The Jackson Sentinel from Maquoketa, Iowa on May 18, 1954 · Page 131
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The Jackson Sentinel from Maquoketa, Iowa · Page 131

Maquoketa, Iowa
Issue Date:
Tuesday, May 18, 1954
Page 131
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THE OLD OPERA HOUSE MAIN STREET AT PLAIT Do you recoga this boildiag? If you live in or near r near Maqueketa, district! Built by you probably passed it the last tine yew were in the Jacob Becker in 1884 and Liter owned by Mortimer Bice, the Opera House was ~mportant institution for several decades. The "latest" stage plays were here regularly, as well as various chric events such as high school graduation ceremonies. Later, as the Olympic, it was the .scene of athletic events and a roller skating rink. This is the south portion of the budding now occupied by Modern Motors, 220 South Main street. Main street at Plait, in Civil War days, looking south. In the left foreground, Thomas Trout's tin shop, an empty lot whefe Maquoketa Newspaper office now stands, and Pierce Mitchell's building, which is now only two stories. Across Platt, the fine brick building which was John Goodenow's hotel. .Built in 1849, It was a decided asset to Maquoketa as pioneers felt that a town which I could afford such an establishment had a good future and many of them settled i K*«H» Its modern appearance w^rald be an asset today. "Doctor" Dobson Received Mail By Basketful In 1875 there arrived in Maquoketa a "Doctor" Dobson. In 1891 when this "spiritualist diagnostician" moved on to seek. further fortune in the Golden ; West he had collected $200,000---an as- tronomical'sum in those days--in fees from'patients all over the world. - Yet he never saw a single one of- them. A letter .containing -a.lock of hair, the sufferer's name and "address and a dollar, was all the "Doctor" claimed, to need-in order to'be able to diagnosa ; any complaint and'send a prescription - which was --aguaranteed cure. According to one -Moses Hull, who - compiled the" sketch of Dobson which - formed-part of the - Doctor's advertis-? ; ing circular, this amazing fellow wa - born in Canada and before-setting up ·in practice bad served with the Federal armies throughout the Civfl. war. During those grim years he held - ^eanees in camp, brmging family news to weiiryi homesick men, and "aston^ ishing his fellow soldiers with-his -powers of mediumship." The circular claimed, and quoted testimonials to prove, that Doctor Dobson and: his band of spirits had successfully combatted, Pioneer Clark Family Traveled To New West With Eleven Children : Traveling from Licking county, Ohio, to Jackson county, Iowa, in 1848 with eleven children--this was the record made by Cephas Dodd Clark and his wife Mary in pioneer days wihen Iowa was a young state and Jackson county only ten years old. Cephas Dodd Clark was a minister in the Christian church and a farmer. : That (he was .pleased with Jackson county is shown by the fact that he remained here, until his death in 1877. The eleven children who accompanied their parents on that long, tedious journey were Arthur, Mathias, Andrew, Cephas, Daniel, Lucinda, Nancy, and the two sets of twins, Ann Meriah and Margaret Eve, and Mary and Martha. Studies Geneology Geneology of the family of the fourth son, Cephas, Jr., is now being compiled by his granddaughter, -Mrs. Emma Shirley Fanfchauser of Madison, Kansas. Mrs. Faiikhauser writes that she does not know what became of the other children who made that pioneer journey. Perhaps some of them moved further west; descendants of others are - no doubt living in this community today. ..." The younger Cephas Clark's family included two daughters who died at an early age; Charlotte, who married Harvey Alden; Maggie Keen and Cora ' Shirley, early school teachers who died in Kansas; Mary "Mate" Dick, who died here in 1951; and three who survive, Charley, Minnie Streets, and Fred, all of Maquoketa. Cephas spent most of his life in tine Iron Hill community, where he died in 1912. After studying her family's history, Mrs. Fankhauser "writes: "The lives of the early settlers of the State of Iowa reflect the history and spirit of the pioneering of the Middle West--a challenge to all descendants of the present and future.'' N£ W SFAFERfl fi C H1V E ® _TM among other ailments, cancer* lameness, lack of appetite asd heart trouble. Treatment by Mail From Maquoketa his mail order treatments were soon going to'all corners of the earth, and before he left the city Dbbsoii had become a pillar of local society, mayor of the city, a public benefactor--and a very wealthy man The. story of his going to the post office with a market basket for his mail became town legend. His son, Dale O. Dobson, once related r that it was nothing for his father to re-i ceive a hundred letters a day and thai| he had to employ four or five persons { to 'heSf with the correspondence, "which in -those days, of course, had all to be done by hand. Yet this enterprising citizen, was not loath to share the riches which came to him through his unorthodox diagnoses and prescriptions for "Spiritual Magnetized Oil." : Throughout one of Iowa's severe winters he had. a standing advertisement hv4he paper to the effect that he would furnish shoes for all the city's .poor children of school -age: his biH in one month amounted to $600. On one of his trips to Chicago be purchased the town clock for 82,000 and had it installed. This imposing tower clock, now unfortunately dismantled, had a bell-like tone which could be heard clearly all over Timber City. He was a thick-skinned preacher in-j deed who could continue his sermon amid the fidgeting which began after the twelve sonorous strokes had sounded on Sunday morning. Throughout its Jife the clock kept good time; the city employed a man to give it a weekly winding, and the system of ton weights which went from the tower to the basement of the threes story building was a simple one, and seldom needed to be repaired. ; Fountains and Street Lighting Dale Dobson said that when he was a little boy the town had no street lights and on dark nights the townsfolk had to carry lanterns. The sight of the lantern brigades caused Doctor Dobson to decide to 'have the streets lighted at this own expense; according* ly he made another trip to Chicago where he ordered street lamps of the coal-oil type. These he installed and paid a man to light them every evening at dusk. He maintained this service until the city took over with an electric lighting project. Doctor Dobson also furnished the town with drinking fountains and built a number of low-cost houses which he sold, to people of modest means on the installment plan. Arid although a spiritualist he rarely missed a meeting of the Salvation Army, at which it was his custom to throw a dollar on the big bass drum. Elected Mayor This liberality did not go unappreciated, for on the Dobson family's re-1 turn from a vacation in Florida in 1883 j the whole town turned out, including j the Timber City brass band, resplendent in silk plug hats, a gift from the Doctor. A town paper, commenting on the philathropist's removal to San Jose, California, in 1891, describes him as a "clairvoyant full of magnanimity" who! at one time owned eighteen buildings in j Maquoketa, including several large business blocks and the Clock Tower building. The article tells, how. in the spring Mounds were observed, he said, from north of Dubuque to Davenport along the river, and as far inland as Spraguevaie and a spot south of An- bore -the resemblance of some animal. of 1891, the people of Maquoketa had I drew. These "artificial earth tumuli;' insisted upon Dobson's acceptmg-the! were of "three-types, those ·· built for nomination for mayor and how,, as at fortresses^r those--, used for-burials,- and. Democrat, he carried the whqie_.eity, [ thifr "effigy* 1 mounds; which from above which was traditionally Republican in. * " . , - · * - . - · - _ _ . _ * _^_-_-.^_ ; __^-i three wards and rabidly BepubliCan in the fourth. Doctor Dobson's house, now the Congregational parsonage, is very much- as it used to be except that it is no longer the bright, pea-green color selected by- that bearded, brown-wigged "diagnostician", who brought home his letters in a market basket and never faOeci to find a lock of hair and a dollar with every message. --John Cookson. Mound Builders Preceded Indians In Eastern Iowa ; Evidence that Mound'Builders had lived in Jackson county some "3200 years ago was reported to the Sentinel in 1935 by Ray E. Colton, archeolbgist. These people were ancestors of the Indians and were of Mongolian descent, having crossed the Bering straits, Colton said. Farmer Buckhorn Stated ; His Views On Schools Farmer Buckhorn says: "Monday South Fork township is called to -vote on a" change cf books for the rural schools.. It is only; two years: since we did change, but some publishing company has books to. sell and found ten. voters who would sign ac call for an election. Seme -folks would sign their death- warrant and vote money -from the school fund to buy the^rope. Stitt they have a fit-if' somebody wants to jbujr a flag- to teach our children love of country. If there was a dollar instead of patriotism in it, there- would be at least two at every school."--Sentinel, March 17. 1904. PIONEER SENECA TUBBS FAMILY EXPERIENCED INDIAN TOT; GAVE AID TttOffiR SETTLERS "Indian could take White Squaw's papoose, and White Squaw would never see it again. But White Squaw good to Indian. Indian won't do that." This was part o~ the conversation' between Mrs. Seneca Tubbs and an Indian who came to the door of the Tubbs pioneer cabin south of Maquoketa more than a century ago. Mrs. Wylie Wilson, granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs, Seneca Tubbs, does not know the exact date of the incident, but the story is a favorite one of her family. Mrs. Tubbs and her tiny children- were in the cabin alone, the husband being out working his new land, when- the Indian came to the door, painted face and all. He asked for a chicken, which she readily gave him. "She was so frightened she'd have given him the chimney off the house if he'd asked it," Mrs. Wilson comments. Water Wagon The Indian then told her that he had learned from the dying chief of his tribe that he actually was a white person who had been stolen as a boy from a taraJBy near what is now Preston. But upon finding no information about a stolen boy from persons in that area* he was heading west to join the tribe again when he became hungry. j For a time Seneca Tubbs had the! only wagon in his community, 8*2 miles | south of town, and each Saturday he j collected the barrels from his neigh-1 bors and went to a nearby spring to \ obtain drinking water for them. j Tubbs and his friend Lyman Bates j served as unofficial bankers here in j the early days, according to the form- j er's granddaughter, Mrs. Wilson, mak- I ing loans to deserving individuals be- r fore the first-bank was established. They were two of a group of local men who helped finance the press that was used by W. C. Swigart when he established the Sentinel in 1854, Mrs. Wilson reports. . * * * TUBBS MILL This milL part of which is still standing, was built in 1861 by Sydney D. Tubbs, east of tbe present Hurstville-Maquoketa road. 'Tine flour" was manufactured for 35 years. Then the North Fork of the Maquoketa river changed its course during a spring flood; with its water power gone, the mill ceased to operate. .NEWSPAPER!

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