SECTION EIGHT 4 Tf _ ***/ + CENTENNIAL EDITION SECTION EIGHT. The Cherokee Courier CHEROKEE, IOWA, MAY 31, 1956 Ipiua *. * Greatest State In Natlon- Cherokee ... Best County In State These Five Men Serve As Cherokee's Councilmen Of 1956 Jay Yaggy ft- ft ft ft Gerhart Baumann '''•ft * * -si- Whitlatch ft ft ft Louis Shea ft ft ft ft Lyle Maxwell ft..- ft : "ft. --ft Government... Jan. 24, 1878\ The entire''front • page cf the issue dated January 24, 4878, as well, as several long columns on the second page, were devoted to detailed descriptions of Cherokee County and! its many aiivantages, published to interest people 'in settling here. Beneath a map,,..-.; of Cherokee County in the top left hand corner, of the page appeared the following headline and subheads: "NOW OR NEVER ... Iowa the Greatest State" in the ITnion . . . Cherokee.the Best County in the State . . . 200,000 Acres of Land Await Purchasers .. . The Best ' Farming Land in the • World." '"The two great internal industries of,the United-States are farming and mining," states the lead sentence .in the story of Cherokee =County and its assets and possibilities for development. It continues: "The valjeys of the Mississippi and Missouri are the most extensive in the world, while, in regard to fertility and general adaptability to agriculture,' they surpass all others in any quarter of the globe . . . In this valley, as. the two large rivers converge to form one stream,- lies the State of Iowa, the greatest of- all the agricultural states." / Following a general outline of the state and Northeastern Iowa, is a detailed description of Cherokee County under these subheads: "Little Sioux," "Soil," "Climate," "Roads," "Timber," "Fruit," ."Crops,"-' "Stock Raising," "Settle ment," "Lands," "Railroads," "Mills," "Fencing," "Schools'and Churches," "Mails." •Much space is devoted to the village of Aurelia, termed a "lively, bustling little town," and to Marcus, "the second most populous village' in Cherokee County." Description is also given of another village- in the county which later became Meriden. "Six miles west -from 'Cherokee is located the village of Hazard in 'the midst of a fertile plain. There are no large streams "df water near the place, but . its lands ape unsurpassed by any in the'county. Adjoining the village,'-the country is thickly settled ari'd many of the farm buildings substantial and even beautiful. Tall groves bedeck the face of the level'land- scape and silvery streams glistening in the sun, menader through the grassy meadows. . . . There are elements .about the place to make'it a-neat and prosperous town. It has a number of good business.men already; it possesses a thrifty, intelligent people about it, so that Hazard has reason to look forward to becoming a place of importance." First Known Election Was Held In Lebourveau's Log Cabin In 1857 Miniitp«j Of Fir^t J.~J.J.J.J. l/L L\.xO VrffJ. A J.J.OL -,../•.,•'. - - • ' ' ' Council Meetings Our form of government • is made up of states, counties,'to\v : n- ••ships-irand- .municipal" t br,ahches, ,each complete within itself, but .of importance to the whole. In some parts of our nation, the county subdivisions are called 'towns' an.d in other sections they have been named 'boroughs'. Here, in the'western states, we call them 'townships'. Strictly speaking, a township Is that portion of government domain surveyed -off into six-mile square tracts, made up of thirty- six sections of land. Schools., roads, elections/ cemeteries, and other internal improvements are carried on by each township, Independent of the rest of the county, through a-set of elective officers. Originally, Cherokee township included the entire county then it was divided into two civil, sub-' divisions - Cherokee and- Pilpt- and later took on various other organizations. .It now embraces one Congressional township - -92. range 40 - bounded on the north by Cedar, east by Afton, south by Pilot and west by Sheridan, the whole covering a six mile square territory and containing sixteen townships. Local history usually centers around the county seat, especially when only one place within the. county -has been the seat of justice and where the first settlement was made at or near,such point." Here in Cherokee, the first stakes were driven by that little Greetings.. .'To The Mayor Of 2056 Mayor George Rapson The following is, a transcription of a message recorded on Jape by Mayor George Rapson of Cherokee, sending greetings to the Mayor of 2056. The tape recording will be placed in'the time capsule to be opened in 100 years.. This is George P. Rapson, Mayor of the city of Cherokee in the year 1956. In this our centenial year, 1 wish to send greetings to the Mayor of Cherokee in the year 2056. Besides being 100 years old, Cherokee has many things to be thankful for. Cherokee has approximately 8000 happy and prosperous inhabitants. We have 12 churches, 5 public schools and' one parochial school. We have three sound banks. City and County finances are in excellent condition. Our business houses are all doing well and we have no vacant buildings in the city. It is my 'sincere desire that when you hear my voice giving you these facts of 1956, you will have reason to be equally proud of Cherokee in 2056. In closing let me again extend to you on Cherokee's 200t.h birthday the happiest of greetings from Cherokee on its 100th Birthday. The early leather-bound books,wherein the minutes, of our first council meetings are recorded in long-hand, are ( now yellowed with age. The writing alone is fascinating - some artistic, some bold, some non-descript and some displaying beautiful penmanship - bringing a near-image of the men who helped shape the affairs of our town. - • • t • • x • The ' first year shows several weekly meetings taking place, at which\ the foundation ^ was 'laid for our city government, in its infancy. First 'requisited on the agenda seemed to 'be the. drafting of by-laws, and a close second and third were the matters of road-grading and temperance issues. Early, records are sprinkled throughout with humorous motions concerning "saloon keepers" and "hard liquor". The first .minutes in their .near-entirety "were: "The council of the Incorporated Town of Cherokee met at the off ice. of Whitmore & <3or- bett at 8 o'clock this P. M. pur- suant to call his honor the mayor in the chair." At this meeting, a committee was -drafted to report on by-laws, "tomorrow evening", a committee was also chosen "to determine the grade of the streets and •& communication from the clergymen of Cherokee on the subject of intemperance was read to the council" .prior to adjournment. During the fourth council meeting, "Robert Buchanan's offer to publish in the Times all ordinances, notices and proceedings of the official year for tfie sum of seventy-five dollars was accepted and henceforth, the Times is to be known as the official paper of the Incorporated Town of Cherokee". At a meeting on .December 2, 1873, a "bill for two day's labor in surveying streets" was granted at three dollars. On January 8, 1874, "M. Wakefield's bill for one- half year's salary as Recorder be allowed at thirty dollars". February' 25, 1874 minutes show that a bill was approved for payment to Corbett & Whitmore "for rent, fuel and lights for the year, ten dollars"; This same year, there seems to have occurred a little trouble with a claim of one citizen for one thousand dollars against the town, for injuries alleged to have been 1 received by reason of defective sidewalk. The bill reappears several times in the minutes, only to be rejected with a majority of "nayes". -- In 1874, .the name of. H. Kennedy appears as Assessor for the first mention of this office. By 1878, the addition to the list of city officials is'that of Night Police, with the first name in said office being that 'of Jas. Payton. 1880 shows the introduction of a Health Oificer, which position was filled toy Dr. R. L. Cleaves. In 1883, the title of Chief of Fire Dept. shows up on the books with Wm. Crooks filling this position. Although. the old. ', records contain a wealth of interesting on- the-spot information, the mention of all would necessitate the compiling of V book by itself. CITY BUSINESS '- / The March 21, 1878 issue of the Times published this little civic tid-bit: "The new council has forbidden the sale, of wine and cider, but license ale, beer and porter at the rate of S125 a year, S100 for six months, S50 for three months and S20 for one month.". The first years proved to be all uphill work for the administration, as the town funds were still- meager. Attesting to this fact:is another clip from the Times, dated October 12, 1882: "The city finances are not in the most satisfactory condition. The purchase of a fire engine and building a new town hall will leave the town for the first time in it's history in debt, and the debt wil'K not .fall much short of $1,500! Next, year there will be no saloon license and the trustees have ordered an ' extra levy of five mills on the dollar, which will bring to the treasury nearly the same amount as-^s derived an-, nually from saloon licenses. There has also been a heavy outlay this season for repairing roads, and still these are in no very satis-, factory condition. No doubt the council does the best it can with the funds..." ' band of determined New Englanders, back in 1856, before Iowa had any railroad facilities and while the capital of the young state was still located at Iowa City. Here were cut the first logs, '.the first houses erectgd and the first plans formulated. As to location, Cherokee has the decided advantage of being situated in the charming valley of the Little Sioux River. Sur- .rounding it are high elevations, almost bluffs, yet truly speaking, •only rolling prairie lands. It nestles in a hollow, .peacefully and beautifully, in every season of the year and the approach from anv dirction offers a surprising scene of contrasting structure and color.. Geographically, Cherokee is situated on sections 26 and 27, and sections 34 and 35. Although this describes the first platting, the incorporation limits were at that date fully two, by .two and one-half miles in extent. It is only three miles from the exact geographical center of Cherokee county. Cherokee was at first a speculator "paper-town" for the platting of the village, "Cherokee, Center", by surveyors Sternburg, Townsend and Detwiler on November 19, 1856 was all that was done toward making a town. • The first permanent platting was effected by Samuel W. Hay- 'ward, who • platted a town containing a full half section of land, on sections 22 and 23, township 92, range 40. This . is known among land and abstract men as "Original Cherokee". ;• At this point, the Milford colony settled here and building improvements were acfomplish- od. In the autumn of 185b, four buildings went up on the plat. Parkhurst built one, Lebourveau built another, Corbett, together with Sawtell and Holbrook, built over the river and Holbrook erected another building near the place where later stood the old fort and stockade. Nothing much was accomplished toward business enterprises until 1869, when William Van Epps bought the east half of the northwest quarter of section 26,. the Isame being comprised of twenty acres. He at once erected NEW CITY HALL There was, of course, a need for a meeting -place for the functions of city government and in the early seventies, a building was erected which served the purpose of Town, Hall and Fire Department, west of the railroad. In 1883, a second City Hall was erected on Maple Street. The third and present City Hall was built in 1908 on Maple Street also, with mayor's ... office and council hall on the second story and the fire department on the ground floor. In recent years, an addition has been made to office the city hall, including sanitary public rest-rooms and headquarters for the police department. Cherokee was not organized as a City of the Second Class until 1891, when it was incorporated anew, and divided into three wards. At this same time, the Trustees became known as Aldermen. The title of Recorder was changed to that of City Clerk, but not 'til 1915 did the Park Com- mision come into existance with the names of W, A. Sanford, W. I. Weart and J. W. Stevens. a substantial store building thereon and this location immediately took on a genuine boom so that by^ 1'870, quite j a village had sprung into existance. Since it was expected that the new town would soon have a railroad, Van Epps platted his land into town lots and had it legally recorded as "Blair City" believing that by naming it after the great railroad magnate, John Blair, he might induce him to locate the depot grounds on his town site. "Blair City" was very near the site of'the settlement of the Milford Colony. The building which this colony erected was long known as the "Cherokee House". It was this county's first building and the-'first shelter of the white race in these parts. It was built in the summer of 1856, a log structure, 12 x 20 feet and one and a half stories high. The block house, so often mentioned, was not built until 1863 and it measured 20 x 20 feet, the stockade being an enclosure of about a quarter of an acre. ' "Blair City" was short-lived by reason of the coming of the iron- horse and its unfavorable location to this new element. Henceforth, the men who represented the business interests of the old town bade farewell to "Blair City" iljeavjng little else, isave their pioneer recollections. Government in early Cherokee did not start at any given time. The first known election was 'held in August of 1857 in the log-cabin of Georgr> Lebourveau, at which meeting officers for the county were elected, they being: A. P. Thayer, county judge; Carlton Corbett, prosecuting attorney; George Lebourveau, treasurer and recorder; Samuel W. Hay- ward,'' sheriff; .Benjamin Sawtell, district Vclerk ( anii.Geprge Killem, '' '' ' ,, . The .county judge had as much power in those, days in the management of county affairs as the present County Board of Supervisors now has, plus many more duties. This system, was supplanted, by the Board, with Albert Phipps serving as first supervisor under the new system. The county court continued to function, 'however, looking after pro- sate matters and issuing marriage licenses until January 1, 1869. Cherokee was not of sufficient size to become an incorporated town, under, the then existing laws of Iowa, until 1873. On April 6th of that year, the question was submitted to a vote by the people and the count showed sixty-four 'for' . and fifteen 'against' the incorporation proposition. These results justified the calling of an (Continued On Page 8) HOT ELECTION They,-must have had some warm issues in the past, judging from the ensueing excerpts from the February 22, 1883, Times: "The City election will be held •a week from next Monday. Already there is some talk of who. will be the desireable candidates for mayor. Usually, the slate makes itself manifest, but .we have heard .only the names, of Wakefield and McCulla in connection with the mayorality. If Mr. Wakefield will consent to • serve another term is doubtful. The main issue will center in license or no license. The revenue of the city seems to demand that if liquor is to be sold those who sell shall be made to contribute a proportionate share toward it. As the parties are nearly, equal numerically, the contest promises to be lively." . ,, The city council presently meets every first Tuesday of the month unless it becomes necessary to meet sooner, at which tim any three councilmen can call and constitute a quorum. The council; for 1956 is made up of the following men: Gerhart Baumann, Lyle Maxwell, Don Whitlateh, Jay Yaggy and; Lewis 'Shea, headed <by George Rapson, mayor; -Loren Anderson, treasurer; Loyal Martin, solicitor; James Gary, clerk and superintendent of water-, works; Laurence Schmoldt, marshal -'•chief; Dal Goldie, fire' department chief; Dr. C. L. Seaman, health officer; Harlan Moen, Albert Stahl- and Dr. Don Kosery make up the park commission. ;•• Besides these are included the library board, plumbing board, mayor's committees, planning commission and. street commission.
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