Wheatland's 75th Anniversary

September 27, 1933 paper (Newspaper unknown, probably the Wheatland Gazette)

Arrangements are being completed for the public celebration of the 75th anniversary of Wheatland’s birth, and weather permitting, a record crowd is expected.

            The following committees have been put in charge, under Louis Hintze as general chairman:  Walter Thiele, secretary and treasurer; F. W. Buxton, Fred Rowold and F. H. Schneider, program in hall;  Henry Boettcher, barbecue;  Harry Smith, Geo.Ott and Lumir Voita, music and dance; Wm. Hoker, sports;  Charles Patterson, ball game; Chris Bicknese, stands; Mayor Alfred Rowold, Concessions.

            Frank Witte and Edw. Siegmund were elected marshals-of-the-day, and Otto Loeding as assistant to Marshal Freese.

            Large colored posters have been and are being put on display throughout the surrounding territory informing the public that Saturday, October 7th, everybody is invited to visit Wheatland, meet their friends from other places and share in the entertainment provided for them.

            The activities will begin in Legion Hall at 1:30 p.m., where the following program has been arranged:  Music-Wheatland Community Band

 Prayer- Rev. A. C. Fischer

 Address of Welcome-Mayor Bowold

 Song-“Iowa”-Audience, accompanied by the Band

 Talk-“Wheatland, Past, Present and Future”-Rev. A. C. Fischer

 Male Quartet-Walter Thiele, Albert Wagner, F. H. Schneider, Alfred Rowold,

Song-American Legion Auxiliary Quartet-Mrs. Chas. Heckard, Mrs. E. V. Wilmarth, Mrs. E. V. Riedesel and Mrs. Ray Andresen

Instrumental-Trumpet Duet-Ralph Martens, Wendell Lohmann

Chalk-Talk-Melvin Dennie

Song- Trio-Geneva Petersen, Verna Mae Hoffmann, Mildred Rowold

Benediction-Rev A. C. Fischer

            Immediately after the exercises in the hall, a fine moving picture, will be presented.  A charge of 10c to all except children under 10 years, if accompanied by a parent or guardian.

            On the streets will be found special attractions-racing contests, numerous concessions, platform performances by dancing girls-while the horseshoe pitchers and interested parties enjoy their favorite sport, (page is bent over here and illegible) be a game well worth seeing.

            Then comes time for eats, and barbecued beef will be served free from 5:30 to 7:00.  Liquid as well as solid accessories will be found in abundance.  Music all the time.

            In the evening Joe Fischer and his Concertina Orchestra will give a concert on the street, and also furnish music for the dance in the hall which will conclude the days festivities.

            This event can only occur once—Wheatland’s 75th anniversary will pass into history at midnight of the 7th—Come and help us make a record page. 

Wheatland’s Celebration

July 16, 1941 (Newspaper unknown, possibly the Wheatland Gazette)

            The sixth annual Legion celebration and 4-H club show on Saturday, Aug. 2, 1941, sponsored by Wheatland Post 447, American Legion, and the merchants and business men of Wheatland and surrounding towns , represented in this program booklet, will be the best yet.

            This celebration will be marked as a special event of double import to Wheatland and its citizens, both those who now live here, and those who have made Wheatland their home in years now gone.

            Two principal features of the day will be the dedication of a new city hall and fire station, and the unveiling of a fine bronze memorial tablet, in commemoration of John L. Bennett, pioneer founder of the town of Wheatland. 

New City Hall 

            The new city hall and fire station, ordered by the people of Wheatland at a special election on Dec. 28, 1940, will receive its formal dedication at this celebration.

            Wheatland was incorporated in 1869, holding its first municipal election on July 17th of that year, Elijah Woods being first mayor.

            A wooden jail or “Calaboose” was built in 1871 and served without any improvement excepting new siding until torn down in May, this year.

            Five years after the jail was built the town purchased added ground upon which the jail stood, from John C. Grouell and the first city hall was built in 1876.

            This two-story frame structure, with brick veneer, stood without improvements or change until in 1892 when the first volunteer fire company was organized and the lower part of the hall converted into a room for horse cart, hook and ladder truck and fire-fighting equipment.  Sold at auction with the jail on May 3rd, these two long outdated town buildings were moved off and construction of new modern hall, fire station and jail began on May 20th.

The new building is modern and fire-proof; ample room for two fire trucks and all equipment; council chamber; steal celled jail; men’s and ladies’ toilet; all on ground floor.  The basement if full size with two large rooms, one for firemen’s recreation room, the other for public assemblies.  The entire building is air-conditioned and well heated and lighted. 

Founder of Wheatland

            Appropriate with the dedication of the new city hall will be the unveiling of the John L. Bennett memorial, purchased from funds donated by Wheatland folks who subscribed to the plan started several years by the editor of the Wheatland Gazette.

            John L. Bennett, born in Delaware, April 17, 1803, came from Beloit, Wis., to the present site of Wheatland in 1856, and with his ox team hauled lumber from Davenport to build a home on the prairie, and following year gave 20 acres of his homestead to the North-Western R’y. Co., and laid out the town, which was first called Yankee Run, after the creek that still bears that name.  Later when the town was platted, Mr. Bennett named the town Wheatland, after the Pennsylvania estate of President Buchanan, whom Mr. Bennett greatly admired.

            Among Mr. Bennett’s several grant of land to help build Wheatland was the presenting of the grounds for the school and both churches and parsonage,

            As has been characteristic with the majority of old pioneers, who were interested chiefly in the development of the country, Mr. Bennett died a comparatively poor man in 1888m and he and his good wife lie today in unmarked graves in the neglected Hillside cemetery west of Wheatland.

            The bronze tablet that will grace the new city hall will be a lasting memorial to the man who saw visions of a thriving city in one of the richest sections of the mid-west, but had nearly been forgotten as the founder of Wheatland.