Cerro Gordo County >> 1910 Index

History of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Ed. and comp. by J. H. Wheeler. 2 vols. Chicago: Lewis Pub Co., 1910

Contents


Transcribed by Kay Ehlers

CHAPTER I.
LOCATION AND NATURAL FEATURES

Political and Physical Geography — Flora and Fauna — Mineral System — The age of Ice — Cerro Gordo A Product of the Glaciers — Climate and Topography Before the Coming of the Glaciers — The cause of the Age of Ice — The Change from Pre-Glacial to Glacial Conditions — Appearance of the Country During the Ice Age — The Four Glacial Periods — The Age of the Glacial Epoch in Cerro Gordo Reduced From Time Periods to Years.    3-10

CHAPTER II.
THE CHAIN OF TITLE.

Land Titles Traced Back to Government patent — the Title of the United States to Iowa Land — Two Chains of Title, the American or Indian and the European or White Man’s Chain of Title — The Indian or American Title — The European Title.     11-19

CHAPTER III.
EARLY SETTLEMENT.

The Early Settlement — Who the First Settlers Were and their Place of Settlement — Troubles With the Indians — Resulting Hardships of the Settlers — Important Events in Early History of the County.    20-27

CHAPTER IV.
COMING OF THE WHITE MEN.

The Country Prior to the Coming of the White Men — A Changeless Land for Ten Thousand Years — The Coming of the White Aryans — The Aryan Revolution — The Pioneers.        28-34

CHAPTER V.
INDIAN TROUBLES.

Early Settlement Around Clear Lake — The Feud Between the Sioux and Winnebagoes — The coming of the Sioux and Fears of the Winnebagoes — The Treachery of the Sioux and Murder of a Young Winnebago — further Treachery of the Sioux — final Retreat of the Sioux — The “Grindstone War.”      35-42

CHAPTER VI.
ORGANIZATION

Political Events Preceding the Creation of Organization of Cerro Gordo County — The Creation of Cerro Gordo County — The Name — Cerro Gordo a Civil Township of Floyd County — The Organization of the County — First Election — The County Seat — County Court — Township Organization — The Board of Supervisors — County Officers From Organization of County to 1910.        43-65

CHAPTER VII.
REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT.

The Act of 1847 Dividing Iowa Into Congressional Districts — The Act of 1862 Placing Cerro Gordo in the Sixth Congressional district — Act of 1872 Places Cerro Gordo in Fourth Congressional District---Act of 1882 Places Cerro Gordo in Tenth Congressional District — Act of 1886 Cerro Gordo is Finally Placed in Fourth Congressional District — The State Legislature — Act of 1851 — Act of 1853 — Act of 1855 — Act of 1857 — Act of 1860 — Act of 1862 — Act of 1864 — Act of 1866 — Act of 1868 — Act of 1870 — Act of 1872 — Act of 1876---Act of 1878 — Act of 1882 — Act of 1890.        66-75

CHAPTER VIII.
COUNTY ELECTIONS.

Electoral History — Prohibition.          76-84

CHAPTER IX.
CERRO GORDO DURING THE CIVIL WAR.

“War Times” — Conditions in Cerro Gordo at Breaking out of the War — The “Home Guards” — The Patriotic Uprising — War Meetings — The Men and the War and the Women and the War — The Boys and Girls in “War Time” — The War Songs — What the War Meant to the Men at the Front and What it Meant to the Women at Home — The Darkest Hour of the War — Patriotic Action of the Board of Supervisors — Going of the First Volunteers — Roster of Cerro Gordo Soldiers — “Dead on the field of Honor.”         85-96

CHAPTER X.
AGRICULTURE.

The First County Fair — Contrast With Present Day “Agricultural Expositions” — First attempt at a Legally Organized Society — First Incorporation and Officers — First Fair Grounds — Present Fair Association — Cerro Gordo Agriculture and Agricultural Products — Agricultural Statistics.          97-107

CHAPTER XI.
POPULATION.

Population of Cerro Gordo County as Given by each Census from 1851-1910 — Decrease in Rural and Increase in Urban Population — Population by Townships for 1880 and for 1905 — Sex, Number and Place of Birth of native Born Population in 1905 — sex, Number and Place of Birth of Foreign Born for 1905 — Conjugal Relations---Cerro Gordo’s First Love Story and First Marriage — marriage Statistics — The Divorce Evil — Causes of the Evil — Remedies.           108-117

CHAPTER XII.
CERRO GORDO COUNTY SCHOOLS.

Education and the Schools and Teachers of Long Ago — All Changes in Methods Not Improvements — The Old Log School House — Early Interest in the Cause of Education — First Schools and Teachers — The Public School and the Sectarian School — Each has Drawbacks as Well as Advantages — Judgement Between two Systems Depends on Viewpoint — Difference in Primary Purpose and Ultimate Effect.           118-126

CHAPTER XIII.
THE MEDICAL PROFESSION.

Doctors Most Useful of First Immigrants — But Little Reward for First Physician-Dr. Silas Card Pioneer of Medical Profession in Cerro Gordo — Other Pioneers of Medical Fraternity — Hardships of Medical Practice in 50s and 60s — Dr. Stanbery — Medical Profession in the 70s — Dr. J. B. Dakin — Dr. C. H. Smith — Dr. J. B. Charlton — Cerro Gordo Medical Society — When and by Whom Founded — Present Membership — Mason City Hospitals — City Park Hospital — Storey Hospital — Medical Fraternity — Training School for Nurses.                       127-140

CHAPTER XIV.
THE PRESS OF CERRO GORDO COUNTY.

Press a Prime Factor in History Making — Criterion by Which to Judge a People — Accuracy of Press Annals — Datus E. Coon — The Cerro Gordo County Republican — List of Journalists Connected With it — Clear Lake Independent — Clear Lake Mirror — Mason City Express — The Freeman — Mason City Times — Mason City Gazette — Mason City Daily Globe — Rockwell Phonograph — Clear Lake Reporter — Other Newspapers         141-150

CHAPTER XV.
BENCH AND BAR OF CERRO GORDO.

Early Judicial Districts — First Term of Court in County — Early Judges — Early District Attorneys — List of Judges Who Have Occupied Bench — List of District Attorneys — List of County Attorneys — List of Attorneys Who Have Practiced in County Now Deceased — Those Who Have Moved Away and Known to Be Living in 1910 — Those Whose Whereabouts are Unknown — Present Bar — Court Annals and Human Interest Which Attaches to Them — Humor and Pathos — Anecdotes — Orthography — Witnesses — Geo. W. Ruddick, First Circuit Judge — His Death — Cliggitt’s Eulogy Delivered Before the Supreme Court.        151-164

CHAPTER XVI.
REMINISCENCES OF PIONEERS.

Contrast Between Past and Present — Locals of 1860 — Indian Talk — A Settler’s Experience — Early Days in Cerro Gordo — A Case of Horse Stealing.   165-177

CHAPTER XVII.
THE GREAT BLIZZARD OF 1855.

Deceiving Weather Conditions on Morning of Blizzard — Rapid Approach of the Storm — Its Terrible Fury — Losses in Life and Property — Freezing of Long and Meyers — The Tragedy of John Van Aiken — The Freezing of Abbott and Wicks — The Blizzard of 1872 — Saved by a Hair’s Breadth — Case of Matthew Humphrey — Ice Crust of 1856 — Destruction of the Big Game — Freezing of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph — The Flood of 1878.             178-191

CHAPTER XVIII.
CIVIL SUBDIVISIONS.

Creation and Organization of the County — Division into Townships — First Division — Second Division — Final Division into Sixteen Townships — History of Bath Township — History of Union Township — History of Grant Township — History of Owen Township.           195-212

CHAPTER XIX.
LAKE TOWNSHIP.

                Lake Township — The Founding of Livonia and the County Seat War — Livonia’s Defeat and Obliteration — Speculation as the Respective Fortunes of Livonia and Mason City Had the Result of the County Seat Contest Favored the Former Instead of the Latter — Thomas O. Howard — “Dead on the field of Honor.”       213-220

CHAPTER XX
FALLS TOWNSHIP

History of Falls Township — First Settlement by Elijah Wiltfong — The Gregory Family — The Village of Plymouth — Shell Rock Falls — Its Fine Water Power.      221-233

CHAPTER XXI.
PORTLAND TOWNSHIP

History of Portland Township — First Settlement and Early Settlers — the Portland Mill — the village of Portland.   234-240

CHAPTER XXII.
MT. VERNON, LINCOLN AND GRIMES.

History of Mt. Vernon Township — First Settlers — Difficulty of Securing Organization — Lincoln Township — Early Settlement — Industries — Grimes Township — Early History — The Railroad — Thornton — Meservey.                  241-251

CHAPTER XXIII.
LIME CREEK TOWNSHIP.

History of Lime Creek Township — Its Early Settlement — Its Early Schools — Religious History.     252-259

CHAPTER XXIV.
MASON TOWNSHIP

History of Mason Township — Early Settlement — One of the First Townships Settles — One of the First to Be Organized — Its Early Schools.   260-265

CHAPTER XXV.
GENESEO TOWNSHIP.

History of Geneseo Township — Early Settlement — Organized as Linn Township — Name Changed to Geneseo — Town of Rockwell — Creamery — Schools — Churches — Societies.     266-279

CHAPTER XXVI.
DOUGHERTY AND PLEASANT VALLEY TOWNSHIPS.

CHAPTER XXVII.
CLEAR LAKE TOWNSHIP.

History of Clear Lake Township — Early Settlement — The Shores of Clear Lake the First to Attract Settlers — The Reason Why Settlers Came to Clear Lake and Cerro Gordo County — Character and Mingled Motives of First Settlers — The Town of Clear Lake — Founders of the Town — Early Additions — Early History — Early Mails — Story of Amos Garrett — Clear Lake Schools — Societies — Religions — Hotels -- Campmeeting Grounds — Business — Banks — As a Summer Resort.    291-311

History of Dougherty Township — village of Dougherty — Schools — Churches — Societies — Business — Pleasant Valley Township — Early Settlement — Organization — Early Schools — village of Swaledale.  280-290

CHAPTER XXVIII.
MASON CITY.

Location of Mason City — the Beauties of Early Scenery — The Found of the City — Reasons for Its Location — First Called Shiboleth — The First House and First citizen — first Plats — Political History — county Seat War — Incorporated as a Town — Personnel of Government For 1870-1910 — Old Mason City — Business History Down to 1870 — Various Matters Pertaining tot he Old Town — The New City — Commerce — Industrial — Hotels — Transportation — Postoffice — Theaters — Societies — Banks — Grand Army Post, Etc. — Co. A — Clubs — Why Special Mention is Made of Women’s Clubs — The City Library — Mason City Schools — Churches — Parks--Public Buildings — Police — Fire Department.  312-365

CHAPTER XXIX.
ROCKWELL CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY.

Quotation from Pittsburg Dispatch — Organization of Rockwell Co-operative Society — First Officers — Early Difficulties — fight Against the Powerful Corporations — Victory — Reasons for Success — Mr. McManus Gives Credit Where Credit is Due — State Association — Reasons for State Organization — Its Success. 366-372

ILLUSTRATIONS

Mason City in 1870,                             24
Island From Grand View, Clear Lake,             37
Central School, Mason City,                     48
Cerro Gordo County Court House,                 74
Main Street, Mason City,                       109
Sacred Heart Academy, Rockwell,                125
Sunset on Clear Lake                           166
High, School, Mason City,                      175
Parker’s Mill,                                 190
Willow Creek,                                  217
Boating on Beaver Dam                          242
Stone Arch Bridge, Mason City                  261
High School, Rockwell,                         269
Sacred Heart Church, Rockwell,                 274
Outlet, Clear Lake,                            292
Mason City Drain Tile Company,                 315
Kuppenger’s Mill,                              332
Northwestern States Portland Cement Company    338
Public Library, Mason City,                    354
Memorial University, Mason City                362
Odd Fellows Orphan Home                        364