KEOTA CENTENNIAL HISTORY
                             1873 - 1973

A glimpse into the past...

Two of the three bells in the steeple were purchased for the Golden Jubilee. The larger one weighing 2,060 pounds and costing $566 was donated by Nick Weber in memory of his wife. The smaller bell of 1,100 pounds was given by the children of Frank Schmitt at a cost of $290.

Rev. M. Schmitt was ordained in Clear Creek Church by a bishop of North Dakota and celebrated his first mass at Clear Creek Church on July 30, 1912. The service included a sermon in German and one in English. It was the first service of this kind ever held in a local parish.

Eighteen young men of the parish answered the call of their country during World War I and 59 young men and two young ladies served during World War II. One young man, Cletus Berg, a great-grandson of the man in whose home Catholic services were first held in Keokuk County, made the supreme sacrifice in World War II. LaVerne Greiner, 31, son of Mr. and Mrs. Mike L. Greiner, of Keota, was lost at sea, April 15, 1969. He was aboard the Navy reconnaissance plane when it was shot down by North Korea. A memorial service was held for him at Clear Creek Church.

The parish Centennial was celebrated August 19, 1958.

As of 1973, SS. Peter and Paul parish, Clear Creek, has 80 families.

Rev. J. A. Hebenstreit, Pastor in 1973.

Crucification Group & Church & School
Crucifixion Group in the Cemetery.
SS. Peter and Paul Church and School

SS. PETER AND PAUL PARISH SCHOOL

A parish school was organized in 1864 and was taught by lay teachers in the old log church. In 1876 a school was erected under the direction of Father Frauenhofer, still taught by lay teachers, including Constantine Buch in 1865, John Gum in 1867, John Barth and Otto Ranch in 1889. The Francesian Sisters of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, took over the school administration in 1895 and conducted the school until 1902.

Finally the present school building was erected in 1906 during Father Rangger's administration. At the time it was necessary for the school to board the more distant students and therefore it was not unusual to find three students per bed, sleeping cross-wise on a bed.

The new school and sister-house was built at a cost of $5,500. The corner-stone was laid June 19, 1906. Dedication of the Clear Creek School was October 2, 1906.

The school was closed in 1967, due to the shortage of nuns to staff it. However religion classes are held one night each week in the parish school house during the school year by lay teachers.

There are 63 children in grades one to eight and 43 in grades nine to 12.

Most of the children now attend the Keota Community School.

 

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A glimpse into the past...

1973 Business and Professional Directory

Pearson Shell Service
Keota Feed and Supply
Keota Lumber Co.
Zehr Laundromat
Holland Variety Store
Dietz Barber Shop
H & J Bookkeeping Service
Mae's Gift Shop
Lyle Insurance Agency, Inc.
Pioneer Mutual Insurance Assn.
Dick's Electric
Valenta's Store
The Roost Tavern
General Telephone Co. of the Midwest
The Long Branch
Speaker & Carmichael, D.V.M.'s
Central Cafe Keota Eagle
Mound's Gulf Station
Hermanstorfer Repair
Trier Sale Barn
Fagen Elevator (Wayne Feeds)
Morrell Hog Buying Station
Farmers Cooperative Ass'n.
Keota Chemical Co.
Golden Buckle Buffet
Tadlock, Inc.
Sondag Plumbing & Heating
Palmer Plumbing & Heating
Ideal Ready Mix, Inc.
Wright Insurance Agency
Harold Hagist Refrigeration
Cassens' Mill
Iowa Southern Utilities Co.
Kaiser Agricultural Chemicals
Keota Manufacturing, Inc.
Bermel Dairy
Keota Furniture & Carpet
Greiner Plumbing & Pump Repair
Hammes Oil Co.
River Products Co.
Dennis Gifford, Locksmith
Natural Gas Pipeline Co.
Dick Hagist, Auctioneer
Col. Maurice Conrad, Auctioneer
Maplewood Manor
Lagos Acres
Mayer's Standard Service
Bob's Welding
Keota City Hall
Gretter Chevrolet Co.
Standard Farm Store
Hawkeye Crop Service
Bandy's Garage
Powell Funeral Home
A.A. Hulse & Co.
Dave Plowman Electric
Watts Motor Co.
Vittetoe Slat Flooring, Inc.
McNurlen Produce Co.
Pearson Car Wash
Slim's Texaco
Leroy's Body Shop
John Morrell & Co.
B.J. Byrne, Lawyer
Dean Pence, Construction
Elwood, Elwood and Laing
Zehr Small Appliance Repair
Bernie's Processing
Keota Kabinet Ko.
Ray Schwenke, Real Estate
Osweiler Repair
Dennis Tinnes — Trucking
Glen Dill — Trucking
Ron Dill — Trucking
Wells Rug Cleaning
Larry Baker Bulldozing
Baker Seed Cleaning
Leo Malley, Corn Shelling
Erwin Upholstery
Bill McDonald & Son
LeRoy Richardson Painting
Wright Electric
Evelyn's Beauty Shop
Dor-L Beauty Shop
Keota Floral
Sailor Cleaners
Howard Dillon — Drayman
Bob Yoder — Carpenter
Bill Yoder — Carpenter
Lyle Miller — Carpenter
Wayne Miller — Carpenter
Wes Jones — Carpenter
Raymond Sondag — Carpenter
Rock Island Railroad
United States Post Office
Gamble Store
Horace M. Don. D.O.
Farmers Savings Bank
Baumert Barber Shop
Gerri's Kurl & Kolor
Chases' Jack & Jill Store
Farm and Home Drug
Leinen's Market

TOWN BUYS RADAR UNIT

March 22, 1973. The town council has authorized purchase of a radar unit
to help slow up speeders in Keota. The unit should be here within a week
and from then on—"speeders beware." The council also is publishing a
new speeding ordinance in this week's Eagle which updates previous
ordinances in accordance with state law.

Keota Plat Map

 

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Wellman duo ads

Coke ad

 

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A glimpse into the past...

TALLEYRAND

From "The Washington Press" of 1866. Talleyrand was laid out into lots in 1854 and next spring had three dwellings. There are two dry goods stores, tow groceries, one drug store, one hotel, one cabinet shop, two wagon shops, one shoe store, three blacksmith shops, one physician and three churches: Presbyterian, Methodist Episcopal and United Presbyterian. The morals of the people will compare well with those of any other community.

"The courses of the streets are East and West, North and South, and the width of the streets 66 feet. The width of the alleys are 12 feet. The length of the lots, 132 feet, and the width of the lots, 66 feet."

Talleyrand Plat Map
From the 1874 Atlas of Keokuk County.

1857 TALLEYRAND BUSINESS DIRECTORY

 

Chas. Bader — General Mdse.

Samuel Ford — General Mdse. and Postmaster

S. E. Johnson — General Mdse.

George Rock — General Mdse.

Samuel Barr — Blacksmith

Nathan Garett — Blacksmith

H. A. Herrick — Blacksmith

Peter Nutz — Blacksmith

John Fagen — Wagon maker

Lewis Fowl — Cooper

Anderson Ford — Huxter and farmer

J. P. Hoffman — Saloon

Richard Jans — Saloon and hotel

John Brier — Constable

 

1874 TALLEYRAND BUSINESS DIRECTORY

 

S. Ford & Son — Dealers in drugs, books and fancy groceries.

S. E. Johnson & Bro. — Dealers in general merchandise

N. Mendenhall — Proprietor, TALLEYRAND HOUSE

Dr. Jas. D. Gray — Physician and Surgeon

H. H. Allen — Manufacturer of and dealer in harness, collars, whips, robes, blankets, etc.

John Brier — Proprietor, City Meat Market

Quotes from The Keota Eagle

January 4, 1879. The editor of the "Talleyrand Owl" gave us a business call Tuesday. He reports the "Owl" in good hooting order. (Steak in Talleyrand in 1879 sold for 7¢ per pound and 7 pounds of good Rio coffee, $1.00).

May 15, 1880. This is one of the very few towns that holds its own and keeps up a good trade with a railroad passing nearby. Most of the towns dwindle and die when they are left by a railroad as Talleyrand has been. When the road was built through here, everybody said Talleyrand was dead but that prediction has proved to be untrue. There are still four stores there doing a fair business, two blacksmith shops, two saloons, three churches, two wagon shops, etc. It is headquarters for horsemen.

1880 BUSINESS DIRECTORY

 

Chas. Bader — General Mdse.

Samuel Ford — General Mdse. and Postmaster

S. E. Johnson — General Mdse.

George Rock — General Mdse.

Samuel Barr — Blacksmith

Nathan Garett — Blacksmith

H. A. Herrick — Blacksmith

Peter Nutz — Blacksmith

John Fagen — Wagon maker

Lewis Fowl — Cooper

Anderson Ford — Huxter

J . P. Hoffman — Saloon

Richard Jans — Saloon and hotel

John Brier — Constable

 

Doctors

Dr. Robt. S. Brice — (1865). Moved to Keota in 1872

Dr. J. D. Gray — Physician and surgeon

 

Churches in Clear Creek Twp.

Methodist

United Presbyterian

Combination Seceeder and Associate Reform Baptist

German Methodist

United Brethren Catholic

April 30, 1881. It is a rule that a railroad, coming within ten miles of town, kills it. Talleyrand has proved to be an exception to this rule. We paid one of our semi-occasional visits to that town last Saturday, and found the brethren all faring well.

Business is going on much after the old style, but we noted some changes and several improvements. Our memorandum runs thus:

 

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A glimpse into the past...

Sam Ford still holds his commission as Nasby, and keeps a nice and well selected stock of drugs, books and groceries. Sam is one of the old residents and has a good trade. He and his son have organized themselves into a firm under the name of "Ford & Son," and are building a first class creamery. They have put up an ample supply of ice, have the creamery building enclosed, machinery and most of the fixtures on the ground, and will be ready for business early in May. John Brier, Jr., is to be their butter maker. He has served a year or two under a first class workman, and knows just the lick it is done with. They will buy the cream and pay by the gallon.

Rock & Son have a stock of General Merchandise, and a whooping trade. The junior pard, as our readers will remember, was so unfortunate as to get a leg broken while in Chicago buying goods. He has now been in bed nearly a month, but will soon be as good as new. He spends his abundant leisure now in marking goods (which are carried to him) and playing chess with his lady friends.

Johnson & Miksch have a stock of hardware, tinware and groceries in the Lodge store room. Miksch took the place of Marquis in this firm several months ago, and has proved to be useful as well as ornamental. These boys buy any quantity of butter and eggs, sell cheap and handle a great many goods in the course of a year.

Chas. Bader has a stock of dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, hats and caps, notions etc., in the room formerly occupied by R. J. Henderson. Chas. has now been in Talleyrand for two years, has grown in favor with the people and built up a good business. He says he keeps "a little of most everything, and sells as cheap as anybody."

In the way of mechanics Talleyrand has a good supply of good workmen. Our former townsman, L. Newhart, owns the old Herrick property, which he bought very low, and has a good run of work, consisting principally of horse shoeing, repairing, etc., though he occasionally irons a wagon or a buggy.

John Fagen is proprietor of the old Prentiss Shop and makes wagons, etc. He has a saw mill set up on this property, which he will start in a few days. His yard is full of logs, and there is no immediate prospect of John being out of work.

Peter Nutz has a blacksmith shop on north Maine St. Peter is a boss disciple of Vulcan, does all kinds of common work in his line, neatly, and is an expert on wagon work. He also has the reputation of being a good head to repair old reapers, etc. We noticed a spring wagon he had ironed in good style.

Lafayette Strickland is a wagon maker, just over the way from Peter's shop, and they work to one another's hands. Lafe is a natural mechanic, and can make anything out of wood if you just give him a hint of what is wanted. He is an old settler, and can't remember the time when he was out of work. Such is the reward of skill.

Conrad Ramge is der Schumaker. He is an old bachelor from the "Faderland," and more recently from the grasshopper district of Kansas. His shop is in the "little brick."

Here he measures feet, cuts, sews, pegs and sleeps. His orders are always ahead and his work pleases his patrons. Conrad will probably get him a frau as soon as he fully recovers from his Kansas experience.

Dr. J. P. Carson is the resident physician. He has been in Talleyrand for three years, and has built up a good practice. We have not the pleasure of being intimately acquainted with the Dr. but those who patronize him attest to his skill in the healing art.

Taking everything into account, Talleyrand is a pleasant little burg. It has a good school with two departments, three churches, and a Masonic Lodge. Two saloons furnish beer, ale and wine to the thirsty. Ike Dillon furnishes the boys with fun, and raises ragweek tomato plants.

April 1, 1882. H. Fulton Reed, Talleyrand, has turned horse doctor. He can take a bone spavin as big as a piece of soap off a horse in 24 hours without raising a hair. Office on Diamond Alley, Talleyrand, Iowa.

June 24, 1882. John Brier, of Talleyrand, went back to Pennsylvania to bring out a couple of widows — one for himself and one for H. Fulton Reed — but when he got there he found the demand ahead of the supply, so he came home empty. Headquarters on Diamond Alley.

January 28, 1887. The Talleyrand creamery is now a thing of the past. The building has been torn down and taken to Harper.

January 5, 1894. Dr. James D. Gray was prominent in the service of the government as assistant surgeon of the 25th Iowa Volunteer Infantry in the late war. (Civil War). In 1852 he began the practice of medicine in the Talleyrand community.

January 17, 1896. Talleyrand is sized up as follows — a pleasant little town of 125 people. There are five stores, a wagon shop, carpenter shop, two blacksmith shops, cheese factory, Masonic Lodge, church and school.

April 23, 1897. School began Monday with 40 pupils.

September to, 1897. School began Monday with Joe Morgan, teacher. A new clothing store in town. The Wintermute Bros. Circus is billed for this place the 14th. It is claimed their show is next to Ringling Bros. in every respect.

December 3, 1897. School began Monday with Mr. E. Meigher of Mt. Pleasant in the high room and Mr. Nick Johnson of this place in the lower room. The Talleyrand cheese factory turned out 80,000 pounds of cheese in 1897.

July 15, 1898. John Henry of Talleyrand has purchased the old M. E. Church that stands two miles below that village for $90.

August 1, 1898. A young man from this place (Talleyrand) rode out into the country on his bicycle Saturday night to see his best girl and it rained so hard he had to stay all night. That's one advantage in riding a bicycle in rainy weather. They say the old man made him chop wood to pay for board and kerosene.

July 10, 1899. The Talleyrand Lodge of Woodman of the World is planning a big blowout there the 22nd.

 

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A glimpse into the past...

September 26, 1907. Talleyrand is without a creamery now. The old building is being moved about a mile east of town. One by one the old landmarks of Talleyrand are passing away. Talleyrand at one time was one of the leading towns of Keokuk County.

December 2, 1909. Talleyrand will no longer be on the map of Keokuk County after December 15, by order of the post office and received by Postmasters Abraham and Hulse. All government papers will be turned over to the postmaster at Keota and the people in the neighborhood will get their mail from Keota on Route Three. The old Keokuk County History says the town of Talleyrand was platted in 1857. We take it for granted the post office was established about that time. Lou Norton told us that at the height of its prosperity, Talleyrand had 16 stores. The Post Office is to be continued until December 31.

October 4, 1928. The Talleyrand Post Office will be discontinued after October 15. The Office is in the general store at Talleyrand and Mr. Wm. McKie is the Postmaster. The Office has been in existence much longer than the one here, as Talleyrand was flourishing long before Keota was thought of in 1872. Since Talleyrand declined, however, a pouch for that place has been carried by the Route Four carrier out of Keota. Patrons of the Office will now get their mail on either Route Three or Four.

**********

A ROBBERY AT TALLEYRAND

In February 1873, the store of Lee & Johnson at Talleyrand was robbed of goods to the value of $800. The goods were taken away in a sleigh and the cutter was tracked to the northeast corner of Liberty Township and there the track was lost. Suspicion was at last fastened upon one Crawf. Walker who had for some time lived in Liberty Township, and who had earned a bad name, both on account of his own suspicious conduct and on account of certain disreputable persons who gathered around him. Andrew Stranahan, who was then Sheriff of Keokuk County, conceived the idea of spying out the matter, and accordingly made his way on foot to Liberty Township, dressed in the attire of a day-laborer, and, arriving in the neighborhood of Walker's premises, hired himself out as a day-laborer to a neighbor for $15 per month. Here he worked for a number of weeks, and was frequently in company with Walker and his friends, at one time visiting the house of Walker at which time and place seeing things which led him to believe that Walker was the guilty party. On the 29th of June he procured a posse of men, surrounded Walker's house, and proceeded to make the arrest. The house was surrounded but before the irons could be placed on the prisoner he managed to escape through a window, and despite all the efforts of the posse outside, got away. After Walker had escaped, the house was searched, and a part of the stolen goods found.

MURDER — SHOOTING AT TALLEYRAND

August 13, 1898. Talleyrand was the scene of a brutal murder last night. Jacob Grier shot Matts Mohrain with a .32 calibre revolver and killed him instantly. It happened about nine o'clock in the evening.

Seems troubles had existed between the men for a number of years, and the shooting seems to have been an outgrowth of bad blood for years. Sheriff Laffer was summoned by telephone and with his deputy arrived upon the scene, making the drive from Sigourney in the phenomenal time of one hour and 19 minutes.

Matts Mohrain was 49 years of age and leaves a wife and large family. This sad occurence has deeply shocked the community.

Later: The funeral was held in the Baptist Church at Talleyrand. The biggest crowd Talleyrand ever witnessed was assembled for the funeral. The string of buggies would have reached nearly two miles.

December 22, 1898. The jury pronounced Jacob Grier's shooting of Matts Mohrain at Talleyrand August 12 to be murder in the second degree. It took the jury 15 hours to reach a decision. The penalty is imprisonment for 10 years to life. His sentence was 15 years.

May 4, 1899. It is reported that when Jake Grier was searched at the Ft. Madison penitentiary a watch formerly belonging to "Dutch George" was found concealed in his shirt under his arm. ("Dutch George" was found murdered at his home southeast of Keota in March 1898.)

January 5, 1905. Jacob Grier has been paroled by Governor Cummins and is now at liberty, coming to Sigourney. Grier murdered Matts Mohrain August 1898. He served six years.

**********

STONE ARCHED BRIDGE

November 30, 1911. How many Keota people have seen this picturesque bridge? How many of our people are aware of so picturesque a structure as this stone arch that spans a creek known as Clear Creek within a distance of six miles from town? It stands a short distance west of Talleyrand in the N. E. part of Section 22, Clear Creek Township, on the M. Hahn farm. It was near here that the young people of the community would meet on a Sunday afternoon — a community meeting place. There were swings and ball games here and the area became known as "Hahnsville." The bridge was on the old stage-coach road from Washington and Talleyrand to Sigourney. The bridge was built in 1870 by Anton Kiefer and Mathias Bohrofen (grandfather of Alva Bohrofen). This bridge no longer exists.

 

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A glimpse into the past...

CHARLES A. GRAY
KEOKUK COUNTY'S NOTED ARTIST

Many present-day residents of the Keota community will not have known Charley Gray but the older families will recall him as one of the most talented persons ever to call this community of Talleyrand and Keota home. The Grays were pioneers of the Talleyrand community and likewise became identified with the earlier years of Keota history. His father was Dr. James D. Gray who began the practice of medicine in the Talleyrand Community in 1852.

Charley Gray excelled at portrait painting, landscape, pen portraiture and cartoon work. It was as a portrait painter that he became noted.

Charles Albert Gray, son of Dr. J. D. Gray and Juliette (Stevens) Gray, was born at Talleyrand, Iowa, June 25, 1857, and died at St. Louis, Missouri, October 31, 1933.

Mr. Gray was given instructions in drawing by RONDE, the celebrated French teacher. He painted his first portrait at 15, for which he received $5.00. At 17 he traveled over Iowa, painting portraits of prominent people at $35.00 each. In 1890 he came to Chicago and be came connected with the art department of a local newspaper. By the year 1901 he was receiving the highest price ever paid for newspaper drawings, having been paid as high as $80.00 a day for his work. His greatest talent was portrait painting in oils and his work may be found near his old home at the State Capitol at Des Moines and several other state capitols and in Washington, D.C. At the latter city he resided for eight years and made portraits of President McKinley, President Taft and his cabinet, President Theodore Roosevelt and many members of Congress.

Mr. Gray was deputy clerk of Keokuk County, Iowa, and lived in Sigourney a number of years, making portraits of many people including one of Mrs. Sigourney, the noted poetess, in whose honor the city was named.

On a visit to his old home he made portraits of his parents and the one of "Uncle Sammy Singmaster has been pronounced by Chicago critics as a very superior work" quoting from The Keota Eagle of August 8, 1896. This portrait is now the possession of Mrs. Frank (Lillian Singmaster) Flander of Keota.

Another of his works was a picture of a team of horses drinking at a tank at Keota. The horses, "Bill and Jerry," belonged to Smith & Lewis, Keota coal dealers of Keota. This picture attracted wide attention and the Record Herald reproduced it and distributed copies with their Sunday Herald in 1902.

Mr. Gray's first wife, Alice Rogers, was the daughter of "John Rogers," quoting from the Keokuk County History of 1880, "justice of the peace......in 1856 came to Keokuk County bringing with him a printing press and published the first newspaper in Keokuk County."

It was Charles Gray who painted the paintings of Mrs. Sigourney and Chief Keokuk which are to be seen today on the walls of the second floor landing of the Keokuk County Courthouse.

EARLY TALLEYRAND VIEWS

Talleyrand House
Old "Talleyrand House" as it appears today was the stage-coach stop on the Washington to Sigourney route.

Stone Bridge
Stone Arched Bridge built in 1870.
Talleyrand Post Office
Talleyrand Post Office and store. Masonic Lodge and
Woodmen of the World Lodge rooms on second floor.
1908 Buick belonged to E. E. Neal.

 

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A glimpse into the past...

Talleyrand Methodist Episcopal Church
Talleyrand M.E. Church. At time of this picture
was being used as a shop by Leo Keifer.
Talleyrand Cheese stock cert.
Share in Talleyrand Cheese Factory, 1891.
Talleyrand School
Talleyrand School.

T.L.S. CLUB

On February 5, 1952, ten ladies of the Talleyrand community met at the home of Mrs. Leo Kiefer to form a club that was named The Talleyrand Ladies Social Club. (T.L.S. Club) Officers were elected and laws of the club were drawn up. The motto of the club: "Do all the good we can, for all the people we can, in every way we can, as often as we can."

A "get acquainted coffee" to welcome a new neighbor, packing boxes for shut-ins and service boys and sending flowers or gifts to members of the club or their families who are ill; a picnic in the summer for members and their families and a pot-luck supper in the Fall and once a year a tour of some interesting city; also "a ladies night out" are some of the activities of the club.

On February 5, 1972, the 20th anniversary of the club was observed at the home of Mrs. Leo Kiefer, to which all members and former members were invited. Eighteen ladies were present. A memorial service for the two deceased members — Irene Greiner and Marie Greiner — were observed. Throughout the 20 years of the club, 26 members have belonged of which four are charter members: Theresa Kiefer, LaVera Weber, Gertrude Kiefer and Marvel Greiner.

By Gertrude Kiefer

Talleyrand Cheese Manufacturing
Cheese Manufacturing Co., Talleyrand.

 

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A glimpse into the past...

BEFORE HARPER IT WAS BADEN

The early-day town of Baden was located on 40 acres at the southeast corner of German Township (in 1972 known as Plank Township). The location as of 1972 would be approximately 1/2 mile to the west of the junction of Highways 92 and 159. The south and east limits were bounded by roads — the south road is now highway 92 and the east road is a county gravel road.

Baden was laid out in 1856 by Sebastian Striegel. The community was settled largely by German Catholics from the Kingdom of Baden, Germany. They named the town and established the first German language Catholic Church and parochial school in Keokuk County. The streets were all named and one block was designated as the public square. Houses stood on both sides of a long village street.

Still standing in 1973 are the small parish cemetery along the north and south road and the parish rectory. A well preserved two-story brick house, the rectory is on the south side of Highway 92 near the crossroads. Across the front are the numerals "1870" laid in the brick. It stood directly across from the church. The foundation of the old church was much in evidence until the re-construction and widening of highway 92 in 1967. The original church had stood near the Baden Cemetery (in Lafayette Township) and was later moved to the location just mentioned near the parsonage. The town of Baden was never incorporated.

In 1872 the Rock Island R. R. extended a line from Washington to Sigourney missing the town of Baden. At a point about 1 1/2 miles to the northeast of Baden, the town of Harper was founded.

Baden Plat Map

1874
Atlas

HARPER

The Baden Post Office, two general stores, two doctor's offices, hotel, church and school, blacksmith shop, saloon and a few other establishments were soon re-located at Harper.

Levi Whistler was truly one of the pioneer settlers of Lafayette Township, as he came to this place in 1855. Settled in what was known as the Scotland neighborhood in Lafayette Township, he moved to Harper when the Rock Island R. R. was built and Harper was founded in 1872. He was the first man to do business in that town. He gave the name of Harper to the new town, naming it after Harper Bros., the publishers of "Harpers Weekly" of New York.

Peter Hartman had been appointed postmaster of Baden and held this office until 1872 when the P. O. there was discontinued. Mr. Hartman moved to Harper in 1872 and received the appointment of Postmaster at this place.

C. M. Hurless, station agent, came to Harper in 1872 and took charge of the R. R. station.

H. L. Salisbury, proprietor of "Salisbury House," was the pioneer settler of the town and did much in aiding its progress. The Salisburys had two daughters, Edith and Eva. It was Eva's daughter who became a Metropolitan Opera Star.

Baden Rectory
All that remains today of old Baden is this well preserved
two-story brick house once served as the rectory. Across
the front are the numerals "1870" laid in the brick.

 

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Incorporation Notice — Special Election

The qualified electors of the Town of Harper, Keokuk County, Iowa, are hereby notified that on the 17th day of November, A D. 1879, there will be an election held at the office of P. Hartman for the Incorporation of said Town of Harper. A plat of said town is now on file in the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court and made a part of this notice. By order of the Commissioners.

Dated October 25, 1879

 

Polls open from 9 AM. till 6 P.M.

 

At a Special Election held at the office of Peter Hartman
in Harper, Lafayette Township, Keokuk County, State of Iowa, on the 17th day of A. D. 1879, for the Incorporation
of said Town of Harper, there were 46 ballots cast: for Incorporation—25 votes, against Incorporation—21.

A true copy   

(C. M. Hurless   

Judges (Rob't Renfrew   

 

(J. C. Evans   

Clerks (Wm. Keeley   

(Peter Hartman   

 

Dr. J. F. Richardson, appointed as commissioner, being unwell, could not attend. His place was filled by appointing J. C. Evans.

 

Special election for the Incorporation of Harper, Iowa, November 17, 1879.

 

List of Voters

 

1 . John Allen
2 - E. J. Craft
3 - Wm. Keeley
4 - R. Renfrew
5 - Peter Hartman
6 - C. M. Hurless
7 - J. C. Evans
8 - John Beck
9 - Chas. Newhouse
10 - Chas. Merten
11 - A. Newhouse
12 - J. D. Stephenson
13 - Jacob Hammen
14 - J. G. Petgen
15 - Edward Martin
16 - H. C. Vittatoe
17 - Ben Menifee
18 - Pat Hogan
19 - J. F. Rowe
20 - J. D. Streigel
21 - Chas. Hurless
22 - P. N. C1arahan
23 - Dan Rosecrans

24 - J. F. Richardson
25 - Peter Beck
26 - H. L. Salisbury
27 - Conrad Butcher
28 - August Witt
29 - John Salm
30 - Peter Wallenstein
31 - Joseph Namour
32 - Eugene Namour
33 - Jacob Hammess
34 - John Ludwig
35 - Mich - Pauley
36 - William Riley
37 - Low Bouslog
38 - Stephen McCormick
39 - Levi Whistler
40 - George Klett
41 - Anton Neis
42 - Joseph Tillman
43 - Eth. Gilbert
44 - John Fetzer
45 - Chas. Kerber
46 - John Besser

 

Harper Business Directory — 1880

 

Butcher Conrad — livery

E. J. Craft — painter

John Fletzer — miller

J. H. Hoffman — merchant
John Holzworth — stock and grain dealer
C. M. Hurless — station agent
J. G. Petgen — lumber dealer
Wm. Keeley — notary public
Geo. Klett — blacksmith
Peter Lahr — wagon maker
John Ludwig — furniture
T. P. Matthews — merchant
Eugene Namour — miller
Anton Neiss — miller
J. F. Richardson — physician and surgeon
Daniel Rosecrans — drugs, school books and notions
John Salm — harness maker
H. L. Salisbury — Proprietor of "Salisbury House"
J. D. Striegel — saloon
H. C. Vittetoe — dealer in drugs, jewelry, etc.
Peter Wellenstein — saloon
Levi Whistler — dealer in drugs, stationery, etc.

Harper Plat Map

1874 Atlas

HARPER'S ST. ELIZABETH PARISH

The origin of St. Elizabeth's Parish may be traced back as far as 1847, when a number of German Catholic immigrants from the Kingdom of Baden, Germany, settled in what they called "New Baden." The first priest to say Mass near Baden where St. Elizabeth's Parish was organized was Rev. S. H. Rosecrans.

By this time Baden had developed into a thriving little

 

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