History of our Towns:
Contributed by Dick Onken
Transcribed by Ralph Leonard III (as published)
History taken from the Lidderdale Centennial Book
Compiled by Norma Berns for the Centennial Book
As the tracks were
being laid for the Great Western's tremendous undertaking, Lanesboro was
beginning to boom as the line was coming from the northeast.
In the summer of
1901, the railroad right-of-way was surveyed and the grade was built the
following year, most of it done by horse and mule power. The rails were laid in
the late fall of 1902.
Another town would
be built along these rails and further southwest to Lanesboro on the highest
point between Fort
Dodge and Omaha. Four miles east and four miles north of Carroll. A name??
The new town in Sheridan Township is to be called Gliddendale. It's a pretty
name and ordinarily would be unobjectionable. But it is too much like Glidden to
be acceptable, it seems to us. There would be a confusion in mail matters and
many annoyances would come out of the similarity of names. It is a question
whether the department would accept that name for the post office and the
railway company had better look into the matter before giving that name to the
For years, the consensus was that it was named for Lord Lidderdale of England,
an investor in U. S. railroads. But... there was a mystery!
In 1844, John Lidderdale of Russia sent his son William, born in 1832, to
England to be taught modern languages and other subject necessary for a
"Mercantile life." In 1857, William came to the U. S. and worked in the New York
agency of Rathbone Bros. & Co., a long-established Liverpool Merchant house with
extensive trading, shipping and financial business. Here he studied economics.
During "Hip" Kienapfel's term as Mayor of Carroll, he was pursuing the
possibility of having a "sister city" in Russia and England. By some quirk, he
saw the name Lidderdale in his resources and began a correspondence with Hal
Lidderdale of London. Mr. Lidderdale was extremely interested and when he
visited the U. S. a few years later, to visit "Hip" and his wife. Mr. Lidderdale
had done some research on his own when he returned to London. In a letter to
"Hip" in 1989, he wrote, "There is a mystery!" No one our name has been in the
Peerage and the "Lord" must have attached itself to the Lidderdale by accident.
But the Dictionary of Business Biography, 1985 make it quite clear that my
uncle, the Rt. Hon. William Lidderdale, Governor of the Bank of England
1889-1892, who worked in the New York office of Rathbone Bros. 1857-1863, may
well have invested money in U. S. A. railways before his governorship. His
brother Francis, a prosperous merchant, also had American interest, and could
have been a subscriber to the railroad.
The town was named "Lidderdale" and to date there has never been another such
named town in all of the United States. Now you know "the rest of the story."
Lidderdale has the distinction of being the last major village or town platted
in Carroll County and it is still in existence. The Great Western Railroad went
southwest through town already established.
Land deeds recorded at the Carroll County Courthouse state that John and Anna
Subbert sold 5.96 acres of land to the Mason City and Fort Dodge Railroad Co. on
March 19, 1902 at 8 a.m. for $650.00.
The same day, the Mason City & Fort Dodge Railroad Co. purchased 2.96 acres from
A. W. & Lillie F. Patterson and John & Catherina Sievers for $300.00.
The Iowa Townsite Co., a department of the Chicago Great Western office in Fort
Dodge, published a plat map of Lidderdale by 1906 with 25 blocks. They named the
east-west streets, starting on the south border which was the dividing line
between Sheridan and Grant townships, the names Central, First, Second, Third,
and Fourth Streets. The road that ran north and south through the town was named
Main Street. North and south streets, starting from the west side were named
Rohan, Sampson, Lee, Main, Robb, Healy, and Subbert Avenues.
A petition to incorporate the town of Lidderdale was completed in Oct. 1905. On
February 8, 1906, An Act to Legalize the Incorporation of the town of
Lidderdale, Carroll County, Iowa was published in the Carroll Times for four
Aug. 26, 1903
The town of Lidderdale has made its appearance and new buildings may be seen
many miles distant. Already several new business houses are enclosed and lumber
is on the ground for others. There are two big elevators completed and ready for
business and general stores and saloons are also ready. The town is located in
one of the most productive areas of the county.
The one and only
"Lidderdale" in the whole U. S. A. was on its way.
Photo contributed by Ralph Leonard III