Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


1882 Dow City History

Dow City, or Dowville, as it was formerly called, was named in honor of Judge S. E. Dow, the original town proprietor and first settler. and is located on section 10, township 82, range 40, on the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, a little more than nine miles southwest of Denison.

Judge Dow, who is the Mayor of the town, and as might well be supposed, in view of the circumstances, one of its leading citizens, came from Harrison County and located where Dow City now stands, in 1855. He still owns 1,860 acres of land immediately surrounding the townsite, besides being a large owner of town property.

Dowville was platted in 1869 by Judge S. E. Dow, and the Blair Town Lot and Land Company, Dow donating a half-interest in 400 acres of the townsite to the Blair Company in consideration of a railroad station being established at this point. A large addition to the town was laid out in November, 1881, by Dow and the Blair Company, who also donated a plat of ground, 300 by 540 feet in dimensions, to the city for use as a public park, in consideration of the city's agreeing to expend an amount agreed upon in improving and beautifying the same.

There was no building in Dowville until 1870. The depot was built in December of that year. June 1st, 1870, Abner Graves unloaded ten cars of lumber at Dowville, and immediately engaged in the lumber business, the firm subsequently becoming Dow, Graves & Co., the grain and farm machinery business being added. About the same time Graves also erected his present residence. During the season just ended. Graves disposed of his interest in the above firm, whose title is now S. F. Dow & Son.

In March, 1870, Mr. Graves started the Dow City Bank, a flourishing financial institution, in a building which he erected for that purpose.

Among others of the very earliest settlers were, L. E. Hardy, who opened a general store; a Mr. Wiggins, blacksmith: W. C. Hillas, general store; M. B. Lewis, drug store; William Cook, general store, in the building now occupied by T. J. Rasp & Co.; William Sullivan, saloon; Joseph McCole meat market; Albert Goddard, wagon and plow business; A. Manning, drayage; Bell & Whalley, meat market; John Lewis, hotel; H. C. Bowring, livery. Benjamin Heath, now with Dow & Son, was the first depot agent.

The town was incorporated in November, 1878, at which time the name was changed from Dowville to Dow City. The first municipal officers, under incorporation, were: S. E. Dow, Mayor; T. J. Rasp, Recorder; Abner Graves, 'I'reasurer; F. C. Platt, Attorney; H. E. Talcott, Marshal; Abner Graves, L. E. Hardy, H. B. Hillas, Theo. Walker, W. B. Evans, Benjamin Heath, Trustees.

The following are the present officers: S. E. Dow, Mayor; F. L. Gilbert, Recorder; Abner Graves, Treasurer; F. C. Platt, Attorney; H. S. Jordan, Marshal; T. J. Rasp, J. J. Anthony, E. Goddard, Henry Bell, W. B. Evans, W. C. Hillas. Trustees.

Sarah Gaetta Hardy, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L. E. Hardy, was the first child born in Dowville. She was born October 12th, 1870.

The Dow City Flouring Mill is one of the most important industries of the place. It is located on the Boyer River, about 150 yards north of the depot, at the foot of Franklin Street. This mill was built by T. W. Chatburn in 1875, who ran it about a year, when the firm became Chatburn & Rule. Subsequently Dow, Graves and Rule became proprietors, and at present the mill is owned by Dow & Graves. The building is 42x52 feet in dimensions, is three-stories high, exclusive of the basement, has four run of stone, and all the latest improved machinery for making the patent and fancy grades of flour. The mill is complete in every respect, and is as fine a mill, size being considered, as there is in all the extent of country included in this work. Its capacity is, about seventy barrels of flour per day.

The Dow City Criterion is a neat five-column quarto newspaper, started in November, 1880. It is independent in politics, and is in every way a creditable publication. F. Bangs. is the editor; D. J. Butler and Stella M. Bangs, proprietors.

The growth of Dow City has been a steady and sturdy one; its location is picturesque and advantageous; the country surrounding is remarkably well adapted to farming and stock-raising, and is already well improved. The buildings of Dow City are substantial and attractive.

The following is a classified summary of the business establishments: General merchandise, three; hardware, two; agricultural implement depots, two; livery, two; hotels, two; drug-stores, two; meat markets, two; harness, one; furniture, one; saloons, two; lumber yards, two; grain dealers, two; blacksmith shops, three; wagon shop, one; paint shop, one; barber shop, one; millinery and dressmaking, one; bank and land office, one; physicians, two; attorneys, two; insurance agency, one; printing office, one.


The Baptist Church Society. - This society was organized in the winter of 1879, by Rev. Mr. Hawk, of Denison. Rev. F. W. Foster was the pastor until recently. At present the society has no regular pastor. The membership is about twenty. The church edifice was erected in the autumn of 1881. It is not yet completed. The estimated cost is $2,000. Its seating capacity is about 200.

The M. E. Church Society. - Organized in the winter of 1869. Rev. B. Shinn was the first Pastor. He was succeeded, in the order named, by Revs. W. W. Glanville, Waynick, William Patterson, Wright, and C. Smith, the latter of whom is the present pastor. The church building was erected in 1870, at a total cost of $2,000. A parsonage was erected in 1877, at a cost of $600. The membership is about seventy-five. The Sabbath School has an attendance of about sixty pupils. George Rae is the Superintendent.

The present church officers are: George Rae, T. Rae, M. M. McHenry, S. J. Comfort, S. S. Gibson, T. W. Parker, W. Whaley, John Rule, M. Wiggins, Trustees: S. J. Comfort, E. W. Pierce, Stewards; John Rule, Treasurer; L. E. Hardy, George Rae, Morris McHenry, Class Leaders. The church building has a seating capacity of 250, and is 32x48 feet in dimensions.

The Boyer Valley Branch of the Galland's Grove District of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints of Dow City. - Organized in 1866. The present church edifice was, as is explained elsewhere, formerly the school house of Dow City and was purchased by the above society in 1879. The society has a membership of forty-one, all of whom, with the exception of six or eight, are converts to the reorganized church since about the year 1860. George Montague was the first Presiding Elder.

The Presiding Elders since were in the order named, as follows: Aaron Hawley, George Montague, Absalom Kerkendall, Eber Benedict, C. E. Butterworth and John R. Rudd, the latter of whom is the present Presiding Elder. Charles E. Butterworth is at present the principal preacher for this society.

The officers of the society are: John R. Rudd, Presiding Elder; Abel H. Rudd, Priest; C. M. Wilder, Teacher. The first preaching was in the year 1859-60, Elders McIntosh, William Blair and E. C. Briggs being the first ministers. As is elsewhere explained in the History, the reorganized church rejects the doctrine of polygamy, and abhor its practice. They preach the Bible with the Book of Mormon as concomitant and additional inspirational evidence.

The Public School. - As yet Dow City is not organized as an independent school district. The first school house was erected in 1872. It is a frame building, 24x36 feet in dimensions, and was subsequently sold to the Society of Latter Day Saints, being now used for church purposes.

George Rae taught the first school in Dow City. The present schoolhouse was completed in 1878. It is a two-story building of four departments, and is 42x48 feet in dimensions.

The School Directors in 1872 were: S. E. Dow, for the Dow City schools; J. V. Mc Henry Thomas Binnell, John Pett, S. R. Huffman. The present Board is as follows: George Rae, for the Dow City schools; Thomas Binnell, Frank McHenry, E. Howorth, Martin Conroy, C. Fullerton.

Brake is the Principal; Miss Nellie Morrill, Teacher of the Intermediate, and Miss Effie J. Kilbourne, teacher of the Primary Department. The enrollment is about 160; the average attendance, about 140 pupils.

Dow City Lodge No. 111, Iowa Legion of Honor. - Organized June 22d, 1881 , with twenty-two charter members. The first officers were: J. J. Anthony, President; G. Hawley, V. P.; W. C. Pritchard, F. S.; W. H. Rule, R. S.; W. W. Cushman, Treasurer ; Dr. W. Beatta, Medical Examiner; W. V. Whaley, C.; J. E. Rule, U.; N. H. Miles, D.; M. G. Wiggins, S.; E. V. Goddard, Benj, A. , C. M. Wilder, Trustees.

With the exception of M. G. Wiggins as F. S., William Sullivan, as Usher, M. B. Lewis, as Door-keeper, C. M. Wilder, Sentinel, and C. E. Butterworth as Trustee in place of C. M. Wilder, the present officers are the same as before. The present membership is eighteen. Meetings are held on the first and third Wednesday evenings of each month. The Lodge is in a substantial and encouraging condition.

The Township Library. - This library is located in Brake Bros. furniture store, W. P. Brake being the Librarian. There are about 500 volumes in the library, which is recognized as an institution of great value, and which is being fostered by the citizens accordingly.

W. C. T. U.-The Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Dow City is one of the important and influential factors of the place, and has accomplished much in the promotion of the community's best interests. Among other results of the Union's efforts has been a series of instructive and entertaining public lectures. Mrs. C. Smith is the President; Miss Effie J. Kilbourne, Secretary; Mrs. Benj. A. Heath, Treasurer.

Dow City Cornet Band. - Organized in the winter of 1880-81. There are fourteen members. M. G. Wiggins is the President; C. H. Brooke, Secretary and Treasurer; Frank E. Wilder, Leader.

Source: History of Western Iowa. Western Publishing Company, 1882, Sioux City.