The Town of Mead is located in section 35 of Marietta Precinct, on the Union Pacific halfway between Wahoo and
Yutan. The population is composed of a progressive and energetic type of people, mostly Swedish, but with a sprinkling
of other nationalities.
The names of Condit, Ostenburg, Knowles, Hall, Sturdevant, Mills and Becker are associated with the beginning of
this town. C. T. Condit, now cashier of the Bank of Mead, constructed the first house in the town in the year 1877.
This is the house in which he now lives, although it has been remodeled and enlarged. It Ostenburg assisted in
the building of this home. These two men started in the lumber and grain business in Mead in the same year and
put up the scales in the snow when there was little or nothing in sight.
Charles Ostenburg started a grocery store in the new town in 1877 and it is still standing on the main street.
This was just one year after the railroad came through. The second store in Mead was opened for business by W.
N. Becker. Charles Ostenburg erected the second residence. Joseph B. Sturdevant was the first depot agent.
A frame school building was erected in 1886 and is still used. The first lawyer in the town was Freeman Knowles
and the first physician was Doctor Hall. E F Mills was another early corner. It is established that Joseph Sturdevant
was already living in the country near Mead when Condit came in 1877; the former was keeping bachelor's hall in
the little depot and Ostenburg and Condit boarded with him.
C. W. Wilson opened up the first drug store in Mead; then John Ohmstead started a general store, in a frame now
the M. W. A. hall. John Jepson also entered the drug business. The first newspaper enterprise in the town was the
publication of the Advocate by W. N. Becker. This paper is now published at the office of the Visitor in Valparaiso
and can be noted in the history of that paper.
The Bank of Mead was started as a private bank in 1885 with C. T. Condit, president; Thomas Austenburg and Henry
Anderson, vice presidents; and P. L. Hall, cashier. The capital stock was $5,000, which has grown in the meantime
to the sum of $15,000. The institution was incorporated as the Bank of Mead on December 31, 1900. P. L. Hall is
now president of the bank; C. T. Condit is cashier; Thomas Austenburg is vice president and G. Soderberg is assistant
cashier. The bank carries a surplus of $5,000 and the deposits average about $240,000.
A water and electric plant was established in Mead in 1914 and is a distinct advantage to the residents of the
town. The service on the Union Pacific is well adapted to the business of the merchants, a point which they have
taken to advantage and in no town of the size in the county can there be found a better class of merchandise of
every kind than in Mead.