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

A Fine Race Track

In the early 1880's there was a race track just north of Sanborn which was a popular recreation place for several years. Mr. Bigelow, a former railroad conductor, came here from Chicago and put it on the place now the Koster farm. Ed Donkersloot, the present tenant, tells that the ridge can still be seen showing the course of the track.
Clyde Powell tells that Mr. Bigelow had a large barn with 30 stalls in it and hired a full time horse trainer for his horses and any others who wished to bring their horses to be trained. Many horses were brought quite a distance to enter the races. One horse named “Little King” belonging to Doug Peck was outstanding and became well-known. The track was considered the best half mile race course in the state. After a jockey was killed in a race, people lost interest in the races and they were soon discontinued.
Herman Jantzen, father of Mrs. Carl Harbst, tells of the race track when he came here 63 years ago to help build Sanborn’s first elevator. Before that there was a “flat top” or warehouse where they stored grain in sacks. John Newell, a carpenter from Hull was building the elevator and seven of the carpenters slept in the warehouse while here. Mr. Jantzen went on west working as a carpenter and settled on a farm near Boyden but now lives in Sheldon. He recalls that the race track was made 62 years ago (i.e. 1891).
The elevator he worked on we believe was probably the old Huntting elevator which was wrecked in the 1914 tornado.

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