UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD BRIDGE.
Council Bluffs was now approaching a very critical period
in its history. The Union Pacific bridge was completed, and
the company ignored Council Bluffs, even to the extent of
calling their temporary platforms "Lake Station,"
and with a switch engine transferring freight and passengers
over to meet the trains on this side. The condition was this:
An active enterprising city was endeavoring by liberal offers
to seduce the railroad company to make their terminus on the
west side of the river in violation of the plain provision
of its charter, and the railroad company appeared willing
to be seduced, and it became evident that we must contend
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
for our rights. But now the question was how to commence.
Fortunately, we had men equal to the occasion. Colonel Sapp
and Judge Larimer took the matter in hand, and with the assistance
of Hon. George W. McCrary, the member of congress from the
Keokuk district, an act was procured conferring jurisdiction
upon the circuit court of law in mandamus in cases concerning
the Union Pacific Railroad Company. This passed and became
the law on March 3, 1873.
This was the first step, and the next was to start the legal
machinery to put the law into effect. A grocery firm (Hall
& Morse) were shipping goods west and had been compelled
to deliver their freight to the' railroad company in Omaha.
They were advised, and tendered their freight to the company
on this side, and on refusal on the part of the railroad company
to receive it, a writ of mandamus was issued and the cause
brought before Judge John F. Dillon, then of the circuit court
at Des Moines, and after a full hearing the court decided
adversely to the railroad company. In presenting the case,
Colonel Sapp and Judge Larimer were assisted by Hon. John
N. Rogers, of Davenport. The company appealed to the supreme
court, and that august body affirmed the decision of the court
below, thereby settling in our favor the vexed question for
To the honor of Colonel Sapp and Judge Larimer, neither of
whom are living, be it said that they rendered this service
without a dollar of remuneration. However, the city voted
to pay Hon. John N. Rogers five hundred dollars for his services.
Still the company continued to designate the terminus as
Lake Station until, during the meeting of the next legislature,
Mr. Pusey, our state senator, procured the passage of an act
requiring conductors or brakemen on all passenger trains within
the state on entering any city or town to plainly and distinctly
announce the name thereof, and fixing a penalty of fifty dollars
fine for neglecting to make such announcement. This had the
effect of abating this piece of impertinence.
After this the company complied with the orders of the court
and proceeded to erect the depot that still stands on the
ground purchased several years before.
During 1872-3 Council Bluffs was made the headquarters of
the sharpest gang of bunco men that ever infested a city.
It was completely organized and each member assigned his place,
which was mostly on incoming trains, and focusing at the transfer
depot, with headquarters at a hotel on West Broadway, kept
by a German named Gerspacher. Every scheme known to the craft
was worked upon the unwary and their tricks were made to appear
so simple that Old Squire Burke, the police judge, once declared
that a man was a---if he wouldn't bet on them. They were men
of good address and had numbers of friends, gave liberally
to any benevolent scheme, but finally carried their games
so far that the legislatures of Iowa and Nebraska enacted
laws with penalties so severe that the business became unprofitable,
and they scattered to more congenial climes.
At the spring election Dr. N. D. Lawrence and Sam Haas were
the candidates for mayor, and after a pretty lively campaign
the former was elected.
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
On the 5th of August the First National Bank was robbed of
$20,000 in broad daylight and no clue was obtained to the
At the spring election of 1874 W. C. James was elected mayor,
H. H. Field, R L. Douglass, J. B. Lewis, John Hawthorn, E.
L. Shugart, W. A. Wood, George Tabor and Horace Everett constituted
the council, and Henry A. Jackson was city marshal.
During the summer of '74 John W. Ross retired from the management
of the Ogden House, and by an agreement Mr. Baughn, one of
the proprietors, took control, and was running it successfully,
when, on the night of the 13th of October, it took fire from
some unknown cause and, owing to lack of water and bursting
of hose, it was burned to the ground.
At the regular election held October 13, 1874, R. T. Bryant
was elected clerk of the district court, M. Flamont, county
auditor, and J. P. Bolden and Robert Kirkwood, supervisors.
In March, 1875, one of the pioneer physicians, Dr. P. J.
McMahon, died. He was universally loved. Although rough spoken,
he was the kindest of men. When he realized that his end had
come, he left orders that all the livery carriages in the
city be hired so that his poor patients might ride at his
funeral, while his favorite, though retired, old horse, Jerry,
followed the hearse. He also made provision for Jerry having
the best of care without work while he lived. His funeral
was the largest that had ever occurred here up to that time.
The Masonic services at the grave were rendered by N. F. Story,
the worshipful master of Excelsior Lodge.
At the city election of 1875, C. B. Jacquemin was elected
mayor, W. P. Wightman, F. O. Gleason, Peter Bechtel and Henry
Metcalf were elected aldermen.
With the settlement of the Union Pacific terminal question,
people began to make improvements. Horace Everett erected
the brick block on the corner of Pearl and Broadway, Keller
and Bennet the one on the corner of Broadway and Fourth, and
Mr. Whitney the one occupied by the Metcalf Brothers, and
a large number of dwellings were also built. The city was
visited by two destructive fires, one of which was the Transfer
Hotel, being the frame erected before the bridge was completed,
and the furniture factory of John Chase. This was situated
about where the new bakery on Mynster street now stands.
As the time for spring election approached many of the leading
citizens believing it for the best interests of the city to
have a non-partisan election, a mass meeting was called and
a most excellent ticket nominated, with E. L. Shugart at the
head for mayor. Both the democratic and republican papers
supported it, and utterly refused to announce any other candidate.
A large element that had not participated in the mass convention
were dissatisfied. They wanted a good old-fashioned election,
but how to effect a breach was the question. With both papers
and the leaders of both parties committed it seemed hopeless
for anyone to run independently. This situation continued
until within forty-eight hours of the time for opening the
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
polls, when J. H. Keatley consented to run providing requested
to by three hundred voters. Immediately petitions were put
in circulation, and the number and more, too, of signatures
obtained. Tickets were gotten printed somehow, although neither
of our offices would print them. The thing went like wildfire,
and there has never been such an election here since. It was
not that the ticket was objectionable, but simply a rebuke
to the promoters for ignoring the boys. The ticket was badly
beaten and Keatty elected by a large majority. The aldermen
elected at the same time were Lewis Hammer, M. Keating, C.
R. Scott and W. C. James. E. W. Jackson was elected city marshal
and G. A. Holmes was elected city attorney by the council.
During the summer W. F. Sapp was nominated for congress by
the republicans as against L. R. Bolter, of Harrison county.
Near the close of the campaign reports of gross immorality
were sprung upon Mr. Bolter. The matter with which he was
charged happened in Michigan previous to his coming west.
Whether true or false, he was defeated.
On several occasions Indian creek had become troublesome,
and it became a serious question how to control it. Mention
is made of it in the part of this history relating to Hazel
Dell township, but owing to the conspicuous part it has played,
it deserves more than passing notice. When the first settlers
arrived it was an insignificant little stream with an occasional
log thrown across it for a foot-bridge. They built their cabins
along its banks for convenience of its water. The territory
drained by it is about three miles wide by six miles long,
forming a trough in which, during a heavy rain, it accumulates
and runs off with tremendous force. It originally meandered,
crossing and recrossing Vine street. Coming down from Frank
street it approached near to Broadway and turned northwesterly
to a point near North First street, where a dam was built
and water taken along what is now Washington avenue, and turning
around west of where the schoolhouse now is, discharged itself
on a large overshot wheel driving a mill, from which Mill
street derives its name, while the creek, after crossing First
street, bowed southward, crossing Vine street, and, after
running a short distance, crossed Second, and struck Bryant
street where it is to-day, then turning southwest passed through
the hay market, then turned west, crossing North Main and
passing in the rear of the Beno and Sapp buildings and the
Opera house, then turned abruptly north along the east side
of Sixth street until it rejoined the water that had turned
the mill and both kept on and spread over where the Northwestern
yards now are, and finally found a sag running southwesterly,
crossed Broadway near where it does at the present time, and
continued south, along which Pete Debolt and Jack Pouder,
and later Ross, and still later Stewart, erected their slaughter
When there was a downpour in Hazel Dell the water could not
get through the windings rapidly enough and flooding of low
grounds was the result, and with this problem engineers and
city councils have been grappling for half a century. What
were its habits previous to the advent of the white
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
man, we have only tradition, which represented it as gentle,
but it seems to resent his intrusion. The first to incur its
displeasure was George Parks, who started a lumber yard on
the northwest corner of Sixth and Broadway. A heavy rain up
at Hazel Dell was the means of scattering that lumber all
over the low ground west of the Illinois Central depot The
next was Old Hill Powers. He had a beautiful lot with fruit
trees in which he took great pleasure. The creek showed a
disposition to encroach on the rear of his lot, and he got
heavy oak posts, set them four feet deep and put on two-inch
plank, only to see them sailing away the next freshet. But
Bill was wealthy, and the next year he had stone hauled and
had a wall built three feet thick across the rear of his lot
at a cost of $1,600. Then he felt a kind of sympathy for his
less fortunate neighbors. But another shower fell near the
Hazel Dell church and that wall became a thing of the past.
Then Bell became morose and commenced suing the city every
time it rained. From Frank street to Benton it ran along the
side of Green street. Another of the showers came, and all
that is left of Green street is on Tostevin's map of 1854.
But matters were getting serious. After due consultation
with eminent engineers, it was determined to make a straight
ditch. This, it was supposed, would allow the water to escape
so as to prevent overflows. This was done, but the creek rose
to the occasion and commenced eating off the rear of the abutting
lots, and a wail went up, and fluming was resorted to for
a square or two, but it made short work of that. The old wooden
bridges that spanned it on First and Bryant streets were replaced
by arches of stone resting on piling at a cost of $6,000.
Another shower in Hazel Dell and those bridges became a memory.
Although there is yet some uncertainty as to its future, the
railroad companies seem to be on the right track. Of the fifty
bridges spanning it within the city limits, by far the largest
number are the heavy iron ones to be seen along all roads
where they cross small streams.
During the years 1905-6 a dredge was put to enlarging the
outlet, and at the same time material for filling many low
lots was removed, giving it more waterway, and it is hoped
the stream is at last under control.
The spring of '77 was an eventful one. John T. Baldwin and
W. R. Vaughan were candidates for mayor. The former had managed
to secure quite a following from among the working men, while
Mr. Baldwin was the regular nominee of the republican party.
After a pretty active campaign
Mr. Baldwin was elected. F. A. Burke was elected city recorder
over H. H. Field, the republican nominee, and Henry Dawson,
A. C. Graham, W. S. Pettibone and J. W. Rodifer were elected
During this summer the great labor troubles that prevailed
in the east begat a spirit of unrest here. For a time it looked
as if it might become serious. A large number of striking
railroad employees went into camp near the city and became
bold in making demands on the mayor and city council with
the result that preparation was made to meet any unlawful
demonstration, and the campers after a few days dispersed.
At the regular election held October 9, 1877, B. F. Clayton
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
Carson were elected as representatives, John Bennett, auditor;
Thomas Bowman, treasurer; Perry Reel, sheriff; Samuel Denton,
surveyor; county superintendent, F. C. Childs; coroner, Henry
Faul; Eli Clayton and E. L. Shugart, supervisors.
As early as 1872 steps were taken to build what is now known
as the Wabash line to St. Louis. This was the incorporation
of the St. Louis, Council Bluffs & Omaha Railroad Company.
The object being to secure a short line from St. Louis by
way of Brunswick and Chillicothe. General J. H. Hammond was
the active promoter of this enterprise, but the panic of 1873
put a quietus on it for a time, but in '76 work was resumed
and in 1878 the road was in operation to the city, and a consolidation
with the Wabash took place, under which name it has ever since
been operated. Also the Union Pacific Railroad Company had
built and opened their depot and transfer hotel. The business
at the transfer brought many families into that vicinity,
and the number of children increased until it became necessary
to build another schoolhouse, and during the year a four-room
house, known as the Eighth Avenue School, was built.
At the city election in April, 1878, N. D. Lawrence was elected
mayor; F. A. Burke, recorder; O. M. Brown, treasurer; R. C.
Hubbard, assessor; G. A. Holmes, attorney; engineer, L. P.
Judson; marshal, B. F. Baldwin. The aldermen were Henry Dawson,
A. C. Graham, John Epeneter, W. S. Pettibone, J. W. Rodifer,
G. H. Tabor and George H. Bicknell.
During this summer the greenback party held their convention
at Council Bluffs and nominated William Hicks, of Montgomery
county, for congress. Colonel Sapp was nominated by the republicans
without opposition, and Colonel John H. Keatley by the democrats.
Colonel Sapp was elected by a large majority over both candidates.
The subject of spiritualism had for some time been attracting
considerable attention. Mediums of all degrees appeared and
gave exhibitions, cabinet seances, etc., that seemed to be
satisfactory to the believers, which included many of our
best citizens. Eminent lecturers appeared here as elsewhere,
and a large society wag organized, and mediums, both male
and female, flourished. As fast as one trick was exposed a
new one would be devised, until the delusion had spent its
force. The turning point here being from 1875 to 1880, after
which it declined about as rapidly as it had advanced, until
with the opening of the new century it had practically disappeared.
At the regular election held October 8, 1878, Fitz Henry
Warren was elected clerk of the district court, J. P. Goulden,
recorder, and Robert Kirkwood, supervisor.
The wonderful discovery of silver in Colorado, together with
the resumption of specie payment and coinage of millions of
silver dollars, gave a boom to all kinds of business. Evidently
previous to this the volume of money had not been sufficient
or in proportion to the requirements of business. Many of
our citizens caught the mining fever and rushed to the Leadville
and other camps to try their luck, but few, if any, were among
the fortunate ones.
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
During January, 1878, our people were shocked by one of the
most horrible murders ever committed in any country. Mr. Frank
Smith was living on a farm just east of the city limits. He
had in his employ a half-breed Wyandotte Indian. Mr. Smith
had occasion to go to Omaha, and the day being very pleasant,
he took the two oldest children with him, leaving two smaller
ones and a babe at home. The Indian had always conducted himself
like any civilized man, and was treated as one of the family.
The day was one of those we occasionally have, like Indian
summer, and after dinner the children went out to play at
the barn, and on returning to the house and not finding their
mother, they started to the nearest neighbors, only a few
rods away, thinking to find her there, but hearing the baby
cry, they stopped and followed the sound back to a cave cellar
in the rear of the house, where they found their mother dead,
her throat being cut from ear to ear, and the babe was creeping
in her blood. They ran to the neighbors and the alarm was
given. A large posse scoured the timber, while men were started
on each road on horseback and telegrams sent to all points,
but to no purpose. The funeral was largely attended and the
services were most impressive. On the day following the funeral
something could be seen in the well, and on getting hooks
and drawing it up, it proved to be the Indian.
The reasonable conclusion was that, when he approached her,
she fled with her babe out the back door and that he forced
her into the cellar where she was found, that he then went
to the well to draw water to wash the blood from his clothes.
The well was provided with the common buckets over a wheel,
with a very low curb, and that in his haste and excitement
he pitched in head first and doubled down below the surface
of the water until decomposition caused the body to rise.
To add to the horror, many of the people attending the funeral,
as well as those keeping the house, had been drinking the
water for three days. Had the Indian been caught alive, he
would never have seen the inside of the jail. This was one
of the mildest winters for years, so much so that securing
ice was quite a problem.
AT THE CITY ELECTION OF '79.
Addison Cochran was elected mayor; R. C. Hubbard, recorder;
O. M. Brown, treasurer, B. F. Baldwin, marshal; engineer,
L. P. Judson; attorney, G. A. Holmes.
For some time the question of establishing a system of waterworks
had been agitated, and it entered largely into the spring
campaign, also the creating of Union avenue.
During this spring Council Bluffs experienced the greatest
temperance revival in its history. A man named Dart, a reformed
drunkard, came among us and, although not a very good speaker,
he had the faculty of drawing and enlisting talent. It was
called the Blue Ribbon movement, and meetings were held nightly
for several weeks. Nearly all the clergy and a host of ladies,
as well as many of our best public speakers, assisted, and
for a time it seemed as though all were to be captured.
During this summer several good buildings were erected, among
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
was Weise & Clausen's block on the corner of Broadway
and Pierce; also one by William Pyper on the corner of Broadway
and Second streets.
Since the early settlement of the city its topography has
been materially changed by cutting down the hills and filling
the low ground. The sharp bluff at the southeast of Fifth
avenue and Third street originally reached down to Fourth
street and Willow avenue, and where the houses of Mr. Van
Brunt and Mr. Bennett are now standing it was as high or higher
than the top of their houses at present. The high bluff away
above the Pierce street school formerly extended clear down
to Broadway, with Fort Crogan located near the present site
of Mrs. Clausen's residence. Much of this was used in filling
Broadway, which was some four feet below the present grade,
and was corduroyed for some distance.
The bluff on the west side of Oakland avenue was from ten
to fifteen feet higher than now, and the road to Fairview
cemetery ran along the crest, the ascent commencing in front
of the Washington avenue schoolhouse. What is now Oakland
avenue was a gully some ten or fifteen feet deeper than now,
with a trail up through Hazel brush and was dignified by the
name of Valley street.
All the valley of Indian creek above the Masonic Temple and
the Washington avenue school was originally called Miller's
hollow. The valley penetrated by Park and Glen avenues was
called Hang hollow, that by Benton and Harrison, Duck hollow,
Broadway above Oak became Mud hollow, and Franklin avenue
above Platner street became Irish hollow, the first settlers
having been of that nationality.
Two squares of this hollow have probably turned out a larger
number of men that have become prominent than any locality
of like extent in the city or county.
To begin, at the entrance we encounter George Carson, who
has held at different times the offices of justice of the
peace, judge of the circuit court, member of the legislature,
mayor of the city and judge of the district court. On the
opposite corner was H. H. Field, who was for six terms alderman
of the first ward, then deputy sheriff, next provost marshal
during the war, then sheriff, three terms member of the broad
of education, two terms chief of police and two terms justice
of the peace. Just above on Grace street Nick O'Brien was
born, who grew to manhood, and as deputy sheriff while arresting
a desperado was shot through and through, but recovered, and
is an active business man at this day. Ascending the hollow,
next above Judge Carson we come to Squire E. B. Gardner, who
has filled the role of printer, merchant, police sergeant
and justice of the peace. A little farther up we come to the
Wickhams. The Wickham brothers commenced at the bottom, with
the hod, a half century ago, and by industry and strict integrity
have risen to become the largest contractors in mason work
in all its branches in the city. James, the senior partner,
although seventy, and the father of twenty-two children, was
never sick a day in his life, and does not appear over fifty.
While the girls are accomplished ladies, the boys are rustlers.
Bernard and E. A., the eldest, in addition to the miles of
street and sidewalk paving, are large railroad contractors.
At this writing they have just completed a one-hundred-mile
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
Chamberlain to Rapid City, in which four hundred teams and
six hundred men were employed, at a cast of $1,000,000. And
wherever you see great piles of earth, rock, brick, sand and
lime, you can be pretty sure of finding a Wickham close by.
But keeping along a little farther up the hallow, we come
to Judge Scott, of the superior court, and a little farther
up we came to the home of C. Hafer, the lumber king.
Mud hollow was far many years the home of L. W. Babbitt,
a man prominent in all the affairs of early days, having been
at different times register in the United States land office,
a leading merchant, publisher and editor of the Bugle, the
first Democratic paper, and, although on the wrong side during
our great war, we must not judge him harshly. He believed
what he said and wrote and his integrity was never doubted.
Judge S. H. Riddle was another of the same stamp, both of
whom have passed away.
At the regular city election of 1880 W. C. James was elected
mayor; F. A. Burke, recorder; L. W. Babbitt, city marshal;
attorney, E. E. Aylesworth; treasurer, O. M. Brown; engineer,
L. P. Judson; assessor, J. W. Crossland. The following persons
were elected aldermen: John A. Churchill, W. S. Mayne, G.
H. Jackson, W. C. Unthank, Henry Dawson, A. C. Graham, N.
C. Phillips and Jacob Williams.
During this year the Bloomer schoolhouse was erected, being
by far the largest of any except the high school building.
About this time the roller skate craze struck this city as
well as the smaller ones of the county. The building now used
by the Dodge Light Guards as their armory was built and used
as a rink. Far a time it seemed as though it would supersede
dancing as an amusement. It was apparently a harmless and
graceful exercise and became very popular; but for same unknown
cause it stopped suddenly all over the country, bankrupting
those that had gone into the manufacture of the skates and
leaving hundreds of vacant rinks and a year later a roller
skate could not be found anywhere.
At the regular election held October 11, 1881, H. O. Seiffert
and J. C. Morgan were elected representatives; auditor, T.
A. Kirkland; treasurer, John Bennett; sheriff, Theodore Guittar;
surveyor, Samuel Denton; county superintendent, J. K. Cooper;
coroner, Henry Faul; supervisor, S. G. Underwood.
At the spring election, 1881, W. R. Vaughan was elected mayor;
F. A. Burke, recorder; A. T. Elwell, treasurer; C. E. Stone,
assessor; G. A. Holmes, attorney; L. P. Judson, engineer;
M. D. Hardin, street commissioner; P. Lacy, chief engineer
of fire department, and H. H. Field, chief of police.
John A. Churchill, S. S. Keller, F. W. Spetman, Nathan Phillips,
E. R. Fonda, W. C. Unthank, T. E. Cavin and Henry Dawson were
For two or three years the question of establishing city
waterworks had been agitated. As early as 1879 this became
the "paramount issue," and Colonel Cochran was elected
mayor largely on account of his favoring the enterprise. It
took practical shape when, on January 24, 1881, the council
passed an ordinance granting to the American Construction
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
New York, a pretty well guarded franchise extending for twenty-five
years, and under which our water supply has been furnished
up to the present time, viz., 1907.
FLOOD OF 1881.
The spring of 1881 was remarkable on account of a flood,
the most remarkable ever experienced here. Unusually warm
weather in Montana during the month of March caused the Missouri
to open up at the head before the ice had gone out below.
This gave us a double portion. Fortunately, we had warning
from points above so that most persons then living on the
low ground could prepare. Some by moving to higher ground,
while the courthouse, halls, schoolhouses and even churches
were thrown open for the refugees, and everything in the shape
of a boat was put in requisition to relieve such as were unable
to move. After a few days the water began to subside and people
began to return to their homes, when word came of still higher
water above, which proved to be true. This time it came to
Eighth street on Broadway and from the south it came up to
Seventh avenue. It came even with the platforms at the Northwestern
depot, and boats could run from there to Omaha. A part of
Street's addition and Central sub, also a small section where
the subsiding reservoir now is, were not covered. Fortunately
the current outside the river proper was not swift and but
few houses were moved from their foundations, and no loss
of life was reported. By the first of June normal conditions
During the summer the state firemen's tournament was held
here, commencing June 7 and ending on the 10th. The fire department,
of Council Bluffs, under the management of Thomas Bowman,
B. Newman, P; Lacy, J. K. Beckley, G. A. Holmes, and others,
made ample preparation for the event. A splendid track sixty
feet wide by three hundred yards long was prepared on which
speed trials were had and were enclosed. The entire city blossomed
The meeting of the state association was held at Burhop's
hall on the 7th, and on the 8th occurred the grand parade,
in which forty-six fire organizations participated. The column
was more than a mile long, with John H. Keattey as chief marshal.
The afternoons of each day were given up to trials of speed
by hose companies, trials of engines. At night the city was
illuminated and Governor John H. Gear addressed the firemen
in the park. A grand ball was given by the Council Bluffs
firemen to their comrades from abroad.
Among the victors were the Rescues of the Bluffs and Bluff
City, both taking first prizes.
At the election of state officers General Lyman Banks, of
Muscatine, was elected president, and that city was selected
as the place for meeting in 1882. The event closed without
an accident or an unpleasant incident to mar its pleasures.
For some time there had been a disposition on the part of
many to change the form of the city government by abandoning
its special charter and coming in under the general incorporation
law. A petition signed by
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
the requisite number of voters was presented to the council,
and they appointed the third day of October on which the abandonment
should be decided, and the proposition carried by a handsome
The 26th of September was an eventful day in Council Bluffs,
being set apart for suitable memorial services on the day
of the funeral of President Garfield. At noon a salute was
fired, but during one of the discharges Joseph Spaulding,
an ex-soldier, who was serving the gun, had an arm shattered
so that amputation at the shoulder became necessary. Fortunately
he recovered, was appointed by Postmaster Armour in the mail
service, where he served several years, and later held the
office of constable, and at this writing is an inmate of the
soldiers' home at Leavenworth.
In the afternoon the Grand Army post and civic societies
assembled in Bayless park, where appropriate services were
held, among them being an eloquent eulogy by John N. Baldwin.
Scarcely had the people left the park when the entire city
was startled by a most terrific explosion and, on looking
in the direction of the sound, a dense cloud was rising. The
cause proved to be burning of a car loaded with giant powder
standing in the Rock Island yard. How it caught has ever been
a mystery, but fortunately it was seen by one who knew the
contents of the car and gave the alarm, enabling all to flee
and escape before the fire reached the powder. The explosion
was so terrific that whole trains of cars standing near were
reduced to kindling, windows a half mile away were broken,
and teamsters blown off from their wagons. Where the car stood
was a pit as large as a circus ring and twelve feet deep,
but not a vestige of the car, either wood or iron, was to
be seen. A pair of trucks came crashing through a house a
square away, in which was an invalid in bed, but fright from
which she soon recovered, was the only injury received by
The spring election of '82 was a most spirited one: Mayor
Vaughan was a candidate for re-election. N. D. Lawrence was
the republican candidate for mayor, and Thomas Bowman the
democratic candidate. Politics did not appear to cut much
figure in this election, the result turning on the personal
preference of the voters. The result was the election of Thomas
Bowman, mayor; auditor, F. A. Burke; treasurer, John Clausen;
marshal, E. W. Jackson; engineer, Thomas Tostevin; weighmaster,
J. P. Williams; aldermen-at-large, William Seidentopf, long
term, J. P. Goulden, short term; ward aldermen, F. C. Nuel,
D. F. Eicher, Alex .Wood, E. L. Shugart, one year; for two
years, W. C. James and M. .Keating; judge of superior court,
E. E. Aylesworth; assessor, Hiram Shoemaker; street commissioner,
A. E. Avery; city clerk, A. C. Savacool; chief engineer of
the fire department, C. D. Walters.
During the summer of 1882 the Driving Park Association made
especial efforts for its fall meeting, to begin on the 18th
of September. In addition to the mile track made the year
before, the association constructed a half-mile track inside
of the other, and made the grounds attractive in every respect.
Arrangements were made for holding of a county fair at the
date of the fall meeting, and this was conducted successfully
owing to the admirable management of Dr. A. B. McCune, W.
S. Pettibone, N. M. Pusey, L. C.
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
Baldwin and J. W. Peregoy, directors of the association.
The fair was a success, not only in numbers but in display,
and financially, the daily attendance during four days of
fair and races being over ten thousand.