Business of DeWitt: Blacksmiths, General Repairs, Sewing Machines, Opera House, Wells

From the end of January, 1880, until June, the Clinton County Advertiser ran a section called “Business of DeWitt” in which they tell quite a bit about the local businesses.

In the line of blacksmithing we believe there is no town in Iowa that can boast of more skillful artisans than DeWitt. Their well known accomplishments succeed in drawing a large trade from the surrounding country. The pioneer establishment of that of


on the south side of the public square. The senior partner, Monroe Warren, came here in 1844, and commenced business, which he has prosecuted here ever since with the exception of a few months last year spent at Ida Grove. In 1873 Thos. M. Warren, his son, a born blacksmith, was taken in as a partner. They do a large business in horse-shoeing, and we notice that many of those trotting horses go there to be plaited. They also do general job work, making a specialty of plow work. All plows repaired here are ground and polished without extra charge. They also grind sickle guards which as the farmers know is a great help in the way of cutting hay or grain. They are reliable gentlemen to deal with, and should have an advertisement in these columns.


who is well known to the readers of this paper through his advertisement does all kinds of blacksmith’s work except horse shoeing and is always busy, as any one would imagine from the stack of farm implements always around his shop, awaiting their turn to be repaired. An experience of thirty years in the business, twenty of which were passed in DeWitt, has been his best teacher, and his work is duly appreciated by his patrons. Mr. Forbes will furnish new sickles, flax knives, guards or sections, for any reaper or mower in the United States, and at reduced prices, and also cylinder teeth for threshing machines. His charges are reasonable, and through the ADVERTISER he invites patronage of the public. He is assisted by Charles Davis, a steady and industrious young man.


first door west of P. Flannery’s great agricultural implement warehouse, has been in DeWitt about seven years, and by close attention to his business, has built up a grand business, and has made many friends. He does a general blacksmith business, horse shoeing, plow work, repairing agricultural machinery, and in addition, turns out some first class buggies. He gives particular attention to the repairs of plows, and other farm implements, and has won a high reputation for the thoroughness of his work. Mr. Conwell is assisted by his brother E. P. Conwell, who has had some seven years experience in the business. The two make a first class team.


graduated at a first class blacksmith shop in Chicago, where horse shoeing was reduced to a science, and about four years ago returned to DeWitt, and commenced business where D. W. Forbes shop is. In less than a year he moved to his present stand corner of Jefferson and Clinton streets. Mr. Smith bears a high reputation as a horse shoer, and has many customers who will wait hours or even days for him to do the work. We notice that he is putting on a new patent toe weight shoes on the trotters which come to him to be shod. Although horse shoeing is a specialty with Mr. Smith he never turns away any work in his line. He feels thankful for the patronage he has received and asks further favors.


has a shop a half a mile south of town in which he does all kinds of blacksmiths work for his neighbors, and other patrons, and does it in a substantial manner. He has had a large experience in the business, and aims to give satisfaction.

At the repair shop of


first door south of the Opera House, almost everything in the way of repairs of small articles is done neatly, substantially and promptly. The repairs cover a large field, including guns, and pocket knives, pistols and musical instruments, locks and sewing machines; in fact almost anything that needs repairs. He also does scroll sawing, and wood and iron turning. To assist in his work he has a small engine which furnishes plenty of power. Mr. Johnson is very ingenious, and will soon invite patronage through the ADVERTISER. In the mean time he would be glad to receive the favors of the public.

In the same building with Mr. Johnson,


the sewing machine and musical man, holds forth. Mr. Brown brings a large experience to his aid, which is of great value. He sells any kind of sewing machine, but make a specialty of the Dauntless. He also sells the Carpenter organs, and pianos of various makes, sewing machine parts and attachments, sheet music, musical instruments &c. If Mr. Brown would tell our readers more about his business through these columns he would find it much to his advantage.


has recently established a depot for the sale of the Wilson Lightening Sewing Machines, at the jewelry store of Barr & Bairley. These machines have recently bee improved, and Mr. W. regards them as near perfection as anything in that line can be. He will deliver a machine with any reasonable distance, and at a low price and instruct the purchaser in its use free. He is the only authorized agent for sale of these machines in this vicinity. Repairs for any machines kept constantly on hand. Look for advertisement soon.


in 1878, was a great improvement to our town, and supplied a long needed want. The unsightly ruins of Langan’s stone block, which had stared our people in the face for years, and had “given away” the town to strangers, gave place to a substantial brick and stone edifice, wherein our people are wont to pass a pleasant evening. The building is ?4 by 87 feet, with a seating capacity of 800. The stage is 29 by 42 feet and is furnished with 8 sets of varied scenery on flats, and two drop curtains, one of which contains the cars of our business firms. Across the front of the building is a gallery capable of seating 200 persons. As the house is raised but little above the side walk, the danger from fire is much less than if the audience room was up two or three stories, and as the doors are made to open outward, the matter of danger is not thought of. Troupes that come here pronounce it one of the best institutions of the kind they play in. Of late we notice the young people from the country around about here are getting more inclined to pass a pleasant evening at the Opera House, when anything is around there. The building is owned by a stock company, the capital stock of which is $4,000. The present officers are: directors, Dr. Langan, Geo. K. Ryder, D. Whitney, T. T. Hobbs and Salem Cotton. Dr. Langan is president of the board. R. J. Crouch secretary, and C. Schlabach, treasurer. The manager is Geo. K. Ryder to whom all applications for rent of house either by letter or verbally should be made.


(James McKay and Wm. McKay) have had a large experience in the way of sinking wells, and even if they had to bore through and tap a Chinese creek before they reached water, would not get discouraged. The bore a two feet well, or smaller, to be walled up with crocks, or will put in a drilled well with iron tubing, or will drive a pump down till they find water. Two of the latter wells were put down for W. P. Lower of Scott county, in one afternoon. They are sole agents in this locality for Barnes deep well pumps, one of which we have used for the past four years and with no costs for repairs. The refer to R. Burgoyne and J. W. Loofboro of Welton township, D. McCarty, of Olive, Patrick Judge, of Center, F. Sniter, of Orange, and a host of others, for whom they have sunk wells. Their advertisement should grace our columns.