348 EMMET AND DICKINSON COUNTIES
president; Fred W. Jones, vice president; G. H. Rozema, cashier; L. A.
Price, assistant cashier. The capital stock of the First National is $50,000;
the surplus about $30,000; and the deposits average nearly $500,000.
The Spirit Lake National Bank is now officered by the following:
B. B. Van Steenburg, president; Marcus Snyder and H. H. Buck, vice
presidents; G. C. Taylor, cashier; A. D. Chisholm and Harry Kuhn, assistant
cashiers. The capital stock is $50,000; the surplus approximately
$25,000; and the deposits in the neighborhood of $350,000.
The Farmers & Merchants Bank of Spirit Lake was opened for
business on April 3, 1916. This bank was organized by Estherville business
men. John P. Kirby is the president and B. A. Gronstal the cashier.
The capital stock is $10,000.
In the chapter on early settlement in this history of Dickinson County
something is said of the early mail routes to and from the settlement at
Spirit Lake and difficulty of transporting mail matter across the prairies.
It is needless to repeat this description. The office at Spirit Lake was
established in February, 1858, and R. U. Wheelock was made the first
postmaster, a position which he kept until he left the county in 1863.
His leave-taking was not expected to be permanent, consequently B. F.
Parmenter superintended the office in his name during his absence; the
office was kept at his residence near the site of the Presbyterian Church.
In two years Parmenter moved to Boone, Iowa, and turned the few
duties of the office over to G. Blackert, who was the next commissioned
postmaster. The office was then kept in his residence on the later Carlton
residence site. Blacker kept the office until 1869, when he resigned, and
was succeeded by Eben. Palmer. Palmer kept the position until 1883,
when the office was made a presidential one. Following him, these men
have filled the position of Spirit Lake postmaster: A. B. Funk, A. F.
Heath, E. L. Brownell, A. F. Bergman, Joseph A. Smith, A. F. Bergman
and G. W. Stapleton. M. C. Nelson is the present incumbent.
The most disastrous windstorm ever experienced in Dickinson County
occurred on May 3, 1905. At seven o'clock in the evening the fury of the
gale struck the city and destroyed buildings and property of fully $50,000
value. The Spirit Lake flouring mill and the Rock Island depot were
more seriously damaged than any other buildings in town. Several
people were injured by falling timbers and debris, but fortunately no one
was killed. Many miraculous escapes were reported from the country
districts, where great loss was suffered also among the live stock.