Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Albert City

Less than ten years ago what is now the thriving and prosperous town of Albert City was but a field on George R. Anderson's farm.  The country thereabouts was well settled with contented and well to do Swedish farmers, who had years before built two churches nearby.  Marathon was their trading point and it was admitted that Fairfield township was one of the richest communities of the entire county.

When the Milwaukee railroad was built through in the summer of 1890 from Spencer to Fonda, passing through this rich community, it was inevitable that a town would be established, and Mr. Anderson's field was laid out in town lots.  A sale was held, and among the bidders for business locations, at the opening of the town, were The Security Bank, George R. Anderson, Bergling Brothers, N. L. Norton and P. W. Jones.  Building commenced at once and before winter set in a town had arisen that was doing a good business in all lines.  Three general stores, a hardware and machinery store, two drug stores, a neat bank, housed in its own brick building, two elevators, two lumber yards, were among the industries that at once sprang up.

The same year a postoffice [sic] was established with George R. Anderson as postmaster.  In 1905 three rural routes were established from the office and are serving the people of the surrounding country today. Mr. Anderson was elected the first mayor and served for several years in that capacity.  A graded school was established and an independent school district was created.  Many handsome new residences were built at once and one church was moved from the country into the town.  It would have been hard to recognize the place a year after the railroad surveyors had set their stakes.

The town has grown steadily and has a law-abiding, contented people among its citizens.  There are no immoral influences and the city government, which has nominal duties of improvement only, is composed of F. L. Danielson, mayor; Amandus Skog, clerk; C. E. Larson, treasurer and O. C. Anderson assessor.  George R. Anderson, who has been the only man beside the present incumbent to serve as mayor, is on the city council.

The Security State Bank was organized in 1900 with George R. Anderson as president and Alfred Gulbransen as cashier.  Mr. Anderson is still president and C. B. Larson is cashier, with C. E. Gulbransen as assistant cashier. 

The community has had an uneventful career since the town was organized, with the exception of the tragedy that took place at the time the Greenville bank robbers shot and killed two of the citizens while resisting arrest.  At that time one of the robbers was also killed, a full account of this event appearing elsewhere.

Albert City is a Swedish town in every sense of the word, there being but three or four families of other nationalities in the town at this time.  There are no lodges or societies, and none are desired by the people who find their churches and the social life connected with them of sufficient interest to desire the organization of secular or fraternal organizations.  It is a good, clean town in every way and a pleasant place to live in.

The Independent School District of Albert City was organized June 8, 1901.  On June 21st, the first hoard of directors was elected as follows:  S. E. Carter, R. G. Merrill, C. L. Marmon, G. C. Johnson, G. R. Anderson, and the erection of a school building was immediately begun. This was not completed until January 1902, but during the meantime the school occupied a building about one-half mile from town, which was included when the district was formed.  This building was sold and moved into another township, when the new one was ready for occupancy. During 1908 cement walks were laid to the value of four hundred dollars.

At the beginning of the first term under the independent district the enrollment of the school was thirty-eight; Miss Margaret Adair was the teacher at that time.  The enrollment of the schools at the present time numbers sixty-one.  Mr. M. M. Miller is the superintendent, and Miss Blanche Goldsworthy the primary teacher.  The following constitute the present board of directors:  B. B. Bridge, G. F. Anderson, Ephraim Carlson, A. T. Kindwall, and F. W. Wallich.

Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa.  Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 114-15.