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1890 Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Story County, Iowa

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tine, Latrobe and others elsewhere mentioned. The only post-offices now are the towns first mentioned, exclusive of Sheldahl. There are seventeen in all, and it is thought best to treat them according to the dates of their plat records, in chronological order. No attempt is made to give business directories, as those are very changeable, and may be found either in the personal department of this work or in other works devoted to that purpose. Story County has seventeen live shipping points, and all of them are live, progressive, wide-awake towns, that any county may well be proud of.

Nevada, the metropolis of the county as well as capital, lies with beautifully shaded avenues very near its exact center. From the dome of her court-house the " county fathers " may behold, spread like a park before them, laid with lawns and winding streams, dotted with groves, and striped with highways and iron bands, the whole of their broad domain. The eye would fall on the neat court lawn, too, and a few blocks to the south the thick foliage of evergreens, maples, and the like of the park, or run a hasty glance along the metropolitan proportions of Nevada's main thoroughfare-Linn street-to the tracks of the great North. Western railway to the north. This capital of Story County contains nearly 2,000 people, and is the growth of only thirty-seven years.

It was July 1, 1853, that the bare site was entered by a non-resident-Dr. Jenkin W. Morris, of Des Moines--for speculative purposes. The locating commissioners for the county seat of justice, however, seemed to be ignorant of this, and, notwithstanding the " slough " and numerous prairie ponds, they proposed to enter the same site. Dr. Morris soon satisfied them by a generous offer, elsewhere mentioned, and, in September following the entry, the first town in the county was laid out by the commissioners and Surveyor John M. Barnard, of Polk County. The plat embraced all bounded by Seventh, East, South and West streets, and, like all prairie towns, was laid out in regular squares, but, unlike most towns, was provided with two public half squares on both sides of the " slough," which thus became a sort of Mason and Dixon's line to the new town's early business men. A name was suggested by Commissioner Joseph Thrift, of Boone County, an old miner in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the adjective part of the name being chosen--Nevada or " snowy," a Spanish name, which became very appropriate, as the plat lay all the succeeding winter with only a single log house upon it. On the 8th of September, the day of lot sale, the lots of the south side seemed to attract most attention, but Dr. Morris gave the first buyer, Mr. T. E. Alderman, a lot on Main street, immediately south of the present court yard, on condition that he build there. This was agreed to, and forthwith arose a log cabin, 16x20 feet, with one door facing Main street, and all complete and occupied by October 11. This was the only building for nearly a year, and Mr. Alderman's family, embracing himself, his wife, mother, son Oscar and infant daughter, Mary Nevada, were the only inhabitants for a similar period. The daughter's birth in January, 1854, and her death in the following December, were the first birth and death in Nevada, while the marriage of Mr. Alderman's mother to James W. Smith was probably the first event of that kind in the place.

This one-roomed cabin was the first store, post-office and tavern or inn of the county, and Mr. Alderman the first merchant, postmaster, and host in the midst of this unfenced prairie. The old house now stands on the Cessna farm northeast of town. The second house was built in August, 1854, by the next arrival, John H. McClain, and was erected on the

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