"Big Tree" Is A Mere Stump


From: Clinton Daily Herald November 14, 1904
Transcribed by a Clinton County IaGenWeb volunteer.

Massive Cottonwood at Eighth Avenue and Second Street is in the Way and Shares the Same Fate.

The landmark known as the “Big Tree”, which in the old days marked the division of Lyons and Clinton has been reduced from its once magnificent proportions to a mere stump. Several years ago a bolt of lightning shattered the noble cottonwood, and that day marked the beginning of its decline. Before the tree was dead its branches were cut off and of recent years it has stood, a gaunt trunk, on the line of the state Electric Company. The city authorities were apprehensive that the decaying trunk might fall and do some harm, so the streets and alleys committee of the council decided to still further diminish the size of the massive trunk, and Saturday and today a member of the street crew has been at work, with the result that but ten feet of the trunk of the giant cottonwood tree is standing. It is understood that this portion will be allowed to remain. It is not unlikely that the old trunk will be painted and decorated with an inscription setting forth the traditionary and historical interest of the tempest-blasted monument.

The so-called “Big Tree” was planted more than a half century ago. It is one of a row of a half dozen or more cottonwoods, which marked the line of the old Deeds farm, extending from Second to Fourth street. Three of the trees still stand, to scatter their seeds far and wide in the summer time.

Another big cottonwood tree, which has served as a landmark in Clinton is doomed. Reference is made to the giant tree at the corner of Second street and Eighth Avenue. The street and alley committees have decided that the big tree must go, as it is an obstruction to traffic, and is considered dangerous and the work of removing it is to begin at once. The tree will be cut down in sections, this method being deemed the safest. Saturday the assistant street commissioner removed about fifty old signs from the trunk of the tree, and today it was expected that the work of cutting down the great cottonwood would begin. Mr. Hellyer of the street force, has undertaken to remove the cottonwood, for the wood it contains.