Cherokee Daily Times from Cherokee, Iowa on May 31, 1960 · Page 43
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Cherokee Daily Times from Cherokee, Iowa · Page 43

Cherokee, Iowa
Issue Date:
Tuesday, May 31, 1960
Page 43
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SECTION FOUR CENTENNIAL EDITION SECTION FOUR The Cherokee Courier CHEROKEE, IOWA, M!AY 31, 1956 . . Members 'of..the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1803-06 were probably the first white men to recognize the Little Sioiix River valley as highly desireable "real estate," for a description of this area -appears in their report. ••--.••'• David Dale Owen visited Northwest Iowa 10 years later and mapped this section; However, except for wandering hunters and trappers it remained a virtually unknown territory until the early 50's ' "" After visiting the valley of the. Little Sioux during the years 1866-69, state geologist Charles A. White devoted a page to Cherokee County in"Geology of Iowa," published in 1870. White wrote: "The extensive views that the traveler occasionally gets are pleasing. In some .'. places, indeed, the scenery is very beautiful in its kind and 'the valley will at no distant day be one of the finest agricultural regions of the state." s Cherokee County was one of 50 set off as a county in December, : 1851 by the Third General : Assernbly'-convening at "Iowa City. .Named for the: Southern Indian tribe, it was first attached to Woodbury, then organized in 1857 into-a-county - by- itself. v - , - - ( Robert Perry is listed as the first white settler ~ in the Cherokee area, arriving here in May of 1856 or more than a year before the region officially, became, a county.-New Englanders of the Milford Colony ; . erected'the first house in • the summer of 1856. It was 12 x 20 feet and one and a half stories high. , / The first, election, was held in August. 1857 at the log house of George W. Lebourveau, one of the earlier pioneers and later the first mayor of Cherokee. Following is-tKe first'tax levy by the newly- elected county officials: For county^ purposes, 6 mills, state purposes, 1 '/•> mills; schools, 2 mills; public roads, 3 mills. Total levy, 12% mills on the dollar. The total number of acres of land entered "at that time was 46,1721 valued at $92,356. Town lots, numbered 371, valued &t $3,710. Personal property was assessed at $1,754 and total property at $97,820. From this, a total tax of $1,222 was raised. By way of comparison, the total value of real : estate today in the "city of Cherokee" is $5,347,248. and the total value of personal . property is $1,147,101. .The total tax to be collected in 1956 is $463,105.52.^For the county, as a whole, the total value...of real estate including personal property is $42,347,513 with $2,011,380.78 as the .total tax. : . •-.. : ... The first deed granted for land in Cherokee County was filed for recording in August of 1856. Conveyed .by Robert Pewy for $100 paid by three Woodbury .County residents, it covered the SE quarter of section 28, township 91, range 40. Heal estate mortgage No. 1 was that of Miche'al Pendergrast for S300 on township 91, range 41 to August Kirwan in, December of 1857. A Mr. Twiford built the first sawmill in 1865 and the first kiln of brick burned was fired up in 1867 by owner' George, Filer. The schoolhouse erected that year was the first brick building in x 'Cherokee County. It stood in the old village of Cherokee until it was blown down in June of 1881. The first gristmill was built by a Mr. Bliss"in 1870. Newcomers to.. Cherokee in the year 1870 found good, clothing and grocery stores, pros. perous' lumber yards and mill privileges. The growing town - - .set in rich, rolling prairie land '••- - boasted of jts two good hotels, two blacksmith shops, two drug stores and two meat markets. The coming of the Iowa Falls and Sioux City line (now the Illinois Central 'Railroad) in '1870 marked .a new era in the county's history and growth- - - providing a 'means of developing resources as no. other factor could do. Land could 'be expected to sell for nearly $25,000 per acre in the year 2040, if its value increases to tine comparative extent that it has . in the' past 85 years. . In 1870, land agency' firms., advertised fine prairie land ranging in price from $2.75 to $10 s- per acre. The price per acre t6day, 1956, ranges 5 from $50 per acre for the poorest land to as | :high as $500 per acre paid last year for improved I, farm land. .. . . Early settlers of our Centennial community worked diligently to establish a secure foothold in the vast and promising West. Foremost on the list of wants was 5,000 settlers. . A newspaper article in the 1870's stated: "If they have the mtiney, all the better;: if not, nevertheless we want them. They can get employ- ._jnpnt in- Cherokee. Land is cheap arid in a few Members Of Lewis and Clark Expedition Were First Whites To'Recognize It As Desireable "RealEtsate" years' they will be wealthy . .- . We want ; 'tho 400,000 acres of vacant lantls in this- county settled upon and cultivated." . That this dream came true is readi'/ evidenced by the fact that there are 1,780 farms now in •operation in Cherokee County, according to a census taken in 1954. . Meanwhile, as later farmers continued developing the'rich land first tilled by adventurous settlers, the little village grew steadily to become the thriving business and cultural center it is today — populated- by some 8,000 persons. The original site of Cherokee, contained 320 acres, was located on sections 22 and 23 of Tvvp. "92, Range 40. It was filed for record December IF 1857 by Samuel W. Hayward.> This area wa situated about half a mile north of the presen eastern limits of Spruce Street where it joins thr road leading toward Mill Creek. . After establishment of the railroad in 1870,_th/ settlement moved south and west of the original site and became "New Cherokee," developinr along the,present Main Street eastward and westward from the depot and tracks. Surveying was executed March 21, 1*870 and recorded-the .follow-. - ing September by G. H. -Lewis. County- Recorder.' Proprietors were George W. Lebourveau and wife and Carl ton Corbel, and wife. The,-incorporated area of the present city, consists of sections 26, 27, 28, 34, 35, and east half of 33. "New Cherokee" consists of the NW% of NEV4 of Sec. 34 and SW% of Sec. 27, Twp. 92, Range 40. In terms of more readily understood boundaries, Cherokee in 1956 extends east to the top of East Main Street hill, north to a point bewteen the Lundsgaard and Engel farms on Highway 59, south to the airport corner, west to the Catholic Cemetery on the north and halfway up Oak Hill Cemetery road on the south. The City of Cherokee' currently owns the following property: Waterworks pump area; standpipe lot; city hall site; city garage site on East Main; disposal plant site east of Wescott Park, Spring Lake and Spring Lake Park, comprising 103 acres; the library and grounds on South Second; the Municipal Airport; city dumping grounds along the River Road southwest; Oak Hill Cemetery and Oak Hill Cemetery annex. Following World War II, when building materials again became available, a boom in the construction of homes began and is still in progress. This has resulted in occupation of most vacant lots throughout the city as well as housing developments on the north and east sectors of Cherokee. .Building permits obtained-in 1946 numbered 119 at a total valuation of $323,350, with 51 homes constructed that year. Permit totals for the years of 1947 through 1953 were: $245,820 in '47; $438,100 in '48; $793,385 in '49; $863,510 in '50; $519,000 in .'51; $550,700 in '52; $362,550 in 1953. Although these figures cover permits for commercial buildings, additions and garages as well as houses, the majority were obtained for new homes. In the pa'st two years, a total of 99 new homes were built in Cherokee 44 in 1954 and"55 in 1955. The number last year includes three duplex dwellings and badly needed additions to three public schools including a-new high school, the first portion of which was completed in 1953. Business expansion .and establishment of new industries has kept pace to .some extent with "the rapid rise of new housing. Already manufactured in Cherokee are 25 products, varying from hog skinning cradles to farm implements to television towers. Spurring the city toward further industrial •development are a group of forward-looking businessmen, who organized the Cherokee Industrial Corporation in 1955. Twin aims of the corporation are to sceure suitable sites and to interest industries in establishing plants here. Lloyd B. Darling, farmer and' civic leader, is president of this progressive group. These citizens,, along with Chamber of Commerce members headed,by Russ Froyd as; Chamber manager, realize that modern farming methods and increased size of farms in the future will mean population loss to the community unless industrialization takes place. '"' Handling real estate in Cherokee end the surrounding area are the following firms: T. M. •OTimmans & Sons, A. A. Woltman Real Estate, Bell Insurance Agency, Moore Abstract & Title Company, George W. Hoyt and Ted Andrews. . Thus, the Centennial city of Cherokee looks back upon its 100 .years of progress with special appreciation of its sturdy pioneer founders —.and ahead with strong hopes and intentions of advancing and improving in many respects.through the next century. ,. "*--*' CHEROKEE IN 1872 Taken from ' article headed "Successful Formers" in the Jan. 24, 1878 Issue: "It is an old saying that 'success is the test of merit;' if this be so, we are none the less willing to have the merits of. Cherokee County tested by it. Were it necessary, the names of hundreds of farmers might be given who have found Cherokee all that' is claimed for it in this paper (a special edition^,devoted to the assets of Cherokee' County.) We give a few names of farmers who have made farming something more than a success: "In 1869, three brothers,. Hugh, Alex -and- James Frazer, located on homesteads near Aurelia. They began with very little, and have each of them,in that time accumulated a handsome com- petancy . . . One of the brothers sold his farm -a year ago for S25 an acre and built an elevator, going into the grain and shipping business. "J. H. Groves located here in 1369, has 400 acres of land, foods annually from 200 to 500 hogs, has frequently as high as 100 fat cattle on hand; raises also large quantities of grain—Came to the county With Very little and is now regarded as wealthy. "H. S. Quihn, two miles west of the county seat, owns 320 acres, paid for-it out of the land, has good buildings, fine teams, handsome groves and a large lot of stock; sells from the products of his farm in "a single year from 32,000 to $3,500 worth; has been in Cherokee • about seven years." Other names in the roster of successful farmers in the 1300's included R. B. Rutherford, H. P. Shed, James Boles, Peter Matthews, Horatio Pitcher, W. S. Johnson, J. G. Crowell, M. E. Hinkley, J. N. Snedicor. The article concludes: —"diligence, industry, economy and prudence are as sure of reward | in Cherokee County as it is cer- jtain that tomorrow's sun will j rise and set." "... myihelaied ether" Cherokee Times — May 24th, 1872 The citizens of Main Street had a free show dished up to them on Tuesday by some fellow xvho "didn't care a darn". He felt good, that was clear, but in order to feel still better he medicated himself with what is now called "mythelated ether". This was .formerly know as whiskey, • upon which vulgar people got drunk, but folks don't'get drunk now-a-days, they merely get sick and medicate themselves. Sickness is awfully on the increase . . . this is a very unhealthy country and it takes' large dosee of "mythelated ether" to keep us in average health. But we digress; the fellow got awfully sick! He tumbled in his wagon-box, rolled on the bottom, rubbed himself from heels to eyes, groaned pitiously and acted much like men formerly did when drunk. His affectionate wife stood near, kissed him lovingly a*nd held his head over the box, where he found relief in a fearful up-throwing and so forth. She wiped him tenderly, kissed him again and again'and laid him .back peacefully in his little bed. Some rude old-fashioned folks laughed but she looked daggers at them for their witlessness, thon bending down would steal another kiss from her distressed 'ord despite the public titter, for she well knew these envious ;:iasculine bipeds would have drunk all the "mythelated eth'r" in town to be made the recipients of the least of one of t.iese. Upon the founding of Cherokee, one of the first needs to,be realized was that of a bank to serve as the center of commercial life. W. H. Fife, pioneer Cherokee merchant, filled this need for a time, carrying it on at first only as a convenience to himself and an accomodation to businessmen who located here with the completion of the railroad in 1870. Fife's "bank" was a desk in his store, and consisiled principally of a book of blank drafts from which he could issue drafts as required, through a' business arrange- _ men± with an easirn firm. Charles Goldsbury, an attorney and real estate agent, established a banking business early in 1870. In addition to practicing law and selling land, Goldsbury remained in the, banking business until 1883. According, to a newspaper and he ran in 18.72, he was prepared to draw drafts on New York, Chicago and Europe. R. H. Scribner arrived in Cherokee in July, 1872, and announced that the firm of Fulton and Scribner would open a bank in the building then being, constructed by Mr. Lewis on the south side of Main Street. According to The Times in its issue of July 19, "the largest safe ever brought to Cherokee was landed here for the firm of Fulton & Scribner. It weighs 8,000 pounds and is both fireproof and burglarproof ..." Formal announcement of the opening of this bank appeared in the issue of August 9, 1872. Scribner retained his connection with the bank until his death here in 1913. Fulton retired in 1873, a£ter selling his interest to N. T. Burroughs and Corbett & Whitmore. Burroughs acquired the interest of the latter two men in 1874, changing the firm name to Scribner, Burroughs and Co. W. A. Sanford joined the establishment 1 in 1876 and Cornelius Sullivan in" 1881. The private bank became a national institution in 1883 1 , being organized under United States supervision as The First National Bank. First officers were Burroughs as president; Sanford, vice-president; Scribner, cashier; and Sullivan, assistant cashier. The first person to come into the bank and start an account when it opened for business in 1872 was David Layton, who continued his relations with the institution up to his death or more than 30 years. ' The Steeles' Bank was established in Cherokee in June,. 1874, by T. S. Steele of Salem, N. Y., and his son, T. H. Steele. When D. T. Steele became a member in 1892, the title was changed to T. S. Steele .& Sons. After the death of the elder Steele in 1896, J. F. Steele of Salem became a member of the firm and its name was changed to The Steeles' Bank. First located in a frame building on the south side of Main Street, a brick structure erected in 1879 served as Steeles' headquarters for nearly 70 years. When J. F. Steele retired in 1921, H. C. and R. T. Steele were admitted to the firm. Changes occurred again in 1928 with retirement of D. T. and T. H. Steele. On March 11, 1933, Steeles' Bank became incorporated under the new name of "The Steele State Bank". New and modern quarters were completed in January of 1949. In December of '51, H. C. Steele sold his interest in the bank to R. T. Steele. The Cherokee State Bank was organized on October 2, 1888 with J. P. Dickey as president, J. C. Hall as vice-president and E. -D. Huxford cashier and active manager. It opened for business on October 22 that year with a capi- talization of $25,000. On Septem•ter 30, 1839, it showed resources totaling $79,899. Resources as of December 31, 1955 totaled $7,227,191.36. Of the three bonking institutions existing in Cherokee in 1956, The Central Trust & Savings Bank was founded most recently; it was established in May, 1931 with A. W. Jones as president. H. E. Bennett was first vice-president and H. N. McMaster acting cashier. Expanding steadily throughout its 25 years, this firm has branch banks in Washta and Quimby and all accounts are covered oy the Federal Insurance Corporation. Figures as of December 12, 1955 show capital, $50,000; surplus, $50,000; reserves, $163,493.32; deposits, $3,411,627.40; loans and discounts, §1,237,906.39; bonds, 31,759,530.34. The Future Of Cherokee Cherokee Times, December 15, 1887: "There are several new enterprises mapped out for the future of Cherokee. That our location is good and that we are located in a commercial center, 'conspicuous as a distributive point, cannot toe questioned. By developing the right industries and -fostering them in the beginning, the country tributary would make things a success afterwards. These things may not come this year, but in a year as of prosperity such as the coming one, our people will be better prepared in all ways to aid and put them forward successfully." ._, „,

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