History North English, IA
From: History of Iowa County, Iowa And its People
By: James C. Dinwiddie
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. Chiago 1915
North English is at present (1915) a city of 933 inhabitants. It is located twenty two miles south of Marengo,
the county seat, and is situated on the top of a hill overlooking some of the best farming country in the Middle
West. The unsurpassed agricultural wealth, the rich deposits of clay suitable for making brick and tile, and the
thriving commercial life of the town itself, are elements which have decided the prosperity and remarkable growth
of this town. The educational and social life of the community has been cultivated to a high degree, giving a base
for permanency not surpassed by any of her sister towns. The avenues of approach to the city are of the best and
there are innumerable stretches of well constructed country roads leading from the city in every direction. The
soil of the surrounding country is deep, rich and varied and on it can be raised grains and cereals of all kinds
and almost every variety of large and small fruits. With good cause North English might be called a city of homes.
There are quite a few residence streets which are models for any city of the size in the state. Seventy years ago
this ground was a wild forest and dreary plain, untracked save by savage footsteps. From this the town began and
grew slowly and without boom or sudden influx of large numbers of people, until the present stage was reached.
During war times, the spirit of patriotism was strong; and these patriotic people of the old Town of North English
experienced one engagement resulting in many shots and the death of one man. This was the only demonstration in
the nature of a real battle that occurred on Iowa County soil during the war of 1861.
North English assumed city incorporation in 1892 with the following first officials: E. D. Baird, mayor; R.
B. Reed, clerk; S. W. Mayne, treasurer; H. A. Fluckey, S. P. Chiles, J. W. Erwin, W. M. Thomas, C. P. Schell and
J. H. Swope, councilmen. The mayors of North English since Baird have been: J. F. Baughman, I. P. Smith, T. M.
Foster, H. V. Boyd, E. D. Baird, O. F. Baughman, T. P. McMillin, J. W. Erwin, Ed Stump, B. B. Brown, L. Mullin
and J. W. Erwin, the present incumbent.
Probably nothing is a better index of the prosperity of a town than the number of banks and their condition.
The earliest edition of the Record was put out by a Mr. Stimson; then came Mr. Hill; then Maxwell & Talbott.
This latter firm was succeeded by the firm of the Record Publishing Company, comprising L. I. Nicol, W. C. Carson,
J. R. Roller, C. P. Schell and one or two other citizens. The paper was in a state of collapse when these men took
charge. All preliminaries having been arranged No. 1 of Volume IV was issued on November 11, 1891. The mechanical
property of the paper was very poor; the press was of the old Washington type and had at some previous date been
used for the publication of a paper at Millersburg. The paper continued until 1902, when T. R. MacMillan became
the editor. He was followed by Dan MacMillan, Glen Kirkpatrick, Lois O'Brien and William J. Kueneman, the present
editor and owner. Findley Duffield was a prominent editor of the paper at one time.
"In November, 1891, North English was a very small town. The advent of the Milwaukee a few years previous had given the place an impetus and at the same time had been the cause of internal strife and contention. As is often the case with railroads, the civil engineers had little regard for the delivery of passengers in front of the principal hostelry of towns through which the road was to pass, and so it happened that the depot of the new Milwaukee was located a half mile or more from what was then the business section of North English. This caused a longing desire on the part of some business men to get nearer the spot where the big iron horse made its daily pilgrimage. In consequence a store buildings went up on what is now the principal street of the town. Others followed, while some refused to depart from the sacred haunts of the 'old town' and thus the 'old town' and 'new town' war had its beginning. The siren whistle of the locomotive enticed everything in the way of business to the nearby spot, only two firms refusing to surrender and turn their backs upon the ground made sacred by the years that had passed into history. These were G. W. Moore & Company and W. E. Thomas. The proprietors of these two stores resolutely remained behind their counters, fully realizing that the cause of the old town had been lost, but determined to fight to the last trench. Both eventually closed out their stocks.
"After the war was over and it had been settled beyond dispute that the new town had won a complete victory,
agitation for incorporation was started and soon accomplished. The first incorporators of North English were expansionists;
they evidently held enlarged ideas as to the future growth of the town, as the lines were drawn to include a broad
area of farm land. The farmers who owned this land were not filled with joy at the thought of paying town taxes
on property used exclusively for the raising of corn and hay and they, with others, appealed to the District Court
for relief; which was granted. At the time of which we speak the following firms and persons represented the business
interests: Schell & Plevka and Fluckey & Brewer, hardware; Roller, Brown & Boyd, J. F. Lutton, J. W.
Erwin, G. N. Moore & Company, and W. E. Thomas, dry goods and groceries (the last two were in the old town,
J. P. Williams represented the company in the first named); I. I. Nichol, Ira White, druggists; J. W. Wilson, restaurant;
Jesse Mason, harness shop; Nicol & Post, jewelers; Carson & Arthur, clothing; Ira Markwell, billiards and
pool; Tom Erwin, boot and shoe shop; W. E. Mason, cobbler; Mrs. Hattie Wilson, racket store; L. H. Watson and J.
W. Wilson, landlords, respectively, of the Watson House and the Wilson House; P. H. Fluck, railroad agent; W. H.
Woodland, drayman; George Smith and Perry Whitson, stock buyers; Mayne Brothers, lumber dealers; H. A. Fluckey,
Hanaford & Morrison, blacksmiths; C. D. Mahannah, furniture dealer, undertaker, photographer, Sunday school
superintendent; W. H. Miller, groceries; I. I. Nichol, E. S. Ahearn and J. F. Baughman, physicians.
"FINDLEY DUFFIELD." SCHOOLS
CHURCHES AND LODGES
The churches of North English are uniformly strong and all have a good membership. There are four congregations
at the present time: the Christian, the Methodist Episcopal, the Dunkard and the Catholic. All were organized at
North English in the '705 and '8os with the exception of the Catholic, which was started ten years ago.
Return to [ Iowa County ] [ IA History ] [ History at Rays Place ] [ Rays Place ]