Historical Firsts

Plow and Wagon- The first plow and wagon in Polk County was made by A. B. Fuller and P. H. Buzzard in 1847.

First Drayman- Micheal Kennedy in Fort Des Moines came here in 1855 and was the first Drayman.

Steam Power - Was employed by C. C. Van, who came here in 1848.

Steam Power applied in Journalism - Was by John Teesdale, On The Register, in 1859.

Stove Store - The first stove store in town was kept by Jesse S. Dicks, who came in 1849.

Power Press - The first power press in printing a newspaper, was used by T. H. Sypherd on The Citizen, in 1856.  This press was of the Guernsey style, run by hand.

First Piano - Was owned by Captain F. R. West.  It was made to discourse sweet music on the occasion of the marriage of B. F. Allen, in 1854, and Miss Thusa West, daughter of the Captain.

Ice Dealer - The first Ice Dealer in town was E. R. Clapp; and the second, George K. Cranston, who with his brother Charles, came from Rhode Island.  The building near the river, which they used as an ice house in 1856, is now used for the same purpose by Grefe & Sons.

First House in town - built by David Solenberger, July 1846.  Dimensions were 18 X 20, One story high.

Frame House - Built by Addison Michael in 1847

Brick House - Built by L. D. Winchester

First Births - 1845 - Infant daughter to Lieut. Grier and his lady at Fort Des Moines - died shortly J. M. Thrift and his wife, born an infant son.

First Weddings - Mr. Benjamin Bryant to Miss Elvira Birge in the Summer of 1846.  Also, Mr. John Baird to Miss Nancy Jane Wellman

First Election- April 6, 1846, in one of the old Dragoon Buildings.  Elected were:

John Saylor Probate Judge
Thomas Mitchell Sheriff
James Phillips Coroner
A. D. Jones Surveyor
Thomas McMullen Recorder
Wm. F. Ayres Treasurer
G. B. Clark Assessor
Addison Micheal Collector
Benjamin Saylor Commissioner
Wm. H. Meacham Commissioner
E. W. Fouts Commissioner

Coal bank and Stone Quarry - Opened in 1843 by A. N. Hays and Captain Allen

Tailors - Mr. Ayres in "Coon Row" and Mr. Thrift of this county

Orchard - The first apple and peach orchard in Polk county was set out by E. Mosier in 1848

School - The first school was in Ft. Des Moines taught by Lewis Whitten, Clerk of the District Court, in the winter of 1846-7

Odd Fellows - The first Odd Fellows burial was for Conrad Youngerman (Contractor and Builder)

Photographer - G. L. Reynolds; arrived here in 1856; Second was J. P Sharman, of Des Moines in 1859

Rail Road Spike - The first spike on the narrow Gauge Railroad was driven by Gov. Carpenter, at 10 o'clock am, Jan. 12, 1874 at the corner of Vine and Fourth streets.

Blacksmith - William Deford in Fort Des Moines

Brewery - The first brewery was built in 1856-7 by George and G. Hierb, corner of Seventh and Center streets.

Store - Mr. Hoxie opened the first store March 2, at the home of Mr. Meacham.



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