History of Sac Township, Sac County, IA
From: History of Sac County, Iowa
By: William H. Hart
B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana 1914
Sac is the extreme southeastern subdivision of Sac county and comprises all of congressional township 36, range
35 west. Calhoun county lies at the east, Coon Valley township to the north, Viola township to the west and Carroll
county at the south. It was organized as one of the original townships in the county in 1856 and in 1880 it had
been cut down in extent of its territory very greatly and at that date had only five hundred and eighty one population.
Its present population, according to the United States census returns for 1910, is one thousand one hundred and
twenty five, with Auburn and Grant City, the former having three hundred and ninety nine and the latter having
one hundred and sixty two.
TOWN OF AUBURN.
Auburn is one of the three towns within Sac township, the others being Grant City, and Ulmer, a station on the
Illinois Central railroad. Auburn is situated on sections 23 and 24, of township 86, range 35. It was platted July
31, 1886, by the Western Town Lot and Land Company. It is a station point on the Chicago & Northwestern line,
the second station east from Wall Lake, and is on the east line of Sac county. It really caused the town of Grant
City, a mile or so to the north and west, to go down. It was incorporated as a town early in its history and has
had for its mayors the following gentlemen: W. J. Dixon, G. M. Parker, P. R. Moseley, Otto Behrend, Otto Garnets,
A. Beck, P. J. Barry, and J. Simpson. Its officers in 1914 are: Mayor, J. Simpson; clerk, C. C. Basler; treasurer,
Paul Ruckrow; marshal, W. D. Carroll; councilmen. W. H. Lesley, H. F. Garnatz, C. F. Brower. W. E. Comstock, M.
Brooks. A private stock company operates, and has since about 1900, a gasoline gas lighting plant here, which provides
lights for public and private use, as well as for street lighting purposes.
The chief industry of Auburn, at this date, is the brick and tile works, in which from forty to sixty men find
employment the year round, in the manufacture of a very superior article of drain tile and building brick, with
building blocks and other articles of the clay product. These works are supplied with the raw material from beds
of clay, gravel and sand situated near Grant City, from which the material is taken by conveyor cars on a system
of wire cables, for a distances of over a quarter of a mile and running over the Coon river valley and its winding
stream. From the south side of the valley it is conveyed in steam cars pulled by a dummy steam engine to the works,
proper, in Auburn. In the month of December, 1913, this company, composed of the three Straights, shipped one hundred
and thirty seven car loads of their products to various parts of the country. They are now far behind their orders.
This is one of the oldest places in the county, but has, by reason of the building of the railroads north and
south of it, become a mere hamlet, almost gone into decline. It now has but one store, and that is operated by
Mrs. H. F. Schultz. The postoffice was discontinued in December, 1912, and a number of the citizens there get their
mail daily over the rural free delivery from Auburn, by having their boxes placed in a long row in front of the
old postoffice and store building. This town has for its site one of the prettiest in the county, overlooking as
it does the picturesque valley of the Coon river, skirted with a fine grove of native timber which naturally attracted
the pioneers. The water power at this point was utilized for many years in the way of a saw mill by George Wright,
who also had a corn cracker in connection, until he, in company with O. R. Jones, enlarged the mill and added a
grist mill, which produced flour for many of the settlers in Crawford, Sac, Buena Vista, Calhoun and Greene counties.
The mill dam was for many years a success and the water power excellent, but finally it gave way and steam power
was installed instead. It was operated until about 1905 and then torn down. A part of the machinery found its way
to Dakota and the building material was sold at home and converted into other buildings. The original machinery
for this mill was brought from Fort Dodge over the trackless prairies and unbridged streams. This mill was originally
built in 1856 - the first in Sac county.
Grant City is situated on sections II and 14, township 86, range 35. It is in the big bend - the horse shoe
- of the Coon river, and was platted in Civil war times, and bid fair to become a rival of Sac City.
TOWN OF ULMER.
This plate is situated in section 8, township 86, range 35, on the Illinois Central railroad, from Fort Dodge to Omaha, and was platted November 21, 1900, by Carrie and W T. Martin. It has made a fine growth in the few years of its existence. The postoffice here is a fourth class office, established in 1901, and has had these postmasters: Thomas W. Martin, from Igor to 19o8; Dr. E. W. Bookhart, 1908 to 1911; C. E. Barnes, present incumbent. The banking interests here are carried on by the Farmers Savings Bank, established in 1911. The only church society of the town is the Presbyterian church. The business of the place in January, 1914, was conducted as follows: Dry goods and groceries, Barnes & Son; hardware and grocery, J. N. Hawks; blacksmithing, Leo Flintje; elevator, Farmers Grain Company, with L. M. Wither, manager; lumber, by the Joyce Lumber Company, with V. T. Butrick, manager; stock dealers, L. M. Wicher & Company; implement store, Hawks & Webster; pool and lunch room, C. R. Cooley.
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