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1890 Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Story County, Iowa

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southwest corner of Sixth and Chestnut Streets for a hotel.

Mr. George Childs and family were the next arrivals, soon after. During the autumn of that year about twelve families were added, among whom were those of Isaac Romane (the first lawyer), A. P. Fitch, George Helphrey (the first blacksmith), John Harris and T. J. Adamson (both early merchants). Of these, Messrs. Fitch, Harris and Adamson located about the north, east and west sides of the south half-square, and forthwith arose that rivalry for the location of business that did not end for over a decade. Mr. Adamson and others succeeded in securing the post-office on the south side. A second tavern was opened opposite the northwest corner of the present park by Israel Helphrey, and Mr. Alderman and W. W. Rhodes opened the first hardware store on a site immediately south of the present court-house. Charles Smith, the first shoemaker, located on Linn Street. Dr. V. V. Adamson, the son of T. J., was the first of his profession, and was soon followed by Dr. Kellogg. The county buildings, as has been mentioned elsewhere in this volume, were on the north side, but that did not prevent the south side from securing almost two-thirds of the entire business of the place at the end of fifteen years.

From 1855 to 1860 the place built up slowly but considerably, but still clung largely to the south side. During the war little progress was made, although all this time Nevada continued the leading place in the county. Railway agitation began early, and was vigorously championed by the citizens of Nevada, but it was not until July 4, 1864, that the first train entered from the east. All the usual accompaniments came about the same time, the telegraph, daily mails and the express companies. The depot was placed on the north side of the track, just two blocks east of its present site, with warehouses on the south side of the track. This gave business a tendency toward the depot, though not appreciably until later. In two years the population had increased until it was estimated in 1866 at 1,000 people. The rivalry over the location of the permanent business center continued to distract the town until in 1868 a number of citizens united in a private movement to grade Linn Street and induce business men to locate upon it, from the present court-house site to the railway. The matter was so energetically pushed that it was soon acknowledged that Linn Street was the main thoroughfare, although its sides did not bristle with brick blocks, as at present. To further determine this street as the main one, another private movement to widen it from seventy to ninety feet arose in 1872, and was effected by the property owners of the west side giving twenty feet and those of the east side paying the cost of moving back the buildings. Linn Street was greatly improved and steadily built up, but during the next few years, as business about the depot began to increase, there arose a movement, along with the platting of Blair's Addition, to lead it down East Street. A counter effort began in 1877 to defeat this by securing the re-location of the depot at the head of Linn Street, as at present situated. The petitioners for this had their committee, composed of Messrs. Briggs, Lockridge and Thompson, negotiate with the railroad authorities, whose consent was secured on condition that they should receive fifty feet of the land just south of their track, between Linn and Main Streets, and a diagonal half of fifty feet for side-tracks similarly from the blocks east and west of this, together with $1,500 in cash. All of this was effected and the depot moved in 1877 to its present site, and for over a dozen years business has continued to line Linn Street with its solid and commodious fronts, which can hardly

Page 193 of 460

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