KEOTA CENTENNIAL HISTORY
                             1873 - 1973

A glimpse into the past...

Lumber 432, Coal 220, Salt 20, Lime 14, Fruit Trees 2, Flax Seed 1, Brick 16, Threshing Machines 4, Hogs 5, General Merchandise 201. Total number received during the year, 915.

Number of cars of freight forwarded from this place during the same term, each car averaging 24,000 lbs.:

Hogs 407, Cattle 107, Horses 3, Sheep 5, Corn 525, Wheat 150, Oats 50, Flaxseed 65, Rye 12, Barley 10, Flour 15, Mill feed 10, Eggs 7. Household Goods 30, Green Hides 3, Agricultural Implements 1, Miscellaneous 120, Total 1525. All this for Keota and vicinity, and had our flouring mills been in operation, during all this period, then amount would have still been greater.

Now for a brief summary of Keota and what we have done: As Horace Greeley always advised the young men to go west, we will leave the beautiful city of Washington, Iowa, some clear morning about the first of February, 1872, if you will accompany me, and go west along the grade of the Sigourney branch of the C.R.I. & P.R.R., (the grade being all there was of it at that time), we pass along about 14 miles, till we reach the line between Washington and Keokuk counties. We halt and gaze around. No signs of life greet our anxious gaze, with the exception of Billy Smock driving a motly herd to graze upon the sere branches of the fields of cockle burrs. Had you or I have ventured the assertion that within four short years, a busy town would have covered this uninviting scene, we would have been entitled to a through ticket to Mt. Pleasant, received and labeled "incurable."

Yet such is the case; where whistled the cold wind over the bleak dead prairie on that winter day now stands a thriving living business center, with a population of over 1000 souls, a handsome well-built city, with fine schools, four beautiful and commodious churches, with five miles of good sidewalks, and a city government, which has never taxed the property of Keota one cent to support it; a town of 95 business firms doing an aggregate business of 2 1/4 million dollars per annum.

Truly the magic wand has touched this spot. It has. And this is the wand under heaven's blessings: a healthy climate, fertile soil, and an energetic people, free institutions, a republican form of government established by our fathers 100 year s ago today. This is the magic wand, held by the hand of the Goddess of Liberty, that has outwrought this wonderful transformation.

This government, which affords to all alike, the chances of success. Well may we prize them. Well may we demonstrate our regard for our country and our country's flag on this day.

In conclusion, we would invoke the blessings of the Divine Providence upon this community, our country and our flag, hoping that on the next centennial day 100,000 Keotans may celebrate the same, with hearts as true and loyal to the principles of liberty, as pulsated the boys in blue through our last great struggle, and as true as that which inspired the patriots of 1776.

A WRITER ADDS DATA TO
FARLEY'S ADDRESS

July 15, 1876. For some months the town of Keota did not have a female. Most of the men built corn cribs and temporary houses and boarded with W. C. Smock (the house was located on land where Maplewood Manor was built). The corn stalks had to be cleared away from the site of the buildings. The first stove was set up in the office of J. C. Huskins in March, 1872. The first school was taught by Mrs. F. M. Smock in Smock's Hall. The first teacher of music was Miss Belle Tuttle during the same summer of 1872.

For two years all of Sunny Side was a grain field. No one thought of the town extending across the railroad as there was no passable road north of the county line. There was no mill within 10 miles of the place. The residence of Justin Sherman and Brice's barn were brought from Talleyrand. Some half dozen houses were erected that summer on the east side of the county line. A little red drinking house was also put up in Washington County, as Keota had voted "no license". J. B. Turner opened a boarding house.

Peter Besser was the first white person who died in the township. He was buried in the old Shockly burying ground near Skunk River. John Joseph Kraemer and Mrs. Mary Besser was the first couple married in the township. This was in the early part of 1844. The ceremony was performed by Jacob Wimer, of Lancaster. The first couple married in the township after its organization was James Greenlee and ___—. First residents couple, Howard Case and Ruth Ann Vastine; ceremony by Wm. McLoud. First white child born in the township was Joseph Kraemer, December 24, 1845; the second, Mary Kraemer in 1846. The first sermon preached in the township was by the Rev. Mr. Smith, Presbyterian, at the house of E. T. Case, in December 1855. First resident preacher was Rev. Heaton Hill, Congregationalist, who located on Section 25, in 1857. First church edifice was erected in 1855 by the Roman Catholics near the S. W. corner of Section 31. (It has since been removed to German Township). There are now seven church buildings, eight church organizations and representatives of 15 denominations.

At the present time there are four secret and benevolent organizations in the township — two Odd Fellows, one Masonic and One A.O.U.W. The first church organization was in the Scotch settlement, by Rev. D. V. Smock, Presbyterian. The first school house was built in 1846, on the N. E. corner of Section 30, and the first school was taught by Wm. McLoud. We have now 10 school houses and an average of eight months school each year.

T. B. McWilliams was the first physician to locate in the township. We now have six. Chamberlain kept the first store in a room in Lorin Gilbert's house. The second was at the center, kept by David Patterson in 1868. The first beer saloon was operated by Ives at the center. John Aird was the first blacksmith to locate in the township. His shop was about a mile N. E. of the present site of Harper.

 

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Keota Lumber Co. ad

 

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A glimpse into the past...

The first social party of young folks was held at the house of Jacob Perry in the west part of the township, in 1855 or 1856. We have three cemeteries: one near Baden, one a half a mile south of the center, and one near Keota. The first was surveyed in 1846, the second in 1864 and the last in 1872.

September 23, 1876. W. P. Davis has numbered the people and here is the result: The population of Keota in 1876 is 1027.

Number over 21 and under 50 years. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
338
Number over 50 years. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
99
Number born in Keota. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
44
Heads of family. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
185
Number over 5 and under 21 years. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
314

Of the 185 heads of families, 43 were born in Ohio; 12 in Illinois; 20 in Pennsylvania; three in Ireland; two in Kentucky; 16 in Iowa; nine in Virginia; seven in Indiana and the birthplace of the rest is unknown.

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FIRST BIRTH IN KEOTA

The first child born in the new town of Keota was Edith May Smock, May 31. 1872. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Smock, who owned the farm on which the town of Keota was established. Their farm home stood approximately where is now located the Maplewood Manor Nursing Home.

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FIRST MARRIAGE IN KEOTA

The first marriage in the new town of Keota was that of Mr. and Mrs. George A. Conklin, on December 19, 1873, by the Methodist minister, Rev. Gardner, in the hall above the Smock Wagon Shop. Mr. Conklin came to Keota in 1872. Mrs. Conklin, born and reared in Fairfield, Iowa, moved with her family to a farm near Talleyrand in 1871. The next year after their marriage the Methodist Church was built and Mr. and Mrs. Conklin were the first to enroll as members. They built a new home in the east part of Keota. Theirs was the third house in the east part of town and there was no well closer than the town well (which was near where the Trier Hog Buying Station is now located), where they got all their water. Mr. Conklin who became a carpenter built scores of fine houses in Keota.

The Conklins were the parents of Mrs. Grace Miller and the late Chas. Conklin of Keota and grandparents of Cliff Conklin and Lyle Miller, local residents.

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ORIGIN OF "KEOTA"

Tradition says that Rev. D. V. Smock suggested the name "Keoton" for this new town, being the first and last letters of Keokuk and Washington Counties.

Rev. Smock was here long before the town was started. He was a pioneer minister serving Presbyterian Churches at Talleyrand and Scotland and lived just west of the present day Keota. He was the founder of the Keota Presbyterian Church. Rev. Smock was the father of W. C. Smock who was the owner of the farm from which Keota was carved.

The story goes that either the Rock Island R. R. or the Post Office Department changed the name "Keeton" to "Keota" without explanation other than for the purpose of easier pronunciation.

In 1899 it was noted that there was a Miss Keota Williams of Ottumwa, Iowa, graduated from the University of Iowa Law School.

A man living in Grand Junction, Colorado, in 1968 bears the first name of "Keota."

There is a Keota, Colorado; a Keota, Oklahoma; and a Keota, Missouri.

It has been noted that a street in Davenport and a street in Ottumwa bear the name "Keota."

KEOTA is a Sioux Indian word meaning either "gone to visit" or "the fire is gone out" and is a Cherokee Indian word for "Shining Star."

At one time someone from California wrote that he knew an Indian family in Oklahoma named Keota.

So it may be that the anonymous railroad or postal official had an Indian word in mind when he made the change. At least there is proof that the name "Keota" is not just a manufactured name.

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The Name "Keota"

In 1948 it has been noted that "Keota" is the name of a ranch in Brisbane, Australia, owned by Meridith Trumbauer, a former resident of Keota, and the son of one of Keota's early doctors.

Drug Store graphic

 

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Robert McDowell Sr.
                                  Robert McDowell Sr.

THE ROBERT McDOWELL HOMESTEAD

Among the first settlers in Liberty township of Keokuk County, Iowa, was Robert McDowell, Sr. In 1852 he and his wife, the former Catherine Herr, traveled here from Pennsylvania where his Scottish ancestors had lived.

His grandfather was a Revolutionary soldier under General Washington.

In Iowa, Robert secured government land on the prairie, built a log house, and after cutting away timber began developing a farm which bordered on the English River. He was a progressive agriculturalist for he accumulated a large tract of land—at one time the owner of 1600 acres.

One of their children was Robert J. McDowell who lived upon the home farm in Liberty township. He and his wife, the former Mollie Belle White, lived there from 1885 until 1921 when they built a home in Keota.

The Robert J.s had three children: Lela (Mrs. Dan Steiner) of Wellman; Murel (Mrs. John Adams); and Gerald J.

Gerald J. McDowell lived on and farmed the home place from 1921 until his death in 1957.

Gerald had married the former Vera Hagist and to them were born two children: Robert F. and John E.

Robert F. entered into farming with his father in 1948 and has resided there since his mother's move to Keota in 1958.

He and his wife Elnora (Miner) have two children: Gina Lorraine and Robert Gerald.

Since 1852 four generations of McDowells have lived and farmed the home place in Liberty Township.

Robert J. McDowell Family
                             Robert J. McDowell Family
Mr. & Mrs. Gerald McDowell
                       Mr. and Mrs. Gerald McDowell
Robert F. McDowell Family                           Robert F. McDowell Family

 

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A glimpse into the past...

QUOTES FROM THE
"WASHINGTON GAZETTE"
ABOUT THE NEW TOWN OF KEOTA

May 17, 1872. Our "cornfield" town having recovered from its late siege of mud — a condition incident to all rich farm lands when frost goes out—is growing nicely. About 25 buildings are up for business and dwelling and most all ready for occupancy and more to be built soon. Some half dozen more dwellings have been erected and occupied on the east side of our "burg" in Washington County. This is called by some "Stringtown" and by others "Dutchertown" named after it s proprietor.

Business firms in operation and size of building:

J. Stouder - general merchandising and farm machinery

(20 x 48)

Henkle, Littler & Co. - general merchandising and lumber

(20 x 50)

Denny & Huskins - lumber

J. S. Kulp - drugs, books, etc. Store (18x24) dwelling above.

Miller Bros. - groceries (l8 x 24)

J. H. Shawhan - general agricultural hardware

E. Blair - grain and produce (22 x 62)

Enos Ralston - boarding house, two stories (l6 x 28)

M. Mowery - dwelling (16 x 24) for family and 10 boarders

W. Stewart - grain and livestock (23 cents for corn, 3 1/2 cents for pork)

Finley Smock - general wagon work (l8 x 32) two-story

H. Millhouse - blacksmithing

One or two parties are going into the furniture business. A butcher ship [sic] and meat market soon will be established. Two doctors are here and another is coming. A cemetery will soon be laid out.

Our depot (22 x 24) is conveniently located and well built. It is nearly completed and we expect regular trains to pass over the road before many days.

Last Sunday was "Opening Day" for public religious services. A Sabbath School under Rev. Mr. Smock (Presbyterian) was inaugurated at 2 1/2 P.M. Mr. Smock preached at 3 1/2 and Rev. Mr. Kendrick preached at 5 p.m. Services well attended. Mr. Smock has prepared a room above his wagon shop (21 x 32) to be used for religious exercises, town hall and etc. until better accommodations can be had.

June 21, 1872. Since last report, Robert Adair has finished a business house 20 x 48 and has a stock of drugs.

Jerome Palmer - furniture store
Mr. Charlton - meat market
Hon. J. F. Wilson is Postmaster J. T. Webber, Esq. - ticket and freight agent. From him we learn — 60 car loads of livestock and 40 car loads of grain have been shipped from this place.

November 1, 1872. Newspaper. We are soon to have a live 28 column newspaper, Republican in politics. The paper is to be called "The Keota Enterprise". Its editor and publisher, Mr. Wm. M. Cross.

QUOTES FROM THE
"WASHINGTON COUNTY PRESS"
ABOUT THE NEW TOWN OF KEOTA

March 20, 1872. The site of the new town of Keota is pleasant. The eastern part is quite level, but the western is rolling. The improvements are going up in a cornfield and meadow.

April 10, 1872. We hear that Keota is already a lively business place. Twenty to 30 teams may be counted at one time almost any day. One house, it is reported, sold $100 worth of goods in one day last week.

June 5, 1872. Uncle Sam established a Post Office in Keota on Saturday in Jas. Huskin's lumber office. Our western mail will henceforth go by rail vice (instead of) hack.

July 31, 1872. The feeling among Keota business men is excellent; they are not jealous, but social and honorable, and don't feel for each other's jugulars, and no stabbing in the back.

HOW KEOTA GOT ITS WILSON PARK
IN 1876

From The Keota Eagle, August 26, 1948.

Renewing a series of articles on early local history, the publishers of The Eagle have dug out of the early files the story of how Keota's city park, officially named Wilson Park for its donor, was acquired.

The Eagle for June 24, 1876, printed a brief news item stating that the Hon. J. F. Wilson, Keota's first and incumbent postmaster, had made the town council a proposition to donate a tract of ground conditionally as a city park. The tract was Block No. 9, Smock's Addition, in the south part of the corporation, which at that time was not known by lots and streets. The early editor commented: "The block is 350 x 450 feet and is the most handsome piece of ground ever staked off in Keota." The editor urged acceptance. The town council appointed a committee to look over the ground and make a recommendation at the next council meeting three months later.

The Eagle of September 23, 1876, reported the outcome as follows:

"Wilson Park, Sunnyside, Keota. At a meeting of the Town Council of Keota, held on the 21st day of June, 1876, Hon. J. F. Wilson proposed to cede to the town, Block 9 in Smock's Addition, to be used as a Public Park. E. Moses, J. W. Tallman and W. P. Davis were appointed a committee to examine said premises and report at the next meeting of the Council at the regular meeting on the 12th day of September. Said committee brought in a favorable report and recommended that the property be accepted, which was done. J. F. Wilson had made the Council a deed for the block. They pay $30.00 per annum to J. F. Wilson and Jane Wilson during their natural lives, or the life of either of them." The town was also to fence the tract and plant with shade trees on or before May 1, 1877, and keep and maintain for a Public

 

25


A glimpse into the past...

Park for all time to come. Mayor Spangler, F. M. Smock, E. Moses, M. A. Hulse, J. W. Tallman and W. P. Davis were appointed a committee to procure the trees and plant same. The following resolution was unanimously passed by the Council the same date of acceptance; Resolved by the Town Council of the Town of Keota that as a token of respect for Hon. J. F. Wilson and wife for their donation of land to the city for the purpose of a Park that the Council procure two evergreen trees and cause same to be planted at the right and left sides of the main entrance to said park, thereby holding in grateful remembrance the generous donors.

The cost to the town of acceptance of the gift can be calculated from the following data: Mrs. Jane Wilson died in March 1880, and her husband died in June 1898, both being buried in the Keota cemetery in a double lot at the brow of the main hill, being even today still enclosed within the only decorative iron fence in the entire cemetery. The longest span of life for either of them under the annuity provision was 21 years and the town therefore may be assumed to have paid $630.00 for the original gift.

As our readers well know, the park consists of two "city" blocks of about equal size, one just next to the south corporation line and separated by a full street, used as a park drive, from the other block to the north. Most of the trees are in the south block, which used to have a circular cinder track for racing and a band stand. The north block has always been the ball diamond and is bordered on three sides by trees; also on the west by the entrance drive. The water tower is in the northwest corner.

The name "Wilson Park" has been official since the revision of the town ordinances by E. C. Gilbert in 1930 and possibly much longer.

August 21, 1896. There is a fine bicycle track, substantial grandstand and everything is kept in fine condition, and this enterprise is certainly a credit to the town.

July 14, 1910. We have resurrected the name "Centennial Park." Mr. J. F. Wilson gave the park to Keota in 1876 which was the Centennial year and Mr. Wilson named the park "Centennial Park."

June 11, 1914. The improvement Society is having a nice fountain put in Wilson park. Fountain was bought from John Berend who is now doing the concrete work. It will be octagon in shape; 25 ft. in diameter with steps east and west and curb all around it. There will be room for some flowers. It will be ready for chautauqua.

Hat Lady Graphic

Park - East Entrance
Park - North Entrance

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June 29, 1899. No one in Keota was aware that the United States land patent had never been issued for the ground on which this town (Keota) now stands. The original owner was Melville Canrure who obtained a certificate of possession from the government in 1854, but neglected to secure a patent. J. F. Graham noted the fact when fixing some papers for mill property — wrote to Washington, D.C., and secured patent bearing (supposed) signature of President Pierce.

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Watches of the early days were wound by keys, and a man's financial standing was frequently determined by the size of his watch—the larger the watch, the more prosperous the owner.

 

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Land-O-Lakes

 

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A glimpse into the past...

Historical Sketch of Lafayette Township Read
by the Hon. H. N. Newton, at the Old Settler's
Meeting in Keota, Iowa, March 4, 1882

The first division of Keokuk County into election precincts was made May 4, 1844. and all that part of Richland lying north of Skunk River, together with Clear Creek, Lafayette and Liberty Townships was called Godd precinct and elections were held at the house of Wesley Goss. On January 6, 1845. the county board changed the name to Clear Creek precinct and the elections were held at the house of L. B. Hames. At the next term of court, Liberty Township was taken off Clear Creek precinct, and became a part of English River precinct.

What now forms Lafayette Township was included in Clear Creek precinct until the year 1856, when it was organized as a separate township. A temporary organization was made in 1854, but the first regular election was not held till April 2, 1855, by order of Geo. Crispin, County Judge. At that time there were only 11 voters in the township. The first election was held at the house of Wm. Pringle, a short distance northeast of where Harper is now located. The following persons were elected: J. J. Kraemer, D. Rosecrans and Jno. Sasseen, trustees; Wm. McLoud, Township Clerk; Jas. Wilson and J. P. Kraemer, Constables; C. W. Rosecrans, Assessor; E. T. Case and E. W. Jeffries, Justices of the Peace; and Wm. Pringle, Supervisor.

I have taken pains to ascertain who named the township, but have reached no satisfactory result. Originally there was a voting precinct in Keokuk County, called Ridge Precinct, which was subsequently changed to Lafayette and again to Lancaster.

At a meeting of the people of this township a number of names were suggested — among them, "Aurora", "Hebron" and "Liberty"—but when they were reported to the court, the representatives of the township were told that the congressional name was Lafayette. Who suggested this name, I am unable to ascertain.

The first white settler in the township was Aurora Clemons, who settled land now owned by Mike Slattery. The place was known by the name of Clemen's Grove, and is still so called by many of the old settlers. Clemons selected this location in 1842. This was before the Indian title was extinguished. The old Indian boundary line entered the township near the northeast corner and ran in a southwest direction leaving but a small portion open to settlement, till May 1, 1843. In June he came with his family and made a permanent settlement.

In August, J. J. and J. P. Kraemer came into the township, and settled on Section 34. The deer and wolves were then as plentiful as the Durham cattle and Norman horses are now.

I can find no record of any other assessions to the settlement until 1853 when Daniel and Wesley Rosecrans located on the west line of the township. From this time the settlement was more rapid, so that at the beginning of the late war there were over 200 inhabitants in the township. Of these 21 enlisted in the army and seven of them were either killed in battle or died of disease while in the service. The names are Ed Carris, Wm. Fulton, Isaac Smith, J. D. North, Nickolas Reed, Alonzo Hinman and Thos. Vincent. Five of these resided in what is now School District No.7. The number of inhabitants is now about 2.500. and every acre of land is improved.

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Allow us to introduce our Business Men, our Farmers and our Professional Men

May 11. 1888---"Boom" edition of the Keota Eagle

E.G. Wilson - Cashier of the Bank of Keota since 1885.

Dr. R.S. Brice - Postmaster

H.P. Newton - Secretary, Farmers Pioneer Mutual Insurance Association. Been here more than 30 years.

A.L. Erdice - Leading merchant of the firm of Erdice and Stewarts, at this time Mayor of our town and a member of our school board. The other members of this firm, J.W. Stewart and A.E. Stewart.

M. Daiber - Exclusive dealer in boots and shoes.

J. Longman - Town Marshall.

J.O. O'Brien - Proprietor of the American House Hotel.

J.W. Varner - Bakery

Clark and Leacox - Manufacturers of Brick and Drain Tile. J.C. Clark has been a resident for 13 years, has been a member of the Town Council and member of the State Legislatures. S.K. Leacox came to Keota from the farm a year ago.

J.K. Alexander - Born 1852. Became pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Keota, June 1883.

A.A. Hulse of A.A. Hulse & Co. presides over the store known as the Western Store, M.A. Hulse, the other member of the firm, has been a resident in and near Keota since it was laid out 17 years ago—has been a member of the Council. Mr. Ashby lately severed his connection with this firm and is now the Junior member of the firm of Guthrie, Mount and Ashby of Washington.

I. Klein and S. Moritz - Associated together under the name of I. Klein and Company—clothing and gent's furnishings.

R.T. Carris - One of our live farmers. He was brought up in this locality. Has been member of Keokuk County Board of Supervisors.

N.C. Millhouse - General Merchandising - He lives in the suburbs of Keota.

J.L. Ramsey - Locomotive engineer—He was in the employ C.R.I. & P.R.R. for many years. Came to Keota in 1880, is engaged in the grain business with his brother, Eben H., and his son, Eben. Has been a member of the School Board, President of School Board. Town Council and Mayor of the town.

James Van Winkle - of the firm of Van Winkle Bros. & Co.—engaged in the manufacture of carriages and buggies. James is the wood worker. J.R. is the trimmer and A.S. Van Winkle is the painter.

 

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Lester Merz ad

Henry Family 1
John C. Henry—1857
Barbara Horning Henry—1862
Junior Henry—1920
(Married 1882)
Henry ad 2 Henry Family 3
Junior Henry—1920
Janis Henry Larson—1930
Lee Henry—1898
Tillie Henry—1901
Joan Henry Walker—1930
Henry Family 4
Lee B. Henry-1898
Tillie V. Augustine Henry—1901
(Married 1919)
Henry Family 5
Linda Jean Henry—1949
Lee Junior Henry—1920
Lorene Y. Dawson Henry—1926
Larry Junior Henry—1953
(Married 1946)
Henry Family 6
Linda Jean Henry Heisdorffer—1949
Eugene M. Heisdorffer—1947
(Married 1971)

 

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A glimpse into the past...

ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORTS

June 1876. Croquet is a great sport.

1880. Keota has an Archery Club.

August 2, 1889. Keota is getting to be a great sporting town—two foot races, two horse races and a half dozen games of ball all in one week.

April 7, 1891. The baseball boys are talking of having a festival in the near future in hopes of getting some cash to buy the necessary paraphernalia.

May 29, 1891. The croquet grounds are back of the post office and is a great attraction to artists of the town. At present seems more popular than baseball in Keota.

November 17, 1893. A circular with 40 or 50 names has been making the rounds of Keota to establish a Keota Dancing Club. Initiation fee, $1.00. The laws and by-laws of the club are very emphatic as to the morality of its members and as to their manners and behaviour. The first ball of the club was a brilliant success.

May 25, 1894. Keota Gun Club organized with 15 members—Asberry Singleton of Richland, Pres.; John Sharp, Secretary; Elmer Erdice, Treasurer.

1896. This town can boast of having one of the best baseball clubs in this section of the state, it having beaten every club played with this season and is under the management of Sam Keiser.

October 15, 1897. First program of the Keota Literary Society at the opera house tonight — admission only 5 cents.

October 29, 1897. J. R. Van Winkle has organized a singing society that is a very commendable thing.

November 12, 1897. A crokinole Club is being organized among certain circles of our younger generation.

February 7, 1901. The Shooting Tournament was held February 1, and 2 in Keota, with good shooters from Spirit Lake, Oskaloosa, Richland, Hedrick, Ollie, and Crawfordsville and our own local sportsmen. Wm. Ridley won the silver cup and Elmer Erdice of Keota was one of the sixth highest. The notables who had promised to be here failed to show, but the shoot went off just the same.

March 12, 1903. A new club for Keota, the "O.A.B." which rightly interpreted reads "Order of American Boys." Its membership at present includes: Charley Johnson, Alva Lyle, Leo Richardson, Tommy Marc and Paul Neal. The boys will have a gymnasium in connection and learn to do surprising feats of agility and strength.

July 30, 1903. The O.A.B. club spent two days at the river in charge of John Hamilton and Lee Embree. The boys in the club range from ten to 15 years.

August 10, 1905. The younger businessmen of Keota met at the town hall Monday night and pledged themselves to the moral and financial support of baseball in Keota. C. O. Keiser was chairman and C. A. Lacey was elected treasurer with A. W. Hamill as assistant; John Leinen chosen as manager with Clark Nelson his assistant. It was agreed that each man present contribute $5.00 each toward the fund and that the town should be canvassed.

April 4, 1907. Keota young men have organized a gymnasium association and have rented the Shrader Hall on W. Broadway which they have fitted up with trapeze, punching bags and the usual paraphernalia for improving and developing their muscles. They have 25 or 30 members and the dues are 25¢ a month. Elmer Warrington is president.

September 19, 1907. In the baseball tournament held at Keota, on September 19th, 20th, and 21st, two games were played each day. 1st day—Richland vs. Keota; 2nd day—Sigourney vs. Keota; and 3rd day—N. English vs. Keota. Keota won four of the six games and was well satisfied.

March 21, 1912. A dancing party was given at the hall over the post office Tuesday evening. Dancing appears to have been revived here. It had just about petered out.

Some high school boys entertained the girls at a dancing party Saturday night and some one threw a hard snow ball through the window, breaking the glass. The boys paid for the glass.

May 9, 1912. A gun club with 20 members has been organized. A section of E. C. Gilbert's land in the south part of town has been rented, and a club house 14 x 24 will be erected. Shoots at regular intervals will be arranged to which every shooter in and out of Keota will be invited. A trap called the "Ligget" will be rented by the club. Officers were elected: A. J. Droz, Pres.; E. C. Cady, Vice-Pres.; J. R. John, Sec'y and Treas.

July 18, 1912. Keota is a lively place this summer. We have two bands, a baseball team, a couple picture shows and a dance every Thursday evening. The ball team is one of the best we ever had and both bands are better than average. Come to Keota and be entertained. We also have a gun club, one of our noisiest institutions.

June 20, 1912. Lawn tennis courts are springing up over town as fast as dandelions in spring time. They have an additional one at the old city park and a new one is going in at the school premises. Tennis is a fine game.

September 26, 1913. Shooting Matches. John Jahn of Keota won first prize in two shooting matches last week. Droz and Cady were with him. They will go on to Lohrville, Iowa.

October 1, 1914. Skating Rink. A skating rink is located in the park where the chautauqua tent was located. They have afternoon and evening sessions and the town gets $20 a month license.

In November Flave Hagist and Ray Martin bought the skating rink for $1500.

July 1, 1915. Keota Ball players organizes three ball teams and will be called Twilight League. It is composed of local players and one game a week will be played at the park. The contests starting at six o'clock.

 

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