HistoryTowns in Hancock County, IA
From: History of Winnebago County and Hancock County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organization,
Progress and Achievement.
The Pioneer Publishing Company
Chicago 1917


The town of Klemme, comprising a population of near 350 souls, located in Ell Township, on the Rock Island Railroad, was surveyed and platted in 1889. The plat was filed for record on October 18th of that year. The land upon which the town was located was the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 31, Township 95 North, Range 23 West. The land was owned by Harmon J. and Effie M. Klemme, and of course the new town was named after this family. C. S. Hall was the surveyor.

Settlement of the new town of Klemme was at first slow, as is the case with many of the smaller towns. Schafer and Dow started a store first in 1889. However, by the year 1898 the population had reached a sufficient number to warrant the incorporation of the community. Accordingly a petition praying for the incorporation of the town was circulated among the citizens and signed by the following: S. B. Day, F. M. Hanson, Frank Gruetzmacher, Henry Terhufen, John L. Harr, George S. Gates, W. W. Lawrence, George Kluckhohn, George Ell, Chris Law, George Gruetzmacher, H. W. Gruetzmacher, Charles Gruetzmacher, N. L. Palmer, G. A. Griswold, F. J. Mundt, H. E. Pitke, H. W. Schafer, W. R. Bloom, E. P. Dow, A. B. Schafer, E. R. Schafer and J. J. Suckow. Jr. On September 28, 1898, the judge of the district court ordered that J. L. Han, S. B. Day, H. W. Gruetzmacher, Frank Gruetzmacher, W. R. Bloom be appointed commissioners for an election to be held November 15th of the same year upon the question of incorporating Klemme. The vote was in favor of the move and after all legal matters had been attended to the town was duly declared an incorporated community.

The first bank in Klemme was incorporated in 1892 as the State Savings Bank, the same name as the present. The capital stock was $10,000 and the following men signed the articles as interested in the organization of the institution: Fred Arnold, C. H. Wiegman, William Shattuck, W. R. Bloom, C. W. Knapp, J. E. Wichman, Isaac Sweigard, J. M. Elder, J. J. Upton, A. C. Ripley and M. A. Fell. This bank is now known as the First National Bank and is officered by the following named gentlemen: C. H. Wiegman, president; August Lau, vice president; F. A. Arnold, cashier; C. F. Bier, assistant cashier. The capital stock is $25,000; the surplus and undivided profits $8,000; and the deposits amount to about $225,000.

The present State Savings Bank of Klemme was incorporated in 1904 and the articles filed at the county seat on February 4th of the same year. The capital stock first named was $15,000, the same as the present. The first officers were: W. R. Bloom, president; William Schafer and D. D. Ross, vice presidents; and H. A. Sweigard, cashier. The articles were also signed by Isaac Sweigard, M. T. Love, J. E.

Johnson, William Batter, J. F. Hartfelder, August Kalter. The president of the institution at the present is the same as at the start; the vice president is D. D. Ross; the cashier, P. M. Griesemer; and the assistant cashier, F. J. Wenck. There is a surplus of $25,000 carried by the bank, which includes the undivided profits, and the deposits amount to about $250,000.


The town of Goodell, located on the Rock Island Railroad in Avery Township, has a population of about 250 people. The official plat of this village was filed according to law on December 16, 1884. The plat stated that the village was to occupy the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 3, Township 94, Range 23 West. The land in question was owned by the Cedar Rapids, Iowa Falls & Northwestern Land and Lot Company, of which corporation S. S. Dows was president and James B. Close secretary. LeRoy Grant surveyed the town, marking the streets and laying off the lots.

The State Savings Bank of Goodell was incorporated and articles filed November 14, 1892, with a capital stock of $10,000. The following named men signed the articles: A. C. Ripley, J. J. Upton, A. J. Walters, L. M. Walters, J. M. Elder, M. A. Fell, M. R. Chambers, J. E. Wiehman, Isaac Sweigard, William Shattuck, John Brisco, C. M. Church, M. L. Wiles, E. J. Baumann A. D. White, G. W. Elder, M. C. Elder, Thomas Cashman, C. S. Farman, S. S. Matson, William Burgess and A. McDowell. The present officers of the State Savings Bank of Goodell are: G. W. Butts, president; T. R. Burgess, vice president; John Suurballe, cashier; C. A. Schmalle, assistant cashier. The capital stock is yet $10,000; the surplus and undivided profits about $12,000; and the deposits $100,000.


The plat of the town of Hayfield was filed April 10, 1891. The land named embraced the northeast quarter of Section 32, Township 97, Range 24 West. The village was surveyed in December, 1890, by request of Andrew Larson. Olaf Halverson, Thomas Paulson and A. Larson were assistants to F. N. Pitkin, surveyor. The town has since grown until it has a population of approximately 200 people, and is an energetic trading point for the surrounding country.

The Bank of Hayfield was started in 1899. It is a branch of the First National Bank of Garner, with C. H. Lackore, cashier, in charge.


The plat of the village of Miller, a town of 150 people, was filed with the county auditor October 21, 1895. W. L. Gordon, the surveyor, and E. C. Miller were the owners of this land, which was described in the plat as being a portion of the south half of the southeast quarter of Section 30 and a portion of the north half of the northeast quarter of Section 31, Township 97, Range 23 West.

The Bank of Miller was established in 1899. P. H. Larson is the president of this institution and F. L. Miller is the cashier. The capital stock is $60,000.


There are two plats of Crystal Lake on file in the county auditor's office, one for the village of Crystal Lake and the other for the town of Crystal Lake. The former comprised the northwest fractional quarter of Section 15, Township 97, Range 25 West, and the latter embraced the southeast quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 16, Township 97, Range 23 West. A. C. Ripley owned the land in the village plat and F. N. Pitkin was the surveyor. The survey of the town plat was made by H. T. Ambrose at the request of H. P. Lawler, David and M. F. Magner on the 5th, 6th and 7th of October, 1898.

The petition for the incorporation of Crystal Lake was filed April 19, 1899. Judge Kelley of the district court appointed H. P. Lawler, L. E. Bowker, M. F. Magner, H. H. Home and J. H. Benson as commissioners for the election_ The vote being favorable for the proposition, Crystal Lake was, on May 16, 1899, ordered to be incorporated.

The Crystal Lake Savings Bank was incorporated December 16, 1905, with a capital stock of $10,000. G. S. Gilbertson was the president; N. E. Isaacs, vice president; L. M. Bickal, cashier; and E S Ellsworth and R. A. Bickal among the directors. Chris. Gillstrap is now the president of the institution and F. A. Gabrielson the vice president; the capital stock is the same, the surplus is $2,000 and the deposits amount to about $70,000.

The Farmers National Bank was established in 1910. H. R. Kluver is the president; Nels Matson the vice president; J. E. Hansen, cashier; and H. P. Stahr, assistant cashier. The capital stock is $25,000; surplus and undivided profits, $3,200; and deposits $60,000.

There was an institution in Crystal Lake known as the First State Bank, which was incorporated August 22, 1898, with the following as signers of the articles filed: Isaac N. Perry, E. Huntington, Josiah Little, W. B. Vaughan, J. O. Osmundson, F. N. Vaughan, E. C. Haga, J. F. Thompson and T. Jacobs.

The Crystal Lake State Bank was an institution incorporated February 17, 1902, with a capital stock of $25,000. G. S. Gilbertson was the president; C. J. Thompson, vice president; A. Feakins, cashier; and O. A. Olson, E. C. Abbey and J. E. Wichman were among the directors.


The town of Woden, located on the Rock Island Railroad, in Bingham Township, had 162 people living within its borders in 1910, according to the government census. The plat of the village was filed December 20, 1898. Thomas A. Way was the owner of the land, which was designated as the southwest quarter of Section 10, Township 97 North, Range 26 West. F. N. Pitkin surveyed the town site.

Woden was legally incorporated in the year 1904. The petition for incorporation was filed February 6, 1904, and was signed by the following citizens of the town: H. E. Baack, Fred Baumgartner, V. L. Requartt, M. Quinn, George Logan, J. H. Bode, August Swanson, J. L. Bushman, G. E. Baack, A. Christensen, B. A. Pannkuk, B. H. Darkson, J. O. Lewis, C. L. Cunningham, N. D. Ray, O. K. Kramer, W. Nicholson, D. O. Logan, C. O. Lewis, Hugh Cline, H. W. Schmitt, P. T. Christian, A. O. Thompson, D. L. Hall, C. E. Lawyer, L. C. Peterson, H. R. Peitke, H. E. Gingery, E. W. Hempstead, J. Keil. The election for city officers was held and J. O. Lewis chosen the first mayor.

The Bank of Woden was established in the year 1898. The officers of the institution at the present time are as follows: John H. Bode, president; A. W. Lewis, cashier. The capital stock is $25,000; the surplus is $4,000, which includes undivided profits; and the deposits average $150,000.

The State Savings Bank of Woden was incorporated May 6, 1912, when the articles were filed. They were signed by: A. C. Ripley, president; F. M. Hanson, vice president; J. J. Cosgrove, cashier; and Thomas Quinn, C. A. Missman, F. E. Kettwick, William Orthel, Thomas Ormsby and T. W. Neise. The present officers of the bank are: Thomas Ormsby, president; W. C. Burleson, vice president; H. O. Swingen, cashier; and H. F. Kammeier, assistant cashier. The capital stock is now $15,000; the surplus and undivided profits, $3,000; and the deposits average $80,000.


The town of Stilson, in Boone Township, was platted in the year 1893. The plat was filed June 14th and named the land within the town as being the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter and the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 23, Township 95 North, Range 26 West. The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad owned the land. It was surveyed by F. N. Pitkin.


The plat of the small town of Hutchins was filed January 13, 1893. The owners of the land were J. N. and L. G. Inman and it was surveyed by C. F. Vincent on October 29th and 30th, 1891. It included all of the part of the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 35, Township 96, Range 26 West, south of the right of way of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. It is located in Orthel Township.


Duncan is a small station on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, located in Garfield Township The plat of this village was filed February 28, 1900, and designated the village site as being the north half of the southwest quarter of Section 29, Township 96, Range 24. The survey was begun April 17th and finished on the 19th, in 1897, by F. N. Pitkin, at the request of Frank Urich, Sr. John Wurm and Ed Chischilles assisted with the work.


The town of Concord was platted in 1868 and the plat filed for record July 18th of that year. The site was located on the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 31, Township 96 North, Range 23 West. James Crow surveyed the land. The town was later incorporated with Garner, during the noted county seat fight with Britt, an account of which may be read in the chapter on County Seat History. The first postoffice in Concord Township was established at Concord, then called Hancock Center, in 1867, with James M. Elder as postmaster. The town never had much business of its own, all of this being done in the adjacent town of Garner.

The pioneer postoffice of Hancock County was established at the village of Amsterdam, at Upper Grove, in Avery Township. This village is now largely a thing of the past. Benoni Haskins was the first postmaster here. The village was surveyed in August, 1858, by G. A. McKay, acting for the proprietors - Thomas Magill and Robert L. Irwin. The village was located on the south half of the southwest quarter of Section 29, Township 94 North, Range 23 West, and the completed plat was filed for record April 9, 1859. Irwin had a small portable saw mill, which was used to saw up the lumber for building shacks in the new village. Great dreams were indulged in by the few inhabitants, who saw in their small community the nucleus of a great Western metropolis. The history of the attempt to obtain for Amsterdam the county seat has been narrated; shortly after the failure of this scheme R. L. Irwin, the father of the town, left this part of the country, never to return.

Edward Rogers opened a store here in 1859 or 1860, but very shortly suspended business owing to the lack of monetary reward. In 1868 A. D. Hiams embarked upon a mercantile venture. Sylvester Stockwell shortly afterward came here from Ohio with a stock of goods and the two stores were combined. After passing through many hands, with varying fortunes, it was purchased by J. B. Kern and the whole outfit moved to Belmond, Wright County. In 1876 George Rogers built a store building and placed therein a stock of goods. Thomas Elder and O. M. Morley succeeded in this latter business after a time. The first blacksmith was Charles Robbins, 1861.

There once existed a village named Ellington, where a postoffice was established in 1859, with Charles C. Doolittle as postmaster. The postoffice has long been abandoned and the village disappeared, except a small cluster of houses.

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