McCormick, but later Woods, Stafford and others perfected inventions. Farmers had always walked behind the plow, disc, drag, etc., but now things were changing. All new machinery was coming out with seats. Stafford made a riding cultivator, but many were afraid to buy it for fear of being laughed at by their neighbor. They were called the "Lazy Man's Wagon," and one farmer said, "If a farmer gets so lazy that he can't walk to plow, he ought to quit farming and go to practicing law."
   A Woods grain rake was the forerunner of the reaper, but it was not a success. The first reapers did not tie the bundles of grain. Two men rode on a platform at the rear of the reaper, and they tied the bundles and the cut grain came out of the machine.
   All grain was first shocked, then stacked. Threshing was done in the Fall after the stacked grain went through a sweat. There were two horse-power threshing machines in our area, Joe Rose and John Boyer. The Heisler brothers in Cooper Township, Monona County also had a thresher. These machines threshed from early Fall until Winter as there were such few machines. When steam thresh machines arrived, there were many who owned them, and each machine would have a threshing ring composed of about 20 farmers. These 20 farmers helped each other. Each threshing machine had a crew of three to maintain the engine and separator. There also was a tank man who hauled the water which was used to create the steam. The three men who operated the threshing machines stayed overnight with the family for whom they were threshing. They had to arise early in the morning to prepare the thresh machine for the day's work. When they were ready to start threshing, they blew a shrill whistle which could be heard for miles, and then the farmers in the ring would come with hay racks, grain wagons, etc. All straw was stacked.
   The first corn planters were very crude, were made of wood, and one had to pull a rope to plant each hill of corn. Hay balers were used by 1890. All corn was picked by hand, and bang boards were now being used on the wagons. A good corn picker could pick 100 bushels or more a day and shovel off the corn besides. Pickers received 2-3¢ a bushel. Corn was shelled by hand shellers previous to having the corn sheller in 1890. Once Henry Babbe and John C. Rhode shelled a box car of corn with a hand sheller. When the wagon was filled, they hauled it to Danbury and scooped the corn into the boxcar. When the boxcar was filled, they shipped the corn to Chicago. Jerry Seman and I.J. Parks had corn shellers by 1890. Tony Treiber was shelling corn in 1904.
The Braig General Store
Braig Hardware
Braig Hall

   George Braig took over the store in the Wilkinson Building in 1899. Kampmeyer and Adams had operated the store in 1888. Kampmeyer bought out Adams and sold to George Braig in 1899. John Kampmeyer continued to work at Danbury for a few years, but he later moved to Sioux City. George Braig also bought out the adjoining hardware store owned by W.C. Cameron in 1904. W.C. Cameron and wife Susie had come to Danbury in the 1880s. They had built a new home and hardware. Henry Dimig Sr. bought their home when the Camerons left Danbury.
   George Braig was born in 1872 in Galena, Illinois. He grew up in Bellvue, near Omaha. He married in Sabula, Iowa, and then moved to Bellvue until he came to Danbury in 1899. Mr. Braig was a very energetic man, and besides operating the general store and hardware, he also took over the management of Braig's Hall, having Andy Matt as a co-worker. He also had several more employees.
   The Braigs were affiliated with the Catholic church and their children attended St. Mary's school. Children were Bessie (Mrs. Bernard Collins), Marion, Agnes, Pauline, Gertrude, and George Jr.
   To make the work easier, Mr. Braig had a large arched door between his general store and hardware. Customers and employees could then go from one store to the other without going outside. In the general store there was a grocery department at the rear of the store. Farmers drove up to the back door where they could tie their horses to a tie rack. Here they could unload eggs, butter, potatoes, etc. buy their groceries and other supplies and load them on their wagon. Mr. Braig also sold shoes, overshoes, men's clothing, women's and children's dresses, dress material, and other bolt sewing materials, laces, thread, and many other products used in the home. The business office was in a balcony above the grocery department. In the front window an employee sat and sent a small receptacle with order to the cashier in the balcony. This was done when the clerk pulled a cord which tripped a spring, giving the receptacle enough momentum to travel to the cashier's box. The cashier sent the change back to the clerk. Mr. Braig did well in this small town. He built a new home on Thomas Street. He served on the town council and other committees always willingly.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Braig's Hall
   The Hall, first known as Wilkinson Hall, then Kampmeyer Hall, now became Braig's Hall. It had been a popular place since built in 1888. Mr. Braig first leased the hall to S.B. Lee, Henry Osterholtz, and George Mohrhauser. After their lease ran out, Mr. Braig managed it with the help of Andy Matt.
   Ole Peterson, a show owner who traveled from town to town by train with his troupe, put on many shows in Braig's Hall. Many wrestling matches were held there. Some of Danbury's young wrestlers were Meinsenhelder, Dan Hayden, Earl Kinney, and Pete and George Rosauer.
   Dances were held regularly every two weeks. The Brandin and John Johnck Orchestra furnished the music for the dances. Both round and square dancing were the popular dances of this period. The Programme Dance was popular, also the Calico Ball. All girls wore calico dresses, and her escort wore a tie of the same calico material. There were masquerades, and a prize was given to the wearer of the best costume. Mr. Braig often held popularity contests for the ladies, and a muff or choker was given as a prize. Box socials, too, were popular.
   The public school also used the hall for many school events such as plays, music concerts, etc.
   Sam Crawford who worked in one of the lumberyards lived in an apartment next to Braig's Hall. His wife taught music to the young persons in the school. Her music students put on a music cantata in Braig 'Hall in the early 1900s. Girls in the cantata were Hazle Spencer (Mrs. Godfrey Durst, Jr.), Mable Gibson, Edith Booher, Oral Gibson, Nellie Cord Tumbleson, Nellie Lynch Sexton Goodburn, Anna Keleher, and Hope Seibold (Mrs. C.R.S. Anderson).
Water and Fire Departments
   The town dug its first deep well at the present Pump House site in the alley west of Thomas Street. It was dug while Joseph Conway served as mayor in years 1898-1900. Some water pipes were also laid on Main Street and in the first addition of the town. Water was not piped into the business places, but three hydrants were installed on Main Street, and the businessmen obtained water at the hydrants, one at the south end of Main Street, another in front of the Joe Wienand Store, and a third near the Dan Thomas store. Fire hydrants were also installed on Main Street at this time. The one well at the south end of Main Street was still maintained so as to have a watering place for horses.
   The fire department which had organized in 1892 was improved at this time. A report was given as to the condition of the fire equipment, and it said, "The engine was in fairly good condition, but the barrels and tanks were in bad shape." An engine was purchased at this time to do the pumping rather than the 8 men. The Danbury Fire Department was also called Hose Co. No 1, and the number of men varied from time to time, but approximately 22 men served in the department. Dr. C. LeDuc was elected fire chief in 1898, Ed Seibold was his assistant, George Seibold was president, Thomas Grafford was secretary, and William Kennaley was treasurer. Other members were D. Jonas, Hi Jonas, W.E. Beery, J.W. Tangeman, Joe McGrath, John Hartigan, Dan Rooney, Joe Conway, James Boyer, O. Smith, Pat McGlaughlin, Henry Fitzpatrick, J.W. Collins, Lou McCabe, Steve Kylie, John Boyer, George Wilkinson, and Dan Kylie. Four new members joined, Martin Kehoe, Thomas Quigley, Jim O'Day, and Elzie Tangeman.
   The members met each month, first Monday of the month in the home of one of its members. They had uniforms,. The fire bell was tapped 3 times one half hour before the meeting to warn all members to attend. The by-laws were quite strict. A person applying for membership was referred to an examination committee, and they determined whether or not the applicant would make a desirable member. The system of "black-balling" was mentioned in this early record book. The rules were rigid, and excuses for not attending meetings were not accepted except in an emergency. A fine of 25¢ was imposed for missing a meeting. No member was to appear at a meeting in the state of intoxication or be guilty of using insulting, indecent or improper language to the extent of being a disgrace or he would be expelled. If a member tried to operate fire equipment in case of a fire, or if he had a liquor bottle upon his person, he was expelled. A report was given each month as to the condition and amount of fire fighting equipment.
   In July 1898 the department ordered a hose cart built and allowed $6 for the cost. On April 15, 1899, a motion was made to send W.E. Beery to Onawa on April 17th to attend an annual meeting of the fire association. Each member of the fire department donated 10¢ to Beery to help him defray his expenses of going to Onawa. All towns in the Maple Valley belonged to this fire association, and meetings were held in the different towns to show new methods and give new ideas about fire fighting.
   Social events were held frequently to raise money to finance the department. The money raised was used to buy new equipment. On May 28, 1898, a May Pole Dance was scheduled. May Pole Dances were held on the lawns in the spring of the year. Several poles about 10-12' in height were erected on a lawn. About 20 strips of cloth were attached to the top of each pole, and a dancer took hold of one of the strips. A music was played, the dancers, every other one, marched in an opposite direction, going over, then under each other's colored streamer, and as they marched the streamers automatically braided on the May Pole. Calico Dances were held by one of our first fire departments. A man paid each girl with whom he danced 10¢, and this money went to the fire department. Square dances, too, were often held, and these dances were held at Kampmeyer Hall. By 1899 they were held at Braig's Hal. The callers for square dances were W.E. Beery, John Miller, Martin Kehoe, William Kennaley, Henry Fitzpatrick, Pat McGlaughlin, and J.F. Conway.
   The members of the 1899 fire department were J.F. Conway, President; J.W. Collins, Vice President; F.V. Innskeep, Foreman; Pat McGlaughlin, Assistant Foreman; C.H. LeDuc, Secretary; Lewis Larsen, Treasurer; and Trustees were William Kennaley, P.C. Fitzpatrick, and Jim Conway. New members added that year were Lew Jeness, John Mohr, George Braig, and Joseph Wienand.
   Interest in the department lagged from 1899 to June of 1902 when the department was reorganized. There possibly had been a fire, and this always created added interest. This time interested men met in the Cord building, and J.J. Gibbons acted as temporary chairman and Pat McGlaughlin was temporary secretary. The men attending this meeting were W.A. Hite, L.E. Montgomery, L.P. Cameron, Scott Hayden, J.H. Morrisey, I. Clement, J.W. Hartsock, Ed Grafford, J.B. Harvey, J.E. Miller, O.H. Groth, Frank Morrisey, Gus Metz, Bert Hart, B. Rose, J.J. O'Day, and C.E. Herrington. Officers elected on June 2, 1902, were President P.A. McGlaughlin, Vice President L.P. Cameron, Secretary I. Clement, Treasurer G.H. Groth Trustees L. Montgomery and Bert Hart, Chief Joseph Morrisey, and Assistant Chief W.A. Hite. From this time forward our town has always had a fire department.
   Hi Jonas was cop at this time.
A History of the Danbury Post Office and Danbury Newspaper
   These two Danbury businesses have been combined in our early history, so I'll trace their histories together, first one and then the other, giving what information I could find.
   How our mail service started in 1864: Dan Thomas was Danbury's first mail carrier. He often went to Denison for supplies, so settlers living in this area who wanted to write to relatives back east would send their letters with him when he made the trip to Denison, and he would mail them as Denison had a train by 1866. He also would bring back any mail in Denison for settlers here. Danbury then did not have even a name, so the letters were probably just addressed to Denison, or the township Little Sioux Township in 1864. Danbury had no stage to the west either at this time.
   In 1868 Liston Township was formed, and Dan Thomas' store was the only business place in the new township He was appointed postmaster at this time. They named the town which consisted only of his home and a trading post Liston Town after the new township. The stage coach then, whose terminus point had been Cork Hill, then came to Liston Town and made it the terminus point. The stage then went to Sioux City and back just once a week. Benjamin Smith served as driver for this stage. Dan Thomas made his bedroom into a post office. Dan Thomas carried mail from Denison 1864-1875. Then William Smith was hired to haul mail to Denison, and he made this trip daily, one day going, and the next day coming back. Many of the settlers then took the Denison paper.
   In 1873 when Dan Thomas built his store, the post office was moved from his home to the store. Dan remained postmaster until 1882. Then G.E. Carroll who worked in his store became postmaster. There were no rural mail routes then. Settlers picked up their mail at the post office. There were so many new settlers coming that often no one knew where they lived. Letters were advertised sometimes in the first newspapers of Danbury, telling settlers that there was mail at the post office for them.
   The stage continued to bring mail from the west even after we had the train in 1877, as that just brought mail from the east. The stage by 1877 was going to Sioux City one day and coming back the next. Stage was discontinued when train was extended from Mapleton to Onawa, 1886.
   I am not positive as to this, but I believe Danbury built a post office next to O'Day Drug Store in 1884, the year Santee and Gault were sent to manage the store of Shepard, Field and Cooke. A postmaster was changed then with each presidential election. One usually did not hold the position for more than four years, and the postmaster had to be affiliated with the same political party as the president. Postmasters that I have found were V.D. Lyons 1888-1892, William Smith during the Cleveland administration 1892-1896, J.T. Sigmon 1896-1900, L.B. Jeness 1901-1910, C.L. Adams 1910-1914, Joseph Wienand appointed acting postmaster due to political arguments and he served until March 18, 1915 when Earl Patten was appointed. Earl served from 1915 to 1955. His wife Elizabeth helped him the first years, and then Louis Ahlwardt was assistant. William Kinney was appointed postmaster, and Louis Ahlwardt was his assistant in 1956. Dick Smith was mail carrier in 1959 when he passed away suddenly. William Kinney then applied for carrier post as the thought he would rather carry mail. Fred Erlemeier was acting postmaster for awhile; he had been assistant. On August 11, 1961, Tom Barry was given the new appointment as postmaster. He still is serving, and Fred Erlemeier is assistant in 1970. William Kinney was appointed carrier on March 19, 1960.
   Rural mail routes were established on April 1, 1904. There were two routes. James Penny was appointed carrier for Route 1. This was north and west of Danbury, 25 1/4 miles long, covering an area of 34 square miles, and serving 119 homes or 595 persons. Louis Pierce was carrier for Route 2 south and west of Danbury 23 1/4 miles long, served 102 homes and 510 persons. Persons were urged to install mailboxes, and before the service began, the carriers made a preliminary trip to explain money orders, special deliver, etc. Carriers had a regulation buggy, enclosed to keep mail dry, and it was drawn by horses. Some of the early carriers were Weston Cram, Chris Smith, Nick Peters, James Harrigan, Fred Hines, Jack Hanlon, and Dick Smith. Present carriers are Jack Colbert and William Kinney.
   Since there's still a little space, here's a little addition to the postal service list of names. I believe after Tom Barry retired Katie Brown became postmaster. She transferred to Hornick in 2006, and our present postmaster, Peter Newhouse became postmaster. Cindy Zingg was assistant for awhile. Peggy Kramer is now assistant. I don't know all the carriers, but Ray Uehle and Sharon Kruse are the present carriers with Jim Twitchell and Tammy Reimer as substitutes, I believe. At one time Cindy Lansink was carrier.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A History of the Danbury Newspaper
   The first paper published in Danbury, 1882 was "Danbury News" published by J.L. Krozen. In 1883 he sold out to a company, and Professor Shoup, Superintendent of the public school, edited it, and it was then known as "Maple Valley Scoop." When the Shoups moved to Sioux City in 1884, the new owner was C.P. Bowman, and the name changed again to "Danbury Vidette." The business went into receivership at the end of 1884, and it went back to the company owning it in 1883. J.H. Ostrom then took over the paper April 1885, and he was editor and had the help of his son and daughter a number of years, and they named the paper "The Criterion." J.W. Killian and J.W. O'Day published it for a short time under the name "Criterion News." L.B. Jeness came to Danbury from Monona County in 1894. He and his wife Maude Adams Jeness took over the paper in 1897, and they named the paper "Danbury Review" which is the name yet today. He was appointed postmaster in 1901, and then he ran both businesses in the same building. He was there until the building burned February 1910. He never repaired the building. He sold it to his brother-in-law, C.L. Adams, what equipment there was left after the fire.
   Mr. Jeness said about Danbury upon leaving, "Danbury stands today at the head of practically every town in its class in Northwest Iowa, in the matter of public and private improvements, demonstrated by its public and parochial school buildings, churches, the town's water and electric systems, and the public park, all worth thousands of dollars."
   The paper then consisted of one large sheet 40x52". One side of this sheet was printed each week in some city like Chicago and St. Louis. This would be world and U.S. news which happened the last week. It was then folded in half and then quarters, making a sheet 20x28" with the printing inside. These printed papers were shipped to Danbury in quantities needed, and then the printer would print Danbury news, ads, etc. on the plain side.
   Cecil Adams sold "The Danbury Review" in January 1913 to C.E. Johnson.
1904 Danbury Review, Printed by L.B. Jeness
   Election Proclamation: I, W.B. Booher, mayor of the town of Danbury, do hereby publish and proclaim that on Monday, March 28, 1904, there will be held an election within and for the said corporated town of Danbury, Iowa, at which the qualified electors residing within the corporate limits of said town will vote to elect one mayor, one treasurer, one assessor, one clerk, and two councilmen.
   The following question will also be submitted to the voters at said election and will appear upon the ballot to be voted that day, to wit: "Shall that part of the fair grounds lying south of Third Street, including all buildings thereon, be sold and proceeds of the sale be placed in a lighting fund?"
   The election will be held in the council room in the Danbury State Bank building in the town of Danbury. Polls will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on said day.

W.B. Booher, Mayor
Weekly Market Reports, Feb. 23, 1904:
Butter .14¢ lb.
Eggs .15¢ doz.
Wheat .63¢ @ .65¢
Oats .34¢ @ .35¢
Corn .35¢ @ .38¢
Hogs $4.50 @ $5.00
Cattle $1.90 @ $3.35
Turkeys 8 1/2¢ lb.
Ducks 7 1/2¢ lb.
Chickens 7 1/2¢ lb.

   School Levy: The school board of the Independent District of Danbury, at the last regular meeting February 15, 1904, recommended a levy for the following year as follows:
Teacher's fund $3,500.00
Contingent fund 1,250.00
   By order of the board,
John Kampmeyer, Secretary
   To the Public: You can leave your watches needing repairs at O'Day Brothers. Will also fit you with gold filled spectacles, ten year guarantee, and look after your eyes two years all for $4.00. Eyes tested free.
S.B. Lee
   Free Methodist Church: We expect to hold our district quarterly meeting here in Danbury commencing Thursday night March 18. A general rally from all over the district is expected both of pastors and laymen. Also, J.J. Woof, conference evangelist, will be present and remain to assist in the meeting which we expect to continue.
   Also, a missionary meeting of the Women's Foreign Missionary Society will be held Saturday night commencing at 7:00 o'clock. It will consist of a program followed by a sermon by Rev. W.M. Evans of Correctionville. Everybody cordially invited.
W.L. Giersdorf
Pastor in Charge
   School Entertainment: A lengthy and well attended program followed by a box supper was given by the pupils and the young people of the district at the Baker school house 3 miles southeast of Danbury last Saturday evening. All was a success, and the evening passed pleasantly. The four little people who took part in the minstrel portion of the program were a decided hit. Dan Penny who sold the boxes proved himself a very able and competent as well as jovial and amiable auctioneer. The boxes went fast and brought high prices. Twenty-seven dollars was netted which will be spent by the district for library books which are so much needed in all our country schools. It shows interest and enthusiasm in this line for young people, and the pupils as the parents do kindly lend their help and work together agreeably and pleasantly for something of this kind at least once a year and let the proceeds this gained go to a good cause.

M.E. Church Notes: Herbert Keck, Pastor
Sunday School 10:00 a.m.
Preaching 11:00 a.m.
Class meeting 12:00 p.m.
Junior League 2:30 p.m.
Epworth League 6:45 p.m.
Preaching 7:30 p.m.
Morning theme "The bane and Its Antidote"
Evening subject "The Great Question"
Normal class Tuesday evening
Prayer meeting Thursday evening

District Missionary Convention, Sac City, Mar. 7 and 8
Miss Bertha Harvy leads Epworth League next Sunday evening
Third quarterly meeting   May 15 in evening
Pastor called to Charter Oak to perform marriage ceremony Thursday of this week.
Sunday School will be organized into a Missionary Society next Sunday morning.
Big Missionary Rally will be held in our church on the evening of March 18, and addressed by Rev. Black of Ida Grove and Rev. Achison of Battle Creek, Iowa.
   Petitions filed in Damage Case: According to the Sioux City Journal, the petitions have been filed in the district court in which Mrs. Della Jacques and Mrs. Anna Wier each ask judgment for $5,000 against G.W. Canty. The notice in these cases were filed some time ago but there was apparently an unfounded rumor that the cases might not go farther so there had been no general publicity given the matter until the petitions were filed.
   From Sioux City Journal: "Being seized and embraced on the street is an experience which is seriously objected to by Della Jacques, a milliner of Danbury, who yesterday filed a suit for $5,000 damages against C.C. Canty, a businessman of Danbury, claiming on December 20, 1903, Canty took the liberty of placing his arms around her without her consent and very much to her chagrin and humiliation.
   "Mr. Canty has peace to make with another Danbury woman, Anna Wier, who is proprietress of a bakery and grocery at Danbury, Iowa. She filed a petition against Canty claiming damages in the sum of $5,000 because Canty is alleged to have lain violent hands upon her in her own store on December 26, 1903. Her allegation is that Canty "wickedly, maliciously and without cause of provocation" violently assaulted her by placing his hands on her in a violent manner, and by threatening to injure her. He was only prevented from carrying out his threat by her resistance and the timely arrival of other persons. She declared he abused her and told her she was a woman of bad character and that she was addicted to the use of intoxicating liquors and that a cigarette was all that she needed to make her like other lewd women. Mrs. Wier claimed that she suffered great mental anguish as a result of the defamatory words and her reputation was damaged to the extent of $2,500, and her business was damaged also, so she wanted $5,000 damages for Canty's alleged conduct."
   Corn shelling: I have a new Joliet Corn Sheller and will shell corn for .75¢ per 100 bushels. After March 1, 1¢ per bushel. Phone number 401 from Danbury.
Jerry Seman
   News Items: The stores in many of the towns in Iowa now close at 7:30 and others at 6:00 p.m. Like Sunday closing, the people seem to like the plan once it is established, except perhaps the class who spent their evenings loafing around the prune box.
   Birds work for men from the first glimmer of the sun. Rocky Mountain Tea works for mankind both day and night. That's why it's famous the world o'er. It will not let you turn over and take another snore.
R.H. Loucks
   R.C. Hayden's sale of thoroughbred hogs last Friday was very well attended, and the average selling price was $28.50 each.
   Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Grey left Wednesday morning for Boulder, Colorado, where they will visit J.T. Sigmon and family for a couple of months.
   The job of mayor or councilman in a town like Danbury means a salary of about .30¢ and 784 kicks. Don't all speak at once.
New Business Transactions in Danbury

   Willibald Endres, Jeweler to S.M. Lee: Mr. Endres came to Danbury from Chatsworth, Illinois, in late 1880s. He was a cousin of Mrs. Henry Diimig, Sr. He had a small shop on the east side of Main Street. He sold out to S.M. Lee, another jeweler, 1904. The family went back to Illinois.
   Confectionery: Dan Newcomer and Con Keleher sold their confectionery shop in 1904 to Ed Driscoll. Clement Funk clerked in the store.
   Mrs. C.C. Frum: Mr. and Mrs. C.C. Frum came to this area, Morgan Township, about 1882. They had children: Bruce, Sydney and Millard. When Millard was a small boy, the Frums moved to Danbury. Mr. C.C. Frum was a stock buyer. Mrs. Frum operated a millinery shop in Danbury. They moved to Danbury so as to give the children an education. Sydney graduated from Danbury High School and went on to study law. He served as judge of the 8th Judicial District many years. Millard married Sarah Leola Canty of Danbury, and they lived in Danbury all of their lives.
   George Nicholas Castle sold 1904 to Barry Brothers: The Castles decided to move to Bremerton, Washington, in 1904, so sold their property. Frank Dove operated the hotel and livery a short time. On February 19, 1904, Pat and Mike Barry rented the Dove Tie Barn fro W.F. Seibold who had purchased the property. They established a livery barn on the side sold feed and bought and sold livestock. They bought the building January 1, 1905. Many livestock sales were held at this building. In 1911 the Barry brothers became interested in automobiles, the Ford, and soon after they started an expansion program.
   Elzie Tangeman, Tie Barn: Elzie Tangeman built a tie barn in early 1900s. This was a large barn built to accommodate horses and rigs, having stalls on both sides. Mangers were along the outside walls. An attendant was always on hand to tie up and care for the horses whenever a vehicle entered the door. If the driver planned to stay any length of time he brought a bag of oats for the attendant to feed the horse. Hay was furnished by the management. Many of the school children, the mailmen, and farmers accommodated this barn.
   Arthur Powell: Arthur Powell came to Danbury in 1888. He married Mary McBride. His occupation was paper hanging and painting. Arthur was a talented musician. He played in the Johncks Orchestra and also the Danbury Brass Band. He made extra money playing in the Johncks Orchestra as this dance orchestra played for dances in all the surrounding towns. The Powell had children, Gladys born 1888, Arthur C. 1889, Carlyle "Bun" 1893, Albert "Brownie" 1893, Dewey 1898, Wilfred 1900, Murial 1902, Bethine 1904, and Charles 1907. They left Danbury in 1925.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

New Business Transactions in Danbury 1888-1904
   O'Day Drug Store: Two brothers, James and Jim "Bucky" O'Day started a second drug store in Danbury. They first built a wooden structure a second side of Main Street (Paul Lamphear location). They sold ice cream, drugs, stock remedies, cosmetics, etc., and a jeweler, Mr. S.M. Lee was in the store with them for a few years. It burned in 1910, and then the O'Day brothers built the present brick building, present Paul Lamphear's.
   Farmers Hotel 1891: A vacated hardware was moved from the east side of Main Street farther north to the Collins Hotel location. Mr. and Mrs. Michael McGrath retired from farming in 1891. They wanted to make this into a rooming and boarding house. They called it Farmers Hotel. Mrs. McGrath had several steady boarding customers. She operated this until her husband died. There was a livery to the east of the hotel. They operated this until early 1900 when Nora McQuillen and her sister JoAnn Murphy took over.
   C.C. Cook 1890-1904: C.C. Cook, who had been partner with Shepard and Field of Council Bluffs, bought out his partners, and he then moved his family and operated the Shepard, Field and Cook General Store. Crilly and Gibson both clerked in the store.
   Wilbert Booher 1892-1898: Wilbert Booher sold out his hardware in 1892 and went into grain buying and selling. He might have built the second elevator. In 1898 he sold the elevator business to F.H. Hancock as he was to become the president of the Danbury bank built by August Wilkinson. F.H. Hancock remained in the elevator business a number of years.
   Methodist Ministers 1895-1904: Rev. Waitsell Avery Richards, father of Hal Richards, our Danbury dentist for years, came to Danbury in 1895. He was a poet. He was also credited for planting the trees on the parking and grounds of the Methodist property.

Rev. J.M. Carver 1897-1898
Rev. Gary Coulter 1898-1900
Rev. O.P. Chittick 1900-1902
Rev. Herbert A. Keck 1902-1904
Township Clerks:
Mark Durst 1895-1897
Joseph Welte 1897-1904

   John Crilly and William Gibson: In 1904 John Crilly and William Gibson bought out C.C. Cook, and they then were owners of the old Dan Thomas General Store until 1907.
   O.D. Peake, Danbury Photographer 1904: O.D. Peake had a studio in Danbury first in the rear end of the Durst building and afterwards in the upstairs of the Cord building. After Mr. Peake left here, a Mr. Dore had a studio here. Then for many years Mr. Parker, a photographer from Mapleton would come to Danbury a couple of days out of the week. He advertised a 3x4" picture, $5 a dozen.
   Fred and August Tangeman 1892-1895: Eldest sons of David Tangeman, they ran a hardware (Art Tatman building). Henry Fitzpatrick, Thomas Brennah, and Martin Berkemeier bought them out in 1895.
   L.B. Jeness: Postmaster and The Danbury Review.
   Hayden Produce, Willard Hayden 1901: Willard Hayden, a farmer from Ida County, built a cream station in Danbury in 1901. The station was located in the alley near the present-day pump house. The farmers in the area were beginning to have larger herds of cows, and they were producing more milk than the farmers could consume themselves. De Laval first manufactured a large separator in 1890. This separator was a powered by a gas engine.
   Mr. Hayden, before building, made out a milk contract with certain farmers, and they were to deliver their milk to the station. James Scott, a Danbury resident, told how he and his brother, John hauled milk to town when boys. The evening milk was strained into cream cans but were not delivered to the station until the next morning after the morning milking. They hauled the milk to town in a wagon, and they unloaded the milk onto a loading dock. A test of the milk was first made to determine butterfat content. The milk was then emptied into the large tank. The Scott boys then drove to the rear of the building, and the skimmed milk was run back into the empty cans. The cream went into another tank in the produce station, and Mr. Hayden put the cream into cans, and it was them shipped to Carroll, IA. He paid the farmer upon delivery of the milk.
   The farmers fed the skimmed milk to their hogs.
   In 1904 small separators were manufactured, and then every farmer bought a separator of his own. Mr. Hayden returned to the farm after the selling of milk was no longer popular.
   Paris Hotel, Nora McQuillen: The Patrick McGrath family of Soldier Township, Crawford County moved to Danbury in the 1880s after one of the boys took over the farm. They ran a rooming and boarding house on the Collins Hotel location. It was then known as Farmers Hotel. After the death of Mrs. McGrath in 1891, the hotel was sold, exact year unknown. Nora McQuillen was managing this same hotel, now known as Paris Hotel by 1904. An ad advertising the hotel in The Danbury Review in 1904 said, "Best accommodations for the traveling public. Board by week at reasonable rates. Free bus to and from all passenger trains (bus was team and carriage). Two blocks from depot, corner of Third and Main Streets." Miss JoAnn Murphy, Manager, Nora N. McQuillen, Proprietor.
   The hotel had a livery to the east of it. Nora McQuillen was proprietor of this hotel until the property was bought by the Foulks brothers in 1910 when they built the Collins Hotel.
   Henry and Patrick Fitzpatrick: Henry finished high school at St. Patrick's Academy in 1895. He, along with Martin Berkemeier and Thomas Brennah, bought out the Tangeman brothers (Fred and Gus) who had a hardware in what was later known as the Art Tatman building.
   After the three were in business in a year, Pat Fitzpatrick, a brother of Henry bought out Berkemeier and Brennah. Henry became a licensed mortician in 1897, and he then established an undertaking business along with the hardware. Pat also had a sideline - electricity and plumbing. In 1898 they needed better facilities, so they sold the old building, and they built a new two story brick structure (present Jim Collins Feed Store). In 1900 Pat installed the first electric light plant in the town, in the hardware. It was a plant he built himself. He also installed some of the first manufactured plants in the town in St. Patrick's Academy, the church and the rectory in 1910. The Fitzpatrick brothers were partners for 25 years.
   C.C. Frum: He was elected road supervisor in 1901.
   Dr. William Creswell, 1908: Dr. Creswell came to Danbury after completing his medical course in 1908 He married Effie Durst, daughter of Godfrey Durst, Sr. on April 10, 1910. They had a son, Lloyd. When Lloyd was 6 in 1918, Dr. Creswell died during the influenza epidemic after practicing medicine in Danbury for 10 years. He was a surgeon and often performed surgery at the Battle Creek hospital.
   Dr. Christian Le Duc: He was an M.D. and surgeon who came here when a young man from Breda, Iowa, in 1895. He married Mary Kennedy, the daughter of Patrick and Ellen Mahoney Kennedy. They had two sons, Karl and Vincent. Dr. Le Duc practiced in Danbury a few years but was poor in health. He returned to Breda and practiced medicine there. His brother, Andrew was a pharmacist in Breda. Dr. Le Duc died when only 33 years old.
   Patrick McLaughlin: He came to Danbury about 1888 and was a clerk in Crilly Store.
   George Quigley: He came to Danbury, too, about this time. He had sons, Jim Quigley who married Mamie Donnery, and John Quigley who married Margaret Caldon. They had children, Frank, Leonard, Marie, Ada, Patrick, and Ethel (Mrs. John O'Day). John was a Danbury barber.
   W.C. Cameron: He owned a hardware in Danbury and sold it to George Braig in 1904. George Braig then operated both stores, his general merchandise store and the hardware.
   Alvy Stanton and Wick Davis: They built all the new cement sidewalks in the town. Both of them had a crew of men, horses, fresnos, etc., so as to move dirt. Alvy Stanton and a Mr. Watson from Oto moved many of the buildings about the town.
Liveries in Danbury
   All traveling up to year 1908 was with horses, so the livery played an important part in our early history. All three of Danbury's first hotels had liveries, Castle House, Commercial Hotel, and Paris Hotel. Many persons traveling would take rooms at one of the hotels for the night, and a caretaker at the livery would care for his horses and conveyances. Each hotel owner had a team of horses and a carriage, and he met all trains coming into Danbury at the depot to solicit business and haul the customer with his baggage to his hotel.
   John Wade Herrington built a livery (present Tony Steinbach resident lot) in 1879, and Levi Herrington managed it. The stage coach driver kept his horses and stage coach there. Bray and Drea and the Edwards brothers owned this livery in later years. There was another large livery built north of present Fred Grell car Wash. Doc Smith, a veterinarian, operated this livery at one time. The Harrigan brothers ran a livery in 1904, W.H. Jones in 1910, and the Barry brothers in 1906. Alvy Stanton had a livery on Thomas Street in the alley near his residence in 1908. Henry Meier had a livery in Danbury in 1916.
   Freight coming on the trains also had to be picked up by the dray-man. He met all incoming trains. Ed Tangeman served in that capacity many years. He did all draying with horses at first, and, by 1916, he bought two Ford delivery trucks.
   Ed also was the town's ice man. Each winter when the ice was frozen to a depth of at least 18" in the Maple River near the Mill, it was time to "put up" the ice. An ice saw cut blocks of ice about 400 pounds in weight. The blocks were 3-4' long and approximately 18" wide and 18" deep. Wagons were backed up to a loading dock, and the chunks of ice were placed on a runway. A horse pulled the blocks of ice up into the wagon. Farmers stored the blocks of ice in sawdust in an ice house. The sawdust kept the ice from melting, and ice could be kept in these house until summer. The ice man delivered ice to the town's citizens a certain day of the week. The ice was weighed, and you paid by the pound. The ice was used in kitchen ice boxes. Ed Tangeman stored as much as 1,000 tons of ice some years. After Ed retired from this business, Ray Sexton took it over. This business was discontinued when electric refrigerators were invented.
   The hotel liveries were discontinued with the invention and coming of the automobile. The Tie barn built by Elzie Tangeman served the community until late 1920s. Many school children drove horse driven conveyances to school, and they left their rigs and horses at the Tie Barn. Cars were not accepted at first, and it was many years before everyone owned a car.
More Organizations
   Modern Woodmen of American, 1897: the Charter of Danbury Camp No. 4655 Modern Woodmen of America was dated April 10, 1897, at Fulton, Illinois. The charter members of this organization were W.B. Booher, J.W. Connett, F.V. Innskeep, M.D. Cord, John M. Boyer, John H. Crilly, P.C. Keitges, William H. Brady, C.C. Frum, J.T. Sigmon, James Bray, Clement Funk, J.F. Wienand, R.C. Canty, W.T. Fields, and W.D. Gibson. Social members were David Cloud, F.S. Hayden, and Dr. G.W. Murphy. On January 20, 1902, Louis Larsen who was clerk handed over the clerkship to John F. Mohr.
   In 1932 death claims had been paid to A.L. Canty, John J. JOhnck, Henry Lille, Thomas H. Virtue, Harvey Swanger, P.G. Lenz, Frank P. Morrisey, $1,000 each; Joseph E. towers, Thomas W. Brennan, William N. Booth, J.E. Maguire, Peter Hayes, W.D. Cloud, John J. Christopherson, and Henry Frahm 2,000 each; Christian H. Le Duc and J.D. Crow $3,000 each; and Peter Neustrom $780.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More Organizations

Modern Woodmen of American, 1897: Officers in 1932:
Venerable Council John Twitchell
Worthy Advisor Henry Fitzpatrick
Clerk J.F. Mohr
Banker George Elskamp
Escort E.A. Tangeman
Watchman Charley Driscoll
Sentry Frank Palmer
Managers John Abraham
C.E. Johnson
Mark Durst
Physician Dr. Leo Wilson
Special Auditor James Harrigan
Written by J.F. Mohr

   Catholic Order of Foresters, 1898: The Catholic Order of Foresters was organized April 1898 in Danbury by Rev. Timothy Meagher. Thirty members signed applications for the charter, and on May 3, 1989 the court started. The first officers were the following:

Spiritual Director and Chief Ranger Fr. Meagher
V.C.R. Dr. C.H. Le Duc
P.C.R. M.E. Rush
Treasurer Albert Price
Recording Secretary J.J. Adams
Fin. Secretary P.H. Rush
Trustees Henry Fitzpatrick
Henry Craig
Matt Drea
Conductors Pat McLaughlin
James Navin
Sentinels James Conway
P. Connelly

   This organization had a steady growth, and when World War I began, it had a membership of 220 persons. It was agreed that any member serving in the war to have their assessments paid by the Court. Twenty-six members served in World War I. This court met once a month, and the prime objective was selling insurance. The Court also sponsored social activities.
   Highlanders, 1899: Lodge, Royal Highlanders, was granted a charter on October 12, 1899. The objective was selling insurance, and they had 65 members. Many social events were enjoyed by the members of this lodge and their friends. On January 13, 1904, the following charter members were elected officers: James E. Harvey, George Fessenbeck, Godfrey Durst, Jr., Manford Adams, Joseph Wienand, John F. Mohr, G.W. Canty, John Carlson, Louis W. Pierce, John Foltz, Calvin H. Pierce, John D. Rooney, Fred Hines, John P. McNiff, William J. Fischer, D.H. Penny, Lewis B. Jeness, and Dr. W.L. Creswell.
   Danbury Baseball Team, 1900: Pitcher Frank or Rex Morrisey, First Base Hayden, Second Base Dove, Third Base Harrigan, Center Field Montgomery, Right Field Durst, Left Field Wood, and Short Stop Amos.

Businessmen in Danbury, 1904:
Mayor W.B. Booher
Town Clerk P.A. McGlaughlin
Druggists R.H. Loucks
O'Day Brothers John & Jim
General Merchandise Stores
John Kampmeyer
George J. Braig
Crilly & Gibson
W.C. Cameron - Sold to George Braig in 1904
Fitzpatrick Brothers Henry & Pat
Lumber Yards S.H. Bowman Lumber Yard, W.D. Benett, Mgr.
Iowa-Minnesota Lumber Co.
E.W. Oates, Mgr.
Harness Shops J.E. Harvey, John Cortman, Prop.
J.F. Wienand Shop -
East side of Main St.
Danbury State Bank
Pres. W.B. Booher
V.P. A.J. Santee
Cashier I.B. Santee
Real Estate & Loans
Joseph O'Dougherty
Postmaster L.B. Jeness Carriers James B. Penny
Louis Pierce
Danbury Review
L.B. Jeness, Editor -
Price $1.25 per year
Milk Delivery P.G. Lenz
Physicians Dr. G.W. Murphy
Dr. W.L. Creswell, Medical & surgical
Dr. J.T. Conn of Battle Creek had an office in the Danbury hotel. He answered all calls day or night and did both dental and surgery work.
Barbers Frank Neustrom
John Quigley
Jay Smith
Carpenters John Kinney
Tom Virtue
Sam Griffith
Tie Barn Elzie Tangeman
Confectionery Ed Driscoll
Meat Markets Clancy & Flood
John Hart, Henry Osterholtz, Clerk
Photographer O.D. Peaks
Corn Shelling Jerry Seaman
Antone Treiber
Saloon & Billiards
Louis Ludwig
Wagon & Repair Shop
S.R. Haberstrait
Attorney Office
John Gibbons, Opposite post office on Main St.
Auctioneers Jeness & Huber
Jeweler S.M. Lee
Creamery Willard Hayden
Millinery Mrs. C.A. Jacques
Bee Supplies Peter Smith
City Dray Lines Hauled baggage & freight, Harrigan Brothers
Liveries Barry Brothers, general, town & country, all new buggies
Edwards Brothers, city livery and bus lines to hotels, etc.
Hotels Commercial Hotel - J.W. Collins, Prop., Main & 2nd Sts.
Paris Hotel - Miss Joann Murphy, Mgr., Nora McQuillen, Prop., Main and 3rd. Sts.
Blacksmith J.M. Boyer
Elevators Godfrey Durst,
Mill & elevator
F.H. Hancock, Elevator
W.F. Seibold
Baking & Groceries
Anna Wier
Anna Dove
Painting & paper hanging George Pullis & Arthur Powell
1904-1906 R.H. Loucks
1906-1910 I.B. Santee
1910-1912 P.C. Keitges

Changes in Danbury Church Properties - 1905-1910
   St. Mary's, 1908-1910: Rev. Shaefer, resident priest of St. Mary's, had lived in a small house east of St. Mary's Church since his arrival in 1903. In 1905 it was decided to build a rectory on the church grounds which had been purchased in 1898 (present rectory).
   In 1908 the parishioners at St. Mary's decided they needed a new church as the old church was too small. The church had been used for 11 years, and each year some more families had come. It was decided to build the new church to the west of the old church, and the old church would remain until the new one was completed. Fr. Shaefer told the parishioners there were be hardships, and all should be willing to give both time and money. Land owners were asked to give $1,000 contributions.
   The building plans for the church were drawn by Martin Hear of Dubuque, Iowa, and the building contract was awarded to W.F. Zittrel of Webster City, Iowa. The new brick structure with interior fixtures was to cost parishioners $25,000 approximately. Bricks, lumber and other material was hauled by the parishioners from railroad cars on track or from the lumber yard. Parishioners also helped to dig a partial basement. A full basement was dug out a few years later by parishioners. Steam heat was used to heat the building. The parishioners as well as Fr. Shaefer all hauled brick and mortar to the mason by wheelbarrow. The spire, belfry, and cross were erected on the ground and then hoisted by teams of horses to the top of the church where it was put in place. Several families donated the stained glass windows and the stations of the cross. One whole window cost $100. The names of contributors were put on the windows. F r. A.J. Shaefer contributed four windows. Those contributing the money for one whole window were Mr. and Mrs. John Wessling, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Diimig, Mr. and Mrs. Adam Treiber Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Anthon Reimer and family, and Mr. and Mrs. George Braig. Those donating money to buy a half-window were Mr. and Mrs. John Uhl and Miss Josephine Uhl, and Ferdinand Hammann and Frank Oberreuter, Sr. After the basement was dug in full, Mass during the week was held in the basement of the church, and the church was only heated on Sundays.
   The cornerstone for St. Mary's Church was laid on June 12, 1909. Ceremonies were held at that time. Bishop Carrigan of Sioux City was the presiding official for the laying ceremony. Two sermons were given, one in English by Fr. Wagoner of Mapleton, and another sermon in German by Fr. Gerleman of Granville, IA. The Mapleton band furnished music all through the day. Papers concerning the building of the church, and names of all donors were sealed in the right hand corner of the church's foundation.
   From The Danbury Review: "Dedication Ceremonies Held June 20, 1911. In the presence of a large gathering of people, the beautiful St. Mary's Church was dedicated Tuesday morning, June 20, 1911. Nature did herself proud, and it was an ideal June day. The event will be long remembered by all those who attended with a special sense of gratitude by those who have the privilege of worshipping in such a magnificent church of which Rev. A.J. Shaefer is pastor. People began to arrive early in the morning for this occasion. There were many visitors from other towns and cities. Shortly after 10:30 o'clock in the morning, Confirmation was administered to a class of 57. At 10:30 o'clock the dedication of the church began, Rt. Rev. Bishop Garrigan officiating. This was followed by a solemn High Mass. Those assisting at the ceremonies were J.A. Gerleman of Granville, IA, who as the celebrant; Rev. P. Brune of Alton, IA who was Deacon; Rev. John Nepple of LeMars who was Sub-Deacon; and Rev. L. Schenkleberg of Charter Oak who was master of ceremonies Two excellent sermons were given. Rev. George Wessling of Carroll delivered one sermon in German, and Rev. Edward Myers of Milford delivered the other in English. Other priests who were present were Rev. G. Weinhold of Odebolt, Rev. P. Costello of Ida Grove, Rev. P. Heusman of Mt. Carmel, IA, Rev. Schleyer of Breda, IA, Rev. August Meyer of Ogden, IA, Rev. T. Meagher of this place, and Rev. Shaefer of St. Mary's. A sumptuous dinner was served in St. Mary's School after which everyone spent an enjoyable afternoon. More people came in the afternoon, and before the festivities came to a close, several hundred people had assembled. Ice cream, pop and refreshments of all kinds were sold in stands. Men tried out their muscles on the striking machine. Some tried their luck at the wheel of fortune, and others amused themselves at slinging balls at rag dolls. One of the enjoyable features of the day was the music furnished by Fr. Wessling's band of 18 pieces of Carroll. Fr. Wessling is a trained musician, he taught his boys to be excellent players, and the music they furnished was fine. The band played several selections on the lawn in the morning and gave a concert in the afternoon. A picnic supper as held on the lawn, and the people then departed for their homes feeling that the day was one to be long remembered. The business places closed their doors from 10:30 to 12:00 p.m."
   A long shed-like barn was built north of the church. Everyone in 1911 drove horse drawn vehicles. Upon arriving at church or school, the horses were unhitched and tied to the barn. The priest, too, had a team of horses and a buggy.
   From The Danbury Review: "St. Mary's Bells Installed Dec. 7, 1911. The blessing of the two new bells for St. Mary's Church took place Sunday. Rev. J.A. Gerleman of Granville, IA, arrived for the occasion. He celebrated High Mass in the morning. At. 3 o'clock p.m., Solemn vesters were changed with the Rev. Gerleman celebrant, Rev. Wagoner Deacon, and Rev. Schaefer Sub-Deacon. A sermon was preached by Rev. Gerleman. The two new bells will be rung every Saturday night to announce the coming Sunday."
   The barn was torn down in 1930s, and the old church was also destroyed. The parishioners sold chance tickets on the old rectory, and it was given away at a bazaar. Patrick Barry won this house. Chance tickets were $1 apiece for the old rectory.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Changes in Danbury Church Properties

   St. Patrick's: The St. Patrick's Church built in 1883 too had grown too small. On September 25, 1905, the spire of St. Patrick's Church was struck by lightning, and a considerable amount of damage was also done to the church. As more seating capacity was needed, the church was then made longer, and the altar moved forward. A new front entrance was built on the church and a smaller tower and bell replaced the spire. A back door leading to the sacristy was also built on the west. Now a neat iron fence had been built around the Academy and white birch trees had been planted on the parking and several trees on the grounds.
   New Academy 1908: The white wooden academy built in 1887 had also become too small to accommodate the number of children wishing to obtain an education. The old building was moved to the rear of St. Patrick's property; as they planned to build the new school on the old location. School children went to school in the old school while the new academy was being built. C.F. Mayer, a contractor from Humboldt, Iowa, was hired to build the school. The school was to be brick, have a full basement and four floors. The academy was heated with steam heat, had electricity and was fully modern in every way. On the first floor were high school class rooms and an auditorium; on the third floor were rooms for the nuns, and the fourth floor or attic had several rooms for the roomers who stayed at the convent. There were a number of boarders who also stayed with the nuns. At one time, meals were served to all in the basement of the academy. Fr. Meagher and the parishioners were very proud of their new school upon its completion, and dedicatory services were held. The new school was ready the fall of 1908.
   Methodist Episcopal Church Improved 1908: Rev. C.J. Messenger was the residing minister at Danbury 1904-1906, Rev. A. A. Pittenger from 1906-1907, and Rev. John R. Tumbleson 1907-1911. Rev. Tumbleson also served the Sharon community Church a few miles northwest of Danbury. A minister’s salary was $800 in 1908. During Rev. Tumblesons stay, an addition was added on the east side of the church, and the basement was enlarged. The membership of the church had climbed from 49 in the first days of the church history to 105 persons. Rev. John Tumbleson married Nellie Cord, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. M.D. Cord. Rev. Ezra Cathcart followed Rev. John R. Tumbleson in 1911.
Danbury Main Street 1909
   Danbury had several near catastrophes down through the years, and the years 1904 to 1912 were no exceptions. Three incidents occurred during years 1908 and 1910 which were very discouraging: 1) the loss of our mayor Ben Santee in 1908, 2) explosion of our first public light plant, and 3) the near destruction of the town by fire in 1910. It seemed out of the ashes of this terrible fire, a new and better Danbury emerged.
   Mayor Isaac Benton Santee Dies 1908: Ben Santee was elected mayor in 1906, but he passed away before his term of office had expired. I.B. Santee was born in Monongolia Co., West Virginia on March 7, 1852. His early life was spent on a farm, and his childhood education was received in the public schools of his native state. He attended the University of West Virginia in Morgantown and the Iron City Business College at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was in the mercantile business in Illinois and Iowa for 10 years before coming to Danbury. His parents were A.J. and Lucy Shriver Santee who were of French and German descent. Ben married Addie M. Gibson on June 16, 1877 at Council Bluffs. Addie was the daughter of James and Mary Anthony Gibson. Ben Santee and his wife came to Danbury in 1883. Ben was to manage a store owned by Shepard, Field and Cook (former Dan Thomas Store). The three owners sent Frank Gault to Danbury also to help Ben Santee. Shepard, Field and Cook all lived in Council Bluffs.
   Ben Santee was a politician, and in 1900 he ran on the Republican ticket as a member of the General Assembly. He was elected and served during the 27th and 28th General Assemblies. He served as an aide to Gov. Cummins while he was governor of Iowa.
   A.J. Santee, the father of Ben Santee, came to Danbury after his son's coming in 1885, and he helped Mr. August Witnessing organize the first Danbury bank and then became the vice president of Danbury State Bank. A.J. Santee died a year after the bank was organized in 1889, and then Ben Santee took his father's place in the bank. William Gibson took charge of the store that Ben Santee had once managed. During the closing months of 1907, Ben began to notice signs of failing health, and he soon was compelled to withdraw completely from active participation in the bank. When just 56 years old, while in the prime of life, Ben passed away on June 20, 1908. Mr. Santee was a man of high ideals, charitable, and a lover of books, arts, and of things pertaining to higher life. The community had lost a fine citizen, one whose place would be hard to fill. At his request, the funeral was conducted by brother Masons. At 11:00 on the day of the funeral, services were conducted at the lodge, and at 1:15 p.m. a procession formed, and lodge members marched to the residence where a funeral sermon was preached by Rev. E.S. Johnson of Ida Grove. The Blue Lodge then took over the funeral and, with Master Masons and Knight Templars as an escort, the remains were taken to the cemetery. An impressive ceremony took place at the cemetery.
   An item in The Danbury Review published October 13, 1910 said the material for the Santee Mausoleum had arrived, cost of which was $3,000. A second item published in the August 17, 1911, edition said a bronze drinking fountain would soon be erected on the corner in front of Danbury State Bank. The fountain was a gift of Mrs. I.B. Santee in memory of her husband for the benefit of the public. The fountain would perpetuate the memory of one of Danbury's foremost citizens, and it would also be a benefit to the general good health of the community.
   P.C. Keitges, who was a member of the city council in 1908, was chosen by member councilmen to finish the term of I.B. Santee 1908 to 1910.
   The First Light Plant for Danbury 1908: Candles, kerosene and gas lamps and home-battery light plants had furnished light for the community up to 1908. The town decided in 1908 to build an electric light plant for the public's use. A vacated Free Methodist Church was moved from its location to the pump house and well location. A plant, with dynamo, engine, etc. was installed in the building. The engine, fed with coal, produced the electricity. Many houses and business places were wired for electricity. Jim Sheets was hired to manage the plant. This method of producing electricity was not too successful, and the plant had a few minor explosions. Repairs were always made, and the plant returned to normalcy.
   After being used a little over a year, there was a tremendous explosion, and the plant and building were demolished. Only one wall of the building remained standing. The town then returned to their kerosene lamps, etc.
   The Fire in 1910: Danbury's Fate in Hands of God was the headline in the Sioux City Journal on February 15, 1910. The day was one to be long remembered by the citizens of Danbury. At the crack of dawn the fire bell rang out clearly. Fire had been detected in the O'Day Drug Store. The firemen tried to start the fire engine used to pump water, but it refused to start. In a short time the fire was raging out of control. It was feared the whole west side of Main Street would burn as all buildings were then wooden. There was not enough water or equipment to fight a fire of this size. All they could do was to wet down the buildings not affected, and they did this with a bucket brigade.
   In this fire the O'Day Drug Store was completely destroyed, a $5,000 loss, and it was partially covered with insurance. The Danbury Review office was in the rear of the Danbury Post Office, and both of these businesses were owned by L.B. Jeness. There was a $2,000 loss to the building which was owned by Godfrey Durst, Sr. The printing press, records, and all Danbury newspapers from the beginning were destroyed. John L. Quigley had a $500 loss in his barber shop south of the post office, and John Hart's Meat Shop to the north of O'Day Drug Store had a $1,000 loss which was partially covered by insurance. The wind was a contributing factor to this fire, and it seemed to increase in velocity during the day. This should have been enough excitement for the citizens of Danbury for one day, but they were due for more of the same.
   At 2:00 p.m. the fire bell started ringing again. This time St. Patrick's Academy just built in 1908 was on fire. The fire started at the top of the building and was noticed when the bell was run for recess and the rope fell to the floor ablaze. The fire engine again refused to start, so water was carried from nearby wells by bucket. Everyone knew it was impossible to save the academy because it was so windy. Their aim was to save the rectory and St. Patrick's Church. They wet down the roofs of these two buildings, but the roof of the rectory caught fire before they had their mission accomplished.
   Tony Treiber was credited for saving the rectory. He was a strong young man. He took a pail of water and threw it up on the roof near the blaze. The water hit the blaze, and the fire was extinguished. Pieces of burning wood blew as far east as the P.C. Keitges residence. All that remained of practically new brick building was the walls. The building was a total loss.
   The fire had started in the belfry of the academy. Birds had built nests in a sort of decorative cupola at the top of the building, and, due to the high winds that day, fire sparks from the chimney set the nests on fire, and this in turn set the building on fire.
   The total loss of the two fires that day amounted to $35,000.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Danbury Public School Improved and Enlarged 1908
   During the years 1904 to 1912 there were several superintendents at Danbury Public School. Prof. H.S. Stein came as superintendent 1904 and H.B. Collison was principal and basketball coach. H.B. Collison became superintendent 1908 and was here the 1908-1909 term. Supt. Anthony was here only one term 1909-1910. Supt. Marlin came the fall of 1910 and Carl Stutzman was principal and coach. Supt. Marlin married Orral Gibson, daughter of William and Mary Gibson, Danbury residents. Mr. Marlin left Danbury in 1915.
   There had not been too many improvements to the Danbury Public School since the school was rebuilt after the tornado in 1883. The first modern convenience was installation of a water system in 1899. The school had its own sewage system. Each year more pupils were attending the school. In 1908 it was decided to enlarge the school, dimensions about the same as the first part to be added on the west side. William Kinney was given the contract to do the remodeling. On first floor was the entry, 2 cloak rooms for grade students, a large hallway and stairway to the upstairs with 2 stairways to the basement, and four classrooms. On second floor was the superintendentÕs office, a large assembly room, a science laboratory room, a classroom, and a large hall where wraps were kept. There was a full basement, and the building was heated with steam heat. The basement was divided in half, the girls' restroom in one half, and the boys' in the other half. The boys manual training room was also in the basement, and also was the furnace room. There was a water fountain in the downstairs hall, and the rope to ring the school bell hung down in the hall also. In 1908 the high school girls had their home economics class in the Review Office. All high school plays, etc. were put on in Braig's Hall until Opera House was built. Boys and girls basketball was on an outside dirt court from 1908-1920.
   Boys and girls basketball were first introduced into the Danbury Public School in 1908 when H.B. Collison was superintendent. He trained both boys and girls. The boys for training ran the half-mile race track in the park. The boys wore uniforms that covered the entire body throughout the game. A few years later when the boys removed their sweat shirts and played in bare arms, the parents were shocked. The boys on that first team were Clifford Cord, Clem Osborn, Charley Frentress, Ben Osborn, Ray Wadell and Carlyle Powell. This team never lost a game all season, and they played one shut out game, defeating Mapleton 30-0.
   This team was a championship team. A championship team then was one who won all games. There were no tournaments. Teams played then were towns along C. & N.W. Railroad line from Odebolt to Castana and Oto, Anthon and Smithland. They traveled by train to towns on railroad line, but by horseback or by some horsedrawn conveyance to the other towns. Towns to the east could come to Danbury on the 3 p.m. train. School would be dismissed early when visitors were coming, and band and high school students would go to the train to meet them. A few yells would be given and the band would play a number and then all would go to the school house lawn. The teams would go to the basement and change clothes and the rooters would sit on the side lines. The ball court was marked with powdered lime. If the game was completed in time the team could return to the east on the 7:00 p.m. train. Sometimes teams had to stay overnight. A boy playing guard would stay overnight with the guard playing opposite him. This made a friendly relationship between the youngsters. Games were often held on Saturday.
   The girls team in 1908 was composed of Nellie Upham, Wanda Spencer, Grace Harvey, Lottie Clements, Hope Seibold, and Alice Hoyt. The girls wore black bloomers with pleated skirts, white blouses, long black stockings held up with a girdle, and they pinned up their long hair. In those years there was no practicing of basketball during school hours. It was strictly an outside activity.
   Supt. Collison was in Danbury only one school term. Supt. Anthony who followed was coach 1909-1910, Supt. Marlin came the Fall of 1910, and he coached the boys; Supt. Carl Stutzman who was principal coached the girls.
   The boys playing on the 1910-11 team were Bernard Collins, Paul Frentress, Lewis Santee, Dan Hayden, Harold Tangeman, and Clarence Newell.
Changes on Main Street Before the Fire in 1910
   Maple Valley Lumber Co. 1906: In 1906 a group of interested parties decided to form a company and start a new lumber yard. Their intentions were announced in the Sioux City Journal. S.H. Bowman, who had operated a lumber yard in Danbury since 1883, saw the notice in the paper and sold their yards and supplies to the group. The Bowmans were owners of many lumber yards in small towns in the area. Pierre Keitges was hired to manage the yard. New improvements were made upon purchase, and a new 100' shed with cement piers was built in 1910. Mr. Keitges bought out the older members of the company and became sole owner. Wayne Keitges, a son of Pierre, helped his father in the yards after completion of his schooling.
   Barry Bros. and Beginning of Ford Business 1908: Pat and Mike Barry bought the first Ford in 1908. In 1910 they built the cement building to the west of their livery. On May 23, 1911, Pat Barry attended the auto show in Sioux City, and he signed a Ford contract with the Ford company to sell Fords. Jack Sevening and Tony Reimer were the first two persons in Danbury to buy Fords in 1911. The first carload of cars arrived by train in 1914. John Kane and Bessie Caldoun (Mrs. Forest Speery) who was bookkeeper were two of their first employees.
   Henry and Patrick Fitzpatrick: Henry and Pat Fitzpatrick had been in business a number of years and had built a part of Fitzpatrick Hardware. In 1908 they extended their building to the alley. In 1911 they built a second building of brick to the east of their hardware on Second Street. Patrick then sold cars and implements. He claimed he sold the first car in Danbury, a Rambler. Pat also sold International equipment.
   International Harvester put out the first tractor, a Titan or Mogul kerosene tractor in 1910. This tractor cost $675 cash. Farmers did not consider them reliable, and they were too costly. This tractor had 45 horsepower and weighed 11 tons. It was not until World War I when there was a shortage of horses that tractors became popular. Pat sold this business to Albert Kueny about 1915.
   Confectionery Sold 1910: James Sexton bought the confectionery from Ed Driscoll in 1910. James Sexton married Nellie Lynch. Bernard Collins worked in the confectionery which, besides selling confections, had an ice cream parlor.
   Millard Frum Produce 1905: Millard Frum and Leola Canty who were schoolmates married after their graduation, April 17, 1902. They lived in Homer, NE, 3 years after they married and then returned to Danbury where Millard's father bought a creamery and produce store and started Millard in business. Millard also sold feeds.
   Bart Barry, Pool Hall 1906: Bart Barry, the third son of Bartholomew and Mary Ann Barry, came to Danbury from the farm, and he, too, became a businessman. A pool hall was built in 1906 (present Tom Barry Tavern). For a few years Bart converted it to a bowling alley. He sold this business in 1919 when he bought the Maurice Colbert implement and hardware business.
Changes on Main Street After Fire Losses
   P.C. Keitges, mayor, and his councilmen met soon after the fire and discussed ways to improve the fire department and water supply. A new gas engine was purchased, good hose and hose cart. A hose was rolled on a circular device on the cart, and in case of a fire, the cart was pulled to the nearest fire hydrant and hose was unrolled and stretched out to the building on fire. A second deep well was dug at the Pump House. More fire hydrants were installed. All buildings on Main Street were to be of brick hereafter.
   There was much reconstruction on Main Street the summer of 1910, and some new construction which changed the looks of Main Street. The following are improvements made.
   Danbury Park on Main Street Destroyed 1910-1911: When the town was first planned there was a park planned on Main Street to the south of Louck's Drug Store. Trees had been planted there, and a well dug and hand pump installed. This well was for the general public, and one could always get a fresh cup of water there. Seats were scattered about the park, and in the summer months men would be seen there visiting, playing cards, whittling or playing horseshoes. Godfrey Durst, Sr. the miller, Mr. Richard Loucks the druggist, and Thomas Frentress a farmer were often seen playing a game of croquet there. The band gave concerts there. On days of celebrations the mothers sat on the benches while caring for their children. Many trees had been planted in our present park when the fairs were held in Danbury 1891-1904, and these trees by 1910 were good sized, and this was an ideal place for the new park. As more space for buildings on Main Street was needed, the trees planted there were uprooted and the park destroyed.
   O'Day Drug Store 1910: Jim and John O'Day built a new 1-story brick drug store.
   Mr. Godfrey Durst: He owned the post office and Danbury Review office building that burned. He built a new 1-story brick building on that location. He and the O'Day brothers had a single wall between their buildings and one continuous front.
   Drug Store 1911: The Loucks Drug Store, built in 1878 by Richard Loucks, had served the town well for 32 years. It was a wooden structure, 2-stories, and it had a balcony entrance to the second floor. The Loucks family at one time lived upstairs in the drug store. The Parks sisters, Olive and May taught dressmaking in the upstairs rooms a number of years. Nellie Lynch learned dressmaking there and also helped the Parks girls. Godfrey Durst Sr. bought this property, and he built a new drugstore on this location.
   The Loucks family moved to Sioux City in 1910. A drug and stationery company was organized in 1911, and W.E. Schuyler was hired as manager. A short time later, Mr. Schuyler bought out all outlying stock and became the sole owner. The store was known as Schuyler's Drug Store. Bill Schuyler and wife Edna managed this store many years and raised their family in Danbury. The children were Martha, Fred, Edward, Virginia, and George.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Changes on Main Street After Fire Losses Collins Hotel 1910: Mrs. Nora McQuillen had been operating the Paris Hotel on the corner of Third and Main Streets. This property in 1910 was purchased by John Foulks and the Masons of Danbury. The old hotel was torn down and a new one built in its place. The new hotel was a 3-story wooden structure with basement. There was a large dining room, wash room, office, a writing room where traveling men made out their orders, a kitchen, and living quarters for the manager and his family on first floor. There were 11 hotel bedrooms and a bath on the second floor. The third floor was used as a Masonic Hall from 1910-1912. After the Masons moved to the present Masonic Hall in 1912, 9 more bedrooms were built and furnished on the third floor of the hotel. Mrs. McQuillen managed this hotel for a short time after it was built, but she continued to operate at a loss, so she decided to retire. John and Bridget Collins, who had operated the Commercial Hotel until 1910 when John Crilly bought the property to build a new store, were urged to take over management of this new hotel, which they did. The hotel became a very popular and busy place. At one time Mrs. Collins baked all the bread served, and the dining table was always stretched to its full length across the dining room, and often the table was filled more than once. Many traveling men stayed there, and Mrs. Collins always fed all roomers and some out siders. The Collins had four children, Bernard who married Bessie Braig, Genevieve (Mrs. Bart Barry), Esther and Lucille. As the years passed, the hotel business dwindled. The coming of the automobile was a contributing factor to the ruinization of the hotel's business. This hotel was razed February 1956. St. Patrick Academy Rebuilt 1910: The Catholics of St. PatrickÕs rebuilt their school, starting work as soon as weather permitted, in the spring of 1910. C.F. Meyer of Humboldt, Iowa, who was the contractor for the academy built in 1908, also built the second academy. The second academy was built similar to the first except for one alteration. The cupola at the top of the building was closed. The new building was contracted for $30,000. A crew of men came to Danbury from Humboldt, and these men roomed and boarded at the Collins Hotel. School children attended classes in the old wooden academy at the rear of the St. Patrick's property after the school burned. The building was completed by November. Dedication Ceremonies were held on November 10, 1910. Ceremony taken from Danbury Review. ŅCeremonies were presided over by Rt. Rev. Bishop Garrigan. The religious ceremony consisted of a Solemn Mass with Rev. J.A. Kerny as celebrant, Fr. Cooke as Deacon, Fr. McNeal as Sub-Deacon, and Fr. Costello as Master of Ceremonies. The Rev. P.F. Farrelly preached an impressive sermon to the 44 children who received their First Communion and were afterwards confirmed. The entire congregation went to Holy Communion. The new academy was then blessed. Vicar General Saunders of Fort Dodge and a number of priests assisted the Bishop during the ceremony. All of those taking part in the services had dinner in the academy at one oÕclock p.m. That evening a banquet and ball were held in the auditorium. The building was brilliantly lighted which gave all visitors an opportunity to visit all the rooms. Many thought the new building was even better than the first building. P.A. McGlaughlin gave the address of welcome at the banquet, Godfrey Durst Sr. gave an interesting talk about Danbury, and he was greeted with a burst of applause. He spoke of the educational, religious and business facilities offered in Danbury. Our produce, he said, was sent over a wider range of territory than any other town in the state. He spoke of the three churches in Danbury and said they offered all an opportunity to worship as they wished. He designated the academy as the pride of Danbury and spoke enthusiastically of the excellent school facilities of this place. He ended his speech by paying a high tribute to Rev. Timothy Meagher to whom a good deal of the credit for the academy was due. Others who participated in the ceremony were Miss Alice Crilly who played a piano selection, Miss Lorene Callighan who sang an Irish song, Miss Tess Schroeder who played a piano, and Mrs. Callaghan and Conway who sang "The Evening Bell." Sieg Simmons gave a short speech, and Rt. Rev. Bishop Garrigan was the main speaker. The auditorium was cleared after the banquet, and everyone danced to the music of the Collins Orchestra from Marcus, Iowa.Ó New Homes: Mark Durst, Peter Keitges and Otto Schrank all built new homes in 1910. Crilly Store 1910-1912: Mr. Crilly bought the Commercial Hotel and lot in 1910. The building was then divided and one-half section was moved to the northeast part of town, and the other half moved to the southwest part of town. Work was begun on the new building in 1911. The store was a brick, one story building about 80 by 54 foot dimension. The store was fully modern. It was a general merchandise store ,selling groceries, dry goods, shoes, overshoes, menÕs, womenÕs and childrenÕs clothing etc. The new store was officially opened in 1912, and a large crowd congregated at the store the day of the opening. Mr. Crilly gave souvenirs the day of the opening. Mr. Crilly was a good businessman and through the years continually strived to increase his business. His two sons, Charley and Alfred helped in the store and eventually took over the management. The store was first known as J.H. Crilly Store, then J.H. Crilly and Sons, and later still Crilly Brothers. It was in operation from 1912 when completed to October 13, 1968. John Crilly came to Danbury 1882 when a young man. He soon secured work in the Shepard, Field and Cook store which was managed by Ben Santee. From 1904 to 1907, he was in partnership in the store with Will Gibson. He bought out his partner, Will Gibson in 1907, and he was the sole owner until he built the new store and sold the old store to Jones and Schrepher in 1912. John Crilly was united in marriage to Rosa Welte, daughter of Jacob and Theresa Welte on February 12, 1884. He bought the LouckÕs property about 1910 when the Richard Loucks family left Danbury. The Loucks house was moved north to the next block (Rossener Home), and the Crillys then built a new home about the same time as they built the store. The Crillys had children, William, Charly who married Florence Cooper a former Danbury school teacher, Alfred, and Mary (Mrs. Lawrence Kerwin). John Crilly died on November 19, 1930 when 71 years old. Rosa died on October 15, 1959. Alfred died in 1972, and Charles in 1973. Danbury Trust and Savings Bank 1911: It was announced in 1911 that Danbury was to have a second bank. D.H. Dedrick who lived in Ida County and the Danbury Masonic Order planned to build it. This was to be a two-story brick building. There was room for extra offices at the rear of the bank which was to be on first floor. Hal Richards, Danbury dentist for many years, had his office there. The bank was on the first floor, and the Masonic Hall on the second floor. D.H. Hedrick served as the first president. The bank had a capital of $25,000. Louis Derr was cashier, George Braig was vice president, and the board of directors were P.C. Keitges and Henry Diimig. By 1919, William and Frank Berger were president and vice president and Casper Brenner was cashier. Albert Reidmiller came to Danbury from Breda and worked in this bank a number of years. The Railroad 1904-1910 The Sioux City and Pacific Railroad was the first to reach Woodbury County, and it extended from Sioux City to Missouri Valley; it was completed in April, 1868. That span was 75 miles long and Sgt. Bluff, Sloan and Salix were on it. The Chicago and Northwestern started building the railroad that came through Danbury in 1872, and it was completed the fall of 1877 as far as Mapleton where there was a turntable. Here it turned around and went back to Carroll. Contracts read that the line was to be built from Carroll to Onawa where it would meet up with the Sioux City and Pacific. The persons living between Mapleton and Onawa did not like this as they had been promised a railroad, and the persons on this side of Mapleton did not like it either as they wanted an outlet to the west as well as the east. The Chicago Northwestern completed the line in 1886. Stockyards had been built at all stations along the line. All livestock was shipped to Chicago in these years. Cattle were driven to the livestock yards, and hogs were hauled to town by wagons. Each year the business grew to greater proportions. Farmers who shipped livestock usually accompanied it to Chicago, and they often purchased feeder cattle and had them shipped to Danbury. The Chicago Commission men came by train to Danbury to solicit business, and nearly every farmer took the "Drovers Journal," a livestock paper printed in Chicago that kept the farmer posted as to prices on all products and produce. Four freight trains went through Danbury every day. Livestock was shipped out Saturday afternoon. The farmer brought his stock to the stock yards Saturday morning. As the freight train came down the line from Onawa, it stopped at each town and picked up carloads of loaded livestock. By the time the train reached Carroll a train was made up of 75 cars to be sent on to Chicago. The Sioux City market grew and also became a popular market. A freight left Carroll on Saturday morning, and it, too would pick up carloads of stock all along the line. The train would arrive in Sioux City early Monday morning. A carload of eggs was shipped from Mapleton and Danbury about every third day. Carloads of live poultry also shipped to Chicago. Cream was shipped to Carroll. Danbury had the record of having more grain shipped than any other market along the line. At one time there were four elevators in the town. All Morgan Twp. farmers sold their grain at Danbury. In 1904 all merchandise ordered by merchants was shipped by freight. The merchandise was purchased first from traveling salesmen and they sent in the orders to the company.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Railroad

   The drayman was very important as he had to pick up all merchandise that came by train. He met all trains, loaded the freight and delivered it. Large steam engines, machinery, furniture, windmills etc. all came by freight. Even money was shipped by train. Mr. James Lacey told the story that his landlord, a Mr. Stone, sent him $3,000 in cash. Mr. Lacey picked it up at the depot. It was money for a new barn on his farm (present Maurine Towne farm).
   Two passenger trains went to and returned from Sioux City every day by 1904. When traffic was extremely heavy, an extra passenger car ŅThe FlyerÓ was put on. It was not unusual to see 100 or more persons taking the train to Sioux City. Many from Danbury attended the Sioux City Corn Palace Days, fairs, etc. There were two waiting rooms at the depot, and when the one at the west end was filled to capacity, the overflow was sent to the waiting room at the east end of the depot. The railroads offered excursions to Mexico, California, New Orleans, Gulf Port, Miss., Florida, Hot Springs, Arkansas, and Havana, Cuba. In 1904 the Union Pacific and Northwestern lines made two trips via Chicago to California daily by Overland Limited. The train was electrically lighted and made the trip in three days. Excursions were offered to World Fairs, state fairs, etc. In 1917 when Texas wanted investors to buy their land, they sent a Mr. McColl to Danbury, and he arranged several excursions from Danbury to buy land around Beaumont, Texas. A man could make the trip for $40, and for $10 extra he could take his wife along. Real estate agents had tours arranged there. There were high pressured salesmen, and they used fraudulent gimmicks to fool buyers. Land was held for $400 an acre. That was a high price for land at that time. Some bought and were able to hold it, others lost.

   Railroads had their share of troubles, too. In the winters the snow became so deep that the trains became immovable. The Danbury train would often get as far as Odebolt and then stall. Several times in past history a sled, team and driver went to Odebolt or Ida Grove to get the Danbury mail. One winter after a bad snowstorm, men from every town in this end of the line went to help scoop snow from the tracks so the train could get through. The men lived in special railroad cars while clearing the snow. There was no mail for 8 days that winter, and there was a shortage of coal. In 1909 the Northwestern Railway bought a Rotary Rexo Pafer, a snow removal whirler. This was attached to the front of an engine and as the engine pushed the machine into the snow drifts, the rotary motion scattered the snow.
   Liston Township was divided into road districts in 1860. Roads were crooked, were dirt, and often were too low and flooded easily. Road gangs were hired to keep the roads in shape. They moved from place to place and camped out. A chuck wagon was moved around with them, and a cook was hired to feed the men. All work was done with fresnos, horses, and mules. There was a poll-tax which required every farmer to give two days work a year to keep up the roads. One day you were to furnish a team of horses. The first township maintainer was pulled with horses, and the first operator was Patrick Rush. Farmers often drug the roads and helped to maintain them also.
   Roads were at first not named by numbers. What was later No. 20 was called ŅRed BallÓ, and No. 75 was K.T., No. 30 was Lincoln Highway, and No. 141 was the Denison Highway. There were very few road signs, and one could easily get lost going to Sioux City. Some of the roads followed the old ridge roads until they were paved, and that did not occur until 1930. It did not seem so important to have good roads until automobiles were used extensively. Roads later were made every mile along the section line.
Roosevelt Republican Rough Riders

   An organization called R.R.R.R. was formed after the election of Theodore Roosevelt as President of the United States. Theodore Roosevelt, before elected, had served in the Spanish American War about 1898, and while serving he organized the first U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, and this unit was nicknamed, ŅRough Riders.Ó All members owned and rode a horse, and in parades etc. they usually rode in formation as they had done in the Cavalry. Danbury, when young, had always been very much involved politically, and there were quite a few Republicans that belonged to this club. Exact year of organizing is not known, but it had been established here by 1904. They always rode in the parades carrying a large flag on poles, depicting the organization, and every member carried a small flag. It was quite colorful in the parades. They also held regular meetings, and at election time they became quite active. In 1904 they received a fine silk banner and a bunting flag which were mounted on poles. The banner was done in gold leaf with the name of the town and the letters R.R.R.R. in the center of the flag.
Epworth League
   The young men and women of Epworth League put on a concert in 1905. It was held in BraigÕs Hall. Following was a program.
   To be given at ye old Towne Halle which is situated on ye great public highway called Main, Friday In ye evening, ye XXII day of ye 9th month, year MCMV by ye young menne and womenne which belong to ye Epworth League

A Loud Singing
Address..   Deacon E.W. Oates      who lives 40 yards tÕother
   side of ye tavern.
A Very Nice Pyece.......Gladys
   Rachel Powell, ye first
   daughter of ye painter
   man, Arthur Powell and his      wife Mary.
Speaking.Gracie Jane Loucks
   Ye second daughter of
   Richard Henry Loucks who
   keeps ye Apothicarie shop
   on ye corner, and his wife
   Marjorie Ann.
A II Part song ..... II spinsters
   Eola Elizabeth Hart and
   Lonnie Lovina Hayden.
A Very World-like Pyece
   Matilda Gibson.
   In so much as
   this maiden is
   unused to
   singing before
   so many
   people, young
   men and
   bachelors are
   desired to look
   away lest she
   be ashamed      and fall.
A Good Pyece....
   Caroline Ida
   Dudley. She
   that was a
A Song...............      Grandfather
   Snodgrass. Ye
   young meene
   and womenne
   will keep very      decorous
   lest ye disturb
   ye gude old
   man and put
   him out of tyme.
A Song ............. Mrytie Maria
   Oates, If so be she gets
   there in tyme.
Mr. H.S. Stein

A Song for II.........Lulu Sophia
   Hanford, Catherine Bellinda
Smith. If ye younge menne
   wish to hear ye sweet strains
   again ye will have to clap
   your hands and not stamp
   your feet for it is unseemlie.   Composition on ye Seasons..
   Elizabeth Ann Virtue
   who is commonly called
   Lizzie in these parts.
A Funny II Part Song............
   Archibald Bartholomew
   Dowling and his gude wife
   Nellie Maud. Ye actions of
   ye young menne and
   maidens will be watched by
   ye ushers while ye II are
   singing and undue levitie and
   sparking will be mentioned
   from ye pulpit on the coming
Song.......Old Folks at Home-
   Frederick Alexander
   Schrepher- Ye young
   womenne are requested not
   to attract his attention lest he
   forget to keep tyme of ye
Speaking ..... Mistress Matilda
   Jane Messenger-Only wife
   of C.J. Messenger who is the
   parson of ye Methodist
   Episcopal meeting house of
   ye village.
A songe.......................Maude
   Carolynn Jeness Johnson
   who lives in Ole Virginia.
Another Song........Some very
   aged spinsters-namely
   Ruth Ann Frentress and
   her sisters Mary Jane and
   Margaret Memory, Esther
   Consolation Hart, Priscilla
   Screech Powell, Patience
   Samantha Gibson, Jemina
   Violet Spencer, Prudence
   Belle Hayden and Mercy
   Peace Cord. Ye men are
   asked to keep ye seats till
   ye sweet strains have all
   died away. If there be any
   menne waiting for ye
   maidens they may be
   waiting at ye outside      doors of ye halls.
A Song of Ye Olden Tyme....
   Ye Singing School
   N.B. Ye musick will begin atte ye early candle lyte which is half after seven by the towne   clocke and no more.      N.B. Ye price to in shall be   twenty-five pennies save to ye   little boys and girls who may be fifteen pennies.   
   N.B. If so be that the menne and womenne desire to come in pairs they may hear ye sweet strains for forty-five pennies for ye II.         N.B. Ye dore keeper shall be Louis Larsen who works in ye monie store of ye village.
   N.B. Ye ushers shall be Flora Mary Betts and Elizabeth Ann Virtue.
   N.B. Ye singing master is Gleason Abraham Dudley, and ye accompanist is Hope Lucinda Seibold who plays the Melodeon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Parody   Harold Tangeman
Newspaper   Minnie Mohr
Oration   Hilda Hand
Song   Society
Book Review   Pearl Jones
Oration   Clara Brown
Autobiography   Charley
Oration   Ethel Brown

Debate: Resolved that we owe more to the Negro than to the Indian.
Affirmative - Laura Durst, Maude McCarthy, Freyda Mohr.
Negative - Clifford Waddell, Charley Frentress, Wier Murphy.

Oration   Charlotte Clement
Song   Society      Supt. Marlin 1910.

BraigÕs Hall, Danbury, Iowa
The Owl Emerson
Danbury Male Quartet
H.S. Stein, A.B. Dowling, G.A. Dudley, E.W. Oates
King Robert of Sicily, Longfellow Mrs. L.B. Jeness
Welcome Sweet Day of Rest, Anonymous
Mrs. W.C. Hayden
Briar Rose, Anonymous
Mrs. E.W. Oates
A Welch Classic, Ballard
Mrs. M.D. Cord
How it Happened, James Whitcomb Riley Ruth Smith
Genevra, Anonymous
Mrs. C.J. Messenger
The First Settlers Story
Mrs. G.A. Dudley
Rev. H.G. Pittenger,
Mapleton, Ia.
Judges - Prof. T.V. Bird - Mapleton, Ia.
Rev. Father Meagher
Presentation of prizes
Mrs. C. Fesenbeck
Vocal Solo - In the Dark, In the Dew
Four Leaf Clover Mrs. G.A.
Peak Sisters - - - - - - - Cast of Characters
Kesiah Miss Grace Loucks
Dorothy Mrs. J.W. Lippold
Bethia Mrs. E.E. Crane
Serena Mrs. E.A. Frentress
Sophia Mrs. C.F. Seibold
Samantha Mrs. E.B. Spencer
Belinda Mrs. C.J. Messenger
Betsy Mrs. F.I. Clement
Maria Miss Lulu Hanford
Jemina Mrs. A.B. Dowling
Mehitable Mrs. E.W.

Baseball Team
   Danbury was always interested in baseball and had a team since the town began. Ball games were played at all events that took place in town. The town band sat in the amphitheater and played a number occasionally to liven things up. There usually was some betting. The 1911 team was a good team. Those playing on this team were Patsy Conway, Pitcher; Frank Morrisey, Catcher; Jim Frentress; Russell Hollister; Bart Barry, Frank Quigley; Hugh Howard; N.E. Woolman; and Ed McQuillen. Substitutes were Paul Frentress, Jack Jones, John McCabe, Bernard Collins, and Bun Powell.
   From The Danbury Review, 1911: ŅIn a ball game played on the local diamond last Tuesday afternoon, the Danbury team won by a forfeit from the Oto Braves. A fast and exciting game was in progress up to the 7th inning when the Oto Braves became irked at the umpire for the decision at 2nd base, and after much ŅChewing the Rag,Ó they packed up their wraps and went home. Danbury was ahead 2 to 1 at the time. The Danbury band furnished the music for the occasion.Ó
   Other players that played for Danbury were Oscar Carlson, Matt Drea, Leslie Sexton, Frank Kinney and Rowley Williams.

Main Street, Danbury, Iowa 1910-1911
Mayor   P.C. Keitges
Councilmen - (Meeting room First State Bank)
Henry Fitzpatrick
George J. Braig
C.F. Seibold
Wm. Schneph
J.W. Kinney
Treasurer J.H. Crilly
Assessor P.C. Keitges
Clerk P.A. McGlaughlin
Men in Business:
Durst Brothers Roller Banner Mills and Elevator - Godfrey Durst Jr. and Mark Durst
F.H. Hancock - Ace Nicholls and Tangeman 1908. They sold to Mike Burke March 10, 1910. He built a bigger and better elevator.
Lumber Yards
Wm. Schneph
Maple Valley Lbr. Yd.- P.C. Keitges Mgr.
General Merchandise Stores
J.H. Crilly sold to Wm. Jones and John Schrepher 1911
John Crilly - New Store
George C. Braig - Braig Store
E.E. Crane
Fitzpatrick Brothers
George C. Braig
Undertaker - Henry Fitzpatrick
Draymen - J.A. Harrigan
Ed Tangeman
J.A. Stanton - Dray, baggage and express.
Barry Brothers - Livery and Stable - Town and Country
W.H. Jones - City Livery Stable
Butcher Shops
Clancy and Flood Meat Market
John Hart (Shop burned in February 1910. Started another shop on east side of Main St.)
Danbury State Bank
Lewis Larsen - Cashier, Wm. Gibson and Flora Betts
Coffee Shop - Joe Wienand
Blacksmith and Wagon Making - J.M. Boyer
City Bakery - H. Dirksen
Barbers - John Quigley, Jay Smith and Frank Neustrom
Contractor and Builder - F.I. Clement
Dentist - W.H. Richards
Drug Store
OÕDay Drug Store - Jim and John OÕDay W.E. Schuyler when new drug store finished in 1911
Shoe Repair - A.E. Keller
Coal - J.F. Mohr
Collins Hotel built 1910 - Prop. John Collins
Tie Barn - Elzie Tangeman
Auctioneer - Irving Ells
Real Estate - Joseph OÕDougherty
Tailoring - Mrs. Walter Hand
Olive and May Parks up to 1910
Mrs. Mahoney - Taught dressmaking, a seamstress
(Cord Building)
Insurance and Real Estate - M.D. Cord
Wagon and repair shop - S.R. Haberstreit
Mason - Jacob Wendell
Beer Tavern - F.B. Collins
Painters and Paper Hangers:
Arthur Powell
George Pullis
C.W. Piersol - Attorney from Sioux City
Postmaster and Editor of Danbury Review
L.B. Jeness (Sold to C.L. Adams 1911)
Doctors -
Wm. L. Creswell
J.J. Murphy
G.W. Murphy
Corn Shelling - Tony Treiber
Bruce Edgington - Lumber Yard
Depot Agent - A.B. Dowling
St. Mary's - Rev. A.J. Schafer
St. Patrick's - Rev. Timothy Meagher
Methodist - Rev. J.R. Tumbleson 1910 Rev. Ezra Cathcart 1911
Danbury Trust and Savings Bank organized Nov. 1911
Officers - D.H. Hedrick - Pres. George Braig - Vice Pres. Louis Derr Cashier
Board of Directors: P.C. Keitges, Henry Diimig
Photographer - Chas. Parker, Mapleton, Ia.
Harness Shop - Emil and Broder Jacobsen



C.F. Seibold 1912-1914
J.F. Mohr 1914-1916
M.W. Colbert 1916-1920
   By the first of year 1912 Danbury Main Street had an all new look after all the building done in 1910 and 1911. Charley Seibold, who was elected Mayor in 1912, decided along with his councilmen that the town needed a new place for entertainment. Braig Hall, up to 1912, had been used for all public functions. The schools had used it for recitals, plays, etc. When Brose Pullis managed the hall in 1912 he introduced the silent movies. There were at first two shows a week, but they were so popular and drew such large crowds that he began to have four shows a week. This led the town fathers to hold a meeting to discuss building a new hall.
   A meeting was held on June 20, 1912. It was estimated a new building would cost the town $6,000.00. The council and mayor decided to ask for donations from the townÕs citizens; $4,500 was raised in this way. On August 9, 1912, a meeting was held at FitzpatrickÕs Garage, and an Opera House Company was organized. Directors chosen were C.F. Seibold, President; J.H. Crilly, Vice President; W.E. Schuyler, Secretary; and Directors were George G. Braig, J.C. Rhode and M.D. Cord.
   The organization advertised for bids for the erection of the building. C.F. Mayer of Humboldt, Iowa, was awarded the contract. Work was to begin immediately and to be finished on June 15, 1913. The building when completed cost $7000, a thousand more than the estimate. Mr. C.E. Johnson was hired as manager, to care for the building and arrange for all entertainment there.
   The first entertainment planned was a home talent play on August 27, 1913. From that time on there were many plays, traveling shows, dances, school functions, movies, etc. held there. In 1920 Mr. Johnson was given permission to let the schools use the hall for basketball, and the schools used it until a new school and gymnasium was built in 1929. There was a large auditorium space with stage and dressing rooms to the rear and a balcony toward the front of the building.
   The movie equipment was in the balcony. The space under the stage was used for storage of fire fighting equipment and a jail. The monthly meetings of the mayor and council were held there after 1912. The fire bell which had been on the LouckÕs Drug Store corner was moved to this location, also.
Other Changes On Main Street 1912-1920
Confectionery: Dick Colbert and Pat McGlaughlin

   In 1915 James and Nellie Sexton sold the confectionery to Dick Colbert. When he was called to serve in the army during World War I, he sold the confectionery to Pat McGlaughlin. Pat had worked as a clerk in John CrillyÕs store for 20 years.
Dick Colbert, Meat Market:
   When Dick returned from the service when the war was over, February 8, 1919, he bought the Crippen Meat Market.
Pierce Tie Barn 1914
   Elzie Tangeman sold the Tie Barn to Luther Pierce in 1914. Mr. Pierce operated the barn with the help of his son, Louis. A month after the barn was purchased, it burned, June 30, 1914.
   From The Danbury Review - ŅThe Pierce Tie Barn, operated by Louis Pierce and his father, Luther Pierce, was built by Elzie Tangeman. The building was sold to Luther Pierce on May 15, 1914, and about a month later, June 30, 1914, the Tie Barn burned. The fire started in a stall for horses on the west side. A team of horses was lost in that fire. On September 1, 1914, they started rebuilding the barn for Luther Pierce. The new barn had cement walls up to the eaves of the roof.Ó
   This barn was used as a horse barn up to the 1930s. It then was used for a variety of different businesses: gas station, feed store, sales ring, auto repair shop, trucking quarters and even a dance hall.
Maurice Colbert, Implements 1914
   George Braig sold his implement business to Maurice Colbert in 1914.
Antone Reimer - Elevator
   John Hancock sold his elevator to Antone Reimer. AntoneÕs sons Tony, Peter and Joe took care of the business.
Andy and Leo Matt - Hardware 1919
   George Braig sold his hardware to Andy and Leo Matt.
Farmers Cooperative Store 1919
   George Braig sold his store to a group of farmers. The farmers group hired William Boeshe of Omaha to come to manage the store for them. The store was called the Farmers Store.
Karl Paulsen Store 1920
   Jones and Schrepher went broke, and they sold out to Karl Paulsen.
Bart Barry Implement 1919
   Bart Barry bought the Maurice Colbert Implement business after his death.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Other Changes On Main Street 1912-1920
   Reimer Brothers 1918: The Reimer Brothers, Antone, Peter and Joe bought out the Kueny Brothers, Garage and car dealership, 1918. Tony then ran the elevator and Peter and Joe managed the garage and implement business. They advertised the Star, Dodge and Plymouth cars. Their Star advertisement said, ŅThe Star will run 24 miles on a gallon of gas, 500 miles on a quart of oil, and a set of tires that will last for 15,000 miles.Ó Stars ranged in price from $525 to $795. The Reimers later sold International trucks and tractors, feed, gas, feed supplies and they had a garage and repair shop in their building.
   Barry Brothers 1915: Mike and Pat Barry built a new brick building 1915, after they began to sell cars. They sold gas and also maintained a repair shop.
   Doc And Virginia Folkins 1919: Doc and Virginia Folkins bought the Derksen Bakery about 1919.
   Fitzpatrick Brothers 1918: In 1918 the Fitzpatrick brothers Pat and Henry broke up their partnership of 25 years. Henry continued in the hardware store. Pat opened a Heating and Electric Shop in a building north of the Fitzpatrick Hardware.
   Jack Evans, Barber, came to Danbury 1919. Jack had a shop beneath the Billiard Hall. John Ehrig worked for him after finishing his barber course.
   Quigleys Barber Shop 1917: The Quigley Barber Shop burned 1917. The building next to it also burned, believed to have been the Glassey Variety Store. These buildings were on the east side of Main Street. They never were replaced.
   George Elskamp 1919 - Harness Shop: George bought the harness shop from Walter and Fred Elskamp (cousins) who had to answer their call to serve in the army in World War I.
   OÕDay Brothers, Jim and John, sell their drug store and leave Danbury 1920.
   Nick Peters Mailman 1908-1920 (moved to Colorado)
   James Harrigan Mailman
   C.L. Adams: Sold Danbury Review to Clarence E. Johnson 1913.
   Seibold Building: Built 1919. Mrs. Emma Seibold built the building on west side of Main Street (present office of Robert Shoemaker, veterinarian).
Business Mens Association In Danbury Organized 1903
   Reorganized 1919 To Danbury Community Club
   The Danbury businessmen formed an organization in 1903, urged all to attend and take interest in the progress of our town. Many topics of interest were discussed and ways and means to attract trade to the town. A banquet was held yearly to keep the businessmanÕs interest. This organization was very active, and a few of the events sponsored by them are listed below.
   Merry-Go-Round - Sometime previous to 1915 the Danbury businessmen bought a merry-go-round and set it up on Main Street across the street from the Mike Rush Blacksmith Shop. On Saturday nights during the summers the farmers came to town, and then all children were allowed to ride on the merry go round free of charge. They could also ride on celebration days. On April 1, 1915 the merry-go-round was being repaired as the businessmen planned to sell it again.
   Wednesday and Saturday Nights - The stores stayed open on Wednesday and Saturday night through the summer months. After the coming of cars the streets were lined with cars on these nights. The band gave concerts every Wednesday night during the summers, early 1930s and again in 1950s. The movie house was filled to capacity crowds. The stores remained open until ten or eleven p.m.
   Chautauqua - Each summer the Midlands Chautauqua Circuit visited Danbury. Carloads of boosters, businessmen and their friends, went from our town to another to advertise the coming of the Chautauqua. All towns were not on the circuit. In July 1913 eleven loads of boosters and the cornet band visited Oto, Anthon, Smithland and Mapleton and Joe Wienand, Danbury postmaster acted as spokesman. A large tent was erected on the public school playground. An afternoon and evening performance was given each day for a week. There were musicians, acrobats, magicians, Missionaries who told of their travels and other famous speakers. William Jennings Bryan, a renown speaker, spoke at Danbury Chautauqua several times. He published The Commoner, a paper, at Lincoln, Nebraska. He also was a politician and congressman. Talented actors often put on 3-act plays.
   Roller Skating Rink - A roller skating rink also visited Danbury yearly. A large tent set up on Main Street. There was a portable floor, roller skates were furnished, and a caliope furnished music while one skated. These rinks would stay in one town a few weeks and then move on via train to another town.
   Car Given Away By J.H. Crilly Store - With a purchase from the Crilly Store, customers received a car key. There was a barrel of keys to be given away, and only one would fit the car, 1917. The car was brought through the front door of the store and padlocked. Ninety percent of the keys had been given out, and still there was no winner. Mr. Crilly then said if a person was not found who could unlock the padlock, the car would be sold by February 15, 1917, and the money received for it would be divided equally between the 3 Danbury churches. Harold Williams was the winner of that car.
   Piano - George Braig, sponsoring some sort of contest, gave away a piano which was won by Maggie Reimer (Mrs. Frank Erlemeier), Mrs. James Hardman Jr. was second and received a gold watch, and Mrs. Bert Herman was third and won a set of silverware. Louis Derr, Louis Larsen and N.D. Watson supervised and judged during the closing hours of the contest. At another time a fur piece was given away by Mr. Braig - 1915.
   Pageant in Park 1910 - A pageant was sponsored by the businessmen in 1910. The townspeople depicted the life of the settlers on the prairies. Had a wagon train of covered wagons, etc. This drew a large crowd.
   Field Meet and Tournaments in Danbury Park 1919 - This event was sponsored by the Danbury Business MenÕs AssÕn., and it was advertised thus in the Danbury Review - ŅFriday afternoon there is a nice time in store for you if you enjoy all kinds of sports. The little ones will give an outdoor program. There will be a horseshoe pitching tournament, a ball game, and a machinery demonstration. There will be a dance at the Opera House, HaineÕs Novelty Players, furnishing the music, August 22, 1919.Ó
   Home Talent Plays - were popular and often some of the businessmen took parts in them. Dances were always popular, and of course the town always had a menÕs basketball team.
   Womanless Wedding - On December 22, 1926, a womanless wedding, all businessmen, was given under auspices of the Ladies Aid of the Methodist Church. This played to two packed houses. Dr. W.H. Richards was the bride, Paddy Houlihan was the groom and they made a striking couple. Mike Barry as Bishop was waiting on the stage as the couple marched up the aisle, and he tied the knot.
   Basketball Town Team 1915 - was composed of Al Boyer, Orville Lippold, Rollie Williams, Mark Brady and Dewey Powell.
   The Danbury Brass Band - The band was organized in the town by 1890 when the fairs were started, and possibly before that. The businessmen played in this band. On March 12, 1912 a meeting of the town band was held, and the following officers were elected: O.A. Schrank Manager and Leader, John C. Schrepher Treasurer and C.L. Adams Secretary and Librarian. The matter of buying uniforms and building a bandstand were discussed.
   A circular band stand was built in the picnic area of the town park, and concerts were given there on days of celebrations. Gold uniforms were purchased, and the band in either 1912 or 1913 played at the State Fair at Des Moines. They won first place. They traveled to Des Moines by train, and while they were there a bad rain storm hit our area, and some of the railroad tracks between Danbury and Ida Grove were washed out. The band members wanted to get back home so walked from Ida Grove to Danbury in the mud. They said they were a sorry sight upon their return, but were the town heroes.
   Danbury Community Club 1919 - The Danbury Business Men's Association was revitalized and reorganized in 1919. The name was changed to the Danbury Community Club. The farmers as well as businessmen were asked to participate in this club. Earl Patten was elected president. Their purpose was to discuss problems arising within the town and solutions. Meetings were held monthly, and after a lunch, business was discussed, and then the men spent a social hour of visiting, playing cards, etc. The officers when the town was 100 years old, 1966, were Loyal Treiber, Ed Dirksen, Dick Schrunk, Frank Wessling and Earl Wenger.
Danbury Schools 1912-1920
St. Patrick's
   Seven years after the building of the two academies, year 1917, there still was a $12,000 debt to be paid. A mission was held at St. Patrick's in 1917, and two Jesuit Fathers came to Danbury to take charge of the mission. A meeting was held in the school auditorium, and the remaining debt was discussed. It was decided that they raise $6,000 to reduce the principal of the debt. John Crilly came forth with the proposition that he would double the amount that ten other men would give. It was in this way that the debt was paid. On February 4, 1917, a celebration was held in the auditorium of the Academy, and Con Collins and James McGrath had the honor of burning the mortgage. In 1920 Fr. Meagher through the efforts of the Presentation Sisters, had the three year high school changed to an accredited school with a four year course. Some new equipment was added and also some new courses. Sr. Paul, the music instructor, was loved by the whole town. She gave music lessons to students from both St. Mary's and the public school as well as to the children from St. Patrick's. She organized an orchestra.
   The first four students to graduate from the four-year high school were Irene Collins (Sr. Mary Irene), Clotilda Fitzpatrick, Agnes Gorman (Mrs. John F. Kane) and Alice Crilly who received a Certificate of Music.
Public School
   Supt. Marlin who came in 1910 and C.F. Stutzman who came as principal the same year were the boys and girls basketball coaches. By 1916 C.F. Stutzman was superintendent. Danbury had some excellent girls basketball teams during 1913-1917. Games were still played on the outside dirt court. Danbury had a championship team 1914-1915. That meant they won all games they had played.
   1915 Danbury Review said - ŅA team composed of Inez McCleerey, Valderine Nicholls, Marguerite Hayden, Grace Wienand, Dorothy Keitges, and Bessie Braig were champions; they played 12 games before weather shut them out, and they won every one of the games.Ó Hilda and Hazel Seavy and Ruby Jones were the substitutes. Their first game was played on September 12 and the last game on Decemer 5, 1915. They beat Anthon 39 to 2, Oto 22 to 3, Oto 18 to 16, Odebolt 40 to 7, Smithland 36 to 6, Odebolt 21 to 18, Castana 43 to 2, Smithland 19 to 13, Castana 37 to 2, Battle Creek 17 to 7, Battle Creek 21 to 5, and Anthon 21 to 5.
   The Danbury girlÕs team in 1915-1916 were Esther Collins, Bernadine Johnson, Inez McCleerey, Dorothy Lippold, Nina Kinney and Ethel Herrington.
   The boyÕs team for the year 1915-1916 Wilfred Powell, Carl Le Duc, James Lee, Manley Durst, Darrell McCleerey and Udo Tangeman.
   Smokey Johnson who was a referee and a sport enthusiast helped these teams and often refereed. Pupils before every game were given a talk on good sportsmanship and one should be able to lose as well as win. All practicing was done outside of school hours.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Danbury Schools 1912-1920
St. Mary's Church and School
   There were changes, too, at St. MaryÕs during years 1912 to 1920. Rev. A.J. Schaefer who had been at Danbury since 1903 was given a new assignment at Mt. Carmel, and a farewell was given for him on January 25, 1917. Fr. H.J. Schleyer was sent to take his place.
   There were some changes made within the church and at the school at this time. World War I was being fought, and many were very anti-German. The German people had conversed in German in their homes and over the telephone, but due to resentment of others this custom changed. Someone broke into the schools and burned the German textbooks at both St. MaryÕs and the Public School, as German was taught in the public school also up to this time. The teaching of German in the school, and the German sermons in the church were discontinued also.
World War I
   The United States entered World War I on April 14, 1917. Persons of German and Irish nationalities again came to odds in Danbury. Germans could not speak their feelings or they were criticized severely. A few that did speak out were labeled as unpatriotic. Some were even called slackers, and their building and mailboxes were daubed with yellow paint. The Germans detested this war as many had to send their sons to Germany where they would have to fight their blood brothers and cousins. Nearly every family had a son that had to go to war. Four of Wm. and Adelaide Stamper's sons served, four of the Salisbury boys, and Mrs. Cora Brady had only two sons, but both had to serve. These were 100% families.
   The Red Cross was very active in Danbury. Women met often and made bandages and sheets. They also knit sweaters, mittens, wristlets, stockings, etc for the boys overseas. The Red Cross once held an auction on Main Street. A variety of items were donated. A terrier puppy was sold over and over again and finally sold to John Jacobsen. Another item donated including a goose and a gander. The goose laid an egg overnight. The day of the sale the egg was sold time after time, and that one egg raised a large sum of money. The sale was a big success.
   The men who served in this war were:
Wm. Stamper - 1st lieut.
Peter Meier
Bernard Collins
Clark Stamper
Lyle Canty
Clifford Richards
Rolla Stamper
Ray Crilly
Fred Reicks
Archie C. Stamper
Harold Kinney
Paul Harrigan
Roy Salisbury
Clyde Reilly
Paul Berger
Everett Salisbury
Patrick Collins
Ed Kennaley
Clarence Salisbury
Louis Richards
Patsy Conway
Ray Salisbury
Frank Craig
Timothy Fitzpatrick
Mark Brady
Broder Jacobsen
Fay Hannon
Harold Brady
Thomas Fitzpatrick
Andy Palmer
Louis Ahlwardt
Jim Larsen
Harmon Kennedy
Albert Boyer
Waldo Keitges
Harold Tangeman
Wm. Bollig
George Kennedy
Wilfred Powell
John Boyle
Jay Smith
Clifford Waddell
Charley Crilly
Leo Keleher
Charley Cord
Renwick Dobbs
Jake Kueny
Henry Reimer
Dan Welte
John McCabe
Walter Klemp
Gerheart Reicks
Lyle Powell
Joe Newell
James McGuire
Jamie Lee
Wm. Prell
John Kane
Manley Durst
Mike Murphy
Otto Zentz
Ed Mohrhauser
Wm. Ludwig
Ed Cathcart
Harold Idding
Fred Treiber
Mike Driscoll
Richard Colbert
Martin Drenkhahn
Mattie Uehle
Rowley Williams
George Parker
E.R. Jones
George Murphy
Francis McGarrity
Albert Rosauer
Woody Cloud
Arnold McCleerey
Udo Tangeman
Martin Moran
Walter Elskamp
Dewey Powell
John Weiling
Joseph Meier
Dale Waddell
Carl Le Duc
Matt Meier
Ed McQuillen
Tom Smith
Emil Carlson - gold star
Frank Quigley
George Goyke
Jens Saxon - gold star
John Pry
John Ortner
Harry Otto - gold star
Clarence Newell
Royce Osborn
Delbert Penny - gold star
Paul Frentress
Frank Meier
Chas. E. Neustrom - gold star
Charley Cloud
Horace Canty
John P. McNiff - gold star
Timothy McAleer
Leo Matt
Louis Treiber
Frank Kinney
Robert Davis
Wilfred McBride
Harry Smith
Otto Good - 2nd lieut.
John Santee
Wier Murphy - Capt.
Darrell McCleerey
Guy B. Nixon - Sgt.
Stanley Meisenhelder
Wm. P. Crilly - 2nd Lieut.
(Emil Carlsen was the first favorite son to lose his life.)
   After 19 months of involvement in World War I, an armistice was finally signed on November. 11, 1918. The good news of the ending of the war was put out on the country telephone lines. Farmers came to town, and soon large crowds had congregated. A dummy and effigy of the Kaiser was drug through the streets, then hung and finally burned in a huge bonfire. It was a happy celebration. Three organizations which are still active today in Danbury, were organized at the time of this war afterwards: Friendly Neighbors, American Legion and Ladies Auxiliary.
Friendly Neighbor Club 1917
   This club originated amongst a group of farm women who first worked at the Red Cross headquarters at Battle Creek, Iowa. Mrs. Chris Smith, Mrs. Harry Rowe, Etta (Mrs. John Scott) and Mrs. Jim (Lena) Scott who all lived east of Danbury went to Battle Creek each week and sewed sheets, bandages, etc. for the boys in the service. They also knitted and sewed in their own homes. After the war was over they continued to meet every other week in one of the membersÕ homes and sew for the hostess. Soon more women in their neighborhood were asked to join the club. The charter members of this club in 1918 were Mrs. Al Reissen, Mrs. Wm. Lacey, Mrs. Carl Johnson, Mrs. Geo. Hostetler, Mrs. Chas. Beauman, Mrs. Earl Drake, Mrs. Lester Sisko, Mrs. Bert Petit, Eva Lacey, Rebecca Boles, Misses Alvina and Anna Dientz, Alvena Cohert, Clara Owens, and Mamie Klein. In 1968 two of the charter members, Etta Scott (77) and Lena Scott (81), were still active. The club celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1968. The officers of the club in 1968 were Mrs. Anna Steinbach, president; Christina Peters, vice president; and Mrs. Etta Scott, secretary.
Improvements in the Town 1916-1920
Light and Power - Not too much advancement had been made with electricity in the town since 1908 when the plant exploded. While Maurice Colbert was mayor he and the councilmen decided something had to be done about this situation. In 1916 the Durst brothers, Mark and Godfrey decided to take over producing electricity for the town. The Mill was no longer a good source of income, and since the dam was still intact, they figured it could produce the power for the plant. In case of flooding or high water they could resort to engine power. More homes and the business places were wired for electricity at this time in Danbury, and wires were extended from Danbury to the mill site. This proved quite successful. The lights sometimes fluctuated in brightness, and all lights went out in the town at midnight. When the engine was used for power (steam engine) someone remained on duty until midnight to fire the engine so as to produce the energy.
   The first street lights were placed on the intersections of Main Street soon after the town had lights. The lights were suspended high in the air on a wire which ran from a high pole on one side of the street to a pole on the opposite side of the street. The light was an extremely large bulb protected by a heavy metal shade.
   To exchange a bulb, the light was lowered by a rope and pulley which was attached to one of the light poles. These lights were used until the town was paved, 1928.
Sewers - The first sewers were laid in the town in 1917. Up to this time many had private cess pools which occasionally had to be pumped, and the sewage was hauled to the river. Sewage lines were laid around town in 1917, but it was not compulsory for persons to hook onto the lines. All business places were hooked up at this time and some residences. These lines were extended and improved in 1928 when the town was paved.
Influenza Strikes 1918-1920
   A dread disease, influenza, struck for the first time during World War I year 1918. It was new, and nothing was known of this disease. Many Iowa soldiers stationed at Camp Dodge in Fort Dodge, Iowa, became ill. The disease was very contagious, and it spread quickly. The danger was when the patient took pneumonia. Whisky and asofoeida (a very smelly substance some wore on a string placed about the neck) were the only preventives. There was a degree of hope for those getting the disease in a lighter form. They usually recovered. Some died just 3 days after taking the disease.
   Funeral services were not allowed in churches. The funeral procession went directly from home to the cemetery, and when Delbert Penny, a soldier died, they took him from the train to the cemetery. The whole town and neighboring towns were quarantined.
   A serum was perfected by a scientist, but they did not expect it to be perfect. They hoped it would control the disease. Hundreds gathered at Crilly's store and other places and were inoculated. This vaccination proved very effective, and the influenza was controlled.
   Several young parents died of the flu: Julia Rosauer (Mrs. Ben Meier), Maurice Colbert, A. Delbert Penny, P.G. Lenz, Dr. W.L. Creswell, and a former teacher, Maggie Morgan (Mrs. Dan Collins) who died on March 20, 1919.
Danbury Loses Its Second Mayor
Maurice Colbert Dies on November 26, 1918

   Maurice Colbert was born in Sheffield, IL on February 14, 1886. He came to Danbury with his parents, John and Hannah Colbert when he was three weeks old. His parents bought railroad land in 1886, and they farmed. Hannah Colbert died soon after the family came to Danbury and left besides her husband two small sons, Maurice and Richard. An Aunt, Julia Wilson, came to live with the family, and she raised the two boys. When the boys were old enough to receive their religious instructions, the family moved to Danbury so the boys could attend school at St. PatrickÕs Academy.
   Maurice Colbert married Lucy Desmond, a school teacher in Ida County on July 2, 1914. He bought an implement business from George Braig in 1914. He was a successful businessman.
   Maurice became ill in November 1918 of influenza which later turned into pneumonia. He was ill for 11 days when he passed away. Due to the quarantine, there was no public funeral. His remains were taken directly from his home to the cemetery. Six councilmen acted as pall-bearers, and brother members of the Foresters, a lodge to which he belonged, acted as an escort. Maurice and Lucy had two sons Jack and Desmond, when Maurice died. A daughter, Mauriceen, was born a short time after the fatherÕs death. Maurice died when 32 years, 9 months, and 12 days old.
   An election was held soon after MauriceÕs death and Patrick H. Rush was elected as Mayor to finish the term to 1920.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

   Many were now buying cars. There were several car dealers in the town. An automobile then was more for pleasure. One could use it only in summer months. If caught in a rain storm with them you were in trouble. Many had no tops, and the women carried umbrellas to protect them from the sun or rain. The car was put up on blocks in the fall, the radiator was drained, and they were covered to keep them clean. The first cars had red lanterns for lights, and they had to be lit with a match if out in the dark. There was a horse and motor vehicle ordinance written on September 2, 1919, which governed the lights on automobiles. Cars were to stop when approaching a team. The horses feared the autos, and there were many runaways. No vehicle was to exceed 20 miles an hour in the suburbs and 15 miles in the business district.
   Cars were at first parked crosswise in the middle of the street. A sign warned drivers to Ņkeep to the right.Ó After the town was paved, 1928, cars were parked as we do today. Frank Palmer, the marshal, made arrests quite often when the automobile came into its own.
   These first cars had hard rubber tires, and they did not ride comfortably. Whenever one bought a new car the seller would tell them to take it out and try it. Everyone went to the highest hill around, Devils Den Hill, to see if the car could pull the hill. The hills were then much steeper than they are today. The first trucks, too, were very small and had the hard rubber tires. A capacity load was two cows.
   The first truck drivers suffered extreme hardships, because the roads were all dirt roads. Names of some of the first cars were Star, Rambler, Studebaker, Overland, Buick, Dodge, Oldsmobile, Model T. Ford, (cost $300 had to be cranked, magneto lights, and some had fold-down windshields)
Methodist Ministers 1911-1919
Rev. Exra Cathcart was pastor from 1911 to 1913. Rev. J.J. Davies 1913-1916, Rev. John Crombie 1916-1917, Rev. John Harvey Walker 1917-1919, and Rev. Frederick G. Granthum 1919-1922.
Township Clerk
   Robert Driscoll was Township Clerk from 1913 to 1929.

Superintendent of Schools
   Supt. Moore came to Danbury 1919 when Mr. Stutzman left.
New Organizations
   THE AMERICAN LEGION 1920: Soon after the end of World War I the Danbury American Legion Post was organized, the fall of 1920. The ten charter members were Charley Crilly, Frank Craig, E.R. Jones, Rollie Williams, Frank Kinney, Dick Smith, Horace Canty, R.C. Colbert, A.J. Reidmiller and Wilfred McBride. The Post was called Carlson Post in honor of Emil Carlson, first soldier to fall in World War I from Danbury. The organization went by that name until the end of World War II. Marvin Frum was the first man from Danbury to lose his life in World War II, so the name of the organization was changed to Carlson-Frum Post. Charley Crilly was elected the first Post commander, and during his administration the Post was very active.
   During year 1923 to 1924 there were 50 members enrolled. This Post sponsored various forms of entertainment to raise money. The 1923 bank records revealed they had earned $2,121.16. Out of this sum the Post had purchased and presented to the community a flag pole and a memorial plaque bearing the names of every service man of the community who served in World War I. The pole and plaque were first placed on the intersection of Main and Second Streets, but when the legionnaires purchased the Old Opera House in 1954 the pole and plaque were moved to the new American Legion Building. This organization is still active.
   WOMENÕS AUXILIARY 1920: The auxiliary was organized after World War I, 1920, but it soon became inactive and lost its charter. Mrs. Wilfred McBride and Mrs. Frank Craig were instrumental in getting this organization going again in 1932. Any woman having a son, brother or husband involved in any of the wars could belong to this organization. Members pay annual dues which are sent to the county or district headquarters, and the money is used for the upkeep of veteran organizations, hospitals, etc. Poppies are made by veterans in soldier hospitals, and the Auxiliary organizations buy the poppies and resell them to the public on Memorial Day. The money raised from the sale of poppies then is given to the families of disabled veterans. Money raised is spent in different ways.
   The Danbury members of WomenÕs Auxiliary decorate every veteranÕs grave regardless of how he lost his life on Memorial Day. They also decorate the graves of deceased Auxiliary members. In 1966 they made white crosses for 70 soldiersÕ graves and decorated 26 former Auxiliary members' graves.
   The women often work as Blue Ladies at the Cherokee Mental Hospital. Social functions are sponsored frequently in the town to raise money. In 1966 the Auxiliary had 59 active members.
Carpenters in Danbury
   There have been many of the carpenter occupation in the town of Danbury through the first 100 years. Dan Thomas was the first carpenter and mason. Samuel Griffith was carpenter and brick maker, Jacob Peters was contractor and builder, and J.F.A. Ahlwardt built many of the barns and outside buildings south of Danbury. R.L. Canty, Thomas Virtue, F.I. Clement, John F. Mohr, John W. Kinney, and Pierre Keitges were contractors and builders. Frank Morrissey, Kris Kupke, Frank Robart, Alvy Stanton building mover, Burr Towers, Eugene McGarrity, Lyle Canty, James Hardman, James Morrisey, John Young, Joe Granter contractor and builder, John Fuchs mason with Frank (Kelly) Mcgarrity tender, Leonard Reimer and sons Earl and Richard contractor and builders, Murral Burton, Carl and Louis Schable, LeRoy Krayenhagen, Tim Buckley and others.
Farmers Union Organization 1919
   The first meeting of the Farmers Union was held in a country school house, year 1919. A fee of $3.00 was charged for membership. When organized, it was called Farmers Union Oil Ass'n. The organization proposed to buy oil, flour, salt and other staples in railroad car lots at less cost than they would have t pay otherwise. The farmers picked up their products at the car on track. The charter members were Charley Schrunk, President; Walter Otto, Secretary and Treasurer; and Board of Directors Joseph Uhl, Isadore Brenner, Gus Mohr, and Gene Putnam. The organization was a branch of the Des Moines Chapter when first organized, but the members were dissatisfied with this arrangement as the Des Moines Chapter took all of their earnings instead of letting the earnings in the association. They then merged with the Kansas City Cooperative Consumers Ass'n., and it was then the name "Coop" was chosen.
   Yearly picnics were held when the Farmers Union was first organized. They were held at the Groves farm or Cameron Grove (Herb Schrunk farm southwest of Danbury). The first one was held on August 19, 1919. The program commenced at 10:00 a.m. with the singing of American. Other events were:
Elimination tug of war between the teams of different locals. $5.00
Free-for-all race of 75 yards, 1st prize $1.00, 2nd prize 50¢.
Fat Man's Race of 50 yards, 1st place $1.00, 2nd place 50¢.
Free-for-all women's race 40 yards, 1st place $1.20, 2nd place 75¢, money donated by Mapleton Trust Bank.
Boys' race under 15 of 60 yards, 1st place $1.00, 2nd place 50¢.
Fat Women's Race of 30 yards, 1st place $2.00, 2nd place $1.00
Best cake, $2.50
Pie eating contest, prize $2.00.
Hammer throwing contest, Prize $1.00 donated by Danbury State Bank.
Best loaf of bread, 1st place 2 year subscription of Mapleton Press, 2nd prize 1 1/2 year subscription of Mapleton Press, 3rd prize 1 year subscription of Mapleton Press.
Broad Jump, 1st place $1.00, 2nd place 50¢.
High Jump, 1st place $1.00, 2nd place 50¢.
High Kicking Contest, 1st place $1.25, 2nd place 75¢ donated by Mapleton First State.
Sack or Hobble Race, 1st place $1.00, 2nd place 50¢.
Egg or potato race, $1.00 and 50¢.
Baseball throwing contest, 1st place $1.25, 2nd place 75¢.
Grand prize: Party winning most prizes will be given free round trip to Iowa State Fair from either Danbury or Mapleton. Donated by Danbury Trust and Savings Bank.
An address will be given by O.E. Wilson of Des Moines at 1:00 p.m.
Bring your filled baskets and meet your friends. Enjoy the pleasures of the day.
Charley F. Schrunk, President

   Some years carnivals sat up for Coop picnics, they had bowery dances, pot luck dinners, etc. In 1965 the U.S. Coop had a 750,000 membership. A feed store and gas station was built in Danbury in 1956 with earnings the Coop had earned, but it had to operate at a loss, so they sold the building to Barry's.
   Other favorite picnic grounds of the early citizens were Spauldings Grove and Dry Run.
Farm Bureau 1918 in Woodbury County
   The Farm Bureau organized, too, about 1918. From the first, their interests were more the young. The young boys and girls formed clubs. The boys were trained how to become good feeders of livestock, the care of livestock, etc., and the girls how to be good housekeepers and cooks. They competed in these projects at the fairs. The Farm Bureau celebrated its 50th anniversary in Woodbury County in 1968.

Knights of Columbus
   The first members in Danbury by April 29, 1915, were Fr. Meagher, William O'Conner, Tom Sexton, P.A. McGlaughlin, J.W. O'Day, Henry Fitzpatrick, Fred Elskamp, Joe Kane, Richard Colbert, M.E. Rush, Thomas McGuire, and Will Harrigan. Became inactive in 1940.
Main Street,
Danbury, Iowa, 1915
Mayor   M.W. Colbert
   Danbury State Bank, John Jacobsen, Cashier; Lewis Larsen, Asst. Cashier
   Trust and Savings, William Berger, Cashier; Frank Berger, Assistant Cashier.
   Danbury Drug Co., William Schuyler
   O'Day Bros., James and John O'Day
   Joseph Eghrig
   M.J. Frum
Tie Barn
   L.W. Pierce and son Louis
   Collins Hotel, John Collins, Proprietor
   Reimer Brothers Elevator, Tony, Peter and Joe
   Mike Burke Elevator
   Durst Brothers Mill and Elevator, Mark and Godfrey Durst, Jr.
   Driscoll Bros. (Chevrolet), Charley and Ed Driscoll
   Barry Brothers (Ford), Pat and Mike Barry
   Albert Kueny, Cars and machinery (sold to Antone Reimer)
   Farmers Lumber Co., J.W. Kinney, mgr.
   Maple Valley Lumberyard, P.C. Keitges, Mgr.
   Fitzpatrick Brothers, Henry and Patrick Fitzpatrick
   George Braig Hardware sold to Maurice Colbert 1914 (Maxwell), Implements
Harness Shop
   Walter and Fred Elskamp
Blacksmith Shops
   J.M. Boyer
   Mike Rush
   Charley Kemp
General Stores
   George J. Braig
   John H. Crilly
   Jones and Schrepher
   Dick Colbert, Groceries and ice cream parlor
City Bakery
   John Derksen
   Dr. G.H. Folkins
Men's Clothing Store
   W.A. Acton, tailor-made suits
   Maggie Collins, rooming and boarding house
   Peoples Cafe, Matt Uehle
   Square Deal Cafe
   Kennedys Cafe
Meat Market
   H.N. Crippen

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Main Street, Danbury, Iowa, 1915
Livery Barn
   Henry Meier, Mgr.
Wallpapering and Painting
   George Pullis
Shoe Repair
   Irving Keller
   Danbury Review, C.E. Johnson, Editor
   G.W. Murphy
   Dr. W.L. Creswell
   J.J. Murphy
   Hal Richards, Dentist
Depot Agent
   H.D. Graham
Insurance Agents
   M.D. Cord
   Berger brothers
   Sam Page
   Henry L. Walter, salesman
   Joseph Wienand until March, then Earl Patten
St. Patrick's Parish
   Rev. Timothy Meagher
St. Mary's
   Rev. E.L. Schleyer
Supt. Danbury Public
   Carl F. Stutzman
Archie Herrington
   Builder who had a group of men working for him. Joe Granter came and worked with Archie until 1916. Archie then left Danbury, and Granter took over the men.
   John Fuchs, and his tender was Frank McGarrity.
Main Street, Danbury, Iowa, 1919
   Maurice Colbert 1916-1920. Maurice died before the expiration of his term of office. P.H. Rush finished the term as mayor.
   Danbury State Bank
      John Jacobsen, Cashier
      Lewis Larsen, Asst. Cashier
   Danbury Trust & Savings Bank
      Louis Derr, Cashier
      Later William and Frank Berger
General Merchandise Stores
   Crilly Store, J.H. Crilly
   Farmers Cooperative Store, William Boeshe, Manager
   Karl Paulsen Store
Meat Markets
   Henry Crippen sold his meat market to Dick Colbert 1919
   Schuyler's Reliable Drug Store, W.E. Schuyler
   O'Day Brothers, Jim and John or Bucky O'Day
Men's Clothing
   W.A. Acton, Hart, Schaffner, and Marx Clothing
   S.B. Lee
   Art Tatman
Lumber Yards
   Danbury Lumber Co., J.W. Kinney
   Maple Valley, P.C. Keitges
   Matt's Hardware, Andy and Leo Matt, McCarl , undertaker
   Henry Fitzpatrick Hardware (dissolved partnership with P.C. Fitzpatrick in 1919). Henry Fitzpatrick, undertaker.
   Joseph Ehrig
   M.J. Frum
   W.H. Jones
   Antone Reimer Elevator
   Burke Elevator, Michael Burke
   Barry Brothers (broke up their partnership in 1928)
   Reimer Brothers, Pete and Joe Reimer bought from Kueny brothers
   J.M. Boyer
   Charley Driscoll
Danbury Review
   Clarence "Smokey" Johnson, opera house manager
   Dave Cloud
   Collins Hotel, Mrs. Collins, proprietor
   G.A. "Doc" Folkins
   A.A. Smith
   Mac's Place, P.A. McGlaughlin
Barry Implement
   Bart Barry took over Maurice Colbert's implement business in 1919
Durst Brothers
   Mill was discontinued. Durst brothers now operating a power plant and furnished electricity for the town of Danbury.
Millinery Shop
   Mrs. Charley Frentress
   Dirksen Bakery, Mrs. Anna Dirksen, proprietor
Shoe Repair
   A.E. Keller
Photography Studio
   C.W. Parker, Mapleton
Dray, Baggage and Express
   Ed A. Tangeman
   Earl Patten
   Dr. G.W. Murphy
   Dr. John Happe
   Hal Richards
   Frank Neustrom
   Jack Evans
   John Eghrig
Painting and Paper Hanging
   Arthur Powell
Harness and Shoe Repair
   George Elskamp bought from Fred and Walter Elskamp
Tie Barn
   Luther and Louis Pierce
Billiard Hall
   F.B. Collins
Sold Gas
   All garages sold gas. No filling stations until 1923.
   Joe Stapleton and Aduddel and Johns from Battle Creek
   Seth Smith of Mapleton
Danbury Telephone Exchange
   Chester Watkins, telephone administrator
Gas Man
   Jay Edwards
Dr. Conn
   Dentist came from Battle Creek and had a room at Collins Hotel for his office. Patients came to the hotel. Also did surgery.
Marshal and Pump Man
   Frank Palmer
   John Fuchs
Population in 1920

Danbury Adopts Slogan "Out of the Mud" 1928

   P.H. Rush 1920-1922
   A.J. Reidmiller 1922-1924
   P.H. Rush 1924-1930
   Henry Fitzpatrick
   Dave Rossbach
   Godfrey Durst, Jr.
   J.C. Rhode
   Peter Matt
Marshal and Pump Man
   James McGarr
   During the years 1920 to 1930 the town did much to improve its image. It was improved considerable when a new road to Mapleton was built in 1926-27 and finally gravelled in 1928, when the town was paved in 1928, and when the new public school was built in 1929. Both St. Patrick's Academy and the public school were excellent schools by 1922. The schools were the center of interest for all during this period. They afforded much of the entertainment with the organizations of bands, orchestras, glee clubs, declamatory contests, and, of course, both schools had some excellent basketball teams. Two of the best music directors our schools have ever had were at Danbury during these years, Sr. Paul at St. Patrick's Academy, and Paul Stevens at Danbury Public.
Danbury Public School
   Mr. Moore had come to Danbury as superintendent in 1919, but there were school administration problems during his stay. Students became unruly which culminated with the expelling of four juniors for tieing the bell in the belfry of the school so it could not toll. This upset the parents, so the school board asked Mr. Moore to resign. Miss Esther Petty, who was the principal, was asked to fill out the year, but she, too, had her problems and could not control the students. They needed a man with strong convictions, one who could keep order. Professor Trezona followed Miss Petty, and he put the house back in order. Fred Runkle came the fall of 1922 and was here until 1927.
   Supt. Runkle had good discipline in the school, and he was liked by everyone. Mr. Runkle was one of the superintendents in the Maple Valley that organized the Maple Valley Tournament. He believed in athletics in the school and in good sportsmanship amongst players. He often gave speeches to the high school students on good sportsmanship. Mr. Runkle organized a "D" Club. Felt D's in the school colors of maroon and black were given to pupils participating in boys and girls basketball, music and dramatics. Danbury participated in track for the first time while he was here, about 1923. In the 1920s, basketball games were held in the Opera House, and there were some good teams during the period of 1920-1930.
   The boys playing on the 1925-26 team were Charley Jensen (captain), Paul Lamphear, Ernest Towers, Lloyd Hanlon, Glen Tangeman, and Charley Rush. Substitutes were Cyril Keitges, Gene Volkman, and John Price. Vernon Heacock, principal, was the coach. This team was on its way to winning the sectional tournament, having defeated Smithland, Soldier, and Battle Creek, but they were defeated in the finals by the small town of Pisgah.
   Supt. Runkle coached the girls team composed of Lelah Otto, Wilma McCleerey, Alvira Schrank, Beatrice Sexton, Clarice Nicholaisen, Phyllis Smith, Maxine McCleerey, and Lola Otto.
   Mr. Runkle also wanted a good music department. Mable Gibson, a Danbury girl and a talented musician, was hired to teach music. Besides teaching singing to all the grades and high school, she had a music appreciation course and organized an orchestra. In Music Appreciation the students studied operas and classical music. She taught this through the playing of phonograph records. The small orchestra she organized had a piano, 3 violins, a banjo, a guitar, and a saxophone. Many of the students in high school became intrigued with the guitar and bought guitars. They brought them to school and practiced playing songs together out on the school playground during the noon hour. It was fun, and the music was pretty. This interest in the guitars prompted Miss Gibson to organize a stringed orchestra which had 11 guitars in all, two along with a violin playing the tune and the rest accompanying or strumming. This orchestra played for several school functions and was well received.
   Paul Stevens came as a music director in 1923. He made the whole town music conscious and was very enthusiastic. His motto was "A symphony orchestra for Danbury by school year 1925-26." He said if the parents and pupils would cooperate with him, his dream of having a symphony would be realized. He immediately obtained instruments and started teaching the high school students how to read music and gave music lessons to someone whenever he could find a little time, as he also taught history. He soon had an orchestra of 20 pieces. He remained in Danbury through the summers and gave lessons and had rehearsals. In the fall of 1924 he started organizing a band. He then taught students to play the band instruments. He also had boys and girls glee clubs and a mixed chorus. In 1926 a music festival, possibly the first, was held at Danbury. There were 12 competing clubs from Aurelia, Battle Creek, Bronson, Glidden, Holstein, Manilla, Mapleton, Sergeant Bluff, Schleswig, Scranton, Sloan, and Danbury. Scranton had to come the longest distance, 82 miles. That was a long way to travel in 1924. The roads were mostly gravel and were soft, and it took the Glidden group four hours to make the trip. The students who came these long distances would have to stay in Danbury overnight. The high school pupils worked a week getting things in readiness. The floors of the old school were all scrubbed, windows washed inside and outside, and one room was fitted up as a reception room. Here curtains were placed on the windows and a rug was laid. Arrangements were made for the pupils staying overnight. They stayed at homes about the town. The music programs would have to be given in four sessions, and the Class C Divisional Music Contest would be held in the Opera House. More seating had to be built at the Opera House, and some improvements were made on the stage. The first two programs were at 2:30 and 9:00 p.m. on Friday, and the third and fourth sessions were held at the same time on Saturday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Danbury Public School
   Danbury won some awards in this contest. Four towns competed in Boys Glee Club, and Mapleton won first and Danbury second. Nine competed in Girls Glee Club, and Danbury placed first and Aurelia second. There were two entries in band, Holstein and Sergeant Bluff. There were seven entries in the orchestra division. Although Danbury had the largest orchestra, 36 members, they won second and Mapleton first. Mr. Stevens was very proud of his orchestra and was a little disappointed in the judges' decision. This group performed at many school functions. Danbury also took first in Mixed Chorus. The town fathers were very proud of their children, and the town boosters thought the students had earned a trip to the state contest being held at Iowa City May 7th and 8th, 1926. Many volunteered to take a load of students to Iowa City. A fleet of 10 cars made this trip, Al Crilly, J.C. Jacobsen, Joe Reimer (driver of Carl Brown's car), E.P. Jacobsen, Herman Peters, Mrs. W.E. Schuyler, Louis Otto, George Treiber, Stanley Smith (driver of Mark Durst car), and Lawrence Weber. The mixed chorus won a first and a silver cup at this contest. The group returned home on a Sunday, and Mr., Runkle planned a side trip for the group, visiting the State Capitol in Des Moines, the college at Ames, and a few other interesting places. When the group returned to Danbury late Sunday night, Art Tatman, restaurant owner, had prepared a banquet for the high school students, teachers and drivers. Art Tatman had at many times during his lifetime played host to the young, showing his appreciation. Art Tatman married Minnie Mohr, and they had one son, John "Bud" Tatman.
   Mr. Stevens also directed two minstrel shows at the opera house which were very well received. He wrote all the music for them as well and arranging it.
   Mr. Runkle hired a coach, Mrs. Alderson from Alta, Iowa, to come to Danbury each year to teach high school pupils dramatics in three divisions, Oratorical, Dramatics and Humorous. Enough pupils took part in this that one night Oratorical and Dramatic readings were given, the second night Humorous readings were presented.
   More building for Danbury Public: A home economics building was built on the southwest corner of the school lot in 1920. There were too many pupils and not enough room, so they decided to build another building for 7th and 8th grades. This 7th and 8th grade building was built behind the school house in 1922.
   Mr. Runkle left Danbury May, 1926. Immerzeel came as superintendent during the year 1926-27. Vernon Heacock was hired as basketball coach and principal. Mr. Heacock became superintendent in September 1927 and was here until 1929-30. Mr. Heacock wanted a new school, and especially a new gymnasium, as his teams had been playing in the Opera House, and it was just too small. Some teams who already had new gymnasiums called it a "cracker box." Crowds coming to games were larger now, and there just wasn't any seating space in the Opera House. There were several locations considered as to where to build a new school house, and some heated arguments. They finally decided on the present location, and they decided to build a two-story brick building. They hired architect Dougher to design the building which was to cost $475,000. The school board members at this time were President Wayne Keitges, A.J. Reidmiller, Hoy Lee, and Otto A. Schrank. Joe Granter was hired as contractor. The cornerstone was laid on October 10, 1929. Vernon Heacock left after the school was built, and Russell Anderson was hired as the new superintendent. Teachers that year were Principal Wayne Mentor; John C.B. Ballachey, coach; Edna Goheen, Music; Catherine Roberts, Domestic Science; and Grade Teachers Della Sullivan, Francis McCreary, Florence Cooper, and Jane Hickey.
   Dedication of school, October 30, 1930, by The Danbury Review: "The dedicatory exercises of the new school building were held in the auditorium last evening before a small but appreciative audience. The program opened with two selections by the high school orchestra. President Wayne Keitges presided at the meeting and introduced the speakers. He told the history of the building of the school structure. The address of the evening was given by Honorable Dan Turner, contender for Governor of Iowa, and we wish every person in our little city could have heard this able speech. He spoke mainly on American citizenship, first speaking of responsibility of the teacher in the community in developing children according to their individual. Then he wondered if young people appreciated the sacrifices that were being made to the coming generations so that children of the future could have so many splendid advantages in the say of securing an education. He said there were two classes of people, the selfish, a minority group who were always trying see what they could get; and the other class, the great majority who say, "What can I do for America?" In speaking of the faculty, he said it was well to impress on the child that if he made anything out of his life they would make it of his own accord. He said half the taxes go to our schools, and you seldom hear anyone complain of this. To make good citizens of your children, we must give them character, courage, resourcefulness, and common honesty.
   The girls trio composed of misses Olive Durst, Reba Richards, and Martha Schuyler rendered a musical selection. The dedication ceremonies were conducted by C.F. Clark, county superintendent. He dedicated the school house to the "rise of education and the school to producing good American citizens." The program closed with the singing of "America."
   The first class to graduate, 1931, were Anna Weber (Mrs. Donald Fitzpatrick), Bertha Peters (Mrs. Clarence Collins), Mary Joyner Schnetzer, Olive Durst McCarthy, Rosina Schrunk (Mrs. Edward Drea), Maurine Johnson (Mrs. Elroy Towne), Flavilla Virtue (Mrs. Lloyd Creswell), Noel McCleerey, Nina Petit Lawrence, Martha Schuyler (Mrs. Raymond Clark), Catherine Welte (Mrs. Orville Dandurand), and Clark Smith.
   Emmett Grace came as superintendent the fall of 1930 and was here until 1936.
Maple River Straightened 1922
   When the first pioneers arrived, there were no ditches, and the river banks were practically nil. When it flooded, the water spread out and covered miles in the valleys. There were sloughs and water holes everywhere. To drain the land to make it farmable, the settlers used a mole ditcher. It was a sort of plow with a sharp knife attachment with a sort of ball on the end. The knife cut the sod, and the ball attachment made a hole, about the size of a mole tunnel. Excess water on the terrain could then drain down through the sod and follow the small tunnel. Men traveled through the country with several oxen and these mole ditchers and drained the sloughs. These small mole tunnels gradually turned into our present day ditches. The rivers were very crooked, having oxbows, and every spring there was severe flooding.
   Woodbury and Monona County supervisors decided in 1922 to straighten the river between Danbury and Mapleton. Reynold Creek which emptied into the Maple south of Danbury was also straightened for some distance. Farmers who lived along the river and Reynolds Creek had to pay a drainage tax. A large dredge boat did the straightening.
Fr. Meagher's Death 1924
   Fr. Meagher died after serving Danbury St. Patrick's for 40 years when he was 69 years old. His death was sudden. All Danbury schools were dismissed the day of his funeral so that the school children could attend. He was buried in St. Patrick's Cemetery on a spot which he had selected long before his death. A Celtic Cross marks his final resting place.
Coming of Fr. McNeill 1924
   Rev. Francis McNeill came to Danbury to take over his new assignment in 1924. He was the son of James and Bridget Dillon McNeill, born in Ireland on September 19, 1864. Rev. McNeill came to the U.S. when 19 after the death of his father. He had received a good elementary education in Ireland. Soon after his arrival in the U.S. he became a student at St. Vincent's Seminary in Germantown, PA. He remained there for 4 years. He then entered St. Vincent's College at Los Angeles, CA, and he studied there for 2 years. He was ordained a priest on June 16, 1892, at the Perryville, MO seminary.
   Fr. McNeill taught for two years at Camp Geradeau, MO, and in 1894 he was made an assistant at St. Patrick's Church at LaSalle, IL. He was there for 3 years and then went back to Camp Geradeau and taught for 2 years, was prefect at St. Vincent's College and also had charge of the parish church. In 1899 he was sent to the Black Hills of South Dakota where he did mission work among prairie people. At Central City he supervised the construction of a small church, and for 5 years he pioneered for the good of that community. He resided at St. Onge, SD. From St. Onge he tended to the needs of Catholics in a circuit of 100 miles, serving hundreds of persons. He traveled horseback and attended to two missions in Wyoming. On one of these trips, due to exposure, he contacted rheumatism, and his work in this field then ended.
   He was then sent to the Sioux City Diocese. He was the residing priest at Onawa for 4 years, Rolfe for 9 months, Schaller and Holstein, Manilla, Churden, and on Thanksgiving Day 1924 he came to Danbury. He was then 60 years old.
   He celebrated his Golden Jubilee as a priest in Danbury on July 16, 1942. A banquet was held in his honor in the public school auditorium, and the whole town was invited. He told his listeners that irregardless of his age he still loved to work and did not want to give it up although almost 80 years old. It was his wish to live out his life in Danbury and to be buried in St. Patrick's Cemetery. Rev. Karl Hansen was sent to assist him in his last years.
   Rev. H.J. Schleyer was pastor of St. Mary's January 1917-December 1929.
   Rev. E.J. Jungblut was pastor December 1929-May 1937 at St. Mary's.
   Nick Meyer came to Danbury with his family in 1928 to be foreman of the section. Duties of the section gang was to keep the tracks in good repair. Men who worked for him then were George Koetz, Henry Richards, William Cram, William Hardman, and Clarence Pry.
   Nick worked for Northwestern R.R. until 1967 when he retired.
   Fire siren: For years the fire bell had warned the town's residents of fire. Up to 1911 the fire bell was located beside Loucks Drug Store. When the Danbury Trust and Savings Bank was built in 1911 they moved the fire bell to the alley behind the present American Legion building. This was more centrally located as the town had grown much larger since the bell was first installed. In 1923 they purchased the siren, and it was installed on top of the Opera House which was built in 1912.
   New road to Mapleton, 1926: The first road to Mapleton went south out of Danbury past the present Ralph Scott farm to the river where there was a Maple bridge. After crossing the river, you followed it as today going south and west past the Bryan Nicholaisen farm toward the river. The road turned south before crossing the railroad tracks or the river. It continued in a south direction and came out on the Clem Babbe corner, and from there it followed the road as it is today in Mapleton.
   In 1925 the state started to buy land for a right-of-way, and a road was surveyed to go down the valley in a direct route or "as the crow flies." People along this route weren't too happy about giving up their good farmland and having so many of the farms cut up, putting some on each side of the road. Dugan Construction Co. was hired to do the work. Work commenced in 1926, first putting in the bridges. All grading done then was with horses and mules and the fresno. It took 3 years to build the road and gravel it. The road was numbered "35," and it remained so until it was paved, and then it was changed to 175.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

   Vigilante Committee 1925: Robbers had come into Danbury the summer of 1925 and robbed Crilly's Store, taking a considerable amount of merchandise. Tom Welsh was night watchman at that time. When Tom saw a light and what he thought was some strange actions, he went to the rear of the store. When he put his head inside the door, he was hit over the head and bound head and foot, and a gag was put in his mouth. They took him out into the country and hid him in a cornfield. This alarmed the town residents. Several businessmen decided to form a vigilante committee. The men belonging were J.C. Jacobsen, Charles Crilly, Joe Reimer, Horace B. Canty, Leo Matt, William Weber, and Wayne Keitges. These men took turns touring the town at night. If any of them saw anything unusual, they were to notify the others. They carried guns loaded with buck shot.
   Fullerton Lumber Yard 1926: William Haubrich, who had been running one of the lumber yards, sold it to Green Bay Lumber yard, and they improved the yards and sent William Smith to manage them. William Smith moved here with his family: his wife, a sister of Mrs. John Jacobsen; and his children, Susie, Isabel, Albert, and Clark. Thomas Gallagher, H.L. Waring, W.J. Nordman, and Harold Scott also were managers.
   Ministers at Methodist Church: The ministers were Rev. George A. Moir 1922-24, Rev. Judson S. Washburn 1924-March 1925, Rev. Harvey Cox, 1926-29. The parsonage was remodeled and the circuit with Sharon Church was terminated.
   Paved the Town 1928: In 1928 the slogan "Out of the Mud" was adopted. The town fathers laid more sewer and water lines, and many more town residents hooked onto the sewer and improved the water works in their homes. Pavement was completed in 1929.
   Salaries of Town Officials 1923:
Mayor   $1/ meeting
Clerk $50 a year and 5% commission on all merchandise sold
Treasurer   $1/ meeting
Marshall   $20/ month
Supt. of Electric Lights and Water   $70/ month
Street Commissioner   $20 a month Apr. 1-Oct. 1 and $10 a month Oct. 1-Apr. 1
Scale Master   $58.33/month
Councilmen   Not to exceed $50/year
Ed McQuillen was Township Clerk 1929-1937
Lucy Colbert was Town Clerk 1929
   At the beginning of the depression, Danbury Trust and Savings Bank closed its doors 1924. Too much bad paper. All business concluded by 1926.
   Sidewalks and Street Lights: Alvy Stanton and his crew of men built more new sidewalks, and new street lamps were installed in 1928.
Markets and the Depression
   Prices during World War I were good. Land sold for $400 to $500 an acre; that was good land. Corn was $2.00 or more a bushel, but by 1922 corn was 47¢ a bushel, oats 25¢ a bushel, and hogs were $7.25-$9.25 a hundred lbs. This was the beginning of the depression. They continued to worsen, and in 1930 there was a drought to worsen matters. These economic conditions exploded into a revolt by the farmers. They pleaded with the government to help them out of this dire situation, but all of the U.S. was in trouble. More than 15 million persons were out of work, and there were bread lines in cities as jobless and hungry men begged for food. Many had been in business previous to 1930, but they were not broke. The farmers, besides having the drought and depression, were plagued with a grasshopper invasion in 1930. The price of corn plunged from the $2.00 a bushel received after the war to 10¢ a bushel. Oats were 10¢/bu., wheat 25¢/bu, and hogs $2.50/ hundred pounds. Hogs at the Chicago market were bringing slightly more than a dollar a head after deductions.
   Sixty-five thousand mortgages were foreclosed in 1931, and 3,700 in 1933. Forty percent of the farm land was mortgaged, and large insurance companies owned more than three and one half million acres of farm with mortgages about to be foreclosed on thousands more farms. More than 40% of the state land taxes were delinquent. A farmer could not pay off on a farm costing him $400-$500 an acre. Deficiency judgments were placed against farmers. If a foreclosure sale netted less than the mortgage, the farmer's machinery, livestock, etc. were sold by sheriff sales, and the farmer was cleaned out, lock, stock, and barrel. There was still no relief coming from either national or state level. It was then that the farmers banded together and formed the Farm Holiday Movement in Des Moines.
   Milo Reno, an ordained minister interested in the farmers' problems, was elected leader. Membership to the organization grew by leaps and bounds. These foreclosures and sheriff sales led to violence. Farmers attempted to block the highways to keep produce from reaching the market. They blocked the highways with telephone poles, spiked railroad ties, bales of hay or wire, etc. Truck drivers trying to haul stock to market were approached and asked to return the stock to the owner's farm. Violence flared at many points: Cherokee, Harlan, Primghar, Denison, and LeMars. At Cherokee, several picketers were wounded, and one man as killed. Picketers were jailed at Council Bluffs after interfering with trucks trying to get to the stockyards. A truck load of men from Danbury and Mapleton went to Council Bluffs to help the men there to picket, and some of them were jailed. At Primghar, 10 persons were wounded in a clash between deputies and farmers. A railroad bridge near Cherokee was burned, and a Northwestern freight train hauling produce was stopped at Moville. Freight cars were pried open at Danbury, and at Lawton a train was stopped, and 8 cars of livestock were released. A milk truck driver from South Dakota was killed on his way to Sioux City with milk. Denison was a hotbed of unrest, and when the Crawford County Sheriff attempted to sell the chattels at the J.F. Sheid farm, there was trouble. Sixty deputies and eight state men attempted to enforce order at a foreclosure sale when 800 farmers swept down upon them, halting the sale, scuffing some of the officers and dunking them into the water tank and forcing them to kneel and kiss the American flag. This also happened at Primghar. The farmers said the courts were unamerican and unpatriotic to dispossess helpless farmers without giving them time to pay off their debts. These disorders reached their heights in the Fall of 1933 when District Court Judge C.C. Bradley of LeMars gave a court decision to a farm foreclosure. He was pulled from the bench, dragged down the courthouse steps, blindfolded, covered with grease and sand, and threatened with lynching unless he would resist from issuing the decree. The badly frightened old judge refused. A rope was then thrown over a power line, the judge was ordered to pray, and a noose was placed around his neck. The judge fainted. The crowd then realized the enormity of the crime and dispersed.
   It was not until the election of F.D. Roosevelt in 1932 that things improved. The farmer said even though the prices were terrible and no crops, they still were better off than most people. They had most of the material things right on their farms.
Changes on Main Street 1920-1930
   J.W. Kinney buys Frum Produce: In 1919 the lumberyard which J.W. Kinney managed went into new ownership. He and his son Clifford "Nook" managed the produce.
   William Haubrich: William Haubrich bought Farmers Lumberyard and sold it to Fullerton Lumber in 1926.
   Albert Riedmiller: Albert was born on February 26, 1895 in Breda, IA, attended, St. Bernard's Parochial and the public schools there, and graduated from high school. He married Florence Gobel of Anthon in 1921. He served in World War I and attended officers training school. He served overseas in WWI. He came to Danbury to work in Danbury Trust and Savings Bank for William and Frank Berger. After 1924 Al was out of work as the bank had closed its doors. As Al's first employment had been in the Breda Coop Creamery, he decided to build a creamery in Danbury and to into business for himself. He built the building west of the present laundromat, and he continued in this business until his death in August 6, 1958.
   Keitges Bros. Store: John and Pat Keitges took over the store owned by Karl Paulsen in the 1920s.
   Osterholtz and Tangeman: Henry Osterholtz had left Danbury in 1912, but he returned ten years later, and he and his friend Elzie Tangeman started a meat market on the east side of Main Street (present Schimmer Barber Shop). The sewer was put in the building in 1922. They owned a slaughterhouse, and they bought and then butchered livestock which was sold by the piece over the counter. A few years later Tangeman sold out to Wenz Gruber. This shop was in business until 1935.
   Richard Colbert, Colbert's Market: Dick Colbert was discharged from the Army on February 8, 1919. Soon after he returned home he purchased a meat market from Henry Crippen on the east side of Main. In 1927 he bought an old wooden building adjoining Pat McGlaughlin's Confectionery. Dick and Pat built a new building, a brick structure with a dividing wall but with one continuous front. Dick put in a full line of groceries and sold fresh meats. Pat McGlaughlin sold drinks, confections, etc.
   Horace Canty, Filling Station: In 1923 the first filling station was built in Danbury by Horace Canty. He also built a warehouse in 1929 and a bulk station near the railroad tracks. Previous to 1923 all garages had a gas pump, and the first car owners carried a 5 gallon can of gas and a funnel in their cars. The first gas deliveries to farmers were made by a tank wagon pulled with horses.
   Skelly Oil Station: The Skelly Oil Station was built in 1929 by John Mohrhauser and his son, Ed.
   Pat and Mike Barry: They dissolved their partnership on February 28, 1928 Pat continued in the car business, and his son Earl started to work for him as a car salesman on June 1, 1928, and Vincent, another son, started from the bottom as a batteryman on June 1, 1930. William C. Collins was shop foreman on January 23, 1918. Mike Barry farmed for a time then took over the management of the Standard Oil Station in Danbury.
   Beauty Shop, Goldie Schrepher 1924: All women and girls in 1924 wore their hair long, but bobbed hair came into style, and then everyone wanted "bobbed hair." The hair was curled with a marcel iron which was heated with electricity. Goldie had her shop in her home.
   Barbers: Jack Ehrig worked as second barber for Jack Evans 1917-1923. Andrew Schimmer worked as second barber for John Ehrig after he had a shop of his own in 1923. Shimmer had a shop of his own in 1930.
   Danbury State Bank: The bank moved to the location of Danbury Trust and Saving Bank after its closing in 1924. Those working in the Danbury State Bank in 1924 were John Jacobsen, Cashier; Dennis Gahan; Flora Betts; and Minnie Treiber (Mrs. Ralph Scott).
   Sam Page: A lawyer, Sam Page came to Danbury in 1920. Godfrey Durst, Sr. helped him to build a new office (German Mutual Insurance office, presently), financially. After here a few years, he found it impossible to make a living on legal work alone, so he left Danbury.
   Weber Brothers: The Weber brothers bought out John Boyer in approximately 1922. They sold Chevrolets.
   Dr. Leo Wilson: He came to Danbury in 1928 and was here until 1935.
   John Abraham: He came to Danbury in 1923 to take over W.A. Acton's clothing store.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Danbury Loses its Third Mayor
   Patrick Rush was elected as mayor in 1920 to finish the term of Maurice Colbert who died in 1918. He was elected again in 1924 but died before the term was completed.
   Patrick was the son of Michael and Mary Giblin Rush who farmed northwest of Danbury. Patrick married Elizabeth Boyle, and they took over the Rush farm. They moved to Danbury about 1918 so as to send their children to high school. Patrick secured county work and maintained roads. Their children were Bernard, Martin, Henry, Jack, Joseph, Catherine, Cecelia, Agnes, Ellen, Elizabeth (Sr. Aloysius), Emmett, and Charley. Pat's older sons maintained the farm.
   Henry Fitzpatrick, who was a member of the council, became Danbury's new mayor, year 1928.
   Uhl's Dance Pavilion 1922: Uhl brothers Joe and Isadore built an open-air dance pavilion on Isadore's farm in 1922 (to the rear of his home). It was roofed, and there were drop doors along the sides of the building which could be closed in the winter and opened in the summer. Two stoves heated the building in the winter months. They had a light plant of their own. Two dances were held there a week. There was round and square dancing for the old folks on Tuesday nights and popular dancing for the young people on Friday nights. Many orchestras played there: Joe's Novelty Boys, Rose Bud Kids, Pete's Peerless Players of Manning, the Ruby Trio from Shenandoah, and even Lawrence Welk. Lawrence then had five or six players including himself, and he played the accordion. There were a few Battles of Music where two orchestras played, one on each side of the hall, and one orchestra would play a dance piece and then the other. Admission was 75¢ for a young man and his lady friend. Hot dogs, coffee and pop were served there. This was a popular dance hall for many years.
   Danbury Town Band 1924: Music instructor Paul Stevens secured band instruments and started giving lessons to high school students wanting to play in the band. When they were ready to play, townspeople who could play any kind of instrument were asked to join the band. Some of St. Patrick's students also joined. In all there were 28 members. The businessmen who played were Charley and Al Crilly, George Elskamp, Dave Rossbach, Ed McQuillen, and Herman Hansen. During summers 1925 to 1930 this band gave regular summer concerts on Wednesday or Saturday nights. A large bandstand was built on wheels, and this stand was pulled up to the Crilly Store intersection, and concerts were given from there. This band played for hire at many celebrations in surrounding towns. In 1926 they made several appearances in the Opera House and would play 10 or 13 selections. Officers of this band were President Dave Rossbach, Secretary George Elskamp, Treasurer Ed McQuillen, and Librarian/Director Paul Stevens.
   From The Danbury Review, February 4, 1926: "On the third appearance at the Opera House on last Thursday evening the band was greeted with a full house, and every one of the 12 numbers were heartily applauded. The band has shown wonderful progress under the supervision of Paul Stevens, and with the new material the band should hold its own with any like organization in Northwest Iowa this summer."
   Members of the band were the following: Clarinets Ed McQuillen, Leonard Jacobsen, Beatrice Schrank, Charles Jacobsen, and Olive Durst; alto saxophones Alfred Crilly, Charles Rush, Lawrence Otto, and Lloyd Creswell, tenor saxophone Joe Fitzpatrick; bassoon Maureen Runkle; flute Viola Treiber; oboe Zeta Rosauer; cornets Alvera Schrank, Gilbert Keitges, Claire Keitges, and Phillip Lenz; mellophones Leonard Virtue, Glen Tangeman and Asta Croot; baritones Charley Crilly and Charley Jensen; trombones Ernest Towers and Herman Hansen; tuba Dave Rossbach; bells Nellie Gray; snare drums Gail Edwards; and bass drum George Elskamp.
   Lady Foresters 1921: The ladies of St. Patrick wanted to organize a Lady Foresters organization, so Mrs. Agnes Coppinger was sent to Danbury to start St. Rita Court. For the first three years after organization, the membership increased 100% each year. To celebrate the good work and initiation of 18 new members in 1924, Mrs. Coppinger returned for the banquet and delivered the address. The new members in 1924 were Berniece Brenner, Alice Collins, Irene Evers, Marian Fitzpatrick, Genevieve Hupke, Mary Kane, Alice King, Grace Kinney, Bibiana Keitges, Anna Lenz, Ellen Leahy, Olive Matt, Bessie McBride, Helen Murphy, Ethel Petit, Alice Uehle, Hilda Uhl, and Bonnie Ruth Ullrich. The banquet was held in Braigs Hall.
Mrs. Bertha Johnson - Toast Mistress
Mrs. Mary Coffee - Soliciting members
Mary Leahy and Lucy Callaghan - A duet
Dr. J.J. Murphy - Few remarks
Mrs. Agnes Coppinger - An address
Mrs. Lucy Colbert - Court echoes
Alfred Crilly accompanied by Mary Crilly - Violin solo
Rev. Benedict English of Trinity - Speaker
Mary Leahy and Hilda Uhl - Impressions of the day
"America" sung by all
   Town Team Basketball 1928: The Danbury businessmen had sponsored a basketball team as early as 1915. Bart Barry was manager of this team for a number of years, and in 1928 he organized a team that made a remarkable showing. Bart called them "My Boys," and in the one season they won 50 out of 56 games played. Hoy Lee was assistant manager. Players on that team were Joe Fitzpatrick, Edwin Scott, Frank Gray, Cecil Utterback, Claire Keitges, Gene Volkman, Ernest Towers, Glen Tangeman, and Lloyd Hanlon.
   Winter pastime 1930: A favorite pastime in the winter was ice skating or sleigh riding in 1930. Devil's Den Hill was the favorite sleighing hill. In winter the smaller boys like to hook rides with sleds behind the bobsleds. There were several skating places, but the favorite was the Maple river near the dam. Usually a bonfire was built and many a pleasant hour was spent skating or sleigh riding.
Mayor Henry Fitzpatrick 1930-1932
Mayor Dan Leget 1932-1942
Odd Weather and Hard Years
   The years 1930 to 1936 were extremely hard years because of weather conditions. Crops were short because of extreme heat and long drought. The grasshopper caused the farmer more concern, and the prices paid to the farmer for what crop he did receive were practically nothing.
   The winter of 1935-36 was quite unusual. In January we had 0” or below 0” weather for 20 days, the coldest day being -20”. The month of February was also cold, and the coldest day in February was -26”. The following summer was extremely opposite. In July there were 21 days of 100” or over, and the hottest days were from July 4th to 17th when it was 109”. Besides having the hot weather, there was no precipitation from June to August 19, 1936. There were just 7 1/2" of moisture in the first four months of the year. The corn did not tassel. It was cut for fodder and shocked. The oats were very short and a poor quality. The grasshoppers ruined the oats, and after the oats were harvested the grasshoppers went after the corn.
   The businessmen suffered as much as the farmer. Many could not borrow money, nor could they pay their taxes. Many of the banks in Northwest Iowa closed their doors. The Depression was still with us.
1930 Second Town Bank, First State Bank, Closes Doors - Farmers Savings Opens
   Danbury had already lost one bank, but in 1930 First State was forced to close. John Jacobsen was cashier of the bank when it closed. The townspeople and farmers felt they had to have a bank, so a new bank was reorganized soon after the closing of First State Bank. Charley Seibold, a former resident of Danbury who had moved to Sioux City and was a director of Woodbury County Savings Bank, was prevailed upon to help organize a new bank for the town. Money was raised and a new bank, The Farmers Savings Bank started up in the location of First State Bank. The directors of the new bank were C.F. Seibold, Patrick Barry, Wier Murphy, T.A. Reimer, Henry Albers, and John Treiber. Frank Kemp was hired as cashier, and Frank Wessling was assistant cashier.
The Fire Department
   Dan Leget served as both mayor and fire chief from 1930-1942. It was during his reign as chief that the department started to raise funds for a fire truck. When he became chief, the department was reorganized. Joe Reimer was assistant fire chief, and Leo Matt was secretary and treasurer. Those on the fire department were Wenzel Gruber, Ed Drea, E.A. Mohrhauser, John Fuchs, Charley Welte, Leo Stodden, Ralph Cram, John B. Keitges, Philip G. Lenz, J.D. Perkins, Matthew Keitges, Ernest P. Towers, James Barry, Earl Barry, Melvin Elskamp, and W.B. Hardman.
   Members now paid a membership fee of 75¢, and they were entitled to wear a fireman's badge as long as they were eligible. A fine of 25¢ was imposed against them for being absent at meetings. By 1933 a fine of $3.00 was imposed against a member for being absent.
   Late in the 1930s, Fred "Piney" Freeman, editor of The Danbury Review, started to raise money for a new fire truck for the town. He started a Penny a Day campaign with collection jars which he put in all business places. Contributions were placed in the jars, and Mr. Freeman picked up the collections at the end of each week, then he deposited the money in the bank under the truck fund. The first week he had a collection of $2.75. Collections varied from $2 to $5 a week. People often kidded him as to how long it would take to raise the money, and he would answer, "From 1 to 10 years." The card players at McGlaughlin's placed as much as $20 in the jar a few times and, toward the end of the drive, many put in larger amounts. C.F. Seibold once handed Piney a $300 check. $8,300 was raised in this way.
   In 1940 some new members were added as others dropped out. New members were Clem Schimmer, Ed Hayes, Ben Reimer, Al Mohrhauser, Bernard Wessling, John Twitchell, Loren Rogge, LeRoy Barry, Harold Kinney, Henry Ryan, Leonard Koetz and Harold Scott. This group bought an open dance bowery for $150. They set up the bowery for a schedule picnic at Danbury. This made them good money, so they moved the bowery to various towns for other dances. They received rent for the use of it. They charged an extra $50 if they had to build it but only $30 if the group renting it built the bowery themselves.
   Edward Drea became the new fire chief on April 7, 1942. Ralph Cram was his assistant, and Charley "Chuck" Welte was secretary and treasurer. A new fire whistle was purchased by this group on April 20, 1942, and it was installed above the Opera House. WWII was being fought at this time, and bomb raid practices and blackouts were often carried out by these firemen.
Changes on Main Street
   Leo Matt: He sold out his hardware merchandise in 1936, and this building remained vacant a number of years. It was used for a time as a bowling alley, the Seuntjens brothers Wayne and Andy held auctions there, and a few dances were held in that building.
   Braig Hall: Braig Hall was no longer used as a dance hall. The American Legion members, Women's Auxiliary, and the Commercial Club held their meetings there.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Changes on Main Street
   Post Office: The post office moved to the Cord building after the fire of 1910 burned the post office. It moved to the Durst building about 1933. W.A. Acton sold his men's clothing store to John Abraham in 1923 and operated the store until 1932. The post office then moved into the vacated men's clothing store. A few years later the post office moved to the First State Bank location in Wilkinson Block.
   Barbers: John Ehrig had a shop, and Andrew Schimmer worked for him. When Andrew opened a shop of his own in the 1930s, Martin Foley worked for him. In 1932 Clyde Young was Ehrig's second barber. Jack Evans also had a barber shop, and W. McWade worked for him. In 1932 there were six barbers in town.
   Beauty Operators: Mary Johnson and Helen Barry (Mrs. Earl Fitzpatrick) had beauty shops in Danbury in the early 1930s. Vi Drenkhahn (Mrs. Loren Rogge) opened a shop at the rear of the Ehrig Barber Shop (Cord Building) in 1934.
   John Abraham: He purchased the former Braig Store from the group of farmers in 1932 who had owned the store since Mr. Braig left in 1919. It was a general store and was known as John's Mercantile Store. He sold out to Henry Harlow in 1935.
   Doc and Virginia Folkins: They moved from the old Dirksen Bakery to the O'Day building after the O'Days left in 1920. The Folkins had a bakery there for many years with Frank Ferry being their baker. They later converted the building to a restaurant. They sold out to Mr. and Mrs. Paul Lamphear in 1939 who remodeled again to a restaurant.
   Joe Granter: Contractor and builder 1915-1960. Joe came to Danbury in December of 1915. Joe had come to Canada as an emigrant, and he became a good friend of Archie Herrington who was homesteading in Canada. Joseph worked as a carpenter in summers and stayed with Archie through the winters.
   Archie Herrington was the son of John Wade Herrington. He came back to Danbury in 1915 and promised Joe if business was good in his former home he would let him know. Joe came and worked with Archie who had a crew of men working under him. Archie left Danbury in 1916, and Joe Granter then became the manager of the men who had been working for Herrington. The men working for him were Lyle Canty, Frank Morrisey, and Burr Towers. Throughout the years he was a contractor in Danbury, he had many other men in his employment, and he built many buildings in and around Danbury. Probably his largest contract was to build the Danbury Public School in 1929. Joe Granter married Alice Hoyt, daughter of Jessie Patterson Hoyt and husband Ed Hoyt. The Granters had three children, Dorothy, Hoyt, and Kathleen.
   Good Vault Co.: Otto Good came to Danbury on December 13, 1913, from Sandusky, Ohio. He worked as a hired hand for Scott Hayden and Jesse Owens for a few years. Otto married Mary Sevening on May 12, 1919, and they farmed and ran a milk dairy. He made cement vaults as a sideline while out on the farm. He lived with his wife, Mary Sevening Good and an adopted son, Richard. His wife died in November of 1942. Otto then moved to Danbury, rented the old Braig Hardware, and began making and selling cement vaults in town. His business grew rapidly. He was married to Margaret Wimmer. He sold his business to Thomas and Joe McGuire about 1955.
   Joe and Helen McGlaughlin Fitzpatrick: They took over the McGlaughlin Confectionery after the death of Helen's father, Pat McGlaughlin in the 1930s.
   Charles McGlaughlin: He purchased the Billiard Hall from W.J. Skahill in 1936.
   Skelly Service Station: Was built by Ed Mohrhauser and his father, Clem Schimmer drove the tank wagon for them in 1936. On December 3, 1937, Lawrence Schimmer took over the management of this station, and his sister, Lizzie helped him in the station. At the same time Clem took over the tank wagon. Lawrence and Lizzie were still servicing cars in 1970.
   Vincent Barry: He took over the management of Barry Motor after his father retired.
   R.C. Keitges: He opened the Farmers Store in 1940 and installed the locker plant in 1941.
   Doctors: Dr. Leo Wilson, Dr. Edward Koziol, and Dr. Elson, 1930s.
   Clarence E. Johnson: "Smokey" and his wife, Bertha Heiter Johnson had come to Danbury in 1913, and they had 3 children at that time, Daniel Ryan, Eva, and Mary. Another child, Guy was born on April 7, 1917. The Johnsons' children attended St. Patrick's Academy. Mr. Johnson was hired to be manager for the new Opera House which had just been built in 1912.
   He also bought The Danbury Review from C.L. Adams about the same time. In 1919 he made some changes. He installed a linotype machine which allowed a printer to print more in a shorter length of time. Mr. Johnson purchased the present Review office (near German Mutual Office) and moved his equipment there from the rear part of the Durst building in the early 1920s. The Review office up to this time had been in various locations. In 1932 when the town celebrated their 50th anniversary since incorporation, Smokey printed an extra large Jubilee edition.
   About 1920 they gave Smokey the privilege to rent the hall to the various schools for basketball. The floor of the Opera House served as a gymnasium to both the St. Patrick's and public schools until the new school was built in 1929.
   Smokey was very sports minded, and he was a licensed referee. He often taught students plays and also refereed them during practice. He was a coach at St. Patrick's in 1931, and he had an outstanding team. The team had won the Diocesan Tournament at Dubuque that year. They were having a national contest at Chicago, and after another team had declined an offer to compete, they asked the St. Patrick's team to go to Chicago. Smokey took his team composed of Center Earl Fitzpatrick, Guards Charles McGlaughlin and Joe Barry, Forwards Jack Colbert and LeRoy Barry, and Substitutes Paul Gahan, Mick McGarrity, and Guy Johnson. They were defeated during the second round of elimination, but Danbury was very proud of them.
   Mr. Johnson sold The Danbury Review to Fred Freeman in 1932. Guy had just finished school, Eva was attending college, and Mary was running a beauty shop. The family moved to Parkersburg, IA. Guy married Genevieve Cosgrove on April 15, 1938. He enlisted in the air force in World War II and became a pilot. He had advanced to Lieutenant when he was killed in action on April 1, 1944 over Germany. Smokey was killed in a car accident, and Bertha died in May 1950; leaving to mourn her were Daniel Ryan and Eva and Mary.
   Migration to California, 1935-1945: Danbury's population decreased in these years. People were "hard up' in these years because of the Depression, failure of crops, etc., but the farmer was still better off than the working man. They, in order to survive, had to sign up with W.P.A., a government project, and accept welfare. The W.P.A. built roads and other local projects, all work being done with shovel and dirt hauled with wheelbarrow. This was to give more men work. They put a road to grade northeast of Danbury and spaded down Rosauer Hill southeast of town.
   Many young married men left with families for California to secure work at a government arsenal where wages were better. Families leaving were Earl Bernards, Ray Wintzes, Joe Wielings, Leo Hayes, Clarence Collins, Art Hayes, Charles Weltes, Lou Mitchells, Al Woltermans, Berny Wesslings, Ben Reimers, Julia Bowers and daughter Irene, Philip Lenz and others.
   Opera House Movies: Mr. C.E. Johnson had movies in the Opera House, but he wanted out by 1932. He sold the movie equipment to Phillip Papich of Madrid, IA. Mr. Papich made a few minor changes and operated the business strictly on movies. He found he was losing money, so he sold out to Irving Keller. Irving, too, lost money. These two men were still showing silent movies. Keller closed the doors. The Opera board met in January 1931. Through the efforts of M.J. Nathan, a new manager, the Opera House was remodeled into a modern movie house with a slightly inclined floor, a new entrance, new lighting, and the installation of Western Electric Talking Picture equipment. Talking pictures were invented in 1928. The new theatre was called the Danbury Theatre. Mr. Nathan then ran the theater a number of years with good financial returns. They sold the theatre to Carl Ortner, but the Depression years were approaching, and the people were beginning to feel hard up, so in a short time Carl sold the movie house again. It had folded by 1944 and was not able to be used for much other than a theatre with the slanting floors.
The Danbury Library
   In 1940 a group of townswomen interested in a town library met and discussed ways and means to get one started. A drive was first made in the town to collect as many books as possible, suitable for a library. The books were sorted and carded. There was a small building unused across the street from Canty's Filling Station south, and they could use it rent-free. Some shelves and furniture were donated. The women wanted to make money so as to buy books. These were war years, and both tin and old paper were valuable. They made several paper and tin drives and persuaded trucker Henry Dimig to haul the salvage to Sioux City Junk Yard where it could be sold. They sold a couple of truckloads and received a considerable amount of money.
   The first chairman of the Danbury Library Association was Mrs. Henry Dimig, and the first librarian was Dorene Towers, daughter of Burr and Ethel Towers.
Methods of Farming Changed
   In 1915 there were 26,493,000 horses. Every farmer owned from 6 to 8 work horses. Even though the first tractor was invented in 1910, very few farmers owned one because the farmers thought them too costly and not reliable. After World War I there was a shortage of horses as so many had been killed during the war. The tractor then began to replace the horse. Horses, too, the farmer thought, were cheaper as they had feed to give horses and they would have to buy gasoline.
   Danbury had several implement dealers that sold tractors and other farm machinery. International, John Deere, Case, Fordson dealers were all in Danbury during the 1940s and 1950s. Besides selling tractors, they all carried parts. The models each year seemed to improve, and gradually they got a little larger. The other machinery improved, too, and by 1970 they had a machine that could pick and shell corn right in the field, and by putting on another head they could also combine beans with the same machine. Every farmer has 2 or 3 tractors now. The big companies demanded so much from dealers that they all had to go out of business. One thing they demanded was a big showroom, and that would mean building a new place of business up to specifications. For parts in 1970, you sometimes had to send to Des Moines or some large city, and you often were laid up with the machine for days. There are a shortage of mechanics also, because these new machines were more complex. Danbury currently has no machinery dealers nor has anyway that sells parts.
Cattle Raising
   The first cattle in midwestern United States were Texas Longhorns, a Spanish breed imported from Mexico by the Spaniards. The Hereford was imported from England about 125 years ago. They were tall and rangy. Emphasis then was a rugged cow, one capable of caring for herself and her calf. Cows then had to protect their caves from wolves. To protect the calf, the cows formed a circle around their young at night.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cattle Raising
   Some farmers took an interest in cross-breeding, and through the years developed a less rangy animal, a more blocky-type. The Schrunk brothers, Otto A. Schrank, Charley Schrunk, and George Schrunk were all interested in good beef cattle, and they specialized in the field of raising thoroughbred Shorthorns.
Hog Raising
   The first hogs raised in the midwest were called "prairie rooters." They ran wild in this are in 1854 when the first settlers arrived. They had long legs, tough bristles, and mixed colors. An English breed, Suffolk was introduced for cross breeding with the native hogs. As early as 1870 breeds that we know now such as Poland Chinas and Chester Whites became popular breeds. Hog Cholera was always a threat, and often there was so much of it in the country that the whole atmosphere was impregnated with the stench. Many lost their entire herds. The double treatment for hog cholera was introduced in 1908.
   The butcher hog then raised was 300 lbs. as the lard was essential. A progressive hog raiser in 1890 cooked rations for his hogs. This was later replaced by the slop barrel and soaked feed.
   Men in this area raising purebred hogs were Willard C. Hayden and son, Roy C. Hayden, Joe Welte, Otto A Schrank, and George Mohrhauser.
Chicken Raising
   Chickens were left to rustle for themselves 100 years ago. They roosted in trees, the barn, etc. They laid their eggs all over the farmyard, mangers in barn, haystacks, in the week patch, or wherever the found a hideaway. As late as 1890 it was believed a chicken should not be confined. Three hundred chickens were considered an extra large flock. Farmers also fed chickens cooked feed. The first breed of chickens developed in the U.S. by crossing were the Dominiques. The Rhode Island Red was developed about 1854. Incubators weren't used until 1875 in the U.S. Farmers' wives set the hens on eggs and hatched their own chickens until 1890 when the incubator became more popular. Baby chicks were sold commercially by 1930.
   The early fairs held here created an interest in good show animals and poultry, and many exhibited at these fairs. The women took a special interest in chickens and flowers.
Rural Electrification Act (R.E.A.)
   Up to 1930 a farmer used the kerosene lamp or a gas light to light his home. A few farmers had their own light plants, either battery or carbide plants. When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected in 1932, he said every farm home should be wired for electricity, as farm people should be able to enjoy the same comforts as city people. Wires were strung soon after his election, and anyone could have electricity by paying for wiring into their buildings and for the fixtures.
Ministers, School Administration, Clerks
Rev. William J. Witter 1929-1932
Rev. Marion Howdeshell 1932-1934
Rev. Charles H. Bergman 1934-1937
Rev. G. Harold Hahn 1937-1941. During his stay the church was incorporated from a community church to Methodist Church, and the name Episcopal was dropped. The Epworth League became Youth Fellowship, and the Ladies Aid became Women's Society of Christian Service (W.S.C.S.)
St. Mary's: Rev. A.J. Arndorfer replaced Rev. E.J. Jungblut in 1937.
St. Patrick's: Rev. Francis McNeill
   Danbury Public School:
C.T. Murphy was superintendent from 1936 until 1944.
Township Clerk: Flora Betts
Town Clerk: Lucy Colbert
   New road to grade and bridge 1931: There were not too many improvements during the years 1930 to 1942. These were the years we were still feeling the depression, and now we are involved in another war with Japan. The county did improve the stretch of road south out of town and built a new bridge over the Maple River in 1936. It was located 550' north of the S.E. Corner, S.W. 1/4 section 27, over the Maple River. It was built 120' long and 20' wide with continuous I-beams. Graves Construction of Melvin, Iowa, put in this bridge. The old road had flooded for years, so the new road was put to a high grade to keep the water from flooding over it. Much dirt was hauled at this time, and high grades of dirt were built along the banks of the river. The town, too, had to do some improving along the highway.
   Danbury Public School: In 1930 after the schoolhouse was completed, Graves Construction paved the block in front of the building on East Street.
   Knights of Columbus Council again established in Danbury: The Council started in 1915 had become inactive, so in 1940 after Fr. A.J. Arndorfer arrived, he constantly pushed for the reestablishment of this Catholic organization. He planned for this to be an auspicious occasion. Twenty-six new candidates were initiated with many transfers and reinstatements besides. There were 26 charter members and 44 former members for a total of 70 members coming from Danbury, Oto, Mapleton, and Anthon. On August 24, 1940, the candidates taking the degree work were William Barry, Jack Colbert, Raymond Erlemeier, Wayne Ortner, Robert Sexton, Mr. Riedmiller, Leonard Reimer, Walter Slota, Norbert Wessling, and Wayne Seuntjens. A 3-course banquet was served to the Knights of Columbus at St. Mary's Hall, basement of the church, by the Rosary Society.
   Pearl Harbor Day: On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and the following day U.S. declared war with Japan, and this was the beginning of WWII. The Japanese had slipped into Pearl Harbor with submarines and attacked U.S. ships in the harbor by surprise. Many of the sailors were off duty. All day long on that December day reports kept coming in by radio as to what had happened and the damage the attack had caused. The Japanese had planned to take over the U.S. There seemed to be shortages of gasoline, tires and sugar, so Rationing Boards were set up, and these items were rationed. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president at that time. Germany was ruled by Adolph Hitler, and he was at war with France and England. Russia, too, became involved when Hitler reached out for more territory. The U.S. was left to fight their own battles because England, France, and their allies were already at war since September 1, 1939. A good deal of this war was fought at sea, but it was the dropping of the atom bomb on the Japanese that brought the end to the war. The Japanese agreed to make peace on V.J. Day, September 2, 1945. The American boys were then sent to Europe to help end the war there. V.E. Day was May 8, 1946.
   Danbury lost six favorite sons in this war: Donald Ahlwardt, so of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Ahlwardt (Air Corps); Elzie Ahlwardt, son of Mr. and Mrs. Elzie Ahlwardt (Navy); Byron Fischer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Guy Fischer (Air Corps); Alfred Schimmer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Schimmer (Army) killed by sniper; Marvin Frum, son of Mr. and Mrs. Millard Frum (Air Corps); and Bernard Koetz, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Koetz Army).

Businessmen in Danbury 1932-1935
Mayor: Dan Leget
Town Council: H.B. Canty
R.J. Colbert
M.D. Cord
Ben Klein
Henry Fitzpatrick
Treasurer: Flora Betts
Secretary: Lucy Colbert
Assessor: Mable McGarrity
City Weigher: Sam Cahill
City Marshall and Pump Man: Frank Palmer
Night Watchman:
Tom Welsch
Fire Chief: Dan Leget
Asst. Joe Reimer
Postmaster: E.P. Patten
Rural Carriers:
James Harrigan
Dick Smith
Collins Hotel: Mrs. John Collins, Prop.
Insurance and Iowa Public Service: Flora Betts
Insurance: M.D. Cord
Farmers Savings Bank: Cashier Frank Kemp; Asst. Cashier Frank Wessling; Directors C.F. Seibold, Patrick Barry, Wier Murphy, T.A. Reimer, Henry Albers, and John Treiber
Harness Shop and Shoe Repair: George Elskamp
Pool and Billiard Hall:
W.J. Skahill
Maple Valley Lumber Co.: P.C. Keitges
Fullerton Lumber Co.:
William Smith
Danbury Theatre:
Carl Ortner
Barry Garage:
Pat Barry and Sons
Blacksmiths: Andy Hanson
J.B. Joyner
Restaurants: Art Tatman, Cook Mrs. Dan Rooney
Mrs. Winifred Rampley
Folkins Bakery and Restaurant
Coffee Shop, Flora Meisenhelder
Dentist: Dr. Hal Richards
Veterinarian: Dr. Thompson
Tie Barn: Louis Pierce
Barbers: Jack Evans
William McWade
Jack Eghrig
Andrew Schimmer
Martin Foley
Clyde Young
Farm Implements:
Bart Barry
Danbury Hardware and Undertaking:
Henry Fitzpatrick
Plumbing and Wiring:
Pat Fitzpatrick
Druggist: W.E. Schuyler
Reimer Brothers:
Tony - Danbury Elevator and Farm Implements
Peter - Trucking Service
Joe - Garage and Feeds
Dray and Ice Man: Ed Tangeman; Woody Cloud, Asst.
Northwestern Bell Telephone: Mrs. Alice Tatman
Blanche Amsden (Mrs. Vincent Barry)
Mrs. Dan Leget
Meat Market:
Wenz Osterholtz
Wenz Gruber
Danbury Cleaner:
Clem Durst
Doctor: Dr. Edward Koziol, came in 1935
General Merchandise
Keitges Cash Store - John and Matthew Keitges
Crilly Brothers - Charley and Alfred Crilly
Dick Colbert - groceries and meats
John the Clothier: John Abraham, 1932, became John's Mercantile, left about 1936
Produce House:
John Kinney and son, Nook
Albert Riedmiller
Hardware and Undertaking: Leo Matt
Beauty Nook:
Mary Johnson
Vi's Beauty Shop 1933, Rear of Eghrig's Barber Shop
Filling Stations: H.B. Canty
Ed Mohrhauser
Fred Schrunk
Repair Shop and Mechanics: Barney Schmidt
Jeweler and Repair:
Dan Leget
Pat McGlaughlin, Prop.; Stanley Meisenheld and James Conway, Clerks
Contractor and Builder:
Joe Granter
Danbury Review: Clarence Johnson
Fred Freeman took over in 1932
Farmers Mutual Insurance: John F. Mohr
J.B. Joyner
Milk Man: Leo Hayes
William Sevening
Shoe Repair and Canvasses: E.R. Keller
Real Estate: Mark Durst
Chevrolet Car Dealer:
William Weber
Truckers: Frank Peters
Leo Keleher
Fred and Herb Schrunk
L.W. Pierce - Ben Diment, Driver
Chris Petersen - Ralph Cram, driver
Peter Reimer
Henry Dimig started 1932
Popcorn Stands:
Henry Richards
Earl Fitzpatrick
Martha Schuyler
Hamburger Specialist at Farm Sales:
Patty Cunningham

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Businessmen in Danbury 1932-1935
   Young people working in Danbury in 1930s:
      Phillip Lenz - Clerk in Keitges Store
      Vincent Rogers - Clerk in Abrahams Store
      Joseph Rogers - Clerk in Abrahams Store
      W.C. Collins - Foreman at Barry's Garage
      Eddie Drea - Mechanic at Barry's Garage
      Earl Barry - Car salesman at Barry's Garage
      Lucy Callaghan - Bookkeeper at Barry's
      Ernest Towers - Schrunk Service Station
      Chuck Welte - Sinclair Service Station
      Woody Cloud - Ice Man Assistant
      Bill Cram - Canty Service Station
      Ralph Cram - Truck Driver
      Claire Keitges - Crilly Brothers
      Leone Schrunk - Crilly's Store
      Donald Fitzpatrick - Fitzpatrick Hardware
      Jesse Tatman - Danbury Public School custodian 1928-1955
      Patty Houlihan - Custodian at St. Patrick's Academy many years
      John Fuchs
All Danbury Gets Involved in Basketball

Glenn Patterson, Mayor 1942-1946
James Morrisey, Mayor
J.B. Scott, Mayor 1950-1952
   When Glenn Patterson was mayor in 1942 the following men served on the council: Wayne Keitges, LeRoy Barry, Edward Drea, Manley Durst, and Lloyd Creswell. In 1944-1946 the council was the same except Vincent Barry took the place of LeRoy Barry.
   The council members were the same when James Morrisey was mayor 1946-1950. James B. Scott resigned as mayor before he had served his term. He resigned in April 1952. He was replaced by Charles R. Anderson. Flora Betts was treasurer of the township at this time.
   About 60 new ordinances were made on September 5, 1942, when Glenn Patterson was mayor, all under Ordinance 100. A few of them were the following:

Fire Department Buys New Fire Truck
   Edward Drea was fire chief in 1942. In 1943 the firemen purchased the north part of the Tie Barn from the county for $500. They converted the space to a dance hall and made other improvements. They called the dance hall "Dreamland Dance Pavilion." It became a popular dance hall, and many famous orchestras played there. They operated the hall from 1943 to 1947. They then advertised that they would sell the hall to the highest bidder. Bids were to be sealed, and they were to be accompanied with a check covering 10% of the proposed purchase price. It was sold to Roy Sanders for $1,680.00.
   Many of the farmers had expressed their desire to help the firemen raise the money for the truck. Mrs. Ezra Ives was the first to give a $25 donation to buy the truck. Piney Freeman then printed Recognition Certificates, and these were given to anyone making a donation of at least $25. Edward Drea, Lloyd Creswell, Carl Moser, Clem Schimmer, Harry Mehrings, Tony Reimer, Lee Collins and Ray Ives were selected to see every farmer in the surrounding area for a donation, and they hoped this would be the final drive to raise the money for the fire truck. The bought the new truck in 1948.
Changes Made in our Catholic Churches and Schools 1943-1950
   Death of Rev. A.J. Arndorfer, 1943: Rev. A.J. Arndorfer came to Danbury on June 30, 1937. He was born at St. Benedict, Iowa, on August 23, 1894. He was ordained a priest at the Sioux City Cathedral of Epiphany by the Most Rev. Edmund Heelan, Bishop of the Sioux City Diocese. He started his career as a priest as assistant pastor at Milford, Templeton, and Granville. He served as pastor at Ledyard and Charter Oak and came to Danbury from Charter Oak.
   Fr. Arndorfer was an aggressive and indefatigable worker for the advancement of his faith and for the community in which he lived. The school children loved him. He was a craftsman and loved working with wood. He taught the Catholic boys manual training, and that was the first and only time it was offered at St. Mary's. He also taught religion and some other subjects at St. Patrick's.
   He became ill and was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital at Sioux City on August 22, 1943. He did not seem to improve, so he was taken to Rochester, MN, to the Mayo Clinic. He died on Sunday, September 12, 1943, at the age of 49 years. An escort remained with the body at all hours once it was brought to the church. Parish groups recited the Rosary hourly during the day, and the Knights of Columbus remained on vigil and recited the Rosary hourly at night. Funeral services were held on the following Wednesday. At least 800 persons had gathered for his last rites; 80 priests were present. A sound system carried the Mass to many on the parish lawn as all could not be seated inside the church. Burial was at Benedict, Iowa.
   Rev. Anthony A. Bausch: Reverend A.A. Bausch was sent to St. Mary's to replace Rev. A.J. Arndorfer. Rev. Bausch was born on August 22, 1886, at Hull, Iowa. He was ordained a priest on June 14, 1919. He was assistant pastor at St. Joseph's in LeMars, Granville, and Ashton, and he also served at Remsen before coming to Danbury.
   Rev. Karl Hansen: Rev. Hansen was sent as an assist to Fr. McNeill at St. Patrick's as he was getting old and was incapable of caring for both church and school. It seemed the scars of the dispute between the German and Irish Catholics were beginning to heal by this time, and the mentioned, Fr. Arndorfer, Fr. Bausch, Fr. Hansen, along with Fr. Grady (the priest that afterwards replaced Fr. Bausch) were the ones responsible for this. There had been many mixed marriages from the two parishes. There were still some that held grudges, but the ill feeling was gradually lessening. During the years 1940 to 1950 there were a chain of events that brought a better relationship. Events were the following: Fr. Arndorfer being a member of St. Patrick's Academy faculty, the reorganization of the Knights of Columbus where all Catholic men from both churches were invited to join, and the good relationship between Fr. Karl Hansen and Fr. Anthony Bausch.
   St. Patrick's did not have enough financial support to keep both church and school going. They hired a lay teacher to coach basketball, and that was costly. St. Mary's was short on room in their school. Rev. Bausch and Rev. Hansen both announced to their parishioners the summer of 1949 that the two Catholic schools, St. Patrick's Academy and St. Mary's, would merge. The seventh and eighth grades of St. Mary's would henceforth attend St. Patrick's Academy. A kindergarten class was also started that fall at St. Patrick's for all children of both schools. Sr. Basil took charge of the kindergarten. This was not continued, however. St. Mary's continued with just the six grades and a considerable amount of more room.
   Fr. McNeill became inactive and reached retirement age. He wanted to remain in Danbury, so he continued to live in the rectory of St. Patrick's where he remained until his death.
   In 1950 Rev. Anthony Bausch of St. Mary's was assigned to Ruthven, Iowa. The Most Rev. Bishop Joseph M. Mueller D.D. appointed Rev. Sylvester Grady as pastor for the two churches at Danbury. This assignment carried with it the program of uniting the parishes of St. Patrick's and St. Mary's. With the zealous cooperation of his assistant Rev. Karl Hansen and the generous spirit of Christian charity manifested by the good people of both parishes, the task of unification was perfected. It was thought the Catholic grade and high school could keep in operation this way as the financial burden could be carried by both parishes. They announced in 1951 that hitherto all members of St. Patrick's Parish should attend St. Mary's Church. The high school then was called Danbury Catholic. The 6 grade school as St. Mary's and the church St. Mary's. St. Patrick's had been staffed with the Order of Presentation Sisters and St. Mary's by Sisters of St. Francis, but after merging, a new order, the Sisters of St. Francis of Mt. Clare, Clinton, IA, staffed the schools. They had rooms in St. Patrick's Academy. The old St. Patrick's Church was converted to a hall for the Knights of Columbus. Dances and meeting were also held there. A lay teacher was hired as coach of basketball. Fr. Hansen assisted Fr. Grady during 1950-51. Fr. Raymond Calkins was then assigned as assistant in 1951.
Danbury Public School
   Superintendent Wayne Beery came to Danbury in 1944, and he was also hired to coach basketball. No doubt the years during his stay here were the most exciting years in Danbury history. Two of the teams which he coached went to the state tournament, then held in Iowa City. The 1945-46 team were called the Little Maroons of Danbury. They won 32 games and lost 3 during the entire basketball season. Members of the team were Richard "Dick" Riecks and Jack Barry, forwards; Elton Tuttle, center; and Kendall "Skip" Sexton and George Schuyler, guards. Substitutes were Chuck Swanger, Charles Brady, Tom Jensen, Dick Petersen, Earl Pierce, and Donald Schimmer. This was the first Danbury team ever in Danbury's history to win the right to compete in a state tournament. Large crowds of admirers and persons interested in sports had followed to their games during the whole season. It was an honor, Danbury thought, just to be one of the 16 towns in the he state chosen to attend. The best players Danbury had were the five on the team. Substitutes were fair players. It didn't look too promising when Danbury came on the floor with just 6 substitutes and the competing teams 15 or 20. Danbury played the whole tournament with only the team players of five, and their competition with much larger schools than Danbury was pretty tough. The first game was with Crawfordville which they won easily. The second game with the Clinton Mighty River Kings, and this team was picked to take the tournament honors. Danbury played a hard game and won 25-24. The spectators in the Field House could believe that this little team could be eliminating Clinton, and the crowd went wild. The announced stressed that this was a high school of only 42 pupils that had come up against Clinton. The next night they returned and had to play Iowa City, another big school with a very strong team. For 29 minutes of this game Danbury was either ahead or tied with Iowa City, but then their reserve strength ran out, and they lost this game by one point. This team won the admiration of the whole state. They won fourth place in the tournament and brought back a beautiful trophy. This team won during the year 1945-46 seven trophies. Cheerleaders were Betty Ahlwardt, Betty Oberreuter, and Kathleen Granter.
   Practically the whole town of Danbury followed the tam to several of the local tournament sand to the state tournament at Iowa City. On Sunday when they returned home a large caravan of cars met them at Carroll and escorted them home where more cars met them. Danbury residents and the Battle Creek High School Band were waiting for them at Danbury. Mayor Glenn Patterson gave a short congratulatory speech upon their arrival. On Friday, April 12, 1946, the town showed their admiration for the players by giving a reception to the team and coach. A banquet was held in the school gymnasium, and the KRNT radio station from Des Moines broadcast the event fro the Danbury gymnasium.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Danbury Public School
   Bert McGrain, a sports writer of the Des Moines Register, after the Clinton game, wrote the following, 'They're practically dismantling the Fieldhouse as this is written, for another of those unbelievable games has just been played. Danbury's team from Woodbury County, a school of 42 pupils has just felled Clinton, the top favorite for the Iowa High School Basketball Championship. The fans, most of them just sticking around to watch Danbury play out their commitment, are now showing the Danbury boys their appreciation of being one of the grittiest teams in a most courageous stand in Iowa tournament history. Some of the Clinton players looked on almost stunned in bewilderment. The fans have carried the boys off the court and into their dressing rooms."
   The King of the B's, 1946-47 boys basketball team of Danbury, had the best record of any Danbury team. They, too, went to the state tournament at the Fieldhouse in Iowa City. In 1947 the best teams in the state played each other irregardless of the size of the school. There were no classes in the state competition Players on the team in 1946-47 were forwards Dick Riecks and Dick Petersen, center Elton Tuttle, and guards Charles Swanger and Kendall "Skip" Sexton. This outstanding team lost only one game out of 35 games played, and the game lost was the final game in the state tournament. They lost to Sioux City Central by a score of 27-29, and to a team that won first in the state. They won 7 trophies that year. Cheerleaders were Beverly Riecks, Betty Ahlwardt, and Mary Lou Schrank.
Danbury Public School Music 1947-1954
   Wayne Seipp came to Danbury as music instructor the fall of 1947. He immediately began to organize a music program by securing music instruments for pupils, giving music lessons, etc. He organized a 44 piece band along with several singing and instrumental groups and some soloists. The band put on several concerts the first year, and, although they had no band uniforms, they entered the music contests in the spring of 1948 along with several small vocal and instrumental groups. Those winning Excellent I ratings at the state contest in the spring of 1948 were the following: A vocal trio composed of Dorothy Nordman, Kay Keitges and Wanda Tuttle; a saxophone quartet composed of Jane Treiber, Wanda Tuttle, Gordon McCleerey, and Perry Keitges; and a saxophone solo by Bill Durst.
   The year of 1948-49 was an outstanding year for Danbury High. The band went on to the state contest on May 15, 1949, and they competed against 10 other bands, some being much larger bands, and they won an Excellent I rating. The Danbury Review said about this band,
   May 15, 1949, the entire community extends hearty congratulations to the Danbury High School band for winning first place in the state music contest. Twenty-one months ago a group of beginners started to learn the art of what they call music. The going was rough, but they stuck to their task until success crowned their efforts, and another high school band was born in Danbury under the leadership of Mr. Wayne Seipp. The band gave Wednesday night concerts during the summer. In music contests they brought home their share of laurels, often winning over larger schools. The biggest win, though was to win first in the state over 10 other bands in Class D schools, schools under 100 enrollment."
   In 1949-50 the band had increased in size to 48 members. Several small groups won I ratings that year at the state contest. In 1950-51 the band went out as a marching band. The Band Club raised money enough to buy uniforms, and the whole community showed a great deal of pride in their band when they marched at several events which took place in the area. Bill Durst was the only one in high school to go on to state competition that year, and he won an excellent I rating on his saxophone solo.
   The years of 1952 and 1953 were also good years. In 1953 the marching band, girls glee club, mixed chorus, and 15 small groups entered the music contest. The band, along with 9 of the smaller groups went on to Galva to the state contest in May where all Danbury entries won. This made 5 Excellent I ratings for the band in 5 years, 2 of those wins at the state contest level.
Band members in 1953
Karen Hopkins
Raona Petersen
Mary Gilbert
Sara Otto
Marilyn Reuber
Jean Creswell
Laura Kinney
Kay Beery
Donna Scott
Shirley Baker
Elaine Ahlwardt
Wilma Petersen
E.B. Horns:
Jim Nordman
Roger Friedrichsen
Richard Ives
Ina Jensen
Lynn Seipp
Verna Wessling
Joan Creswell
Gordon McCleerey
Jon Scott
Janis Hopkins
Meredith Wulf
Kay Gilbert
Mary Tomkins
Bass Horns:
Lawrence Stolz
Dale Tuttle
Cornets: Larry McCleerey
Albert Bartels
Jim Treiber
Jim McCleerey
Earl Wenger
Linda McCleerey
Rollie Schrank
Ellard Jensen
Roger Wonder
Bruce Clark
Linus Wessling
Roger Scott
Margaret Hopkins
Kay Rotnicke
Barbara Riecks
Ardis Scheer
Joleen Jensen
Gwen Petersen
Jackie Weary
Janice Wulf
Richard Friedrichsen
Janice Nordman
Mr. Wayne Seipp
   Mr. Wayne Seipp left Danbury in 1954, and Branch D. Ver Hoef followed him as music director at Danbury High. The music continued in superiority under his leadership. He organized a junior high group called Cadet Band. In the spring of 1956 the band again won a first at the state music contest, as did four soloists. They were Jim Nordman on baritone, Laura Kinney on saxophone, Al Bartels on cornet, Elaine Ahlwardt on clarinet, and Ellard Jensen on alto.
Danbury Public Baseball Team 1956
   The 1956 Maroon Baseball Team achieved the finest record of any baseball team in Danbury Pubic School's record. Members of that team were coached by Kent Cornish, Coach D. Foreman, and Assistant Coach B. Berry. Boys playing on that team were Lloyd Neville, Ned Wulf, Richard Seibold, B. Brown, Jim McCleerey, E. Reitz, Bill Creswell, Jim Nordman, R.M. and Roger Freidrichsen, Rollie Schrank, Albert Bartels, and Harry Gilbert. They were defeated in the substate tournament by St. Mary's of Larchwood 6-10.
Fires in Danbury 1942-1952
   Schuyler Drug Store, 1943: There was a fire in Schuyler Drug Store in 1943. The fire was in the rear of the store. He had been in business since 1910. He then sold his fixtures and drug supplies that weren't too badly damaged. The building sat vacant until after World War II. Two war veterans, Robert McElwain and Clark Weary then rented the building, and the store was repaired and remodeled. They opened the McElwain and Weary Drug Store approximately 1946.
   The Danbury Tie Barn: burned on November 30, 1950, the second time it had burned. The south portion of the barn was used for storage of Woodbury County machinery and other equipment, a portion was being used by Lloyd Creswell as a repair shop and the north section was Starland Ballroom, a dance hall operated by Roy Sanders. The roof of the building fell in an hour after the fire started. The Mapleton and Battle Creek fire departments were called as homes and businesses around the building were in danger. Roy Sanders' loss was estimated at $5,000. Henry Fitzpatrick who was Woodbury County Supervisor estimated the loss of county equipment and the building to $15,000-$17,000. Mr. Creswell lost mostly parts as some of his equipment was moved from the building. Jeeps belonging to the mail carriers were brought out safely, but an old buggy owned by Dick Smith and used on the mail route years ago was burned.
Improvements 1942-1952
   Northwestern Bell Telephone: In 1946 Northwestern Bell Telephone installed the dial system of telephoning in Danbury. There was not a local office here after 1946, and no local operators.
   Public Library: On February 5, 1946, the Danbury councilmen voted to establish a free library for the town. Since 1940 it had been in operation after a few interested women in the community had started it. Now in 1946 the town would sponsor and finance it. A board of 5 trustees were appointed by the mayor and council members for a 6 year term. Trustees had to reside in the community and be over 21 years of age. There was to be no compensation for this work, and the library board was to report to the town fathers at the end of each year.
Changes on Main Street
   Beauty Shop: Vi Drenkhahn (Mrs. Loren Rogge) built a new shop in 1948 on a lot north of Crilly's Store.
   Tony Reimer: Implement Dealer, builds a place of business on Highway in 1949 so as to display International trucks, machinery, etc.
   Earl Fitzpatrick: He became the new owner of the confectionery, buying the business from his brother and wife, Joe and Helen McGlaughlin Fitzpatrick. Earl remodels the building to a restaurant. He operated it a few years, and several families have operated since then: Mix Hayes family, the Garnetts, Christina Peters, Francine Fitzpatrick (Mrs. Loyal Treiber), and others. Edward Krueger took possession in 1963, and he still operates it today.
   Dr. McGill: He was the town doctor.
   Dr. D.W. Glascock: The veterinarian from the early 1930s left Danbury about 1939 or 1940. Danbury then was without a veterinarian for a time. C.R.S. Anderson, president of the community club in 1940, corresponded with the head of Animal Husbandry Department in Ames, requesting a veterinarian who had just completed his training. Dr. Robert Sheumaker, a native of Tingley, IA, came to Danbury soon after finishing his schooling. He married Jean Anderson, the daughter of C.R.S. Anderson and Hope Seibold Anderson in 1944. They had four daughters, Susan (Mrs. McLuen), Ellen, Joan and Nancy.
   Fullerton Lumberyard: Manager Harold Scott, followed by Walter S. Nordman.
   Colbert's Market: Richard "Dick" Colbert, owner since 1919, died on March 19, 1945. A nephew, John "Jack" Colbert took over the store after his uncle's death. Jack married Jane Anderson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C.R. S. Anderson. They had children Robert, Richard, Thomas, David, Sarah and Mary Jane.
   Farmers Store: This store had been standing vacant for a time. R.C. "Claire" Keitges and his wife Mable "Babe" Treiber Keitges and twin babies Patrick and Patricia returned from California in 1939. In 1940 Claire opened the store known as the Braig Store originally, and he called the store Farmers Store. The next year he installed locker-freezers. He operated the store until 1948, selling out to Donald and Ann Weber Fitzpatrick.
   Keitges Kash Store: John Keitges, Jr. took over the management of Keitges Kash Store after the death of his father, John Sr.
   Machinery Dealers: were Carl Moser (John Deere), LeRoy Barry (Case), Tony Reimer (International), and Barry's Garage (Ford tractor).

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Improvements 1942-1952
   Trucking Business: The trucking business was starting to grow in 1930. In late 1920s a few had started in the trucking business in Danbury - Cliff Dunnington, and the Schrunk Brothers Fred and Herbert. The roads then were mostly dirt; the trucker worked long hours and suffered extreme hardships. In 1930 several young men started trucking. Danbury could support a large number of truckers as there always were many hog and cattle feeders in this area. At one time there were a dozen or more trucks were in operation from Danbury. Some started, but found it too exhausting as they lost much sleep, loaded early in the mornings, and were at it long hours. Some truckers starting in these years were: Herman and John Wulf, Peter Reimer, Louis Pierce, William Weber, Leo Keleher, Chris Petersen, Leo Stodden, Frank Peters, and Henry Dimig. Arnold Grell and Al Mohrhauser got into the business in the 1940s. Al bought Peter ReimerÕs truck after PeteÕs death.
   Danbury had waited so long for the strip of road between Danbury and Mapleton to be paved. Each spring this strip of road was almost impassable, and the truck would go down in mud to the axle. There were no semis then, because of this impossible road.
   Sometimes a big feeder would ship out and use every truck available. They would all try to load at the same time, helping each other load. Most hauling was to Sioux City and Omaha.
   There were some changes made by 1946. Herman Wulf sold out in 1946 and went back to the farm. Arnold Grell sold out to his brother, Fred Grell in the spring of 1948, and he went back to farming. Henry Dimig sold out to Melvin and George Pithan, and he also went back to farming in 1948.
   Methodist Ministers: Reverend Leonard Rowse was at Danbury 1941-1944, and Rev. Garner Osborn was here from 1944 to 1951. He was a nature lover and planted many shrubs and trees about town. The church suffered a damaging fire during his stay. The church was then repaired and remodeled.
   Township Clerk: Flora Betts.
   Saddle Club: A saddle club was organized in 1942. The first officers were President John Christophersen and Vice President Dale Hall. An arena was built in the park in front of the grandstand, and many who were interested in riding horses came regularly to compete in different events, called Circle D Saddle Club.
   Robert Christophersen, son of the president was just a child when this club was organized, and he often rode and competed even then. Today, 1972, he rides in rodeos all over the U.S. In 1972 he won 4 trophies, 1st in steer wrestling, calf and ribbon roping, and all round cowboy honors in one rodeo. At National Finals in Oklahoma City, Bob won 2nd out of 15 cowboys competing in steer wrestling and $462 in prize money. He has won a considerable amount of money in this sport.
   Danbury WomenÕs Club 1949:   The WomenÕs Club, organized in 1949 is dual in purpose, social and constructive. The Danbury Club is affiliated with the General Federation of WomenÕs Clubs which this past year (1966) celebrated its 75th anniversary. The club donates time and money to different projects. They buy towels hemmed by the blind to provide swimming transportation for the children that want to take swimming lessons at the Mapleton pool, send Christmas gifts to the Mental Hospital at Cherokee, give a UNICEF party for the children on Halloween Eve, give a May basket of fruits, candy etc. to the Woodbury County Home, and provide a reading program for the children of the community during the summer months. This year they donated to extra lighting in the city park. A tree is planted in the Park for every deceased person that had been a member of the DanburyÕs Women Club. Each year a style show is held, and garments sewn by Danbury women are styled. ChildrenÕs clothing are included. A Master of Ceremonies introduces each subject and explains the clothes worn by the models. Sometimes a small lunch is served. Each fall a flower show is held, showing house plants and attractive flower arrangements.
   Officers for this club in 1966 were Helen Wenger (Mrs. George Pithan), President; Marie Wenger (Mrs. Marvin Albertsen), Vice President; Rosemary Mohrhauser (Mrs. Earl Wenger), Secretary; and Mrs. Casper Uhl, Treasurer.
Businessmen and Town Officials 1944
   Mayor - Glen Patterson
   Council - Wayne Keitges
      M.D. Durst
      Edward Drea
      Lloyd Creswell
      Vincent Barry
Marshal - Frank Palmer (Wages $117.70)
Night Watchman - Bob Edwards (74.30)
Fire Chief - Ed Drea
Clerk - Lucy Colbert
Danbury Review - Fred Freeman
General Merchandise Stores - Crilly Brothers
   Keitges Cash Store, John Keitges, Prop.
Food and Meat Markets -
   Colbert's Food Market - Richard Colbert Prop , Lockers      
   Farmers Store, R.C. Keitges Prop. Lockers
Lumber Yards - Maple Valley, P.C. Keitges Prop.
   Fullerton Yards - Harold Scott Mgr.
Elevators - Reimer Elevator, Tony Reimer Prop.
Reimer Bros. Garage - Peter and Joe Reimer
John Deere Implements - Carl Moser 1941
Case Machinery - LeRoy Barry
Harness And Shoe Repair Shop - George Elskamp
Hardware And Furniture - Henry Fitzpatrick
Funeral Home And Undertaker - Henry Fitzpatrick
Dentist - Dr. W.H. Richards
Doctor - Dr. A.A. McGill
Veterinarian - R.G. Sheumaker
Produce House - Albert Riedmiller
McGlaughlin Place - Charley McGlaughlin
Cafe Fitz - Doc and Pat Seeman Mgrs., Prop. Earl Fitzpatrick
PhylÕs Cafe - Paul and Phyllis Lamphear
Barry Motor Co. - Vincent Barry, Prop.
Farmers Savings Bank - C.F. Seibold Pres.;   Hope Anderson and Henry Albers, Vice Pres.; Frank W. Kemp Cashier; Directors Henry Albers, Frank Kemp, Hope Anderson, Patrick Barry, John Treiber, T.A. Reimer, C.F. Seibold
Service Stations
   Joe Barry - Standard
   Lawrence and Clem Schimmer - Skelley
   Canty Service Station - Horace Canty
   Reimer Bros.
Auctioneers - Andy and Wayne Seuntjens
   Louis Pierce
   Henry Dimig
   Leo Keleher
   Peter Reimer
   Herman Wulf
   William Weber
Insurance Salesman - State Auto Insurance - Pat Barry, Flora Betts, and Mark C. Cord
Blacksmith - Hanz Stolz
Hotel - Collins Hotel, Esther and Lucille Collins
   Andrew Schimmer
   John Ehrig
   Jack Evans
Beauty Shop - Vi Drenkhahn Rogge (Ehrig Barber Shop)
Postmaster - Earl Patten
Danbury Theatre
Hog Buyer - M.J. Frum
Attorney - Lawrence Krell
Contractor And Builder - Joe Granter
Town Reaches Century Mark

   Charles R. Anderson 1952-1954
   Otto Good 1954-1956
   Glen Patterson 1956-1959
   William Burke 1959-1966
   Charles R. Anderson was elected mayor in 1952, but he resigned in 1954 before the expiration of his term. Otto Good became the new mayor, but he, too, resigned before his term was completed. He resigned on March 1, 1955. Otto Good was replaced by Glen Patterson. The town council in 1966 was composed of Wayne Keitges, Robert Sheumaker, Glen Patterson, Thomas Barry, and Manley Durst. William Burke was fire chief in 1952 and was elected mayor in 1959, and for a number of years he held both positions.
   The firemen in 1966 at the turn of the century were William Burke, Chief; Tom Sexton, Assistant; Merle Wright; Tom Fitzpatrick; Loren Rogge; William Barry; Kenneth Wessling; and Thomas Barry.
   There were several improvements in the town during 1952-1966:    Wells: Two new wells were dug in the city park.
   Telephone Lines: In 1966 many rural and town telephone lines were buried below ground lever. There was a $2,000,000 expansion program. A new telephone building was built in Mapleton, and the building in Danbury was enlarged. Danbury and Mapleton could now place calls to each other toll-free, and one could make a long-distance call by dialing the number rather than going through the operator with the call.
   Street Lights: In 1961 new street lights were installed. They were extremely high and bright, called Mercury Lights.
   Road Paved: In 1953 the segment of road between the Ida County line and Mapleton was paved. It had been 28 years since this road had been graded and graveled, and 12 years since Ida County paved their road to the Ida County line and MOnona County had paved 141 to Mapleton. It was a gala day in Danbury when this road was opened. There was a ribbon cutting ceremony. Governor of Iowa William S. Beardsley cut the ribbon and made a speech. The Mayor of Danbury, C.R.S. Anderson and three of the councilmen, Dick Smith, Robert Sheumaker, and Vincent Barry took part in the ceremony. Willard Sanford, Mayor of Mapleton, and Irven Walters, Mapleton businessman, also took part. The road, formerly No. 35, was now called No. 175, a state highway, spring 1954.
   Piney Freeman placed some papers and a copy of The Danbury Review at the west end of Danbury were the state highway hooks onto the pavement through Danbury the day the paving was completed.
   Bridge: The bridge ends were extended south of town in 1955 because of bank erosion.
The Churches
   Rev. Jack Spear 1951-1953
   Rev. John Burt 1953-1954
   The Methodist church observed its 75th anniversary in 1954. Four hundred persons attended the event. An electric organ was given to the church by two members of the church, Mrs. C.R.S. (Hope) Anderson and Mrs. Clifford (Ethel) Cord.
   Rev. Franklin Kurtz came on January 6, 1955, and left June 1, 1967.
   Many improvements were made to the church, rectory and grounds while he served here. While he was here, 79 members were received into the church, 43 funerals were held, and 55 persons were baptized. After being in Danbury for 12 years, Rev. Kurtz retired from the ministry, and Mr. and Mrs. Kurtz moved to Lawton.
   The Women's Society of Christian Service, or Ladies Aid, and the men of the church were always untiring in their work and efforts to better the Methodist church. From the days were mush was served at their suppers until now when turkey dinners are served with dressing and all, the women have tried to make it a special day for everyone in the community. In 1924 when the final payment was made on a note, the men decided to give a chicken supper, and they wanted no help from the women except to oblige them by coming for their meal and pay the price asked. They prepared and served the supper alone. Charley Lee and Jack Hanlon waited on tables and performed like experts. Henry Osterholtz was the main dish washer. Everyone was greeted with a smile. A program was given on the main floor of the church after serving the meal. That same cooperative spirit remains today.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Churches
   Rev. Richard C. Sweeney at St. Mary's: Rev. Richard Sweeney came to Danbury in 1954 with his assistant, Rev. Dale Koster after Fr. Sylvester Grady and his assistant, Rev. Raymond Calkins left. Rev. Sweeney was born in 1914, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Sweeney of Hinton, IA. He was the youngest of 12 children. He attended high school at Loras Academy in Dubuque, graduating in 1932. He attended Trinity College at Sioux City for 4 years and then completed 4 years of theology at St. Paul's seminary in St. Paul, MN. He was ordained to the priesthood in May 1940 in the Cathedral of Epiphany at Sioux City. He was assistant at St. Cecelia's in Algona 1940-45, pastor at St. Jean Baptiste Church in Sioux City 1945-1951, pastor of St. Mary's Church at Humboldt 1951-54, and in May of 1954 he came to St. Mary's at Danbury.
   Rev. Francis McNeill's death: Rev. McNeill retired in the rectory of his parishioners, built for Rev. Meagher in 1884. That was his wish. He also wanted to be buried in St. Patrick's Cemetery. He died on July 6, 1954, at St. Joseph's Hospital in Sioux City when he was 90 years old. His body was brought to St. Mary's Church at Danbury on July 7, 1954, where it was received with solemn ceremony, and it lay in state from Wednesday to Friday, July 9th when funeral services were held. He was buried near Fr. Meagher, and a Celtic Cross also marks his grave.
   Anniversary of St. Mary's: Parishioners from St. Mary's celebrated the 50th anniversary of the church built in 1910 on August 15, 1960. It was celebrated with a solemn mass at 5:00 p.m. on Monday on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The mass was followed by a parish dinner and a special program. Fr. Richard Sweeney, celebrant, was assisted by sons of the parish that had become priests. They were Fr. Raymond Wieling, Deacon; Fr. John P. McGuire, Sub Deacon; and Fr. J.G. Skahill who was Master of Ceremonies. The Jubilee sermon was preached by Rev. Karl Hansen, a former assistant and teacher of St. Patrick's Academy. Music for the mass was provided by a school choir with Sharyl Schleimer directing and Bonnie Treiber as organist.
   The rosary society served a smorgasbord-type potluck dinner. Dinner was served at 6:30 p.m. for all parishioners and guests. All former parishioners were invited to return to Danbury for this occasion. An outdoor program was held at 8:30 p.m. Several of Danbury's former priests gave short talks, and a musical presentation was given.
   The exterior of the church had just been renovated in 1960 at a cost of $15,000. The improvements included tuck pointing, sand blasting, water proofing, and the installation of glass doors at the entrance of the church.
   Anticipating that St. Mary's would soon have to build a new school, a drive to raise money to pay an old debt was made. Ten thousand dollars was made over the amount needed. Each year a bazaar was given along with a chicken supper that St. Mary's had been giving each year since the beginning of the church. About 1963 all were asked to make a $1,000 pledge or over if possible as soon we would start the building of a new parish hall.
   New school and parish hall for St. Mary's: Fr. Sweeney announced in 1963 that a new school and parish hall would have to be built as the old structure could no longer pass standard state building specifications. It was decided to build the new school on the old site. The old building was razed. Clarence Ortner and a crew of others wrecked the building. School children attended classes in the vacated St. Patrick's Church. It was made into classrooms during the summer. Other students went to classes at St. Patrick's Academy through the 1964-65 school year.
   The building contract was awarded to United Builders Incorporated of Ida Grove for $193,598; mechanical to Bidden Plumbing and Heating of Sioux City $15,849 and with other fees and costs were to keep the total cost to $285,000. The building cost $260,000, but there were many more expenses such as desks and other needed equipment, landscaping, driveways, much cement work, and new lighting around the driving; all these extra things brought the cost up to $351,952. By 1969 our debt had been reduced to $138,000, and before too long the building will be paid for. The building consisted of 4 grade rooms, a library, a gymnasium, and a school lunch center. This is used for many occasions. The members of the building committee were John ORtner, Joseph Oberreuter, Tom Barry, Maurice Welte, and Siebert Seuntjens.
   Parish directors at this time were John Ortner and Joseph Oberreuter. There was in 1963-64, 240 families or 940 souls in the parish. Sixty-five students were enrolled in the high school, and 170 in grades one to eight. School opened the fall of 1965. Rev. Sweeney was pastor, and Rev. Verne Stapenhost was his assistant in 1965.
   The teaching staff which at one time numbered 12 or 13 Sisters had dwindled to 10 in 1965. The teaching staff in 1965 was Supt. Rev. R. Sweeney, Principal Sr. Mary Irene, Sr. Mary Steven, Rev. Verne Stapenhorst, Sr. Mary Edna, and Physical Education and Basketball Coach John Loeback. Grade school teachers were Sr. Mary Charlotte, 7th and 8th grades; Sr. Mary Mel, 5th and 6th grades; Frances Bleakley 3rd and 4th grades; and Sr. Mary Christine, 1st and 2nd grades.
   An open house was held on May 31, 1965. The school was dedicated on May 28, 1965. Services were held at 3:30 p.m., and Governor Harold Hughes, Rt. Rev. Msgr. A.W. Behrens, Rev. Francis H. Stauber of Fonda, and the Very Reverend Anton Ocken of Mapleton officiated at the ceremony. Speakers for the ceremonies were Rev. Joseph Mueller D. D. Bishop of Sioux City and the Most Rev. Frank H. Greteman D.D. Auxiliary Bishop of Sioux City and others. Members of the Rosary Society served a 3-course banquet at 5:15 p.m. for all visiting clergymen, members of the parish, and distinguished visitors.
   The flag and flag pole were given to the school by the Knights of Columbus. They held services to dedicate it on Sunday, October 17, 1965, at St. Mary's Parish Center. Services were to commemorate the discovery of America. U.S. Senator Jack Miller was guest speaker. Fr. J.P. Mooney conducted dedication ceremonies. The flag, which had been previously flown over the National Capitol in Washington, DC, was blessed, and Knights of Columbus Treasurer Paul Gahan raised the flag. The young son of Mr. and Mrs. John Brenner, a grade school student, recited the Pledge of Allegiance. For entertainment there was dancing in the gymnasium with music furnished by the Billy Redmen Orchestra.
   Assistants to Fr. Sweeney:
Rev. Dale Koster   1954-1956
Rev. Peter Murphy
   Summer of 1956
Rev. Thomas D. Holland
   Aug. 1956-June 1957
Rev. Charles Yetmar
   June 1957-May 1961
Rev. Perrick
   July to end of 1961
Rev. J. Bruning
   Jan. 1962-Aug. 1962
Rev. Thomas Miller
   Sept. 1, 1962-June 1964
Rev. Verne Stapenhorst
   June 1964-June 1966
Rev. Edmund Tiedeman
   June 1966-Aug. 1968
   Rev. Richard V. Sweeney leaves Danbury, and Rev. Edward D. Hoffman comes: In June of 1967 it was announced that Fr. Sweeney who had served as pastor at St. Mary's for 13 years had been appointed to the Storm Lake Parish, and Rev. Edward D. Hoffman was the priest assigned to replace Rev. Sweeney.
   Fr. Hoffman was born at Merrill to Mr. and Mrs. T.F. Hoffman. He had four brothers. He attended St. Joseph's grade and high school at LeMars, Trinity College in Sioux City, St. Paul's Seminary, in St. Paul, MN, and he was ordained in the Cathedral of the Epiphany at Sioux City on April 23, 1944. He served as assistant pastor at St. Joseph's Parish in Sioux City from 1945-52, pastor of St. Joseph's parish in Neptune, IA , 1952-56, pastor of St. Mary's Parish of Rock Valley 1956-61, pastor of St. Joseph's Parish at Schaller in 1961 until his appointment at Danbury in June of 1967.
   Rev. Edmund H. Tiedeman who came here as assistant pastor after he was ordained on June 4, 1966, continued to serve as Fr. Hoffman's assistant until the Danbury Catholic High School, formerly St. Patrick's Academy, closed its doors July 1968. Reasons for closing were difficulty in obtaining teachers and maintaining educational standards, and the high cost per pupil. The school had been in existence for more than 80 years. At the time of closing, there were 58 pupils in high school. Fr. Tiedeman was given a new assignment effective August 7, 1968. He had taught at Danbury Catholic School while in Danbury.
Danbury Public School
   Wayne Beery was superintendant at Danbury Public School from 1944 to the fall of 1954. During that time the state was beginning to talk of reorganizing school districts, having the districts merge into larger districts so that they could operate more efficiently. There were still a number of country schools in the area. Mr. Beery tried to persuade some of the county schools to close and send the children to the Danbury school. This would enlarge the enrollment to such an extent that Danbury could continue independently and would not have to merge with another school. He obtained full cooperation from some of the parents, but others spurned his efforts. Mr. Beery also was basketball coach for the boys during 1944-1954.
   Mr. Beery left Danbury with his family the fall of 1954. George Cornish was hired as superintendent the fall of 1954, and he was here until May 1958.
   Kenneth Moll was hired as superintendent the spring of 1958. He moved his furniture to Danbury and stored it in the public school while he attended summer school.
   Danbury Public damaged by fire: A fire broke out in the gymnasium of the public school the summer of 1959 while the school was being readied for the fall term. The gymnasium was badly damaged, and the rest of the school had smoke damage. Mr. Moll's furniture burned. Joe Granter was given a contract soon after the fire as they wanted the school ready to go by fall. Manley Durst was given the electric wiring, and Tom Fitzpatrick, Jr. the plumbing.
School Reorganization 1960-61
Named Maple Valley Community School

   In 1960 they began to talk reorganization, and Danbury was given a choice to merge either with Battle Creek or Mapleton. They voted on the subject during the 1960-61 school year, and there were more votes wanting to merge with Mapleton. During the summer there were changes made at both schools, some seats were added, commercial equipment, etc. was moved to Mapleton from Danbury. The first year Danbury was to have all junior high students from both schools. They kept their own kindergarten and the first four grades. This changed again when Castana merged with the Maple Valley Community School. Some of the children then went to Castana Junior High School and Danbury sponsored junior high basketball for both boys and girls and had a band. Wresting events were also held at Danbury. In September of 1961 four school busses hauled the children, picking them up locally, and then to and from Mapleton. School bus drivers that fall were William Burke, Henry Dimig, Tom Schrank, and Rollie Schrank. C.R. Brown then served as school superintendent of both schools, and Kenneth Moll was hired as principal to look after the Danbury school. Mr. Moll stayed as principal until January 1962.
   In 1971 there was a total of 1,136 children attending the Maple Valley School. There were 379 in high school, 219 in grades at Danbury, and 281 in grades at Mapleton. Castana joined Maple Valley in 1968. Danbury now has 7th and 8th grades from all three of the towns and kindergarten.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Entertainment in Danbury
   Square Dance Club: In the 1950s square dancing again became popular. Nearly every town had a club, and every two weeks they held a dance, usually having a visiting caller. Often other clubs were invited. The Danbury club organized in September 1960. The first dance was held in the Zediker School, once known as Center School, Center Twp., Monona County. The first caller was Maurice Zediker. Later in 1960 the dances were held in the Danbury American Legion Hall.
   The first officers elected were Mr. and Mrs. Norman Nielsen, Mr. and Mrs. Ray Venteicher, and Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Sneider. Members of the club were Mr. and Mrs. Harlan Schlinz, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Brummer, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Foxhoven, Mr. and Mrs. Gene Moser, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Uehle, Mr. and Mrs. James Collins, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Sanford, Mr. and Mrs. George Uhl, and Mr. and Mrs. Donald Moser. These dancers wore matching costumes.
   Danbury Park: In 1952 during the summer months   the Danbury grandstand burned. The new grandstand was built nearer the entrance of the park. The Circle D Saddle Club built an arena there. Late in the 1950s those of sport-minded nature thought a softball field would be appreciated, especially by the young boys of the community. Persons gave donations willingly, and a ballfield was laid out, leveled, and high powered lights were installed so night games could be held. An eating place was built adjoining the grandstand.
   Several ball clubs were organized. Games were often held in the park three nights a week. One team, the Shamrocks, sponsored by Barry's of Danbury, went far in competition. They advanced to the state tournament several years, and in 1964 they were first in the state. Most of the players were local boys, but a few players were hired. Those playing in 1964 were Catcher Ray Friedrichsen, Pitcher Russell Stille, First baseman Peter Wolterman, Second Baseman Harold Hultgren, Third Baseman LaVerne Kloster, Short Stop Rollie Schrank, Left Field Tom Sexton, Center Field Jon Scott, and Right Fielder Kendall "Skip" Sexton. Rollie Schrank was manager.
   The Reimer Colts were another active team. They did not win the laurels, but they played simply for the love of having a good game. In 1965 that team consisted of Tom McBride, Earl Reimer, Lloyd Neville, Russell Treiber, Murral Burton, Jim McBride, Richard Reimer, Paul Reimer, Neal Seuntjens, Bruce Burton, and Ed Welte.
   There were other teams, and also teams were organized for the small fry.
   The Danbury park today is divided into two sections, the northeast corner being the picnic area. At one time the foliage from the trees in the park was dense as there were so many trees. In 1924 a bad windstorm uprooted 65 trees in the park and broke many limbs from the trees. Many of the first trees were cedar trees. Today there is a graveled circle driveway, a hydrant and fountain, outside toilets, swings and slides for the children, and many picnic tables. The second is where baseball games, tractor pulls, etc. are held.
   Tractor Pull: A tractor pull was held in the park in 1961. These were popular in the horse days when owners would bet their horse could outpull all others. The Danbury Knights of Columbus sponsored the first tractor pull in Danbury in 1961. The object of this pull was to see which tractor could pull the heaviest load without spinning its wheels or stopping. The tractors were divided into classes according to size. A flat bed was pulled by each tractor, and as the tractor progressed up a speedway, two men would step on flatbed at one time. The men kept stepping on the flatbed until their weight brought the tractor to a stop. As many as 60 tractors would enter these events as several more contests were held after 1961. Judges made the decision. Prizes in money were given to the winners. Hot dogs, popcorn, pop, etc. were sold in a food stand.
N.F.O. - National Farmers Organization
   The years 1956 and 1957 were drought years, and a cost-price freeze developed for the farmer at the same time. The N.F.O. was organized in 1956, and it had a fast growth. Membership dues were $25 a year; the money was used to pay expenses of a committee to work for the betterment of existing conditions. Ora Lee Staley of Rea, Missouri, became the first N.F.O. president. To obtain demands, the organization believed that the farmer should hold all produce off the market until better prices were paid. They were never totally successful with their bargaining. They held their fifth holding in 1964, and there was some violence in that holding. Truckers were fired upon, two N.F.O. members were killed, farm fences were cut, there was truck sabotage, dynamite charges set off, etc. One hundred and two fat cattle were poisoned on an Illinois farm during a holding action in 1965. Many of the farmers did not agree with these tactics, and they did not want to be blamed for the actions.
   There was a holding action on milk in 1967 for a 2¢ price increase. This cost-price squeeze affected the farmer until 1972. The laborer had been making good money, but it seemed the farmers always had to put out more than he received. It was not until the close of the Vietnam Conflict in 1973 that the farmers were receiving better prices.
Danbury Pays Dearly for Vietnam Conflict, 1968
   From the Des Moines Register:
   "The manpower needs of the war in Vietnam have imposed a severe levy on Northwest Iowa, particularly the little town of Danbury. The only two Iowa based reserve units called to duty in Vietnam are from Northwest Iowa. The two units, the 185th Tactical Group, and the 2nd Battalion of the 133rd Infantry Regiment both were headquartered in Sioux City. Together there were more than 1,600 men from Northwest Iowa: Remsen, Mapleton, Soldier, LeMars, Sioux City, Ida Grove, Holstein, Cherokee, Danbury, Sheldon and many other towns had men in the units. Danbury, a town of about 500, contributed an estimated 33 men to these units.
   "This has meant that Edmund Dirksen, 59, handicapped by a recent heart attack, saw his two sons, Norman, 24, and Warren, 22, leave home. Said Dirksen, operator of 440 acres and feeder of 500 cattle, 'I'm hoping I can feed the cattle I've got, and that's it until the boys come home. It was hard to get help on the farm before this happened, and you can't get help at all now.'
   "Building contractor Leonard Reimer, who had a crew of 5 men which included 2 sons, was working on several projects including a Danbury fire station. He saw both sons, Earl, 25, and Richard, 21, and 2 other crew members called to duty. Down to one helper, Reimer said, 'We'll just do what we can do. We're just going along as best we can. If it comes to it, I'll just lock the door and get a job and wait till the boys come home so we can start again.'
   Robert and William Barry, operators of the Ford garage in Danbury, saw 6 of their 19 en taken in 2 call ups. Said Bill, 'There is not much you can do about replacing these fellows in the garage.' The Danbury men said that they were not beefing that they called our boys, but there was puzzlement as to why, if Iowa had to contribute two reserve units, both were selected from Northwest Iowa."
   In any case, in addition to the loss of manpower in the town and on the farm, the removal of a block of men in the 18-35 age group meant fewer cups of coffee sold at the restaurant, fewer beers consumed at taverns, fewer cars sold, and, with 30 or more young men gone, Andy Schimmer and son, Richard said there was a loss at the barber shop of perhaps $80 a month. War was ended in 1973.
   S.P. 4 William R. Mohrhauser, son of Al and Adeline Mohrhauser, was a favorite son who lost his life in the Vietnam War. He was born on August 17, 1948, and he entered rest on January 26, 1969. Services were held at St. Mary's Church on February 4, 1969, and he was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery.
Danbury Main Street 1956
Mayor   Glen Patterson
Marshall   John Seibold
Farmers Savings Bank
   Hope Anderson, Pres.
   Frank Kemp, V.P.
   Paul H. Gahan, Cashier
   James F. Kemp, Asst.
   Charles R.S. Anderson, Asst. Cashier, Law Office
N.Y. Life Insurance
   Frank J. Wessling
Barber   Andrew Schimmer
Durst Plumbing & Electric
   Manley Durst
Bulldozer Operator
   Lloyd D. Creswell
J.K. Granter Construction Co.   Joe Granter
Weary Drug Store
   Clark Weary. Robert McElwain sold out to Clark Weary in 1954. Weary sold out to Charley and Nellie Jensen in 1959. Jensen's Sundries 1959-1973.
Fitzpatrick Hardware   
   Henry Fitzpatrick (Henry retired in 1960, sold to Richard Langle who managed the Farm Store and sold farm equipment as well. He held an auction, selling out the latter part of 1964.)
Reimer's Garage   
   Joe Reimer and Frank Erlemeier
Veterinarian   R.G. Sheumaker
Fullerton Lumber Co.
   W.J. Nordman, Manager
Filling Stations
   Barry's Service Station
   Schimmer's Station, Skelly Gas
   Canty's Service Station
   Co-op Station - Built in 1956. The first manager was Al Kleine, Danny Fitzpatrick ran the tank wagon. Later Melvin Pithan was manager, then Danny Fitzpatrick was made manager.
Crilly Brothers   
   Charley and Alfred Crilly
Colbert's Market
   Jack Colbert
Danbury Hog Co.
   B.J. Eason, Manager
Fitzpatrick Cafe   
   Beverly and Leonard Scheer
E. and H. Cafe   
   Louis and Eleanor Hartleben bought this cafe from Eldon and Bertha Switzer, known then as E. and B. They owned about 1950. The Hartlebens later sold the restaurant to Delphine Miere, and she called it City Cafe.
Plumbing and Heating
   Thomas Fitzpatrick
Sewer and Ditch Digging
   Clifford Kinney
Vi's Beauty Shop   Vi Rogge
Dentist   Dr. W.H. Richards
Farmers Store   Bill Fitzpatrick
Danbury Elevator   
   Russell L. Uhl
   Manager L.W. Pierce
   Dr. Louis Herrington, M.D.
Tony's Place
   Tony Steinbach (tavern)
Tom's Place
   Tom Barry, Prop. (tavern)
Blacksmith and Welding
   Hans Stolz
Truckers   Al Mohrhauser
   Fred Grell
   William Weber
Phyl's Cafe   Paul Lamphear
Danbury Review
   John and Mary Rowley
McGuire Brothers
   Maytag Sales and Service
Insurance   Flora Betts
Postmaster   William Kinney
   Earl Patten retired in 1955
Lawyer   Charles M. Woolery
A.J. Riedmiller   
   His Produce closed after his death on August 6, 1958
Photographer   James Kemp
Barry's Garage
   Owned by Pat Barry and son, Vincent in 1953. On Friday evening, January 13, 1953, the Barry Garage cuaght fire. Pat had just recently retired and left his son, Vincent take over the management of the garage. At that time 13 persons were employed there. It was a large fire and $125,000 loss. Several other neighboring fire departments were called to help control the blaze. Pat and son announced immediately that they would rebuild. Persons working at the garage at that time were Bob Barry, Bill Barry, William Burke, Donald Collins, Eugene Collins, Tom DeLaney, Ronald Graetz, Francis Hoare, Loren Rogge, Mel Rogge, Donald Schimmer, and John Tatman. In 1956 Vincent announced he was quitting the business. He held an auction in 1956. Two of Mike and Nellie Conway Barry's sons, Robert and Bill purchased much of the merchandise sold at auction. They then rented the building and took over the Ford contract from Vincent. In 1960 they purchased the building. They called their business Barry Brothers. They were very successful and at times had as many as 22 persons in their employ. Their trademark was a green irridescent samrock, and this insignia was placed on all cars sold by them.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Danbury Main Street 1956
Keitges Kash Store
   Burned March 13, 1955
Collins Hotel   
   An old landmark was razed February of 1956
William Weber
   Sold his trucking business to Donald Weber 1958
Gerald Welte
   Built a new vault business in Danbury 1968
Maple Valley Lumberyard
   Sold out in 1953 to Fullerton, James Rice, Manager
   Closed in 1958. E.P. Kelley retired. Depot razed 1959 by Brenner boys.
Farmers Bank
   Frank Kemp, Cashier 1931-1958, retired in 1958. Frank Wessling was managing officer from 1958-February 1966. Bank was then sold to James R. Lodwig.
Contractors   J.H. Granter
   Leonard Reimer Construction
Schable Bros., Carl and Louis
   Art and Heck Pry
   John Yung
   Gene McGarrity
   Murrall Burton
   Earl and Richard Reimer
   LeMoine Trucke
   Edward Wieling
   Danny Fitzpatrick
   and others
Danbury Review
   Fred Freeman sold to R.L. and E.M. Harris 1957. John Rowley edited the paper from 1955-1957, and then R.L. and E.M. Harris bought it in 1957.
E.P. Kelley, Station agent 1955   
   Ellis Preston Kelley, son of John and Maria Kelley, was born on March 13, 1897, at Ute. He received his education at Ute and grew to manhood there. He took up telegraphy and became an agent-telegrapher. He married Johanna Berg of Soldier on March 12, 1917. Before coming to Danbury, he had worked at Moville, Lake City, Ricketts, and Soldier. After the death of Howard Graham, the station agent at Danbury, E.P. applied for and was accepted here in 1924. He was Danbury's last depot agent as he was here up to 1955 and the depot was discontinued. The Kelleys had three sons, Asa, Eugene, and Rollis, all who chose the same profession as their father. Ellis was a talented musician, and he was a member of the Danbury band. When younger, he played with a family orchestra at Ute. Ellis died on January 10, 1955, after serving the community for 30 years.
   John Olander was appointed temporarily as the station agent after the death of Howard Graham and before Ellis Kelley was appointed.
Danbury Main Street 1965-1966

Mayor   William Burke
Council   Wayne Keitges
   Robert Sheumaker
   Glenn Patterson
   Thomas Barry
   Manley Durst
Clerk   Lucy Colbert
Assessor   Charlie Jensen
Marshall   Elmer Bertelsen
Justice of Peace Casper Uhl
Night Watchman   
   John Seibold
Fire Chief   William Burke
Crilly Brothers   
   Charley and Alfred Crilly, general merchandise
Colbert's Market
   Jack Colbert
Insurance and Iowa Public Service   Flora Betts
Farmers Savings Bank
   James R. Lodwig, Pres.
   Paul H. Gahan, Cashier
   Don Wohlers
   Janice Treiber (Mrs. James Treiber)
   Phoebe Treiber (Mrs. Harold Treiber)
Fullerton Lumber Yard
   Ed's Place, Edward Krueger
   City Cafe, Mrs. Ed (Delphine) Meier
Village Inn (Dairy Queen), Mrs. Fred Erlemeier
Barry Motor
   Robert and William Barry
Filling Stations
   Phillips 66, Danny Fitzpatrick
Schimmer's Service, Lawrence and Clem Schimmer
   Standard Service, Barry Motor
   Co-op Feeds, fertilizer, etc. Melvin Pithan Prop.
Barber   Andy Schimmer and son Richard
Vi's Beauty Shop   Mrs. Vi (Loren) Rogge and daughter Leah Neville
Collins Farm Store   
   James Collins
Farm Store and Purina Feeds   Mrs. Donald Weber and Tom Sexton
Druggist   Jensen's Sundries, Charlie and Nellie Jensen
Farmers Elevator
   Battle Creek farmers
Plumbing and Heating
   Tom Fitzpatrick
   M.D. Durst
Vault Companies
   Brenner Vault Co., John Brenner
   Welte Vault Co., Gerald Welte
Excavating   Gravel and dirt hauling, Loyal Treiber
Beer Parlors
   Tom Barry
   Robert Fitzpatrick
Blacksmith and Repair
   Ronald Lansink
William Burke   Repair shop and school bus repair
   Mr. and Mrs. Shelgren
Paul Lamphear
   Groceries, notions, etc.
   Robert Sheumaker
Library   Josephine Volkman, Librarian
Iowa Mutual Life Insurance
   John Ortner
   Walter Otto
   Viola Mohr
Danbury Review
   R.L. Harris and E.M. Harris
   Esther Collins, Reporter
   Dorene Wonder, Reporter
Accountant and Tax Service
   Maurice Welte
Tax Service
   Dale Davis
Truckers   Al Mohrhauser
   Fred Grell
   LeRoy Schimmer
Postmaster   Thomas Barry
   Asst. Fred Erlemeier
   Carrier Jack Colbert
   Carrier William Kinney
American Cyanamid Fertilizer   Benny Petersen, Mgr.
Wilson and Co. Inc. Hog Buyers   Wayne Roepke
Contractor and Builder
   Leonard Reimer
Lawyer   Charles M. Woolery of Sioux City
Photographer   James Kemp
Tox O Wick Products
   Siebert Seuntjens
   Wayne and Andy Seuntjens
   Robert Lee Dimig
Arliss' Beauty Shop
   Arliss Seuntjens Dixon
Funeral Home
   Irven Walter, Mapleton
   Assistant at Danbury
   Harold and Jack Ganzhorn, Mapleton
Maple Valley Community School   
   R.C. Brown, Superintendent
   Bus Drivers:
   William Burke
   Tom Schrank      Rollie Schrank
   James McBride
Fred "Piney" Freeman
   Fred Freeman was the son of Daniel K. and Mary Jane Orner Freeman. Daniel Freeman was a schoolteacher, storekeeper, and a publisher. He published the first newspaper for Correctionville called The Sioux Valley News. He also served as postmaster at Correctionville. Daniel and Mary Jane had two sons, John and Fred C.
   Daniel died young. His son, Fred, was quite young when his father died, but he was interested in printing. He worked for Mr. T.B. Morris who had taken over Daniel Freeman's printing shop. He also worked for Fred Colvin and soon bought him out, having a Mr. Bergstrom as a partner. Piney worked in shops in Schleswig, Pierson, and Anthon before he came to Danbury in 1932 and bought The Danbury Review from C.E. Johnson.
   Fred married Elsie Jones from Correctionville. They had two daughters, Mary Jane and Phyllis (Mrs. John Schmidt). Fred raided his family in Danbury and was editor for 23 years. Piney and Elsie will long be remembered by Danbury citizens as they were a perfect newspaper team who served our community a long time and published a good local newspaper. His side-winders and editorials were read by everyone. During World War II he sent The Danbury Review free of charge to every boy in the service, and the paper went all over the world. Comments came from far-way places regarding his editorials. He was a familiar sight at the depot, meeting every train, trying to pick up some news. The paper was published once a week. The subscription price all the 23 years while here was $2 a year or a dollar for 6 months.
   Fred Freeman was credited for building a good fire department in the town and worked for years making pick-up collections for funds to buy a new fire truck.
   The Review was sold to John Rowley in 1955 when the Freemans wanted to retire. Rowley sold it to R.L. Harris of Correctionville in 1957.
   Piney and Elsie moved to Des Moines so as to be closer to their daughters. Elsie passed away on June 23, 1967, and Piney passed away on April 30, 1969.
   The present fire station and community building were named Freeman Hall in honor of Fred Freeman.
New Business Places (structures)
   Post Office, 1960: Work commenced on a new post office on April 12, 1960, and it was completed by August 1960. The building was constructed by Haubrich Construction Co. of Mapleton. It was an up-to-date air conditioned building on the west side of Main Street between 2nd and 3rd streets. Fred Erlemeier was acting postmaster at the time it was completed. The dimensions of the building were 32'x67' single story with grey cut limestone in front and brick along sides and back. A large amount of aluminum and glass gives the building maximum benefit from natural light. There are 222 boxes attractively decorated in brass in the southeast corner of the lobby. Patrons conduct business across an open counter in the main mail room. The main floor is 30'x53' and a green tile covers the concrete floor. The ceiling is white, and the walls are painted two tones of green. Fifty fluorescent lighting fixtures provide the lightning. There are four large plate glass windows to the north, and five tinted glass windows on the south. A large concrete slab on the north side of the building provided patrons a parking space and a place for mail trucks to pick up and deliver mail. All mail by 1960 was brought in by truck. There was also a storage room and a vestibule for receiving and dispatching mail.
   Thomas Barry was appointed postmaster on August 11, 1961. Fred Erlemeier was the Assistant Postmaster. Rural carriers were William Kinney and John "Jack" Colbert.
   Wilson Hog Buying Station, 1962: Leonard Reimer, contractor, was hired by Wilson to build a hog buying station in Danbury in 1962. Hogs were purchased directly from the farmer. They were then delivered by truck to the station and weighed. The hogs were trucked to one of Wilson's packing plants in Cherokee and Cedar Rapids by Danbury truckers. A manager or hog buyer was hired then by Wilson to maintain the station, Wayne Roepke and Norman Sauers up to 1970.
   American Cyanamid 1964: A fertilizer plant was built south of the railroad tracks in 1964. This was a bulk and blending station. Different numbers of fertilizer were blended in a machine using whatever nutrients you wanted blended. Most fertilizer came by rail, but some also came by truck.
   Gas and liquid fertilizer, insect and weed sprays, seed, etc. were also sold there. The first manager was Kenneth Kerr, and Larry Updahl was his assistant. Ben Petersen took over the management of the plant in 1965, and Merle Ruchti was his assistant.
   Village Inn, 1965: The former home economics building of the public school was moved fro the Wohlers property in 1965 to a spot on the west side of Danbury on Highway 175. It was remodeled by Fred Erlemeier and used for a Dairy Queen. His wife, Norma Erlemeier operated it the first year. It was in operation 1965-1971.
   School Bus Repair Shop, 1965: Maple Valley Community School built a bus shed and repair shop on Highway 175 west in Danbury in 1965. William Burke was hired to repair the busses and keep them in running condition. This was a Trans-Steel building.
   New Laundro-Mat, 1965: The new Laundro-mat held its grand opening on March 12, 1965, featuring free washing from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Coffee and doughnuts were served. The building was constructed by Stran-Steel of Sioux City, and the plumbing by Reimer Builders of Danbury. Owners were Mr. and Mrs. Leo Shelgren.
   St. Mary's School and Parish Hall, 1964-65: An 8-grade school, library and parish hall were built.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Business Places (structures)
   Leonard Reimer, 1963, contractor and builder: Leonard Reimer purchased a plot of ground from Earl Matt, land along Highway 175 as it enters Danbury from the west. He built a warehouse there several years previous to building a home there. Lumber and other supplies were sold there. When he built a house, all the work such as plumbing, heating, and wiring for electricity was done by him or one of his crew of four or five men. He also sold and mixed paints and ordered and installed carpeting.
   New Blacksmith and Repair Shop, 1966: Ronald Lansink purchased ground north of Crilly Store and Vi's Beauty Shop, area of which Danbury's first blacksmith shops and wagon makers were located. He cut some trees and leveled the ground and built a new steel shed. Ronnie repairs machinery, sells hardware, welds, sets up cribs, and he has the equipment to cut down trees, cut them up, and tow them away.
   Northwestern Bell Telephone, 1966: The Danbury telephone office was enlarged in 1966. At that time one could dial direct to anyone in the United States without going through an operator. Danbury could also call Mapleton without paying a toll. The building was dedicated on February 24, 1966.
   Farmers Savings Bank, 1966: The Farmers Savings Bank was first organized July 1931 under the leadership of C.F. Seibold, the first president, and directors Henry Albers, Pat Barry, M.D. Cord, T.A. Reimer, John Treiber, and Wier Murphy. Frank W. Kemp was elected cashier and served as managing officer from 1931 to January 1958. Frank Wessling then became president and managing officer and served in that capacity until July 1966 at which time James R. Lodwich was elected to that office. With the purchase of the majority of the stock by the Lodwick interests in January 1966, the bank bought the building it had been leasing and began a period of modernization which was completed early in the fall of 1966. Both exterior and interior were redecorated. The inside was repartitioned, and carpeting was laid throughout. Ceilings were covered with acoustical tile, and different area had luminous lighting. There were new draperies and new furniture.
   The officers and board members of Farmers Savings Bank in 1966 were James R. Lodwick, president; Harold E. McCord, vice president; Byron Lodwick, chairman of the board; Tom A. Petersen, vice president; Paul J. Gahan, cashier; and directors Byron Lodwick, James R. Lodwick, Paul Gahan, John J. Ortner, Tom A. Petersen, Herman A. Sohm, and Russell Uhl.
Elm Trees Die in Danbury
   Dutch Elm Disease came up from the south and struck Northwest Iowa about 1966. There were many elm trees in Danbury, and each year a few more trees would die. It was sad to see many of the old large trees die, but usually new trees were planted as soon as one died.
Town 100 Years Old
   This concludes the first 100 years of our history. Dan Thomas came here in 1864, but not until 1866 did he build a house and barn just north of present Danbury on Herman Sohm's 80. His home became a stage stop, trading post, and even the first elections were held in his home. This settlement became Listonville in 1868 when LIston Township was formed, and mail began to e delivered her by stage. The town's name was changed to Danbury when the first train came to Danbury in 1877. The town has survived many crisis, but it till continues to grow and survive. This history will be continued. Town 100 years old 1966.
By Mrs. Henry Dimig
(Viola Treiber)

First Murder, Correctionville, 1856

   Elias Shook, a large, muscular, wiry man was accused of the murder of Pennell, a settler. Shook had come into Union Township in 1856 and had attempted to hold two claims, which was illegal. He lived on one claim and put a small son on the other claim. Penell came to the area at the same time, and he liked the one claim of Shook's. He went about making improvements on the claim on which the small boy lived as he knew Shook could only have the one claim. Two other settlers, Erastus and Zach Allen passed Penell's cabin, but the did not see him about. They investigated and found him dead in bed. He had been shot. Shook was suspicioned because of things he had said, and he was arrested and tried in Sioux City in 1856, but, due to poor laws and some technicalities, he was given his freedom.
First Woodbury County Court 1857
   The courts were busy as early as 1857. Woodbury County then was part of the 7th Judicial District, and Sam H. Riddle was the first presiding judge. J.J. Myers was clerk, and Frank Chappel was sheriff. Theophile Bruguire, first settler in Sioux City, was charged with willful neglect of his duties as clerk.
   William Thompson, another early settler who lived on Floyd's Bluff was charged with manslaughter. He was a large man, and he carried a knife, revolver, and rifle at the same time. No one dared stand up to Wild Bill Thompson. One night he attended a dance at which there were Frenchmen, Indians, and half-breeds. Whiskey was flowing freely. Thompson and an Indian agent vied over the attentions of an Indian maiden. Thompson beat the Indian agent with his gun, inflicting wounds from which he died. This case was one of he first trials in Woodbury County. Horace C. Bacon who had just arrived in Sioux City and knew nothing about law was asked to be the prisoner's attorney, and he told the following story about the trial:
   "I had arrived in Sioux City from Council Bluffs, and soon after arrival I was a lumber wagon arrive in which there were several men. One was the sheriff. I was asked to go to court with them which was held in Traversie's Place, a log cabin trading post."
   The sheriff was dressed in buck skins, and he was barefoot, as it was muddy. His moccasins were tied to his belt. A door was used for a table. The judge instructed court to open, the sheriff announced it, and Mr. Thompson was asked if he had an attorney. He replied, "No, but I think there is one here." Mr. Bacon, teller of this story, was asked to serve as the prisoner's attorney. When Thompson was asked if he was ready for the trial, he replied, "Yes, and I want to be tried pretty G** D*** quick." He almost decided his own case, for after a few objections and a lack of witnesses, the judge called out, "This case should be dismissed," and it was.
   The county had no jails at this time, and there was no place to jail him or others of misdemeanors. The laws that we had were not enforced until after the Civil War. County seats were as much as 50 miles apart, and the judges had to travel by stage or horseback long distances.
Justice of Peace
   The Justice of Peace had to be a wise man then, as he had to settle many of the disputes which arose in his town. Dan Thomas was the first Justice of Peace in 1868 when Liston Township was formed to 1872. William Smith was Justice of Peace when the town incorporated in 1882, and he served until 1896. Joseph O'Dougherty 1896 to 1911. A.J. Wilkinson also was Justice of Peace, and in 1932 C.E. Johnson served, but number of years are unknown.
Dr. Ordway, Onawa
   Doctor Ordway's native county was Monona, and he attended school at Turin until 15 years old. He then went east to attend medical and dental school. On hearing of the discovery of gold in California, he and a Dr. Kelley started for California with about $500 worth of drugs. They practiced medicine in partnership in San Francisco during the winter of 1849-50. The next spring the two doctors divided stock, and Dr. Ordway went to Klingmans Point in northern California. Here he practiced medicine and sold miners supplies. He also boarded travelers. He continued this four years, and then he moved to Chips Flats. Here he invested $1,000 in a gold mine, and he operated it for a year. He then sold half interest in if for $2,500 and shortly afterwards he sold the other half interest for $1,500. He then returned to Iowa for a visit. He later returned to California again and ran his old business for 18 months. He came to Iowa the spring of 1855. It was his intention to invest some money in land and get his sister and her husband to look after his interests here, and he would return to California, but his sister died, so he had to remain to look after his own interests.
   Dr. Ordway was known well in our area. He traveled often up the valley as far as Ida Grove to administer to the sick. He purchased 1,280 acres of Monona County land, and he built 3 homes on his property, and he moved from one place to the other. It is believed he owned land in Woodbury County, too. Godfrey Durst bought some land from W.W. Ordway in 1887. He traveled by stage coach.
   On Dr. Ordway's back to Iowa trip in 1855 he stopped at the O.B. Smith Inn of Smithland, and he stayed with this family over the winter. He had given Mrs. Smith a satchel that contained about $3,000, and he carried about $1,200 on his person. He gave Mrs. Smith the satchel and told her to take car of it for him as he was going to Belvidere (Castana). She commented on the weight of the bag when he gave it to her, but she was unaware of what was in it. She put the bag under her bed. A couple who was staying at the Inn overnight slept on the floor near the bed of Mrs. Smith. During the night she heard the couple whispering. The next morning the satchel was missing, so she told her husband. O.B. Smith (founder of Smithland) tracked footprints in the snow to a hollow tree. He found the valise in the Little Sioux River. He questioned the couple, but they said they had been robbed, too. They were put under surveillance, though, by Orrin Smith who was a scout, and he slily watched the couple. He one day saw the man go to the hollow tree, then Mr. Smith found the money tucked into the hollow of the tree. The law-breaker was taken to Council Bluffs and jailed, but with the help of a conniving wife, he escaped from the jail.
   On January 2, 1885, Dr. Ordway, who lived on Section 13 near Onawa, was attacked by robbers. Dr. Ordway was a man of wealth and loaned money to many Men who loaned money then were often hated because of the high interest rates they charged. Men who did have money had no place to put it for safekeeping as there were no banks. Three men, the Stuble brothers, who had borrowed from him but disliked the doctor, approaches his house about midnight. When the doctor heard the rap on the door, he asked who was there. They told him John Pott's child had the croup, and they wanted some medicine. He dressed and lit the lamp, but before he had the lamp shade on the lamp, a load of buckshot which was fired from the north window hit his face. He fell, but by some superhuman power he staggered for his gun. The man who had entered the house picked up a trunk which he knew contained the doctor's papers, and as he ran out the door the doctor said he told the other to man to finish Dr. Ordway off. They fired again but missed. Dr. Ordway had a desperate fight with the men outside, but the three got away. Papers were strewn about in the snow, and they had burned some. The papers were valued at $100,000.
A Pleisaurus, 1880
   In 1880 Joseph Brewer, a farmer, discovered a fossil on his farm in Ponca, Nebraska. He and his sons started digging bones with a pick axe and crow bar, having at first no idea as to the size of the fossil. After they had the bones removed, the reconstructed them. When cemented together they stretched to 80' and the bones weighted more than 6 tons. Parties at Covington (South Sioux City) purchased the remains. Scientists studying the remains said the bones were as much as 500,000 years old. When the animal was alive, a long necked marine reptile, it would have measured 100' long and it could lift its head 35' above the ground. This fossil was sold to the museum in Chicago.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Prohibition Amendment to Constitution, 1882, Sioux City
   From the time that our country started to grow, saloons and drinking had been allowed. In fact, efforts were made to develop the grape growing and beer-making industries. Des Moines supported the largest distillery in the world in 1882. In Iowa there was strong anti-liquor feeling in the rural areas, but towns bordering the state along the rivers grew rich and upheld the liquor traffic. The Constitution at first prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages save ale, beer and wine, but as years went by this law was violated, so an amendment was added to the Constitution which forbade to be made or sold as beverages all intoxicating liquors. The Clark Law was then enacted which closed all drinking places in Iowa. The river cities paid no attention to the law, and Sioux City was one of these trouble spots. A sort of war developed between the prohibition and anti-prohibition elements.
   The Sioux City businessmen felt the abolishment of the saloon would hurt the trade in the area. The law-abiding citizens sought to enforce the law. Rev. George B. Haddock, pastor of First Methodist Episcopal Church in Sioux City was a temperance worker. The townsmen shirked their responsibilities, but Rev. Haddock preached from his pulpit that the law should be enforced, and he became a prosecuting witness in the courts. Two ministers' wives from Sergeant Bluff also signed information and appeared as witnesses against the saloons. The lives of all these persons were in danger, and they were threatened. They were hissed at in public, reviled by a portion of the press, and were discouraged by other clerical persons, but steadily saloons started closing, and the sentiment was growing steadily in favor of the laws.
   A Saloon Keepers Association was formed, and a meeting was held on August 2, 1886, in Holdenreid's Hall. They discussed whipping Walker, Wood and Haddock who were the witnesses for the state. George Treiber, a saloon keeper, said he knew two Germans, Koschnitski and Granda, who would whip the preacher if paid. Someone said there was seven or eight hundred dollars in the treasury of the association, and if these men wanted to do the job they would be paid.
   One night Rev. Haddock and C.C. Turner hired a horse and buggy at Merrills Livery Stable on Water St. to make a trip to Greenville where they planned to get more evidence for use in the prosecution. The saloon keepers, upon hearing of the trip, hired a hack and followed. Others stayed in the city to watch for the return of the buggy to the stable. The men who had followed returned about 10:00 p.m. The hired thugs, Bismarck Koschnitski and Granda were sent to the stables to await the return of the ministers, and small groups of conspirators were stationed on 4th St. When word passed down 4th St. that the buggy was coming, all gathered quickly at the corner of 4th and Water St. which was 100' from the livery stable.
   When Mr. Haddock alighted from the buggy, an employee at the livery told Mr. Haddock a man had inquired at the livery about him. Even though it was a dark and rainy night, Mr. Haddock could see the group of men, and he asked the employee if the men were laying for him. The nostler told him he did not know. Mr. Haddock took a sling shot from his pocket, a heavy pinion wheel at the end of a line, bravely stepped out of the barn, and walked 50' north toward the Columbia House Hotel. He then turned and walked toward the men on the opposite corner. Two men came toward him. One of the men stepped back after peering in Mr. Haddock's face, and he fired a gun. Mr. Haddock dropped his cane and fell. A fireman, John Ryan, went to the dying man. He was taken to the Methodist Parsonage, and a doctor and coroner were called. The bullet from the gun had entered the base of the neck, passed through the neck, and out at an angle in the jaw.
   After this incident some of the men involved fled from justice. John Arensdorf was charged with murder, and Harry L. Leavitt, Paul Leader, Fred Munchrath, Louis Plath, Albert Koschnitski, George Treiber, and Granda with conspiracy. The trial lasted 22 days. They deliberated 20 hours. Eleven held out for acquittal, and one for conviction. John D.O. O'Connell, who was for conviction, said he never could agree with the other jurors. Nearly every witness that had appeared had been engaged in liquor traffic, and some had even been implicated in the conspiracy. Grand or Steamship Charlie, as he was called, said that he and Koschnitski were to assault Rev. Haddock and the rest were to help out. He said as he came across the street with a revolver in his hand, Arensdorf grabbed the revolver and told him (Granda) that he was too drunk to shoot. Arensdorf had fired the shot, and when Mr Haddock fell, the crowd fled.
   John Arensdorf was tried a second time, in December 1887, but it was impossible to convict the man. Some of the officials were even dishonest. The jury was screened closely, but due to legal cunning, justice was defied. The verdict the second time again was not guilty.
   The death of Rev. Haddock did aid the enforcement of the liquor laws. Everyone now united in suppressing the evil of saloons and drinking. The saloons and their evils disappeared in Sioux City before they did in Covington. Many saloon keepers from Sioux City moved to South Sioux City as laws in Nebraska were less severe. Covington gained the reputation of being the toughest spot in the middle west. There was no bridge crossing the Missouri in 1886, and one could cross the river only by ferry. In 1889 a pontoon bridge was built across the Missouri, and it was used for seven years by people on foot. There was a toll of 5¢ to cross on the pontoon, and some days the toll would amount to as much as $100. There was a steady stream of men going across to South Sioux to get a drink. The railroad bridge was built across the Missouri in 1888, and a bridge for wagons and street cars in 1895.
   Each town had their problems with the saloon. Ida Grove and Battle Creek in Ida County were slower to rid themselves of saloons than Danbury. A large number of men from Danbury would board the train at Danbury and go to Battle Creek or Ida Grove to drink each day. They could return to Danbury on the next passenger train going to Danbury. Danbury was not too pleased with prohibition, either, but the laws had to be enforced. An article in The Danbury Review, July 19, 1886, said,
   "The present attempt to enforce prohibition in Sioux City by parties outside of Sioux City look very much like an unprejudiced mind, like a scheme on the part of an attorney for the prosecution and the complainants to deprive the city of revenue it was deriving from the saloons with the purpose of getting a part of that revenue themselves. The 23 cases brought up in court have already been continued 2 or 3 times without any showing of the saloons we are informed, but merely by agreement. These parties had for their own good and the good of the people push these matters to a close or stand aside as so far their course has only injured both prohibition and the saloons."
How Mail was First Delivered to Sioux City, 1855
   Dr. Yoemans was sent as a registrar to record land sales in Sioux City in 1855. The stage upon which he was riding stopped at Council Bluffs which was the end of the stage line. There was a large pile of mail pouches there, one including office books and supplies of his from the general office at Washington, DC. He was told that there was no public conveyance to take them, but as soon as someone came along going in the direction of Sioux City, they would send them. Mr. Yoemans prevailed on the Western Stage Co. to take him and the mail pouches on to Sioux City, the trip taking two to three days. Western Stage Co. soon put a regular conveyance on this route to carry mail from Council Bluffs to Sioux City.
Last Buffalo in Woodbury County, 1868
   Two fine buffalo, the last two to be seen in Iowa, were killed by Jim Allen who lived 3 1/2 miles south of Sergeant Bluff. They had crossed the Missouri River into Iowa. In 1800 there were sixty million head on the Great Plains. In 1870 there were five million. More than 5,000 buffalo hunters came into the area and soon there were just a few stragglers. The buffalo herd, as the Indian, kept moving west.
   Gathering honey and preparing it for sale was a big business. Honey then was taken from trees, and some gathered as much as a ton a year. To get the honey, the tree was cut down. Most honey was sold in the comb. Honey was used for bartering.

Cost to Raise a Bushel of Corn 1862
Planting 3 acres at $2 an acre $6.00
Harrowing 1.00
Marking out 2.00
Planting, man and boy 2 days 2.50
Seed .50
Plowing, man and horse 4 days @1.25 a day 5.00
Husking and cribbing at 3 1/2¢ a bu. 8.40
Interest on value of land, $2 a year 6.00
Total cost for 3 acres $31.40

Laundry Woman
   An enterprising Irish wash woman brought with her to Sioux City two large iron kettles and set up a business as wash woman. She washed the clothes on the bank of Perry Creek using water from the stream. She heated her water in the kettles suspended from poles above a fire. She boiled, washed, and hung the clothes to dry on bushes. She often found Indian beads in the folds of the dried clothing as above her was Prospect Hill which had been a burial ground of the Indians. Deceased Indians were blanketed and placed in trees on Prospect Hill.
Game Birds
   In 1869 game birds came only as far north as Iowa as Iowa then was an ideal spot with all the sloughs and so much water. Wild ducks especially liked the water and when frightened would fly from one slough to another. Many of the larger birds such as white cranes, sand billed cranes, and geese came and commenced to feed on the crops. There were millions of blackbirds in the fall, and a flock would extend for miles. A single shotgun blast fired in the midst of a flying flock would fell 50 birds as there were so many of them. There also were thousands of prairie chickens and curlews, another long legged bird that nested here. These large flocks of birds could destroy the small crops the first settlers had in a short time. As the settlers came and drained the sloughs, the birds had to travel farther north.
   The rivers were very crooked in this area in the 1860s, and there were so many fish in the streams that they could be caught by hand. A wagon was backed into the water with a chain attached to the tongue of the wagon so that the wagon could be pulled back out of the water when you finished fishing. Pickeral, carp, sheepheads, catfish, and bullheads that weighed a pound or more were caught in the rivers. One waded into the river, and when a fish was caught between your hand you threw it in the wagon. Some made traps and often you could get a half-ton catch in the trap. It was a Sunday entertainment to go to the river to fish. Nets were sometimes used to drive the fish into a trap. The Maple River furnished plenty of fish before it was straightened in 1922.
Breaking Plow
   The breaking plow turned a furrow of approximately 22". It ran on trucks, and it had a long lever to hold it in position. A left-handed plow was an advantage when breaking ground with oxen as the driver then did not have to walk in the tall prairie grass. He walked on the turned sod which was smoother walking. Four or more oxen furnished the pull, and loud cracks of the bullwhip kept them moving. Plowing sod was actually an easy job except for the walking. Once the plow was set in the ground, it would go the entire length of the field as a rule without being touched. There also were steam plows.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Homes in 1870
   The first frame houses were small, usually one room downstairs and a loft above. Cost of this house was $600. Bricks were $6 a thousand; clear pine lumber was $10 a thousand foot. Masons charged $2.50 for a 10 hour day; carpenters were $2.25 a day. Nails were $1.25 per 100 lbs., and cottonwood lumber was $20 a thousand foot. A small house was 24x24.
Court House in Sioux City, Woodbury, County 1875
   They started to build the first court house in Sioux City in 1875, but it was not completed until January 1, 1878. Cost $78,000.
   Peddlers were common visitors. They traveled various ways and sold different products. Some walked carrying a pack of his wares on his back. They sold towels, tablecloths, silk scarves, neck ties, mouth organs, jews harps, handkerchiefs, lace, calico, yard goods, sewing supplies, jack knives, whistles shaped like roosters, men's socks and bandanas, clocks, etc. These peddlers later became store owners.
Small Park on Main Street 1873-1910
   When the town was first laid out a small park on Main Street was allowed. It was the space between Louck's Drug Store and John Hart's Meat Shop. Trees were planted in the space, a well dug, blue grass planted, and lounging benches were scattered about. A small group of men could often be seen in the park in the summertime. Some played horseshoes, others checkers. Richard Loucks, Thomas Frentress and Godfrey Durst, Sr. would often play croquet there. Men visited while resting on the benches, whittled and often talked politics or some other subject of interest. On days when the town was celebrating some event, the women having small children sat on the benches and visited while caring for their children.
   The trees were uprooted, and the town destroyed the park in 1910. Loucks Drug Store was destroyed, and the present drug store and bank were built in a part of the park space. Mrs. Emma Murphy (Emma Seibold) built the Seibold Building (Doc Sheumaker office) in 1919 in the park space.
Gas Lights, Sioux City 1868
   The first street lights were gas lamps, and the light had to be lit every night. Storekeeper Menzescheimer of Sioux City was the first merchant to use gas lights. Cost of gas was 7¢ an hour.
Castana Creamery
   In 1889 Castana had a model cheese creamery. It took in 3,500 lbs. of milk daily. The building was 30'x52' and was 2 stories with an engine room, office, receiving room, ice and cold storage compartment, curing room, and storage room. It had a 12 horse power centrifugal separator, cheese and milk vats, churn, cheese press, scales, etc. Cost was $6,600.
   Smithland also had a creamery and cheese factory.
Products and Farming Facts in Woodbury County, 1885
Average size of farm   163 A.
Acres of improved land
Acres in cultivation   114,209
Acres unimproved land
Farms operated by owners
Farms rented   242
Acres of potatoes   928
Bushels of potatoes   90,648
Acres of corn raised   74,189
Acres of wheat raised   17,364
Bushels of corn   2,714,690
Bushels of wheat   243,096
Acres of oats raised   11,488
Bushels of oats harvested
Acres of planted timbers
Acres of natural timber   6,155
Bushels of flax harvested
   Isaac Ashton was the third settler within the limits of Monona County. He gave land for a town plat which was called Ashton after him. The settlement grew fast, and it was planned that it should be the county seat of Monona County; Ashton was northeast of Onawa and southeast of Whiting.
   In 1856 the first term of court began there with Hon. Samuel Riddle on the bench. After the first election, officers elected came to Ashton and commenced building residences for themselves. A court house was being erected there when a petition was started to have the county seat at Onawa instead of Ashton. The county seat was in question for some time, but Onawa won out. The county seat was moved, and the town of Ashton died slowly. Many of the businesses started in Ashton were moved to Onawa.
Niobrara and Sawyers Route 1850
   Scouts were constantly looking for easier routes for the wagon trains to follow going west. Colonel Sawyer, a pioneer from Sioux City, founded one of the most popular routes. He had operated a ferry across the Missouri at Sioux City for a number of years, but his wish was to find an easier route than the one the Mormons had taken in 1846. He was to get military assistance to find a route to Virginia City, but none was forthcoming, so Sawyer and a few other brave men surveyed the road alone. This was the shortest route found up to this time. It evaded the alkali lands. It soon became a popular route as there was plenty of feed, water, fuel, and a good road bed.
Collins and Russel, Fort Custer, 1874
   In 1874 two scouts and frontier men from Sioux City took 26 men, most of them married with families, to Custer City to build a fort. They outfitted their wagons with all material needed at Sioux City. To get there they would have to go through the Sioux Nation, braving Indian attacks as well as rain and snow. They built a stockade 80' square, walls of pine logs 13' high, and there was a 4' trench around it. Six cabins were erected inside the fort, and at each corner was a bastion. Port holes were placed every 6 feet. The government troops were to use the fort. After the troops arrived, the builders returned to their homes. There were many expeditions outfitted in Sioux City as there were in all river cites.
   Bells played a large part in every community. The first bells in Danbury were the fire bell and the bell on the public school. The school bells rang a first and last bell to call the children to school, a tardy bell, recess and dismissal bell. Church bells in three churches rang at 6:00 a.m., Sunday noon, and 6:00 p.m. When a person from the parish died, the bells tolled his age and again just before the church service for his funeral. The Commercial House Hotel and the Castle House rang a bell to announce meals. The milk man who delivered milk with his wagon rang a bell as he came up the street. A bell also rang to announce the beginning of a horse race. A man announced a sale while walking down the street ringing a bell.
Trees Used as Boundary of Land
   Before there were fences, rows of trees were often set out to mark dividing lines. Dan Thomas, James Pearce, and Thomas Frentress all planted trees. Mr. Frentress planted all walnut trees, and two Indian boys related to Mrs. Koker helped him plant them, some of which still stand today.
Ku Klux Klan, 1920s
   The Ku Klux Klan was quite active in Northwest Iowa in the 1920s. The number of members had increased steadily a number of years. On July 4, 1924, a fiery cross was burned at Mapleton. The reason and responsible parties were unknown.
   A meeting place for members was a cow pasture (present trailer court and hillside on Old 141 just this side of Morningside). On meeting days the hillside would be covered with white robed Klansmen.
100 Years Ago
   In 1856 there were 212 votes cast in the presidential election in Woodbury County. There were 706 votes cast in Harrison, Audubon, Monona, Crawford, Shelby and Woodbury Counties combined.
   In 1858 there were 3 school districts in Woodbury County, and there was a total of 248 children attending school between ages 5 and 21. There were 154 in Sioux City Township, 26 in Sergeant Bluff, and 68 in Little Sioux Township.
Financial Crash of 1857
   The 1850s were hard years, and no one had money. Business deals were done by exchange, or in terms of produce. A farmer was once asked how he would trade potatoes for Agriculture Bank money, and he replied, "Bushel for bushel."
   A building contractor with employees made them very little in actual cash. One man worked 9 months for $13, another a year for $4, but they received pay in store orders, groceries, dry goods, boots, shoes, harness, etc.
   It was hard to travel in those years as one could not carry produce. Hotel keepers trusted no one.
Price of Farm Land
   The government paid the Indians from 1¢ to 75¢ an acre for their land. First land sales in 1838 near Dubuque and Burlington was $1.25 an acre. Slough land or swamp land in Northwest Iowa also sold for $1.25 an acre. Highest priced land in the 1850s were tracts containing timber, dry prairie, pure springs, or a navigable river. Good land in the 1860s in our area was $12 an acre. The price of railroad land was determined by how far away or how close the land was to the railroad station, that being closest to the station was the highest from $6 to $35 an acre. Average for farm land in 1900 was $43 an acre. By 1930 farm land had dropped again to $85 for poorest and $135 for best. By 1969 prices of land had gone wild again, from $300 to $500 an acre.
Glanders Disease
   A disease very infectious and easily spread in horses was Glanders Disease. Horses taking the disease were destroyed. A man living on the present Charles Uhl farm bought a horse from a distance, and the horse died of the disease. The farm was quarantined, horses were all destroyed, and the barn was burned. No vehicle was left in or out of the farm until they were sure any danger of spreading the disease was gone.
Mole Ditches
   There was much unwanted land, the swamp land, when our country was being settled. Water ran from higher ground to the lowlands where the water scattered and made sloughs. The rivers had no river beds as they do today, and when it rained, water spread out all over the valleys. Land like this sold for $1.25 an acre. They had an implement, a mole ditcher, that cut the sod like a knife, and also made the hole underground like a mole tunnel.
   Joe Welte remembered them making mole ditches when he was a child. He said men equipped for this work traveled from farm to farm to make the ditches in the sloughs. It took 6 oxen to pull the machine, and they had extra oxen in case they needed them. The harnesses were extra heavy, and an extra large evener (8 inches square) was used behind the oxen. He once saw them make a ditch down through the Oberreuter farm, and he said the oxen were in water up to their backs, and the men driving the oxen used long leather whips or blacksnakes on the oxen to keep them moving so the animals would not mire down as the slough mud was about like quicksand.
   Today the mole ditches are 30' to 40' deep.
Ear Plugs
   When the phonograph was first invented by Edison, you could listen to the music on records with ear plugs. This was quite an attraction at early fairs. It cost 5¢ to get a pair of plugs for your ears.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

   Before there were bridges there were ferry crossings on the Mississippi, Missouri, Little Sioux and Big Sioux Rivers. The French Canadians who had been fur traders in our area bought land, and they operated the ferries. There was a ferry crossing at Smithland and at Little Sioux below Onawa. Larpenteur had married a Blackfoot Indian girl, and he operated the ferry below Onawa. His wife was killed near the river by a group of Indians from the Omaha tribe who had come north to get revenge on the Sioux near Sioux City. They thought she was a Sioux.
   Rates were team and wagon 24¢, a horse and wagon 20¢, single horse 15¢, footman 10¢, sheep and swine 5¢ a head.
   Woodbury County has experienced three earthquakes. One June 2, 1911, two tremors were felt at 3:25 and 4:30 p.m. The walls shivered, and the dishes rattled. Another tremor was felt in 1858, and in 1877 there was a tremor severe enough to dismiss court and school in Sioux City.
Townships Formed
   Liston Township - November 10, 1868. Liston Township was first a part of Little Sioux Township, then Correctionville Township from which it was carved.
   Morgan Township was carved from Liston Township in 1884.
   Maple Township was formed in Monona County in 1854.
   Cooper Township was carved from Maple Township on June 19, 1879.
   Center Township was carved from Maple Township, Monona County, 1864.
   Ida County was formed in 1850.
   Danbury: Was named by combining the first name of the founder, Dan Thomas with the last part of Woodbury County, bury.
   Climbing Hill: Was named by a settler, and he was also the first postmaster there, C.E. Ostrander. The town was first on a bluff, and Mr. Ostrander had to climb the bluffs, so the name Climbing Hill. When it was moved to lower ground, the name continued.
   Cooper Township: Monona County, was named for Cyrus Cooper, and early settler.
   Turin: Was named by an Italian laborer on the railroad. He often talked of his home in Turin, Italy.
   LeMars: Was named through a social event. Six girls attended this event. The initials of the six girls' names were placed in a suitable order, and they came up with the name LeMars.
   Hornick: Derived its name from John Hornick, a good citizen of the settlement.
   Remsen: Derived its name from Dr. William Remsen, a large land owner there.
   Council Bluffs: Was first named Kanesville but later changed to Council Bluffs because of a large tree near the bluffs where the Indians and white settlers had often met to decide some issue.
   Oto: Was first called Anetta, later changed to Oto, the name of an Indian tribe.
   Belvidere: A settlement in Monona County, was platted and laid out by Samuel Scott, and this town wanted the county seat. It was centrally located and was not as low and flat as Onawa. A Seat of Justice was established there, and then it came to a vote. In 1861 Onawa received 119 votes, and Belvidere 104. After that the town dwindled as it was not on a railroad line. Some moved to Turin as Turin had the railroad. A cemetery that started there still remains.
   Soldier: Was first called St. Claire as it had been platted by a man from St. Claire, Wisconsin.
   Battle Creek: Was so named because of a battle between the surveyors of the government and a group of Sioux Indians in 1849. There were two settlements, Bluff Dale west of Battle Creek and Willow Dale east of Battle Creek, but they were low and wet for a town, so a town known as Battle Creek began on higher ground.
   Castana: Was either named by the Day brothers who were among the first settlers. They came from Maine where there were many oak trees, and Castana means "little oak trees." O.B. Smith, who founded Smithland, also founded Castana, and he had a daughter, Castana. There seems to be a difference as to how Castana did get its name.
   Smithland: Was named by the Smith brothers, Orrin and Edwin Smith, the first permanent settlers at Smithland.
   Onawa: An Indian word meaning "wide awake."
   Iowa: An Indian word meaning "beautiful land."
   Salix: Received its name in an unusual way. Where the town is now located, there once was an abundance of willow trees. Settlers there thought of calling their town Willows, but some did not think it was very sophisticated. Someone suggested looking up willows in the dictionary and using the botanical term for willows. The term was Salix Longifolis, so they took the first part of the term and called their town Salix.
   Ida Grove: Was named for the first baby born in the settlement. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Smith of Smithland. A group of men from the settlement of Smithland had been sent to Ida County near the present town of Ida Grove to build a bridge on the Fort Dodge stage coach route. In the first years the stage went to Smithland from Ida Grove and then on to Sioux City. Edwin Smith built a log cabin near the Maple River and had taken his family with him when the men were building the bridge. The baby born there was a girl they named Ida, and Grove was for the trees.
   Holly Springs: Was named for Holly Springs, Mississippi.
   Settlements that did not survive: There were several settlements that did not survive; most of them were abandoned after the railroad bypassed them. They were Quorn near Kingsley, Peiro near Climbing Hill (Peiro had a school, church, store, blacksmith shop, and was a stage stop), Lucky Valley near Anthon, Belvidere near Castana, Ashton near Onawa, Cork Hill near Oto, Maple Landing near Sloan, and Old Mapleton near Mapleton.
   Old Mapleton: The first settler in Maple Valley near Mapleton was William H. Wilsey in 1855. He settled on the present Schoenjahn farm. He gave the settlement the name Mapletown as there were so many maple trees along the river. Mr. Wilsey arrived on August 1, 1855, with his family. He claimed land by pre-emption, living on it a year and then paying for it. He claimed 160 acres in Sections 14 and 23, Maple Twp., Monona Co. They came by covered wagon, and then they pitched a tent which served as a home until Mr. Wilsey completed a hay shanty house. Only Indians were their neighbors. You saw small groups of them daily. Smithland was the nearest settlement, and Belvidere was 14 miles distant. To get wheat ground, you had to haul it to Panora, 60 miles distant. William H. Wilsey was born in Troy, Bradford County, Pennsylvania. He moved with his parent to Ohio when he was 6 and later years to Michigan and Illinois. He was united in marriage to Sarah Jane Cunningham in 1844, and they had a family of four, Clarissa, Nelson A., Duke W., and William H. Mr. Wilsey lost his first wife and married again to a widow, Mrs. (Amos) Sarah Ruggles Maynard. At was after this marriage that the family came to Iowa and settled in Maple Township. He married a third time to Mrs. Mary A. Smith on March 27, 1877.
   The Wilsey home was a stage stop. The Iowa legislature passed an Act in January 1855 to build a road extending from Panora to Guthrie County to Sergeant Bluff in Woodbury County, and Congress was asked to authorize a weekly mail delivery over this route. This route went through Denison after leaving Panora, then Old Mapleton, Smithland past famous landmarks of Barlows Hall, Camp Creek, Big and Little Whisky Creeks, and Dead Mans Run or Dead Mans Hill, following what we know today as Old 141 into Sergeant Bluff and later into Sioux City. There were several stations along this route where travelers could eat and rest a bit. This route was in operation by 1857. Another stage went through Mapleton going from Sioux City to Council Bluffs. The Sioux City to Denison road became known as Denison Highway, and there was a sign on Blankenhorn Corner saying Half Way. Heart Dowd ran a Half Way House somewhere between Mapleton and Denison, and travelers stopped there overnight and got supplies at a general store there owned by H.C. Laubs. Horses were watered and fed at these stops. There was a fenced enclosure on the Wilsey farm, and the stage company kept about 300 horses there at all times. The arrival of the stage coach was very exciting. The stage would come in with a flourish. The driver sounded a horn upon arrival, and when the stage departed he cracked his whip with authority. Rates varied, usually 5-10¢ a mile, depending on weather. Some settlers from the Danbury area received mail on these stages. Alexander Trego was the driver.
   Esom Lee also came in 1855, and he went into the sawmill business with Mr. Wilsey. The first religious service by Elder Clark in 1859 were in his home. In 1856 Mr. Wilsey built the first bridge (wooden) across the Maple River, and he received $230 out of the Swamp Land Fund for building it. One of the first marriages performed, though not the first, was Clarissa Wilsey who married John Heisler on June 16, 1861. Esom and Elizabeth Lee had the first baby born. Hart Warren's son was the first to die in the settlement, and he was buried on the Wilsey farm. A few more were buried there before a cemetery was started. Mr. Wilsey also built the first school on his property, Section 14 in 1859, a 16x24' building. Children had previously attended school in a log cabin of Theodore Kellogg. The schools cost $80. Mr. Wilsey laid out Old Mapleton in 1857 with the hopes it might become a town. A pioneer store operated by Ira Price opened there. In 1870 he closed up and moved on a farm. In 1874 Mr. Wilsey and L.H. Monroe put in a supply of general stock, and then Mr. Wilsey sold to C.H. Simmons. Mr. Wilsey then bought out Mr. Monroe, and they continued the store to 1877. The pioneer blacksmith was J.E. Baxter, and he began in 1868. The Mapleton post office was established, too, in Old Mapleton with Bushrod Warren as postmaster, and he was succeeded by James A. Scott, Mr. Seibold (deputy), Q.A. Wooster, Mr. Wilsey, and Charles Simmons.
   The Chicago Northwestern Railroad was approaching Mapleton in 1877, and the tracks were coming down the east side of the river, and the station would also be built on the east side. Nearly all of the business places on the Wilsey farm moved across the river in 1877 and 1878. The town on the east side of the river was known as East Mapleton until an election was held to change the name to Mapleton.
   After the completion of the railroad, Mr. Wilsey had lived in Old Mapleton for 20 years. His third wife was from Little Sioux, IA, and they moved there in 1876. His farm was sold to L.C. Lamp.
   Names given to certain areas around Danbury: Devils Den, a small timber on the hillside south of Danbury was so named because there were wolves living in dens there. Early settlers wished to scare their children, so they told them the devil would get them if they went into the timber; hence it became known as Devils Den. Dutch Hollow was so named because the first settlers were of German and Dutch nationality in that particular hollow. Turtle Back Hill, a steep hill northeast of Danbury, was so named because it took horses an eternity to make the hill. Their speed was a turtle's speed, so Turtle Back Hill. When cars were first invented, people liked to try them out for speed on that hill. Dry Run was a picnic area a mile east of Danbury on the Maple River. Many wildflowers grew there. Spauldings Grove was also a picnic area. It adjoined Home Spaulding's farm, but the land belonged to Adam Treiber. Poverty Farm was a very hilly and poor farm east of Danbury. Many went broke there. Lover's Lane was a popular road for "spooners" south from the Mill. Frog Farm had many frogs on the Soldier River.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

   Barlow Hall, 1879: Alexander K. Barlow of Manchester, England, came to Sioux City in 1879 and bought several thousand acres of land about 10 miles on this side of Sioux City along Old 141. He paid the average price of $6 an acre. He had plans to build a baronial home called Barlow Hall. The building was to be heated by fireplaces located in various rooms. There were difficulties. Pat Crow, well digger, could not find water. The construction material of native clay was hauled by ox team from Sioux City, and 2 streams had to be forded on that trip. Barlow removed a county bridge from the Little Whiskey Creek and moved it to another point on Big Whiskey Creek. He than had to haul material up a steep bluff over an undeveloped trail-like road. Twenty-five workmen were hired to construct the mansion. The progress was slow and disrupted by an unseasonal snowstorm in October. The storm kept workers prisoners in their flimsy shacks.
   Barlow was a man who had very little consideration for others. He had a royal disregard for the county roads and the rights of his neighbors. He fenced the land according to his own plans, and once he blocked the upper Smithland and Eberly roads. The county bridge he had removed cost the county $300. After Barlow removed the bridge, the county served notice on him to remove the fences and replace the bridge. He said the bridge had been put in the wrong place by the supervisors, and they should consider him a public benefactor for the four days work which he had spent removing the bridge. Capt. Barlow was assessed $500 and costs.
   When finished, Barlow Hall had a slate roof, was 3 stories high, and had 24 rooms. A keystone over the doorway bore a double-headed bird clasping a branch in its out-thrust claws and cut into it was the date 1880 and Barlow's initials. Stain glassed windows were fit into tall cathedral arches. The interior was richly furnished with old weapons, oil paintings, bronzes and polished furniture, and a tall clock of dark carved oak wound by weights helped reproduce the English interior of the house. Monogrammed linen, porcelain, and solid silver enriched the dining room. On the second floor was a ballroom for dances and banquets. Scotch firs lined the driveways, and pines covered the green slopes.
   The Barlows were an aristocratic couple, and they had anticipated entertaining often, but they were not used to the Iowa winters, and the winters of 1880-81 and 1881-82 convinced them that their fireplaces were inadequate and their ideas were not practical. They started to go back to England for the winters and would return to Iowa in the summer, but they found this was costly. They soon sold their mansion and Iowa land.
   This property was always a topic of conversation. Due to his demanding characteristics, he was disliked, and many stories were told about him. Foster Iddings told of his father once meeting him on the road with a wagonload of wheat pulled with a 4-wheel hitch. Capt. Barlow, though driving only a wagon, forced Mr. Iddings off the trail. Some said Capt. Barlow, although he had no medical knowledge, once operated on his wife. The Hall was once renovated and used as a Road House, but this venture, too, seemed doomed for failure. The home soon became a haven for pigeons and wild animals. It was razed about 1930, and today, 1965, all that remains are a few of the scotch and fir trees on the slope.
   Camp Creek: Was a spot along a creek about 15 miles southeast of Sioux City at which all persons from this area and also persons from Smithland camped while traveling.
   Dead Man's Run or Dead Man's Hill: The long hill on Old 141 just this side of present Morningside obtained its name from an incident in our early history. Ivy Johnson, an early settler, had wandered some distance from his home while hunting. He encountered a group of malicious Indians and had to run for his life. The Indians overtook him, so the story goes, and killed and scalped Johnson; hence, the name Dead Man's Hill. In later years this hill was called The Golden Slipper Hill as there was a Golden Slipper Dance Hall at the top of the hill.
   Whiskey Creeks: Travelers form Smithland to the west end of Monona County followed a trail under the bluffs to the bottomland, but they had to cross two streams. It was decided to build bridges over these two streams. In 1858 men from Smithland and Sergeant Bluff agreed to build the bridges over the then nameless streams. The saloon keeper at Sergeant Bluff, Joe Otten, could not help the other volunteer help, so he offered a substitute, a jug of whiskey which was filled to the very top with brandy. The Smithland crew had a keg of beer. The crews worked hard the first day. That night it was hot, and the camp was on mosquito infested ground, and the mosquitoes were making the crew miserable. To forget their misery, they began to drink the keg of beer, and after it was gone, they decided to try the jug. The flow of whiskey and beer was responsible for the naming of the two streams over which the bridges were built, Little Whiskey and Big Whiskey.
   Lum Hollow: The old stage coach route from Smithland to Mapleton was about one quarter mile south of Old 141, and the stopping place was on the old Peter Lamp farm, then William Wilsey's land. The four corner intersection west of Mapleton was the half-way station between Sioux City and Denison. Lum Hollow on this stretch of road received its name from Albert Lummes who came to Woodbury County to fish, trap, and hunt about 1855. He liked the area, filed for land, and the hollow on his farm was first called Lummes Hollow, later Lum Hollow.
   Tom King Hollow: Tom King was a thief and had stolen cattle and horses from his neighbors. He hid them in a gulch which at the time had no residents or roads passing. This gulch crossed sections 16, 17, and 18 running from West Fork Township in Woodbury County to the Little Sioux River in Monona County near Smithland. Abe Smith was deputy sheriff, and John Turman of Smithland was to accompany Abe to help him capture the suspected thief. They finally caught him, placed him in a buggy handcuffed, and they started toward Smithland. Tom King related some of his adventures, and in explaining them suddenly stood up and came down with his clasped hands on the deputy's head, knocked him out of the buggy and then fell on him. He secured the deputy's revolver and held it on Turman telling him to unhitch the horses. He then took the key from the deputy's pocket, unlocked the handcuffs, jumped on a horse, and scampered away. That was the end of Tom King, but the hollow from that time on bore his name.
Means of Transportation in 1850s
   The indians made canoes or piroques, framework being wood cut from native trees along the river banks, the cottonwood and willow being the most popular. Hides of the bull buffalo were sewn together, made watertight, and stretched around the framework of the boat. These boats were lightweight and could easily be carried from one place to another. They were also called mackinaws and bull boats.
   Keel boats were built in Pittsburgh and came with the white population. They were 60-70' long, had sails as well as motive power activated by a husky crew of men working with oars or poles by cordelling. Cordelling was to move a boat by pushing and pulling a tow line from an adjacent river bank. The French had some of these boats, and they liked to hum or chant as they moved the boat across the water.
   The first steamboat to come up the Missouri River was Western Engineer. It came a distance of 200 miles from St. Louis. The Indians called the steamboat Fire Canoe and Thunder Canoe. The Yellowstone came into Woodbury County in 1831. The fur traders from St. Louis came up river on these steamboats and traded knives, blankets and articles of adornment to the indians for fur pelts. They went back to St. Louis with pelts in the spring and returned again in the fall to make more trades with the indians and to do some trapping on their own.
War Eagle's Burial
   War Eagle was ceremonially buried on his chosen spot overlooking the Missouri River. His body was first wrapped in a blanket and then placed on a scaffold made of young trees. His body was placed in position so his spirit could depart and return as it pleased. His body was covered with boughs of trees so as to protect him from the sun and rain. He was later buried with his horse and other treasures.
Articles of Diet
   The first settlers lived on cornbread, hominy or samp, venison, pork (wild hogs), honey, dried pumpkin, turkey, prairie chicken, squirrel, and vegetables a portion of the year. Wheat bread, tea and coffee were luxuries. Wild fruits were obtainable during spring and summer.
A Trade in 1850
   John Kingen of Douglas Township in Ida County traded his quarter section of land for a good yoke of oxen and a hog to John Hittle.
Sergeant Bluff
   Sergeant Bluff was the first Woodbury County seat. It was moved to Sioux City in April 1856. Sergeant Bluff had the second school in the county, 1857, and it was taught by Adrian Oliver. Mail to Nebraska was routed to Sergeant Bluff where the stage crossed the Big Muddy on the ferry. In winters it crossed on the ice. Moville was named for the Mighty Mo, Missouri, an Indian word Pekitonoui, meant broad waters, muddy water, or big muddy.
Fort Dodge Stage Route
   It took 3-4 days to travel to Fort Dodge from Sioux City. The route in the first years came from Fort Dodge to Ida Grove. From Ida Grove it went to Smithland following the ridge of the hills. It continued this until 1863 when a new route was established into Sioux City. The Western Stage Co. made two trips a week by 1858 from Sioux City to Omaha.
Winnebago and Yankton Sioux Indians
   Many of the indians from these two reservations were related. Each year by 1880 they made regular visits to see one another. Danbury was on the trail which they followed. They picked wile fruits en route and often stopped in Danbury to sell the fruit or other articles they had made. Baskets were a popular item, and the men sold axe handles which they had hand carved.
Wisconsin Territory
   The Wisconsin Territory was created on July 4, 1836, and it included the present states of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota.
   On July 4, 1838, the state of Iowa was first created, and it extended over all of the present state and north to the British possessions. In October 1844, a convention was held in the state capitol of Iowa City to consider statehood. Statesmen wanted to fix boundaries and prepare a constitution. The boundary lines of Iowa then took in a part of Minnesota.
   On May 4, 1846, another convention was held at Iowa City, and the present constitution was accepted and our present boundary lines were formed. After an election, Iowa was admitted as the 29th state in the Union on December 28, 1846. Democrat Ansel Briggs was elected the first governor of the State of Iowa.
Fort Des Moines
   Fort Des Moines was built by Capt. Allen and his soldiers at the conflux of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers in 1843. The fort was built to protect the peacable Sac and Fox Indians from the white settlers and the Sioux Indian Tribe which always seemed to be on the war path. The Sac and Fox Indians had signed a peace treaty in 1842 which gave them 3 years in which to move on west. Dragoons or soldiers came up the river by steamer and occupied the fort along with the displaced indians and tried to keep peace between everyone. When the first white settlers came to this area in 1854, Des Moines was just a fort. By 1860 it was a small settlement. This old fort was restored in 1965.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Danbury's Population
1880 69
1890 423
1900 480
1910 510
1920 677
1930 656
1936 805
1940 728
1950 601
1960 510
1970 527
Liston Township's Population
1873 134
1875 142
1880 406
1885 864
1890 1,099
1900 1,394

   Liston Township has an elevation of 1,311 feet.
Priester's School House
   This school was on a ridge above the Maple River at the rear of Priester's land (present Don Patrick farm). It was built in 1867. Church services were held there. Many debates were held there, box socials, etc. This was one of the first schools in Maple Township in Monona County.
Santa Claus, 1931-1974
   Lawrence Otto, son of Walter and Katherine Treiber Otto (now deceased) has played Santa to both Danbury and Mapleton children since 1931. An uncle, Clarence Otto, had played Santa Claus to the children in the neighborhood where Ottos lived in Cooper Township in Monona County for 15 years, and when he retired, Lawrence took over the job. He started soon after he finished his schooling. He is now wearing his fifth Santa Claus suit. His whiskers and hair are imported from Germany. His wife Loretta makes his suit. He carries a switch, and he uses it on children who disobey him.
   During the month of December, he usually set up headquarters in some vacant business building on Main Street at Mapleton. A mail box was set outside for the little ones to mail their letters to Santa Claus. His car is his Christmas carriage. He decorated it with a string of colored lights, a North Pole license plate, and a large figure of Santa Claus riding on the hood of the car. The lights of the care are covered with either red or green paper. Through the years he has traveled by sleigh and horses, car, airplane, fire truck, and helicopter.
   He visits all homes with small children in both Danbury and Mapleton, and he visits all pre-Christmas programs in schools, churches, nursing homes, etc. Children are asked to sing a song, pray, or recite a poem for him. He sometimes visits homes unbeknownst to even the parents. He usually calls on every home two times, once early in the month to see how the children have been behaving, and again on Christmas Eve to bring their bag of toys. He says the oddest thing he ever delivered were three ponies to a family near Danbury. The ponies were decked out with red ribbons and bows and were led into the house. Lawrence likes to call on the elderly, also, and they seem to enjoy it as much as the children. The year 1973 was his 42nd year, two generations in most families, and in some cases, three generations. Lawrence, the Danbury community extends our thanks to you for this service.
   Lawrence attended school in Danbury. He has a sister, Minny (Mrs. Glen Uhl), and a younger brother, Earl. He married Loretta Koenigs of Mapleton, and they farmed for several years in Cooper Township in Monona County. They then moved to Mapleton, and Lawrence secured work as a mechanic. He and Loretta had two daughters, LuAnn who died when a child, and Linda (Mrs. Lyle Weikel). Walter Otto, 92, Lawrence's father, lives in Danbury.
Town Cave
   After the tornado in 1883, the town built a large cave large enough to accommodate all in the village. It was on Rita Fitzpatrick's lot.
Commercial Hotel
   Some have said that Dan Thomas built and owned the Commercial Hotel as well as the general store. According to abstract, the lot was sold by Blair Town Lot and Land Co. to Mary Pendergast in 1881. Sally Buoy, a relative of Ellis Kelley's, said she worked for Dan Thomas at the hotel. The first owners that were traced were Patrick and Anna Collins in 1885.
Summary: Chicago and Northwestern Railroad
   Danbury had a railroad for 96 years. The first through train went through in November, 1877. It was good for the town. When first built, the train was the only way one could commute a long distance, and it was used, too, for short trips. The first known depot agent was John M. Allen, and he was appointed for the job soon after the completion of the road. Alonzo Horn was a telegrapher and possibly worked here with Allen. He married the daughter of Dan Thomas, Alice. Other agents were A.B. Dowling, Charles Crombley, Howard D. Graham, John Olander, and Eliss P. Kelley.
   There were a number of accidents on the crossings at Danbury. Andrew Drenkhahn, husband of Anna Drenkhahn, was killed while crossing the Ralph Scott crossing on March 15, 1929. He was moving his family here from Vermillion, South Dakota. Left to mourn were his widow, Anna, and six children, Viola (Mrs. Lorn Rogge), Lawrence, Clarence, Violet (Mrs. Leslie Olson), Evelyn (Mrs. Robert Kennaley), and Andrew who was just seven days old when his father died. John C. Rhode was killed on the Patterson crossing on June 11, 1946, and three women, Mrs. Roy Sanders and her daughter, Marie Sanders York and Marie's mother-in-law Mrs. York were killed at the mill crossing in August of 1947. A transient tramp was also killed on the tracks near the depot. He had both legs severed in the accident.
   When first built, as many as six men were hired to maintain the tracks. When there was a snowstorm, many more were hired to shovel snow, and after floods men were also hired to repair flood damage to tracks. Men were always able to secure work when there was a railroad.
   In 1952, it was announced that the passenger train would be discontinued. July 25, 1952, was the last run. The depot was torn down the summer of 1959, and the tracks were taken out through Danbury the summer of 1973, but actual work started in Onawa the fall of 1971.
Cork Hill
   Cork Hill was the name of a settlement 10 miles north of Danbury. The first settlers to settle there were James and Ellen Collins Miller in 1855. They came west from Guttenberg, Dubuque County, where many relatives and friends had settled after leaving Cork County, Ireland, in 1844 and Franklin County in New York in 1852. Ten of Ellen's sisters and brothers came to Cork Hill to buy land and also Curtin, Mahoney, Kelly, O'Connells, Hayes, Hillard, and Harrigan families. They especially liked this area because of the hilly train, many trees for protection from cold, and wood provided fuel, and there were many good springs. These families were all of Catholic faith, and since they all had come originally from Cork County, Ireland, they gave their settlement the same name. In 1857 when Woodbury County was divided into four townships, Cork Hill was the terminus point for the stage coach from Sioux City after the new Correctionville Township was formed. A postmaster was appointed there, and a post office was established. There was a sawmill there on the Little Sioux River, and a blacksmith shop. These Irish settlers built a log cabin school, and a church and cemetery on Section 5 (now the Catholic cemetery of Oto). Cork Hill Catholic Church was a mission of St. John's in Jackson, Nebraska, before Sioux City had a Catholic church. After the stage coach route was established, a priest would come to Cork Hill to say Mass. Mass was said in the Patrick Collins home before there was a church at Cork Hill. After 1883 this church began a mission of St. Patrick's at Danbury and Fr. Timothy Meagher, resident priest at Danbury who took care of the Catholic parish there. He persuaded some of these families to move to Danbury or to this area.
   Thomas H. and William D. Flowers were the first settlers to settle on Section 8 in Kennebec Township in 1856. By 1862 the settlement had grown, and Thomas Flowers christened the settlement Arcola. At one time Arcola held an election wanting removal of the county seat of Monona County to Arcola. Election was held on October 14, 1862, and 100 citizens in the county were in favor of Arcola as the county seat, and 123 were against it. Many of the families here were of Methodist faith and were ministers. After their harvest was completed in the fall, they saddled their pack on their horses, and they traveled up and down the Maple River Valley preaching, holding missions, baptismal services at some river or body of water, etc. Their preaching was done in school houses or private homes.
Thomas Davis (owner of much of the land in this area)
   Thomas Davis and M.L. Jones arrived in Smithland the same time in 1854. M.J. Jones purchased the first farm in Liston Township and then came on to Liston Township with his brother-in-law, Joseph Edwards and family who also bought land in Liston Township. He was regarded as the first permanent settler. There was a spring on the M.L. Jones farm which the Indians visited when sick, and the called the springs Medicine Springs as they thought the water had healing qualities. Jones left his farm after the Indian scare in 1857 (Spirit Lake Massacre). Jones married Louise Smith, a daughter of Orrin B. Smith. They left from 1857 to 1876. He then returned to Smithland bought a general store and some farm land. Thomas Davis also bought land and sold some of it to Dan Thomas.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

   The Grange was a cooperative association to which many of the first farmers belonged. There was a large agricultural implement depot at Castana, and there was another large hall two miles northeast of Mapleton. The settlers ordered large amounts of groceries and other needed items through the Grange, and through their cooperative buying they obtained the needed items much cheaper then they could buy locally. Church services were often held at the Grange building near Mapleton.
   A group of farmers bought land cooperatively and called their settlement Preparation (later known as Pisgah). This was a religious group which later disintegrated as the leaders tried to swindle others in the group out of their land.
Country Schools
   A country school was closed after the enrollment dropped below 5. Wages for the country school teacher advanced. The Gambs sisters from Smithland were the first 2 grade teachers to teach in Danbury, and they received $22 a month. Wages increased to $75 or $80 a month in 1930 but then stabilized. All teachers had to attend a summer institute, held in Smithland or Correctionville, for 3 weeks during the summer months in the early days. Later the teachers went to Sioux City. Teachers in town schools always received higher wages, and, of course, they had better educations. Many of the country school teachers had only an 8th grade education. Most country schools had closed by 1950.
   Country school teachers - Plynn Woodward, Clark Gill, Axle Hansen, Isaiah "Pony" Davis, Ellen Kennedy (Mrs. P.C. Keitges), Lulu Kennedy (Mrs. Ed Driscoll), Cornelia Callaghan (Mrs. Joe Welte), Lucy Callaghan, Mary Fitzpatrick, Emma Seibold (Mrs. G.W. Murphy), Anna Fitzpatrick, Alma and Anna Babbe, Maggie Reilly, Maggie Morgan (Mrs. Dan Collins), Mamie and Anna Donnery, Lucy Desmond (Mrs. Maurice Colbert), Nellie Conway (Mrs. Michael Barry), Amy Owens (Mrs. Maurice Schoefield), Kitty Stowell, Mary Conway (Mrs. Floyd Lacey), Ida Fesenbeck, Agnes Lacey, Ethel Brown (Mrs. Clifford Cord), Genevieve Gahan (Mrs. Thomas Fitzpatrick), Alice Hoyt (Mrs. Joe Granter), Celestine Fitzpatrick (Mrs. Ray Sexton), Matilda Keitges, Rosalie Boyle, Maggie Driscoll, Edith and Emma Larsen, Gertie Marx, Agnes Flynn, Bertha Blue, Lizzie McConnell, Edna Mustard, Ruth Popejoy, Lulu Hanford (Mrs. Lewis Larsen), Leona Welte (Mrs. Frank Morgan), Catherine Welte (Mrs. Orville Danderund), Bessie McBride, Ida Frentress (Mrs. Joseph Patterson), Cora Gray (Mrs. Isaiah Davis), Ella Gray (Mrs. Mark Cord), Helen Wenger (Mrs. George Puthan), Margaret, Mary, Anna and Eloise Kane, Catherine Collins (Mrs. James Baagoe), Mrs. Wilfred McBride, Viola Treiber (Mrs. Henry Dimig), Agnes Zurn, Pearl Frentress (Mrs. Carl Brown), Halie Merritt, Goldie Graybill and others.
The Winter Of 1888
   This was one of the worst winters ever recorded in our history. Severe snows came down from the north on January 15th. The storm traveled south to the Gulf of Mexico, and it caused severe hardships in South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Texas. The temperature dropped 30” in 2 hours, and the temperatures were recorded from -20” to -30”. South Dakota suffered most. Many school children perished who had just been dismissed from school. Visibility was so poor on the open plains that one could see only a short distance before them. Some died within a few feet of shelter. One woman who went to feed her chickens, could not find her way back to the house, and they found her frozen to death. Some wandered for miles. One man was found frozen to death along with his horses, and he was seated in his cutter. A teacher along with several pupils were found huddled together in a drift. Over 200 lost their lives in that one storm. Thousands of heads of livestock froze to the earth.
Massacre August 10, 1873 (Omaha World Herald)
   Today about 50 Pawnees with 250 horses came into town from the southwest and camped. From their appearance it was evident they had been severely handled. Upon the 6 oÕclock freight about 100 more arrived with a boxcar of wounded. They reported severe engagement with the Sioux upon the divide southwest of Plum Creek about 40 miles, in which they lost a large number, all their buffalo meat, a large number of squaws and papooses, saddles and other things. They related the Sioux came upon their defenseless camp of women and children and massacred all of them and then sought out the men, and they being poorly armed and the Sioux well armed, they fought at a disadvantage. The accounts are so confused and contradictory that it is impossible to get a reliable statement.
   It is alleged the Sioux are allowed superior arms. One of two things ought to be done with the Pawnees, viz. either keep them rigidly on their reservation and give them plenty of food, or give them plenty of arms and ammunition when they are permitted to go buffalo hunting; so they can meet their foes on an equal footing. They should soon get it through their thick skulls that it donÕt pay a very large dividend to be peaceable and quiet.
   This episode happened at Kearny Junction, and it is written by the Editor of the Omaha World Herald, Lot Braska.
Renown Citizens Of Danbury And Record Holders

   Jessie Smythe, daughter of William and Catherine OÕNeill Smythe, early settlers of Danbury, who was one of DanburyÕs first teachers about 1884, went on to higher education and became the State Superintendent of Schools in the State of Wisconsin.
   Joseph Shoup who came to Danbury with his family in 1879 was Danbury High SchoolÕs first Superintendent, then known as Professor, and he left Danbury in 1885 to become Woodbury County Superintendent. He also published a monthly magazine called Woodbury County Teacher.
   Lester Dickinson was the son of Lester D. and Wilamine Dickinson. The family came to Danbury in 1883 to buy railroad land, and they purchased the present Mable Johnson farm 1 1/2 miles southwest of Danbury. Lester J. was born in Lucas County on October 29, 1873, and he was 10 when the family came here. He was a member of the second class to graduate from the 4 year Danbury Public High School in 1892. He was one of those chosen to write the Constitution of the Danbury Alumni Association when it was formed in 1893. Lester taught school for a few years in this area after his graduation, and he took part in the debates held at the various school houses. He received his preparatory education at Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa. and received his B.S. Degree in 1898. He obtained his legal education at State University of Iowa. He was county attorney of Kossuth County 1907-1911. He went to Algona soon after his graduation from Law School, and he practiced law there. He married Myrtle Call of Algona. He became interested in politics and ran for U.S. Representative from 8th Iowa District in 1919 and won. He served in this office until 1931. He then ran for a seat in the Senate, and served as U.S. Senator from Iowa 1931-1937. He was a Republican, and he served as the temporary chairman of the Republican National Convention at Chicago in 1932. He was on the Board of Trustees of Cornell College at Mt. Vernon, Iowa, and he served in office in other associations. The Dickinsons had 2 children, L. Call and Ruth (Mrs. James Daugherty). His son, Lester also practiced law in Des Moines, and Senator Dickinson moved to Des Moines and practiced law with his son after he retired from politics. Senator Dickinson died in 1968 at the age of 95, and he was buried in Riverview Cemetery in Algona.
   Isaac Benton Santee was born in Mongolia County, West Virginia, of parents A.J. and Lucy Shriver Santee. He was educated in the State University of Morgantown, West Virginia, and he also graduated from the Iron City Commercial College of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When married, he went to Council Bluffs and managed a store for Boyes, Fey and Conkey for a year. He was then hired by Shepard, Field and Cook to come to Danbury to manage a store for them which they had purchased from G.E. Carroll (Dan Thomas Store). He remained there as manager until 1888 when he took the position of cashier at the newly formed Danbury State Bank. Isaac married Addie Gibson on June 16, 1877. In 1900 Isaac ran for Congressman and was elected. He served as a member of the 27th and 28th General Assemblies. He held the rank of Colonel and served as an aid to Governor Cummings of Iowa. Mr. SanteeÕs health began to fail, and he passed away in 1908. Ben Santee was a Republican.
   Rev. John Patrick McGuire, son of Thomas and Mary C. Collins McGuire, attended St. Patrick's Academy at Danbury. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Sioux City on May 26, 1923. His first Mass was at St. PatrickÕs Church in Danbury.
   Rev. J. Gerald Skahill was the son of William and Mary Ann Craig Skahill. Father Skahill graduated from St. Patrick's Academy at Danbury, and he was ordained a priest of the Sioux City Diocese on May 18, 1940. His first Mass was said at St. Patrick's Church in Danbury, a funeral Mass for his father, on May 20, 1940.
   Rev. Raymond Wieling, son of John and Anna Fleischman Wieling, graduated from St. Patrick's Academy at Danbury on May 22, 1943. He finished his college career at Trinity College in Sioux City on January 20, 1946. He had 3 years of theological studies at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland, and 5 semesters at St. Paul's Seminary at St. Paul, Minnesota. Father Weiling was the first young man to be elevated to rank of priesthood from St. Mary's Parish at Danbury. He was born on March 1, 1925. He was ordained in the Sioux City Diocese on June 7, 1949 and sang his first Mass at St. Mary's in Danbury on June 14,1949.
   Peter J. Murphy was the son of Dr. J.J. and Helen Fitzpatrick Murphy. Dr. J.J. Murphy practiced medicine in Danbury 1912 to 1927. He married Helen Fitzpatrick of Danbury on October 3, 1916. They had a family of ten, and most of the children were born in Danbury. They later moved to Sioux City. Peter was ordained a priest for the Sioux City Diocese on June 4, 1955.
   Rev. LeRoy Seuntjens was born on a farm near Danbury on December 25, 1935. He attended St. Mary's Grade School, Danbury Catholic High School, 4 years at Loras College in Dubuque, and 4 years at North American College, Vatican City, Europe. He was ordained in Rome, Italy on December 18, 1960. His Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Mary's at Danbury was on July 20, 1961. Father LeRoy was the son of Siebert and Clara Ortner Seuntjens of Danbury.
   Rev. Cleo Seuntjens was born on May 12, 1940, the son of Siebert and Clara Ortner Seuntjens. He attended St. Mary's Grade School, Danbury Catholic High School, Loras College of Dubuque, and 4 years at St. Bernard's Seminary in Dubuque. He was ordained in Sioux City on June 4, 1966.
   Rev. George Theobald who came to Danbury with his parents in 1890 attended St. Patrick's Academy. He was the son of Antone and Christine Walz Theobald. They moved to Mapleton, and he said his first Mass at St. Mary's in Mapleton. He was ordained on June 25, 1916.
   Rev. Robert Schimmer was born on Oct. 3, 1941, the son of Clem and Mary Gahan Schimmer in Danbury. He attended St. Mary's Grade School, Danbury Catholic High School, Loras College in Dubuque. and he was ordained from Mount St. Bernard's Seminary of Dubuque on May 30, 1968. He said his first Mass at St. Mary's in Danbury on June 4, 1968.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

   Anna Fleischman (Mrs. Anton Reimer) holds the record of living longest. She was born in Vienna, Austria, on August 28, 1861. She and her husband first farmed around Danbury and then retired to Danbury.
   Fritz Seuntjens and wife Ida were the oldest living couple. They celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary in 1966. Fritz was born on April 17, 1873, in Holland. He died on August 26, 1967, at the age of 94 years, 4 months, and 9 days. Ida Venner, his wife, was from Breda. They married on May 29, 1900. Ida is still living.
   Martin Smith, farmer lived to be 96.
   James and Lena Otto Scott lacked two days of being married for 67 years. James died at the age of 86. He was born on March 14, 1884, and he and Lena married in 1904. Lena was born on February 4, 1885, and she died at the age of 86 also.
   There have been many youngsters from Danbury that went into these professions. I am sure I cannot name them all, but the following are the ones I remember or know about.
   Sidney T. Frum, the son of C.C. and Alice Hodson Frum, after graduating from the Danbury Public School, became a lawyer, then a Judge of the 9th Nebraska Judicial District, 1941. He moved to South Sioux City, Nebraska 1937. He held the position of Judge until approximately 1960.
   Wier Murphy, son of Dr. George W. Murphy and Elizabeth Seibold Anderson, graduated from Danbury Public School, and after completing his law course in college, he practiced in Sioux City.
   Cyril Keitges, son of Pierre and Ellen Kennedy Keitges, after graduating from Danbury Public and State University of Iowa Law School, he is practicing in Centerville, Iowa.
   Desmond Colbert, son of Maurice and Lucy Desmond Colbert, graduated from St. Patrick's Academy of Danbury and from the school of medicine at Creighton University of Omaha. He practiced medicine at Royal, Iowa, and was a small town doctor.
   Mark Durst, son of Manley and Elizabeth Anthony Durst, after completion of high school at Danbury and School of Dentistry at Iowa Dental School in Iowa City, practiced his profession at Lake View.
   Perry Keitges, son of Wayne and Maurice Adams Keitges studied medicine at Creighton of Omaha after finishing high school at Danbury, and he practices medicine at Chicago.
   Betty Keitges, daughter of Wayne and Maurice Keitges, became a nurse. After the death of her husband she worked for a P.H.D. Degree, is now Assistant professor of Sociology, and is known as Dr. Beth See P.H.D. She works in Kansas Medical Center of Kansas City.
   Those graduating from the School of Music were Hope Seibold (Mrs. C.R.S. Anderson), Mable Gibson, Effie Durst (Mrs. Wm. Creswell), Elizabeth (Beth) Murphy, Leonard Jacobsen (taught music in colleges in Washington), Edna Frear (Mrs. Wm. Schuyler), and Ruth Frum. Eva Johnson studied music, but it is not known whether she graduated. Kathy Sokolowski just graduated from Morningside College, a Maple Valley High School graduate, obtaining a degree in 1973. Those playing in orchestras, too, should be mentioned. The Johnks Orchestra had several excellent musicians. Pat Scanlon who lived here a number of years was excellent. Alvira Schrank (Vera) played with an all girl orchestra (cornet) after completion of high school in 1926. Alice Lenz (Mrs. Joe Uehle) played with her husband at dances, then she went on to have an orchestra of her own called Alice E. Lees Orchestra. Her son Norman played with her, and now he directs an orchestra and also plays in Eddie Howard Orchestra. It is a popular dance orchestra, having dance engagements thoughout the middle west.
   Beverly Ortner, oldest daughter of Carl and Helen Sokolowski Ortner, became the WomanÕs Champion Bowler in 1968. Her father and mother were native Danburyites and were married at St. Patrick's Church in 1936. They farmed here, and Beverly was born here, later moving to a farm near Holstein. Beverly in 1968 had the highest 3 games of any woman in the world, 818 in League Competition.
   Danbury got to go to the State Tournament in 1946 and again in 1947. The main players on these two teams were: Elton Tuttle, Dick Riecks, Kendall "Skip" Sexton, George Schuyler and Jack Barry. The last two mentioned graduated in 1947, and that fall Dick Petersen and Charles "Chuck" Swanger took their place. These players are still remembered by all the townspeople for their courageous and fighting spirit even though they came out 2nd and 4th in the state the years of 1946 and 1947.
   Earl Patten 1915-1955
   Wayne Keitges - 40 years or more.
   William Burke - 12 years
   Lucy Colbert 1929-1968- 39 years
   Flora Betts 1937-1967 30 years.
   During these past 100 years we have seen many inventions and many events take place that we at one time believed impossible. We have seen the coming of the train into Danbury, and after 96 years the tracks removed again. The telephone, the telegraph, the phonograph, and can you remember when they told us we soon would hear music and words sent through the air waves or radio? We couldnÕt believe when they said someday youÕll be able to see those performing on radio, or the television. We saw the first frail planes, and Lindberg make his crossing of the Atlantic in one, a solo flight. The coming of the car, tractor and all other machinery. We saw the first atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, and then learned the atomÕs power which could be harnessed to make atomic energy, a long way from the energy once produced by the dam in the Maple River. Can you remember our surprise when we heard the Russians had sent a satellite, the Sputnik I, into space to circle the earth in 1957? American scientists then worked feverishly to excel the Russians. We soon sent Alan Shepard into space, and in the years following several rockets were sent into space with astronauts aboard to study space and mechanics to govern trips into space. In 1969 Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin E. Aldrin were sent on a trip to the moon. They set foot upon the moon in July 1969, and the first words uttered by Neil Armstrong were ÓWe came in peace for all mankind.Ó Since that time more trips were made to the moon, and rocks have been brought back for scientists to study.
   Sports, too, have made some drastic changes. The first World Series was played in 1903. When I was in high school in 1922, radio was just new, we heard the World Series and Dizzy Dean and brother were just in their prime years, but we just heard them discussed. Now, children can see the players, and they know about everyone through television. Basketball has come a long way from the dirt courts in 1908-1919 to the beautiful gymnasiums now built.
   It seems we have moved at a much faster rate these last 100 years than any other period of time in our history.
(Danbury Review given name by L.J. Jeness, 1897)
   August 5, 1886: We would suggest to our town authorities the necessity of our taking some action to suppress the tramp nuisance. As we understand, the depot is headquarters for them. Measures should be taken to prevent their stopping in that vicinity.
   March 17, 1899:The contract for OtoÕs system of waterworks was let for $2,450. Oto enjoys some advantage of location that Danbury doesnÕt, but on this basis it would seem that a suitable plant could be put here for about $3,500.
   March 1899:   I am now at Des Moines for a few days and will bring back the finest line of millinery that has ever been brought to our city, with an efficient trimmer from the house. Mrs. C.C. Frum
   February 21, 1905: The Grozer Deutschen Masked Ball at Braigs Hall on Wednesday evening brought out a good crowd despite the condition of the roads. The music was by Johncks Orchestra, and all went merry as a marriage bell until Thursday morning.
   1892: Pat Conway with his grading outfit is doing some commendable work on the two roads through Morgan Township.
   1903: A gang of 5 bank robbers blew open the safe of the Citizens Savings Bank of Quimby and secured $3,000 in cash. Two of them were captured later that afternoon in a cornfield 5 miles south of Sheldon and with them some of the money stolen. Part of it was in the original wrappers in which money is kept. A team of horses was driven through Oto on a run just at daylight, and it is supposed that the rest of the robbers went that way. A team was stolen from a Quimby stock buyer. They were supposedly heading for Omaha.
   March 17, 1899: Election! E. Tangeman, C.C. Frum and George Braig were made the nominees for members of the town council at the union caucus held at the Hall on Monday evening pursuant to the call made by Mayor Conway. The attendance was not large, there being less than 40 voters present, but the lack of members did not prevent a spirited contest. Dr. LeDuc was chosen chairman and John Kampmeyer secretary.
   August 22, 1912: On August 16, 1912, the heaviest rain in the history of Northwest Iowa fell here last Friday night. Many bridges were washed out, and travel in any direction was impossible for several days. Many grain shocks were washed away. Among the losers were C.F. Baker (Charley) with a $2,000 loss. Tom Sexton lost all but a few shocks on a 40 acre tract, and M.D. Cord had 2 stacks of wheat struck by lightning. Train servicces were discontinued several days as about a mile of track was washed out west of town. Mail was brought in by buggy on Sunday.
   September 15, 1910: The mayor is calling to attention the ordinance in regard to the curfew. There has been a disposition lately on the part of a few youngsters to make Main Street their hang-out after hours, and the Marshal had been instructed to Ņput the lid on it.Ó
   January 11, 1912: A pile of charred boards marked the spot where the OÕDougherty building stood, occupied by the Flood Meat Market. The fire was discovered about one thirty, but the fire had gained such headway through delay in getting the hose in action that the water was used entirely to save nearby buildings.
   October 20, 1910: Dr. Murphy and Henry Fitzpatrick took a flying trip to Sioux City in the formerÕs auto on Monday. It took the big Rambler just two hours and twenty minutes to eat up the distance between Danbury and Sioux City.
   July 23, 1913: Danbury citizens who are in the habit of having refreshments in their cellars had better stock up good before the 5th of August if they want their orders filled, for an ultimatum has gone forth from all railroads that they will not carry intoxicating liquors any place in the state unless it is consigned to a licensed dealer. After that date it will be impossible for anyone in Danbury to get a bottle of beer or a drink of whiskey.
   October 13, 1910: Material has arrived for the fine Santee Mausoleum which cost $3,000.
   January 1, 1917: An electric piano has been purchased for the Opera House. The same will be used for the picture shows. The instrument is excellent sounding, and some excellent music will be furnished by it. It will be used for the first time this evening at the skating rink.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

   June 30, 1910: After July 1, the post office will be in the new building on the west side of Main Street.
   March 16, 1913: The Directors of the Danbury Opera House let the contract for the scenery the later part of last week, the same going to a Minneapolis concern. The work is to be completed by June 10th. Advertisements of the townÕs business places were printed on the curtain.
   March 12, 1912: A business meeting of the town band was held Friday evening and the following officers were elected: O.A. Schrank manager and leader, J.C. Schrepher Treasurer, C.L.. Adams Secretary and Librarian. The matter of buying uniforms and building a bandstand was discussed.
   August 17, 1911: A beautiful bronze drinking fountain will soon adorn the corner in front of the Danbury State Bank. The fountain is a gift of Mrs. I.B. Santee in memory of her husband for the benefit of the public, and especially the patrons of the bank of which Mr. Santee was president for many years. The fountain is not only a beautiful ornament, but it is a great benefit to the general health of the community. The water bubbling up is a fast bubbling spring; and the people will no longer have to use the old drinking cup. The fountain will remain to perpetuate the memory of one of our foremost citizens, I.B. Santee who died on June 20, 1908.
   March 21, 1912: Patsy Conway, DanburyÕs own Christy Mathewson, has signed up for Manager Andress of the Sioux City Ball Club of the Western League. Manager Andress has announced that Patsy Conway, the big south paw who played with the Danbury semi-professional ball club last season, would be given a try out with recruits at Mizzou Park the last of this month. Conway is a youngster six foot in height and weighs 190 pounds. He has been highly recommended and will be given full opportunity to win a place in the flinging staff.
   September 9, 1915: Mr. E.A. Ives shipped a saddle that he owned to Pendleton, Oregon, where it will be used in an Exposition at the Frontier Exhibit. The saddle had been used by the grandson of Sitting Bull.
   March 24, 1917: M.J. Scott,, Jim Scott, Godfrey Durst Jr. and W.D. Gibson left Tuesday morning for Montana, their destination being different places in Judith Basin. They expect to purchase some land providing they find something that suits their fancy and the price is right.
   September 14, 1917: Scott Hayden informed us that he raised some exceptionally good oats this year. He had 22 acres and it netted him 65 bu. per acre.
   December 17, 1917: The coal situation is becoming quite serious here. Mark Durst informed us that unless coal was received soon they would have to discontinue the day service rendered by their plant.
   June 21, 1917: Fire broke out early Saturday morning which threatened for a time to take the whole east side of Main Street. The fire started on the south side of the Quigley Barber Shop, upstairs and before the hose could be laid the fire had eaten its way into practically the entire building which was a blazing inferno. With a frame building on each side, it looked for a time as if all would go, but the fire laddies succeeded in keeping the flames away from them with only small holes catching fire here and there on the roof. Considerable damage was done to the stock in these two buildings due to the amount of water used.
   January 1921:   H.D. Graham, station agent,, informs us that he was looking up data relative to the full carload business this station did during 1920 and found that 498 full   carloads had been shipped out, and 356 had been shipped in, a total of 854 cars handled. This would make 34 train loads, 25 cars to a train.
   September 1928:   Our college students. Danbury is furnishing her share of young as college students. We have more than ever going to study higher branches of learning at different places. Following are the names of those we have been able to gather and where they will be going to school: Nilma Baker, Lincoln, NE; Ione Smith, Madison, SD; Albert Smith, Vermillion, SD; Donald Jacobsen, Helen Jacobsen, Charlie Rush, Lelah Otto, and Viola Treiber, Cedar Falls; Ruth Frum, Leonard Jacobsen, and Thelma Gray, Morningside, Sioux City; Helen Ives and Bernard Peters, Ames; Nellie Brown, Grinnell; Raymond McAleer, Cyril Keitges, and Vincent Rossbach, Creighton, Omaha; and Eva Johnson, Des Moines.
   1921: Frank Kueny reported that he killed one of the largest jackrabbits that he had ever seen. It stood 18" high and weighed 11 pounds.
   1924: Mr. and Mrs. Fred Runkle gave a picnic dinner in the city park on Tuesday evening to the following guests: The misses Mable Towne, Jane Hickey, Vera Groves, Norma Overson, Edith Jordan, and Messrs Fred Smith and Paul Stevens; all of the teaching staff; and friends Ida Frentress and Flora Betts.
   1924: Danbury was visited by one of the worst storms in its history on July 3, 1924. More than half of the beautiful shade trees were destroyed. The storm struck about midnight, and the wind was traveling at the rate of 75 miles or more per hour. The storm developed about 12 miles west of Danbury. The first real damage was done at the Durst farm where the house was blown off its foundation and some smaller buildings were wrecked. The new horse barn and silo were practically destroyed on the farm rented by Peter Wolterman. A large barn and cattle and hog shed were destroyed on the John Ortner farm, and many trees were uprooted. Damage was also done at the Otto Schrank Martin Smith and Jack Uehle farms. Trees in the city park were hit hard. Sixty-two trees were laid flat on the ground, and many more had the tops twisted away. Every street in Danbury had some damage. Telephone poles, light poles, and the wires as well as trees were all through the streets. The wind raised the roof of the Fitzpatrick store, and many business places had windows broken, the glass being drawn out of the windows. The barn on the Mike Burke farm was moved on its foundation (Ralph Scott), and the roof of the barn on the Joe Steinbach farm (Carl Treiber) was blown off. Some garages were lifted right off the cars. Ed Houts' cattle barn, chicken house, and a large grove of trees were almost completely demolished. The storm traveled in an easterly direction, and it also did some damage at the Jim and John Scott farms. Farmers said it was the worst in 40 years, since 1883.
   1915: Buster Brown and his dog Tige visited the Braig store all day on April 16, 1915. Mr. Braig sold Buster Brown shoes.
   October 6, 1926: Chicago and Northwestern Railroad has special round trip rates to Sioux City to the Interstate Fair being held from September 19th to September 24th at 1 /4¢ a mile and 1 1/2¢ for a sleeping car.
   March 1, 1926: Average land is valued at $107.80 per acre in 1920, but by 1926 land has decreased to $76.47 per acre for average land.
   1910 and 1911: Building projects. The year 1910 was a banner year in the history of building improvements in Danbury. All improvements were modern and of substantial character. St. Mary's Church was being built that year, and St. Patrick's Academy was being rebuilt to take the place of the one destroyed by fire on February 15, 1910. The buildings destroyed by fire in the business district were being replaced by modern brick buildings at a cost of $15,000 (built by O'Day and Godfrey Durst, Sr.). J.H. Crilly was erecting a new home on the former Loucks property, and the Crilly Store was in the making. Mark Durst was building a $5,000 bungalow, Peter Keitges was building a new residence, and Otto A. Schrank was building a new home. The Maple Valley Lumber Co. built a 100' shed with cement piers for materials. D.H. Hedrick, a farmer in Ida County, built a new two-story bank building of pressed brick on the intersection of Main and Second Streets where Loucks Drug Store formerly stood. The first floor was to be the new bank, Danbury Trust and Savings Bank, and D.H. Hedrick was its first president. The second floor was the Masonic Hall. The basement was also finished, and it housed a barber shop. The building built to the south of it was built by Godfrey Durst, Sr., and it was to be a drug store. W.E. Schuyler was manager.
   May 18, 1944: Eleven 8th graders will receive graduation honors at a special May Day service at St. Mary's Sunday afternoon at 3:00. Rev. A.A. Bausch will confer honors. Graduates were Wayne Eghrig, Bernard Klein, Richard Meyer, LeRoy Riley, Clair Seuntjens, Kay Keitges, DeVilda Nielsen, Donna Marie Reimer, LaVonne Sevening, Dorothy Wieling, and Ardis Wolterman.
   May 18, 1944: Fourteen receive First Communion at St. Mary's Church. Father Bausch sang High Mass and had charge of Communion services. The class included Robert Dimig, George Drea, Peter WOlterman, John Schrunk, Mae Mohrhauser, Norma Wessling, Alice Kann, Jimmy Treiber, Lester Erlemeier, Larry Ortner, Vernon Sohm, Marilyn Reimer, Shirley Ortner, and Delores Wieling.
   February 1916: Adam Treiber's thoroughbred Clydesdale horse sale will take place tomorrow at one of his farms two miles southeast of Danbury. As he has some exceptionally fine stock and also advertised it extensively, he should have a nice attendance and plenty of bidders.
   1927: The school board of Union Grove School District has been authorized to sell the country school building in their school district known as the Hoyt School, and the school board of Danbury Independent District of Danbury will receive bids for the sale of the Babbe School Building on Sec. 25.
   May 1, 1952: At Camp Desert Rock, Nevada, Marine Sgt. Clement J. Collins, son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Collins, witnessed an atomic explosion (the first) and then joined in a mock assault on an objective near the center of the impact area. He is one of 2,000 handpicked men from the Marines taking part in the first all marine atomic maneuver in history.
   1953: For 35 years of faithful service as an employee of Northwestern Railroad, E.P. Kelly, the Danbury Station Agent, has been awarded a gold medal by the Railroads Veterans Association. Mr. Kelly started his railroad career at Moville in 1917, and he served 27 years in Danbury. The Kellys are a real railroad family. Mrs. Kelly ran the Danbury station while her husband was in the service. Their three sons are all railroad men with Asa S. stationed at Holstein, Eugene a train dispatcher at Sioux City, and Ronald E. at Kiron.
   July 27, 1929: The new school building will be built on East Street facing west in the center of the site, north and south, and will face so that the main school entrance is to the west and the main auditorium entrance to the south. In a letter to this office, Mr. Dougher, the architect who had charge of the work here, states we shall make the west and south views of the building as attractive as possible as they will be seen from the main part of town and from the main highway. The building will be set about 75' from the lot line. The interior of the building will contain classrooms for the grades, study rooms, recitation rooms, laboratory, domestic science and manual training rooms. The gymnasium auditorium will have plenty of playing floor 40' by 70' with stage and dressing rooms. The stage will be at the side of the floor, and it can be used for seating during athletic contests. Contract was awarded to Joe Granter, local contractor, and building began in August 1929. C.F. Clark, County Supt. of Schools, 1930.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

   October 10, 1929: Cornerstone Laid: The cornerstone for Danbury's new $75,000 school building was laid last Saturday afternoon at 2:30 with impressive ceremonies. Grand Lodge officers of the local Masonic Order and Lodge had charge of the event. The Danbury band led the parade which marched from the Lodge Hall to the site of the new building where the work was turned over to J.A. West of Sioux City, past Grand Master of the order. He was assisted by C.D. Jory of Sheldon, C.C. Jacobsen of Sioux City, C.C. Hunt of Cedar Rapids, Joseph Shoup of Sioux City, Dr. W.H. Richards of this place, and Rev. Dunn of Ida Grove who acted as Grand Chaplain. School opened in the new building in September 1930. The dedication ceremonies were held on October 29, 1930.
   April 23, 1942, Danbury Review: Concerning the death of Frank Thomas, oldest son of Dan Thomas - Mrs. Agnes Feltus of Washburn, Wisconsin, the former Miss Agnes Smith of Danbury, has notified the reporter of the death of Frank Thomas of Princeton, Idaho. Mr. Thomas was the son of Dan Thomas, Danbury's first storekeeper for whom the town was named. The north half of Mrs. Martha Hardman's house, now Martin Smith, pioneer resident tells us, is the former Thomas Store which stood in the north part of town which was then known as Listonville. Mrs. Feltus stated that the store was a little wooden building near the road where the walk turned into the home of Fred Seibold. Mrs. Frank Thomas was the former Miss Belle Bowser of Danbury. Mrs. Feltus stated that Frank and Belle, both young and still unmarried while in Danbury, were early loved by older residents, and she (Agnes) was protected by the long cape Belle wore as they were going home from school. The Bowser home was about one mile west of the W.F. Seibold or Dan Thomas home on the old road. Mrs. Agnes Feltus was the daughter of William Smith who farmed the present Jack Colbert farm. William Smith carried mail and drove the stage between Danbury and Denison and later was postmaster of Danbury..
   July 24, 1952, Danbury Review: The dreaded polio struck a stunning blow to Danbury on Wednesday, July 16, when Ann Margaret Fitzpatrick, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charley Fitzpatrick, was taken in death at St. Vincent's Hospital in Sioux City, IA. Mr. and Mrs. John Klein have two children sick with polio. Ann is in critical condition with bulbar polio, and Jerome, though better, has one leg afflicted with the disease. Jean, 7, and Jimmy, 2, children of Emil Schleimers', are hospitalized, but they are improving. Mrs Earl Welte, Roger Rogge, son of Loren Rogge, and Gary Meyer are all hospitalized for observation. There are many more cases from surrounding towns. They are holding clinics and giving shots to children one to eleven. This injection does not keep you from getting the disease, but it is hoped it will keep people from becoming crippled from the disease. This is the first step toward the prevention of polio.
   Approximately 1930, Danbury Review: Happily wedded for 50 years, Mr. and Mrs. D.E. Priester are at home today with all their old friends and neighbors in honor of their 50th wedding anniversary. They were married in Onawa and have spent the 50 years of their wedded life in the Maple Valley, nearer Mapleton. For several years they made their home with Mr. Priester's parents on the Priester homestead north of Mapleton and later farmed for themselves. In 1903 they moved to Mapleton where Mr. Priester was engaged in the piano business. Mr. Priester was born in Berlin, IL, on October 7, 1856, and came to Iowa with his parents and brother and sister in 1866 in a covered wagon. They homesteaded the land where Ora Gage and his family are living today, 1930, and they experienced all the hardships of the early pioneer. They hauled lumber for their first home from Sioux City, and, in his boyhood, Mr. Priester herded cattle on the prairies. He played in the first Mapleton band, and one Sunday walked to Onawa and back to borrow an accordion. The Indians terrified these early settlers, and Mr. Priester slept with his gun by his side every night and kept watch by day. He experienced the blizzards of those days and the grasshoppers which were so thick that they made it dark. The chickens went to roost, and the lamps had to be lit. Mrs. Priester was born in St. John, New Brunswick, on August 8, 1862, and came to Iowa with her parents from Shell Rock in 1864. She then moved to Dakota with parents and attended school at Elk Point, SD. Three children were born to the Priesters, Bessie (Mrs. Jay Edwards), Flora (Mrs. Stanley Meisenhelder), and Frederick A.
   November 20, 1917: Several residences are going up in town that have not been mentioned. J.A. Stanton is building a new cottage of the bungalow type just west of his large residence (Drenkhahn house). A.A. Smith is having a commodious home built on the Negless lot just south of the Fred Stephen home (Riedmiller home). Joe Granter has the new foundation laid as also E.L. Tangeman in the new Tangeman Addition in the southwest part of town. Both buildings will be modern in every way (Charley Jensen and Joe Granter homes).
   April 18, 1918: The E.L. Tangeman and Joe Granter homes are about completed. West of these is a new home being erected by Henry Richards family. Just across the street a new home will be built by Dr. and Mrs. W.H. Richards and family. In the northeast part of town, just east of St. Patrick's Church, E.H. Patten is erecting two modern homes which will be ready for occupancy in a short time.
   February 12, 1920: Dick Smith, the young man who has been working for the Durst brothers in their mill since last summer, has accepted a position with the Farmers Store and has already started on his duties. He is a genial fellow and will be sure to make friends in his new location, and in addition to this he is an excellent worker and will more than make good.
   February 12, 1920: On the first of this month a change was made in the rural route carriers out of this place when Nick Peters who had been working out of the local post office for 12 years and 10 months severed his connections and moved to Colorado. Nick came to this section in '84 and farmed in this locality until he moved to town.
   February 9, 1939: The Steam Railroad Section of the National Safety Council quotes the following: A live man pays 25¢ for a shave; a dead one pays $25. A woolen overcoat costs $40; a wooden casket costs $400. A taxi to the theatre is $1, but to the cemetery it's $10. Stay alive and save your money. It's easy; work safely.
   June 8, 1944: Did you hear about the moron (Piney Freeman's moron jokes): Who ran around the bed trying to catch some sleep? Who had his teeth pulled so he could have more gum to chew? Who wants a divorce from his wife because she told him she was in a bed with laryngitis? Who watered his victory garden with whiskey so he could have stewed tomatoes? Who pushed the cow off the cliff because he wanted to see the Jersey Bounce? Who ate five pennies so he could see the change in himself? Who got off the streetcar backwards because he heard that a lady was going to grab his seat when he got off?
   June 8, 1944: During 1942 the court house force in Sioux City cost the taxpayers $103,637 or $1.63 for each person in the county. It cost more for taxpayers to live in smaller counties, for in our neighboring Ida County the per person cost was $3.26.
   June 8, 1944: The other evening while working late in our victory garden we heard the engines of bombers over Danbury, and from the countryside came the sound of the chugging tractors. It takes both of them to win the war.
   June 8, 1944: The invasion of Hitler's European fortress is on. President Roosevelt said regarding the fall of Rome: One Axis Capitol down, and two to go. Berlin is next. The Nazis didn't spare Rome, for they were driven out of it. They could claim they are not retreating, but merely retreating to the place from which they came.
   June 8, 1944: Sgt. Dimig a Nazi Prisoner. Mrs. Mary Dimig of Mapleton through the American Red Cross, has been apprised that her son, Sgt. Delbert Dimig, gunner on a flying fortress which went down over Germany on a recent raid, is now a prisoner in a camp in Germany. Delbert had been previously reported by the Department as missing in action. This news was what Delbert's many Danbury friend were hoping and praying for.
   June 8, 1944: The fifth war bond drive was on in Danbury. A house to house canvass was made, and the bonds could be purchased at the post office, Farmers Savings Bank, and the Danbury Review office. Iowa had to raise $202,000,000.

Smithland Correspondence

   1886: And still the work goes on. The railroad is getting nearer and nearer completion. The grading will soon be finished. The bridge builders are expected here next week to build the bridge across the Sioux about a half mile above this place. The location of the new town is two miles below Smithland on the Van Dorn place (the town was moved in 1886).
Mapleton Press
   January 4, 1883: The ladies of the M.E. Church of Mapleton will give a milk and mush sociable at the church Wednesday evening next. An abundance of fun and mush and milk will be provided for all at the very low price of 10¢ a dish. Everyone is invited.
   January 17, 1897: Rev. George Cook, first pastor of the Catholic Church at Mapleton, went to Mapleton from the home of Fr. Meagher, resident priest at Danbury, to say his first Mass. He drove a team to Mapleton in -30” weather and, though wearing a fur coat and overshoes, it was cold. On arrival at Mapleton he found a small, unplastered, unheated church with plank pews, no altar, and a baby to be baptized. Within a short time the pioneers borrowed a stove, started a fire, built an altar of dry goods boxes, and then the first Mass was said.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mapleton Press

   April 17, 1879: There is a grand opening at this place for a packinghouse. There was shipped from this place last year not less than 14,000 hogs; Danbury a distance of 6 miles shipped 3,000, Battle Creek 15 miles shipped 7,000, and Ida Grove a distance of 25 miles shipped 12,000 hogs. This was a total of 36,000 hogs. The average price was $2.50, and the average weight was 200 lbs. Ice can be put up at a very small expense, and in connection with a packinghouse, a soap factory to use up the offal. Now there can be no question but that it is entirely useless to pay the high freight on live hogs when the same can be shipped for so much less in the shape of barrel pork, bacon, lard, and soap. As it is now we pay freight both ways on a considerable amount of it in bacon, hams, and soap. Now here is a chance for a live man with some capital to make a good, sure investment. It is a chance to be found but in a few places, and we hope someone may investigate it and be induced to put up a packing plant this summer so it will be ready to operate this fall.
   May 12, 1897: Peter Lamp and family arrived Wednesday and have taken possession of their fine farm, the N.A. Wilson farm west of town. We are pleased to see the country around Mapleton settling up with a more thrifty class of people.
   July 17, 1879: C.M. Boyles and James Roland are down from O'Brien County making ready to shell out grain with their thresher. They report crops in their locality as the best in years.
   July 3, 1879: Some snake! Frank Height says he killed a snake of the blue racer type near Smithland which measured over 10' 6".
   April 10, 1879: William Ferdig delivered a quantity of fine cottonwood trees in town last Saturday. Anyone wishing trees for spring planting can procure them from him.
   May 8, 1879: Mapleton's first horse race of the season came off last Saturday evening. Palmer and Throcmorton furnished the horse flesh. Dan Miller says put him down at $6.00 out as he bet on the wrong horse.
   May 15, 1879: Judge Whiting near Onawa in Monona County on Wednesday shipped 80 head of fat cattle by the way of Sioux City and Pacific Railroad for Liverpool, England. Fifteen head were placed in each car, and the assignment will go through to New York. This is only the beginning of such traffic.
   December 20, 1883: As will be seen by our Washington Correspondence, Ticonic will soon be supplied semi-weekly with mail from Mapleton. This will give the people of that vicinity very good mail facilities. The Onawa to Smithland (stage line) will continue to run to that office as heretofore.
   November 20, 1879: Frank Baker, Mapleton tonsorial artist, has introduced a late novelty in his establishment, viz: an atomizer for throwing highly scented spray in the faces of his customers as a finishing touch after giving them a clean shave.
Wilmont, South Dakota

   The following story concerns the grave of John Otherday, an Indian who was a friend of the white man and saved many who might have been killed in the Minnesota uprising, 1862. He also advised Elijah Adams and Curtis Lamb of Smithland who had gone to Redwood Agency in Minnesota at once as there was to be an uprising. John Otherday also helped Abby Gardner obtain her freedom from the Indians after she was captured and taken for ransom by the Indians at the Spirit Lake Massacre.
   John Otherday's grave is located in Carl Strom's pasture and unmarked in any way except for 2 or 3 small stones that could be easily rolled down a steep incline into the creek. Perhaps many of you do not know of the exploits of John Otherday. He died in 1869 before the white man reached the Dakota Territory, but he performed deeds that stamp him as something more worthy than an unmarked grave in a cow pasture. He was born in 1801 in Minnesota, and he was instrumental in securing the release of Abbie Gardner Sharp (hostage taken by Sioux Indians during the Spirit Lake Massacre) from the renegade chief, Inkpaduta, in 1857, three months after the massacre. He aroused something like 62 men, women, and children to flight, and then led them to safety when the Mankato Massacre took place in 1862. Approximately 1,000 men, women and children were slaughtered in the Indian uprising in the Minnesota River Valley. The state of Minnesota did erect a monument to Otherday's memory at Morton in connection with 3 Indians who remained faithful and loyal during the uprising. Otherday lived on the land on which he was buried. He hoped to obtain this farm by allotment, but that did not happen during his lifetime. His son obtained it, however.
Omaha Daily Herald
   November 20, 1873: About 400 men from Omaha went in an excursion train to the prize fight yesterday. No sign of impropriety was visible before or after the fight which ended in a draw. The train arrived at Pacific City at 12:10, and at 12:45 the ring was pronounced ready by Arthur Chambers, champion of light heavyweights. Tom Riley of Kansas City was chosen referee and time keeper, and William Carroll umpire. Tom Allen, titleholder, came in first, wrapped in coats and blankets, and tossed his cap into the ring. He undressed to tights, the upper portion of his body being naked. Hogan, his opponent, had to be reminded to toss his cap. The first knockdown was claimed by Hogan in the first round. The first blood was also won by Hogan. In the fourth round, Allen struck a low blow, and Hogan fell to the ground. Cries of "foul" were heard. At this point the ropes were cut and Hogan was knocked down again by Allen. Fists were raised and pistols drawn. Allen dressed and left the ring. Hogan followed, and the referee declared the fight a draw. The first three rounds were fought in 16 minutes. Allen retained his title until September 7, 1876, losing to Joe Goss in 21 rounds). Hogan, born Benediel Hagen in Germany, had been a Union and Confederate spy during the Civil War. He was a gambling operator, oil magnate and theatrical producer.
Miss Jane Hickey, 1st and 2nd grades (28)
Edna Heacock, 3rd and 4th (23)
Mable Towne, 5th and 6th (23)
Lois Keefer, 7th and 8th (16)
High School (44)
Miss Keefer - Domestic Science
Miss Swanstrom - History and Social Studies
Miss DaVoe - English and Latin
Mr. Paul Stevens - Music and History
Mr. Vernon Heacock, principal - Mathematics, Physics, Manual Training, and Basketball coach
Mr. Immerzeel, superintendent - Geometry, Agriculture, and Geography.
Story of Ella Sanford's early life - taken from Mapleton Milestones

   When a child I came by covered wagon with my father, Miles Hollister and the John Schrechengaut family across the great state of Iowa as far as Villisca, a town south of Des Moines in 1870. Here my father and uncle settled for two years, each buying land and building small homes. At this time there was land for homesteading in Monona County, so we decided to sell and come west.
   Again we loaded our possessions in the covered wagons and started. Iowa then was a great ocean of grass that waved in the breeze. I remember how we plodded along for days with scarcely a wagon track to guide us on our way. We drove our cows, brought chickens in a coop tied on the back of the wagon, and camped nights usually by a creek or river in order to get water and fuel. We could not always find it.
   Finally we reached our destination, stopping at a place west of Mapleton on the old highway on the farm now owned by Willard Cannon. It was early spring, and a light snow had fallen. This family was from Wisconsin and had settled the year previous. They were living in a dugout, but that did not take away from their heartiness of welcome.
   A dugout is a cave or cellar dug back into a hill. They had dirt floors and walls as well as a roof. They usually had a ridge pole and some center poles to hold it up. The roof was boards laid close together and dirt put on the boards. The poles and sod roof extended past the cave and usually windows were placed in the extension. A buckskin sometimes hung at the door. How afraid I was to sleep on one of these dugouts as there were so many snakes. I was afraid I might wake up with one in bed with me.
   While we were putting our wagon bows and covers and other belongings on the ground for a place to sleep and live, father decided on a piece of ground to homestead. A man came home from hunting just at dusk and asked for help as he had killed a deer. Father decided to homestead the land later owned by Bill Cook west of Mapleton. We again moved to that spot. We lived in the covered wagon until father built a house.
   The land near us was marshy, and the cattails and cane brake were so tall we were afraid to go through them until a path had been cut. Here we dug a hole and had plenty of water by just dipping it with a bucket. How the frogs croaked and the whippoorwills cried in the early evening trying to make one homesick. The early settlers were not easily discouraged, however.
   Father cleared off a spot to build a house and went to a sawmill on the river someplace near Onawa where he purchased cottonwood lumber. Our home was just one room at the beginning, but it was enlarged the next year by adding a log bedroom. It was built with the boards straight up and down with battens on the cracks. The roof was put on in the same way, but that soon let the rain in. For the summer there were no windows, just an opening sawed out. In the severe season a board window was used. The house was wired down at the corners to keep it from blowing away.
   Prairie fires kept the timber and thickets well killed out. One could see the ravages of the prairie fire even along the bottoms where there was heavy timber. The grass was high, and with the hard wind blowing, the fire would race like a horse while great flames leaped in the sky. The homesteaders plowed wide strips around their homes and then back-fired. Even this protection failed sometimes. One time we took our things out of the house and put them on the plowed ground thinking all was going to burn, but the fire passed without doing us harm. Father and uncle had gone to Danbury to get wheat for flour exchanged, and they were compelled to stay all night since they could not make the trip and get the grinding done in one day. They saw the light of the fire in the west and drove part of the night to get home.
   A school was built in our neighborhood, and I learned to read. I have watched deer grazing on the prairie near our house, but they were not easy to kill. Guns were only muzzleloading, and if one failed at the first shot, the game was gone. One night we heard a panther scream. Its cry sounds like that of a baby. Mother fastened the door, and father loaded his gun. At times we heard of Indians being on the warpath, but they never gave us any trouble except with their begging.
   There were no railroads nearer than Onawa, Denison, or Sioux City. Farmers hauled all their grain and drove their livestock to one of these points. It took three days to make the trip to Sioux City. Smithland was a small trading post where we bought groceries and supplies. The coffee was green and pounded. Old Mapleton was comprised of a few buildings. Mr. Simmons, Sr. and Mr. Wilsey ran a store. Mr. Lamb lived there. Mr. Wilsey, known as Bill, lived on what was called the school section near Charley Blankenhorns. He was a big stock dealer. One time when he was driving a lot of cattle he stopped in then what was known as Poverty Hollow to get something to eat. He found the settlers there were destitute for food, so he went home and killed one of his oxen and sent word for each of the families to come to get meat. He later moved to Old Mapleton where he owned and operated the farm now owned by Peter Lamp.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Story of Ella Sanford's early life - taken from Mapleton Milestones (continued from last week)
   Father broke much of the raw prairies as he found it a profitable business. He turned much of the first sod around Old Mapleton and on he Heisler farms. New Mapleton was just prairie when the railroad went through. Men came with their families to get work on the railroad while they lived in covered wagons or tents. Living standard was bad. There were many flies because of so many horses, and there was no protection except mosquito netting. Farmers sold vegetables and produce to these families. The first store where groceries were sold in Mapleton was built with a slant roof like a chicken house, and had dry goods boxes for counters. Mr. Garrison built the first store.
   The first Sunday schools were held at our school houses and were well attended. In later years we had revival meetings each winter for several weeks. These meeting were conducted by Mr. Billings from Smithland and assisted by Mrs. Jane Prichard. These meetings were the shouting Methodist kind. People came from long distances, and the old school house was so crowded it was bursting for room. There was real rejoicing at these meetings, and many came to kneel at the altar. New members were baptized by damming up the creek or going to the mill dam at Smithland.
   When the homesteaders began to raise grain, the grasshoppers came like a dark cloud over the sun. There were so many of them they just piled up, and one couldn't walk without stepping on hundreds of them. Every stalk of corn bent of the weight of the pests. Men cut wheat at night trying to save some of it. The grasshoppers devoured everything they attacked. They rose like a cloud and vanished as they had come.
   The creeks and gullies were just low places covered with grass and cattails. Horses and cows often mired down. Most farmers planted a patch of sugar cane to make into sorghum molasses. To plant corn, a row was marked out, one person went along and planted the corn, and another person followed and covered the corn. Later we had a hand planter, then a corn planter. Small grain was cut and bound by hand. Each man had what was called a station.
   We had social gatherings, too, games, dancing usually with accordion and violin music. In times of hard storms, the pioneers nearly drowned under a sod and dirt roof. Dr. Ordway helped the early settlers financially many times. He charged 20% interest rate. Some of his borrowers tried to rob him, kill him and destroy his notes and mortgages. After being shot he fought with them desperately. The attackers were the Struble brothers. They were convicted and got a prison term.
Story Mary Goodman - taken from Anthon Herald
   I was born in Jackson County, Iowa 1869. By this time my mother had four boys and three girls, including myself. My father and his workers were getting tired of the lumber business. Father, Absolum Miller, had been operating a logging mill at a small settlement called Pin Hook near Maquoketa, IA. He decided to make up a covered wagon train for persons wanting to come west to homestead. The government had succeeded in moving the Indians west across the Missouri River, opening this prairie country to homesteaders. Each family started out with two wagons, some pulled with oxen and some with horses. Each family used one wagon for provisions such as seed, groceries and a plow. A cow was tied on behind. As there were no bridges, the streams had to be forded. They would search for a low place in the river with a gravel bottom. Then the lead wagon pulled by oxen would cross and be followed by the others. Sometimes the streams were so deep the wagon boxes were in danger of floating away. In a couple of weeks we arrived in what is now called Wolf Creek Township. Each family went their own way in acquiring a homestead site. As there were no roads the wagons followed the ridges. This was all prairie grass and no trees.
   Our first effort was to dig a dug out using poles cut from trees along the Little Sioux River. Mosquitoes were so bad they nearly ate us. Mother often stayed awake all night to keep them off us children. That winter it was cold and we had no wood to burn. We tried twisting dried grass, but that did not give enough heat. Father and the boys then had to drive to the Little Sioux, a distance of 8 or 9 miles, to get wood. One day father was so cold that he stopped at a double log house on the present site of Anthon. A "Squaw Man" and his wife lived there. They had proved up a homestead when the other Indians went west. The squaw was sitting on the floor crying because she was so lonesome for the rest of the her tribe, and she wanted to be with them. Father asked the squaw man what he would take for his home and farm. When the squaw man asked in return what Father would give, Father said jokingly, "That team of oxen and wagon in the yard." A deal was completed, and in a few days they went to Sioux City where papers were drawn up, giving Father ownership to a 300 acre homestead on what is now the town of Anthon. The house on the Squaw Man's acreage was a log house with two rooms, a sod roof, and sod banked to the window sills. There was a pole barn covered with grass and a cave and a deep well from which water was hauled up with a bucket and rope. After the deal was closed Father helped the family to get loaded, and he had to build the cover back on the wagon.
   We moved into our log, warm house where we lived for many years. The men improved the place in the spring and planted crops. There was no school, so all the men built a school north of Anthon where W.E. Ferns how has his garden. The first teacher was a young lady from Sioux City, and she stayed with us. By that time I was old enough to go to school. Our fun at school was to pull limbs down of trees and teeter up and down on them. Church also was held in the school house. At one time our home was the only one between Correctionville and Oto. In order to build, it was necessary to cut down trees and haul logs to the mill to have them sawed.
   There were so many kinds of wild animals, including wildcats and panthers, also wolves. It was frightening to be out on the prairie and hear the wolves howl. Soon there would be an entire pack, and then it would be necessary for the settlers to race their teams to get away from the wolves. Men always carried guns, even if only going to the neighbors. There were also deer, antelope, lots of small animals, and snakes of all kinds. The streams had plenty of fish so no one went hungry. After the corn was picked it was shelled by hand into wash tubs and then taken to the mill at Oto to be ground into cornmeal. Wheat was ground into flour. This would have to last all winter. When winter came, the snow would bank to the tops of the trees. Men would shovel the snow from the road by hand.
   When I was about 10 years old we knew they were having trouble with the James brothers in Minnesota. They would go on shooting and robbing sprees, robbing from one and giving to another. This was spite work as their parents had been killed by soldiers. Posses were formed to chase them out of hiding. Jesse and Frank James started south to Sioux City, went into a bar there, and were recognized by the sheriff who tried to arrest them. They jumped through a window and onto horses and headed southeast over the hills. One shot had struck Frank in the leg. They got as far as just over the hill west of our house, out of reach of the posse when they became hungry. Frank held the horses while Jesse came to our house. We had just finished supper, and I was taking the cream and milk back to the cave. I heard someone open the gate to the houseyard. There was a tall man with a large black hat, dark suit and a pair of shoes in his hand. He went to the door and asked Mother if he could have something to eat. No one was ever turned away from our house in those days. She told him that we had just finished supper, but she would give him what was left. She had him sit down, and she gave him meat sandwiches and coffee. Father had seen the James boys' pictures in he paper, so he was sure who the stranger was. He felt uneasy, and he asked the man if he had ever run into the James boys in his travels. The stranger replied that he was Jesse James, and his brother, Frank, who was hurt was over the hill holding the horses. He asked Mother if she would put up a lunch for Frank, which she did. He thanked her and left. There were no telephones then, so there was no way to call a sheriff.
   When harvesting time came, neighbors got together and mowed down the grain. Men came along and picked up grain until they had an armload. They then twisted more grain around the armload and tied the ends. These grain bundles were placed in shocks. The grain was threshed from the grain by pounding it. Later we had a machine that threshed the grain. My job was to carry jugs of water to the men. I had an Indian pony to ride, and I would carry two jugs, one on each side, each jug fastened to a strap across the pony's neck. Cattle were turned loose on the prairies. Each night a member of the family would go out into the hills and round up their cattle. The lead cow wore the bell around her neck, and each farmer had a bell of a different sound.
   When haying time came, large stacks were built down on the bottoms. The grass was raked up and shocked, then ropes tied around the shocks so that they could be pulled up the stacks. The horse pulling the shock would ride up one side of the stack and down the other side, then go after another shock. This continued until a large stack was built.
   For vegetables we planted large patches of potatoes, cabbage and sweet corn. The corn was cooked on the ear, cut off, and spread on a cloth to dry. Fruits of all kinds - plums, crab apples, choke cherries, gooseberries, and strawberries grew along the river. We were short of sugar, so we planted cane and sorghum for sweetening. We had plenty of meat as the boys did plenty of trapping, mostly for prairie chickens. No canning was done. Food was preserved in crocks of all sizes. In the fall the woods were full of hazelnuts and walnuts.
   In the fall when I was younger we could see white smoke coming through the trees near the river. Then we knew the Indians had returned. There were 3 or 4 teepees, several squaws to cook while the men fished and hunted from Onawa to Cherokee. They didn't bother us except to ask for flour, take dead hogs to eat, and steal dogs. They were not savage, but when we saw them coming we would lock our doors. They would pound on the door and speak in a language we could not understand.
   When I was grown I married Conrad Goodman. Our home place was two miles north of the first dug out in which we lived. My father passed away at the age of 80, and my mother lived to be 94. My husband and I lived many years on the home place before retiring to Correctionville. Mr. Goodman died in 1933.
   Mrs. Goodman related this story when 93, on January 18, 1962. Anthon is located on land formerly owned by Absolum Miller. Buildings built first in Lucky Valley were moved to Anthon, and the small settlement of Lucky Valley was already on the land when purchased by Mr. Miller in 1870. Children of the Goodmans were Mrs. Mox (Ellen) Bockwoldt, Mrs. W.E. Ferns of Anthon, Oscar Goodman, Mrs. Leonard (Bessie) Halbert, Frank Goodman, Marie Goodman, Wayne Goodman, Mrs. Joe (Ethel) Clauses, and a daughter, Edna who died in infancy.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Story Given By O.B. Smith of Smithland in 1890 Regarding Himself in Early Days - taken from Monona County Album

   O.B. Smith was known to the old settlers as "Buckskin Smith" because he wore a buckskin suit. He was born in Preston, Chanango Co., New York, and he had many brothers and sisters. At 16 he went to Cincinnati and drifted down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans. From there he went to Texas and back to Natchez which was then a gambling town. Here he lost all the money he had gambling. He worked his way back up the river to Kilbuck, Illinois. He joined a California emigration party in 1851 coming to Council Bluffs where he rested. When Council Bluffs was organized he took out a license as an auctioneer. In 1851 Council Bluffs was crowded with people bound for Salt Lake and California. Council Bluffs was the last of larger settlements going west and also for steamer communications. Many found themselves overloaded with goods, and the surplus was auctioned off for a song. Many a good English woman bound for Utah found her nice featherbed being sold at auction for a dollar.
   Smith made the first entry in the Bluff's Land Office on April 22, 1855. He had to buy out 11 Mormon cabins that were on a tract, afterwards occupied by L.W. Bannitt.
   In the fall of 1852 in company with Edward Smith, his brother and John Hurley, he came up into Monona County, crossing the Sioux River at Larpenteur's Ford (Little Sioux) by wagon. As he drove to the timbers, a big flock of turkeys surrounded them, and Smith shot 14 without getting out of the wagon. Then they went to Oliver's Lake and crossed the West Fork on a bridge (a bridge here refers to a solid riverbed crossing) built by Curtis Lamb and William White, Mormons who lived on the Sioux and traded with the Indians. They found William White at Smithland Grove where he had lived for several years and had a ferry across the Sioux. Lamb lived above Smithland, and Joshua Sumner also had a cabin at Smithland Grove. Orrin Smith purchased Sumner's claim for $100 in gold, and in February 1853 he moved Eli Lee from Council Bluffs up to his claim. In June he came up again with a wagonload as far as Larpenteur's and found the bottoms underwater. He hired William Townsley who was tenting nearby to help haul his load through the hills. He paid Townsley 50¢ a day and all the whiskey he could drink. He crossed over the Solder River and went up between Beaver and Jordan Creeks, crossing the Maple River near Norcross Bridge heading the Wiley Creek. While building a bridge over the Maple, the cattle ran off, and Townsley had to go back to Beaver Creek to get them which took a day. Smith left his cattle at Smithland and again returned to Council Bluffs.
   In June he moved his family and five wagonloads to Smithland. Seth Smith helped him this time. As they came up the Soldier Valley, they found two wagons in camp in Preparation (Moorhead). It was this group that started the settlement of Moorhead. From the Soldier, Smith came over to the Beaver at the mouth of Meier's Creek, crossed near Bowes Bridge on a beaver dam, hence the name Beaver. They bridged the Maple below Castana. While building this bridge, Smith noticed an ox track. After getting across the Maple he started the team up the bluffs near Old Castana and followed the ox trail up to Wiley Creek where he met an old white oxen that he had left in Smithland in June. The old fellow had been tormented with flies and mosquitoes, but when he saw Smith he bellowed and tore up the earth in his joy, following Smith like a dog and licking his hands. They went on up the creek where they shot three deer. The next day they went over the divide to the Sioux River and Smithland. Seth Smith also located in Monona County and lived there all of his live.
   Mrs. Margaret Burns of Hornick, a great granddaughter of Elijah Adams, wrote in 1970 that her grandfather, Elijah Adams and the Hawthorns came in the summer of 1856 and settled in the SMithland area. Elijah brought 125 head of cattle from Rock Island, Illinois, but through the winter 1856-57 they all died of starvation, and the Indians ate them as they died. They had stacked prairie hay the summer of 1856 so as to have feed for their cattle, but there was a bad prairie fire the fall of 1856, and all the haystacks burned. They then tried to winter the cattle on the rushes of the Missouri River, but the deep snow deprived them of even that. The men suffered severe hardships that winter trying to save the cattle.
William McCleerey
1857 Farmer

   William McCleerey was the second settler to arrive and settle in the Maple Valley. He settled near Mapleton on what was later known as the Putnam farm. They originally came from Mercer County, Kentucky in 1823. William was born on December 15, 1814, of parents Robert and Nancy Dickey McCleerey, natives of Kentucky and Virginia. His parents moved to Indiana in 1823 and lived in various places. William F. was the second child in a family of 10. He married a native of Ohio, Mary Lee when 20 on March 27, 1883. They farmed in Indiana, and 8 of their 13 children were born there. They came to Iowa in 1856 via covered wagon and stayed through the winter at Preparation (Moorhead) as there was an abundance of food there. Settlers there had squash, corn, potatoes, deer, prairie chickens and wild turkey. They came on to the Maple Valley in the spring and pre-emted land which cost $1.25 an acre.
   Their first home was a log cabin with a dirt floor and a sod roof. After here two years they built a two-room log cabin with a clapboard roof and split logs up for the floor. Wooden pins were used to hold the door shut, and wooden hinges were used on the door. They made their own candles of lard and tallow. They washed their clothes in the Maple River. William McCleerey planted the first wheat crop in the Maple Valley The children went to school in a log cabin schoolhouse. Indians visited their home often, sometimes trading, sometimes stealing. They lived through several prairie fires.
   Entertainment then was quilting parties, husking bees, and dances. Popular dance was the square dance, later the waltz and shoddish.
   The McCleereys raised many vegetables. They used the single shovel plow and oxen to turn the sod until horses were obtained after the Civil War. Harrows were wooden and had wooden pegs. Grain was harvested with a cradle and flail, and the grain was tramped out with horses and cattle. Corn was planted with a hoe, furrows made with a hoe, and corn covered with a hoe. Seldom were fields larger than 10 acres. Each year more grain was planted. There was always plenty of wild hay. The animals wandered freely, and it was a daily chore to round them up off the prairie each nights.
   Rails were used to make yard fences. Rails were mortised together and were sometimes 10 rails high.
   Men's boots were made of cowhide for summer boots and buffalo hide for winter boots. The fur was put to the inside. Snow shoes were used instead of overshoes. Men's trousers were made of denim; women's dresses of delaine.
   Mary Lee McCleerey died in 1871. William married a second time to Elizabeth J. Crouch. Home was 80 acres, Section 24, Maple Township, Monona County. Children were Elizabeth, Aaron, Robert, Francis, Jane Martha, William, Joseph, John T., Silas, and Rose Althea. One child died in infancy and another when 16 years old.
Morris Leach Jones and Joseph Edwards

   Joseph Edwards and his brother-in-law Morris Leach Jones were the first settlers in Liston Township, Woodbury County, and the first to build a log cabin. They were taxpayers from the time of the first assessment. Morris Jones and his sister, Mrs. Joseph Edwards were born in Marathon, Portland County, New York, of parents Thomas and Hannah Adams Jones. Hannah Adams Jones was a direct descendant of Samuel Adams of Massachusetts. Thomas Jones' father was a Welshman who settled near Massachusetts at an early date. The men both were at Smithland before coming to Liston Township.
   Morris married Louise Smith, the daughter of O.B. Smith, in 1857. He moved in 1857 after the Indian scare and went to St. James, Cedar County, Nebraska. Two years later he went to Colorado. His first wife died in 1865. Two years later he married Jerusha Spencer, nee Webster. She died in 1869.
   Morris returned to Smithland in 1876 and bought a general merchandise store. He served as the town clerk, justice of peace, and county supervisor when in Smithland. He married a third time to Eva Harris. He had a child from each marriage. Children were Francis M., Grace, and Myra.
The Castles
   Lewis Castle - 1866 - Farmer: He was a brother of George and John Castle. Lewis filed for a homestead (80 acres) Section 4, Cooper Township, Monona County, 2 1/2 miles southwest of Danbury. He built a dugout house on his first arrival from Ulster County, New York, in the summer of 1866. In 1870 he decided to build a home. He had to go to Dunlap where he could get lumber and supplies. On the return trip home, his loaded wagon struck an obstacle in the road. He alighted from the wagon and attempted to free the wagon. The shaking forced some of the bundles of shingles to come loose from their moorings and fall, striking Lewis on the back of his neck. The severe blow broke his neck, and he died instantly. His wife and children's names are unknown. He was the first person to be baptized in the newly organized Maple Valley Baptist Church and was the second person to be buried in the Heisler Cemetery. Rev. James Patrick was the first pastor of the church, and there were 7 families in the congregation.
   George Castle - 1867- Cattle Herder, Farmer, and Carpenter: George and Catherine Duetzer Castle came to the U.S. in 1845 from Kleingigenfeld, Havaria, Germany. George's father was a cooper, and Catherine's an armorer (one who made knives and swords). They came to America after they married and settled in Rosendale, New York, Ulster County. Their only son, George Nicholas was born on April 6, 1848. The family later moved to Louisville, Kentucky. They left there via wagon train in 1862 and settled first in Muscatine, Iowa. When some of their neighbors, Sanfords, Keaggys, Ernests, and Uhls came on to Northwest Iowa, they came, too, in 1867. All of these families settled near Old Mapleton. Their son, Nicholas was now 19. He filed for a homestead. His parents lived with him. George, the father, herded cattle. George bought a farm in 1869 from his brother, John. However, he sold it again in 1873 to Isaac and Emilie Hughs. George and is wife, Catherine, a midwife and nurse and an excellent seamstress, went to live with John Castle who lived alone and was sick. George, his wife, Catherine and John Castle all moved to Danbury in 1877 when Adam Treiber, and nephew and his wife and two small daughters arrived from New York and bought the Castle farm. The Castles were some of Danbury's first residents. George built Danbury's first grandstand and the fences around the park. Auntie was the town doctor until 1880 when Danbury's first doctor arrived. She also cared for Elmira Smith, daughter of Benjamin Smith, as Elmira's mother died when she was very young. John, George, and Catherine Castle were all buried in Heisler Cemetery.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Castles

   Nick Castle - 1867- Manager of Castle House Hotel: Nick Castle, son of George Castle, came with his parents to Old Mapleton in 1867 when he was 19 years old. Nicholas was born Apr. 6, 1848, in New York. He later moved with his parents to Louisville, KY. He received a good education. They came west in 1862, and they settled at Muscatine, IA. They came farther west to Monona County in 1867. Nick homesteaded 80 acres on the northwest edge of Mapleton. Nick married Elmira Smith, daughter of stagecoach driver Benjamin Smith, in Nov. 1871. In the winter of 1878, Nick and Elmira lost their three oldest sons to diptheria. Heartbroken over the loss of their sons, Nick and his wife felt they had to get off the farm. Nick's parents had moved to Danbury, so Nick bought a hotel which had been built by Melvin Chapman in 1878. He took over the possession of the hotel in Dec. 1879. This was Danbury's first hotel, and they called it Castle House. Nick was very civic minded and was very proud of his town. He planted many of Danbury's first trees, served on Danbury's first council, was mayor from 1886-1888, was town recorder 1882-1884, and he served on various committees when the fair board was organized and during the fair years. He once ran for county recorder but was defeated by a few votes. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal church in Danbury. Nick and Elmira had 3 more children, Josephine, Max and William. William died when about a year old, and he was buried in Heisler Cemetery. The Castles sold their hotel and livery about 1904 to William F. Seibold. They moved to Bermerton, WA.
   John Castle (Kastle) - 1862- Farmer: John Castle was born in Bavaria, Germany, and came to the U.S. when a young man with his wife, Margaretta. They lived in Ulster County, NY, a number of years and then came on west via covered wagon along with a group of other families. John filed for a homestead about a mile southeast of Danbury in then Maple Twp., Monona Co. (present James Treiber farm; previously known as the Treiber Homestead). He homesteaded 80 acres, and in 1867 he bought a second 80 acres near Old Mapleton. After the death of his wife, he became ill and could no longer care for himself. He sold the 80 acres near Mapleton to his brother, George Castle and wife Catherine Sept. 21, 1869 for $900. By 1873 he could no longer live alone, so George and Catherine sold their 80 to Isaac and Emilie Hughs, and they came to Danbury to care for George on his homestead. In 1877 a nephew of George and Catherine's, Adam Treiber and his wife Bertha and two small daughters, Elizabeth and Mary came from New York, and George sold his homestead to Adam at a very small price, $10 and back taxes. George, John and Catherine moved to Danbury which then was just a name.
J.C. Priester - 1866 - Farmer
   J.C. Priester came to Iowa from Waverly, IL, via covered wagon, with his wife and three children, Anna, Dennis, and Charles. A yearling colt followed the wagon. The crossed the Mississippi River with ferry at Davenport, IA, & headed west over the southern route for Council Bluffs. Upon reaching Council Bluffs, they headed north, crossed the Little Sioux River at Little Sioux, IA, & then went on north to the Maple Valley to the W.L. Ring home. They lived with the Rings for 2 months. They then bought 80 acres on which stood an old sod house with 3 rooms for $150. The farm was in Monona Co., Maple Twp., but near the Monona-Woodbury County line (present Donald Patrick farm). The buildings were improved during the next 10 years. In 1866, Dunlap & Denison were the marketplaces to sell hogs & grain. Four or five wagons would make the trip together. The settlers would wait for freezing weather to butcher hogs. After meat was chilled, the carcasses would be loaded, & the wagons would set out for Denison. This was a 3-day trip. There was an overnight stay at the half-way house run by Heart Dowd. The stagecoaches hauling mail from Denison to Sioux City and back always stopped here. H.C. Laub had a general store, and travelers bought supplies there for the 40 mile trip. Three or four of these trips were made every year until 1882 when the Durst Mill was built. For a short time before Danbury Mill was built they went to Durst Mill at Battle Creek. Settlers, before mills, parched corn and wheat for coffee. Tea was from roots of Red Root and bark of sassafras. Each fall the Indians came and caused much concern. Usually 6-8 men, about a half dozen squaws, and 7 or 8 children would arrive and set up camp on the Maple River. They would trap there for mink and muskrat until spring. The Winnebagoes would come from Nebraska, and they usually went as far as Ida Grove to camp for the winter months. It was always a relief when they went south again in the spring to the Indian reservation. Mail came once a week to Old Mapleton. Bridges were few. Dennis Priester was 10 when he came with his parents. He herded cattle on the prairies when a boy. The Priester School, an old landmark, was on the back side of their land. Dennis married, had 3 children all of whom later lived in Danbury, Bessie (Mrs. Jay Edwards), Flora (Mrs. Stanley Meisenhelder) and Frederick A. Dennis and wife retired to Mapleton where Dennis tuned pianos.
The Herringtons
   John Herrington, Sr. - 1867 - Farmer: John W. Herrington and his wife, Theresa Townsend Herrington & their son, John Jr. all of French descent, crossed the prairies from Illinois in 1867. They homesteaded land later owned by Charley Treiber. They gave land for the first school in the area, Habana. Children were John, Levi, Lydia and Wade.
   John Herrington, Jr. - 1867 - Farmer: John Jr. Herrington, a son, was born in Pennsylvania, Luzerne County, where the Herringtons lived before coming west to Illinois before the Civil War. John Jr. was called to serve in the army during the Civil War, and he was discharged when 25 years old. He and his parents then came farther west via covered wagon and settled on land along the Maple River. John married Mahala Koker, and neighbor girl in 1869. John and Mahala had seven children, Charles, Addie, Merat, Earl, Flossie, Archie (architect and carpenter), and Harvey (farmer). Harvey Herrington married Mahala Viola Hostetler, daughter of Alvin and Amy Hostetler, born on August 27, 1894. She came to Danbury when a young girl and married Harvey at Ida Grove on Oct. 28, 1912. They farmed. Their children were Fern (Mrs. Claude Dean), Doris (Mrs. Felix Wiseman) and Frances (Mrs. Ernest Koeppen). There was one son, Loren, now deceased. Mahala died on July 10, 1960. Harvey is now remarried and has retired to Mapleton.
   Levi Herrington - 1875 - Farmer and Livery: Levi Herrington came from Illinois to Manilla, IA, where he stayed for the winter. He met and married Elizabeth McGrath whose parents were also camped there for the winter. Elizabeth was 24, being born February 5, 1851. They came on to Danbury in the spring and rented land and farmed along the Maple. His father, John W. Herrington built a livery in 1878, and Levi was to manage it. He also drayed. He was one of the first Danbury businessmen. He served on the first Danbury council 1878-1882, and again 1882-1884. He also was town marshal. Children were Frances (Mrs. Jim O'Day), Grace (Mrs. Dan Sexton), Joe, John, and Agnes (Mrs. Antone Brown).
   Lydia Herrington: A daughter, married David Chapman.
   Aaron Wade Herrington - 1875 - Farmer and Stock: Wade Herrington was born in Luzerne County, PA, 1837. He came west with his parents to Illinois in 1844. He farmed in Illinois in Oglie and Lee counties for 15 years, starting to work for himself when 23. He enlisted in Union Army 1862, Infantry, and served under Capt. Nelson and Gen. Sherman. He was in the army in Cumberland, and in battles of Chickamauga, Lookout Mt., and Sherman's March to the Sea. He was mustered out in Concord, returned to the farm until 1875. He married Eleanor N. Eakle, daughter of Joseph and Catherine Eakle, Nov. 11, 1860. They came to Iowa in 1875 and took land along the Maple where other relatives had located. Children were Cora F. (Mrs. William Brady), Isabella M. (Mrs. Frank - Bert- Rathbun), Frank E., George E., Katie L. (Mrs. William Spotts), Clarence C., Alice P. (Mrs. James Heath), and Wilbert W. Cora Herrington married William Brady, a blacksmith in Danbury. She raised 2 sons, Mark and Harold. Clarence C. married Cara Kephart. He was a laboring man and worked in Danbury. Was dray man for awhile. They had 3 daughters, Leona (Mrs. Walter Foltz), Viola (Mrs. Harold McFerrin), and Ethel (Mrs. L.D. Smith). Ethel is the only Herrington that remains in Danbury. Ethel married L.D. Smith in 1920. He came to Danbury in 1919 planning to teach school in North Dakota, but instead took a job with Durst Brothers at Light and Power Co. He worked as a clerk in Farmers Store and Crilly's for a year. He then took the Civil Service exam and passed the test for rural mail carrier. He carried mail 1920-1959. They had one daughter, Zola Smith Welte. Dick passed away in April 15, 1962.

David Chapman - 1864 - Farmer (Virtue Place)
   David Chapman was born Dec. 14, 1830, in Yorkshire, England. He came to the U.S. when 16 and settled in Ogla County, IL. He married Lydia Herrington Jan. 27, 1854. They had a family of 11. They had 4 children when David was called to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War. His sixth child, Cora was born Sept. 1862 while David was at war, and she died in March of 1864 before he returned. He never saw his little girl. They had children Melvin born Apr. 21, 1855; Mary born Oct. 11, 1856; Theresa born Aug. 1858; Emma born Jul. 11, 1860; and Cora born Sept. 1862 in Illinois. They then came to Iowa after David's discharge from the army, coming via covered wagon. They first lived near Old Mapleton but moved to a farm near Lydia's brother and sisters, the Herringtons (Virtue farm). These older children attended the Habana School. Six more children were born after they came to Iowa. Clair was born in 1865, Miles born Dec. 25, 1866, Aaron born on May 1, 1870 (died June 1871), Ida born on July 28, 1872 (died October 2, 1877) Clarence born in July 1874 (died in October 1874), and Nellie born in 1876 (died March 1877). These last four children died between 1871 and 1877, and all were buried in Heisler Cemetery. The little girl Ida died when 5 years old, and Lydia, the mother died just 16 days afterwards. The two older girls raised these younger children. David married Mrs. Dan Thomas after she received her divorce in 1881. They left Danbury by train and went to Moscow, ID. They married soon after arriving in Moscow, and they homesteaded an 80 acres there. David died on Sept. 14, 1917. Mary died on March 16, 1921. They are buried in Moscow Cemetery in Idaho.
Melvin Chapman - 1864 - Hotel Keeper, Chapman Hotel 1878
   Melvin is the son of David Chapman, and he was 9 when his parents came to Iowa from Ogla County, IL. He attended Habana School. He married Lovina Thomas, oldest daughter of Dan Thomas. Melvin was born on April 21, 1855, in Illinois, and he married Lovina on Dec. 12, 1875. Lovina had taught school a year before she married. They had one son, Danny, born Sept. 9, 1876, but he died when only 14 months old of whooping cough, Jan. 1877. Most likely Danny was buried beside his grandmother in Heisler Cemetery, as they died about the same time. Dan Thomas pursuaded his son-in-law that he should bulid a hotel if the town of Danbury was to have a railroad. He bult the hotel in 1878 on the Barry Garage lot. Their second child was born in the new hotel, Gertrude Carrie, Nov. 1879. They sold the hotel to Nick Castle soon after the birth of their second child. Melvin and Lovina left Danbury by train and went to San Francisco. From there they went by boat to Portland, OR, and Sprague, WA. Alice was born Oct. 2, 1881, Irma Lydia was born June 30, 1887 and died in Moscow, ID June 9, 1888, Nettie Lovina was born April 18, 1889, Bannie was born in 1892, and Gail was born in 1898. The Chapmans homesteaded 80 acres near Moscow where they lived about 23 years. They moved from Moscow to Bridgeport, WA, by covered wagon, and then to Port Orchard where they lived the rest of our lives. In 1972 Banney, the only living child of Melvin Caapman, visited Danbury Oct. 7, 1972, along with 10 other descendants of Dan Thomas. Melvin Lorenzo Chapman died on Jan. 27, 1937, and Lovina Thomas Chapman died on January 22, 1935. Buried in Port Orchard, WA.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Benjamin Franklin Thomas 1864 - Farmer

   Frank Thomas, son of Dan Thomas, was born in Freeport, Illinois, on July 26, 1863. He came to Danbury via covered wagon with his parents in 1864 when just a baby. He attended both Habana and the Maple Valley School and most likely the public school, also. He helped his father farm his land. He was 22 when he left Danbury in 1886. He left Danbury with his father, and he went to visit his mother, step father David Chapman, and his sisters who lived at Moscow, Idaho.
   Frank married Lanie Isabella Bowser, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Bowser who lived just one mile west of Danbury. Frank and lanie had been childhood sweethearts. After Lanie finished her schooling, she went to Moscow, Idaho, and she and Frank married in the Chapman home on July 29, 1892.
   Lanie was born in Blanchardsville, Wisconsin, on March 9, 1862, and she was just a small child when her parents came by wagon to the Danbury area.
   Frank and Lanie Thomas farmed in Moscow and Colville, Echo, and Twin Falls, Washington. Their last years were spent at Princeton, Idaho. They were buried there; Frank died in 1942 and Lanie in 1947.
   Their children were Chalice, born in 1893; Ben Lincoln, born in 1896; Grant Bowser born in 1899; Fourth Freedom, born in 1902; and J.D. a son born in 1897 but died in 1898.
John Bowser 1865 - Farmer
   John Bowser, born in Millsborough, Pennsylvania on May 19, 1810, and Elizabeth Cline, born on May 14, 1833 in Ohio, came to Danbury, Liston Township after they had married and farmed in the Wisconsin Territory a number of years. John Bowser purchased 3 parcels of land in 1875, 1876, and 1877, a part of it being the present Arnold Ortner farm. The Bowser home was a mile west of Danbury. The Bowser children, too, attended Habana, Maple Valley and Danbury Public School.
   He was a cousin of Martin Smith. John retired to Danbury and built the first all-lumber frame house in the town of Danbury, presently owned by Fritz Plautz. John died in 1883, when 73 years old, and was one of the first persons to be buried in the Danbury cemetery.
   The Bowsers had four daughters and a son. Lanie, the youngest daughter was still in high school when her mother died on September 25, 1891. She then lived with the August Wilkinson family (neighbors) until after she finished school. She then went to Moscow, Idaho, and married. There also was a daughter, Annie whose married name was Cherrington, and a son, John. The other children's names are unknown.
Martin Smith 1876 - Farmer
   Martin Smith, accompanied by his mother and a younger brother, Kyle came to Liston Township via covered wagon from Argyle, Wisconsin. They ended their journey here on May 22, 1876, at the John Bowser home west of Liston Town. At that time no virgin soil had been turned between land which he chose adjoining his cousin John Bowser's land and Smithland. He prepared a home and performed other work which had to be done in readiness for the arrival of his wife and baby. His wife came by train from Wisconsin to Spirit Lake and by stage from Spirit Lake to Danbury; she was accompanied by her small baby , Belle who later became Mrs. Charles McCleerey.
   Kyle Smith died of lung fever during the winter 1884-85. The Smiths had three living children, Belle, Charley and James.
   Martin farmed his land with the help of his two sons as long as able and then retired to Danbury. He lived to be 96. James never married.
   Charley Smith married Grace McCleerey, a daughter of Aaron McCleerey and wife Martha Huffman McCleerey. They farmed until Charley died, on land owned by Martin Smith. They had children Louisa (Mrs. William Sevening), Alice (Mrs. Henry Ryan), Lloyd, Phyllis (Mrs. Paul Lamphear), Garnet (Mrs. Bud Torrey), Duane, Jean and Darnell.
   Belle married Charley McCleerey, the son of Aaron McCleerey and Martha Huffman McCleerey. Charley also farmed land of Martin Smith. They had a family of 12, Inez (Mrs. Guy Hixon), Darrell, Arnold, Kyle, Lynn, Wayne, Wilna (Mrs. Joseph Turner), Maxine (Mrs. W.L. Coon), Opal McCleerey Lemley, Norma (Mrs. Joe Simmons), Noel, and Marion McCleerey LaPlante.
Joseph Milton Waddell 1872 - Farmer
   Joseph Waddell arrived in Liston Township near Danbury in 1872. He was born on August 22, 1810 in Galleo County, Ohio. He married Eleanor Cherrington on December 11, 1842. They farmed in Ohio until 1856 and then moved to the Wisconsin Territory. After 16 years of farming there, they came to Liston Township by prairie schooner. A son, Joseph Milton was born on August 3, 1865, in Wisconsin Territory. Joseph was 7 when his parents came to Iowa.
   Joseph Jr. married Sarilla Hoy, born on October 11, 1870, in Union County, Pennsylvania. The Hoys also were early settlers and farmed first near Smithland. Joseph and Sarilla married at Onawa on December 3, 1888. They bought their first farm in the spring of 1893. Their children attended the rural school in their district and also Danbury Public School. Children were Ray Augustus, born on October 4, 1889 and died in June 1956; Ethel, born on November 2, 1890; Myron Clifford, born on August 22, 1894 and died in June 1956; Dale Elwood, born on October 29, 1899. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Waddell retired to Pierson. Joseph died in 1953, and Sarilla on May 23, 1950.
   Roy Waddell, son of Joseph Jr., married and farmed the Waddell farm after the father retired.
John Carl Rhode 1883 - Farmer
   John C. Rhode was born on August 26, 1862, in Clinton County, Lyons, Iowa, a year after his parents, Fritz and Mary Berndt Rhode came to America from Pomerania, Germany. From New York his parents came on west to Clinton County where they rented land and farmed.
   When John was 12 the Rhode family continued on west. They moved by immigrant train to Osceola County, Sibley, Iowa, where the railroad had just been extended in 1872. The Rhodes and the Hellers, another family coming west, unloaded the cars, set up their wagons and loaded them, bought supplies, etc., and on the third day they set out in a southeasterly direction into a sea of prairie grass. There was no trail to follow. There were many sloughs, slough grass, and cattails. Long legged birds, the crane, curlew and others were in the sloughs. After traveling about 14 or 15 miles, the two families stopped to make camp, one on each side of a small trail they had been following. The next morning the men decided to file for land here as they thought it was as good as any they had passed the previous day. The trail eventually became a street of the town of Melvin, Iowa. Both men sold portions of the land they homesteaded to the town of Melvin. They found this land very wet and hard to drain as it was so level. When John and his brother were 21 and 19 years old, year 1883, they decided to come to Monona County where other relatives had come, and the land had better drainage. They came from Melvin with horses and wagon, supplies, etc. Both John and William bought land in Cooper Township near Rush Creek where other relatives were already established.
   John married Emma Ladendorf, daughter of Charley and Johanna Ladendorf. They later bought land just one mile south of Danbury (presently Ralph Scotts). John retired to Danbury in 1910, William to Mapleton. John and Emma had five children, three died in infancy, Josephine (Mrs. John Treiber) and Mable (Mrs. Albert Johnson). John was killed in a railroad accident on the edge of Danbury on June 11, 1946.
Thomas E. Gray 1866 - Farmer
   Thomas E. Gray, a homesteader, came to Iowa from Indiana by covered wagon after being discharged from the Army. Thomas was born on December 27, 1842, in Switzerland County, Indiana. He married Amanda Dix, born on August 6, 1843, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Thomas served in the Union Army, fought at Vicksburg, and was with Sherman on his march to the sea. He filed for a homestead north of Danbury in 1866 but later lived on different farms in the area.
   The Grays were very civic minded and always interested in the betterment of the community. In 1877, before there was a church, Mr. Gray led religious services in his home or some school. Families attending were William Shever; Thomas Maynard; Jonathan Idding; Peter Moore; John Chester; Liza Adams; William Ostrander; Elam Adams; Mary, Lovina and Lucy Smith; and Robert Ingles. In 1880 they helped to found and organize the Episcopal Methodist Church at Danbury.
   Thomas and Amanda had 6 children, Ella (Mrs. Mark Cord), Cora (Mrs. Isaiah Davis), Mary (Mrs. Joseph Wienand), Ida (Mrs. James Sigmond), Millard and Frank. Thomas Gray died in 1906 and Amanda in 1920. They are buried in Heisler Cemetery. Both Cora and Ella taught school before married.
   Millard married Alma Iddings, daughter of Lewis and Susannah Hurst Iddings. They farmed and lived here all their lives. Children were Everett, Jennie (Mrs. Clark Stamper), Thelma (Mrs. Carl Rischen), Nellie (Mrs. Charley Jensen), Frank and Milford.
   Ella Gray's husband, Mark Cord was a real estate and insurance agent in Danbury and they were permanent citizens. Cora married Isaiah Davis, and both of them were school teachers. They moved to Sioux City. Mary's husband, Joseph Wienand had a harness shop and later a coffee shop in Danbury. He was acting postmaster, too, for a time. They later moved to South Dakota. James Sigmon, who was Ida's husband, was also postmaster at Danbury. The Sigmons moved to Colorado.
Smith and Lee Families
   William Smith, 1866, Farmer and Mail Carrier: William Smith was born at Newcastle, Underhyne Staffordshire, England, on September 5, 1834. His grandfather was a hatter. In 1848 his parents, William and Edna Rowley Smith came with their family to America, and they settled in Columbia County, Wisconsin. The father died when 44 years old. Edna passed the balance of her days in Wisconsin, and she died in 1884 at the age of 76. William was the second of five children who grew to maturity. William remained on the farm with his mother until 1856 when he married and began farming on his own. He married Catherine O'Neill, a daughter of Francis and Rose Hoy O'Neill of Irish and Scotch birth respectively. In 1865 William and wife moved to Franklin County, Iowa, and the next year on to MOnona County near Danbury where they homesteaded land. After 5 years on the homestead they sold it and bought a farm on Section 22 in Liston Township near Danbury. William carried mail from Liston Town to Denison from 1875 to 1879. He served as Danbury postmaster from 1885-1889 during the Cleveland administration. He was Justice of the Peace for 14 years, and he also was Secretary of Danbury School Board of Liston Township. He was a member of the Democratic Party, and his religion was Universalist. His brother, Benjamin Smith, and sister, Edna (Mrs. James Lee) also came to Liston Township. Children of William Smith were William John, Samuel R. Jessie Naomi, Henry Percy, Kate A. (Mrs. Merton E. Patterson), Agnes N. (Mrs. Van Feltus), Charles A., Eylfa Maude (Mrs. Eylfa Richards). A child, Rode died at 19, and Frank, a son died when 17 years of age. Jessie Naomi was one of the first teachers at Danbury Public.
   Benjamin Smith, 1866, Farmer and Stage Coach Driver: Benjamin Smith came, too, in 1866 along with his wife, Sally and small daughter, Elmira. Benjamin's wife, Sally died soon after they came here. Benjamin left his small daughter with Auntie Castle, a neighbor of his, and she cared for Elmira a number of years. Benjamin secured the job of stage coach driver when the Sioux City and Liston Town stage first operated, and he was stage driver until it was discontinued in 1886. He ran a butcher shop in Danbury when he made only a trip to Sioux City a week. He was Justice of Peace at Old Mapleton, and he was mayor of Danbury 1884-1886. He hauled freight for a time after the stage run was discontinued, but he moved to Oregon the winter of 1888-1889.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

   James Lee, 1870, Farmer: James Lee was born in London, England, and he received his education there. James came to America with his father, William Lee, and they left the mother and 6 brothers and sisters in England. When en route to Marquette, WI, via train, there was an accident; two trains collided just 7 miles from Chicago. Thirty-five persons were killed and many others injured. The second train hit the car in which the Lees were riding. James' arm was caught in falling timbers, and even though his arm was severely injured, he managed to free it. James' father had a broken leg and arm and several ribs broken, and he was in the hospital practically all summer recuperating. James attended school in Chicago meanwhile. When free to travel, William and James took a boat to Sheboygan, WI, and after arrival there traveled on foot in search of a farm. He paid $350 for some land and $75 for a team of horses only to find he had dealt with a swindler and had purchased mortgaged property. William then worked as a day laborer trying to save enough so as to invest in more land. He bought another farm the next spring.
   The mother who had remained in England decided to come to the U.S. not knowing the whereabouts of her husband and son. She arrived in 1855, two years after her husband and son had come. Two months after arrival, her children became ill with a fever. She soon located her husband, and they once more were all together again on their new farm. William became ill the winter of 1856 while working on a well in severe weather, and he died.
   James left home after the death of his father, determined to make a living for himself. He had only 50¢ and a jack knife in his pocket. He went to Columbia County, WI, where he found work. While in Columbia County, he met Edna Smith, a sister of William and Benjamin Smith mentioned previously. They married in 1863 and farmed in Wisconsin Territory until 1870. Then they decided to come to Iowa where her brothers had settled. They came by covered wagon, and as they drove down the Maple Valley, James said, "This is where we are going to make our home," not knowing that her brothers and families were in this same area. They camped on Reynolds Creek where there was an abandoned house and well (east of John Cord farm). They lived there until James rented land. Their first years were hard ones as either hail or hoppers destroyed their first crops. James and neighbors built a school, and James was the first director, and the school was called the Lee School. Later it was called Fischer School. The nearest church was 12 miles away. Indians often visited their home as they camped on the Maple River during the winters. James and Edna had seven children, Mary (Mrs. Frank Schrunk), William, Steven, Charles, Lilly Lee Coull, George and Ethel Lee Upham. The son Charley was a small boy when the family came to Iowa. He married Mary Hoy, and they took over the Lee farm after the parents' death. Charlie had two children, Chattie Lee Swanger and Hoy. Charlie died on September 21, 1934, and Mary Lee died on July 28, 1947.
Samuel T. Cameron, 1866, Farmer
   Samuel T. Cameron was born in Upper Canada on January 17, 1834, of parents William Cameron born in 1804 in Wellington County and Cecelia Bentley of Montreal born in 1808. William and Cecelia married in 1823 and had a family of four: Charles, Emma, Anna, And Samuel T.
   Samuel, the youngest, assisted his father on the farm. He received an excellent education in the land of his birth. Samuel T. left home in the spring of 1855 and came to Linn County, Iowa, where he was engaged in farming until 1862. He then enlisted in the Army, Co. E., Sixth Iowa Calvary in the Civil War. The first winter after enlistment was spent at Davenport, IA, at Camp Hendersnott. In May of 1863 his Company came across the state of Iowa to Sioux City where they made camp. From there he went on several expeditions into Dakota Territory with Capt. Sully (this Company was formed during the Civil War after the regular Army was sent south to participate in the Civil War). Early settlers were left unprotected from Indian uprisings. The Company was made up of citizens of the immediate area, and small groups of the Company were sent to various trouble spots in this area when the settlers and Indians had disagreements. The regiment made Sioux City its camp the winter of 1864, and Samuel Cameron's family was listed as one of the 93 families living in Sioux City the winter of '64. The Company disintegrated when the Civil War ended. Samuel Cameron was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant of the 2nd U.S. Infantry and took part in many skirmishes. One time a Capt. Fisk had his Company surrounded by Indians near the Black Hills, 280 miles from where Lt. Cameron was stationed. Lt. Cameron's men went to the scene of the conflict to help rescue Capt. Fisks' Company. They had only two pieces of artillery, but they rescued the imperiled men. Cameron was mustered out of the service on November 27, 1865. He then returned to Linn County, sold his property and went to Hamilton County, and in 1866 he moved his family by covered wagon to Monona County, Cooper Township and homesteaded land in Sections 4 and 5.
   Samuel was elected supervisor while living in Sioux City. A supervisor then was to lay out roads, levy taxes, and audit accounts.
   Sam Cameron married Sarah Rice, daughter of Charles Rice, of Waterloo County, Canada. Samuel and Sarah had eight children, Charles, H., Robert, Priscilla, Jane, William, David D., Cora, and Mark M.
   Cora Cameron married Walter Hand, and Walter ran a Tin Shop and Hardware in Danbury when the town first began. They later farmed. They had an adopted son, Cameron.
   David D. Cameron married Dora Carhart, and they farmed the Cameron land. They had two sons, Howard and Lawrence and a daughter, Maude. Howard married Essie Nourse, and they had a daughter, Wanda (Mrs. Maurice Zediker). Lawrence married Norma Baier, and they had a daughter. Maude (Mrs. Lester Patrick) lived in California.
   Mark M. Cameron married Hannah Keleher, and they farmed land presently owned by Earl Cameron, a grandson. Mark and Hannah had children, Claude, Lyle, James, Clifford and Paul. Lyle Cameron married Marie Mack, and they farmed in Monona County near Danbury, and they had children, Dorothy (Mrs. Roy Lindley), Jerome, Earl, Russell, Clarence, Charles, and Carol (Mrs. Harry Mindrup).
The Iddings Families
   Thomas Iddings and Mary Beghart Iddings were married in Union County, PA. They had four children: Lewis, born on February 23, 1841; Wilbert R., born on February 26, 1846; George W., born on July 9, 1847; and Jonathan, born on September 14, 1849. Mary died on March 10, 1851 when her oldest child was 10.
   Thomas married the second time, to Elizabeth McClellan on January 11, 1853. To this marriage four children were born: Samuel M., born on March 6, 1854; Thomas A., born on December 31, 1855; Thompson Linn, born on July 1, 1859, and James H. Born on March 28, 1862. Elizabeth McClellan died on October 27, 1870, and she was buried in Pennsylvania.
   Thomas Iddings married a third time, to Mary Ingersol Hall. There were two children from that marriage, Mattie and Jennie, birth dates unknown.
   Of this family, Wilbert R. was a soldier in the Civil War. At the end of the war he was on his way home but died before reaching home in Washington, D.C. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Thomas Linn practiced medicine in Michigan. The other six brothers and half brothers, Lewis, George, Jonathan, Samuel, Thomas and James all went to Centerville, Michigan, and then later came on to Woodbury and Monona Counties to homestead land. The father, Thomas Iddings came here, too, and he died on November 13, 1901, and was buried in Heisler Cemetery.
   Lewis Iddings was the first to come to the Maple Valley. He married Susanna Hurst in 1860, and they farmed near Centerville, MI, 1886-1865. They had two sons born in Michigan. In 1864 Lewis Iddings came to Northwest Iowa to look for land before bringing his family. From here he walked up the Maple Valley to where Mr. William Ring lived (Manley Durst farm). Mr. Ring convinced him to take land next to his. After measuring his land (later Isadore Uhl's), he filed and went back to Michigan. The next year the family and personal belongings came by rail to Boone, IA (the end of the railroad at that time). He bought a team of horses and a wagon, loaded his belongings and family, and they drove to Monona County. They stayed with the Ring family until he had a home built for the family. One of the little boys born in Michigan died while living here, and he was buried on the farm. They had children, John R., Anna A. (Mrs. Henry Nourse), Ollie (Mrs. George Lee), Adna H., Alma V. (Mrs. Millard Gray), Harry J. and Lewis (died young on February 3, 1914). The Priester School was first known as the Iddings School, so no doubt Mr. Iddings was the first director.
   Jonathan Iddings followed his brother, and he filed for land adjoining his brother but soon left Iowa. He went to Oregon.
   Samuel M. and Thomas A. Iddings came here from Centerville when young men of 19 and 18, unmarried, 1873. They came by train to Denison. They worked for others for a few years and stayed with their half brother, Lewis. Samuel worked for Lewis Iddings. Tom and Sam bought their first 160 acres in Liston Twp. from Dan Thomas in 1878 (presently Dose land), and they lived together until they married. Sam married Marietta Handley. There children were Emily (Mrs. Ward Swanger), born on April 19, 1886; Kenneth; Charles; George; Harold: Walter who married Mable Palmer; and Florence (Mrs. Roy Whittier). Thomas A. Iddings married Elizabeth A. Dean, daughter of George and Mary Dean. The Deans lived across the Maple River from the Lewis Iddings farm. Thomas the 3 children from that marriage, Lynn H., Glen D. and Thomas V. Elizabeth died young, and Thomas remarried, marrying Lizzie Connett.
   James, the youngest brother, came about 1882 when 20 years old. Sam and James bought an 80 that year from S.S. Jones. James bought another 80 in 1883 from the Iowa Railroad Land Co., and Thomas bought an 80 in 1883 also from the railroad company.
   George W. Iddings married in Centerville, and he taught school there. They came to Monona County by covered wagon, and they first lived in a dugout on Thomas and Sam Iddings farm. Foster was one of their children, the baby then, was just 6 months old. Foster was born on October 9, 1880, and they came in the spring of 1881. The George Iddings family moved to Mapleton in 1883. They had children Foster, Clyde, Grace and Florence Iddings Copeland. Foster married Eva M. Bain on October 8, 1905. He graduated from Drake University Law School in 1903, and he began to practice law that year. His first wife died on January 12, 1941. He married again to Leta Sewell of Red Oak. She died on March 26, 1946. His third wife was Dora Christensen, marrying on August 2, 1947. Most of his life was spent in Sioux City.
Martin Boyle, 1886, Farmer
   Michael Martin Boyle was born in July, 1872, in Carthage, Illinois, Hancock County of parents Michael and Margaret Boyle. His parents were born in Ireland but came to the U.S. when young. They married in the U.S. and farmed in Keokuk and Dallas Center, Iowa. They came to Danbury in 1886 by immigrant train and purchased land presently being farmed by a great grandson, James Boyle. The children of Michael and Margaret Boyle were Mary (Mrs. James O'Conner), John, Elizabeth (Mrs. Patrick Rush), Maria (Mrs. John Holden), Magdaline (Sr. Mary Scholastica), Martin and Josephine (Mrs. E.J. Leahy).
   Martin Boyle, son of Michael Boyle married Mary Brougham, a daughter of Thomas and Margaret Kennedy Brougham. She was a school teacher. They had but one child, a son, Thomas who was born on February 17, 1902. Thomas married Bernice Brenner, daughter of Isadore and Mattie Frank Brenner, married in 1927. Thomas and Berneice have children, Vincent, Robert, William, James, Sheila (Mrs. Lester Theobald), and Marjorie (Mrs. Roger Nelson).

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Patrick Rush

   Patrick Rush, son of Michael and Mary Giblin Rush, married Elizabeth Boyle, and they farmed northwest of Danbury. They moved to Danbury about 1918 so some of the children could attend St. Patrick's Academy and Danbury Pubic School. Patrick worked for the county as maintainer of roads.
   They had children Bernard, Martin, Henry, Jack, Joseph, Catherine, Cecelia, Agnes, Ellen, Elizabeth (Sr. Aloysius), Emmett, and Charlie.
Josephine Boyle
   Josephine Boyle married Ed Leahy. They farmed in Morgan Twp. They had children Margaret (Mrs. Albert Forsch), Mary (Mrs. Charles McGuire), Ellen, Leona, Edna (Mrs. John Brenner), and Martin).
   Edna and Martin remained in Danbury. Mrs. John Brenner had children, Maurine, Sarah and Mark. Martin married Mary Ellen Crowley. Children were Edward, Michael, Mary T., Francis John, Donald L., and JoAnn.
Lewis B. Jeness, 1894, Editor of Danbury Review and Postmaster
   Lewis Jeness was born in Monona County on December 23, 1871, the son of M.J.P. and Rachel Wilcox Jeness. He obtained his education in the schools around his home, supplemented by a Normal Course.
   He married Maude Adams on September 30, 1894. They came to Danbury after they married in 1894, and Mr. Jeness bought The Danbury Review and was the editor and postmaster 1901-1910 when the post office and Review office burned. What was salvaged Mr. Jeness sold to C.L. Adams of Manchester, IA, and he became the new editor of the Danbury paper.
   The Jeness couple had three children, Joyce born on July 6, 1896; John C. born on January 28, 1899, and Randolph born on November 16, 1901.
   Mr. Jeness was appointed postmaster at Danbury July 1, 1901, and he served in that capacity until 1910.
Seibold families
   William F. Seibold, 1882, Lumberyard and Elevator: William Seibold was born on March 31, 1839, in Fellbach, Germany. He was reared and educated in Germany, attending school from age 6 to 14. On March 4, 1855, when 16 years old, he left Germany for the U.S., and he arrived in New York with $5.00 in his pocket. From New York he went to Detroit and then on to Peoria, IL. He worked on a farm for two months and received $10 a month, and with this money he learned the harness trade. He worked as a harness maker at Peoria until 1860. He then moved to El Paso, IL, and in 1862 he married Miss Elizabeth Kreis of El Paso. In 1868 he moved his family to Chatsworth, IL, and there he was engaged in the grain and milling business. He was well established at Chatsworth, but he decided to move to Northwest Iowa in 1882 when railroad land was being sold at low prices. He came to Danbury in 1882 with his family, and he built the first grain elevator and third lumberyard, all known as Seibold Elevator and Lumberyard in Danbury. He was also engaged in real estate, and during his lifetime he accumulated nearly 8,000 acres of land for which he paid from $4 to $20 an acre. He loaned money to many and obtained some of his land by holding a mortgage on persons wanting to buy land but failed to keep up payments. Mr. Seibold sold his places of business on November 10, 1903. He obtained some of the Dan Thomas land, and he built his home on the 80 north of Danbury on Thomas St. after the Thomas family left Danbury about 1886. Children were Charles F. who was engaged in business with his father, William F. at home with his parents, Louisa borne in 1867 but died in 1870, Emma (Mrs. G.W. Murphy), George W. who was in business with his father, Edward, and Harry born in 1882 and died in 1893.
   Dr. George W. Murphy, M.D., 1888, Danbury Physician: Dr. Murphy was born near Epworth, IA, in Dubuque County on September 3, 1859, the son of Patrick and Mary Catherine (Canary) Murphy. Patrick Murphy, the doctor's father, was born in Cork County, Ireland, on January 12, 1825. He was reared and educated in Ireland. He was a peddler while in Ireland. He emigrated to America in August 1848 and made Vermont his home for a few years. He married Mary Catherine Canary on January 17, 1854. They removed to Dubuque County and were farming near Menlo in Guthrie County in 1871. Dr. Murphy obtained his education at Simpson College in Indianola and received his B.S. Degree in 1884. He was principal of the public school at Casey, IA, for 2 years. He then entered the school of medicine at the State University of Iowa, and he graduated from there on March 7, 1888. He came to Danbury in June 1888. He was a physician of progressive ideas, and he contributed some able articles to medical journals. Dr. G.W. Murphy, who was often called G.W., married Emma Seibold, daughter of W.F. and Elizabeth Seibold on June 10, 1895. Emma was a school teacher. The Murphy's have two children, Weir Mitchell who was born on April 4, 1896, and Mary Elizabeth who was born on February 10, 1901.
   Charley F. Seibold, Danbury businessman: Charley was born on November 9, 1862, in Chatsworth, IL. He received his education in Illinois. He came to Danbury with his parents in 1882 when he was 20 years old. He assisted his father in the lumber and elevator business until 1886 when he and his brother had a general merchandise store. He married Miss Carrie Ostrom, daughter of John and Lydia Korns Ostrom of Danbury on December 3, 1888. Charley and wife moved to Sioux City in 1921, and Charley became Director of Woodbury County Savings Bank. Charley was a financial genius, as was his father, and had become a successful and well-to-do businessman. In 1931, after the closing of First State Bank at Danbury, friends of Charley influenced him to establish a new bank in Danbury. This he did and was president of this new Farmers Savings Bank until his death. He made a trip to Danbury weekly via train to visit the bank, and he was liked by everyone and called C.F. Charley died in 1951 at the age of 89. Children were Faith (Mrs. L.J. Larimer), Hope (Mrs. C.R.S. Anderson), and a son W.F. "Fritz" Seibold.
   Hope Seibold (Mrs. C.R.S. Anderson), President Farmers Savings Bank of Danbury: Hope was the only member of the last generation of Seibolds that remained in Danbury throughout her life. She was born on March 8, 1890, at Danbury. She was graduated from Danbury Public High School in 1909 and from Simpson College in 1912. She did post graduated work at Northwestern University, and she taught music at Virginia, MN. She married Charles R.S. Anderson on June 16, 1919, at Danbury. The couple lived at Winterset, IA, and Austin, MN, until 1922 when they moved to Des Moines. They came to Danbury in 1935, and Charles set up a law office. Hope served as president of the bank her father established in 1931. Charles R.S. Anderson died in 1940. The Andersons had three children, twins Jane (Mrs. John Colbert) and Jean (Mrs. Robert Sheumaker), and son Charles who lives in Centerville, IA.
Frank M. Dove, 1889, Real Estate
   Frank M. Dove was born in Northwestern Kentucky on November 15, 1845 to parents John and Susan Develin Dove. During the Civil War he served with the Union Army, and in 1863 he enlisted in the 17th Illinois Cavalry. He was discharged at Springfield, IL, in 1865. He married Miss Sarah Jane Taft in 1872.
   The children were Mrs. Anna Wier who had a confectionery and bakery goods business in Danbury in 1904, Mrs. Odie E. Rumple, and Frank A. Dove (played on Danbury baseball teams).
Collins families
   John and Catherine Curtin Collins: John and Catherine Curtin Collins married in Cork County, Ireland, on February 11, 1829. Seven children were born to this union in Ireland, Patrick, Dennis, Ellen, Michael, Timothy, John and Mary. On May 9, 1844, the family left Ireland for the U.S. While at sea a daughter, Bridget was born. Their boat landed at Fort Covington, NY, and then came down the St. Lawrence Rive Channel. The trip across the Atlantic took 8 weeks and 4 days. They farmed in Franklin County, New York until 1852. They then came west with other wagons and settled at Dubuque County, IA. The Collins had three more children after coming to America, Margaret, Catherine and Cornelius. The father, John Collins died in Dubuque County, and he was buried there. All of the Collins children came to this area and farmed. They all farmed first near Cork Hill (near Oto) as that is where Ellen Collins, the oldest girl had come after her marriage to James Scott Miller, year 1853.
   James Scott Miller: James Scott Miller was born in Tippecanoe County, IN, on January 4, 1830. He had very little education. He went to Clinton County, IA in 1837. James married Ellen Collins of Guttenberg, IA in 1853. They came west with covered wagon and oxen in 1855. They settled on Miller Creek in Miller Twp. which were given names of Miller in their honor as they were the first to settle in Miller Twp.
   Michael Collins: Michael Collins, who was unmarried in 1861, came to Northwest Iowa, and he filed for a homestead near his sister, Ellen. He had to leave the vicinity when called to service in the Civil War. He was discharged in Sioux City in 1864. He married Catherine McDermott in 1865. They had children Mary Collins Murphy, John, William who married Martha Uhl, and Martha who married twice, Martha Riley Twitchell.
   Patrick Collins: Patrick Collins came to Northwest Iowa, too, to look for land in 1861 and filed for land. He often told the story of how he walked a good part of the trip. He walked from Council Bluffs to Sioux City where he had to file to get a patent and then back to Waterloo. His dog accompanied him on the trip but wore himself out chasing rabbits and prairie dog. He was married to Anna McKenna, and they lived in Dubuque County, IA. Mr. and Mrs. Pat Collins and four children, John, Mary, Margaret, and Henry along with the O'Connell and Curtin families came west in 1863 in the month of June. They came down the Maple Valley in their covered wagons and camped for the night close to the farm that later belonged to Martin Smith. The next day they moved on to Miller Creek where they lived for a year. They then secured land near Cork Hill. The only home then between cork Hill and Ida Grove was the Edwards home. They said later that they bypassed land which later became Danbury as the land was too flat, too many sloughs, and there were no trees. Patrick and Anna had another daughter, Susan who was born at Cork Hill. John, the oldest son married Margaret Mahoney, a neighbor girls, but Margaret died when young. John married a second time to Bridget Fitzpatrick, and they were the parents of Bernard, Esther and Lucille Collins. Patrick and Anna moved to Danbury in 1885, and they bought and operated the Commercial Hotel until 1903. John and Bridget then moved to Danbury, and they operated this same hotel from 1903 to 1910. Other children were Mary (Mrs. James McGuire), Henry married Margaret Fitzpatrick, Margaret or Maggie never married, and Susan (Mrs. Michael McGorman)
   John Collins: John Collins was born in 1841. He never married. He died in 1880, and he was buried in Cork Hill or Oto Catholic Cemetery.
   Dennis Collins: Dennis Collins married Kate Coleman.
   Timothy Collins: Timothy Collins never married.
   Mary Collins Hogan: Mary Collins married Michael Hogan.
   Bridget Collins Daly: Bridget Collins married Jeffrey Daly.
   Catherine Collins Hayes: Catherine Collins married Thomas Hayes.
   Margaret Collins Harrigan: Margaret Collins married John Harrigan.
   Cornelius "Con" Collins: Cornelius "Con" Collins came to Cork Hill area in 1869, and he farmed. In 1880 he purchased a farm (present Joe Collins farm), paying $6.50 an acre. This land was then owned by Iowa Railroad Land Co. Con married Margaret Hayes in 1879. They had a family of eight, Frank, Alice who died in 1904, George, Leo who married Elizabeth Reimer, Irene (Sr. Mary Irene), Winifred (Mrs. J.A. Uehle), Josephine (Mrs. Dan Welte), and Joseph who married Mildred Chedister. Con Collins and wife retired to Danbury and built a new home (Tom Barry home).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Treibers

   Adam Treiber (continued from last week): The Treibers had some hard years. The years 1880 was an extremely hard winter. Very little game could be found as there was so much snow and it was extremely cold. The family practically lived on johnny cake. In the spring of 1882 Adam found out his buildings and yards were on his neighbor's and this meant his buildings would have to be moved. In April 1883 a tornado struck, and his house blew toward the creek and fell apart. Another house was then moved from up the draw which another settler had built and then abandoned.
   Adam was a lover of horses, and he raised a large number of horses each year of the Clydesdale breed. Every other year auctions were held on his farm, and often 30 heard or more would be sold. These horses were card for by his eight sons. The horses brought good prices, and large crowds attended these sales.
   As Adam's children married, he bought more land, and he accumulated a large amount of it. They had 12 children, and he started all of them out to farm except one girl, Elizabeth who married a blacksmith at Onawa.
   In 1908 Adam bought a house from A.W. Hartsock in Danbury, and Adam and Bertha retired, leaving their daughter, Anna on the farm to keep house for 5 unmarried sons.
   Adam was a contributor toward the building of the first two St. Patrick churches and also St. Mary's Church, school and rectory. He was on the Board of Directors for St. Mary's and for Danbury Trust and Savings Bank.
   Adam died when 81, February 27, 1930. Bertha died when 77, October 22, 1930. Their children were:
   Elizabeth, born on February 20, 1875, in New York, married Otto Gierman, blacksmith at Onawa, on February 14, 1902. They had one child, August Gierman. Elizabeth died on July 6, 1915.
   Maria "Mame", born on October 6, 1876, in New York, married Fred Mensinger in 1896. They moved to Culcan, Alberta, Canada in 1908. They had children Ben, Adam and Fred. Mame died in Calgary, Canada, on June 21, 1937.
   Charley, born on November 17, 1878, in Cooper Twp., Monona County, married Mamie Lille on March 15, 1911. They farmed near Danbury. They had children Caroline (Mrs. Joseph Uhl), Carl, and Pauline (Mrs. Irvin Jochims). Charley died when 84, April 11, 1963.
   John, born on August 28, 1880, in Monona County, Cooper Twp., married Josephine Rhode on February 18, 1905. They farmed in Woodbury County, LIston Twp., two miles southwest of Danbury. They had four daughters, Minnie (Mrs. Ralph Scott), Viola (Mrs. Henry Dimig), Mable (Mrs. Claire Keitges), and Berneice (Mrs. John Warnke). John died when 72, July 12, 1952.
   Anton "Tony," born on April 12, 1882, in Monona County, Cooper Twp. married Nellie Rosauer on February 28, 1911. They farmed southeast of Danbury. They had children Virgil, Frank, Mildred (Mrs. Leonard Dientz), Leona (Mrs. Robert Calhoun), and Doris (Mrs. Robert Gray). Anton died when 81, June 19, 1963.
   Catherine "Kate," born on June 27, 1884, in Monona County, married Walter Otto on February 18, 1908. They farmed in Monona County, Cooper Twp. They had children Lawrence, Minnie (Mrs. Glen Uhl), and Earl. Kate died when 56, January 21, 1941.
   George, born on July 28, 1886, in Monona County, Cooper Twp., married Louise Babbe on June 10, 1914. They had one child, Helen (Mrs. Everett Durston). George died when 56 on October 31, 1942. The retired from the farm quite early in life after a siege with sleeping sickness. They retired to Danbury.
   Anna, born on June 5, 1888, in Monona County, Cooper Twp., married Andy Bowers on January 28, 1913. They farmed in Ida County and retired to Battle Creek. They had one son, Jay. Anna still living (1973).
   Frederick "Fred," born on April 16, 1890, in Monona County, Cooper Twp., married Mary Fleischman on May 3, 1921. They had two children, Leo and Mary (Mrs. Leo Dirksen). Fred and Mary retired to Danbury. Fried died when 79, October 9, 1969.
   August, born on March 6, 1892, in MOnona County, Cooper Twp., married Elizabeth Koll of Mapleton on February 23, 1914. They had children Maurice, Violet (Mrs. Paul Hagerty), Marjorie (Mrs. William J. Bennett), Jean (Mrs. Duane Smith), and Ralph. August farmed at Highmore, South Dakota, a number of years then returned to Iowa to farm. He retired first to Danbury, then Sioux City. August died when 70 years old, January 9, 1962.
   Adam, Jr., born on April 7, 1894, married Elizabeth Schimmer on August 11, 1914. Adam farmed in Monona County near the Treiber homestead. Adam had children Paul, Loyal, Ethel (Mrs. Leonard Newman), and Harold. Adam died on November 2, 1948.
   Louis, born on May 23, 1896, married Viola Bowers on February 10, 1920. They farmed the Treiber homestead. Had children Bertha (Mrs. Elmer Bertelsen), Norma (Mrs. Cecil Burke), Louis Jr., Arlene (Mrs. Earl Cameron), Fern (Mrs. Kendall Sexton), Jane (Mrs. Richard Uhl), and James. Louis died on December 11, 1960.
The Ahlwardts
   John Frederick August Ahlwardt: John came to this area to break sod for William Hart and a Mr. Mouin of Clinton County, Lowmoor, Iowa, who bought land 6 miles southeast of Danbury in 1876.
   John Ahlwardt was born on December 9, 1837, in Schwichtenberg, Germany, Pomerania. He married Carolina Berndt, daughter of Sophia and William Berndt in 1863. Two sons, Fritz and Albert were born in Germany before John and Carolina along with other relatives came to America in 1867. They came on west by train to Clinton County, Lowmoor, Iowa, where other relatives had already settled. Several families worked there for Thomas Bowers (grandfather of Mrs. Louis Treiber and Andy Bowers) who was a wealthy Englishman owning large tracts of land. John Ahlwardt was the butcher, and each week several head of livestock were butchered to feed the families in Bowers' employ. The men, younger women and older children all worked in the fields, and the older women cared for the children, made garden, etc. All of the families employed by the Bowers went to farming for themselves in Clinton County and then came on west later.
   In 1873 the Ahlwardt family moved to Osceola County by immigrant train. The Ahlwardt unloaded boxcars, livestock etc., set up their wagons, and loaded with supplies after they reached Sibley. The wagons traveled in an easterly direction and settled near Ocheydan. They were in Osceola County on a homestead until the grasshoppers destroyed everything. They then went back to Clinton County by wagon.
   In 1876 John Ahlwardt decided to go west again to break sod for William Hart. He again loaded his possessions on a boxcar and the family came by train as far as Danbury. The railroad was being built that year through Danbury town limits. They said when they arrived there was a general merchandise store in Danbury with post office, a blacksmith shop or two, and a saloon. John, Wade and Levi Herrington lived along the Maple River south of Danbury. There were many deer, prairie chickens by the thousands, many rabbits, squirrels and little grey wolves, muskrat houses everywhere in the marshes, and a beaver dam every quarter mile in the Maple River. The Ahlwardt boys, Mensingers, and William Rhode often went duck hunting, sometimes going on horseback as far as the Little Sioux River. The Ahlwardt boys herded cattle on the prairie for William Hart. The Ahlwardt soon bought a farm of their own in Monona County in 1880. By 1881 the Ahlwardts had more children, August, William, Edward and Emma.
   August Ahlwardt wrote, "In the winter of 1880-81 we had a full house of people. I remember we butchered seven hogs and a beef that winter, and we had more snow than I can remember any other winter. When we went to Danbury, we would go in that direction over fences and creeks as the snow would carry a team of horses and a sleigh. The young folks would hunt in the daytime, shell corn, find wood to burn, and at night play cards. I remember we had a well 6' to 8' deep, and when we wanted water we would climb in the hole, chop a hole in the ice so we could set the bucket in, and bring out a bucket of water. Emma, the fifth child was born that spring, March 27, 1881."
   John Ahlwardt was a carpenter, and he built many of the first barns and sheds in the Rush Creek settlement. As the boys grew up, Fritz and Albert did the farm work, and August helped his father build, and he also worked for the blacksmith in Danbury, W.H. Brady and Joe Rose in 1887. The Ahlwardt children attended the Thomas Porter School, a dugout school on land owned by Thomas Porter (across the road from Ladendorf buildings along the creek). In 1881 a school was built on the top of the hill west of the Ladendorf buildings.
   John Ahlwardt moved to Iowa Park, Texas, after his son and wife moved there. They left Danbury in December of 1889. John died on August 4, 1894. Mrs. John Ahlwardt and her family were lonesome for Iowa after the father's death, so in 1895 they packed up their wagons and returned to Iowa. This was a hard trip. They encountered two snowstorms en route, one hack upset, and the frozen roads were breaking up in February as they came farther north. This was very hard on the horses, and they arrived a "hard looking bunch." The trip took about 45 days. Carlene and her sons, August, William and Edward rented an 80 from William F. Seibold, and that fall they sold 2,000 bushels of corn for 8¢ a bushel. William worked for Ollie Spotts, and August worked for Henry Kragle for $18 a month. M.D. Cord hired the Ahlwardt boys to pick a crop of corn for him and haul it to town for 3¢ a bushel. Through the winter the boys hunted quail and prairie chickens and sold them for 10¢ and 25¢ apiece. After two years in Iowa the Ahlwardt family returned to Texas except for Fritz. He and his wife remained in Danbury.
   Albert Ahlwardt married Amelia Johnck, daughter of Bernard and Sophia Johnck, in 1888. They bought a land at Iowa Park, Texas, and moved there in 1888.
   Fritz Ahlwardt married Lena Funk in Iowa on March 17, 1886. They moved to Texas, but they did not like it there. They sold their land after farming there for 3 years and returned to Iowa. Fritz and Lena had 2 sons, Elzie who married Edna Clausen, and Louis who married Maggie Clausen. Elzie's wife still lives in Danbury with daughter, Elaine.
Willard Hayden, 1880, Farmer, Cream Station
   Willard Clayton Hayden was born at Pompay, Onondaga County, New York, on October 15, 1852, the son of Willard and Almira Hanchet Hayden. He married Eva Jane Scott on November 6, 1873, at Edenville, State Center, Marshall County, Iowa. Eva was the daughter of John and Susan Dougherty Scott, and she was born on March 9, 1857. Their first three children were born in Marshall County where the Haydens started farming.
   They came to Danbury in 1880 and bought land in Ida County (Garth Lacey farm). They had a family of 10. Nine of the 10 children started to school in the Hayden Country School which was 1 1/4 mile north of their farm. In 1901 Willard and some of his family moved to Danbury so the children could attend high school, and Mr. Hayden operated the first creamery in Danbury. Roy Hayden, an older son, stayed on the farm with the Con Keleher family. The Haydens returned to the farm in 1904. In 1911 the oldest son married, so the Haydens moved to Danbury again with their 3 youngest children, and the married son took over the farm.
   When some of the older Hayden children married, they moved to Wenatchee, Washington. Willard decided to sell the farm in 1915, and they, too, then moved to Washington. The Haydens lived to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.
   Children were Frank Seely Hayden who married twice - Ethel McColgin and Nora F. Slagel; Roy Centennial Hayden who married twice - Alice Walrod and Carrie Lieback; Willard Scott Hayden who married twice - Lillian Walrod and Mae McDonald; Maude Edna (Mrs. Samuel Sumner), Lonnie Vee (Mrs. Fred Taylor); Susan Elmira (Mrs. Joseph Howard Morrisey), Cora Hattie (Mrs. Jacob Henry Winterringer), Ino Eva (Mrs. Clifford E. Chase); Daniel Bliss Hayden who married Eva Mae Warden; and Marguerite Pauline Hayden (Mrs. John Leslie Tyrell). Marguerite and John celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in December 1969.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Weltes

Jacob Welte, 1881, Storekeeper: Jacob Welte was born in Austria on March 16, 1843, the son of Joseph and Mariana Matt Welte, both of German descent. Jacob came to America when 11 years old, in 1852, with his parents, and they located in New Orleans, Louisiana. They came across via sailboat, and it took 49 days to make the crossing. The wind was mild on the trip, and some days the boat went backward as much as it went forward the day before. They had water rationed as the water supply was running out. They knew they were soon to reach their destination as the waters in the Gulf of Mexico were muddy and brown due to the Mississippi River emptying into the Gulf. Two years after their arrival in New Orleans, the Welte family moved to Jackson County, IL, and it was here that Jacob received most of his education. Jacob and his wife made their living by rooming and boarding men building the railroad. When Jacob was 18 he worked as a cooper in Jackson County and again in Clinton and Winneshiek Counties. The Welte family moved to Guttenberg, Dubuque County, Iowa, and later lived in several other towns in Dubuque County. Jacob married Theresa Warner on September 29, 1868, at Festina, IA. Theresa was born at St. Mary's, PA, and came to Iowa with her parents when 4 years old. Several of the Welte children were born in eastern Iowa. Jacob came to Danbury in 1881 looking for a suitable place to locate. He returned to the east and brought his family here by train. The family lived and boarded at Castle House Hotel until Jacob built a temporary shack along the tracks. He then built a store and home. He built a two story building (Schim's barber shop) on the east side of the street. The family lived upstairs, and the store was on the first floor which then extended back nearly to the alley, and there was a full basement. His store was called Welte Merchandise Store. Jacob and Theresa had a family of 13, but a number of them died when small. Living children were Rosa (Mrs. John Crilly), John, Joseph, Elizabeth (Mrs. John Uhl), Jacob Jr., Mary (Mrs. Lou Wessling), Carrie (Mrs. Lou Montgomery), Frank and Hugo. Both John and Hugo died when young men. John was a carpenter and had married and had a small child when he died of Peritonitis.
Joseph Welte: Joe, son of Jacob, was born in Guttenberg, IA, on November 2, 1872. He was 9 when his parents came to Danbury. He attended the 11-grade Danbury Public School, the only school in Danbury at the time. Upon graduation Joe worked in his father's store. Joseph married Cornelia Callaghan on September 4, 1894. Cornelia was born on May 24, 1873. They were married by Fr. Meagher in St. Patrick's Church. Joe started farming when 30 years old. He specialized in raising Duroc Purebred hogs. Joe was a good public servant. He served as township assessor for 20 years, Danbury assessor for 23 years, and Justice of Peace for 24 years. The Weltes retired to Danbury. Cornelia passed away on January 27, 1941, and from the time of her death until the time of his death, Joe lived alone. He died when 93, on July 1, 1966. Children were Dan, Ora (Mrs. William Collins), Ethel (Mrs. John Petit), Gerald, Charley, William, and Ileen (Mrs. Claude Hudgel). Children who remained in Danbury:
Dan Welte married Josephine Collins, daughter of Cornelius and Margaret Hayes Collins on October 6, 1920. Dan farmed his father's land. They, too, retired to Danbury in 1959. Their children were Mary Geraldine (Mrs. Arnold Steckleberg), Alice (Mrs. Norman Paulsen), Miriam (Mrs. Elmer Cooper), Maurice and Larry.
Gerald Welte married Laura Collins, daughter of William and Martha Uhl Collins. They farmed just northwest of Danbury Park 1/4 mile. Gerald also had the Welte Vault business. Their children were Evelyn (Mrs. Louis Ahlwardt), Joyce (Mrs. Russell Jackson), Dennis, Norma Jean (Mrs. Joseph Burrus), Patrick, Michael, Ed, Kay (Mrs. Richard Fritz), Mary Jo (Mrs. James Person), and Timothy.
William Welte married Janet Krager. They farmed, and William also specialized in Duroc hogs. Their children are Roger, Kay (Mrs. James McBride), and Dianne (Dianne Mohrhauser).
Frank Welte married Elizabeth Uhl, daughter of John and Josephine Pfilder Uhl, on February 8, 1910, at Danbury. They farmed northwest of Danbury. Mrs. Welte died at the age of 72, in 1959. Frank in 1973 is still living. Their children are Leona (Mrs. Frank Morgan), Catherine (Mrs. Orville Dandurand), Francis, Claire, Louis, James, Pauline (Mrs. Walter Scott), and Helen (Mrs. A.R. Stodden).
Elizabeth Welte (Mrs. John Uhl) was born on July 16, 1878, at St. Lucas, IA. She moved to Danbury with her parents when 3 years old. She was a member of the second class to graduate from St. Patrick's Academy, in 1894. Elizabeth taught school for 10 years before marrying. She married John Uhl on May 9, 1905 in Danbury. Their children were Sr. Mary Anna, Caroline (Mrs. Casper Meier), Alfred, Bernice, Mary (Mrs. Edward Determan), Charles and Helen (Mrs. Leo Weber).
Rosa Welte (Mrs. John Crilly): A full biography is in Danbury History. Children were William, Charley, Alfred, and Mary (Mrs. Lawrence Kerwin).
The Schrunks
John F. Schrunk: John F. Schrunk was born on December 25, 1836, in New Salem, PA. He came west from Pennsylvania in 1847 and settled in Clayton County, IA. He married Cecelia Torrey who was born on April 27, 1843 in New York. They married in Millsville, IA, on April 12, 1860, and farmed near Guttenberg, IA. On their farm was the Schrunk Station, where the trains stopped and turned around when they reached the Mississippi River. Mrs. Schrunk ran a ferry across the Mississippi River, taking passengers, freight, livestock, wagons, etc. across the river so they could continue on west. John Schrunk invested money in land, often improving it and selling it at a profit. In 1874 he purchased 400 acres of land near Castana, IA, improved it and sold it again in smaller farms. He also purchased land near State Center, IA. The Schrunks bought land in the Danbury area in 1874 (Matt and Simon Schrank's farm) and moved here. His home was on the Simon Schrank farm. This was "swamp land" which sold for $1.25 an acre. Mr. Schrunk gave land from this farm when the railroad wanted to buy a right-of-way as he thought the railroad would be a convenience to the farmer. John was a stockholder and director of Danbury's First State Bank. He loaned money to many people, helping them to buy homes and land. The Schrunks were active members of the Methodist church. They retired to Mapleton. They liked to travel. They moved to Salem, OR, after some of their children married and moved there. Cecelia died on April 17, 1914, and John died on April 16, 1927. They had five children:
Frank Schrunk was born on August 18, 1861, near Guttenberg, IA. He came to Danbury with his parents when 13. He married Mary Lee, daughter of James and Edna Lee who were neighbors. They married on July 27, 1882. They farmed in the Danbury area. Their first child, William Roland was born on June 22, 1883. Frank and Mary had 3 daughters, Edith, Elsie and Edna, and 7 sons. All the names of sons are unknown, but besides William, there was a John and Wayne. The Frank Schrunk family moved to Missouri near Humansville, and from there a number of the family moved to Salem, OR. William, the oldest son, helped on threshing crews in this are. He married Rae Elizabeth Fuller in Missouri, but he returned to this area. He worked for the town of Anthon for 40 years, was an honorary member of the fire department at Anthon, and he worked as an electrician and plumber.
William was born on May 12, 1864, and died in infancy.
Wesley was born on June 18, 1868, and came to the Danbury area with his parents when 6 years old. He married Mary Treiber, daughter of Antone and Mary Treiber, old settlers who had come here from New York in 1886. Wesley and Mary married on November 10, 1889. They farmed in the Danbury area for 5 years. Two sons were born in Iowa, Walter and Francis. They then moved to Missouri in 1894, and 3 daughters were born in Missouri, Bessie (Dumas), Alice (Gerdes), and Ida (Johnson). The family moved to Salem, Oregon in 1915. A grandson of Wesley and Mary's, Terry Schrunk was mayor of Portland from 1858 to 1971.
Minerva was born on August 28, 1875 in Danbury on the Schrunk farm. She married Jasper A. Reynolds on December 25, 1895, in Mapleton.
Ida Cecelia Schrunk was born on April 9, 1877, on the farm near Danbury and lived there until her parents retired to Mapleton. Ida married Charles Grifin, a druggist in Mapleton, on December 25, 1900. They had two children, a boy and a girl (Mrs. Helen Boscacci). The boy, Charles served as senator for 3 years in the 60th and 61st General Assemblies in the State of Iowa.
Three nephews and a niece also came to the Danbury area and bought land, Otto A., Charley and George, and Laura Schrunk (Mrs. Peter Matt).
Charley Schrunk, 1906, farmer: Charley F. Schrunk was born on March 1, 1872, near Osterlock, IA, in Clayton County. He came to Danbury in 1885 when a young boy and worked as a hired hand on a farm, but he went on to North Dakota where he homesteaded land. He married Katherine Scholinden on November 14, 1898, in North Dakota. They returned to Danbury in 1906, and Charley purchased a farm. Charley specialized in raising purebred livestock. They had a family of four, Otto, Elsie (Mrs. M.C. Hay), Eleanor (Mrs. Joseph Sohm), and Elaine (Mrs. Joseph Collins). Katherine Schrunk passed away in 1943. Charley then moved in with his son. His daughter-in-law, Frances Sohm Schrunk cared for him until his death on August 2, 1964.
Otto A. Schrank, 1897, farmer: Otto A. was born in Guttenberg. He married Mary Blume, born in Germany, but came to the U.S. with her parents when 8 years old. Otto came to Danbury in 1897. Otto and Mary purchased land, previous owner unknown. Otto specialized in purebred cattle and Poland China hogs. His home was 1/4 mile west of Danbury, presently owned by a son, Leo. Otto was a good musician and played in Danbury's cornet band and also in the Johncks Orchestra which played for all dances in the surrounding area. They had children Hilda (Mrs. Clarence Otto), Alma (Mrs. Clyde Peters), Alfred, Simon, Alvera Schrank McCoy, Beatrice (Mrs. Arlo Koberg), and Leo who married Helen Kemp.
George C. Schrunk, 1906, farmer: George left his home in Osterlock and went to Bismarck, North Dakota where they homesteaded land and operated a sheep ranch. George and Charley Schrunk married sisters; George married Anna Scholinden. George came to Danbury in 1906 and purchased land north of the town's city limits. He also specialized in raising Shorthorn cattle. They had children Herbert, Violet Schrunk Kueny, Fred, Francis, Rose (Mrs. Edward Drea) and Richard. Richard married Delores Fitzpatrick, daughter of Patrick and Irene McQuillen Fitzpatrick, and they farm on the George Schrunk farm today. They have a son, Mike.
Herbert Schrunk farmed in the Danbury area most of his life. He married twice, his first wife being Lelah Otto, and his second wife Silvina Schimmer. There were 12 living children, 4 with Lelah and 8 with Silvina. Children were Rachel (Mrs. Herman Belt), Sally (Mrs. Herbert Glassner), Frank, Janet (Mrs. Ronald Behrendson), Rosemary, Susan, Allen, Paul, George, Diane, Jean Marie, and Laura May. Herbert and Silvina moved to Missouri in 1970. Herbert died in 1973.
Rose (Mrs. Edward Drea) lived in Danbury a few years after she married as her husband was an employee at Barry's garage. Ed and his brother-in-law, Richard Schrunk bought a garage at Walnut, IA, and the two families lived at Walnut a number of years, but both returned and then farmed. Rose had children George and Diana.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Peter Matt, 1904, Farmer

   Peter Matt and his wife Laura Schrunk were both born at Guttenberg, IA. They came to Danbury about 1904, after they married, as some of Laura's relatives lived here. Peter and Laura bought land of John F. Schrunk, an uncle who had been here since 1872. They had children Clara (Mrs. Louis Brenner), Andrew, Leo, Jeanette (Mrs. Joe Hupke), Earl, Oscar, Hugo and Olive.
Henry T. Wilcox, 1881, Harness Maker and Dealer
   Henry Wilcox was the son of Samuel R. and Mary McDowell Wilcox who were of Scotch descent. Henry was the fourth in a family of nine children. He was born in Allamakee County, IA, on April 23, 1857. In 1864 he moved with his parents to Freeborn County, MN. Henry received most of his education there. In 1871 the family moved to Dixon, NE, and here he served his apprenticeship at his trade of harness making. He came to Danbury in 1881 to open a harness shop.
   He married Emma P. Dicks in 1883. They had two daughters, Eva M. and Bertha. Henry was still listed as a Danbury businessman in 1891, but the family moved away later.
Mark D. Cord, 1882, Real Estate and Insurance
   Mark D. Cord came to Danbury in 1882 and secured work with Godfrey Durst who was building his mill. Mark D. was born on June 21, 1865, in Kaukauna, WI, of parents Charles and Mary Knapp Cord. Mark's father was a miller, and he had worked at mills in Milwaukee, WI, Anamosa and Oakland, IA, and Emerson, NE. He had come to the U.S. from Lincolnshire, England, when a young man at 18, and the family after he married moved around the country when he secured work at the different mills. Mark D. received most of his education when the family lived at Oakland, and he worked at the Oakland mill also before he came to Danbury in 1882. Mark D. worked for Godfrey Durst for 3 years. By 1885 he devoted all of his time to buying and selling land. Mark. D. married Ella Gray, a school teacher and the daughter of Thomas and Amanda Dix Gray. Mark D. and Ella had five children: Nellie married a minister, Rev. J.R. Tumbleson; Marie (Mrs. Earl Loney); John Clifford; Charley; and Mark C.
   John Clifford remained in this area and farmed. He married Ethel Brown, daughter of Willard and Laura Mengle Brown. Ethel was a school teacher. They had two sons, John and James. John took over the Cord farm after his father's death in 1953. John married Catherine Byers. They had children John R., Robert A. Carol (Mrs. Arlen Patrick), Mark R., Mary (Mrs. Thomas Cameron), and Kent B.
Wilbert Booher, 1882, Implements, Hardware, Banker
   Wilbert Booher was born on January 16, 1854, in Huntington County, PA. He was the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Snyder Booher who were of Dutch ancestry. Wilbert was the oldest child of a family of seven children. His father fought in the Civil War and lost his life in that war. Mrs. Booher moved to Johnson County, IA, after the death of her husband. Wilbert received a common school education while the family lived in Johnson County. The family then moved to Shelby County were Wilbert farmed. Mrs. Booher died in 1878. Wilbert then spent 3 years working at the carpenter trade. He came to Danbury in 1882 and bought into a partnership deal with Mr. Means in the hardware business. He later bought a hardware store of his own and added furniture, buggies, etc. and later the elevator business. He was an excellent manager despite a poor education. He was appointed president of First State Bank about 1889. Wilbert married Louise Erke of Cedar County on January 15, 1885. They had two children, Edith who was born in 1887 and Fay who was born in 1901. The Boohers had Samuel Griffith build them an new home (present Melvin Pithan home) in Danbury.
   Samuel Curren Booher, a brother of Wilbert's, also came to Danbury. He worked on a farm until 18 and then learned the carpenter trade, and he traveled from one place to another erecting buildings. He bought an 80 acres of land in 1887, Oto Township. He married Ella Martin on January 2, 1887. They had 2 children, Eva and Clayton Ellis.
Godfrey Durst, Sr., 1882, Miller
   Godfrey Durst was born on January 31, 1847, in Tuti Canton Zurich, Switzerland. He was the son of Melchoir and Rosina Scheisser Durst von Diebach. Godfrey's mother passed away in Switzerland in 1864. Two years after her death, her sons came to the U.S., and in 1868 the father came. Godfrey received a good education in Switzerland where he lived on a small farm with his parents. Godfrey arrived in New York on July, 1866 without funds. He worked for 2 months in a brickyard near Rondout, NY. He then secured work on a canal boat running from New York City to Troy, NY. In October of 1866 he went to Greene County, WI, where he secured work during the threshing season. He then began to learn the miller's trade. In February of 1870 he moved to Valley Falls, KS, where he was employed in a mill. In July of 1870 he secured work in a mill at Omaha, NE, and from there he went to Oto, IA, Woodbury County, and worked in a mill owned by Charles Watt. Godfrey and a brother, Henry built a mill on the Maple Rive near Battle Creek in 1871, but Godfrey soon sold his interest and returned to Kansas. He returned to Woodbury County the fall of 1873 and worked in a new mill at Smithland. From 1873 to 1874 he worked in the Castana mill. In the spring of 1874 he formed a partnership with James Horton, and they purchased the Oto mill. In 1882 he sold his interest in the Oto mill to his partner, and with this money he decided to build a mill of his own. He came to Danbury where he purchased land along the Maple River which he thought suitable for a mill location, buying land from Thomas Frentress. Building the dam was a big and an extremely hard project as all work was done by the hands of men with the help of horses. Timbers were first cut, then drug to the mill site, then arranged one log atop the other, secured, etc. The water course of the river had to be changed while working in the river. Godfrey erected an elevator, warehouse, and other buildings on the mill site, including sheds for horses and houses for his employees. Godfrey married Orient Dicus whose parents were of American descent and who by a former marriage had a son, Mark. Children of the Dursts were Mark, born in 1871; Rosa, born in 1874 (Mrs. Clarence Severin); Effie May, born in 1878 (Mrs. William L. Creswell); Godfrey, Jr., born in 1885; and Laura, born in 1895 (Mrs. Ed Cathcart). Mr. Durst was a Mason and a member of the Methodist church. The mill did a flourishing business from 182-1916. The two sons, Mark and Godfrey Jr. took over the mill in 1910. Mr. Durst passed away in 1925, and Mrs. Durst in 1936. Mr. and Mrs. Durst had first lived in a small house north of the mill but later built a new home in the settlement called Durstville. The Durst home was razed in 1955. Several of the houses in Durstville were moved to Danbury. The mill, called Banner Roller Mill, was discontinued in 1919 and razed in 1928. The dam was 100' long, and it was threatened several times by high water and flooding, but it survived up to 1923 when about 50' of timbers gave way and went down the Maple River. This was a $2,000 loss, and at least 30 days were needed to repair the damage. Water power was then produced by steam for a time and soon newer and better means were found for producing electricity, so the dam was never rebuilt. Flour was shipped to China, Mexico and other foreign countries as well as the United States. Mr. Durst was one of Woodbury County's first road supervisors, and he was supervisor when the first bridge was built across the Maple River. Mr. Durst was always engaged in farming as well as milling. He owned over 2,000 acres of land at one time in Woodbury and Ida Counties.
   Manley D. Durst, the son of Mark Durst, married Elizabeth Anthony, and Manley was a Danbury businessman in the electric and plumbing business all of his life. He served on the Danbury town council many years. He sold his business to John Twitchell in 1972. Manley and Elizabeth had children Mark and Sarah.
   Godfrey Durst, Jr. married Hazel Spencer. They had children Spencer, Gordon, Paul, Olive Durst McCarthy, and Bert.
   Paul Durst, son of Godfrey, Jr., married Lola Otto, and they farmed in this vicinity until Paul's death. They had a son, Billie Dick.
   Effie Durst married Dr. William Creswell, born on January 27, 1878 at Reinbeck, IA. He graduated from Reinbeck High School, and in 1908 he completed a medical course at the State University of Iowa. He came to Danbury the fall of 1908 to practice medicine. He married Effie Durst on April 10, 1910. They had a son, Lloyd. Dr. Creswell died in 1918 during the influenza epidemic, leaving his young wife and a son of 6 years old. Effie was talented in music and had studied music at Morningside College for 5 years. She gave music lessons to others after her husband's death. Lloyd Creswell married Flavilla Virtue. He was interested in mechanics, owned a bulldozer most of his life, and moved dirt. He and Flavilla had three children, William (wife Enid), Jean (Mrs. David Hummel), and Joan (Mrs. Roy Raney).
The Santees
   A.J. Santee was born on a farm in Monongalia County, West Virginia, as was his wife, Lucy Shriver Santee, the former of French descent and the latter of German descent. A.J. farmed, and he was a very successful businessman. After his two sons, I.B. and S.H. came to Danbury, he and his wife came also, year 1885. On the 31st of January, 1889, A.J. Santee organized the Danbury State Bank, and he became vice president of the bank His son, Isaac Benton was cashier. Mr. Santee bought land now owned by John Cord, and he had 400 acres of good bottom and hill land. A.J.'s wife died in 1889, and then A.J. continued to live with his son Solomon and wife.
   Isaac Benton "I.B." Santee began his education in the public school of West Virginia and later attended the University of West Virginia and the Iron City Business College at Pittsburgh, PA. He graduated from this school in 1872. He left Virginia in 1872 and went to Cornell, IL, where he was engaged in the mercantile business for 10 years. He then came to Iowa and located at Harlan, Shelby County where he was a clerk in a store for 6 months. He came to Danbury in 1882 as a manager of the store of Shepard, Field and Cook of Council Bluffs. He held that position until elected cashier of Danbury State Bank in 1889. I.B. Santee married Ada M. Gibson on June 16, 1876. He was a Mason. He liked politics and served in several local political offices. He ran for office as senator and served in the 27th and 28th General Assemblies in 1900 and later became the personal aide of Gov. Cummins. I.B. Santee was elected mayor of Danbury in 1906. He began to feel badly by the latter part of 1907. He died on June 20, 1908 when 56 years old. Ada Santee, born in 1856, died in 1910.
   Sol "S.H." Santee was born on February 15, 1871, in Monongalia County, WV. He came to Woodbury County with his parents in 1885. He spent most of his life upon the Santee homestead west of Danbury. Sol married Mary Virtue, a daughter of John Virtue on September 28, 1893. They had three children, Louis H., I. Benton, and John.
John Virtue, 1884, Farmer
   John Virtue was born in Cross Creek, PA, grew up there and farmed there. He gave two years of voluntary service during the Civil War period and was honorably discharged when the war was over. He returned to Cross Creek after the war. He farmed and specialized in sheep raising. He married Rebecca Dimit in 1868. In 1884, having heard of the fertility of Iowa soil, he moved his family to Danbury. He purchased a farm about a mile southwest of Danbury, a port of his farm once having owned by David Chapman, an early settler. The Virtues retired to Danbury in 1921. The children were Jacob D., John R., Thomas, Mary (Mrs. Sol Santee), and Elizabeth (Mrs. Hal Richards). John Virtue, Sr. passed away in 1932 when 89, and Mrs. Virtue died when 84 in 1928. A daughter, Sadie died when 11.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

   Thomas Virtue married May Parks, a dressmaker in Danbury. Thomas was a contractor and builder. They had one daughter, Nellie whose married name was Behn.
   Elizabeth Virtue married Dr. Hal Richards who came to Danbury when a young man, after his graduation from dental school. They lived in Danbury until quite elderly, then they went to live with a daughter in Sioux City. They had two daughters, Reba (Mrs. Melvin Lindsey) and Grace (Mrs. Donald Shoning). Hal had his office first to the rear of the Danbury Trust and Savings Bank and later in his home.
   Jacob D. Virtue married Mayme Ballard of Wall Lake, Iowa. They farmed in Woodbury County. They retired to Mapleton where Jacob worked as an accountant and clerk. They had children Helen (Mrs. Paul Hollister), Bernice (Mrs. Arthur Hersom), Wayne, and Byron.
   John R. Virtue married Caroline Hansen, a nurse. John R. farmed the Virtue homestead. They had children Leonard, Flavilla (Mrs. Lloyd Creswell), John and Lorraine.
The Uehle families
   Joseph and Annie Welte Uehle came to America from Germany in 1884. They lived in Guttenberg, Dubuque County, where other relatives had settled for a short time, and then came on to Danbury where they purchased land. They had five children, Joseph, Rose (Mrs. John Mohrhauser), Annie (Mrs. Albert Sevening), John and Jacob. All came to Danbury except the two boys John and Joseph who had married, and they remained in Guttenberg. The father Joseph Uehle died on September 5, 1892.
   Rose Uehle (Mrs. Clem Orth - Mrs. John Mohrhauser) married Clem Orth, and they lived in Guttenberg. Rose was a mid-wife and nurse. Her husband was taking her to help the sick with horse and buggy previous to 1883. The horses became frightened and ran away, throwing Clem from the buggy. Clem Orth died of injuries received in this accident. Clem and Rose had one son, Joseph. Mrs. Orth married a second time to John Mohrhauser. They came to Danbury to buy railroad land in 1883. George, their first son was born on June 5, 1884. John, Edward, Carl, Clara who died young, and Anna (Sr. Christine) followed. John married Anna Louise Hupke, and they lived near Mapleton. Joe Orth married Elizabeth Eghrig who was born on February 8, 1880, and she married Joe on February 10, 1903. Elizabeth died on January 31, 1910, leaving a small daughter, Marie who was born on January 20, 1910. Joe and his daughter lived in the Danbury area as did the George Mohrhauser family.
   George Mohrhauser, son of John and Rose Uehle Orth Mohrhauser, was born on June 5, 1884, at Danbury. When a young man he clerked in the George Braig store, and for a time he managed the George Braig Hall. He played drums in the Danbury Cornet Band. He married Magdalena Ohlsen of Ida Grove on February 20, 1906. They then started farming. He was always interested in farming and bettering farm life for farmers. He was a supporter of the Woodbury County Fair, serving two terms as president, served as president of Farm Bureau, was one of the first to advocate electricity on every farm or R.E.A., was a member of the Danbury Community Club, and was a member of the Soldier Name Board Committee which promoted the soldier honor roll plaque, and he was always for making Danbury a better place in which to live for all. Twelve children were born to this couple, 5 daughters and 7 sons. They are Olive (Mrs. Lewis Collins), George Jr., Anna (Mrs. Melvin Pithan), Albert, Emmett, Bernard, Charles, Jennie (Mrs. Alfred Shell), Magdalena (Mrs. Alden Pollock), Bernadine (Mrs. Leo Connors), Raymond and Richard. Anna, Albert and Bernard still reside in Danbury.
   Anna Uehle married Albert Sevening. Anna came to Danbury with her parents in 1883. She married Albert Sevening on August 10, 1885. Albert was born in Rhine Province, Germany. He came to America with his parents, Peter and Katherine Sevening when a boy. The family lived in Chicago for awhile, then they moved to Carroll County where they farmed. Peter Sevening died there in 1880. Katie died in 1884. Albert worked for a year as a saloon keeper, but he did not like it, so he resumed farming about 1885. Albert served as school director, and the family attended St. Mary's Church at Danbury. Children were Annie who was born on October 11, 1886 (Mrs. Fred Bauman), John who married Angela Collins and was born on August 25, 1888, Elizabeth K. who was born on August 31, 1890 (Mrs. Tony Reimer), Rosa R. who was born on September 7, 1900 (Mrs. Loyal Cloud), Theresa Rose who was born on October 27, 1897 (Mrs. Bernard J. Wessling), Mary (Mrs. Otto Good), and William who married Louise smith. Albert bought his first farm in 1883.
Peter Paulsen, 1884, Farmer
   Peter Paulsen was born in Schleswig, Denmark, on April 14, 1852. Peter was educated in Denmark and learned the tinner trade. In 1869 he came to America, and for two years he followed the peddler's trade in Chicago. He then went to California where he handled brick and then to Washington where he handled lumber. In 1874 he returned to Chicago and worked at his old trade until 1884 when he came to Woodbury County and located on a farm in Morgan Township. His father and mother were John P. and A. Kastisan Paulsen, and he was the fifth of 12 children. Peter married Elizabeth Muss in 1871. They had 8 children, Mary, John, Emma, Christ, Henry, Paul, Anthony and Hattie.
Matthew Flood, 1883, Farmer
   Matthew Flood was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1846, and he received his education in Ireland. He came to America in 1868 and located at Springfield, IL. He remained in Illinois for 8 years, until 1876. He then came to Dallas County. In 1883 he came to Woodbury County. His parents were Matthew and Kate Furlong Flood of Irish descent. Matthew married Bridget Diskin in 1871, and her parents were Michael and Mary Cusie Disken. They had five children, Mary Ellen, Katie, Maggie, Matthew (Mattie), and John. The father farmed. Matt Jr. and John had a butcher shop in Danbury a number of years.
W.W. Scott, 1885, Farmer
   W.W. Scott was born in Clinton County, Iowa, on March 24, 1853. He was the son of William and Harriet Pearsall Scott. He was the fifth of seven children. He came to Woodbury County in 1885. He had married Emma Hooper in Clinton County on November 30, 1877. The Scotts had three children, Clyde, Archie and Seth.
William De Boar, 1882, Farmer
   William De Boar was born in Holland on July 21, 1850, of parents John and Annie De Boar. He came to America with his parents when 2, lived in New Jersey 2 years, and then the family went on to Livingston County, IL. He attended school there. At the age of 22, he came to Cherokee County, IA, where he lived on a rented farm until 1878. He then came to Morgan Township and squatted on a school section. In 1882 he bought a farm near Danbury. William married Euretia Smith of Irish descent on 1873. Her parents were James and Emily Benedict Smith. Children were Horace A., Katie, John, Damie, Walter, May, Melissa, and Agnes.
Joseph Lefebvere, 1878, Farmer
   Joseph Lefebvere and wife Ida Barbuo Lefebvere came to Iowa from Chicago. When they arrived they had 4 children. George Hubert was just a small child, being born on December 25, 1874. They farmed, and the children attended country school. The family moved to Mapleton, George married Hattie McCleerey at Mapleton on November 11, 1903. In 1917 George and Hattie moved to a farm near Danbury (east), and they lived there the remainder of their lives. Children were Josephine Lefebvere Stratton, Donald, Russell, Norman, Arlene (Mrs. Orville Albers), Ila (Mrs. Robert Sexton), and one son deceased. Hattie Lefebvere died in 1965, and George died on June 26, 1973 when 98 years old.
Owen Craig, Farmer, Morgan Township
   Owen and wife Bridget Spellman Craig came in covered wagon, exact year unknown, and settled in Morgan Township from Dallas Center, IA. Their children, upon finishing 8th grade in country school, were sent to St. Patrick's Academy. Mary Ann Craig, who remained in Danbury part of her life, graduated from St. Patrick's Academy in 1895. She taught school in Morgan Township after her graduation. She married Philip G. Lenz on April 14, 1896. Philip died in 1919 from influenza. In 1923 Mary Ann married William Skahill in St. Patrick's Church at Danbury. He died in 1940. Mrs. Skahill died on April 27, 1969, in California, where she lived the last years of her life. Children were Alice (Mrs. Joseph Uehle known better as Alice E. Lee), Beatrice (Mrs. Gus Uehle), Mrs. Nick Topf, Mrs. R.F. Kelley, and Philip Lenz. She had three stepsons, Rev. Gerald Skahill, Alfred, and Merlin Skahill.
LaFayette D. Robbins, 1884, Farmer
   LaFayette was born on August 11, 1839, in Franklin County, OH. He attended schools there and when 18 went to Clinton County. In 1868 he came to Crawford County. He married Amanda Hunt on September 12, 1870. In 1884 he moved his family to a farm near Danbury. Children were Henry, Mary E. Levi D. Charles R. and a son Clay who died young.
John Gleason, 1881, Farmer
   John Gleason was born in Cork County, Ireland, in 1839. His father, John Gleason Sr. came to America in 1843, and he brought his family across the waters in 1848. The family lived in Chester and York Counties in Pennsylvania for 20 years. John grew up there and attended school in the east. He started to work for himself when 18, working on farms and in a nursery. John enlisted for the Civil War, and he was a teamster, hauling supplies to the front lines many times. John Jr. came to Carroll County in 1872, and in 1881 on to Danbury where he bought land west of Danbury. John married Catherine E. Conley, daughter of Patrick and Mary McCan Conley, in 1869, before coming west. Their children were Frank, Mary E. William, Edward and Thomas M.
Peter Smith, 1882, Farmer
   Peter Smith was born on March 13, 1832, in Cranberry Township, Vanange County, PA. He had no educational opportunities. On leaving Pennsylvania, he went to Wisconsin where he remained one year. At Franklin County, WI, he married Eliza Jane Long, also a native of Pennsylvania. The move to Liston Township at Danbury in 1882, and Peter bought 80 acres of land (Gene Volkman farm), paying $25 an acre for it. By 1880 all of it but 25 acres was under cultivation. Peter also indulged in bee culture. He sold honey in the comb for 12 1/2¢/lb., and he also sold manufactured bee supplies. In 1904 he sold $400 worth of bee supplies. Their children were Orrin, Zelma (Mrs. A.J. Robinson), Lydia (Mrs. Jack Cameron), and Elsie.
Nicholas Miller, 1883, Farmer
   Nicholas Miller, born in Pommerania, Germany, married Sophia Rhode, daughter of John and Sophia Rhode in Germany in 1860. Their relatives pooled their money after their marriage, about $100, and sent them to America with the understanding that he would send money back to Germany so other relatives could come across. The Millers came by train from New York to Clinton County. They farmed at Lions, IA, for a number of years. He sent back money to Fred Rhode and wife, and after they were established they helped another of the family to come to America. After 23 years in Lyons County, the Millers came to Woodbury County and bought the present Stuart Lee farm. They later retired to Danbury. Nicholas died in 1902, and Sophia in 1911. Their children were August (Mrs. John Mohr), William, Minnie Miller Campbell, and John.
   John Mohr married the daughter of Nicholas and Sophia Miller, Augusta. He had come here when a young unmarried man and roomed at the Commercial Hotel. He did carpenter work and walked to the county to do his work. Mr. Crilly also roomed at the hotel, and when the Mohrs married, John and Rosa Welte Crilly stood up with them. John, at one time, managed an elevator and sold coal. He held a responsible position with German Mutual Insurance many years. He served as mayor of Danbury and held other responsible positions. Their children were Clara (Mrs. Chester Brown), Freyda (Mrs. Walter Otto), Minnie (Mrs. Arthur Tatman), and Viola.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Frank Kesel, 1886, Farmer

   Frank Kesel, who came to this area in 1883, was born in Baden, Germany, on December 28, 1841. He came with his parents to Mendota, IL. He worked as a brakeman, watchman and baggage master with the Illinois Central Railroad. Parents were William and Joanna Roth Kesel. Frank married in Illinois to Marion Geddes, and they came to Iowa in 1886, after they married. Their children were Robert, Lizzie (Mrs. Tom McGrath), Frank, Agnes, Margaret, Annie (Mrs. Con Keleher), Charles, William and John.
Michael O'Donnell, 1884, Farmer
   Michael O'Donnell and Mary Noland, heritage Irish, married at Avon, IL, and farmed there until 1884. They came to Iowa by covered wagon and rented land in Crawford County in Soldier Valley. Their children were John, Charley, Elizabeth, Mary (Mrs. James E. Maguire), Anna (Mrs. John ODonnell), and Steven who married Ellen Sexton.
   Mary O'Donnell Maguire and husband James E. Maguire rented and farmed in Soldier Valley also after marriage, later buying the present Clair Seuntjens farm. Their children were Charles, Philip, Elizabeth (Mrs. James Cunningham), Anna (Mrs. William Schimmer), Irene (Mrs. Fred Harrison), Louis and Frank who married Leona Schimmer.
William Scott, 1884, Farmer
   William and Estella Scott came to Ida County, Garfield Township in March of 1884. They farmed the present Darrell Scott farm. They had a family of nine; two boys remained in the area. James Blaine Scott and his brother John were twins. They married and lived as neighbors, James living on the Scott farm. William and wife retired to Ida Grove.
   James Scott was born on March 14, 1884. He married Lena Otto on January 20, 1904. They retired to Danbury in 1947 where they lived the remainder of their lives. He was always active in civic projects as past school director of Garfield Township School, township clerk, member of Iowa County Soil Conservation, and served as mayor of Danbury. He passed away at age 86 on January 18, 1971. Lena Otto Scott was born on February 4, 1885, at Malone in Clinton County. She came to Danbury with her parents in 1898. She also passed away at the age of 86, on January 3, 1972. Their children were Clara (Mrs. Duane Lacey), Ralph, Edwin and Lois.
   John Scott and his twin brother James were born on the farm in Garfield Township in Ida County shortly after the family arrived at their new farm, March 14, 1884. John married Etta (Henrietta) Otto, daughter of Henry and Minnie Otto, on May 4, 1910. This union was blessed with four children, Ethel (Mrs. N.C. Huitt), Minnie (Mrs. Earl Surber), Helen (Mrs. W.A. Beam), and one son, Raymond. John passed away in 1953. Etta, born on December 4, 1888 at Clinton County, IA, died on October 22 ,1972. John and Etta had retired to Danbury in 1947.
Henry Otto, 1898, Farmer
   Henry Otto was born on May 3, 1856, at Comanche, IA, Clinton County. He grew to manhood there. He married Wilhemina "Minnie" Krueger on December 16, 1880, in his home near Low Moor, Clinton County, IA. They farmed in that vicinity until 1898 when they moved to Danbury by immigrant train. They at first rented land north of town, neighbors to Sam Booher and Tom Iddings. Minnie was born in Putbus, Germany, on September 17, 1854. She came to the U.S. when 21 years old with her sisters in 1875. Her parents had come in 1874 and had located at Horicon, WI. From there the family moved to Grand Mounds, IA, and from there to Clinton County, Comanche, IA, where she married. Henry and Minnie purchased land in Monona County, Cooper Township (Earl Otto farm), but in 1890 owned by Mensinger brothers. In 1916 they built a second house on their farm and retired, and a son, Walter took over the farm. They, at first, lived in Danbury in 1913, but they missed the farm, so they moved back in 1916. Mrs. Otto passed away on August 16, 1940, and Henry died when 89 on March 15, 1946. Their children were Walter, Lena (Mrs. James Scott), Louis, Etta (Mrs. John Scott), Jewell (Mrs. Ortie Scoles), Harriett who died in World War I, and Clarence. They also lost two children when infants.
   Louis Otto married Lillian Hartleben, and they farmed in Crawford County. They retired to Mapleton. Their children were Lela (Mrs. Herbert Schrunk), Lola (Mrs. Paul Durst), and Bette (Mrs. Paul Koenigs).
C.C. Frum, 1882, Farmer and Stock Dealer
   C.C. Frum and wife Alice Hodson Frum came in 1882 from Avoca, IA. They farmed in Morgan Township. The family later moved into Danbury, and C.C. Frum then bought and sold livestock. Mrs. Frum had a millinery shop in Danbury by 1890. The Frums moved to Danbury so that the children could obtain a high school education. Their children were Bruce who was a twin (the other twin died either at birth or when very young, Millard who was born on November 27, 1881, ,and Sydney who was born in 1886. Sydney graduated from Danbury High School and graduated from the School of Law. He became a lawyer and was interested in politics. He served several terms as judge of the 8th Nebraska Judicial District
   Millard Frum, son of C.C. Frum, came to this area when a small child with his parents. He was born in Avoca, IA. Millard married Leola Canty on April 17, 1902. They lived in Homer, NE, for 3 years, and in 1905 they returned to Danbury. Millard's father, C.C. Frum, helped Millard to get a start. He bought a produce station and creamery, and Millard operated it a number of years. The produce station was sold in 1917, and Millard then became a livestock dealer, like his father. He worked for the Danbury Hog Co. Purchased hogs were shipped on Chicago and Northwestern Railroad to Chicago where they were sold. In 1928 Millard purchased this company which he operated until 1955. He sold out to Bert Eason in 1955 and retired. Millard and Leona Canty Frum had three children, Ruth, Ada and Marvin. Marvin lost his life in World War II. He was a flyer and was the first Danbury boy to lose his life in this particular war, so the American Legion Post which had been named the Carlson Post after World War I was renamed the Carlson-Frum Legion Post after Marvin's death.
R.L. Canty, Farmer,
   Robert L. Canty came to Danbury at an early date and farmed north of Danbury. By 1883 he was listed as a shoemaker, one of the first businessmen in Danbury. He later sold windmills. There were 5 children in the Canty family, Leona (Mrs. Millard Frum), Addison who died when small, Lyle, Hattie Canty Ballard, and Horace. The Cantys came to Danbury from Clinton County, Low Moor, IA.
George Canty, 1883, Farmer and Clerk
   George was a brother of R.L. Canty. George Willis was born on a farm near Low Moor, IA, on February 11, 1857, one of a family of nine. He grew up in that community and received his education there. He married Lena Dreiser on February 15, 1883, and the couple then moved to a farm 2 1/2 miles northwest of Danbury. This were their home until 1900. George fell from a ladder, and from that time on he could not do heavy farm work, so the couple moved to Danbury, and George secured work as a clerk in George Braig Hardware. Mrs. Canty died previous to her husband, April 9, 1940. There were no children.
Daniel Fitzpatrick, 1884, Farmer
   Daniel Fitzpatrick and wife Mary McGuire Fitzpatrick came to Danbury from Cedar County, IA. Their oldest son, Henry was seven when the family came to Danbury. The family farmed. There were 10 children. Daniel died on February 10, 1927, and Mary died in 1936. Children follow:
   Henry Fitzpatrick was born on March 22, 1877, at West Branch, IA. He came with his parents to Danbury, Liston Twp. when 7 years old along with 3 younger brothers and sisters, year 1884. He attended St. Patrick's Academy and was a member of the second class to graduate from that school, year 1895. Upon finishing school he along with Martin Berkemeier and Thomas Brennan bought out Tangeman Bros. Hardware. In 1892 Pat Fitzpatrick bought out Brennan and Berkmeier, and the two brothers became partners. Henry was a licensed mortician in 1897 and established an undertaking business. Henry married Johanna O'Keefe in June 1897. They lived in a downtown apartment for 8 months, and then Henry built a home. In 1898 Henry and Pat built a new 2-story brick building for hardware on the east side of the street. In 1908 they extended the building to the alley. In 1911 the Fitzpatrick brothers built another brick building which was used as a garage, and they sold cars, farm implements, etc. They sold this business to Albert Kueny in 1915. In 1918 the Fitzpatrick brothers broke up their partnership of 25 years. Henry continued the hardware and undertaking business to December of 1960. He was a Danbury businessman for 65 years, served on the town council 25 years, mayor of Danbury 1930-32, and a part of Patrick Rush's term as he died during his term from 1924-1930. He was a Woodbury County Road Supervisor several terms. Johanna Fitzpatrick died in 1957, Henry died when 86, in 1963. They had a family of 11, Celestine (Mrs. Ray Sexton), Rita (Mrs. Franklin Bell), Fern (Mrs. Wayne Albritton), Dr. Timothy A., Donald, Arnold, Lawrence, Marion (Mrs. Ted King), Betty (Mrs. Thomas Karhoff), Joseph and Earl.
   Patrick Fitzpatrick was Danbury's first electrician. In 1900 he installed the first electric homemade light plant in the hardware building. Pat wired St. Patrick's Academy, rectory and church, some of first buildings wired in Danbury, and he installed manufactured plants in them. Pat also claimed that he sold the first car in Danbury, a Rambler. After Pat broke up his partnership with his brother, he started an electric and plumbing shop in an building north of the hardware. Pat married Irene McQuillen, and they had four children, Daniel, Raymond, Norma and Delores (Mrs. Richard Schrunk). Pat died on July 22, 1958.
   Margaret (Mrs. Frank Collins). Frank and Margaret farmed. Their children were Irene, Ralph, Helene (Mrs. Edward Peters), Patricia (Mrs. Leo Brenner), Catherine (Mrs. James Baagoe), and John. Margaret died on July 12, 1952.
   Anna Fitzpatrick never married. She was a school teacher. She died on February 27, 1936.
   Elizabeth (Mrs. Earl Patten). Lizzie was married to the postmaster, and she helped at the post office, a position Earl held 1915-1955. Lizzie died on April 24, 1954.
   John D. Fitzpatrick married Ethel Towers. They farmed. Their children were Helen (Mrs. Thomas Langdon), Pauline (Mrs. Harold Uhl), Ronald, Bernice (Mrs. Carl Treiber), Francine (Mrs. Loyal Treiber), Norman, Robert, and Daniel who married Laura Christensen of Mapleton.
   Mary Cecilia died on July 23, 1889.
   Charley Fitzpatrick married Marie White. They farmed land first owned by his father, Daniel Fitzpatrick. Their children were Peter, Mary and Ann. Ann died of polio in 1951.
   Mary A. married Benedict J. Toph. They had 4 children. She died in 1951.
   Helen (Mrs. J.J. Murphy, M.D.) married Dr. Murphy on October 8, 1916, in Danbury. Dr. Murphy was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, on May 23, 1887. He came to the U.S. upon completion of preliminary education. In the U.S. he attended Columbia College of Dubuque, and he received his medicine degree from Creighton University of Omaha. He started practicing medicine in Danbury in 1912. The Murphys moved to Sioux City in 1927. There were 10 children, some of them born in Danbury. Dr. J.J. Murphy died in 1934; a daughter Sheila Ann preceded him in death. At the time of his death his oldest son James was 16, Mary 15, John 13, Dan 12, Billie 10, Shevone 5, Peter 3, Earl Martin 20 mos., and Patrick 6 mos. Dr. Murphy was both physician and surgeon.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Thomas L. Fitzpatrick 1884 Farmer

   Thomas was a brother of Daniel Fitzpatrick, and when he came here in 1884 he bought land adjoining his brotherÕs. Thomas married Anna McGuire, and they had a family of nine.
   Henry Fitzpatrick died when 3 months old in 1885.
   Patrick H. Fitzpatrick married Jessie McVeigh. Patrick was associated with a brother-in-law, Paul Collins, in the undertaking business in Des Moines. Patrick died in 1936.
   Mary B. (Mrs. George Clausen).
   Anastasia C. Fitzpatrick died in 1894.
   Clotilda (Sister M. Consuelo) of Presentation Order. She died on February 4, 1942.
   Cecilia Fitzpatrick (Mrs. Frank Rosauer). The Rosauers farmed in Iowa, but later the family moved to California.
   Joseph Fitzpatrick died in 1917.
   Thomas Fitzpatrick, Jr. married Genevieve Gahan. They farmed. Thomas lost his wife after the birth of her sixth child. Their children were Anna Eileen (Mrs. Wyman J. Leinbaugh), Mary Denise (Mrs. Milford L. Gray), Thomas L., Robert William, Joan Francis (Mrs. Harold R. White), and Leo Gahan who died in February 1931. Genevieve died on August 7, 1930.
   Albert S. Fitzpatrick married Ruth Hagerty. He moved the family to Sioux City.
   Two sons of Thomas Jr., Thomas and William had an electric and plumbing business in Danbury. Tom married Rita Uhl, and they had children Patricia Ann, Michael, Jeffrey Allen, Leslie James and Gary.
   William, son of Thomas Jr. severed partnership with his brother Thomas, and then managed the FarmerÕs Store, buying from Don Fitzpatrick. William married Rita M. Meyer, daughter of Nick and Elnora Meyer of Danbury. William later moved to Sioux City.
James Sexton 1883 Farmer
   James Sexton came to the U.S. from Ireland, and he settled first in Westfield, Mass. He later came west to Lynn Co., IA. near Cedar Rapids. In 1883 James and his oldest son came with wagon, supplies and a plow to Crawford County and settled on the present Ray Fredrichsen farm southeast of Danbury. James purchased the farm in 1884, all virgin soil, and he broke the land. His wife Mary Consadine Sexton followed on the train with their other children. Mary and husband had married in Massachusetts, previous to 1868. Their family consisted of Tom who married Lucy Carey, James who married Nellie Lynch, Mame (Mrs. Dan Penny), Ellen (Mrs. Steve O'Donnell) and Dan. Tom, the oldest son was the only one who remained in this area throughout his lifetime.
   Tom Sexton married Lucy Carey. They purchased land in Woodbury Co., Liston Twp., the present John Cord farm. They had children Grace (Mrs. Frank Kinney), Glen who married Rose Sevening, Ray who married Celestine Fitzpatrick, Ida (Mrs. Leo Tierney), Anna (Mrs. Harry Feldman), Leslie who married Gretta Henry, Gertrude (Mrs. Simon Schrank), Dorothey Sexton Phillips and Norman. Most of the children attended St. PatrickÕs Academy and Danbury Public Schools. Tom died on July 2, 1929. Some years after her husbandÕs death, Mrs. Thomas Sexton moved to California with the children still unmarried. Mrs. Tom Sexton died when 89 on June 18, 1962. Children still living in this vicinity are:
   Ray and Celestine Fitzpatrick Sexton. Children: Maxine (Mrs. William Arney), Mary Delores Sexton Black, Robert who married Ila LeFebvere, Kieran "Tiny," Veda Mae Sexton Workman and Kendall "Skip" who married Fern "Cub" Treiber. Skip farms the Ray Sexton home place.
   Gertrude (Mrs. Simon Schrank) - they farmed. Had children Tom and Mary Lou Schrank Wulf.
   Leslie Sexton married Gretta Henry. Leslie worked for Standard Oil in Danbury. Children: Tom "Buzz" who owned Danbury Elevator, Madelon "Tootie" (Mrs. Clair Seuntjens), Jon and Stanley.
Henry Diimig 1884 Farmer
   Henry Diimig, born on April 14, 1846 in Roden, Germany of parents Jacob and Elizabeth Diimig, came to the U.S. in 1869 when he was 23 years old. Two sisters and a brother remained in Germany, and a brother, John also came to the U.S., and he bought land in Atlantic, Iowa. Henry went on to Chatsworth, IA, after he arrived in New York. He worked as a laborer until 1873. He married Kunegunda Endres on February 11, 1873. They farmed near Chatsworth for 10 years and then, through the persuasion of W.F. Seibold, decided to come to Danbury to buy land. Land was cheap here, plentiful, and most of it was still unbroken. They moved 3 carloads of belongings by immigrant train. Upon arriving here they took rooms at Collins Hotel, and Mr. Seibold took them out to look at a farm in Ida County, formerly owned by a Hefner family, but it could be bought for $6 an acre (present Vince Diimig farm). They bought the farm which was partially broken. They farmed and improved their buildings.
   In 1905 the Diimigs retired to Danbury, purchasing the home of W.C. Cameron. The Diimigs had a family of seven, all born in Chatsworth, IL, except the youngest girl, Rose. A son died while the family lived in Illinois, and a son Conrad died of pneumonia soon after the family came to Iowa. Other children were Veronica (Mrs. Frank Hart), Mary (Mrs. August Horstman), Frank, Joseph, and Rose (Mrs. Bernard Schimmer). Kunegunda Endres Diimig died on June 14, 1915, and Henry died when 78 on June 6, 1922. Diimigs remaining in Danbury are the following:
   Frank Dimig, oldest son of Henry and Kunegunda married Mary Schimmer. They farmed land adjoining Henry's farm (Ray Venteicher farm) also in Ida County. They had children Frank Jr., Henry, Eva (Mrs. Arthur Kirchner), Delbert and Joyce (Mrs. Anthony Vincenzi). Frank and family moved to Dodge Center, MN, in 1920, but they returned to Iowa in 1929.
   Henry Dimig married Viola Treiber, and they farmed in Monona County, and Henry trucked in Danbury for 14 years. They had children Robert Lee who married Jane Henrich, Mark who married Beth Crawford, and Michael who married Shirley Jewell.
   Joseph Dimig married Gertrude Smith on October 26, 1909. They farmed in Ida County. Their children were Vincent, Wilma, Marie, Lawrence, Raymond, Loretta (Mrs. Raymond Hansen), Alfred, Frances (Mrs. Hans Van Waart), Celistine (Mrs. Paul Dinges), Robert L., and Paul. Vincent and Robert. L. remained in Danbury. They farmed land once owned by their grandfather. Vincent never married. Robert L. married Theresa Jacoby, and they had children Gary, Patricia, James and Linda.
   Rose Dimig married Ben Schimmer, son of Bernard and Elizabeth Schimmer. They farmed. They had three children, Leo, Leona (Mrs. Frank Maguire), and Marie (Mrs. Cyril Brenner). Leo married Elizabeth Schleimer, and they farmed near Galva. Leona and her husband Frank Maguire farmed near Danbury. They had a son, Claire who married Opal Fick, and they have children Lorna, Dianne, Cheryl, Alan, Anita, Rosemary, and Gerald. Mr. and Mrs. Cyril Brenner moved to Minnesota.
James Morrisey 1881 Farmer
   James Morrisey and his wife Mary O'Brien Morrisey came to America from Ireland with parents and both first lived in Chicago. They married on November 26, 1865, at Ottawa, IL. They had seven children, all born in Illinois. They came to Woodbury County, Danbury, in 1881 to buy railroad land. They bought land 6 miles north of Danbury, and they farmed. Their children were the following:
   Michael Morrisey was born on September 18, 1866, and he married Mary Navin. They had one child, James Morrisey, Jr.
   John Morrisey was born on November 21, 1867.
   William Morrisey was born on November 13, 1869.
   Catherine (Mrs. John Moriarity) was born on November 8, 1871.
   James Morrisey, Jr. was born on April 1, 1874..
   Joseph Morrisey was born on December 16, 1877. He married Susan Hayden.
   Frank Morrisey was born on July 27, 1880.
   Most of the boys farmed for a few years. Mike clerked in Crilly's Store, and Frank was a carpenter and a barber in Danbury.
Michael McGrath 1883 Farmer
   Six members of the McGrath family emigrated from Ireland to Canada during the potato famine n Ireland during 1845-1847. They were Patrick, Michael, Mary, Thomas, Cecelia, and Martin, all brothers and sisters. They settled in Brachin, Mara Twp, Victoria Co., Ontario, Canada. The area in which they settled 120 years ago was a wilderness. Each of the McGrath boys homesteaded 100 acres of Canadian land under the stipulation that the land would be theirs if they cleared a certain amount of trees under a certain period of time. This was a very lonely life, and the settlers were few and long distances apart. The sisters Mary and Cecelia kept house for their brothers.
   Michael married in 1860, and he and his wife Mary emigrated to the United States soon after their marriage. They settled first near Eau Claire, WI, and in 1866 emigrated to Des Moines. They farmed there until 1883 and then moved to Woodbury County were they bought railroad land north of Danbury. They had children Thomas who married Elizabeth Kesel, Jennie (Mrs. John O'Connor), John who never married, Penelopia or Nellie (Mrs. Tom Crilly), Suzanne (Mrs. Irving Haller), Joseph P., James E., Sarah (Mrs. Herman Staber) and Cecilia Josephine or Jennie (Mrs. Ralph Overton). The McGraths retired to Danbury, and for a few years they operated The Farmers Hotel in Danbury. Mrs. Michael McGrath died on September 10, 1903, and her husband a short time after.
   The sisters and brothers of Michael McGrath married, and some of them came to this area for a time, but they later moved again. Thomas married Rosemary Carr, Mary (Mrs. Peter Duffy), Cecilia (Mrs. Martin Hugh Roach), Patrick married Bridget Jordan, and whether or not Martin married is unknown.
Arthur Powell 1888 Painter and Paper Hanger
   Arthur A. Powell was a Danbury businessman from 1888 to 1925. He married Mary McBride, and their family were all born in Danbury. Arthur was talented in music and was a member of the first Danbury Cornet Band, and he was also a member of the Johncks Orchestra which played for dances in all towns along the Maple Valley.
   The children were Gladys born in 1888, Arthur C. born in 1889, Carlyle "Bun" born in 1893, Albert "Brownie" born in 1895, Dewey born in 1898, Wilfred born in 1900, Muriel born in 1902, Beth born in 1904, and Charlie born in 1907. The family left Danbury in 1925 after some of the older children married and moved away.
The Uhls
   There were a number of Uhl brothers and sisters who came from Germany, and most of them came on to Muscatine, IA, and then on to the Mapleton area. There was Joseph, Casper, Isadore, John, Tony, Martin, Mrs. Katherine Uhl Brenner, Mrs. Barbara Uhl Ernest, and Mrs. Theresa Uhl Schoenherr.
   John Uhl, 1875, Farmer in Liston Twp. John Uhl was born on June 6, 1853, in Lebath, Vetersbarg, Germany. He married Josephine Pflider of Libbach, Wittenberg, Germany, who was born on October 25, 1850. They married in 1871. In 1875 they came to America and located in Monona County where they resided for 6 years. Neither could speak English, and they were very lonesome for their homeland, so in 1881 they returned to their homeland for a 4 month visit. When they returned from Germany they located on a farm west of Danbury where they lived for 36 years. They retired to Danbury and built a new home in Danbury. Mr. Uhl passed away at the age of 62. Mrs. Uhl passed away at the age of 72. Their children were Xavier, John, Casper, Louis, Martha (Mrs. William Collins), Frances (Mrs. Herman Streck), and Elizabeth (Mrs. Frank Welte). A daughter Josephine died at the age of 20 years.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Uhls

   Xavier Uhl married Mary Eghrig. They farmed and later retired to Danbury. They had sons Frank and Joseph who never married, and they farmed too, west of Danbury. There was another son, John C. and four daughters: Mrs. Joseph Wimmer, Mrs. Cletus Richtermeir, Mrs. Al Schleis and Mrs. George Schleis. John married Elizabeth Welte. Lewis, born in 1882, married Celia Prokop on April 5, 1910. He farmed in Liston Twp. Woodbury Co. He was a Liston Twp. Trustee many years and also was a Director of the Federal Land Bank. They had children Pauline (Mrs. Robert Parker), Mable, George J., Gilbert, Wilbert, Paul, and Louis. Martha Uhl married William Collins, son of Michael Collins. They farmed in Oto Township. They had children Lewis, Alfred, William C., Joseph, Clarence (Congo), Mrs. Peter Carpenter, Helen (Mrs. Leo Hayes), Alice (Mrs. Earl Matt), Laura (Mrs. Gerald Welte), and Gertrude (Mrs. Lawrence Schimmer). Frances and Herman Streck farmed and they had two sons. They retired to Danbury.
John Kennaley Farmer
   John Kennaley was the son of David Kennaley who had come to the U.S. previous to 1850 from Cork County, Ireland. He was 21 when he came to the U.S. He made his way first to Illinois and afterwards to Dubuque, IA. He began farming in Jones Co., IA, where he had filed for a homestead. John Kennaley, a son was born in the Jones homestead on March 31, 1850. JohnÕs father was killed when John was 9 and he had five brothers and a sister. John pursued his education in Jones Co. Exact year of coming to Woodbury Co. is unknown, but he married Mary OÕConnor, daughter of John and Mary Wolfe OÕConnor on October 6, 1892. They had five children, Maggie, Mary, Raymond, and two children died John David and William.
Edward W. Oates Iowa-Minnesota Lumber Co.
   Edward Oates, a junior member of Skewis and Oates, dealers in grain, stock and lumber, came to Danbury after his marriage and became the Manager of the Minnesota Lumber Co. of Minneapolis. Edward was born on July 18, 1869, in Shullsburg, Lafayette Co., Wisconsin, of parents William and Honora Skewis Oates. He was of a family of eight. Edward was educated in public schools and spent 3 years at Cornell College. He taught 2 years in the country school and one year in the grammar department of the Inwood Public School. For 6 years he was manager of Skewis Lumber Yard at Rock Valley, IA, and then he came to Danbury for Iowa-Minnesota Lumber Co. Edward Oates married Mysta M. Erickson. The Oates left Danbury when the Lumber Yard changed hands.
Ambrose Pry Farmer 1884
   Ambrose Pry was born on a farm in Washington Co., PA, on April 10, 1858, the son of Abraham and Rachel Pry of English descent. He had seven brothers and three sisters. Ambrose was reared and educated in Pennsylvania. He married Sarah J. Diment, also a native of Pennsylvania, in 1881. In March of 1884 they came to Liston Twp. and located on a farm. The Prys had four children, Clarence, Antone, Elsie and John. Ambrose sold his farm to Isadore Brenner. Clarence married Flora Palmer, and they had children Archie and Violet.
Antone Reimer 1893 Farmer
   Antone Reimer was born on January 21, 1858, near Vienna, Austria. He married Anna Fleishman, born on August 28, 1861, in Vienna. They had two small children, John and Tony before they came to the United States in 1883. Antone, upon arriving in New York (left his family in Austria) secured work as a gardener, so to earn enough money to get his family across. When his family arrived and he had enough money to come on west, they came to Charter Oak, IA, where a sister of AntoneÕs had already settled (Mrs. Schleis). Antone rented land and commenced farming there. In 1893 they moved to Danbury area, buying land in Dutch Hollow. In 1917 the Reimers moved to Danbury. Antone bought an elevator, and a son Tony managed it. He also bought the Kueny Garage, and sons Peter and Joe managed that. They also sold International equipment, tractors, trucks, etc. and Tony took over that dealership. Children were George who never married; Sister Lioba, a nun; Joseph who never married; John; Antone; Peter; and Margaret (Mrs. Frank Erlemeier). Joseph died when 86, and Anna lived to be 102 years old.
   Joseph and George Reimer lived with parents in Danbury as neither married.
   Tony Reimer married Elizabeth Sevening, and they farmed. Tony had his business in town, also, and often when roads were bad he walked to town to take care of the implement shop, elevator etc. They had two sons, Albert who married Berneice Boysen and Leonard who married Nora Wimmer. Leonard is a contractor and builder in Danbury.
   Peter Reimer married Betty Ortner. He trucked. They had children Marvin, Dorothy, Donald, Audrey and Dean.
   John Reimer married Rose King. They farmed. Children: Katherine, Ann (Mrs. Andrew Seuntjens) and John Jr.
John Fleishman 1902 Farmer
   John, brother of Anna Reimer, came to the U.S. from Austria, unmarried in 1887. He came on west to Charter Oak and worked as a hired hand. He, being born on May 1, 1870, was just 17 when he came across. In 1902 he came to Danbury, and bought land in Dutch Hollow. He married Anna Meier, daughter of Henry and Sophia Roeder Meier, on July 8, 1902, at Danbury. John later sold the Dutch Hollow farm and bought 6 miles southeast of Danbury. They retired to Danbury. Children: Mary (Mrs. Fred Treiber), Anna (Mrs. John Weiling and Mrs. John Ortner), John, and Margaret (Mrs. Hugo Weiling). Anna died on November 10, 1943, and John passed away when 94 years old, 1965.
Max Rosch 1909 Farmer
   Max Rosch married Anna Reimer, born on September 22, 1883, in Germany to Joseph and Anna Lang Reimer. Anna came to the U.S. in 1905, settling first at Charter Oak. She married Max Rosch on February 9, 1909. They farmed near Danbury and later toward Mapleton. Max died on August 4, 1952. She died in 1974 when 90 years old. Children: Joseph, Mary (Mrs. Glenn Corbin) and Celia (Mrs. Bernard Hamman).
Henry Meier 1899 Custom Work And Livery
   Henry Meier was born on March 11, 1859, in Westphelen, Germany. He came to the U.S. with his parents when 1 1/2 years old. The Meiers farmed first near Marion, IA, Benton Co. They moved to Norway, IA, in 1863, and Joseph Meier, the father was the second settler to take land in Norway. Joseph farmed and was a blacksmith. When 18 Henry moved to Sac Co. with his parents. He married Sophia Roeder of Arthur Feb. 6, 1882. They farmed at the Schaller and Odebolt vicinity and a number of their children were born in Sac Co. They then moved to Oklahoma, and later to Minnesota. They moved to Danbury in 1899 and remained here. Children: Anna (Mrs. John Fleischman), Mary (Mrs. George Voss) (Mrs. Martin Sanders), Bernard, Joseph, Henry, Peter, Frank, Matthew, Margaret (Mrs. Franz Steinbach) and (Mrs. Hans Gross), Katherine (Mrs. Dan Collins) and Julius.
Bernard (Ben) Schimmer 1900 Farmer
   Bernard Schimmer was born in August 21, 1851, in Baden, Germany. He came to the U.S. with mother, sisters and a brother 1854. They came west on train to De Kalb, IL. He was raised there, and when his sisters married and moved to Sac Co., Schaller and Arthur communities, he moved, too. He married Elizabeth Meier, born on April 8, 1861. She was the daughter of Joseph and Mary Ann Meier. They farmed in the communities of Schaller, Odebolt and Washta. He speculated in land, buying one farm, selling it at a profit, and then buying another. In 1900 the family moved to Danbury and Bernard purchased present Joe Slota farm for $7.00 an acre. They retired to Danbury in 1912. Children were Joe, Mary (Mrs. Frank Dimig), Bernard, Edward, Henry, Frank, John, Elizabeth (Mrs. Adam Treiber Jr.), Anna (Mrs. Edward Kennaley), William and Andrew. Mrs. Schimmer died on March 19, 1919 after they had retired to Danbury. Bernard moved to Carroll, IA, and married Margaret Lordeman. He passed away on August 28, 1928.
   Frank Schimmer and wife Mary Meier Hupke came here also from the Schaller area. Frank was a carpenter, and the family lived on the edge of Danbury and ran a dairy. Children were Mary (Mrs. John Theobald), Joseph, Anna (Mrs. John Mohrhauser), Frank, Lena (Mrs. John Klein), Bernard (Ben), John, Genevieve (Mrs. Tony Flammang), Loretta (Mrs. Jerome Uhl) and Bertha (Mrs. Eldon Sweitzer).
Fred Seuntjens 1893 Farmer
   Fred Seuntjens was born on April 17, 1873, in Holland. He came to the U.S. when 20 years old, coming to Breda, Iowa where he secured work. He came to Danbury in 1894 and worked as a laborer until he bought a farm. He married Ida Venner of Breda on May 29, 1900, at Breda. Fred was a charter member of St. MaryÕs Catholic Church, was a parish director, a member of Knights of Columbus, and was a Liston Township trustee a number of years. Children were Cornelia (Mrs. Charles Erlemeier), Siebert, John, Lawrence, Silvina (Mrs. Edmund Dirksen), Andrene (Mrs. Albert Boes), Andrew, Leo, Wayne and Mary (Mrs. B.E. Thuma). Fred died when 94 on August 26, 1967. ida, his wife is in the Maple Nursing Home in Mapleton.
Frank Erlemeier Sr. 1890 Farmer
   Frank Erlemeier married Albertina Sohm. They farmed and bought land in Dutch Hollow. Children: Joseph, John, Charles, Frank Jr., Mary (Mrs. Steve Venner), Catherine (Mrs. Henry Schimmer), Celia and Theresa.
William Oberreutor Farmer
   Bought land in Dutch Hollow as early as 1890. He and his wife Augusta came here from Norway, IA, Benton Co. William was a charter member of St. MaryÕs Catholic Church and he along with Adam Treiber and Henry Diimig bought the ground for St. MaryÕs Cemetery, and donated it to St. MaryÕs Parish. His children were William Jr., Frank, Mary, Clem, Joseph, Mark, Francis and Tony. The Oberreuters are buried in St. maryÕs Cemetery. Children that remained in Danbury were William Jr. and Frank.
   William JrÕs son, Joe Oberreuter now farms the original Oberreuter land. Joe married Ann Dirksen of Mapleton. Children: Irvin, Kay (Mrs. Clem Wessling Jr.), Leon, Connie, Nancy, William, JoAnn, and Janet.
   Frank Oberreuter married Mary Keiter from Hartington, NE, on May 30, 1911. They farmed a mile north of Danbury. Frank passed away in 1937. Mary moved to Danbury and let her sons Ray and Jack take over the farm. Mary passed away on May 30, 1972. Children: Mary (Mrs. Walter McBride), Alma, Pauline (Mrs. John Kevane), Betty (Mrs. Edward Carlson), Al, Raymond, John (Jack), Fred and Wayne.
George Folkins 1909 Veterinary and Bakery
   George Folkins came to Danbury in the early 1900s. He married Virginia R. Hose who was born in Danbury on February 23, 1886. They married at Nevada, IA. July 21, 1909, and then came to Danbury. George bought the Dirksen Bakery. He worked as a veterinary as a sideline. They later moved to the OÕDay building, where they vacated and operated a bakery there. Later they converted it to a restaurant. Children were Roy and Shirley (Mrs. Earl Lindbloom).
Henry Osterholtz 1900 Butcher
   Henry was born on March 9, 1875 at Plattsville, WI. He had a sister Carrie Osterholtz Shepard, and two brothers, Mandy and Frederick. He never married. He secured work at the John Hart Meat Shop, and worked there until the fire in 1910. He left Danbury at the time but returned. he and Elzie Tangeman operated a meat market in parnership several years. He then worked for Keitges brothers cutting meat. His last years were spent working for Charles Seibold as stock feeder and overseer of Seibold farms. He died on July 21, 1938.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Keitges Families

   There were four Keitges families who came to this area. P.C. Keitges was a well known businessman in Danbury, and he had a brother Peter B. who farmed near Oto. He also had two cousins, Peter Keitges who lived in Danbury and Nicholas who farmed near Oto. All came from Luxemburg, Nothum, Canton Wiltz, Grand Duchy of Luxemburg. After coming to the U.S. they settled at SpencerÕs Grove, Independence, IA, before coming here.
   Nicholas and Peter Keitges were the sons of John Baptiste and Susan Mars Keitges. John and Susan married in Luxemburg, and they had six children while living there. Susan died in Luxemburg in 1864. In 1866 John Baptiste came to the U.S. with his six children, and they settled near Independence. His eldest son was Nicholas, born on May 9, 1832. John BaptisteÕs children were all well educated, and they could speak both French and German. Nicholas married Margaret Hottua while living at Independence in 1869. The father John Baptiste died in 1878.
   Nicholas Keitges and his wife lived in various places. In 1869, after they married they went to Kansas to buy land, but the grasshoppers were so bad there they left again. From 1871 to 1875 he farmed in Nebraska, but the grasshoppers ate his crops four years in a row, and it was either move or starve, so they moved again. In 1875 he bought 140 acres of land in Harrison Co., Iowa and he farmed there for 8 years. His wife died while he lived there. In 1883 he sold out and went to Oregon to look for land, hut he came back after two months and bought a farm near Oto. They had five children, but only three lived: Anna (Mrs. John Kayser), Susan Keitges Jenkins, and Peter who moved to Canada.
   Peter Keitges married Josephine Mack. He worked as a carpenter, and the family (10 children) lived in Danbury. Children were Anna (Mrs. Nicholas Flammang), Susan (Sister Mary Borromeo), Agnes, Matilda (Mrs. Frank Nieman), Elizabeth (Mrs. Frank Kueny), Mary, Agatha (Mrs. Fred Elskamp), John, Matthew (John and Matthew operated Keitges Store in Danbury) and Bibiana (Mrs. George Bonaker). The son of John Keitges, John Jr. operated the store until it burned in 1955.
   Peter B. Keitges farmed near Oto. He was a brother of P.C. Keitges of Danbury.
D.W. Mack, Baker Co. Salesman 1889
   D.W. Mack was born in Luxemburg, Germany in 1869. When 20 he came to the U.S., year 1889. For 3 years he worked on a farm near Oto. In 1892 he started farming for himself and continued until 1898 when he started to sell medicine for Baker Co. His territory included all of western Iowa, and he traveled his routes with team and buggy. In 1904 he bought an 80 acre farm west of Danbury. In the spring of 1905 he bought a harness shop from Herman Wengert at Danbury and he continued in that business until 1907 when he married Mary Erpelding of Atchison, KS. They then moved to Mapleton. They had six girls and three boys. Their oldest child Marie married Lyle Cameron, son of Mark and Hannah Keleher Cameron.
John Colbert 1886 Farmer
   John and Hannah Colbert came to Danbury from Sheffield, IL, in March 1886. They at that time had one small baby, Maurice, born on February 6, 1886. They bought railroad land 6 miles north of Danbury where they farmed. Another son, Richard was born on February 13, 1888. The mother, Hannah died 2 years after her son Richard's birth. An aunt, Julie Wilson, who was unmarried, came to help her brother-in-law raise his sons. John moved to Danbury when his sons were of school age so they could attend St. Patrick's Academy.
   Maurice and Richard both became Danbury businessmen. Maurice was elected mayor from 1916 to 1920, but he died while in office. More of their lives are earlier in the Danbury History.
The Barrys
   Bartholomew Barry, 1882, Farmer: Bartholomew Barry and wife Mary Ann Hagerty Barry came to this area in 1882 to buy land. They came from Neola, IA. They had three children upon arrival, Ann, Patrick and Michael who was a small child as he was born on August 22, 1881. Another son, Bartholomew was born on the farm west of Danbury. The children attended St. Patrick's Academy at Danbury. The father, Bartholomew died when still a young man. The mother remarried and had two more sons, (James and John Murphy), and a daughter (Mrs. Vincent Knorr). Ann Barry O'Donell moved to Anthon after her marriage. The three Barry boys became Danbury businessmen.
   Patrick and Mike Barry rented the former Castle Hotel in 1904 and operated a livery. The hotel was used as an office and for storage. They sold feed, rented rigs and horses, bought and sold livestock, and held sales. In 1906 they bought the building. In 1908 they bought their first Ford. In 1910 they built a cement block building to the west of the livery. On May 23, 1911, Pat Barry attended the auto show in Sioux City and signed a contract with Ford Motor Co. to sell Fords. The first two persons to buy Fords in Danbury in 1911 were Jack Sevening and Tony Reimer. The first carload of cars arrived by train in 1914. Two of the very first employees were John Kane, a young man who had just arrived from Illinois, and Bessie Caldoun (Mrs. Forest Speery) who was bookkeeper and secretary. In 1915 the livery barn was torn down and a new two story brick building was built on the corner lot. William Collins, a young farm lad, joined them in 1917, and Ed Drea followed. When Earl, the eldest son of Pat graduated from high school and joined the firm as a car salesman, the two brothers decided to dissolve the partnership, on February 28, 1928. Another son of Pat, Vincent Barry joined the firm in 1930. The Danbury garage now became Barry Motor Co. Lucy Callaghan joined the firm as secretary and bookkeeper in 1919, and she remained with Barrys until 1949. Pat retired in 1941. Earl Barry and William Collins started a Ford garage in Mapleton on December 30, 1936. Vincent Barry took over the management of Barry Motor after his father retired. The garage was nearly destroyed by fire in 1953. Patrick decided immediately to rebuild. In 1956 Vincent decided to dispose of the property. He held an auction, and two sons of Michael Barry, William and Robert purchased much of the merchandise. They then took over the Ford contract and rented the Barry building. In 1960 they purchased the building. At one time they had as many as 22 persons in their employ. They were very successful and their business steadily increased. Car buyers came from all over the state to buy cars.
   Pat Barry married Alice Kane, and they had two sons, Earl and Vincent.
   Mike Barry married Nellie Conway on May 18, 1910, in Danbury. Michael turned his attention to farming and horses after he dissolved partnership with his brother Pat. In 1929 Mike opened a Standard Station, and he and his second son, Joseph operated it. Mike and Nellie had a family of 7 kids, James, Joseph, Pauline (Mrs. Paul Johnson), William, Robert, Geraldine (Mrs. Norman Lee), and Thomas. William and Robert operate Barry Motor with the help of William's son, Michael. Robert served as Iowa Highway Commissioner from 1964 to 1970. Thomas Barry was Danbury postmaster.
   Bart Barry came to Danbury in 1906 and built a brick building and managed a pool hall. It was used as a bowling alley a few years. In 1919 Bart sold his business and bought another. Maurice Colbert had been selling implements and hardware, and after his death in 1919 Bart took over the business which was in the cement block building west of Barry Motor. Bart sold John Deere tractors and other machinery, and he also sold gas. Bart married Genevieve Collins, daughter of John and Bridget Collins. Children were LeRoy, Helen (Mrs. Earl Fitzpatrick), George, Joyce (Mrs. William Davis), and Jack. LeRoy took over his father's business after Bart's death. In 1942 he sold the John Deere dealership to Carl Moser and took over the Case dealership. He later sold out and moved to Omaha, NE.
Patrick Conway, Built Railroad and Roads, 1877
   Patrick Conway was an employee of the Maple Valley Railroad Co. He came to live in Danbury while helping to build the railroad, 1877. He afterwards built some of the first roads in both Liston and Morgan Townships. He married and lived in Danbury on Upper Main Street. He planted the trees on the parking on the block in which he lived. He had children Patsy Jr., James who married Maggie Crilly, Catherine (Kate - Mrs. P.C. McGlaughlin), Nellie (Mrs. Michael Barry), and Mary (Mrs. Floyd Lacey). Patsy Jr. was an excellent ball player (pitcher), and he played with some of the larger ball clubs in this area. He worked as a surveyor. Mary and Nellie taught school before they married.
Willard and Laura Mengle Brown 1883
   The Browns came to the Maple Valley in 1883 and first lived near Mapleton. They bought railroad land east of Danbury and farmed it. They had four sons and three daughters, Chester, Carl, Florence (Mrs. Harry Thompson), Ethel (Mrs. Clifford Cord), and Nellie Brown Johnston. Other two sons unknown. Willard died in April 1908, and Laura then came to Danbury.
   Chester Brown was born in 1886. He married Clara Mohr, daughter of John and Augusta Miller Mohr. They farmed. They had one child, Katherine (Mrs. Stuart Lee). They retired to Ida Grove. Chester died on January 10, 1967. Clara died on November 17, 1963.
   Carl Brown was born on March 9, 1884, at Mapleton. He moved to Danbury with his parents when a small child. He married Pearl Frentress on December 19, 1909. He farmed and lived on the same farm 63 years.
Fred, Walter and George Elskamp, Harness Shop, 1914
   Fred J. and Walter Elskamp came to Danbury from Merrill, IA, and bought a harness shop which had gone bankrupt, owned by Emil and Broder Jacobsen. The Elskamp boys had learned the trade of making harness from their father at Merrill. Fred Elskamp married Agatha Keitges, a daughter of Peter Keitges of Danbury. In 1918 the Elskamp boys were called to serve their country. Harness makers were needed in World War I to make harnesses for the horses pulling artillery. Fred and Walter sold out to a cousin, George Elskamp who came to Danbury with his family in 1918.
   George H. Elskamp married Edith Emery about 1902. They had children, Gladys who was born in 1903, Gwendolyn (Mrs. Dewey Powell) who was born in 1904, and Melvin who was born in 1908. George always played in the Danbury band, the bass drums. George maintained a shop in Danbury until 1950. After horses were no longer used he sold leather goods, bee supplies, men's overshoes, and repaired shoes and leather goods, canvasses, etc. In 1950, after he had several heart attacks, he went to Sioux City to live with his daughter, Mrs. Dewey Powell. Edith Emery Elskamp married a second time to Clarence "Heck" Pry who was a carpenter, and he worked for Joe Granter, carpenter. They had one child.
Jacob Sohm, Cattle Herder and Farmer, 1881
   Jacob Sohm, son of John and Catherine Welte Sohm, came to Danbury by stage coach from Sioux City. The cost of the trip from Sioux City to Danbury at that time was $5, meals not included. Jacob's home was at Guttenberg, Dubuque County. Jacob worked as a sheep herder on the Soldier bottom. When he began to farm his mother came to live with him as his father drowned in the Mississippi River.
   Jacob married Frances Wieling, and to this union 10 children were born: Katherine (Mrs. Frank Keiter), John, Mary, Elizabeth, Theresa, Carl who married Margaret Harrigan, Joseph, Frances (Mrs. Otto F. Schrunk), Herman who married Garnet Lacey, and Odelia (Mrs. Galen Lacey).

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

William Wiese, Farmer, 1880

   William Wiese and wife Margaret Jahn Wiese came to Cooper Twp. from Council Bluffs. He was a young immigrant from Germany and a very sociable man who liked to make life enjoyable for those around him. He bought land about a mile and a half south of the town of Danbury. He built a bowery dance hall, called Wiese Dance Hall, and dances were held there regularly. The music was usually furnished by neighbors who were musically inclined. Johncks Orchestra often played there.
   He organized a society first known in Germany called The Sons of Hermans Society. It was a secretive social club for men only, and one of their interests was the practicing of gymnastics. The hall was also used for this purpose. There also was a small lake on the farm where some of the men liked to fish. Men often congregated there on Sunday. The Danbury-Denison stage line passed through this farm, and often visitors came to his farm on the stage.
   He was instrumental in the building of their first school in that district and served as one of the first directors.
   William and Margaret had daughters Amelia (Mrs. Frank Rhode), Lena Wiese Falk, Anna Wiese Jordan, Laura Wiese Christman, Irene and Amanda. They had one son, Edward who married Edith Rhode. Edith and Frank Rhode were children of John F. Rhode of Cooper Twp. When Edward married, the Wiese family moved back to Council Bluffs with the exception of Edward and Amelia (Mrs. Frank Rhode).
Adolphe Dientz, Farmer, 1881
   Adolphe came to America from Germany when still single. He first came to Ida County and secured work at Godfrey and Henry Durst's mill at Battle Creek. He hauled flour with wagon to various towns not having a railroad. He suffered many hardships when making these trips in all kinds of weather, and the roads then were just trails. He often hauled flour to Marcus and Charter Oak.
   He married Augusta who had come to the Battle Creek area with her parents in 1872. After they married, they bought land, farm presently owned by a son, William Dientz. They had three daughters, Anna, Alvina, and Mrs. George Groat; 2 sons, William Dientz and a brother who died of the flu about 1918. They farmed in partnership after the death of their father. The Dientz parents died while still on the farm, but Bill and his two sisters, Anna and Alvina, all unmarried, lived on the farm together until 1972 when they retired to Battle Creek.
Henry Babbe, Farmer, 1882
   Henry F. Babbe was born on October 2, 1852, at Benfeld, Holstein, Germany. He resided there until his marriage to Bertha Wiese on August 18, 1882, at Barsbeck, Germany. The young couple came to America in the fall of 1882. They located on land in Monona County, Cooper Twp., in 1882, and they later moved to a farm nearer Mapleton. They retired to Mapleton in 1914. They had children, Clem, William, Albert, George, Meta and Otto. Henry Babbe died when 91 years old.
John Babbe, Farmer, 1886
   John Babbe was a brother of Henry Babbe. He was born in Kiel, Germany, and had obtained his education in Germany. He had learned the blacksmith trade. He came to America when single, 1882. He located at Tama, IA. He came to this area in 1886. He married Margaret Kuhl who was born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, and she came to America in 1884. John and Margaret married at Mapleton on December 13, 1886. They then bought land (present Lawrence Babbe farm) and they resided there the remaining years of their lives. John was director of the Babbe School a number of years, and two of his daughters, Alma and Anna were both school teachers and taught at several of the rural schools in this area. Children were Alma (Mrs. Clarence Julian), Anna, Louise (Mrs. George Treiber), Dorothy (Mrs. Charles Wacker), Arnold and Lawrence.
Wesley Eli Osborn, Farmer, 1884
   Wesley was born in Illinois of parents Abel and Roseanna Fester Osborn who were natives of Pennsylvania. Wesley married Eva Jackson. They purchased land west of Danbury in 1884, paying $10 an acre for it. They later bought the August Wilkinson farm for $35 an acre. They had children Clement Abel, Benjamin Harrison, Wilkie Osborn Youll (given name Willie for Wilkinson family) Vern Wesley, Royce Harold, and Helen Osborn Blackburn. The Osborn children attended Danbury Public School.
Louis Derr, Banker, 1911
   Louis and Lena Myer Derr came to Danbury from Battle Creek in 1911. Louis Derr was to be the cashier at the newly organized Danbury Trust and Savings Bank. The Derr's home was the one presently tenanted by Kenneth Kafton. The Derrs had four children, Eunice (Mrs. Clement Osborn), Enid Derr Schmidt, Louis Derr Jr., and Elizabeth Derr Watkins.
John Jacobsen, First State Banker, 1913
   John C. Jacobsen and wife Mattie Marshall Jacobsen came to Danbury when John C.accepted the position of cashier in Danbury State Bank after the death of Ben Santee. Lewis Larson was acting as cashier for a time until Mr. Jacobsen's appointment, and he then became assistant cashier. The Jacobsens were always active in civic affairs and Mr. Jacobsen was widely known in business circles of Northwest Iowa. The Jacobsens had three children, Donald C., Helen (Mrs. Maurice Edleman), and John Jr. The family left Danbury after the bank closed in 1930.
   The Jacobsens had a tragic accident after leaving Danbury. In 1932 the Jacobsen family was living in Iowa City, IA. The oldest son, Donald had married Bessie Hoyt of Danbury, and Helen and her youngest brother were attending the State University of Iowa, and both were to graduate in the spring of 1933. Mr. and Mrs. Jacobson and son John had come to Charter Oak to the home of Mattie Marshall Jacobsen for Christmas vacation. They had visited with their son and wife at the N.E. Hoyt farm the evening of Christmas Day. They left the Hoyt farm for their home about 9:00 p.m. At Scranton, IA, the gatekeeper was negligent and failed to put the crossing gates down on the railroad tracks on time, and the Jacobsen car drove in front of an oncoming Northwestern passenger train. All three members of the family were killed. The Danbury community was grief stricken, and everyone mourned their tragic passing. They were loved, honored and respected citizens.
Isaac Gaylord, Farmer, 1868
   Isaac Gaylord and wife Jane came to Danbury or Listontown from White Plains, NY, in 1868, and settled on land east of town. Isaac along with other early settlers in the area built the Union Grove School, and Mr. Gaylord was the first director of the school, then known as Gaylord School. Many religious meetings were held in that schoolhouse. The Arcola Circuit ministers preached there.
   Upon arrival here they had children Asa, Wallace, Amy and Eunice. Two more children, Alva and Addie (Mrs. Joseph Patterson), were born after the family moved here. Addie was born in 1871.
Isaac J. Parks, Farmer, 1884
   I.J. Parks was born on December 8, 1849, in Randolphe County, Indiana. He married Mary Ortman at Nottingham, IN, on February 20, 1869, when 20 years old. After their marriage they moved to Dallas County, Iowa. In 1884 they moved to Danbury where they farmed for a number of years. The Parks had 14 children. They moved to Danbury, and Isaac then shelled corn for a living. He still used the horse-powered sheller rather than the steam engine. I.J. Parks was a hard-working man, and no day was too bad, or the hours too long for him.
   Names of all children are not known. Two daughters, May (Mrs. Tom Virtue) and Ollie (Mrs. Ambrose German) were dressmakers, and they taught sewing to other women in the rooms above Loucks Drug Store. Other children known were Lottie (Mrs. Frank Stamper), Cora (Mrs. Thomas Leetch), Cleo, Addie, Alice, William, Arthur, and Amy Parks Woodward.
John Carlson, Railroad, 1889
   John and Matilda Palm Carlson came to Danbury in 1889, and John worked as a section man for Northwestern Railroad until he retired. A son, Oscar was 3 when they came to Danbury. There was also a brother, Emil, who was the first Danbury boy to lose his life in World War I, and the legion post was named Carlson Post for him. They also had a daughter, Minnie Carlson Taylor.
Jones Brothers, Danbury Businessmen, 1909
   William "Bill" was a partner of John Schrepher in store.
   Ed Jones had a livery. Children Lottie (Mrs. Bill Cook), Ruby (Mrs. John Duff) and Lola who never married.
Mary Lacey Smith - McBride, 1884
   Mary Lacey Smith, name previously spelled DeLacey, was a descendant of a French nobleman. She came from the east in 1884 and she and her daughter, Margaret lived in a small house just below the Pearce Cemetery in Ida County. Mary Smith's husband had been a jockey and was away from home practically all the time. She brought her small daughter and came here to live where some of her other relatives, the Laceys had already located. Albert McBride came, too, some time later than 1884, and being a bachelor asked Mrs. Smith to keep house for him. Mary worked as housekeeper for Albert, and Margaret taught school. Albert McBride married Margaret Smith in 1898. After her daughter married, Mary worked in the John Collins hotel a number of years, but she always made her home with the McBrides. Albert Mcbride owned the present Toby Mcbride farm east of Danbury, but in Ida County. Children were Wilfred Raymond who was born on October 13, 1899; Alma Loretta (never married) and Albert Francis who were twins born on May 8, 1900; Florence Marie (Mrs. Herman Jensen) who was born in 1901; Elizabeth Helen (a nun) who was born on September 20, 1903; and Walter Raymond who was born on June 1, 1910.
Cecil LeRoy Adams, Danbury Review and Postmaster, 1911
   C.L. Adams was born on July 19, 1887 at Armour, SD, the son of Winthrop I and Nellie Moore Adams. He moved to Manchester, IA with his parents when a boy and graduated from Manchester High School in 1908. He married a classmate, Alice Pierce in 1911. In the fall of 1910 C.L. Adams bought the remains of the Review office after the fire in 1910 from L.B. Jeness, a brother-in-law. He and his wife moved here in 1911. Mr. Durst had erected a new building after the fire, and Mr. Adams rented the rear of the building for a Review office. He also acted as postmaster, but due to some misunderstanding, the post office was moved to the Cord building. Mr. Adams held both of these positions 1911-1914. He then lost the postmaster position and sold The Danbury Review to C.L. Johnson.
   The Adams had three living children, Joyce Adams Mogck June Adams Jones, and Lawrence.
William "Bill" Schuyler, Druggist and Prescriptions, 1910
   William E. Schuyler, a pharmacist, and his wife Edna Freer Schuyler of Sloan came to Danbury in 1910 to manage the new drug store which had just been built by Godfrey Durst, Sr. This store was on the former Loucks Drug Store location. The store was first owned by a group of stockholders and was known as Danbury Drug Co. After a few years Mr. Schuyler bought out the other shareholders, and he changed the name of the store to Schuyler's Drug Store. Besides drugs and prescriptions, Mr. Schuyler sold standard farm remedies and medicines, cosmetics and perfume, had ice cream parlor, and a small corner for a jeweler. Dan Leget was the jeweler there for many years. The jeweler then sold watches, repaired them, sold some other jewelry, and also repaired glasses.
   Edna Schuyler was a music graduate. When her children were small she gave piano lessons to others. She later worked in the store. They had children Martha (Mrs. Raymond Clark), Fred, Edward, Virginia and George. Martha had a small popcorn popper, and she was popcorn girl of Danbury a number of years. Mr. Schuyler retired after a fire damaged the rear of the drug store in 1943. He then disposed of fixtures and his undamaged products.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

George Dean, Farmer, Cooper Twp., Monona Co., 1870

The Dean farm was owned by Mary Bishop as early as 1856. George came with his family via covered wagon in 1871 and filed for 80 acres. This land was then ow and flat with sloughs being prominent. Mr. Dean drained the land by plowing a furrow through the land.
The Deans had 5 children upon arrival, and 3 were born after they came. Their children were Lizzie A. (Mrs. Thomas Iddings), Sadie E. (Mrs. Edward T. Cone), Addie A. (Mrs. Mark Wilson), Annie M. (Mrs. Albert Reed), Fred G., George T. (born in 1871 after they arrived), Charley A., and Edith who died when 5. George Jr. and Charley went to Canada. The father died in 1881, and then Mary and son Fred farmed the land. George Jr. came back and took over the farm in 1902 after the death of his mother.
Enough land for a school was given off the southwest corner of that farm, and it was called the Dean School. Many social events were held there and religious services. Mrs. Lewis Iddings taught Sunday School there.
George Dean Jr. married Caroline Claude of Mapleton. Their children were Glen H., Leo A., George E., Claude E., Ethel Dean Brockelby, Florence Dean Leetch, Robert V., Dorothy Dean Rose, and Wilbur. George Dean filed for an 80 and bought a 40 (present Henry Dimig farm).
Franklin Kemp, Farmer, 1930
Frank W. Kemp, son of Dennis and Laura Kemp, was born on December 28, 1877, at Westside, IA. He married Ida M. Hall at Manning on June 10, 1903. He worked in Manning, Sioux City, and Oto before coming to Danbury in 1930 to manage the Danbury Farmers Savings Bank which had just been organized. He retired in 1958 after 62 years in the banking business. Children were James F. and Helen (Mrs. Leo Schrank).
Peter Rosauer, Farmer
Exact year of Peter's arrival is unknown. He came from a city on the border of France and Germany. He married Mary Renze. Peter broke sod with oxen on his farm in Dutch Hollow. There was a large family. The boys - Peter, Albert, and George - and two of the girls - Josephine (Mrs. Wenz Hasl) and Mary (Mrs. Harold Brady) - remained in the surrounding area.
Albert Rosauer farmed the home place. He married Bessie Iddings in 1922. Their family consists of Genevieve (Mrs. Nick Huhs), Mary (Mrs. Eugene Moser), Norbert, Katherine (Mrs. Donald Moser), Walter, Barbara (Mrs. Michael Peters), and Carl.
Josephine Rosauer married Wenz Hasl. Wenz was a bridge builder and worked on construction. They lived in Danbury They had two children, Marvin and Delores.
Joseph Rosauer, Farmer, 1895
Joe Rosauer and wife Roselle Lenz Rosauer came from Carroll County in 1895. They retired to Danbury. Their children were Julia (Mrs. Ben Meier), Nellie (Mrs. Antone Treiber), Frank, Isabel (Mrs. Jack Good), Zita, Marcella Rosauer Evans, and Lucille (Mrs. Louis Schleimer).
Joseph was a brother of Peter.
Peter Ortner, Farmer, 1918
Peter, born on August 2, 1871, and Catherine Berger Ortner, born on June 20, 1872, were born in Carroll County, Mt. Carmel, IA. They were married on January 9, 1894. They farmed in Carroll County for 24 years. They came to Danbury in 1918 and purchased a farm from the Osborns (Arnold Ortner farm). They had a family of 4 boys and 7 girls, Theresa (Mrs. Peter Wolterman), John, Louis, Betty (Mrs. Peter Reimer), Cassie (Mrs. Robert Carlson), Marie (Mrs. Paul Lynn), Clara (Mrs. Siebert Seuntjens), Carl, Frances (Mrs. Harvey Bendixen), Clarence and Louise (Mrs. Kenneth Seaton). One of the boys died when grown, and Peter, the father died on November 23, 1921. Catherine retired to Danbury, and John, the oldest boy, took over the farm. Catherine passed away on February 21, 1955.
John McGuire, Farmer
John McGuire, exact year he came is unknown, but he died in 1885. He had 3 sons and a daughter, Thomas, James, Charley T. and Regina (Mrs. Jacob Kueny).
Tom McGuire had 4 children. He married Mary Collins. Thomas died on December 25, 1948, and Mary died on December 2, 1927. They retired from the farm and lived in Danbury. John Patrick was ordained a priest on May 26, 1923.
James McGuire married Francis O'Gorman. They lived in Danbury with the father, Tom until his death. Children were Helen, a Presentation nun; Thomas J., Joseph J., and John P.
Charley T. McGuire married Mary Leahy. Their children were Pauline (Mrs. John Hansen), Charlotte (Mrs. Robert Sitzmann), Cleo, Lawrence, Gerald and Patrick. Gerald died while the family lived at Danbury. When he was a boy of about 12, year 1950, he was buried by an earth slide along a creek east of Danbury where he and a friend were playing. The family moved to Sioux City.
Regina (Mrs. Jacob Kueny).
Henry Wessling, Farmer, 1899
Henry Wessling, son of Joseph and Christina Wessling, married at Breda in Carroll County on October 17, 1899, and came to Danbury to rent land the next spring. He bought a farm 4 miles east of Danbury. Children were Clara (died when a child), Christina (Mrs. Joe Peters), Eileen (Mrs. Forest Burton), Catherine (Mrs. Frank Peters), Bernard J., Herman, Lawrence, George, Elmer and Leo.
John Wessling, brother of Henry also came with wife Anna Knobbe from Breda. They had children Tena (Mrs. Fred Kueny), May (Mrs. Ben Beockman), Joseph, Clem, John, Bernard, Gertrude "Miss," Norbert, Paul, and one died in infancy.
Several of the Wessling children of both families married and farmed in the Danbury area. Bernard of B.J. as he is so well known, married Theresa Sevening. They he one son, Alvie. Herman married Pat McCall, and they had sons Roger, Rollie and Michael. Both Christina and Eileen (Mrs. Forest Burton) lived in Danbury. Christina has been cook in the Danbury restaurant for the last 2 or 3 owners. Eileen had 6 sons and 2 daughters, Paul, Sara (Mrs. Carl Hines), Murrall, Leo, Janice (Mrs. Kenneth Paulsen), Bruce, Dennis and Steve.
Clem Wessling married Myrtle Caldoun. They farmed east of Danbury. They had children Mary, Clem Jr., and Norma. Norbert married Ethel Kurth. They farmed and then moved into Danbury. Ethel has been head cook in St. Mary's Catholic School, and Norbert custodian of the church and school for approximately 18 years. Their children are Wilma (Mrs. Norman Clausen), Noreen (Mrs. Richard Foxhoven), and Kenneth.
Carl Moser, Implement Dealer, 1941
Carl Moser and wife Rose Petsche Moser married at Plainfield, NE, on January 30, 1917. They farmed in the Sidney, Bloomfield and Osmond, NE areas until 1941 when they came to Danbury. Mr. Moser died on June 7, 1952. Mrs. Moser lived in Danbury until her death on June 2, 1973. Children are Frances (Mrs. Robert Brummer), Phyllis (Mrs. Loren Brenner), Ellen (Mrs. James Weber), Irene Bushkamp, Eugene, Donald, Dennis and Loren.
John Petrositch, Farmer, 1899
John and Mary Sohm Petrositch farmed in the Battle Creek area in 1899 but came to this area soon after. Their oldest son, Frank was born at Battle Creek on December 12, 1899. Frank had sisters Mrs. Rose Nielsen, Miss Kathryn, Mrs. Edith Haffley, Mrs. Matilda Poole, Pauline, and Rita Petrositch. He had brothers George and Albert.
Frank Petrositch married Matilda Wagman on January 5, 1926. He was a well driller in the Danbury area for 40 years. They retired to Danbury in November of 1969. He died of a heart attack on February 20, 1970. There are three children, Mrs. John Ellis, Mrs. (Marian) Raymond Weber, and Mrs. David Whitney.
Albert Petrositch married Mary Brenner of Mapleton. The farmed the John Petrositch farm. They have children Ann (Mrs. Alvin Christophersen), William and Janice.
August Bartels, Farmer, 1880s
August and Lena Bartels married in Hamburg, Germany, and came to the U.S. in 1882. They settled at Westside, IA, first, but soon came to Crawford County, Soldier Township, where they bought a farm near the four counties corner and Otto Cemetery. They had a family of 3 girls and 3 boys.
Elizabeth (Mrs. John Lille). Elizabeth and John farmed the Bartels land until they retired. They had children Stella (Mrs. William Benson), Esther, and Norman.
Bertha (Mrs. Charley Vanderbur). Charley was born in Indiana. When 20 he went to California for 3 years. He married Bertha Bartels, and they farmed in Monona County, Cooper Twp. They had sons Vern who married Clementine Hoy and Dale who married Angeline Wintermute.
Annie (Mrs. Joseph Taylor). They farmed in Monona County. They had children Lulu (Mrs. Reese Spaulding), Alice Taylor Seehuzen, and Joe.
Albert Bartels. Father of Lydia Bartels (Mrs. Vincent Benson), and Walter Bartels.
Max Bartels. Married Minnie Sonksen. Their children are Harry, Hazel (Mrs. Tony Shuh), and Lester Bartels.
Fred B. Bartels. He married, and the family lived in the Mapleton area.
Henry Wonder, Farmer, 1900
Henry Wonder and wife Lena Kixmiller came to the Schleswig and Danbury area from Weatherford, OK. About 1900 Henry farmed east of Danbury, and his older son worked at the mill for Godfrey Durst. The children attended Babbe County School and Danbury Public.
Children were Henry who married Mable Johnck, William who married Clara Kluver, Anna (Mrs. Walter Bartels), Clara Wonder Kahler, Frank, George, Paul, Ben, Dorothy Wonder Thul and 2 who died as infants.
Frank Wenger
Franklin Wenger was born on August 25, 1890, in Forest, IL. He married Clara Mehrings on June 27, 1919. They farmed until 1921, then moved to Danbury. Frank was a veteran of World War I. He was a member of the school board in Ida County, past member of Woodbury County Extension Council, and was always active in civic affairs. Children were Helen (Mrs. George Pithan), Marie (Mrs. Marvin Albertsen), Earl, and Dean.
John and Cornelia Anson Hart came from Clinton County, IA. They had two children, Eola (Mrs. Jack Evans), and Bert Hart. Eola married Jack Evans, a barter. Bert, after graduating from high school, attended the State University of Iowa, graduating from the College of Pharmacy in 1898. He had a drug store in Anthon. John Hart, the father ran the town butcher shop.
Cornelia and Anna Kesel Keleher came from Kerry County, Ireland. They came to get railroad land in the 1880s. Con Keleher farmed north of Danbury. Children were Leo, Merle (Mrs. Ray Graham), and half sisters Mable (Mrs. Hugh Smith), and Mrs. Nancy McFarlane.
Michael and Anna Keleher were also originally from Kerry County, Ireland. Michael and Con were brothers. They came, too, in the 1880s. Children were Dan who married Emma Frisbe, Edward, Cornelius (had confectionery in Danbury), Hannah (Mrs. Mark Cameron), and James "Jack." Jack was a lover of horses. The Kelehers always had racing horses which they entered in fair races. Jack was a jockey. He also trained other horses.
John Lippold, born in 1821 and his wife, Dorothea, born in 1831, bought the farm presently owned by Glen Patterson. Their son, John came with them. John married and had children Orville, John, Fred and Dorothy. The Lippolds were members of the Methodist church. The elder Lippolds died here and were buried in Danbury Cemetery. John died in 1902, and Dorothy in 1917. The family moved to Laramie, WY.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

   Frank Palmer and wife Emma were early Danbury residents. Frank, Sr. was a day laborer, and he died in 1916. Mrs. Palmer married a second time to P.J. Callaghan. The Palmer's children were R.S., Bessie (Mrs. Jack Keleher), Mable (Mrs. Walter Iddings), Frank Jr., Andrew, and Flossie (Mrs. Clarence Pry). Frank Jr. married Rose Karhoff. Frank worked for the town of Danbury much of his life as marshal and pump-man. They had a daughter, Holly, and a small son who died by drowning. After Rosa's death, Frank F. married Mahala Cloud, daughter of David and Mary Cloud. They had a son, Raymond.
   Joseph Towers married Susanna Cloud Towers. They farmed and had children Geneva (Mrs. Eli Kraft), Burr who was a carpenter in Danbury, Rose (Mrs. Frank Paul), and Ethel (Mrs. John FItzpatrick). Burr married Ethel McCarty whose parents came here, too, from Nebraska to farm. Burr had children Ernest, Edith (Mrs. Byron Keltner), and Dorine (Mrs. Charles Sonnerberg). Susanna Cloud Towers had brother Dave and Will Cloud.
   Tony Ehrig and wife Clarissa Leliefeld Ehrig farmed in Ida County. They had five sons and four daughters. Sons were Edgar, Cyril, Leo, Robert and Charles. Girls' names unknown.
   George and Susie Quigley were landowners in Monona County (George Treiber farm). George came to Danbury with sons Jim and John. Jim married Mamie Donnery. John married Margaret Caldoun. John was a barber in Danbury. His children were Frank, Leonard, Marie, Ada, Patrick, and Ethel (Mrs. John O'Day).
   Daniel O'Day came to Danbury with sons in the 1880s. They built a wooden drug store in the 1880s on the west side of the street between the John Hart Meat Shop and the first post office. They operated this store until it burned in 1910. They then erected a brick building now owned by Paul Lamphere. Jim married Frances Herrington, and John married Ethel Quigley.
   R.L. Ingles married Katherine Frentress, daughter of Thomas Frentress and Martha Brazleton Frentress. Upon coming here, he stocked a log cabin building with supplies near Old Mapleton, and ran a store until he married and purchased land.
   Sam and Emma Boyer came here when the town was young. They had ad a son, John and he and his father ran a blacksmith shop. John and Joe Rose operated the first and only threshing machine in the area. This machine took 14 horses to operate. John and Joe Rose went from farm to farm threshing, sometimes into the winter months. Many were unable to get a machine, so they fed their grain in bundles from the stack. After animals ate out the oats, the straw was used for bedding. Besides John L., they had also son James and daughter Anna. John L. married Ida Pierce, and they also had a family of three, Walter, Albert and Helen. The Boyers later moved to California, selling out to William and Larry Weber who sold Chevrolet cars in 1922.
   Harvey Volkman and wife Edna came from Council Bluffs approximately 1920. Harvey was a school teacher and had been teaching school in that area. Harvey invested in the 80 acres south of town now occupied by a son, Gene. Gene had a brother, Donald. Gene married Josephine Phillips.
   Jacques - There were a number of Jacques, Charlie Jacques who married Sophia Jensen, Eva Jacques who married John Wilson, Mary Jacques who married Weston Cram, and Ed and Della Jacques. Weston Cram and wife Mary Jacques Cram lived in Danbury for most of their lives. Weston was a rural mail carrier. He died young. His family consisted of Eleanor (Mrs. Louis Hartleben), Ralph, William and Phyllis (Mrs. Herman Wulf).
   No one could forget Mrs. Grafford, a short, sweet old lady with a talking parrot. She used to set him outside, and he would talk to the school children as the Graffords lived across from the schoolhouse. Mrs. Grafford ran a boarding house, and her sons, Shorty and Hank lived with her.
   Gus Palm farmed just east of the mill, about 1/4 mile. A bad thunder and lightning storm on June 8, 1915, caused his death. He was struck by lightning at the top of the stairs. His wife was Martha Berndt.
   The Vrendenburg brothers, James, Horace and John all lived east of Danbury, and all attended the Free Methodist Church in Danbury.
   Mrs. McQuillen came here with her sister, Mrs. Nora Murphy sometime before 1904. She had children Lenora, Irene (Mrs. Pat Fitzpatrick), Colista (Mrs. Michael Burke), and Edward "Ed."
   Henry Wengert had a harness shop in Danbury before 1905. That year he sold it to D.W. Mack.
   John Prokop drowned in the Maple River when a young man at a point below the Bryan Nickolaissen farm.
   George Dean was struck by lightning in July 1943 in the pasture while getting the cows on the present Bill Forbes farm.
   John and Aloisa Fuchs. Johnny Fuchs was the town mason for a good many years. He and his wife came from Wellendorf, Austria. They raised a large family in Danbury, but all left here upon graduating from school. Children were John, George, Leonard (a painter), Francis, Louisa (Mrs. Leo Stodden), Martha (Mrs. Robert Wetter), and Stella (Mrs. Cletus Berlage).
   The three Sokolowski brothers came to Iowa in approximately 1915. They were originally from Poland, and they came here from Pennsylvania where some had been working in the mines and in factories. A daughter of Jacob's and a son of Tony's (James Sokolowski and Mrs. Leo (Francis) Schleimer) are the only two of the Sokolowski families still living here. There were 10 children in the Jacob Sokolowski family, and several of the girls married Danbury boys. Children were Frances (Mrs. Leo Schleimer), Rose (Mrs. Coyle Darrah), Joseph, Helen (Mrs. Carl Ortner), Paul, Henry, George, May (Mrs. George Barry), Edward, and Frank. James Sokolowski married Irma Weber. Frances Sokolowski married Leo Schleimer on December 29, 1931. They bought their first farm in 1949 (Morrissey farm). Leo passed away on September 5, 1972, and since, Frances has moved to Danbury where she bought a home.
   William and Adeline Stamper built a new home in Danbury in approximately 1890. She had a large family, 2 girls and 6 boys. The girls were Bessie (Mrs. Emil Jacobsen) and Susan. The boys were Frank, William, Rolla, Clark who married Jenny Gray, and Archie. The Stampers farmed in Crawford County before coming to Danbury. Mr. Stamper deserted his family.
   The Steinbach brothers, Tony, Joe, George and Franz all came to America from Germany around 1898 and came to Danbury where all rented land in the surrounding area. All married here. George married Margareta Hazl, and they later moved to Holstein. Joe married Maggie Liebel, and they farmed west of Danbury until retirement age and then moved to Danbury where Joe operated a tavern, Joe's Place. They had children Marvin and Helen (Mrs. Gilbert Rauterkus). Tony married Anna Broders, and they owned land in Ida County, Garfield Township. Their children remain here and are Delbert, Viola Hartigan Lundt, and Wayne. Tony operated his brother's tavern after he retired and called it Tony's Place. Franz married Margaret Meier. Wenz Hazl, a brother of Mrs. George Steinbach, also came from Germany, and he married Josephine Rosauer. They had children Marvin and Delores.
   Charley Bumpstead came to Danbury from Woodbine in the 1890s. Known children were a son, Charley and 3 daughters, Edith Pearl, Edna May, and Lottie. Charley retired to Danbury. His daughters married and remained in the Danbury area most of their lives. Edna May "Peggy" was born on October 11, 1887. She married James Hardman on April 5, 1910 at Ida Grove. They had a son, Paul who died in 1927. James died in 1940. Edna married Clarence Slenz on July 23, 1942. They moved to Mapleton in 1952. Edith Pearl married Roy "Bunny" Scott Brown on December 10, 1903. They rented near Danbury for 37 years and then bought a farm near Smithland where they farmed for 17 more years. They retired to Mapleton in November 1970. They celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary in 1970. Roy died on August 3, 1971. Lottie Bumpstead married Arthur Pry, a carpenter in Danbury. They had one daughter, Ruby (Mrs. Earl Otto).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

   Harry Mehrings, the son of Harm and Amelia Mehrings of Fairbury, IL, came to Danbury when 22 and settled on a farm in 1914. He married Maude Bishop on December 12, 1917, in Danbury. Maude passed away in 1932. In January 1934 Harry married Mabel Wetzel in Fairbury. They retired to Danbury in 1950, and he lost his second wife that year. Harry was the assessor for Liston Township for 30 years. He was a brother of Mrs. Frank Wenger.
   Louis and Ida Bethine Pierce, daughter of Arthur and Jessie Greenstreet, married in Sioux City on August 19, 1927. Lou and his father, L.W. Pierce bought the Tie Barn from Elzie Tangeman in 1914. Louis later managed elevators. They had children Bonnie, Earl, Arthur and Harold.
   William Weber and family came in the 1880s and settled on the farm west of Danbury. They farmed until the boys were grown. John married Anna Klein on January 18, 1921, and he wanted to farm, so he took over the home place. The rest of the family moved to Danbury. Mr. Weber furnished the money for two of his sons William and Louis to buy out Boyer's Blacksmith. Boyer had been selling Buicks, but the Weber boys sold Chevrolets. The Webers had boys Frank, August, Louis, William, Lawrence and John. Girls were Mary Weber Koll, Elizabeth Weber Schimmer, and Ann (Mrs. Donald Fitzpatrick). William and Larry Weber later obtained trucks and both did gravel hauling for a time. Later, Larry left here, but William hauled livestock until he retired. He sold out to his nephew, Donald Weber. John and wife farmed until they retired in 1960. They had 6 daughters, Irma (Mrs. James Sokolowski), Lois (Mrs. Ronald Seuntjens), Helen (Mrs. Thomas Thiel), Carol (Mrs. James Barckley), Alice (unmarried), and Martha (Mrs. John Halloran). Sons were Raymond, Leo, James and Vernal, and Donald.
Henry and Caroline Eilers
J.R. Kelby
J.S. Ketterman
W.D. and W. J. Cunningham
John Potter
John Diment
Benjamin and Martha Jansen Petersen
Robert J. and Bernetta Bubb Diment
Jacob and Alvena Volkman Nickolaissen
C.A. swegar and M.A. Segar
Albert Fischer
Jacob Hines
Joe Sanky
Lewis and Melinda Denison
W.P. Thomas
J.M. Bishop
F. Siegler
Joe Ludwig, saloon keeper, May 30, 1887
Isaiah Jones, farmed east of town
John L. Farreby
W.H. Langston
John Mules
A.S. Pierce
L.E. Evans
V.D. Lyons
James Fischer
J.P. Mead
Thomas Beeson
John Loomis
Thomas Saxen
Nicholas Thompson and C.S. Thompson
Fred Livingstons
Jergen Schau and Mattie Berndt
U.S. Stevens
August Moss
H.A. Gardner
Oscar and C. Fesenbeck
Bert McCleerey
George Leetch
James Frahm
T.C. Johnson, husband of Louisa Cord
M. Sobieski
Jacob Still
C. Banta
A. Lanagan
Anna Fischer and James Fischer
Mrs. C. Larsen, mother of Lewis
E.A. Haney, Ida County
Ira Brant
Amanda Johnson
Clementina Meisenhelder
Martin Drenkhahn
Roy Douglas
Homes Spaulding, Monona County
Bert and Daisy Pierce Petit
M.A. Pathcen
August and Anna Wilkens, Monona County
Joe and Mary Stork Sohm
Otto and Amma Thul, Crawford County
Clement and Caroline Funk
Matthew and Bridget Bicken Flood
Charley Baker
Matt Eskildsen
George Voss
Ward Smith
Freeman Wulf
David McCarty
A.W. Coon
Charles Drunkuth
Peter Neustrom
Ernest Mensinger
Otto Lill, Crawford County
Ben and Elizabeth Wessling Klein, Ida County

   This concludes the History of Danbury.
   If anyone has been compiling any history since the mid 70's and wants it printed, please give us that information.
   Or if your family history has changed and you would like it updated, please give us the complete information.
   Anything to add/edit can be sent to us via email (preferred) at or mailed to The Danbury Review, Box 207, Danbury, IA or dropped off at our office at 209 Thomas St. or Colbert's Market at 111 Main St. Please make sure any writing is legible, and please don't assume we'll be able to understand your notes if it isn't in a sort of order. Remember, we didn't grow up here and are still trying to figure out the relativity of people we have met from this area. Outlines of family trees are fine as long is they are easy to follow.
   Thanks for your help.

The History of Homes

   Now that the history book has been finished, we're going to attempt to pursue another project that readers have mentioned. We'll print features of homes.
   Every home has a history; some are more historic than others, but there is something unique about every home. All homes, regardless of location, can be featured. We need to know the history of the home or land on which it is sitting. Also, any special features of the home which would make people say, "Cool!" or "Neat!" or whatever they would say. This is NOT a space to brag about your decorating abilities or to "sell" your real estate. It is for the history. If you live in this area and it works with our schedule, we'll come over and shoot a picture or two of the most unique qualities of your home. Photos can also be submitted to us. We'll print one outside shot (so people can figure out which location we're featuring) and one inside shot of the most unique factor. We'll start with our home next week so that you can see what we're looking for and the amount of space we're allowing. No, you don't get a whole page!
   Information can be sent to us via email ( or mail (Box 207, Danbury, IA 51019) or by leaving it at our home (209 Thomas St.) or Colbert's Market (111 Main St.) We need address, owners, previous owners, history of the house and property, and unique features.
   Remember, this feature is NOT restricted to just Danbury.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The History of Danbury, a correction

Susie Sohm called it to our attention that her mother, MaryAnn (Mrs. Paul Schoenherr), was omitted in the history book. Here is the paragraph corrected. It will be correct online.    William Weber and family came in the 1880s and settled on the farm west of Danbury. They farmed until the boys were grown. John married Anna Klein on January 18, 1921, and he wanted to farm, so he took over the home place. The rest of the family moved to Danbury. Mr. Weber furnished the money for two of his sons William and Louis to buy out Boyer's Blacksmith. Boyer had been selling Buicks, but the Weber boys sold Chevrolets. The Webers had boys Frank, August, Louis, William, Lawrence and John. Girls were Mary Weber Koll, Elizabeth Weber Schimmer, and Ann (Mrs. Donald Fitzpatrick). William and Larry Weber later obtained trucks and both did gravel hauling for a time. Later, Larry left here, but William hauled livestock until he retired. He sold out to his nephew, Donald Weber. John and wife farmed until they retired in 1960. They had 7 daughters, MaryAnn (Mrs. Paul Schoenherr), Irma (Mrs. James Sokolowski), Lois (Mrs. Ronald Seuntjens), Helen (Mrs. Thomas Thiel), Carol (Mrs. James Barckley), Alice (unmarried), and Martha (Mrs. John Halloran). Sons were Raymond, Leo, James and Vernal, and Donald.

Michael and Lynn Buth Home, 209 Thomas St., Danbury

   The Buths purchased their home in 1996 from Louise and Ron Coyle. These two families have added their own history to the home, but it was the Elizabeth and Manley Durst family that has added the most interesting chunk of history to this home.
   While the house currently resides at 209 Thomas Street, the 98 year old building has only been in town for about 58 years. It was one of the homes built when Godfrey Durst created the mill outside of town. We've been told the house stood where Dean and Jana Bubke's house now resides. In 1940 Elizabeth and Manley Durst moved this house into town. Horses were used to get the house off the gravel road and onto pavement. The horses were connected by chains and walked around in a circle. As they walked, the house inched its way down the soft road. Several people have told us that they actually sat in the house as it was moved into town, including the late Bob Dimig. The house spent the Fourth of July in that year at the Barry Motor parking lot. When moved into town, new porches were built. The Buths added the current garage in 1996 when a neighbor's tree landed on their storage shed, rendering a need to find a place to put their outside tools. A drawing of the house being moved into town was sketched by Andy Bakos, an MVAO high schooler a couple years ago, and currently hangs over the fireplace.
   According to the late Elizabeth Durst who visited with the Buths in 1997, the home boarded teachers for awhile. There were also two sets of stairs leading to the top floor, one for the family and one for the servants. When the house was moved into town, the steps from the kitchen were removed so that cupboards could be installed.
   The land on which the home resides was first owned by Danbury founder Dan Thomas and his wife, Mary Ann. The street was named after Thomas. According to the abstract, the Thomases divorced on November 11, 1881. The land was sold to the independent school district of Danbury for $50 a lot. In 1931 the district had the lots appraised, and the value was $235 per lot. The school had decided to sell the land and all buildings on it as a new school had been erected and was in use. It is unclear exactly where the original school building had been, but it was on this block somewhere. Manley Durst and his wife Elizabeth purchased this lot and the adjoining one from the school district on June 22, 1940. In the 70's they gave the lot to the south of their home (where the current Amanda and Brian Plautz home stands) to a contractor in exchange for an addition built onto the Durst home, a bedroom and bathroom. In 1987 Louise and Ron Coyle purchased the home from Elizabeth Durst, then a widow. They lived in the home until January of 1996 when the Buths took over ownership. The Coyles moved to 503 East Street. While they lived in the old house, Louise spent numerous hours refinishing the wood on the main floor of their former home.
   The Buths have attempted to keep some of the Durst nostalgia on the property. Large sandstone rocks were found around the original garage which is now a workshop, and they have been placed around the house as a landscaping foundation. Those rocks once lined the driveway when the house was by the mill, Elizabeth had said. While they redid the brick sidewalk, the bricks originally laid by the Dursts (they think) were reused.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Betty and Ron Lansink residence - 306 5th St., Danbury

   Dan and Mary Ann Thomas were the original owners of the land at the corner of Fifth and Liston Streets. The land was part of the 160 acres which the Thomas' owned to begin the town of Danbury. Their marriage failed, and Mary Ann sold the land to W.F. Seibold who in turn sold the acre now addressed 306 Fifth Street to Addie Santee in 1888. The Lansinks are not exactly sure how old their home is, but Mr. Santee, the vice president of the bank, most likely built the house between his acquirement of the land in 1888 and his death in 1890. His son Col. Isaac Ben (I.B.) Santee became the vice president at the bank and moved into the home in 1893 and lived there until his death in 1908. His funeral service was held in the home, and the casket was wheeled out on the porch for all to see. A procession followed to the cemetery. In 1910 a mausoleum was built at the cemetery, and I.B. and his wife rest in peace in the mausoleum; a picture of the house is displayed in the mausoleum.
   The home had a list of owners following Santee. Laura Brown made the house her home from 1911 until 1919. At that time Thomas Sexton became the owner. The Danbury bank took possession in 1924 and sold the house to Frank Kinney in 1926. A couple years later E.W. Williams was added to the abstract as owner. In 1935 Clara Owens moved in her belongings. In 1944 Agnes Lacey joined the list of owners. She broke the chain of short-term owners as she lived in the home for 22 years, until her death. People from that era know the house as the Lacey House. When she passed away, Lester and Marian Bell rented the house. The Lansinks have become the longest-residing owners as they have made the house their home since 1966 when they moved here from rural Kiron.
   Ron moved a play-house in during the early 70s for the six children to enjoy. In 1972 the old kitchen was replaced by a new, modern kitchen.
   The removal of the old kitchen also removed the maid's room above the kitchen. The rumor was that the maid was only allowed in the kitchen and in her room, and there was no entry to the rest of the home from her room. She wasn't allowed to eat with the family, either, but the gossip of the time was that Mr. Santee cut a 4' door into her bedroom so that she could enter the upstairs sleeping quarters and vice versa. Inuendo was that Mr. Santee perhaps saw a little more of his servant than just in the kitchen.
   Ron also dug out the dirt below the house to transform the small area restricted to the boiler and a little storage into a full basement, now available for entertaining. Ron used railroad tracks to hold the home up during the work; these tracks are still doing their job. A pool table was purchased and installed after the cement floor was poured before the basement steps were installed. The kids would enter through the hole created by the bobcat which was removing the dirt.
   While the Lansinks began their home-living in Danbury with the couple and one child, increased to the couple and 6 children, and is now back down to the couple, the house is filled with family adding to the memories which the home currently holds.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Home Sweet Home

   Bernice (Treiber) Warnke sent this letter and sketch after seeing our house in the paper. Thanks, Bernice!
   In the early 40s my sister Babe Treiber Keitges and husband Clair "Curls" Keitges lived in the house in the middle of that block; there were only two houses in that block at that time, so they were neighbors of Elizabeth and Manley Durst. The Keitges house was rebuilt from the building back of the old school house after it was moved up to where the old school house had been torn down; it was made into a nice house. During World War II, Curls ran the Farmers Store in Danbury. (He sold) groceries and meats, but he also had lockers installed in the back. Farmers would butcher and bring their meat into the store, and it would be cut up, wrapped and labeled and put in a locker and frozen. Russell LeFebvere was his assistant. Everyone was off to war, so I took care of Pat, Patsy and Tom Keitges and my baby Judy while Babe helped at the store. Some years later they moved to Holstein. I am not sure who lived in their house after that as I was gone also; I do believe Lena and James Scott lived in it after they retired.
   Your house was the home of Emma and Mark Durst and their two children Manley and Dorothy. Manley was quite a bit older than Dorothy; she was a schoolmate of mine. She drove a Motel T, 2- seater touring Ford to school. I along with others had many an enjoyable ride with her in her old car. I also went to many parties in your house when it was out in the country.
   I went to school in the old public schoolhouse. First, second, third and fourth grades in building, back of it fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade. We didn't have any toilets in that building; had to go outside and on north side of old building was some steps and a door into the building the basement steps were there, and we went down them to rest rooms. We played baseball in the park, basketball in the Opera house, your Dana. In 1930, (I was) a freshman in a new building. How nice it was to have such a wonderful gym, lockers, and lovely home ec room, etc.
   Don't know who lives in the Keitges house, but it apparently has a little history, too.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Sonya Sherrill residence - 301 East St., Danbury

   A good number of homes have ghosts in their closets, and, with the number of owners who have passed through the Sherrill house in the last century, this home is no exception.
   In 1857 the Certificate of Entry was recorded to Thomas C. Davis. A Special Warranty Deed was given to Dan Thomas in June of 1857. On November 9, 1881, Mary Thomas filed for divorce as, is stated in the abstract, "Mary Thomas alleges that defendant Dan Thomas is an habitual drunkard." Mary was given the house while Dan was given the mortgage. Mary sold the house to William F. Seibold in May of 1882. He and his wife Elizabeth sold it to J.H. Ostrom in January of 1888. A couple months later, the house changed hands to Benjamin Smith. Eight months later Benjamin and Sally Smith transferred ownership to Lucy Smith.
   The ownership change continued on December 7, 1891, when T.A. Thompson paid $2.90 in taxes and the house was assigned to T.C. Cannon. In May of 1895 Cannon sold it to F.V. Inskeep who transferred ownership to Lucy Rose in August of that same year. Lucy and J.F. Rose didn't own the house for even a month as they sold it to J.S. Carhart. Carhart held the deed until January of 1896 when he sold it to Mary Thorp for $800. In April of that year Mary and William Thorp signed the house over to the Free Methodist Church. The church maintained the house until 1909 when they sold it to Louis Larson. He and his wife Lula were the owners until 1917 when they sold it to Albert and Margaret McBride. In 1930, the McBrides had both passed away, so their son Walter, a minor at the time, sold the home to Bernhard Kleine in 1930. John Weber came into the picture when he became the guardian of Elizabeth Mary Kleine in 1951; Bernhard Kleine passed away on January 31, 1953. Ana Weber was added to the abstract. Almost a quarter century later Thomas and Carol O'Connor purchased the home from Ana. They sold the home to the United Methodist Church of Danbury for $21,000.
   Sometime in this time frame the house underwent some big changes. The current kitchen was added, providing a spacious area for cooking, eating, and gathering.
   The church again used the home for their parish needs until 1988 when they sold the house to Ronald and Elizabeth Lansink. The Lansinks kept the home in their family name as their son Gary and his wife DeeAnn purchased it in 1990. The Lansinks filled the home with children and made memories until Dee, Danbury's city clerk at the time, took a job in Primghar, and the home went on the sale list where Sonya Sherrill, our present city clerk, made the purchase in 2003. She and her kids Tess and Todd are now adding their memories and ghosts (so to speak) to the home's history.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Molly & Bill Craig residence - 108 First St., Danbury

   The house at 108 1st Street in Danbury, now owned by Bill and Molly Craig, was formerly known as being on West Seventh Street. It was built in 1931 for George and Virginia Folkins. Dr. Folkins was a veterinarian. They also owned a restaurant. After Dr. Folkins' death, Mrs. Folkins moved to Sioux City in 1939. Their daughter is Shirley Lindblom of Sioux City, from whom this information was obtained.
   The home was next purchased by Dr. Elson, the local physician.
   In 1942 Dr. Elson sold his home to my parents, Leslie and Gretta Sexton. There were many fond memories there, shared by my three brothers and me. Many of them pertain to our good neighbors, Dick and Ethel Smith and Gene and Mable McGarrity.
   After my mother's death in 1974, the home was sold to Mike and Phyllis Minnihan. Mike was a teacher and coach at Maple Valley. The Minnihans did a major remodeling job when they combined the very small kitchen with the dining room.
   Originally the house had an upstairs and downstairs porch on the east side, but after Tom and Dianne McBride purchased the home from the Minnihans, the porches were removed, and a smaller porch was added to the east.
   Dean and Diane Lansink were the next owners, and they added a very large wooden patio to the north. They then sold it to Molly and Bill Craig, the current owners who, along with their kids Zach, Chris, and Billi, are adding their own touches and their own memories to this home.

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