A Record of Settlement, Organization,
Progress and Achievement
Volume 1
Chicago, Illinois
The Pioneer Publishing Company



The town of Lake Park has one of the most beautiful locations of any town in northwestern Iowa ‐ on the northeastern shore of Silver Lake in Silver Lake Township. The town of Lake Park owes its existence to the construction of the Burlingtonn, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railroad through the present site in the year 1882. Several towns such as Superior and Montgomery were established by the railroad and Lake Park is numbered among them.

Something of the first settlement of Silver Lake Township has been given in another chapter ‐ how the first settlement was made by George Nicholson in August, 1868, etc. The first postoffice in the township was established in 1872, called Austin, with C. B. Knox as postmaster. The mail was carried through the township over two routes, the Spirit Lake and Sibley and the Spirit Lake and Worthington, each with weekly service.

As stated before the railroad was projected westward from Spirit Lake in the late summer of 1882 and the site for the new town selected on a portion of Section 27, Township 100, Range 38. Dr. Henry Shimer of Mt. Carroll, Illinois, was the original proprietor, and the plat was filed in the county courthouse August 18, 1882.

The first building to be erected on the new town site was a store by William Thompson. Armin & Riley soon established themselves in the grain business, but after a few years sold out to Stockdale & Bahls. Harvey & Truesdale opened up a hardware business and W. S. Bowles started the first blacksmith shop. The first hotel was constructed by Anthony


Arnold, who later sold out to E. P. Ring, the latter also being the first to operate a livery stable. S. Benson is said to have been the first man to open a restaurant, afterward installing a stock of dry goods in connection. In 1887 Strathman & Bock started a dry goods store. L. Stoltenberg first sold agricultural implements in 1885. John Hunt had the first meat market and Ole Knuteson was the first shoemaker. The latter built a structure for the shop in 1886. J. T. Benson sold the first furniture in 1890 and in the following year Elmer Buffum opened the first harness shop.

The year 1888 brought new life to the town and better buildings were erected, a better business and civic spirit came into existence, and for the first time the little community began to progress properly. One of the first attempts at better stores was that of Koester & Company, which firm in 1888 placed a stock of goods on sale which was considered far ahead of anything previously offered.

Lake Park was incorporated in August, 1892, with the following first officers: John Buffum, mayor; Theodore Strathman, recorder ; H. H. Rohlf, D. C. May, E. P. Ring, F. W. Tutin, John Linder, William Patterson, councilmen.

The first bank in Lake Park was the private institution of Green & Patch, which commenced business in 1889. A year afterward it was organized as the Lake Park State Savings Bank, with John W. Cravens, president, and M. D. Green, cashier. In 1892 a brick building, the first in the town, was erected by the bank. The present officers of the bank are: Aug. Sindt, president; F. W. Schoellerman, vice president; J. Denkman, cashier; C. N. Arens and A. E. Goetsch, assistant cashiers. The capital stock is $25,000 and the deposits average about $175,000. The German Savings Bank of Lake Park was organized in 1901 and is now officered by the following named: Louis Stoltenberg, president; A. H. Stoltenberg, vice president; Theodore Strathman, cashier; E. Moeller, assistant cashier. The capital stock is $25,000; the surplus $43,000, and the deposits about $315,000.

In 1882 the name of the postoffice was changed from Austin to Lake Park and William Thompson appointed postmaster. He was succeeded by Ira Breffle.


The town of Milford had its start on account of the erection of the Milford flouring mill in the summer of 1869. A small community began to grow around the location of the mill. The company which operated this mill procured a half section of land and, after completing the erection of the mill and other improvements, laid out a plat of the town of


Milford in the summer of 1870. The sawmill was started in July, 1869, and the grist-mill in December.

In the summer of 1870 several buildings were constructed on the new plat, among them being two hotels, one by A. D. Inman and the other by Case & Arnold. T. S. Sejonour built a residence at the same time. The Fourth of July was fittingly celebrated at Inman's this summer. The Case & Arnold Hotel was known as the Case House, and was three stories in height, the upper story being used as a public hall. Lumber was the material used in the construction of all these first buildings, part of which was hauled from Algona. Shortly, the business of the new town of Milford not being sufficient for the maintenance of two hostelries, the Case House was abandoned. However, the upper room, which was the public hall, still served to house the various entertainments, meetings, religious services, dances, etc., which were the only means of diversion possible for the settlers. The hall was the home of the celebrated Milford Dancing School in the early '70s, the Milford Pioneer Society and other organizations.

The first postoffice in the town of Milford was established in the year 1869, I. S. Foster, postmaster. L. A. Litel followed Foster, then W. F. Carlton. Carlton was succeeded in 1881 by Foster and the latter was postmaster when the town was moved in 1882. A daily stage from Spencer to Jackson carried all the mail received at Milford. It was called the Bailey & Barney stage line.

The first store to be opened in Milford, the old town, was that of L. A. Litel, in the summer of 1870. He bought an old granary building from A. D. Inman and used this temporarily for his stock of goods until he could finish the construction of his own building. He was supplanted by Carlton Brothers in November, 1871, who had a stock of groceries and hardware. They also added a set of tinner's tools, the first in the county, in 1872 and in 1873 a stock of dry goods. R. A. Smith was the builder of a store building in the fall of 1870, in which he put on sale a general line of goods. Mr. Smith himself writes of the early business of Milford from then on as follows: "R. A. Smith remained in business there until January i, 1872, when he sold out to Dr. W. S. Beers, who, after continuing there in business for a while, bought the Case House and fitted up the lower room for a store, to which he transferred his business, where he remained until 1874. He then sold out to Wallace Smith and moved to Spirit Lake. In the meantime he had rented the old store to A. Price, of Lakeville, who occupied it as a drugstore for a while, after which it was moved down to the lower mill. Wallace Smith remained in business until the spring of 1877, when he sold out and moved to Westport. In 1876 the Carlton Brothers finished off a store building which had been conmienced by I. S. Foster & Company, across the street from their first


location and moved their business into it, remaining there until 1879, when the store was occupied by I. S. Foster & Company, and the Carltons occupied the building vacated by Wallace Smith. I. S. Foster & Company continued in the business until the locating of the railroad forced the moving of the town, they moving with it. The first blacksmith shop in Milford was conducted by S. E. Inman and George Middleton, but they were in a short time succeeded by Chris Kessey. Several residences were built, but these cannot be noticed in detail.

"As a village the old town of Milford started in with as bright prospects as any new town away from railroads could desire, but the money panic of 1872, succeeded as it was by the four years of entire destruction of crops by the grasshopper raids, put a stop to its growth, and when they had partially recovered from that the location of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad forced an entire change of location. Most of the important buildings were moved to the new town, the last but not least being the "old grist mill," which, by the way, had been thoroughly overhauled and entirely rebuilt and fitted up with modern machinery long before its removal. In the summer of 1873 Henry Barkman and R. A. Smith erected a second mill on the outlet a mile below the other one. It was believed at that time that the outlet water power would prove a permanent one and had it done so it would have been one of the best in the state. The work on the mill was in an advanced state when the country was struck by the inemorable grasshopper raid of 1873. To stop where they were with the work meant the loss of all that had been done, while the outlook was not very promising in case they went forward with their work. This, however, they finally decided to do. Accordingly the work was continued and the mill put into running order in October, 1873. The mill did fairly well that season as the destruction of crops was but partial. Had emigration remained what it had been for three years previous, the mill could doubtless have been made to pay, but instead of that large tracts of land were abandoned and in some instances whole neighborhoods almost depopulated. Again, what wheat was raised during and after the grasshopper visitation was far inferior in quality to that raised before. Owing to all of these adverse circumstances the mill never was made to pay. Mr. Barkman died in February, 1878."

The land upon which the new town of Milford, or North Milford as it was called, was laid out, was purchased from John Lawler. The town was laid out by him, surveyed, platted, and the plat filed at the Dickinson County courthouse August 21, 1882.

The first business to open up in the new location was the lumber yard of Rasmussen Brothers. Coal and grain were added to their stock later. Besides the old buildings which were transported from the old town to the new, several new buildings were quickly constructed. One


was that of the Commercial Savings Bank, now the First National. R. M. Brigham erected a hardware store for the firm of Snyder & Bowers. I. S. Foster & Company sold the first dry goods. J. A. Ellis built a store building and in January, 1883, the firm of Ellis & Blackert opened a general store there. P. Staur &and Company started a second lumber yard. Chris Kessey opened the first blacksmith shop, having moved up from the old town. The first agricultural implement stock was carried by Bender Brothers of Spencer, Frank Knight acting as their representative. George A. White also dealt in the same line of goods. The first hotel in new Milford was the Central House, run by R. C. McCutchin. C. Potter catered to the public with a restaurant. Ira F. Hall and Hiram Davis took care of the first livery business. I. S. Foster was the first postmaster in the new town, and was succeeded by E. A. Case. It was made a presidential office in July, 1900.

The Commercial Savings Bank of Milford was started in 1884, by H. L. Goodrich and W. M. Smith, with a capital stock of $5,000. Subsequently it became the First National Bank of Milford and now has a capital stock of $35,000; a surplus of $55,000, and deposits averaging $375,000. The officers are as follows: C. F. Mauss, president; C. Torstenson, vice president; P. 0. Bjorenson, cashier; and L. D. Daily, assistant cashier. The new building of the institution was dedicated in February, 1912.

The Milford Savings Bank, now the Milford National Bank, was established in 1895. The officers now are: H. H. Overocker, president; J. F. Moy, vice president; E. L. Ewen, cashier. The capital stock of this bank is $25,000; the surplus $8,000, and the deposits over $125,000.

The town of Milford was incorporated June 11, 1892, and the first officers were W. F. Pillsbury, mayor; H. J. Norheim, recorder; William Chase, J. A. Ellis, C. A. West, R. C. McCutchin, Andrew Davidson and G. A. O'Farrell, councilmen.


Superior owes its inception to the railroad as do many of the other smaller towns along the line. Superior Township itself once defeated the railroad proposition, but the railroad promised to build and equip a station within the township, so at a second election the proposition carried. The road came through in the spring of 1882, and the station was built during the following year, with Frank Taylor as local agent

W. S. Gardner bought a quarter section adjoining the town site the same year and put in the first general store. He delivered and traded in about every article of produce a community would need, including groceries, hardware, dry goods, grain and live stock. The second store in


Superior was erected by Warren Hurd in 1884 and was used by David Mitchell as a general store. Ed Fogarty was the first grain dealer; Roberts & Sullivan had the first lumber yard in 1885, and were succeeded by the Farmers' Cooperative Company; the first hotel was built by D. E. Hurd; the first livery barn was constructed by Warren Hurd and run by Frank Coyle. About the first building of any size in Superior was built in 1889 and was used for many purposes and many kinds of stores.

The Superior postoffice was established in 1883. W. S. Gardner was given the position of postmaster. He kept the office at his farm, but finding this a great inconvenience, decided to build uptown and go into business. David Mitchell succeeded him in 1890.

The first bank in Superior, the Superior Savings Bank, was started in 1890 by W. W. Hurd. The present Superior Bank was established as such in 1904 and now has a capital stock of $6,500; a surplus of $4,000, and deposits of $55,000. G. W. Small is president; John Jacobs, vice president; J. C. Smith, cashier, and Alice Garling, assistant cashier.

Superior was incorporated in February, 1896. The first meeting of the council was held on March 6th of that year. The first officers were: L. Broderick, mayor; John Jacobs, assessor; G. M. West, recorder; L. F. Kleibenstein, M. C. Hogle, D. L. Wylde, C. D. Sergeant, T. Trowbridge and J. P. Nelson, councilmen.

Since the establishment of the town two disastrous fires have caused large amounts of damage in the business section. The first of these conflagrations occurred in 1897, when the bank, hotel, drug store, printing office, dry goods store and furniture store, also other places of business were destroyed. Some of these buildings were afterward rebuilt, but the havoc was of such extent that the people were slow in recovering. The second fire of consequence occurred on August 11, 1903, when the entire row of buildings on the west side of the main street, including the drug store, bank and J. P. Nelson's general store, were consumed. The Estherville fire department came to the assistance of the local fire fighters.


The town of Terrill was born in the summer of 1895. It was the outcome of the railroad agitation in Lloyd Township, which has been described in its proper place in this volume. A tract of land in Section 15, owned by E. E. Taylor, was selected, and he had it surveyed, platted and placed on file at the county seat. The name of Trilby was decided upon as the proper title for the new town, but upon application to the postoffice department for a local office, it was discovered that another town of that name existed in Iowa, so the name was changed to Terrill. A store, bank and hotel were the first buildings erected here, these during the initial summer. J. R. Phelps started the hotel; C. H. Avery the


dry goods store; and the Terrill Bank was established by Taylor &and Ewert. The firm of Sharkey & McNary opened a hardware store. Soon, however, a period of depression came to the new community, when the inflated Manitoba & Gulf Railroad Company was punctured and all the wind let out. The men who had established business in Terrill became discouraged and several of them moved away, while others stuck grimly to their guns and waited for better times to come, displaying a courage which had its merited reward.

The Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad was built through the township in 1899 and Terrill was made a station upon the line. The first survey had been a little to the east of Terrill, missing the town, but eventually the officials decided to swing farther west and take in that community. Mr. Taylor, the town proprietor, donated the right of way through the land in which he was interested.

This road in operation, Terrill began a new life and quickly grew to a town of civic excellence, prosperous business conditions and attractive appearance. The old buildings were renovated and many new ones erected. Terrill is now one of the busiest towns in Dickinson County.

Two banks are doing business here, a sufficient testimony to the conditions here. The First National Bank was established in 1899 and now has a capital stock of $25,000; a surplus of $8,000, and deposits of over $150,000. H. H. Buck is the president of the institution; A. W. Bascom, vice president; C. C. Gravatt, cashier; and E. J. Starkey, assistant cashier.

The Terrill Savings Bank was established here in 1905. A. W. Bascom is the president; H. H. Buck, vice president; L. A. Boon, cashier; and Donald Scott, assistant cashier. The capital stock amounts to $10,000, and the deposits about $50,000.

The town of Terrill was incorporated in 1899 and Howard Everett was elected the first mayor. D. M. Shaffer was the first postmaster.


The town of Montgomery is a small village located on Section 34, Diamond Lake Township, on the Rock Island Railroad. This village was started with the railroad, but has never grown to the extent of the other towns along the line.

One bank is located here ‐ the Bank of Montgomery, established in 1901. C. E. Narey is the president and B. A. Webb the cashier. There is a capital stock of $5,000; a surplus of $4,000, and deposits amounting to $55,000.

Other towns in Dickinson County, too small to merit detailed description are: Orleans, Okoboji and Hagerty. The first two are prominent as summer resorts and are mentioned elsewhere as such.