but the steady growth has been most marked in home improvements.
The sinews of the town are the grain and coal trade, headed by Ira Barnes, for the St. Paul & Kansas City Grain Company; N. R. Clift, for the Brackett & Stoddard Company; E. G. Richardson, in the cattle and hog business; in general merchandise, Smith Brothers and McConnell & Thatcher; with hardware, F. Wohlheter and J. Tisdale; J. C. Burkhart, in lumber; A. D. Hix, W. Smith and C. A. Burkhart, in groceries, while among others may be mentioned such firms as the Welton drug store, the Harter furniture store, two meat markets, two millinery stores, two repair shops, Clift & Fry's implement store, a job printing office and others. The Flowing Well Creamery, by D. O. Fenton, is a considerable institution. Two elevators were built about 1882-83, the Barnes having a capacity of 80,000 bushels, to facilitate the heavy shipments of oats and corn.
The Farmers Bank of Zearing, private, was founded in 1887, by B. A. Armstrong. Very soon it was sold to N. R. Clift and the capital made $10,000. Their correspondents are the First National Bank of Chicago and the first National Bank of Marshalltown.
The place was incorporated in 1883 with A.
M. Williams as the first mayor. His successors have been: Joseph Johnson, 1884-85; C. Burgess, 1886; J. H. V. Willits, 1887; N. R. Clift, 1888-89, and J. S. Smith, 1890. Little has been done outside of routine business, except the establishment of a good system of sidewalks. They have also prompted the organization of a local company which will soon lay out an addition.
The post-office has been occupied by the following servants of "Uncle Sam:" A. W. Squires, December 20, 1881; John C. Burkhart, May 8, 1882; A. D. Hix, October 28, 1885; William H. Schafer, May 13, 1889.
Several modest newspaper efforts have been made. The Zearing Register, a diminutive paper edited by A. W. Lewis, began January 26, 1883, and lasted about a year. The Crucible, by Morton Kuhn, ran from October, 1885, for a time. The Branch, by H. B. Miller, ran from August, 1887; to about October, 1889. All of these were small folios.
Four societies have had their birth in Zearing, the Masonic, the Odd Fellows, the Good Templars and the Grand Army of the Republic. Electric Lodge No. 333, I. O. O. F., was chartered on October 18, 1883, by H. O. Norton, N. G. ; E. A. Allen, V. G.; A. M. Williams, secretary; E. G. Richardson, treasurer; J. M. Ingram, G. D. Williams, F. S. Newton and J. M. Allen. Their membership, has since increased to twenty-three persons, with E. G. Richardson as the last noble grand. About two years later, on June 4, 1885, Pacific Lodge No. 469, A. F. & A. M., received a charter with the following officers: H. N. Rogers, W. M.; E. C. Wallace, S. W. ; M. M. Dunham, J. W.; Edwin Gross, treasurer; W. H. Brooks, secretary ; George Barnard, S. D.; E. G. Richardson, J. D.; Joseph Rogers, tyler ; D. D. Dunham, S. S.; and H. T. Dimmitt, J. S., with five other members. They have reached as high as forty-two members, but now enroll but thirty-one. The successive worshipful masters have been: Messrs. H. N. Rogers, E. C. Wallace, H. N. Rogers, George Barnard and J. S. Smith. It was not until October 18, 1887, that the Good Templar lodge was formed, with nineteen members, by A. M. Allen and Rev. Verger, of Story City. They now have twenty-eight enrolled. Their chief templars have been: J. Q. Burgess, F. S. Newton, J. F. Reed, Mrs. Clift, J. F. Reed, N. R. Clift and Sidney Clift. A post of the Grand Army of the Republic is also in operation-Andrew Patton Post No. 239, G. A. R., named in honor