CITY OF LE MARS.
LE MARS, one of Iowa's most beautiful prairie cities, has been brought into existence during the past twenty
years. It is located on sections nine and sixteen, in township ninety, range forty five west, and was platted by
John I. Blair, of the Dubuque & Sioux City railroad, June 4, 1870. It was not named, however, until the month
of September, the same year, when a party made up of John I. Blair and family, W. W. Walker, of Cedar Rapids; Mrs.
John Weare, Mrs. Reynolds, of Clinton, Iowa; Miss Underhill, of New York; Mrs. Swain and Mrs. Parsons, of Fort
Dodge; Mrs. George Weare, Mr. and Mrs. Dr. William R. Smith, of Sioux City; Mrs. John Cleghorn, Sioux City; Col.
Wayne, of New York, and Mr. Anable, of Iowa, all of whom came by special train to the spot where the present sprightly
city stands, and named the town by letting the ladies write the initials of their names, and then so arrange them
as to produce a name befitting. After much "combination work" the letters were so arranged as to produce
the pretty and novel word LEMARS, which is now universally written with a small E - Le Mars.
When the glorious land surrounding this goodly inland "gateway to the west" was the habitation of the
free birds of the prairie wilderness, when the graceful and nimble footed deer and elk were disturbed only by the
hunter and the scout, and the trail of the Indian or the path of the beast of prey was the only evidence of life,
then a few but brave pioneers from eastern lands fought their way through many disadvantages to this section of
The greater number had settled not far from Sioux City, yet scattering huts showed smoke at a distance, until 1862,
when the Indian outbreak in Minnesota gave the dread alarm, and the settlers deserted their cabins and sought refuge
at Sioux City, that being looked upon as a stronghold against the invasion of the savage Sioux warriors.
It was four years later (1866) that Capt. B. F. Betsworth moved to where Le Mars now stands, and erected a log
cabin, forty rods from where Gehlen's flour - mill now stands. His family consisted of a wife, ten sons and four
daughters. This log cabin home stood on the bank of Floyd river.
J. P. Ladd and Amos Martin made their settlement the same year. Love was then known without the Eden serpent; to
ask a favor was to receive; the sorrow of one household became the grief of of all, and the joy of one was but
gladness to all within the limits of the little settlement.
Two decades have passed, and the historian records great changes; a hamlet with a mill by a babbling brook, has
grown to a city of 4,000 and more people. Here one finds today the largest flouring mill in all Iowa. The rush
of commercial industry is heard and seen on every hand. The many church spires and school house cupolas tell of
a God fearing and intelligent populace. Situated in the very heart of one of the most famous grain and stock growing
sections in America, this place can not fail of steadily advancing with the great march of time. Within a very
small radius of Le Mars there is an annual product of 75,000,000 bushels of corn; 15,000,000 bushels of oats; 2,000,000
head of hogs and half as many cattle. Factories have sought and still continue to seek locations here. It is but
twenty five miles from Sioux City, the best railroad center is Iowa, and has direct rail routes to the east, and
to the Lake Superior country via St. Paul.
While Le Mars, through local drawbacks (chiefly the magic like growth of Sioux City), is not as thriving a place,
in many ways, as it was in 1885, yet with the development of the surrounding country, she must become a prominent
business point, at no distant day.
Le Mars was made the county seat in 1872 by a general election, at which the vote stood 476 against 111. The land
now occupied by the city plat, was originally owned by Capt. B. F. Betsworth, Jerry Ladd and Amos Martin. Mr. Betsworth,
as already related, had claimed that portion located on section nine, in 1866, and finally exchanged it for three
times the acreage, with the Iowa Falls & Sioux City railroad company, who wished it for town site purposes,
as it had already been determined that here was to be the junction of the present Illinois Central and Minneapolis
& Omaha railway lines.
First Events. - The first actual settler on the town site was Capt. B. F. Betsworth. The first child born in this
vicinity was the son of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Betsworth; the same being a grandson of the first settler mentioned
Aside from the willow log cabin on Capt. Betsworth's farm, the first house on the plat was built for J. R. Ladd,
on lots now used by Mr. Perry for his coal yard. The house was sold to David Gibbs and removed.
The first railroad was the old Iowa Falls & Sioux City (now Illinois Central), which came in 1869.
The first church edifice was the Methodist Episcopal, built in 1873. A society was formed in 1869, however.
A school house was built just south of the plat on section seventeen, in which John H. Betsworth taught the first
schools. The first school house on the plat was erected in 1870, a two story frame house, which was finally sold
for church purposes.
Postoffice Historic. - An office was established at this point in 1869, with John Blodgett as the first postmaster.
He kept the office in the store of Blodgett & Foster, in what is now the extreme western part of the city.
From Blodgett the office went to Charles Aldrich, who held it about six years. Col. J. M. Emery was the next postmaster;
he served about six years, and was succeeded by J. F. Vogt, who removed the office to the east side of Main street,
its present location. He kept the office through a part of President Cleveland's administration, and until January
20, 1889, in the Harrison administration, when A. P. Brown received his commission.
There had been 43,885 money orders sent from this office up to June 20, 1890; also 22,775 postal notes issued.
The first money order was issued July 7, 1873, to James Arthur, to be paid to Booge & Co., Sioux City, for
the sum of $4.25.
The present quarters are handy to all parts of the business center of Le Mars, and the present management could
scarcely be improved upon. Mr. Brown, together with very superior clerks, handles the large mail matter with great
care and speed. In brief, the service is a good one.
Incorporation. - Le Mars became an incorporated town in 1881, and soon after, a city of the second class. The following
have served as mayors and recorders:
Mayors - 1881, C. P. Woodard; 1882, A. H. Lawrence; 1883, Dr. 31. Hilbert; 1884, M. A. Moore; 1885, M. A. Moore;
1886, M. A. Moore; 1887, M. A. Moore; 1888, M. A. Moore; 1889, T. J. Priestley; 1890, T. J. Priestley.
Recorders (city clerk) - 1881, N. Loutch; 1882, George M. Smith; 1883, P. K. Edwards; 1884, T. M. Zink; 1885, T.
31. Zink; 1886, P. Egan; 1887, P. Egan; 1888, P. Egan; 1889, J. C. Kane; 1890, J. C. Kane.
The members of the present (1890) council are B. Sudmyer, G. Osborne, John Connor, George Carter, Thomas Gillighan
and John Schmidt. F. R. Gaynor is city attorney and John Lantser, marshal.
In 1888 the city bonded itself to the amount of $10,000, for ten years, at six per cent interest, to raise funds
with which to procure a fire engine and purchase their city hall. It bought the two story brick block on the corner
of Main and Seventh streets, which had been erected for a business house. The price paid was $5,000, and a thousand
more was expended in an addition. The city offices, fire engine, hose carts, etc., are in this building, while
the front store room is leased for business purposes and the second story for a printing office.
In 1884 a "steamer" was purchased for $3,800, which protects the city from the fire fiend. The corporation
pays the water works, which are a private concern (now owned by J. H. Winchel), the sum of $2,400 per year, for
a supply of water sufficient to protect the city and furnish water at the city building, the churches, court house,
etc., which water may be drawn from fifty different hydrants throughout the entire city.
A. well drilled fire department (volunteer), consisting of thirty four men, have the handling of over 2,000 feet
of hose, which makes property owners feel quite secure.
The business and finances of Le Mars are in a good condition. In the matter of the city hall property, most of
which is leased out at a good rental, the incorporation showed good judgment. The sidewalks, street crossings,
etc., throughout the city, all bespeak good management.
Industrial and Commercial - The first attempt toward the commercial advancement of Le Mars was the building of
the Illinois Central depot in the fall of 1869.
The pioneer general store was operated by Deacon John Blodgett and B. O. Foster, under the name of Blodgett &
Foster. It was located in the west part of the present city, where the dairy farm is situated. The postoffice was
kept there, and Mr. Blodgett served as postmaster.
The first to engage in business along the present business streets was a groceryman named John Gordon, who, in
1869, located on the corner of Court and Seventh streets. He finally sold to Mr. Fairchild.
A drug store was opened up by Charles Bennett on the lot where now stands the First National bank, and a hardware
store was opened by Orsman Bennett north of where the First National bank stands.
W. W. Johnson started a saloon corner of Main and Sixth streets. C. G. Norris started the first butcher business
in 1870, on the lot now occupied by Diehl's drug house. The first hotel was the Dubuque House, kept by Charles
Hoffmann. It stood where Mr. Hoffmann's residence is situated now. A man named Wood built and conducted the St.
Cloud House - better known as "Neck Roast," on account of the inferior meats served. The same house is
now kept as a boarding place by Mr. Thompson.
The Revere House was built by Mrs. Atkinson, who, together with her son in law, operated it, at first. It stood
on the site of the present Union House, and was burned July 25, 1884, by incendiaries, who were well known, but
who, through dishonest officers and packed juries, were, with one exception, never brought to justice - James Murphy
served several years in the state prison as being one of the guilty parties. At the time of its burning it belonged
to Messrs. Monahan and Wilson, but was conducted by A. Brown.
The Depot Hotel was prominent among the early hotels of Le Mars. It was erected by the railroad company, upon the
completion of the line, and served as station house, hotel and residence for the local agent, who was usually the
landlord in charge. The first to serve as landlord was L. K. Bowman, who, in a short time, was succeeded by Col.
J. M. Emery. In May, 1878, the house was burned to the ground, the fire being started by the explosion of a kerosene
In 1887 a stock company was formed of home capital, and the present Union Hotel was erected on the lots where stood
the old, ill fated Revere, that was burned down. George Wilson is now proprietor, and is looked upon, all along
the line, as one of Iowa's best hotel men. The Union is a fine, three story brick building, and is doing a big
business. Among the many early time business changes, it may be stated that C. P. Woodard bought out John Blodgett's
agricultural implement business, and George Walton sold his grocery business to George Carter.
Roe Amsden's grocery, on the corner of Main and Seventh streets, was blown down by the great wind of 1870.
The first to deal in lumber at Le Mars was Wesley Young. S. G. Norris was the pioneer meat market man, and is still
in that trade. Mrs. Milliman was the first to handle millinery goods. De Witt Clark started the first exclusively
hardware store, and about 1873 Spring Bros. opened up a big business in the same line, and are the heaviest dealers
today. John Blodgett sold the first farm implements.
Henry Van Sickle built the block now used by Pew Bros. for dealing in hardware and farm implements.
Amsden's Hall, over the store building on the corner of Main and Seventh streets, was the first public hall, and
was used for the early courts, religious meetings, etc. The pioneer tailor of Le Mars was W. H. Smith, who came
in 1872. The first banking house was opened in 1871, by Rymer & Kent. It was called Le Mars Bank. In 1875 there
were shipped from the city 811 car loads of wheat. From the fall of 1883 to the fall of 1884 there were shipped
out of Le Mars station 2,468 cars of produce, and during the same period there were 1,910 cars of merchandise received
The pioneer newspaper of Le Mars, as well as for Plymouth county, was the "Sentinel," founded by J. C.
Buchanan in 1870. His printing office was located where the Mickley hotel stands. Most of the residents paid for
two copies in advance, for two years, in order to get the paper started.
In 1870 Peter Gehlen's flouring mill was erected on the bank of Floyd river. The proprietor boarded at the house
of Capt. Betsworth while looking for his mill site. The captain assisted him in constructing the dam, he being
a ship carpenter by trade.
Dalton's Opera House. - Among the fine, solid and valuable business blocks of Le Mars, may be named the opera house
block, on Sixth street. It was built in 1884, by H. L. Hoyt and John Draudt, at an expense of $55,000, including
the ten thousand dollar lot upon which it stands. It is a massive, neatly designed brick structure, three stories
and a basement. The first floor is used for business rooms, and the second for offices and the opera hall. The
property passed into the hands of P. F. Dalton in 1887, and he still owns it. It has a seating capacity of 1,200
people. The finest of opera chairs grace the auditorium, which is seventy by seventy five feet, with circular gallery.
The stage is larger than those in most opera halls in the west. It measures twenty five by seventy feet, and is
provided with ample dressing rooms, magnificent scenery, etc. The building is heated with hot air furnaces and
illuminated by gas.
The same year Mr. Dalton purchased this property he leased the southwest corner to the Masonic fraternity for lodge
room purposes. The order has a well furnished hall, ante room and dining room. The entire block is occupied. Among
other things the telephone exchange has fine quarters on the third floor. This is the only public hall in Le Mars,
aside from Pew's hall, over Pew Bros.' hardware store.
Banking. - The first banking concern of Le Mars was a small private bank, opened by Rymer & Kent, in 1871,
known as the Le Mars Bank. Soon the firm was Proctor & Kent. Subsequently, the Le Mars National Bank succeeded
In 1874 the Plymouth County Bank was organized, with a capital of $50,000. In July, 1882, it was reorganized, as
the First National Bank of Le Mars, with a capital of $75,000, and six months later worked under a capital of $100,000.
Its first officers (after its becoming a national bank) were: P. F. Dalton, president; F. E. Shaw, vice president;
J. W. Myers, cashier. Its present efficient and obliging officials are P. F. Dalton, president; vice president's
place made vacant by the death of Mr. Treat; G. L. Wernli, cashier. The elegant bank building they now occupy,
on the corner of Main and Sixth streets, was erected in 1882, at a cost of $14,000. It is finely equipped and furnished,
having the best of vaults and Hall's safe and time locks. The corresponding banks of this institution are the First
National, of New York City; the Metropolitan National, of Chicago; the Merchants' National, of Chicago; the Merchants',
of St. Paul; the Sioux National, of Sioux City, Iowa; the Security National, of Sioux City; and the Weare &
Allison bank, of Sioux City.
The First National, of Le Mars, has always taken the lead in Plymouth county, and stands high in financial circles
today. The honor and integrity of its officials, for a long term of years, has seldom been equaled by any banking
house in the entire west. They study how to please and accommodate their patrons, rather than to crowd and force
obligation. Their course has won for them thousands of friends, whose total deposits amount to many hundred thousand
dollars annually. Their cash capital, surplus and undivided profits in 1890 were $165,000.
The Le Mars National Bank, which succeeded the first bank of the place in 1882, commenced business January 1, of
that year, as a national bank, with a capital of $100,000. Its present surplus is $20,000. The original officers
were: Hon. William H. Dent, president; Hon. R. Moreton, vice president; Gilbert C. Maclagan, cashier. The present
(1890) officials are: Hon. William H. Dent, president; James Tierney, vice president; Gilbert C. Maclagan, cashier.
The building they now occupy fronts on Sixth street, near Main, and was erected in 1876 at a cost $10,000. The
best of safes and time locks make all secure. Their corresponding banks are The Chase National, of New York; the
National Bank of Illinois, at Chicago; the First National, of Chicago. The people of Plymouth county have unlimited
confidence in the Le Mars National, because of its able management.
The German-American Savings Bank, at Le Mars, is the successor to what was known as the Plymouth County Savings
Bank & Trust Company, which was organized in October, 1883, as a stock company, with a paid up cash capital
of $50,000, and incorporated under the banking laws of Iowa. Its president was P. F. Dalton; vice president, M.
A. Moore; treasurer, J. W. Myers; secretary, W. P. Manley. They transacted strictly a savings bank business. November
1, 1889, the present fine brick bank building was completed, and the concern moved into it. At the same time the
name was changed to the "German-American Savings Bank." At this time commercial banking became a feature
of the bank. The first and present officers of this newly named institution were: J. W. Myers, president; M. A.
Moore, vice president; M. H. Finney, cashier. They have one of the finest arranged and most elegantly furnished
banks in western Iowa. A four ton, all steel, fire and burglar proof safe, with the best of time locks, make all
secure. The corresponding banks of this institution are the Commercial National, of Chicago; the Western National,
of New York City; the Security National, of Sioux City, Iowa. This bank is one which Plymouth county may well be
proud of. Its securities are the best, and its officers most obliging and competent.
The Security Bank at Le Mars was organized during the month of September, 1889, with a cash capital of $30,000.
It is located on the west side of Main street, three doors from the corner of Sixth street. It is finely equipped,
and protected by the Chicago Safe & Lock Company's appliances. Their safe is provided with burglar chest and
time lock. Their corresponding banks are the Fourth National, of New York City; the First National, of Chicago,
and the Sioux National, of Sioux City, Iowa. The original officers of the bank were: H. C. Curtis, president; J.
H. Culver, vice president; D. S. Culver, cashier. The same officers still hold, except the cashier, whose place
is now filled by John Zuraski. The business transacted by the Security extends over a large scope of country, and
is a satisfactory one to its stockholders and patrons. Its president, Mr. Curtis, is an old resident of Le Mars,
an attorney by profession, and possessed of an excellent business judgment.
In 1878 the Gateway City Bank was organized by Kelley, Bowman and Haldane, who followed loaning, real estate
and law business a short time on South Main street.
A private bank was started in 1884 by Kelley, Robertson & Co., which was operated only about one year, it being
a case wherein a well to do Englishman was "taken in" by an unscrupulous Yankee, who pocketed the capital
The Citizens' Bank was established in 1887 by Hall & Son, with Oscar Orlando Hall (the son) as manager of the
business. They occupied the building now owned by the city, on the corner of Main and Seventh streets. They furnished
the bank with an elaborate and expensive outfit of furniture, safes, etc., and had about $50,000 to operate OD,
but its manager, O. O. Hall, a young lawyer, not being a practical banker, and possessed of some traits of character
which did not seem to take with the patronage he solicited, he finally found a better business point in another
line, and the concern withdrew from the field after about one year's trial.
The banks at Le Mars today are the First National, the Le Mars National, the German-American and the Security Bank.
The Milling Business. - Le Mars has been fortunate, as well as the entire surrounding county, in having excellent
and large roller flouring mills.
The first mill at Le Mars was built on the banks of the Floyd river, which stream furnished the power for the plant.
It was constructed and owned by Peter Geblen, who visited this vicinity in 1869, and concluded to utilize the river
for milling purposes by throwing a dam across at this point. His mill was put in operation in 1870. It was the
old style buhrstone process of flour making. Four run of stones were employed. The Floyd river, at this point,
affords a nine foot water power "head," which was utilized by two James Leffell turbine water wheels.
In 1873 steam power was added, which is still used in conjunction with water power. In 1885 the mill was remodeled,
and the new process of making flour, by means of "rollers," was used. The present capacity of these mills
is seventy five barrels of flour per day, and five car loads of feed. There are fourteen sets of patent rollers
used in the plant. An elevator of 30,000 bushel capacity was added in 1889, and in 1890 the "Omaha" line
of railway ran a spur or side track to this mill. They make large shipments of both flour and feed as far north
as the pineries of Wisconsin and the mining country of the Rocky mountains, including Wyoming, Montana and Colorado.
The founder of these pioneer mills died some years since. It is now owned by S. J. Herron, and operated by Gehlen
Bros, sons of Peter Gehlen, the original builder.
The Plymouth Roller Mill, one of the largest in Iowa, has had an eventful history, a few points of which can only
be briefly touched upon in this connection: In 1876 Frank and Fred Burns moved a milling plant from Aurora, Ill.,
and placed it in operation at Le Mars. It consisted of eight run of buhrs, but owing to lack of capital, after
struggling along for some time alone, they decided they were unable to conduct the business, so formed a stock
company which made much needed improvements, and furnished the capital with which to run the business in a successful
manner. The firm for some years was Burns, Treat & Co. At 11 o'clock at night, June 22, 1884, the property
was set on fire, by local "fire bugs," for which the city was famous at that date, growing out of a lawless
and malicious faction in the place, who sought to run business and politics, using any means to gain their selfish
ends. The total loss by this fire was $95,000, of which $33,000 was covered by insurance. No convictions were ever
made for the burning of this mill.
At that time the property was owned by P. F. Dalton, A. H. Treat, Frank and Fred Burns and J. H. Freeman. But business
men being imbued with faith in the milling industry in this rich wheat section, came to the rescue with their capital,
and August 16, the same year, the old firm merged into what is known as the Plymouth Roller Mill company, with
P. F. Dalton as president and treasurer; A. H. Treat, vice president; Frank W. Burns, superintendent; W. J. Wernli,
secretary. The work of rebuilding commenced, September 1, and in four months, January 12, 1885, the newly built
plant commenced work, with an enlarged plant, greater capacity, better machinery and better buildings. This consists
of a corrugated iron building of large dimensions and four stories high. In its construction and that of the grain
elevator, thirty three car loads of lumber were used, also 35,000 pounds of nails. The stone and brick used in
the foundation amounted to fifty car loads. Its cost was $100,000. Its capacity is 300 barrels of flour daily.
This is the largest single mill in Iowa, and in addition to the flour capacity, the mill turns out twelve car loads,
of 28,000 pounds each, of feed, which is sent to distant points in the great northwest. The business of the mill
is $500,000 per year. The thirty eight sets of rolls are propelled by a 250 horse power engine, which is supplied
with fuel at $1.50 per ton. An immense grain elevator of 250,000 bushels capacity was erected in 1886. The present
officers of the Plymouth Roller Mill company are: P. F. Dalton, president and treasurer; Fred W. Burns, vice president;
Frank W. Burns, superintendent and secretary.
These mills, together with Gehlen's roller mills, create a home demand for grain of all kinds, which gives a good
local market to farmers, but little being shipped to eastern markets.
The Water Works. - The Le Mars Water & Light Company was formed in May, 1888, with a capital stock of $100,000.
A franchise was granted them by the city, and June 1, 1888, work of construction commenced, with Robert Fenner,
the present engineer, as superintendent. By January, 1889, there were laid four and a half miles of large mains,
and fifty one hydrants connected therewith, for which the city pays an annual rental of $50 each. Water of a perfectly
pure and most excellent quality was furnished in abundance.
The fine brick structure of this plant is located in the north part of the city and is indeed a model of beauty
and utility. It is designed for both an electric light station and water plant as well.
These well planned works have at present forty four three inch drive wells, with several larger wells in course
of construction; also a reservoir of 500,000 gallon capacity which has a constant overflow of a two inch stream,
thereby keeping the water pure and sweet. This is reserved to use in case of fire. The drivewells reach a depth
of forty two feet, where an abundance of the purest water is filtered through thirty five feet of sand and gravel.
The state board of health pronounces it superior to any water in Iowa. The system is known as the "Holly direct
pressure system," by which the water is never exposed to the air or sunlight until it is drawn by the consumer.
The machinery consists of two compound duplex pumping engines of the latest pattern. Their capacity is 2,000,000
gallons per day.
In the spring of 1890 the Le Mars Water & Light Company sold and transferred all its interest to John H. Winchel,
and the plant has been extended until it now consists of eight miles of mains, which, with four miles of extension
now in view, together with the required number of hydrants, will furnish the city ample water supply for fire protection
and domestic use. There are now nearly 500 consumers. The plant is looked upon as one of the finest in the state,
and is estimated at a valuation of $75,000.
The Gas Works. - In 1884 J. H. Miller, of Sioux Falls, came to Le Mars and completed a system of gas works which
had been commenced in 1883. He operated the same for about one year, when he sold to a stock company known as the
Le Mars Gas Company, consisting of Mr. Garretson, of Sioux City, and several eastern stockholders. At the present
time the works are supplying about 100 consumers, including eight church buildings. The city has thirty nine street
lamps, and there are about four miles of gas mains in the city. The price per 1,000 cubic feet is $2.25. The coal
from which the gas product is made is shipped from Pittsburgh. About twenty five car loads are consumed annually.
The capacity at present is 14,000 cubic feet.
Samuel Albright has been manager of these works ever since they were first started; he also follows gas fitting.
The plant is situated on the block just east from the Illinois Central depot, on Seventh street.
Commercial Interests, 1890. - The following firms were doing business at Le Mars, July 1, 1890:
Attorneys - Argo & McDuffie, Martin & Gaynor, Struble, Rishel, & Hart, J. H. Struble, A. W. Durley,
F. M. Roseberry, J. U. Sammis, John Adams, Patrick Farrell, T. M. Zink, Samuel Hussey, George E. Scott, Frank Amos,
A. A. Alline.
Abstractors - Dr. M. Hilbert, Pitt Seaman, George E. Richardson.
Agricultural implements - Will J. Wernli, Pew Bros., R. M. Bailey & Co., T. J. Priestley & Son, Spring
Bros., Zimmerman Bros.
Book bindery - (" Sentinel" office) Ragsdale & Chassell.
Banks - First National, Le Mars National, German-American Savings and Security Bank.
Boots and shoes - (exclusively) N. B. Kaiser.
Book stores - L. L. King, Sartori & Pfeiffer.
Brick manufacturers - John Hickey, C. E. Corkery.
Blacksmiths - Miller Bros., Kale Gaston, William Galbraith, James Hendericksen, "Dick" Bunt, Sullivan
Bros., Peter Schmidt.
Coal dealers - O. H. Hinds, W. H. Perry, M. A. Moore, Knorr & Schafer, Townsend Bros., Payne & Luken.
Clothing - (exclusively) H. D. Dow, Alex. Reichmann.
Drugs - P. H. Diehl, Freeman & Hines, Sartori & Pfeiffer, Thompson & Co., Benjamin R. Smith.
Dentists - Dr. E. D. Brower, Dr. Breen, Dr. Dwight.
Dry goods - (exclusively) M. Burg, Kluckhohn & Kerberg, A. G. Kegler, Holly & Co.
Express - American.
Furniture - Spring Bros., Beeley & Fissell.
Grain - Peavey & Co., N. L. Greer, Hoskins & Co.
Grocers - (exclusively) G. A. Sammis & Co., M. P. Nemmers & Co., Bray & Carpenter, H. Aupperle, A.
G. Blakeway, Laux Bros., Frank Miller, P. H. Pluck, Mrs. C. Koetz.
General dealers - H. A. Miller & Son, H. Branch, Thoma, Mich & Co., John Dradt, the Misses Swazey.
Gas works - Garretson & Co.
Hotels - Union, Mickley, City Hotel, Grand Central, Dubuque House, Northwestern Hotel, St. Lawrence House, Sutter
House, Depot Hotel, Farmers' Home.
Harness shops - J. W. Schmidt, G. W. Schmidt, J. N. Lambert, G. Schwartz.
Hardware - Treat & Watkins, Spring Bros., Pew Bros., H. W. Wilcox, Haas & Huebsch.
Ice dealer - Knorr Schafer.
Jewelers - Otto G. Berner, C. W. L. Trottnow.
Livery - Hoyt & Gondie, Clark Good, C. E. Corkery.
Lumber - W. H. Perry, M. A. Moore, Townsend Bros., Payne & Luken.
Mills - "Plymouth Roller Mills," "City Roller Mills."
Meat markets - C. Hausmann, Connor & Hillery, C. G. Norris.
Music store - Moist Bros.
Millinery - Mrs. J. E. Arendt, Mrs. A. Detrich, Mrs. Bastian.
Machine shop - Gus. Pech.
Newspapers - "Sentinel," "Globe," "Herold," " Sun."
Physicians - Dr. W. H. Ensminger, Dr. C. J. Hackett, Dr. J. W. Hines, Dr. Paul Brick, Dr. W. O. Prosser, Dr. H.
P. Bowman, Dr. Richey, Dr. Peter Schwind, Dr. J. C. McMahan, Dr. C. M. Hillebrand, Dr. Mary Breen.
Photographers - R. I. Dabb, Robert Karatt, G. G. Gosting.
Paint stores - Charles Adamson, Close & Martin.
Plumbing - R. Whitney.
Real estate - Blodgett & Mitchell, George E Richardson, Chapman & Co., A. R. T. Dent. A. C. Colledge, Hon.
A. M. Duus, J. H. Winchel, M. Hilbert.
Stock dealers - Watson, Weir & Co., Brunskill Bros., J. T. Mohan, Samuel Miller, L. W. Fairchild, Hopkins &
Tailors (merchant) - D. W. Held, J. C. Jones, W. H. Smith.
Veterinary surgeons - R. R. Hammond, George Carter, C. B. Baker.
Wagon shop - James Hendericksen.
Water works - J. H. Winchel.
Le Mars was more of a manufacturing place five years ago, 1885, than at present. A large planing mill and wood
working shop was in operation; also a soap factory and other branches of manufacturing industry, which today are
not in full operation. It may be said that Le Mars of 1890 contains a population of a little over 4,000 people,
who are engaged in the ordinary local retail trade, supplying the prosperous farming district of which she is the
center. Aside from the item of milling, her manufacturing interests are not large.
In 1889 the following shipments were made and received at Le Mars: The Minneapolis & Omaha railroad received
1,064 cars of freight and forwarded 2,135; the Illinois Central railroad received 1,119 cars of freight and forwarded
The passenger receipts for the same year on both lines of road were $53,000, exclusive of a vast amount of "book
mileage," held by passengers who purchased at the general offices.
<--- CHURCH HISTORY WAS AT THIS POINT --->
Civic Societies. - The first secret society to occupy our attention would naturally be the order of Ancient Free
and Accepted Masons, The traditions of Freemasonry form a precious heritage. Rightly interpreted, they are as beneficent
as they are authoritative. This ancient order rests on the foundation of broad human sympathies. Its objects are
by precept and practice to foster virtue, to inculcate charity, to bind the members together in enduring bonds
of brotherly love, It is, in short, a professor and teacher of every moral and social virtue. This institution
has its foundation deeply laid in the hopes, aspirations and affections of man, or it never could have come down
to us through the ages, evolving and developing with the lapse of time, adapting itself through the revolving centuries
to the changes of religion, civilization and enlightenment, ever retaining its hold upon the heart of humanity.
All political agitation is excluded from its action and consideration. The very character of its membership is
a guarantee of its freedom from aught that is harmful, but of its profession of much that is laudable and desirable,
Members of the order are to be found in every land and clime; it is not confined to sect or creed, people or tongue;
neither does it show preference for members on account of wealth or high social standing. Rich and poor, statesman
and warrior, scholar and laborer, men from every honest class and honorable calling, meet upon one common level
and clasp each other's hands in fraternal grasp. And what has been said of Masonry applies equally well to the
other secret orders represented in this chapter.
Giblem Lodge, No. 322, A. F. & A. M., worked under dispensation from December 26, 1872, The first officers
were: David Gibbs, W. M.; D, W, Clark, S. W.; William Rymers, J. W.; E. H. Shaw, treas.; W, S, Welliver, sec.;
I. S. Struble, S. D.; H. W. Van Sickle, J. D.; G, W. Walton, S, S.; H, C. Parsons, J. S. and tyler. The above,
together with the subjoined, made up the charter membership: Steven Reeves, E, W, Burdick, J. H. Morf, N. H. Wood,
L. K. Bowman, C. K. Smith, James Carlin, Neville Redmond. A charter was granted the order June 4, 1873. In 1875
they met in Flint's block and from there removed to Steine's block in 1882. In 1888 they found a home in Masonic
hall over the opera house, where they enjoy the finest lodge rooms in northwestern Iowa. The lodge is in a flourishing
condition and has for its membership the best men of Le Mars and Plymouth county. They now number eighty. The officers
for the present year, 1890, are: W. J. Lawrence, W. ; J. R. Mayher, S. W.; Thomas Adamson, J. W.; W. A. Simkins,
sec.; H. J, Moreton, treas.; D. Padmore, S. D.; H, J. Pfeiffer, J. D.; George Carter, S. S.; E. H. Bush, J. S.;
N, Wood, tyler.
Occidental Chapter of Royal Arch Masons at Le Mars was granted a dispensation by the petition of twenty three companions,
viz.: Ira N. Pardee, H. P.; Alfred W. Parsons, K.; Albert H. Parsons, S.; J. W. Myers, treas.; Joseph Long, sec.;
William Frantz, C. of H.; F. P. Whitney, P. S.; W. H. Sparling, chaplain; J. M. Emery, Royal Arch capt.; August
Forchner, G. M. first V.; E. D. Chassel, G. M. second V.; Charles Adamson, G. M. third V.; Thomas Adamson, guard;
Samuel Miller, William J. Wernli, John Ruble, William Parsons, J. S. Doty, Harvey C. Parsons, Thomas Treat, J.
Wernli, George C. Scott, D. W. Townsend.
The chapter worked under dispensation until November 12, 1889, on which date a charter was granted by the Grand
Royal Arch chapter, at which time the chapter of which we write had a membership of 114.
On January 17, 1890, a dispensation was received from the grand high priest of the state of Iowa, granting the
right to Occidental chapter to confer the Cryptic degrees, since which date there have been regular assemblies
of the council degrees, Occidental chapter now has forty three members of the Royal Arch Masons. The 1890 officers
are these: Ira N. Pardee, H. P.; Albert H. Parsons, K.; W. M. Frantz, S.; J. W. Myers, treas., Joseph Long, sec.;
James E. Snowden, chaplain; F, P. Whitney, C. of H.; D. W, Townsend, P. S.; Charles Adamson, R. A. capt.; E. D.
Chassel, G. M. third V.; John R. Mayher, G. M. second V.; August Forchner, G. M. first V.; Thomas Adamson, guard.
Masonry is well organized in Le Mars, and among its number may be found the best business men and citizens.
Order of Eastern Star, No, 70, was organized August 1, 1888, with the following charter members: H. S. Payne, Dice
H, Payne, Samuel Miller, A, W, Winslow, Daniel Padmore, M. A. Simpkins, A. A, Alline, Mary Dalton, Helen Padmore,
Thomas Adamson, N. H. Wood, J, R, Maher, Alice 31. Simpkins, Margaret Perkins, Mary A. B. Carter, L, T. Cumbesbatch,
Lucy A. Whitney, Charles Adamson, Wallace Winslow, Mrs. B. B, Adamson, Lida M, Alline, Mrs, M. E. Adamson, J. H.
Whetsone, Georgiana Maher, Sarah E. Long, F. C. Whitney, George Carter, Alta Miller, P. F. Dalton, P. L. Brick,
Mrs. B. Wernli, A. W. Durly, Sola Durly, O. A. Conner. The first worthy master was Mary E. Dalton; Mrs. A. Miller,
first secretary; Mrs. O. A. Conner, warden; D. Payne, treasurer. The order now numbers fifty one, and is in a prosperous
condition, The present (1890) officers are: Mary E, Dalton, W. M.; A, A. Alline, W. P.; Sarah E. Young, A. M.;
Mary A, Bush, sec.; D. Payne, treas.; Rev. J. E. Snowden, chaplain; O. A. Conner, W.
Zens Knights of Pythias Lodge, No. 103, at Le Mars, was instituted June 15, 1883, by a charter membership of twenty
five, whose names here follow: I, S, Struble, M. Hilbert, W. J. Wernli, Fred Becker, R. W. Savage, C. H, Thompson,
F. A. Seaman, H. G. Kookler, O. W. Durley, G. A. Sammis, F. B. Durston, W, S. Freeman, C. J. Hackett, H. F. Dow,
E, D. Brower, L. A, Williams, J. C. Morris, H. S. Payne, P, H. Diehl, H, C. Curtis, J, W. Myers, S, J. Penhallegan,
Henry Henrich, J. V. Dabb and William Smiley. The first officers of the lodge were: I, S. Struble, P. C.; M. Hilbert,
C, C.; P. H. Diehl, V. C.; F. A. Seaman, P.; J. W. Myers, M. of E.; F. B. Durston, M. of F.; E. D. Brower, K. of
R. and S.; J. C. Morris, M. at A.; W. G, Wernli, I. G.; Fred Becker, O. G. At one time this lodge numbered ninety,
but by removals, etc., the membership is now sixty five. They meet in a well furnished hall on Main street, in
the Hoffman building, The present (1890) elective officers are: O. H. Hinds, P. C.; Rev. J. E. Snowden, C. C.;
J. U. Sammis, V. C.; C. A. Wernli, P.; C. K. Kluckhohn, M. of E.; F. Post, M. of F.; W. H. Boyd, K. of R. and S.;
George E. Richardson, M. at A.; R. H. Carratt, I. G.; T. A. Bray, O. G., and M. Hilbert, D. D. G. C.
The order at this point is second to none in all the great northwest, It is growing, and has for its membership
the intelligent, young and middle aged men of Le Mars.
Le Mars Division of Uniform Rank (K. of P.), No. 22, was organized with the following list of officers, September
16, 1886: M. Hilbert, Sir Kt. C.; F. B. Cooper, Sir Kt. lieut. C.; G. E. Richardson, Sir Kt, H.; John Adams, Sir
Kt. rec.; William Smiley, Sir Kt. treas.; E. D. Brower, Sir Kt. guard; H. E, Hart, Sir Kt. sent. Under the leadership
of M. Hilbert, S. D. G. C., the lodge organized and instituted the following new lodges: Plymouth, No. 141, at
Kingsley, Iowa; Malta, No. 144, Sheldon, Iowa; Loco, No. 145, at Sibley, Iowa, and Xenophon, No. 158, at Cherokee,
Iowa. In pursuance of a resolution of the lodge adopted July 1, 1886, M. Hilbert was presented and elected grand
chancellor at the meeting of the grand lodge that year, at Davenport, Iowa. He stands high in the estimation of
the fraternity, both at home and abroad. The present officers are: J, R. Street, Sir Kt. C.; George E. Richardson,
Sir Kt. lieut. C.; E. D. Brower. Sir Kt. H.; John Adams, Sir Kt. R.; C. H. Kluckhohn, Sir Kt. T.; C. E. Haas, Sir
Kt. G.; William Smiley, Sir Kt. S.
Plymouth Lodge, No. 255, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at Le Mars, was instituted March 26, 1873; by the following
charter members, all of whom have moved away or died, except Hon. H. C. Curtis: Andrew Block, S. S. Ambrose, John
C. Morris, J. W. Earles (N. G.), W. W, Spalding, J. F. Fairfat, Charles Blind, L. M. Porter, R. M. Flick, H. C.
Curtis, R, M. Thornburg, J. C. Buchanan, S, V. Berg, R. Bitterbock, Chris G. Kretrehner. At one time this lodge
numbered 100 members, but from various causes ran down, and finally, in the fall of 1882, they surrendered their
charter; but, November 24, 1884, it was reorganized by the following six members: J. T. Adams, N. G.; J. G. Koenig,
V. G.; S. V. Silverwood, sec.; R. W. Harrison, treas.; W. J. Lawrence, W.; E. J. Pauley, L G. The whole number
belonging to the reorganized lodge is sixty two, of whom six took cards; thirteen have been dropped, two etpelled.
The present officers are Charles Sperling, N. G.; J. T. Hall, V. G.; F. P. Whitney, sec.; F. F. Gleason, treas.;
August Forchner, W.; H. P. Bowman, C. For the first three years the lodge met in the Opera house, but in the fall
of 1887 removed to their present lodge room, in the Kluckhohn building. The lodge has grown faster during the past
year than any lodge in Iowa.
Acorn Lodge (Rebecca Degree), I. O. O. F., No. 62, was instituted April 4, 1890, with twenty three charter members.
The lodge now numbers twenty nine. The first officers were Mrs. Isabella Watkins, N. G.; Mrs. Nettie Harrison,
V. G.; Electa Richey, sec.; Jennie Faus, treas. Those serving at this time are Mrs. Nettie Harrison, N. G.; Mrs.
M. E. Wood, V. G.; Mrs, Electa Richey, sec.; Mrs. A. P. Bowman, F. sec.; Mrs. Jennie Faus, treas.