Herman A. Mueller, 1915
The old Town of Peru was laid out on the 18th day of April, 1855,
by Simmons Rutty, surveyor, for Aaron Hiatt, and for some time was
quite a busy little trading point, having a couple of general
stores, a blacksmith shop and school and church close by. Nothing
now remains but the schoolhouse and a few dwellings, as the hamlet
was forsaken, for business purposes, when the railroad was built a
mile south of it and the new town of East Peru was founded.
was laid out December 6, 1887, by Robert A. Patterson, surveyor,
for William H. See, owner of the land, and is located on the north
half of section 11, in Walnut Township. It stands on the north bank of Clanton Creek, on the
Chicago, St. Paul & Kansas City (Chicago Great Western) Railroad, and to the north is a stretch of
superb farming lands, under a high state of cultivation. Peru
is one of the best shipping points in the county, and has a good
graded school and two churches. Close by, to which a spur of his
railroad extends, is a splendid quarry, equipped with machinery
and appliances of the latest devices, from which is taken vast
quantities of stones for building and other purposes. The
town has several general stores, hardware, furniture, drug and
meat establishments, a blacksmith shop, livery stable, hotel,
garage, cement and tile works, implement and harness stores,
telephone exchange, restaurant, elevator, lumberyard and a very
neat and comfortable depot.
was duly incorporated and now has a population of about 400.
When it was laid out there were three houses on the site. It is
said that James Harwood was the first one to engage in business,
having a stock of general merchandise. Hiram C. Wright opened a
general store soon after. The school building – a frame -- as
erected about the year 1900. The school is graded and employs
For a new town, East Peru
is quite advanced. In the summer of 1913, F. A. Herwehe
established and built an electric light plant, which he sold to E.
F. Clifton in October, 1914. This utility was a small affair,
costing about $1,500, and built as an experiment. The present
owner is convinced the improvement can be made permanent and
profitable, and with this view in mind has made expensive
additions and alterations to the machinery.
The Peru Savings Bank is a solid financial institution, which came
into being when the Bank of East Peru, a private concern, was
established in 1899, by William Fennimore, Joseph S. Emerson and
William Painter. About 1900 Painter sold his interest to his
remaining partners and a year later, or two or three years later,
Fennimore sold to Emerson, who continued operations until December
1, 1910, when the Peru Savings Bank was organized and established
under the laws of the State of Iowa, by William Deardorff, Elmer.
C. Zimmerman, Fred M. Beeler, William A. Harwood, Joseph P.
Harwood, John Schoenenberger, Edgar Harrell, Noah W. Oglesbee and
Robert E, Phillips. The officials are: President, William H.
Deardorff; vice president, Joseph L. Harwood; cashier. Elmer C.
Zimmerman; assistant cashier, Laweyel M. Delaplain. Capital,
$l0,000; undivided profits, $4,500; deposits, $82,275.
Hazel Lodge, No. 573, A. F. & A. M., was organized June 6,
1901, with Robert A. Greene, worshipful master; John F. Deardorff,
senior warden; Amos C. Creger, junior warden. Maple Leaf Lodge,
No. 577, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized in
October, 1903, by Henry Smith, P. S. Todhunter, Warren P. Benge,
George W. Finley, John J, Spurgin, who were also the first
officials, Modern Woodmen, Walnut Camp No. 2091, was established
on the 19th of
January, 1895, with fifteen members, and the Woodmen of the World,
East Peru Camp, No. 380, was organized January 6, 1911, with
eleven members. An auxiliary lodge, the Woodmen Circle, Walnut Grove, No. 111, was organized July 7, I911, by Emma L.
Foster, Hattie M. Lilley, Cora Inez Dowler, Augusta L. Thomsen,
Ila Hiatt, Martha Ergenbright, Anna Gillian, Velma M. White, Anna
White, Lena Garst, Josie Johnson and John W . Garver.
by Kent Transier