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1876 Centennial History

of Webster County,


also the City of Fort Dodge

Towns and Villages of Webster County


VESPER, formerly Tyson's Mills, is located on the west bank of the Des Moines river, on section 12, township 87, range 28. the first settlement was made as early as 1855, when Messrs. REED & WRIGHT ereted the first steam saw-mill, which is still used for that purpose. The town site and mill property subsequently passed into the hands of OLIVER TYSON, who, in 1853, added thereto a flouring mill and did an extensive business as miller, merchant, miner and farmer until the fall of 1875, when he sold out to Messrs. BOND & POST. Vesper has a good school-house two stores, several shops and a hotel.

The Methodist Episcopals organized a church here in 1857 with six members. They hold their meetings in the school-house, have now a membership of ten, and their present pastor is the Rev. GEO. D. HOOK.

The Congregationalists organized a church at Vesper in 1803 with nine members. They now have a membership of nineteen and hold their meetings in the school-house. Their present pastor is Rev. T. FAWKES.

In the spring of 1867, Rev. AARON SMITH organized a Universalist soclety and subsequently a church. He built a hall twenty-six by forty-six, which the society has used as a place of worship. They have now a membership of twenty-five, and are the only Universalist society in Webster County.

The German Evangelical church has an organization and a house of worship in Sumner township. They have a membership of sixty-five, and their present pastor is Rev. F. W. FISHER.

Vesper lodge number 305, I. O. of 0. F., was organized January 14th, 1875. The present officers are E. P. YOUNG, N. G.; J. A. PADDOCK, V. G.; A. F. BOOMAR, R. S.; E. B. PRICE, P. S. and E. P. WILLIAMS, Treasurer. Whole number of members, thirty-eight.

Sumner lodge number 487, 1. 0. of G. T., was organized December 8th, 1868, and has now a membership of sixty-five. This lodge has lost four members by death since the date of its organization. Tha presant officers at WALT. WILLIAMS, W. C. T.; LAURA WILLIAMS, W. V. T.; W. C. HUMPHREYS, W. S.

An iron bridge is under contemplation at this placa over the Des Moines river, which, when completed, will connect Versper and Lackawanna and add greatly to the prosperity of the town. The building of the Webster City & Crooked Craek railroad is hailed with joy by the people, who look forward to the time when they can transport their coal and other merchandise to market more rapidly and with greater ease than is now done by wagon.


DAYTON, the largest village in the county, except Fort Dodge, is situated on the southeast quarter of the northeast quarter of section 14, township 86, range 28. It was laid out, platted and recorded as a town by BENJAMIN F. ALLISON, in November, 1856.

The first school-house was erected and the first school organized in 1857. There is now a good school-house with an average daily attendance of eighty pupils.

The first church organization in Dayton was the Swede Me Thedist Episcopal In 1857. This society has a good meeting-house and a membership of one hundred and seventy. Their present pastor is Itev. ANDREW ERICKSON.

The second church organized was the Methodist Episcopal In 1858. This society has no meeting-house, but hold their meetings in the school-house. They have a membership of twenty-five, and the Rev. G. D HOOK is their present pastor.

In 1880 the German Lutherans organized a church at Dayton. They hold their meetings m the country school-houses, having a membership of fifteen families. The Rev. Mr. GRAFELMAN is pastor.

In 1802 the Swede Lutherans organized a society and subsequently erected a large and commodious house of worship. They now have a membership of two hundred and fifty-four. Their pastor is Bev, C. J. HEMBORG.

In 1805 the Baptists organized a church. They now have a membership of twenty-six, hold their meetings m the school-house and arc supplied by the Rev. ,T. D. CASSADY.

The Sunday schools arc well attended, and about seventy-five scholars receive instructions.

The business of the town is represented by three dry-goods, two grocery, two drug, one hardware and one jewelry store; a hotel, several shops, and one steam flouring-mlll.

JOHN HADINE is the oldest settler in the town, now there, and has done much to build up this inland village.

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