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


Levey township comprises all of congressional township 85, range 37 west. It is six miles square and situated on the south line of Sac county, with Viola township at its east, Clinton at the north and Wheeler, the extreme southwestern township in the county, on its west. Its towns are a part of Wall Lake, Herring and the hamlet station on the Illinois Central lines known as McCloy. The Boyer river flows through this township on its meandering course to the Missouri river, emptying into that stream at Council Bluffs, where it is considerable of a stream. It has numerous small branches or tributaries flowing in from the fertile lands that make up Levey township. The Mondarnin and Onawa branches of the great Northwestern system of railroad runs through various portions of this township. Also the more recently constructed railroad, the Illinois Central, parallels the Northwestern line from Wall Lake station southwest until they both take their exit from the county on down the famous Boyer Valley.

Levey was created into a separate township in 1871 and in 1880 it had a population of six hundred and twenty five, including its villages.

Its early settlers were nestled in and around the present town of Wall Lake, and some in the southern portion, along the Crawford county line. Its schools, churches and lodges are all mentioned in separate chapters in this volume, hence will not be named in this connection. The population of the township, according to the last United States census report, is one thousand and sixty four, including that part of Wall Lake within the township, which town had, then, five hundred and sixty one.

The village of Herring, on sections 28 and 29, is a mere station point and small trading place on the Chicago & Northwestern railroad, a mile and a half from the south line of the township.

Concerning the pioneers who effected the first settlement here, let it be said that they come in about the following order: Charles Levey. 1869; Richard Dean, 1869; Frank W. Weed, March 29, 1870. George Maynard and F. H. Weed came early, but only remained one year. George A. Weed came in on August 20, 1870; Samuel Adams, 1871; A. Marks, 1871; W. J. Muxen, 1871. The township was constituted in 1871, but not really organized until 1873 on account of there not being a sufficient number in the territory before then to hold the offices. Dr. Stevens was a settler of 1871. F. W. Weed was the first township assessor. The first school was taught in what is now No. 8, but then No. 1, in 1873, by Fannie Philbrick.


Wall Lake, in Levey and Viola townships, was platted by the Blair Town Lot and Land Company (really the Northwestern Railroad Company) in 1877. It is situated three miles to the south of the famous Wall lake, so well known as a resort in the great Maple Valley region. Its population in January, 1914, was, by actual count, eight hundred and ten, although it was through error only given about six hundred in the last "United States census. This error came about from the fact that the census taker only credited the town with what population were living in Viola township, as belonging in the corporation, and the remainder were counted in with the population of Levey township.

The first lot was sold in this town to D. Wayne, of Carroll, for warehouse purposes. The first load of wheat sold was by Mr. North, September 10, 1877, and it brought seventy cents per bushel. The first car load of wheat was shipped out by Wayne & Company. The first lumber yard was put in operation by Wilcox Brothers, August 27, 1877. The first general merchandise store was established by G. M. Parker in August, 1877. The first child was born to Mrs. O. A. Olson. The first death was in the family of C. E. Wentworth. On April 21, 1878, a destructive tornado passed over this portion of the county, destroying much property, generally estimated at thirty thousand dollars worth, and eight persons were injured. Telephone communication was first installed in Wall Lake February 11, 1878, between J. C. Fletcher and C. E. Wentworth, each having a phone in their place of business. It was constructed by Ehlers & Wentworth and was probably the vibratory system. as electric phones in practical form did not come till a year or two later.

It may he stated that the first building in the town was commenced in April, 1877, for a saloon. The material was hauled from Fort Dodge and Storm Lake. Mr. Donaldson was the man who engaged in this business, this being five years before the state had its prohibition fight, since which date saloons have not been very popular or nearly as numerous. The next actual settler in Wall Lake was O. Anderson. The shoe store of P. A. Elpstrand was opened July 7, 1877. The first blacksmith was F. Rohm, who came in from Alta. The first religious services were conducted at the home of Mr. Palmer, Sunday, August 15, 1877, by Rev. W. P. Griffin. Work on the depot building commenced July 20, 1877, and was completed August 15th, that year.

Having now shown the beginnings of things in general, the author deems it sufficient to give the present business and social factors of Wall Lake, showing in whose hands the business of the place was in January, 1914:

Attorney - J. S. Whitney.
Agricultural Implements - Victor Staab.
Blacksmith Shops - F. E. Johnston, Hinds & Wright.
Barber Shops - William Morrison, R. Lancaster.
Baths - German State and Wall Lake Savings Bank.
Creamery - C. W. Davis.
Clothing Store - J. O. Benson.
Cement Works - Frank Becker.
Drugs - Bowman Drug Company, C. C. Epperly.
Dray Line - Ed. Palmer.
Dentist - Roy McCulla, J. L. Morris.
Furniture - W. H. Menold.
Feed Barn - Albert Johnson.
General Merchandise - Okerstroem & Fishback, F. H. Brown. J. H. Sievert.
Grain Dealers - William Claussen.
Garage - Hopkins Auto Company, Wall Lake Auto Company.
Harness Shop - J. H. Davison.
Hardware - Johnson & Swanson, Farmer's Lumber Company.
Hotel - The Brunton.
Jewelry - H. Limke.
Lumber Yards - Wall Lake Lumber Company, Farmers' Lumber Company.
Livery-Frank Dean.
Meat Market - D. Schneidecker.
Millinery - Mrs. D. A. Robinson.
Mills (Grist) - J. McGloin.
Newspaper - The Wall Lake Blade, by W. O. Howard.
Opera House - Wall Lake Opera House Company.
Produce Companies - Swift & Company, C. H. Young.
Photo Gallery - Melvin Charles.
Pool Halls - Robert Jolly, W. H. Persons.
Physicians - Drs. A. S. Hayden, L. H. Jones.
Restaurants - Christensen Sisters. Hoff & Son. D. W. Young. and the Depot Lunch Rooms.
Real Estate - McClurg & Brunton.
Stock Buyers - Charles Godenow.
Wagon Repairs - Hinds & Wright.

The town supports a brass band of twenty five pieces, led by C. E. Dapperly. There is an effective Commercial Club here, with C. R. Yeager as its present secretary.

The churches of Wall Lake - the Catholic. Methodist, Presbyterian and German Lutheran - are all treated at length in the Church chapter.

The lodges include the Masonic and Odd Fellows orders, both mentioned in the Lodge chapter in this volume.

Wall Lake was incorporated in March, 1881. The following were the first town officials elected: A. D. Herrig, mayor; W. L. Ehlers. recorder; D. M. Bingman, George Burgess, F. E. Cheeney, M. Mohr, H. J. Simpson, T. E. Wilcox, first councilmen or trustees. The following is a list of all mayors serving in Wall Lake to date: A. D. Herring, 1881; H. B. Allen, 1883; Robert Pattison, to 1889; R. M. Hunter, 1889; C. C. Watson, 1891; Hiram Adams, 1893; Erick Schmidt, 1895; Hiram Adams 1897; H. B. Allen 1899; A. B. Barclay, 1901; George D. Newby, 1903; John McGloin, 1906, who served until August, 1913, when he resigned. John Johnson was appointed to fill the vacancy and is still serving. The present town officials are: Mayor, John A. Johnson; clerk, J. S. Whitney; treasurer, Charles M. Herrig; marshal, A. E. Johnston; council, Dr. A. S. Hayden, Gus Moore, D. D. Scheiddiker, Walter Ward and William Claussen. A fine, effective system of water works was installed in this town about 1896. At first it was jointly owned by the town and by private subscribers, but later the whole plant, now valued at thirty thousand dollars, was turned over to the town. The water is obtained from a well, just to the east of the town and on the eastern slope of the great watershed divide of Iowa, where the waters flow towards the Mississippi and the Missouri. This water is said to be as pure as any in the state. A high tower and water tank, constructed of steel, affords about sixty pounds pressure per square inch. Since the establishment of these improvements the town has had but one disastrous fire, that which burned the Brown store and the livery barn about 1898. The same caught from an overheated hot air furnace in the basement of Brown's store. A well trained volunteer fire company makes property comparatively safe. Uniforms were once purchased, costing seven hundred dollars. No town in western Iowa has a more effective fire fighting company than Wall Lake. It dates its history back to 1878.

The municipality also owns the gasoline gas lighting plant and, besides furnishing the streets with ample lights, also sells to consumers. This improvement was installed about 1900.

The town owns a shack of a building known as town hall, but is now planning to erect a suitable brick town building which will be an ornament to the town.

Wall Lake has long since been known as the greatest railroad center in this section of the state. The Northwestern system has branches extending to Carroll, Denison, Mondamin, Onawa, Sioux City via Sac City, another to Jewell Junction. The Illinois Central has a station on its Fort Dodge & Omaha line, a mile from Wall Lake town, giving good connections to the Twin Cities and Dubuque, as well as Omaha.

The postmasters who have served at Wall Lake are as follows (office established January 30, 1877): Abner Ferguson. appointed January 30, 1877 Charles L. Sherwood, November 23, 1877; H. B. Allen, May 23, 1881; Robert IPattison, September 23, 1885; C. C. Watson, March 28, 1889; Frank H. Adams, January 28, 1893; Orla H. Menold, April 14, 1893; L. N. Turner, April 17, 1897; J. H. D. Gray, December 12, 1904; Charles B. Dean, April 23, 1906; John McGloin, July 31, 1913.

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