History of Eureka Township, Sac County, IA
From: History of Sac County, Iowa
By: William H. Hart
B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana 1914


Eureka (signifying "I have found it") was organized as a separate subdivision of Sac county in 1875. The first election was held by seven resident voters. The father of Joseph and Charles King, now residents of this township, was elected clerk at the first regular township election. He came to the township in 1871 and purchased a full section of prairie land of this township and was an honored citizen here many years, having much to do with the final development of this section of the county. In 1880 the township had three hundred and sixty population. In 1910 it had one thousand one hundred and sixty six, with the town of Schaller, which had six hundred and forty six. Eureka is the extreme northwestern township in the county, being congressional township 89, range 38, and is bounded on the north by Buena Vista county, on the east by Eden township, on the south by Cook township and Ida county (the north tier of townships being on the correction line of the state, making a set off or jog of three miles to the west) and on the west by Ida county. It is six miles square. The Sioux City and Wall Lake branch of the Chicago & Northwestern railway runs through sections 25, 26, 22, 28, 29, 30 and 19, with the incorporated town of Schaller as its only town.

It is no wonder that the pioneers who settled here named it "Eureka," for they certainly found what they had been seeking - an excellent domain of fertile, even, all good land, which at that day was bought very cheap, from four dollars upward to about ten dollars. Today the average land sells readily at one hundred and fifty dollars and much as high as two hundred dollars per acre. The population is a mixture of German and American of the higher, more intelligent class of both nationalities. Its population in 1905 was six hundred and forty two, exclusive of the town of Schaller. and with it the population was one thousand two hundred and eighty one. Of this number, only one hundred and seventeen were foreign born.

By drainage, good cultivation and general scientific farming, this has come to be one of the banner agricultural districts in the county.


This is one of Sac county's enterprising towns, an honor to any community. Its well kept streets, its internal improvements, its charming park, shade trees, and first class business houses, with churches and schools, all bespeak a high type of citizenship. The people of Schaller are for the most part prosperous and contented. Living as they do in the heart of one of the finest agricultural sections in this part of the state, their interests are naturally with those of the fanning community. As a grain, stcok and poultry market, the county affords no better place at which to do trading - both selling and buying.

The town was named in 'honor of that most popular and well known pioneer German character, Phil Schaller, who died only a few years sinee as a resident of Sac City, where he prospered as an able business man and leader in Grand Army circles, he having been an Iowa soldier during the great Civil War. As a faithful, unflinching and highly honorable county official, no man stood higher than this man for whom the town was named. Schaller was platted in October, 1882, by the Blair Town Lot and Land Company, on section 26, township 89, range 38, and the year before the platting was executed the entire land upon which the present town stands was an immense field of growing flax. Vast has been the transformation in these thirty two years! It is within Eureka township and an important station point on the Chicago & Northwestern railway line, the second station north and west from Sac City. Among the modem improvements of the town may be named the magnificent two story brick school building, the Methodist and Catholic church edifices, both recently erected on modern, up to date plans. When the town was originally platted by the railroad land company, the town site proprietors donated a full square, centrally located, to be forever used for public park purposes. The ground is now shaded and sheltered by hundreds of thrifty trees, towering heavenward twenty and thirty feet high. There are rustic seats, a band stand and other improvements: Space has been reserved for tents for public gatherings, lectures and chautauqua entertainments, etc. Schaller was legally incorporated as a town in 1883. The following facts appear of record in the court house at Sac City concerning this incorporation.

Having a population of over two hundred and fifty, in the month of March, 1883, Schaller citizens petitioned the court to be legally incorporated as a town, under the laws of the state of Iowa. The petitioners were as follows: C. W. Woodke, O. W. Woodke, Chrales L. Early, J. S. Hudson, J. H. Walker, F. D. Beckel, Thomas A. O'Laney, A. P. Searle, B. D. Jones, S. A. Cobb, H. Keeney, H. J. Hahne, Will Terrie, R. D. Murray, I. S. Hunter, F. G. Butler, F. F. Hall, Herman Hahne, R. L. Crosby, E. W. Walker, William McFarland, Meier, H. D. Quinn, W. Adamson, T. H. Hahne, M. C. Craven, Dr. S. C Meyers, G. F. Chandler, James Waddicor, I. C. Hudson, T. J. Andre, M. D., D. Burman.

The circuit court of Sac county appointed the following commissioners to attend to the calling and holding of an election to determine whether the citizens wanted the place incorporate or not. Such persons were appointed, served and the election was held May 25, 1883, at which all of the fifty two votes cast were for incorporation. The clerks of election were A. P. Searle, Charles Early. The judges were William F. Waddke, H. J. Hahne and I. S. Hudson. The election returns were certified to by J. S. Hudson. Thus the town of Schaller started on its journey, and has continued as a town ever since. The first mayor of Schaller was Thomas Rey, who died while in office. The present (January, 1914) town officers are as follows: Mayor, H. I. Strahn; recorder, H. N. Snell treasurer, Samuel Hahne; marshal, W. W. Allen; councilmen, C. B. Murray, M. Strom, J. B. Dakin, C. Walker and U. L. Requarette.

The following have served as mayors of Schaller: Charles L. Early, 1883; J. S. Hudson, 1884-85; Thomas Ray, 1886; J. M. Sears, 1887; J. S. Hudson, 1888-89; J. F. Butler, 1890; George S. Crandall, 1891-92-93; Alexander Wells, 1894; A. C. Gordon, 1895-96-97-98-99; J. F. Butler, 1900-01-02-03; George J. Speaker, 1904-05; Perry Rubendall, 1906-07; George J. Speaker, 1908-09; H. I. Strahn, 1910-11-12-13.

A system of water works was installed about twenty years ago, costing at the time about six thousand dollars. Water of the purest quality is obtained from two surface wells within the town incorporation. A stand pipe and tank furnish the reserve water, which is forced by gravity to all portions of the town. A volunteer fire company gives ample protection to the property owners of the place. Hook and ladder, extinguishers, plenty of good hose and other apparatus aid the willing firemen in battling the flames, whenever they appear. The town has its own building or hall, in which the council meets and where is stored the fire apparatus.

In the fall of 1913 the town commenced the laying of an excellent system of earthware pipes for sewerage, which is to be in six streets. Before winter shut the work off, four streets had been completed and the remainder was laid in the early spring of 1914. The expense is taxed to the lot owners, except the cost of outlets and street crossings, which is paid from a direct general municipal tax.

The streets of the little city are lighted brightly by a gas plant of private ownership, known as the Schaller Gas and Fuel Company. This corporation commenced business about 1906 and now gives good service and general satisfaction. The churches, stores, halls and private dwellings all employ this lighting system.

Good cement sidewalks are in evidence throughout the town.


The first man to erect a business place on the town plat of Schaller was pioneer J. S. Hudson, who still survives, and is the only remaining charter member of the Christian church of the town. He embarked in the general hardware business and carried other goods. He sold to the first settlers both in and out of his town. He has lived to see the following dealers now engaged in the various branches of trade:
Agricultural Implements - W. J. Howard & Son.
Banks - The State Bank of Schaller; The Schaller Savings Bank.
Blacksmith Shops - J. F. Ady. Andrew Anderson.
Barber Shop - Fred L. Gilbert.
Clothing - J. P. Rauch, G. W. Murray & Son.
Cement Block, etc. - Aden Merkly.
Drugs - Smith Brothers, C. C. Cowser.
Dentist - J. E. O'Grady, D. D. S.
Dray Lines - Rose Brothers, A. Potter.
Elevators - Schaller Produce Company, J. B. Adams, Kuntz Elevator Company.
Furniture - W. F. McLaughlin.
Feed Store and Poultry - Rose & Potter.
The "Fair Store" - John Gentry.
General Stores - J. B. Dakin, J. A. Murray & Son, Lemke & Lemke.
Garages - C. H. Reuber, G. B. Gould, A. D. & E A. Woodke.
Hardware - R. A. Skinner, James G. Fiar.
Harness - E. R. Forney, August Christensen.
Hotel - "Palace." by L. A. Seiling.
Jewelry - John Hicks.
Livery - Challman Brothers.
Lumber - Gray & Crowley, Schaller Lumber Company (incorporated), by William J. A. Cizek and Henry Gloe.
Millinery - Mrs. Ellen Broderick, Mrs. W. H. McKinney.
Plumbers - George A. Higgins.
Physicians - Drs. T. J. Andre, F. H. McGrey.
Restaurants - R. H. Benson.
Real Estate Dealers - H. I. Strahn, A. B. Chailman.
Stock Dealers - Fred Sewald.
Meat Market - H. O. O'Daniels & Son.
Newspaper - The Herald, by W. K. Whiteside.
Opera House - "The Schaller," by J. I. Murray.
Veterinary Surgeon - E. G. Martin.
Wagon Repair - H. Swanson & Son.

Among the small manufacturing plants of Schaller may be named that Of the Higgins Manufacturing Company, which concern makes a patented device for extinguishing street gas and gasoline lights automatically from the central station, by means of reducing the pressure, when instantly all street lights are put out, saving the expense of keeping a man for this purpose. These machines are sold in hundreds of small towns within the adjoining states and the business is rabidly increasing. The proprietors of this company patented this invention several years ago.

The church organizations of Schaller are the Catholic, Methodist Episcopal, the Christian, Presbyterian and German Evangelical Lutheran denominations. (See Church chapter for details.)

The lodges here represented are the Masonic and Odd. Fellows, the history of which will be found under the head of Lodges of the county.

Schaller was unfortunate in having three large grain elevators burned within five years, the last being destroyed in 1912, causing a loss of more than fifteen thousand dollars, besides six thousand four hundred dollars worth of grain stored therein.

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