Location, Natural Features, Etc. | Water Powers|
Means of Communication | County Schools
Political Organization | Early History
Albion: Present Condition | Schools | Churches | Societies|
The Press | Hotels | Business | Biographical Sketches
St. Edward: Local Institutions|
Biographical Sketches: Beaver Precinct
Cedar Rapids: Biographical Sketches
Biographical Sketches: Cedar Precinct
Plum Creek Precinct | Boone Precinct
List of Illustrations in Boone County Chapter
This enterprising village was first laid out and recorded in 1871 by the Cedar Rapids Land and Emigration Company. Settlement had been made before this in the vicinity. As has already been stated, Ed Dwyer, after leaving the early settlers of Albion in their cabin, went down the Beaver Valley to the Indian Reservation. He soon came back, bringing with him A. W. Dyer and a Mr. Graves, who did not remain long. Dwyer took his claim about a mile north of town and Dyer about five miles north of him, at what was known as Boone Post Office. This was in April, 1871, and, for a month, these were the only settlers in this part of the county. In May, J. D. Farrell, L. H. Baldwin and two men by the names of Spencer and Ellis, who never stopped, arrived. In June, J. B. Long and his sons, W. S. and E. T. Long, came out and located two and a half miles north of St. Edward. During the summer, Pat Coyle and M. J. Thompson both located. In May, of 1871, Ed Dwyer's dug-out was built and was the first house in the section Shortly after they had erected it, Beaver City as St. Edward was once called, was platted. Mr. Dwyer thus narrates the event:
"One day, while working on that dug-out, I observed a team and several men moving around the valley about two miles below here; but, thinking they were land-hunters and expecting they would soon pass up this way, I did not go down to investigate. However, they disappeared the next day before I had a chance to interview them. But on my next trip to Columbus, I learned that that party, with J. North as surveyor, had laid out and surveyed a town site, and had given it the name of Beaver City. The name has since been changed to St. Edward."
The first building on the town site was the frame store building of Joseph Rittel, which was a 10x14 structure, located near the river. This was built in the spring of 1874. In the spring of 1876, Rittel also erected a building, which was used as a hall. The two buildings stood alone until the year following, when Disher & Smith built their building and put in a stock of groceries. The first child born in the neighborhood was Daniel Morgan, in 1874, but B. K. Smith received the silver knife and fork, which the town company offered for the first child. In 1872, a post office was located just east of town and Robert Hardy was appointed Postmaster. It was then known as the Beaver City Post Office. Shortly afterward, it was moved across the Beaver by M. J. Thompson, who became Postmaster, and was called the Waterville office. In 1878, Mr. Thompson moved into town and brought the office with him, since which time it has been called the St. Edward office.
The first Fourth of July celebration in this section of country was a very patriotic one. There were four men in the neighborhood--Ed Dwyer, Milton Hollingsworth, Graves and Baldwin. As alcohol and water were distasteful to the latter, the other three proceeded to carry out the order of exercises; speeches were made, songs sung and the Declaration of Independence repeated from memory. At the close of the exercises, the audience was thanked for its attendance and kind appreciation, and the three dispersed, vowing eternal allegiance to the glorious principles embodied in the constitution.
There have been two additions made to the original town plat. Thompson's was recorded in the summer of 1877 and Hardy's in the spring of 1879. The growth of the town has occurred entirely within two years. Especially has it been marked in the last year, and the prospects are good for a large immigration during 1882. There are at present about 200 inhabitants in the town. That they are an intelligent and refined class of people may be seen by reference to their schools and churches.
The first school ever held near St. Edward was by Kittie Coyle at her home just west of town, in 1871. The public schoolhouse now used in the town was erected in 1875. At that time, $1,000 bonds were issued by the precinct and the building was erected at a cost of $800. At present, two teachers are employed by the board, which consists of three members--D. V. Whitney, Moderator; J. O'Donnell, Director, and W. S. Anderson, Treasurer. The teachers during the last year were T. C. Williams and Miss Nannie Case. The number of scholars in the district is fifty-three, of whom forty-two were regular attendants.
The Boone County Seminary was organized in 1879. It is a Baptist school and thus far has been fairly successful. It is taught by Rev. Z. C. Rush, the Baptist pastor at St. Edward. Rev. Mr. Rush was assisted by his son, C. W. Rush, but at present is conducting the school alone. The first story of the church building is used for a school-room. The first year of school the attendance was fifty. At present, it is about forty. Z. C. Rush is Chairman of the Board of Directors; A. J. Wright, Secretary, and O. K. Smith, Treasurer. The board consists of twelve members.
The Methodist Church was organized at St. Edward in 1873, by Rev. S. P. Bollman, the pioneer preacher of Boone County. The early members were M. J. Thompson and wife, D. E. Collins and wife, Joel Berry and wife and Mrs. Gus. Collins. Elder Bollman was succeeded by Rev. Jabez Charles; next came Rev. C. W. Wells and Rev. Thomas Thompson. Rev. William Gorst succeeded him, and, in September, 1881, Rev. E. L. Fox, the present pastor, arrived. The church building, a neat and commodious structure, is located in the northern part of town, and was erected at a cost of $1,800. At present, there are twenty-seven members in the church.
The Baptist Church was organized February 1, 1874, by Rev. A. J. Wright. The first members were Alonzo Brooks, C. C. Bristol, N. S. Bristol, W. M. Saxton, Sarah A Bristol, Augusta Bristol, Myra Bristol, Melva Bristol, Nancy Lovelace, L. A Lovelace, Lottie Cady, Lucy Kilbourn, Lucy Cady, James A. Kilbourn and Mary J. Brooks. The membership has since increased to thirty. Rev. Z. C. Rush succeeded Rev. Mr. Wright, October 1, 1879, and has since been pastor of the church. The church building was erected in 1879, and was dedicated November 18, 1881. It is a two-story building, and cost $1,800. The lower story is occupied by the seminary.
The Presbyterian Church was organized May 11, 1876, with the following members: John McFayden, Margaret McFayden, Charles McFayden, Kate McFayden, Alice McFayden, Israel Haberlin, Kate Haberlin and John Gart. Rev. J. A. Hood was the first supply and was followed by Rev. A. S. Fonda. In September, 1881, Rev. John Barkhard arrived and has since been pastor. The present membership of the church is forty-eight. Services are held in the M. E. Church. The Union Sunday School meets every Sunday at the Methodist Church and is attended by sixty scholars.
Hudson Lodge, No. 92, I. O. O. F., was organized in January, 1881. The charter members were Charles Sutton, Fred Walters, William Vizzard, David Zimmerman, John Jennings and L. P. McCullom. Meetings are held every Saturday over Price's store. The present membership of the society, which is the only one, is fifteen. The officers are: Israel Haberlin, N. G.; William Vizzard, V. G.; L. P. McCullom, Secretary, and E. T. Long, Treasurer, and Fred Walters, P. G.
St. Edward has grown to be a prominent business place, and several important branches flourish there. Once, even, the town rose to the dignity of possessing a newspaper, the St. Edward Courier, published by E. H. Thomas, but that highly creditable undertaking fell through after a year's struggle against an unyielding destiny. At present, there are four general stores, one grocery store, two blacksmith shops, one hardware store, one feed store, one furniture store, one shoe shop and one harness shop. There are also a hotel, billiard-hall and a mill.
The Waterville mills were erected by John Gart in 1874. As soon as completed, the structure was sold to Powell, and he soon disposed of the property to Hunneman & Tollman. This firm continued for some time, when Tollman sold his interest to Price. Price afterward sold to Crouch and the firm at present is Hunneman & Crouch. The building ils 32x44 feet, four stories high and contains three run of stone, one for feed. Its capacity is about 275 bushels per day. Over ten feet fall of water is obtained in a very short race, so rapid is the descent of the Beaver. This mill is one of the important institutions of Boone County, and is one of the best in this portion of the State. Its value is $12,000.
The Hardy House was built by Robert Hardy, in July, 1880, and was opened by him. It was soon after rented to James O'Donnell, who ran it for about a year, when H. A Shaffer took it and has since remained landlord. There are accommodations for thirty guests and in every way the entertainment is first-class.
The grain business is at present represented by Alex. Voorhees, who buys and ships.
JOEL BERRY, farmer, Section 34, Township 19, Range 5 west, P. O. St. Edward, was born in Rockingham County, Va., June 24, 1810. On account of slavery, his parents moved to Fairfield County, Ohio, when he was quite young. He lived there about twenty years. He then married, September 2, 1830, Miss Mary Befler, who died December 25, 1879, leaving seven children--Joshua, Elizabeth, Magdalena, Emily, Isabella, Mary and Samuel. In 1823, he moved to Seneca County, Ohio, remaining there sixteen years. He then moved to Noble County, Ind., where he resided until 1855, when he moved to Richland County, Wis. In 1871, he moved to Nebraska, settling in Boone County, where he has since resided. His farm, now consisting of seventy acres, is all in cultivation, has good improvements, and adjoins the town of St. Edward. Mr. Berry is a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he is Trustee. He takes great interest in religious matters. In his younger days he was a great hunter, having killed over seven hundred deer, several bears and large numbers of turkeys and other game. Mr. Berry was married a second time, September 15, 1881, to Mrs. Mary A. Borton.
EDWARD DWYER, farmer, located on Section 27, Town 19, Range 5 west, P. O. St. Edward, was born in New York City March 6, 1834, shortly after his parents removed to Walden, Orange County, where they resided until 1848, when they moved West and located at Shields Town (near present town of Lake Forest), Lake Co., Ill. In 1854, E. D. left home to try the "struggle for existence" on his own account. From that time until the breaking-out of the rebellion in 1861, he drifted around through the lumber regions of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. steamboating on the Mississippi and its tributaries, distilling and teaming in Chicago, Ill. In September, 1861, enlisted in Company I, First Wisconsin Cavalry, at Ripon, Wis.; was afterward transferred to Company C. Was with the regiment at the battles of Chalk Bluffs, Ark., Cape Girardeau, Mo., Chickamauga, the capture of Shelbyville, Tenn., and the relief of Gen. Burnside at Knoxville, Tenn., besides about all the scouting expeditions and minor engagements participated in by that regiment up to January 9, 1864, when he was severely wounded in an engagement with Gen. Longstreet's forces at Dundridge, Tenn., and was discharged on that account in August of that year. In the fall of 1870, he left Chicago, and after one winter's experience in trying to live in the State of Mississippi he returned North and settled in the then unorganized territory of Boone County, Neb., where he took the first claim that was taken in the Lower Beaver Valley. His farm consists of 160 acres, one mile north of St. Edward, on the line of the O. N. B. H. R. R. He has nearly one hundred acres under cultivation, and about four acres of timber, natural and cultivated. Mr. D. is a Democrat. At the first special election for the purpose of organizing the county in 1872, he was elected County Commissioner, and although not a professional politician, he occasionally takes a prominent part in the political affairs of the county.
CAPT. ROBERT HARDY, real estate dealer, St. Edward, was born in Botetourt County, Va., December 28, 1829, living there until seven years old. His parents then moved to St. Joseph County, Ind. He resided there most of the time until 1871. When nineteen years old he went to Niles, Mich., and learned the blacksmith's trade, which he followed exclusively nearly twenty-five years. He married at Springfield, Ohio, June 18, 1851, Miss Olive W. Cushman, who was born in Xenia, Ohio. She died March 5, 1882, leaving two children--Grace and Eva. In 1861, he enlisted in the army, and was elected captain of Company K, Twelfth Michigan Volunteers, serving over a year. He was at the battle of Shiloh, and soon afterward was taken sick, on which account he was discharged. After his discharge he returned home, and regaining his health he entered the Quartermaster's Department, remaining about six months, when the war ended. He then returned to Cass County, Mich., where he had a small farm and blacksmith shop. In the spring of 1871, he moved to Nebraska, taking a homestead in Boone County, in May. He resided there until he proved up his claim. He then returned to South Bend, Ind., where he served two years as City Marshal and two years as Sheriff of St. Joseph County. He then returned to St. Edward, a portion of which is built on his farm, which adjoins it on the south. He built the Hardy House and other buildings, and has done much to improve the town and to have the surrounding country settled up.
RITTEL & LAUDEMAN, merchants, St. Edward, carry a general stock of $4,000 to $5,000. They have a large trade and do an extensive business. Joseph Rittel, senior partner of the above firm, was born in Lebanon County Penn., July 10, 1828. He then married, October 23, 1850, Miss Susanna Gard, who was born in Dauphin County, Penn. They have one child, Agnes, who is the wife of Peter Laudeman, junior partner of the above firm. Mr. Rittel learned the carpenter's trade in Pennsylvania, following it there until 1861. He then removed to Peru, Ind., living there one year. He resided in other towns in Indiana until the spring of 1874, when he removed to Nebraska, engaging in merchandising at St. Edward, where he has since continued in business. During the past year he has associated with himself in business his son-in-law, Peter Laudeman. Mr. Rittel has always been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is now one of the most prominent members of that church at St. Edward.
M. J. THOMPSON Postmaster, St. Edward, was born in Nelson, Portage Co., Ohio, August 27, 1845. He lived there until 1867, when he came to Nebraska, locating in the western part of Douglas County, where he resided four years, engaged in farming. He married at Fremont, October 16, 1869, Miss Lydia E. Collins, who was born at Camden, Maine. They have two children--George M. and Luella Blanche. In the spring of 1871, he removed to Boone County, taking a claim adjoining the present site of St. Edward; a portion of the town is built on his original homestead. Of this place, 100 acres are in cultivation and twenty-five acres in pasture under fence. He has also a half-section in Woodville Precinct, Platte County, of which one-half is under cultivation. Mr. Thompson is a Republican. He has held the office of Postmaster at St. Edward since 1873; is also Notary Public and agent of the St. Edward Land and Emigation Company. He is largely engaged in real estate and loan business.
CAPT. ALEXANDER VOORHEES, dealer in grain, live stock and coal, was born in Seneca County, N. Y., from which place his parents moved to Chemung County, N. Y., when he was six years old. At the latter place he resided nearly twenty years. He was married, March 7, 1845, to Miss Maria Chamberlain, a native of Sharon, Litchfield Co., Conn. They have two children--Charles C., now a successful farmer of this (Boone) county, and John C., who is interested in quartz mining in Colorado, where he resides. In 1850, the subject of this sketch moved to Horicon, Wis., where he engaged in farming and grain dealing until 1859, when he removed to Hopkinton, Delaware Co., Iowa, and engaged in farming. In 1861, he responded to his country's call by raising a company of volunteers, Company K, Twenty-first Iowa Infantry, and was commissioned its Captain, serving in that capacity until the close of the war. He served in the Department of the West, and participated in the battles of Port Gibson, Champion Hills, Vicksburg, New Orleans, Mobile and many other engagements in the Southwest. From Mobile his command was sent to Grand de Core, La., where for a time he was in command of his regiment. He was mustered out in August, 1865, and returned to his home, where he engaged in mercantile business for two years, then again in grain shipping for two years. Soon after the close of the war he was commissioned a Colonel on the staff of Gov. Merrill, of Iowa, which position he held for four years. In the fall of 1870, he came to Nebraska and located in Boone County, in what has since been known as Voorhees Valley. His family followed him the next spring. He was one of the pioneers of this section, his farm being the first taken in Boone County. He resided on his farm until 1880, when he moved to St. Edward, and again engaged in dealing in grain, live stock, coal and agricultural implements. In 1881, he handled 134 car loads of grain and hogs and forty car loads of coal. Capt. Voorhees is a stanch Republican, and takes a prominent part in political affairs. He is a member of Albion Lodge, No. 78, A., F. & A. M., at Albion. His original farm consists of 160 acres, and is located in a beautiful valley opening into Beaver Valley, a few miles above St. Edward. To this, he and his son Charles, who manages the whole, have added two adjoining quarter sections, making a farm of 480 acres, nearly 200 acres of which are in cultivation.
This little village on the Cedar, southwest from Albion, some eleven miles, was platted in 1879. A somewhat extended account has already been given of Adam Smith's negotiations with the county, the result of which was the ceding of a vast tract of land to him by the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad. All that is further necessary to remark is that Cedar Rapids is the spot where Mr. Smith began his improvements, which have been continued by his son, Pierson Smith. There are now about fifty inhabitants in the town and several stores, besides a school and post office. The most important feature is the large mill which has been erected by the Nebraska Land and Live Stock Company. The officers of this company are N. K. Fairbank, of Chicago, President; Pierson P. Smith, Vice President; F. H. Head, Secretary and Treasurer. Work was begun on the mill in June, 1881, and it has just been completed. The mill is 44x37 feet, four stories high, besides the basement. In addition, there is a warehouse having a capacity of 30,000 bushels The flour is made by the Hungarian process, and there are nothing but rollers in the mill. The capacity is 150 barrels of flour per day. The race is 400 feet long, and in that distance a natural fall of nine feet is secured. The total cost of the mill has been $30,000, and it is beyond question the finest mill in this section of the State. S. S. Hadley is the business manager of the company, and also superintendent of the mill.
DR. E. A. GUILLEMOT, physician and surgeon, is a native of New York City, born in 1849. At the age of seven years, he came with his parents to Montreal, Canada, there took up the study of medicine; graduated from the Victoria University in 1875; he then practiced in Canada about six months, then came to Toledo, Ohio, there practiced about three years. June, 1879, he came to Central City; has since been engaged at his profession. The Doctor is now renioving to Cedar Rapids, Neb., to engage in the drug business; also follows his profession.
F. P. ANDREWS, farmer, Section 20, Township 18, Range 8 west, P. O. Moss Side, was born in Lycoming County, Penn., January 1, 1854. He lived there until twenty-two years old, when he came West. He stopped about two years in Ogle County, Ill., and Dubuque, Iowa, and, in 1878, he came to Nebraska, locating at his present residence. He has a good farm, consisting of 320 acres, of which seventy acres are in cultivation.
HON. GEORGE W. BROWN, farmer, Section 8, Township 18, Range 8 west, P. O. Moss Side, was born March 9, 1842, in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. While he was an infant, his parents moved to Harrison County, Ohio, where he resided until twenty-five years old. He enlisted, in 1862, in Company K, Sixty-ninth Ohio Infantry, serving over three years in the army of the Cumberland. Was with Gen. Sherman in his march to the sea. After his discharge, he returned to his home, and afterward attended the law department of Ann Arbor University. He was then admitted to the bar in Ohio, and engaged there in the practice of law. He has also been admitted to the bar in Nebraska. He married, April 28, 1869, Miss Rachel A. Craig, who was born in that county. They have three children living--Ellis G., Clara and Bertha. On the day of his marriage, he and his wife started West. He located near Columbus, in Platte County, living there eight years. He then moved to Boone County, taking, as a homestead, the land on which he now lives. He has a fine farm of 560 acres, lying along Timber Creek, and well fitted for farming and raising live stock. He has 110 acres in cultivation, and eighty acres in pasture and under fence. He is quite largely interested in live stock, having over 300 head of sheep, besides a considerable number of cattle and hogs. He is a stanch Republican, and one of the most prominent leaders of that party in Boone County. He was elected, in 1880, to the Legislature from the old Forty-fifth Representative District, serving with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents. He was a member of the committee on constitutional amendments. He is a member of Caddel Post, No. 74, G. A. R., at Cedar Rapids, Boone County.
DENNIS TRACY, farmer, Section 20, Township 18, Range 8 west, P. O. Moss Side, was born in Yonkers, Westchester Co., N. Y., July 26, 1845. When twelve years of age, he left home, going to Bainbridge, Ind., where he resided until the breaking-out of the rebellion. He enlisted, in July, 1861, in Company D, Twenty-sixth Indiana Infantry, serving three years in the army of the Frontier, and in the Gulf Department. He was taken prisoner at Fordyce, La., and held nearly a year, his term expiring in the meantime. He was exchanged, and immediately re-enlisted in his old company, serving until November, 1865, when he was discharged by general order. He was wounded three times--once at Prairie Grove, Ark., in December, 1862, at the assault on Vicksburg, in May, 1863, and at Mobile, Ala., in March, 1865. After his discharge, he went to Pickens, Ala., where, for two years. he was employed as foreman of a plantation. He then went to Marshall, Texas, engaging in the same business two years. He then went to Knoxville, Ill., remaining two years. He then resided in Madison County, Iowa, two years, and there married, November 19, 1872, Miss Merranda Trester, who was born in Marion County, Ind. He then removed to Burlington, Iowa, where for three years he was foreman of the quarries. He next engaged in farming two years in Decatur County, Iowa, and then came to Nebraska. He has 320 acres in his farm, of which a portion is in cultivation. He is a member of Caddel Post, No. 74, G. A. R., at Cedar Rapids. He is a straight Republican, and is Assessor of Cedar Precinct. He takes great interest in religious and educational matters.
JOSEPH WYSONG, manager of Allerton's Ranch, P. O. Dayton, was born in Urbana, Ill., December 2, 1858. He was left an orphan, and lived with his aunt in Peoria County, Ill., until six years old. After that time, he lived in Fulton County, Ill., until the spring of 1880. He then came to Nebraska to act as manager of the ranch owned by his uncle, Samuel W. Allerton, a well-known member of the Board of Trade of Chicago. He married, at Dayton, Boone Co., Neb., September 14, 1881, Miss Nora E. Mitchell, who was born in Canada. The Allerton ranch is located in the southwestern part of Cedar Precinct, Boone County, and comprises over 13,000 acres. The buildings, consisting of a large two and one-half story frame house (24x40 feet long); barn, 50x54 feet long, with a capacity of sixty tons of hay, a large amount of grain, and shelter for thirty head of horses, cattle sheds, etc., all located on Section 21, Township 8, Range 8 west. Five sections of this ranch border on Timber Creek, which furnishes an unfailing supply of water for stock purposes. Four hundred and eighty acres are in cultivation, and 1,040 acres in pasture under fence, giving employment to nine men, and twenty-five head of work-horses. In the spring of 1882, there were planted on this ranch 350 acres corn, 55 acres oats, 50 acres flax and the rest in wheat. The ranch is also largely devoted to live stock. A herd of 150 head of stock cattle is kept on hand. It is expected by the management to feed annually from three hundred to five hundred head cattle for market. Considerable attention is also devoted to hogs, of which over 300 head are marketed annually.
H. F. SNIDER & CO. (H. F. and M. E. Snider), dealers in general merchandise, Neoma, have been engaged in business the past five years, carry a general stock of all kinds of merchandise and do an annual business of $6,000; have also a farm of 160 acres, of which 135 acres are in cultivation. It lies on both sides of Plum Creek and is well suited for farming and stock-raising, in which the firm is quite extensively engaged. H. F. Snider was born in Warrick County, Ind., July 18, 1843. He there married, in May, 1860, Miss Nancy Moses, who died a few years later. In 1862, he moved to Tama County, Iowa, where he married, June 22, 1866, Miss Harriet E. Watts, who died December 22, 1874, leaving four children--Lucinda S., John W., Henry F. and James C. He moved to Nebraska in 1872, and located at his present residence in Plum Creek Precinct. He married, in Boone County, Miss Mary E. Heacock, February 10, 1877. He is a Republican, and has been Postmaster at Neoma since the office was established. He has taken an active part in all public affairs in his precinct, which he had organized, as well as the different school districts therein. He also held the office of Justice of the Peace eight years.
HON. B. K. SMITH, farmer, Section 14, Township 19, Range 5 west, P. O. St. Edward, was born in Milwaukee County, Wis., June 23, 1847. His parents moved, while he was an infant, to West Bend, Washington Co., Wis., where he resided until twenty-two years old. He then went to Carroll County, Mo., where he taught school awhile. He then returned to his home in Wisconsin, there engaging in teaching school two or three years. He married, at Barton, Wis., November 18, 1869, Miss Almina Taylor, who was born at East Troy, Walworth Co., Wis. They have four children--Mabel, Jessie, Leighton and Grove. In 1874, he entered into general merchandising at Barton, Wis., in partnership with J. O. Disher, continuing until 1877, when they disposed of their business there and moved to Nebraska, engaging in general merchandising at St. Edward until the fall of 1880, when Mr. S. sold his interest in the store to his partner. He then removed to his farm, three miles north of St. Edward, and has since resided there. His farm, consisting of 160 acres, is finely located on an elevated table land, from which Albion and a large portion of the surrounding country can be seen. Mr. S. is a Republican and takes an active part in county and State politics. He was elected to the State Senate from the Eleventh District in the fall of 1880, was Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments. He originated and carried through the Senate the bill to prevent the adulteration of food and the sale of adulterated food in the State. He is also one of the prominent temperance workers in the State.