History of Oakfield, Audubon County, IA
From: History of Audubon County, Iowa
Its People, Industries and Instutions
H. F. Andrews, Editor
B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc., Indianapolis - 1915


It was situated on the southwest quarter of section 20. Exira township, on the claim first taken up by John S. Jenkins in 1851, who sold it to Samuel B. Hopkins, and he to Isaac P. Hallock, Sr., in 1855. About the same time Hillock sold it to Erasmus D. Bradley, his son in law, who came from Illinois. and was the first merchant in the county. He built the first store house here in 1855. which stood on or near block 9, Oakfield. The town waslaid out and platted by Erasmus D. Bradley and Alva B. Brown. The name was suggested by Elam W. Pearl, who settled there, in honor of his former home, a town in New York named Oakfield. Bradley and Brown soon moved away and the Bradley store was succeeded by Elam W. and Joshua A. Pearl and with them was associated Julius M. Hubbard. They were succeeded by Almond Goochle, about 1863-4. His store stood on the corner next north of the present store of Ward Smith. In 1866, Goodale was succeeded by Norton & Jones, who built a new store building on the opposite side of the street. They sold to Keith & Ransford about 1867-8, and moved to Avoca, Iowa. Their successors did a thriving business, which they transferred to Hallock. Jenkins & Powers about 1875. Theylater closed out to Earl Cotton, who moved the stock to Exira.

About 1874, William Essington and Thomas Walker started a hardware store at Oakfield. They were succeeded by Rudolph Kremmling, who continued the business but a short time. About 1889, Dan Zentmeir started a small store in the Hallock store building. He was succeeded about 1892 by Frank Greer, who was succeeded by Thomas McGuire about 1893, he by Sykes & Greer about 1895, and they by Frank Greer in 1896. The concern was closed out by Isaac P. Hallock, Jr., and the stock sold to Ward Smith in 1904.

In 1891 a firm was started by a man and wife and their son, styled Three Smiths, which was succeeded, in 1908, by William Pardee, and he by Ward Smith in 191o.

In the early days of Oakfield, a water power saw mill was built, in which Alva B. Brown, Julius M. Hubbard, Elam W. Pearl and Joshua A. Pearl were owners at different periods. About 1870 Henry Kincaid was the proprietor and conducted it several years, when it was torn down. Then, on the same site, a company erected a fine flouring mill, which was sold to Isaac P. Hallock, Jr. George E. Cotton succeeded him in 1878 and continued the business several years, when it was converted into a. sorghum manufactory. The entire business has been obsolete many years.

Until the railroad came to Brayton, Oakfield was the second best town in the county. It was a busy place. Among its citizens were some of the most progressive, enterprising men of the county. Some of the old settlers were: John S. Jenkins, Benjamin F. Jenkins, John T. Jenkins. Isaac H. Jenkins, Samuel B. Hopkins, Alva B. Brown, Isaac P. Hallock, Sr., Richard S. Hallock, Isaac P. Hillock, Jr., Erasmus D. Bradley, William C. Norton, John C. Norton, Charles H. Norton, Julius M. Hubbard. Giles N. Jones, James M. Jones, Mark Heath, Norman Archer. Richard M.lewis, Elam W. Pearl, Joshua A. Pearl, A. M. Graves, Thomas Roland, Alonzo N. Arnold, Robert N. Days, Thomas T. Rogers. James Howlett, Samuel Howlett, Mrs. Maria D. Butler, Joseph Porter, Mrs. Julia Delahoyde, Peter Delahoyde, Almond Goodie, Henry Kincaid, Orris C. Keith, H. Ransford, Dr. Tingle, Harmon G. Smith, George E. Cotton, James W. Brown. William S. Ordway.

Oakfield's first school house must have been built aslate as 188, probably by Alonzo N. Arnold, on the east side of town, on the hill in the edge of the timber, about block 13 or 14. In 1871-2 a new two story school house was built, which is still doing duty.

It is impossible to obtain an accuratelist of the teachers who have taught school there, or the order in which they were employed. Some of the teachers were: Miss Disbrow, Jane Beers, Mary Crane, Hattie Beers, Mary Beck. John A. Hallock, Darthula Rogers, Arabella Macomber (she was the famous Major Belle Reynolds of Shiloh fame). Robert N. Day, Harmon G. Smith, Julius M. Hill, E. S. Fales, Mr. Farrell, William H. Brinkerhoff, Claude N. Andrews, Clara Ordway, Miss Derby, J. O. Cotton, Ernest Smith, Moses Brinkerhoff, Mr. Enenbeck, V. Roberson, Mr. Stiles, Mr. Koob, Mr. Eversol,lettie Smith, Mr. Vanderlin, B. O. Spillman, Miss Maulsby, Miss Anderson, Francina Pottle, Nettie Bruner, Pearl Jenkins, Gladys Chamberlain, Edith Brown, Maye Jenkins, Nellie Boockout, Pluma Freeman, Mary Curry and Vivian Bartlett.

About 1874 a public hall was erected, which was occupied by the Odd Fellowslodge. It wads moved to Brayton in 1882. The coming of the railroad in 1868 carried most of the business to Bravton. The only remaining business house is the store of Ward B. Smith. Dr. Richard S. Hallock was the resident physician many years, except when he was in the army. He went to Salida, Colorado, in 1882.

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