The north side of Osterdock village was laid out in 1877 by Samuel Bowman. A hotel, depot, warehouse, sawmill and two stores were located in that part. George Hansel and Mr. Kickbush laid out the south side of the village in 1878. The first survey was made in 1872 by John H. Zeearley. Osterdock was located on the Volga River Branch of the Milwaukee Railroad. The town is divided by the Turkey River, the bridge connecting the two sides was the longest span in Iowa in 1916.
The Osterdock Milling Company was one of the most prominent businesses in the community. The bulding was built in 1881. The milling company served Osterdock for many years until the building was town down and moved to South Dakota. The first miller at the company was a Mr. Flannigan.
The town at one time was quite prosperous containing general stores, hotels, blacksmiths, a creamery, lumber yard, harness shop and an Odd Fellow's Hall, which held the opera house and lodgeroom. Two caves were located outside the city limits which had ice the year around for picnics and outings.
Flooding was often a problem in Osterdock in the early 1900's. The water would rise rapidly and sometimes many of the streets would be blocked with heavy ice and drift so that it was impassable even with boats.
~source: Clayton County Register, undated clipping
~contributed by Helen Jennings
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