Sioux City Journal from Sioux City, Iowa on June 5, 1924 · 65
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Sioux City Journal from Sioux City, Iowa · 65

Sioux City, Iowa
Issue Date:
Thursday, June 5, 1924
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-"-.- ' - - . - - ' . ." . . ' 1 - ' .. it- ... ' ' .v. SIOUX CITY, IOWAt THURSDAY, JUNE 5, 1924. igo H. Geo. t In when in iJioixs Wns Uglas " siour this ami cost thq r of- . the r. rv ,0nn. itelv ' tha itiun 'any' Uiid-ipies im iiern" less near is a - )uilt Med' ilen- abl lake rery " of tire on :vel nds ihe; oyd am-nh-ited no-ion I0WARODEIN STAGE COACHES Slate Well Covered by Competing Lines in Early Day, On Hie Francis , Graham. -.In the Talimpsest. Irfjhese clays of airplanes and ex- p-rfs trains jt is hard to. realize . that I prrat lunging stage coaches once car- .r"-. passyneers anu man . across I i-i-a To visualize the big swinging c -.u-hes as they rounded curves. TT'l'Cil. the hills, and came bowling jj-;: i town is to recreate the days of "Washington. Irving and lend the at- -.nsihcre of New England to the "..rairif-s-orTowa. -The spirited horses the burly, whip-cracking drivers, and tV.f hospitable landlord in his rude li i romantic tavern all contributed to the picturesqueness of stage! c - lung. There was a veritable network of f lines across Iowa in the 40s and . i s. i rapucf uy every community v is serveu. ine main lines ran east .'!. I west, connecting the inland t v. ns with those on the Mississipni. 'I he. principal routes were from -Dubuque to Cedar Falls, Dubuque to 1 A i City, Clinton to Cedar Rapids, 1'i.venport to Council Bluffs by wav ! J ics Moines, Davenport to Cedar napuis. Burlington to Des Moines bv vay of Mt. Pleasant, Fairfield, Ot-i;:mwa and Oskaloosa; Keokuk to ICcosauqua, and Oskaloosa to Coun- ii! Bluffs by way of Knoxville.India- i oia, jnterset, and Lewis. Routes r .inning north and south from Cedar j r.dls to Cedar Rapids, Iowa City to Keokuk, and from Dubuque to" Keo- I.irk by way of Davenport, Muscatine, ;. mi Burlington connected these mala lines and served much the same pur pose as do the branch line railroads cf today. Drivers Raced for Business. Over these routes the coaches of the Western Stage company, Frink i t uaJker," the Ohio Stage company, ;!u many locau concerns, such as i le. ?rt th ry Ir. hn ox ht ed st at !n- V bo-id ts W ' le " y le ra to ' . !1. ' s k ' r. . t. - " it a n :t-- - e t e d f i n t Hatch & company, plied regularly. The "Western Stage company was the largest and operated all over the t-tate so that there was keen competition when any of the other companies ran stages over . the same road. This rivalry resulted .in races, each tiriver determined to show that "his ptage was the fastest. Fares were re-ciueed by the competing companies phd at times it was cheaper to live on the road than at home, since transportation cost was next to notfc- -lnz ana meais ana loagmg were thrown in to boot. , There was also keen competition among tfie companies for contracts to carry mail. These contracts were pre-f urnably let to the most favorable bidder, but the intervention of the (local congressman was usually necessary to secure a, contract. For transporting the mail between terminal towns a stage company received from J300 to $700 a year, depending' upon the distance and time required." The vehicles used in early Iowa as stape coaches ranged all the way froni a farmer's wagon to the aristocratic Concord coach, the Rolls-Royce of achievement in American horse-drawn vehicles. In the later days of f tage coaching the wagons were used only in cases " of emergency, but in newly opened country they constltut-ci the entire rolling stock. Frink & "Walker operated two-horse wagons " wagons ' without springs and with white muslin tops" from Des Moines until 1854 when they sold out to the Western Stage company. Two-horse "jerkies' then supplanted the wagons, and were in turn replaced by the Concord coach. The jerky was in type the immediate forerunner of the coach, but was not so large or so elegantly furnished. Coaches Were Named. The body - of the - Concord coach was approximately oval in shape but flattened on -top to make a place for baggage. There was also a triangular, leathercovered space at the .rear known as the "boot" to hold such baggage as could not be carried on top. "Inside the inclosed body were three seats each designed to bold three passengers. The -front laced the rear. The driver sat out- file on an elevated seat ' ik front of the covered body. The body of the coach was swung on "thorough traces' composed of several strips of leather riveted together and fastened to the bolsters moch the same as the cables of suspension bridges are fas- . tened to the piers. As the coach body was oval it rocked to and fro on the flexible thorough braces, subjecting -- the passengers to a series of rocking-fhair oscillations whose1 violence was directly proportioned to-tbe roughness of the roads. TheVc03.0-- body -inside and out was brightly painted, the panels being decorated with landscapes. Each coach bore the name ..'-of some noted personage ,a practice which was later transferred .to the early locomotives and afterward t adopted by the Pullman company. - The stage driver was considered a " man of consequence and never missed an opportunity , to impress this fact upon all who came in contact with him. On the road his word was law. If he ordered a passenger out of his stage, reckless was the man who re-risted. It was also bad policy to marks about his horses. The drivers claimed the right of way because they carried the government mail and thus arose many a dispute between the wagon drivers and the stage drivers. - Drivers Were "Grandstanders Both the arrival and departure of a stage at a tavern was made with the team lashed into a run.. In this exploit the stage driver was greatly 'admired by the" spectators, and many -"' a small boy secretly practiced flourishing a whip so that he, too, might eome day become a driver. ' Of one Mich boy it is related that 'with wide open eyes-and bated breath" he -"- had seen "the great bid Concord stage come into town with four prancing horses and was nearly blinded in look- : 'ng upon the great man who held ,the lines and-the beautiful loiig whip the observed of all, the glass of fashion arid "Vhe mold of form." This boy. had seen the stage tavern and had observed how the great people of the village sank into insig- ntficance before the swapgering, tobacco chewing, and broad-helted - stage driver. "He; was the man of authority w-thwhom even the schoolmaster would esteem it a most distinguishing honor to have been found in company or in confidential conversation." One" driver, Ansel ; Brigss, j t AAF T AT TIT Dr am tt vt ' il 1:M T fete vrn miimm i.s n o m m ini i 3fV jri r v w-ca- l mi .- --. . , i . - ,-- ii-... ... wiuu a-ar. -A5 -: . - Pioneers Crossed the Sioux by Ferry Henry Ayotte Was First Ferryman lie Was Succeeded by Paul Paquett? Government Twice Appropriated Money for Bridge Which Was Erected in 1867 Flood of 1881 Swept This Away Then Came Another Ferry and LdUer a New Bridge. This . Recently was Replaced by Modern Span. Alice Skon& (Loaned by Charles Chambertin and Mrs.-Will Ht-y.) " j - m-w,,a"es 0frame aire- Jiarnn; lizzie smith became Mrs.Healy; Alice Stone became Mrs. Day. and Helen Sch aster became Mrs. Sloan. Mrs. xu, i-irs. weajy ana airs, bioan are stm Uvuig. Orr, IL D. Booge and Edgar H. Stone are dead. W. C. Hudson still lives in Sioux City. who came to Iowa in 1S36 and operated a stage . in Jackson county, became the first governor of the state. But the work of- the stage driver was not all swagger. On the road he Was, lookout, pilot, -captain,, conductor engineer, brakeman and fireman in fact the whole crew. It was his duty to read the road and to know every hill, slough, stump, and stone, but skilled as he was, he sometimes misjudged the condition ' of - tbe ground, "Where one day he passed safely over, the next day his wheels would break through and find " no bottom. . . Where he encountered a bad piece of road with no way around he had to go through, trusting to luck and his own skill for success. Obstreperous passengers, balky' horses, and bandits were also sources of irritation and danger to the driver. Mail robberies, although not unknown company may be judged ;by the fact that their. stck advanced from $100 to ?200 a share,, and at that price it was never put on the market. Al though the civil war tended to de-1 crease immigration it did not. decrease the volume of business,- for the stage lines transported troops and military equipment. The ' entire Twenty-third Iowa infantry and its equipment ' was carried from Des Moines to Iowa City by the stages in three days, while the Thirty-third and Thirty-ninth and parts of the- "Second, Sixth. Tenth, and Fifteenth regiments reached their rendezvous in the same way. -.- -When the roads were bad the stages could not run on schedule. Sometimes they were delayed for "'days. Under, such circumstances the first-class mail'-was sent through by post then the passengers were almost jolted oot of their senses. Coaches Sometimes Overloaded. . Overcrowding of coaches caused the passengers undue hardship. Although from seven to nine was a load, as many as 20 were sometimes tarried in one stage, some riding with the baggage on top. On - exceedingly rough "roads the pitching of the coach back and forth fairly disjointed the backs of the passengers. Under' such circumstances the corner seats were the most comfortable for there a person could brace himself. Some times coaches upset RENOMINATED Judge Hubbard Named for Another Term in Congress. . (From The Journal. Sept. lO. . ISM.) A. W. Hubbard has again , been placed in nomination by the union men of the Sixth district as their nominee for congress, this time by acclamation. It ts not necessary for us, where the juage is so well known, to enlarge upon his qualifications and fitness. for the position. Suffice it to say that in our opinion no bet- But these incident show the un--j ter man could be found In the district riders on horsfihark hut thft tiovvk in . Iowa, were not as common as in i papers had to wait for the stage. In March, 1SSD, the Vinton Eagle com- the gold districts of the far west. Companies Big Corporations. For the most part the stage companies in Iowa were big corporations. The Western Stage, company, for example, operated stages "throughout eight middle western states. At important crossroads of transportation large stations were established which served much the same purpose ' as railroad division points. The Western Stage company had such a sta tion in Iowa City where it kept various supplies and about a hundred mechanics.- An army of drivers and agents were employed throughout the" state. Stations were established from 10 to 15 miles apart, for changing, horses. On the arrival of a stage the tired team was quickly unhitched and a fresh four pulled the coach to the next station. Sometimes a tavern was kept in conjunction with the station.' All this work took a great amount of planning of schedules arid seat i distribution of supplies, not-unlike the management of the modern continental railroad companies. , Fares per mile by stage varied from station to station and depended some-w-hat upon the competition. In. the summer, when the roads were good, fares were lower- than in winter. Stage fares also varied - in some sections of the country according to the size of the passenger, the companies maintaining that the heavy traveler nhnuld nav more to ride inasmuch asj l-he took up more room and was nara- er to pull. .A .hundred pounds was considered the unit for rate making and all passengers, weighing more than that paid excess fare. There is no evidence. . however, that the stage companies followed this practice in Iowa. The fare charged by Frink & Walker from Des Moines? to Keokuk where "they made close connections w-ith America." was $10.00 a passenger. In general, it may be said that rates averaged from 5 to 7 cents a hiile. Free transportation was given "to members of the legislature on their way to and from the capital, a practice which was later adopted by the railroads. v- - Business Picks Up. : The coming of the land seekers to Iowa gave the stage lines a great deal of business; a company which on.rntwi between Des Moines and Boone made $100,000 in a single year. The success of tne wesiem Stage plained that it had received only "one mail from the east last week, and we expect another this week that is if Sharp's - 'snail -galloping plugs' don't get stuck in the mud, somewhere between herej and Cedar Rapids." On another occasion the same journal declared that Sharp's plugs 'got to town onljj- twice last week with the mail" and were "behind again this week." I It was a mystery to the editor why the con tract for that route, could not be given to 'parties who canj make the time at least thrice a week." He concluded with the comment that the "Western Stage company's coaches arrive punctually . every iday, and if that company had the contract our postof fice wduld be regularly sup-plied:' . Mail Regular in Summer. . On the other hand When the roads were good the mails arrived more regularly by stage than later when carried by rail. The Anamosa Eureka during the .civil war praisingly recalled the days of the stage mail: "So it is probable that the federal troops have won a great victory somewhere, but we poor benignted 'cusses' will have to wait until next week, probably, -before we can learn the particulars. Oh, for the good old' times when we had a daily stage instead of a bare railroad track!" The early roads of course' did not follow section lines lor the country was not yet surveyed. Some" followed the river courses while others" clung to the' ridges. Across the level prairie the trail followed the most direct route, avoiding sloughs and 'buffalo wallows as far as possible. Even so,. mud holes developed and river bottoms had .to be crossed. When one ttck wore full of ruts a new one was made. ' "-'..-" Although the stage coaches endeavored to run on a definite schedule, mud and inclement weather often . interfered. In the spring it was not uncommon for a" stage driver to carry rails to pry his coach out of the mud. Threei and a half miles an hour was considered fairly good speed. The Skunk river bottom was: the bane of the Des Moines traveler.! There during wet seasons the Vestern Stage company used yokes of oxen and wide-tired wagons. Eventually the worst places were corduroyed and pleasant side o stagecoach travel. The Other side was one of jolly passengers, smooth roads, hearty appetites, bounteous . meals arid the coaches were not always stuffy ' and overcrowded. Stage trips were sometimes made interesting by the pres ence of congressmen, writers, and for eign ' notables as fellow travelers. Chance . acquaintances in the coaches spun many a yarn, and probably a nip out of a bottle by those of strong constitutions added to the merriment of stage 'travel. Made a Pleasing Sight. , ' Henry Tisdale,.who once lived in Iowa, described the pleasant aspects of stagecoach days. "There probably is no more pleasing sight," he said, 'than to see, at I have many a time, a fine stage team hitched to a Concord coach, well loaded with passengers," to "hear the driver's horn," and tp "see the stage swing along like a thing" of life. The horses tramp in unison; the avles talk as the wheels work back and forth from nut to shoulder-washer." Ti see the "driver, with ferruled whip;-and ivory rings on harness, drive up and say, 'Whoa! unhitch the horses, and see them take their places in the stable like they were human; see the next team started from the stable by speaking, to" them, and take their places at the coach - so the breast-straps and tugs can be hitched without moving an inch, every horse in his place," he declared, was "one of the finest . scenes on earth, and the delight of an old stageman "who has staged! continuously for 40 years. Though the stagecoach seemed to be at the height of prosperity and efficiency during the 50s and 60s, its end was near. The first sign of death was the shifting of schedules and terminals to make connections with the. advancing railroads. Following this the graceful Concord coach gradually receded before the invasion of the iron horse and, though lingering for years In sequestered regions, It finally became extinct. The Western Stage company, which had flourished for 30 years, dissolved on the first of July. 1870. Their coaches, which cost on an average of $1,000 were sold for old iron as low as $10.00 apiece. .The stage coaching days were ended in Iowa. or state to fill it. But we feel quite proud and thankful to the rest of-the district for this renewed mark of con-fie'ence in our fellow townsman; To his friends it Is well known that he has never sought the position and accept it now more from a sense of duty than from his own personal desire. v ' . In Judge Hubbard's hands the Interests of the Sixth district can be confided with the most perfect assurance that they will receive-full and complete attention, and no' truer ones could be found in which to place the interest of the state and nation. Rice grown in Indian totals more than 76,000.000 pounds a year, and" the natives eat nearly 68.000.000 pound in that time. INTERESTING indeed is the history, of the crossing of the Big Sioux river near Sioux City. A ferry provided, somewhat inadequate and slow means of crossing the river In the early days while' later government appropriations were twice made for construction . of a bridge, which was completed in 1SC7. This was destroyed by the flood of 1881. but after another short ferry boat period another bridge was constructed in 1882. In 1922 the old structure was replaced with a modern bridge. Henry Ayotte was granted a ferry license December 3. 1855 by M. F. Moore acting county judge of Woodbury county. Rates of toll were fixed as follows: for every double teani of oxen or horses. 50 cents; for every single team. 40 cents; for every horse and rider, 25 cents; -forfootmen, 25 cents; for loose "cattle or horses, 10 cents. Ayotte as a ferryman was not noted for his success, since he "approved of water only for navigation and not as a liquid refreshment, preferring stronger drink.. Gen. Harney, who was stationed across the river, became disgusted with Ayotte's methods, or lack' of method, and at last.' with dominating military authority, gave Paul Paquette a commission to operate a ferry at the place known for years as "Paquette's ferry." f A descendent of Paul Paquette who lives at Riverside describes the old ferry which he remembers as 12 ,by 60 feet, of solid black walnut. The ferry was operated by ropes and pulleys with a guide rope at either end which could be fixed so that the ferry was slantwise to- the current which helped float it across. An immense amount of freight was brought by Missouri river steamers to Sioux City to be sent further "up country." The goods were unloaded at the levee which was at the foot of Pearl street anfd then hauled in wagons .to fhe destination. Bridge Finally Built. Tn the earlv 50s Judsre A. W. Hub bard, who was a representative in i coigress. secured an appropriation of $20,000 for the construction of a free wagon bridge over the Sioux. The man who was named superintendent of the job is said to have spent not more than $3,000 in getting bridge material and the remainder for sheep. Further agitation for a bridge re sulted in a second appropriation of $20,000 after the first superintendent had been relieved of his position. Burliegh, of outh Dakota, made the second request in congress - but one congressman objected to the appropriation with a question about the first money ; granted for. the bridge. The South Dakota man explained that the bridge would have to be 600 feet long instead of 300 as at first planned so that another $20,000 was needed. The bill passed without fur-" ther objection and the bridge was ready for use in 1S67. . Then in 1881 came a late 'winter in Iowa, which kept the Missouri frozen over with ice three or four feet thick. Further north spring rains fell and the snow melted,'sending flood water into the . frozen river. The water flowing under the ice forced it upward in mounds that piled high, forming gorges in the Missouri river. A gorge near Sergeant Bluffs sent back the waters of the Big Sioux, carrying ice from the Missouri and flooding South Dakota towns. Then in April the gorge went out and the Big Sioux, carrying a heavy load of ice and debris, swept away first the railroad bridge and then the government bridge. Another Ferry. S. G. Bourrett was granted a ferry-license and those who wished to cross the Big, Sioux again paid toll. In October 1881. H. E. Hortin was given a contract to bnild a bridge for $3,500. An extra $8,500 was voted by the board of supervisors in January, 1882," and $100 more in April. Woodbury county built a steel span to a pier in the center of the river. Union county, S. D-. could not afford a steel bridge after the flood .-and " the South Dakota, end of the bridge was of piling for several years. Later Union county put in a steel span of a newer type than the Wood-bvrXspan. "Shf two types of spans were coordinated when the " present bridge was completed in 1922. at a cost of $60,000". Sioux City paid two-thirds of the cost of the new bridge and Union county one-third. WHERE THE "DIAMOND JUBILEE". ORIGINATED The fact that this is the era of young men in business is graphically demonstrated by Sioux City's Diamond Jubilee Week. The idea, first conceived in the office of one. of the" younger business firms of the city. .The Verstegen Printing Co.. was later developed, studied over and finally launched in the councils of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. Probably one of the biggest ventures of the Wind ever attempted by Sioux City, it required young men's vision, -young men's courage and young men's willingness to "take a chance'.' to'quicken into being this "monster jubilee, plucked put of thin air. fashioned from the filmy threads of an intangible idea. The big Diamond Jubilee book, "Three Quarters of a Century of Progress," one of the most notable examples of the progress of the printing industry ever attempted in Sioux City, was produced in the office of the Verstegen Printing Company. This volume, containing over ' 200 pages, presents the commercial and civic history of Sioux City and individual business firms as no other agency could: Over two years were necessary in collecting data, photgraphs and editorial material for tMe work. The Verstegen Printing . Company was launched seven years ago by itsj president, P. H. Verstegen, with a cash capital which would be hardly sufficient to 4y the monthly alary of one of his numerous foremn today. Shortly after the new firm was started. Jas. I. Newton, who. havln-r been acquainted with Mr. Versten throughout the latter's business life, recognized the financial possibilities of the rapidly expanding Institution. Jrf-came a stockholder and vir-e president of the corporation, which position he still holds. Every modern device necessary to efficiency and perfection In the "printing industry hara been Incorported In the Verstegen plant, which specializes" In rich grade commercial printing and direct mail advertising matter. As In nearly every other innovation, the Verstegen plant was the first In Sioux City to senso the sudden importance and volume in the direct mail field, and at the present time conducts a special department for the handling of this service. When asked by The Journal reporter as to what business rule was most responsible for the progress of his institution Mr. Verstegen was brief but Illuminating. "Give patrons the best service possible twice as quickly as competition Is able to. and treat every old customer as though .he were just opening an account." The News 51 Tears Ago. (Sioux City Weekly Time. June 7. in The Sioux City Driving park association will open ftheir spring campaign on Wedmday next. The purses are very liberal, and the number ofi-fast horses already here and in-training for these race's are greater than on any previous year. We understand that there is upwards of $5.-000 bet on one single race between two well known trotting horses. The Excelsior Hook and Ladder company had a meeting on Thursday evening at their truck house. The recent heavy rains have filled -up every vacanf hole and crevice in the city, except the public - cisterns, which were not constructed with a view "to holding water. The Missouri is on the rise, but n apprehensions of an unusual. flood ar entertained. The river Is In a good boating stage and numerous boats are coming down with their rich car-. goes "of furs, pelts, skins and robes. On Friday last O. C. Mohl A Co-purchased 3.200 hides from the upper country, the property of Dur-fee & Peck. The price paid was "$15.-000 cash down. It Isn't Done. London Answers: "No woman ter takes another woman's advice aoout clothes." "Of -course not. Tou don't ask the enemy how to win the war! LET Ladies and Gentlemen Waiting Rooms Rebuild Y our Shoes Our force of superior workmen enables, us to offer you a superior service." Experts on Becovering; Satin Heels r His Tenacity. Kansas City Star: "There's my least boy, Bearcat,'' pridefully said Gap Johnson of Rumpus Ridge. "He's a sticker and stayer. Why. dodblast him, they had to burn the school house down to get him out of the second grade. ' : Contractor a ... 621 FIFTH STREET FORWARD SIOUX CITY celebrates its 75th birthday! -Its history unfolds a record of progress and achievement that Is an index to the development of the great Northwest. It is a modern city a power serv-. Ine the most progressive agricultural territory in the nation. Yet, its day of accomplishments is but begun. It provides most promising opportunities for ambitious men and organizations a place for all who . would serve, earn and prosper. ... THE FIRST NATIONAL. BANK has built Itself into the business life of Sioux "City and vicinity by its dependable service. It has constantly served and advised; gladly entered upon programs of - commercial advancement; enjoyed the good will and hearty co-operation " of an energetic people. Today, this bank is one of the largest and strongest in the Northwest a - position that real service for the community has won. SIOUX CITY and the FIRST NATIONAL. BANK will continue to go steadily FORWARD! First National Bank OF SIOUX CITY, IOWA Thei Bank of Stability and Service . i y - A '; !!- -1 - 'i

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