This village is a station on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, being the second station west of Des Moines. It is situated in the valley of the main Raccoon, in the bend of the river, on section 29, township 78, range 26, and is therefore near the southwest corner of Boone township.
Though it is the only town in the township. it is so near Des Moines, and so completely surrounded with other towns that its chances for growth have not been very favorable, and as a consequence it has never attained any very great size. It has good facilities for shipping by means of the important railroad passing through, and considerable grain and stock are shipped annually from it, being brought in from the surrounding country, as the most convenient point at which a good many extensive farmers in Dallas and Madison counties can reach this through line to the eastern market; but on account of the small scope of country it commands and the limited amount of trade it receives because of its proximity to other towns in more favorable situations, its first flush of prosperity has not been very permanent, and its growth has been hardly perceptible during the past few years.
The land on which Booneville is now located was formerly owned by Mrs. Susannah Boone, wife of the William D. Boone whose name appears frequently in the early history of the county. The township in which this village is situated also derived its name in the same way, as Mr. Boone owned a large property within the township bounds which fell to his widow and family after his death; and he was also among the first settlers in the township, settling at first near the present site of Booneville, where he died some years ago.
The town of Booneville was laid out in 1871, A. J. Lyon, surveyor, and the plat was filed for record June 6, 1871. The first house in the town was built by George Baldwin, on the same site on which W. H. Baldwin's store now stands: Other dwelling houses and store-buildings were soon afterward erected, and places of business were opened, until the place became quite a village, and for a time it showed fair prospects of an even race with its neighbors; but of later years its prospects of becoming a city have not been so favorable.
The town has never been incorporated, and therefore there is no list of town officers to be herein recorded; but before another decade shall have passed, it is to be hoped that Booneville will have reached that position of dignity, and become numbered with the incorporated towns of Dallas county.
Booneville has a number of business houses of which we note the following:
W. H. Baldwin, general stock of merchandise, also keeps the post-office. J. Winter, drugs, groceries and notions.
I. O. O. F.
Forest Lodge, No. 292, I. O. O. F.-This lodge was organized under .charter, October 14, 1874, with eleven charter members whose names are as follows: L. Lambert, O. Gurnsey, S. S. Parker, Adam Heck, of. M. Evans, J. B. Harper, H. McConnell, Joe Winter, D. H. Fitch, E. Treefry and D. M. Flinn.
The first officers were: L. Lambert, N. G.; S. S. Parker, V. G.; J. Winter, Secretary.
The present officers are: Simpson Flinn, N. G.; S. M. Cook, V. G.; William Hoeye, Secretary.
The present membership is thirty-eight or forty. They hold their regular meetings every Saturday evening, in "Grange Hall." The charter was granted by the Grand Lodge of Iowa.
The lodge is reported as being now in a prosperous condition.
We are indebted to Mr. W. H. Baldwin of Booneville, for the above statistics regarding the lodge.
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