Histories Of Des Moines County, IA
Thanks to Cay Merryman
Yellow Springs Township
Mediapolis City Iowa
In 1867, a north and south railroad was talked up and subscriptions made. The citizens of Yellow Springs Township contributed $20,000 local aid, and in August, 1869, the track was laid and cars running to what is now Mediapolis. During the same month, W. H. Cartwright, A. Hemphill and W. W. King laid out town lots, which were surveyed by J. Wilson Williams. The first business building was put up in the fall of 1869, by Mr. Cartwright, and occupied by him with a general stock of goods in December 1869. The erection of the depot building was commenced as soon as the track was completed to that point.
Additions have since been made to the town by William Harper and D. G. Bruce.
A tinshop was one of the early institutions. The post office was established in 1870, A. Messenger, Postmaster, who still retains the office. In 1875, $10,000 was subscribed to the B. & N. W. R. R. on which Mediapolis promises to be an important point, as it is already on the B., C. R. & N. The Burlington & Northwestern Narrow-Gauge also passes through Mediapolis.
Through the energetic labors of Rev. M. Bamford and his fellow lay workers, a good Methodist Church was built in Mediapolis in 1875, of which Rev. Bamford is still the Pastor.
The United Presbyterians effected an organization in 1871, and built a church in Mediapolis in 1872. Rev. D. G. Bruce has for the past five years been its Pastor, having been preceded for short periods by Rev. Messrs. McDill, Blake and others. Since January 1879, the Church has been without a minister.
The Independent District School of Mediapolis, was established in temporary quarters in 1873, and taught by Miss Maggie Bruce. During the summer of 1877, a two-story frame schoolhouse was built at a cost of $2,500. The first teachers in the new schoolhouse were Miss Maggie Getty and Miss Minnie Cartright. The present teachers are Miss Maggie Getty and Miss May Cramer. The present attendance is about one hundred and thirty.
Progress Lodge, No. 226, A.,F. & A.M. was instituted under dispensation December 18, 1867, and chartered June 3, 1868. The first officers were: George Wright, W.M.; O. A. Paul, S.W.; D.M. Adams, J.W.; J.R. Backus, Secretary. The charter members were Morris Boss, George Wright, O.A. Paul, J.R. Backus, D.M. Adams, Isaac Guy and C. W. Littleton. The present officers are: R.W. Wilson, W.M.; N.B. Hixon, S.W.; H.C. Kline, J.W.; H.B. Cartright, Treasurer; Fred C. Tuttle, Secretary. The Lodge meets at Masonic Hall, has a present membership of forty-two, and property valued at $2,500.
Garner Lodge, No. 379, I.O.O.F., was instituted under dispensation May 17, 1878, and named after Dr. Garner, first Grand Master of the State of Iowa, by A. J. Morrison, G.M., assisted by William Garrett, Grand Secretary. A charter was granted during the session of the Grand Lodge in October, 1878. The charter members were R. Smith, J. W. McCoy, J. W. Merrell, H. Ross, J. A. Nelson, J. S. Taylor and B. F. Stahl. The first officers were: R. Smith, N.G.; J. W. McCoy, V.G.; J.W. Merrell, Secretary; B.F. Stahl, Treasurer. The Lodge meets in Masonic Hall, has a membership of twenty and property valued at $150.
Mediapolis Lodge, No. 67, of the Anti-Horse-Thief Association, was November 15, 1874, with the following as charter members: J.H. Guthrie, W.B. Bradley, H.C. Harper, Daniel Matson, Samuel F. Edwards, Joseph Carl, A.C. Brown, S.S. King, J.W. Talbott and E. G. Archer. The first officers were: John Talbott, W.P.; S.S. King, W.V.P.; John H. Guthrie, W.Secretary; A.C. Brown, W. Treasurer; Samuel Fry, W. Marshal. The secret work was given by the Grand Deputy, Henry Evans. The Lodge has now a membership of over forty, and has done some very efficient work. The object of this association is not to create a mob law, but to see that the laws of the State are property enforced, and the community protected from rogues and outlaws. The present officers are: Fred C. Tuttle, W.P.; Thos. Davis, W.V.P.; J.P. Ware, W. Secretary; James Purcell, W. Treasurer; R. R. Lockhart, W. Marshal. Lodge meets in Carneanís Building.
The Mediapolis Brass Band, was organized in October, 1878, with the following members: O. H. Talbott, R. Ware, Edward Bridges, Charles Deets, J. W. Hemphill, James McMullen, E. C. Loper, Charles Amborn; J.W. Hamphill, President; O. H. Talbot, Secretary.
The Enterprise was established by Newton & Green in December, 1874, with Mr. Newton as editor. It came into the possession of J. W. Merrill has conducted and edited the paper since that time. It is now in its fifth volume, and is enjoying a good local circulation.
The business interests of Mediapolis consist of three general stores, two hotels, one hardware establishment, one drug store, one restaurant, one commission house, one grain firm, two harness-shops, two agricultural-implement concerns, three blacksmith-shops, one tin shop, two wagon-manufacturing establishments, two physicians, two millinery firms, four carpenters, two shoemakers, one painter, one jeweler, one watchmaker, one livery-stable, two tailors, one plasterer, one barber, one printing establishment, one real-estate firm and one butcher-shop.
The township officers of Yellow Springs Township are: B.F. Stahl and Grafton Rhodes, Justices of the Peace; D. L. Tubbs and Edward Adams, Constables; L. F. Pierce, Clerk; J. H. Black, Assessor; J. R. Jones, J. R. Braden and William Housted, Trustees.