History of Sioux City, IA - Industrial & Commercial part 2
From: History of the Counties of Woodbury and Plymouth, Iowa
A Warner & Co., Publishers
Chicago Illinois, 1890-91


Banking. - Sioux City is now a great banking city, with greater prospects in the near future. Thirteen good banks are in successful operation, and two more (one with $1,000,000 capital) are now being organized.

The first attempt at banking was in October, 1855, when Cassady. Myers & Moore, later known as Cassady, Moore & Clark, opened a small private concern. The longest continued bank in Iowa is the private banking house of Weare & Allison, the same dating from 1856. George Weare, one of the firm, came to Sioux City December 26, 1855, when the town was made up of six log houses. He opened up an office in the attic of a story and a half log building, on the corner of Pearl and Third streets, which was then occupied by the United States laud office. That winter he built him a log building on Douglas street, near Sixth, where he remained until 1857, then moved into a one story building, which he also erected.

In September, 1860, Mr. Weare formed a partnership with John P. Allison. They then opened up a banking office in a building which was standing on the corner of Douglas and Sixth streets. The business of the young city changed, in 1862, to Second, Third and Lower Pearl streets, and in 1869 they erected what was known as the Spotted building, which was moved afterward and used by the Iowa Savings Bank. In 1878 they built the brick bank building on Pearl street, near Fourth, where they are now located. They still do a thriving business, being individually responsible for $500,000. Being an old pioneer bank, and having always conducted their business on correct principles, they now have the confidence of all banking concerns in the northwest.

The First National Bank was organized August 30, 1870, with the following officers: A. W. Hubbard, president; Thomas J. Stone, cashier. The cash capital was $100,000. This institution succeeded the private banking house of Thomas J. Stone. Its present cash capital and surplus is $200,000, with $8,000 of undivided profits. Its present officers are Thomas J. Stone, president; George Murphy, vice president; E. H. Stone, cashier. At first they were located on the corner of Pearl and Third streets, but in 1871 erected the fine banking building on the corner of Douglas and Fourth streets, which they still occupy. They have over forty corresponding banks, east and west, including the Merchants National, of Chicago, and the Ninth National, of New York City. By reason of Sioux City's great wholesale and jobbing trade throughout the northwest, this bank controls a large business in Nebraska, Dakota and Minnesota.

The Corn Exchange National Bank was organized February 15, 1890, with a capital of $300,000. The officers then, and at present, are John C. French, president; C. Bevan Oldfield, vice president; W. G. Harcourt Vernon, cashier. Their location is corner of Jackson and Fifth streets, in United Bank building. Their corresponding banks are Seaboard National Bank, New York; National of Illinois, at Chicago; First National Bank, of Omaha; Bank of Minnesota, St. Paul; Union National Bank, Kansas City. The Corn Exchange is a strong financial concern, with the following directors: D. T. Hedges, T. P. Gere, John Hornick, J. F. Peavey, C. L. Wright, M. Pierce, F. W. Little, Joseph Sampson, J. C. French, C. B. Oldfield and W. G. H. Vernon.

The Iowa State National Bank, was organized in January, 1889, with a cash capital of $100,000. Their present capital and surplus is $106,000. The first, as well as present officers, are D. T. Gilman, president; H. A. Jondt, vice president; R. S. Van Keuren, cashier. Their corresponding banks are Gilman, Son & Co., New York; National Bank of America, Chicago; Commercial National, Omaha; Second National, St. Paul. It is conducted in a correct business manner, and constantly growing in favor. Its location is in the Opera House block, on Fourth street.

The Home Savings Bank was organized January 1, 1890, with a capital of $50,000. Its officers are George E. Westcott, president; W. S. Irvine, vice president; H. G. Hubbard, cashier. It is situated on Fourth street. Its eastern corresponding bank is the Merchants Exchange National Bank, of New York. While it is a new concern, its proprietors are well known, and have the confidence of a large list of depositors.

The Iowa Savings Bank was organized January 15, 1883, with a capital of $25,000. Today it has a capital of $250,000, with a surplus of $40,000.

The original officers were: E. Richardson, president; D. T. Hedges, vice president; L. Wynn cashier. The present officers are E. Richardson, president; George W. Wakefield, vice president; L. Wynn, cashier. This bank is situated on the southwest corner of Fifth and Pierce streets, where they removed in the fall of 1887. At first this concern started in the rear room of the Sioux National Bank building. Their corresponding banks are Chase National Bank, New York; Metropolitan National Bank, Chicago. The present directors are Eri Richardson, William L. Joy, E. B. Spalding, L. Wynn, George W. Wakefield. They occupy one of the finest bank buildings in all the great northwest, an elegant seven story stone block of beautifully designed masonry.

The Union Stock Yards State Bank was organized November 1, 1887, with a cash capital of $50,000. Its present capital is $205,000. Its first and present officers are E. W. Skerry, president, and C. C. Pierce cashier. Their corresponding banks are Bank of Montreal, Chicago; Fourth Street National, Philadelphia; Gilman, Son & Co., New York; Sioux National Bank, Sioux City. This solid banking institution is situated at the Union Stock Yards, in Sioux City, and is doing a prosperous business under an able management.

The Commercial State Bank was organized in September, 1886, with a capital of $50,000. Its present capital and surplus is $145,000. It is situated on the corner of Fourth and Nebraska streets, and has for its corresponding banks the First National, of Chicago; Bank of North America, New York; Omaha National, Omaha, Neb. The first officers were Jonathan W. Brown, president; J. E. Booge, vice president; Chas. F. Luce, cashier. The 1890 officials are Jonathan W. Brown, president; J. S. Fassett, vice president; L. H. Brown, cashier.

The Security National Bank was organized in February, 1884, with a capital of $100,000. Its first officers were F. H. Peavey, president; M. C. Davis vice president; W. P. Manley, cashier. Its present capital amounts to $200,000, and the officers are James D. Spalding, president; M. C. Davis, vice president; W. P. Manley, cashier. Their corresponding banks are Importers & Traders National, of New York; Continental National, of Chicago; First National, of St. Paul; Security Bank, of Minneapolis; Nebraska National Bank, Omaha. This is one of Sioux City's prides in the banking line. It is well located at 419 Fourth street, to which place it moved in December, 1887.

The Merchants National Bank was organized in April, 1888, with a capital of $25,000. Today it runs with a capital and surplus of $101,000. Its corresponding banks include the National Park Bank, New York; Metropolitan National, Chicago; American National, Omaha; American National, Kansas City. They are finely located at the corner of Fourth and Jackson streets. This concern was originally the Merchants Bank, but changed to National in 1890. The original officers were E. W. Rice, president; George P. Day, cashier. They are the same now, with the addition of Edward B. Spalding as vice president. The directors are E. W. Rice, E. G. Burkham, E. B. Spalding, Thomas J. Stone, William Wells, Alex Larson, N. Tiedman, George P. Day.

The State Savings Bank was organized November 11, 1889, as succeeding the private bank known as the Union Banking Company. Its present capital is $51,420. The officers are H. M. Bailey, president; S. T. Davis, vice president. The corresponding banks of this concern include the National Bank of Deposit of New York.

The Sioux City Savings Bank was organized in 1886, with a paid up capital of $50,000. The original officers were J. H. Culver, president; Thomas J. Stone, vice president; Edward P. Stone, cashier. At present the capital and surplus of this bank in $65,000, and the officers are Thomas J. Stone, president; W. P. Manley, vice president; Edward P. Stone, cashier. The bank is situated on the corner of Fifth and Pierce streets.

The Sioux National Bank was organized in June, 1881, with a capital of $100,000. Its present capital and surplus amounts to $600,000. The original officers were W. L. Joy, president; A. S. Garretson, cashier, and the same still hold their respective positions. This solid banking concern succeeded what was known as the Sioux City Savings Bank. They have for their corresponding banks the Chemical National of New York and the Commercial National of Chicago. Success has marked every year's business of the above bank, and people all over the northwest have the utmost confidence in it.

The Ballou State Banking Company was organized April 1, 1888, at Storm Lake, Iowa, and succeeded H S Ballou & Co. The capital at first was $100,000. At present it is $150,000. The original officers were H. S. Ballou, president; I. F. Kleckner, vice president; J. A. Dean, treasurer. It is still officered by the same men with the addition of A. E. Webb, cashier. Their corresponding banks are Howard National, Boston; Chase National, New York; American Trust & Savings Bank, Chicago.

The American National Bank was organized in November, 1888, with a capital of $150,000. Its present surplus is $50,000. Its first officers were B. M. Webster, president; H. A. Jandt, vice president, and Herman Russell, cashier. The present officials are O. J. Taylor, president; H. D. Booge, Jr., vice president, and Thomas C. Pease, cashier. Their corresponding banks are National Republic, New York; Union National Bank, Chicago; Omaha National, Omaha, Neb.; Merchants National, St. Paul.

The business men of Sioux City have reason to have a just pride in their home banks, and none stands higher than the American National.

The National Bank of Sioux City is one of the latest financial institutions in the city. It was organized in 1890 with a capital of $1,000,000, and is the largest banking house in Iowa. Its president is W. E. Higman; C. L. Chandler is cashier, and C. B. French, Jr., assistant cashier. Their place of business is in Metropolitan Block, corner of Fourth and Jackson streets. The demand for more ready capital in the city, and a large and growing commercial interest, caused this bank to be organized. The stockholders include many eastern investors who have abounding faith in Sioux City. In the building of a greater city and also in the construction of the various projected lines of railway, this bank must of necessity do a large business from the outset. The directors are George H. Howell, wholesale furniture dealer; Joseph Schulein, capitalist; W. H. Fowler, wholesale grocer; F. L. Clark, dry goods dealer; C. R. Marks, attorney; W. S. Woods, president of Kansas City National Bank; W. E. Higman, C. Q. Chander and C. B. French.

Miscellaneous Interests. - Bradstreet's Commercial Agency was opened in Sioux City in 1884, by C. H. Austin as superintendent. He had previously been engaged in St. Paul as teller in the First National Bank; also at Rochester, Minn. He is a native of Minnesota, receiving his education in that state and in Tennessee. Eight persons are employed under him in the agency.

Another business convenience, in keeping with the Sioux City way of doing things, is the American District Telegraph Company of 416 Pierce street, of which A. B. Gould is manager. In 1888 the company was granted a franchise to put in a system, of district telegraph, night watch and burglar alarm service. Its growth has been steady and paying, having now over 300 district "call boxes" in business houses; over 100 night watch boxes in packing houses, mills, factories and business blocks; also ten banks fitted up with burglar alarm protection.

Another industry that ranks third or fourth in the United States, is the auxiliary printing business at Sioux City. In 1885 this business was first established here by two companies, the Chicago Newspaper Union and the Sioux City Printing Company. But four cities in America print as many papers each week (of the auxiliary kind) as Sioux City. Their "ready print" sheets go out to supply hundreds of weekly, monthly and semi monthly publications with the latest telegraphic news of the world. Chicago, New York and Kansas City are the only places which surpass the "ready print" business of Sioux City. It is one of the great inventions of the day, by which newspapers can be complete, valuable, and at the same time exceedingly cheap. News is taken from the wires, set in type, printed and sent out by fast trains to the various country offices all over the great northwest.

The Sioux City Printing Company owes its origin to D. T. Hedges and John C. Kelley. Today but one other industry employs more men in the city than this.

The Chicago Newspaper Union is another immense printing plant. The horticultural business of I. N. Stone was established in 1868 at Fort Atkinson, Wis., about equally divided between growing berries and small fruit, and nursery stock. In 1883 he commenced preparing grounds for a similar business, as a branch, at Sioux City. By 1885 this business was well established in Sioux City, and he sold his former place in Wisconsin, and has since concentrated his whole attention to his business here. This being a good point from which to distribute small fruit and nursery stock, with a territory almost unlimited, his business is one of a growing and most excellent character.

The Gas and Electric Light Plants. - The first charter to light Sioux City with gas was made and granted to Andrew M. Hunt and his associates, successors, heirs and assigns, under the title of the Sioux City Gas Light Company, February 26, 1869, for the term of thirty years, one of the conditions being that the gas should be furnished through at least a mile of pipe, by the time the population reached 7,500. The works were put in operation in 1872, when the city had 5,000 population. The present owners of the plant live in Pennsylvania. During 1889-90 the works were greatly improved and the capacity much enlarged. An engine of great power operates an air blast, and pumps water and steam into the retorts, of which there are three, measuring five feet in diameter, by eighteen in length. Oil and steam are pumped in alternately and being quickly decomposed by the intense heat, and mingling with the fuel gas already created, the joint product is water gas, which burns with a brillant light, but being somewhat dangerous, it is mixed with coal gas before being turned into the mains. Four miles of new pipe were laid in 1889, two miles of which were along Jackson street. The company now has in use 700 meters; gas is supplied to 118 street lamps at a yearly cost to the city of $22 per lamp. The building at which this gas is generated, is the largest in Iowa, being 40x150 feet in its ground plan, and thirty eight feet high. The capacity of the plant is 3,000,000 cubic feet per month, which is soon to be trebled.

The first electric light company in Sioux City was organized in 1883, a charter being granted to E. H. Stone and Thomas Leary. January 30, 1888, a similar charter was granted to T. J. Stone, E. W. Rice, W. B. Lower, Thomas Leary, and others for a term of twenty five years. The Sioux City Electric Company was formed in September, 1888, and has acquired the plant owned by the other companies. The new company is composed of the same members as the gas company. Its power house is located on Court street, near the gas works, and is by all odds the largest plant in Iowa. It has a 250 horsepower engine of the Sims pattern, and a 200 horsepower Corliss engine. Either engine has power enough to run both dynamos. In October, 1889, this company entered into a contract with the city, to furnish all the arc lights needed for lighting the place for five years. At present seventy six lamps are in use, and more can be added under the same contract by calling upon the company, as necessity demands. The cost to the city is $100 per year for each light. These arc lamps are 2,000 candle power each.

Besides these there are operated 800 incandescent lights and 200 gasoline street lamps, principally in the more remote parts of the city. The total illuminating power of Sioux City is as follows: Electric street arc lights, 76; street gas lamps, 118; private electric incandescent lamps, 800; street gasoline lamps, 200; private gas meters, 700. The Sioux City Cable Railway Company now light certain portions of the north part of the city. Electricity is produced at the power house, and no charge can be made to the city for five years. Arc lamps appear every two blocks for nearly three miles along the cable line.

City Water works. - " Give us pure water and undefiled religion!" once prayed a chaplain in the Iowa legislature. In this connection will only be mentioned the water supply of Sioux City. The source of this supply is believed to be the Missouri river, by means of a great stratum of gravel and sand extending under the city between the engine house and river, a distance of one half a mile. The water of this stream, as it percolates through the vast gravel bed, covered over with the accretions on which the city is built, is perfectly purified by the natural filter. The drive wells that tap this basin are one hundred and four in number, extending down seventy feet. The capacity of the present wells is 2,000,000 gallons per day. The system of water works here used is what is known as Class No. 2, where there is a direct artificial pressure, with reservoir attachment, the latter being at an elevation sufficient to give the necessary pressure for fire purposes.

The "Journal" of January, 1890, gives the following water works history:

"The first move toward the inauguration of a system of waterworks was made eight years ago. A franchise was granted to The City Water Works of Sioux City, by an ordinance approved October 6, 1881. The officers of that company were: President, D. A. Magee; treasurer, C. F. Hoyt; solicitor, George W. Wakefield; secretary, E. Morley; and the members were D. A. Magee, E. R. Kirk, George H. Wright, George D. Perkins, George W. Wakefield, Capt. Alex Barlow, William Wingett, C. F. Hoyt, E. Morley. This company, soon after its organization, expended over $12,000 in sinking an artesian well near the base of Prospect hill, on Bluff street, near West Fourth, in search of a water supply. A constant discharge was secured at a depth of about 1,800 feet, but it was trifling in amount and the boring was abandoned at that depth.

"In December, 1883, a franchise was granted to the City Water Works Company of Sioux City, which conferred the right to use the streets and alleys for laying water mains, and such other powers as might be necessary in the construction of a system of water works, which, when completed, was to be transferred to the city. The officers of the company were Eri Richardson, president; Charles Breun, vice president; T. J. Stone, treasurer; E. B. Spalding, secretary. C. R. Marks was also one of the incorporators.

"Work was begun by this company in April, 1884, and pumping began January 12, 1885. The reservoir was not completed until September, 1885. On July 15, 1885, the company formally turned the works over to the city, which has since operated the system."

Sioux City Rapid Transit Lines. - No other city on the continent, and no city on the globe of the size of Sioux City, has had the enterprise to develop such a system of rapid transit as is here today. Twelve miles of admirably equipped street railway, with electric power; four miles and a half of cable line, after the latest pattern; two well developed motor lines, the one of four miles and a half of track, reaching westward through the "park side" of the city, and the other running two miles and a half through the eastern part these lines, finely located, and each filling a distinctive sphere of its own, together constitute a consistent system, answering to the needs and convenience of the public; and they are so situated that extensions, as the growth of the city progresses, will follow logically, and cover the expanding field.

But one thing was lacking to make the Sioux City transit system complete. This was an elevated railway. This is the latest and most daring feature of rapid transit in Sioux City. The road is now in process of construction, and will soon be completed. The enterprise includes the building of a mile and a half of elevated railway, connecting the center of the city with the packing house district and the Morning Side residence portion on the one hand, and, by means of connecting surface roads to be built, and the other separate systems of rapid transit already built, the other principal quarters of the city, giving them all consistency and unity. The elevated railway would be a remarkable enterprise in another city, but in Sioux City it comes in the regular course of events, and may be taken as a measure of the scale on which transactions are here carried on. This is the only elevated street railroad in the west, aside from that in Kansas City, and the cable system here is second to none in the world. The inventor of this system of cable is a Sioux City man.

The Sioux City Street Railway Company was organized in December, 1883, and three miles of track completed the first year, and had cars running July 4, 1884. The original company was composed of Fred T. Evans and others. Each year the lines have been extended. In April, 1887, James F. and F. H. Peavey bought a half interest in the line, and, in October, 1888, bought the entire property, and are still sole owners. The line was started with five "bobtailed" one horse cars. Electricity was employed as the driving power April 6, 1890. There are now sixteen miles of electric road and sixty six splendid cars, including open or summer cars. The plant represents an investment of $150,000, and is already on a paying basis. An extension of this line is now being made to Leeds, four miles away.

The cable line was commenced September 17, 1888, and July 1, 1889, the line was ready for business. It was a great stroke of enterprise on the part of Sioux City business men, who had unimproved acres "way out in the country," which today - less than two years' time - are covered with beautiful and costly homes of some of the best families in the city. The original plant cost $325,000. The line is three and one half miles long, and employs sixteen cable cars. The line runs from the railroads out north on Jackson street, with the power house midway. In the power house is also a plant for generating electricity for running the arc lights along the line, every other block having one. D. T. Hedges, John Pierce and others own and control the plant. The entire length of the line is paved, and the roadbed proper is cemented throughout, making it one of the finest transit lines in operation in America.

The Highland Park Motor Line to the eastern bank of the Big Sioux river, some four or five miles to the west, was begun in 1886 and completed the following year, since which time it has proven a profitable investment. This finely equipped system serves the entire western portion of the city, and traverses the tract of rolling land containing over 600 acres, and known as Highland Park, which overlooks the meanderings of the Big Sioux and Missouri rivers. It is now designed to soon change the steam motor, with its noise and coal smoke, for the electric system. During the summer months this line is packed with passengers going to and from the park, one of the most beautiful resort spots within the environs of the city. A hotel, boat club house and "switch back" railway are among the objects of summer attraction. The banks of the river are dotted, here and there, with tents and campers, from the city and also from different parts of the country.

The elevated railway is the last triumph in the way of rapid transit in this city, with such men as the following backing the gigantic enterprise: E. C. Peters, James A. Jackson, S. M. Jackson, A. S. Garretson, D. T. Hedges, Ed. Haakinson, J. T. Cheney, James E. Booge, Taylor & Healy and A. V. Larimer. December 7, 1889, contracts were let to the King Bridge & Iron Company, of Cleveland, Ohio, for one and one eighth miles of double track, elevated road, to cost (aside from five depots) $242,000. It starts near the Union depot and runs east, crossing the Floyd river, and then connects with the surface motor line for Morning Side. The elevated road is twenty two feet above the level of Third street, along which it runs. It is eighteen feet wide and supported by steel columns with their base planted on solid concrete work, made at great expense. The stock for this road has found ready sale in the markets of the east.

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