Howe Letters - 1867


Chicago, February 13, 1867
I. B. Howe, Esq.
Supt. Iowa Div.

Dear Sir:
Your favor of the 11th inst has been received and contents noted. If it is as you state, that Messrs Blair & Walker do not own the land when we propose locating at "Dunlap", and cannot set up any claim that will conflict with our interests, you are authorized to make all the necessary arrangements with Judge Dow for the proper camping out of the plan your letter indicates. I have read your letter to Mr. Turner who is chairman of our committee, and he concurs with me as to "Dunlap's" being the proper point for terminus of the Division, and he approves the suggestion of locating a town there and establishing comfortable homes for our men, thereby attaching them to the Co.'s interest and increasing their efficiency.
As soon as your land arrangements are completed with the Judge, I want you to secure bricks and material for an engine house at Dunlap, and let the work be commenced in the spring as soon as the weather is suitable. And you will also secure bricks and material for an eleven stall engine house, and suitable blacksmiths and car shops at Council Bluffs to be commenced as soon as ever the post gets out enough to permit us. Do not fail to secure the spring at "Dunlap"; and I want you to fix for building the dam at Boone, below the engine house to insure a constant supply of water at the situation.
Yours truly, Geo. L. Dunlap

Genl. Supt.
(on two separate scraps of paper:
Green Bay 29
I.B. Howe,
We have concluded substantially to build the Tipton branch. Can you make the survey and estimates at once or set somebody at it .
J. H. Howe

I.B. Howe,
Will you make & forward to me plan No. 21 for Clinton Station built of Brick Slate roof, two passanger rooms, good ticket office, baggage rooms with water closet & estimate of cost. We want handsome building.
J. H. Howe
(confidential, say nothing)

[Railroad messages on small pieces of paper. Probably 2 Mar 1867, Lyman P. White of Brainerd, Minn. would make sense.]
I.B.Howe Chi 2
I will build the final an fifty miles of track at one dollar & thirty cents (130) answer if you have received this message.
Berman P White (over)
March – . 2 -
received you may have 50 miles of track from Council Bluffs east--

Chicago April 30, 1867
Letter to I.B. Howe in praise for connecting to Council Bluffs.
I.B. Howe Esq..
Dear Sir
I have just read your dispatch from Honey Creek recd here at 3:30 this P.M. and feel to heartily congratulate you, that you are able to say, "We can now run trains through to Council Bluffs without transfer". This intelligence is now flying on lightning wings to all the eastern cities,- to all points, where the croakings of our friends, and the rejoicings of our enemies have made our misfortunes too well known.
While enjoying the pleasure that this result is affording us, I for myself, (and I believe I express the sentiment of each one here) cannot refrain from expressing my entire satisfaction, for the persevering and unwearied attention you have given to the repairs of the road since we parted from you at Woodbine – We have been kept informed from time to time of the difficulties to be surmounted, and have constantly and anxiously watched the progress that was being made in overcoming those difficulties.
As I remarked to you then – we felt it "like a question of life and death; that more than I could express to you was depending upon getting trains through at the earliest possible moment" – I am well satisfied that you fully appreciated the urgency of the occasion and the result shows that you have done all that was practicable towards accomplishing a result that was so much desired.
Yours truly, Wm. H. Ferry

When the transcontinental railroad was planned in October 1863 there were 4 railroads planning to cross Iowa. At that time the Chicago, Iowa & Nebraska RR from Clinton may have had its terminus at Marshalltown. As we see here, this line was the first to reach Council Bluffs as the Iowa division of the Chicago Northwestern RR.
On 25 July 1866 Congress passed a bridges act for bridging rivers including the Mississippi and Missouri. On 26 March 1868 a bridge at Omaha was planned and completed in March 1872.

Western Union Telegram to I. B. Howe:
St. Joseph, Mo 30 1240 pm
Isaac B. Howe C&NWRy
In making our new ?ard four our road running from C. Bluffs to Kansas City without change I find it is necessary to reach Kansas City as early as five pm this will take us from C Bluffs at eight am. I am anxious to retain your connection ?If? you arrive sooner we shall run our No 4 through to Kansas City so even if the connection is not made by our No 2 the passengers would arrive in Kansas City the same day they arrive in C Bluffs by your time.
A. L. Hopkins
[Major A.L. Hopkins, Supt. of the Kansas City, St. Joseph and Council Bluffs RR; later the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy and finally the Burlington Northern; appointed 2nd vice president of the Illinois Central RR in Dubuque. He may have been son of Pres. Hopkins of Williams College. Hopkins, Mo named for him.]



Boone, Iowa, May 21, 1867
I.B. Howe, Esq.
Dear Sir:
Another day with nothing but a new off. ---Wadsworth has been off near Elliotte track all the p?? ditched one car. One thing we lack very much and that is discipline. I have talked this to Mr. Head for three months. We must make examples and cut their heads off short, in order to discipline them and, in my opinion the sooner we commence this awful business the better. I trust you will say nothing from me, but will impress upon Mr. Head's mind the importance of this. If I give an order to take a certain car, if they don't take it they will have some unpardonable excuse. In order to remedy this evil we must make an example and let others know what it is for.
Yours truly, M. M. Towne

June 14, 1867

I. B. Howe, Esq.
Dear Sir:
I asked for an engine to follow No. 8 of the 13th. Did not leave there until 12 o'clock. Why? Couldn't find the Engineer. Consequences were not delayed 25 minutes. Said they were all ready and had nothing but way car & could have followed close & not held No. 11 a moment.
Having a presentment last night that things wouldn't work nice this morning, had the Watchman call me at 1 o'clock. Found trouble among the Conductors of which I will give details when I see you. Engine for the regular train was 15 minutes late getting out the House. I started No. 3 20 minutes late, waiting until 2:15 for the Engine for the Extra. The time is 1:30. I abandoned No. 3 Extra, and telling the watchman to notify the Engineer that the train was abandoned, thinking there might be some interesting conversation between Engineer and Watchman and wishing to see how late they would be, took up my quarters nearby. Conversation was very edifying. It was just 41 minutes late when the engine got down opposite the depot. I trust these reports are not annoying to you. I only report the very worse cases.
Yours truly,
M.M. Towne

Clinton, Iowa December 11, 1967

Dear Sister !
I received a letter from Tom [18] a few days ago, saying he had decided to come out next and see how he likes it. I wrote him today -- that we should like to have him do chores for his board this Winter -- that I did not think he could get any business at present as all kinds of business is overdone -- except farming. If Tom wants to come, I should let him. He is young -- a years experience here will do him no harm and if he does not find business or like the country, he will be better satisfied at home afterwards. I have sent him all needed directions and can write again before he starts, if desired.
We are all well -- the children are very well. We call the little one "Oda" (Theoda -- full name). Do you like it? She is a very strong, healthy little creature. Mary, my little rose bud, is well and full of fun and mischief. It is raining tonight and the wind is howling like November. I have the office all to myself just at present.
How I wish you could be with us now. I have not seen Asa for several weeks, but he is well. Nett still remains with George's friends at Oaktown, Indiana. She does not want to go to Missouri where George is temporarily teaching and I advised her not to go. There is no use in following him all over creation. I had rather take care of her in a comfortable Christian land than have her "kite " all over rebeldom (? Not legible?) in search of hidden treasures, jack-O'-lanterns and fountains of eternal youth. Soph! I send you $10 for a Christmas present -- get what you please with it. Write when you can -- remember us to our friends.
As ever your brother, IB Howe.

Tom was Sophia's eldest child, 18, she was married to Thomas Sawyer. They lived in Boxford, Mass., near Danvers. Nett (age 37; her real name was Miraette) was Soph and IBs sister, married to George Scott [45] with five year old Charles. -- see her letters from Missouri below. Remember they were the Western Democrats that were not totally in favor of the war and perhaps fit in to rebeldom better.-- Tana & Mark.