The Illustrated Historical Atlas of Sioux County Iowa

Part III Section 2 Page 9

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deposit your money and know it is safe. A jewelry store owned by E. C. Carpenter and operated with profit to him and his patrons. A furniture store that carries a good stock of furniture and undertakers' supplies, owned by Saterlee & Peebles. A harness store where you can find first-class goods at the right price. We have two blacksmith shops and one machine shop where you can get your repairing done in good shape. Two clothing stores, owned by Karr & Taylor and C. L. Kidwiler & Co. respectively, both stores doing a fine business. Four elevators where you can sell your grain and get the right price for it and honest weight. The Farmers' Co-Operative Company bought the mill building. The machinery is to be moved out and they will then fix it up for an elevator where they will deal honestly with the public. Two lumber yards that handle good lumber at reasonable profit. A meat market where you can get a nice tender piece of meat. A shoe shop where you can get your shoes made almost as good as when new. A dentist who delights to hurt you for a reasonable fee, he will also make you a set of teeth that will never ache. This is the home of Dr. T. E. McCaughan and Dr. J. E. Ballachey, both fine practitioners. They will cure you if you get sick, if medical skill will reach your case. One saloon and one billiard hall, both doing well. One livery barn doing a good business. We have four church edifices, namely: Methodist, Presbyterian, United Presbyterian and Lutheran: all of the societies have good congregations, who listen to able discourses delivered by their respective pastors. We wish to mention our public schools, of which we are all proud. Our schools are presided over by competent instructors, as our school board is very careful as to whom they employ as teachers. A mayor and city council who look after the welfare of the town. We have excellent water works and a good fire department, hence we are fairly well fixed to extinguish fire. Our town never had a fire of much consideration, therefore we still have the original buildings, some of which are old and out of date. We look for an Interurban to enter our town in the near future from Sioux City, the company has opened up an office here and are engaged in securing the right-of-way. The town voted a franchise to a company to put in a gas plant, but they do not show up to do any work. B. Frank Knapp edited the first newspaper in the town, the first number of the paper was issued in February 1884, and was called the Ireton Clipper. The paper was run by different persons under the same name until the present owner, Lee D. Maynard bought it, and changed the name to The Ireton Ledger.
     Ireton has several civic societies, namely: Masons, Oddfellows, Grand Army of the Republic, Women's Relief Corps, Eastern Star, Daughters of Rebecca, Woodmen and Modern Brotherhood of America, all seem to be doing good work. The first society organized in the town was Launtz Post G. A. R. mustered in October, 1883, with Levi M. Black, Post Commander; the second organization was the Masonic Lodge with B. P. Bennett, Worshipful Master. The town is badly in need of an opera house, as it has no public hall sufficient to hold the people who want to attend shows and mass meetings. The church edifices will compare favorably with those of any other town of its size. The first church building was moved in town from the Cemetery ground in 1884 and placed on the lot now occupied by the magnificent Methodist Church building. It was soon found to be too small for the congregation, hence another building had to be erected. The old building was moved to Elm street and converted into a residence. The building then erected was an unlucky one for on the 4th day of July 1884, a cyclone passed over Ireton and destroyed a small dwelling and a barn, several pieces of the barn penetrating the church building, doing much damage to the property; in 1892 the spire was struck by lightning and knocked it off; that not being the last damage, for on the 24th day of January, 1904, the building was completely destroyed by fire, necessitating the building of another church, which was consummated by the erection of the present fine edifice.
     Our town is surrounded by one of the best farming countries in the great state of Iowa, the best state in the Union. One will have to travel many miles before he will find a more frugal and industrious set of farmers; to go through the country and see the fine farm buildings and the well groomed farms is proof to the assertion. Land is very high around Ireton, but not too high for its value; many of the farms are worth more than $100 per acre, in fact, they are selling for more than that. No town on the Northwestern Road between Hawarden and Eagle Grove ships more stock than Ireton, we ship about 350 car loads yearly from the town, that is, stock and grain. J. H. Sherman was the first grain dealer in the town and J. C. Beckwith was the first medical doctor. J. H. Sherman, W. U. Sulser, Levi M. Black and each of the banks deal in real estate. W. S. Johnson, W. J. Reid, C. H. Muth, G. L. Riley, W. G. Colwill and W. Davis are carpenters and builders. F. E. Buck, John Morrison and Fergusson & Shankland are painters and papers hangers, any one of them will do you good work. B. Lendt is the only plasterer and brick layer in town and is a good one. Two dray lines, operated by W. C. Stevens and W. A. Culver, each party running two drays.


By Wm. Dealy

     Reading Township is located in the center of the south tier of townships on the south line. The township is a gentle rolling prairie well drained by small streams and sloughs. The soil is a very rich black loam with a light clay subsoil, which will stand a great amount of moisture and in dry seasons will retain moisture so that a crop failure is a rare occurrence.
Reading Township is without a doubt one of the richest and best improved townships in Sioux County; it has the good town of Ireton with a population of about six hundred located on section seven.
     The Chicago and Northwestern Railroad was built across the township from east to west in 1882 which supplied a long felt want.
     BEAUTIFUL ARTIFICIAL GROVES.-There being no natural timber, the early settlers were obliged to haul their wood from the Sioux and Rock Rivers, and from there they brought slips and seeds which they planted. Today the township is beautifully timbered with artificial groves. Portable saw mills have been through and sawed many thousand feet of cottonwood lumber.
     FIRST SETTLEMENT.-The first man to settle and make a permanent home in what is now Reading township was C. D. Allen on the southwest of section 34, in the spring of 1870. Among those who made settlement in 1870 were Nathaniel Ferris, Hiram Evans, S. D. Hammond, L. D. Sherman, M. D. Smith, B. F. Granger, Patrick Quigley, M. M. Elder, Harve McCormac, Henry Crowell, J. W. Saterlee and Michael Glenn. In 1871 all government land was filed on, either by pre-emption or homestead. Among those who settled in that year was Henry Kluter, Chas. Hennrich, Byron Peebles, E. R. Day, O. W.Quint, Patrick Clary, Hugh Davison, James Davison, G. H. Darling, Edward Kellog, Benjamin Putney, David Burkett McKenyon, J. T. Knowlton, W. I. Knowlton and Geo. Castel.
     ORGANIZATION OF TOWNSHIP.-Until the fall of 1871, the township was not organized. What is now Logan, Buncombe, Washington, Reading, Center and Eagle, was called Buncombe. In the September meeting of the county Board of Supervisors, they organized and named what is now Reading Township. The name Reading being suggested by S.A. Hammond (now deceased,) who came from Reading Township, Vermont. The first officers chosen were M. D. Smith, A. Sherman and P. Fosburg, Trustees; E. R. Day, Clerk; George Castle, Assessor; I. W. Quint and J. H. Lias, Justices; John Corkery and M. M. Elder, Constables; E. Kellog, Road Supervisor.
     FIRST SCHOOLS.-It is not often the first homesteaders of a new country enjoy the privileges of sending their children to school the first year of settlement, such was the case in Reading Township. The first school house was built in the fall of 1870, on the northeast quarter of section 33; the name of the teacher was Mr. Jacobson, a nephew of Eli Johnson who was at that time County Superintendent of Schools of Sioux County.
     FIRST RELIGIOUS SERVICES.-The first religious service was held in the fall of 1870, in a school house located on the northeast of section 33; Rev. Batchelder of the Methodist Episcopal Church was in charge. Reading township has one church outside of Ireton; The German Evangelical Lutheran Saint Johns, dedicated July 13, 1884.
     GRASSHOPPER RAID.-The early settlers met with not a few discouragements and hardships, the grasshopper raid being perhaps the most trying and enduring, their mode of destruction being very effectual; on wheat, they would gnaw off the straw just under the head, letting it drop to the ground; on oats they would gnaw the small files which support the oats, leaving them fall to the ground; on corn they would destroy the silks and tassels. They also manifest a liking for garden vegetables excepting green peas which they would not eat. During the nine years of the early settlement, they were with us five out of nine. In July 1873 they made their appearance, destroying nearly all the entire crop; in the year of 1874, they took half of the small grain and all of the corn; the following year there were no grasshoppers, but in 1876 they came during the last days of July, depositing their eggs which hatched the following spring and they stayed with us until July, destroying all the small grain. A good crop was raised in 1878 as they came too late to do any damage, but laid their eggs which hatched the following spring; This year, they took the entire small grain crop. During the grasshopper raid, many of the homesteaders sold their property at a great sacrifice, left the country and located in other parts. One homesteader was heard to remark that he would rather have an old sow and seven pigs down by Des Moines than eighty acres of land in Sioux County.
     INSURANCE.-Reading Township is the home of Henry F. Becker, President of the German Farmers' Mutual Insurance Association of Sioux, Plymouth and Lyon Counties. The company was organized in 1891; it now has risks in force to the amount of $3,201,173. The cost of insurance for the past five years has been $8.86 per thousand. All losses have been always fairly adjusted and promptly paid. A company that any community could be proud of.
POLITICAL.-Reading Township has furnished her share of county officers, having had four of her citizens as members of House of Representatives. Truly Reading should be proud of her citizens.

By Rev. C. D. Nuoffer

     The German Evangelical Lutheran St. John's Church Organization of Reading Township was established in the year 1875 with a membership of seven, whose names are as follows: Messrs. Carl Hennrich, Ernest Hennrich, Henry Van der Hamm, Henry Baack, John Rentschler, Herman Witt and Fred Franke. Services were at first held in private homes and later on in school house No. 6, on section 14, until 1884, when they erected a neat church edifice on a 40 acre tract of land located in the southeast of section 15, which had been bought for church, school and cemetery purposes. Their dedication of their new house of worship occurred on the 13th day of July of the same year. In 1888 a small parsonage was built which has since (in 1904) been remodeled into a large commodious mansion as shown in accompanying cut. In 1894 a school-house was erected near the church building for the purpose of religious instructions. Besides this school, the church also conducts a Sunday school with an attendance of from 40 to 50 pupils.

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     The members of the church have not spared any pains, nor means in beautifying their place of worship and its surroundings, keeping everything in good order. In 1887, a number of families severed their membership with this church, organizing a new congregation in the town of Ireton for the accommodation of such who lived at a distance of from ten to fifteen miles. This organization, numbering at present about 50families, being known as the German Evangelical Lutheran St. Paul's Church. The present total membership of St. John's Church is 231.
     The pastors who have served this congregation since its organization were E. Beck, from 1875 to 1877 in conjunction with Le Mars; F. S. Buenger, from 1878 to 1888 in conjunction with Mammen. In 1888 however, the congregation recognized the necessity of having a minister residing in their midst and sent a call for a candidate of the ministry, which ws accepted by E. A. Brueggemann a graduate of the Theological Seminary at St. Louis, Mo. Thus this parish became an independent charge. Since then it has been made the resident pastor's duty to also take charge of the school and prepare the catechumens for their confirmation. Rev. E. A. Brueggemann served two years and was succeeded in 1890 by Rev. E. Riedel who served 12 years. Since 1903, Rev. C. D. Nuoffer, the present pastor has been in charge of this parish.


By Edward O. Plumbe, M. D.

     In order to write the history of Rock Township, or indeed any portion of Sioux County, we must retrograde to the time when Sioux and several other counties in northwestern Iowa were subjects of barter and sale, controlled by a speculative ring for revenue only. Just as Mose Lewis said in Federal Court at Des Moines in the suit which liberated Sioux County from the payment of large sums in fraudulent bonds and warrents, the exact amount will probably never be known, emphasized by a profanely pious assertion that the population, when he came to the county, was "two men and a n____." [Note from transcriber: the previous word which was in the original document has been deleted as being offensive.] The tide of homestead immigration, beginning in 1868, and reaching its culmination in 1870, when the homestead lands were practically all taken, changed all this and the election of 1871 practically ended speculative ring rule in Sioux County.
     It is a fact that the west and practically the northwest portion of the county received the first ripple of the wave of homestead immigration, partially because, being beyond the twenty mile limit of railroad lands, homesteads of 160 acres could be secured, and because of the fuel and building material along the Rock and Sioux rivers, particularly the former. Pages, yes volumns, could be written detailing the experiences of most of


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