USGenWeb - The First Seventy-five Years in the Sanborn Community (1878-1953) - IAGenWeb

Clyde Powell Tells of Early Sanborn

Now as Sanborn is about to celebrate its 75th anniversary, our thoughts go back to the early Pioneers, those who knew the hardships and joys of building a new town. We are happy to have in our midst one who came with his parents to Sanborn before the railroad reached this point. During an interview with our good friend Clyde Powell we find that he arrived in Sanborn in the spring of 1877, riding in the building which his parents were moving by wagon from Primghar to Sanborn in order that they could establish one of the first business places in our fair city. G.A. Powell had moved to Primghar March first and erected a building, but they changed the survey of the railroad to go through Sanborn so he moved his building to Sanborn.
Stocum and Lawler bought the land, the location of Sanborn, from the Railroad company. The town was platted and they gave a residence lot to the first person buying a business lot. Geo. A. Powell bought a lot, where the Pool Hall now stands, and placed the building which he moved from Primghar there, receiving a residence lot at that time, location of Clyde Powell’s home. Mrs. Powell had a restaurant as a business place, some of her first boarders being the men who were building the railroad. The railroad guaranteed the board and she had to collect when the pay car came through on the 25th of the month.
During these days, Clyde had been reminiscing and his recollections of the early history are as follows:
The first church services were held in the box car depot with Rev. Ira Brashears as pastor alternating with J.H. Wolf. The first Sunday school picnic was held in Brashears grove (later known as Parker farm).
Main street run east and west on First street and had the following business places, Teabout store, Saloon and pool hall. Arthur McArdle shoe maker, and brother Barney, a stone mason. Hibbs residence; Roden Hotel; livery stable and Barnes Hotel.
One of the exciting incidents in pioneer days was when Sanborn was determined to have the Court House. They hired Robert Tifft and Dray to go to Primghar to get the court house but the pleasure lasted only a day.
Sanborn had a flour mill in early days, the best brand of flour being “Pansy.” G.W. McFarland was their traveling salesman.
E.W. Snyder owned and operated the first light plant in connection with the flour mill, location east of Geo. Mayhak home. The monthly light bill was based on the number of lights installed in house or business place. Later meters were installed. At 11:45 lights blinked three times and then went out at midnight. It was a steam operated plant using old mill boilers and fuel was head end cinders of locomotives.
First big fire in Sanborn was Teabout’s Store.
Early business places were:
Hardware: Teabout, Jenks, Bowen.
Lumber Yard: Wheeler & Flint; Wm. Johnson; Johnson Bros.
Furniture: George Powell & Ed Woods; Theodore Linden.
Bakery: Perry Jewel. Perry had a horse bell on his cart and went about town delivering his bakery goods.
Milk Wagon: J.A. Stocum.
Lawyer: J.A. Stocum, Harley Day
Clothing Store: W.H. Pumphrey; Platt.
Jewelry Store: J.E. Drake.
Druggist: Smith
Doctor: Peck
Blacksmith: Ace Orr, Bill Gress
Abstractor: Warren Walker. He also put in first telephone between Sanborn and Primghar.
Livery Stable: L.C. Green, Dave Palen.
Banker: Ike W. Daggett.
Greenhouse: John Christiany
Meat Market: Sage; Mark Shen.
Stage coach was used for the first mail route between here and Primghar as it was used for both mail and passengers. L.C. Green ran the route in connection with his livery stable, later selling to Dave Palen.
Clyde Powell ran a pool hall from 1894-1898 at the location of Achterhof Barber Shop. The building was owned by Killam. He rented the back part for a Chinese laundry.
Then there was the great Gold Rush when Geo. Vogt, Mike McKeever, Mel Boyd and Henry Roden went to the Klondike.
L.C. Green, who brought the first house to Sanborn from Primghar, moved it to the location of the present Phill Cuppett home.
Clyde says flour was $1 a sack when they bought it from the mill. He was working at Greene’s store and would go to the mill for the flour and unload it at the store. They would sell it for $1.10 and he would have to deliver it.
Mr. Powell left Sanborn in 1900 but he and his wife returned in 1942 and have resided here continuously since that time, their home standing on the original lot that his father owned.

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