Funktown (Funk's Mill)

Decatur County, Iowa
Funktown (Funk's Mill) was established sometime prior to 1853. At this time, they had a post office, general store and a church. The church was served by the same circuit rider as the Decatur Methodist church. The Funk's Mill Post office was the address given by some Civil War soldiers in the year 1853.

According to a letter written in 1897 by Thomas J. Edwards, he helped cut the timber for the Funk's Mill in 1853 or '54. Funktown possibly had as many as six places of business and about as many residences around 1860. The mill changed hands and was refitted in about 1865. There was a hotel and a stage stop.

The Main street ran north and south about halfway down the hill from the present Donald Van Laar residence. There was no east and west road at that time. The old Van Laar house was part of the hotel. The road to the north traveled to the mill and the ford across the river. The road to the south passed the schoolhouse and then followed the bank to the creek (Roaring Branch). It then went up along the hill, close to the site of the old Hazen Cemetery where it met the east-west road or trail.

The Hazen Cemetery was moved sometime around 1856 to the present Oak Hill Cemetery. There is still a copy of the contract whereas in 1884 the township trustees hired a W. W. Smith to clear, grub and burn the brush from the Funk's Mill graveyard. He was to be careful not to damage any stones or flowers. He was paid the sum of twenty-seven dollars.

The east-west trail on the ridge south of Funktown was also the (Keokuk-Denver of Central City) stage road. After leaving Decatur City it traveled west-northwesternly until it was southwest of the present town of Grand River. It then traveled northwest to the next stage stop which was about one-half mile east of the dam of Sun Valley Lake. After crossing the Grand River and getting up on the ridge they could travel the open prairie to the next stop without crossing any ditches or going through any timber which was better for storms and Indians.

From what information we can find, this stage line ran from 1842 to early or mid-1870. There still remains some evidence of the old stage line road. All that remains of Funktown today are the two grist stones from the mill.
Source: unknown
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