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One Hundred Years 

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of History 


SES, Te PND) ae oS Pigrer 5 


of Progress in the West 
Liberty Community 



June 29, 1938 

i / 
Commemorating a Century | 

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Dedicated to the Pioneers of 1838 

Enos Nyce Residence... 

First home built in Wapsie settlement, 1837 




Grateful appreciation and sincere 
thanks are extended to everyone, whose 
co-operation made the preparation of 
this Centennial b¢oklet possible. 

Adelaide Stober 

Ula Ss. heater 
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Margaret Jack 
Pearl C, Aikins 

Edited by George A. T. Hise 

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HIS is a world of progress. History is being made day by day. 
Events follow each other with lightning-like rapidity, aston- 
ishing even the quick thinking men of this age. But little more 
than a century has passed since the territory comprising the 
' great commonwealth of Iowa was in 
the peaceable possession of the red 
men. ‘The Indians roamed the plains 
and forests at will, claiming and pro- 
curing an existence from the bounteous 
hand of nature. Here the deer, buffalo 
and fur bearing animals found habitat, 
and the main streams gave generously 
of palatable fish. The red man had no 
eare for the morrow. No thought came 
to him that his possessions would ever 
be disturbed by the paleface. So he con- 
tinued in his dreams. He knew not of 
the future and cared less. But the time 
was Coming, was upon him, and he was 
called upon to make room for a stronger 
and a more progressive race of men; 
when the fair land, that was his birth- 

habitant of this village. I allude to Mrs. Mary Nyce, who is, at 
all events, entitled to the honor of being the oldest inhabitant 
living here. There were several other families wintered here 
that winter, among them, some men by the name of Huntmann, 
who in the spring went to Missouri and united their fortunes 
with the great Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith, who was at that 
time making a settlement there and shortly afterward was driy- 
en out of the state.’’ 

In the spring of 1837 came William 
Bagley, William Corns, William A, 
Clark, and Asa Gregg, all of whom ar- 
rived before the middle of May. Later 
in the year came Galentine Gatton and 
Samuel Hendrickson, Henyen and Cor- 
nelious Lancaster, Nathaniel Hallock, 
and Francis Foot. 

The first settlement was known as 
the ‘‘Wapsinonoc Settlement,’’ that be- 
ing the Indian name of the stream, 
which in their language or tongue sig- 
nifies ‘‘smooth-surfaced, meandering 
stream or creek’? and they pronounced 
it Wap-pe-se-no-e-noc. In 1838 the fol- 
lowing additions were made to the set- 

right, and his hunting grounds, resplen- 
dent with gorgeous flowers and emer- 
ald sod, must yield to the husbandman. 

The wonderful transformation that 
has taken place can scarcely be realiz- 
ed even by those who have been most 
active in the work. The Pioneer is 
gone. No longer can we call upon him 
to tell us of the past and the exciting 
days three-quarters of a century ago. Even the children of those 
Pioneers are soon to be numbered with those who have passed 
to the Great Beyond. So we feel called upon at the time of this 
Centennial Celebration of West Liberty, Iowa, to record as far 
as is possible a true and correct history in a more or less story 
form of the exact happenings of this community as we find them 
in printed form, from letters and statements in the hand of the 
’ Pioneers, and from the lips of those still with us who are well 
passed the three store and ten years. 

covered wagons, 

was worth it. 

As we sit in our easy chair of this day it is hard to compre- 
hend the humble log-cabin of yesterday, the tall prairie grass, 
with the fleet-footed deer and other wild game that our ancest- 
ors were so accustomed to see. Evidences of progress are on ev- 
ery hand as one wends his way across this beautiful state. Man- 
ufacturing plants have sprung up hither and yon; schools, col- 
leges, vast institutions of instruction and learning, magni-icent 
edifices for religious worship point their spires heavenward, 
lodges and societies everywhere, villages have grown into towns 
and then into cities and these are so interwoven with telegraph, 
telephone, electric light, railroads, and paved roads that it is 
hard to comprehend that the tallow-dip of yesterday has been 
replaced by the electric light of today. These many changes are 
not alone for the towns and cities, as the rural districts of to- 
day are equally equipped with all that the cities can boast of. 

As an introduction to the history of our community, we will 
briefly note a few of the events in the early history of the Upper 
Mississippi. Probably the first white men who beheld the region 
of country now included in the State of Iowa, were Father Mar- 
quette and Joliet, the devout Catholic missionaries, who, in June, 
1673, discovered the Upper Misssissippi, just 132 years after the 
lower Mississippi had been discovered by DeSoto and seven years 
subsequent to Father Hennepin and two followers who descend- 
ed the Illinois river to the Mississippi and then explored the 
latter stream as far up as the lakes which constitute its source. 

' In 1803 the United States purchased Louisiana from France. 
In 1805 Lt. Pike under authority of the U. S. Government ex- 
plored the Mississippi to its source. In 1816 Col. Lawrence built 
Fort Armstrong on Rock Island. In 1823 the steamboat, Virgin- 
ia, of Wheeling, was the first steamer on the Upper Mississippi. 
At the Treaty of September 21st, 1832, which closed the Black 
Hawk War, Gen. Scott, a commissioner on part of the U. S., pur- 
chased from the Sac and Fox Indians that tract of country dis- 
tinguished as the Iowa District, but possession was not given 
until the first day, of June, 1833. It was then but a short time 
until the white man made his appearance. Just who the first set- 
tler was has more or less been in dispute, but for many years 
Benjamin Nye was given the credit of the First Settler in Mus- 
ecatine County, although the Western Historical Society lists Err 
Thornton and Benjamin Nye as settlers in 1833. 

Each succeeding year brought more and more of the Pioneers 
to Iowa and according to the History of Wapsinonoc Twp. and 
West Liberty as published by Asa Gregg in 1878 it states, ““The 
First Settlement was made in the fall of 1836 and the first white 
woman that made a permanent home here is now a respected in- 

—In the 40’s and 50’s the procession of 

traveling from eastern 
states into this new agricultural area, was 
almest endless. The long trek was filled 
with interest, adventure, hardship. But it 

tlement: George Van Horne, William 
Leffingwell, J. P. Van Hagen, and Rob- 
ert Stuart. In 1839 came Valantine 
Bozarth, S. A. Bagley, Enos Barnes, 
James Van Horne, and Jacob Springer, 
Jonm (C, Lane, Als. Phillips \W..J-. 
Phillips and John Bennet. In the same 
year Valantine Bozarth taught the first 
school in an unoccupied log cabin on 
the land owned by Asa Gregg in Sec. 2, 
and in 1848 the first regular school house was built on the same 

William A. Clark who located on land in section 10 was the 
first man to plow land and plant a crop in the settlement and the 
first election was held in his log cabin to the south and west of 
the village of Liberty and at which, it is believed, every legal 
voter exercised his right; there were just eight votes west of the 
Cedar River. 

Galentine Gatton settled on Section 6 in 1837 and lived there 
until his death in 1881. 

Some of the original settlers came here from Liberty, Ohio, 
and so it was only natural that the new village was called Lib- 
erty. It was located just a little to the north and west of the 
present town of West Liberty. 

Liberty was laid out by Simeon A. Bagley and surveyed by 
George Bumgardner, the County Surveyor, in 1838. A Post Of- 
fice was established the same year with Mr. Bagley as post- 

The first store in the village was opened by Peter Heath, and 
it was later used as a dinner station for the stages operating be- 
tween Bloomington (now Muscatine) and Iowa City. 

In 1855 the first locomotive wended its way westward 
through the corn fields where West Liberty now stands, with a 
farm house and a barn standing within its present limits. 

West Liberty (the new town) was surveyed January 21st, 
1856, by Peter Houtz. It was laid out by John M. Spencer, T. J. 
Robinson, both of Rock Island and J. W. Clark of Iowa City. The 
only dwelling within its limits was that of Skilman Alger, at the 
corner of Spencer and Fourth streets, and which he had reserved 
when the town was laid out. The daughter of Skilman Alger mar- 
ried James McIntosh and his grandson John E. McIntosh, one of 
our attorneys, was instrumental in our procuring the present 
Carnegie Library. 

When the new town was started many buildings were moved 
to it from Liberty and the second building to be built was that 
of Henry Null in the corner of Third and Spencer, Pear- 
son Alger doing the carpenter work. It was first occupied as a 
dwelling, later by Shaw and Bagley’s drug store, and finaliy as 
the Occidental hotel. The third building built was the Star house 
on Third street. 

The Wapsinonoe settlement soon became Wapsinonoe Town- 
ship which originally consisted of all of Muscatine County west 
of the Cedar River. 

Muscatine County, Iowa, is bordered on the southeasterly side 
by the Mississippi River and its county seat is sometimes called 
the Bend City because of being located in one of the most prom- 
inent bends in that historic stream. 

Probably the fairest and most fertile of all of the townships 
in Muscatine County is located at the extreme northwest corner 
of that county and bears as pretty an Indian name as can be 
found on the map of Iowa, being Wapsinonoc. Wapsinonoc town- 
ship is governmental township seventy-eight, North, Range four 
West of the Fifth Principal Meridian, which means that it is the 

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seventy-eighth township north of a parallel running through 
Little Rock, Arkansas, and is the fourth township west of the 
Fifth Principal Meridian which crosses the county north and 
south two miles west of the town of Stockton, Iowa. 

The town of West Liberty, Iowa, is located almost entirely 
on section twelve of the above governmental township. The 
northwest corner of section 12 is at the intersection of the roads 
at North Point Inn, formerly known as the site of the brick 
house of. Major Hogue. The southwest corner of the town is on 
Walnut Street 2 short distance south of where it crosses Prairie 
street, or the Chesebro Road. The southeast corner is in close 
proximity to where the railroad bridge crosses the Wapsinonoe 
creek east of West Liberty, while the northeast corner is about 
one quarter mile north of where the old Muscatine and Iowa City 
road crossed the Wapsinonoe creek east of West Liberty. The 
center of this section is in the center line of Columbus street 
even with the north lines of the two school house tracts in the 

The west half of the southwest quarter of the section was 
entered November 8th, 1838 by Lois Bagley, who deeded it in 
1847 to her son William A. Bagley. She took from William A. 
Bagley a bond in the sum of $500 to provide for her maintenance 
and support and for the maintenance and support of the sisters 
of Lois Bagley and to provide further that the younger brother 
of William A. Bagley should have a horse, saddle and bridle up- 
on becoming of.age. 

The east half of the southwest quarter of section 12 was en- 
tered by Alexis Phelps on the same day, November 8th, 1838 and 
he received patent November 10th, 1841. He in turn conveyed 
the east half of the quarter section to Louis Bagley and the deed 
to William A. Bagley from Louis Bagley covered the east 80 of 
the quarter section as well as the west 80 and the bond given 
from William A. Bagley to Louis Bagley covered the east 80 at 
the same terms as stated above. 

The west half of the southeast quarter of the section was en- 

Typifying the rugged Pioneers of the Wapsinonoc Settlement 

town. With the center of the section well borne in mind it may 
be well to trace the early ownership of the four quarters of the 

The entire northeast quarter of section 12 was entered No- 
vember 8th, 1838 by Richard F. Barrett to whom it was later 
patented in 1841. While it is not the purpose to make any ex- 
tensive tracing of the title it may be well to say that this quar- 
ter section was deeded from Richard F, Barrett to Robert Stuart 
who deeded it to William Corns, whose name is prominent else- 
where in connection with the real estate titles in the town. 

The east half of the northwest quarter of section 12 was en- 
tered by Enos Barnest November 8th, 1838. It should be men- 
tioned that Enos Barnes was the father of Simeon Barnes, 
Charles Barnes and Franklin Barnes three sturdy characters of 
the community who will be remembered by the older residents 
of the town. Enos Barnes was the grandfather of our present day 
townsman Byron W. Barnes. This 80 acres of land was deeded in 
1865 to Charles Barnes and in an early day William Maxson be- 
came the owner of his homestead tract at what is now the north 
end of Calhoun street. 

The west half of the northwest quarter was entered on the 
Same eventful day, November 8th, 1838 by William A. Clark to 
whom it was patented in 1841. He resided on the 80-acre tract 
as his homestead for many years, living in the house later occu- 
pied and replaced by Ernest Geertz. 

tered by Alexis Phelps on the same day as the other tracts were 
entered and it was patented to Alexis Phelps on the same day 
as the other patents affecting the section. Alexis Phelps accord- 
ing to the records of Muscatine County never conveyed this 80 
acres to any person and it is problematical whether he in fact 
owned it, or whether he bought it from the government with 
money furnished by one William Corns, who assumed at least to 
deed it in 1842 to Abner Chalfant. This is a break in the chain 
of title that has heen a torment to so many people owning prop- 
erty in the eastern part of the town of West Liberty. 

The east half of the southeast quarter was not entered until 
two years after the balance of the section was entered from the 
government. The original entry as to this 80 acres was dated 
October 12th, 1840 being entered by William A. Clark and it 
was patented to William A. Clark November 10th, 1841. It was 
later, in 1850, deeded to one Sanford Dustin a minor and later 
sold through a guardianship proceeding. 

Aside from tle original governmental monuments showing 
the four corners and center of section 12, the first line that was 
established by a surveyor in West Liberty was a line running 
from southwest to northeast to the southwest corner of the town 
parallel to and at a distance of 150 feet southeasterly from Short 
street in West Liberty extending northeasterly to the south line 
of what is now Sixth street. 

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was buijt from Davenport to Iowa City various town sites were 
alloted to different people to plat and exploit. The town of Dur- 
ant by Charlies W. Durant and the town of Downey by Hugh D. 
Downey. The town of Liberty now West Liberty was bounded on 
the south by First street, on the north by the alley between 
Fourth and Fifth streets, on the west being a line 320 feet west 
of Clay street and on the east by the west line of Columbus 
street. It was platted by John W. Spencer, Thomas J. Robinson 
and J. Warren Clark, who later collaborated with William C. 
Evans, one of our resident pioneers, on the sale of lots. It is 
probable many of the older residents of West Liberty will re- 
call having seen the old time ferry boats on the Mississippi river 
with the name of Spencer plainiy painted on the housing covering 
the paddle wheels. This man Spencer interested in these ferry 
boats was the man after whom Spencer street in West Liberty was 
named, and who shared in the prosperity caused by the coming 
of the railroad and the sale of the lots. Subsequent additions to 
the town have been platted as follows: 

First Addition, Millers Addition, Morehouse Addition, Holmes 
and Manful Additions, West Addition, C. D. Gibson’s Addition, A. 
Brooke’s addition, Morgan’s first addition, Morgan’s Park ad- 
dition, W. L. Brooke’s addition, Oak Park addition and several 
subdivisions of outlying tracts. i 

The Town of West Liberty was incorporated in 1868 but the 

Seng aks Snipe ielahdalie hadi ee aaa 

¢f messtesipri a MISSOURI Rivers) | 


following appears in the Weekly Enterprise of Feb. 22nd 1884: 
“The City Recorder has recently discovered that the Town of 
West Liberty was never legally incorporated. There is nothing 
on the State records to show that our city was ever incorporated 
or ever wanted to be. The presumption is that the incorporation 
papers were sent to Muscatine and properly recorded but never 
reached the state office. A certified copy of the original paper 
has been forwarded to Senator Pliny Nichols at Des Moines, who 
ere this, has taken steps toward rectifying the blunder’. 

In the Weekly Enterprise of May 2nd 1884 appears: “Chap- 
ter 90, An Act to Legalize the Corporation of the Town of West 
Liberty, was published in the State Register of Wednesday.” 

Between 1866 and 1869 the town improved very little. Trav- 
el was confined to the C. R. I. and P. Ry., and the old freight 
house on Calhoun street was both passenger and freight depot. 
However in anticipation of the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and 
Minnesota Kail Road, to the stock of whick our citizens sub- 
scribed $60,000.00, building had commenced. 

From this time on, many business houses were erected and 
the resident area was much improved as the town was growing 
rapidly and so in 1889 West Liberty was a thriving town of 
about 2000 inhabitants, well supplied with schools, churches, and 
mercantile establishments; and was indeed a most delightful 
place to live. 



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West Liberty High School Graduates 

Corinne M. Donald R. 
Foster Ruess 

Lois A. 

James FE. 


Bertha Mae 

Lewis R. 

A. Edward 
Maurer Baldwin 

H, Kenneth 


Virginia M. 



Rodney W. 

Lois M. Warren Betty Virgil W. 
Wilson McIntire Nauman . 


aks f Biot aes 
M. Eleanor Harold B. 
Brennan Dannerberger 

Helen Dennis Betty Ann 
Barnhart Garrison Spinden 

Louis H. 

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Margaret ; Eugene W. Dorothy M. 
Jensen Moylan Williams 

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NERA SS on OT Se 1 ae Ui a i ee A Sok MII Bs SI Ea, See Lee Sea ges ay President 
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Directors Deposits 
Robert Brooke ACE a eR Sega eomeee Cea ae $404,680.22 

Preston W. Brown n 2 669.34. 

Chas. J. Mackey che = OUEST TOO i fa senate 

Howard Simpson PRE Oi = sGae See 9 NAD a eee 703,044.42 

Jesse H. Swart Oe Ny te pet oY 772,832.12 
James C. Carey 

R. S. Kirkpatrick 1 ‘<a Se eg it og) Ieee 800,000.00 

Deposits Insured by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 
Maximum of $5,000.00 For Hach Depositor 


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SA Gregg, one of ten children of Samuel and Ann (Sinclair) 
Gregg was born in Belmont County, Ohio, Nov. 25th, 1806. 
His father, of Irish descent, whose ancestors came to America 

with the Penn Colony, was born in Pennsylvania, Asa’s mother 

was a native of Virginia. 

During the Revolutionary War, Samuel Gregg was drafted 
into service, and taken to tbe camp of General Washington. Be- 
ing = member of the Society of Friends and conscientiously Op- 
posed to warfare he was excused by the General and told to go 
home and provide food for those who did fight. This he willing- 
ly did. 

Asa remained with his father until the age of twenty when 
he went to Frederichtown, where he engaged with a brother in 
the manutacture of wagons and carriages until 1837, when de- 
siring to better his condition he came tu Iowa and bought a 
claim of 240 acres in Section 10, Twp. 78, which he entered and 

In 1839 he sold the 240 acres and bought 120 acres in Sec- 
tion 2, Twp. 78, which he improved and made his home until 
1866 when he moved to West Liberty and resided until his 
death, June 13th, 1896. 

In 1830 Asa Gregg was married to Catherine Drake, a na- 
tive of Ohio, and a daughter of William and Jane (Carey) Drake, 
who were early settlers of Ohio. Ten children blessed their un- 
ion: Edwin R., Elbridge L., Louisa, Adelia, William, Charlotte, 
Aurelia, Charles; two died in infancy. 

Louisa married Silas A. Jackson, was a member of the 11th 
Iowva Intantry who was killed in battle at Atlanta, Ga., and for 
whom the Silas Jackson Post No. 255 G. A. R. was named, 

This pioneer became a prominent citizen and always took 
an active part in politics. For twenty years he was justice of 
the peace, served as postmaster of West Liberty for fifteen years 
and for many years was County School fund Commissioner. 

He was an easy and flucnt writer, well informed in the early 
history of Wapsinonoc Township and West Liberty. In 1878 he 
wrote and published a book entitled “Personal Recollections of 
the Early Settlement of Wapsinonoc Township and the Murder 
of Atwood by the Indians,” which we herewith reprint for the 
benefit of this and succeeding generations and as a courtesy to 
his descendants. 


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ne . ; ees by “ATOR. WEST ORCI BE Ror You TOW, DAVENPORT. IOWA. = 
'@: New Town Hall. 
“@- Municipal Electric Light Plant. 
; } * -@. Municipal Water Plant. 
@ Modern Sewer System and Disposal Plant. 
@ Mary Kimberly Park and Swimming Pool. 
® More Boulevard Street Lights Than Any City or Town in Iowa 
Per Capita. 
* . * @ Ladies’ Lounge — Men’s Rest Rooms, 
a “a ; 
Bait : oie 
: gee 4 
‘ - Chas. J. Mackey Dr. W. B. Jayne Irwin Mosher 
City Manager Mayor Treasurer 
Town Council 

oss... “John Boden.” F. T. Lawton M.A.Sander Ed Sullivan J. H. Swart 
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Personal Recollections 

Ot The 
By Ase Gregg 


The writer of the following 
few pages caine to this place 
at a very early day in iis set- 
tlement, and has been famili- 
ar with the hardships and in- 
conveniences as well as the 
pleasures of pioneer life. He 
can well remember when 
these beautiful and well cul- 
tivated fields were in a state 
of nature-—no roads, no 
bridges, no stately dweliings, 
no school-houses, ne church- 
es, nothing but prairie, with 
here and there a belt of tim- 
ber, with an occasional log 
cabin to vary the scene and 
enliven the monotony of the 
traveler on some Indian trail, 
traveled alike by the red and 
white man. 

The appearance of the prai- 
rie was both beautiful and 
picturesque, and there were 
many things to arrest the at- 
tention of the observant new- 
comer. The great abundance 
of game, the exuberant growth 
of grass on the prairie, the 
great abundance of pea vine 
in the bottom iand, the col- 
lection of bones to be seen in 
the gullies and sheltered plac- 
es in the timber, said to be 
bones of buffaio that had died 
from cold and starvation some 
winters before, when as the 

Indians would relate the 
snow was so deep that it 
came up te their ponies’ 


There was another remark- 
able feature in the appear- 
ance of the prairie--that was: 
certain places where’ the 
weeds had grown up very 
rank and tall in a circle of 
about a rod in diameter, us- 
ually in two rings, about five 
or six feet apart, always in 
a perfect circle, the grass be- 
tween the rings or circles and 
in the center growing as 
compact and luxuriantly as 
in any other piace on the 
prairie. This was to the stran- 
ger a great puzzle at first, 
but upon inquiry of his 
neighbor, he of the pony, the 
blanket and inevitable rifle, 
he would learn that there a 
herd cf buffalo had stood 
with their heads together 
fighting flies and gnats not 
many summers before, and 
their continued stamping of 
feet had so killed out the 
grass that the weeds had 
taken possession cf the 
ground, and thus after a pe- 
riod of eight or ten years 
still held it. 

Let the reader mark the 
ehange. Fifty years have not 

yet run their rounds since 
the buffalo, that animal that 
flees from the face of civili- 
zation as the morning frost 
from the presence of the 
April sun, roamed over these 
prairies in countless num- 
bers, and today the same 
prairies are covered by al- 
most an equal number of do- 
mestic animals of the best 
breeds known to the civiliz- 
ed world. 

This was called the Wap- 
sinonoe settlement, that be- 
ing the Indian name of the 
stream; or, as they pronounc- 
ed it, ‘‘Wap-pe-se-no-e-noc,” 
which, in their language or 
tongue signifies: “Smooth 
surfaced, meandering stream 
or creek.” 

The first settlement was 
made in the fall of 1836, and 
the first white woman that 
made a permanent home here 
is now a respected inhabitant 
of this village. I allude to 
Mrs. Mary Nyce, who is, at 
all events, entitled to the 
honor of being the oldest in- 
habitant living here. 

There was' several other 
families wintered here that 
winter—among them some 

men by the name of Hunt- 
man, who in the spring went 
to Missouri and united their 
fortunes with the great Mor- 
mon’ prophet, Joe Smith, 
who was at that time making 
a settlement there, and short- 
ly afterwards was driven out 
of the State. 

In’ the spring off 1837 
there was quite an emigra- 
tion to Iowa, or, as it was 
then called, the Blackhawk 

purchase, and, of course, some 
new arrivals here to fill the 
place left vacant by the de- 
parture of the Huntman’s--- 
among whom were the _ fol- 
lowing: William Bagley, Wil- 
liam Cornes, William A. 
Clark and the writer, who all 
arrived before the middle of 
May in that year. Later in 
the season Galentine Gatton 
and Samuel Hendrickson 
made a settlement where 
they now reside. The two 
brothers, Henyen and Corne- 
lius Lancaster, also made a 
commencement that season. 
At this early date of our set- 
tiement we had neither roads 
or bridges, and any one may 
very easily conjecture what 
some of the difficulties were 
that these early pioneers had 
to encounter whan they are 
informed that all the provi- 
sions except such as coull 
be procured by the rifle, had 
to be brought by wagons 
from Illinois. 

The First Election 

Was held in a cabin in 
the timber, nearly west of 
this village, then occupied by 
William A, Clark, at which, 
it is believed, all legal voters 
exercised the elective fran- 
chise for the first time in 


Iowa. There being no party 
issue to divide and distract 
the public, there was wonder- 
ful unanimity in the voting, 
and -the close of the polls 
showed that all had cast their 
votes for the same _  candi- 
dates, none of whom were 
personally known to the vot- 
er; and on counting out the 
votes it was found that we 
had just eight voters west of 
the Cedar river. 

First Sermon 

The first sermon was 
preached by Elder Martin 
Baker, a well and favorably 

known minister of the Christ- 
ian order or denomination, 
who lived and died below 
Rochester, Mr. Baker was a 
good and true man, and very 
much respected by the early 
settlers; rough and uncouth 
as a bear in his manners, it 
is true, yet tender-hearted as 
a child; and many a kind act 
of his has gladdened the 
lonely hit of the poor and 
needy settler, when sickness 
was upon him, and starvation 
was staring him in the face, 
and the greatest hour of 
need had come. 

An Anecdote 

I am sure his many friends 
will pardon me for relating a 
little anecdote of him, wren 
I say there is none who knew 
him that have a greater re- 
spect for his memory than 

Barly in the summer of 
1837, some five or six of us 
were at Moscow on some 
public occasion, and Mr. Wil- 
liam Bagley being one of the 
number, fell in with Mr. 
Baker for the first time, and 
after some conversation with 
him came to the rest of us 
and told us that he had 
found a preacher and wished 
to introduce ‘us to him. Ac- 
cordingly we all went, and 
after some very pleasant chat 
about the country, its. soil, 
climate, &c., some one of the 
crowd said: ‘iMr. Baker, we 
have ali came from a civiliz- 
ed part of the world and 
wish to keep up the institu- 
tions that belong to civiliza- 
tion in our new homes, and 
would be glad if you would 
come and preach for us someé- 
time when it will best suit 
your convenience.” 

The old gentleman replied: 
“Tt don’t much like the idea 
of casting pearls before swine 
but I reckon I can go.’’ And 
he did come, and so the first 
sermon was preached in the 
same cabin that the first 
election was held in. Reli- 
zien, like party political ques- 
tions, did not disturb the 
friendly relations of the few. 
Ovr intercourse was cordial 
and sincere, and I have often 
thought that persons who 
claim to be further advanced 
in civilization might profit 
by a few lessons in pioneer 

The Courts 
Were not what some of us 
had been used to, but they 

were the best remedy and pro- 
tection we had, unless we 
should resort to that unmer- 
ciful despot—Judge Lynch— 
which, happily for us, we 
never did. We did not at 
that early time pay much at- 
tention to county lines, for 
we had but two counties in 
the Territory—Dubuque and 
Lee—and we did not know 
or care where the line be 
tween them was. In the sum- 
mer of 1837 Wm. A. Clark 
and the writer were summon- 
ed to appear before his hon- 
or, Robert G. Roberts, a jus- 
tice of the peace, who lived 
near where John Lewis, of 
Iowa township, Cedar county, 
now lives, as jurors in a suit 

brought by a Mr. Hare 
against McConnell, to recov- 
er possession of a_ claim, 

which he alleged the defend- 
ant had jumped; and the 
writer’s recollection of that 
ease will serve to show the 
reader something of the kind 
of justice meted out at that 
day. After the calling of the 
case we found we had two 
jurors from near where Tip- 
ton now is, one from the 
forks of the Iowa and Cedar 
rivers, and one from east of 
Moscow—an attorney from 
near Dubuque, and one from 
Bloomington, now Muscatine. 
The formality of impaneling 

the jury was gone through 
with, the witnesses called 
and examined, and the case 

was argued by the counsel, 
and the court proceeded to 
charge the jury in something 
like the following speech: 
“Gentlemen of the Jury: 
you have heard the teati- 
mony in this case and argu- 
ment of the counsel. With 
the evidence the court has 
nothing to do, and as to 
guestiong of law you are as 
competent to judge as this 
court. I will, therefore, pro- 
ceed to instruct you in your 
duty as jurors.” And tke 
court stood up and_= said: 
“The jury will rise;’’ and we 
obeyed, feeling very much as 
if we were convicted of some 
crime and were to be sen- 
tenced, The court, with great 
dignity, proceeded. “You will 
go hence in a body, to the 
apartment prepared for you 
under the charge of 2 bailiff, 
and there remain without 
food or drink, and you are 
not to speak to any berson 
nor allow any one to speak 
to you, except the officer in 
charge, and he only to ask 
if you have agreed upon 2 
verdict, and you to answer 
yes or no; and when you 
have agreed upon a verdict, 
and not until then, you will 
return into court in a body 
where we will be happy to 
receive you. Gantlemen, yoll 
are now in the custody of 
the bailiff.” So, we were 
prisoners, and our keeper was 
Alexander Ross, the man who 
afterward so brutally mur- 
dered an Indian at Moscow, 
and is mentioned elsewhere 
in these pages. He marched 
us im single file along a cow 

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| 1854 1938 
84 Years of Service 
In West Liberty 

Stewart Warner Refrigerators 

During the Centennial Week 
Let Us Quote You on Furniture and Rugs 


Chittenden and Eastman Wholesale Furniture and Rugs, Salesrooms: Burlington 
Simmons Studio Davenports... Mattresses... Kirsch Venetian Blinds... Ete. 


Stop at Morris’ During Centennial 

etiaid Shuman Meat Market 

PHONE 41 — FREE DELIV ERY — 9:30 a. m. — 3:30 p.m. 
FRESH AND CURED MEATS — —— Located in Morris Grocery 



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path to a pen about §8x10,° 

covered with prairie hay, 
with unmistakable evidence 
that its last occupant had 

been a horse. Ross being the 
brother-in-law of the defend- 
ant, and, no doubt, anxious 
to know how the jury stood, 
deposited himself imside by 
the door, saying: “Now, Gen- 
tlemen, make up your minds 
d—d quick, for it is getting 
late, and who the d—1l wants 
to stay here all night?” Our 
member from the forks of 
the river replied: ‘‘Yes, hur- 
ry up, men, by G—d I have 
my mind made up and I’ll be 
d—d if I don’t lay here and 
rot before Ill change it!” 
Some of us felt a little deli- 

cacy about expressing our 
opinion with Ross as an 
auditor, and remonstrated 

with him, but he swore that 
we were in his charge and 
by G—d he would do as he 
pleased. So we were forced 
to speak out, and soon found 
three for the plaintiff and 
one for the defendant, the 
other two saying they wouid 
go with the rest of us when 
we agreed. Ross and his 
friend from the forks argu- 
ing and swearing for their 
friend, the defendant, and 
three arguing as_ earnestly 
the other side; thus it be- 
came dark and soon com- 
menced raining and our roof 
began to leak. Until the rain” 
drove them away our prison 
was surrounded by McCon- 
nell’s friends, and Wwe were 
offered all the whiskey we 
couid drink, but three of us 
knowing from whence it 
came, indignantly refused it. 
Thus the time passed away-— 
Ross and his friend covertly 
and openly abusing us for 
our stubbormiess until we 
were wet through, for it rain- 
ed as hard inside as out, and 
we could not keep our tallow 
dip lit. At length, about one 
o'clock, it became iutoler- 
able, and we sent word to 
the court that there was no 
prospect of agreeing, and in- 
sisting upon returning into 
court, which was very reluc- 
tantly granted, and after a 

long parley we were dis- 
Francis Foot made a set- 

tlement on the east side of 
the east branch of the creek 
in the summer of 1837, in 4 
cabin built by a man hy the 
name of Hueler, whose wife 
had died early that spring, 
and he, Hueler, became dis- 
satisfied and left the coun- 
try, Mr. Foot taking his 
place and remaining here 
until his death, which occur- 
red in the fall of 1838. 
These, with the exception of 
two or three ycung men who 
did not settle here, it is be- 
lieved aro all that came in 

At the time last mention- 
ed, the land was not survey- 
ed into sections, but during 
that season the Government 
surveyors came along and 


sectionized it, and their trails 
on the section lines on the 
prairie were pD)plainly visible 
until after the land sale in 
the fall of 1838. .- 

The fall of the .- year iast 
mentioned was the darkest 
time our infant settlement 
ever experienced, and _ will 
long be remembered by those 
who were here at that time. 
The most of us had _ been 
here lang enough to reduce 
our finances to a mere sha- 
dow, and had raised barely 
enough grain to save our 
families from starvation; the 
season had been very sickly 
indeed; there were not well 
persons enough to take proper 
eare of the sick; death had 
visited our little settlement 
in more than one form, and 
to crown our misfortunes the 
Government ordered the 
whole of the Blackhawk pur- 

chase into market. Here was 
a dilemma. Many who had 
expended every dollar they 

had in the world in improv- 
ing their claims, found them- 
selves in danger of losing all 
for the want of means to en- 
ter their lands. Fortunately, 
through the instrumentality 
of John Gilbert, an Indian 
trader, those who held claims 
in this immediate vicini‘y 
obtained funds of Alexis 
Phelps, who at that time liv- 
ed at Oquawka, Ills., to enter 
what land they wanted, The 
manner of the loan was this: 
He, Phelps, was allowed to 
enter the land in his own 
name; he then gave the oth- 
er party a bond for a deed, 
conditioned that they should 
pay him the amount which 
he paid for the land within 
one year, with twenty-five 
per cent interest from date 
of the bond; and what is 
more remarkable is that all 
who borrowed of Phelps at 
that time had the good for- 
tune to fulfill their contract 
with him and obtain their 
lands, or a large advance on 
their investment in improving 

The Indians, though quite 
numerous, were not gemer- 
ally very troublesome, but 
would occasionally, when un- 
der the influence of liquor, 
attempt to steal _a horse, or 
annoy us in some other way, 
such as throwing down our 
fences, or taking our corn to 
feed their ponies, etc. Large 
numbers of them were in 
the habit of coming here for 
the purpose of making sugar 
from the hard maple, which 
was, and is yet, quite abun- 
dant in the groves hereabout, 
and still bears. the evidence 
of their destructive mode of 
obtaining sap. 

The next spring after the 
land sale they came, as Was 
their custom, prepared for 
making sugar, but the whites 
had recently become proprie- 
tors of the svil, and did not 
feel like auietly submitting 
to their depredations upon 
the timber, and after full de- 
liberation, determined that 
they would not suffer the 

Indiams to make sugar here. 
—tThe settlers, therefore, col- 
lected together with their 
arms and proceeded at once 
to the Indians’ camps, where 
they found them very busy 
preparing for making sugar. 
The Indians were at once in- 
formed that the land now 
belonged to the white men-— 
that their title had passed 
from them by treaty to the 
general Government, and by 
purchase to us. They, for a 
long time, pretended not to 
understand us, and affected 
ignorance of the object of 
our visit. This caused a long 
parley and considerable de- 
lay. The day was coming to 
a close, and we found that 
they expected a large acces- 
sion to their numbers that 
evening. We therefore found 
it mecessary to make some 
demonstration that would 
not only compel them to un- 
derstand us, but convince 
them that we were in earn- 
est. They had buiit fires in 
their old camps, which were 
covered with old dry bark, 
entirely useless as a protec- 

tion from rain, it having 
curled up into rolls, some- 
thing like a window blind 

rolled up. The pieces of bark 
were directly over the fire 
where the supper was cook- 
ing. We went to one of these 
camps and directed the Ind- 
jians to take everything that 
belonged to them out of the 
camp, telling them in their 
own language, as well as we 
were able, that we were go- 
ing to burn their camp, at 
the same time taking a roll 
of bark from the top and 
throwing it in the fire. This 
seemed to convince them of 
our determination to force 
them to leave, and they at 
once, with our assistance, re- 
moved all their property out 
of danger. We were very 
eareful not to molest or in- 
jure any property belonging 
to the Indians, but burned 
every vestige of the old 
camps, after which we caused 
them to pitch their tents in 
a part of the grove where 
there were no hard maple 
trees, and late in the evening 
their friends came in but 
made no attempt to make su- 
gar afterwards. 

There was an old squaw 
with those whom we remov- 
ed from the sugar camps, 
who, during our parley be- 
fore burning the old camps, 
became very much excited, 
and was the only one among 
them who seemed to under- 
stand us, although we knew 
yery well that ail the men 
understood us from the first. 

This old woman, however, 
undertook to convince us 
that they had a right to 

make sugar here under trea- 
ty, and went to her tent and 
came out with a roll of 
dressed buckskin and com- 
meneced unrolling it, and to 
our surprise, in the center 
was a neatly written copy of 
Wayne’s treaty, or as it is 
usually called, the treaty of 


Greenville. This, no doubt, 
had been kept in her family 
from the time of the treaty 
in 1795. This manuscript was 
white and pure, and looked 
as if it had mot been written 
a week. No doubt her father, 
or, perhaps, her husband, 
had been a warrior who had 
participated in the bloody 
conflicts of the days of ‘‘Mad 
Anthony,” and who had been 
compelled to acknowledge 
the superiority of the whites 
over the dusky warriors of 
his doomed race, 

The Indians had, _ with 
great labor, dug out some 
store troughs to hold the su- 
gar water, and had them on 
the ground ready for use, 
but the old woman before 
mentioned hearing some of 
us speak of them as being 
very good for the purpose 
for which they were intend- 
ed, was determined they 
should not profit us, took an 
axe, and with a very clear 
Indian  war-whoop, split 
them to pieces, amd in a 
very taunting way requested 
us to burn them also. 

In 1838 the following ad- 
ditions were made to the 
settlement: George Van 
Horne, Wm. Leffingwell, J. 
P. Van Hagen and _ Robt. 
Stuart; the first mentioned 
is now living at Wapello, 
Iowa; Mr. Leffingwell having 
been a citizen of the city of 
Muscatine for many years, 
has very recently taken his 
departure to that better land, 
where so many of the old 
settlers of this county have 
gone before. Mr. Stuart after 
living here a number of years 

and holding some important 
offices in the county, remov- 
ed to Cedar Falls, where he 
lived until his death, when 
his widow returned here, 
where she still resides, loved 
and respected by all whv 
know her. The arrivals of 
1839 were more numerous 

than amy previous year, viz. 
Valentine Bozarth, S. A, Bag- 
ley, Enos Barnes, James Van 
Horne, Jacob Springer, John 
G Lane, <A. B. Phillips 
and Johm Bennett, are 
some of those who are 
remembered as coming 
that year, and it would 
be a gratification to the writ- 
er to give a short sketch of 
the history of each, if time 
and space would permit, but 
we must hasten. The year 
1840 the writer does not re- 
member but two who made a 

permanent settlement in this 
vicinity. There may have 
been others—perhaps was, 
but we can only bring io 
mind Egbert T. Smith and 
Ek. T. S. Schenk, who were 
both well and favorably 

known and Mr. Schenck is 
now residing near Downey. 

Dudley B. Dustin was 
among those who lived here 
at this time, and will be re- 
membered for his kindness 
of heart, as well as his many 
eccentricities and jokes. He 
could mimic any one to per- 
fection, and many a time at 


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YOU MONEY . ar Jack Sprat Food Store 

on A ASHI 
Good Used Auto Parts | Heinz 57 Varieties 
Tires, Tubes Accessories 
Auto Glass Installed Fresh Vegetables 

We buy wrecked cars, tractors, KELVINATOR ELECTRIC 

machinery, motors and 
junk of all kinds, | REFRIGERATORS 

Hides — Furs — Wool ELECTRIC RANGES 

We Call Anywhere 



Phone 178 West Liberty Eclipse Lawn Mowers 

We will be seeing you 
with the gang Centennial Week 

meee ye 




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our public gatherings would 
set the crowd in a _ perfect 
roar of laughter at the ex- 
pense of some unlucky neigh- 

There are many incidents 
that might be related to il- 
austrate the characters of 
those early pioneers, and the 
rough and tumble life led by 
men who were destined aft- 
erward to make their mark 
-——one of which the writer 
was an eye witness. The re- 
lation of which will serve 
our - purpose, not only to 
show the reader the kind of 
times we lived in, but also 
to show the effect of what 
was familiarly called red-eye 
—upon otherwise a most am- 
jable character. Some _ four 
or five of us had been to 
Iowa City and were return- 
ing on horse-back, and had 
got some where near the 
eounty line when we heard 
a most unearthly yell behind 
us, and on looking back we 
saw coming up under whip 
and spur, two horsemen, 
whom we soon made out to 
be S. C. Hastings and Dr. 
McKee, both of Bloomington, 
now Muscatine. Hastings was 
a lawyer, familiarly known 
as “Old Red,’ a tall muscu- 
lar man, of considerable note 
as a lawyer and _ politiciaa. 
“Old Red’’ was flourishing a 
bottle of whisky in one hand, 
and his hat in the _ other, 
while McKee followed close 
at his heels holding a pistol 
in his left hand and wielding 
a heavy horse whip in his 
right, and lashing alternate- 
ly his cwn and “Old Red's” 
horse, both yelling like a 
couple of mad men-—on they 
came at full speed until they 
came up with us. Hastings 
drew rein beside us, McKee 
taking a circle round = us, 
flourishing his pistol in a 
way not altogether pleasant 
to those in the center of the 
circle, but finaily discharged 
1 in) the lair, 2 “Old Red? 
Lowever, after taking breath 
a moment, very demurely 
drew the cork from the black 
junk bottle in his hands, and 
turning it up—-the bottle, 
not the cork—took from it 
what we considered an im- 
mensely long pull at its con- 
tents, then handing it to 
cne of us whe happened to 
be nearest, said: ‘‘Here, boys 
let’s drink it ail up, or the 
d—d fool’’—meaning McKee 
“will get so drank he can’t 
ride.” The bottle passing 
round, each kindly aiding 
“Old Red’ in his efforts to 
keep his friend in his saddle 
to the end of his journey. 

But McKee was not so far 
gone as to allow the bottle 
to be emptied without his as- 
sistance; he, therefore, made 
a rush for “Old Red’ who 
had by this time resumed 
the guardianship of what lit- 
tle remained of the whisky, 
and was making strenuous 
efforts to stow it away 
where it would not injure 
his worthy companion, who, 
with pistol in hand, demand 

. walking backwards, 


ed the bottle, “Old Red” re- 
fusing to give it up, swear- 
ing that he, McKee, would 
get drunk! The struggle soon 
became a hand to hand fight 
on horseback. Finally, Mc- 
Kee coming alongside of his 
antagonist, grappled him and 
pulled him from his horse, 
and falling from his own at 
the same time, the two hors- 
es deliberately walked off 
together, apparently well sat- 
isfied to get out of the way. 
At this stage of affairs things 
began to look a little serious, 
both belligerents rising to 
their feet, each threatening 
the other with all sorts of 
vengeance, McKee leveling his 
pistol at the head of his ad- 
versary, and swearing that 
he would have the whisky or 
blow his brains out. I must 

say that “Old Red’’ in this 
emergency showed any 
amount of pluck, facing the 

muzzle of the pistol with ad- 
mirable coolness and courage, 
although I think he had en- 

tirely forgotetn that McKee 
discharged it before the af- 
fair commenced. McKee, al- 

so, failed to remember the 
fact, for after snapping his 
pistol at ‘‘Old Red’ several 
times, he came to the con- 
clusion that it needed a 
fresh cap, and in his effort 
to adjust one to the tube, he, 
being off his guard, ‘Old 
Red’ came down upon him 
with one swoop of his long 
arm, and swept the pistol 
from his hand. McKee, at 
this new and unexpected turn 
of affairs, became, if fos- 
sible, more enraged than be- 
fore, and at once drew a 
dirk-knife, swearing that he 
would end the contest by cut- 

ting his adversary’s heart 
out, and eating it on the 
spot; Hastings, in the mean- 

time, holding the bottle in 
his left hand, while with the 
right he grasped the pistol; 
not, however, in a_ position 
to shoot, but with his thumb 
over the lock, and the muz- 
zle sticking out on the other 
side of his hand, so as to 
inflict a blow with it in case 
McKee should approach near 
enough to. strike with his 
knife, and thus he retreated, 
and re- 
peating as he did so, “Go 
away, G-—d d—n you!” But 
McKee in his eagerness, ven- 
tured a little too near for 
his own good, when “Old 
Red” gave him a terrible 
blow on the head with the 
muzzle of the pistol, and he 
fell like a log to the ground, 
bleeding and senseless, which 
ended the fight. 

After a while however, Me- 
Kee so far recovered as ty 
assume an upright posture, 
when we dressed his wounds 
-——‘‘Old Red’s’” shirt bosom 
furnishing the lint to stench 
the flow of blood. 

After some delay we were 
on our way again, leaving 
the cause of the strife on the 
battle field, where I don’t 
know but it remains to this 
day, the only monument of 


the sanguinary encounter. 

S. C.- Hastings, as before 
stated, was a lawyer, and 
several times a member of 
the Legislature, and once 
President of the Territorial 
Council; but when the gold 
fever of the Pacific slope 
commenced it carried him, 
with many others, to Califor- 

The other individual was 
a noted dispenser of calomel 
and quinine, and had the fac- 

ulty of giving immense dos- 
es and making enormous 
charges therefor — getting 

around a large amount of 
whisky, and over-reaching 
his friends in a itrade, and 
finally left, very unexpected- 
ly, for parts unknown. 
There is a fascination about 
pioneer life that everyone 
who has lived on the frontier 
is ready to acknowledge—a 
charm that, perhaps, no one 
fails to feel—-the free, open 
landscape, the limitless wav- 
ing grass—the untainted at- 
mosphere, the deer on the 
distant hills, the unearthly 
scream of the lynx, the howl 
of the prairie wolf, the ma- 
jesky of the storm—even ihe 
thunder seemed on a grand- 
er scale than in a densely 
populated country. Even the 

hardships and dangers _inci- 
dent to that kind of life 
had its exhilerating influ- 

If one was under the ne- 
cessity of grinding  buck- 
wheat on a coffee mill tor 
breakfast, he would eat that 
breakfast with all the betier 
appetite. If he should, after 
working all day, be compeli- 
ed to take his rifle and shoot 
game for his next breakfast, 
the enjoyment of the sport 
would be none the less. If 
we had to go with an ox 
team into lIilinois for corn, 
and be gone a week at a 
time, our delight was the 
greater when we returned. 
All of those things the old 
settlers will very readily ad- 
mit are not exaggerations. 

Wapsinonoc township con- 
sisted of all of Muscatine 
county that lies west of the 
Cedar river. At that time, 
and for many years thereait- 
er, and at our elections, ail 
would assemble at one place 
and cast their votes; and, it 
would be interesting to give 
the number of votes each 
year, and note the increase 
of population, had we the 
means to do so. 

At this time of excitement 
in regard to the Raiiroad 
Bond question, a history of 
the west part of this county, 
and the important stand tak- 
en by the inhabitants of Wap- 
sinonoe township on the vote 
of the county to take stock, 
will not be devoid of inter- 

As before stated, our town- 
ship consisted of all of this 
county west of the Cedar river, 
when the road, now known 
as the Chicago, Rock Island 
& Pacific railroad, first be- 
gan to be talked about, and 

the company began to irse 
upon the people the neces- 
sity of taking siock, but the 
settlers were generally pcer. 
and to raise any considerable 
amouat by individual = sub- 
scription, was soan found to 
be out of the question. Inter- 
ested parties soon began to 
urge upon the authorities of 
the county the propriety of 
the county taking stock, and 
after some hesitation the 
county judge issued an order 
for a vote on the quescia2 
of a tax for railroad purpes- 
es. At this election the con- 
test was warm and sharp — 
those who were in favor of 
the measure being extremei¢ 
energetic, while those wiio 
opposed it did so with great 
warmth and energy; and this 
township was so united on 
the question that there was 
but ome vote in favor of the 
measure which has now  be- 
come so odious, and has beer 
so burdensome. Our town- 
ship, therefore, became qui.¢ 
noted for its independence. 
and soon after gained the ap- 
pellation of “The State of 
Wapsinonoc,”’ which high 
distinction was brought about 
as follows: 

The next day after the 
election above mentioned. the 

writer went to Muscatine, 
and had hardly desceuded 
from his horse until ke was 

surrounded by the friénds of 
the tax, who were juvdilait 
over the success of their mea- 
sure, and during qa warm, 
but friendly discussion of the 
question, ovr old friend, Wil- 
liam St. John, came up. and 
in a taunting way shook his 
finger at the writer, saying: 

“We have got vou now; 
what will you do next?’’ 
“Well,” -said the writer 

“We will just call out th 
militia, that’s what we'll do.” 
and from tbe idea of eallinzg 
out the militia on the rail- 
19ad tax question we got tise 
name of the “S:ate of Wap- 



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Liberty Shoe Store |. Philip Siepel 
Dealer in pe DRUGGIST 

All Leather Shoes 


Distributor for 

Headquarters for 

ea aN Comfort Ap- 
ie CN i pliances and 

ES “> Remedies 

Paints — Varnishes — Enamels 

VALSPAR—‘the Varnish that won’t turn white’’ 
VALSPAR—‘‘ the Paint that does it right.’’ 

Expert Shoe Repairing 
CHAS. W. McCANN in Charge 

Phone 382 West Liberty 

~1 General Agency 
Insurance Underwriter 

Automebile — Life — Disability 
Fire — Lightning — Windstorm 


Real Estate Brokers—Licensed Farm and City 

We have a fine list of offerings. see OES CE a 


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Pp. oe 7 - A. ue 



Murder of Atwood 


A Leaf from the Early His- 
tory of West Liberty. 


It would not be likely to 
occur to the minds of the 
auiet denizens of West Lib- 
erty that the first settlers of 
this part of our beautifui 
State ever had, to endure any 
of the privations and dangers 
that in other localities have 
characterized pioneer life. 

It is nevertheless’ true, 
that the first settlement 
of this immediate vicinity 

was attended not only by the 
ordinary toil and _ privations 
incident to fromtier life, but 
here, as in many other local- 
ities on the verge of civiliza- 

tion, the scalping-knife and 
tomahawk of the vindictive 
and relentless savage has 

been brought inio requisition 
to destroy the life of an in- 
nocent victim of brutal hate 
and barbarity. 

I do not know that any 
one ever attempted to write 
an account of the sad affair 
above alluded to, and for 
want of a better historian, I 
will undertake the task. 

That I may give.a full and 
completes understanding of 
the whole affair, 
relate an occurrence that 
more properly belongs to our 
neighboring town of Moscow, 
and its early history, than lo 
ours; yet, without doubé, 
was the cause of the murder 
above alluded to. 

In the winter of 1837-8, a 

party of Indians were en- 
earaped near Moscow, some 
three or four of whom were 
in the village one evening, 
at a low drinking house, or 
grocery, kept by a man 
whose name was Ross, who, 
in company with some haif 

dozen other white men, got 
the Indians to perform the 
war dance; and, in order to 

make the dancing and gener- 
al hilarity go off lively, and 
that they might have an in- 
teresting time of it, they all, 
both red and white men. 
imbibed freely of the con- 
tents of a certain barre] that 
stood in one corner of the 
filthy shanty marked OLD 

Thug they kept up. the 
dancing and drinking until 
they all beeame decidedly 
drunk; and the Indias, as 
igs usual with them under 
like circumstances, became 
insolent, and demanded more 
of the contents of the bar- 
rel, which they denominate, 
in their own language, Scu- 
tah Oppo, which _ signifies 
FIRE WATER; and, finally, 
-the war of words culminated 
in a general row. 

It-so-happened that- Pow- 

I will first . 

_ particular 

sheik, who was chief of that 
band of Indians, 
had a brother, who was one 
of the party in this quarrel; * 
and Ross and his friends 
wishing to get the Indians 
out of the shanty, undertook 
to force them to leave, and 
in the scuffle which ensued, 
Ross struck the chief’s broth- 
er with a heavy stick of 
wood, and felled him sense- 
less to the ground, when the 
rest of the Indians became 
frightened and ran away. Ross 
now. dragged the fallen brave 
out doors, and deliberately 
beat him with a heavy rail 

until his skull was. broken, 
and he was dead. 

*Note.—I have seen a 
short account of the Ross 
murder in the Muscatine 
Journal, in which the Indian 

who was killed, is represent- 
ed as being the Chief’s serv- 
ant. This is an error. My 
recollection of the matter is 
so clear in regard to the ge7i- 
eral understanding that he 
was Powsheik’s brother, that 
I think I cannot be miStak- 

en; and then, I was_inti- 
mately acquaimted with Gil- 
bert, an Indian trader, with 

whom I often had conversa- 
tions about the matter, and 
he always represented him as 
the chief’s brother. I there- 
fore conclude that the writ- 
er of that article must have 
misunderstood my friend, 
Wm. Baker, of whom he pro- 
fesses to have obtained his 

-_The Indians" were very 
much exasperated at this out- 

rage, and were determined 
‘on . revenge, and we - offen 
saw them with their faces 

painted in token of their dis- 
pleasure; but were kept quiet 
by the aSsurance- that Ross 
would be* punished by the 
laws of the white man, and 
he was indicted for the mur- 
der, but owimg to some trif- 
ling defect in the indictment, 
was again set at liberty. 
The indians, however, 
could. not understand why a 
man whom every one ac- 
knowledged was guiliy of a 
brutal murder, should he 
permitted to escape the just 
punishment of his crime, in 
consequence of the omission 
of a word or two, in a manu- 
script paper which they 
could neither read or undcer~ 
stand, They therefore deter- 
mined to seek redress in 
their own way; and with the 
utmost contempt for the in- 
efficient laws of the white 
man, the avenger of blood 
was put upon the trail of 
the bloody-handed Ross, who 
knew full well that if he did 
not flee the country his doom 

“was sealed. He therefore left 

‘quietly “as possible. 

The Indians being thus 
foiled in their attempts up- 
on the life of the real ag- 
gressor, quietly awaited an 


. leave 

. that 

opportunity to avenge their 
wrongs upon one of the same 
hated race; and it so hap- 
pened that their «victim was 
a Protestant Methodist min- 
ister, whose name was Oliv- 
er Atwood. 

Atwood, his wife and child, 

came to this country in the 
summer of 1837, from the 
northert part of Ohio. He 
was very destitute, but ap- 
parently willing to do any 

kind of work, to support his 
family; and did work faith- 
fully through the week, and 
on the Sabbath would preach 
for us. He was not very bril- 
liant as an orator, or prepos- 
sessing in his appearance as 
a minister, but very quiet, 
and harmless in his deport- 
ment; and in justice I must 
say, that his sermons, viewed 
from a Methodist stand-point. 

had the merit of being ex- 
tremely orthodox, for they 
were generally the identical . 
sermons preached by ths ~ 
great Wesley himself, many 
years before. 

I will here state that - he. 
and his family, amd “myself 
and family, ~ occupied :the 

same cabin nearly all’ of one 
winter; and it used-to be a 
source of considerable amuse- 
ment to me to observe from 
what fountain he drew his 
inspiration, and the grave 
dignity with which he would 
proceed to edify us, with a 
learned discourse commit'ed 
to memory from a very neat- 
ly bound volume of Wesley’s 
Sermons, which with a Bible 
and. Hymn Book, constituted 
his Library. I had _ notice 
that he would be very inten? 
upon the study of this vol- 
ume, and sometimes would 
it on the table when 

he retired for the night, and 

. being myself in the habit of 

rising first in the morning, 
I would occasionally take up 
this volume to read a~ few 
moments. I soon discovered 
it would 
en at the page where our 
preacher had been reading 
the evening. before; and, of 
course, _t was not slow to 
take a hint, and soon became 
so much of a prophet that I 

could repeat a part of the 
sermon three or four days 
before it was delivered, and 
unerringly predict the text 

But, to proceed with our 
narrative. He had moved on 
a claim of his own in the 
spring, but having no im- 
provement, he was unable to 

support his family by his la- 
por at home, and consequent- 

ly he had to seek employ- 
ment elsewhere. 

The Indian traders were 
about that time engaged in 
building a new trading pos! 
further up the lowa River, 

and he hired with them to 
assist in the work, and spent 
most. of the stmmer away 
from home; but, in Septem- 
ber, after notifying his wife 
of the time that he shonid 
return, started from the new 
trading post, and arrived in 

invariably op-. 

' 3 


of where Iowa 

safety at the old one, 
miles south 
City now is. 
_ There he purehased scme 
articles of “clothing for his 
family, and a ham of meat, 
and started for home—-a 
home he was destined never 
to reach alive. 

He doubtless walked brisk- 
ly forward’ on the narrow 
trail, worn’ deep py the hard 
hoofs of the Indian: ponies--- 
joyfully anticipating a happy 
meeting Soon, (as he 
thought) to take place with 
loved ones in a lonely cabin 
not far away on ‘the verge 
of the prairie—thinking, no 
doubt, of the little comforts 
that his toil had provided for 
those so dear.,.to him—enjoy- 
ing in anticipation the glad 
welcome’.+g6 soon’. to greet 
his eargs—-the fond-caress of 
his “littte daughter—the eve- 

ning meal—the quiet social 
“hour >with wife and child-— 
-xnot a living thing to inter- 
‘s rupt or disturb his pleasing 
meditation save now and 
then the ‘sudden flutter of 
the prairie chicken. as _ it 

breaks cover near his feet. 
As he appreaches the high- 
lands on his rouie, he views 

with brightening ‘eye, the 
outlines of the grove of tim- 
ber that adjoins his cabin. 

A thin column of smoke is 
to be seen rising just besond 

the grove; full well he 
knows who sits by the fire 
from whence it rises. Hae 
pauses in his walk, and for 
a moment contemplates the 
seene. ‘The tall grass is 
slightly browned by the ear- 

ly frost, and waves gently in 
the autumnal breeze, like a 
vast field of wheat ready tor 

, the sickle. He <iurns his 
gaze backward~ on the path 
he so lately traveled, and 
notices in the distance, a 
company on _  horse-back on 

his trail, and without a 

thought of danger, again re- 
sumes his walk, but soon dis- 
covers that his pursuers are 
savages, painted for war, 
‘who advanced rapidly with 
shouts and excited gestures. 
In order to avoid them, he 
leaves the beaten trail but 
soon becomes aware tbat 

they are not so easily thrown 
off-—on they come—-he runs 
—but all in vain, like an 
avalanche they come down 
upon their prey—a quick- - 
sharp stroke of the toma- 
hawk—-a dextrous flourish of 

the scalping knife—and all 
is over with Oliver Atwood. 

That day wears slowly to 
a close, and the expected 
husband comes not, and g») 
wears away the next, ana 
the next, and no tidings from 
him. The wife finally can 

bear the suspense no longer, 
and she applies to the neigh- 
bors, and a messenger is 
sent to the old trading house 
to. inquire -after him, and 
soon returned with the in- 
formation that he had left 
that place for home a week 

_ The next” day 

the settle-_ 

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fie Wad ota hevigaes bicee 3 i ace we ae a teva’ hat 
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ehiete- sheadhinged - 

i a ma a a a a a a TIA Ae 

1919 1938 
Carlisle's Garage 


‘Complete Automotive Service 

Pure Bred Day and Night 
Poland China Hogs a 

Fall Sale October 4, 1938 
Tires — Batteries — Welding 

Our farm is located three miles south- 

west of West Liberty 
Phone 298 

R uess B ros. West Liberty, Iowa 

West Liberty Towa 

re THe eee 
——eeEeEeEeEeEeeeeEeee—E—EE————————————————— SS oe ee te 

A.L. DICE & CO. 

For thirty-seven years we have served the people 
of West Liberty and vicinity through our lum- 

ber and building material business. 



wih A tt Le ee ht ORT oa & Vat ey oe 
: 2 4 c, 9. Pe | ' ; . it ' Wor 7 whey) ie s : ‘ipa ' 
nay i * : vy vy | Ph iaue & ; +h i re ’ a 
- ' ; ae | his aa : Ni ‘ (A wee ey rae 

7 %e i te ia ee. . wycr Wren’ TA. Cal, ldeisik e halalt a 
per — + Ry ee Hey: 

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we age h 

woul schedit oe a . | 2018 22oul 


THETELIT LI LLL ALLA e a TL Le ee et | Tics iaaantideenananeromnacss 

coeaneanerateahdineneliind eamnate-Aaiias nileateacistnel RATER DUNG BARRE al Diab a, Na ee ial 
a i ? RR Ee an Cp ES GLE TR TEN 8 Aa ye A wate ae wee 

{—? tb ome 

at BO Ol Pak es bee we 

a nat cats tile =e gem als OE FOTO te Oe AE $04 +m 

mligaeny ofl levies wre ‘nw etna, Kote: id ot i 
wt) “the Hignernt) y Yieaiy toagah winodlid, teat to 

asineyi abl lated bie gaitthod Inte ot Es as 
e Ac . ie v a iii ae i i 
ae) ry 
3 1K) TET A TAY OMAR a. sg a an 

Pay “s a M ba re sae 4 gee 

4 Fm am: ’ 
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ment was aroused to search 
for the lost man; and soon 
his remains were found 
where he had fallen. 

The question may be ask- 
ed, how is it known that he 
was killed by Indians. To a 
frontiers-man, this could not 
long remain in doubt. There 
are many ways of judging of 
such things, that would be 
utterly unintelligible to a less 
practiced eye. But in this 
case, not only the signs at 
the place where he lay, were 
perfectly intelligible to a 
hunter, but many other cir- 
cumstances led to a certain- 
ty, not only that he was kill- 
ed by the Indians, but point- 
ed out the identical actors in 
the tragedy. 

It was well known that on 
the day that Atwood left the 
trading post, five Indians 
passed through the _ settle- 
ment, and went to Moscow; 
and while there, one of them 
said to a friend of Ross, 
“Ross may come back now.” 
—And being urged to explain 
his reason, he refused to do 

The tragical event above 
related, of course, cast a 
gloom over our infant settle- 
ment. As has been said _ be- 
fore, this had been an unusu- 
ally unhealthy season, the 
men had all been sick, and 
were in qa convalescent state 
—hbut little better physically, 
than downright sickness, and 
in no condition to make a 
successful defense of them- 
selves and families, should 
the Indians ‘contemplate a 
more thorough vengeance, 
and of their intentions we 
could have no means of 
knowing, as they kept en- 
tirely aloof for some time. 

There was never, so far 
as the writer is aware, any 
systematic. attempt made by 
the whites to bring the per- 
petrators to justice. It’ is 
true that at the first land 
sale in the Territory, held in 
Dubuque, in the November 
following the murder, the 
citizens of this region met 
aud appointed a committee 
to report the case to the 
Governor of the Territory, 
which committee made out a 
repert of the case, with ap- 

propriate resolutions to ac- 
company it and forwarded 
the same, but so far as is 

now remembered it was nev- 
er heard of in a more public 
way; the great difficulty was 
no doubt in getting at the 
facts, with sufficient certain- 
ty to make a good case be- 
fore the courts. We were 
very sure that we knew who 
done the deed, from the facts 
before mentioned. We were 
very sure we knew just how 
many there were engaged in 

the act, yet no one saw it, 
but we were very certain 
that the perpetrators were 

seen that day in our settle- 
ment; we knew they were 
at Moscow that day, and the 
writer of this fell in with 
them the next day, on their 


way back to their village-— 
he knew nothing of the mur- 
der at that time—but_ re- 
marked their singular actions 
and was unable to account 
for it umtil afterwards, when 
to him as well as, others 
their behavior seemed the 
outcropping of a guilty con- 


And Its Progress for the 

We now propose to speak 
of our town and its growth 
and improvements during the 
last ten years, and in a cur- 
sory manner mention some 
of the most conspicuous per- 
manent improvements that 
have been made, stating, as 
nearly as may be, the aggre- 
gate cost of the business 
houses and private residences 
built within the period above 
mentioned. It will mot be ex- 
pected, of course, that we 
will enter into detail and par- 
ticularize every improvement, 
as our space would not allow 
anything of the kind; and, 
we must therefore, depend 
more upon figures than any 
lengthy description, as it is 
figures that must show 
whether we are advancing or 
not; and, although we may 
mention individuals in con- 
nection with certain improve- 
ments, it will be more for 
the purpose of designating 
the particular improvement 
than to bring the individual 
patel before the pub- 

From 1866 to 1869 there 
was but very little dome by 
way of improvement in our 
town. Travel was then con- 
fined to the Chicago, Rock 
Island and Pacific Rail Road, 
and the old freight house on 
Calhoun Street was then the 
jpassenger depot, as well as 
for freight; and our bound- 
aries only extended West to 
where Elm Street mow is. 
But in anticipation of the 
Burlington, Cedar Rapids and 
Minnesota Rail Road, to the 
stock of which our citizens 
had subscribed $60,000, 
building had commenced, Eli- 
sha Schooley had built a 
brick on the corner of Cal- 
houn and Third Street; R. 
G. Lewis, Z. N. King, Chese- 
bro & Romaine and Dr. 
Holmes each put up substan- 
tial and commodious business 
houses on Third Street. Jesse 
Bowersock and D. FY. Smith 
soon followed with their 
building on the north side of 
the same. street, and yet the 
demand for good _ business 
houses was not satisfied. The 
People’s Bank, N. Gaskill, 
Manfull & Nichols, Hormel 
and Luse soon followed, eacao 
with a good building. While 
these improvements were he- 
ing made on Third Street, 
great changes were taking 
place in the West, or new 

part of town, Until] now this 
had been a part of Wm. A. 
Clark’s farm, and had very 
recently been laid out into 
lots, and in a very short 
time there appeared a pleas- 
ant street, lined with good 
substantial dwellings. 

While we are well aware, 
that towns are not always 
fairly judged by the increase 
of population alone, we think 
that within the time we speak 
of, indeed we are very sure, 
we will not suffer by com- 
parison with any previous 
time in our history. 

‘But, in order to show that 

we have other and more con- 
vincing evidence of subsian- 
tial prosperity, we append 
the following statement in 
regard to the value of im- 
provement made within the 
time above mentioned: 

A careful estimate of tha 
value, or rather the cost of 
improvement and erection of 
business houses and dvwell- 
ings made by the writer, aid- 
ed by others, shows that 
within the last seven years 
is not less than $236,300— 
add to that sum their actual 
value over amd above cost, 
including the rise of real es- 
tate, which we are very sure 
is not less than 5 per cent, 
on the cost, we have as al 
increase of wealth arising 
from this source, alone, the 
sum of $248,110. 

And when we come to re- 
flect that we are in the cent- 
er of a portion of our noble 
State, that is unsurpassed 
for fertility of soil, and that 
there is not a square rod of 
earth within a circuit of sev 
en miles that is not admir- 
ably adapted for the plow, 
the scythe, or pasturage, we 
will cease to be amazed at 
the above results. 

And the above God-given 
advantages, our people know 
well how to turn to good ac- 
count and make the most of, 
as will be fully shown when 
we say that we have now 
and have had in our township 
some of the best horses in 
the State, both as roadsters 
and for the turf. 

Again we notice that our 
breeders of Berkshire and 
Poland China hogs are doing 
a thriving business, and are. 
almost daily shipping their 
stock to other places for the 
purpose of improving the 
stock in these other. parts. 

We now come to speak of 
the great absorbing interest 
in husbandry. The big boran- 
ga of Iowa—that portion of 
agriculture, that, while it is 
a beneficence to that branch 
of industry, yields unpreced- 
ented profits to the operator. 
We allude to the Short-Horn 
breeding. Only about seven 
vears have elapsed since the 
fir Sit thorough-bred was 
brought to this vicinity, and 
since tbat time there has 
been sales at public auction 
of not less than $200,000 
worth of. that kind of stock, 


besides one car load for the 
Pacific slope at $5,000; and 

there is at this time two 
hundred thousand dollars’ 
worth within the sound of 

the church bell at West Lib- 
erty. While this demonstrates 
the excellent quality of our 
soil, and the superior nutri- 
iousness of our _ blve-grass 
pasturage, it indicates tu 
the intelligent, energetic 
farmer, unerringly the way 
to a competency if not to 
wealth, and our farmers are 
wisely improving their herds 
from the best of the Short- 
Horn herds. 

ie oe * 
| 2a 


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#\ Mepod sa ; 

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in: aw ads 
S Ada als oY Dao 

om nals 

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Tivoli Cafe __L.R. Wiese Garage 

° e 
Shell Service Station 25 
BUICK Y ears 
rs ; Sales & Service 
Two Blocks South of Office 74 

Residence 632 
Gibson Commission 

Company Sale Barn & NDER WOR 


Pl) | aa ee 

Benteco Food Stores 



It is real joy to be a part of West Liberty--- To 
work with and serve its citizens. We’re looking 
forward with greatest pleasure to THE HUN- 

4 mt MAS i 
e wey 

> os } A gh. a. oe sf ‘ey as a) me a ‘ave a i Wi re ae Dp : ie H dul fal ae ut! can 
CC er a Uke! fae we 
ce ma" ) : eet tc a ae " “ih ve ih a A: a 
i ] . Pa Sas q i : : "Sayan ee} 

othe ats bb ea 
“ieee he abmiley io 
MEL § 
vivwed BD aalna 
dv 9nfttO 
fie ootehieed . ‘ ' 
+ Seni yre-2 oa arterial th—aveinnating: ele tabe Gemmestrnaen ali 
7 ere ee cotcanbupeane ena eee ne $y -—- eho ey nae 4 hme ema lt 
Tscouk-saiin ovsidadi tiphendieasiskincedinadiclad dasalaantateeaias SACs RARER Ss bee OMB: Pept AA rt 
, = Te ee ee ee ee en 
: / 7 ~ 

ca ma aa 
asiieal 9 anonitis: ar bap een 
OK tal yore 

bpatiek nee ” 0 fre ion i : 

FAL at Pe, ae, 7 f dn A fe 
I nah oe fF A ee. q : 4y why is ey mae xine bat 
’ f ’ M4 14 ee oie PAY i ; Nh) a 

ses stig e o ee. 




Lemuel O. Mosher, youngest son of Stephen and Ruth Smith 
Mosher, was born in Morrow County, Ohio, April 28th, 1847. He 
was next youngest of a family of ten children, He came to Iowa 
with his parents in 1853, being six years of age, and was edu- 
cated at a country school located near Plum Grove and later at 
Linn Grove. 

Lemuel married Lidorana D. White of Iron Hili, Jackson 
County, Iowa, Sept. 29, 1870 and to this union six children were 
born: Harold, Lawrence Howard, Henry Lemuel, Bethiah Lidor- 
ana, Arthur Theodore, and Martin Luther. Three of the children 
died in childhood. Henry, Arthur and Martin grew to manhood 
and attended school at Linn Grove, with Arthur and Martin 
graduating from the West Liberty high school. 

Lemuel O. Mosher was a great student of nature, especially 
of trees and bird life, was active in farm organizations and in 
the school life of the community, was more or less responsible 
for the afternoon Sunday School held at the Linn Grove School 
House. His parents were active members of the Friends Meet- 
ing and in those early days most of the meetings were held in 
his parents’ home until the church building was erected in 1862. 

Mr. and Mrs. Mosher continued to live on the old Mosher home- 
stead northwest of West Liberty, until 1910 when they moved 
to West Liberty. She passed away Apr. 17, 1918, and he in April 
1923. ’ 

Mr. Mosher was a fluent writer and was especially interested 
in recording the early history of the community as you will note 
from the Log Cabin History which was published in 1910 and 
which we herewith reprint for the enlightenment of the coming 
generations and by the permission of his youngest son, Martin 
Iuther Mosher of Urbana, Ill. 


‘tab as 

is ny, 
aa ee a 

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x bal t sé es. ap 
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. MoM oO canner PM Nl td) 
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OF TEAL en Femp ktO (Une mINOM ot aved sew sodenht ; 1s 
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i Vid 7. . Bi)’ rexas iuea’ Ace Wh we ‘t ‘a Lines ATE @ efas itt reat wha - ee Pil ym a j 
; yi tyne fe Sel Nee ater iol, aweot fates 6 “iepaatom, ‘choy @ a Redes ebeencige : 
4 : coo i ‘ 
va : | lie wad Mena 
’ _ een JA octl Wo one anwretl - bobvemas Cpnanttn fi ty 
mA; - °. Sere perigee ale tivla elithat bee OTMt 2S yer eed y a} 
- r -~ohd ¥ dele A bowser ari). | Rl ¢ H Vato rye, i Dhow aed. 
re fi ert hity 1) Noa costed het ben «hen? rank. all 
5 tem eittermert ed corey RPE Siete earths, Ba, Paha aby a hel 
4 wel ate ; 
i Weak ne awe, sale aod aelh sa tended Releretin Bae 
ee bouton dtd greadtd yoo Ce | 
A als - 

Ube dangers na ner Yo BAI Seer we Aer pavers wom ‘ 

«) fovea erolimalnegive weal @) ofifae eae wht Deri hea ereret ~ 

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et cei wt yo onic Whiten ween etoet sof 

tt hiv aren egatioogs ap Yo Bont wont eben me ne Bax 6 gl 

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] Srrons wall inte HAGE Whew ere pelt a 
ly dead wy it Dee BERR TE ve CNR Bb % i Sp we 


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me Ae tite vee an even ty i oe Zina yeti 

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4 : rie ee ? - 

| ; ey AS ' eh " fin Ourmston oe gating Oh feb 
| El pena, ed rahi 

ig Be tataindt we eheen +o" 



In Transportation 

It has been my privilege 

to assist with the Progress COW P ANY 

in Transportation West Liberty’s Modern 
For over a QUARTER 

by furnishing reliable 
to this Community, 

Drug Store 

Ls Phone 310 

Get the EXTRA comfort a hd tj tp 7 
savings of TIMKEN LUV3 NEAT WLOUOU eles: 
This coming winter you'll find it surprisingly easy | © FO R YOU R CA R a HG oO oe E > 

to enjoy the matchless comforts of automatic oil 
heat. A genuine Timken Oil Burner—installed in 

your furnace or boiler in just a few hours -—-means Ww © [= 
extra coziness with fuel and electric bills much less. erir urhnhaces 

Timken’s patented chromium steel 
flame-rim and _ scientific flame 
placement brings you a different 
kind of heat .. . LIVE HEAT 
from the Magic Wall of Flame. 
Seven times faster warm-up. Buy 
one on long, easy terms. Free 
heating checkup. No obligation or 

Snlent es 
A Complete Line of Oil Heating and Air Conditioning Equipment i pa i: : Vy f 


213 Calhoun Street Phone 933 

Air Conditioning 

[ron Fireman 

Coal Stekers 

iatiehd «" dink sesW 
i gard 

Ltieee semtumeienindd 



. aMOH ve fAD AUOY 401.1, 

anna aioW ; 

_ paincitibnod. TA 

rem peat 
engdotd Ino 

Puedes © ha apa 


ah : pe 






Log Cabin History 

Chapter I. 
The Passing of the Log Cabin 

One day in my rambles J 
Came upon the site of a cabin 
in the woods. There is nothing 
now to mark the place but a 
slight depression in the soil, 
but I remember when there 
were other evidences of it once 
having been the site of a 

When but a boy, nearly half 
@ century ago, in one of my 
excursions through the woods 
—then all strange to me—in 
search of ripe truits and rare 
flowers, I came upon the spot. 
It was in a small ciearing in 
the thick woods, where a road, 
then a mere path trough the 
forest, brancned, one branch 
passing on to the west and the 
Otner pearing abruptly to the 
north, and both passing close- 
ly to the place on either side. 
"there was a little stream a 
few rods to the west, where, 
evidently, the occupants of 
the cabin had obtained water, 
as there was no spring near 
and no evidence that a weil 
had ever been sunk there. 
There were then yone ot the 
Wallis of the building standing, 
and apparently the material ot 
which it had been constructed 
had been hauied away. But 
tue p.sace where stood the 
chimney and marks of a fire- 
Place were still to be seen. 

1 did not learn ior many 
years who had occupied that 
cabin in that isolated spot, 
and often had wondered con- 
cerning itS occupants, 
had peen their lot, and why 
they had chosen that spot for 
a home, as the cabin stood on 
the land of one ot the first 
settlers in that region, and I 
knew it had never been occu- 
pied by that tamily. As I 
stood on that site or incipient 
civilization [ realized that an 
interesting epoch in our local 
history was being lost with 
the passing away of the log 
Cabin and our pioneers, for 
lack of a scribe to record the 
story of those trying days. 

The last of the log cabins 
of the pioneers is now in ruins 
and the exact site of many of 
them is lost and it can he but 
an imperfect account of their 
time, filled with inaccuracies 
that can now be written. 
Much of this history is gather- 
ed from the memories of the 
men and women of those 
days; some of it is tradition, 
and ail this of a period now 
more than sixty years ago. I 
am indebted to Asa Gregg’s 
History of the Settlement of 
Wapsinonoc Township for 
some of the dates from which 
to collect information. 

Iowa at the time of the first 
settlement here was a part of 
the Terrtory of Wisconsin, 


with its Capital at Burlington, 
and was not yet legally open 
to settlement. The evolution 
in the formaion of every set- 
tlement in the wilderness was 
much the same in each in- 
stance. The country was claim- 
ed by the Indians, and their 
claims were recognized by the 
government. The white popu- 
lation was increasing in an 
undue ratio to the land they 
controlled. The whites were a 
pushing, aggressive race, and 
looked with envious eyes on 
the vast domain roamed over 
by the indians, and gradually 
encroached on their hunting 
grounds. First, intrepid trap- 
pers and traders traversed the 
unknown regions to the set- 
tlements. These were followed 
by missionaries and adventur- 
ers, not always of unimpeach- 
able character, who mungled 
with the Indians in their so- 
cial life and often planted 
there seedg of unrest and dis- 
cord. Adventurous settlers be- 
gan to encroach on the lands 
of the Indians, and sooner or 
later differences arose be- 
tween these various classes ot 
whites and the Indians and 
outbreaks of more or less Ser- 
ioug nature occurred. 

At length, by some overt 
act by one side or the other, 
war was precipitated, and al- 
most invariably the Indians 
were worsted, and, in the final 
adjustment ot their differ- 
ences, certain of the Indian 
lands were ceded to the Gov- 
ernment, and they, that mucb 
restricted in their Yrange, or 
driven farther into the wil- 
derness. Or, the Government 
purchased great tracts of land 
of the Indians with indefinite 
boundaries and afterward sold 
it to its people. One party to 
these treaties and purchases 
was an agent or agents of the 
Government and the other a 
purported chief or chiefs of 
tribes. The first, keen and well 
posted on all business forms; 
the other, in entire ignorance 
of the laws and usages of 
transfer; and, frequently, as 
was charged in the Treaty of 
1804 at St. Louis, were plied 
with liquor till they were in 
no condition to understand the 
import of the business they 
were transacting. In many in- 
stances there was aburdant 
evidence of underhanded deai- 
ing and often open fraud in 
these transactions, and most 
often in favor of the govern- 
ment. It is a soiled page in 
the history of America that 
treats of its acquirement of 
Indian territory and the treat- 
ment the Indians have receiv- 
ed at the hands of the govern- 
ment and its people. These 
things being facts, there could 
be no other result than a feeJ- 
ing of antagonism between 
the races. The whites were ar- 

Togant and overbearing, be- 
cause the Indians did not 
tamely submit to the require- 
ments of treaties which they 
knew had been obtained by 
fraud or sharp practice. On 
the part of the Indians there 
Was engendered a feeling of re- 
Sentment and revenge at the 
injustice done them, which 
they were not careful to con- 
ceal. In some instances the 
two races lived side by side 
in amity, and life friendships 
were formed, but for all that 
there ever remained a feeling 
of resentment on the part of 
the Indians, and uncertainty 
and dread on the part of the 
whites. Many apparently uwun- 
provoked outbreaks by the In- 
dians occurred, when they 
practiced their savage cruelty 
on innocent and guilty alike, 
sparing neither age nor sex in 
their diabolical frenzy. So the 
settlers on the frontier were 
ever kept in a state of fear, 
and a feverish watchfulness 
became a condition with them. 

Chapter IT 

A sketch of the Sac and Fox 
Indians and allied tribes will 
not be out of place in this 
chronicle, as showing the rela- 
tion of those tribes to the 
whites at that time and in this 
territory. These tribes had 
drifted before the encroach- 
ments of the whites from the 
North and East till they had 
spread over and claimed pos- 
session of part of Wisconsin, 
the greater part of Illinois and 
the eastern parts of Iowa and 
Missouri. Their council 
grounds were on the Rock 
River, a short distance above 
Rock Island, where was also 
their principal village. There, 
too, they buried their dead; 
hence it was a place sacred to 
them. They had always been 
inclined to be friendly to their 
white neighbors, and acts of 
treachery were rare. 

But the whites were lock- 
ing with envious eyes over 
that beautiful land and were 
insidiously encroaching on 
them. At length the Govern- 
ment through its agents per- 
suaded the Indians to cede 
this Illinois territory for cer- 
tain considerations of mer- 
chandise and an annual anu- 
ity, and an agreement to pro- 
tect them in their remaining 
territory against the encroach- 
ments of its own people, and 
any other persons. There was 
the iniquity of the St. Louis 
Treaty of 1804. The chiefs 
who signed that treaty after- 
ward claimed that they had 
been so plied with liquor that 
they did not know what they 
did do, and when the Indians 
realjzed that their council 
grotnds and the graves of 
their fatners had been wrest- 
ed from them, they were filled 
with remorse and resentment, 

_ which eventually led to the 

Black Hawk War. The time at 
which this story opens, was 
soon after the close of the 
Black Hawk war, when Chief 
Black Hawk was captured and 
held as hostage for the good 
behavior of his people, and his 
band of “British Indians’ 
were dispersed to the west 
side of the Mississippi suppos- 
edly joined the band of friend- 
ly Sacs whose council grounds 
were on the west side of the 
river in the northeast part of 
the state. But prairies and 
forests were ranged over by 
bands of Sac, Fox and Sioux 
Indians, who were sullen at 
their removal. 

Chapter III 

The Wapsinonoc, or in the 
Indian dialect the ‘‘Waupisie 
knownoe,” meaning ‘White 
Creek or stream, of insignifi- 
cant proportions at its ordin- 
ary stage of water, was yet of 
great importance to the early 
settlers, for it was bordered 
on either side by a belt of tim- 
ber, varying from a few rods 
to a mile in breadth, and ex- 
tending from its confluence 
with the Cedar River in Sec. 
19-77-3 to in Sec. 28-79-4, and 
timber was of prime impor- 
tance to the settlers, as it was 
their only resources for mate- 
rial for buildings, fences and 
fuel. The Wapsincnoc has its 
source in the high lands divid- 
ing the Cedar and Iowa rivers 
in townships 79 and 80, R.4, 
and the main stream has a 
length of about fifteen miles, 
as the crow flies, but as it 
winds and doubles on itself, 
has a channel length of per- 
haps twice or thrice that dis- 
tance. It is fed along its en- 
tire course by sloughs and 
swamps and rarely by springs, 
and in its upper course is di- 
vided into many  channeis, 
which are the outlets of the 
sloughs heading in the high 
lands. Flowing through a 
comparatively level country, it 
is sluggish in its movements, 
and has worn a deep channel 
in the alluvial soil. Its banks 
are precipitous and its bed 

It was along this belt of 
timber that the first settle- 
ments were made, and it de- 
termined their extent for many 
years. Those were the days of 
the log cabin and the place of 
which we write. Following the 
peace with the Indians and the 
purchase of large tracts of 
land on the west side of the 
Mississippi, adventurous hunt- 
ers and trappers pushed into 
the country and carried back 
to the settlements marvelous 
accounts of the richness of 
soil, luxuriance of vegetation, 
abundance of game and vari- 
ety of wild fruits in the region 
beyond the Cedar river, and 
fired many a heart with a de- 
sire to possess a moiety of 
that wealth spread out so lay- 

“papldat eylv 
wow of: af 

Daeg Be Seod ote fenle} the 
sditgotg Rowegs meses dea of 
wit he oi feve a ne ae 
Ww iteq Jocpatteie pd) at 20th 

fen. eviliong wa .nkals orl y 
at wy henner ete eke) 
22008 CFA wea ASR he Wad 
te enlice oren ef Nant 

batoinen yodt 

I svtgad)> 
70) <8) Te ora nen ey aa 

lain ed) sete eal . 

efid' 7" pviciena 8  ’ “arias 
ttt gta! pesive VO Werey . 

@rivig ¢1? ia gimotingete ined 

7 ter 929 .4Iw BIN TH 

#3) @¢4! ©) Sent) Jae 

lucwbred ects M4 veh eee 

“i 1 lie’ 47a) atte selle ie 

wi ‘ 6 me priway fee 

4 ‘3n ’ i ofh 8 

se u - gnvowe? 

7% at savik sated ec @€he 

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sang 1 yaw HKeoeel! 

YY ji ua apeatii 4 ! apaa? 

‘Séce 73) eovitowrt Glam teti 

hes seers) .eohibiieg +r Lats 

Ree women. wAT el 

bid aietat dale plea ayy ee 

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eat ora stadt ef) DHA 

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} reeerw. daneade a sot 

4 49-0ulh) teh 
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Fras fas (44h otel pehiv 
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sheve wet Tine Biehiie 4 vt 
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fled we: 
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OMS Gen edaltet) ott ay 
 .athes)) eh ta wadaehiry 

68: Ve obiv wie! ond. oo Ret 


“pad euaprleerrtins 4» 
Hist barheun ace 

2) apoantvnl 

. ae 5 one adi Wy 

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<P ieey 

WOR wd Pagel 
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gniiest a lyetWrany igen 
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mn Sapo aft ap Aperh. Pen 
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“at om yS wleardins bedkiong 
rast sty Sovteme sok 
‘lathe spevat tipi Gearltaite 

Witte ¢Finee Vee Aue Be 
f) cee coh ein Satie yoltege .. 
44 9B Newest Leela, vo 
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Mestettiowsy tapered 2 Hite 

teh) Zito welfisase ¢ emesed 

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dviede A 
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Siw sadist 
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wr @! Ore ‘ited rr 2a aie 
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fond ays bed ved ards 
av at glbaetyt of vt senieal 
wien ban wiedtaing aAitiiew 
CIT PUY Wrietihae’? 

fool evew aelige of wea 
Tho She ee ow. qt 
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a*) So54e i) apogee Teen . 
on * sunibal eS: heheve 
me te erortvae, manenily aba 
el bw macnn yin win 
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Wim Samet ae a 
tUnebey ber pte Mi 
Mined verti ao ee oo 
OR higevel Jeu'l 
wa? Aeriavag 
‘Sh ati oF 

regan wiow — Kiera 

ur Ree 
aa) oy 

e188Ieo wltD -eiioto 

(he "fhe ib et anathal om) sin. 
Suey Beit bon Ohi dele 
"10 6A8 OND Ye ebony nore 
wi into aaemaIeeWhA oi 
élraed s43 an aoe tate a) toe 
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«i! wees OR © tebstal Phe sap peel 
Oo Mitel? ac al tay ORO) Sew MP raced " vous 
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wrod lo aeeevdl ao 
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wiih wets ie Fooaiuen ths - ea aes 
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“vO) od) Of bubeo etew dbus). oye 
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jéfae at oa od 


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‘te Meat ieey Bi betel iteor ee ia p 
trike oil? oor saBeel neetep ee hee, uk, 
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SURI ly elgay inoig Depts no 
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how baie ‘a Pee 

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a a a a i ei ee la ean = a ak died 

< top ar 


eae ane Scofty's Service Siation 
West Liberty for | and Lunch Room 
20 YEARS Short Orders — Homemade Pies 
Cigarettes — Soft Drinks 
Good Assortment of A 


At All Times 

Make This a Stop During 

the Centennial 

1868 West Liberty Imde::,,?735., 


We touch a brim to those who blazed the trail, 
and congratulate those who will be at the helm 

when another hundred years roll around. 




4 | Rie =k m7 rit Rens a oy i ay oven wn ais it hig : r) PY 
> ham .% 7 : of \ : 7 een : ie a Ss we, Pan id . 
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4 , : RH gn ee ee ee 
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. . i ? y 



| iat? id bawald ody seit at sikh o oani ai 
; «tet At Soca soe ae nana, 

? abies ai; , 

ity hat __YnAaMOD min x 
a wha , ; bit peel stage 
—- ie a ini ; ma dori He rm F sri dn ny 

on Ps ‘ vee al! ae eyes he 4 wey . wy 
: Poplapysy i callie hae Aes pa ahane rey, a 
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i he (ee a ate Wit A 
a | My bas, oN, ite “et Ay 

ka ie i t ay if hae 


ishly toward the setting sun. - 
This region was in all its na- 
tive wilderness. The survey- 

or’s chain had never’ been 
trailed over its hills and 
across its valleys, and they 

who ventured there were pro- 
tected by, and amenable to, no 
law but squatter sovereignty. 
It required a stout heart to at- 
tempt the task. It was the 
tearing up of the tree and 
transplanting it in new and 
untried soil. The most of these 
pioneers were trom Ohio and 
farther east and the long 
journey had to be made by 
boat down the Ohio to its con- 
fluence with the Mississippi at 
Cairo, and up that broad 
stream to their place of de- 
barkation, and then across the 
country by wagon, or as was 
more often done, the entire 
distance twas traversed. wy 
wagons, and they often drawn 
by oxen. To add to this the 
fact the streams and sloughs 
were unbridged, and an idea 
can be formed of toil and 
weariness of the way. Often 
the wagon contained the pio- 
neer’s family and all his earth- 
ly possessions. When they part- 
ed with their friends in the 
east, it was like the severing 
of the ties of life, for so long 
seemed the journey and so dis- 
tant and visionary the land of 
promise that the hope of ever 
looking on the faces of the 
friends left behind, or the 
homes. of their childhood, 
seemed very small. Thus they 
began their toilsome journey. 
All day the pioneer would 
walk by the side of his patient 
teams, guiding them along the 
uneven way, while the family 
would ride, or walk to rest 
their weary frames. On the 
approach of night, a_ spot 
would be sought affording 
grass and water, and wood if 
possible. When found, the 
team would be stopped; the 
oxen unyoked and turned out 
to graze; a fire kindled over 
which to cook their frugal sup- 
per, when the man would 
shoulder his rifle and seek for 
game to eke out their meager 
repast. After supper. they 
would prepare to pass’ the 
night, either on the ground or 
in shelter of the wagon, if 
room permitted. Oftentimes 
their wagon covers would 
prove inadequate to shut out 
the beating stornis, and to 
their other discomforts would 
be added drenched bedding 
and garments. Thus. passed 
days, weeks and sometimes 
months, as they toiled over the 
hills of Ohio, the interminable 
forests and swamps of Indiana, 
and the prairies of Illinois, till 
the Father of Waters was 
reached and safely crossed; 
and soon the land of promise 
reached and a location select- 
ed near or in a body of tim- 
ber; for they must have tim- 

ber first of all. Then a per- 
Manent camp would be made, 
and the felling of trees for a 
house begun. The _ pioneer 


brought with him the neces- 
sary tools for his work, which 
kit of tools when completed 
consisted of an ax, broad ax, 
adz, frow and auger. With 
these he would build his house 
and manufacture all necessary 
furniture. - 

Chapter IV 

It will perhaps be of inter- 
est to many of the present day 
to see a picture of a typical 
house of those days. It was be- 
fore the time of saw mills in 
the territory, and the houses 
were built of logs. Suitable 
trees were felled and éut in 
proper lengths; then if time 
did not press, two parallel 
sides of the logs were flatten- 
ed with the broad ax; other- 
wise they were laid up round, 
notches being cut near the 
ends where they would lap, 
and then laid up cob-house 
fashion till the required height 
was reached, when the top 
was drawn in with smaller logs, 
making a slope for the roof. 
On these were laid clapboards; 
that is, boards split from logs, 
about four feet in length and 
an inch or less in thickness. 
On top of these and to hold 
them in place were placed 
other logs, fastened down with 
wooden pins. One can conjec- 
ture how such a roof would 
keep out an lowa storm, The 
orifices between the logs would 
be chinked with blocks of 
wood and plastered with elay. 
A place for a door would be 
cut in one end and a door of 
split slabs pinned together fit- 
ted to it and held in place by 
wooden hinges. Also short 
pieces of logs would be cut 
away and the orifices covered 
with oiled paper to admit the 
light. The floor—if the cabin 
boasted one—was made of 
split logs, the flat side up and 
smoothed off with the adz. 
Then at the back end of the 
house a fire place would be 
built and a stick and clay chim- 
ney erected, and the house was 
ready for occupancy. The door 

-fastened ‘on the inside with a 

wooden latch, from which a 
string passed to the outside 
by which it could be raised 
and the door opened from 
without. At night, or when the 
occupants desired _ seclusion, 
this string could be drawn in 
and all would be secure; but it 
was a law of frontier hospital- 
ity that the “latch string 
should always be out.” The 
house frequently contained but 
one room, and rarely more 
than two, and a low attic, 
reached by a ladder, often 
placed on the outside cf the 
house. But all were not of 
these descriptions, for some 
boasted of two stories, and a 
stairway within, and glass win- 
dows, with board floors and 
doors; but these were the aris- 
tocratic mansions of the times, 
and were rarely met with. 

Chapter V 


In the summer of 1836 there 
appeared a man upon the up- 
per waters of the west branch 
of the Wapsie by the name of 
Sutton. He had come from the 
vicinity of Rolling Prairie, La- 
port County, Indiana, and was 
seeking a home in the new 
west. He had left his family 
on the east side of the Cedar 
River while he prospected the 
country. In the southeast quar- 
ter of Sec. 33-79-4 he found 
what best pleased him, and 
proceeded to erect there a log 
dwelling, the first house on 
the Wapsie erected by a set- 
tler. This land is now a part 
of the farm of M. B. Waters. 
He cut bass wood trees and 
split them, and _ afterward 
smoothed them with the broad 
ax and thus built a very com- 
fortable and sightly dwelling. 
After it was completed he 
brought his family there. The 
family consisted of Mr. Sutton, 
his wife and nine children. 
When the land was surveyed, 
it was found that the house did 
not stand on their claim, but 
a few rods over the line on 
the claim of Enos Nyce, What 
a prospect was theirs! One lone 
family in an unknown wilder- 
ness. They had just halted 
their team at the door of the 
house. How’ small looked the 
house and how weak for pro- 
tection against all the dangers 
that might be lurking in that 
Strange land! No settlement 
nearer than twelve miles and 
no trading point nearer than 
the Mississippi river, twenty 
miles away. 

One feels like standing with 
head uncovered in the presence 
of such a race. Off to the north 
and east stretched the unbrok- 
en prairie, covered with its 
luxuriant growth of grass, 
waist high on the uplands and 
shoulder high on the low 
ground. To the south and west, 
lay a heavy body of timber, 
through which ran the Wap- 
Sinonoc. The spot seemed an 
ideal one for a home. Wood 
and water and grass were 
abundant and easy of access. 
The prairie grass was di- 
vided in places by paths worn 
by the deer in their passage 
from the prairies to the shelter 
of the timber, and the gobble 
of turkeys in the woods was 
evidence that desirable game 
was plentiful. The woods were 
fringed by thickets of plum 
and crab-apple trees, and wild 
grapes and blackberries 
abounded. But the prospect 
was not all so pleasing, or the 
future so promising, for there 
were signs of other than these 
desirable things, At night 
could be heard the howling of 
the wolves, the scream of the 
lynx, and at times the almost 
human cry of the panther, 
while the grass hid many a 
rattlesnake. But the source of 
their greatest uneasiness and 
possible danger was from the 
Tudians. While the Indians had 


ceded the land to the whites, 
and were apparently friendly, 
they still roamed over the 
country, hunting and forag- 
ing, and were jealous of the 
whites on this side of the Mis- 
sippi, remembering how recent- 
ly they had been driven from 
the land they had possessed 
for generations, and deemed 
it a trick by which they had 
been deposed from the council 
grounds of their tribe and the 
graves of their fathers. The 
trail over which these Indians 
passed from Rock Island to 
their trading post on the Iowa 
river and out on the plains be- 
yond was a short half mile 
away and in plain view of the 
Sutton cabin. So by these sur- 
roundings one can conceive the 
conditions confronting these 
pioneers. Fortunately there 
was no outbreak of open hos- 
tility on the part of the In- 
dians, or overt act on the part 
of the whites, to lead to an 
Open rupture between them. 

In the fall of that year— 
1836—Enos Nyce appeared 
upon the Wapsie. He, with his 
family had emigrated from In- 
diana that spring and stopped 
for a time on the east bank of 
the Cedar River, camping with 
the families of Mr. Holaday 
and Mr. Wiley, while Mr. Nyce 
forded the river and traversed 
the country west of it in search 
ot a location. He selected a 
Place near Comstock’s Grove 
in what is now Iowa township, 
Cedar County, where he built 
a house and made hay. They 
had not been living there many 
months when Mr. Billips came 
along and fancying the loca- 
tion, offered Mr. Nyce $200 for 
his claim, which he took. He, 
then, in company with Mar- 
tin Baker, a cousin of Mr. 
Nyce, again started on an ex- 
Ploring expedition of the coun- 
try, farther south and west. 
They soon fell in with Mr. Sut- 
ton, who had been a neighbor 
of Mr. Baker in Indiana. He 
told them where he was locat- 
ed, and pictured the surround- 
ings in such glowing colors 
that they went on direct to 
that place, and Mr. Nyce took 
a claim there, it being the 
west half of southwest quar- 
ter section 34-79-4 and north- 
west quarter of section 3-78-4. 
There he soon brought his 
family and with the help of 
the Suttons, proceeded to erect 
a log house and prepare for 
winter. As the Suttons did not 
remain there but a few years, 
to the Nyces is given the cred- 
it of being the first permanent 
settlers on the Wapsinonoc. In 
1838, Mr. Sutton died, as did 
also one or more of the chil- 
dren, and later, one cold win- 
ter night, when the snow lay 
deep on the ground, the fam- 
ily was awakened from their 
sleep by flames, and only had 
time to escape from the build- 
ing in their night clothes be- 
fore the roof fell in, One of 
the boys alighted on a bed of 
coals as he sprang from his 
bed. So disheartened was the 
family by the misfortunes that 

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Wapsie Produce Co. L. H. FORSYTH 
| neil Transfer. 

cash buyers of 


A complete line of stock and poultry feeds 0 a. (, e 

Local and 
Long Distance 


Baby Chicks ___~ ~_-- Started Chicks @ 

Brood v 
rooder Stoves Special Attention Given To: 

Poultry Remedies --__ -- Poultry Supplies LIVESTOCK HOUSEHOLD GOODS 
Every Load Insured — Chicago Every Night 

Phone 185 Office Phone 300 Res. Phone 330 
Harold Templeman ____ West Liberty, Ia. West Liberty, Iowa 

Since 1913 


the Home of 


One of the largest hatching and 
brooding plants in Iowa 


in Season 
Handle leading line of poultry supplies and remedies ... we have in our employ expert licensed inspect- 


J. H. ASHTON, Prop. iieices 

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had overtaken them that they 
gave up their claim and mov- 
ed away going from there to 
Cedar Rapids. 

Chapter VI 

Late in the autumn of 1836 
there appeared a company ot 
emigrants in the settlement. 
Among these were four bro-h- 
ers by the name Huntsman. 
They erected cabins in the 
timber along both banks ot 
the creek in township 78-4 
and prepared to spend the 
winter there. They brought 
stock in considerable numbers 
with them, but came too late 
to make any adequate provi- 
sion in the way of forage for 
them through the winter; so 
they resorted to the expedient 
of cutting elm and bass wood 
trees for the stock to browse 
on the tender shoots and buds. 
But much of their stock died 
of starvation and the rest 
were so weakened they were 
very long in regaining 
strength when grass started in 
the spring. The central cabin 
of this company which seemed 
to be their headquarters was 
at the Big Spring in section 
10-78-4, now in the pasture of 
John Miller. This was far 
more commodious than any of 
the others, and comfortable. 
Some were the merest make- 
shifts: of a habitation; mere 
log pens roofed over; no floor 
or windows. There was at 
least one in the northwest 
quarter of section 10, and 
probably two, while there was 
one in the northeast quarter 
of section 14, near where John 
Rejahl lives and one in the 
northwest quarter of section 
13, on the present site ot U. 
D. fairground, while a number 
were erected on the east 
branch of the creek in section 
6-78-3 and section 1-78-4. 
This company of emigrants 
were said to have been a part 
of the Mormon commune. At 
this time the great body of 
Mormons were drifting from 
the then headquarters of Mor- 
monism at Kirtland, Ohio, to 
their new rendezvous at New 
West, in Missouri. They were 
scattered all through the 

country between these points, - 

wintering wherever that sea- 
son overtook them, and some- 
times remaining for a year or 
two in a place, to replenish 
their stock of provisions and 

In the spring of 1837, this 
company of emigrants on the 
Wapsie, as soon as their stock 

regained strength to travel, 
moved on toward Missouri; 
but the rude cabins which 

they left remained, mute relics 
of this peculiar people, and 
were utilized by a number of 
new arrivals that season, 
while they more leisurely 
viewed the land and made 
their selection of claims. 
Among these were Asa Gregg, 


who took possession of the 
one situated in the northwest 
quarter of section 10-78-4. 
He afterward built on the 
north edge of the same 
description, but further 
west, the house standing not 
far from the present residence 
of Mrs. Deming, where he re- 
mained until 1840, when he 
sold to E. T. S. Schenck and 
moved to the southeast corner 
of section 2-78-4. 

William Corns came with 
his family that same season 
and located in the northwest 
quarter of section 13, just at 
the northeast corner of Oak- 
ridge cemetery. They after- 
ward removed to the north- 
east quarter of section 12-78- 
4, on what is known as 
“King’s Cross Stock Farm,” 
owned by T. J: Harris. Wil- 
liam Bagley settled> for a 
time at the big spring in sec- 
tion 10, and later, on the 
southeast quarter of section 
12-78-4. W. A. Clark, a bach- 
elor, made his home in the 
woods in a cabin in the south- 
east quarter of section 11-78- 
4, where he lived un‘il after 
his marriage, and then built, 
a new log house on the prai- 
rie in the northeast quarter 
of the same section. It stood 
very near where the south 
barn stands on J. H. Clark’s 
place. Bradford Hinyon and 
Cornelius Lancaster, with Mr. 
Cox, a son-in-law of the lat- 
ter, also were among the ar- 
rivals that year. Hinyon built 
or took possession of a cabin 
on the northeast quarter ot 
section 1-78-4. It stood at the 
foot of the hill west of the 
creek, near a small spring, on 
the place now owned by Frank 
Speight. It was but the merest 
excuse for a dwelling, being a 
low, one-roomed cabin, with a 
shed roof. Afterward this pro- 
perty came into the hands of 
George W. Van Horn, and a 
commodious double log house 
was erected on the hill west 
of the timber where Frank 
Speight now lives, in the 
northwest quarter of section 
1-78-4. Cornelius Lancaster lo- 
cated farther down the ereek, 
as did also Mr. Cox. The cab- 
in of Lancaster was said to 
have been one of the Mormon 
cabins. It was rough and small 
and had a floor in about one- 
half of it. Just north and east 
of the creek in the northeast 
quarter of sec. 1-78-4 near 
where Mr. McGuire lives or 
the Quier place, Lancaster and 
Hinyon erected a horse grist 
mili for custom wor.k&, 
probably the first gr 1st 
mill west of the Cedar river. 
I presume the miil was no 
great affair, as a smitie is 
liable to be noticed on the 
faces of the men of that per- 
iod when speaking of it. It 
was in 1838, before the fam- 
jly of Lancaster came. Very 

soon after their arrival, the 
mother was taken sick, and 
her sickness developed into 

small pox. She recovered, but 
one of the children sickened 
and died of it. 

A family by the name of 
Huliett had made a beginning 
for a home on the east bank of 
the East Wapsie in the north- 
west quarter of section 7-78-3, 
now owned by §S. G. Hogue, 
late in 1836 or early in 1837, 
but the mother and child soon 
sickened and died and he, dis- 
heartened, left the country. 
This occasion is worthy of 
passing notice, as it was the 
first death to occur in the 
new community and the neces- 
sity was now upon the set- 
tlers to select a spot that 
should be sacred to their 
dead. After consideration they 
chose a spot in the northwest 
quarter of section 3-78-4, now 
known as the Friends’ ceme- 
tery. There, with the bodies 
of this mother and child, they 
dedicated that new “God’s 
Acre.” It was centrally locat- 
ed as to the various settle- 
ments springing up in the new 
country. As the few neighbors 
gathered there on that bleak 
and windswept prairie to per- 
form the simple and sad rites 
of the occasion, they little 
realized how large a per cent 
of their number were soon to 
slumber there. 

Samuel Hendrickson and 
Gamaliel Gation were also of 
the number who visited the 
region and took claims in 
1837, Hendrickson choosing 
the north half of section 6- 
78-3 and Gatton the southwest 
quarter of the same _ section. 
These -were claims held by 
Mormons and were purchased 
of them. After Huliett left 
his claim Francis Foot took 
possession and resided there 
to the time of his death in 
1838. This Francis Foot was a 
man of considerable educa- 
tion, and while he lived, was 
one of the leading members of 
the community, taking an ac- 
tive part in all their social oc- 
casions, and giving life and 
tone to the community. 

Two brothers, George and 

Robert Patterson, spent a 
part of the season of 1837 in 
-the community above’ the 

forks of the Wapsie, but took 
no claims there. George re- 
turned to the east, but Robert 
went to the southeast part of 
the county and located on the 
southeast quarter of section 
17-77-1 east, where he after- 
ward married Miss Nye of that 
place, and this family figured 
largely in all later accounts of 
the early settlement of the 
county. Two other brothers by 
the name of Conklin were 
then living in cabins in the 
timber above the forks of the 
creek in section 24-78-4, and 
Mrs. Myers, a widow, with two 
stalwart sons, resided on the 
east bank of the creek farther 
up the stream. None of these 
parties took claims fhere. 
They were simply a part of the 
floating population that al- 


Ways accompanies every new 
settlement and moves on as 
soon as a semblance to law 
and order is established. 

In the winter of 1837-8 
there occurred a deplorable 
circumstance that came near 
embroiling the whites and In- 
dians in open hostilities. One 
evening a few Indians were 
gathered at a low resort near 
Moscow, kept by a man named 
Ross, who supplied them with 
liquor till they became noisy 
and quarrelsome, when Koss 
ordered them to leave, and 
proceeded to enforce his or- 
der. In the struggle that en- 
sued, one of the Indians was 
beaten with a club so he died. 
Meantime the other Indians 
withdrew and declared ven- 
geance for the murder of their 
comrade. The murdered In- 
dian was said to have been 
the brother of Poweshiek, the 
chief of the tribe. Ross be- 
came frightened and tled, and 
the Indians, following the tra- 
ditions and usages of their 
race, when they could not glut 
their vengeance on the slayer 
of their brother, were ready 
to appease their wrath on any 
hapless victim that came in 
their way which, in this in- 
stance, chanced to be a Meth- 
odist preacher by the name of 
Atwood, whose home was on 
the west branch of the Wap- 
sie, in section 28-79-4, where 
Hanson Gregg afterward set- 
tled. He had been over on the 
Iowa river at work and was 
returning to his home across 
the prairie alone, when he was 
attacked by the Indians and 
tomahawed and scalped. This 
tragedy very much disturbed 
the security of the settlers 
along the creek, and the win- 
ter was passed in fear and 
dread. But the wrath of the 
Indians was appeased and no 
further violence occurred. 

Chapter VII. 
The Atwood Family 

It would be hard to con- 
eeive of a more desolate scene 
than that presented to the 
wife of Atwood at the death 
of her husband. He was a 
Methodist preacher who had 
come from Ohio, bearing the 
standard of the cross into the 
wilderness. His family con- 
sisted of a wife and one child. 
They had but little of this 
world’s goods, but with a 
great stock of courage apd 
faith began the task of mak- 
ing a home-in the new coun- 
try. They chose a sightly spot 
for their home on a hill in 
the thick woods overlooking 
the Wapsie. The house was 
small and of unhewn logs, 
and but meagerly furnished, 
even for those primitive times. 
Neighbors were few and far 
away. Not a habitation in 
sight. He had no means or 
tools to improve his claim and 
the settlers were too poor to 
afford him support for his la- 

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WHY produce the best meat in the world the people of West Liberty and 
and not have your share? community for the patronage 

| Wish to Thank 

re P that I have received while here. 
YOU are the one who is entitled to the 

choice, and yet are you getting it? 

ASK your neighbor who has tried our MAY THE NEXT ONE HUNDRED 
service, then rent a locker and taste the YEARS 
difference. : 

be bigger 
IF you don’t have your own beef and pork, and better. 

let us quote you a wholesale price! 



West Liberty State Bank Building 
Telephone 85 

Ont EAsigree 

Written June 2, In the West Liberty 
: es Insurance Business —_ since 
1915 since... 
‘March 20, August J, 
(Part time) 1920 1931 



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bors among them as a preach- 
er. But he was inditstrious 
and willing to turn his hand 
to any honest labor that would 
afford sustenance for his fam~ 
ily. Hearing that work was to 
. be had on the Iowa river 
where a trading post was be- 
ing built, he went there and 
found employment during the 
summer.. He made occasional 
visits to his home to carry pro- 
visions to his family and to 
see that all was well. At the 
time of his last visit he set 
the date for his final home- 
coming. His wife and child, 
meanwhile, remained on the 
claim; and who can picture 
the loneliness of that isolated 
woman through those long 
summer days. Entirely sur- 
rounded by thick woods, not a 
road or path over which there 
was any passing, but a visit 
from a neighbor at long in- 
tervals, or a wandering band 
of Indians on a hunting ex- 
pedition, to break the mono- 
tony of her life. At last there 
came the day on which it had 
been agreed that her husband 
was to return. She arose early 
that morning that she might 
have a long day to brighten 
up their little home and make 
his coming a joyful occasion. 
The cabin floor was carefully 
swept and the splint broom 
her husband had fashioned 
from a hickory staddle in his 
leisure moments, and their 
meager store of kitchen uten- 
sils were scoured and bright- 
ened and arranged to help 
adorn the bareness of the 
room. She went out into the 
woods and gathered of the 
late flowers and bright leaves, 
for it was in September and 
the forest was beginning to 
put on its gala dress of bright 
colors, to deck and brighten 
the walls of their lowly home. 
Meanwhile she intently watch- 
ed the shadows of the trees 
that marked the passing hours. 
Then, while resting from her 
labor, she would take their 
little child on her lap, and tell 
it in baby language that papa 
was coming and would soon 

be home. 

As the shadows began to 
lengthen and fall toward the 
east, she would go to the door, 
which was in the south side 
of the house, and look along 
the path and listen for his 
coming. She knew at what 
hour he would start for home 
and about how long it would 
take him to accomplish the 
journey. As the appointed 
time approached, she started 
a fire in the fire-place with 
dead branches she had gath- 
ered in the surrounding tor- 
est and began to prepare Sup- 
per from such simple, plain 
fare as she possessed. The ta- 
ble, made of split logs, sup- 
ported on rough leg3, Was 
drawn into the center of the 
room in front of the door, 
where she could watch the 

path while at her work. A 


snowy linen cloth—a cherish- 
ed relic of their eastern home 
and the handiwork of a lov- 
ing mother -— was smoothly 
spread, and the few choice 
dishes she possessed were ar- 
ranged for the most pleasing 
effect and a bouquet or: wild 
flowers placed for 4 center- 
piece. The sun was getting 
low and the light dim in the 
woods, but the husband and 
father had not come. Night 
came on and the hour long 
passed for this expected re- 
turn, but all was silent along 
the dim trail. Anxiety took 
the place of expectancy and 
the passing hours brought no 
relief. The babe grew sleepy 
and was undressed and put 
to bed, but the mother sat 
and listened, or walked to the 
door and peered into the 
darkness. No sound came to 
her ears but the dismal shud- 
dering cry of the owls and 
howling of the wolves. The 
supper on the table went un- 
tasted and an undefined pre- 
monition of evil and terror 
seized the wife. She would re- 
turn to her seat by the side of 
the sleeping child, then back 
again to the door. 

So passed that long night 
of anxiety and the mornius 
brought no relief. The weary 
day passed and still the hus- 
band and father were absent. 
Yet another night and day ot 
suspense and she could bear 
the uncertainty and loneliness 
no longer. So taking the child 
in her arms she made her way 
to a neighbor’s and appealed 
for aid in seeking her hus- 
band. Such an appeal never 
fell on listless ears when made 
to our pioneers. Soon a party 
was gathered and the search 
begun. Meantime Mrs. Atwood, 
accompanied by neighbors, re- 
turned to her home and there 
waited for tidings; she, dis- 
tracted by her fears, and they 
offering such comfort as they 
could. The searching party fol- 
lowed the Indian trail across 
the timber and out upon the 
prairie beyond, knowing that 
that was the way he would 
come. After traversing the 
prairie for a few miles, they 
noted a flock of buzzards cif- 
cling a spot and inclined to 
settle there. On approaching 
the spot, a horrible spectacle 
presented itself to their gaze. 
There on the prairie lay what 
remained of him they sought. 
The cleft and bare skull told 
the story of an Indian atrocity. 

It is well to draw a ve‘l 
over the anguish of that wite 
and mother when the form ct 
her husband was borne Dy 
that silent and stricken col- 
pany pack to the now desolate 
home. As best they could, they 
fashioned a rués coffin and 
prepared the body for buria'. 
They laid him to rest on th> 
open o%rairie in company wi'h 
Mrs. Huliett and her baty. 
He who had left the endear- 
ments of his carly home to 

teach men in the wilderness 
how to live, was one of the 
first to ‘be taught how, in the 
wilderness, men may die. His 
heartbroken wife, with all the 
horrors of that scene so vivid- 
ly before her, could not re- 
turn to the lonely hoime, but 
after the funeral stopped with 
a neighbor till an opportunity 
came for her to return to the 
home of her childhood, when 
taking the orphaned child, she 
set out for the east and passed 
from the knowledge of the 
community. Thus, the bright 
vision of a home and life of 
usefulness in the new seitle- 
ment to Oliver Atwood was 
forever dispelled. 

Chapter VIII. 

In 1887, along with the 
others, came John D. Wolf. 
It did not take the people 
long to discover the greater 
attraction that had brought 
him to the country; for, in 
due time, there was solemn- 
ized, at Bloomington, the 
marriage of John D. Wolf 
and Mary Ann Bagley, the 
first marriage of parties from 
the new settlements. They are 
said to have taken up their 
abode in a house in the south- 
east quarter of section 1-78-4, 

not far from where Hiram 
Thomas’ house stands. 
While death had entered 

the settlement, there had also 
been some accessions by bir‘h. 
July 19, 1837, there was born 
to Mr. and Mrs. William 
Corns, a daughter whom they 
named Lois, she being the 
first white child born on the 
Wapsinonoe. October 2 of the 
same year Enos and Mary 
Nyce rejoiced in the birth cf 
a son they called George, and 
the Sutton homestead, Dec. 10, 
was made glad by the advent 
of their tenth child, a girl, 
they named Claradean. Thus 
all the machinery of civiliza- 
tion was becoming in motion 
and the people rejoiced at 
their prosperity. But evil times 
were coming upon the new 
settlements. The people were 
mostly of very limited means 
and had not been in the new 
country long enough to make 
adequate provision for the 
coming winter, and sickness 
incident to the climate ap- 
peared. Fevers and ague with 
all their train of debilitating 
effects were common among 
them. That winter also oc- 
curred the tragedy at Moscow, 
which led to the murder of 
Atwood, previously noted. Also 
in the summer the govern- 
ment surveyors appeared to di- 
vide the land into townships 
and sections and sell it to the 
highest bidder, and many of 
them had not the means at 
hand to pay the purchase 
price, which in all cases must 
be cash. None of them had 
any claim to the land but that 
of possession. Those who had 


no money were forced to ber- 
row of professional money 
loaners at exorbitant rates of 
interest, the money loaners 
holding the title to the land 
till the bond was paid. The 
season also proved more sick- 
ly than the former year and 
death, like a dark shadow, 
lay over the land. As express- 
ed to the writer by one of the 
survivors, “It seemed like one- 
half of the people died; that 
and the _ following year.”’ 
Among these heads of families 
were: Francis Foot, William 
Bagley, J. Springer, 
Sutton and Oliver Atwood, be- 
side many children, and their 
new cemetery was becoming 

In the year of 1838 there 
was also erected a group of 
cabins some distance east of 
the east branch of the creek. 
William lLeffingwell occupied 
one in the southeast quarter 
of section 8-78-3, now the 
Hudson place; Van Hagen on 
the same description, now the 

Peters place, and Nathaniel 
Hallock on the southwest 
quarter of section 9-78-3, 

known as the Dickerson farm. 
These cabins were on the trail 
between Moscow and the Iowa 
River trading post, and also 
the trail leading to Indian 
Town, at the forks of the 
creek in section 24-78-4 and 
on down the Wapsie and Ce- 
dar river to the present site 
of Wapello, which was the 
home of Chief Keokuk and 
his band of Sacs. That year 
Gamaliel Olds took a claim 
in the southwest quarter of 
section 24-77-4. He afterward 
bought great sections of land 
in that region. Farther up the 
creek, John G. Lane claimed 
the east half of the northeast 
quarter of section 23 an@d 
the west half of the northwest 
quarter of section 24-78-4, no 
doubt induced in his selection 
by the wide view to be had 
from the place, and the fine 
grove of maples near by. Just 
east and across the creek. was 
the Indian Town, and that 
enclosed field offered an easy 
spot to plant a crop. This 
place is now owned by his son 
Joseph. Robert Stuart chose 
the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 2-78-4 and built just west 
of where A. A. Brown’s new 
residence stands, and J. 
Springer built on the south- 
west quarter of section $-73$-4 

now the home of J. A. Nay. At 
the north end of this place the 
Indians had a corn field in 
those days. Dudley B. Dustin 
located on the southeast quar- 
ter of section 12-78-4, which 
is now a part of the town of 
West Liberty and the house 
stood on or near the east end 
of what is now Sixth street. 

These accessions to the 
various settlements greatly 
encouraged the community 

and they all felt that the ex- 
perimental stage to the coun- 
try was past. Those who had 
first come had demonstrated 

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Began Business 
in W 
in est Liberty 
e & 
Friday, April 13, 1894 

56 years after the 
town was founded exh 


Finer Foods 

—~ 100 years after the 
CP , town was founded 

Congratulations West 
Liberty Centennial 


O, .%, ., © &, ©, © 6, ©, 9, 4, O_O. On Or Or ate abe Hs Me ohn he ota ctectactectectectesteasteste testes ectecte teste ste ete ote ete ote 

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that the soil was fertile, and 
the country teeming with 
game and fruit. So all became 
a scene of activity. Fences 
were built, roads opened and 
the creeks bridged between 
settlements. To open a road 
they would cut away the brush 
and trees to allow the passage 
of a vehicle, and the road was 
ready for use. To bridge the 
creeks they selected places 
where the banks were least 
precipitous as the bridges 
were always built near the or- 
dinary water level. Two or 
more logs were cut long 
enough to span the stream, 
and placed across it. (Other 
logs were cut eight or ten feet 
long, and sometimes, but not 
always, split in halves, and 
these were laid on the string- 
ers, close together, till they 
were covered. Then on top of 
these were laid other long 
logs to hold the cross logs in 
place, and act as a railing to 
the bridge. If there chanced to 
be holes between the trans- 
verse logs large enough to en- 
danger passing animals, they 
were stopped by chunks driv- 
en in them, and the bridge 
was complete. True, it was 
liable to go out with the first 
freshet, but it was the best 
they could do, and material 
was at hand to replace it in 
such an event. Their fences 
were all of rails, split from 
native timber, so one can Ccon- 
ceive that there was no lack of 
occupation during the winter 
in getting out fencing and 
hauling it to the place where 
it was to be used. 

Meanwhile, the scene with- 
in the cabin was none the less 
active. The hum of the spin- 
ing wheel and bang of the 
loom could be heard at al- 
most any time in the day, as 
the busy wives and daughters 
prepared the clothing and bed- 
ding for the family, inter- 
spersing these occupations by 
gathering and drying the wild 
fruits to preserve them for 
winter use, as they had not 
yet learned, nor had they the 
appliances, for canning them; 
sugar was a tuo rare and ex- 
pensive commodity to use in 
preserving them. Wild honey 
was a common article of 
sweetening, and the first set- 
tlers found bees here in con- 
siderable numbers There now 
lies the body of an oak tree 
by the side of the Iowa City 
road near the crossing of the 
west branch of the Wapsie 
that was cut in the winter of 
1840 to obtain the honey it 
contained. Some of the school 
children that passed that way 
the next morning can testify 
that honey is sweet, and that 
tco much of it sometimes 
creates internal disturbances. 

With the hulling of corn 
for hominy, and making soap 
and cooking for the ever hun- 
gTy men and children, the life 
within was 2 busy and varied 
one. But with all this industry, 
and isolated as th:y were from 


all established forms of reli- 
gion, they did not forget their 
Christian training, but hold- 
ing it as a sacred heri‘age, 
they made it a custom when 
the Sabbath came, to congre- 
gate at some one or other of 
their homes, when they would 
listen to a sermon, if a min- 
ister chanced to be among 
them, if not one of their num- 
ber would read a sermon from 
some published collection, and 
they would join in singing 
familiar hymns. Thus. the 
usage and practice of the 
Christian religion was kept 
alive among them. The social 
intercourse among our _ pio- 
neers was something com- 
mendable, and is a noticeable 
condition jin nearly all new 
communities. There were no 
social distinctions among 
them, for as one of their num- 
ber remarked to the writer. 
“They were all poor alike.” A 
separation of five or six miles 
in their residence was no ob- 
stacle in their intercourse, 
and many were the merry 
gatherings of the people, and 
in the case of sickness or 
other occasions of need, they 
were as one family. They 
now had grain in abundance 
for their needs, but no mills 
to grind it nearer than the Ce- 
dar river, and that was across 
a trackless prairie of un- 
bridged creeks and _ sloughs. 
The country was rapidly de- 
veloping; the privations inci- 
dent to their environment 
were great, but they were a 
hardy race and persisted in 
their determination to make 
this their permanent home in 
spite of the difficulties and 
suffering and danger that sur- 
rounded them. 

Chapter IX. 


The pathetic incidents re- 
lating to the sickness and 
death of Enos Nyce were re- 
lated in the presence of the 
writer many years ago by his 
wife, who long survived him, 
and are worthy of a place in 
this chronicle. It had been a 
hard struggle with them from 
the beginning of their labor 
here, to supply the needs of 
their numerous family, and at 
last there came a day when 
the meal barrel was empty and 
want — gaunt, gnawing want 
—stared in at the door and 
would not be driven away. 
There was corn in the crib, 
but no means to convert it in- 

to meal, and the nearest mili 
twelve miles away across @ 
trackless prairie, with no 
beast of burden at hand. But 
our pioneer ‘was stout of 
heart, if weak of body; and 
while yet the stars were 

bright overhead, he shoulder- 
ed a sack of corn and started 
on foot across the trackless 
prairie, grown waist high with 
grass and weeds and intersect- 

ed by sloughs and unbridged 
creeks. Hour after hour he 
toiled on his weary way, till 
the mill was reached. There 
he rested with friends while 
the corn was ground and then 
began the tiresome journey 
home. While yet many miles 
from home the sky became 
overcast with clouds. Weak 
and weary he became bewil- 
dered, and knew not which 
way to go. At length when his 
strength was almost spent, he 
reached the summit of a swell 
of the prairie, and, far away 
to the southwest, he saw a 
belt of timber; towering high 
above all others was a giant 
tree. This tree he knew as 
standing on the crest of a hill 
but a short distance beyond 
his home. Taking fresh cour- 
age he toiled on. The sun went 
down and the twilight deepen- 
ed, but now, knowing his way, 
he pressed on, and in the gath- 
ering darkness, reached his 
home and rest 

Who can tell the rejoicing 
of that family that night, or 
the anxiety of the succeeding 
days and weeks, and the deep 
anguish that was sequel of it 
all? Feeble as he was from 
disease and want, the weari- 
ness of the journey was more 
than he could rally from, and 
in but a few months he lay 
down on the bed from which 
he was never to rise. When he 
reached home that night, 
weary almost to death, with 
premonition strong upon him 
that he would never recover 
from his weariness, he re- 
quested his family that when 
the end came they would lay 
him to rest beneath the bea- 
con tree; for had it not been 
for its friendly guidance he 
would never have reached his 
home and family. They re- 
spected his desire and when 
the end came a few neighbors 
bore his body across the val- 
ley and up the hill and left 
him there. The lonely widow 
took up her double burden and 
bore it nobly, as only a woman 
can, and lived to see her chil- 
dren grown to manhood and 
womanhood, and leading lives 
of usefulness. 

This incident is, perhaps, no 
more pathetic than were many 
others of those times, but it 
came more nearly in the writ- 
er’s knowledge and for that 
reason is inserted here. Many 
a time has the writer sat and 
listened to stories of those 
trying pioneer days as related 
py Mary Nyce, who for so 
long bore the weight of toil 
and care with such a steadfast 
purpose and through it all re- 
tained her patience till it be- 
came her nature. Long after 
the events related, when the 
spot was about to pass into 
the hands of strangers, the 
dust of Enos Nyce was remoy- 
ed to a safer rest in Oakridge 
cemetery, and by its side rests 
all that is mortal of his wife. 
Thus ended the lives of the 


first permanent settlers on 
the Wapsinonoc. Enos Nyce 
died Nov. 8, 1839, and Mary, 
his wife, Oct. 30, 1879. 

Chapter X. 

In 1838, the territory of 
Iowa—the meaning of which 
in the Indian language is 
“Beautiful Land’’—was  or- 
ganized, embracing all of the 
present state, and part of what 
is now Minnesota and both 
the Dakotas, with its capital 
at Burlington; but in 1839, 
the capital was moved to Iowa 
City, which place had heen 
founded the previous’ year. 
The change in the site of the 
capital had a great influence 
on the prosperity of the set- 
tlement on the Wapsie as the 
government then located and 
opened up roads from Daven- 
port and Bloomington to the 
capital, passing through town- 
ship 78-4, the most of the way 
between the first and second 
tiers of sections from the 
north, and also a road com- 
mencing at the southwest 
corner of section 1-78-4, thence 
north to the north line of the 
township, thence northwester- 
ly through the upper settle- 
ment on the west branch of 
the Wapsie, and joined the 
main road five miles southeast 
of Iowa City. This not only 
gave the people a road by 
which markets could be reach- 
ed, for before they had none, 
but it also determined the 
route of emigration to the new 
west, which was becoming very 
great. This emigration absorb- 
ed all the surplus grain the 
settlers could produce, and in 
that way was of incalculable 
advantage to them, as before 
that the only market they had 
for their surplus grain and 
meat was at Bloomington or 
Davenport, on the Mississippi. 
While they were practically 
self-supporting, yet there were 
some things they could not 
produce, which would be very 
convenient to have, and in 
some cases a necessity. Salt 
they must have, and sugar 
and tea and coffee, were lux- 
uries it was hard to do with- 
out. So this opening of a 
road to a market was a hoon 
over which there was as much 
rejoicing as there was a few 
years later in the same section 
by the coming of a railroad. 
True, their grain and meat 
when it did reach those mar- 
kets had to be disposed of at 
very low prices, and 
ally in trade, yet it would get 
things the people very much 
desired, and added to their 
comfort and prosperity. Mon- 
ey was a scarce commodity 
and rarely to be obtained, and 
husiness transactions were 
generally carried on by barter. 
A cow would be given in ex- 
change for a bolt of cloth: or 
a horse given for a sow and 
pigs and a dozen sheep, while 


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a sheep would go to pay for 
a dozen hens, and a lamb 
traded for a setting of eggs. 

_ Chapter XI. 

When the whites came to 
this region they found a sum- 
mer camp or town of Indians 
located between the main 
branches of the Wapsie in sec- 
tion 24-78-4. There they had 
a number of wickiups, or bark 
lodges, in which they lived. 
There also was an _ inclosed 
field of several aeres which 
they cultivated in their primi- 
tive manner, annually raising 
quantities of corn and squash- 
es. On the west creek above 
there, there were five groves 
of maple trees from which 
they made sugar. They con- 
tinued to reside there after 
the country came in posses- 
sion of the whites and har- 
assed the settlers by  break- 
ing down their fences, steal- 
ing their corn, and sometimes 
running off their stock, till 
the settlers became exasper- 
ated and determined to put an 
end to their depredations. So 
when the Indians came in the 
spring of 1849 and began their 
preparation for making sugar, 
the settlers armed themselves 
and in a body repaired to the 
camp, and ordered the Indians 
to leave. They were loath to 
do so, and a stormy scene en- 
sucd without definite results. 
At length the settlers decided 
that emphatic measures were 
necessary to enforce their or- 
der, and told the Indians to 
move their belongings from 
the camp, for they were about 
to burn it, and began to tear; 
down some wickiups and pile 
them on the fire. The Indians 
then: decided that the whites 
were in earnest, and hastily 
carried their clothing and pro- 
visions to another part of the 
grove, when the settlers tore 
down the rest of the wickiups 
and burned them. The Indians 
had a number of shallow 
troughs made from logs which 
they used to collect the sap 
from the maple trees, and to 
nrevent the whites from em- 
ploying these for their cwn 
use, split them to pieces. They 
soon after broke camp and 
left and troubled the settlers 
no more only as they return- 
ed to that old camping place 
a few days each season. With 
them it was a sacred duty, the 

same as the impulse that 
moves a community now to 
meet annually and_ scatter 

flowers on the graves of their 
denarted friends. 

One season while they were 
camped there, a daughter of 
their chief lost her life in an 
attempt to cross the treacher~ 
ous Wapsie. She was just 
blooming into womanhood, and 
was a general favorite with 
her tribe. They recovered her 
body and proceeded to bury 
ft with Indian honors and in 



their time-honored manner. 
Her body was prepared for 
burial, robed in her finest ap- 
parel, and borne to her grave 
by a company of maidens, 
who, as they slowly walked, 
carrying their precious burden, 
chanted her death song. She 
was placed in the grave in a 
sitting posture, facing the east, 
while the entire band stood in 
silence. At her feet was placed 
her favorite dog, which had 
been slain that it might ac- 
<ompany her in her journey 
to the happy hunting ground. 
At her right hand lay a toma- 
hawk, and at her left a bow, 
while slung over her shoulder 
was a quiver filled with ar- 
rows. Then the grave was 
filled and the tribe dispersed 
to their lodges. Before they 
left for their autumnal hunt 
they set up a post of black 
ash at the head of the grave 
to mark the spot. For many 
years after their removal tg 
a distant reserve, they return- 
ed each year and cleared away 
the accumulated trash and 
weeds from the grave, and be- 
fore leaving placed on it a 
portion of food to sustain her 
on her long journey. But the 
greed of man, or, to put it 
more mildly, the curiosity of 
the race, and its thirst after 
knowledge of antiquity, could 
not let the body of the Indian 
girl rest there in quietude; 
and some years later, after the 
Indians had ceased to visit 
the spot, the grave was dese- 
erated, and the treasures 
found therein were carried 
away to add to a collection of 
Indian relics in a neighboring 

Chapter XII, 

In 1830, the government 
had acquired a tract of land 
in southeastern Iowa contain- 
ing six million acres. It lay 
along the Mississippi, extend- 
ing back from the river from 
forty to fifty miles, and from 
the Missouri line to about the 
42nd degree, north latitude. 
This tract the government had 
bought of the Sae and Fox 
Indians, for the magnificent 
sum of ten cents per acre. 
Within its bounds was reserv- 
ed a tract lying along the Iowa 
river of forty miles square, 
including the present site of 
the city of Wapello, as a res- 
ervation for the band of In- 
dians of whom Keokuk was 
the chief. Now in 1838, 
government was offéring this 
six millions of acres of land 
to its citizens at one doliar 
and twenty-five cents per acre. 
These values seem ridiculous- 
ly small at the present time, 

‘when compared to the from 

sixty to one hundred dollars 
per acre which these same 
lands are bringing, and from 
which have been taken crops 
aggregating many times the 
latter amount; but consider- 

the — 

ing the difficulty of obtain- 
ing the purchase price at that 
time, which had to be in gold, 
there is not that wide differ- 
ence in apparent cost as at 
first seems the case. The land 
office was at Dubuque, and 
when the government an- 
nounced the sale, a number of 
our pioneers prepared to g0 
to that place and purchase 
such lands as they had select- 
ed. Among these were W. A. 

Clark, William Corns, Enos 
Nyce, Asa Gregg and Enos 

Barnes. The distance to be 
traveled was not far from one 
hundred miles, and over a 
wild country, devoid of road, 
and nothing to guide them on 
their way but the general di- 
rection. For mutual protection 
and entertainment they decid- 
ed to travel in company. Con- 
sidering the fatigue of the 
journey and the time consumed 
for its prosecution, this was a 
greater undertaking than a 
trip across the continent at 
the present time. 

These men prepared for 
their hazardous journey by 
loading their wagon with pro- 
visions for many days susten- 
ance, and a complete camping 
outfit, arming themselves with 
such weapons as were at hand. 
They carried, for those times, 
large sums of money on their 
persons, and -the country 
through which they were to 
pass was known to be infested 
with desperate characters, who 
sometimes appeared disguised 
as Indians, and at others in 
their true characters as high- 
waymen, and meeting - them 
was one of the contingencies 
of the journey. Late in the 
fall of 1838 they began their 
journey, which took them Oov- 
er wild plains, across sloughs 
and swamps, river bottoms 
and turbulent streams. At the 
Cedar river they found a fer- 
ry, a primitive affair, that 
took them across. These ferry 
boats were simply a scow, pro- 
pelled across the stream by 
the force of the current and 
with a capacity for one team 
at that time. To prevent the 
boat from floating down with 
the current a rope was stretch- 
ed across the river and drawn 
taut enough to keep it from 
touching the water. On this 
cable ran a trolley, with a rope 
fastened at either end and pass 
ing through a pulley at each 
end of the boat and around a 
wheel near its center. By turn- 
ing this wheel it would leng- 
then one end of the rope and 
shorten the other, thus bring- 
ing the side of the boat to an 
angle with the current of the 

stream; would be propelled 
across it, after being pushed 
from the shore with a poie 

until the current fairly acted 
upon its side, and in due time 
reach the opposite bank if it 
did not run around a sand bar, 
or break loose and float away 
duwn stream, contingencies 
that were not uncommon. 

' far to perform 

Sometime a team would be- 
come restless or frighted and 
plunge or back off the boat, 
and many a one found a wat- 
ery grave in that way. From 
the Cedar they passed «mong 
the hills and hollows of Rock 
and Susar creeks to a broad 
expanse of prairie that per- 
haps has no superior for fertil- 
ity and natural beauty in the 
state. The Wapsipinicon river 
was reached and safely crossed 
by fording, and they jour- 
neyed on, the monotony of 
their way being allayed by ob- 
serving the kaleidoscopic view 
ever before them. It would be 
interesting to know the’ mat- 
ters of discussion and subjects 
of conversation indulged in by 
these men, to pass the time as 
their team slowly toiled on its 
way. It was late in the autumn 
and game was abundant and 
in good condition, so their bill 
of fare was well interspers>d 
with venison steaks, turkey 
and prairie chicken, and when 
chey made camp for the night 
the air was redolent with the 
savory odors of game slowly 
broiling over the camp fire. 
After supper all would retire 
for the night but one, who 

who remained awake to 
guard the camp. After leay- 
ing the Wapsipinicon river 
the country became more 
broken, the hills higher and 
more rugged, and ledges of 
rock were observed cropping 
out from the banks of the 
streams. Ag they approache@ 

the country drained by the 
Maquoketa river, they en- 
countered great forests of 
magnificent trees of walnut, 
oak and maple, and the hilis 
were steep the streams rapid 
and turbulent. The labors of 
the journey increased with 
each mile traversed. One had 
to go ahead of the team to 
select a passable route 
through the thick woods and 
seek out fords across the nu- 
merous streams. To one on- 
ly acquainted with the gent- 
ly undulating hills along the 
Wapsinonoc and the _ adja- 
cent country, the ruggedness 
and brokenness of portions 
of Jackson and Dubuque 
counties would be a surprise. 
Over those hills and across 
those ravines our travelers 
had to pick their way as best 
they might, but after many 
days of toil Dubuque was 
reached, and then came long 
hours of waiting, for they 
were but a unit of the great 
crowd that were waiting for 
the opening of the land of- 

fice on like business. A line 
was formed, extending from 
the door of the office back 

along the street of the vil- 

lage—for Dubuqve was but 
a village then, five years old 
-—and each had to await his 

turn to make his entry. 

In due time the important 
business they had come so 
was ftransact- 
ed and they were ready for 
the return journey. All went 

well until they reached the 
region of the Wapsipinicon 
river just before nightfall, 

ae Jo. Heaton. 
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on a raw cold day. The Wap- 
sipinicon is a_ treacherous 
stream, full of eddying cur- 
rents and sands and at that 
time was filled with floating 
ice; but it lay between them 

and home, and it might be 
days before’ the crossing 
would be better. So they 

boldly drove into the chilling 
current, but on reaching mid- 
stream their team’ stopped 
and one of the horses abso- 
lutely refused to go farther. 
They coaxed, they urged, they 

whipped, they used _ violent 
language,—perhaps, but the 
stubborn beast refused to 

move. They could not camp 
there, and something must 
be done. So with many 
objurgations of things in 
general and that horse in par- 
ticular, they dismounted in- 
to that ice cold water, waist 
deep, proceeded to unhitch 
the stubborn beast, and by 
pulling and pushing succeed- 
ed in getting it to the bank, 
when they returned for the 
other horse and the wagon. 
By one of their number tak- 
ing the place of the stubborn 
horse and the others pushing 
on the wagon, they were 
at last able to make a 
safe landing. Asa Gregg had 
been suffering with the ev- 
er present ague, and for him 

to undergo that icy bath 
seemed but little less than 
suicidal. So Emos'- Barnes 

made a beast of burden of 
himself and bidding Gregg to 
mount his shoulders, carried 

him safe and dry to the 
bank. What a plight was 
theirs! Their clothes being 

saturated, at once froze upon 
them, and the nearest shelter 
and hope for a fire was at a 
cabin a mile from the river. 
They hitched up their team 
as speedily as possible and 
urged it to its best speed, 
while they ran by the side 
of the wagon, their clothes 

cracking and rattling with 
every step, and the ice cold 
water washing in _ their 

boots. The exposure was séyv- 
ere to all of them, but with 
one of their number it left 
results from which he never 
recovered, and within the 
year he slept his last long 
sleep, his life no doubt short- 
ened by that day’s exposure. 
In due time they reached 
their homes without further 
adventure, happy in the 
knowledge that they now 
held in fee simple a moisty 
of that eminent domain, 
which they had labored to 
wrest from its wild state. 

Chapter XIII. 

The new settlement had 
now passed through its bap- 

tismal of trials and had gur- 
vived the ordeal. The year 
of 1839 came bringing great- 
er prosperity and encourage- 
ment. That it had not been 
crushed by adverse circum- 
stances was evidence of its 
inherent strength. Early in 


the season the settlers were 
active, and emigrantS were 
coming in increased numbers. 

Andrew Brisbine and his 
sons, William and Andrew, 
settled on the east half of 
section 32-79-4, where they 
remained during their lives, 
and the premises are yet in 
possession of their descen- 
dants. Sam Proctor built on 
the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 33-79-4, and William 
Proctor on the northwest 
quarter of the same section. 
This land of Sam _ Proctor’s 
afterward came into the pos- 
sion of John LaRue, who 
took the gold fever in 1852, 
and sold house, farm and 
furniture to Wm. Lane, who 
was about to marry and 
bought the place ready pre- 
pared for housekeeping. John 
Hawkins occupied a cabin 
somewhere on the east side 
of the west branch of the 
creek. He at one time lived 
in the southwest quarter of 
section 33-79-4, and at an- 
other on the south east quar- 
ter of section 28-79-4, and 
at another on the northwest 
quarter of the same section. 
Robert Harbor built a cabin 
on the northeast quarter of 
section 9-78-4 on land now 
owned by Lin Lewis. Enos 
Barnes, who had been here 
the previous season to study 
the possibilities of the coun- 
try, brought his numerous 
family of stalwart sons and 
daughters, and occupied the 
cabin at the big spring till 
he had built on his own 
farm, the east half of the 
northwest quarter of section 
12-78-4, mow occupied by 
Robert Hindee. Down the 
creek, E. Stucker took the 
southwest quarter of section 
26-77-4; John Crechfield the 
southwest quarter of section 
14-77-4; Winchester, south 
half of the northeast quarter 
of section 26-77-4 and Robert 
Coruthers t h e- southeast 
quarter of section 13-77-4. F. 
B. Hubbard, who had arriv- 
ed the year previously, had: 
settled on the northwest 
quarter of section 23-77-4. 

On the organization of the 
territory of Iowa, an election 
was called to elect local of- 
ficers and this precinct or 
township, which embraced all 
that part of Muscatine coun- 
ty lying west of the Cedar 
river, held its first election 
in the cabin of W. A. Clark, 
when eight votes were cast 
presumably that being the to- 
tal number of voters in this 

precinct. It was also in this 
cabin Martin Baker, elder of 
the Christian church, preach- 

ed the first sermon to the 
new community. This preach- 
er seemed to have been well 
adapted to fill the place of 
spiritual adviser to these 
people. His home was on the 
east side of the Cedar, below 
Rochester, where he died, 
leaving a rich heritage of 
good will and kindly deeds, 
all done im the name of his 

John Bennett also came 
that year. He lived in a ten- 
ant house on the Nyce place, 
as also did James Van Horn, 
who came the same year. 
William Coleman who had 
passed the winter in the ca- 
bin at the Big Spring, in see- 
tion 10, that spring, built 
on the southeast quarter of 
section 28-79-4, and moved 
his family there. A. B. Phil- 
lips and family of Virginia, 
arrived that season and set- 
tled in the cabin made vya- 
cant by the death of Spring- 
er, the autumm before. Also 
Valentine Bozarth came and 
began to improve his farm, 
which was in the southeast 
quarter of section 3-78-4, 
where E. C. McGowan now 
resides. No doubt he was in- 
fluenced in his choice of lo- 
cation by the grove of beau- 
tiful oak trees and a copious 
spring in close proximity, a 
combination rarely met with 
in a prairie region. 

S. A. Bagley was another 
of the men who came that 
year to try his fortune in this 
land of promise, he selecting 
the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 1-78-4, the place now 
well known as the J. A. Webb 
place. Bagley was not satis- 
fied with the accommodations 
afforded in a log cabin and 
soon began to erect a trame 
dwelling near the cabin they 
had occupied. This was in 1839 
and before there was a saw- 
mill anywhere in the country. 
The frame of the house was 
of hewn timbers, the siding of 
boards split from logs with a 
frow and shaved down with a 
drawing knife, as also were 
the shingles. The finishing 
lumber was sawed by hand 
and lath roughly split from 
logs. This was the first at- 
tempt made toward a frame 
dwelling on the Wapsie; and 
while it may have been more 
pretentious in appearance than 
its lowly log neighbors, yet 
when the blizzards of winter 
swept over the prairie and 
roared around it, it could not 
compare in real comfort to 
the log structure. It has many 
times been disputed that there 
ever was a log house on that 
place, but the testimony of 
some who occupied it for a 
time in the winter of 1839-40 
is indisputable. The frame 
house spoken of now stands 
deserted and lonely, at the in- 
tersection of Seventh and Co- 
lumbus streets in West Lib- 
erty, its weatherworn§ siding 
warped and curled, the boards 
loose and creaking in the wind, 
the shingles slipping from their 
places from the action of sun 
and storms of many years, and 
reminds one of O. W. Holmes’ 
poem ‘The Last Leaf.’? Bag- 
ley also erected a tavern on 
the crest of the hill just east 
of his residence known as the 
“West Liberty House.” For 
Many years it received a large 
patronage, as it was at a sta- 
tion on the stage route where 


they took dinner and changed 
horses. Many men of nationa) 
prominence stopped there on 
their journeys to and from the 
state capital. But the coming 
of the railroad and the remoy- 
al of the town to its present 
site, destroyed the patronage 
of this famous hostlery, and 
the building was later moved 
east to that triangular lot in 
the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion 12-78-4, where it is now 
in use as a stable. Thus have 
the mighty fallen, and become 
relegated to ignominious uses 
and obscurity. 

Chapter XIV. 

Our pioneers brought with 
them to the wilderness from 
the widely separated sections 
from which they came, the 
spirit of education which per- 
vades our country life and at- 
mosphere. No sooner had a 
settlement taken on an ap- 
pearance of stability, than 
there was action on the part 
of the people to establish a 
school. So early in 1840, the 
men and boys congregated on 
the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 2-78-4, near the home of 
Robert Stuart, for the purpose 
of selecting a site and erecting 
a building for school purposes. 
A suitable spot was soon chos- 
en, on the brow of a low hilt 
in the thick woods, at an angle 
of the road leading from the 
Clark to the Nyce settlement, 
about eighty rods to the north- 
west of the Stuart residence. 
Each man brought his ax and 
team. The material for the 
house and_ its furnishings 
were at hand in the standing 
trees, and the work began. 
Some cut down the trees and 
cut them into suitable lengths; 
others snaked the logs to tha 
chosen spot with their teams. 
The work went merrily on, 
and soon was erected the first 
house for school purposes in 
Muscatine county west of the 
Cedar river. It was of meager 
dimensions, built of unhewn 
logs, roofed with clapboards, 
some say floorless and win- 
dowless, save for small ori- 
fices covered with oiled paper, 
and warmed by a fireplace at 
one end. The walls were not 
well chinked and let in much 
of cold and other things. A 
few split logs on wooden legs 
furnished seats, and split logs, 
resting on wooden pins driven 
in the walls, desks. There op- 

ened the first school in the 
new settlement. Not a brilliant 
equipment for the mental 
training of future statesmen 

and professors, but it was sow- 
ing the seed, that springing 
up and cultivated, has grown 
into the magnificent educa- 
tional system of our state. 
The first session opened with 
Valentine Bozarth, a mild 
spoken, easy going man at the 
desk, and there were enrolled 
as pupils, Henry, William and 

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pick-up service within ten miles for Printing — Office Supplies and ea 
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Office telephone 87..... L. L. Birkett, Mer. Mi Q R R [ S & E i 3 T E R 
Telephone 191 Morris Bldg. — West Liberty, Iowa 

award Sian Dry eraede | 

Good merchandise stands the test of time. For nearly 40 vears in West Liberty we have been sell- 
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George Bagley; William, John, 
George and Solomon Phillips; 
Ed. and Elbridge Gregg; Orvil, 
Clinton, Perry, Sedgwick, Lu- 
cinda and Elizabeth -Bozarth; 
Gilbert, Charles and Frank- 
lin Barnes; William, James, 
George, Mary Ann and Eliza 
Jane Van Horn; Mac Dustin, 
James and Granville Stuart. It 
was no light task the teacher 

had in controlling that ob- 
streperous lot of boys and 
girls, fresh from the unre- 

strained freedom of the woods 
and prairie, and bring them 
into subjection to rule and or- 
der; and many were the trials 
and tribulations through which 
the school passed that first 

One custom in practice in 
schools in those days has long 
since become obsolete. It was 
in reference to a pupil passing 
from the room during school 
hours. A broad paddle hung 
by the door, by a string, with 
the word “out” plainly print- 
ed on one side. When a pupil 
left the room during session 
time, this paddle was turned 

' with the sign in sight, and so 
remained till the absentee re- 
turned. The usual reply of this 
teacher to anyone requesting 
a temporary absence was, ‘‘Yes, 
but close the door softly, and 
please to turn the paddle.” 

The next term of this school 
was held in the cabin of W. 
A. Clark, which he had vacaf- 
ed on building his new one oa 
the prairie, and Vannie Win- 
chester, from the lower Wap- 
sie, was its teacher. Schools 
then and for many years later 
were not conducted on their 
present free system, but were 
known as “subscription 
schools,” that is, a teacher 
wishing a school went to those 
having children and offered 
to teach them for a certain 
fixed price per head per month, 
and if enough pupils could be 
thus obtained a school would 
be held and last as long as 
agreed upon. 

Chapter XV. 
Early in the settlement of 

this region it was infested by 

a band of outlaws who pfac- 
ticed their nefarious trade of 
murder, robbery, counterfeit- 
ing and horse stealing with a 
high hand. There was purport- 
ed to be an organized band of 
these marauders scattered all 
through the Mississippi valley, 
and life and property was ev- 
er at their mercy. Their head- 
quarters on the upper Mississ- 
ippi was in Lee county. Iowa, 
and at Nauvoo, Illinois, and 
their emissaries and agents 
were scattered up and down 
that river and the streams 
tributary to it. Some of these 
emissaries, as afterward 
proved to be the case, were 
settlers in good standing among 
their neighbors. While this 
class probably were not active 


participants in the crimes com- 
mitted, they were of great help 
to the banditti by spying on 
their neighbors and advising 
active members of the band 
where rich hauls could be 
made, and how to proceed to 
obtain them, and also in as- 
sisting in secreting the stolen 
goods and in harboring the 
outlaws. These classes were a 
serious menace to the settlers, 
and they were more feared 
than the Indians. 

In 1845 occurred the murder 
of Col. Davenport on Rock Is- 
land, a most dastardly, cold 
blooded crime, committed sole- 
ly for a few dollars. He was 
an old man and at the time 
was at home alone, when he 
was beset by three or four 
men, shot and tortured to 
make him give up his property, 
and then left to a slow death. 
Eventually fhree of the out- 
laws were run down and exe- 
cuted for the crime. 

When the country became 
more populous and more thor- 
oughly explored, places were 
found far back in the dense 
woods, or in isolated groves 
that had undoubtedly been 
used as hiding places for stol- 
en property, or unlawful pur- 
poses and as meeting places of 
the outlaws. Along the Cedar 
and lower Wapsie were found 
evidences of this unlawful 
traffic, and some of the cabins 
found along the streams by 
the first settlers were undoubt- 
edly built and used by mem- 
bers of the gang at times when 
they wished to disappear from 
their regular haunts for rea- 
sons best known to themselves. 
There was no reason to think 
that this region was harboring 
active members of the gang, 
but that there were some con- 
nected with the outlaws was 
strongly suspected. Men, who, 
while not implleated in any 
of the daring crimes being 
committed, were yet cognizant 
of the identity of active par- 
ticipants in them, and were 
aiding and abetting them and 
sometimes indulged in such 
means of gain as horse steal- 
ing and passing counterfeit 
money. Often horses were 
missing and rarely was there 
any trace of them to be found, 
and the country was flooded 
with counterfeit money, both 
specie and bank notes. While 
the settlers may have had 
their suspicions as to who 
were the guilty parties. they 
had not the convicting testi- 
mony and could do. nothing 
but guard their property as 
best they mizght. Wear the 
southeast corner of township 
78-5 was quite an extensive 
grove of elm and other trees, 
surrounded by thick brush 
which completely concealed 
the interior from any casual 
observer. This grove stood on 
the prairie, miles from any 
settlement, and was rarely 
visited by the settlers. But on 
One occasion some hunters en- 

tered it in pursuit of some 
deer, and on penetrating the 
dense fringe of bushes sur- 
rounding it, they found that 
it was then, or had been, vis- 
ited by others; the trampled 
grass and remains of camp 

fires and gnawed bark of 
trees, where horses had been 
tied, showed that some one 

had frequented the place. One 
large tree seemed to have been 
the special central point of oc- 
cupancy, and a closer inspec- 
tion revealed that it was hol- 
low. A section had been ecare- 
fully cut from its side and 
again replaced, leaving but 
li‘tle sign that it had been dis- 
turbed. On removing fhis sec- 
tion, a cavity was disclosed 
which contained dies and olh- 
er articles used in making 
counterfeit money. Some years 
later a family moved on a 
place not far from this grove, 
and one of the children was 
seen to pick up and play with 
a small metal dise with a han- 
dle at one side, it appearing 
like a toy skillet with a close- 
fitting cover. One day the 
father chanced to notice the 
child playing with it, and a 
close inspection revealed the 
supposed plaything to be hing- 
ed at one side. On opening it, 
it was found to be a mould 
for casting coin. So the evi- 
dence seemed conclusive that 
there was the place where 
some of the spurious coin was 
manufactured that was put in 

But those who were plying 
this unlawful traffic were nev- 
er identified, and it was quite 

late in the settlement of the. 

Wapsie ere this nefarious prac- 
tice received an effective check 
in the court of Judge Lynch, 
in a neighboring county, when 
one of the suspectS was exe- 
cuted, others severely scourg- 
ed, and still others invited to 
seek a more salubrious clim- 
ate, which they were not slow 
in doing. Many are the tradi- 
tional stories told of the doings 
of members of the banditti, 
but no good purpose can be 
served in resurrecting them. 
This phaze of life, like the 
fevers and ague, was a part of 
our pioneers’ experience, very 
inconvenient and debilitating, 
and a condition requiring de- 
termination and vigor to over- 
come in taming the wilderness 
and establishing a modern civ- 

Chapter XVI. 

The life of the pioneer was 
a rugged, laborious one, but 
also had its compensations in 
its freedom from convention- 
alities and its healthful, vig- 
orous activity. But, as is often 
the case, the burden of time 
rested most heavily on the 
wives and mothers. Nothing 
but the barest necessaries for 
household operations were ob- 
tainable, and the clothing for 


the family was fashioned by 
them by hand. As was common, 
the material for that clothine 
and for bedding was of home 
manufacture. The spinning 
wheel and the loom were com- 
mon adjuncts of the home, 
and the hum of the wheel and 
the bang of the loom the mus- 
ic of the household. Human 
kind is much the same in all 
conditions, and 
sought for recreation in such 
ways as were congenial to 
their condition, as do their de- 
scendants of the present time. 
With the women, quilting par- 
ties offered occasion for social 
intercourse and much enjoy- 
ment, where they could com- 
pare notes as to how many 
“lambs” of yarn they had 
spun, or how many yards ot 
flannel they had woven, an 
exchange small talk and rec- 
ipes. What if they did go to 
these gatherings clad in their 
homespun dresses and on foot 
or horseback, many miles 
away, often carrying one or 
two smaller children, for pio- 
neers were rich in children, if 
in nothing else. Kraut cut- 
tings and sausage choppings 
were occasions for the mingl- 
ing of entire communities in 
a hilarious company. The en- 
tire family would load up in 
the farm wagon, often drawn 

by oxen, and set off for the 
place of meeting, over the 
trackless prairie or pathless 

woods. Or if it were in win- 
ter and snow was on the 
vround, the home-made sied 
was substituted for the wagon. 
These sleds were creatures of 
circumstances and something 
unique in their way. The only 
material used in their con- 
struction was at hand in the 
standing trees, and the only 
tools needed to fashion them 
an ax and auger; but they well 
served their purpose. Another 
occasion for the gathering of 
the people was the erection 
of the log houses and stables. 
No sooner was there a new ar- 
rival in the settlements and a 
location for building selected, 
than the men of the commun- 
ity would meet to assist in the 
erection of their necessary 
buildings. It was a laborious 
task but the labor was lighten- 
ed by anecdote and joke, and 

sometimes by a lively fight br, 

way of diversion. But these 
quarrels were not of a lasting 
nature, and when the effects 
of the whiskey, which had 
generally caused them, had 
passed off. the particinants 
would shake hands and be 
good friends again. 

The social dance was also 
of oceasional occurrence, when 
the young people met for rec- 
reation. Nearly every settle- 
ment had its local ‘‘fiddler’’ 
who furnished the music, and 
the open fireplace and a few 
tallow dips, the lights, but 
they were none the less en- 
joyed because of these primf- 
tive accompaniments: and it 
did not detract from their en- 

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: New York Life is not far from POTTER & WEBER 

the century mark. The Com- COAL & ICE 
pany has been operating continu- 
ously since 1845, and has paid sub- 
stantial dividends in every year 

since 1847, totaling more than one Vili P-Potterostarted 
paler: A0lsra. this business 67 years 
ago. Four generations 

& of the Potter family in 

business in West Lib- 

New York Life Policies are 


Fairbanks-Morse Stokers 
NEW YORK LIFE Coolerator Refrigerators 

Ray Whitacre, Rep. 





DR. L. A. ROYAL, M. D. 
Dr. T. A. Robertson, M. D. 

DR. J. E. KIMBALL, M. D. | | DR. A. E. ADY, M. D. 


Attorney & Counselor at Law 

Attorney at Law 


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joyment that the girls came 
in their ‘“‘linsey woolsey”’ 
dresses and the boys in their 
flannel shirts and cowhide 

I asked one of the few re- 
maining veterans of the thir- 
ties wnat were their recrea- 
tions in those days. After re- 
flecting tor a time a smile 
overspread his face and he re- 
Plied, ‘“‘We had another ague 
shake.” Hunting and fishing 
were not only pastime sporis, 
but were a regular part of the 
occupations of the men and 
boys, as the fruits of the chase 
furnished an important part of 
the table menu. The country 
abounded with deer and 
smaller game, and the streams 
with fish. At least one black 
bear was captured on the up- 
per waters of the east creek, 
and an occasional band of elk 
were met with, while many 
skeletons of the bison were to 
be seen; but that noble game 
had all disappeared before 
the advent of the white man. 
Deer remained plentiful for 
Many years and were still 
quite common as late as 1855. 
About that date the Musqua- 
kie Indians made a large camp 
near the groves in section 30 
79-4, just northwest of Down- 
ey, where they remained for 
some weeks hunting and beg- 
ging. They ranged over the 
surrounding country for many 
miles in every direction, and 
killed or drove away the deer, 
so that after that time but 
few were to be met with. The 
last to my knowledge, captur- 
ed in the Wapsie valley, was 
not far from that date, and 
on the southeast quarter of 
Section 35-79-4, just west of 
the barn on Wm. McFadden’s 
farm. There were four in the 
band. They had become min- 
gled with a herd of cattle on 
the prairio and were discoy- 
ered by W. S. Chase and Mil- 
ton Lewis, who were able to 
approach under cover of the 
cattle, and captured three of 
the four. 

As late as 1876 a lone deer 
Was seen crossing the country 
from the Cedar to the Iowa 
river and was reported to have 
been slain on the latter river 
below Iowa City. Occasional 
Single animals were seen, but 
Probably were some that had 
wandered from the newer 
parts of the state. Elk were 
never plentiful. Only at rare 
intervals were bands of them 
met with, and these probably 
only such as were driven from 
the north by stress of weather. 
But many large bands roamed 
over the prairies of the north 
part of the state, the last large 

band disappearing in 1871. 
This band consisted of four 
old bulls, ten cows, twelve 

yearlings and ten calves. They 
were a remnant of a much 
larger band that was known to 
feed and breed on the prairie 
and along the streams of 
northwestern Iowa, but they 
had been so harrassed, and 



their numbers so decimated by 
hunters, that they, like the In- 
dians, decided to move on to 
the newer and wilder west. On 
a bright morning of July, 
1871, the band was seen to 
emerge from their retreat 
among the tall grass and 
weeds of the Ocheydan river, 
ani inconsiderable siveam in 
Dickinson county, and take a 
course to the westward toward 
the timber along the Little 
Sioux. But the envious eyes of 
the white hunters saw them. 
A systematic hunt was hastily 
organized, and ere the band 
had reached the shelter of the 
timber they were all slain. 
And thus passed forever from 
our state this noble game. Now 
had gone the buffalo, the elk 
and the deer, in the short 
space of thirty-five years, after 
the occupancy of the state by 
the white man. 

Chapter XVII 

The Wapsie was a notable 
fishing stream in those days, 
and many are the “fish sior- 
ies’? told. A couple will suffice 
to show that that accomplish- 
ment is not an invention of 
these later times. A velerable 
fisherman of those days, as 
well as a successful angler in 
the torties, tells of seeing a 
catfish in the Wapsie that was 
at least six feet in length, and 
those flexible appendages on 
the side of its head were like 
whiplashes. It was slowly mak- 
ing its way up the stream, ac- 
companied by two others of 
lesser size, one on either side 
as a body guard, and of an- 
other that was captured which 
weighed  thirty-live pounds. 
One day a man well along in 
years and so crippled with 
rheumatism that he walked 
with canes, was fishing along 
the creek when he saw a huge 
pike lying close to the bank. 
Someone had wounded the fish 
with a spear, making a great 
hole in its back. Our fisherman 
had a happy thought. He would 
thrust one of his canes in the 
hole, and, with a sudden flirt, 
throw the fish out on the bank. 
He succeeded in the first part 
of the programme, but in the 
latter part there was a mis- 
apprehension, for the fish 
flirted first, knocking the cane 
from the old man’s hands, and 
he, losing his balance, went 
headlong into the water. His 
lusty cries soon brought his 
son to his assistance, when he 
was safely landed instead of 

the fish. 
While the settlers by this 
time were raising grain in 

abundance for their immediate 
needs, their mode of harvest- 
ing and threshing the same 
was primitive in the extreme. 
The cradle was the usual ma- 
chine for cutting the grain, 
and it was raked and bound 
by hand. One of these farmers 
tells of harvesting his first 

crop of wheat a ten acre patch, 

with the hand sickle. The 
scythe and hand rake were the 
only tools used in securing 

their crop of wild hay, except 
the pitchfork, a rude barbar- 
ous two-tined tool, fashioned 
by the local blacksmith, with 
a handle whittled from a sap- 
ling. For threshing their grain, 
the flail was in common use, 
but some of it was trodden out 
with horses. To do this a cir- 
cular piece of ground was 
cleared and made smooth and 
firm as practicable on which 
the grain was thinly and even- 
ly spread, when a number of 
horses would be put on it and 
driven round and round till 
the grain was trodden from 
the straw, when the straw 
would be pitched to one side 
and the grain cleaned with the 
fanning mill. Later on a power 
machine called a “chaff piler’” 
was introduced. This machine 
knocked the grain from the 
straw much as do the thresh- 
ers of the present day, but the 
chaff and grain was delivered 
in combination and had to be 
separated by the fanning mill. 

It seems incredible to the 
young farmers of the present 
time with all their modern ap- 
plianeces for harvesting and 
threshing their great fields of 
golden grain, in which horse 
and steam power play so con- 
spicuous a part, that there are 
yet men living among them 
that used the sickle, cradle. 
seythe and hand rake in har- 
vesting their entire crops of 
grain and hay; and who have 
swung the flail in rythmic mea- 
sure on many a winter’s day. 
But so it is, so swift has the 
tide of progress risen in the 
agriculture of the west. 

The only road which con- 
nected the settlements with 
the outside world was but lit- 
tle more than a trail, leading 
from Moscow, or rather from 
Rock Island, through Moscow 
to the Indian trading post 
kept by John Gilbert on the 
Iowa river, about two miles 
below the present site of Iowa 
City. This trail led through the 
central settlement, passing 
across the present site of West 
Liberty and crossing the west 
branch of the creek in section 
11-78-4 and then bearing 
northwesterly, running close to 
the spring in section 10, where 
was the Mormon cabin, then 
followed the ridge past the 
homes of Asa Gregg, J. Spring- 
er and Robert Harbor, and 
thence out on the prairie to 
the trading post. This old trail, 
afterward widened to the sem- 

blance of a road, can yet be 
traced over hills and through 
hollows, wherever the plow 

has not obliterated its mean- 
dering way. A peculiar feature 
of this and other old roads, 
long in disuse, is, that while 
the land by the side of them 
may have grown up thickly to 
brush and trees, it is rare that 
the road bed has been invad- 
ed; and they can still be 


traced through pastures and 
woodland, plain and open as 
when marked by passing 

Chapter XVIII. 

With the surveying of the 
land and opening of roads 
from river points to the capi- 
tal, which road crossed the Ce- 
dar river in the northeast] 
quarter of section 25-78-3, at 
Overman’s (then Boggs) fer- 
ry, a post office was establish- } 
ed in the Bagley-Clark-Corns | 
settlement, and S. a. Bagley 
Was appointed postmaster. 
The office was kept in his} 
dwelling, in the southwest 

quarter of section 1-78-4, and | 

the house stood on what is 
now the right of way of the 
B.C. R. & N. R. R., just north 
of the Iowa City road. To Mrs. 
W. A. Clark was given the 
honor of christening the new 
office and she said, ‘“‘Let it be 
called West Liberty,’”’ and so it 
was. The labors of the office 
were not onerous nor the emol- 
uments great, as the mails 
were not heavy in those days. 
Sometimes the office would 
receive its mail twice a week; 
sometimes once; and some- 
times once a month. Newspa- 
pers and periodicals were rare, 
and postage on letters twenty- 
five cents. It may be known 
that in the low financial ebb 
of the people they did not in- 
dulge in any unnecessary cor- 

With the removal of the 
eapitol trom Burlington to 
Iowa City in 1839, this road 
became traversed by a daily 
coach which carried the mail. 
The travel on this line of 
coaches at times was great and 
it has been known to pass in 
as many as seven sections. It 
was an inspiring sight to see 
the coaches with their four- 
horse teams come into the sta- 
tion one after another. The es- 
tablishment of this highway 
across the country diverted 
emigration from other routes, 
and it became a great artery 
of transportation of home- 
seekers to the farther west. 
So the silence and seclusion of 
the settlement was _ forever 
broken up, and it became a 
part of the great throbbing life 
of the nation. AS many as a 
hundred and fifty teams in 
one day have been counted, 
emigrants and freighters, pass- 
ing along this road, and there 
was no hour of the day but 
that the crack of the heavy ox 
whips could be heard, and the 
cries of the teamsters was in- 
cessant as they urged their 
weary beasts over hills and 
across valleys. At night the 
gleam of camp fires could be 
seen through the darkness, 
wherever grass and water af- 
forded the necessaries for @ 
camp. In the spring, on the 
thawing out of the ground, the 
condition of this road became 

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———_—_--_——_-__ ss 



West Liberty, Iowa 


Health Service 

Burkart Bldg. Fast 3rd St. 
West Liberty 


Food With a Reputation 

Hast 3rd Street West Liberty 


‘‘For better beauty service” 

West Liberty 


Dealer in Antique Glass and Furniture 

607 Calhoun St. West Liberty, Iowa 


Carpenter and Builder 

West Liberty 

Visit the 

Quick, Efficient Service 


Painting and Paper Hanging 

West Liberty 

Wal Sais 

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RO. ny ed aa 
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Wes in 

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something dreadful. The high- 
way was lined with wrecked 
and stranded vehicles, and the 
air tremulous with the 
anathemas of disgusted travel- 
ers and teamsters. ; 

The year of 1840 was un- 
eventful as regards new acces- 
sions to the various settie- 
ments as there were but few 
of them. On the lower Wapsie, 
Joseph Wesson took a claim 
in the north half of section 
24-77-4; also I find that a man 
by the name of Hunt occupied 
a cabin in the northeast quar- 
ter of section 14-78-4, near the 
present residence of John Rej- 
hal, at’ that time.’ By T. S. 
Schenck and Egbert Smith 
came that season, Schenck 
purchasing the claim of Asa 
Gregg, and Smith buying large 
tracts of land out on the prai- 
rie, farther to the west. But 
if the year was not fruitful 
as to number of accessions to 
the population of the valley, it 
was truitful as to the material 
progress the community was 
making. Hitherto they had 
been living in a most primitive 
manner. Churches they had 
none, schools they had none, 
mills they had none, but that 
Season they had opened a 
school, and two young men, 
Daniels and Eggleston, at- 
tempted the erection of a wa- 
ter power sawmill on the creek, 
just below the junction of the 
east and west branches, near 
where the Indians had their 
ford in the southwest quarter 
o? section 24-78-4, but, lacking 
the necessary engineering 
knowledge for the work, they 
failed when it came to putting 
the Wapsie into harness to 
work for the benefit of man. 
For, true to its wes‘ern na- 
ture, it rose in its 
swept away the feeble barriers 
that had vexed it and flowed 
on in its meandering course. 
But the huge log the boys had 
sunk for a mud sill to the dam 
remains to this day. 

Chapter XIX 

The following year, W. A. 
Clark erected a saw mill far- 
ther up the creek in southeast 
quarter of section 11-78-4. It 
was operated by John Bar- 
Tacks, who lived in a cabin on 
the hill just south of and over- 
looking the mill. This cabin 
stood on what is now the 
Prairie road, directly in front 
of the residence of Conrad 
Hormel. The operating of this 
mill marked the beginning of 
the decadence of the log cabin 
era in the Wapsie valley. 

Chapter XX. 

It is interesting to me to 
study the law governing the 
creation and development of 
things animate and inanimate, 
and note the similarity of its 

rage and’ 


operations in matters appar- 
ently entirely foreign to each 
other. Scientists have told us 
of the creation of life and its 
development from its lowest to 
its hignest forms. First there 
was a low form of vegetable 
or inanimate life, but little ele- 
vated in its structure above the 
inert torms of matter. Then a 
higher order bearing charac- 
teristics of animal life in its 
power to move freely from 
place to place. Then 2 form of 
animal life with plant like 
structure and fixed habitation. 
Farther on reptilian torms 
with bird like characteristics, 
and so on from period to per- 
iod, each epoch or era exhibit- 
ing torms of life distinct and 
peculiar to itself, but partak- 
ing somewhat of the form that 
had preceded it, as well as 
that of the one which was to 
follow, the periods of each lap- 
ping over on the other. It 

_ would be pleasant to pursue 

this theme to its supreme con- 
clusion, but enough has been 
said to serve the purpose for 
which it has been introduced. 

No more dwellings were 
erected solely of logs. Board 
floors above and below; cased 
windows and doors, and board 
doors appeared and_ brick 
chimneys began to take the 
place of the rude stick and 
mud piles that had hitherto 
been used. Occasionally a log 
house was weather-boarded 
outside and lathed and plas- 
tered within, making them 
quite like a frame dwelling in 
appearance and quite comfort- 
able. The furnishings of the 
houses also became more abun- 
dant and convenient and the 
comfort of the inmates much 
enhanced. To add to the evo- 
lutional aspect of the period, 
about, this time Egbert T. 
Smith appeared on the scene 
and bought lands in section 4 
and 5-78-4, after which he re- 
turned to Ohio and had much 
of the material for a commo- 
dious house there prepared 
ready to put together, and 
shipped down the Ohio river 
and up the Mississippi to 
Bloomington, and from there 
hauled it by ox teams to the 
place of erection. Parts of the 
frame were cut from native 
timber and sawn by hand with 
whip saws. The stones for the 
foundation were hauled from 
a quarry of Upper Silurian 
lime stone on the head waters 
of the Wapsie in section 2-79- 
4, better known in local his- 
tory as the -‘‘Hickory Grove 
Quarry.” To accomplish this, 
a road had to be opened and 
the sloughs and streams bridg- 
ed. It was a laborious process 
and took the greater part of 
the season, but at length the 
building was completed, and 
still stands, a monument of 
the change from the log cabin 
to the frame and brick dwell- 
ings that now dot and embel- 
lish our beautiful and pros- 

perous country. This place is 

well known as the “Henry 
Felkner place,” and is now 
owned by L. G. Wiggins. True 
there were many more 10g 
dwellings erected after that 
time, but they bore some of 
the characteristics of the com- 
ing forms of architecture along 
with their primitive forms. 

In 1841, Jesse Purrinton set- 
tled on the northwest quarter 
section 11-77-4 and his broth- 
er John on the northwest 
quarter section 36-78-4. His 
cabin stood on the west side of 
the creek. John Purrinton had 
about thirty acres fenced in 
on his place, and was one day 
found lying by the side of the 
fence dead. Rumor had it that 
he had been foully dealt with, 
and that the Indians were Tre- 
sponsible, while others claim- 
ed that he came to his death 
at the hand of a personal 
enemy; but there was nothing 
to substantiate either rumor, 
and it was conceded that he 
came to his death from natur- 
al causes. These were on the 
lower Wapsie which had at- 
tracted settlers much less than 
had townships 78 and 79-4. 
These townships had become 
quite thickly settled along the 
timber and settlers were be- 
ginning to edge away from the 
timber out on the _ prairie. 
There a new danger threaten- 
ed them each season. 

Chapter XXI. 

As has been stated, the prai- 
ries were prodigal in their 
growth of grass, and in the 
fall when this grass became 
dry, danger from fire was im- 
minent. When a fire was once 
started nothing but a stream 
or some barrier would stop its 
spread. One who has never 
witnessed a prairie fire on a 
large scale cannot realize the 
awful grandeur of the scene or 
experience the shuddering 
dread of the observer whose 
position is in the line of its 
approach. Sometimes it would 
approach like a great wave of 
flame, miles in length, not in 
a straight line, but bending in 
a long curve, the central por- 
tion traveling the faster, with 
swirling waves of fire running 
down depressions in advance 
of the main line, where the 
grass and weeds were the most 
luxuriant. At night the sky 
would be ligh‘ed up by its re- 
flection jong before the flames 
came into view. Vast billows 
of smoke and cinders would 
hang over its approach or roll 
in advance of the fire, obseur- 
ing the sun and casting a pall 
of darkness over the country. 
As the flames came nearer 
they would light the scene 
with their red glare, and the 
crackling of the burning grass 
and roar of the conflagration 
would shut out all other 
sounds. Birds and wild ani- 
mals, startled and frightened, 


would go hurrying past, seek- 
ing shelter in the woods and 
along the streams, and in their 
flight showing but little fear 
of their mortal enemy, Man, 
At such a time woe to the set- 
tler whose improvements were 
On the open prairie or unlpro- 
tected places. Of but little use 
were ordinary prvtections from 
fire if the wind was strong, for 
the flames, bearing great 
masses of burning’ grass, 
would Jeap long distances and 
start fresh fires far ahead of 
the main line; and the tum- 
ble weeds, taking fire, would 
roll and bound across plowed 
strips to spread the devasta- 
tion on the other side. Mary 
were the stacks of hay and 
grain and miles of rail fence 
destroyed by these fires. John 
G. Lane had been here and 
erected a log house on the hill, 
north of where Joe Lane now 
resides, and had gone back for 
his family. While he was gone, 
fire swept over the prairie and 
into the timber, and when he 
returned with his family, noth- 

ing but blackened logs and 
a heap of ashes marked the 
spot where the house had 

In 1840, Jacob Romaine and 
S. YT. Chesebrough came, seek- 
ing for a location for homes, 
but as Romaine failed to oc- 
cupy a log house, so far as I 
can learn, no farther mention 
of him is made farther than 
that he located on the nor‘h- 
west quarter of section 15-78- 
4. Chesebrough had this ad- 
vantage, so far as this chron- 
icle is concerned, in that the 
place on which he finally set- 
tled—tthe northeast quarter of 
the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion 15-78-4, where C. A. Pur- 
vis now resides, had a log cab- 
in on it when it came into his 
possession, but the cabin was 
not entirely finished and was 
never occupied as a dwelling. 
Also in that he lived for a 
time in the cabin built by 
Coleman in the southeast quar- 
ter of section 29-79-4. George 
Barnes died there in 1842 and 
Coleman moving away, the 
place was divided and sold, and 
Chesebrough and S. A. Barnes 
attended to that business, liv- 
ing in the cabin till it was ac- 
complished. S. A. Barnes after- 
ward, in 1849, built a log 
house farther north on the 
same description, where he liv- 
ed till he retired from the 
farm. The place is now known 
as the Compton farm. 

Chapter XXTI. 

As has been stated, about 
the years 1840-1 attempts had 
been made to harness the 
Wapsie and utilize its power 
in sawing lumber, but with no 
great success, for the stream 
was capricious and _ willful. 
But about that time Egbert T. 
Smith conceived a far more 
Quixotean feat. He would har- 


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(1914 | 

W. C. Anderson & Son 
Nifecdere of 

Shorthorn Catile as Seren ares 

. Show herd on display at all times 

Home Cooked Meals 

Poland China Hogs 

Come and see Queen Marie; the highest selling Cigarettes 
sow of any breed in 1938, and her litter of Pautrind 
: twelve. 

Ice Cream 
Farm 514 miles southwest of West Liberty 

. Visitors always welcome 

Jee at Reasonable Prices 
OCTOBER 11, 1938 


To the town of West Liberty, one of the grandest 
little towns in the United States of America 

The Shell Oil Company 
One of the largest and finest oil companies 
in the whole wide world. 


Complete Year Around Service 
E. W. Dunker, Prop. 


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ness an Iowa zephyr and util- 
ize its power for his own pur- 
pose. In this he but proved 
himself a veritable ‘‘tender- 
foot’, for no one who was 
used to the winter’s blizzards 
or summer’s squalls would 
have had the temerity to at- 
tempt such a thing. But Smith 
was sanguine and had _ the 
means to exploit his daring 

He erected a huge tower of 
massive timbers on which he 
placed a wind wheel, the like 
of which has never before or 
since been seen. When it was 
completed he attached a saw 
and thought to compete with 
the water mill farther down 
the creek. He had now com- 
pleted his part of the contract 
and “whistled for the wind’’ to 
do its part. But the wind 
would only work its own wild 
will. It laughed at Smith’s te- 
merity; it roared at his auda- 
city; it whispered its displeas- 
ure; it shrieked at his inter- 
ferencé; it howled, it sulked, 
it bucked, it balked; it shook 
his machine in its frenzy; it 
would not be tampered and 
work his saw, and he acknow- 
ledged in language more force- 
ful than elegant his defeat by 
an Iowa zephyr. 

Also in 1841, Enoc Lewis 
came from Ohio, bringing his 
numerous family of boys and 
girls, and took the place of 
Robert Stuart, who was ready 
to move on to newer scenes. 
The coming of this family was 
of keen interest to the young 
people of the community, and 
they soon had many callers of 
both sexes, who were anxious 
to be of service to the family 
in arranging their affairs. to 
suit their changed surround- 
ings, and incidentally to be- 
come acquainted with the 
young people. Along with the 
Lewises came William Hender- 
son, a son-in-law, and his fam- 
ily. They settled in va litte 
house across the road from the 
Lewises in the northwest quar- 
ter of section 11-78-4, just 
south of the old residence of 
Preston Brown, but it was not 
long till he sold the place to 
Jacob Adams and bought a 
farm and built a frame house 
on it in Cedar county, and for 
that reason is without the pale 
of this history only as recall- 
ed by the following incident. 


In 1850, William Henderson 
was living on the south edge 
of Cedar county in the south- 
west quarter of section S02 00- 
4, where Sam McLaughlin now 
resides. They had neighbors to 
the south of them, but to the 
north it was unbroken prairie. 
The family consisted of five 
children, the youngest, Lizzie, 
had just passed her second 
birthday anniversary. It was in 
September of that year and the 
country lay in all its ripening 
beauty. The grass had grown 
tall and brown in the summer 


sun and autumn winds, and the 
foliage of the woods off to the 
south was beginning to show 
gold and crimson in the sea- 
son’s completion. The sur- 
rounding fields of corn were 
revealing their wealth of yel- 
low grain where the ripening 
husks were parting, and the 
tassels and blades were be- 
coming ragged with age. The 
family had been busy all the 
morning with their every day 
avocations and a condition of 
peace and security rested over 
the household. The father was 
away helping a neighbor with 
his threshing and after dinner 
the mother left the children 
and went to her father’s, who 
lived a quarter of a mile away. 
Lizzie, a bright eyed, vivacious 
child, the pet of her brothers 
and sister, and the joy of her 
parents, was playing through 
the house and out of doors as 
suited her fancy. She had 
found an old shoe and a moc- 
casin and playfully clad her 
feet in them. The other chil- 
dren heard her artless prattle 
as she was amusing herself and 
paid but little attention to her 
while busy with their own em- 
ployment. But about three o’- 
clock they realized that Liz- 
zie’s voice was no longer to 
be heard, nor was she any- 
where to be seen; so one of 
them went to the door and 
called but there was no re- 
sponse. Then they called more 
loudly, ‘Lizzie, where are 
you?”’ Still Lizzie did not an- 
swer. They then searched 
through the house, thinking 
sister might have fallen asleep 
in some corner, but the search 
was fruitless. They - then 
searched around the house and 
outbuildings, but no sign of the 
child was discovered. Then, 
thoroughly frightened, one of 
their number went to their 
grandfather's to apprise their 

mother that baby was lost. 
The mother, filled with anxi- 
ety, hurried home, and she 

searched and called but all in 
vain. It was now late in the 
afternoon and one of the boys 
was sent for their father, for 
alarm had taken the place of 
anxiety. While waiting his 
coming, the others of the fam- 
ily made a more systematic 

search of the premises and 
then scattered out over the 
prairie, calling the child’s 

name and listening for a reply: 
They searched along the bare 
ground and at the edge of the 
corn fields for tracks or some 
sign of her having passed that 
which was 

way. The hog lot, 
east of the house #nd a few 
rods away, was scanned with 

a fearful dread, lest she had 
wandered that way and the 
hogs had attacked and de- 
voured her. The slough well, 
which was only protected by 
a low rail pen, was ¢arefully 
examined, fearing possibly she 
had climbed up the rails and 
fallen therein. But all of this 

search revealed nothing of the 

lost baby. Not a track could 
be found, or a remnant of her 
clothing to show which way 
she had gone. Had she wand- 
ered out on the prairie and 
been gored and trampled to 
death by the herds of half-wild 
cattle that roamed there? Had 
she reached the creek that 
flowed dark and deep a half 
mile away and there found a 
watery grave? These were pus- 
sibilities presented to the minds 
of her parents. 

Night was coming and Lizzie 
was lost. These were the only 
certainties. Then a_ general 
alarm was given. The boys 
were sent to the nearest neigh- 
bors for help in the search, and 
they in turn, sent word to 
those farther away, till the 
people for miles around were 
notified, and they soon began 
to arrive, singly and in squads. 
Meanwhile it was growing dark 
and there came no relief from 
the agonizing suspense. You 
parents with bright little chil- 
dren around your knees, who 
make music in your homes 
and lighten the cares of your 
lives with their artless prat- 
tle and trusting ways, picture 
to yourselves the feeling of 
that father and mother that 
night. Food was prepared for 
the family by kind neighbors, 
but they could not eat; they 
could not rest. The evening 
chores went undone. There was 
no thought for anything but 
Lizzie, and she out in the nignt 
and all alone. Where was she? 
As it grew dark, lights could 
be seen in every direction, as 
the searchers roamed the fields 
and prairie. Back and forth, 
back and forth, through the 
corn fields and across the 
prairie they passed, long lines 
of earnest men and boys, on 
foot and on horseback, scruti- 
nizing every patch of weeds, 
and every thicket, and listen- 
ing intently for any sound. 
The banks of the creek were 
earefully examined for foot 
prints, but all was in vain. Not 
a sign, not a sound, was there 
of the missing baby. 

. Late in the evening, Free- 
man Alger was passing, on his 
way from his home to that of 
the Hendersons, his way tak- 
ing him across a piece of open 
prairie, and on passing a bare 
spot of ground, saw by the 
light of his lantern some de- 
pressions in the soft soil. A 
careful examination of these 
showed that they had been 
made by some one wearing a 
moccasin on one foot and a 
shoe on the other. These signs 
he reported to the other search- 
ers, and an investigation es- 
tablished the fact that the Ht- 
tle girl’s feet had been thus 
clad when she was last seen. 
There, then, was the first 
tangible evidence of the pass- 
ing of the child; and from it 
it seemed reasonably certain 


that she had not wandered 
away to the north onto the 
open prairie and toward the 
creek, but probably had seen 
her mother when she started 
for the neighbor’s and attempt- 
ed to follow her, till she had 
become bewildered and then 
wandered aimlessly on. Then 
the searchers, encouraged by 
this discovery, pursued more 
zealously their quest. There 
was open prairie to the north 
of where: the tracks were 
found and a piece of new 
breaking covered with weeds 
to the south. Over these tracts 
they ranged back and fortb 
in the darkness, but found 
nothing more and at length 
decided to give over the search 
till morning. Meanwhile they 
built a line of fires of rails 
taken from the nearest fence 
across the strip of ovrairie to 
prevent danger of an attack on 
the child by wolves during the 
hours of darkness. Around 
these fires they bivouacked for 
the night. 

It was a wierd scene there 
on the prairie that night. The 
light of the fires was reflect- 
ed from the clouds, and the 
shadows of the men and horses 
reached out in uncouth pro- 
portions across the prairie. 
Nor was it a silent company 
that waited there for the com- 
ing of the dawn. Made up as 
it was mostly of young men 
and boys they must needs 
find means to enliven the 
weary hours of waiting, for to 
sleep was not thought of. It 
is needless to say that William 
Henderson did not participate 
in their hilarity, but, riding 
out into the darkness, he 
would try to pierce the gloom 
in his search for his daughter 
and listen with tense senses 
for some sound from her. Once 
or twice he thought he heard 
her wailing cry, but the feeble 
sound was lost in the generaf 
noises, and he could not locate 
it. As revealed by the events 
of the following day, there 
was but little doubt that hig 
conjectures were right and 
that he did hear her voice. But 
if the feeling of those out 
there on the prairie that night 
was intense, what may be said 
of those at the house, who 
waited and watched in inac- 
tion and suspense through 
those weary hours of dark- 
ness. At times some neighbor 
would ride out from the line 
and report to the watchers at 

the house. But the report was 
always the same. “Nothing 
discovered.’’ At last the east 

began to redden and as the 
light increased, the searchers 
prepared to resume their quest, 
this time to the south, where 
they had:some*Treason to be- 
lieve the child would be found. 
They formed a_ close line 
across the prairie, eighty rods 
in length, and the command 

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—————— nn ES 

PRUDENTIAL Standard Oil Co. 



Have been sold in an efficient 
way in West Liberty for the 

past thirty years. 

Phone 221 
Efficient service still being giv- 

The Prudential Insurance Company en at the Standard Station, Cal- 
of America houn and Fourth Streets and 
EDWARD D. DUFFIELD, President ? ane nies 
Home Office, Newark, N. J. by our TWO TANK WAGONS. 

Also GENERAL LINES Mel Sander, Distributor 


Throughout the week of the Centennial we shall 

have open house and cordially invite Centennial-goers 

to use our home as a meeting and resting place. 

Conner Funeral Home 

Private Ambulance , Phone 155 

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was given to advance. There 
was no shouting now or bois- 
terous laughter or loud talk- 
ing, but each member of the 
line moved silently and stead- 
ily to the south, scanning each 
bunch of rank grass and patch 
of weeds, hoping yet dreading 
what there might be revealed, 
and listening for any sound 
that might give a clue to what 
they sought. Just as the sun 
was gilding the hill tops they 
reached the edge of the break- 
ing that was overgrown with 
weeds, and had proceeded but 
a short distance over it, when 
William Richardson spied the 
form of the child among the 
weeds. Clark Lewis was the 
first to -reach her. She was 
sitting on the ground among 
the weeds, her hair wet with 
dew and her cheeks stained 
with tears, but she was alive 
and unharmed. Lewis picked 
her up and placed her in her 
father’s arms, who, mute with 
intense thanksgiving, turned 
toward home with his precious 
burden. Then there went up 
such a shout as never before 
or since has echoed across that 
prairie. Lizzie was borne swift- 
ly to the waiting mother’s 
arms, and nestled there in 
sweet security, while her moth- 
er was loathe to let her go 
from her. It was a long time 
before Lizzie forgot the ter- 
rors of that night, and many 
times awoke from her sleep 
with a start and a cry of ter- 
ror. It was in the southeast 
quarter of section 2-78-4, 
southwest of the Friends cem- 
etery where she was found. 
This occurrence is remembered 
by the participants in the 
search as the most stirring, 
event that ever transpired in 
that neighborhood. 

The year 1842 saw the ar- 
rival of the Algers, Freemans 
and Skillmans from Ohio. 
Skillman bought land in the 
southwest quarter of section 
5-78-3 and built a log house 
on the north part of the same, 
where they resided, while Free- 
man purchased the real estate 
of S. A. Bagley on which was 
situated the West Liberty 
post office and tavern. With 
them came Daniel Crane, an- 
other Ohio boy. He worked 
for and made his home with 
Freeman Alger for’ three 
years. There was also at Algers 
a young girl, Narcissa Hill by 
name, who made her’ home 
there and attended school in 
the nearby school house. At 
the end of three years, Miss 
Hill returned to her parental 
home three miles north of 
Iowa City. Daniel soon found 
he needed a change of scene, 
so he left Algers and sought 
employment north of the City 
in the neighborhood of the 
Hills. The sequel to all this 
was that in December, 1848, 
Daniel Crane and WNarcissa 
Hill were united in marriage 

- Was of an 


at the home of the bride’s par- 
ents. Meantime Crane had be- 
come possessed of a lot of 
ten acres in the southeast 
quarter of section 2-78-4 on 
which he erected a log house 
and there they began house- 
keeping. There they spent 
three years, when they pur- 
chased land out on the prairie 
in the northeast quarter of 
section 16-78-4 and moved 
there, where they spent many 
years of their lives. Crane 
investigating, in- 
quiring turn of mind, much 
given to inventive thought. He 
was the inventor of a farm 
gate that for convenience and 
simplicity of construction has 
few equals. He also construct- 
ed and patented a double corn 
plow which he considered an 
acme of perfection and with 
which he himself successfully 
cultivated annually his corn 
crop till well on to his eighti- 
eth year of age. The lot on 
which they first settled was 
a part of the town of West 
Liberty, which was platted in 
1839, and included part otf 
the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 1-78-4 and a part of the 
southeast quarter of section 

In 1842, Samuel Hunter and 
his family came from Pennsyl- 
vania and took up their abode 
in a cabin which stood on the 
present ground of the Union 
District Agricultural Society. 
They afterward settled on the 
southeast quarter of section 
23-78-4. There was also a log 
house on the northeast quar- 
ter of the same section, occu- 
pied for a time by Samuel Laf- 
ferty and later by James 
Hunter: The year 1843 seems 
to have been an uneventful 
one to the community and no 
new settlers are reported for 
that year, but in 1844 James 
Graham came and built a log 
house on the southwest quar- 
ter of section 27-78-4, near 
the present residence of BE. EH. 
Wolt. These later houses stood 
on the open prairie some dis- 
tance from any protecting tim- 
ber and showed by their loca- 
tion that the people were 
becoming used to the vastness 
of the prairies. But one can 
conceive of the Joneliness to 
the occupants of these jsolat- 
ed prairie homes and _ the 
dreariness at times of their 
surroundings; and how insig- 
nificant seemed their puny 
improvements in contrast to 
the wide expanse of hiil and 
vale on every side. 

This Graham was a great 
lover of the chase, but withal 
of a tender heart toward all 
God’s creatures. One winter— 
it is still remembered by the 
pioneers for its .severe cold 
and deep snows—Graham con- 
ceived the idea of saving a 
remnant of the many herds 
of deer that were in danger 

of perishing by starvation. So 
he erected a log stable, or 
rather a corral, and on itg 
completion proceeded to fill 
it with deer. In this undertak- 
ing he was assisted by the 
neighbor boys. Mounting their 
horses they would ride out on 
the prairie till a herd of deer 
was sighted, then quietly ap- 
proach them under such cover 
as the country afforded, when 
they would break cover and 
the race began. Away they 

went, over hills and across 
valleys, through drifts and 
patches of brush, the deer 

pounding away in their fright, 
their antlers laid back on their 
shoulders and their tails car- 
ried plume-like high over their 
backs, the horsemea urging 
on their foaming steeds with 
whip and spur. But the racs 
was an unequal one, for the 
deer, weak from want and 
sinking deep in the crusted 
snow at every bound, were 
soon overtaken, when, with a 
swish, the lasso uncoiled its 
length loop after loop till it 
dropped over the horns or 
neck of its victim. Then began 
a mad struggle, for an infuri- 
ated buck is no mean antago- 
nist to try conclusions with; 
but like ali created things, the 
deer had to succumb to the 
superior intelligence of man, 
and they were led and drag- 
ged to what to them was a 
prison pen. This operation 
was repeated till Graham had 
twenty-eight of them in his 
corral, but they did not take 
kindly to his well meant kind- 
ness. They fretted for the free- 
dom of the hills, and would 
eat but little or nothing at all. 
After a number had died of 
nostalgia and hunger, Graham 
opened the corral door and 
let the rest of them go free. 

Charles Buckman came to 
the country in 1844 and resid- 
ed for a time on a small lot 
of six acres which he purchased 
of Samuel Hendrickson in the 
northwest quarter of section 
6-78-3. That same year James 
Traier arrived and bought the 
improvements of John Barrack, 
which were on the northeast 
quarter of the northwest quar- 
ter of section 2-78-4, now 
owned by G. W. McFadden. 
John Marsh, a son-in-law of 
Traier, came at the same time 
and settled on the northeast 
quarter of section 15-78-4, 
where he lived in a log cabin 
for some time. This house was 
later utilized as a school house, 
the first one used for that 
purpose in that neighborhood. 
In 1845, David Frank arrived 
in that settlement and after 
dwelling for a time in the 
house erected by Huliett in 
1837, and later occupied by 
Frances Foot and still later 
by DeMoss, he got possession 

of the farm formerly owned 
by John Purrinton and built 


a new log house on the east 
side of the creek, where he 
lived tor many years. The 
place is still well known as 
the Frank place. John Wright, 
coming from Ohio that year, 
selected land in the south- 
east corner of township 79-4. 
He then bought the log house 
of Cornelius Lancaster and 
moved it on the line between 
Muscatine and Cedar coun- 
ties, where the east Spring- 
dale road intersects that line, 

With tne arrival of this 
family a new element entered 
iuto the community, as they 
were of the Society of Friends. 
and brought with them the 
tenets and customs of that 
peaceful sect, and they will 
long be remembered by their 
descendants and friends for 
their worthiness and the gent- 
leness and peacefulness of 
their demeanor, This was a 
nucleus that later attracted 
others of a like belief, till they 
had a strong society of that 
faith with a house of wor- 
ship at the cemetery in the 
northwest quarter of section 
1-78-4. In the same year, 
Jacob Adams and his son-in- 
law, Preston Brown, arrived. 
Adams bought the farms of 
Enoch Lewis in the southwest 
quarter of section 2-78-4 and 
of Henderson in the northwest 
quarter of section 11-78-4, 
Brown occupying the Hender- 
son homestead and Adams that 
of Lewis. After John Wright 
moved to his farm, John Mark- 
ley occupied the vacant cabin. 
In 1846, Clark Lewis, having 
married, proceeded to improve 
his farm which consisted of a 
part of the northeast quarter, 
of section 3-78-4. He bought 
a log cabin which stood on 
the Nyce tract and moved it to 
the farm, using it for a dwell- 
ing. This was the house, the 
contemplation of the original 
site of which, led to the writ- 
ing of this history. After 
Lewis had erected a neat little 
frame cottage, the cabin was 
relegated to more ignominious 
uses, and when the writer was 
a boy he often played at hide- 
and-seek in it with his com- 
panions and hunted eggs in 
the old building, but was not 
aware, until collecting mater- 
ial for this narrative, that it 
was the building that had in- 
spired the undertaking. The 
frame house that Lewis built 
in 1847 still stands on the site 
where erected and is now c¢ec- 
cupied by the writer and his 

From this time on there 
were but few new log houses 
erected. Some were torn down 
and moved to other places and 
some were occupied by other 
people than the original build- 
ers. In 1847, John LaRue took 
the place -of Sam _ Proctor, 
where he remained to the time 
of his death. It is presumable 

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Phone 37 West Liberty 


The first transfer of this parcel of 

[: L Ma a Ni fae LU R S T = A R MI ee was made by the government in 

In the spring of 1899 the farm known 
as the Robert Miller place was purchas- 
ed by Mr. and Mrs. F. D. Steen. 

General lines of farming and live stock breeding were engaged in. Attention was given to improve- 
ment of corn with regard to yield, maturity and strong stalk. Out of this work was developed a variety 
later known as ‘‘Steen Yellow Dent’? which made a record in the state yield test. With the coming of the 
new method of growing hybrids, this variety of corn was displaced by hybrid production. This system 
does things that could not be done in the old way. The result is a corn that will stand more extremes of 
heat, cold, drought, storm resistant and gives increased yields that in some cases amount to thirty busb- 
els per acre over older varieties, 

In order to engage in hybrid corn seed production to a maximum efficiency with regard 
to a supply of the best suited parent stock; advertising and general good will, an agree- 
ment was entered into with the Pfister company of Illinois, which supplies the best adapt- G&S 
ed strains of parent stock, which are multiplied for the seed trade under their careful super- eorge 
vision on my farm. 

Every bushel of seed carries a certified tag that was produced under approved methods & ts ‘oe & ve) 
of isolation, carefully de-iasseled, dried, graded, and treated with mercury dust to guard eed 
against growth in the sprouting stage. In order to carry out a program of this kind a seed 
house was built and equipped with the last word in equipment, each machine designed for a FARM & SEED Hous 
Particular purpose. 
vat 216 miles west of 

The first seed which was sold in 1904 from a small beginning, through the years has West Liberty. Haif 
frown into a business supplying many farms with the best in seed corn. ; vais he 

mile south of High- 

Better Corn Means Better Livestock, More Profit way No. 6 
.... and Better Living 

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that about this time Dr. Henry 
displaced William Proctor, as 
Dr. Henry was living there 
some time previous to 1852. 
In 1848, Paxton Wright came 
to Iowa, and so well pleased 
was he that he selected land 
and returned to Ohio for his 
family. But before the move 
could be consummated he sick- 
ened and died. The next sea- 
son his widow and her family 
executed the plans that had 
been made and came to the 
Wapsie valley. They took up 
their abode in the cabin occu- 
pied by John Markley while 
they built on their farm in 
Cedar county. Markley after- 
ward built a cabin in the south- 
east corner of the northwest 
quarter of section 25-79-4, on 
what is now the Ben Fenster- 
maker farm, where he lived 
till in 1852, when he joined 
the company of goldseekers in 
California. Quite a large com- 
pany was made up in the Wap- 
sie region and went to Cali- 
fornia that season, going over- 
land with ox teams. That sec- 
tion of land on which Markley 
built was rather an anomalous 
spot to be found in a prairie 
country, as it was mostly cov5 
ered with thick growth of elm 
and other forest trees and 
brush and became known tar 
and near as Elm Grove. To 
one with a hunter’s instinct 
it was an ideal spot, as it was 
on the watershed of the two 
branches of the east Wapsie, 
as well as the high ground 
dividing the Cedar and Iqwa 
rivers and was a great Tesort 
for deer and wolves, as well 
as turkeys, and 
days for elk and lynx. 

Long before this time Brad- 
ford Hinyon had grown tired 
ot his place, or saw something 
more attractive elsewhere, for 
we find that in 1840 George 
W. Van Horn was living there, 
and continued to do so till 
in 1848, when Nehemiah Chase 
came upon the scene. He had 
brought his family from Ohio 
the year previously and set- 
tled near Pine Mills in town- 
ship 77-1 E, but upon visiting 
this settlement was so im- 
pressed with its future possi- 
bilities that he soon effected 
an exchange with Van Horn, 
and so the Chase family be- 
came ever afterward a conspic- 
uous part of the community. 
An incident occurred in the 
Chase house one evening that 
may be of interest to some 
it the present time as showing 
wnat was possible to occur 
even at that late date in the 
comn.unity’s history. They 
were living in a log house and 
one evening they had a fire 
tn the fireplace, around which 
the children were gathered 
for warmth. There was a 
broad stone hearth in front of 
the fire as was the custom, 

in the early. 


and the floor of the house did 
not fit as closely -to ‘this 
hearthstone as a joiner of the 
present day would consider a 
workmanlike job. In fact there 
were numerous holes and crev- 
asses in the floor through 
which the rats sometimes came 
into the room. Under the 
floor the rats had excavated 
numerous tunnels in which 
they held high carnival at 
night. As the children were 
sitting around the hearth en- 
joying the warmth, and were 
chatting and laughing as a 
group of lively good natured 
children will, they were start- 
led by a peculiar buzzing sound, 
which, when once heard, is 
never mistaken for any other 
sound though many others 
may be mistaken for it; and 
looking down they saw a huge 
rattlesnake slowly emerging 
from a hole in the floor in 
the midst of them and crawl- 
ing out on the hearthstone, 
where it proceeded to make it- 
self comfortable, meantime 
sounding its rattles in warn- 
ing and defiance. It is need- 
less to say there was a sudden 
stampede from that comfort- 
able fireplace and his snake- 
ship was speedily dispatched. 
It had crawled under the house 
*hrough one of the rat holes. 
and tempted by the genial 
warmth, had come up into the 

While the school facilities 
of those early days were mea- 
ger and crude in the extreme, 
the thirst for knowledge in the 
rising generations was of the 
strenuous order. One of our 
veterans, in talking of the 
matter, remarked that his on- 
ly opportunity to attend school 
was on stormy days in winter, 
as he was of an age to help 
his father in his work, yet 
with these meager opportuni- 
ties he laid the foundation for 
a broad and liberal education 
in life’s great university. An- 
other, a woman, born in Mus- 
catine county, and one who 
has seen the wonderful chang- 
es that sixty-one years has 
wrought, gave me her exper- 
ience in obtaining such an ed- 
ucation as the schools of those 
days afforded. Her home was 
nearly three miles from the 
school, and all the way was 
through thick woods and 
brush and swampy prairie, 
with no road or path save an 
Indian trail a part of the way. 
Over this long way she and 
her sister walked back and 
forth through the hot summer 
days, crossing the creek on a 
log. She was of a timid na- 
ture, and often became fright- 
ened at things real or fancied 
in that daily walk to and from 
the school. One time it was a 
wolf that crossed their path 
between her and her compan- 
ion. Once it was a wild hog 
that frightened them and 
drove them to seek refuge in 
a deserted cabin. Another day 
it was the deep croaking of a 

bull frog in a nearby marsh, 
which she fancied was some 
wild savage monster. 

In 1849, Elias Troutman 
came to the neighborhood. He 
settled in the cabin that had 
been occupied by Chas. Buck- 

man. This cabin was the Cox . 

house, which had stood on the 
north side of the creek, on 
the Arvine Quier place. Trout- 
man was a blacksmith and had 
a shop in the road just north 
of his house, where he did the 
custom work for the neighbor- 
hood. Sometime later this cab- 
in was occupied by the family 
of M. B. Watters. It probably 
originally was one of the Mor- 
mon houses, erected in 1836. I 
speak of these cabins — the 
John Wright house and the 
Buckman house—more partic- 
ularly than of many others, as 
they seemingly had more di- 
verse occupants than had oth- 
ers. On the west fork of the 
creek, John Whistler appear- 
ed in 1849 and located on the 
southwest quarter of the north- 
west quarter of section 37-39- 
4 and Eliza Whistler, a widow 
became a resident of the south- 
east quarter of the northeast 
quarter of section 33-79-4. 

In the autumn of 1850, Han- 
son Gregg and W. W. Watters 
were arrivals in that same 
neighborheed.@nd put up for 
the winter in cabins on the 
southwest quarter of section 
28-79-4. One of these was the 
Atwood house, which had been 
occupied by the family of A. 
G. Smith, but who had built a 
house a short distance to the 
south. Hanson Gregg decided 
to remain there, and occupied 
the premises to the time of his 
death, while Dr. Watters went 
farther east and settled near 
the present site of Atalissa. 

Chapter XXTIT 

All this time the upper set- 
tlement on the west Wapsie 
had been without school priv- 
ileges, and the children were 
growing up in ignorance, or 
with such book knowledge as 
they could obtain at home. 
This condition moved Albert 
G. Smith to take the initiative 
in erecting a suitable building 
for school purposes. He offered 
ground for the site and his 
share of material and labor to 
erect a house. By his efforts. 
in 1840, trees were felled and 
hewn for the building, but in 
the meantime Smith sickened 
and died and the work came 
to a standstill. But the follow- 
ing season it was again taken 
up. It was of hewn logs, a full 
story high and boasted a board 
floor. a shaved shingle roof, 
a lathed and plastered ceiling, 
and chinked with lime mortar. 
The dimensions of this palat- 
ial building were sixteen feet 
each way, outside measure- 
ment. The furnishings were a 
row of slab benches next to 
the wall on three sides of the 
building, in front of which 
were long desks, and another 
row of slab benches in front 


of them for the juveniles. The 
other end of the room was oc- 
cupied by a blackboard and 
the teacher’s desk, while in 
the center of the room was 
the stove, a huge box-like af- 
fair that consumed wood out 
of all proportion to the heat 
engendered. Instead of a chim- 
ney, the pipe extended up 
through the roof, where the 
dew and rain soon rusted holes 
in it and where a spark one 
day escaped, setting fire to the 
roof. It was a pitiful little 
blaze, likely to soon go out. 
but some of the larger boys 
mounted to the roof by means 
of a rail for a ladder and kept 
the flame alive while some of 
the smaller pupils ran a quar- 
ter of a mile for a pail of 
water, and, on their return, 
the application of a few cups 
of water extinguished the con- 
flagration and saved the build- 
ing for further usefulness. 

This house stood on the hill- 
side, on the open prairie in the 
northwest quarter of section 
33-79-4, near the southeast 
corner of the present Downey 
cemetery, where it remained 
till in 1858, when it was torn 
down and moved to section 
18-78-4 and there rebuilt and 
occupied as a dwelling by 
John M. Gibson and family for 
many years. In this. school 
house in 1850 school was call- 
ed by Susan Collins and had 
the following enrollment as 
pupils: Frances, Martha and 
Elizabeth Hawkins; Sarah 
Jane, Andrew and James, chil- 
dren of Andrew Brishbine, and 
Sarah Jane, daughter of Wil- 
liam Brisbane; Susan and Eu- 
gene Smith; Kate, John and 
Mary Jane, children of Eliza 
Whistler, and Oran and Lavin- 
ia, children of John Whistler. 
While used as a school build- 
ing it was the scene of many 
an interesting gathering, be- 
ing utilized as a public hall 
where spelling schools, liter- 
ary societies, church services 
and Sunday schools were held, 
and was occasionally visited 
by itinerant showmen of var- 
ious sorts. The winter of 1857- 
8, the writer attended school 
there when there was an en- 
rollment of 42, 
age attendance was very good; 
so an idea may be formed that 
there was no waste room in 
that building. The district liv- 
ed under the cognomen of 
“Buzzard’s Glory.” By the re- 
moval of that building there 
passed away one of the pictur- 
esque landmarks of those 
times and customs. Within its 
walls there had met, as pupils 
and teachers, those who after- 
ward became well known in 
the councils of the state. 

Chapter XXIV 

As has been mentioned, our 
pioneers while sometimes 
rough in manner and speech, 
were religiously inclined, and 
welcomed the itinerant preach- 
er who came among them at 
irregular intervals, and wel- 

and the aver- , 

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wo “banoltaves and oh 



Insurance — Real Estate 
Rental Property 


West Liberty State Bank Building 

Calhoun Street 


Auto Repairing — Battery Charging 



Calhoun Street West Liberty Third Street — — — West Liberty 

Good Groceries Good Eats 

Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Meyer, Props. West Liberty, Lowa 



15 years of 

5c Sandwiches tnt Third Street 

West Liberty 

SOFT DRINKS West Liberty, Iowa 



wate oxo BOE mile, or 

ehisdi] dW oa taht brid’ 

api io eROoeT 


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eg YER 


comed no less another class 
that followed close after the 
first settlers of every region. 
These were men who in many 
instances carried no certifi- 
eates of ordination from any 
ecclesiastical body, 
felt that they had a “‘call’’ to 
preach, and were known in lo- 
cal parlance as “local preach- 
ers’”* and ‘“exhorters.’’ These 
men came here to make homes 
for their families, as well as 
to “preach the Gospel’ to 
their fellow men and look aft- 
er the scattered sheep in the 
wilderness till a regular shep- 
herd should appear to take 
charge of the flock. Denomin- 
ational lines were very dimly 
drawn, if drawn at all, and 
differences of practice were 
kept in the background. These 
local preachers did not always 
carry a high order of intellect- 
ual training, or of ecclesiastic- 
al knowledge, and were con- 
tent to ‘present the plain 
truths of the Bible story in 
metaphors and similes drawn 
from their surroundings. 
While sometimes their dis- 
courses were rambling and 
lacking in rhetorical polish 
and force, yet they were full 
of the meat of the word, and 
no one questioned the earnest- 
ness or purity of purpose of 
the speaker. These men were 
of a class always found on the 
erest of the first wave of civ- 
ilization that rolled from the 
east over the hills and valleys 
of New England, the dense for- 
ests of the middle valley and 
the prairies and plains of the 
farther west, and never stop 
so long as there is a new set- 
tlement or miner’s camp in 
which the Gospel is not preach- 
ed. Ever earnest and active, no 
conditions are so trying or 
danger so great but that for 
love of the Master they dare 
and endure to plant the seeds 
of spiritual truths and culti- 
vate the virtues of a godly life. 

Some of these men were 
characters in their way, and 
are yet remembered by many, 
not only for the purity of their 
purposes, but also for peculiar- 
ities of their manners. One I 
well remember. I will not tell 
what denomination he profess- 
‘ed to represent. A cabinet 
maker by trade, he worked at 
‘that occupation during the 
week and on the Sabbath 
would conduct religious serv- 
ices in some of the surround- 
ing school houses. ° TF cannot 
truthfully say his discourses 
were great flights of eloquence, 
but they were memorable for 
their manner of delivery, if 
not for the thoughts delivered. 
His prayers and invocations 
were of the stereotyped order, 
and by frenauent repetitions 
soon became the common prop- 
erty of his hearers, One young 
lady who used to sit on the 
seat just in front of the writer 
somewhat detracted from the 
proper solemnity of the oecas- 
lon by repeating in an audible 
whisper the matter of his 
petition, keeping about three 
-words in advance of him. He 

but yet . 


would deliver his discourse in 
a sing-song tone, ending his 
pauses with an exclamatory 
“ah!”’ and when he became 
most fervid and his climaxes 
were approaching, his excla- 

_mations became more frequent 

and forceful, reminding one of 
Bro. Bosan in ‘‘The Hoosier 
Schoolmaster.”’ But for all his 
peculiarities, he was a man 
doing his duty to the best of 
his ability as he saw it. In 
strong contrast to this good 
brother in many ways Was an- 
other preacher of the Bible 
Christian persuasion, who 
came to this region in an early 
day. For some years he work- 
ed on a farm to gain a living 
for his numerous family. He 
was an industrious, energetic 
man, of rather a fiery temper- 
ament. Living and working 
among the people he knew 
their peculiar conditions, their 
eares and trials, their priva- 
tions and temptations, and 
could minister to their spirit- 
ual wants better than could a 
more cultured man who lived 
aloof from people, more in the 
companionship of books. His 
great heart was filled full of 
love to his fellow man, and 
his belief in the Gospel and a 
personal God were beyond 

It is needless to say that 
with such a faith and with 
such a temperament he wield- 
ed the “sword of Gideon” with 
a mighty arm. He wasted no 
time in writing and polishing 
his messages to his people. 
The words flowed from his 
lips like torrents, and his de- 
nuneciation of sin in high or 
low places was scathing in its 
virility, but his plea for the 
sinner was like a mother 
pleading for an erring child. 
I scarcely thing, however, that 
his manners and personal hab- 
its would altogether please a 
modern. fashionable congrega- 
tion; for while he was a firm 
believer in the spirit of the 
Gospel he sometimes lapsed in 
keeping the letter of the law 
as interpreted by many. One 
instance; where he was farm- 
ing one summer in full view of 
the home of a good Quaker. 
That season the chinch bugs 
had attacked the wheat, and 
if the crop was saved at all, it 
must be secured at once, and 
the loss of the crop was a sad 
disaster and meant pinching 
times and often real want. The 
Sabbath day came and this 

preacher had an afternoon ap-~-- 

pointment in a neighboring 
settlement. This Quaker of 
whom I speak was busy in his 
harvest field that day, and 
from there had seen this rev- 
erend brother also at work in 
his own. But in the afternoon 
he came riding along dressed 
in his clerical robes, on his 
way to his appointment. On 
seeing the Quaker at work he 
rode up to the fence and wait- 
ed till he came up and pro- 
ceeded to take him to task for 
working on that holy day. 

The Quaker answered by ask- — 

ing, “What was it I saw thee 
doing up there in thy wheat 
field this morning?” The rey- 
erend brother had no reply 

ready, but rode on to his ap- 
pointment. Probably his text 
was not ‘Remember the Sab- 

bath day to keep it holy.” 

I remember attending ser- 
vice one winter day, conduct- _ 
ed by this minister in a school 
house. The day was bitter cold, 
and when the congregation 
gathered no fire had been 
started, and hence the room 
was very uncomfortable. Many 
were inclined to forego the 
service for that day, but the 
preacher had come there to 
preach the Gospel to them, 
and they had come to hear ABs 
so he began the service. The 
desk he used as a pulpit was 
near the back end of the 
room, and the stove near the 
front. He did not remove his 
overcoat or cap because of the 
cold. After the preliminaries 
of the service were ended, he 
arose to address the congrega- 
tion. One of his first acts was 
to reach in his pocket and take 
out a plug of tobacco, from 
which he took a liberal chew. 
As he warmed up with his 
subject, his jaws worked fast- 
er and the saliva accumulated, 
till it threatened to inter- 
fere with his articulation, 
when he would start for the 
stove, talking as he went, open 
the door and unload his bur- 
dened mouth therein then 
back to the pulpit and never 
miss a word of his discourse. 
I do not remember the text or 
the thread of the discourse 
that day, but do vividly re- 
member the man and the ear- 
nestness of his faith. Many are 
they who “hark back” to his 
ministry as the beginning of a 
better life, and it is more easy 
to forget his uncouthness than 
his love for his fellow men. 

When Markley took the 
gold fever in 1852 he trans- 
fered all claims he held in the 
improvements he had made in 
Elm Grove to William Wright. 
These improvements were not 
of any great extent or value 
and consisted more of great 
expectations than anything of 
financial value. Later on 

~ Wright was taken with the 

same disorder that had carried 
off his predecessor and took 
his way to the gold regions of 
the west, where he made him- 
self a name and fortune as a 
humorous writer under the 
non-de-plume of Dan DeQuill. 

Joseph M. Gibson appeared 
in the Wapsie valley in 1855, 
seeking for cheap land from 
which to make a home. He 
persuaded John Whistler to 
sell his little farm to him, and 
that autumn the family took 

“possession. The house on this 

farm was quite 4 commodious 
one, having two rooms on the 
first floor and! a nice big 
room above, reached by a _lad- 

der. This house had some his. 
toric interest, as John Brown 

of Osawatomie, once s‘*toppe 
there for a visit with the inj 
mates, on one of his journey 
between Kansas and cana 
where he was planning hi 
fatal campaign against Hard 
per’s Ferry, where he and s 
many of his followers me 
their death. 

Chapter XXV. 

When our pioneers cam 
they found they had much tol 
learn before the virgin prairie} 
should become a fruitful field,} 
and they soon learned that the| 
plows adapted to the clayey; 
and gravelly soils of the east} 
were entirely useless in turn-! 
ing the sod of the Wapsie val-| 
ley. One of the earliest set-| 
tlers brought a wooden mould-| 
board plow, but did not use it! 
to any great extent. By the) 
way, that plow has a history! 
and played a part in a neigh-, 
borhood tragedy, but as Kip-' 
ling says, “That is another 
story.’”’ The farmer of the pre- 
sent day, seated on his gang, - 
plow. drawn by four or six! 
horses, cannot fully appreci- 
ate the tribulations of those’ 
pioneers as they essayed to 
prepare the stubborn sward to) 

receive the seed for its first) 
crop of grain. But necessity 
soon evolved the prairie | 

breaker, an implement particu- 
larly adapted to their needs. : 
There are plenty of men yet 
living among wus who were 
very familiar with this imple- 

ment and have followed the 
breaking team through many 
long summer days as they 
slowly plodded back and 
forth, turning mile-long fur- 
rows of virgin sod, like long 
black ribbons. This sod was | 

very tenacious, the soil being | 
filled with a network of roots, 
and it required a thoroughly 
adapted implement and strong j 
team to turn it. These plows | 
turned a furrow of from six- | 
teen to twenty-eight inches ; 
wide and were drawn by from } 
two to six yoke of oxen, and } 
required two men, or one man 
and a boy, which was usually 
the case, to operate them. One 
drove the team and the other 
managed the plow. The plow 
was supported near the front 
end of its long heam by a 

pair. of tracks, to which: iE 
was attached in such a manner 
that by raising or lowering a 
lever at the rear of the ma- 

chine the plow point was rais- 
ed or depressed at the will of 
the operator. The settlers had 
also to learn that there was a 
proper time to break prairie, 
as well as an improper time, 
and the season when this work 
could be most _ beneficially 
done was of but a few weeks’ 
duration each season. This was 
after the grass had made a 

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General Practice of law ~ 

in State and Federal Courts 

312 East Third St. 



MOE WE Dacia SZ we A ORE eS ca a feud te Z 

CY A West Liberty 

Old Timer! 

Compliments of ..... | J U S T Ceti. 
DR, E. EA HALE An insurance office selling 

ai pe brought up to date to fit present 

day needs of a modern town! 






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considerable growth in the 
spring, along in June and 
early in July. Sod turned at 
this time readily dried out 
and the roots decayed, but if 
plowed too early the grass 
would still grow, and if too 
late in the season, the roots 
would not decay and would 
remain a source of trouble for 
a long tinté. 

When the time of probation 
for the new settlement had 
passed and it was proven that 
this was a good country to 
build homes in, settlers came 
in in increased numbers, and 
whole farms would be broken 
out in a single season. This 
condition developed a class as 
distinct and picturesque in 
their way as were the old 
stage drivers and the cowboys 
of a quarter of a century ago. 
Thesé were the professional 
prairie breakers, who with 
their huge, unwieldly plows 
and many yokes of oxen were 
ever seeking and ready for a 
contract with anyone wanting 
breaking done. 

It was an inspiring sight 
out on the prairies those days. 
As far as the eye could reach, 
the land lay clothed in the 
fresh verdure of early sum- 
mer, flecked and perfumed by 
many blooming plants in bril- 
liant hues. Long stretches of 
level country and billowy hills, 
with here and there patches of 
plum and thorn trees, with 
their ever-accompanying fringe 
of hazel bushes, giving vari- 
ety to the scene. The sun rose 
in the prairie, all day long it 

circled over the prairie, and 
at evening dropped out of 
sight in the _ prairie. Bil- 

lowy hills and waving grass on 
every hand; prairie—limitless 
prairie—so vast, so limitless, 
that many a traveler has be- 
come bewildered and traveled 
on in a wide circle, with no 
change in the aspect to the 
land to guide them to their 

All this expanse was to be 
turned furrow by furrow till 
the last blade of grass was 
covered, and in its stead great 
fields of grain ripened in the 
golden sunshine. There it was 
the prairie breaker reigned 
supreme. As the evening ap- 
proached, the team was stop- 
ped, the oxen unyoked and 
turned out to graze through 
the night on the nutritious na- 
tive grasses after a beil had 
been strapped on the neck of 
the trusty leader. A hole had 
been dug in a near-by slough 
where the oxen could obtain 
water and the weary plowmen 
wended their way to their 
resting place. But though the 
nights were at their shortest, 
yet the stars were still to be 
seen when the plowmen were 
abroad, seeking for’ their 
oxen, who sometimes wander- 
ed long distances during the 

. night. They would go to some 


rise of ground, where a view 
would be had of the surround- 
ing country. Perhaps uncon- 
sciously they drank in the 
glory of the hour. The sha; 
dows still lay thick in the val- 
leys, but the hilltops one after 
another came into view in the 
growing light. The fragrance 
of the prairie was borne to 
their nostrils and the voices of 
the great expanse mingled in 
their ears. Here and there on 
distant hilltops appeared some 
denizens of the prairie, en- 
larged to ‘undue proportions 
by the refractions and reflec- 
tions of the light plainly sil- 
houetted against the purple 
sky. There was a time of exal- 
tation, when man forgot his 
lower nature and became for 
the time not a Mr. Hyde but a 
Dr. Jekyll. There was a scene 
but on the broad expanse of 
nowhere else to be met wi‘'h 
the prairie, and which forever 
passed from there with the oc- 
cupation and cultivation of the 

But at the sound of a dis- 
tant bell the plowman awoke 
to a sense of his auty. Here 
and there could be seen grouvds 
of cattle and the sound of 
many bells. ‘“‘Tink-a-link-link” 
comes a faint sound; ‘‘Tong- 
aiong-tong-tong” sounds a 
bell of deeper tone, then faint- 
ly and from afar is heard the 
familiar sound they are seek- 
ing, just a few jangling 
strokes of the clapper. Ah, 
“Old Brindle” is up to his old 
tricks and has lain down in 
the tall grass and kept still 
till an early fly has tickled 
his back, and he inadvertently 
rattled his bell as he threw his 
head back over his side to dis- 
lodge the troublesome insect. 
The team found, they are driv- 
en to the yard and given a ra- 
tion of corn while the men are 
at breakfast. Then came the 
yoking. ‘‘Come up, Buck,” and 
obediently the intelligent ani- 
mal takes his place and bends 
his neck to receive the yoke, 
the emblem of submission. 
Then ‘‘Whoa! haw! Bright, 
come in!”” But Bright is stub- 
born and sulky. His neck is 
sore and the chain has chaffed 
his leg and he refuses to move 
to his place. He lowers his 
head and snorts his defiance, 
but a well-directed cut from 
the driver’s long whip awak- 
ens him to a realization of his 
servitude and he, meekly but 
with ill grace, walks up be- 
side his mate and submits to 
the yoke. Thus the work goes 
on; some of the team obe- 
dient, Some nervous, and some 
stubborn; the half - broken 
youngsters inclined to make a 
dash for freedom. At length 
the team !s brought into sub- 
jection and the long chain at- 
taching them to the plow is in 
place, and they are ready to 
begin the day’s work ere the 

sun is yet an hour above the 

horizon. Then comes the voice 
of the driver, ‘‘Buck and Bright 
Dan and Jerry, come up to 
your places! Whoa, haw, Duke 
and Dime! Gee, there, Brindle 
and Curly! Gee up, there, 
Brindle!, Darn your brindle 
hide, gee into the furrow!” 

‘and with a wide flourish the 

long whip uncoils and wi‘h an 
explosive crack, clear and loud 
as a pistol shot, stings the 
flank of the unruly beast, and 
he, with an agonizing twist of 
the body and tail, finds his 
place in the furrow and the 
team slowly moves forward, 
the bows creaking in the 
yokes, the chains ra‘tle as a 
team slackens for a moment, 
and the plow giving forth a 
continuous snapping sound 
and low grumbling, as it sev- 
ers the tenacious roots and 
lays the black ribbon over 
against its fellow or kinks it 
in a convenient shape to make 
a safe hiding place for the rab- 
bit. Slowly like a huge serpent 
the team moves forward, the 
driver, ever intent, walks by 
their side, and from time to 
time offers mild expostula- 
tions or incisive commands to 
the cattle, and they, with 
heads lowered, and eyes roll- 
ing, toil on their way, catch- 
ing occasional mouthfuts of 
grass as they pass along. 

The boss at the rear of the 
plow walks with one hand on 
the guiding lever, or stands 
on the beam, watching ahead 
for any obstruction, and figur- 
ing how many furrows a half- 
mile long he can turn in the 
day, or looks over the prairie 
and perhaps without thinking, 
notes the panorama spread be- 
fore him. Off to the right on 
the knoll is a flock of prairie 
chickens running and prinking 
and uttering from time to time 
their well-known martial cry 
of “hum-um-boo,” ‘“hum-um- 
boo,’’ and the answering chal- 
lenge of “you can’t,” ‘you 
can’t,” “you can’t,’”? and with 

tail outspread and _ rigid, 
drooping wings scrape the 
ground, with head lowered 

and those horn-like feathers 
on the side of the neck elevat- 
ed, and orange-colored sacks 
inflated, wheel and strut, play- 
ing their part in the drama of 
free life. A meadow lark, dis- 
turbed from her nest by the 
approaching team, springs 
from the grass and flies away 
to a place of safety till the 
danger is past, then returns to 
her nest, while the striped 
squirrels gambol and _ play 
with but little regard to the 
intrusion of the monster that 
is devastating their play 
ground. Sometimes a herd of 
deer, startled from their rest- 
ing place in the tall grass at 
the edge of the slough. leap to 
their feet, and with heads 
turned sideways and _ tails 

erect, stand for a moment in 
startled amazement, then 

1938 © 

bound gracefully away, going 
down the wind and out of sight 
over the hill. 

But our boss has forgotten 

his duty while watching the 
life around him and is brought 
back to a realization of his 
calling by a sudden stopping 
of the team, and it may be, 
by the breaking of a chain, 
for the plow has s‘ruck a red- 
root, a plant peculiar to the 
prairie, having an inconspicu- 
ous top, but a hard, woody 
root in size out of all propor- 
tion to its top. There they are 
tight and fast, the share cut 
deep into the root and the un- 
wieldly plow refuses to move 
either forward or backward 
and the air becomes sulphur- 
ous as the boss anathematizes 
the driver, the team, the plow, 

and everything in sight but 
his own forgetful self. who 
was more to blame for the 

mishap, than all the rest. 

But the day goes on apace, 
The deep purple of the hori- 
zon of early morning has fad- 
ed to a uniform gray with the 
rest of the sky, and the waves 
of heat can be seen quivering 
above the ground. No longer 
are the songs of the lark and 
bobolink heard, and the cattle 
with lowering heads and loll- 
ing tongues, utter a mild pro- 
test against their lo*. The sun 
is nearly overhead and the 
driver can almost overstep his 
shadow. It is time to unhitch 
for the noon rest. So the pa- 
tient oxen are unhooked from 
the plow and with yokes s‘i]! 
on, let go free to graze and 
rest for a brief hour while 
the men seat themselves on 
the plow peam to eat their 
dinner brought with them in 
the morning. But it is not 
pleasant there in that summer 
sunshine for man or _ beast. 
The oxen stand panting and 
switching flies, or in a desul- 
tory manner fall to grazing. 
while the men smoke and talk 
or maybe essay to take a nap. 
but the glaring sunshine ana 
buzzing insects interfere with 
that rest they crave. So passes 
the noon hour, and the caitle 
are brought up and again at- 
tached to the plow, and slow- 
er and slower as the dar 
wanes pass back and forth. 
back and forth, on their an- 
parently interminable journey. 
and the cries of the driver be- 
come more frequent and vocif- 
erous aS he urges on the weary 

Out across the prairie. some 
near and others far away, are 
other like teams, the only ani- 
mated life in sight at that 
hour, and one would think the 
sole occupation of the inhabi- 
tants was to break prairie. As 
the shadows of the teams 
stretch out across the prairie 
in uncouth proportions and 
march along by their sides like 
haunting spirits and the air 
becomes in that peculiar con- 


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a SS 

1908 — 1938 

One Third 
Of a Century 

F serving the 
families of this 

territory .... and 
knowing so many 
of them personal- 
ly .... have given 
to our service an 
understanding that 
is gratefully ap- 
preciated in time 

of sorrow. 

Mr. & Mrs. S. C. Snider 

Licensed Eembalmers and 
Funeral Directors 

Telephone 70 

Ambulance Service 

1907 ——— 1938 

Continuous Cleaning 

~and Laundry Service! 



F. J. Moylan 

C. J. Lawton 







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dition when sound travels far 
and is intensified, the voices 
of the many drivers and the 
voices of the prairie mingle in 
one grand diapason nowhere 
else heard in all the realm of 
human industry, 

* Chapter XXVI. 

When the white men first 
came here wolves were quite 
numerous, but rarely commit- 
ted depredations except the oc- 
ecasional theft of a pig, or 
lamb, or chicken, though oc- 
casionally they would attack a 
young colt or calf. Sometimes 
there were rumors of bands of 
timber wolves committing dep- 
redations on steck and follow- 
ing and attacking belated 
travelers, but these rumors al- 
ways located the place, like the 
“milk sickness,’ in some re- 
mote settlement, and I find 
no authentic account of any- 
one ever coming to harm from 
them. But as the country 
became more populous, the 
wolves, instead of diminishing 
in numbers, appeared to have 
increased, till they were very 
frequently to be met with. 
With this condition as an ex- 
cuse, the settlers would some- 
times organize a wolf hunt on 
a large scale, but it was more 
for an opportunity to work off 
some of their surplus energy 
and have a hilarious time than 
an overwhelming desire to re- 
duce the wolf population, that 
these hunts were organized. 
Sometimes they would include 
an entire township or more in 
the territory to be passed over. 
The order of procedure would 
be to call a meeting of the 
people at some central point 
and there select a time for the 
hunt and arrange for the lines 
of starting and the point of 
convergence, with captains ap- 
pointed to direct stated parts 
of the lines and time of start- 
ing. At the time appointed, 
men and boys appeared on foot 
or horseback, armed with guns, 
revolvers or clubs, and at a 
given signal, usually the blast 
of a horn, each individual wts 
supposed to start and travel in 
a direct line to the place of 
meeting and drive the wolves 
to a common center, where 
they could be slaughtered. 
This was the theory of the 
hunt, but in practice it some- 
times lacked jn orderliness and 
effectiveness, and consisted of 
a mob of youths and men, rid- 
ing and walking hither and 
yon, Over the prairie and 
through the patches of brush, 
searing up great numbers of 
prairie chickens and_ rabbits 
and sometimes a few deer. 

The writer has participated 
in a number of these hunts, 
and now recalls but one in- 
stance in which a wolf was 
captured, and that one had 

- have 

broken through the lines and 
was killed by a random shot 
from a revolver. At one of 
these hunts, held while deer 
were still plentiful, there were 
found to be more than thirty 
of them within the lines when 
the men had closed in within 
sight of each other. But at the 
sight of the deer there was a 
wild rush by the men with 
guns, thus breaking the lines, 
and through these gaps the 
deer all escaped. But the crowd 
had had the excitement they 
craved and were satisfied. 

The cabin which John Haw- 
kins had built and occupied 
for a time on the southeast 
corner of section 28-79-4 was 
occupied early in the 50’s by 
H. A. Watters, while he built 
a frame house across the road 
and farther south. In 1859, 
came William Aylsworth, of 
Massachusetts. He lived for a 
time with the family of W. 
A. Clark, but on the coming of 
his family he built a substan- 
tial log house on the land of 
Clark’s very near to where the 
depot in West Liberty is now 
located. Later they moved to 
the Springer farm, now known 
as the James A. Nay farm. So 
far as I have been able to 
learn this was the last log 
house erected in the Wapsie 
valley, and completes the list. 
I fear it is incomplete and in 
some instances incorrect as to 
locations. The sources from 
which I have obtained my in- 
formation have sometimes been 
very conflicting as to dates 
and locations. The same fam- 
ilies have been located long 
distances apart by different 
parties. One cabin in particu- 
lar, occupied by a prominent 
family early in our history, 
has been located in four dif- 
ferent places by as many dif- 
ferent residents of the locality 
at that time. So it is with much 
trepidation that I have made 
these locations of cabins a mat- 
ter of history. And there may 
been some _ omissions. 
The original publication of 
this sketch in the ‘‘West Lib- 
erty Enterprise’ has drawn 
forth corrections and _  criti- 
cisms that have been of much 
help in correcting errors, but 
I still feel that some may have 
been overlooked. It has been 
a long time since the first 
cabin was erected. It is sixty- 
six years since Sutton and Nyce 
settled on the Wapsie, and 
that time has wrought great 
changes in the appearance of 
the country by the cutting off 
of the native timber, the plant- 
ing of groves and. changes of 
roads; and even the channels 
of the streams have materially 
changed their course in many 
places in that time. There are 
but few remaining among us 
that were here in those early 
days, and memory is a treach- 

erous data to depend on for a 
certainty for that length of 

time, in the face of the many 
changes that time has-wrought. 
But in the main, I believe this 
record to be correct and the 
incidents narrated to be found- 
ed on fact, as narrated by par- 
ticipants or by those personally 
cognizant of them. 

As near as I have been able 
to learn there were about sixty 
of these original cabins erect- 
ed in the Wapsie valley be- 
tween the years of 1836 and 
1845, inclusive, and with the 
exception of two or three, the 
last log of them has disappear- 
ed, and these few remain in- 
teresting relics of an interest- 
ing epoch in our history. The 
occupants of those cabins, like 
the cabins themselves, have 
nearly all run their course and 
disappeared from our midst. 
A few remain, rugged charac- 
ters who withstood the vicis- 
situdes of pioneer life and 
have lived to see the virgin 
wilderness come slowly up 
from nature’s hand till it now 
lays in the summer’s sun and 
winter’s snow as fair a land, 
as beautiful, as cultured and 
as rich as any in all the wide 
expanse of our loved country. 

Chapter XXYII. 

The early settlers of this 
prairie region, coming mostly 
from densely wooded sections, 
had, perhaps an abnormal idea 
of the future value of the body 
of timber lying on either side 
of the Wapsie, and the land 
on which it grew was early 
preempted by them, not only 
for their immediate needs but 
as an investment, which they 
were very sure would return 
them many per cent of profit 
in the near future, when the 
adjacent prairie tracts were 
taken up for homes. So, when 
later settlers arrived and pro- 
ceeded to open up farms out 
On the praire they found that 
they were badly handicapped, 
as they must have fuel and 
fencing, and these necessities 
were in the hands of a few 
men, as they were only to be 
obtained at that time from the 
native timber. Many were .the 
loads of wood hauled between 
sunset and sunup, and that 
without the knowledge of the 
owners of the timber. In 1839, 
Richard Barrett entered the 
north half of section 4-78-4. 
This tract was mostly heavy 
timber. Later he sold this land 
to Edward Conley, a man of 
a family, who later died and 
left his estate to a number of 
heirs. It was a number of years 
before the estate was settled 
and a clear title made to the 
land. In the meantine some 
unauthorized person or persons 
sold portions of the land, it is 
said, the same portion to dif- 
ferent parties, and in the loose 
manner in which much of the 


legal business was then trans. 
acted. It was some time before 
the sharp practice was diseoy. 
ered, and then the estate was 
thrown into litigations which 
lasted through many years. In 
the meantine, with no one ip 
authority to watch the prop- 
erty, and no legal owner to 
protect it, the timber on this 
tract became a common prey 
to the residents out on the 
prairie, and hundreds of loads 
of wood and thousands of 
rails were hauled away with- 
out let or hindrance. Those 
who had bought parts of the 
land in good faith, discovrer- 
ing they could get no good 
title and fearing they would 
lose the purchase price, pro- 
ceeded to clear the land of its 
timber and sell it to the set- 
tlers; and in an_ incredibly 
short time the entire tract was 
denuded of its valuable timber. 
And when the slow process of 
law had settled the title, the 
heirs found they had the lang 
but the timber was gone, and 
the task of ferreting out the 
numerous parties who had 
despoiled the timber was a 
too hopeless task to be under- 
taken. From this condition of 
affairs—the possibility of ob- 
taining their wood and fene- 
ing free of cost and escaping 
the penalty of their trespass 
—the tract became known in 
neighborhood parlance as ‘‘Can- 
ada,’’ from a felicitous suppo- 
sition that there was an analo 
gy in thus escaping the pen- 
alty of timber stealing from 
this tract and the escape o% 
many bigger rascals’ from 
greater transactions into the 

sheltering protection of our 
border country of Canada. 
There was something about 

these transactions that seemed 
to cling to this tract of land, 
for in later years its title pass- 
ed unger a deeper cloud, whieh 
resulted in a well known citi- 
zen becoming a fugitive from 
justice. But ali these depress- 
ing circumstances could mot 
destroy the value and stability 
of real estate in the Wapsie 
valley, and this tract now lies 
in the summer sun, with clear 
title, clothed in rustling fields 
of corn and luxuriant meadows 
and pastures through whieh 
the Wapsie winds its meander- 
ing way. 

Chapter XXVIII. 

(Poa pratensis.) 

At the time of the coming 


of the white man to this reg- | 

ion, as has been noted, they 

found the prairies luxuriantly ; 

covered with grasses of un- 
known species. In the sloughs 
was the coarse cane grass and 
a finer narrow-leaved harsh 
grass, with a_sharp-cutting 
edge. Neither of these grasses 

were of any great economic. 


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PIV V i GGG p00 0 nn 


1g86, 9) ——" 1938 

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Opposite Hotel Moylan 

1886 — — — 1938 


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@ 94. : 
® Havoline 


Service Hh ep A e Texaco 

® Kendall 

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Phone 383 



LeGOLL ti cand | GINNY: 



and all general automotive work. 

Our Motor Analyzer and Motor Tune Up re- 
stores your power unit to its highest efficiency. 

Our Paint and Body Shop assures you of mod- 
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We feature such standard products as Good- 
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Seott & Carter 

Phone West Liberty Wrecker 
102 Iowa Service 

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value for pasture or as hay, 
as they were too coarse and 
harsh to be relished by stock, 
except for a short time in the 
spring when first starting to 
grow, when stock would some- 
times feed on them in the ab- 
sence of anything more palat- 
able. Away from the slough 
and intermediate between the 
swamp and high ground the 
blue stem flourished in its 
greatest luxuriance. This grass 
grew in thick tufts, with many 
long narrow blades and tall 
seed stalks, from four to six 
feet in height. This was a val- 
uable grass for either hay or 
grazing. On the higher ground 
was the blue stem—not sv 
rank as on the lower ground— 
and a fine narrow-leaved grass, 
growing from two to three fee 
high. Thus, while the prairies 
were clothed with valuable and 
abundant gTasses, they were 
mostly new species to the in- 
habitants, and their best uses 
had to be found by trial. In 
all this broad expanse of coun- 
try, where now flourish vast 
meadows of tame grasses, was 
not to be found a single blade 
of blue grass or bloom ol 
white clover, now so common. 

About fhe year of 1840, 
there appeared in the settle- 
ments a family whose name I 
have failed to learn or from 
what region they came. They 
were hunting a location in the 
new west. They were traveling 
in wagons and were hard to 
please, so they spent some 
time viewing the land, moving 
from place to place as suited 
their fancy. At length they 
camped on the west fork of 
the east branch of the Wapsie, 
in the southwest quarter of 
section 36-79-4, on the farm 
now owned by H. Duple, and 


EEE WAR page 
- se = oe 

ee x 

seemed to be better suited 
there than in any other place. 
They made a permanent camp 
but built no house of any 
kind, being content to live in 
a tent and their wagons. They 
had camped in the shelter of 
a massive elm and had driven 
pins in the body of the tree on 
which they placed shelves to 
serve as a cupboard on which 
to keep such stores of provi- 
sions as had to be placed out 
of reach of their numerous 
dogs. They remained there for 
several weeks and _ perhaps 
months and when they finally 
moved on, left the shelves on 
the tree; and those pins in 
the tree were pointed out to 
“tenderfeet’”’ for many years 
as showing the manner in 
which the first settlers kept 
house, the shelves being rep- 
resented as sleeping places for 
the children, being placed 
there to keep them safe from 
the wolves and other savage 
beasts. They eventually wan- 
dered on in their quest for 
an eldorado, and the next sea- 
son visitors at their camping 
place discovered a few blades 
of blue grass (poa pratensis) 
growing where their teams 
had trampled out the native 
grasses. This grass flourished 
and spread, and is the first 
authenticated patch of blue 
grass west of the Mississippi 
river in Iowa. That it found 
a congenial soil and climate is 
evident from the rapidity with 
which it held the ground when 
once occupied by it. Now there 
are but few acres of virgin 
soil in all the older parts of 
the state but that is entirely 
occupied by this most valuable 
of all our grasses. Blue grass 

also appeared along the Ind- 
ian trail and on the DeMoss 

place, now owned by Sylvanus 
Hogue. It followed closely in 
the footsteps of civilization, 
and marked the beginning of 
a new era in the vegetable 
production of the west. 

Chapter XXIX 

In the winter of 1856-7, 
there was a term of school 
held in the Plum Grove school 
house, in the southwest quar- 
ter of section 10-78-4, that is 
worthy of a passing notice as 
showing the earnestness of the 
boys and girls of that period 
in obtaining an education and 
the exertions they had to make 
to secure it. There were among 
those whose names were en- 
rolled there that winter as pu- 
pils: Ed Swem, who lived on 
the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 23-78-4, now known as 
the S. B. Osborn farm; Han- 
nah, Norman and John Gra- 

ham, who came from. the 
northeast quarter of section 
28-78-4, near the _ present 

home of E. BE. Wolf; Clay and 


Cc. M. Nichols, from the south- 
west quarter of section 21-78- 
4, the Ira Nichols homestead, 
and Henry Mosher from the 
northeast quarter of section 3- 
78-4, the Stephen Mosher 
farm on the north line of the 
county. lt was not less than 
six miles between these ex- 
treme points from which these 
boys and girls daily walked 
back and forth through the 
winter’s snows and blizzards 
and the springtime mud and 
slush in their eager desire for 
knowledge as imparted by U. 
E. Traier, the pedagogue of 
the school. 

But while they were thus 
strenuous in their efforts to 
obtain scholastic knowledge, 
they sometimes relaxed a lity 
tle and indulged in diversions 
somewhat foreign to the mat- 
ter directly in hand. One of 
these pupils tells of a wild 
race indulged in one night by 
some of the young bloods, aft- 
er a_ spelling school there. 
They occupied two sleighs, or 
what passed as such, and were 
rather fine specimens of ve- 
hicles for those days, but 
might now he considered pecu- 
liar in their construction. The 
runners were of planks and 
the bodies of dry goods boxes 
properly cut down with small 
saplings for shafts. The har- 
ness of the horses were the 
ordinary plow harness adjust- 
ed to the rigs, and for bells 
they had raided the cow yards. 
In one of these vehicles were 
C. I. Luse and W. A. Nichols 
and in the other Ed. Swem 
and Henry Mosher As they 
left the house after spelling 
school, one of the drivers at- 
tempted to pass the other, and 
there the fun began. Away 
they went, bumping over go- 
pher hills and across ditches, 
the drivers urged on their 
steeds with gad and voice, and 
the passengers adding their 
shouts, while the bells, contri- 
buted their clangor to the pan- 
demonium, as they raced down 
the long slope to Deer Creek 
and up the hill on the other 
side, and out on the open 
prairie where their ways part- 
ed, and the exciting race came 
to an end with no decisive ad- 
vantages to either party. 

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peer 8 mila UN mye s 

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is 6 90D bond mf UltorwD vad - - , ay, A | 
bile © Yo wth Wino cond? 
“). style een gi Aeylebad gam 
‘Ra chow’ gavey 1? la eave 

24a) Joomee witteg a@ 
TO .wdylele ow? Inigo vaeTt 
piow Bere .dooe en BDesany tate ; 

Ys Ae acrorniseqa§ awl -wetsat 

detente met Ae cine epee Oe ete Ae ee TS Oe 

tad ecrk suo} co 0s welt : J 

-e berétieited at wee tain aadaviw yw boawe Was cate Guiias’ Yolpad ot oF 

‘eff coaliowl wane leas. at watt mM Yeetts Fewelod SY a vette Up shyo tve Cater men | 

ttn witaly WH aro e140 Bniieaitive io. egvteteo! | ofl omne Hioee erties 

six ahead Yb Yo estted af Jo anlectesd ef? tedven hue vis Yo erved og -Siled. tt pry ae 

iuiiy atthe bank Sah ussqowy, ee Waer Ue) St ae wen 4 ll ot joes golf foe wy 

if a47T 2ene oot opeliaas “14 off) )o _actiow bow qaTt anogaw tied) ane! A ; 

en) eacaw eetnd #67 jo tfee! Yo Mtg dig wv ~ d f apt i ta 
Scwlte tedetod walq yviteeibre wevsea od tas Into wise’ : j ne aon 
eh) ed heed, cea odd ad Del EK pe? spall mw pov) wilt te Thea # Co ae i Mey 

ebony won ad babinr fad Vod) Bi were winan went Mere “0? apr iedse bevsale , upehiwn. - 
“yate aelbise ceed to ee a Oe hie fofdw oF Minedqad wee erie 

shee uh " hak ote & "G28 le Weleiw af) ail ag Yo wovera prea yyre a 

eh Ay ein whi al Mia mown fh arent wo toe ered? dire beauty od @! had : 

wood SA Ps Mw ttéiwi t dia hone ov tO rst aif as Bt eal Aer eet vied a! doast iW ; 

ynitiocs 96a seed «8s tet “ip Beowaligna eff) at sevod , Pol eyed? Deniseey weet agek 

x Mowiih, #2. do of booger at Sem? 4b -BT-Oi petioea WH 4 ‘etetiey han eavteew ferteves 

is 14030 54) 240g OF otgm “ae @iii0n peinepy « bo ‘ghia cihuld ted? aedw baw otanem 

vend. (eeued awl se) grad oi) We ween daria oft gatwod His aev Racie pal ry a0 bevouwr 

¢% toro wigan ew. cenit bulreq  sadtto atuy’ bis seed ai esig onal? hae een? odd 

Petoiy esotem from. 4h sody fen settle se eeicietden wh Ot ee § besetog wat 

ed? ah bere Bev on? wlnit oS bad volt buvittiem: od) STARE Yoo to? : 
hax oviey Bon baw 2\twetaste BOOMs OW stedT J) wiurtes of «6a! NAOT Bt) , 
“es, BAISDA eoagereacd off +) Mrew soatat erode omelt aed ateltren sori ed? ahlde 
Tune® ttt ede aide etveds | ~#4 ae Telnia sea? wed? Dalinn Gat. pitied ave f ot 
‘Way od! ot soguals tied! deted fe bith ote ctewh BW raliy 90% Reoely, Fi bay 
Teh heves ‘godt, oy .urriaowed i 1 wtanp dee iditoor of) faseiq gale 
te0n yet of pcos eet aft ' Of Uwenk* wee .b-8T-BR .'eol? isd ohep deed? ; 
sodig oft om itd {ee bee Onl ire? pode 4 Bo adp | Pheyeo Sette Bae” 
fey of) 1 I60 bose atte  *1@ wéeL has weteicK otra (cee _lenia 
-figg ptew tied) gtedn aisiatg ot! momt..emes ole Aged ‘wt snp * 
aks emat Rave eff Axe my §=etiody to verunp sagedprog | San fen oft BEA 
«he eviehiah oa dilw bid an ot) | 6 6soeeenq. ott? eg DnB? -28 
ag wate 08 enaatiled nen eee i a te med 
Sl 4 | 

ae I ae ; he ae , 
: hee : bola. bien 
ee | (Bipinde ia pee: 
Reperiyeyeyrreenemaing. guild) do) dsteg  bebaas is ae ean 
, : ey [ tants 4 Fei Z te ue ‘py by 
eoeeric ey 


BOY 9 Sopa © 

ans " Biss: 

a he 


McCormick Deering 

|+-~ Schafer Grain Co. 

PIONEERS in the manufacture of farm —GRAIN 
machinery : _ SEEDS 

PIONEERS in the modernization of the farm —CUSTOM GRINDING 


PIONEERS in the development of Wapsie. 11 YEARS OF SERVICE 

Sold and Serviced by 




LL i 5 er e y CG Gi fi @ qe Henderson Shop is one for repairs 
Of harness and shoes and selling of wares, 
& Such as polish and buckles, laces and snaps, 
Collars for horses, and halters and straps— 
Home Cooked Meals and Lunches And blankets are made, just as you please, 
To fit your horse or your baby beeves. 

Tobacco — Cigars — Candies 
; . Your budget 

you wish to balance the scale? 
Take your shoes to this shop, or send by mail, 
Shoes big, shoes little, for work or dress, 
Located Opposite Repaired and polished, relieves the stress. 
the Elevator “CO, Ki. knows his leather and running gears,”’ 

Having worked it now more than fifty years. 


J. S. MILTON, PROP. | i 



bean ane! mes | a id aes: ean igh i et 
iit OWE, MOTO Rahs Gas: . ss Salas 
ete Nl bend OLLIE KA . a Eo a se si 

* ‘ i 

AO, TO waAa re Absiiw Yo divven vel 
waoereanes ta } | | na 


eal + Ant stmt lO oe 1 arene hE RR i momma aes Mees aot AI ih Oty ® © + Sr: 9ubare——eanntenen Dt any g ~ artrmen 
wee ee ee RR A nameaneeenannnigename atm see Phat bersqal 
‘ eh Oe thas 2. - Afra " z Ml 

cing ys 70? ap gi Qoile seenobeold vad . nf 4y tp a. ‘yine 
ony to grifiod baw asada bees teomret FO | “sh UMaine Gale 
hyptis Lita aovel zolslend bin Heilog un dood ae way i eer aie 
trite bos eiiHad bow esewil qT sialic? at Bhs +5 Oe wp : ' iam a 
skunk gory an fede shalt ote cielnald hak hy aotlotund dale 
wrnved gilad 4noq 10 waded aioe St WT We AED ay la 
tetas off ootelad a dale poy-douhed wet 
int a hiess to geile eid? of moda toy ala vot uae mode 
_ citi xo Siow: 62 (PRIME wnotte gid! tog Pry) 0) fa GaN a ka nas 
worte cult avveltes bodullog bio borg po) Ae Bakelite 
* tier Qriageer tents wit awomd FT O° 
nr? nau) etal tenia grill 
MM aise’ 2G vi a 

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hiiinee Mibeccs gan 
te ah? ¥ Via a 

ifm ta aa hal 
at Ag Pe 

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; 2 _ wed . yi, * i ih , at ; ; , ae ; r , ss . 
cient) Viul’bt tact) ad fad ne er 



Chapter XXX. 


With the whistle of the first 
locomotive engine that arrived 
in the Wapsie valley in 1855 
was sounded the death knell 
of the log cabin era. Then be- 
gan a new life to the com- 
munity, and this narrative 
must come to a close, for the 
rush and push and roar of a 
new and strange era was upon 
us. Ere this time many of the 
log cabins had fallen in decay, 
or were replaced by more mod- 
ern structures; and many of 
those early settlers had moved 
on to newer scenes, while 
many more had taken their 
journey to the unknown coun- 
try. Those that remained, 
mostly boys and girls when 
this history began, have grown 
old and gray, and must soon 
move on to join the caravart 
that has preceded them, and 
like the cabins they inhabited 
will be numbered with the 
things of the past. But their 
work remains, and though 
their early possessions have 
mostly passed into the hands 
of strangers, the race has be- 
come a brotherhood and the 
sowing of the few is. being 
harvested by the many. In the 
final summing up, when the 
great day of settlement arriv- 
es, when to everyone will be 
meted out just recompense for 
labor accomplished who shall 
say but that~these pioneers, 

though sometimes rough in 
speech and ignorant of the 
finer subtleties of life, may 

not have accomplished more 
for the benefit of the race 
than many others, who with 
the greater opportunities the 
pioneers made possible, have 
only achieved distinction 
through sordid gains, and left 
no monuments of their virtues 
but gold that perishes. The 
temptations of the pioneers be- 

cause of their environment to 
laxity of effort, physically, 
mentally and morally, wer 
great, and the generations of 
their descendants may rightly 
claim qa noble heritage. As If 
have listened to those vener- 
able men and women recount: 
ing the story of those early 
times when this region was 
still unmarred by man and tha 
virgin soil had never been 
marked by passing wheels of a 
vehicie, and there proceeded 
to carve out homes and set up 
the standard and maintain the 
dignity of the American home 
life in the presence of loneli- 
ness and privation and sickness 
and death, not disheartened by 
toil and suffering and danger, 
but patiently and faithfully 
laboring on, firm in _ their 
faith in the future prosperity 
of their adopted land, I have 
realized as never before the 
magnitude of the undertaking 
and the thoroughness of the 
work accomplished. 

Of all that band who came 
here so long ago with families 
there remains but one mem- 
ber, Mrs. Eliza Phillips*, now 
nearly ninety-five years of 
age. Let us uncover our heads 
as we speak of her, for who of 
us are worthy to stand with 
covered head in such a pres- 
ence? Let us remember the 
storms and hot sun and labor 
and care and suffering and 
sorrows, that have whitened 
her hair and wrinkled her fea- 
tures that have palsied her 
limbs and bent her form. Let 

us remember that she had 
passed through the burdew of 
bearing a numerous tamily, 

and just as they were becom- 
ing of an age to aid her in 
her work, they came to thig 
wilderness, here to undergo 
the privations and toil of pi- 
oneer life, and gave over. ac- 
tive labor only when her sun 
was low down in the west. For 
sixty-tnree years has she seen 

the seasons come and go ov- 
er the Wapsie valley, and is 
now only waiting for the sum- 
mons from the Master to take 
her last journey. 

Nor let us forget Mother 
Nyce, the first white woman 
to make a permanent home 
here, who so soon became a 
widow, but undaunted by the 
affliction, toiled on in faith 
and came to an honored Qld 
age, loved by all who came to 
know her. Or Grandmother 
Smith, who amid the adverse 
circumstances of her environ- 
ment, kept the welfare of her 
children ever in view, and but 
a few years ago laid down her 
burden at the ripe age of nine- 
ty-three years. Or yet the 



many others, men and women, 

who early fell victims to the | 
vicissitudes of their surround. | 
ings, some of whom sleep their - 
last long sleep in unmarked | 
and neglected graves in our | 
cemeteries. AS we sit around | 
our firesides, enjoying their 
many comforts, or ride over 
our beautiful valley, amid i*‘s 
fruitful fields, past its beauti- 
ful homes that dot the land- 
scape, or loiter on the streets 
of our villages, noting their evi- 
dences of thrift and prosperity, 
their churches, their schools, 
their libraries, and the happy 
animated faces of the school 
children as they pass and re- 
pass daily, let us kindly and 
gratefully remember the pion- 
eers of the log cabin days, 
who, lacking all these oppor- 
tunities for comfort and cul- 
ture and a close contact with 


their fellow men—which is 
the great educator—yet by 
their labor and _ their loss 

made all these things possible 
to the generations that were 
to follow them. 

* Died May 29, 1903, aged 94 
years, 8 months and 10 days. 

In 1920 the location of the 
grave of Oliver Atwood was 
definitely determined through 
the efforts of L. O. Mosher and 
P. M. Schooley. It is in the old 
North Prairie cemetery just 
north of town. 

In 1925 a marker was placed 
by Ivan Noland, marking the 
location, upon which is inscrib- 
ed “Oliver Atwood, A Pioneer. 
A Protestant Methodist Minist- 
er. Killed by the Indians. Sept. 
1838. First white man buried 
in Wapsinonoec Township.” 

eer al gale | 
we Hn? apvatg 
aeete Ty ow RA 

E caled 

“ties aN Jeny eter te 

-phel oft fob wie wemhod Ut 
eoynts ad ga dito! to eguee 
v4 Th) Qititen «egntliy tne i) 
Ney cage fern Midst) Te ow 

sled? setorelh aed | 

eqeay of Lue wetyerdll. seat 
teeioe afl to asset Galpeniae 
2; bow wow} tom! av poten 
bas ufeld ao tt “ied way 
pAete velt vodarecrer Uiatetwin 

red vitae set ott Yo eres. 
none eon? Ue golaat ote 
lve bape Mel@ad vol selinw 
dbiw nises ofthis 4 haw wae 
wt deidw.-dem waliet Ht 
4 lve etree | etry, oft 
aunt stadt tie | yodet hel) 
eitiarod et oidt evodd Ite, ahant 
wtow tf) cowlinwade off of 
mot) welt a 
bv bade ROL Ot ee GoW 
anab 91 baa wheow 8 sae 

mili jhtergt acti OLB2. aT 
ei Deer rh mevTTQ) \in ¥ ae 
: ; lareaiob cin Hie tively 

siete © oT 3) arraile & 
bia off ies weinedst M 4 
mvt | 6«ewine alvin ere 

wwii] Je een 

henmtiyg ware iene. RRL wh 
} vara bia  aavt ad 
Peen) a ion ,aehagel 
meant A ,bodeikh sevlity” ke 
wit M. mhedel taasanio’d A 
‘ieHh sectdal ot vd beast 14 
beyyite in witw a | cat 

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art; Pevils Cah h A 

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# bur whlliee siete of Ve 
“ur eh vel battiiow “lee eg 
pind & aviweld et! mew) seed 

reuseol Maal 1d 

wink diol sw fel WH 

Hamow witty fea ed) ,owlt 
yimot jnennilian, & GaAm OF 
+ afcaced cow of aw sie 
ai} ut. borteéhoe 0 .wohiw 

yal ni av ete) motets 
by heweot ah of ame Jue 
wong ctw Had mere ye 
talicmhumis 10 ..ted wierd 
wermvbe oft Uiene udw eon 

spine 4 30 weeows! emer 
wed 30 sucieet of? Tv? Aaa 
fud bao .wele oh tave aarbivs 

yo? awh tial ogo Cae ‘eo? @ 
seaty to ope apn oe de aebaid 
oot fae 1) @sieny woh? 

eek pf Re oe enone 

t f ou vi 
: ¥ 

o) prone gahe rtedd Ye os 

Jroosw? shew hae On 
views eed? Jo tine en) wat 
ww nolan ade Gotw 

5 {4 
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m to Ie haa eapliaring 

Be Pr rye 

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troy v Ste 

his ie bs 

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PP raed ice 

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Fig Leaf 

F the history of man’s apparel had to be written, it would 
necessarily have to start with Adam’s fig-leaf, and accur- 
ate data of its style and tailoring is lacking. 

‘ 3 ose 

Since that day many radical changes have taken place, such 
as the Knights who clad themselves in armor-plate; the Dan- 
dies of Empire days who took to Ruffs and Silken Breeches, 
and the lads of the gay ‘‘ Nineties” who set the style-pace in 
‘‘Semore’’ Coats and Peg-top Trousers. 

2 5 

But today, man has settled down to comfortable, easy, eye- 
pleasing fashion, and it is our proud boast that the man who 
desires to be completely and correctly garbed, need only turn 
to our store, where he will find apparel of quality, correct- 
ness and true economy. 


Ready to serve you 

W. G. Bichenauer 
John G. Boden 
Edwin Baldwin 


The Store of the Town 

Clothing Co. 



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Eastern Star 

Lotus Chapter No. 320 Or-- 

der of the Eastern Star was 
organized on January 29, 
1902. There were 25 names on 
the charter. The following are 
the first officers of the chap- 
ter: W. M.—Stella Jackson; 
W. P.—C. P. Worrell; A. M., 
Jennie Elliott; secretary, Syl- 
via McDonald; treasurer, May, 
McFadden; conductress, Rose 
Worrell; A. C., Hattie Pol- 
eoders; Adah, Alice Maxson; 
Ruth, Ethel Aikins; Esther, 
Nell Evans; Martha, Alta 
Protzman; Blecta, Mell Evans; 

Chaplain, George McFadden; 
marshal, Clare E. Hughes; 
warder, Ella Doty; sentinel, 
Edward Hounslow; organist, 

Marguerite Phillips. 

In addition to the above, the 
following completed the list of 
charter members: Lena Chase, 
Hugh W. Hughes, Mary Houn- 
slow, Agnes Hogue, Belle Mc- 
Fadden, Harry McDonald, Lil- 
lie MeDonald, Salena Polders, 
Wilma Shipman, 

The meetings were held in 
the Masonic Temple, on the 
second floor of the old post 
office building, corner of Cal- 
houn and Third streets, until 
April, 1915, when they moved 
to the new Masonic Temple. 

They have contributed lib- 
erally to the Eastern Star 
Home at Boone since it was 
founded. One of their aged 
members is now enjoying the 
comforts and kindnesses offer- 
ed to each member of the 

Three sisters and one broth- 
er who have been affiliated 
with Lotus chapter, have fill- 
ed offices in the Grand Chap- 
ter of Iowa. Hugh W. Hughes 
was Worthy Grand Patron, 
1907; Clare EB. Hughes was 
Grand Secretary during the 
years of 1915, 1916, 1917, and 
1918; Carrie E. Snider was 
Grand Esther in 1915; Jenivie 
Fenstermaker was Grand Mar- 
shal in 1928. 

One of the high lights of the 
social life of the Chapter is 
the celebration each year on 
January 29, with an anniver- 
sary party. 

There are 220 members in 
good standing. 


When I was a small boy and 
had just commenced to go to 
town on errands, I sometimes, 
got a ride with our neighbor 
William A. Clark. He had a 
buggy without a top anda 
black pony he called Ccalie. 
On one of these trips he told 
me of the first sack of wheat 
flour that ever came into this 
part of the country. After he 
had been ‘“‘batching’’ in his 
cabin for some time he got 
very tired of corn meal and 
wanting to find out something 
from the land office at Du- 
buque, he set out and walked 
there and back. Coming back 
he determined to bring some 
wheat flour, so he secured a 
sack and filled each =2n4 of it, 

-probably to the amount of 20 


: ‘ 

5 en ea 
a eee 

or 25 pounds and carried it 
home. Of the first flour to 
come into the Wapsinonoc Set- 
tlement he said if it had been 
salt, in fording the river it 
might have got wet and all 
leaked out, but being flour it 
would make a paste on the in- 
side of the sack and scarcely 
got wet at all. 

Solomon Phillips once told 
me that soon after they came 
to Iowa, in 1839, the Indians 
had a winter camp just north 
of Salisbury’s bridge and on 
the lower bench of land along: 
the river, below where the 
road now curves around 4n 
the upper bank. There were 
about 200 of them and they 
spent the winters there. 



Along about 1884 a hotel 
then standing at the southeast 
corner of the intersection of 
Third and Spencer streets 
burned on one very severe cold 
winter day, following which 
the town made the first ser- 
ious plans with reference to 
fire protection, and dug two 
large cisterns to catch and 
store sufficient water to fight 
fires. One of these cisterns was 
on Calhoun street, near Third 
than Fourth street. The other 
was about the intersection of 

Third and Spencer — streets. 
These supply cisterns, of 
course, fell into disuse when 

the first artesian well was dug 
on Calhoun street, near the 
junction of the alley called 
Eighth street. 

FRE. King RE ES 
ais gS we Me R at Shes 4 "7 i 
LE tN Raa et a ORE 



North Prairie 

North Prairie is the com- 
munity north and northwest of 
West Liberty. At the time 
West Liberty was founded this 
was open prairie with very few 
white settlers. Possibly one of 
the first white settlers was 
Enos Nyce whose log cabin was 
located near the Watter’s 
spring just south of Linn 

Linn Grove and Snake Hol- 
low were the two country 
schools of this community. 
Snake Hollow is consolidated 
with West Liberty school, but 
Linn Grove is still an indepen- 
dent district. The records 
show some of the students of 
1863 were Mary Barnes, Ella 
Cornwall, Susan Gregg, Niles 
Gregg, Peter Watters and Eva 
Foster. A little later we find 
the names of Mosher, Chase, 
Gates, Schooley, Moore, Web- 
ster, Erb and others. 

For the past several years 
the students of Linn Grove 
have held an annual reunion. 
At present Lewis Webster of 
West Liberty is the oldest liv- 
ing student of the school. 

The Linn Grove Parent 
Teacher Association hold reg- 
ular monthly meetings at the 
school house. 

The North Prairie Social 
club is composed of about 3.0 
of the ladies of the commun- 
ity. They hold regular meet- 

ings at the homes the year 
around, and a picnic every 


J. W. McElravy’s gold head- 
ed cane? 

The Wapsie Creek when it 
teemed with muskellunge? 

The story of the lost child? 

Eric Knutson’s team of little 

Uncle Billy Lamborn? 
Trotting horse ‘‘Wapsie’’? 

Kimberly’s kite shaped 
The  Blaine-Logan torch 

light campaign? 

The canning factory at the 
south end of Calhoun? 

The harrow factory at 
west end of Sixth Sireet? 

The old wolf hunts? 


The prairie, covered shoul- 
der high with blue stem grass? 

The log cabin of Enos Nyce? 

The mill two miles east of 
Third street? 

The old town pump at the 
corner of Third and Calhoun 

petit way th a: 
ahi) ol nee vactts jay 
wet ‘rier die why ' dio An 

1 960 Udimaot 
eee wreliice atid felt 
asw oltae yal onole one eho 

ein? 48: Seee - bodened 
ahh fe dine Joel patina 

-4AL «€a0R Sov ev02 avril 
wsen owl eds étee wal 
Hluvamns widy te. alhodve 

Seibliwiaos of ‘@olterh Agoe! 
od {008% QrieeLl tea atiw 
Vegvivd as i ee aranD aatl 
tweet at Joeuth jos 
M STRIATE Sft- Iu ees woe 
a wy 

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b Pane mth! Ye Ween (oe) 
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Bred by five members of 

All herds T. B. free and tested for 
Bangs disease 

See our exhibits at the fairs 
this summer 

In 1932 the Jersey breeders of Iowa launched a new program to improve production and type of 
Jersey cattle. The state was divided into districts or parishes. District No. 4 centers around West 
Liberty, where one of the first breeders was Albert Whitacre and Son, who has done much for the 
development of the breed. 

For six years the annual parish show has been held at the West Liberty fair grounds, The pro- 
gram of improvement is designed to encourage the study of pedigrees for inherited production and 
blending of blood lines which only purebred stock can do. Each individual is given a chance to com- 
pare his progress in breeding with his fellow breeder. This has done much to improve the breed. These 
cattle are exhibited without special fitting, so one can see them as they are under ordinary farm con- 

The Jersey is noted for her economical production and rich milk. She comes into production 
younger and has a longer life. She needs no more care than any good dairy cow deserves, and lastly 
the Jersey is the most gentle and beautiful cow of the dairy breed. All dairy farmers, w ho are inter- 
ested in the Jersey cow, whether grade or pure bred are urged to identify themselves with the Parish 
organization, whose officers are Ivan Gates, President, Edwin Hauer, Davenport, Vice-President, Al- 
lan Spencer, Sec’y and Treas. 

Fach fall the parish sponsors an auction sale and offers the best of stock for production and type 
available, at your own price. Watch for the sale date this fall. 

You are cordially invited to visit or buy breeding stock from the herds of the undersigned breed- 

LL. A. WIHTACRE, West Liberty 
JONES BROS., Towa City 

ROY TIPTON, West Liberty 

A. M. SPENCER, Downey 
IVAN N. GATES, West Liberty 


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The first white settlers ar- 
rived at what is now West Lib- 
erty in Wapsinonoe Towuship 
in 1836. At this time the land 

southwest of West Liberty now - 

known as South Prairie, was 
all prairie land. Within a few 
years many had located here, 
taking a homestead and pay- 
ing the government $1.25 an 
acre for the Jand. The new set- 
tlers experienced many priva- 
tions and hardships in this pio- 
neer community, Oxen wers 
used to break up the early 
prairie. The summers were hot 
and there were no trees. Wild 
animals were very numerous. 
Some sod houses and some log 
cabins were built. 

Among the early settlers on 
South Prairie were James Bar- 
clay, Chas. and Franklin 
Barnes, Thomas Birkett, Dan- 
ie] Crane, John Gibson, Mer- 
cer Hall, Gad James, Isaac and 
John Purvis, D. A., Phineas, 
Ira, Pliny, and George Nichols. 
The first school house built on 
South Prairie was Plum Grove. 
The first teacher of Plum 
Grove school, of which there is 
any record, was Mrs. Hannah 
Mosher Barclay who taught 
there in 1854. Some of the pu- 
pils at this time were James, 
William, and Clark Marsh, 
Crawford James, Preston and 
Mary Ellen Barclay and Clark, 
Marie, Louis and Amanda Ro- 

Union and Federal Hill 
schools were built in the early 
760s. A Mr. French taught 
Union school- and had thirty- 
five pupils, some of whom were 

boys who had just returned. 

from the Civil war. 

In the early ’60s, Ira Nich- 
ols purchased two and _ one- 
half acres of land, which is the 
South Prairie cemetery and 
chureh ground, of Willliam Mc- 
Millan and generously donated 
it with the deed to the South 
Prairie M. P. church for church 
and cemetery purposes. The 
South Prairie church was built 
about 1864. Previous to the 
building of the church, Sunday 
School was held in Federal 
Hill school house. William 
Purvis was the first pastor in 
the new church and also help- 
ed with the carpenter work 
during the building of the new 

The first grange on South 
Prairie, organized in the early 
’60s, was held at Federal Hill 
school house. School was dis- 
missed in the afternoon, so the 
grange meeting could be held 
there. The present South Prair- 
je Grange was organized in 
Oct. 1911, and has been hold- 
ing meetings since it organiza- 

The first singing school 
teacher here as far as can be 
determined, was Samuel Pen- 
nell, In later years Mr. Swain 
had charge of a singing school 
and still later a Mr. Fletcher 
had a class at Federal Hill 


As early as 1864, men of 
South Prairie served on com- 
mittees for the West Liberty 
Fair. Among them were Ira, 
George P., and Phineas Nich- 
ols. From 1873 to the present 
time the South Prairie women 
have served on the committees 
also. Some of the women who 
served in 1873-75, were Mrs. 
Ira Nichols, Mrs. James Bar- 
clay, Mrs. John Miller, Mrs. 
Russel Wood, Mrs. Frank 
Barnes and Mrs. Isaac Nichols. 
South Prairie is still well rep- 
resented on the West Liberty 
Fair committees. 

Early in the ’90s, the Good 
Templar Lodge was organized: 

Mr. Walley, pastor at the 
South Prairie M. P. church, 
helped organize the _ society. 

Their meetings were held at 
the Federal Hill school. 

August 15, 1900, the rural 
mail routes were started, de- 
livering the mail daily to the 
country homes. 

The first rural telephone 
line from West Liberty was 
Line 50, built in 1901 from 
West Liberty to the Gibson 
farm five miles west, and from 
the Birkett corner’ three- 
fourth of a mile south. Ten 
farmers were on the line. 

The Central school house 
built in 1907 still stands and 
although no school has been 
held there, it has served as a 

meeting place for Sunday 
School, Grange, institutes, 
plays, parties, and as a resi- 

dence for a family for several 
months, after their house burn- 
ed. The South Prairie Grange 
is holding meetings there now. 

The Ladies Embroidery Club 
was organized in 1908. The 
meetings are held at the homes 
of the members. It is a social 
organization and any woman 
in the community is welcome! 
During the Werld War the 
women laid away their em- 
broidery and did Red Cross 
sewing. The name of the club 
was then changed to Red Cross 
Society. After the war the 
name was again changed to 

South Prairie Ladies Social 
Club, which still meets. 
The Muscatine County 

Farm Bureau which includes 
South Prairie, in Wapsinonoc 
Twp., was organized in 1913, 
celebrating its twenty-fifth an- 
niversary last January at the 
Farm Bureau banquet. F. D. 
Steen and J. I. Nichols of this 
community were active in the 
organization of the Farm Bur- 
eau, Institutes and short 
courses Were held occasionally, 
and in 1921 the presént In- 
stitute was started through the 
Grange, developing into a two 
day affair, with premiums paid. 

The R. E. A. has built lines 
to furnish electricity to the 
rural communities, and the 
electricity was first given to 
farmers in this community the 
last of March, 1938. 



Soldiers Monument 

In February, 1902 the Wom- 
an’s Relief Corps of West Lib- 
erty discussed the erection of 
a Soldiers’ monument in Oak- 
ridge cemetery. At a later 
meeting of the Corps a resolu-~ 
tion was presented that the 
W. R. C. assume the task of 
erecting a monument, a com- 
mittee being appointed to find 
ways and means. With the co- 
operation of the citizens they 
made their plans, and asked 
for donations. The list of sub- 
scribers was headed by the W. 
R. C., which contributed $100. 

At the Memorial exercises 
the matter was presented and 

met with great enthusiasm. 
Later a monument committee 
was appointed for soliciting 

This League was organized 
by a band of Christian men in 
1874, for the purpose of en- 
forcing the temperance laws, 
with John EH, Deemer as pres- 
ident; EK. E. Harrison, secre- 
tary; J. L. Wilson, treasurer; 
Jonathan Cowgill and John 
Lewis, counselors. 

It had a membership of 106. 
They hired lawyers to defend 
the temperance law and to as- 
sist in its enforcement, pay- 
ing the fee out of their own 


Wapsie Township has three 
outstanding Girls’ 4-H clubs. 

The Wapsie’s Best Club was 
organized in April, 1925, with 
twelve members and Blanche 
Barclay as the leader. 

The Wapsie Ever Ready 4-H 

Ciub was organized in August, 
1925, with eighteen members. 
Mrs. .A. i, Oostendorp was the 


The Goshen Wapsie 4-H 
Club was organized in Septem- 
ber, 1928. Mrs. Geo. Askam 
was the leader. 

The girls have been active 
in club work. Several girls 
have gone to the State Fair 
with health demonstrations 
and judging. 

subscriptions, care of the mon- 
ey paid, selection of the de- 
sign and the power to con- 
tract the work. 

The following were on the 
committee: Mesdames H, B. 
Watters, C. F. Regnier, H. J. 
Ditmars, J. B. Luse, Ella Gregg 
and Lou Jackson. A sub-com- 
mittee was appointed, compos- 
ed of J. E. McIntosh, I. A. 
Nichols, A. H. McClun, and H. 
B. Watters, to act as a pur- 
chasing committee with the 
power to let the contract. The 
work was completed for the 
dedication on Memorial Day, 
May 30, 1903. 

This monument was erected 
in commemoration of the de- 
fenders of our country. 

First Blacksmith Shop 

Ephriam  Fenstermaker, 
born in Duncannon, Pa., 1817, 
married Sarah Shoemaker, 
also of Pennsylvania, in 1841. 
With three children they came 
to West Liberty in 1856, when 
Mr. Fenstermaker established 
the first blacksmith shop in 
the town. This shop was on tke 
piece of ground which is now 
the railroad park and faced 
the east. At that time Fourth 
street did not extend to the 
depot. In 1862, the Fenster- 
makers bought a farm three 
miles north of town where 
their eight children were rear- 
ed. After the death of his wife 
in 1882, he returned to West 
Liberty where he lived until 
his death in 1901. 

Two daughters are living in 
Colorado and members of the 
third and fourth generations 
in West Liberty. 


The Temperance Reform 
Club was organized in Janu- 
ary, 1878: K. O. Holmes, 
president; J. A. Evans, Albert 
McNulty and John Henderson, 
vice presidents; Horace Deem- 
er, secretary. A. F. Keith, 
treasurer; J. Mad Williams, 
chaplain. This club had a 
membership of 1252. 

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100 YEARS hase 




West Liberty! 
And our sincere L e E e B [ i G ar A RA 

good wishes for your 


continued prosperity == 

The Muscatine Journal Over thirty-one years in the 

same location 
‘*Your Daily Newspaper’’ 

The Best 
in Our History 

DAY & 

99.93, 94-95 


1082 (GRE eee MTR] 1808 




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Thomas Birkett, son of Rob- 
ert and Mary (Sailor) Birkett, 
@ pioneer of the South Prairie 
community, was born in Lan- 
caushire, England in 1829. He 
came to the United States in 
1850 and was employed as a 
drygoods clerk in New York 
and Philadelphia until 1852 
when, attracted by the possi- 
bility of the California gold 
fields, he declined an offer of 
a government position as aud- 
itor for the army post at Col- 
umbus, Ohio, and went to the 
Pacific coast by way of the 
Isthmus of Panama, Crossing 
the Isthmus on foot. He mined 
for gold with success for three 
years and while in California 
heard of a rich farming coun- 
try called Iowa. Returning to 
the east he stopped at Ft. Des 
Moines and Iowa City, then the 
capitol, and purchased land 
one mile south of the old state 
road and four miles west of 
West Liberty for $10.00 per 

He was married in New Jer- 
sey in 1856 to Miss Lucy Har- 
graves and they established a 
home on this farm, building a 
small house and prairie 
stables, the latter covered with 
prairie grass, They had two 
children, Charles E., deceased, 
and Lucy M. (Mrs. J. I. Nich- 
ols) West Liberty. Mrs. Bir- 
kett died April 1, 1859 and 
hers was the first burial in 
Oakridge cemetery, West Lib- 

In 1861 Mr. Birkett married. 

Miss Susannah Hargraves and 
the home was continued on 
the farm until 1895 when they 
retired to West Liberty. Mrs. 
Birkett died Mar. 4, 1896. 
They were the parents of sev- 
en children, Lila (Mrs. Ed 
Fitzgerald) West = Liberty; 
Edith (Mrs. Charles Mosher) 
deceased; Leslie, deceased; 
Bertha (Mrs. Walter Mosher) 
West Liberty; Vincent H., 
West Liberty; Lindley L., 
West Liberty; Fred T., de- 

Mr. Birkett held many of- 
fices of trust and responsibil- 
ity in the community and coun- 
ty, serving as County Commis- 
sioner (Supervisor) from 1875 
to 1883, serving as chairman 
six of these years. He was 
president of the Peoples State 
bank; was an active supporter 
of the West. Liberty Fair, and 
his advice and counsel were 
sought by younger men in his 
declining years. 

At the present time there 
are 75 children, grandchildren 
and great-grandchildren liv- 
ing, mostly in the West Lib- 
erty community. 

He passed away at the home 
of his daughter, Mrs. Walter 
Mosher, in West Liberty, Dec. 
6, 1920 at the age of 91 years. 


Wapsie Settlement Pioneers 


Mr. and Mrs. Peter Polders 
were among the early settlers 
in West Liberty, coming here 
about 1856. The railroad had 
not yet reached the town. 

They lived first in a little 
building on Third street near 
where the A. and P. store now 
stands. This served as a home 
and a workshop. Mr. Polders 
was a boot and shoe maker 
and worked at his trade until 
late in the night. Many travel- 
ers going through were at- 
tracted by his light and stop- 
ped to ask aid or directions, 
and many times Mrs. Polders 
would arise to cook something 
for the hungry wayfarers. 

The Polders had one child 
at this time, Henry, who stil} 
resides in West Liberty and 
who, until the last few years, 
has Carried on the shoe busi- 
ness which his father estab- 
lished in that early day. 

Their first real house was 
built where Swart and 
Brooke’s garage now stands. 
Here was born Amelia Polders 
Kimball, who still lives here; 
Charles of New Orleans; Will 
of Eugene, Oregon, and Min- 
nie of West Liberty. 


Gad James, born in Wales 
in 1833, came to the vicinity 
of West Liberty when twenty 
years of age. He worked as a 
laborer for one year, then with 
his brother Stephen rented a 
quarter-section farm, part of 
which is now occupied by the 
town site of West Liberty. In 
1856 he began breaking prair- 
ie with six yoke of oxen, pur- 
suing this industry for three 
years. During that time he 
turned over much of the vir- 
gin soil of this section of the 
country. He and his brother 
agreed that Gad should break 

the prairie on the south side 
of the Muscatine-lowa City 
trail and Brother Stephen the 
north side. 

In 1859 he traded his oxen 
for a quartersection southwest 
of West Liberty and began the 
opening of a prairie farm. For 

three successive years’ the 
chinch bugs destroyed his 

In 1864, in company with J. 
P. Mountain, he drove a mule 
team to Virginia City, Mon- 
tana, where he worked in the 
mines for two years but he re- 
turned to Iowa in 1866 and 
purchased a farm southwest 
of town which remained his 
home for 44 years. 

In 1866 he married Miss 
Harriet Kile. Of the ten chil- 
dren born to them, seven live 
in this vicinity. 

Mr. and Mrs. James took up 
their residence in West Lib- 
erty in 1910. Mr. James died 
in 1911 but Mrs. James lived. 
until 1938, passing away at 
the age of 92 years. 


Jacob D. Romaine was born 
in New Jersey in 1816. Came 
to Muscatine county in 1841, 
and purchased 150 acres of 
land in Wapsinonoc Twp. He 
was married to Mary Lewis, a 
native of Ohio, in 1843. They 
had three children that grew 
to maturity, Lewis, Eva and 

Lewis married Hannah Jane 
Connelly and had four chil- 
dren, Ernest, Oda, Ethel (de- 
ceased) and Charley (deceas- 

Eva married James 
they had one child, Mary. 

Walter married Anna Reuss; 
they had one child Hazel. 

The old home built by Jacob 
Romaine on Section 16, is still 



re TE OE fe 





In 1853 James S. Barclay 
came to Iowa from New York 
to work at the carpenter trade, 
He worked at his trade for a 
time but concluded to go te 
farming, and on July 17, i854, 
bought the west half of the 
sOuthwest quarter of section 
nine, Wapsie Township. This 
land at that time was virgin 

In 1855 he built a house 
which is still on the farm and 
used as a store house. Decem- 
ber 16, 1855, he and Hannah 
Mosher were married and 
started the new home. They 
reared a family of three chil- 
dren, Kate B., Marcus M., and 
Winfred J. Barclay. All have 
passed on except the last nam- 

They continued to live on 

this same farm until their 
deaths: James S. Barclay, 
March 16, 1896; Hannah M. 

Barclay, December 8, 1904. 

In August, 1905, W. J. Bar- 
clay purchased the farm from 
the other heirs and continued 
to reside there until March 1, 
1935, when he moved to West 

The farm is now occupied 
by James §S. Barclay and fam- 
ily, grandson of the original 

This piece of land is one of 
the few in Muscatine County 
that has never been mortgag- 


David and Lydia (Hollings- 
worth) Parry came from Ohio 
in 1855 and stayed for awhile 
with a cousin, James Elliot a 
cousin of Mrs. Parry, who liy- 
ed on the farm south of Ata- 
lissa now owned by John Mc- 

They made the trip to Iowa 
by covered wagon and were ac- 
companied by four children, 
Mary Parry McIntire, Lewel- 
len Alphonus, and Sarah P. 
Jewett. Another daughter, 
Phoebe P. Boyle and her hus- 
band came in 1856 to live near 
West Liberty. Many hardships 
were endured during the trip 
to Iowa. At one time the whole 
family was afflicted with the 
ague. One son Lewellen 
walked all of the way, driving 
the cattle. Mary walked some 
of the way, helping her broth- 

Mr. Parry bought eighty 
acres of land southeast of 
West Liberty, from the gov- 
ernment, Harry Parry is now 

living on the place. 

At the present time there 
are members of the third- 
fourth, fifth, and sixth gener- 
ations living in and near West 

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Wrecking Co. 


We buy and sell buildings of 
all classes 


Box Car Bodies sold and delivered 
where you want them 


We have 
Kentucky and Standard Bred Saddle Horses 
for sale at all times 


Boone, Iowa 



Phone 760 

J. J. MATTHEWS — station service 
EARL JEHLE — tank wagon service 

D-X and D-X Ethyl Firestone Tires 
769 Oils 








Phone 16 on 75 


West Liberty, Iowa 

are a nmrwretet 


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Ne ee 

- 1838 

Top row, left to right: 
Robert Bretting, 

Louis Bothell, 


George Wolters, Bernice 

Reid, Max DeMarce, Dale Christison, John Reid, Dorothy Klein- 
ert, Floyd Bothell, Pauline Hendricks, Helen Barnhart, Robert 

Preiss, Leslie Schooley. 
Second row, left to right: 

Betty Lee Leonard, drum major; Mary Edith Kirby, Virgin- 
ia Smith, Gaylord Wilson, Willard Henderson, Margaret Carey, 

The West Liberty 
school has had instrumental 
music for a number of years 
but according to records, in 
the fall of 1926 Miss Lois Gill 
established the first definite 
orchestra that later led to the 
modern music development. 
December 1, 1927 the first 
practice was held for a school 
band, under the direction of 
Elmer Zeigler and it made its 
first appearance April 4, 1928. 
In 1930 Mr. Zeigler was hired 
by the board to give lessons 
One day a week and instruc- 
tion was free to the students. 
The band was organized and 
the following officers were 
elected: Mabel Hormel, pres- 
ident; Cecil Wilkins, vice-pres- 
ident; Francis Jack, secretary. 
Lela Ridenour, Juanita Jack 
and Esther Stafford followed 
in office the last semester. 

Concerts at Kimberly Park, 
Morning Sun, football games, 
and entrance to the state con- 
test at DeWitt seems to have 
been the activities carried on. 
Mr. Zeigler was here four 
years, and made a very defin- 
ite step toward instrumental 

In 1932 Mr. Wenger was 
hired by the school board to 
give free instruction one day 
a week. He remained here two 



There were no band activi- 
ties in 1934 or 1935. 

In 1936 a determined board 
led by Supt. K. C. Smith de- 
cided that instrumental music 
was too important to be left 
out of a school’s curriculum, 
so for the first time in our 
school’s history instrumental 
musig was given the place of 
other curricular subjects. Mr. 
Seltenrich was given a full 
time job of reorganizing our 
school band and did a fine 
piece of work. 

In 1937 the board elected 
Mr. Bernie Knudsen, a gradu- 
ate of Iowa State Teachers 
College as band director and a 
regular member of the high 
school faculty. During 1937 
and 19388 the band was 
brought back to prominence in 
school activities and many in- 

novations were begun under 
Mr. Knudsen’s guidance; oui- 
standing of Which are the 
marching band, the coucert 

band, the brass sextette, clari- 
net quartette and such soloists 
as Betty Lea Leonard, John 
Reid and Dorothy Klienert. 

During the last 12 weeks of 
this year instrumental instruc- 
tion has been given to the 4th, 
5th and 6th grades of the 
West Building. 

Picture courtesy of the Davenport Democrat. 

Virginia Huskins, Leota Maurer, Inez McMahon, Jane Buckman, 
Catherine Brooke, Kathryn Sneeringer, Bernie Knudsen, direc- 

Bottom row, left to right: 

Russell Orr, Calvin Maxson, 

Carl Geertz, Billy Pagel, Lester 

Henderson, Marjorie Morris, Lois Kaylor, Dorothy Holmes, Ju- 
anita Wilson, Bernice Schaapveld, Darlene Wachs. 

Band Mothers’ Organization 

A Band Mothers’ organiza- 
tion was started in the fall of 
1937 under the leadership of 
Mrs. Margaret Jack and Di- 
rector Knudsen. 

The climax to their year’s 
work of fund-raising activities 
came when the order was giv- 
en for uniforms for the band. 


This association serves as 
an important link between the 
livestock producer and_ the 
important livestock markets, 
and is now in its twentieth 
year, and under the manage- 
ment of L. L. Birkett, who 
suceeded Robert W. Brooke, 
Sr., two years ago. Mr. Brooke 

had served aS manager since 
its establishment. 
The office is on _ railroad 

ground adjacent to the stock- 
yards and affords convenient 
loading for the live stock of 
its 200 members living within 
a vadius of about twenty 

As would be expected in 

head the 


section, hogs 
in shipments with 
and sheep a 

The peak. year was 1929 
when cash receipts amounted 
to $750;728.00. The first five 
months of this year there have 
been over 100 car loads ship- 
ped, with a return of approxi- 
mately $15,000.00. 


West Liberty was selected 
as one of 10 Iowa highway pa- 
trol stations because of its cen- 
tral location in the district. 

The headquarters here open- 
ed August 2, 1937, with offi- 
ces maintained partly by lo- 
cal business men. Rerently the 
location was changed to rooms 
above the post office. Sergeant 
Edgar Faber and Officers 
Warren Crane, Richard Hohl, 
Kenneth Daly, Ivan Franklin 
and Earl Cummings compose 
the staff of patrolmen in the 
local unit. 

The crews working in shifts. 
day and night, are on duty 12 
hours, each man covering ap- 
proximately 300 mules daily. 

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The Centennial .. . 

BARES a wide span of years from the pioneer days 
of the ox-cart and Pony Express to our present per- 
iod of Aeroplane and Automobile. 

ROM the trying days of the pioneer to the Age of 

E are glad to have contributed and featured Serv- 
ice in our 14 years of business in West Liberty 
with such merchandise as 



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Mansell L. Phillips Post 
No. 509, American Legion 

Shortly after the West Lib- 
erty boys who had seen active 
service returned home from 
France they began activities, 
which led to the establishment 
of Mansell L. Phillips Post No. 
509 of the American Legion, 
Department of Iowa. 

A charter was granted to 
this organization June 21, 
1920 with the following names 
as charter members: Arthur 
S. Black, Ray Heath, William 
Brown, Harry F. Lewis, J. C. 
Rock, F. C:. Mead, R. A. 
Peters, C. B. Mead, Arnold J. 
Mullink, Ray Buckman, Johm 
E. Smith, C, D. Gibson, Rob- 
ert Brooke Jr., Paul Rought, 
Elmer Conklin, Before the 
summer had faded this post 
was fully functioning with an 
approximate membership of 
100. From that time to this, 
Mansell L. Phillips Post, nam- 
ed for the first West Liberty 
boy to lose his life in action, 
has been one of the active or- 
ganizations of West Liberty. 
Harry F. Lewis of the re- 
nowned First Division was thd 
first commander of this or- 
ganization, assisted by Chester 

Peters, as adjutant, of the 
famous: Rainbow Division. 
The post’s first meeting 

place was in the Polder build- 
ing and remained there until 
January of 1938 when the 
Harry Shipman building was 
purchased and transformed in- 
to quarters of beauty, with re- 
ception room, a basement with 
club facilities, a meeting room 
suitable for all occasions, all 
of which was made possible 
by a donation from the Kim- 
berly Trust Fund, largely pos- 
sible through the efforts of W. 
C. Kimberly, one of our pub- 
lic spirited citizens. The en- 
dowment was for $1,000 which 
put the post on a sound finan- 
cial basis. 

The building committee con- 
sisted of Richard Peters, John 

Boden, Wayne C. Nichols, 
Lyle B. Holmes, Harry F. 
Lewis. The transfiguration cf 
this building would not have 
been possible without the sub- 
stantial help of the American 
Legion auxiliary and the citi- 
zens and friends of the Legion 
in more ways than it is pos- 
sible to enumerate. This build- 
ing was formally dedicated 
April 26, 19388. The present 
post commander is William H. 
Stotler of Atalissa, ably assist- 
ed by Don Bemis, adjutant. 

The organization has either 
sponsored or cooperated in 
many community enterprises 
such as a Boy Scout Troop, 
the Easter Egg Hunt, public 
speaking, sending high schonl 
students to the Boys State, as- 
sisting in’ Memorial and Ar- 
mistice Day observances. 


The Bower Mining Co. 
was incorporated Jan. 15, 
1879 by Allen Breed, Geo. W. 
Hise, Isaac Heald, T. W. Rog- 
ers, T. W. Hoge, I. C. Nichols, 
Mahlon Hollingsworth, and 
Geo. W. Handy. 

Allen Breed was president; 
T. W. Rogers, vice president; 
Isaac Heald, secretary, and G. 
W. Handy, superintendent. 
The capital stock of the com- 
pany was ten million dollars, 
represented by one hundred’ 
thousand shares all subscribed 
and paid up. 

The company’s claim was 
located in ElDorado county, 
Calif. To operate the mine it 
was necessary to run a tunnet 
about 600 feet in length from 
the American Canyon and a 
shaft to be sunk at the ter- 
minus of the tunnel. On the 
20th of March, 1879, 140 feet 
of the tunnel had been com- 
pleted. | 


Hotel located south of depot across the tracks 

Hotels OF A Century 

fire, it was a two story struc- 

From the early history of 
the Wapsinonoc Settlement we 
learn that Peter Heath kept 
the first store and it was used 
as a dinner station for the 
stage coaches, operating be- 
tween Bloomington and Iowa 

However, Freeman Alger 
kept the hotel and post office. 
So no doubt, these two places 
were the first hotels in the 
new settlement. 

At the time the first loco- 
motive wended its way west- 
ward, it speaks of there being 
but one dwelling in the new 
town and that was on the cor- 
ner of Spencer and Fourth 
Streets, and it was used as a 

In the year 1857, Mr. and 
Mrs. Lew A. Bowlsby built a 
hotel on third street. It was 
located about where the opera 
house now stands, and was a 
frame building, set about 
twenty feet from the side- 
walk, with a picket fence in 

Z. N. King, Reece Lewis, V. 
Morris, John Hudson, Albert 
and Abe Keith, Chas. Regnier, 
Will Hise and Fred Sheets 
were among those who made 
their home at the tavern. 

In the year 1864 or 65, 
William Hise leased the house 
and operated it for some time. 

This same hotel was known 
as the Lewis House. 

William Hise sublet it to 
Fred Sheets, and rented the 
Moore House at the corner of 
Spencer and Fourth streets. 

This he opreated until he 
built the Hise House in 1873 
or 74. 

In the year 1876, the struc- 
ture was burned, but Mr. Hise 
remodeled it and continued 
operation of the same until 
his death in 1883. His son Ed 
came into possession of it at 
this time. He for a short while 
sublet it to Job Wilson, later 
taking charge himself. 

In the year 1893, the Hise 
house was again damaged by 

ture, and the entire second 
story was burned. It was in 
this same year that Ed’s cou- 
sin Nora Hise came to help 
him operate the hotel. 

Prior to this time the rail- 
road had purchased the Moore 
House to use as a R. R. eat- 
ing house and moved it to the 
present site of the hotel, and 
the building being unoccupied 
at this time, Mr. Hise rented 
it and continued his business, 
while he was repairing his own 
hotel, In 1901 the railroad 
wanted the ground where the 
hotel was standing so they of- 
fered to move the hotel to its 
present location, and to give 
them the ground and_ the 
Moore House. 

So a deal was made, and the 
building moved, a part of the 
old Moore house is still used 
as living quarters and laundry 
for the present hotel. 

The other part of the Moore 
house was moved to Elm ands 
Fifth and is a residence. 

Ed Hise continued the op- 
eration of the hotel with his 
cousin’s help until 1912 when 
he passed away, and his cou- 
sin Nora sold it to Frank Moy- 
lan, who ran it for some time 
and then leased it to his 
brother Will Moylan; later the 
Newnams operated it and at 
the present time Mr. and Mrs. 
Moylan are owners and opera- 

The Occidental House was 
located at the corner of Spen- 
cer and Third. streets. It was 
also known as the S. B. Wind- 
us House. T. M. Campbell was 
the last proprietor, as the ho- 
tel was burned in 1884. 

At the northwest corner of 
Spencer and Third streets was 
a hotel, where the I. O. O. F. 

building now stands, at one 
time it was known as the 
Commercial house. Its pro- 
prietors were many, among 

them were the Cooleys, Kess- 
lers, Sheldons and Mrs. Ran- 
dall. ; 

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In 1837 John Deere accepted the challenge of the 
world and made the plow you see below that revolu- 
tionized the farming industry. 

In 1898 our firm quietly, but with determination, 
started out in West Liberty, to give to this community 
the kind of Quality, Price and Service we thought they 
should have. 

In 1938 you see above the plow that Deere & Co. 
have made that still retains the same high quality ma- 
terial and workmanship. Our present firm want to 
thank our many customers for their loyal support the 
past 40 years and hope you will continue with us in the 
future whenever in need of Lumber, Coal, Implements. 



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Pickering Family 

It is rare indeed in the his-. 
tory of famous homes to have 
one home occupied by one 
family continuously from the 
time of its erection in 1660 to 
the présent day. But such is 
true of the Pickering home, 
which is still standing at 
Salem, Mass., the ancestral 
home of John C. Pickering, 
who came to Iowa from Barn- 
esville, Belmont county, Ohio, 
in the year of 1864, purchas- 
ing 160 acres one mile south 
of Centerdale and five miles 
north of West Liberty, on 
what is now known as the 
Harry Hartley farm. 

The following year, John C. 
returned to Ohio for his fam- 
ily, which consisted of his 
wife Lucie Baker Pickering, 
and their seven children. The 
return trip was made down the 
Ohio and Mississippi rivers to 
Davenport, where neighbors 
met them and drove the fam- 
ily to their new prairie home. 
All the lumber used for the 
buildings on the farm was 
hauled from Muscatine, Iowa. 

John and Lucie Pickering 
were very devout Hicksite 
Friends and held birthright, 
memberships in this society, 
which they always valued and 

In 1876 John C, Pickering 
sold his farm to Joseph Hart- 
ley and moved to West Lib- 
erty the following spring, lo- 
eating in a little home where 
the Strand theatre now stands 
and later purchasing a home 

on the corner of 6th and Spen- 
cer streets, now owned by A. 
V. Aker. 

John C. Pickering died June 
‘26th, 1885. Lucie, his wife, 
died April 24th, 1888, in 
Omaha on her way to visit a 
son at Lincoln. 

Four of their sons Levi B., 
James C., Charles E. and Oli- 
ver W. were in business dur- 
ing their residence in West 

Levi and James were part- 
ners in the implement busi- 
ness for a number of years, 
selling out to McCurdy in Feb- 
ruary, 1884. Levi then pur- 
chased the Cedar Valley 
Creamery which he conducted 
for 18 years, until the cream- 
ery burned down in 1902. 
Charles E. was in the drug 
business for a number of 
years, moving to Des Moines 
in 1908, having sold his store 
in West Liberty to W. L. Wat- 
ters in February of that year. 
In November 
purchased the bowling alley, 
which was located in the base- 
ment of his brothers’ imple- 
ment store, now the Ruthen- 
berg clothing store. George W. 
was in the elevator business 
at Lincoln, Nebraska. There 
were two girls in the family, 
Susan who married George W. 
Griffith, and Clara B. who 
married Edwin W. Brooker. 

Four generations of the 
family have lived in West Lib- 

1884 Oliver W.. 



The genial Uncle John Pot- 
ter who occupied the tailor’s 
bench for many years in the 
rear of the McClun Bros. 
clothing establishment, and 
was a part of the _ business, 
was born in Leeds, England, 
in 1819. He crossed the At- 
lantic in a sailing vessel which 
was One of the last to be pro- 
visioned by the passengers. 
This vessel was becalmed, ran 
out of food, and John Potter 
with two companions were the 
only passengers who survived 
the voyage and landed in the 
United States. 

In Toronto, in 1844, he was 
united in marriage to Rebecca 
Dixon. In 1867, he with his 
family came to West Liberty 
where he remained until his 
death in 1897. 

He and his’ descendants 
have been in continuous busl- 
ness in West Liberty for four 

Two of John Petter’s chil- 
dren are living in West Lib- 
erty, Miss Myra Potter and 
Mrs. Adelaide Stober. 


In October of 1886 J. W. Me- 
Elravy began agitation for an 
artesian well for West Liberty. 
Taking a subscription paper, 
he started out among the bus- 
iness men and in a few hours 
had over $600 subscribed for 
the purpose of experimenting 
as to whether water could be 
easily obtained. The town 


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council added $300, the school 
board $200 more. <A_ public 
meeting was called and the 
question discussed. All were in 
favor of it. 

In November a contract was 
made with A. K. Wallen to 
bore the well, but little was 
done until the spring of 1888 
when William Barber of Min 
ooka, Ill., took charge of the 
work as foreman. The well 
was sunk to a depth of 1768 
feet where the flow was con- 
sidered sufficient. A contract 
was let to Dennison and Co. of 
Muscatine, to lay the water 

By 1889 the water mains 
were being rapidly extended 
and many business houses ang 
families were using the water. 
The well was located near the 
intersection of Calhoun and 
Eighth streets, in front of the 
house where John Boden now 
lives. The total cost of the well 
was $10,000.00. 

By 1898 the supply of water 
was not sufficient to meet the 
demands of the people, so it 
was necessary to drill another 
well, located on South Calhoun 
Street near the present power 
house. In 1923, the town pur- 
chased the well formerly used 
by the Iowa Condensed Milk 
Co. and at that time owned by 
J. D. Potter and Frank Weber. 

For many years the 
Liberty schools have 

During the past year twenty- 


one boys have received a total 
of $1877.00 from their crop 
and live stock projects. 

In 1932 the Dboys of the yvo- 
cational agriculture classes or- 

ganized the local chapter of 
the Future Farmers of Amer- 
ica. : 

In 1935 an evening school 
for adult farmers was orcan- 
ized under Dr. E. C. Darling. 
The farmers evening school 
has continued to grow in pop- 
ularity. The enrollment for 
the past year was 111 men. 

Advertisements taken from 
the first West Liberty Enter- 
prise, issued April 4, 1868S. 

Two shops furnish under- 
standings for the inhabitants. 
Stratton and Regnier, west of 
post office keep foot-toggery 
until you can’t rest. 

Polders and Keith, at the 
sign of the big boot on Third 
street, build boots and 
to order and sell without 
ders, stock already built. 

Blacksmithing— At the west 
end of Third street, Hormel 
and Bro., hammer iron for the 
benefit of the public and a 
pecuniary consideration. 

Next door west of Wright 
Bros. grocery store, V. Morris 
is stoving around in a stove 
and tinware establishment, 

Protect your lives, protect 
your property. Copper Scroll 
Lightning Rods. — Sedgwick 
and Staples. 



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‘““Meet Me At Smart’s’’ 



A shop that is a credit to the community 


With new lines of snappy Oldest trucking firm in 
up-to-the-minute merchandise a 14 years in one Just Telephone 
ak ee Livestock to ; Coal 
Chicago and | on 
DIAMONDS— Peoria Orders 
Special Order Work ANYTHING .... ANY PLACE 
Designing and Engraving 
Diamond Mounting ; @ 

Fine Watch Repairing 

“Tf It’s New SMART’S Have It” Ww Te Johnson & Sen 
I.0.0.F. Bldg. West Liberty, Iowa Phone 60 Res. 900 N. Calhoun St. 

UE TUE - : 

100 Years Is a Long Time Fer a Town 
40 ls aLong Time For a Business 

Age in business as in community life brings a wealth of ex- 
perience that is beneficial. 

True our company has a long way to go before its 100th 
Birthday, but we’re as truly pioneers in our field as were 
the founders of West Liberty. 

The Hutchinson Ice Cream Company, founded more than 
forty years ago, has pioneered in improving ice cream man- 
ufacturing from makeshift methods to scientific processing 
—has seen ice cream change from the category of a July 4th 
treat to a health food with a place in the daily diet. 

And as a unit of The Borden Company, which was organized 
81 years ago, we have the advantage of the wealth of exper- 
ience of that company in the dairy industry. 

We are proud of the acceptance our product has had in West 
Liberty for a great many years. We are proud of our part in 
improving standards of ice cream in Iowa. 

Congratulations West Liberty on your Centennial. 


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Wapsie Settlement Pioneers 


Jonathan Worrall and his 
wife, Prussia, and Abram Gif- 
ford and his family trekked by 
covered wagon from Morgan 
County, Ohio, to Iowa, in Oc- 
tober, 1852. About a year lat- 
er Nathaniel Worrall, father 
of Jonathan, and the rest of 
his family joined them here. 
They, too, traveled in covered 
wagons, with the exception of 
the mother who, on account of 
ill health, was provided with a 
carriage. Shortly after their 
arrival, Daniel Gifford, son of 
Abram, was united in mar- 
riage with Nathaniel Worrall’s 
daughter, Sarah. 

They settled on farms (pur- 
chased from the Government) 
five miles north and east of 
West Liberty, in the district 
now known as Union Valley, 
paying $1.25 per acre. The 
deeds were signed by Presi- 
dent Franklin Pierce. The In- 
dians, who at that time were 
in camp on the Cedar river 
two and one-half miles to the 
east, were frequent visitors 
seeking charity, but at no time 
did they show any spirit of 

Nathaniel Worrall and 
Abram Gifford died on the 
farm, leaving Jonathan Wor- 
rall and Daniel Gifford to 
farm until the time of their 
retirement to West Liberty. 
Jonathan Worrall died in 1894 
and Daniel Gifford in 1912. 

Jonathan Worrall was the 
father of Mrs. Anna Luse, and 
Daniel Gifford was the father 
of Mrs. Alice Polders. 


Clark I, Luse, son of Reu- 
ben Luse, was born in Knox 
County, Ohio, October 10th, 
1836. He and his brother-in- 
law and sister, Mr. and Mrs 
Ira Nichols, came from Ohio 
to West Liberty, in 1853, at 
the time the Rock Island rail- 
road terminated at Rock Is- 

Clark lived with Mr. and 
Mrs. Nichols on a farm _ on 
South Prairie until his mar- 
riage to Eleanor A. Nichols in 
August, 1860. To this union 
were born five children. Two 
children, five grandchildren 
and eight great grandchildren 
are still living, of which one 
daughter, one grandson and 
two great grandchildren live 
in West Liberty. 

After serving in the Civil 
War for about three years, he 
returned to resume farming 
on South Prairie. In 1872 he 
moved to West Liberty where 
he and his nephew, Bentley 
Luse, under the firm name of 
“Luse and Luse,”’ engaged in 
the grocery business on Third 
street in the building now oc- 
cupied by the Cline Farm 
Equipment Company. Here he 
continued business until his 
death in November, 1896, 


Ninety-one years ago, Ira G. 
Baker came from Ohio and lo- 
cated in West Liberty. The re- 
mainder of his life, with the 
exception of nine months 
spent in service in the Civil 
War, was spent here. His oc- 
cupation was farming. 

He was the father of Mrs. 
Rose Hormel, Mrs. Myrta 
Swain and John Baker who 
have spent almost their entire 
lives in this community and 
Mrs. Mary Barnhart who re- 
sides in Oskaloosa, Iowa. 


George and William Hise 
came to Iowa in 1856, mak- 
ing their first home on the 
prairie southwest of West 
Liberty. The following year 
they brought their families. 
They and other early settlers 
made up a little community 
called ‘‘Pokertown.” William 
Hise was postmaster and kept 
a little store. George was a 
blacksmith and one _ winter 
walked five miles morning 
and night, to and from work. 

George and his wife Libbie 
and their son Howell moved to 
West Liberty in 1862. Wil- 
liam and his wife Rachel and 
son Ed had preceded them a 
year. William managed the 
“Bowlsby House,” afterwards 
called the ‘‘Lewis House,” and 
George worked in Ephriam 
Fenstermaker’s blacksmith 
shop. Later George built a 
shop of his Own on the west 
side of Calhoun street where 
Harold Templeman is now lo- 
cated. While William was op- 
erating the ‘‘Lewis House,” it 
became a great gathering place 
during the Civil War. All of 
the men met there to talk over 
war news and sing patriotic 
songs. In 1874 he built the 
“Hise House’? where he pass- 
ed the remainder of his life. 

In 1866 the George Hises 
built the house on Calhoun 
street where they lived until 
their deaths. This is one of 
the early houses which is still 


Peter Ransom Evans was in 
business in West Liberty for 
40 years. He was a native of 
Delaware County, New York, 
but moved to Huntsburg, Ohio, 
where he married Martha Jane 
Howell. In 1859 their home 
burned, so with their two chil- 
dren, Frank and Jennie, they 
came to Iowa, residing first at 
Iowa City and coming to West 
Liberty in 1861. 

He engaged in the grocery 
business for two years and 
then changed to the grain and 
implement business which he 
followed until his death. At 
one time he was a member of 
the firm ‘‘Evans and Barnes,” 
then “Evans, Childs and 
Nichols,’ later associated with 
J. D. Potter in the coal and 
ice business. His son, Frank A, 
Evans, assisted him in the ele- 
vator and implement business 
from 1884 until it was sold to 
the Jackson Grain Company. 

P. R. Evans was One of the 
early mayors of West Liberty, 
belonged to the Christian 
church, the Masonic order, 
was a Knight Templar, and an 
Odd Fellow. 

For sixty years, Frank A. 
Evans was a member of Mt. 
Calvary Lodge No. 95 and was 
one of the first who received 
a Fifty Year Certificate of 


Among the early settlers in 
Iowa were Joseph M. and Pa- 

mela Wright Gibson, Quak- 
ers, who came here in 1853 
from Fredericktown, Ohio, 

settling on South Prairie. Elev- 
en children were born to them, 
three dying in infancy. In 
1877 they moved to West Lib- 
erty where they made their 
home until their deaths in 
1892 at the ages of 87 and 85 

The descendants of Joseph 
and Pamela Gibson, unto the 
fourth and fifth generations, 
have lived and reared their 
families in West Liberty. 

AS ma OO a 

Calhoun street north from 3rd.—1908 


John A. Evans came from 
Ohio in 1856 and settled on a 
farm one-half mile east of 
West Liberty. He married 
Flora M. Barnes of Connecti- 
cut, in 1860. They had three 
children of their own and 
adopted two. With his farm- 
ing he made a specialty of 
raising Shorthorn cattle and 
standard bred and roadster 
horses. He was a member of 
the Union District Agricultur- 
al Society, missing but one 
meeting since its organization, 
while he lived. He represented 
Muscatine county in the twen- 
ty-second assembly and was 
deputy revenue collector in 
the southern district for sever- 
al years. He passed away No- 
vember 19, 1908. 


Another early settler who 
helped shape the history of 
this community was George 
Jackson Bowlsby. 

George Bowlsby was born at 
Pipsisaway, N. J. in 1818. Dur- 
ing the summer of 1840, he 
came to Iowa where he secur- 
ed his first job, that of mail 
carrier. His route lay between 
Iowa City and Bloomington, 
now Muscatine, a distance of 
33 miles. Since mail was car- 
ried by horseback it took two 
days to make this trip, up one 
day and back the next. 

The following year he re- 
turned to New Jersey where he 
married Lydia Ann _ Fisher. 
Two children, Levi and Mary 
A., were born to them. They 
returned to Iowa in a covered 
wagon, all their possessions 
packed in a chest of drawers. 
This chest is now in the Bert 
Richards home. 

Mr. Bowlsby passed away in 
1909, his wife following in 


Council Proceedings 

That the council request the 
Hise Bros. in the rebuilding of 
their hotel, to rearrange the 
main stairway — making the 
same wider and more direct. 
That an additional stairway be 
added and that a fire escape 
reaching the third story, be at- 
tached to both north and south 
ends of said hotel. The resolu- 
tion was wnanimously adopted 
and A. H. Smith and A. H. 
McClun appointed as a com- 
mittee to present same to His2 


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New Public Address Ames Hybrid Seed 
System oe Corn 

For NUMBERS ... 

4 3 AND 

MERCHANTS — POLITICAL RALLIES 98 years experience handling 

seed corn. 

Ey eee 


Jumbe Heath 
61% miles southwest 

Phone No. 3 West Liberty 
West Liberty, Iowa Phone 11 or 77 

West Liberty’s modern Department Store combined with the buy- 
ing strength of 2600 other independent merchants in the BEN 
FRANKLIN LEAGUE give you better merchandise and lower 

Millions of thrifty American housewives appreciate the service 
these stores perform. 

Every dime spent here is a boost for your home town’s prosperity. 

Your loyal patronage the past thirteen years has made possible a 
larger and better store for your community. 



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History of the Church of Christ 

During the year 1862 some 
disciples of Christ held reli- 
gious services in the school 
house near the home of Wil- 
liam Phillips on South Prairie. 

This, little group continued 
to meet at intervals during 
1863 and the winter of 1863 
and 1864 organized a Church 
of Christ. They followed the 
example of the Church as it is 
recorded in the.Acts of the 
Apostles, as fo Officers and 
teaching and practice. 

The following were charter 
members of this church: Mr. 
Barnes; William and Rachael 
Hise; James Ball and wife and 
daughter Lizzie;, J. S. Wilson 
and wife; Frank Grant and 
wife; Dr. Edwin Younkin and 
wife; Maria Miller and Adda 
Kieth. William Hise was chos- 
en Elder and Dr. Younkin and 
J. S. Wilson were chosen Dea- 

Evangelistic services from 
time to time increased the 
membership of the church. In 
1868 they decided to erect a 
building. Through earnestness 
and sacrifice they were en- 
abled to build it that year. It 

was located on Sixth St. be- 
tween Calhoun and _ Spencer 
streets, where the present’ 

building stands and was dedi- 
eated January 10, 1869. 

The church used that build- 
ing for about eighteen years. 
But they were growing in num- 
bers and it was evident that 
they needed a larger church. 
So they moved their building 
back and erected a larger 
church, where it had_ stood. 
Dedicatory services were held 
January 1, 1887. The former 
building was used for Bible 

Improvements were made 
from time to time and the 
church now has the auditorium 
and ten well equipped Bible 
school rooms, furnace and fuel 
Tooms and kitchen and dining 

The first parsonage was 
erected on the southwest cor- 
ner of Calhoun street and 
Maxson aventie. Mrs. Samuel 
Satterthwait, a devoted mem- 
her of the church, at her 
death bequeathed a consider- 
able sum of monev and her 
home at Fourth and Columbus 
streets to the church for use 
as a parsonage. The church 
then sold its parsonage and 
modernized this new home for 
a parsonage and it is. still 
used as the home for the min- 
ister’s family. 

The church has endeavored 
all through the years as a 
Church of Christ, to serve the 
community. Its constant aim is 
to obey the commission of 
Christ when he told his dis- 
ciples: Go ye therefore and 

teach all nations, baptising 
them into the name of the 
Father and the Son and the 
Holy Spirit, teaching them to 
observe all things whatsoever 
I have commanded you, and 
lo, Iam with you always. Mat. 


Lawn mowers were first 
used in West Liberty along 
about the year 1886. Edward 
Harrison, who lived on his ten 
acre tract at the southwest 
corner of the northeast quar- 
ter of section twelve, his 
home being the house now oc- 
cupied by Mrs. Mary Kirby on 
North Columbus street, 
brought to West Liberty the 
first lawn mower with a cut- 
ting reel. It was a crude and 
heavy arrangement with a 
large cylindrical power wheel 
at the rear, getting its pow- 
er to a cutting reel extended 
somewhat to the front. 

W. W. McClun and A. H. 
McClun, who for years operat- 
ed a clothing store under the 
firm name of McClun Broth- 
ers, brought the next lawn 
mowers to. West Liberty. 
Their mowers showed some 
improvements over the one 
used by Edward Harrison, but 
Were crude as compared to 
those used at the present time. 
These mowers had a skeleton, 
or a Wire squirrel cage power 
wheel at the rear, getting its 
power to the cutting reel also 
extended to the front. 


whence OBES Dia wi whe BOO EP ate SOT 


A decade before the turn of 
the twentieth century milk 
wagons delivering milk to pri- 
vate users were unknown in 
West Liberty. Because of this 
fact it can be readily under- 
stood that many cows were 
privately owned throughout 
the town, and while it is true 
neighbors frequently recipro- 
cated in the exchange of milk 
and butter. it is also true that 
for each family to own a cow 
for domestic use was more the: 
rule than the exception. Pas- 
turage for these cows was a 
problem during the summer 
months and for years it was 
prevalent for the owners of 
the cows to turn them loose 
on the street to range over the 
streets and country roads. 

Sometimes it would be a 
problem when evening would 
come as to whether the cows 
would find their way back to 
their respective homes, and 
frequently the elder boys of 
the household were required to 
go on a searching expedition 
to locate their family cow. Out 
of this duty the boys of the 
town developed a rather sut- 
perstitious practice of deter- 
mining the direction in which 
they would travel in search of 
their cow. They would locate 
a granddaddy-long-legs and 
would shout, “Tell me which 
way my cow is or I'll kill you.” 
The insect when disturbed 
would invariably raise one of 
its slender legs and this action 
was accepted as the proper dir- 
ection for the boy to travel in 
his search. There is no record 
of this method ever having 



How West Liberty received 
by mistake world-wide recog- 
nition as one of the places 
where meteors were known to 
have fallen, was explained by 
Dr. Charles C. Wiley, noted as- 
tronomer, and professor at the 
University of Iowa, a few years 
ago when he came to West 
Liberty for a swim in the Kim- 
berly pool. 

Dr. Wiley said that a meteor 
fell near the Amana colonies 
Feb. 12, 1875, and some West 
Liberty reporter probably 
wrote the story saying that a 
meteor fell near West Liberty. 
the place where it really fell 
being about 40 miles west of 
here. So, West Liberty’s name 
used in connection with the 
meteor was brought into the 
news not only in America but 
also in Europe. 

Dr. Wiley recalled’ that 
many of the small stones from 
the meteor which had been 
scattered about, were collect- 
ed and sent to museums all 
over the world. One was sent 
to Vienna where a European 
professor labelled it the ‘‘West 
Libertv Meteorite.”’ 

All through the years West 
Liberty’s name continued to be 

used in connection with the 
meteor. As Dr. Wiley said, 
“The name stuck,’’ and he 

added, ‘“‘a professor, in prepar- 
ing a map for the World’s Fair 
in St. Louis in 1904, showing 
all the places where meteors 
are known to have struck. 
placed a red star on the loca- 
tion of West Liberty.” 


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° . . .To West Liber 
My Congratulations to the ; Ppa ie gata 

We . . . of Wapsie 

Town of West Liberty on Their 

Hundredth Anniversary ass 
To know Wapsie is to know among the best Recorder 
of | 

Fred B. Nesper sad 

Sheriff of Muscatine County 

<TR ETI, ee Ee a a, Pt kee aes 

My Heartiest 
to West Liberty 

on your 
Centennial Celebration 

Compliments of 





Muscatine County, lowa + County Treasurer 

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West Liberty School 

1839—1938! A Centennial 
for West Liberty—and al- 
most a Centennial for her 


Most people today take, as 
a matter of fact, that West 
Liberty has a good _ school 
system. That is true and we 
are proud of it. However, 
the majority do not stop to 
realize that it has taken a 
long period of time—even as 
long as ninety-nine years--— 
along with the tireless ef- 
forts of West Liberty’s first 

settlers and others, to make 
our schools what they are 

The authorities for this 

are many and varied. Chief 
among these are two West 
Liberty papers pubdlished in 
1885 and 1889 which con- 
tained a brief history of the 
schools until that time. Oth- 
er valuable information was 
obtained from some of West 
Liberty’s earlier inhabitants, 
including Howell Hise of Col- 

orado Springs, Mrs. Amelia 
Kimball, Mrs. Mary Kirby, 
Mrs. Eugenia Frobst, Miss 
Mary Brooke, Mrs. [lucy B. 
Nichols, and from _ others 

whose parents and relatives 
were among the earliest set- 
tlers here, To these people 
and George Hise, who helped 
£0 much by locating material 
jn old papers for us, we are 
deeply appreciative and grate- 

The first school was estab- 
lished in 1839 in a log cabin 

on the Elijah Hogue farm 
(Preston Brown farm, = at 
present) under the _ leader- 
ship of Valentine SBozarth. 

One reference states that a 
Miss Vienna Winchester first 
taught the school and was 
succeeded by Mr. Bozarth. 

Valentine Bozarth’s scbool 
was a small log cabin which 
stood in the edge of 2 small 
brush thicket near the place 
where Preston Brown’s barn 
now stands. The cabin was 
very cold, the roof 
composed of rough clapboards 
and quite open. The door 
was of the same material 
bung on wooden hinges which 
squeaked like a hand organ 
when the door was opened. 

Following Valentine SBo- 
yarth as teachers were HEli- 
jah Younkin, and S. T. Chese- 
bro who opened his’ school 
in 1840. All of these were 
select schools. 

The first regular publia 
school was owned by Asa 
Gregg on Section 2, about 

forty rods west of the Eli- 
jah Hogue residence. The 
school was opened in 1843 in 
a comfortable frame building 
which was later moved into 
the present West Liberty 
and is believed to have he- 
come a part of an elevator 

being © 

In these early schools many 
interesting customs, peculiar 
to pioneer days, were found. 
For noon lunch, the children 
had corn bread and fat meat. 
They warmed themselves by 

chasing rabbits and when 
the teacher returned from 
lunch, the boys would have 
the floor torn up. Mr. Boz- 

arth would have to wait un- 
til they captured the rabbit 
and put the floor back in 
place before school could con- 

The next public schools of 
which more is known were 
located on Spencer _ street. 
One, the “little school,” 
stood where the George 
Schafer residence now is. 
The unpainted school was a 
small one-story building of 
one room, 25 by 40 feet. 
There were windows on two 
Sides but not on the ends. 
The entrance was through a 
small lobby where caps and 
other wraps were put and al- 
so where the water pail and 
dipper were kept. 

One of the first teachers 
of this school was Mary Min- 
nick, a Quaker lady, who 
said “thee, and. “thou? if 
was mostly a school for be- 
ginners. The Polders children 
were among the first puuvils 
to attend that school. 

One day while Mrs. Kimball 
(Amelia Pclders) was study- 
ing, a band of Indians came 
to the school amd wanted ev- 
erything they could see, ev- 
en the pupils’ clothing. Aft- 
er many refusals of their re- 
quests, they were persuaded 
to leave peaceably. 

Next to the ‘“‘little school’”’ 
on Spencer street was a larg- 
er school located where the 
present Hawker home is. It 
was two stories high but had 
only one room on the ground 
floor. Some of the teachers 
employed in this buildinng 
were Miss Childs, Etta Ray- 
mond and Cina Ingham. One 
authority suggests the pos- 
sibility that this school be- 
came a part of some resi- 
dence in West Liberty, pos- 
sibly the Hawker house. 

For a short time, the old 
Presbyterian chapel was used 
for school purposes. It is al- 
so generally agreed that a 
school stood in the vicinity 
of the Flora’ Hinkhouse home 

near the Preshrterian church, 
but no définite information 
of this schooi was obtained. 

In 1864, the West Liberty 

schools began to take more 
definite shape with the event 
of this becoming an _  inde- 
pendent district. At that 
time two teachers were em- 
ployed at a salary of $25 a 
month. Each teacher had 
about 25 pupils. At times, 
the school board members 
were financially so ‘‘hard-up” 

that they were forced to bor- 
row as small an amount as 
$100. However since 1864 
rapid strides have been made 
in enlarging and financing the 

During this period of 
time, select schools were quite 

common, which lessened the 
number of public school pu- 

The original grade and 

high school building was con- 
structed at the site of the 
present grade school in 1868. 
The building has sinee been 

remodeled and is now the 
Zrade school, 

West Liberty high school 
held its first commencement 
on the afternoon of May 7, 
1875, in the hich school 
voom of the West School. 
The members of the class 

were Miss Wilma Evans and 
Miss Emma Henderson. Al- 
though the diplomas did not 
arrive, the graduates had 
their commencement anyway. 
They gave their two orations, 
which as many of you recall, 
was the custom of that De- 
riod and the vears following. 

In 1875 there were three 
classes in high school called 
LFA ect ayy Lae ae VOTL Ue wir Cree L thee 
high school is believed there- 
fore, to have been organized 
as a three year course in the 
year 1872. 

The course of study for 
1878 divides the school year 
into Fall, Winter and Spring 
terms. The subjects taught in 
the first year of high school 
corresponded closely to those 

taught in eighth grade to- 
In 1879, 16 people gradu- 

ated. There were no graduat- 
ing classes in 1881 and 1882. 
It often happened that as 
graduation drew near, stu- 
dents packed their books and 
left school. It is suggested: 
that possibly the thought of 
writing an oration for gradu- 
ation caused them to quit. 
Less than two years after 
the first commencement, the 
number of high school stu- 
dents had increased to a num- 


site is 


«ee RST 

PR tat 
SKE all 

ber which demanded 
space amd equipment. 
in 1877 that a high 
building was erected on 
present site of the high 
school building, This was a 
two-story building which was 

It was 

used for high school and 
grammar grades. 
From 1877 until 1905, the 

was located in 
at the end of 
Spencer street. As the high 
school enrollment increased, 
the grammar grades were 
moved to the West building. 

The curriculum of the 
school was improved and add- 
ed to as the school’s enroil- 
ment increased. Student or- 
xanizations and societies were 
also developed and the actiy- 
ities of the school were num- 
serous. Outstanding among the 

high school 
the building 

organizations were the liter- 
ary societies. Along with 
these improvements, the 
number of facuity members 

By the year 1905, the 
crowded condition of the 

schools made it imperative to 
either remodel and enlarge a 
school or build a new school. 
After much discussion, it 
was agreed upon to rebuild 
the West school as a high 
school and repair the East 
building for grade use. The 
West building was equipped 
With the best of steam heat- 
ing plants and in 1907, elec- 
trie lights were also added. 
From 1906 until 1916, the 
high school was housed in 
the West building. During 
this time, through the efforts 
of Supt. Macy Campbell, 
the agriculture and home ec- 
onomies courses were bezu.. 
To accommodate these class- 
es, a small frame building 
was erected on the grounds 
of the West school. The year 
after the addition of voca- 
tional courses, the enrol!- 
ment of the high school in- 
creased by a great number. 
By 1914, the high scheol 
offered complete courses in 
Latin, German, home econom- 
ics, agriculture, and normal 
training with a faculty of 
nine teachers beside the sup- 

erintendent to present the 
The schooi advanced so 

(Continued on next page) 

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(Continued from last page) 

rapidly from 1905 on, 


it would be difficult to make- 

known all the improvements. 
By 1914 and 1915, the sup- 
posedly ample quarters for 
housing, pupils were greatly 
crowded and it seemed that 
a new plan for providing 
space would have to be de- 
vised. However, the destruc- 
tion of the East building by 
fire in 1916 assured the 
need of a new building aud 
bonds for financing the 
building were authorized. 
Work was begun immediately 
and our modern, well-equip- 
ped high school is the re- 

Needless to say in this his- 
tory is the fact that the 
grade school was moved to 
the West building and the 
new building of 1916 was and 
is used for the high school 
and junior high school. 

In 1921, the West Liberty 
Independent District was ex- 
tended to include three near- 
by districts. This increased 
the enrollment. 

From this point on, West 
T.iberty’s school history is 
generally well-known. Pagey 
could be written to tell of the 
many activities and organi- 
gations of the school. Each 
year, mew clubs are organized, 
new. records set, and new 
goals reached. We are proud 
of our school and its devel- 
opment. At present our school 
has about 500 pupils and a 
faculty of 21 teachers. West 
Liberty’s school is outstand- 
ing in music, athletics, dra- 
matic work, and many other 
fields of endeavor. 

1839-1938! Ninety-nine 
years of West Liberty's 
school history. 


That E. H. Mackey is the 
only Spanish-American war 
veteran now living in West 
Liberty. He enlisted at the 
first call, June 8, 1898, in the 
51st Iowa Co. F. infantry. In a 
few days he sailed from San 
Francisco, for the Philippines 
where he was in active service 
in the Filipino Insurrection in 
Luzon, P. I., in 1899. Before 

his muster out, Nov. 2, 1899, 
he had seen active service in 
21 battles and engagements. 



West Liberty High School 

The West Liberty high 
school is one of the oldest in 
the state, probably organiz- 
ed in 1872 and _ originally 
housed in the center part of 
the school building on Clay 
street, or what is known as 
the West building. This par- 
ticular building was  proba- 
bly built in 1867; the west 
wing was added in 1871, and 
the east wing in 1873. About. 
the time when the probabil- 
ity of a high school was ap- 
parent the School Board let 

a contract for twenty-eight 
double seats for the upper 

In 1877, the citizens voted 
to spend $6000.00 to buy a 
lot and erect a new high 
school building. The site of 
the present high school was 
purchased for $1000.00. The 
other $5000.00 was used in 
construction, and equipment 
of a two-story building. The 
second floor, a main rooin 
and recitation room was for 
the high school, and_ the 
first floor for the grammer 
grades. This building had a 
furnace to heat the big 
rooms, but a stove was used 
in the recitation room. Shade 
trees were planted, a_ well 
dug, and a new four-board 
fence replaced the rail fence. 

At this period expenses in- 
creased; new wood boxes 
were made, clocks repaired, 
an organ rented, and a jani- 
tor hired at $7.50 per month 
to look after this new build- 
ing. Horace E. Deemer (laie 
Chief Justice of State of lo- 
was the janitor, and lat- 
er when he was given a raise, 
it was specified that he 
should do the scrubbing of 
floors and any repair work 
without extra charge, 

In 1891 the attic of the 
school building was decorat- 
ed and equipped with chairs 
and lamps to be used as the 

high school hall for liter- 
ary programs, ete. In 1902 
electric lights were installed, 

two fire escapes in 1903, and 
a telephone added in 1904. 

The West Building on Clay 
Street was enlarged and re- 
modeled in 1905, the high 
school moved there and ihe 
grades transferred to the east 
building. This was the home 

West Liberty’s Modern High 
School Building, Constructed 

in 1916, 

of the high school until 1918. 
The number of recitation 
rooms was increased and a 
modern system of heating 
and plumbing was installed. In 
1907 the electric lights were 
added. Many will remember 
the long dining hall and re- 
creation room, the landing 
with the bell rope’ handy 
which George Wright, aged 
janitor for many years, let 
the children ring, before the 
building was remodeled, 

In the spring of 1912, a 

frame building was erected 
in the front yard of the 
West School building, to 

for the modern 
used in the 

make room 
equipment to be 
new courses to be 
Home Economics, 
Training and griculture. 
This was commonly called 
the ‘Sheep Shed’ and was 
used until the building of the 
present high school building. 

Miss Ossie Wilson was the 
first home economics teach- 
er, Ray A. Bell had charge 
of the Agriculture and Prin- 
cipal W. J. Shirley had the 
manual training. 

The. complete destruction 

by fire of the East building 
in 1916, made it necessary 
that a new building be erect- 
ed. Two bond issues for rais- 
ing of $92,000.00 were auth- 
orized and the present “high 
school building with all the 
latest equipment was built 
on the site of the demolish- 
ed grade building and was 
completed for the graduation 
of the class of 1918. 

The first class to graduate 
was in 1875, and . consisted 
of two young ladies, Miss 
Wilma Evans, and Miss Em- 
ma Henderson. The high 
school contizued to be a 
three-year course until 1901. 
Lewis L. Hill was instrument- 
al in getting the course chang- 
ed to four years, and the first 
class to graduate from this 
course was under Supt. E, Fs 
Schall in 1901. 

In 1875 the classes were 
Called @7A7 BC.” Lor, tne 
“Graduating Class’, “The 
Smart Class’ and the “Big 

Rules and regulations of 
the school were printed in a 
course of study made out by 
the board rather than dele- 
gated to the superintendent 
and principal. The board at- 
tended the final examinations 
which were oral. For a short 
period of years they attended 
both high school and grade 

In 1885 shorthand was 
taught to a few pupils and 
German was added to the 
course of study. Singing had 
been taught since 1880, but 
drawing didn’t start until 
1892. In 1896, Miss Eliza- 
beth Shipman introduced a 
new course in music, and a 


piano was purchased in 1901, 

In 1887 the first reference 
library was. started when 
Johnston’s Encyclopedia was 
purchased. From time to time 
zifts of books were made to 
the school and purchases at 
differant times, until the li- 
brary of today is very ccin- 

By 1900, two courses were 
regularly offered to high 
school pupils, German an 
Latin, or Latin and English. 
In 1912 the school board 
added domestic science and 
agriculture in the spring of 
1912 they were notified that 
the school would be designat- 
ed as a Normal ‘Training 
High School and eligible to 
receive state aid. The late 
Supt. Macy Campbell, famous 
In state and nation as a 
progressive educator. was 
very influential in bringing 
about these additions te our 
course of study, putting West 
Liberty in the forefront of 
high schools adopting yoca- 
tional education. 

The years between 1917 
and 1938 have shown great 
strides taken in additional 
extra-curricular ACLIV IRS | 
development in the field of 
music, agriculture, normai 
training, journalism, athlet- 
ics, inter-school contests, 
business course, Girl te- 
serve, Pep Club, Latin ecljb, 
Home Ec. Club and declama- 
tory work, 

During the World War, 
the German course was drop- 
ped from the course of study, 

leaviag five courses ayail- 
able: College Preparatory, 
Agricultural, Commercial, 
Normal Training, and Home 

In 1921 the Independens 

Liberty was 
districts of 
North Prairie 

District of West 
organized. The 
Prairie Grove, 

in Muscatine and Cedar 
Counties, and the Hartupee 
Independent districts were 
consolidated with West Lil- 
erty. School buses were 
bought and the enrollment 



The house now owned and 
occupied by Byron W. Barnes, 
immediately east of the li- 
brary, which formerly stood on 
the site of the West Liberty 
public library, is the oldest 
house in town, having heen 
built and occupied by Skilman 

The oldest business build- 
ing is the brick building that 
now houses the Ruthenberg 
clothing store and the Mackey 
cafe. When this building was 
first built it was used as a 

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Dr. W. B. Jayne 




Special Attention to 

Every Load Insured -} ~ 
M Born on a farm near Wilton 1870. Grad- 

uate S.U.I. Dental College 1894. Located 
in West Liberty 1896. Elected Mayor 
West Liberty 1938. 

Business Phone Residence Phone 
79 ays 



This drug store was started in 1882 by Charles E. Pickering, who is now 
deceased and the building was also erected by him. Mr. Pickering after being 
in the drug business for several years decided to go into the race horse busi- 
ness and sold to Robert Hampton, who now resides in Des Moines. After a 
time Mr. Pickering decided he wanted to resume the drug business and re- 
purchased the store from Mr. Hampton. Mr. Pickering operated the store the 
second time until March 6, 1907 when it was bought by W. L. Watters, who 
operated it up until Noy. 10, 1928, which date marks the beginning of the 
present ‘“‘Watters Drug Store;” operated by Howard Watters, who at that 
time became a partner with his father, W. L. Watters. 

Fe ictant hte bees aia bia ca. ui. « 



There has been a soda fountain in operation in 
the store since 1912, which has served thousands 
and thousands of people and has been kept strict- 
ly modern. It is 100 per cent mechanical refriger- 
ated and just recently we have installed a new 
Coca Cola automatic dispenser Which makes ev- 

The store has filled approxi- 
mately sixty thousand prescrip- 
tions; serving people who were 
in need of properly compounded 
medicines; a record of which are 
on file at the present time for the 
peoples protection. 

ery drink an even drink and plenty cold. 

This store has been a Rexall Drug store since 1908 and has been able to offer the buy- 
ing public more for the money in Rexall merchandise due to the factory, to retailer, to 
consumer, with no middleman’s profit. Therefore, the slogan, “Save With Safety at Your 
Rexall Drug Store.’’ : 

The store has been mod- 
ernized several times in the 

x Look last thirty years and at 

for the present we are contemplat- 

We invite each and ing a modernization pro- 
Rexall gram within the next year 

every one to visit our 
drug store any time 
and especially during 
our Centennial week. 

or two. 

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Industries at West Liberty 

By Mr. and Mrs. Frank Weber 

West Liberty has been the 
centre of a number of indus- 
tries dated back as far as 

A flour mill was located at 
Clay and Third streets which 
was owned by Keith Bros. and 
was used during the Civil War 
as a part of the underground 
railway for the housing of 
negro slaves. It was after- 
wards owned by Rogers & 
Rambach, and was operated by 
Rogers and Weisflaugh. In 
1888 it was destroyed by fire. 

In 1866 Isaac C. Nichols, re- 
turning from the Civil War 
built and operated a brick and 
tile plant near the Wapsie 
creek, southwest of West Li- 
perty. Here he carried on a 
successful business, shipping 
brick and tile to many points 
in Iowa. Most of the business 
houses and residences were 
made of his brick. His illness 
and death in 1887 occurred 
during the height of his car- 

In 1870 the first creamery 
of West Liberty was operated 
by Sheppard Creamery Co., lo- 
cated in the basement where 
the Ruthenberg Clothing Co. 
store. now stands. 

In 1879 the Cedar Valley 
Creamery Co. operated busi- 
ness on South Columbus St. 
and was managed by Leyi Pic- 
kering. It was one of the iarg- 
est and best equipped cream- 
eries in this part of the coun- 
try, and was modern in every 
way. Its output in 1897 reach- 
ed as high as 1800 lbs. daily. 
The product was known as 
Cedar Valley Brand, being dis- 
posed of in New Orleans and 
other cities. The building was 
destroyed by fire in 1902. 

In 1873 Gus Burkart oper- 
ated the first and only car- 
Triage and wagon factory in 
West Liberty, on the corner 
of Spencer and Third st. now 
known as the H. J. Smith bus- 
iness location, recently pur- 
chased by Dr. A. E. Ady. Mr. 
Burkart employed four men; 
George DeForest Sr. as the 
head of the blacksmith de- 
partment with his son Char- 
les as helper, George Murdock 
and Harry Reeves in the paint 
shop. After a few years he 
moved to a location on Cal- 

houn and Fourth streets. Af- 
ter 15 years he found: he 
could not compete with fac- 

tory made goods so he retired 
at the age of 40 years. 

November 1893 a_ stack 
company built a harrow fac- 
tory on the lot on Elm street 
where. the Edward Mullink res- 
igence now stands. George 
Pachedlor was engineer and 
John McCann and CG. W. Burk- 
art were blacksmiths. 

In 1880 the Favorite Can- 
ning Factory on Calhoun street 
east or the fairgrounds was 
Operated tor several years by 
a stock company composed of 
West Liberty men. They can- 
ned beans, corn, peas and to- 

In 1875 Oscar and Georgv 
Wright operated a Poultry and 
Egg house, located on Clay 
street near West Liberty tair- 
grounds. After a few years the 
brothers dissolved partnership 
and George Wright continued 
business for a number of 

The broom factory operated 
by Lamborn Bros. on West 5th 
street was destroyed by fire in 

George Corwin operated a 
cigar factory in 1902 in the 
Gus Burkart building on Third 
street and in 1903 moved with 
his tamily to East 4th street 
where Lyle Holmes now re- 

A soap factory located one- 
half mile southwest of town, 
owned and operated by J. Het- 
flefinger about 1881. 

A flax mill located on 
umbus and First streets 
owned and operated by J. 
lier in 1866. 

In 1880 W. A. Burger own- 
ed and operated a wagon fac- 
tory on Calhoun street. After 
he retired a brick building 
was erected and at the present 
time is occupied by Lorraine's 
Beauty Shop. 

In 1866 Frank McCune own- 


ed and operated « grist mill 
about two miles east of town 
on Highway ‘No. 6. 

A saw mill located where 
the West Liberty golf grounds 
now is, was owned by Alex 
Fulton in 1870. 

A fence factory was operat- 
ed by S. H. Merridith op Elm 
street in 1892. 

In 1906 Homer Swain car- 
ried on a successful business 
in poultry and eggs. After his 
death, George Hormel carried 
on the business and it later 
was sold to a Chicago man by 
the name of Hogue. 

Hutchinson Ice Cream Co. 
of Cedar Rapids constructed a 
building on West 4th street in 
1925 which was managed by 
the late Earl Eves. 

A button factory was oper- 
ated in 1905 by Perry Turkle 
at Elm and 6th street. In the 
year 1908 Protzman and Ab- 
bott constructed a _ building 
and operated a button factory 
on the site where now stands 
the West Liberty power house. 

In 1888 Elias Sanders oper- 
ated a grist mill at Columbus 
and 5th streets. 

In 1913 Arthur Romaine 
operated a cement block plant 
on Prairie street. 

A. M. Eckelberg had a ci- 
gar factory of the old post of- 
fice building. Started business 
in 1920 and in the year of 
1930 moved fo Muscatine. 

In 1912 Lawrence Swem in- 
vented a ring mould which 
was in great demand. He was 
associated in the manufactur- 
ing of the ring with E. L. 
Webb, and since the death of 
Mr. Swem, the business has 
been carried on by Mr. Webb. 


Mr. Swem also invented a 
burner for kerosene lamps, 
and also an adding machine. 

The only two industries in 
West Liberty at the presen: 
time are the canning factory 
and the West Liberty Cooper- 
ative Creamery Co. 

In 1914 ground was pur- 
chased from W. A. Parvin at 
Clay and West 4th streets and 
the West Liberty Cooperative 
Creamery Co. constructed a 
building. In 1919 an addition 
was made to care for their in- 
creasing business and to make 
room for the. selling of feed, 
eggs and poultry. They also 
installed a machine for drying 
buttermilk. The production of 
butter amounts fo an average 
of 800,000 pounds yearly. The 
original officers were Presi- 
dent, H. H. Hawker; vice-pres- 

ident, F. D. Steen; secretary, 
Cc. A. Mountain; treasurer, 
Reed Hawthorn, and director, 

U. E. Lodge. The present offi- 
cers are President-manager, F. 
F. Lawton; vice-president, A. 

N. Rabe; secretary, Emmett 
Buckman; freasurer, L. B. 

In 1931 Citizens of West Li- 
berty purchased ground for J. 
LeRoy Farmer, who in turn 
erected a building for the pur- 
pose of canning tomatoes. In 

1937 the output was 65,000 
‘Dutch’ Sullivan is one of 

the oldest race horse drivers 
in the state of Iowa. Having 
been bern and reared within a 
half-mile of the race track, he 

started driving when 15 years 
of age and has never missed 

driving at a fair here since. 



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Compliments of . . . 

Peter Pan Fresh Bread 

Oil Plating 
is More than 
Oil Changing 

To Reduce Wear and Get More Miles USK CONOCO 

Germ Processed Oil — Bronze Gasoline 

Conoco Tractor Fuel — Kerosene 


KIRBY'S SERY., STA. CALL Office Phone 94 
Phone 13 EEDALKE McINTOSIL Residence 167 


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The first church edifice in 
the present town of West Li- 
berty was erected in 13859 on 
Bast Third street. The lot was 
purchased by Alexander Mil- 
ler, December 10, 1859 for 
the sum,of $125.00. The trus- 
tees at this time were S. Alger, 
V. Woods, Dan Crane, Andrew 
Rasley and John P. Phillips. 

The present church building 
had its beginning with the 
purchase of the lot on the cor- 
ner of Spencer and Fifth 
streets. This lot was purchas- 
ed July 1, 1875 for $550.00 
from W. C. Evans, guardian of 
the Winslow heirs. George P. 
Shipman was notary. 

The building of the church 
was begun under the pastorate 
of the Rev. J. S. Rankin. The 
cornerstone was laid Monday 
morning, July 4th, 1874 by 
the Rev. Rankin. An unusual 
feature was that the architect 
was a Methodist preacher, 
Rev. J. R. Reasoner, at that 
time pastor of the Methodist 
ehurch at New London. This 
pastor, Rev. Reasoner, person- 
ally made the plaster mould- 
ing over the choir nave and 
pulpit. It required over a year 
to erect the building. The 
brick used were made by I. C. 
Nichols and laid by Jack Tuc- 
ker both of West Liberty. It 
was dedicated free of debt 
August 8th, 1875. The addi- 
tion of the Sunday school 
rooms and the basement in 
which the primary department 
is housed was added during 
the pastorate of the Rev. Joe 
R. Hanley. This addition was 
made possible through the gen- 
erosity of Mrs. Ward. 

The bell was placed in the 
church largely through the ef- 
fort of R. G. Lewis who own- 
ed a dry goods store on the lo- 
cation where Howard Simp- 
son’s store now stands. The 
lighting system was at first a 


Methodist Episcopal Church 

set of kerosene lamps. The 
present system was made pos- 
sible by a donation by Aaron 
Brown and sister, years later. 
The heating system consisted 
of old fashioned stoves with 
the stove pipes through the 
roof, which often smoked 
when the wind was wrong. The 
organ and choir lott were add- 
ed as a gift from Mrs. Ward 
during the pastorate of the 
Rev. J. A. Boatman. From 
time to time additional im- 
provements of various kinds 
including cement walks, inter- 
ior decoration, etc., haye been 
added. The last important im- 
provement was made in the 
year 1937 when the interior of 
the church was completely re- 
decorated and the organ re- 
paired at a total expense of 
about $1700. 

Before a building was erect- 
ed for the membership, West 
Liberty was a part of the Iowa 
Mission of which Peter Cart- 
wright was presiding Hlder. 
Afterward West Liberty was 
made a part of the Iowa City 
Circuit and the first quarterly 
meeting was held by Rev. B. 
Reed, July 9, 1841. In the 
year 1844 the Iowa Confer- 
ence was organized at Iowa 


The first Townsend club in 
West Liberty was organized 
December 2, 1935, with 100 
members’ enrolled. Meetings 
were held regularly for about 
eighteen months then discon- 

tinued for a time. In March 
of 1938 the club was reor- 
ganized under a new charter 

and H. W. Reinecke was elect- 
ed president; E. C. Wagner, 
vice-president; E. K. Wagner, 
secretary; S. D. Foster, trea- 
surer. At present the club 
membership is 163. 

Rermrere sm. 2-H PLL ra oak 

2 ELE PS eee BE erste 
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ert ae? cae | 

West Liberty’s fine Methodist Church 


Shortly after the golf course 
was ready for use in 1928, the 
Ladies’ Golf club was organ- 
ized with Mrs. Earl Hawker 
as its first president and Mrs. 
John Boden, secretary-treasur- 

Since its organization, the 
weather being favorable, the 
club has met at the golf course 
once a week during the golf 
season for a one o'clock cov- 
ered-dish luncheon followed 
by golf play. 

A trophy cup, purchased in 
1929, has been won by Mrs. 
Dale Hazlett, 1929; Mrs. W. L. 
Watters, 1930; Mrs. Hazlett, 
1931; Mrs. Earl Hawker, 1932; 
Margaret Whitacre, 19338, 
1934, 1936. No tournament 
was held in 1935. Miss Whit- 
acre, now Mrs. Wayne Irey, 
having won the cup three times 
in succession, was awarded 
permanent possession. 

Each summer the club has 
exchanged guest day tourna- 
ments with the Iowa City, Tip- 
ton, and Muscatine clubs. Sev- 
eral times during the summer 
family picnic suppers are held. 

Mrs. Robert Brooke was 
president in 1937;, Mrs. Wayne 
Irey, vice-president; Mrs. Ed- 
ward Bowman, secretary. 


In 1904, eight girls formed 
the nucleus of the ‘Merry 
Maids Club,’? famous through 
the years for their good times. 
Twenty-five girls have held 
membership in this group; all 
now marriea with the excep- 
tion of two. Hach bride has 
received a wedding gift and a 

shower by her sister Merry 

There is only one broken 
link in this chain of friend- 
ship, that one caused by the 
death of Alma Nichols in 
Hutchinson, Kansas, who was 

brought back to be buried here 
in 1933. 

Though these girls of yester- 
year no longer hold regular 
club meetings, an occasional 
“get together’ shows that 
their spirit still survives. The 
most recent affairs were the 
slumber party held at. the 
home of Mrs. H. A. Knott and 
the picnic held at the fair 
grounds by the Merry Maids 
and their husbands as a com- 
pliment to Mr..and Mrs. N. B. 
Vickers of Drumheller, Can- 

The members now living in 
West Liberty are Mrs. Paul 
Anderson, Mrs. H. A. Knott, 
Mrs. A. H. Ditmars, Mrs. Roy 
Westfall, Mrs. Lindley Birkett, 
Mrs. Raymond Fenstermaker, 
Mrs. Wilson Kimberly and Mrs. 
Osear Morris. 


A Foul Murder 

Arthur Mead shot down by a 
Cowardly Robber 

Dastardly tragedy at Mc- 
Carthy’s lunch room early this 
morning. Assassin is unknown 
and escapes. 

“The most dastardly crime 
in the history of West Liberty 
was committed about one 
o’clock this morning, when <Ar- 
thur Mead was wantonly shot 
down by an unknown assassin. 

The tragedy occurred at Me- 
Carthy’s restaurant, near the 
depot. The murdered Man, 
Frank Elliot, Harry Whiie- 
head, James Moylan, a travel- 
ing man and a country boy 
were in the restaurant at the 
time, while behind the coun- 
ter were the night clerks, 
Frank Moylan and James Lane. 
A lone man entered the door. 
wearing a mask and carrying a 
revolver. Leveling his gun, he 
cried, ‘‘All hands up,” and 
when the occupants of the 
place seemed slow in comply- 
ing he repeated the order. Mr. 
Mead undoubtedly considered 
it a joke by a friend, for he 
advanced toward the man, say- 
ing, ““You can't fool me, D. I.,” 
meaning D. I. Peters, the mer- 
chant tailor. Without warning 
the man pulled the trigger and 
sent a 38-calibre ball through 
the young man’s heart. With- 
out realizing that he was mort- 
ally wounded, he went behind 
the counter and sat down on a 
chair, carelessly throwing one 
leg over the other. He never 
uttered another word and life 
was extinct in a few minutes. 

The robber then demanded 
the contents of the cash regis- 
ter. Mr. Moylan emptied the 
box on the counter—about $26 
—when he demanded that it 
be put into his hand. He was 
accommodated. Backing out of 
the house he said, “I’m sorry 
I had to do it, young fellow, 
but I hope I didn’t hurt you 
much and that you’ll get weil. 
This is my last job of this 
kind, but I had to do it.” 

An alarm was telephoned to 
central and the fire whistle 
and bell aroused the populace. 
Numerous small parties set 
out in search of the assassin. 

A meeting was held at the 
city hall this morning and a 
posse of a hundred men volun- 
teered to prosecute a vigorous 
search for the murderer. Sur- 
rounding towns~are also enlist- 

Marshal Wiley authorizes 
notice of a reward of $500 for 
the arrest and conviction of 
the murderer. He is described 
as being an ordinary Jooking 
man of average build; wearing 
a brown suit.” 

The murderer 

Taken from “The West Liberty 
Enterprise’? May 14, 1903 

Was never 


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Auctioneer Foreman & Auctioneer Auctioneer 

[S04 [938 


welcomes you to the 


———— Q--——. 

Livestock auction 

centennial every Monday. 


Owner & Manager 


Cashier & Clerk Assistant Clerk Stenographer 

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Town of West Liberty 

~- Incorporated Town of West 
Liberty, Iowa, organized Jan- 
uary 1, 1868. Mayor, S. W. 
Sedgewick; Recorder, Henry 
Harrison; Trustees (now call- 
ed councilmen), Elisha School- 
. ey, Alonzo Shaw, George Bag- 
ley, Z. N. King, Albert F. 
Keith. All were sworn in on 
the day mentioned, and the 
first session of the Council 
was on Jan. 7th, 1868. 

The first motion empowered 
Shaw and Harrison to draw up 
such by-laws as they deenied 
wise to govern their body or 
trustees, and such ordinances 
as would be regarded wise and 
necessary for the good gov- 
ernment of our citizens. 

Their first request made, 
was that the Rock Island Rail- 
road be asked to make their 
depot platform level, said re- 
quest to be signed by the May- 
or and Council. Adjourned to 
Jan. 13th, 1868. 

Shaw presented a letter from 
the Secretary of State, dated 
Oct. 11, 1868, acknowledging 
receipt from Shaw for $28.15 
which he had paid, of which 
$13.25 had been contributed 
by local citizens. The balance 
$14.90 was paid to Shaw by a 
certificate of indebtedness, 
drawing 10% interest. 

The first ordinance was to 
provide for a Treasurer and 
Marshal. The second, to pre- 
vent swine from running at 
large. Third, to license shows 
and exhibitions. Fourth, to reg* 
ulate peddlers and auctions. 
The first money received was: 
Show for little folks $3.00; 
Fine (prominent citizen) $3.- 
00; License to sell soap $1.00; 
Auction $5.00; From and Ele- 
cution $3.00; Fine (prominent 
citizen) $1.00; License circus 

July 24, 1868 Repaid Shaw 
Certificate of indebtedness, 
$14.90 and interest, $1.75; to- 
tal $15.65. 

On March 27, 1869 received 
the first tax money from the 
County Treasurer, $173.00; On 
March 26, 1870 from same 
source, $127.72. 

The first sidewalks were laid 
on the south side of Hast Third 
street and west side of North 
Calhoun street of 1% inch 
plank, but after part was con- 
structed, the Council required 
the balance to be of two inch 

March 15th, 1869 new town 
officers were elected: Mayor, 
J. Palmer; Councilmen, Alonzo’ 
Shaw, Collier Baird, Evans Mc- 
Donald and Hoge. 

Noy. 1, 1869 Geo, C. Ship- 
man elected Mayor. 

First Fire Company was or- 
ganized Dec. 6th, 1869. 

First assessor S. W. Sedge- 
wick was elected Feb. 14, 1870. 

First Marshall was T. K. 


Wm. Henderson 

elected March 7, 1870. 

First Chief of Fire police 
Wm. R. Childs received $15.00 
for two years service, 

P. R. Evans elected Mayor 
June 2, 1870. 

June 21, 1870, minutes of 
the meetings of the Council to 
be published in the West Lib- 
erty Enterprise, free of charge. 

April 1, 1872 sidewalk made 
to depot. 

Sept. 2, 1871 first reference 
made to providing a place of 
burial of the dead. 

Oct. 2, 1871, Metcalf and 
Deemer were appointed to dig 
a town well and asked for sub- 
scriptions from property own- 
ers in the immediate vicinity. 

Nov. 6, 1871, Z. John was 
paid $89.00 for digging cor- 
poration wells and further ex- 
penses of wells for brick, plat- 
forms and pump. $114.00 was 
paid and wells committee was 
ordered to collect all unpaid 

First Night watchman 
pointed May 5, 1871. 

First Jail May 5, 1871, cost 

Jan. 16, 1872 a committee 
was appointed to ascertain the 
indebtedness of the Cemetery. 
Report $162.44. 

The present East Oakridge 
Cemetery grounds were pur- 
chased trom W. C, Evans June 
28, 1858, to be paid for as the 
lots were sold, and was oper- 
ated as a private cemetery un- 
til May 6, 1872. It was known 
as the ‘“‘graveyard’’ for many 
years, and the suggestion that 
the name be ‘Oakridge’ was 
made by N. W. Ball and C. EH. 
Chesebro. Several additions 
have been made to the origi- 
nal plot. 

The perpetual care fund 
was established June 5, 1895. 
On hand in this fund now $21,- 
000.00 mostly yielding less 
than 3%, an amount insuffi- 
cient to care for. Oakridge. 

The old town hall was con- 
structed in 1886 and the new 
town hall was built in 1936: 

The sewer system was built 
in 1911, and the new sewer 
and disposal plant were con- 
structed in 1934, 

The municipal water plant 
was established Sept. 3, 1838 
by a vote of the people. Re- 
sult: for 124; against: 22. The 
pumps of the present system 
can pump 590 gallons from the 
two wells, with two auxiliary 
pumps that can in case of an 
emergency pump 1500 gallens 
per minute from the supply 
tanks into the mains, The ad- 
dition of an iron removal 
plant is to be installed as soon 
as funds are available. 

The municipal electric light 
plant was established in 1897. 
The first street lights were es- 
tablished March 9, 1893. Rec- 
ords do not state whether they 
were kerosene or gasoline 



High School Alumni 

The Alumni Society of the 
West Liberty High School is 
one of the oldest and most far- 
reaching of any of the active 
organizations of the town. 
Many prominent names are 
found on the lists of old grad- 
uates and hundreds of loyal 
members from all over the 
country still retain their inter- 
est in the old home school. 

The first alumni meeting of 
which we have any record was 
held in 1881 at the home of 
Nettie Wilson, Class of ’78. 
John Teeters was appointed to 
draw up constitution and by- 
laws and it was decided to have 
literary programs consisting of 
music, songs, toasts and an or- 
ation. Horace Deemer, Class of 
’76, took an active part on 
these programs and John Teet- 
ers seems to have been the 
favorite orator, Chas. McClun 
and Ed Webb are mentioned 
often in the early records and 
in the meeting of 1882, at 
which time Frank Thomas was 
secretary, he records that the 
meeting was adjourned‘! in a 
solemn manner’ by the pre- 

At the time of its organiza- 
tion, there had been only 38 
graduates and no class gradu- 
ated that year or the year fol- 

The meetings were held in 
the homes of the members, 
and often took the form of 
picnics, the program following. 
It was voted at the first meet- 
ing that Mr. McElravy should 
be asked to print 400 prog- 
rams, “if he can print nice 
ones” and the results were 
lamps. The present lighting 
system was constructed in 
1915, with some additions from 
tirne to time. This system fol- 
lowed the old carbon electric 
light system built in 1897 and 

The first deisel engine was 
installed in 1920, a 180 H. P. 
unit. The latest addition, or 
second deisel unit was installed 
in 1938, this unit being of 450 
pe bye ce 

quite satisfactory for they are 
attractive and quite ornate. 

The first few years the 
classes were composed mostly 
of girls, who graduated very 

young. Myra Morgan, Class of 
"78 was only 14 and began 
teaching school at 16. She was 
secretary of the Alumni for 
several years. 

As time went on and class- 
es became larger, more space 
was needed to accommodate 
the membership, along with 
the friends who were invited 
guests, and later the meetings 
increased in size so rapidly, 
that it became necessary to 
hold them in the opera house 
or the school hall. 

At the very. first meeting, 
it was decided to assess each 
member 25c to help defray the 
expenses and that rule held 
through the years, until it be- 
came necessary to increase the 

The almuni of today are 
carrying on with the same fine 
spirit and enthusiasm which 
prompted those first few mem- 
bers to organize many years 

List of Almuni When Organiz- 
ed in 1881 
Wilma Evans, Emma Hen- 
Chas. Taylor, Flora Morgan, 
Corrie Harrison, Susie Phelps, 
Horace Deemer, Ella Brown, 
Mattie Floyd. 
Bina Reep, Sarah Scott. 
Mary Harrison, Myra 
gan, Nettie Wilson, 
Haldeman, Mary Mead, 



Chas. McClun, Lillie Lewis, 
Cora Barclay, J. L. Teeters, 
F. M. Boston, Allie Taylor, F. 
E. Thomas, Lizzie Harrison, 
Katie Jackson, Loring Taylor, 

Helen i Is Dryden, Jessie 
Holmes, Mary Deemer, Ella 
Mead, Edith Bowman, Anna 



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ALLEN ELIASON West Liberty, Iowa 


Varieties Sold For Season of 1938 

Ames Ace Pfister Illinois 
942 mea h 360 
939 360A 
13 Ace R-5 rat 260 
e ° o G 

939 AND 942. FOR 1939 WE WILL PRODUCE 939, 942, 13, 960, 360A AND R-5. 

—Priced per bushel, Edge$6.50; Hill $4.50 and $5.25— 

Grandfather Called It ‘‘The MeClun Block’’ 

now it’s 


Third and Calhoun Streets 

The hitching racks are gone, but Wapsie continues to snub its 
bumpers in at this historic corner, 

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Carnegie Free Public Library 


In the early 1880's the town | 

of West Liberty supported a 
flourishing branch of the Y. 
W. C. T. U. Along with their 
other work they wisely decid- 
ed to create a love of litera- 
ture and began to purchase 
books and to circulate them. 
They asked for donations of 
money or books or both. The 
I. O. G. T., a similar organiza- 
tion composed of both sexes, 
had a small library consisting 
largely of temperance books, 
which they generously contri- 
buted. A catalogue was pub- 
lished and tho “Y’’ library 
was inaugurated. 

it 1890; the Y..W. C.-T. U., 
of the “Y’s” as they called 
themselves, disbanded; but 
seven of the members volun- 
tarily agreed to assume charge 
of the books and to keep them 
eirculating. They formed an 
organization, adopted a _ con- 
stitution and continued under 
the same name—the “Y”’ li- 
brary. Miss Edith Miller was 
the first president and Miss 
Lizzie Shipman the first li- 
brarian. The other five were 
Mrs. Hattie McClun, Miss Hat- 
tie Wright, Miss Nora Wilson, 
Miss Lillian Lewis and Miss 
Jennie Nichols. Of. these sey- 
en, only one is a resident of 
West Liberty — Mrs. Jennie 
Nichols Purvis. 

In 1895 these young ladies 
turned over the ‘‘Y” library to 
the ‘‘People’s Library Associa- 
tion,”” membership in which 
was obtained by paying a fee 
of $2.00. The books were mov- 
ed from the city hall to the 
G. A. R. hall, and a little later 
to a room in a building which 
was located where the Citizens 
bank building now stands. 

During the next three years 
a baseball game brought in 
$125.00, a home talent play, 

“The Deestrick Skule,” 
$200.00. In the spring of 1900, 
this proposition was submitted 
to the voters, ‘“‘Shall a Free 
Public Library be established 
in West Liberty and supported 
by a municipal tax?” It car- 
ried; the library became free 
and its usefulness doubled. 

In 1904, through the ef- 
forts of J. E. McIntosh, mayor 
of West Liberty, Andrew Car- 
negie gave $7590, toward a 
free public library building for 
the town. This library was 
dedicated January 12, 1905. 
Mrs. Lou Hauer was first li- 
brarian in the new building 
AICO bis WV ay METERS) ons 
Moore, J. C. Park, W. M. Long, 
E. F. Schafl, Mrs. Quier, and 
Mrs. Sue Lewis made up the 
board of trustees. 

Miss Lucy Drake left an en- 
dowment fund, the proceeds 
from which were to be used 
for the purchase of children’s 
books. Mrs. Sue Lewis and 
Mrs. Josephine Hollingsworth 
each left bequests. The var- 
fous organizations put on a 
“Novgorod Fair’ in 1904 
which resulted in a $500 fund 
for books. Ever since then 
these same groups have donat- 
ed generously toward the book 

At present there are over 
7000 volumes in the library. 
Mrs. Adelaide Stober, the pre- 
sent librarian, has been in 
charge since 1919. The present 
library board consists of Will 
Burkart, president; a toe 
Smith, vice president; Mrs. 
Maude §. Koster, secretary; 
Mrs. Pearl C. .Aikins,- Mrs. 
Jennie Purvis, Mrs. Edna Kim- 
ball, and Rev. F. W. Sutton. 

her : So EEL ous 
brary—Built in 1904 





Conrad Hormel was born in 
Roth, Germany, April 25, 
1837. At the age of seventeen 
he came to the United States 
in order to avoid service in the 
German army, just as did 
many other young Germans of 
that time. His first few years 
in Iowa were spent at Iowa 
City, where he was in the 
blacksmithing business with a 
brother, Eckert Hormel. On 
May 10, 1863, he married 
Emma Kemble, a resident of 
that city, and to them were 
born six children; Will C., 
Edward H., Mary, Samuel W., 
and Ella, deceased. One child 
died in infancy. 

Here, he was engaged in the 
blacksmithing business with a 
brother, Balser, and their shop 
was first located in what is 
now the park at the Rock Is- 
land depot, and the home was 
on the same property. Later in 
the sixties, Balser Hormel built 
two brick buildings on Third 
street, and the business was 
moved there. These buildings 
are now the Liberty Shoe Store 
and Jumbo’s Place, and were 
purchased from Balser by Pet- 
er Polders, father of Henry 
Polders, who is the present 

About 1871, the partner- 
ship was dissolved, and Con- 
rad Hormel moved to a farm 
southwest of town, which he 
had purchased from Thomas 
W. Clark, and which is now 
owned by his three grand- 
children, Robert, Ethel, and 
Hazel Gregg, children of his 
daughter, Ella. He continued 
in the blacksmithing business, 
on the tarm where he did 
work for people who came 
from many miles. After his 
death, May 10, 1915, this shop 
was moved to the Sam Hormel 
farm, where it now stands. 

Aa A 2: 


Lewis Morris Walker. fifth 
generation descendant of Lew- 
is Walker of Wales, who came 
to America in 1686, was born 
in 1822 in York County, Penn. 
He married Elizabeth Oxley in 


In 1852 with their two-year- 
old son, Joel Morris Walker, 
they came west to build the 
new Walker home just north 
of the old Indian trail in the 
present Union Valley northeast 
of West Liberty. They came 
by boat on the Ohio river to 
Cairo, lilinois, then up the 
Mississipp! to Muscatine and 
on to the West Liberty settle- 
ment. Some of the furniture 
which they brought with them 
is now in West Liberty homes. 
Mrs. Elmer Kline has the wal- 
nut wedding bedroom Suite of 
her great grandfather; Mrs. 
Chas. McCann has the old fam- 
ily clock as well as the gun 
and money belt used by her 

grandfather on the trip west. 

The Lewis Walkers lived 
with several other families, 
seventeen in all, for the first 
winter until their own story 
and-a-half house was built 

from lumber hauled from Mus- 
catine. Later Lewis Walker 
built the frame house which 
still stands on the farm. This 
pioneer couple lived on this 
farm until their deaths in 
1896 and 1909. One son, Pink- 
ney L., was born here. 

Joel Morris Walker spent 
his boyhood on the home farm. 
After his marriage to Maria 
tifford, he built his own 
home on the tarm adjoining 
west where he reared his six 
children and lived until he re- 
tired to West Liberty. Here 
he lived until his death in 

Of the thirty-three descen- 
dants of Joel M. Walker, Har- 
old Eugene Kline is the only 
fifth generation Walker des- 
ecendant living in West Liberty. 
Nancy Lee Isabel, fifth gener- 
ation lives on the original 
farm established by Lewis Wal- 
ker. Janet Walker is the only 
fifth generation now carrying 
on the Walker name. 

By John Baker 

When Fred Evans and Hen- 
ry Polders thought Pat Sulli- 
van died two or three times, 
while they were taking eure of 
him in 1889. Pat had typhoid 
fever, and had just returned 
from Independence, where he 
had raced Brown Cedar, and 
was carried home from. the 
train. Brown Cedar was a stal- 
lion, owned by Geo. Baldwin. 
The horse gained more fame 
in his day than most towns- 
people did. 

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Our Changing World 

Sells Them 
By the Dozen 

There’s a bit of history in this 
event of Saturday, when the Pet- 
erson hardware store received 
a monster truckload of G. E. re- 
frigerators, one dozen in all. The 
consignment was not unloaded at 
the Third street store, but Floyd 
DeForest told to keep right on 
going, until he had delivered the 
entire lot to local purchasers. 

Many of these sales are the re- 
sult of the recent demonstration 
day staged by Mr. Peterson, and 
most of the new boxes have gone 
to REA clients for use with the 
new current. 

—(From West Liberty Index of 
April 28.) 

Peterson Hardware 




Grade A Jersey and Holstein Milk 

Sixteen years of quality and 

good service 

D. C. Hazlett, Prop. 

‘Two deliveries a day 


We will gladly look over your Inbrication and fuel require- 

ments and supply you, from our tank trucks, with oils, 
greases, gasolines and kerosenes—correctly designed for 
each particular job. We also sell Sinclair Stock Spray and 
P. D. Insect Spray. All our products bear the Sinclair guar- 

antee of quality. 




E. Misel 
Phone 335 or 1: 39 

have served you twenty vears, 
why not twenty more 

Sinclair Oils 

. seven ; . 
. 7 749 : Ae ; ‘a ; ra My C= ee hr aaah 

Bre po ‘= ns iV. 

aa fae he 

i Ma @ eyes ee By ‘ys nicl i z 
ty a3 } —. a a egy a wp ' “a fag, 

= - 

‘Vat & xo! paw Yah uw 

ay Re a) oe ae a for’ we work} enitalaet 

ee sc a ie f bet tio iw ondeund: band ee 
CM Le a ae Ke ik iinyieoh Courson omnia Yates 

Lyk Acute tints Levee wae 

ty aw ed anal v0 Hh <i 

ed ; 

ee ) } 
Ray cine tata 

f, YOR, y vepaieni | Fi 
PTL ay role ; ie a 
as Taam pees Vw Se ore eM oe bet be F uy sy 

‘an singel fe; UFR ou) ders a 

: Pty 954), bd ae vt 
f = nae ‘ - 
t AEST er ak we Vans) 


Chapter A H, P. E. O. was 
organized September 2, 1892 
by a group of young ladies 
known as a Readers Club. Of 
the nine charter members, Mrs. 
Harriet Schmalz is the only 
one now a member of Chap- 
ter) Avert, 

The first officers were presi- 
dent, Linnie Harris; vice pres- 
ident, Mollie Shourds; record- 
ing secretary, Anna King; cor- 
responding secretary, Anna 
Coyle; treasurer, Abbie Fens- 
termaker; chaplain, Deborah 
Henselwood; guard, Hattie 

The chapter has always tak- 
en an active interest in all civy- 
ic projects, donating to tha 
public library and Parent 
Teachers association. 

In 1926 the chapter spon- 
sored a home talent play, ‘‘The 
Womanless Wedding” and 
gave $200 of the proceeds to- 
ward paving the street to the 

Boy Scouts 

Scouting started in West 
Liberty about 25 years ago 
under the leadership of Rev. 
M. E. Ruess, and Rey. Dowlin, 

Beginning in about 1920 the 
scouts were again active under 
the leadership of Rev. L. F. 
Davis, and Irwin Mosher as as- 

sistant Seoutmaster. At that 
time the Scout troop met in 
the old Beyer Hall, and at 

times had as many as 40 boys 
in the troop. During this time 
a number of trips were taken 
to different parts of the state, 
notably the trip to the Keokuk! 
dam, another to Clear Lake 
and another to McGregor and 
on into Wisconsin—many of 
these former scouts well re- 
member George llise’s wreck 


Chapter AH, P. E. O. 

The programs of the year 
book feature reviews of plays 
and books, and many educa- 
tional topies of interest. 

Mary Allen Stafford, one of 
the original founders of P. E. 
O., was a member of the chap- 
ter several years. Two of the 
former members have been 
honored with state offices, Mrs. 
Mina Hise as president of Col- 
orado State Chapter and Mrs; 
Emma Luse McCaw as prssi- 
dent of the Oregon State Chap- 

The present 
numbers fifty one. 


The present officers are:— 
Mrs. Bertha Jack, president; 
Mrs. Jean McMahon, vice pres- 
ident; Mrs. Helen Smith, re- 
cording secretary; Mrs. Carrie 
Hinkhouse, corresponding gs-e 
retary; Mrs. Dorothy Brown, 
treasurer; Mrs. Margaret Gor- 
don, chaplain; Mrs. Gladys 
Brooke, guard. 

of America 

on the Millville Hill, south of 

Rev. Lloyd Tennant, Irwin 
Mosher, Leslie Grigg, Rev. F. 
W. Sutton and C. R. Preiss 
have served as Scoutmasters 
during the past 15 years. 

At present the Scouts are 
meeting in the Legion hail. 
Now a part of the Buffalo Pill 
Area, With headquarters in 
Davenport, the Scouts have the 
privilege of attending a super- 
vised camp at Camp Minneyata 
near Dixon, Iowa. 

The Boy Scouts of America 
has had its part in the train- 
ing of several hundred boys in 
West Liberty during the past 
25 years. 

The West Liberty Ladies 
Choral Club was. organized 

Nov. 8, 1932 at the home of 
Pauline Swisher Royal, who 
became its first president. 

Grace Nichols Knight Gib- 
son, a native of this commun- 
ity and who acquired fame 
here and broad acts as direc- 
tor and under her inspiration 
and leadership the organiza- 
tion has developed an excel- 
lence which has resulted in 
many public concerts and ap- 
pearances before various or- 
ganizations. At these concerts 
various guest artists have ap- 
peared including Mrs. Helen 
Swisher Whinnery, harpist, of 
Iowa City; Mr. Harold Stark, 
baritone of the State Univers 
sity, and Mr. Robert MacDon- 
ald, pianist of Chicago. 

Mrs. Edna M. Smith has 
been pianist, since the organ- 
ization of the club. 

The outstanding program of 
the club was the singing of the 
“Holy City’ by Gaul, when 
eleven men were added to the 
club for the performance. 

Pythian Sister 
Temple No. 189 

The Pythian Sisters were 
first organized under the name 
of Rathbone Sisters and was 
named after the founder of the 
order but were later changed 
to Pythian Sisters. The Temple 
was organized in December 
1904 and was issued its chart- 
er on August 9th, 1905, with 
the 31 Sisters and two Knights 
as charter members. 

Mrs. Florence Heck was the 
first Most Excellent Chief and 
served for two years. Other 
officers were: Ex. Sr. Lilla 
Hardin, Ex. Jr. Maud Tharp, 
Mgr. Minnie Smiley, M. of R. 
C. Ella Nichols, M. of F. Mar- 
tha Ady, Protector Libby Mil- 
nes, Guard Mary Whitacre, 
Past Chief, Margaret Nichols. 

The Temple met in what was 
then known as the opera house 
and in 1911 moved to the pres- 
ent hall which was just fin- 

At the present time there is 
a membership of 115 Sisters 
and 73 Knights. 

In 1935 the Pythian Sisters 
of Iowa took upon themselves 
a project of purchasing a state 
home for Iowa Pythian Sisters 
which is located in our District 
at Clinton. 

Several vears ago the Tem- 
ple selected Mrs. Lillian Whit- 
acre as the first Pythian Moth- 
er and after the loss of her se- 
lected Mrs. Mary Ditmars who 
died this past year. The pres- 
ent Pythian Mother is Mrs. 
Bertha Mosher, a charter mem- 
ber of the order. 

The Temple sends greet- 
ings to all past members as 
well as all present members. 


West Liberty 
Rotary Club 

The West Liberty Rotary 
club was organized in the fall 
of 1924, with Dr. Wm. By- 
water of Iowa City as special 
representative, of District Gov- 
ernor Boardman, and Dr. Les- 
ter A. Royal, organizing chair- 
man, Dr. H. A. Knott, George 

Hise and W. lL. Waters, as- 

Beginning on October 24, 
1924 the club held regular 

weekly meetings in the Wood- 
man hall, continuing to meet 
there until June 14, 1925, 
when the place of meeting was 
changed to the Masonic dining 
room, the present location. 

Dr. Lester A. Royal served 
as the club's first president; 
George Hise, secretary; Ray 
Whitacre, treasurer; Jess Gor- 
sline, sergeant at arms, these 
o*ficers holding over until 
July 1, 1926. In its fourteen 
years of existence the club has 
had only two secretaries. 
George Hise, 1924-1928, and 
Dr. Royal, since that time. 

At a formal meeting on Jan- 
uary 7, 1925, attended by more 
than 100 Rotarians from this 
district, the charter, bearing 
the number 1859, granted De- 
cember 16, 1934, was present- 
ed to the club by ‘Shorty’ 
Frances, Marshalltown, secre- 
tary to Governor Boardman. 
Among the guest speakers 
were Dr. Bywater, Iowa City: 
Attorney Stafford, Muscatine; 
Alex Miller, Washington. 

The attendance record of the 
local club has been outstand- 
ing for many times it has been 
first in the district. Two chart- 
er members, W. G. Hichenauer 
and W. L. Watters and several 
of the more recent members 
have perfect attendance rec- 

Ray Heath is the president- 
elect, and Dr. L. A. Royal, sec- 


By H. A. Knott 

The night L. W. Swem was 
shot by the robbers when they 
robbed the post office, and 
Fig Morris handed out guns 
from B. B.’s to shot guns; no 
ammunition in any of them. 

The bushels of apples, cook- 
ies, doughnuts given by the 
Red Cross to the boys return- 

ing from France. 
The shipments of surgieal 
and hospital supplies every 

week by the local Red Cross. 
Dr. Emmet Ady showing off 
his high wheel auto. 

Dr. W. A. Heck’s yellow 
Buick and Bert Rice’s red 

Ernest Todt waking up West 
Liberty with a string of tin 
cans tied to his car, the morn- 
ing the Armistice was signed. 

bey 68 
. ve iyPodnned mane ( 
end 0 BOP wee yerra 
sbasht wale toys. mb ime tee 
eet uke a ea 
req Ponte 1 ie tide wat 
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mined Iogenw a2 pine 
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ta. opamiaiely oar 

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satiate Romy Seep ebals £4 vats 
pradment eetiagy a 
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viv) 600% ou; +67 beviee 
ah 8 ee eee upeae 
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Tee Tee 

Carr's Lunch Car 

West Liberty, Iowa 



In all ways 
‘“Good Food Is Good Health’’ © 

“ae oe 


One of the finest air conditioning 
systems of any small theatre in the 

Cigarettes Cigars nae 
1921 1927 
Ludy Bosten Paul Tobias 


from our patrons 

to the town of 

West Liberty on its 

oe ee cat 
wh ie ental 

One Hundredth Birthday 

Save time and energy and 
let the telephone run your errands. 



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.O. O. F. Lodge 

The first I. O. O. F. Lodge, 
named Howard Lodge No. 67, 
was instituted Feb. 26, 1855 
with the following charter 
members: Asa Gregg, George 
C. Shipman, John R. Cary, 
Jesse B. Overman and David 
Walters. The charter for the 
lodge was granted by the 
Grand Lodge of Iowa, October 
10th, 1855, and the meetings 
at that time were held in what 
was then known as Old Lib- 
erty. Later the building was 

moved to West Liberty. 

Records also show that Lib- 
erty Lodge No. 1900 I. O. O. 
F. was instituted at West Lib- 
erty, on March 238, 1870, and 
the charter members were E. 
L. Stratton, W. G. Inghram, 
George Bagley, C. W. Burger, 
S. M. Mitchell, P. R. Evans, 
W. L. Penny, and H. A. Thom- 
as The charter for this lodge 
was granted October 19, 1870, 
and during the time since it 
was instituted there have been 
five hundred fifty initiations. 

American Legion Auxiliary 

In October, 1921, Mrs. May 
L. Myers was chosen to sign 
an application for a charter 
for an American Legion Auxil- 
jiary. Our Unit was named for 
Mansell L. Phillips who was 
the first one from West Lib- 
erty to make the supreme sac- 
Tifice during the World War. 
He was the grandson of the 
late Noah Phillips. 

Our first meetings were 
held in the Legion hall known 
as the Henry Polders flats, ov- 
er the Polders Shoe store. 

In December 1921 we _ held 
election of officers for the en- 
suing year 1922 and at this 
time Mrs. Myers was chosen 
president; Mrs. Susie Lewis, 
1st vice president; Miss Roxie 
Brown, secretary; Mrs. Esther 
Ellyson, treasurer. Miss Ethel 

Rock, chaplain; Mrs. Bertha 
Mosher, historian; the execu- 
tive committee: Mrs. J. C. 

Nichols, Mrs. Eva Hime, and 
Mrs. Maud Schafer. Our chart- 
er was granted June 12th, 
1922. On June 22 we were 
Officially organized. 

Our charter has 54 names 

on it; 19 of the original num- 
ber are still members; eight 
of our charter members are 

In the reception room hangs 
the beautiful service flag made 
by Mrs. Cora Peters, past pres- 
jdent of the Auxiliary, now de- 
ceased. There are 153 stars in 
this flag, each representing a 
youth who went from this com- 
munity; also two crosses for 
the Red Cross nurses. On 
March 23rd, 1918 this flag was 
sold at a Red Cross sale and 
brought $11,500.00. This flag 
was later presented to the 
Legion and Auxiliary by the 
Red Cross. 

Each year we put on a pop- 
py sale. In the year 1923 we 
instituted the street flag dec- 
orating system. In 1926 we do- 
nated $50.00 toward the pave- 
ment for the driveways in the 
Oakridge cemetery. In 1927 
we placed a marker in our lo- 
cal cemetery for Elsie Davis, a 
world war nurse. On Memorial 
dey we place a White Cross 
on each World War soldier’s 
und nurse’s grave and place a 


The Newspapers 

Newspapering in West Lib- 
erty began 70 years ago, when 
C. Baker, son of a Wilton min- 
ister, launched the West Lib- 
erty Enterprise, April of 1868. 
Machinery cost money even 
then, so the paper was printed 
at Wilton until November of 
that year when The Enter- 
prise was sold to C. D. Eaton 
and George Trumbo, who in- 
stalled a plant here. Mr. 
Trumbo soon bought Mr. Eat- 
on’s interest, and in February 
of 1869 sold te J. W. McEI- 

Mr. McElravy, who enjoyed 
the association of Harry Gregg 
for a time, retained the prop- 
erty until November of 1883 
when The Enterprise was pur- 
chased by Jarry Macdonaid 
and Mrs. Lou Benjamin. Mac- 
donald and Benjamin were at 
the helm until May of 1887, 
when their printer, Charles A. 
Bancroft bought the paper. 

The field had proven attrac- 
tive, and in 1884 The Wapsie 
Index was launched by Jont 
Maxson and Co., with James 
Morgan as editor, and from the 
same shop, The Dairy and 
Farm Journal was published: 
In January 1888 N. W. Ball 
became The Index editor, and 
six months later bought the 
paper. In 1892 Mr. Ball also 
became the owner of The En- 
terprise and merged if with 
The Index under the title En- 
terprise-Index. Mr. Ball died 
Dec, 18, 1892, but his widow 
continued publication of the 
paper with E. C. Nichols as 
editor, until 1894 when Jont 
Maxson and his son, William, 
and P. R. Hardin leased the 
plant. In July of 1897 the 
property was purchased by J. 
W. McElravy. 

Mr. McElravy sold a half- 
interest in The Enterprise-Iu- 
dex, in March of 1902, to W. 
A. Leefers of Tipton, and R. C. 
McElravy, son of the veteran 
publisher, became actively en- 
gaged in the editorial work. 
In August of 1902, S. B. Os- 
born joined with Mr. Leefers 
and they purchased the Mc- 
Elravy interests in the plant. 

Mr. Leefers sold his interest 
to C. T. Johnson of Tipton in 
February of 1903, and in Oc- 
tober of that year, Mr. John- 
son sold his share to Albert 
W. Jackson, who had been 

foreman in the shop. Mr. Jack- 

poppy wreath on it. 

For the past two years we 
have been a Superior Unit, 
meeting all the requirements 
of the state for this rating. 

At the present time we have 
the 1st District Secretary and 
Treasurer and County Vice 
Committee woman in our Unit. 

“If ye break faith with us 

who die 

We shall not sleep 

Though poppies 

Flanders Field.” 

grow in 

son bought out Mr. Osborn in 
October of 1904. Mr. Jackson 
dropped ‘Enterprise’ from the 
title, since which time it has 
been The Index. 

Another competitor, titled 
The Ruralist, had appeared 
in the early turn of the cen- 
tury, under the touch of T. C. 
Anderson, but in 1906 William 
Maxson, who had spent sonie 
time in the printing shops of 
Chicago after leaving West 
Liberty, returned to his home 
grounds and purchased The 
Ruralist. Shortly thereafter 
Mr. Maxson joined forces with 
Mr. Jackson, and The Index 
again was alone in the field. 

Mr. Jackson sold his halt- 
interest to Mr. Maxson in No- 
vember, 1912, and in Novem- 
ber of 1920, Mr. Maxson sold 
the plant to Mr. and Mrs. 
George Hise who have retained 


Shortly before 2 o’clock Fri- 

day morning, July 5, 1912, 
fire of unknown origin, was 
discovered eating ifs way 

through the roof of the West 
Liberty Condensed Milk com- 
pany’s plant, south of the 
Rock Island tracks. The inter- 
ior of the main buildng was 
then ablaze and at 4 o’clock 
the entire building and _ its 
equipment composed only a 
mass of smoldering ruins. 

A stiff wind blowing from 
the southwest fanned the 
flames and within half an hour 
after the discovery of the 
blaze, flames shot up the ele- 
vator shaft. A gas tank ex- 
ploded and soon afterwards 
the condensing tank crashed 
through the floor, breaking 
the water main. The wall, se 
parating the main building and 
boiler room at the west end 
crashed and the draft rushing 
in, fanned the flames. Sparks 
and brands were carried for a 
great distance. The roof of 
the Burger blacksmith shop 
eaught fire from these sparks, 

several times, but volunteers 
with buckets prevented any 

When the firemen saw that 
they were unable to check the 
factory fire they turned their 
attention to the ice house of 
J. D. Potter, the roof of which 
was smoking. the Fenner home 
and other nearby buildings. 

The plant belonged to a com- 
pany composed of business men 
of Whitehall, Ill, S.. B.. Silk- 
wood, manager, who purchased 
it from the West Liberty stock 
holders, Jan. 26, 1910, for 
$18.000. The bnilding, erected 
in 1904, cost $22,000. 

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Courtesy Davenport Democrat 

The only surviving member 
of Silas Jackson Post No. 255, 
Grand Army of the Republic, 
which was organized with 26 
members, Dec. 11, 1883 and 
was named for Sjlas Jackson, 
of the 11th Iowa Infantry who 
was killed in battle at Atlanta, 

The last Commander of the 
Post was Benjamin Fenster- 
maker, who died several years 
ago. Since then the post has 
been inactive. 


That seven of the nine chil- 

dren in the A. B. Anderson 
family, Will, Nettie, Albert, 
Andrew, Paul, Mabel, Nellie, 

are alumni of the local school. 


Adah Rebekah Lodge 

Adah Rebekah lodge No. 
123 was instituted, October 
23rd, 1884. At this time J. 
Norwood Clark of lowa City. 
by authority of D. D. Grand 
Master Brother Snyder, pro- 
ceeded to install the follow- 
ing officers: N. G., Geo. H. 
Beyer; V. G., Emma Givens; 
Secy., A. E. Townsend; treas., 
Hannah Scott; Warden, Ame- 
lia Purvis. Conductor, Emma 
Hart; Outside Guardian, Jerry 
Evans; Inside Guardian, Laura 

The meetings were held oy- 
er what was known as the 
Peoples State Bank Bldg. 
and the order continued to 
hold their meetings there 
until the year 1900, then 
moved to what is known as 
the Beyer hall. 

In the year 1904 the pres- 
ent. OseO; nie bide, wisi 
nuilt and dedicated by the 
various branches of the ord- 
er on October 19th. The de- 

dication was celebrated by a 
banquet at which over 300 

On July 23rd, 1895 the 
first degree staff was or- 
ganized with Brother Martin 

Purvis as Captain. 

The Degree staff has been 
called upon three _ different 
times to put on the ritualist- 
ic work for the Eastern Iowa 

association at Iowa ‘City in 
1904, Davenport in 1928 and 
Marion in 1938. 

For the past five years we 
have been entertaining all of 
our members who have _ be- 
longed for 25 years and ov- 

For a number of years 
we have sent a barrel of 
fruit to our home at Mason 
City, and the last year we 

nad a linen shower and sent 
many lovely gifts. 

The Past Noble Grand Cir- 
ele was organized in Sepiem- 
her “1926. and snow has) 2 
membership of 44. 

The present membership of 
our lodge is 79 Sisters and 
13 Brothers. 


“That it shall be unlawful 
for any animal of «he cow kind 
to run at large unattended by 
its owner or his agent, on any 
of the streets or alleys of said 
incorporation between the first 
of December each year and 
the first day of March follow- 
ing between the hours of 9 a. 
m. and 4 p. m. each day.’’— 
Town ordinance. 







Plants at 

West Liberty — Cedar Rapids — Monticello — 

Marengo and Tipton 



Fred Shellabarger of West 
Liberty is one of the oldest 
judges of poultry in America. 
He was born at Letts, Iowa, 
where he spent his youth. 
Early in life he took a fancy 
to birds and poultry, and fin- 
ally specialized in the finer 
breeds of chickens, particular- 
ly Barred Plymouth Rocks. 

For more than forty-eight 
years Mr. Shellabarger has 

judged domestic fowl over the 
United States and in Canada. 
He judged poultry in 1887 at 
Geneseo and Kewanee, Ill. 
Since then he judged at three 
world’s fairs, Chicago in 1893, 
St. Louis in 1904, and Seattle 
in 1910. Starting in 1893 he 
judged approximately thirty 
consecutive years at the Iowa 
state fair and has officiated in 
thirty-seven different states 
besides shows and fairs at Ne- 
pewau, Winnipeg, and Le 
Prairie, Canada. 

Mr. Shellabarger is the pos- 
sessor of about one thousand 
ribbons, and many silver loy- 
ing cups. One of the loving 
cups was presented him by the 
American Poultry association 
in 1900 at Cedar Rapids. A 
bronze medal is among his col- 
lections, a gift to the twenty 
judges at the World’s Fair at 
St. Louis. 

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Masonic Temple Built in 1914 


“Behold how good and how 
pleasant it is for brethern to 
dwell together in unity.’’ 133 

In 1856 with the above 
thought in mind, a meeting of 
Masons living in or near the 
settlement of West Liberty, 
was called. In response to the 
call, eleven men gathered for 
the purpose of forming a Ma- 
sonic Lodge. A temporary or- 
ganization was formed and 
Arthur C. Davis was author- 
ized to draw a petition to be 
presented to the Grand 
Lodge of Iowa, A. F. & A. M,, 
for permission to form a reg- 
ular lodge. The _ following 
were named the first officers: 
Wm. C. Evans, W. M.; Asa 
Gregg, S. W.; Allen Broom- 
hall J.cWet a. A; Milis, S. D.; 
JohuoR: Palmer, J. D:3 1. D: 
Vore, secretary. Geo. W. Dun- 
lap, treasurer; L. Steckman, 
tyler. The names of C. Perry 
Reynolds, Eli Messmore, and 
Arthur C. Davis also appeared 
on the original petition. 

On August 6, 1856 the 
first recorded meeting of Mt. 
Calvary Lodge A. F. & A. M. 
U. D. was held. The first 

meetings were held in the 
Odd Fellows’ hall, located 
near the intersection of the 
railroad and U. S. Highway 

No. 6, the present north cor- 
poration line. 

Seeing the need for larger 
quarters, and as the settle- 
mInent was moving southward, 
the Lodge purchased and us- 
ed, the second story of the 
building standing on the pres- 
ent site of the West Liberty 
State Bank. This served ad- 
mirably until the spring of 
1867 when the lodge entered 
into a contract with Elisha 
Schooley to erect a second 
story on the new store build- 
ing he was erecting at the 
southwest corner of Calhoun 
and Third. On Dec. 27, 1867, 
public services were held and 
the rooms dedicated by Most 


Worshipful Grand Master 
Reuben Mickel and his offi- 
cers. The records show many 

distinguished guests. visited 
the lodge and many noted 
celebrations were held, es- 
pecially those on St. John’s 

As was inevitable in a 
growing community, the or- 

ganizations therein grew also 
and all too soon the rooms 
once so spacious were to be- 
come too small and hopeless- 
ly inadequate. 

In the winter of 1913-14 
Marion Kirby, then Master, 
appointed Irwin Aikins, S. H. 
Archibald, Ivan Noland, B. F. 
Fenstermaker andi) Mi * EB: 
Ruess aS a committee to in- 
vestigate the cost of remod- 
eling the building. The re- 
port was to the effect that it 
would be easier to build a 
new building than to remodel 
the old. The committee was 
continued and on Feb. 20 re- 
ported on several sites. 

March 20 a committee con- 
sisting of S. C. Snider, S. B. 
Osborn, Irwin Aikins, S. H. 
Archibald and Ivan Noland 
was appointed to purchase the 
site and do whatever was 
necessary toward letting a 
contract for a new building. 
wet contract was let on May 

July 29, 1914 at 10 a. m.,, 
a called meeting of the Grand 
Lodge of Iowa A. F. & A. M. 
was held in West Liberty with 
Brother Charles W. Walton, 
Grand Master of Masons in 
Iowa presiding and in due 

and ancient form he laid the 
cornerstone of the new Ma- 
sonic Temple now. standing 
on Calhoun § street between 
Third and Fourth. 

April 28, 1915, the build- 

ing having been completed, 
the Grand Lodge of Iowa A. 
F. & A. M. again visited West 
Liberty, and with Most Wor- 
shipful Grand Master C. W. 
Walton, presiding, with the 


Civic Organization, 42 
Years Old 

And so it was, that follow- 
ing the appearance of George 
Washington Carver, (negro) 
here in 1896, when he spoke 
before a special gathering on 
plants and the Godliness of 
the world, an organization for 
the purpose of improving the 
things about us was organ- 
ized, later named the Flori- 
culture Society. 

On January 16, 1896, at a 
Meeting in the town hall, 
plans were laid, and on Janu- 
ary 25, they met again and 
organized, with 33 charter 
members. At the next meet- 
ing they decided on the name. 

Membership was unlimited, 
and they declared they were 
“glad to have those join who 
are interested in civic im- 
provement and the beautify- 
ing of our homes and the 
moral uplift of the commun- 
ity.” In 1903, the wild rose 
was chosen as an emblem and 
the colors of pink and layen- 

The first flower show was 
held August 11, 1896, in the 
town hall, and each member 
sold a plant. Proceeds were 
$50. The second flower show 
was held in the McElravy 
rink. In March, 1897, they 
gave $80 to the library, real- 
ized at a 5 o’clock supper. 
Same year in May, they made 
another donation of $65, Al- 
s0 gave $5.00 to the John- 
stown, Pa., flood sufferers, 
and $5.00 to a school destroy- 
ed in San Francisco. 

For many years the ceme- 
tery was a project of contin- 
uous improvement, to which 
they contributed their time, 
talent, and efforts, as well as 
inspiring many others to join 

assistance of his officers, the 
building was dedicated with 

the usual ritualistic cere- 
The building is operated 

by the Masonic Temple Com- 
pany, which leases the first 
floor and a part of the sec- 
ond floor. The dining room 
on the second floor and the 
entire third floor are for the 
use of all Masonic bodies. 

Since the organization of 
Mt. Calvary Lodge No. #5 
more than a thousand names 
have been added to the roll, 
and more than twenty-five 
hundred degrees have been 
conferred. Some names. are 
very familiar during the 
years, as their membership 
reaches to the second and 
third generations. At the pres- 
ent time there are 200 mem- 
bers in good standing. 

They have had four fifty- 
year masons, only one of 
whom, Henry Polders, is now 

them, and accepted donations. 

The cemetery fence was re- 
placed with a new one; new 
settees were placed about the 
ground, and gold leaf was 
placed over the gate, all done 
ata’ cost. of $1,258.72. Then 
came the work of grading and 
lowering the monuments, 
which made the total im- 
provements cost $2,745.24. 

Henry Mosher, Ellis Smith 
and Eli Elliott were appointed 
as a committee to superintend 
the building of the new fence, 
their work was donated. 

Mrs. Aaron Smith, in the 
early part of this century 
gave $400 toward the ceme- 
tery work. 

The first improvement at- 
tempted in the town was in 
1903, when the society plan- 
ned the setting of 13 trees on 
the east road to the cemetery. 
The next improvement was at 
the Rock Island depot, all 
done by the women. The 
ground was leveled, seeded, 
walks placed, and the town 
donated $40.00 to erect a wa- 
ter fountain. A dozen shade 
trees were planted. Lettering 
in rock: ‘‘West Liberty” was 
the last work there. 

Recently a bronze tablet 
was purchased and placed on 
the cemetery chapel, reading, 

“This chapel made possible 
by a gift, from Israel Gas- 
kill, erected in 1926.” Mr. 

Gaskill was an early pioneer. 

Now a memorial to the late 
Mrs. M. A. Ditmars is being 
considered, as she was an ac- 
tive and influential meznber, 
attaining the age of -92 years, 
at which time she entertained 
at a birthday party, the club. 

The 33 charter members 
were the Mesdames, M. B. 
Weaver, S. Satterthwait, E. H. 
Dillingham, Miss Lesta Moun- 

tain, Peter Polders, James 
Potter, G. W. Stober, Elizabeth 
Jones, Cora Schooley, A. R. 
Moore, L. R. Nichols, J. A. 

Evans, B. F. Fenstermaker, L. 
EK. Pike, H. L. Whitacre, J. L. 
Hollingsworth, Mary A. Evans, 
M. Tomlinson, Dora L. Ball, 
Mary A. Richards, Lucy Wor- 
stell, Orie W. Ball, Kate M. 
Brooke, Mary B. McClun. PR. 
Barnes, H. Barnes, Dora 
Wagner, Susie Gibson, E. H. 
Barclay, C. W. Norton, Ida 
Eves, Jont Maxson. 

By Dutch Sullivan 

When Jake Fisher went out 
to Jake Peters’ place and 
bought a horse for $500.00, 
sent him to Chicago, put it in 
with another horse and sold 
the team for $12,000.00. 

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- 1838 

Records of the Post Office 
department indicate the. Post 
Office at West Liberty, Mus- 
catine County, Wisconsin Ter- 
ritory’ was established March 
24, 1838 with Francis Foote 
as the first postmaster, and 
was located at or near the 
southwest corner of section 1, 
township 78 N range 4-W 
near the present intersection 
where North Point Inn is lo- 
cated, and was known as Old 

During the fall of 1838, 
the darkest days ever experi- 
enced by the infant settlement 
owing to famine and disease, 
Mr. Foote died and the rec- 
ords indicate that Peter 
Heath, who operated the first 
general store, acted as post- 
master until the appointment 
of William A, Clark, August 
21, 1839, and at that time the 
office was changed into the 
Iowa Territory. There were 
only eight families living 
here at that time. 

Mr. Heath’s sons, Joseph 
A. and John E. who reside ir 
West Liberty at this time, tell 
the interesting story of their 
father carrying the mail in 
his hat and upon seeing pat- 
rons for whom mail was in- 
tended could easily distribute 

Jobn H. Heath, a grandson 
of Peter Heath, is now em- 
ployed in the local postoffice 
and will soon have completed 
twenty years of service. In 
the distribution of mails dur- 
ing this early period Mr. 
George J. Bowlsby, 
father of former postmaster 
A, L. Richards, had an im- 
portant part. Mr. Bowlsby 
earried the mail by horseback 
from Bloomington, now Mus- 
ecatine, through West Liberty 
to Iowa City, making one trip 

Simon A. Bagley received 



United States Post Office 

his appointment as postmaster 
March 3, 1840. Asa Gregg 
who had much to do with the 
early settlement and develop- 
ment of this township was 
appointed August 9, 1841 and 
Freeman Alger March 23, 
1846. The Registry System 
was inaugurated at all post 

offices in the United States 
on July 1, 1855. 
With the coming of the 

railroad in 1855, we find the 
new town laid out at its pres- 
ent location and the next 
postmaster Isaac D. Vore, who 
received his appointment No- 
vember 17, 1857. Skilman Al- 
ger succeeded him July 11, 
1859. He was followed by 
Samuel W. Sedgewick May 29, 
1861. The office was then lo- 
cated near the present Dit- 
mars-Kerr corner. 

August 1, 1870, the Money 
Order business was establish- 
ed and on the following day 
at the local office the first 
money order was issued for 
Lemuel J. Platter to J. Schu- 
berk & Co. of New York for 
$1.25, fee 10c. At that time 
the office was located in the 
building west of Robert 
Brooke’s present law office 
and was known as the Childs 
building. James A. Ball was 
the postmaster. He received 

his appointment March 23, 
Jonathan Maxson followed 

on February 24, 1875, the of- 
fice then being in the Polders 
building, which is now occu- 
pied by the Wulf Shoe store. 
On April 25, 1877. Thomas P. 

Mitchell took the office and 
it was then located in the 
Chesebrough building where 

Irey & Nichols are now logat- 
ed. It remained there through 
the appointments of Nicholas 
Stanton May 5, 1887 and Jon- 
athan Maxson April 16, 1899. 

When Nicholas C. Stanton 

Kimball Building, Built by Iowa State Bank 
in 1912. U. S, Post Office on First Floor, 

as ~ 

received his second appoint- 
ment, June 11, 1894, the of- 
fice was moved to the old 
Masonic Temple building at 
the southwest corner of Third 
and Calhoun, where it re- 
mained until December 14, 
1937, where the following 
postmasters received their 
commissions: Benjamin A. 
Nichols, May 28, 1898; A. W. 
Jackson, March 16, 1910; 
Samuel W. Koster, March 9, 
1914; Albert L. Richards 
(acting) August 31, 1922; 
Albert L. Richards February 
24, 1923; Lindley L. Birkett 

January 12, 1932; Harry F. 
Lewis (acting) February 1, 
1936; Harry F. Lewis, April 

3, 1936. 

After a great deal of effort 
and expense on the part of 
postmaster Lewis and by the 
labor and untiring work of 
Congressman Edward C. EHich- 
er, the ~ Fourth Assistant 
Postmaster General granted 
permission to move the office 
to the Iowa State Bank build- 
ing, now known as the Kim- 
ball building, where better 
fire and burglary protection, 
more sanitary and adequate 
quarters were afforded, allow- 
ing for the steady growth and 
development of the _ postal 
business. The office was mov- 
ed on Sunday, December 13, 
LS, and the following 
morning was ready for busi- 

Before the day of the Rural 
Free Delivery, a cross coun- 
try mail route was operated 
by Ed Gregg with A. L. Sis- 
sel aS substitute, starting at 
West Liberty, thence to 
Springdale, Pedee, then to 
Rochester, where horses were 
changed and on to _ Tipton, 
driving this route one day and 
returning the next. 

The Rural Free Delivery 
service was. established at 
West Liberty, August 14, 

1900 with two carriers, M. 
Robert Klotz and James Vore. 
Klotz was later succeeded by 

Charles Hessel and Charles 
Templeman. Vore was. suc- 
ceeded by ‘‘Doc’’ Benchler, 

then on August 20, 1901 by 
Lewis Webster, now retired 
and residing here. Later as 
the Rural System developed, 
it became necessary to estab- 
lish four routes, which later 
were consolidated into three 
when motor driven vehicles 
were available. The rural 
carriers at this time are Paul 
J. Angerer, Carroll R. Preiss, 
and Jay lL. Duncan. The Post 
Office office force at the pres- 
ent time are Harry F. Lewis, 
postmaster, Edward M. Bow- 
man, assistant postmaster, 
John H. Heath, clerk, Rodger 
Johnston, assistant clerk, 
with Frank Horn mail mes- 
senger and Robert Jack, spec- 
ial delivery messenger. 


The village carrier system 
was established during the 
term of A. W. Jackson, the 
late Mansell Phillips was an 
early carrier, the system has 
been greatly enlarged in the 
last few years with George J. 
Harney as City Carrier, and 
John E. Howard as assistant. 

Two star routes originate 
from this office. James Sloan 
is the carrier on the one to 
Nichols and thence to Lone 
Tree. George H. Carpenter is 
the other carrier on the route 
between West Liberty and 
Muscatine. Both star routes 
are traversed daily. 

Present employees of the 
Rail Way Mail Service resid- 
ing in West Liberty are: R. 
O. Marsteller, H. V. Kerr, R. 
A. Aikins, George P. Nichols, 
Ivan Luse, F. W. Johnston, J. 
R. Boos, M. A. Campbell and 
Charles J. Nortman. 

Some of our former mail 

service residents were: Kas- 
son Miller, Arthur Barnes, 
Walter Protzman, Charles 
* Worrell, M, L. Eby; “Wm. 
Bush; pRay) Gritith. carry 
Tuilis, Garfield Hill, Frank 
Thomas, Robert Harney, 
Thorn Henderson, Waldo 
Myers, Joe Howard, Arthur 

Brown, Bert Hardin, Ray Haz- 
lett, with those now deceased. 
Merrill Purvis. H. W. Hughes, 

CG. G. Pratt, Will G: Baxter; 
Will Protzman, and B. W. 


The Iowa Shorthorn Breed- 
ers’ association was organized 
January 24-25, 1882, in the 
old opera house which oecu- 
pied the second story of the 
McClun building at the cor- 
ner otf Third and Calhoun 
streets. Among the men prom- 
inent in this organization were 
Ose DATClAy. wee. eles Jildd, 
Pliny Nichols, James Morgan 
Zed Ellyson, Gad James, Rob- 
ert Miller, John Evans, and S. 
W. Jacobs. 

In an address of welcome 
given by C. §. Barclay at a 
meeting of the association held 
in West Liberty in December 
1897, he said that the first 
Shorthorn cattle had been 
brought to West Liberty from 
Kentucky in 1857 and that 
more Shorthorn cattle for 
breeding purposes had _ been 
sent out from West Liberty 
than from any other point in 
the country. 

“Tt is hereby made unlaw- 
ful for any person to ride, or 
in any way operate a_ veloci- 
pede, or bicycle on the streets 
or sidewalks of the Town of 
West Liberty.’”,—Town ordin- 
ance. ‘ 


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Miller- Keith Clan 

One Hundred and Thirty Eight 
Years of Their History 

Hal Keith Miller 

In the year 1800 Grandfa- 
ther Miller was born in Ire- 
land. That same year in Vir- 
ginia, Grandfather Keith first 
saw the light of day. Both 
married and both, with their 
wives, spent their last years 
in West Liberty and all four 
are buried there. 

To the Millers eight children 
were born. To the Keiths, elev- 
en. Three Millers married 
three Keiths and all of these, 
the second generation, with 
one exception, are buried in 
West Liberty. 

Between eighty and eighty- 
five years ago, Grandfather 
Keith was conducting a shoe 
shop there; J. S. Wilson, who 
married Harriet Keith, a har- 
ness shop; Albert Keith, the 
mill; Abe Keith was Sheriff 
of Muscatine County and my 
own father, Robert Miller, who 
married Maria Keith, was in 
the dry goods business. Sher- 
iff Keith’s wife was a Miller. 
My father later moved to 
what is now the Steen farm 
and there established the Plum 
Grove herd of Shorthorn cat- 
tle, not unknown in the Mid- 
dle West. John Miller, who 
married Adda Keith, acquired 
the adjoining farm to the 
south, now the Kennedy place, 
and Wm. Miller the one to the 
north where the Angerers now 
live. He married a Starr, fig- 
uring, I guess, that too many 
Millers were marrying too 
many Keiths. Anyway it was 
on these three farms that the 
Miller tribe lived for so many 
years. All are gone now except 
three of Robert Miller’s chil- 
dren, Celeste, Howard and 
myself. Soon we too will be 
coming home to take the plac- 
es reserved for us in Oakridge. 
Mrs. John Miller (Aunt Add) 
died here in Los Angeles on- 
ly four years ago at the age 
of ninety-three, the last of 
her generation. 

There are, or were, in the 
next or third generation, 
twenty Millers and_ thirty 
Keiths, eleven of them double 
. cousins. Those who are still 
living are widely scattered 
but most of those who have 
gone on are buried in West 


A Choral club which was or- 
ganized in May, 1905. Regular 
meetings were held in the TI. 
A. Nichols home».with Mildred 
Nichols accompanist and Miss 
Mershon of Muscatine and Mr. 
Van Doren of Iowa City, direc- 



Trimming Arch Lights in 1906 

Mayors of West Liberty 

. W. Sedgwick—1868 

R. Palmer—1869-1870 
. C. Shipman—187,0 

W. Sedgwick—1870 

R. Evans—1870 

. C, Shipman—1871-1882 
W. Rogers—18 83-1884 
L. Brooke—1885 

. M. Warner—1886 

. W. Swem—1887-1891 
N. King—18)92-1893 
H. McClun—1894-1895 
E. McIntosh—13896 


‘Do You Remember? 

When Mayor McIntosh in- 
troduced Uncle Joe Cannon 
who made a brief talk at the 
depot park? 

When West Liberty’s Arch- 
ery, club was meeting regular- 

When Phin Gibson rode a 
winner -in the 4th of July 
horse race; Harry McCann 
won the wheelbarrow race; 
Ed John the roller skating 


When West Liberty had a 
Chinese laundryman, Sing 

When Dr. E. H. Dillinghem 
‘advertised to make a full set 

of false teeth for $6.09? 

When the Liberty cycling 
elub made its first efficia) 

When the A P A’S were 

When Amos Whitacre made 
his first entry at the fair? 
Well he was seven years old 
then and led the calf eight 
miles to the fair. 

The 4th of July when Ed 
Evans dived from the top of 
the McClun building into a 
tank of water? 

A. H. McClun—1897 

W. M. MceFadden—1898-1901 
J. E, McIntosh—1902-1910 
Cc. J. Mackey—1910-1915 
Henry Polders—1915-1917 
Howard Anderson—1918-1919 
C. J. Mackey—191)9 

A. L. Dice—1920 

J. EB. McIntosh—1920-1924 
E. C. Kerr—19 24-1927 
Walter Mackey—19 27-1931 
R. P. Evans—-1932-1937 

W. B. Jayne—1937-1938 


In 1640 the first Romaine 
homestead in this country 
was established in Franklin 
County, N. J., by emigrants 
from Amsterdam, Holland. 

Three brothers, John, Jac- 
ob and Cornelius Romaine 
came from that homestead to 
establish their homes on 
South Prairie while this 
country was still young. 

Cornelius ‘and Margaret 
Romaine were the parents of 
three children, Amelia Chari- 
ty Frear, Amanda Katherine 
Smith and Arthur Romaine of 
West Liberty. Amelia was one 
of the first teachers of the 
Normal Training School at 
Iowa City, which later was 
moved to Cedar Falls. Mrs. 
L. J. Inghram, a niece, has a 
letter written Sept. 18, 1861, 
by Amelia, in which she telis 
of her work in getting the 
normal school started, and 
which includes mention of 
the salary and number of pu- 
pils. In her classes was the 
late Dr. C. B. Kimball, father 
of Dr, J. E. Kimball. 


Peter t Heath 

Peter Heath, who came to 
this community in 1839 was 
the owner and proprietor of 
the first store in the town of 
Old Liberty which later be. 
came West Liberty. 

After being in this Vicinity 
for a few years, during which 
time he worked as a farm 
hand near Nichols for at 
least one year, he returned to 
his former home in New Jer- 
sey, but being dissatisfied 
with conditions there, pur- 
chased a team of horses and 
rode and led them back to 
West Liberty. 

While he was never offi- 
cially appointed to the office 
of postmaster, he acted in 
that capacity for seven years, 
1846 to 1852, following this 
he took up his residence on 
a farm 3 miles northwest of 
town which is now owned by 
Glen Walker, then in 1866 he 
moved to a farm on South 
Prairie, from 1885 to 1887, 
he and his son, Joseph A., 
were engaged in the mercan- 
tile business in West Liberty, 
at a site, about where the 
Ed Mackey restuarant stands. 

In 1887 he returned to the 
farm again and passed away 
there in 1889. Peter Heath 
married Susan Gibson, an 
early settler from Ohio, she 
died in 1903. To them were 
born ten children, three were 
victims of the epidemic oft 
diphtheria which was so prey- 
alent here during 1886 and 
87. Two of their children, 
Joseph A. now past 81, and 
John E. past 72, are still liy- 
ing in West Liberty. 

John Heath, Wm. A. Heath, 
Jodie G. Heath, Clarence R. 
Heath, Ray S. Heath, Mrs. 
John Hintz and Mrs. Clayton 
James are grandchildren re- 
siding in West Liberty and 
vicinity, there are also many 
great and great great grand- 
children of this pioneer liy- 
ing here. 


Along about the year 1885 
Horace BH. Deemer (later Judge 
of the Supreme Court of 
Iowa), his brother, Joe Wal- 
lander and other blades of the 
town brought to West Liberty 
the first bicycles, built on the 
plan of a very large wheel in 

front and a very small one at 
the rear. One would weigh 
nearly. if not qnite, seventy- 
five pounds and cost some 
thing around $159 and was 
equipped with hard rubber 

One of these old_ bicycles 
is still in the county, owned 
by George E. Gates, Downey, 
Iowa, who may ride it during 
Centennial week. 

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Fire January 5th, 1884 

The most disastrous fire in 
the city since the burning of 
the Hise house on Jan. 7th, 
1876, occurred Saturday 
morning when the large 
frame building at the corn- 
er of 3rd and Spencer, occu- 
pied by T. M. Campbell and 
known asthe Occidental 
House was destroyed. 

The alarm was sounded at 
9:30 a. m, with the thermom- 
eter standing at 28 below, 
while the family were at 
breakfast. The fire boys had 
the engine and hose cart 
out in less time than it takes 
to tell it and made a quick 
run to the cistern at the cor- 
ner of Spancer and Calhoun 
to find that not only was the 
cap to the cistern frozen 
down but when finally open- 
ed. they found the contents 
frozen also. 

They then went to other 
cisterns and finally their ef- 
forts were successful and iu 
spite of extreme cold willing 
hands took the pump handles, 
and water soon traversed the 
600 feet of hose and burst 

Martha J. Rowlen. 

—Courtesy Muscatine Journal 

Mrs. Rowlen will be 89 
years old on Oct. 6th, 1938. 
She came to West Branch 
from Barnesville, Ohio, when 
quite young and lived there 
for 25 years, where her hus- 

band was a brick mason. She 
makes her home now with her 
son-in-law and daughter, Mr. 
and Mrs. EB. T. Stokes, Mrs. 

Stokes being the only surviy- 
or of tive children. 

During the Hoover admin- 
istration, Mrs. Rowlen  prid- 
ed herself on “having rocked 

the President on her lap.’ 
Mrs. Hoover, mother of the 
President, often came to the 

Rowlen home and cared for 
the child. 

‘1884 age 52 years. 

upon the fire, fully twenty 
minutes after the alarm. By 
neroic and untiring efforts 
much of the eqontents was 
saved as well as_ nearby 
buildings, but by 11:30 the 
east wall was down and all 
that remained of what had 
been for 24 years a familiar 
object to the community lay 
in charred and smoking 

The engine pumpers are 
deserving of special mention, 
An hour and a half of uwn- 
eeasing labor at the lever 
was a severe strain upon 
them. They were stimulated 
and refreshed by the thought- 

fulness of Mrs. N. W. Ball, 
Mrs. Geo. Clapper, Mrs. Z. 
No) King.  Mrsy As Cooley; 
Mrs. L. Osborn and Miss 

Belle Nichols who furnished 
them with hot coffee. 

The building had been 
built by Henry Null in 1838, 
Pearson Alger as carpenter, 
and was first used as a dwell- 
ing, then Shaw and Bagley’s 
Drug store, and in = later 
years after many additions it 
was a convenient and popular 
resort for the traveling pub- 
lic. In 1879 it was known as 
the S. B. Windus House and 
later as the Occidental House. 

Comments of the Weekly 
Enterprise of Jan. 11th, 
1848 are: Carson Adams and. 
Curley Keim were two of the 
hardest workers on the scene. 

“D, F.. Smith and Henry 
Polders allowed their. ears 
to absorb too much frost. 

Hillis Ady froze his ears and 
cheeks yery badly and fear is 
entertained he may lose his 
mustache. Mrs. Geo. Sheldon 
sutfered from neryous pros- 
tration caused by excitement 
and overwork. The fire boys 
worked until near midnight 
Satirday night thawing out 
the hose and engine. Fritz 
Jensen offered his services 
and pumped for am hour and 
a half without relief. John 
Nagle, foreman of the engine 
company stood faithfully by 

‘the engine until the last and 

carries three badly frozea 
Ake eS 

West Liberty, 

Campbell died in 
March = 8th 
As land- 
lord of the Occidental House 
he was widely known, 


Although the Polled Here- 
ford breed iS rather young as 
compared with the other beef 
breeds of cattle, West Liberty 
has had her share of honors 
of the breed. 

P. M. Schooley and_.Sons 
were pioneer promoters of the 
breed, having started about 
1910 when the breed was only 
a few years old. Other local 

breeders were James Stafford 
and Meyer Bros. The product 
of the local herds have been 
sent to possibly 20 states be- 
side exported to Canada, Aus- 
tralia, Argentine and New Zea- 
jand. ‘ 

P. M. Schooley was at one 
time president of the National 
Polled Hereford Association 
and a few years later his son, 
Harry was elected to the same 
high office. James Stafford 
also served as director of the 
association for several years. 

The local herds have pro- 
duced some of the tops in the 
National. Polled Herefords 
shows held in the past years. 

West Liberty Chapter 
American Red Cross 

At a meeting of the King’s 
Daughters Circle, May 8th, 
1917, Mrs. Bella McElravy 
of Chicago, a former resident 
presented the matter of the 
need of organization. 

‘May 26th at a called meet- 
ing for the purpose of or- 
ganization, the chapter was 
organized with thirty one 
members, whose officers were 
Rev. H. K. Schondelmeyer, 
chairman; Mrs, Lillian Whit- 
acre, vice-chairman; Mrs, F. 
fic Shellabarger, secretary, 
and Ray Whitacre, treasurer. 

Work was at once started 
and committees appointed to 

have charge of knitting, 
handkerchiefs, bed sox, com- 
fort bags, nightingales, bath 
robes, pajamas and bed 

shirts. The first shipment of 
these supplies was in August, 

At the end of the first 
year the membership had in- 
creased to 1850 exclusive of 

the juniors, and in two years 

was 2150, 

The total number of gar- 
ments made and = shipped 
was over 5000 exclusive of 
the knitted garments, of 
which there were 762 sweat- 
ers, 166 mufflers, 725 pairs 
of sox, 193 pairs of wristlets, 
and 25 helmets. In additioa 
to this there were three sep- 

arate shipments of usec 
clothing to the Belgian re- 
lief, totaling some 2500 

The Chapter established a 
canteen in West Liberty and 
work in this line was done 
for all. train “troops, and 
meals were served to soldiers, 
sailors and civilians when 
stopping here in behalf of 
the Liberty Loan drives. A 
musical troop of Canadian 
soldiers, disbanded here, was 
given financial aid. 

All through the years the 

-Chapter has been active in 

all requests. for aid, the last 
being the Ohio valley flood 
in 1936 when they sent out 
$860.40 as their contrib«ition. 

The membership is now 
216, and Ray Whitacre is 
still the treasurer, 



William Bagley was born 
January Vu4, -1792 (in “New 
Hampshire, Lois Loveland, 
his wife, was born May 11, 
1793 in Connecticut. They 
were married in Castleton, 
Vermont, May 11, 1814. 

Names of the children of 
William and Lois Bagley: 
Phoebe Adaline, Mary Ann, 
Louisa, William Alanson, 
Nancy, Elizabeth Jeannette, 
Samuel, Amy, Alvin, Lucena 
Loveland, Horace Mann. 

Adaline, the oldest of the 
Bagley children, married Wil- 
liam Cornes, and had two 
children when she came to 
Iowa with her father’s family. 

Louisa Bagley married Wil- 
liam T. Clark in Muscatine, 
Iowa, January 28, 1839, They 
lived in a log cabin for a 
while, then built a farm home 
near West Liberty and spent 
the remainder of their years 
there. They had nine chil- 
dren: Sarah, Will, Katherine, 
John, Elizabeth, Mary, Rob- 
ert, Joe and Fanny. None of 
the family is living. 

William Alanson Bagley, 
oldest son, married Lucretia 
Burgan, purchased the fam- 
ily home from his mother and 

lived there for a time. His 
mother moved to Tipton 
where she died in 1852. Her 

body is buried beside that of 
her husband in the cemetery 
north of West Liberty. 

Lucena Loveland Bagley 
married Francis P. Farquhar, 
Sept. 19, 1852. They lived at 
West Liberty about six years 
then moved to Ohio where 
they. lived until 1873 when 
they returned to West Liber- 
ty. They moved to Audubon 
later where she died in De- 
cember of 1893. 

The William Bagley 
now consists of six 
tions. The first: William, 
Charlott (who married Eno3 
Barnes and came to what is 
now West Liberty in 1837), 
Simeon Arvin, who came the 
following year and laid out 
the town. West Liberty was 
named for Liberty, Ohio 
where the Bagley family had 
lived. Louisa Bagley Clark 
was given the privilege of 
giving the town its name. 

The second generation are 
the eleven children of Willi- 
am and Lois Loveland Bagley. 

In the sixth generation 
there are five small children, 
the youngest one being the 
great grandchild of George 
and Elizabeth Farquhar, and 
son. of John and _ Elizabeth 
Marsh of Chicago. 


All the children of Wil- 
liam and Lois Bagley except 
three, lived practically all 
their lives in Iowa. Although 
widely separated in the state 
six of the nine children who 

lived to be grown and mar- 
ried, are buried in Iowa. 
We have almost a perfect 
record of the six genera- 
tions and the location of all 
the permanent homes. 
Ella Louise Farquhar. 

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John Brown's Sword 

An old sword dating back 
to pre-Civil war days, closely 
connects West Liberty and the 
surrounding community with 
the activities of John Brown 
and his faithful followers. 

At the time of the Kansas 
border war, John Brown cruss- 
ed Iowa several times on his 
way to Kansas or to the East. 
As he passed through Jowa he 
established a line of travel for 
his fugitive slaves. This was 
known as the Underground 
Railroad. The main line of the 
Underground Railroad eutered 
Iowa at the southwestern cor- 
ner near Tabor, and passed 
through Lewis, Des Moines, 
Grinnell, Iowa City, West Li- 
berty, Centerdale, West 
Branch, Springdale, Tipton, 
Dewitt and Clinton, whence it 


crossed the Mississippi river to 
join a like system in Illinois. 
It was not really a railroad, 
but a route, on which there 
were families who were will- 
ing to make their homes a 
station, and who could be de- 
pended upon to do their best to 
help runaway slaves. 

During the fall of 1859, 
John Brown and his party 
came to Springdale to prepare 
for his Virginia expedition. 
They spent the winter in train- 
ing at the William Maxson 
farm near Springdale. They 
had their quarters on the farm 
in a house which was built of 
cement and gravel in i839 
and which is still standing. 

At one time John Brown 
had shipped from West Liber- 
ty, two hundred Sharpe’s ri- 
fles, two hundred revolvers 
and other stores. These were 
sent to Harper’s Ferry by way 
of Ohio and Pennsylvania. 

When Brown and his party 
left the Maxson farm for Vir- 
ginia, a few things were left 
behind. These were divided up 
among the Maxson family and 
the sword was given to Jont 
Maxson, the eldest son. 

Later Mr. Maxson moved to 
West Liberty. He was a mem- 
ber of the Masonic lodge and 
was elected tyler of the or- 
ganization. The symbol of the 
office was a sword, and due to 
the fact that one was not avail- 
able, Mr. Maxson brought in 
the one left by John Brown’s 
party. The sword has been 


“ae 8 



used ever since and can be 
found hanging in the tyler’s 

Knights of 

Raymond Lodge No. 146 was 
instituted in West Liberty 
Sept. 6, 1887 by officers from 
the Muscatine Lodge. 

The organization meeting 
began shortly after noon and 
lasted until early morning. 
Those initiated as charter 

members were Howell Hise, C. 
iC. Ads Westland.) V.O.; a. 
C. Wagner, Prelate; Oscar 
Ady, MAS ies. Eovlips. Mi 
E32 H.-C. Nichols, M1. 3.3. W. 
A. Henderson K, of R. and S.; 
Grant Nichols, I. G.; Lewis 
Webster, O. G.; C. S. Merrill, 
John Swain, Henry Pugh, E. 
M. Warner, Thomas Rhodes, 
George Gibson, and C. A. Ban- 
croit. Of, this number only 
Lewis Webster, Howell Hise 
and C. A. Bancroft survive. 

The first hall was on the 
second floor of the Morris 
building. In 1902 they moved 
over Floyd’s grocery store, and 
in 1904 over the McClun 
clothing store. In 1910 they 
Hulll the opera house, retain- 
ing the upper story for their 
use ana, on-Jan,) 2nd,  V911; 
held their first meeting there 

with Ivan Noland as C. C. 1. 

Some of their outstanding 
events have been their picnics 
in the Taylor pasture, home 
talent plays, and the carnival 
held in the opera house. 

December 8, 1919, saw the 


The Chautauqua 

One of the outstanding ac- 
tivities in local history, from 
an educational and entertain- 
ing standpoint, was the Chau- 
tauqua, for many years one 
of the high lights in this com- 

The Redpath Vawter Chau- 
tauqua was brought to West 
Liberty in the summer of 1908 
due largely to I. A. Nichols, 
Cc. M. Nichols and W. W. And- 
ersOn who signed the first 
contract. Ivan Noland was the 
first secretary-treasurer and 
was still serving as such in 
1930 when due to the ever- 
changing forms of entertain- 
ment the Chautauqua became 
a has-been; its belongings 
were given to the West Liberty 
Fair Association to be used 
for public purposes, and the 
local association disbanded. 

During twenty-two years 
the people of this community 
called the Chautauqua their 
own attraction and guaranteed 
its programs and _ finances. 
Many eminent people graced 
its platforms: in 1908S Warren 
G. Harding, Opie Read, Thos. 
Brooks Fletcher and Richard 
P. Hobson; in 1909 came Sen. 
R. M. LaFollette, Charles B. 
Landis, Dr. Frederick E. Hop- 
kins and Judge Alden, later 
came Walter Eccles, W. I. 
Nolan, Bishop Anderson, Sen. 
Burkett, Dr. F. W. Gunsaulus, 
Sen. Frank J. Cannon, Gov. 
R. B. Glenn, Sen. James E. 
Watson, Judge Kavanaugh, 
Sen. T. P. Gore, Judge Ben B. 
Lindsey, Dr. Chas. S. Med- 
bury, Robert G. Cousins, Hon. 

James K, Vardaman, Ruth 
Bryan Owen, Wm. Jennings 
Bryan, Luther W. Burbank, 
and such bands as John Phil- 

lip Sousa, Bohumir Kryl, and 

Keith Vawter, vice president 
and manager of the Chautau- 
qua system, was a local boy. 

July 20, 1888 

George Wooley threatens to 
tar that horse block in front 
of his house, if that fellow 
doesn’t quit bringing his girl 
there, three nights in the 
week, for a big talk and an 
interchange of taffy. Find an- 
other place, young man, it an- 
noys the sick. 

largest class for initiation, 
with 36 in the group. 

April 25, 19388, Grand Keep- 
er of Records and Seal, R. R. 

Hibbs of Marengo came and 
presented to P. N. Gibson, a 
50-year jewel at a_= special 

meeting held for that purpese. 
Mr. Gibson is the first Knight 
here to receive such distinc- 

The present membership is 
135 and in its present officers 
will be found three genera- 
tions, the youngest of which is 
Edwin Nay, the C. C. 

us Als 

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Items Taken from Local Newspapers 

Jan. 29, 1880. Now is the time 
to join the elocution classes. 
Ladies’ classes meet at 3: 
and 7 p. m. Gentlemen’s 8 p. m. and chil- 
dren’s class at 4 p. m. on 
Monday and Wednesday. 
All these classes meet in the 
class room over Wyant’s 
grocery store. 

March 4, 1880. Come and take 
supper at the hall next Wed- 
nesday evening. Tables will 
be spread in the armory, and 
the hall will be open for 

Ladies’ Aid Society Fest- 

ival. This society proposes 
giving a supper next Wed- 
nesday evening to raise 
funds for a walk to the cem- 
etery. The cornet band and 
orchestra will furnish music 
for the occasion. 

March 11, 1880. The gross re- 
ceipts from the Ladies’ Aid 
Society Festival held totaled 
April 1881. The council order- 
ed the fire chief to fix up 
the west town pump (locat- 
ed on southwest corner of 
Third and Oalhoun streets) 
and put down a good plat- 
form with a railing around 
Sept. 1881. W. W. McClun at- 
tended the funeral of Pres- 
ident Garfield at Cleveland. 
October 1881. One hundred 
eighty immigrants changed 
ears here going north. 
Governor Kirkwood spoke 
in Liberty Hall. 
October 1883. T. C. Manfull 
has purchased the brick for 
his new block at Third and 
Spencer streets (which Dr. 
Albert Ady is now remodel- 
ing for new offices) (J. L. 
Peters tells that he dug the 
clay from which these brick 
were moulded and burned 
by Isaac C. Nichols, owner 
of the brick and tile yard, 
loaded, hauled and unloaded 
same, thus handling them 
three times.) 
April 11, 1884. We fear that 
Larry Swem, by the faithful 
discharge of his duties atl 
the telephone office, is go- 
ing to compromise his intel- 
ligence and weaken his claim 
to the title of boss law giver 
of this ‘‘deestrict’”’ for altho 
Larry is now admitted to 
the bar he still is trouble 
shooter for the telephone 
April 18th, 1884. West Liberty 
grocery firm is soon to put 
in use a delivery -wagon. 
This is the first thing of its 
kind ever known here, but 
we do boast of a switch 
engine, round house and 
street lamp. 
April 25th, 1884. Hon. Pliny 
Nichols is receiving, as he 
richly deserves, much com- 
mendation and hearty con- 

gratulation on the success of 
his semi-annual tax bill. The 
bill has now become a law 
and will be of great relief 
to the tax payers, shifting 
part of the load from spring 
to fall when money is more 

April 25, 1884. West Liberty 
-had a visitor Wednesday in 
the person of William Mc- 
Mahon. He is probably the 
oldest citizen in Muscatine 
county as he will in a few 
days celebrate his 102nd 
birthday. His eyesight is 

- very good and he has neven 
worn glasses. He walked to 
town Wednesday from the 
home of his son, John, a 
distance of 4 miles. 

May 1884. I. C. Nichols made 
a trip to Cincinnati, Ohio, 
last week and purchased one 
of the finest brick making 
machines in the United 
States. It is capable of put- 
ting out 35,000 bricks per 
day without crowding. 

June 1884, A. A. Ball has been 
reprimanded by the West 
Liberty marshal for fast 

September 1884. Some of the 
first money winners in the 
livestock department of the 
22nd. fair ine Ls343 CC. 8. 
Barclay, Gad James, John 
Evans, Smith & Judd, W. B. 
Gregg, E. E. Harrison, G. 
W. Baldwin, Ira Nichols, 
Edd Webb, George McFad- 
den, Si, G. ‘Hogue, S. R&R. 
Propst, Fred Evans, Phineas 
Nichols, John L. Wilson, P. 
N. Gibson, C. P. Gibson, C. 
I. Luse, S. A, Barnes, W. F. 
See, L. O. Mosher, Pliny 
Nichols, Mercer Hall, B. L. 
Wood, Samuel Kimberly. 

June 1886. A new orchestra 
has been organized, com- 
posed of Grant Nichols, vio- 
lin; J. H. Rogers, cornet; 
Ben Gatton, trombone; Tom 
Rhodes, piano; and John 
Rolfs, piccolo. 

May 1887. C. D. Gibson is 
erecting a store building on 
the upper end of Calhoun 
street. N. W. Ball is to put 
in a stock of groceries. 

June 1887. Eli Elliott and 
Harold Childs left for Bal- 
timore, going from there to 
Scotland after a cargo of 
Shetland ponies. 

Feb. 1887. A. BE, Kimberly re- 
turned from Kentucky with 
“Bezant’’ and promised to 
revolutionize the horse busi- 
ness in this region. In 1892 
M. O'Reilly of Icwa City 
offered Mr. Kimberly $42,- 
000 for Bezant, but fsiled 
to secure the horse, Mr. 
Kimberly’s price being $65,- 
000. Later in the year he 
sold the horse for $59,000. 

April 1891, Council granted 
petition of Columbus street 
residents to lay sidewalk on 
west side of street. 

April 1892. Potter Sisters em- 
barked in the millinery bus- 
iness, adding this line to 
their dressmaking establish- 

April 1892. The Rock Island 
company announced that the 
Cottage Hotel would be 
closed May 1st because of 
the dearth of patronage. 

Feb. 1896. Burglars looted the 
McClun Brothers store and 
got $300 worth of goods. 

August 1897. The union depot 
burned Sunday night. An 
Overturned lantern in the 
baggage room ignited some 
oil and the entire room was 
soon a mass of flames. Many 
books and records were con- 
sumed as well as some ex- 
press matter, The Hise 
House was saved with diffi- 
culty. Work soon began on a 
new $6000 depot. 

Feb. 1901. Carrie Nation spoke 
to a crowd at the depot as 
she stopped en her way to 

May 2na, 1907. F. Marion 
Gray of Gower township was 
instantly killed at 11 a. m. 
Friday by train No, 46, 
southbound on the Rock 
Island. Mr. Gray was driving 
to West Liberty in a clos- 
ed top buggy, coming in on 
Elm street over the west 
Springdale road. At the 
Snake Hollow school house 
on the county line his vehic- 
le was struck by the train 
and completely demolished. 

April 1892. Jack Evans mys- 
teriously disappeared from 
home. No cause for leaving 
was known, He was 14 years 

March 20th 1893, Dr, Albert 

' Ady died of heart trouble 
at the old Dan Smeltzer 
house while attending Milan 

Oct. 18, 1899. Starting to dig 
artesian well at power 

Aug. 10 1900. First annual 
picnic of the Nichols fam~ 
ily at the fair grounds; at- 
tendance 124, eligible 221. 

May 1901. Moved Hise House 
across the tracks; took two 
weeks to move. 

April 18 1904, Special election 
for franchise for Electric 
road from Davenport to Iowa 
City; yes 343; no 49. Very 
large vote polled here. 

Aug. 27 1904. Baldwin’s old 
livery barn burned at 11:15 
p. m. Saturday. 

July 27 1915. irst brick laid 
in paving West Liberty, 
commenced at intersection. 
of Columbus and Third 
streets; last brick laid on 
Tuesday Oct. 19th. 

Nov. 2 1915. Celebration of 
the completion of paving. 
Day, fair and warm; fed 
about 8,000 in one hour. 
(Feed was free.) 

—cCourtesy Muscatine Journal 

Sarah Ellen Tharp. 

Mrs. Tharp was 98 years 
of age on the 9th day of 
March, 1938, being only six 
months younger than Mrs. 
Wilkins, the oldest resident. 
Before her marriage she was 
Sarah Wills, and was born 
near Logansport, Ind. When 
12 years of age she came with 
her parents to Louisa County, 
Iowa, by covered wagon, 
crossing the river at Musca- 
tine. on a horse ferry. She 
married Lee Tharp in 1858. 
In 1861 he went to war as a 
volunteer in Company K, 8th 
Iowa Infantry. While her hus- 
band was in the service, she 
went down the Mississippi 
river with her child, Martha, 
and spent the winter in camp 
at Memphis, where he was on 
picket duty. While there she 
helped cook. She is the moth- 
er of six children all living. 
Mrs. Tharp is quite well, al- 
though blind and_ slightly 


The West Liberty high 
school was granted its Quill 
and Scroll charter May 11, 
1927. Students enrolled in high 
school journalism are eligible 
for membership if they meet 
the requirements at the time 
of their election. 

In 1928 the first W. L. H. S. 
members of Quill and Scroll 
were elected. 

The first ‘‘Blue and White” 
was an annual published in 
November 1926. Then it was 
published once a month from 
Ta26.. te” Post. Miss Edna 
Bockwolt organized the first 
journalism class in 1928, and 
then the juniors and _ seniors 
put out the paper together. In 
1931 the paper was changed 
into a weekly paper and pub- 
lished on one page of the 
“West Liberty Index.” It has 
remained in this form ever 

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By Mrs. Louie Geertz. 


Out east of town, where the 
level fields lie end to end. To 
the north and west of us are 
bluffs. To the east and south 
we are bound by the Cedar 
river. Herein lies our Cedar 
Valley. Where friendships be- 
gin and never end. We have no 
Little Brown Church in the 
Vale, but we do have a Little 
White Chureh In The Valley. 
Through its doors have passed 
Many happy hearts and some 
sorrowing ones. 

The church was built about 
1871 by Ezra Wiker who lived 
on the Jim Askam farm. The 
land was donated by J. V. Mor- 
gan. Rey, Murray was its first 
pastor. Followed by the Rey. 
W. S. Smith, then by Rev. 
Younkin who married Mr. and 
Mrs. Edgar Hildebrand. It is 
to Mrs. Hildebrand, who more 
lovingly is known as ‘Aunt 
Maggie,’’ we owe the church 

Rev. Kellogg is now our 
minister. Attendance at Sun- 

day school for the past year 
has averaged 50. Also there 
has been an active Epworth 
League. Hoover Hildebrand 
was the first superintendent 
followed by George Foster, 
Chester Parry and Charles 
Brown also. served several 
years. Granville Flater is the 
present superintendent. 

Ladies Aid was organized in 
1893 and has been a faithful 
helper to the church down 
through the years. 

A Presbyterian church 
was built about six or seven 
years hefore the present Cedar 
Valley Methodist Episcopal 
church, and stood one mile 
south of the Methodist church. 

Land on which it stood was 
donated by George Robshaw. 
Rev. Porter was the first 
pastor. Ed Brown was superin- 
tendent. This church closed 
many years ago. 

On June 11, 1920, the Ced- 
ar Valley Community club was 
organized by Mrs. Lee H. For- 
syth, assisted by Mrs. A. J. 
Aiterkruse and Miss Guthrie, 
then home demonstration 
agent for the county. It has 
grown from six members to 
fifty. Meetings are held the 
first Wednesday of the month 
at members’ homes. 

Ten women from Goshen 
township or the. Valley help 
make up the Goshen Wapsie 
Farm Bureau chorus. The 
Farm Bureau women are ac- 
tive. Mrs. Edna Hendriks is 
chairman for next year. We 
also have the Farm Bureau 
township meetings. 

Cedar Valley was represent- 
ed “way back when” the gold 
rush was on by Samuel Brand, 
who went down the Mississippi 
river to the coast and then by 
boat to California. He was 

among the more fortunate 
ones; came back, went to 
Pennsylvania for his bride and 
settled in the Valley. 

Our last Civil war veteran, 
George Foster, passed away a 
few years ago. 

Among some of the old 
farms that are still occupied 
by the younger generation are 
the Parry, Hildebrand, Foster, 
Smith and McIntire farms. 
Most of this land was grants 
from the government and has 
been handed down through 
the generations. 

Most of the old land marks 
are gone. Just a few trees 
mark the site of the Presbyter- 
ian church, which was torn 
down some years ago. The old 
Oak tree which stood at the 
cross roads which is now road 
No. 76 is gone. Also the ferry 
over the Cedar river at the 
foot of the Moylan farm. Neo 
longer is it “Lamp Lighting 
Time In The Valley” for all 
the homes, as some 40 or 50 
have electric lights and many 
more will have by next year. 

The Parent Teachers 

A group of parents and 
teachers met in the high school 
auditorium March 30, 1921, to 
discuss organizing a Parent 
Teacher Association. Mrs. Jay- 
ne read a constitution which 
she had been asked to present, 
This was adopted and officers 
were elected: Mrs. Aima Hise, 
pres.; Mrs. Mayme _ Brooke, 
vice pres.; Mrs. Nellie Whit- 
acre, sec.-treas. 

The constitution was revised 
in 1927 and during that year 
the organization became affil- 
iated with the State and Na- 
tional groups. At this time 
there were one hundred fifty 

Early in the year of 1927} 
the association decided to 
sponsor the serving of milk to 
the wnder nourished children 
of the grade building. Other 
children could have milk by 
paying for it. This project has 
been continued up to the pres- 
ent time. 

For the last three years 
the formal programs have been, 

built around the theme sub- 

ject adopted by the national 
organization. These subjects 
have been, ‘The child of today 
in the world of tomorrow,” 
“Character growth,” and ‘The 
parents’ view of modern edu 
eation.” Year books containing 
the year’s program have heen 
given to the members siiuce 

The newly ‘elected officers 
for 1938 are: Carrol Preiss, 
president; Mrs. Lewis Brown, 
vice president; Miss Betty Ann 
Waller, secretary; Miss Willa 
Prange, treasurer. 

-freens were 


Golf Course 

Early in the spring of 1927 
there was talk of golf and the 
possibilities of a course here. 
One day at Rotary, C. H. Me- 
Dermott said, “I’m going to 
play golf this summer and I 
think it is possible for West 
Liberty to have and support 
a course.” This started things; 
a committee was appointed to 
look about and see what the 
possibilities were and they fi- 
nally decided that the John 
Taylor pasture north of town 
would be a fine place. But it 
was rented by Vinton Holmes 
as a pasture. 

In May 1927 a committee: 
C. H. McDermott, R. W. Hink- 
house, Ben Rowlen, Irwin 
Mosher, Ivan Luse, and L. E. 
Lewis contacted Ivan Noland, 
agent for the Taylors, and ar- 
rangements made to take over 
the Holmes lease, possession to 
be given July first. 

Some fifty men were ready 
and willing to do their part, 
so they started cleaning up 
the forty acres, covered with 
heavy timber and tall grass. 
Linn Birkett, Dale Hazelett, 
Everett Richards and Louis 
Whitacre soon had an entrance 
to the course made, trees were 
cut down and hauled away, 
bridges made and finally in 
the latter part of June the 
course was laid out by Cliff 
Rasley of Tipton, Jim Records 
of Iowa City. Mr. Oakley, a 
pro at the Muscatine course, 
and a representative of the 
MacGregor sporting goods 

The first officers were C. 
H. McDermott, president; Iv- 

'an Luse, vice president; C. J! 

Mackey, secretary; and Irwin 

Mosher, treasurer. 

In 1928 the Eastern Iowa 
Golf Association was formed 
by Tipton, Maquoketa, West 

liberty, Marion, Anamosa and- 

Monticello, which is still oper- 
ating and the tournament will 
he held at West Liberty this 

In the summer of 1928 new 
made under the 
direction of Ben Rowlen, and 
Paul Anderson made the first 
“hole in one,” getting his ace 
on No. 2 green. Later in the 
year Earl Hawker got his on 
No. 6. 

Year after year the course 
has been improved and beauti- 
fied, a well was put down ir 
1931 and the expense was 
borne largely by the ladies of 
the club. 

The first annual club tour- 
nament was held in 1927, Car- 
roll Preiss winning the cup in 
the finals with Fred Tiffany. 
Similar tournaments have 
been held each year, some of 
the winners being Earl Hawk- 
er, Harry Lewis, W. L. Watters 
and Ed Nay. 

Of the 110 original mem: 
bers, 40 have either moved 

away or died. Membership at 
this time is 90. The fees have 
never been changed, no assess- 
ments have been made and the 
club is an established success. 

Women’s Relief 


son Post No. 
ized in 1888 

Auxiliary to 

Corps No. 
Silas Jack- 
was organ- 
with a member- 
ship of thirty-three. Mrs. 
Mary Baxter was the last 
charter member to pass away. 

The corps of today is a 
busy group of women, inter- 
ested in child welfare. They 

have donated to the Perkins 
hospital in Iowa City to the 
library for books, toward 
paving the street to the ceme- 
tery. They send boxes of 
fruit, jellies, and cushions to 
the Soldiers Home at Marc- 
shalltown. At Christmas time 
they remember the shui-ia 
members, veterans and Span- 
ish-American soldiers with 
boxes of fruit and candy. 
They served the first Rotary 
juncheons. They have present- 
ed a flag toe each of - the 
churches and a large one to 
the assembly room of the 

high school, the Corps was 
instrumental in placing the 
Soldiers’ monument at the 

The membership at the 
present is forty three. The 

oldest living member is Mrs. 

Sarah Tharp, aged  ninety- 
eight years, the mother of 

two active members. 

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Our Colored Population 

In the early seventies, 
Henry Kelly and his wife Han-- 
nah, resided here. Henry was 
a carpenter. Their daughter, 
Malvina, attended the public 
schools, and finally married a 
barber, by the name of Hus- 
ton. The paternal home shelt- 
ered the young people but 
Malvina was high spirited and 
there were quarrels until Hus- 
ton left home. 

One evening about five 
o’clock, he returned, armed 
with a revolver intent on 

shooting his wife. He knock- 
ed, the door was opened and 
he fired, instantly killing Un- 
cle Henry. 

The city was in a turmoil 
and lynching was proposed. 
The murderer was captured, 
hustled off to prison, given 
trial and sentenced to ten 
years imprisonment. 

The Trusty Family 

Elijah Trusty and his wife, 
both former slaves, owned a 
40-acre tract on South Prairie. 
Many of their children attend- 
ed the Plum Grove school. One 
daughter, Susie, was adopted 
by a neighbor, Mrs. Thorp, a 
typical southern lady. Mrs. 
Thorp said that she thought 
just as much of Susie as she 
did her own daughter Mary. 
When the census taker called 
and asked the number of chil- 
dren, Mrs. Thorp, without hes- 
itation, said that she had three 
sons and two daughters. When 
he asked what color, that was 
not so easily answered but 
Mrs. Thorp satisfactorily ex- 
plained the adoption. Susie 
grew to womanhood, 
and now owns and operates a 
rooming house in the suburbs 
of Minneapolis. 

Ike, one of the many sons 
of the Trustys, when an epi- 
demic of diphtheria prevailed, 
was terribly alarmed and 
wrapped yards of red flannel 
about his neck as a prevent- 
ive. He looked much like a 
turkey gobbler, but the charm 
worked and he escaped the 
dread disease. 

The Tenement House 

An old store building had 
been moved to the present site 
of Gibson’s sales barn and this 
was the center of the colored 
people for a number of years, 
as many as five families oc- 
cupying it at one time. The 
epidemic of diphtheria played 
havoc with the smaller chil- 
dren, and five little ones were 
buried in the potter’s field, in 
a short period of time. This 
old tenement house was occu- 
pied by the Digs, Pattersons, 
Robinsons, Peytons and And- 

Gulliver Wells 
Mr. and Mrs. Wells, one 
time slaves, lived here many 
years and reared two daugh- 
ters,.Anna and Nora, both at- 
tending the public schools and 

married . 

graduating with honors. Anna 
married Gus Hall who was for 
many years handy man at the 
Hise House. 

Dick and Hannah Anderson 

This couple, former slaves, 
will be remembered by the old- 
er generation. Uncle Dick did 
odd jobs, among them black- 
ing boots. He was always a 
Republican when he blacked 
the boots of a Republican but 
he changed to a Democrat 
when the boots belonged to a 

One New Year’s day, a 
Proclamation of Emancipation 
dinner was served by the ne- 
groes of the town, Unele Dick 
being the ring leader, The din- 
ner was cooked in the old rink 
on Third street and served in 
the McClun opera house. Un- 
cle Dick was very helpful in 
carrying the food and gener- 
ous in putting his fingers in 
the gravy. So many of the 
whites attended that the ne- 
groes decided to start a negro 
church, but when it came to 
subscribing the whites were 
backward and the plan was 

When Uncle Dick passed 
away, Tom Rhodes was asked 
to make the funeral arrange- 
ments, which he did. 

Luther Hill was the last ne- 
gro to make West Liberty his 

home. He was an _ ex-service 
Man and when he died the 
American Legion bought a lot 
in Oakridge cemetery where 
he is buried. 


West Liberty lies between 
two branches of the Wapsin- 
onoc Creek, Wapsinonoc being 
an Indian name meaning 
‘“‘crooked’’. Vague lore informs 
us that the Indians declared 
there never would be a cyclone 
anywhere near the lower end 
ot this picked tract. 

However, the question, of 
cyclone is not the theme, as 
it has to do with the swim- 
ming holes afforded by this 
Wapsinonoe creek. The largest 
and most noted of all of the 
swimming holes was used by 
Franklin Barnes, Simeon 
Barnes and Charles’ Barnes, 
and others, (Charles Barnes 
was the father of our towns- 
man Byron W. Barnes). It was 
located in section three of 
township seventy-eight, range 
four, being close to the north 
edge of Muscatine County and 
in the West fork of the Wap- 
sinonoe creek. Along the east 
fork of the Wapsie, slightly 
north of its junction with the 
west branch, was a hole known 
as ‘“‘White’s’’, which for years 
served the youth of the town 
and entire countryside. This 
swimming hole lacked nothing 
of thrills if the sanitary condi- 
tions were not one hundred 
per cent, and the bathing suits 
altogether missing. Traveling 
upward on the east fork of 
the Wapsinonoc at different 
times the following swimming 

holes could be named. 
‘“‘Black’s’? almost directly east 
of the Whitacre Laramie 
“Round” immediately east of 


Seventh street in West Liber- 
ty; “Steep Bank,” immediate- 
ly north of the old Muscatine- 
Iowa City road, and the 
“square” swimming hole about 
one-half mile farther to the 


The first lighting device for 
lighting streets in the resi- 
dence district of West Liberty 
was a privately owned lamp 
post in front of the residence 
of W. W. McClun on the west 
side of North Calhoun street 
at the property where his 
daughter Carrie H. McClun is 
now living. It was installed 
some ten or twelve years be- 
fore the turn of the century 
and was kept lighted by the 
McCluns as a matter of private 
enterprise only. Some years 
later a rather systematic 
scheme of lighting in the resi- 
dence district was in yogue 
and lamp posts stationed about 
two blocks apart were miaiu- 

tained. The lights were gaso- 
line lights requiring genera- 

tion, and the night-watchman, 
as lamp-lighter, would make 
his rounds with a stepladder 
and a blow torch to generate 

the lamps so they could be 
These old gasoline lights 

were eventually replaced by 
arc lamps upon the advent of 
electricity to the town. These 
arc lamps were swung over 
head in the middle of every sec- 
ond street intersection and 
were required to be lowered 
periodically to replace the car- 

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‘Kimberly Memorial Pool and Mary 
Kimberly Park 

Kimberly Memorial swim- 
ming pool was formally dedi- 
cated Thursday evening, June 
24, 1930. Dr. J. A. Saathoff 
of the Presbyterian church, 
representing the Kimberly 
family, presented the pool to 
the town of West Liberty 
and the people of this com- 
munity. and Robert Brooke 
accepted the gift on behali of 
West Liberty. Following the 
dedicatory ceremony at which 
Mayor Walter Mackey presid- 
ed, the junior band of the 
high school presented a ccn- 
cert. Lant Kimberly, son of 
‘Mr. and Mrs. Wilson Kim- 
berly, had the privilege of 
being the first person to en- 
ter the water. 

The pool, considered one 
of the finest in the state, 
was made possible for West 
Liberty by a gift in 1929, of 
312,500, from the late P. L. 
Kimberly trust fund, obtain- 
ed through the efforts of 
the late Mrs. Mary Kimberly 
and her family. 

The pool, which is 155 
feet long by 80 feet wide, 
including the wadimg area 
for smali children, will eas- 
ily accommodate about 300 
persons at one time. On big 
days as many as 500 have 
been in the pool during the 
afternoon and evening. 

Operation and management 
of the pool are vested in the 
city council and the supervi- 

sion is in charge of C. J. 
Mackey, city manager. Ex- 
pensegs and maintenance of 

the pool have amounted to 
approximately $1,500 each 
year since its completion. Al- 
though the pool charges ad- 
mission it is operated to 
meet expenses and not for 

Mrs. Mary Brandt, third 
grade teacher, served as the 
first matron of the swimming 
pool and Maurice Ditmon of 

Muscatine, the first life 
guard, assisted by Lester 
Kimberly. Mrs. Raymond 
Fitzgerald, present matron, 
has held that position for 
the past seven summers and 

John Kimball 
life guard for 

until last year 
had served as 
six summers. James Noland 
and Ernest Creno are _ the 
present guards. 
Previous to the 
the swimming pool 
had been secured from the 
Kimberly fund in 1923, for 
the purchase of land for a 
park and playground for chil- 
dren. This is the Mary Kim- 
berly park at the east edge 
of which Kimberly pool is lo- 
cated. Two years later $2,- 
500 was allowed by the Kim- 
berly trustees for improve- 
ment of the park. This sum, 

gift for 

‘was used for landscaping the 

grounds and for purchasing 
playground equipment. 

Bach summer hundreds of 
patrons, not only from West 
Liberty but from lowa City 
and other nearby commun- 
ities visit Kimberly Menior- 
ial pool and enjoy picnics in 
Mary Kimberly park. 


That all nine children in the 
Charles Wolf family, eight 
sons and one daughter, are 

gradnates of the West Liberty 

high school: Ralph C., Wade 
P., John Clark, Kenneth N., 
Herbert Ivan, Howard M., Ray- 
mond G., Robert H., and Alice. 
The two latter boys are twins. 


The Morris family has been 
in business in West Liberty for 
three generations. Vincent 
Morris came here in 1854 and 
started ohe of the first stove 
and tin shops in the town, on 
the site where the Morris 
building stands, in which the 
Star drug store is now housed. 
In 1887 he and his son Clar- 
ence became partners in the 
hardware business, selling out 
to Ben Smith and A. H. tloyd 
in 1898, at which time Vincent 
Morris retired trom business. 

Clarence W. Morris then 
started up in the restaurant 
and grocery business which 
was the beginning of the C. 
W. Morris Department Store. 
Gradually he added one de- 
partment after another, plac- 
ing Sarah Morris in charge of 
the dry goods, Walter Mosher 
in charge of the furniture and 
hardware. Oscar Morris was 
buyer tor the clothing depart- 
ment, Arlie Morris, for the 
grocery. The bake shop was 
managed by Jack Alexander, 
the meat department by Joe 
Mundy, the drugs by George 
Embree and the creamery by 
Rodney Weeks. In addition to 
the store his produce business 
was managed by George Hor- 

Since the death of C. W. 
Morris in 1922, the business 
has been carried on under the 
management of his son, Lewis 
V. Morris for the partnership 
of Venita M. Nolte and L. V. 
Morris. Recently he sold the 
hardware department to J. D. 
Harhart and the drug store to 
A. E. Oslund. The meat depart- 
ment is owned by Faris Shu- 
man. The Morris Store now re: 
tails groceries, dishes, furni- 
ture and rugs. 


Who's Who 

Nationally prominent per- 
sons who were either born or 
lived in West Liberty, receiv- 
ing their education at our 
public school and listed in 
““America’s Who’s Who,” are: 

Wade Crawford Barclay, 
church official, born in West 

‘Liberty, Aug. 8, 1874, a son 

and Emily H. 
Barclay. He is the executive 
secretary of the Joint Com- 
mission on Religious Educa- 
tion in Foreign Fields, a lec- 
turer on religious education 
at the Garrett Bible Institute, 
Evanston, Il!. Author of sev- 
eral religious books. Married 
May Hartley of Los Angeles. 

Lucy Scott Bower, born at 
Rochester, Iowa, January 18, 
1864, the daughter of James 
Y. and Hannah Haight Scott. 
Graduate of West Liberty 
high school. Became an artist; 

of Crawford 

author in a minor vein of 
verse. Her paintings have 
been hung at the University 

of Iowa, the local library and 
high school. Her home for 
many years was at the Pen 
and Brush club, New York. 
Died abroad. 

Harry O. Buckman, born at 
West Liberty, Iowa, on July 
4, 1883, the son of Charles E. 
and Louisa M. Buckman. He 
is an expert in soil technol- 

ogy and an instructor in the 
Cornell university at Ithaca, 
N. Y. Graduated from the 
West Liberty high school. 
Married Rita Mae Shannon 
of West Liberty. 

Edgar Stepheson Furniss, 
son of Rev. George and Ann 
Jane  (Stepheson) Furniss; 
born at Hunter, N. D., April 

1, 1890, lived in West Liberty 
for many years and gradua- 
ted from the high _ school. 
Economist, professor of polit- 
ical and social science. Au- 
thor. Dean of the graduate 
school at Yale. His home is 
Whitneyville, Conn. 

Jesse Holmes, born in West 
Liberty, January 5, 1864, a 
son of Jesse and Sara Morgan 
Paxson Holmes. Professor at 
Swarthmore College, Pa. Au- 
thor of several religious 
books, writes verse for maga- 
zines. Lives at Moylan, Pa. 

Wilbur Wilson, son of 
Mathias and Ruth Mosher 
Wilson, born in West Liberty, 
July 6, 1881. Married Tressa 
May Stewart of West Liberty 

in 1905. Is head of the De- 
partment of Engineering re- 
search at University of Illi- 
nois at Urbana. Graduate of 
West Liberty high school in 
1897. Home in Urbana. 
John H. Maxson, son of 
William G. and Alice Chese-~ 
bro Maxson, professor at the 

California Institute of Tech- 
nology. Listed in ‘‘Who’s 
Who” in science at the age of 
24 years. Was educated at the 
West Liberty high school. 


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“Trotters will always be a 
drawing card to any fair,’* 
said Harold Childs,  well- 
known in West Liberty, and 
also as well-known over the 
United States, to horse fan- 
ciers and trainers. ‘‘Persons 
who don’t know much about 
horses and races like to see a 
race. Lots of people don’t 
care for speed but they like 
to witness the contest in the 
field. : 

“You know,” said Childs, 
“TI was convinced of this fact, 
when I was in Lexington, Ky., 
watching a mule race, made 
up of four little mules and 
their riders, four nigger 
boys. These kids passed out 
their numbers, and the peo- 
ple in the crowd picked their 
number. The race wasn’t 
fast, of course, and they were 
all close in the finish. That 
crowd went panicky, espec- 
jially after the finish; such 
cheering and tossing up of 
hats; I never have seen any- 
thing like it. This convinced 
me it isn’t the speed, nor the 
training, neither is it the 
blooded lines, that interests 
the people, but the contest. 
Because all there was to that 
race was contest; no training, 
no speed and certainly no 
outstanding breed, just plain 
mule, with the combination 
of a nigger kid for a rider. 
And the way those kids rode. 

As a man who has spent 
his entire life in the training 
of colts, and has given more 
colts a breeder’s record than 
any other trainer in the Unit- 
ed States, it is worth ones 
time to know a little of Har- 
old Childs, born Feb. 5, 1863 
and reared to early manhood 
in West Liberty. 

Mr. Childs was the oldest 
son of William R. and Eliza 
beth Elliott Childs, early pio- 
neers to this place, who ran 
a saw mill for a few years, 
then purchased the implement 

and grain business across 
from the building used for 
many years as the Polders 
shoe store on West Third 

In 1891, Harold left here 

and went to work for Miller 
and Sibley, near Franklin, 
Pa. Here Childs worked witb 
horses and in ‘95, the firni 
sent him with 65 head of 
colts and brood mares to Lex- 
ington, Ky., where he worked 
until 1899. 

In these few years there, 
Childs met one of the world’s 
best trainers, Charles Marvin, 
who came from Palo Alto, 
Cal., where he had been train- 
ing for Governor Stanford, to 
work for Miller and Sibley at 
a salary of $10,000 a year. 

“Then I worked for Sena- 
tor. Bailey 12 years training 
colts, always  trottin’ bred 

“Then I trained colts for 
A. G. Danforth and son of 


Harold Childs and the Race Horse 

Washington, Ill., Also a year 
for the Patchen Wilkes Stock 
Farm, owned by W. E. D. 
Stokes, with the farm located 
at Lexington. A year for Gen- 
eral Watts, Charleston, West 
Va. Three years for Governor 
Jacob Ruppert, who owned two 
of the largest breweries in 
New York, and had a large 
farm near Poughkeepsie, 
where he had a fair ground 
and the grand circuit races, 
raced there every year. His 
son is Col. Ruppert, who owns 

the New York Yankees ball 
Mr. Childs’ life has been 

full of horsemanship, and it 
is only within the last few 
years that he has not been 
training. His last work was 
with 13 head belonging to W. 
N. Reynolds, head of the Rey- 
nolds tobacco company. Mr. 
Childs helped train this string 
and won the Matron stake, 
amounting to $6,000. Bevere, 
a three year old won this and 
placed second in the stallion 

Mr. Childs distinguishes 
between the thoroughbreds 
and trotters, by saying that 
thoroughbreds are the horses 
that the boys ride, they are 

bred in England and have 

Re eae 

The above picture wa3 
taken by the late A. H. Mc- 
Clun in 1888, The mill was 
located two miles east of 
West Liberty and just north 
of the present U. S. Highway 
Na, 6. 


McClun’s notes read, 

been bred there for several 
hundred years. They go a nat- 
ural gait. The trotting horses 
originated in this country, 
and go artifically, as they are 
gaited for speed. 

“Tt takes a lot of science 
to train and balance a horse 
to get a good gait. Some of 
the most important details 
are the toe weights, the shoe- 
ing and the checking of the 
individual’s head.’’ 

Mr. Childs has marked 
many horses, and made a 
world’s record, in the race 

for two year old filly, when 
he drove Helen Hale, and al- 
so the same record for the 
two year old gelding when he 
drove Judge Jones. 

Iowa and especially this lo- 
cality did a great deal of 
good in the horse business. 
Among some of the _ early 
owners and breeders who liy- 
ed in this vicinity, were Amos 
Kimberly, who with a 1,000 
acres of land, owned many 
race horses and a big race 
track on his farm, one track 
a kite shape, the impression 

of which remains today. The 
late Benjamin Hershey of 
Muscatine owned a stock 

farm, Amboy and Fleeta were 
his horses. Then Warfield 

“The ground was a tract out 
ot the south side of the Hud- 

and includes the 
spring that is still flowing. 
I am informed it was built 
by Job and John Palmer, and 
Albert Aikens told me it was 
there in 1856, I have also 

son farm 


Bros., at Muscatine, and a 
Mr. Hayes. George Baldwin 
of this place owned “Brown 
Cedar.’’ Asa Bowersock, own- 
ed ‘‘Wapsie,” a good sire, but 
never raced him any, and Al- 
bert and Amos Whitacre own- 
ed “Senator N.” a son of 
“Wapsie,’’ the colt was nam- 
ed for Senator Pliny Nichols, 
and developed amazing speed 
as a three year old, on his 
30th birthday was driven an 
exhibition mile on the West 
Liberty track with Albert 
Whitacre up. The horse lived 
34% years. Sylvanus Hogue, 
Zed Ellyson, Marvin Fisher, 
Hillis Ady and the whole 
Nichols group all had race 
horses, and good ones. 


In 43 years, Corey Reynolds 
never took a vacation. He 
thought the Rock Island could 
not run without him, for he 
was night yardman, Ticket 
agent, and everything. But one 
night he slipped off the top 
of a frosty box car and sus- 
tained injuries which necessi- 
tated his retirement. 

The truth of it is, the Rock 
Island is still running and 
Corey and his wife, Myrtle, 
spent the past winter in Flor- 
ida where they did some fish- 
ing in the gulf, instead of the 

Wapsinonoc creek. 


learned that the spring water 
was injurious to steam boil- 
ers and caused much trouble 
and explosions.” 

The records show that 
Frank McCune operated the 
mill in 1866. 

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By Margaret C. Jack. 

An old stage coach stop, 
three miles west of West Lib- 
erty, built in 1841 and owned 
now by Mrs. C. J. Mackey, who 
is a direct descendant of the 
Nyce family, who built the 
iirst log cabin in this territory. 
A picture of the Nyce cabin 
appears on the cover of this 

The house has always been 
occupied and kept in good re- 
pair. This is the location that 
was popular in the days of the 
covered wagon, and the road 
of today was once an Indian 
trail, made modern with the 
sharp corners rounded and the 
hollows filled, while the old 
home is much the same. 

Built in 1841, on land deed- 
ed from the government, when 
John Tyler was president, it 
is located on a 196-acre farm. 
Mrs, Mackey came into posses- 
sion in 1904, when her father, 
Lemuel Wiggins gave it to her. 
She has never lived on it, but 
has always rented it. 

Teing an inn in its day, it 
housed many a newcomer and 
weary traveler, in its three 
stories. From the first floor 
to tke third on the north side, 
there is an open stairway, 
winding from the first to the 
third floer. The stair rails and 
casing are of cherry wood. 

In 1854 more than 25 men, 
women and children, spent the 
winter in this house, just as 
it stands today, with the ex- 
ception that what is now the 
garage was then used as the 
kitchen. A large cupola with 
windows on its eight sides, 
served as a lookout, 
Place to hang lanterns, in the 
early day, but in recent years 

and a 


{The Old Tavern 

this was removed because it 
was attracting too many pig- 
eons. Many initials covered its 

There remain four 
fireplaces in the house, 
on the first and two on the 
second. Too, there formerly 
were two large chimneys. 

This was the only house 
around, but the newcomers 
who wintered there in ’54 were 
building other homes nearby, 
One was the Wiggins place, 
farther west. That same win- 
ter there were six deaths oc- 
curred at the inn. 

The dining room, now the 
kitchen, took more than 50 
yards of rag carpet to cover 
the floor, and today the own- 
er says, “It takes a lot of 
wall paper to cover the walls.” 

Among the patrons at the 
inn was Egbert Smith, an ec- 
centric from Maine, who 
brought a lot of gold money. 
He bought a large tract of 
land at $1.25 an acre, includ- 
ing many acres that now lie 
directly west of town, the John 


Stemm farm, formerly the Mrs. 

Elenora Nichols farm, was 
part of it. Smith stayed about 
eleven years, became dis- 
couraged because of slow prog- 
ress, and sold his holdings for 
$2.50 an acre and went to 
California, taking all his mon- 
ey with him and huying Cali- 
fornia land. It dvy there 
and he died land poor. In Cal- 
ifornia he settled about Stock- 
ton, and when irrigation came 
his children and grandchildren 
reaped a fortune. 

Under the siding, the old 
inn is bricked up more than 
haliway. These bricks were 
burned about where the wind- 
mill stands on the Amos Whit« 
acre farm, just west of the 


Gibson Commission Co. 

The P. N. Gibson Commis- 
sion Company was started in 
February 1904 and justly 
claims the first sale held in 
the state where the publia 
was solicited to consign and 
pay a stipulated percent on 
sales. Joe Alvies and P. N. 
Gibson held the first sale on 
the identical lot where the 
business of the P. N. Gibson 
Commission company still op- 
erates, and has been in con- 
tinuous business since start- 
ig, except for a period of 
three years when it was op- 
erated by the Grigg Brothers. 

At first the sales were held 
on Saturdays and Thursdays, 
but for the last nine years 
they have been held on Mon- 
days, and during the entire 
nine years there has been 
but one cancellation. All 
classes and breeds of live 
stock are sold, and in the 
early life of the company the 
horse market was a thriving 
business, The first load of 
horses ever shipped by ex- 
press from West Liberty was 
billed to Lee Coffman, West 
Liberty, Ohio. This load was 
billed out February 1st, 
1912. In February of 1930 a 
sale was heid called the 
“Blue Ribbon Sale” and it 
brought total receipts of $30,- 
000 with top team of mares 
bringing $510; 20 head av- 
eraging $251. On January 
29th, 1910 a team of horses 
sold for $630.00. 

No other business. brings 
the management in contact 
with the rest of the world 
as does the business of pub- 
lic auction sales, and this 
might well be illustrated by 
a time when P. N. Gibson 
asked all his friends by pub- 
lic oral invitation, to come 
to his house for ice cream 

creek bridge on the highway 
west of town. The clay there 
was the best to be found. The 
joists, rafters and framework 
were all hand-hewn out of 
timber near the home, as was 
also the frame for the barn 
on the farm. Work was done 
with an adz, a pioneer tool 
with a blade and a handle, 
some of which had a pick on 
one end. The windows, doors 
and siding were purchased in 
Cincinnati, Ohio, and 
down the Ohio river, up the 
Mississippi to Muscatine, (then 
Bloomington) and across the 
country by oxen. 

Mr. Smith sold his land to 
Jacob Butler and John Junk- 
in. In 1886 Henry Felkner 

bought what is now the Mack- 
ey place. The Felkners are bur- 
ied here and Col. Glenn Hayes, 
warden at Ft. Madison peniten- 
tiary, is a grandson. 

In 1891, Lemuel Wiggins 
bought the Feltner estate and 
he, in dividing his estate 
which extended west, gave this 
to his daughter. 


and cake. There were 600 
there and “Phin” had ice 

cream and cake for all. 

Some of the consigners to 
the sales in its years of busi- 
ness are J. D. Watson, Great 
Falls, Montana; Henry Mar- 
tins, Dorchester, Wisconsin; E, 
L. Siltson, Hazen, N. Dakota; 
Zov. James Carry of Wyon.- 
ing; Chas. Cary, Cheyenne, 
Wyoming; John T. Williams, 
Douglas, Wyoming: bE Roe Sf 
Frank, Brentwood. Tenn.; L. 
J. Beckly, Galesburg, Ilin- 
ois; Leo Maish, Gajesburg, 
Illinois; Fred Barrett of Ne- 
vada, JIowa; Fred Dunbar, 
Galesburg, Illinois; Roany 
Vaughn, Boonville, New 
York; E. A. Walters, Victor, 
jlowa: Co. EF. Brandorn, “Un- 
ionville, Missouri; C. Min- 
ton, Crondon, Wisconsin; 
Wm. Young, River MHead, 
Long Island; Josia Hallack, 
East Orange, N. J. 

At two different times the 
management has conducted a 

winter horse show paying 
$300 in prize money. 

The auction markets have 
grown in popularity until 

88 in the state 
of Towa, and the more mar- 
kets start the bigger the 
business of the Gibson com- 
pany. The Gibson Company 
is a very beneficial husiness 
to the town of West Liberty, 
bringing people here on Mon- 
days frem far and wide. They 

there are now 

handle 85,000 head of live- 
stock a year, pay a labor 
and feed bill of $15,000 a 
year besides the advertising, 
lights, water and the one 
thousand items that keep 
money from rusting, 


Miss Ortha Lane, Ph. D., 
who has been a missionary in 
China since 1919, was born in 
Lone Tree, Iowa, April 18, 
1894, but when a small child 

moved with her parents to 
West Liberty where she was 
graduated from the high 
school in 1912. Continuing 

her education at Cornell col- 
lege, Mt. Vernon, she received 
her B. A. degree. Later Miss 
Lane went to Chicago for a 
year’s training in missionary 
work previous to her going to 

Tientsen, China, M. E. Mis- 
sion, under the Woman’s For- 
eign Missionary bourd. With 
the exception of several ‘fur- 

loughs she has been in China 
working among the women 
and children in North China 
Conference. While on_ fur- 
loughs Miss Lane. attended 
Boston university from which 
she received her M. A. dezree. 
Later majoring in religion at 
the University of Iowa, she re- 
ceived her Ph. D. degree. 

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Early Music in West Liberty 

In all pioneer communities 
the singing school was the first 
musical effort and so in the 
60’s a successful singing 
school was carried on in West 
Liberty, with Mr. Colcord as 

The real musical life of the 
town began with the advent 
of the S. B. Windus family in 
the early 70’s. They were all 
musical and Mr. Windus soon 
organized a brass band. 
Among the players were Will 
Hudson, D. M. Johnson, Ned 

Hounslow, Robert and Joe 
Clark, Harry Shipman, and 
many others. West Liberty 

has had a band from that 
time to the present, reaching 
its peak under the leadership 
of Grant Nichols who had 
traveled with circus and en- 
tertainment bands over the 
country. Harry Shipman was 
the only member of the Win- 
dus band, which he joined 
when 17 years old, who play- 
ed continuously for over fifty 

In about 1874, Miss Flora 
Vincent came from Illinois as 
a piano teacher and after a 
few years married Isaac A. 
Nichols. Together they were 
prominent in all church and 
community music. Mrs. Nich- 
ols is now living in Seattle, 
and.until the age of 85 was 
organist for the mid-week 
service in her church, her 
friends saying, ‘‘No one can 
play our hymns as you do.” 

An early minstrel show 
figured John Hoover, Aaron 
Hise, Ned Hounslow and 

many more. John Hoover was 
the favorite, for he played 
the bones to perfection and 
could sing an Irish song to the 
queen’s taste. His song was, 
“T met her in the garden 
where the _ praties grow.” 
John McCormick made this 
song popular in his late radio 
concerts, more than _ sixty 
years later. 

Aaron Hise was also good 
with an Irish or any dialect 
song. Ned Hounslow’s melt- 
ing tenor was best on the bal- 
lads. Joe Clark sang best the 
Stephen Foster songs with the 
guitar, and Harry Shipman’s 
specialty was the negro spir- 
itual, notably “Old Shady.” 
These four men formed a 
quartet with Mrs. Mary Clark 
as accompanist and director. 

Early orchestra players 
were O. P. Hare, Chet Max- 
son, Ett and Uncle _ Billy 
Chase. 5 

West Liberty has sent out 
three out-standing musicians: 
who became a brilliant pian- 
ist, studied abroad at various 
times and for four years had 
a studio in Flint, Michigan. 

Grace Knight Gibson, a 
daughter of Isaac C. and Ra- 
chel W. (Gibson) Nichols, 
early settlers in this commun- 
ity, after a long musical ca- 
Teer, during which time she 

Dela Windus Bonbright’ 

studied under world-famous 
artists and attained national 
prominence as a_ contralto 

soloist, has returned to her 
birthplace, West Liberty, to 

Mrs. Gibson had been with 
a sister in Kansas City for 
several years when her voice 
was discovered. She was then 
22. For eight years she ap- 
peared as a_ solaist in the 
Congregational church in St. 
Louis, maintaining a _ voice 
studio at the some time, then 
served 14 years at the First 

Church of Christ Scientist, 
St. Louis. 
Aside from studying in 

New York City, she studied 
in Italy under Bragiotti and 
later she coached voice with 
Ricaro Bartelemeis, who had 
been Enrico Caruso’s accom- 
panist for 15 years. 

Mr. Franklin Knight died 
in 1917 and in 1930 she mar- 
ried C. P. Gibson. Following 
a trip to Honolulu they have 
made their home here, where 
through her efforts she has 
directed the Ladies’ Choral 
club, and lends her ability to 
all musical events. 

Robert Macdonald, a grand- 
son of the pioneer, Asa Gregg, 
lived here with his parents, 
Fred and Lillian (Gregg) 
Macdonald, until he was in 
high school, has won renown 
as a soloist and accompanist, 
touring this country and 
abroad with famous artists, 
such as the late Madam Schu- 
mann-Heink, besides appear- 
ing as soloist with symphony 

Robert graduated from the 
Davenport high school and 
later from the Columbia 
School of Music in Chicago. 

During the World War he 
served as a submarine detect- 
or, a duty assigned him be- 
cause of his keen sense of 

For several years he was 
president and director of the 
Columbia School of Music in 

Chicago, and a member of 
the faculty. 
Among those he has ac- 

companied have been many 
Metropolitan Opera _ soloists, 
such as Martinelli and Bonelli. 

He is now vice-president of 
the Chicago Conservatory of 


Aquilla and Ann Whitacre, 
parents of Albert, Amos, Mau- 
rice Whitacre, Mrs. Ross 
Leech and Mrs. L. J. Leeck, 
moved to Iowa in 1865, from 
Morrow, Ohio. 

Aquilla Whitacre was mar- 
ried twice, eight children in 
the first family and five in 
the second. He came to Iowa 
in 1853 and bought 4,000 
acres of land from the govern- 



Distinction of being the 
town’s oldest resident goes to 
Nancy Wilkins, who will be 
99 years old on Sept. 20, 
1938 Her sister, Mrs. Mary 
Kirby was 87 March 31, 1938. 
They are the two surviving 
members of the family of nine 


—Courtesy Muscatine Journal 

children of Samuel and 
Rachel MeMillen, who came 
here in 1861 from Somerset 
County, Pa. 

Mrs. Wilkins is at home 
with her son, Will Wilkins 
and wife, East Fourth street, 
and enjoys good health. 

ment at $1.25 per acre, (sev- 
en sections), eight miles west 
of West Liberty and the bal- 
ance near Lone Tree. He mov- 
ed to Iowa in 1865, buying an- 
other quarter near Downey, 
which became his homestead. 
A few years later, when the 
two daughters were married 
he located them just east of 
the homestead; Maurice was 
located south, making four 
quarters adjoining. Albert was 
located on land bought from 
the government, which was 
near what is known as Scott 
Church, on the present high, 
way No. 6. 

Aquilla Whitacre was 68 
years old when moving to 
Towa. He decided to move be- 
cause his three youngest chil- 
drem were boys and he want- 
ed them to be farmers in the 
new country and was opposed 
to the town of Morrow allow- 
ing breweries and saloons. 

Only 80 acres of the Whit- 
acre land was fenced and 
there were no fences west un- 
til near Iowa City. Indians 

usually came through this 

part of the country about once 
a year, camping near Downey, 
which was quite a _ trading 
center with a flax mill located 

Hunting was plentiful, and 
prairie chickens, wild geese, 
ducks and cranes, sometimes 
almost covered the crop fields. 

The Whitacre family at- 
tended Quaker meeting at the 
church located at North Prai- 
rie Cemetery. Later when this 
church was moved to West 
Liberty where the E. M. Bow- 
man home now stands, a church 
was built a short distance east 
of the present Scott Church 
and on the Whitacre land. The 

bodies from the cemetery ad- 
joining the church ground, 
were moved some years aco, 

to the North Prairie ground. 


That W. W. Anderson is the 
oldest business man now oper- 
ating his store. The Andersons 
came here from Colfax 44 
years ago last April, Friday 

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(Pst ae 

Over three-quarters of a 
century ago the first fair was 
organized and known as the 
Cedar County Agriculture So- 
ciety. It included Cedar Coun- 
ty and those townships in 
Musc¢catine and Johnson Coun- 
ties adjacent thereto. This 
was on Apri] 2, 1859 and the 
meeting was held at school 
house No. 2 in Springdale 
Township. Moses Varney was 
selected as President; M. B. 
Butler and Thomas Leech as 
vice-presidents; Laurie Tat- 
um, Secretary; Emor Rood, 
Corresponding Secretary; Eli- 

sha Todd, Treasurer; J. H. 
Painter, J. Smith, Thomas 
James, John Thomas, and 

James Crozier as the board ot 

M. V. Butler offered his 
barn and lots for the first 
fair and it was held there on 
Oct. 6 and 7, 1859. Ephriam 
Robinson got out the first 
premium list, and there were 
188 entries. Receipts for the 
year were: Membership $74.- 

00; State Aid $74.00, and 
gate receipts, $27.15; total 
$175.15. Of this amount 

$86.90 was paid out for pre- 

miums. The second fair was 
held Sept. 20 and 21, 1860, 
the next Sept. 19 and 20, 

1861, and the fourth on Oct. 
9 and 10, 1862. 

Early in the year 1863 a 
group at Tipton filed articles 
of incorporation endeavoring 
to move the fair to Tipton. 
However our group would not 

consent so withdrew and on 
January 24, 1863 organized 
the Union District Agricul- 

ture Society whose first fair 
was held Sept. 28-29, 1863, 
near the bridge of the middle 

branch of the Wapsie on the 
road from West Liberty to 
Springdale, one-sixth mile 
north of the county line. The 
officers were Moses Varney, 
president; J. M. Wood, sec- 


— Liberty Fair 


sac ames 

& cate, Sit 

lyn ste ™ TEE |  abtctas teen wre 


retary and J. 4H. Painter, 
treasurer. At the meeting 
Dec. 3, 1863 E. W. Hughes, 

John Marsh and Laurie Tatum 
were appointed to purchase a 
suitable piece of land for the 
fair grounds. Asa Gregg is 
listed as treasurer in 1863, 
and continued in that office 
for a number of years. 

Feb. 13, 1864 they pur- 
chased the 40 acres, being 
the S. E. % of the N. E. 

of See. 35. Twp 79N. Range 
4 West, for $400.00, paying 
one-half at the time. This lo- 
cation joined the tract of 
land where the fair was held 
the previous year and contin- 
ued to be the location until 
1872 when they voted to sell 
it’ »-to ie Henderson for 
$1000.00. On Jan. 20, 1872 
they leased the grounds now 
occupied, from W. C. Evans 
for a term of ten years at an 
annual rental of $50.00 for 
the four weeks. The first fair 
held on the present grounds 

was Sept. 25, 26, and 27, 
The first things they did 

were to improve the grounds, 
prepare a good premium list 
and to make a race track. To- 
day these still stand out as 

marks of achievement. 

In 1881 the land was pur- 
chased by the Park Associa- 
tion. The presidents of the 
association have been Moses 
Varney, William CC, Evans, 
Zadok Ellyson, S. S. Gavr'se, 
John A. Evans, Phinées Nich- 
ols, Thomas Birkett 4. 1. 
Brooke, George WHeppenstall, 

Albert Whitacre, ftlenry Neg- 
us, J. I. Nichols, Eb. Fogg, W. 

P, Nichols, J. Ui. Peters, J.C: 
Nichols, C: PP. Gibson, C. G. 
Rrown, W. W. Anderson, W. 
E. Fogg, V. H. Birkett, L. B. 
Halstead, W. C. Anderson, A. 
L. Dice, W. W. Watters, E. 
CG Kerr RasR, SwWrehe, - and 
Leslie Steen, and the secre- 

~ rf bs 
sie il te ba Sob m Reed 

taries, Laurie Tatum, J. M. 
Wood, A. F. Keith, J. S. Tay- 
lor, A. Shaw, Jas. Morgan, E. 
P. French, Geo. Shipman (16 
years), W. M. McFadden, W. 

S. Luse, E. L. Henderson, H.. 
O. E. Hogue, 

N. Macdonald, 
W. H. Shipman (25 years), 
Walter Light, J. M. Addle- 
man and Ray Wuestenberg. 

P. N. Gibson was for more 

than 25 years a starter of the. 

horse races for which this 
fair is noted, as it has one 
of the best half-mile tracks 
to be found. 

The late Senator J. I. Nich- 

ols was the father of the 4-H 
club work in our fair ably 
assisted by the late W. P. 
Nichols. Baby Beeves were 
their specialty. 

Another man _ very neces- 
sary for many years was 

Grant Nichols, upon whom de- 

pended the music for the 
fair. His experience with 
Ringling Bros. circus made 

him valuable, especially when 
free attractions came. 

The women of the commun- 
ity have always been a great 
help in the life of the fair 
and we find in 1875 the Mes- 
dames Amos Kimberly, S. S. 
Gause, Stephen Chase, E. H. 
Dillingham, S. W. Jacobs, A. 

Fulton, A. B. Cornwall and 
Henry Mosher. 

In the beginning, the fair 
was for two days; in 1865 it 
was increased to three and 
it is now a four-day fair, with 
night attractions. 

This Union District Agri- 
cultural Society is indeed an 

asset to this community; its 
investment in property is ov- 
er $50,000.00, and it pays 
premiums every year, in full, 
amounting to thousands of 
dollars. Once a picnic place 
in days of the horse and bug- 
gy, it is the Homecoming 
event in the days of autos. 



aati. bias. 

au i 
ORS aaa Tat 

pee § 


Thomas Richards, with his 
family, came down the Ohio 
river and up the Mississippi by 
boat, landing at Davenport in 
1851. From thence, before the 
days of the railroad, they trav- 
eled to Rochester where they 
located. They lived in this vi- 
cinity many years while he was 
engaged in operating a flour 
mill owned by Mr. Baily. 

Seven children were born to 
Thomas and Jane Richards. 
One of the sons, Devol, enlist- 
ed in the Civil War at the out- 
break. He was with Sherman 
on his memorable march to 
the sea, and saw much sery- 

Three grandchildren, Mrs. 
Lilla McFadden, Harry Rich- 
ards and Bert Richards are 
still living in West Liberty, 
which was pioneered by their 


An auction of tables, pool 
tables, and chairs, May 2. 
1936. marked the dissolution 
of the Never Sweat club, one 
of the oldest organizations of 
West Liberty. 

The Never Sweat club was 
a group of retired farmers 
who wanted a club room of 
their own. Of a membership 
of 49 men only five, Joseph A 
Heath, Amos Whitacre, Hor- 
ace Klotz, Fred Wolf, and J. 
W. Ruess, were active when 

the club disbanded. 

The officers of the 31 char- 
ter members were, Dr. C. B 
Kimball, president; W. M. 
McFadden, vice-president; Dr. 
W. B. Jayne, secretary; How- 
ell Hise, treasurer. 


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O STEPHEN MOSHER History of the 
pera House FAMILY : 
| nalts ike Fortnightly 
In 1910 the present West . Clyde Wells and Peart Hugh Mosher, son of Steph- e 

Liberty opera house was’ Probst furnished music. en Mosher, came to America Literary Club 
noord at a yeti moo The first show held under from England, settling at — 
Sopetan peteelotion, Mae! Mr. Maxson’s lease wat Dartmouth, Mass., where he tna ; 

‘ bre , . | Naney’’ a musical drama, was married. Records show he The Fortnightly Literary 
stock subscribed by members on pecember 19th 1910. The Club of West Liberty was or- 

of the Knights of Pythias 
lodge. The first floor was us- 
ed for an opera house and 
second floor by the Knighis 
of Pythias and Pythian Sis- 

The first show to be held 
in this opera house was a 
benefit piay, the funds gcing 
to buy the equipment. Will 
Maxson had leased the opera 
house and he, with C, A. 
Nichols, and G. B. Embree 
were to have charge of the 
play. Ivan Noland had charge 
of the ticket sale. ‘‘The Trav- 
cling Salesman’ was the 
play. It was held on Tues- 
day. December 6th, 1910. 
The ticket sale opened at 2 
o'clock p. m. on the 30th 
day of November and by 6 
p. m. half of the seats were 
sold, the price being $1.50, 
$2.00 and $2.50. “Fig’’ Mor- 
ris was the first ticket pur- 
chaser and he took the front 
row in the balcony, 21 seats. 
He locked up his store and 
they all attanded. The house 
seated 763 people. The total 

sales for the nignt were $1,- 

112.00. The Crescent Five 
composed of C. N. Rowley, 
Archie Ditmars, Elmer and 


: | en STS ae 

Ge ad 

house was entirely sold. 

Since that time the opera 
house has ceased to have 
road shows, and has_ been 
turned into a moving picture 
house known as the Strand 
now operated by Paul To- 


The first rural telephone 
line to connect with West Li- 
berty came from the town of 
Springdale in the year of 
1906. The poles for this seven 
miles of line were of native 
oak that was grown Near the 
banks of the Cedar river and 
were purchased of Tillmon 
Todd, a resident of Springdale. 
Stock at $10 per share was 
subscrived for the purchase of 
material, while the stockhold- 
ers donated their labor for its 
construction. The first rural 
phone was placed in the home 
of Frank T. Gibson who was 
instrumental in _ establishing 
the line. Soon after the con- 
Struc*ion of this pioneer im- 
provement, many other lines 
were built. 

errs ? 


purchased land in 1689. Des- 
eendants from this family 
moved to New York State. 
Stephen Mosher, of the sixth 
generation removed from 
Hugh Mosher, was born in 
New York State in September, 
1806. At the age of twelve 
years he moved with his par- 
ents to Ohio. He was married 
to Ruth Smith in. 1828, she 
also a native of New York. 

In 1853, with their family 
of eight children, they came 
overland in covered wagons 
and settled ‘on a farm three 
miles northwest of West Li- 
berty, now occupied by Mar- 
garet Younkin. The children 
of this family were Elizabeth, 
who married Isaac Schooley. 
Six of her grandsons and their 
families, all sons of the late 
P. M. Schooley, live in this 
vicinity. Hannah Mosher be- 
came Mrs. James Barclay. Her 
son, W. J. Barclay, is a resi- 
dent of West Liberty. Two 
granddaughters also live here, 
besides great grandchildren. 
Ruth Mosher became the wife 
of Matthias Wilson and set- 
tled on a farm on South Prai- 
rie now owned and occupied 
by her son, Grant Wilson. 
Henry Mosher married Hen- 
rietta Gibson and settled on a 
farm adjoining that of his 
father. One daughter, Mrs. 
May Myers, is a resident of 
West Liberty with her son 
Harold. A daughter-in-law, 
Mrs. Walter Mosher, with two 
of her children, Mrs. Lysle 
Holmes and Irwin Mosher, are 
also local residents. Mrs, 
George Kirby and sister, Mrs. 
Earl Lindle, granddaughters, 
are residen‘s of this vicinity. 
Irwin Mosher and son are the 
only descendants of this fam- 
ily in this locality who bear 
the name of Mosher. Mary 
Mosher became Mrs. Backburn 
Vore and “settled in West 
Branch. Esther Mosher mar- 
Tried Wellington Eggleston and 
moved to Colorado. Bethiah 
Mosher became Mrs. Archi- 
bald Sinclare and died in early 
womanhood. Lemuel Mosher 
(the author of “Log Cabin 
History’’) married Lidorana D. 
White. They were the parents 

of six children, two of whom 
are living: Henry Mosher, of 
Muscatine, and. Martin lL. 

Mosher who lives in Urbana, 
Ul. and is connected with the 
University in crop extension 

The descendants of Stephen 
and Ruth Mosher (who were 
of the early group of Friends 
or Quakers belonging to the 

ganized in 1902, by Mrs. Clara 
Hughes and Mrs. Julia Picker- 
ing, and became federated the 
same year. 

The first meeting was held 
September 29th, 1902 at the 
home of Mrs. Mary A. Dit- 
mars with Mrs. Belle McElravy 
as president, Mrs. Inez Wood- 
ruff vice-president, Mrs. Eva 
Clark secretary, Mrs. Sylvia 
Penn Miller corresponding sec- 
retary, and Miss Caroline Mc- 
Clun treasurer. 

The club has a limited mem- 
bership of twenty-five. There 
are 17 living charter mem- 
bers, All except two are scat- 
tered from one coast to the 
Other, however, there are no 
charter members taking active 
part in the club today. 

One of the members has 
been active in the club work 
since 1904 and two since 1908. 

In 1905 the club undertook 
to raise money for the book 
fund for the new Carnegie Li- 

brary, which had just been 
built. A Novgorad Fair was 
given sponsored by them, with 
the help of several other or- 
ganizations. The result was a 
book fund of $500.00. 

In 1911, $25.00 was given 

to the school board to buy 
equipment such as swings, tee- 
ter boards, sand-boxes and 
slides, for the grade building. 

April 26th, 1915 the elub 
decided to sponsor a little 
Belgian boy by the name of 
Jean Vanderyver and  abount 
$25.00 was sent to the Belgian 
Relief Fund for his care. 

Our 25th anniversary was 
held on September 26th, 1927 
at the home of Mrs. Pauline 

The present officers are, 
President, Mrs, Lucy Picker- 
ing Nichols; vice president, 
Mrs. Jessie Easson Brooke. 
corresponding secretary, Mrs. 
Bertha Propst, treasurer, Mrs. 
Pearl Irey. 


That in the D. C. Anderson 
family, Jessie, (deceased), 
Margaret, Mary, Elizabeth, 
Carolyn, Helen, Rober*. alum- 

ni of the West Liberty high 
school, two were valedictor- 
jans, one salutatorian, one 

third high. 

organization of that time dat- 
ing back to 1862) are now 
scattered from Maryland to 
California, from Louisiana to 
Canada, and one great grand- 
son is teaching agriculture in 

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First Presbyterian 

Rev. C. F. Beach, a minis- 
ter from New York state was 
sent here in 1857 and on Oc- 
tober 4th -of that year or- 
ganized the church with five 

’ members, including himsel? 
and wife. There were neither 
church, school house or pub- 
lic hall in the little village 
and all public meetings were 
held in the combined freight 
and passenger railway depot, 
ard it was there that Rev. 
Beach held the first Presby- 
terian meeting in West Lib- 
erty. During the spring and 
summer of 1857 he held serv- 
ices west of town, and at the 
railway depot. Later in the 
year the town donated two 
lots at Fifth and Clay streeis 

as 2. “location for a. new 
church. On this. site’ the 
building was erected. 

A small band of ardent 
workers labored together 
with their pastor against 

many hardships and very lit- 
tle progress was made. Rev. 
Beach was succeeded in the 
fall. of 1858 by Rev. J. Hi. 
Scott. The church was with- 
out a pastor during 1862 
and 1863 during which time 
the chapel was used as % 
schoolhouse. In 1864 Rey. 
Samuel J. Mills became the 
minister; he was followed by 
Rey. Alexander Porter, then 
Rev. A. Tanner, and in 1875 
by Rev. Frederick A. Shear- 

A new church was built 
and dedicated in December 
1876. This building was sub- 
sequently destroyed by fire 
and a new building was 
erected in its place. In 187% 
came Rev. N. W. Thornton, 
and in 1882 the church he- 
gan to go on its own resourc- 
es, having up to this time 

received financial assistance 
from the Board of Home 
Missions. In 1884 came Kev. 
O. TT, Langfit. and on Sun- 
day February 26, 1888, the 
ehurch property was again 
destroyed by fire. The trus- 

tees of the chuich and its 
supporters met in the office 
of George C. Shipman and 

plans for rebuilding were 
immediately launched. The 
new building, which © still 

stands, was built during the 
summer and was dedicated 
September 2nd, 1888. The 
Rev. Langfit remained pastor 
of the church for fourteen 
years, then came Rev. George 
Furniss, Rey. F. M. Dowiin, 
Rey. Robert MeclInturff, Rev. 
W. T. Walker, Rev. J. A. 
Saathoff, Rev. J. H. Mahaffy, 
Rev. C. EB. Burdine and the 
Rev. He) Aw Larsen, | The 
church at the present time 
embraces an active member- 
ship of over 209, 


The above building was built 
in 1867 at the southwest corn- 
er of Calhoun and Third for 

Elisha Schooley and was for 
many years known as the Ma- 
sonic Temple, as the lodge oc- 
ecupied the second floor. The 
first floor was used by Mr. 
Schooley as a furniture store, 
while his son James used the 
basement as a repair and cab- 
inet shop. It was here the 
first caskets used in this com- 
munity were made. 

In 1892 the Masonic order 
built the addition to the west. 

In 1894 the post office leas- 
ed the first floor, on the corn- 
er, and it continued to be the 
office until Dec. 1937. 

\\ on OSH ABE 

The Woman’s Christian 
Temperance Union was or- 
ganized at West Liberty July 
Lia 922. 

The following were char- 
ter members: Miss Anna 
Kleist, Miss Celeste Miuler, 
Miss Carrie McClun, Mrs. 
Robert McInturff, Mrs. H. . 
Carr, Mrs. Mary <A. Mills, 

Mrs. Lyda Taylor, Mrs. Susan 

In January 1923 the state 
president Mrs. Ida B. Wise 
Smith had charge of a parlor 
meeting held at the home of 
Mrs, Carrie Hill. 

Mrs. Mary Mills was a 
most efficient president for 
a number of years. Since 
Late MYre nC tte ite wba 
served as president. 

After the death of Mrs. 
Mary Flater in 1931, the Un- 
ion established a Memorial 
fund in her honor which is 
sent to the Council Blufis 
Christian orphanage, a home 
in which she took much in- 

Grocery Site 

The building now oecupied 
by W. W. Anderson holds the 
record as a grocery store. The 

first one to run a grocery 
store there was Mr. Walton 
who sold to A. Cooley in 
1878, who sold to W. A. 

Swain and C. D. Gibson. They 
dissolved partnership in 1887 
and W. A. Swain operated it 
until he sold to Lee Tharp 
(father of Roy and Fred) who 
resold it to A. Cooley from 
whom W,. W. Anderson pur- 
chased it April 13, 1894. 

Dr. Hinkhouse 

Dr. Myrtle J. Hinkhouse, 
daughter of R. W. and Anna 
Smiley Hinkhouse, was born 
on a farm near Wilton but 
has made her home in West 
Liberty for many years. She 
attended country school; was 
graduated from the German- 
English college at Wilton; 
later was graduated from 
Grinnell college where for 
two years she was a member 
of the Student Volunteer 
Band, a missionary organiza- 

In preparation for medical 
service, she attended the Wo- 

man’s Medical college of 
Pennsylvania from which she 
was graduated in 1914, tak- 
ing her internship at the 

New York Infirmary for wo- 
men and children. While 
there she received her ap- 
pointment to China from the 

Presbyterian Board of For- 
eign Missions and sailed in 
January of 1916 she was 

first located at Teugchowfu, 
Shantung province, where she 
studied the language, assisted 
a Chinese doctor, and had the 
medical call of the two mis- 

sionary groups at that sta- 
In 1918 she was sent to 

Peking to teach in the Union 
Medical college for Women 
and was made a member of 
the Presbyterian Mission Hos- 
pital staff which consisted 
of one other American wo- 
man doctor and one Chinese 
doctor. They also conducted 
the school of nursing which 
was the first one opened in 
north China. 

Since 1924 Dr. Hinkhouse 
has been at Paoting. Foliow- 
ing the martyrdom of Dr. and 
Mrs. Hodge and Dr. Taylor 
there during the Boxer up- 
rising in 1900, two memorial 
hospitals have been built and 
dedicated to the Lord. These 
have been consolidated under 
the Taylor Hodge Memorial 
and have 12.0 beds. 

Today a staff of Chinese 
doctors and nurses are carry- 
ing a large part of the work. 
Here Dr. Hinkhouse finds 
great joy in service. She is 
head of the obstetrical de- 
partment, conducts out clin- 
ics, is on call for general hos- 
pital service, including emer- 
gencies night and day. She is 
treasurer and is responsible 
for much of the hospital man- 
agement. She also teaches in 
the school of nursing. 

In all. her contacts which 
includes access to the homes 
of the rich and poor, she car- 

ries on a definite religious 
work. She considers herself 
fortunate above most women 

to have had so large a part 
in meeting the physical and 

spiritual needs of so respon- 
sive a people. 
West Libertv is justly 

proud of Dr. Hiknhouse and 
wishes her Godspeed as she 
returns to her work in June 
of this year. 



When Henry Polders, then 
Mayor, directed the removal of 
all out houses for the big bon- 
fire the night the Armistice 
was signed. 

The largest attendance ever 
at the West Liberty fair. It 
was Aug. 25, 1920. 

The day the Liberty Bell 
stopped here on its way to San 
Francisco in 1915. 

When Theodore Roosevelt 
spoke from the train at the 

When the livery stable burn- 
ed in 1898. 

When the Hise house burn- 
ed May 20, 1893. 

When the depot 
Aug. 1, 1897. 

The first lumber yard, run 
by W. C. Evans, then Lew 

The first flour mill run by 
John Russell. 

The first tailors were Silas 


Buckingham, then John Pot- 

The first drug store run by 
Z. N. King. 

The first drygoods store run 
by Reece Lewis. 

The first hardware 
run by V. Morris. 

The first cobbler 
La France. 


was John 

The first boot and _ shoe 
maker was Peter Polders. 

The first grocery store run 
by Peter Heath. 

The first postmaster was 
Francis Foot, . then Peter 

The first white man buried 
bere was Oliver Atwocd. 

The first married couple 
was John D. Wolf and Mary 
Ann Bagtey. 

The first child 
Louise, daughter 
Corns in 1837. 

bern was 
of William 

Newspaper Clippings 

Muscatine Journal— 

“The first secretary of the 
West Liberty fair, who serv- 
ed in that capacity for the 
first five years of the associ- 
ation’s existence, was also the 
guardian for ex-president, 
Herbert Hoover, following 
the death of the latter’s par- 
ents in West Branch. , 

He was Laurie Tatum, of 

Springdale, who in 1859 was 
one of the leaders of this 
community with vision and 

enterprise and who 
ed in planning and forming 
the organization which has 
continued for three-quarters 

of a century. 

When Hoover was orphan- 
ed, Mr. Tatum was appointed 
by the courts as guardian for 
the man who later was to 
become the first president of 
the United States to come 
from the state of Iowa.” 


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Legal Profession in West Liberty 

So far as the memory of 
man and meager records can 
tell, the first man to hang 
out his shingle as a lawyer 
tor the people of West Liber- 
ty and the surrounding coun- 
tryside was Freeman Alger. 
He was born in New York 
state Feb. 21, 1808. When a 
young man he migrated 
from New York ‘to Ohio and 
then to Iowa. It is thought 
that he came to West Lib- 
erty in the 1840’s. 

Needless to say the serv- 
ices of a full-time lawyer for 

the few scattered settlers 
here then was not required, 
and. so Freeman Alger was 

first and primarily a farmer, 
living about a mile north of 
town. However. if his neigh- 
bors needed legal advice they 

went to see him and he 
guided them through their 
difficulties in a creditable 

manner. In 1858 he served 
in the state legislature at Des 
Moires where his counsel and 
advice were often sought. 
Farmer, lawyer, statesman,-— 
that was Freeman Alger, a 
typical example of the ver- 
satility, breadth and charac- 
ter required of our early pio- 
neers. It is thought that he 
died in the 1860’s. 

Hezikiah Pirson Alger, son 
of Freeman Alger, was ad- 
mitted to the bar and prac- 
ticed law in West Liberty a 
few years. He died in 1858 
at the age of twenty-five. 

J. H. Bane was the next 
legal representative to appear 
in West Liberty. It is 
thought that he came from 
Kansas in about the year 
1870 and practiced law here 
for about ten years. 

J. Loring Brooke 
the practice of law in West 
Liberty in 1874 and K. O. 
Holmes came in about 1878. 
Holmes and Brooke’ then 
formed a partnership and 
practiced law together for a 
few years. Holmes Jater mov- 
ed te Creston, Iowa, and then 
to Kearney, Nebraska, where 
he became a very successtul 
lawyer. J. Loring Brooks 
had many other interests in 
the smail and growing com.- 
munity to which he devoted 
a part of his time, aside 
from the practice of law. 
For a time he was interested 

in the cattle business and 
later in the banking  busi- 
ness where he_ served as 
president of the old Peo- 
ples State Bank. He _ served 
as mayor of West Liberty 
for one term and. practiced 
law intermititantly up until 

the time of his death in 

E. M. Warner came _ to 
West Liberty in about 1884 

and ovracticed law here for 
six years, during which time 
he was elected county aitcr- 
ney. He moved to Muscatine 


in 1890 where he became one 
of the outstanding trial law- 
yers in the county, 

C. A. W. Kent came toi 
West Liberty and started the 
practice of law here in about 
1884. He left in 1892, mov- 
ing to Muscatine where he 
practiced until the time of 
his death. 

Laurence Swem, a jeweler, 
was admitted to the bar but 
never practiced. 

E. C. Nichols opened a 
law office here in about 1889. 
He enjoyed a successful prac- 
tice here but left in 1917 to 
go to Muscatine where he 
became affiliated with the 
firm of Nichols, Tipton and 
Tipton. He practiced law in 
Museatine until the time of 
his death in 1934. 

J. E. MeIntosh began his 
practice in West Liberty in 
1895. He served as mayor of 

West Liberty for fourteen 
years and in the legislature 
for two terms from 1926 io 
1930: Mr. MeiIntosh has 
practiced law in West Liber- 
ty for forty-three years and 
is still actively engaged in 
the practice, 

Robert Brooke, son of J. 
Loring Brooke. succeeded his 
father im the Jaw business in 
West Liberty. He opened his 
office in 1900 and is still 
engaged in the practice. 

Porter P. Black was ad- 
mitted to the bar about twen- 
ty years ago, but has never 
practiced law in West Lib-- 
erty. He is now @ resident of 
West Liberty. 

A. §.  Engbretson, who 
came to West Liberty in 
1918, was admitted to the 
Iowa Bar but never. prac- 

Dorothy Grandjean, while 
serving -aS a_ secretary for 
Robert Brooke, studied law 
privately in his office and 
was admitted to the Iowa 
Bar in 1934. She is now liv- 

ing in Madison, Wisconsin. 
The newest member of the 

West Liberty Bar is Harold 
O. Keele who. started his 
practice here in 1936. 

Don Barnes, som of Mr. 

and Mrs, C. A. Barnes of 
West Liberty, was born here 
in 1875 and was admitted 
to the Iowa Bar in 1900. He 
is now a member of the firm 
of Barnes, Chamberlain and 
Wanzlik of Cedar Rapids 
where he has made an out- 
standing success of his pro- 

Horace KE. Deemer’ was 
born in West Liberty in 
about 1867. He was admit- 
ted to the bar and started in 
his practice in Red Oak. 
There he was soon elevated 
io the District Bench and lat- 
er to the Supreme Court of 
lowa, and not infrequently 
was he mentioned for the 
Supreme Bench of the Unit- 
ed States. He was the author 
of several treatises on the 
law and was known of as one 
of the leading legal scholars 
in the state. 



In the fall of 1864 I met Z. 
N. King at Carthage, Illinois. 
Mr. King’s father lived in 
West Liberty and he wanted to 
come to West Liberty to start 
a drug store and induced me to 
come with him. We went to 
West Liberty and purchased 
the grocery store operated by 

Mr. Burris and located about 
where the Star Drug. store 

now is and started up in the 
drug business. 

I roomed at the Bowlsby 
House owned and operated by 
Lew Bowlby and wife. It was 
the common boarding place of 
Vincent Morris, John Hudson, 
Albert and Abe Keith and 
Reece Lewis. Lew Bowlsby’s 
daughter Abbie became my 
wife in 1867. 

I well remember my _ wife 
telling me of Skillman Alger 
coming home one evening and 
dumping a bunch of gold from 
a pouch, onto the table, around 
which a number of children 
were playing. He said “This is 
the money from the farm. I[ 
sold it for the town site.’’ The 
glitter of the gold was very 
attractive, especially to the 
children, and Mr Alger gave 
to each of the children a piece 
of gold. My wife, who was 
seven years old at the time, re- 
ceived a one dollar gold piece 
which she retained until her 
death a few years ago. 

I also remember Lew Bowls- 
by telling of the first train 

from Davenport to lowa City 
in the year of 1845. It was 
called the Antoine LeClaire 

and he and his daughter Ab- 
bie rode the train from Day- 
enport to Iowa City. 

Charles Regnier. 


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From Horse Opera to Movies 

There are probably very 
few people living who remem- 
ber that our first home tal- 
ent plays, dances and other 
social events were held on 
the second floor of the build- 
ing now occupied by Irey 
and Nichols (S. E. cor. Cai- 
houn and 38rd Sts. 2nd door.) 
Those were the days when 
gatherings of this kind were 
anticipated several weeks in 
advance, there being no tele- 
phones over which to extend 
invitations on a moment's 
notice. Instead of the honk 
of a horn about 19 p. m, and 

a masouline vcice yelling 
“hop in Toots, let’s shag 
along’ to almost any place 

within a radius of a hun- 
dred miles, a swain of the 
60’s was obliged to hitch up 
old Nell and start for his 
lady shortly after his chores 
were done, in order to be at 
the meeting place on _ time. 
Oh, yes, they had_ vrefresh- 
ments after the dances, too, 
but quite different from our 
customary menu of today-— 
just oysters, crackers, pickles 
and COFFEE. 

As this small room, with 
its dark narrow hallway soon 
proved inadequate for the 
needs of the community, the 
members of the Occidental 
Rand (Harry Shipman, Frank 
Sheets, Joe Westland, Joe 
Rogers, Bob Clark, Joe Clark, 
Will Chase, S. B. Windus, 
Will Nichols, Dick Phillips, 
rE. H. M. Hounslow, Ett 
Chase, John Wiley and Grant 
Nichols) agreed to sign 4 
ten years lease on the second 
floor of the building on the 
North west corner of Cal- 
houn and 38rd Sts., built by 
fd Manfull and C. M. Nich- 
ols, provided it could be suit- 
ably arranged to accommo- 
date road shows and town 
gatherings of all kinds. The 
ceiling of the hall was calci- 
mined, the walls painted, the 
woodwork grained and_ the 
room equipped with com- 
fortable chairs, the cost of 
which amounted to about 
$500. <A clipping from the 
paper published at that time 
describes the drop curtain as 
“a German sketch-——St. Goar, 
on the Rhine—a magnificent 
painting that cannot fail to 
win the admiration of every 
lover of art, and which ix 
a credit to the artist.” Re- 
‘member? In the rear, planks 
were laid for what was 
known as ‘peanut. gallery” 
and this, of course, was us- 
ually occupied by the young- 
er set. 

From this time on, Liberiy 
Hall, under the management 
of John Wiley, was consider- 
ed the civic and social center 
of the town. It was here that 
the high school graduation 
exercises were 
such time as the school could 
accommodate them. The Uni- 
tarian Society also used it 


for their meetings. Road 
shows (good ones, too) mada 
regular one and two-week 
stands. Remember: The pre- 
sentation of “The Mikado” 
and “A Pair of Kids?’’ The 
undignified reception given 
the Cherry Sisters during 
their performances? The stock 
company which provided the 
movie machines—-the ones 
with the hand crank? The 
museum? The hypnotist who 
placed the sleeping body in 
one of the store windows 
where it was allowed to re- 
main that the skeptical pup- 
lic might be impressed? 

The various’ dramatie 
groups who presented their 
bit toward the art of acting 
-—"The Woven Web’, ‘Over 
the Hills to the Poor House” 
“Ole Olson”, ‘Strife’, ‘“‘Craw- 
ford’s Claim,” Charley’s 
Aunt,” “My Friend From 
India’, “‘Old Maid’s Conven- 
tion’, “Because She Loved 
Him So”, “All Girl Minstrel, 
in Ebony Warblers” ending 
with a grand cakewalk—all 
produced by the West Liker- 
ty Dramatic Club? Dr. Jayne's 
superior characterization in 
the ‘‘District School?” Clark 
Wheeler as the snake charm- 
er? Art Mead, Roy Mead and 
Robert Boise as acrobats? 
The mid-winter picnic arrang- 
ed by iMr. Wiley, the stage 
being equipped with trees 
and real swings for the kid- 
dies? The elaborate parties 
and dances given by the va- 
rious groups of young people, 
and the Prince Alberts and 
high hats donned for the oc- 
casions by some of the town’s 
most dashing young men? 

In spite of the fact that 
there seems to have been no 
end to the festivities held 
within the walls of old Lib- 
erty Hall, they were not 
staged on a paying basis, and 
as Mr. Nichcls desired his 
half of the space for storing 
Tugs. etc., a partition was 
erected and the community 
organizations were obliged to 
look elsewhere for space in 
which to continue operations. 

A temporary stage was 
then built in the rear of tha 
old skating rink, standing on 
the Maurice Whitacre prop- 
erty (4th St. N. E. of Cal- 
houn) and there dances and 
shows were continued ‘1ntil 
such time as the building 
was moved to the present 
opera house location. 

After a time, this old rink 
was torn down and, with tho 
aid of the Pythian organiza- 
tion, the new . building was 
financed—-now the  properiy 
of the West Liberty Opera 
House Company. Activities 
were carried on here the 
same as before, road shows 
continuing to make regular 
engagements and home tal- 
ents putting in their bid for 
recognition. The music shows 
put on by the American Le- 

A few of the folks at the celebration Noy. 2, 


Sear he 4 
‘ 28g Be SS Se 

Se ahd ai ae, CREE a ERY 


Dedication Pavement and Lights 

With 8,500 free dinners 
and 12,900 guests of the 
town, Tuesday, November 2, 
1915, the more than seven 
miles of brick pavement aud 
boulevard lights, were form- 
ally dedicated in West Lib- 

It was a cloudless autumn 
day, with the largest crowd 
in the town’s history. The 
festivities began early and 
lasted ’til late, with the U. 
5. Marine band arriving at 5 

the top 

were among, 
ranking attractions, 
the house for two. nights. 
With the exception of the 
West Liberty Community 
Players, a newly organized 
group whose members _ teel 
the urge to express their art 
now and then, there has 
been very little call these 
Jast few yars for moving the 
silver screen to the rear of 
the stage. 

This brings us up to the 
more mnodern method of pro- 
ducing plays— the movies. 
About 1908 the Wright 
Prothers operated the first 
movie show on the N. &. 
corner of Spencer and 3rd 
Sts., the first pictures being 
imported and bearing French 
captions, Meyers wag the next 
proprietor who, in a siort 
time, opened up in the pres- 
ent opera house, Then came 
John Miller with road shows 
and moving pictures, then 
Glenn Miller. During this 
change, there was a_ time 
when we were provided with 
a choice of shows, Middleton 
managing a second show in 
the Barkart building (Cal- 
houna near 4th St.) It was sub- 
senueutly sold to John Ifeath. 

The old road shows and 
home talents have died a 
hard death, but West Liber- 
ty is to be congratulated on 
the . high standard of its 
moving picture theater. It 
owes a debt of gratitude to 

the manager, Paul Tobias. 


a. m. from Cedar Rapids. 
During the early part of th= 
day the musicians appeared as 
privates amomg other folks. 
and in their afternoon band 
concert, they entered into the 
spirit of the day at the post 

office corner under the di- 
rection of Lient. Wm. H. 
Santleman. Upon their leay- 
ing they were heard to sar 
“the little town out in Iowa 
where they do things.’ 

The number of autos fig- 

ured 1,200. The program be- 
van at i0 o’clock, with the 
two theaters opening their 
doors with free shows. 

There were 2,600 
of barbecued meat, 
the night before, served at 
noon in the free lunch on 
Third street. The parade was 
led by Mayor C. J. Mackey. 
The W. J. Moylan float won 
first place. A burlesque in 
the parade, was a take off 
on the hoof and mouth 
disease in remembrance of 
an umfortunate case south of 
town and an attempt. to 
create a scare, This was en- 
gineered by the able brain 
of Amos Whitacre. Eddie 
Sloan figured in it with a 
bandaged foot and a terrible 
mouth, chained to a post and 
giving every indication of 
terrible suffering. 


Shortly before 6 p. m., the 
new street lights were turn- 
ed on to complete the day’s 


Chautauqua = elu 
in West Liberty 
for the study of 
literature, and 
ture of the more 

countries.. The length of 
course was four years at 
end of which 
wished took the final examina- 
tion and received diplomas. 

When a 
was formed 
people, cns- 
toms, architec- 

time those who 

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Wapsie’s Largest Family 

The family of Jonas and 
Durinda Purvis Nichols have 
had much to do in develop- 
ing the early history of this 
community. Jonas was boro 
in 1787 in Windom County, 
Vermont, died at the home 
of his son Geo. P. Nichols 
on South Prairie in 1856 and 
is buried in the old cemetery 
just north of town. He mar- 
ried <Asenith and to them 
were born James in 1808, 
Anna in 1812. and Asenith 
in 1814. 

Jonas later married Dur- 
inda Purvis in 1817. ° She 
was born in New York in 
1799, died at West Liberty 
at the home of her daughter, 
Mrs. C. I. Luse in 1874, and 
is buried in the South Prai- 
rie cemetery. To them were 

born ten children, eight in 
New York and two in Mor- 
row County, Ohio, where 
they had immigrated in 
1834. Jonas was a brickmak- 

er by trade, also an extensive 
contractor and taught his 
sons the art of tile and brick 
making. Though he did a 
large business, he did not 
attain financial success suf- 
ficient to give his sons a 
start in life, so in an early 
day they and their father 
came to fowa. Jonas Jr, died 
at the age of nineteen, other 
children were: 

Ira, born 1820, married, 
1843 to Elizabeth Luse, born 
1821. He was a railroad con- 
tractor in Ohio and was the 
first of the Nichols family to 
reach Iowa, arriving in the 
spring of 1853, entering land 
in Wapsinonoe Twp. and lat- 
er moving to West Liberty. 
He was very active in ths 
affairs of the town and coun- 
try and at the time of his 
death was a member of the 
Board of Supervisors. He 
died in 1888, his wife in 
1910. Their children were 
Chasse oi, isasge A» Jay [, 
Pliny C., who died from a 
wound received at Vicksburg, 

Miss., and a daughter who 
died in infancy. 

George P. Nichols, bora 
1822, married Elizabeth St. 

John in Ohio, and immigrat- 
ed to Iowa in 1853, entering: 
land here. He engaged im 
farming and stock raising. 
Their children were: Franvis 
M., Charley W., Duriada, 
Henry C., Clare Belle, Har- 
riet; Ira’ A., James D., and 
U. S. Grant. Mr. Nichols died 
in 2873. Both “he and his 
wife are buried in Oakridge. 

born 1824, mar- 
ried in 1848 to Celynda 
Grandy a native of New 
York. They came to Iowa im 
1856 and entered land in 
Wapsinonoc Twp. He engag- 
ed in farming and was 
extensive purebred stock 
raiser. They had seven chil- 
dren but only five grew tu 

Pliny, in 

an - 

maturity. They were Anna 
L., Geo. S., Benj. A., William 
P., and Linnie. He was a 
member of the house of rep- 
resentatives in the 18th gen- 
eral assembly and elected to 
the senate in the 19th and 
20th assemblies, He origimat- 
ed the bill for the semi-an- 
nual payment of taxes and 
the optional road bill. He 
passed away in 1896. Mr. 
and Mrs. Nichols are buried 
on South Pratrie. 

Phineas was born in 1827, 
married in 1850 to Martha 
Gibson, bom 1832. She was 
native of Ohio. They came 
to Iowa in 1853, entering 
land in Wapsie. They had six 
children who grew to matur- 
ity: Joseph P., Harriet, Lu- 
ra, John Clark, Rosetta and 
liozella (twins). 

Daniel A., born im 1829, 
married in 1856 to Phoebe 
Redfern, born 1837. She was 
a niece of Asa Gregg and 
made her home with him. 
They were married in the 
Gregg home. Daniel worked 
at brickmaking with a broth- 
er Isaac, later purchasing 
land in Wapsie Twp. They 
had ten children: Eva, Lil- 
lian D., Henry L., Maude E., 

Rubert I., Marcus P., Kate 
B., Leona and Louis K. 
(twins) and Fred D. Mr. 
Nichols died in 1891, and his 
wife in 1914. Buried in 
South Prairie cemetery. 
Isaac, born 1831, married 

| erwereeerrrene: 

Sayre EE Ry RD 

yee Oy 



Rachel Gibsan, of Knox coun- 

ty, Ohio, came to Iowa in 
1855. He purchased _jand, 
but was a brick maker by 

trade, so he carried on farm- 
ing and tile and brickmak- 
ing. He enlisted in the war 
of the rebellion, and remained 
until the close. Their children 
were Ella, Ida, William, Ola, 
Ray Roy and Grace. He pass- 
ed away in 1887 at West Li- 
berty, Mrs. Nichols died ia 
1919 in Kansas City, Mis- 
souri. They are both buried 
in Oakridge cemetery. 

Harriet, born in 1823, 
married te Henry Prophet 
and they have aiways lived 
in Ohio. 

William Andrew born in 
1836 at Cardington, Ohio, 
married Adda Parks, born 

1830. They came to Iowa in 
1855 and settled in West Li- 
perty. Their children were: 
Park, Jane and Mary. He en- 
listed in the Civil war, Com- 
pany B. 2nd Iowa Infantry, 
continuing to the close of 
the war. Was wounded at 
the battle of Fort Donnelson. 
lie died in 1997 at West Li- 
berty and Mrs. Nichols died 
im 29005 

Eleanor A., born im 1834 
in Ohio, came to Iowa with 
her mother Durinda Purvis 
in 1855 and was married to 
Cc. I. Luse. Their children 
were James, Walter, Harry 
and Hattie, Mr. Luse passed 
away in 1896. Mrs. Luse in 
1908, both buried in West 

Many descendants of Jonas 
and Durinda live in and 
about West Liberty, and an- 
nually a family reunion is 


Sigh AoE Senn 

ta - rs 
LP ee I oe EE CC 

Phineas Daniel A. 





held at the fairgrounds to 
which more than four hun- 
dred are eligible. The 38th 
annual reunion will be held 
this year. 


By Ray Whitacre 

When the Henderson groc- 
ery was located at the north 
end of Calhoun street, where 

Mrs. Ramge lives. 

When a grocery was located 
at Sixth and Calhoun, where 
Mrs. Gorman now lives. 

When Oak Park was 
Chas. E. Pickering farm. 

When the show grounds 
was in the block east of the 
Mrs. S. G. McFadden home. 

When land east of Clark 
street was the Morgan farm 

When the south end of Elm 
street was at Fifth street. 

When Gray’s Ford, 12 miles 
north of West Liberty was the 
picnicking and camping site 
for West Liberty. 

When a race at the West Li- 
berty Fair between Lewellyn 
and Medora (owned by Geo. 
Baldwin) lasted so long the 
people in the grandstand had 
to light matches to see the 

When the town pulmp was 
located in the intersection of 
Calhoun and “Third _ streets, 
and had a band stand above it. 




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Wapsie Settlement Pioneers 




Galentine Gatton was born 
in Maryland in 1799. About 
1812 his parents emigrated to 
Ohio when the state was most- 
ly a vast wilderness, and set- 
tled near Bellville in Rich- 
land County. There he mar- 
ried Sarah Hendrickson. In 
the summer of 1837, they 
started west with their little 
family,, and traveled across 
the prairies in covered wagons 
to Iowaland. Here he and his 
brother-in-law, Samuel Hen- 
drickson, staked out adjoining 
claims in what was” then 
known as the Black Hawk 
Purchase. The original Galen- 
tine Gatton claim is northeast 
of West Liberty, along the 
east bank of the Wapsinonoce 
Creek, lying between the old 
stage road and the Cedar 
county line. Later they bought 

this land for $1.25 an acre. 

If the Indians begged for 
food, they gave it to them. 
When an Indian chief asked 
permission for his squaw and 
papoose to spread their blan- 
kets on the floor and spend 
the night, they were not re- 
fused. Sometimes the Indians 
would steal and one night as 
they were making away with 
a blanket full of melons, Gat- 
ton’s black doz chased and 
barked at them till they drop- 
ped the melons and fled in 
terror. The Indians were an- 
xious to get rid of that dog 
and tried to trade for him, 
but, of course, Gatton refused 
to give up his dog. 

Galentine Gatton had eight 
children, seven by his first 
wife and one daughter, Mary 
Elizabeth, by his second wife, 
who was Mary Carothers. Of 
the older children two daugh- 
ters died when young. He was 
a successful farmer and at the 
time of their marriages gave 
to each of his children a farm. 
He owned the first carriage to 

be used around here. 

In 1852, the two eldest 
sons, William and Samuel, 
struck the Oregon Trail to be- 
come pioneers of Portland, 
Oregon. At the time of his 
death William was 93 and 
Samuel was 102. The other 
children, Isaac, James, Sarah 
Ann, and Mary Elizabeth, mar- 
ried and made their homes in 
this vicinity. Besides his own 
children, he took two nephews 
into his home and cared for 
them until they were old 
enough to look after them- 

Galen‘ine Gatton died Sep- 
tember 19, 1881, at the age of 
82 and is buried in the Oak- 
ridge Cemetery. 


Hon. W. C. Evans was born 
in Delaware County, N. Y., 
June 24, 1822, a son of Simon 
and Polly (Kelly) Evans and 
eame to Port Byron, Ill., in the 
fall of 1851. In the spring of 
1856 he located in Wapsinon- 
oc Twp. where he purchased a 
fourth interest in the 300 acre 
tract of land on which the 
town of West Liberty was laid 
out, and for some time acted 
as the agent for the town site 
company, and in later years 
added two additions to the 

Mr. Evans was probably the 
first lumberman in the new 
town but in 1866 sold out to 
Lew Bowlsby and moved to a 
farm to engage in stock rais- 
ing, specializing in Shorthorn 

Sept. 15, 1852 he married 
Mary A. Winslow, a daughter 
of John Winslow, a descendant 
of Revolutionary fame. To 
them were born Lucy, Wilma 
A., Charles C., Warren A., 
Hugh S., Ella M., Sarah R., 
and Ray W. In 1869 Mr. Evans 
was elected a members of the 
House of Representatives and 
re-elected in 1871. He was a 
charter member of Mt. Calvary 
Lodge No. $5 and served as 
its first Master. He died at 
West Liberty April 11, 1905. 

For one year less than half 
a century he had been a resi- 
dent of this community and in 
all that time there had been 
no caucus, no public meeting 
in the interest of the public 
weal, no enterprise of any 
character considered or put in 

operation, without his active 
participation or interest. 
Samuel Hendrickson was 
Dorn “April cl9thy sPe825,.. in 

Holmes County, Ohio. In Octo- 
ber 1837 he came to Musca- 
tine county, then included in 
the Black Hawk Purchase 
tract. Arriving wi‘h just five 

dollars in his pocket he pur- 
chased a claim for one hun- 
dred doliars and went to work 
to earn the money to pay for 
it, which he did following win- 
ter and spring. 

In the fall of 1839 he mar- 
ried Esther Lewis, who had 
come to this county with her 
parents from Erie County, 
Pennsylvania. She died in 1855 
leaving him with a family of 
small children. Those who 
lived to manhood and woman- 
hood were Andrew, Mary, Eli- 
zabeth, John and Abner. La- 
ter he married Jane Hayan, 
who died in 1878. His three 
sons all served in the Civil 

A friend wrote thus of him: 
“Few men like him are to be 
found in any country. No one 
stood as his superior in hon- 
esty and integrity of charac- 

ter. Justice and righteousness 
marked alt his dealings with, 
his fellowmen. When called 

to decide in matters between 
neighbors, which was often- 
times the case, his decisions 
were ever tempered with jus- 
tice. As a friend to the young 
he left his memory indelibly 
stamped on all who came in 
contact with him in _ their 
struggle to make a start in 

It is a matter of pride with 
him, that the hospitality of 
his home was never refused 
to any man seeking its shelter, 
whether that man was white 
or red. Indeed, the redskin of- 

ten found a night's lodging 
by his fireside. 
Before banking facilities 

were available, he served as 
banker for other settlers; his 
integrity was such that during 
that time no written acknow- 
ledgement was ever asked by 
those who entrusted money to 

Later in life he married 
Mrs. Anna Fink of Iowa City 
who survived him many years. 

Samuel Hendrickson died 
July 29th, 1898. 


Enos Barnes, born in 1796, 
died 1878, a native of Rutland 
County Vermont, and his wife, 
Charlotte Bagley born 1796, 
died 1881, in the fall of 1838 
came from Knox County, Ohio, 
to the Iowa Settlement and 
purchased land for $1.25 per 
acre in section 12, the pre- 
sent site of West Liberty. 
They had a family of six boys 
and three daughters, all of 
whom settled in and about 
this vicinity. 

The only descendants living 
in West Liberty now are By- 
ron W. Barnes and family; 
Mrs. Iva L. (Barnes) Temple- 
man and daughter Irene; Mrs. 
Olive (Wagner) Hazlett and 
her sister, Mary Wagner. 

From the diary of Enos 
Barnes the following is taken: 
Ange. 1855; corm, 35¢ per Du; 
oats, 25c; flour 4c per lb.; po- 
tatoes 25c per bu.; fresh pork 
5e per Ib. and wood $2.24 a 

In 1856 potatoes were 50c 
per bu.; wheat $1.10 per bu. 
In 1857 oats were 80c per bu.; 
eggs 12144c a dozen; lard 15c 
a lb.; pickled pork 12%4c a 
lb., and ham 15¢ a lb. In Jan. 
of 1858 eggs were 8c a doz.; 
butter 15c a lb., and corn 20c¢ 

a bu. In” Mareh 2859,. corn 
was 75c per bu.; oats, 40c; 
but in December oats went 
down to 25c; flour was 3c a 


So far as known, there are 
only four grandchildren living 
in West Liberty, of the set- 
tlers arriving in 1837. 

They are Mate Nelms, Sar- 
ah Morris and Oscar Morris, 
whose maternal grandfather 
was Galentine Gatton. 

Will S. Waters, whose ma- 
ternal grandfather was Sam- 

uel Hendrickson. 


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(Courtesy Davenport Democrat) 

Left to right, 
Brown, Ruess, 

front row, 
Captain Wachs. 

are Nauman, Lane, Hormel, 
Back row, left to right, are 

Coach Saccaro, Hesley, Mettleman, Chelf, Alkins, Moylan, Har- 

rington, Danneberger, manager. 

Athletic History 

West Liberty has been a 
member of the Iowa High 
School Athletic Association 
for 35 years. During these 
vears and before West Lib- 
erty high school has produc- 
ed some very good teams. 
Only a few years back did 
Liberty’s gridiron men _ play 
big schools such as Cedar 
Rapids, Davenport, and 
Washington and many times 
they brought home the bacon. 
Coach Eby, coach at Coe Col- 
lege, was once coach of West 
Liberty and he had_ several 
good teams. 

Of course we must not for- 
get the heroes who brought 
glory to the older alumni. 
The high school students we 
hear about most are Howard 
“Rex’’ Watters, Dewey “Tim” 
Gibson, Phillip ‘‘Buzz’’ 
Phelps, Preston Brown, and 
the two Holmes _ brothers. 
When these boys were in 
their prime they really rough- 
ed the game up. 


This year West 
held its seventh annual 
homecoming, November Se 

Out of the seven games Lib- 
erty had lost only two, both 
to Anamosa. 

In 1931 the homecoming 
game decided ‘the conference 
title, although the game was 
a tie, Liberty took the con- 
ference championship, This is 
the only year West Liberty 
has won the football conter- 
ence championship. 

Some of the pigskin heroes: 

who helped win these home- 
coming games are: LeRov 
Schneider, Wendall ‘‘Winnie”’ 
Keith, Lester ‘‘Luke’ Lewis, 
Virgil Nauman, Ed Tiffany, 
Vritz Hogan, and John Kitm- 

West Liberty in basketball, 
likewise, has produced some 

good teams. Many of the 
same ‘“‘linebusters’’ were al- 
so good basketball players. 
Liberty’s basketball teams 

have won the conference tro- 

rhy three times. In 1932, 
1933, and 1936. The team of 
1937 went to the semi-fin- 
als in the district tourna- 
ment. The basketball team 
which ‘Tim’ Gibson played 
on, was in the state tourna- 
ment and played in the fin- 
als, but that was before 

they had to go through com- 
petition in sectional and the 
district tournament. 

Track has not been as 
popular as bagketball and; 
football in West Liberty high. 
Only in the last eight or ten 
years has there been any ad- 
vancement made in this sport. 

Each year both indoor and 
outdoor track conference 
meets are held. In 1933 West 
Liberty was runner up in 
the outdoor track meet. 

This last year, Liberty’s 
440 and 880 yard team con- 
sisting of Richard Lane, 
Kenneth Chelf, Philip Aik- 
ins, and Den Ruess was en- 
tered in the Drake relays. 
They did not, however, place 
in the finish. 

History of Conference 

The Eastern Iowa Seven 
Conference was_ started in 
1929. Dr. M. F. Carpenter 
basketball and track coach of 
University High, Iowa Citir 
was the first to think of the 
idea, and when he conrsuliedl 
the officials of other schools, 
which he thought equally 
balanced, it was agreed that 
a conference should be start- 
ed, Seven schools were asked 
to join: Anamosa, Mount 
Vernon, Monticello, Tipton, 
University High, West Branch 
and West Liberty. In 1932 


West Liberty Telephone Co, 

By Mrs. Nelle M. Forsyth 
So rapid is the flight of 
time it hardly seems possible 
that the telephone has been 
in use, in our community, 
ior more tham a third of the 

century we are celebrating. 
However back in 1899 the 
following men: Isaac Nich- 

ols, Sylvanus Hogue, Maurice 
and Albert Whitacre, A. H. 
McClun, Howell Hise, Will 
McFadden and Harry Macdon- 
ald, felt that the telephone 
was coming into general use 
enough to have the business es- 
tablished here. 

It was estimated that perhaps 
75 subscribers could be ob- 
tained. With this as a nuc- 
leus the West Liberty Tele- 
phone Company was organiz- 
ed with the men first men- 

tioned taking shares. Albert 
Whitacre was named  presi- 
dent and its first manager. 

An expert in his time, was 
hired to direct and supervise 
the work. All the stock hold- 
ers who could, turned out 
to help set the first poles 
and do other outside con- 
struction. The exchange waa 
located on the second floor 
at the eorner of Third and 
Calhoun Streets, 

The farther the work ad- 
vanced the more _ interested 
the citizens became. By the 
time they were ready to in- 
stall the board the company 
looked, what then seemed far 
inte the future, and- selected 
a board adequate for 190 
subscribers. This shortly had 
to have a section added, as 
more patrons were soon se- 
evred, Day and night Servic- 
es was offered from the first, 
with one operator. serving 
each veriod. Applicants for 
that position were then chos- 
en almost solely on their 
“speaking voice.’’ 

Farmers soon began to 
realize what the telephone 
would mean to them as a 
saver of time and money and 
asked for connection with 
the company. In due _ time 
they built their lines to the 
town corporation and were 
likewise given service. 

By means of switches most- 
ly, we were connected with 
some mearby towns. Later 
toll lines were built by the 
company to a half-way point 
between the various exchang- 
es, and telephoning was far- 
ther extended. 

In 1907 it seemed best to 
all concerned to either reor- 
vanize, or change to a dif- 
terent kind of ownership. At 
this point the late M. F. Mel- 

ick made the company an of- 

Mechanicsville was added to 
the conference, but in 1934 
they withdrew. 

When the conference be- 
gan, it included only football 
and basketball. However, in 
1931 track was added. 

fer which was accepted and 
he continued to operate it for 
the next 10 years, During 
that time a new improved 
board wag imstalled and more 
operators added. Negotiations 
were made with the Bell Tele- 
phone at this time which 
connected West Liberty and 
the rest of the world. This 
had much to do with the 
present growth of the com- 
pany. The convenience of be- 
ing abie to talk anywhere, 
without going to the Bell of- 
fice, which was located in 
one Or another of the local 
drug stores, was an aid in 
securing new subscribers. 
The telephone was now a ne- 

eessity rather than a luxury. 
In 1918 it again outgrew 
itself and a stock company 

was formed. This time it was 
composed of some local men, 
with the present manager H. 
B. Melick being chosen. The 
present location was acquir- 
ed and a modern plant 
built. Central energy system 
was adopted and two-party 
line service offered. 

The company still operates 
under the same name, A. L. 
Dice is president. Ivan WNo- 
land, vice president, Frank 
Weber, secretary-treasirer. 
They employ seven operators 
and two electricians. 


The Registered Girl Reserve 
Club of West Liberty high 
school was organized in April 
1922, by Miss Marie Watters 
now connected with the Y. W. 
C. A. in Detroit. The first 
meeting was held in the high 
school assembly. The follow- 
ing week the officers and com- 
initiated all girls who 
desired to become members, at 
a candle light ceremony in the 
gymnasium. The president and 
officers for the school year of 
1922-1923 were Anna Miller, 
president: Hazel Warren, Thel- 
ma Dewey, 


Madeline Hormel. 

Gladys Nichols, and Ethel 

Any girl in high school may 
become a member. The mem- 
bership fees are thirty-five 

There is an advisory board 
of four women in town who 
help the girls in their work. 

The present officers are: 

Juanita Jack, president; Lur- 
etta Tipton, vice president; 
Mary Edith Kirby, 
Dorothy Jean Inghram, 


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When West Liberty had her 
first Fourth of July celebra- 
tion in about 1855, music, con- 
sisting of a fife and two drums 
was furnished by Rev. Wm. 
Baird, his son Lonnie, and 
Josa Chase, a Civil War drum- 
mer. This combination was 
probably West Liberty’s first 
musical organization. 

In 1871, we find the ‘“Occi- 
dental Band,’ consisting of 
about 15 pieces, organized, 
and led by Harry Shipman. Be- 
cause of their attractive uni- 
forms, costly instruments, and 
harmonious’ renditions, this 
band created quite a sensation. 
Occasional trips were made to 
various towns to furnish mu- 
sic for rallies, conventions, 
and celebrations. At one time 
the Occidentals were selected 
to furnish music for an I. O. 
Oo. F. convention at Avoca. 
Four other bands were pre- 
sent but the Occidentals car- 
ried off the honors and were 
paid $200 plus all expenses for 
the day’s effort. Part of their 
funds was invested in a skat- 
ing rink, located on Fourth 
street east of Calhoun. 

By 1889 this group had de- 
cided to disband and turn their 
work over to the ‘‘New Occi- 
dental Band.” 

Two years later a fine band 
stand equipped with a _ trap 
door and folding stairway, was 
erected over the town well. 

For many years after 1900, 
Grant Nichols served as dir- 
ector, and Saturday night con- 
certs on downtown street cor- 
ners were eagerly anticipated 
by the entira community. 
Their contribution to the West 
Liberty Fair through all the 
years is inestimable. 


The first telephone instru- 
ment in this town was a single 
line reaching from the resi- 
dence of A. H. McClun to the 
Yesidence of W. W. McClun. 
The equipment was simple and 
crude. A wire was stretched 
tight between the two resi- 
dences through a hole at the 
bottom of an ordinary tin can 
and fastened to a nail across 
the hole. Conversation could 
be carried on through the vi- 
brations of this wire, but they 
had no particular system with 
reference to calling each other. 
The patrons of this telephone 
line were obliged to agree 
ahead of time as to when their 
conversation would be carried 
on, and must appear at their 
respective instruments at 
exactly the same time for 
there was no other method of 


Eliason, Jr., clarinets; Edith Mae DeForest, Robert Black, Jane Lee Eichenauer, Forest 

house, Richard Hazlett, cornets. 

Second row, left to right: Clarence Johns, saxophone; 



Danae aaa anne 

; I (Courtesy Muscatine Journal) 
Front row, left to right: Jack Blair, baritone; Eugene Cain, alto; Betty Lou Stevens, Allen 

Norma Hughes, 


trombone; Gerald 

Owens, cornet. Martha Jensen, clarinet; Kenneth Kerr, Helen Maurer, Lois Larsen, cornets; Lon 

Burr, bass. 

Shirley Jean Schiele, Robert Wolters, cornets; Delores Hughes, snare drum, (not in the pic- 
ture) are also members of the Junior band. Bernie Knudsen is director. 



John Lafrentz was born in 
Germany, in 1836 and receiy- 
ed his education in his native 
land. He was a shoemaker by 
trade and came to America in 
1856, coming to Iowa City. In 
1857 he moved to West Lib- 
erty, working for a short time 
for Peter Polders. 

In 1858 he opened a shoe- 
maker's shop of his own. It 
was located at the northwest 
corner of Calhoun and Third 
streets. The family occupied 
the back of the building, and 
the shoe shop was at the front? 
He operated this place of busi= 
ness for about 12 years. Wish- 
ing to change his occupation, 
in 1870 he bought a farm in 
Cedar county, later trading it 
for land in Goshen township, 
Muscatine county. 

He married Anna _ Lena- 
baugh in 1859. Their children 
were Henry, Clara, John, An- 
na, Lena, Mary L., Frederick, 
Charles and Dora, 


Mercer M. Hall, a native of 

Knox county, Ohfo, accompait- 
ied by his wife, Sophia Means 
Hall, and young son, John 
Corydon, came to Ilewa in 

1856, locating on a farm on 
South Prairie, five miles west 
of West Liberty. 

The district was still largely 
undeveloped and but sparsely 
settled, so Mr. Hall experienc- 
ed all the privations and hard- 
ships incident to life in a pio- 

Settlement Pioneers 

aeer community. 

Wishing to develop 2 farm, 
he began breaking the land, 
utilizing four yoke of oxen for 
this purpose. The weather was 
intensely hot and as there was 
no shade except that furnished 
hy the house, the oxen, as 
they approached it, would 
crowd so closely in the small 
shaded spot that Mr. Hall 
feared that they would push 
his little cabin over, it being 
constructed in the primitive 
manner of those early times. 

He devoted his time and 
energies to general agricultur- 
al pursuits throughout his ac- 
tive business career and with 
a well merited measure of suc- 
cess in his undertakings. 

Mr. Hall was an active mem- 
ber of the Methodist Protes- 
tant church of South Prairie, 
always having the interests of 
the church and Sunday school 
upon his heart. 

In 1904, he retired from 
the farm and came to West 
Liberty, where he resided un- 
til his death, October 31, 1911. 
- His son, J. C. Hall, a resi- 
cent of West Liberty for many 
years, died October 3, 1935. 
Two daughters, Elnora P. Ni- 
ehols (Mrs. J. P.), and Sarah 
BE. Nichols (Mrs. J. C.), live 
in West Liberty. 


That Miss Nellie Dillingham 
still lives in the same house 
in which she was born. 


John §. Smith was born in 
Beaver Co. Pennsylvania, Oc- 
tober 7, 1812. In 1834 he mar- 
ried Rachel Beeson of Colum- 
biania county, Ohio. Both were 
of Quaker parentage. To them 
were born seven children. In 
1853 plans were made to go 
to Iowa to make a new home, 
but before they were ready to 
start the mother died. So in 
1854 John undertook the long 
journey with his little family 
of motherless children, Ellis, 
the youngest, being about 
three years old. They made the 
trip in a covered wagon and 
were about five weeks on the 

They settled on an eighty 
acre farm about five miles 
northwest of West Liberty. 
This farm was bought from 
the government and the grant 
was signed by President Frank- 
lin Pierce. During the opera- 
tion of the ‘‘underground rail- 
road,” John Smith’s place was 

one of the stations. 

After his family was grown 
he came to West Liberty 
where he passed the remainder 
of his life. He died in 1901. 
His son Ellis was in business 
here for a number of years, 
a grandson, H. J. Smith, was a 
pioneer in the automobile and 
radio business, and a great 
grandson, Wayne Irey con- 
ducts a confectionary. 

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“Dan de Quille” 

Journalist, Author, 

William Wright, contempor- 
ary of.Mark Twain, better 
known by his pen name, Dan 
de Quille, was an early settler 
of West Liberty, coming here 
from Ohio in 1850. He was 
born in Knox County, Ohio in 
1829. His father Paxson 
Wright was a Quaker and his 
mother Lucinda Markley 
Wright a Presbyterian. In 
1850, with his widowed moth- 
er and her nine children, he 
came to Iowa and settled on 
the farm which his father had 
bought and which is now the 
farm owned by Ted Arp. He 
married Caroline Coleman of 
Lexington, Ohio in 1853 and 
‘they lived in a log cabin on 4 
farm that is now a part of the 
Fenstermaker farm but was 
then called ‘‘Elm Grove.’’ Here 
were born four children: Alice, 
Mell, Lura and Paxson. 

In 1860, “Dan” went to Vir- 
ginia City, Nevada, leaving his 
family in Iowa where the chil- 
dren would have better advan- 
tages than were possible in 
that. rough mining town. The 
high tide struck the Comstock 
in the seventies. In 1870 stock 
in the Belcher mine went beg- 
ging at one dollar a share, in 
1S7o ft was worth $1525. 
Those were the days when 
stock quotations were posted 
every hour, and when the min- 
ers came up out of the shafts 
they rushed to the bulletin 
boards to see how much mon- 
ey they had made while under 
ground. In 1873 the greatest 
discovery of all was found in 
the Consolidated Virginia 
Mines at a point below the 
1100 foot level. It was cailed 
the Big Bonanza. This body of 
ore was from 609 to 700 feet 

ae <8 


ttn ton, adh BAN 

Humorist | 

‘thing; he 

long, 350 feet wide and from 
200 to 800 feet high and ac- 
cording to Dan de Quille “was 
of such extraordinary and as- 
tonishing richness that experts 
could hardly believe their eyes, 
or assayers their figures.” 
Dan was a good deal of a 
geologist and something of a 
minerologist, and studied the 
Comstock from the surface to 
below the 3000 level. He was 
always writing dissertations 
on the lode and i‘s formation 
and when Mr. Goodman moy- 
ed the Enterprise to Virginia 
City, Dan became a regular 
contributor, which culminated 
in a few months in his becom- 
ing one of the staff of the pa- 
per. Then for more than thirty 
years he was in full evidence 
in the columns of that Jour- 
nal. Without him the paper 
would have been an automo- 
bile with a punctured tire. 

He was down in the mine 
every day at first, and could 
the files of the Enterprise have 
been saved, his articles taken 
out and arranged with proper 
dates, would make a complete 
and fascinating history of the 
great lode from the first. 
Moreover what he wrote every- 
one believed implicitly. This 
or that expert might make a 
report and men would say, 
“He may have been mistak- 
en,” but everyone believed 

His work was not confined 
to the mines. It covered every- 
was a mining re- 
porter, local reporter and when 
late at night, his regular work 
was finished, he would write 
away until after daylight on 
some droll story or some 
scientific theme. 

His ‘“‘solar armor” story was 
one of his best. It was an in- 
vention intended to neutralize 
the excessive heat of the sum- 
mer. It was called ‘‘a solar ar- 
mor.”’ It was a suit of India 
rubber that a man could put 
on, but within it was a com- 
pact air compressor attached 
to which was a pocket battery 
to run it. When the wearer 
found it was growing too 
warm he had but to touch a 
button to set the compressor 
going and when sufficiently 

cooled he could touch another. 

button and shut off the pow- 

At last, according to Dan, 
when the inventor got all 
ready, he put on the armor 

and started across Death Val- 
ley one afternoon when the 
thermometer marked 117 de- 
grees in the shade and went 
out of sight in the sun. When 
he did not return the next 
morning, an exploring party 

started out to try and find 
traces of him. Out four or five 
miles in the desert, they found 
the man’s body. He had start- 
ed the. apparatus evidently but 
could not stop it and it had 
frozen him to death. The ma- 
chine was still running when 
the body was found and an 
icicle eighteen inches long was 
pendant from the nose of the 
dead man. 

About a month after the 
story was published Dan re- 
ceived a London Times one 
morning containing a marked 
article that filled two or three 
columns of that ponderous 
publication. Some writer had 
read his story, accepted it as 
true, endorsed the principal 
and elaborated upon it; could 
the government see its way 
clear to supply the British sol- 
diers in India and other hot 
countries wi*h the armor. Dan 
read it through, and with a 
blue pencil drew a line around 
the article and connected the 
two ends with a pencil sketch 
of a hoodlum looking at some 
far away object, and the fig- 
ure had his right thumb to his 
nose with his fingers wiggling. 
He put the paper in a wrapper 
and directed it to the Scienti- 
fic Writer, care of the Times, 
Tondon, England. But all that 
day he wore such a look as 
Dr. Holmes must have worn 
while writing that poem in 
which he promised never more 
to “write as funny as I can.” 

He took one summer off and 
wrote his book, “The Great 
Bonanza,’”’ which is a_ true 
story of the Comstock up to 

“He was one of the most 
efficient and valuable men who 
ever wore out his life in a 
newspaper office. He was 
above both bribes or bluffs; 
no man could ever corrupt 
him; no man could scare him. 
He made no pretentions but 
every day he followed his 
duty as God gave him to see 

—C. C. Goodwin—in 
Remember Them”, 

Dan was at his desk one 
day when Samuel Clemens, la- 
ter known as Mark Twain, ap- 
plied for a position. Chiefly 
because Dan was planning to 
gc back to Iowa to visit his 
family, Clemens was engaged. 
Dan took him afound to his 
boarding house, they became 
roommates and thus began a 
close friendship which lasted 
through the years. 


He returned to West Liber- 
ty in 1897, died the following 
year and is buried in Oakridge 

By Irma Morris 


That Ray Inghram has been 
custodian in the schools for 
more than 20 years. 




es Peres ny 

Clinging for Life! 

“Balloon accidentally carries 
a boy of 12 years, 1500 feet 
high and three miles across 
country in less than 20 min- 
utes.” This was the experience 
of Carlton H. Myers. at West 

Liberty on the 4th of July, 
Along with other boys of 

the town Carlton was watch- 
ing the preparation tor a bal- 
loon ascension and parachute 
leap. It was never definitely 
known whether an enhtusiastic 
bystander or one of the crew 
called out, ‘‘Let go.” Anyway, 
the order was promptly obey- 
ed, with the above results. 

Unfortunately for Carlton he 
was standing in «a coil of rope, 
and was carried into the air 
feet first. ‘“‘Climb,’’ someone 
shouted. This he proceeded to 
do, reaching abov- his foot, 
and grasping the rope to pull 
himself into an upright posi- 
tion. Slipping his arm through 
a loop of rope above the para- 
enute he rode this distance. 
The balloon landed in 4 corn- 
fleld near the county line 
northeast of town. This was 
Carlton’s first and only bal- 
loon ride. 

Mr. Myers is married ard, 
with Mrs. Myers and son, a 
lad of 12, is living on a farm 
near Anamosa, Iowa. 


That the Wolf twins, Ray- 
mond and Robert, and the 
Harney twins, George, Jr., and 
Margaret, were graduated in 
the same class, 1924. 

By Allie Sissell 

When wealthy folks would 
stop here and buy a Shetland 
pony and cart from Eli Elliott, 
to take to their children. They 
paid from $300 to $400 for 

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The original Friends Meeting House, now gone. 

Society of Friends 

By E. L. Webb 

The following sketch of the 
early Quakers is taken almost 
entirely from the writings of 
L. O. Mosher, who had collect- 
ed and written a series of 
memoirs in 1914. 

A picturesque feature in the 
religious world is rapidly dis- 
appearing in the history of 
our country ‘‘That of the old 
time Quakers, their quaintness 
in dress, manner and speech 
of more than a half century 

Then it was not rare to find 
through the western country 
settlements of Friends, or as 
the world called them Quak- 

When ‘this country was 
opened for settlement and im- 
petus was given to immigra- 
tion, it was a rich fertile tract, 
beautifully situated and ap- 
pealing to all as a good land 
for home making, and was 
rapidly settled. Among the 
early arrivals in this vicinity 
were John Wright, Enoch 
Lewis and Nehimiah Chase 
with their families, all of 
Quaker descent. It became 
known through the _ eastern 
states and attracted others of 
like belief. 

Stephen Mosher, Joseph M 
Wood and Joseph Gibson all 
of Ohio, Reuben and George 
Elliott of Maryland, all with 
large families came with 
others until they hecame num- 
erous enough to desire a Soci- 
etv of Fellowshin in the new 
settlement. The necessary steps 
were taken and the meeting 
organized. From 1858 to 1862 
the society had no house of 
worship and held its meetings 
in the schoolhouse known as 
North Prairie school or the 
residence of Stephen Mosher. 
A membership of 108 was en- 
rolled up to the time of 1864. 

So s‘rong had the society 
become that by 1862 its mem- 
bers decided to erect a meeting 
house. It was located about a 
mile and a half north of the 
nresent West Liberty, near the 
S. W. corner of the N. W. %& 
of section “J, Two, 787 N- 
Range 4, West of the 5th P. 
M. and adjacent to the old 
cemetery. The house was a 
frame structure 24x40x12, 
built in the prevailing style of 
architecture of Friends Meet- 
ings Houses the country over, 
plain and substantial outside 
and in. It was begun by Mat- 
thias Wilson and completed by 
Joseph M. Wood. In 1869 the 

house was transferred to the 
corner of Calhoun and 8th 

After the organization of 
the Quarterly Meeting in 1864 
the membership increased by 
more than 200 accessions. By 
1915 the Society had become 
so depleted by death and re- 
moval that the remnant re- 
maining deemed it best to dis- 
continue the Meeting and dis- 
pose of the property. It vas 
moved to a lot just east and 
vsed as a dwelling. 

July 1888 

Eli Elliott came in Saturday 
night ali the way from Shet- 
land Islands and brought with 
him pretty much all the mer- 
chantable ponies the island 
contained. The pony raneh pre- 
sents a sight now worth «zoing 
miles to see—140 frisky, lively 
little raseals. from iittle Yum 
Yum, 31 inches high and full 
grown, up to a good sized 
Shetland, wading around in 
better pasture than they ever 
dreamed of seeing when on 
their native heath. They pre- 
sent a spectacle of calm con- 
tentment pleasant to behold. 

= 1938 

Our Old Buildings 

As Told By Allie Sissel], 
House Mover. 

“One of the first houses I 
helped to move stood on the 
George Ward site; moved it 
down to where Frank Weber 
now lives, (West Fourth 
Street). Del McClun lived in 
it while they built his new 
home, where R. S. Kirkpatrick. 
now lives. George Ward then 
built the home now owned and 
Occupied by J. E. MelIntosh 
and family, Charley Wiley 
was the contractor. 

“An older one than that: 
Little Miller store used to be 
at the head of Calhoun street 
where Mrs. Range’s home is. 
Moved it to Gorman location, 
Sixth and Calhoun and John 
Henderson, a big fat fellow; 
ran a grocery store in it sey- 
eral years. Then it was moved 
down to between Gibson and 
Water’s meat market and Har- 
ry Luse’s pool hall on the 
north side. I was a young fel- 
low then and fond of work. 

“The property known best 
as the Glenn and Starr prop- 
erty on south Columbus street, 
stood where the opera house 
is now, only back from the side 
walk some 30 feet. Tom Johns 
lived in it. They took in board- 

“The old one was on Fourth 
street, south side, they pulled 
it through where the opera 
house is and reversed the 
porch and office. Was built ov- 
er there for a rink and used 
for it. Billy Ament and two 
kids of Muscatine came up 
and gave skating exhibitions. 
It later was a furniture store, 
ran by J. W. McElravy. Then 
it was an undertaking parlor 
and Charley Chase was the 

“At least 55 years ago, Man- 
full had a grocery store where 
the post office is now. (Cal- 
houn and Third streets, south- 
east corner) He built the 
brick building, now Dr. Albert 
Ady’s, corner of Spencer and 
Third, and moved the little 
grocery store up into the back- 
end. Amos Whitacre’s barn on 
the alley is a part of that store. 

“Tinshop was where Amos 
Whitacre’s home is now, own- 
ed and operated by Vincent 
Morris. The building was di- 
vided and the Meeks. home and 
Hogan homes today were it, 
cut in two and now standing 
on First street. 

“Calhoun street used to run 
to the two barns south on Cal- 
houn, just opposite the amphi- 

theatre. The street ended 

“Two freight houses and 
two stock yards served here, 
one for each railroad; later 

they consolidated. 

“What is now the Moylan 
hotel stand south and 
west in the “Y” of the rail- 


“The residence on Elm 
street, north of hotel, Moylan’s 
former residence, use to be 
Cottage hotel, where the pres- 
ent hotel is now. 

“Old city hall was a frame 
building, at one time standing 
west of Schafer’s elevator and 
was used several years for a 
wagon and buggy display. Pro- 
prietors were ‘Rance’ Evans 
and his son, Frank Evans. 
Then it was moved to the old 
mill site, now the Ford garage 
on west Third street and used 
for a laundry several years. 
Wells and ‘“‘Spike”’ 
Shaw ran it. Property owned 
by Tom Rogers. Mill burned 
down:—laundry burned down: 
—Mable Blakesley jumped out 
of the window and broke her 

“The George Wright egz 
house was moved across the 
track on Mrs. Swain’'s property 
and they made a button fac- 
tory out of it. 

“Lilla McFadden’s house 
was the last house on that 
side of the street, east. George 
Wooley’s was last, clear to the 
creek, except for Mrs. May 
Myer’s. The house from where 
F. T. Lawton lives, was moved 
east on Third and Mrs. Gus 
Conklin lives in it. 

The family of Mrs. Margaret 
Sullivan were all reared in the 
same house, now occupied by 
her son, John L, It was locat- 
ed where the tomato tactory 
is now. 

“Used to be an elevator 
right behind W. W. Anderson’s 
grocery, near the railroad 
track. H. C. Dove ran it, and 
his two daughters had a milli- 
nery store. At another time 
there was an elevator right 
back of the post office run by 
Elmer Mead, Maurice Whit- 
acre and Sylvanus Hogue. 

“There were all frame 
buildings from the post office 
to Ed Mackey’s cafe. Ed Strat- 
ton, had a jewelry store; 
George Clapper, restaurant and 
billiards; Frank Patterson, a 
grocery store.” 


Clark L. Mosher was born 
near West Liberty, Iowa, June 
18, 1888 and attended school 
in West Liberty where he 
graduated in 1907. After his 
graduation from the School of 
Engineers at Ames in 1911 he 
became general engineer for 
the C. F. Lytle Construction 

He enlisted and won a lieu- 
tenant’s commission in the 
World War, serving the en- 
tire time with the machine 
gun battalion of the 88th Di- 
vision in France. 

Returning to his work with 
the construction company, he 
was constructing the sea wall 
near Guif Port, Miss., when 
he was accidentally killed, 
Oct. 22, 1927. 

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Union Valley 

The history of West Liberty 
would seem incomplete did it 
not include reminiscences con- 
cerning the various communi- 
ties: which surround it, many 
of which have played impor- 
tant parts in the growth and 
prosperity of the town. 

Among these neighborhoods 
deserving of mention is Unton 
Valley, which is the name giv- 
en to a church and district 
school in the center of this 
community. It is located in 
Iowa Township of Cedar coun- 
ty. This township, too, has 
nearly reached the century 
milestone, having been organ- 
ized in 1840; at that time in- 
cluding all of Cedar County 
west of the Cedar river. 

The church was organized 
by the Cumberland Presbyter- 
ians in March, 1871, with 
twenty-three members. Through 
the generosity of Thos. V. Gib- 
son a lot was received from a 
corner of his farm, and a 
building 30x50 feet was erect- 
ed, which at that time was 
thought to be a handsome 

There had been a church of 
the same denomination in the 
Pedee -neighborhood _ since 
1849. This was called the Piea- 
sant Hill Congregation. In the 
winter of 1866-67 a protract- 
ed meeting was held there by 
Rey R. A. Ferguson which peo- 
ple for miles around attended, 
and which resulted in a big 
revival and the receiving of 
112 members. Among these 
were Albert Aikins, Catharine 
Buckman, Louisa Walters and 
Cc. E. Buckman. 

In 1872 the former couple 
became Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Ai- 
kins and the latter Mr. and 
Mrs. C. E. Buckman, who 
then united with the new or- 
‘ganization at Union Valley and 
labored faithfully for many 


During the early years of 
the church Rev. R. A. Fergu- 
son served as pastor at both 

' neighbors; 

Pleasant Hill and Union Val- 
ley, and in 1876 Rev. Milo Ho- 
bart preached at both places. 
In later years there followed 
Rev. Edgar, who divided time 
with Atalissa; Rev. Samuel 
Davis, and family, who lived 
in the Jno. Worrall house, as 
did Rev. Cheek and family. 

The ladies of this commun- 
ity had an organization called 
“The Willing Workers.’’ They 
met at the homes of the mem- 
bers, helping many a busy 
housewife with her family sew- 

Some of the early settlers 
around Union Valley whose 
names should be mentioned in 
the record are the families of 
Luke Corker, Henry Crees, Ja- 
cob Duple, I. W. Lewis, Israel 

Gaskell, Jno. Worrall, Rufus 
Gifford, Daniel Gifford, Jno. 
Kirby, John McCann, A. E. 

Kimberly, Moses Shellhammer, 
Abel Milnes, Zadoc Ellyson, 
Jesse Moore, J. H. Swart, Joel 
Walker. Joel Faires, John Tay- 
lor, David and Wm. James, C. 
E. Buckman, Chas. Cope, 
Frank Secrest, Warren Chea- 
dle, A. V. Aker, and Edmund 
W. Aikins. Mr. Aikins, prob- 
ably among the oldest of the 
residents mentioned, was born 
in Morgan County, Ohio, in 
1824 and came to this locality 
in 1856. He was Justice of the 
Peace in Iowa Township for 
many years, and their kitchen 
was often the scene of court 
proceedings in the settlement 
of some petty dispute between 
or perhaps a happy 
couple would come to be mar- 
ried in this same kitchen, sur- 
rounded, not by ferns and 
roses, but probably a_ back- 
ground of blue overalls which 
hung on the wall, as the words 
were read making them man 
and wife. Mr. and Mrs. Aikins 
were the parents of one son, 
Albert A., who was born Jan. 
23, 1849. 

From the time of the organ- 
ization of the church at Union 
Valley until 1900, when the 


WAPSIE. 1898. 

Elias Sanders, Dade Weber and Peg Wesson 

family moved to West Liberty, 
A. A. Aikins was active in all 
of the affairs of the commun- 
ity. He was superintendent of 
the Sunday School for many 

Then, who could think of 
Union Valley and not remem- 
ber Elinor, Elizabeth and 
Emily Worrall, familiarly 
known as “The Worrall Girls’’, 
and whose hospitable little 
home was a popular spot in the 
vicinity? They had a loom on 
which they wove rag carpets, 
and here the women must de- 
cide the weighty problem 
whether they should have a 
hit and miss pattern or one of 
the varigated stripes, for their 
earpets. Searcely a home in the 
neighborhood but what could 
boast of several floor cover- 
ings of their handiwork They 
were maiden aunts of Mrs. 
Alice Polders and Mrs. Anna 
Luse, who also spent their 
girlhood days in Union Val- 
ley, Mrs. Luse having heen or- 
ganist in the church on many 

With the passing of the 
1880’s almost all of the fami- 
lies which have been mention- 
ed were represented as resi- 
dents of West Liberty, many 
of them to spend their declin- 
ing years and-to educate their 
children, some of whom later 
became active in business. 

Since 1900, with the chang- 
ing conditions of roads and 

means of transportation, it has - 

become more and more diffi- 
cult to maintain the interest in 
rural churches. In more recent 
years of the Union Valley or- 

, ganization many new people 
came to take-up the burden in 
an effort to carry on. Promin- 
ent among these was the R. 
W. Hinkhouse family. A son, 
Jay Hinkhouse, who still lives 
in the community, worked 

diligently and was liberal in 
financial aid in the improving 
of the building. The Cumber- 
land Presbyterians merged, and 
they became a regular Presby- 
terian. Church. Rallies were 
held in an effort to promote 
the interest, but all to no avail. 

It seemed impossible to con- 
tinue with regular services; 
therefore, according to the 
agreement when the land was 
donated, it went back to the 
T. V. Gibson estate. About two 
years ago the building was 
sold to a farmer, torn down, 
and removed from the site. 
The old church is gone and 
will soon be forgotten, but who 
can measure the influence up- 
on the lives of those who re- 
ceived their early religious 
training within its doors? 


Along about the year 1884 
Silas W. Jacobs owned a farm 
on the south side of the 
Muscatine and Iowa City high? 
way. The farm is now owned 
by the Vanatta estate. 

In the day and age of Silas 
W. Jacobs the house was a 
very large one, part of which 
has been removed and now 
stands on the R. W. Brooke 
farm some distance to the east. 

In the days of Silas W. Jacobs 
his house was equipped with 
&@ pool room or billiard room 
on the third floor. He was 
known far and wide as a 
breeder of shorthorn cattle, 
and about 1884 he held an 
auction sale which was per- 
haps the most talked of and 
longest remembered sale ever 
held in this community, The 
sale was held at the farm in 
the spring of the year, and a 


sidewalk was built 
from the farm along the south 
side of the road which was an 
extension of Maxson avenue in 
West Liberty, from the town 
to the farm, a distance of 
about one and a half miles. At 
this sale a cow and calf sold 
for the sum of thirty-six hun- 
dred dollars which was a fab- 
ulous price in that day and. 
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According to the best avail- 
able information, medical serv- 
ice in this vicinity was begun 
by Doctor Van Pelt in the 
early fifties. The first doctor 
of whom local people have any 
recollection, was Doctor 
George Dunlap, who first lo- 
cated about three miles east 
of West Liberty, moving into 
town in 1855, making his 
home at 915 Columbus street. 
More definite recollections are 
of Doctor Holmes who traded 
his Henry county home and 
practice with Doctor Dunlap 
in 1861 and practiced here 
about 17 years. He was also a 
Quaker preacher. Many now 
living recall Doctor Albert 
Ady who came here from Bel- 


mont County, Ohio, about 
1852. He was the first grad- 
uate physician to locate in this 
part of the county, having tak- 
en his degree at Belleview 
Medical College in New York 
City. He moved to Muscatine 
in 1883, practicing there until 
his health failed. He returned 
to West Liberty in 1892, 
where he died, March 20, 1893 
at the age of 67. 

Dr. Ady’s home, which he 
built during his early resi- 
dence here, stood on _ the 

northwest corner at the inter- 
section of Third and Colum- 
bus streets, where his widow 
lived until her death in 1926 
at the age of 93. Her maiden 
name was Adelaide Richards. 

Associated with Doctor Ady 
from 1872 to 1878 was Doctor 
G. O. Mortgage, a graduate of 
the Keokuk College of Physic- 
ians and Surgeons. He was a 
Civil War veteran, having 
been Captain of Company H, 
11th Jowa Infantry at the 
close of the war. He moved to 
Muscatine where his death oc- 
curred in 1909. 

Doctor E. H. King studied 
medicine with Doctor Ady and 
graduated from the Detroit 


Doctors of a Century 

By Helen P. Jayne 

Medical College in 1870. Lo- 
ctaed in West Liberty in 1875, 
practicing here for 15 years. 
He moved to Muscatine where 
his death occurred some years 
later. He served in Company 
D, 35th Iowa Infantry in the 
Civil War. The King family 
came to Iowa from Maine in 
1857, locating near West Lib- 
erty. The Presbyterian Church 
here still enjoys an income 
from a trust fund created by 
Z. N. King, a brother of Doc- 
tor King. 

Doctor G. F. Arter, a grad- 
uate of Rush Medical College 
in Chicago came to West Lib- 
erty in 1868 and practiced 
here for a few years. 

The first homeopathic doc- 
tor known to have practiced 
here was Doctor J. Q. Hollist- 
er who came here from New 
York in the early seventies. 
After practicing a number of 

years he returned to New 
While here he married 

Prudy Palmer, whose mother 
was a great-aunt of Pamela 
Hollingsworth and whose 
father owned and operated the 
old mill which used to stand 
on the north side of No. 6 
highway, two miles east of 
West Liberty. 

As far as known, West Lib- 
erty can claim only one wom- 
an physician, Doctor Mary 
Lawson, of whom little is 

Doctor DeLap and Doctor 
Carpenter were here for a few 
years but little is known of 

Without regard to dates, we 
should mention Doctors Miles, 

Struble, Hill, Mott, Wyant, 
Battey, Woodruff, Regnier, 
and Morrow, some of whom 

are now practicing in other 
Iowa towns, 

Representatives of osteopa- 
thy and chiropractic have been 
located here for short periods 
of time. 

Doctor J, R. Gorsline prob- 
ably holds the record for leng- 
th of service in osteopathy and 
Doctor F. L. Rust in chiroprac- 

Doctor Rust came here in 
1930. His father was bass 
drummer of the 8th Iowa Vol- 
unteer Infantry in the civil 
war. Doctor Rust early learn- 
ed the tailoring trade. He 
graduated from the Palmer 
School of Chiropractic in 19238 
and later took a course in 
Swedish Massage and electro 
physio-therapy at the Nation- 
al School of Chiropractic in 
Chicago. He was married in 
1915 to Elsie Jane Stuttler of 
Wilton. They are now living at 
106 FE. Third street. 

Doctor Emmet Ady, the son 
of Doctor Albert Ady, Senior, 
was a native of West Liberty. 
He graduated from the medi- 
cal department of the Univer- 
sity of Iowa in 1882. Served as 
interne in the Belleview Hos- 
pital of New York and practic- 
ed in and around West Lib- 
erty 46 years. He died in 1929 
and was succeeded by his son 
Albert who had been associat- 
ed with him for five years. His 
wife was Martha Brown. They 
lived at 315 Columbus street 
where he built a home. His 
wife preceded him in death. 

Doctor C. B. Kimball was 
born in Iowa City. He gradu- 
ated from the medical depart- 
ment of the State University 
of Iowa in 1871 and practiced 
for a short time in Iowa City, 
later locating in Nebraska, but 
returned to Iowa and practic- 
ed at Downey for a time. He 
came to West Liberty in 1886, 
continuing in practice here un- 
til his death in 1925 at the age 
of 74. His son J. E. Kimball 
joined the firm in 1908. Doc- 
tor Kimball was something of 
a linguist, speaking both Ger- 
man and Bohemian. Having a 
fine baritone voice he was 
prominent for years in local 
musical circles. Doctor Kim- 
ball built and occupied the 
home at 201 E. Sixth street 
where his widow; the former 
Amelia Polders of West Lib- 
erty, now resides. 

In years of service Doctor 
Emmet Ady and Doctor C. R. 
Kimball hold the record. These 
men took up their work here 
under circumstances far more 
difficult than they are now. No 
local telephones, no hard-sur- 
faced roads, no automobiles. 
Old timers tell of the one- 
horse cart with its backless 
seat which Doctor .C. B. Kim- 
ball used when the deep mid 
did not make it impossible; 
then it was the horse and a 
pair of saddle bags in which to 
carry the necessary remedies. 

Today the record in years of 
service is held by Doctor L. A. 
Royal who succeeded Doctor 
Struble. Doctor Royal was 
born in Coventry, Conn. The 
family moved to Des Moines in 

1886, and later to Mount 
Pleasant, Michigan, where he 
received his early education. 

He graduated from the Cols 
lege of Homeopathy of the 
State University of Iowa jn 
1906, Interned at Fergus Falls 
Hospital at Fergus’ Falls, 
Minn. In May 1937, he was 
joined by Doctor Treadwell 
Robertson. Some years ago 
Doctor Royal purchased the 
property at 103 Maxson ave- 
nue where he and Mrs. Royal, 
the former Pauline Swisher of 
Iowa City, now live, Their 
daughter, Gabriella, is the wife 


of Doctor Treadwell Robert- 

Next in years of service is 
Doctor J. E. Kimball, son of 
Doctor C. B. Kimball. He re- 
ceived his early education in 
West Liberty. Graduated from 
the medical department of the 
State University of Iowa and 
interned at the State Univer- 
sity of Iowa hospital. He lo- 
cated in West Liberty in 1908S. 
In 1911 he took post graduate 
work at Harvard, returning to 
West Liberty to again join his 
father in general practice. It 
is interesting to note that his 
eldest son, John, is now in his 
junior year in medical school 
at the State University of 
Iowa. Soon after his marriage 


Doctor J. E. Kimball built the 
home at 616 Spencer street 
where he and his wife, the 
former Edna Whitacre, now 
live. Their second son, Whit- 
acre, is a law student at the 
State University of Iowa. 

Doctor Albert Ady, son of 
Doctor Emmet Ady, was born 
in West Liberty. After finish- 
ing high school, he entered 
the medical department of the 
State University of Iowa, 
graduating in 1923. Interned 
in the Harper Hospital at De- 
troit after which he joined his 
father here. Doctor and Mrs. 
Ady, the former Odette Mac- 
Kenzie of Kenora, Canada, 
own and occupy the home built 
by his father. He,is a world 
war veteran. 

Doctor Treadwell Robertson 
was born in Monterrey, Mex- 
ico, the son of the American 

Consul of that city. His early 
education was in Monterrey, 
Mexico; Lu Verne, Iowa, and 
San Antonio, Texas. He grad- 
uated from the medical de- 
partment of the State Univer- 
sity of Iowa. Interned one 
year and was resident physic- 
jan one year at the Iowa Meth- 
odist Hospital at Des Moines. 

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The earliest record of den- 
tistry in West Liberty con- 
cerns Doctor Ivory Webster. 
The only dates available were 
taken from the stone that 
marks his resting place in Oak- 
ridge cemetery. Born in 1820, 
died in 1902. It is known that 
he practiced here prior to 
1862. He did not practice con- 
tinuously but was practicing 
at the time of his death. He 
did watch and clock repairing 
as a side line. His wife left 
West Liberty soon after his 
death to live with a daughter. 
Doctor Webster’s dental equip- 
ment was purchased by Doc- 
tor W. B. Jayne and present- 
ed to the dental museum of 
the State University of Iowa. 
It is the most complete collec- 

tion of early § instruments 
Doctor Dillingham came 

here from ‘Toronto, Canada, 
about 1862 but did not prac- 
tice continuously. He was in- 
terested in horse racing and 
sometimes gave up his pro- 
fessional work to devote his 
time to that. He died in 1907, 
aged 69 years 6 months. He 
practiced up to the time of 
his death. At one time he had 
a partner by the name of Coe. 
At another time Doctor Rick- 
etts was associated with him. 
He was married to Mary Rich- 
ardson in 1867 at the home of 
her parents at 207 W. Fourth 
Street in West Liberty, and 
went to housekeeping there. 
Their only child, Miss Nellie 
Dillingham, was Worn there 
and still lives in that house. 

Doctor Unangst came to 
West Liberty in 1878 and con- 
tinued in practice until 1896 
when he sold out and moved 
to Davenport where he prac- 
ticed until his death. 

Doctor L. L. Poston grad- 
uated from the dental depart- 
ment of the State University of 
Iowa in 1895 and located here, 
although he did under-grad- 
uate work here during his va- 
cations while a student. He 
moved away in 1901 and is 
now practicing in Davenport. 
In 1896 he married Minnie 
Potter of West Liberty. 

Doctor Long located hare 
about 1900, succeeding Doctor 
Poston. He moved to Boulder, 
Colo. in 1908 and became in- 
terested in mining. In 1926 
after taking two years of grad- 
uate work in Chicago, he lo- 
cated in Moline, Tllinois and 
practiced there up to the time 
of his death. 

Doctor DeFrance, a grad- 
uate of the State University 
of Iowa was located here for 
a short time, followed by Doc- 
tor Smith, who left to take up 
work in India. 

Of those practicing now in 


Dentists of West Liberty 

West Liberty, Doctor W. B. 
Jayne holds the record, which 
is also the longest record of 
continuous practice in Musca- 
tine county. He_ sicceeded 
Doctor Unangst in 1896, hav- 
ing had charge of the Doctor’s 
practice as an undergraduate 
during his absence on vyaca- 
tions. He was born on a farm 
near Wilton Junction in 1870. 
After somewhat limited school 
opportunities and varied oc- 
cupations, he entered the den- 
tal department of the State 
University of Iowa and grad- 
uated in 1894. He was located 
in Oakland, Nebraska, for two 
years. Ill health has kept him 
from his office only one day in 
his years of practice. He re- 
calls that during his vacations 
he had an office in Lone Tree. 
Two days a week he drove to 
Nichols, borrowing a _ horse 
and a cart with a backless seat, 
carrying all his equipment 
with him except his chair. In 
1899 he married Helen Por- 
ter of Washington, Iowa, then 
in Muscatine, the first grad- 
uate nurse to locate there. 
They began housekeeping at 
500 B. 4th st., where they still 
live. They have two children 
living, Harold of Riverside, H- 
linois and Martha, medical su- 
pervisor of nurses in the State 
University Hospital of Color- 
ado at Denver. 

Doctor H. A. Knoft succeed- 
ed Doctor Long in 1908. He 
was born in Tipton, Iowa. Af- 
ter graduation from the Tip- 
ton high school, he entered 
the dental department of the 
State University of Iowa, and 
graduated in 1908. In 19383 
he was made a life member of 
the Iowa Dental Society, hav- 
ing belonged- for 25 years. In 
1912 he married Hazel Nich- 
ols, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. 
J. C. Nichols of West Liberty. 
In 1914 they built and moved 
into their present home at 520 
BE. Third Street. Their son, 
Charles is a junior in high 
school, and they have a young 
daughter Kathryn Kay. 

Doctor E. E. Hale succeed- 
ed Doctor Smith in 1931. He 
was born in Glenavon, Illinois. 
Attended public schools in 
Winterset, Iowa. Graduated 
from the dental department of 
the State University. of Iowa 
in 1929. Had work at Des 
Moines University and_ post- 
graduate work at Toledo, Ohio 

and the State University of 
Iowa. Practiced one vear in 
Perry, JIowa. While in the 

State University, he married 
Naomi Musser of Lone Tree, 

who later graduated from the 
State University of Iowa 
School of Nursing. They have 
one child Janet. They live at 
621 E. Third Street. 


The early history of St. Jos- 
eph’s parish begins with a few 
settlers in and around West 
Liberty about 1858, 1859 and 
1860. These were attended at 
intervals by missionary priests 
from Dubuque during the Epis- 
copate of Bishop Loras. 

In 1860 Fr. Emonds of Iowa 
City advised the few to build 
a church which was erected in 
1862 and continued to serve 
an ever-growing catholicity to 
1891, the date at which the 
present structure took its 
place. After Fr. Emonds came 
the Rev. P. Shannahan who 
attended to the spiritual needs 
of the people in Wilton, West 
Liberty, Tipton, Irish Valley, 
Nolen’s Settlement and Nich- 
ols Station. This was during 
the years 1863-4 and 5. 

It was only after the coming 
of Rev. J. J. Quigley 1865- 
1869 that a residence was es- 
tablished at Wilton. He in 
turn was followed by the Rev. 
P. A. McCabe 1869-1875. Fr. 
Duggan from 1875-1892. Then 

the Rev. M. C. Kirkpatrick 
1892-1919. He was the last 
Priest at Wilton associated 

with West Liberty. 

In 1919 Bishop Davis of 
Davenport appointed the Rev. 
Fr. Kissane the first pastor of 
West Liberty. 

He in turn was succeeded by 
Fr. Barry 1924-1927. It was 
during his time that the new 
rectory was built. After him 
came Fr. Welsh who attended 
this place for the next ten 

The present 
Rev. O. J. Small. 

The names of some of the 
old time families who were 
distinguished for courage, 
bravery and faith are here ap- 
pended to preserve them for 
future history. T. Burke, J. 
McDonald, J. Barry, J. Foley; 
T. Kelly, J. Cunniff, T. Pren- 
dergast, J. McWade, M. Dev- 
lin, J. Ruess, P. Moylan, J. 
White, M. Sullivan, J. Gorman, 
D. Hayes, E. Moylan, M. Gan- 

pastor is the 

oe uy 4% Sie) ~ | - | 
, aot Weald pa PB tea gc 
BA is Sua A. a etlmcnee aetaa AOL ae 

St. ae Church 

non, S. Slattery, M. Donohue, 
The Quin Family, P. Reynolds, 
J. Maher, H. Wolters, J. Hayes, 
H. Ruess, J. Milder, H. Derk- 
sen, J. Leahy, M. Creadon, P. 
and B. Berry, The Ostendorp 
Family, E. Murtagh, Fitzpat- 
Tricks, P. McCarty. 

The children and _ grand- 
children of many of these fam- 
ilies are still with us and are 
making the light of faith burn 
brightly and doing all they can 
to popularize the kaleidoscopic 
city of West Liberty in both 
business and social circles. 

The virgin countryside 
around West Liberty was 

blessed with many springs to 
quench the thirst of the hardy 
pioneers. Some of the most 
notable of the springs are in- 
cluded in the following: 

The big spring to the north 
edge of the town of Atalissa, 
later purchased by the railroad 
company to furnish water for 
the railroad. The spring east 
of the town of West Liberty, 
on what is now the Hawker 
farm, in pioneer days close by 
the platted town of Hudson. 
The Hall spring about one mile 
north of West Liberty, across 
the road from the present golf 
course, which, with the wood- 
lot adjoining, was the scene of 
many Sunday School picnics. 
During the early days the big 
spring west of West Liberty, 
which continues to run and 
was known as the Sulphur 
Spring, on what is now the 
Harold MacGowan farm. To 
this spring the early residents 
of West Liberty made regular 
pilgrimages for the water 
which they thought had med- 
icinal value. There is still a 
good spring on the A. C. Whit- 
acre farm west of the creek 
and north of U. S. Highway 
No. 6 which is utilized for the 
water supply of the farm. 

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A $11,500.00 World War 
service flag hangs in the Amer- 
ican Legion home, Looking at 
the banner, you can see noth- 
ing about it which would com- 
mand such a price. The only 
gold about it is the color of 
six stars—-two of them mount- 
ed on small -red crosses. Of 
course, the flag is well done— 
the material is of good qual- 
ity, the sewing is excellent, and 
the symbolic stars are symmet- 
rically placed. 

The six gold stars signify 
the supreme sacrifice of Lieut. 
Col. Clark Elliott, privates 
Mansell Phillips, Dell Raver, 
Albert Marticke, and the two 
Red Cross nurses, Ella Noring 
and Elsie Davis, whose stars 
are marked with crosses. 

The flag was made by Mrs. 
J. L. Peters, now deceased, a 
farm housewife who lived near 
West Liberty, and mother of 
two sons, Ernest and Chester, 
who were in the serv- 
ice. Red, white and blue mus- 
lin made up the banner, which 
measures 10 x 12 feet. Into 
the flag’s field went fifty-four 
blue stars, each representing a 
Wapsinonoc or Goshen town- 
ship youth who was in the 
United States service. As time 
passed and enlistments in- 
creased, Mrs. Peters added 
stars. When she finished, there 
were ninety-nine more in the 
flag’s border. 

Meanwhile, the drive for 
funds for the overseas struggle 
was intensified throughout the 
United States. In the spring 
of 1918, there came to West 
Liberty as to all other com- 
munities of this nation, a ery 
for more money for the Red 
Cross. It was then that the 
late B. W. Rowlen was struck 
with an idea. ‘“‘Let’s have an 
auction sale,” he said. ‘Sell 
whatever folks will donate but 
above all, sell the service flag.” 

On Saturday afternoon, 

March 23, 1918 the Red Cross | 

auction sale was held in the 


Bros. pavilion with a 
total of $13,500.00. 

The response to the call for 
goods was so generous that 
the large pavilion was literally 
packed, there were all kinds 
of livestock, canned goods, 
baked goods, dry goods, fur- 
niture, everything, with the 
service flag hanging in the 
east end of the building. 

P. N. Gibson and Fred Al- 
bin were the auctioneers with 
Chet Grigg and Pliny Nichols 
as assistants. Ray Whitacre 


and Ivan Noland were the 
clerks, with most of the pop- 
ulation of Wapsinonoc and 

Goshen Townships present. 

The program for the after- 
noon began with a parade from 
the West school building led 
by the Junior Red Cross, and 
every child from the two 
townships was proud to be 
there. Upon arrival at the pa- 
vilion the band played “The 
Star Spangled Banner,’’ Rev. 
Schondelmayer called the as- 
semblage to order, Rev. Han- 
kins gave the invocation, a 
quartet, Lynn Watters, Roy 
Tharp, S. H. Archibald and 
Allen Hemmingway sang two 
numbers, Rev. MeclInturff gave 
a brief patriotic address, then 
P. N. Gibson took the stand 
and with a few well chosen 
patriotic words called for bids 
on the service flag and the 
sale was on. 

James D. Potter, now de- 
ceased, bid in the banner for 
$50.00 and immediately an- 

nounced he would put up the 
flag for resale. 

“In a short time,’’ contem- 
porary accounts state, “there 
were 100 sales of $50.00 each 
and many at $40.00. These 
were followed by sales at $25.- 

00, then $15.00 and so on 

down to $2.50. : 

West Liberty residents say 
the sale set a national record 
for such an event, considering 

Courtesy of Davenport Democrat 

the location and population. 
Whether it did or not, there 
seems little doubt that Mrs. 
Peter’s flying fingers fashion- 
ed Iowa’s most valuable serv- 
ice flag. 

Royal Neighbors 

of America 

Liberty Camp, No. 2056, of 
West Liberty, was first organ- 
ized and presented a charter 
on March 28, 1900. 

In its beginning the Royal 
Neighbors camp was auxiliary 
to the Modern Woodmen of 
America. The first Oracle was 
Leah C. Overmier and the first 
recorder was Minnie B. Smiley. 
Of our charter members seven 
are living and two of them are 
still members of our camp, 
Francis (Mrs. Arthur) Tullis 
and Lottie (Hanna) Irwin. 

Our local camp holds regu- 
lar meetings on each second 
and fourth Wednesday evening 
of every month in the I. O. O. 
F, hall. We also have a Royal 
Workers social club which 
holds regular meetings on each 
first and third Tuesday after- 
noon of each month at the 
home of some member. 

The 1938 assembly of our 
district was held in West Lib- 
erty on May 11. At this assem- 
bly the supreme officers met 
with us. Liberty camp has an 
enrollment of 92 benefit mem- 
bers, 16 social members and 
17 juvenile members. 

In June of each year we 
have a Royal Neighbor Decor- 
ation Day. On this day we 
place flowers on the graves of 
our departed neighbors each 
of whose grave is designated 
by a marker from the camp. 

Present membership, 125. 


School Building 

At 7 o’clock Monday morn- 
ing, Jan, 17, 1916 following an 
explosion which occurred in 
the basement of the East 
school building, the building 
and contents were completely 
destroyed. The building was 
used by the primary and lower 
grades, and the early hour pre- 
vented any deaths. 

Because of a frozen hydrant- 
there was a lack of water to 
fight the blaze, and after an 
hour, the brick walls fell in. 

Tne primary room was di- 
rectly over the furnace, and 
Miss Mildred Luse, now Mrs. 
George Dalgety, Evanston, the 
was instructor. She lost a large 
amount of manuscript music 
she had gathered while study- 
ing in Chicago, including the