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1890 Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Story County, Iowa

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John Swan, president, is soon to erect a $5,000 Opera Block on Broad Street, 59x70 feet, and two stories in brick.

The first council meeting of the incorporation of the two plats was held March 29, 1882, with Capt. W. A. Wier, as mayor. But little outside of ordinary business was done for the first few years. A 240-foot well had been sunk at the corner of Broad Street and Penn Avenue before the incorporation, and in 1886 about $550 was invested in a force-pump, hose, fire-bell, ladders, etc., and a fire department organized under Capt. H. R. Boyd. Capt. E. L. Erickson is the present incumbent. A hose-house and calaboose has since been erected, and a sight for a public park has been chosen and negotiations are pending. About two and a-half miles of tile have been planted. The successive mayors are: Capt. W. A. Wier, 1882-83; O. B. Peterson, 1881; C. W. Allen, 1885-86; S. R. Corneliussen, 1887; and H. R. Boyd, 1888 to the present.

The newspaper arrived before the incorporation in the form of the Story City Herald, a Republican weekly under the direction of M. Swartout, who issued his first number on January 7, 1881. This was replaced by the Story City Review on January 17, 1885, as an independent paper, edited by H. C. Carlson. C. W. Allen and O. B. Peterson secured the plant and on May 20, 1887, issued the Story City News. Since January, 1888, Mr. Peterson has been its sole editor, and makes of it a lively Republican. local newspaper.

Societies on the American plan seem to grow in favor with the foreign population slowly. It was August 13, 1886, that the first lodge—Mizpah No. 249, I. O. G. T., was organized by Col. Long, of Kentucky. The first officers were S. R. Corneliussen, W. C. T.; A. S. Allen, secretary, and Mrs. A. S. Allen, treasurer, with other officers, and eighteen charter members. The successive chief templars are: S. R. Corneliussen; A. S. Allen, May, 1887; Mrs. C. W. Allen, August, 1887; S. R. Corneliussen, November, 1887; J. M. Clark, May, 1888; about which time the lodge was discontinued. They met in the school-house. The Story City Literary Society has been in operation several years, with the especial purpose of forming a library and for general culture. It was not until July 30, 1887, that the only other society was formed. This was Erick L. Sheldahl Post No. 439, G. A. R., named after a popular Norwegian soldier of the community. Comrade Henry Wilson, Jr., of Ames, mustered in eighteen charter members, and the following officers were chosen: W. A. Wier, C.; George Larson, S. V. ; H. F. Ferguson, J. V.; T. J. Moses, Adj. ; H. R. Boyd, Q. ; N. Erickson, secretary; B. Hollingsworth, chaplain; C. Torkelson, O. D. ; A. Sampson, O. G. The membership has not increased, and Capt. Wier has served from the first as commander.

The mail service has been cared for as follows: F. W. Rhoades, November 29, 1856; Noah Harding, January 7, 1858; L. R. Larsen, August 18, 1863; M. Swartout, December 30, 1885; A. N. Torp, October. 24, 1887; O. B. Peterson, May 23, 1889.

Iowa Center, with its quaint "village-green" stretching its oblong proportions north and south, as if Nevada and Maxwell had combined to pull it apart, and nearly succeeded, is prettily scattered along Nevada, its chief street, on an elevated site, and with just enough ruined mill and the like to make it look historic. For it is historic; the most so of any spot in Story County. Its hundred inhabitants could hardly be seen beside Des Moines' 50,000 now, but from 1853 to 1855 there seemed to be no reason why these figures might not have changed places, for Iowa Center, the approximate center, was a strong candidate for the State capi-

Page 204 of 460

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