A park system embracing over a thousand acres
valued at over
a million dollars, makes Sioux City one of the most beautiful
cities of the west.
(See Color Plates)
ONE of the most lasting impressions of
Sioux City gained by visitors is the wonderful park system.
Nowhere in the west can there be fouond a city of equal or much
larger size with so highly a developed system of parks. The
system includes over 25 distinct parks, and embraces 1,119.3
acres scattered throughout the city so widely that even the
most remote sections of Sioux City are within a short distance
from some park. These parks represent years of work and co-operation
on the part of the citizens of Sioux City. Part of the parks
represent donations from citizens, others were purchased and
some were acquired from a combination of these sources.
The king of all Sioux City parks is Stone Park,
a natural wooded area of 801 acres in the northwest corner of
Sioux City. The fame of this park has spread much farther than
Sioux City. Allmost daily the tourist information bureau receives
inquiries by person or by mail concerning this park. Anyone
who has ever been in Siux City even for a short stay will have
some fond memories of Stone Park. It has its beginning in a
donation from Mrs. Stone, who had the interest of a more beautiful
Sioux City at heart. It gets its name from her, as also does
Mount Lucia, the highest point in the park. Additonal land was
purchased, including an entrance on the north, by the city until
today it is all that we could want in this kind of a park.
For the most part this beautiful tract has been
left in its natural state. It is reached from two directionsthe
river road and the hill road. The river road leaves the Military
road at the Milwaukee railroad tracks at North Riverside. This
drive is one of the most beautiful in this section of the country.
For two miles it hovers on the banks of the beautiful Sioux
river half way up the side of the steep bluff. The park department
has just recently improved and widened the road. However, they
have used good judgment in not paving it, as pavement would
take away the spirit of romance that one gets in traversing
it to the entrance of the park. The river below this road is
a clear, swift running stream that is a joy to canoeists and
motor boat enthusiasts.
The entrance to the park at the end of this road
is in a valley containing a zoo that is rapidly being stocked
rare animals, affording amusement and education
for the children. Rising from this point in nearly every direction
are high hills covered with beautiful old trees and natural foliage.
A winding road leads, to the tops of these peaks along which are
camp sites. This park is the true mecca for the thousands of tourists
who roll across the continent every year. During touring season
there are dozens of campers all the time. They come from the north,
the south, the east and the west. The license tags of their cars
indicate that they come from Canada on the north, and the gulf
states on the south, as well as from the Pacific coast states
and the Atlantic coast states. It is safe to say that this summer
will see cars from every state in the United States and most of
the provinces of Canada. "Where are they going?" you
ask. They don't knowmost of them are just touring.
Every convenience is provided in this park for
tourists. Concrete stoves, running water, fuel, shelter, comfort
stations, supply store, dance pavilion arid other conveniences
make life pleasing for them while stopping in Sioux City. For
the people of Sioux City the park is a perpetual picnic ground.
Hundreds of picnics are held there every year ranging in size
from a devoted couple to a large Sunday school picnic, as known
only in the days of old before the advent of the gasoline propelled
The north entrance to Stone Park leads off the
paved Broken Kettle road. For a mile leaving the main highway
is a drive that is being made into the Memorial Drive. Already
204 trees, representing the hoys who lost their lives in the
World war, have been placed. They are growing rapidly and will
make a wonderful impressive picture in the course of years.
A monument is being planned for the park proper that will bring
back the memories of the boys who fought in the world's greatest
struggle. From the end of this drive to the center of the park
is a winding beautiful drive with some wonderful views of the
surrounding country. From Mount Lucia, referred to as the highest
point in the park, can he seen three great states stretching
out in four directions with the two great rivers winding in
and out among the hills and farms.
But there are other parks-yes, dozens of them,
and some beautiful ones, too. They range in size from .025 of
an acre at Call's Triangle, to 120 acres at Garretson Park.
Many of these parks are just tracts of land, others are developed
as play grounds, and still others are improved wonderfully as
city parks and quiet resting places. One of the most valuable
and popular parks in the city is Grandview Park. This has the
advantage of being large and easily accessible. It occupies
approximately 30 acres and cost the city, with improvements,
$84,618. It could not be replaced today for many times that
Grandview Park is the mecca for the air starving
people who live in the city proper and cannot afford a car.
Thousands of men, women and children flock there every evening
during the long, hot days. It has been said that the most beautiful
sunset view can be had at this park
(click on image for larger size)
OVERLOOKING THREE STATES FROM STONE PARK
more beautiful than at any other spot in Sioux City.
The park itself is hilly and from a high point can be seen a view
embracing the low rolling hills of Iowa and the wide extending
plains of South Dakota and Nebraska. The giant reservoirs that
supply a large portion of the city with water are located in this
park. Their massive concrete walls loom up like walls of some
ancient coliseum. Many shrubs and flowers have been placed around
these and along the pathways, giving the entire park a pleasing
and cool atmosphere.
Sioux City is rich in Indian and pioneer history and several
parks have been retained in memory of various events. Two great
names that are familiar to people of this part of the west are
Sergeant Floyd and Chief War Eagle. Each of these have been honored
by a park with monument.
Sacjawea Park, composed of 12 acres along the bluffs between
Morningside and the stock yards, is also linked with these historic
events. The park was named from an Indian girl who served as a
guide to the followers of Lewis and Clark when they landed at
the future site of Sioux City and started to explore the country.
This park was a gift to the city and is being improved to offer
a beautiful scene from the street car window or from the high
road above it.
One of the smaller and close in parks to which there is history
connected is Prospect Terrace at the top of Bluff street on a
high cliff overlooking the Missouri river. Many pilgrimages are
made to this point every Sunday during the spring and summer months.
It seems to Sioux City what Pike's Peak is to the cities of Colorado,
everyone has a longing to go to the top of the hill for the view.
A concrete road now runs to within a few feet of the top, making
it convenient to reach. From the top there is a wonderful view
of Sioux City, the Missouri river and Nebraska. The entire city,
with the exception of the outlying districts, can be seen from
here. The most wonderful view of the industrial district and the
river front stretches out from this bluff.
Riverside park was recently purchased by the city and made a
public park. Since then it has been greatly improved and is one
of the growing popular parks. It is located on the river and is
accessible by street car. This makes it ideal for picnics and
outings of all kinds where everyone can reach it. It was originally
an amusement park, but the city has improved it with an elaborate
lighting system, sidewalks, five tennis courts, drinking fountains,
modern comfort stations and excellent picnic grounds. It is reached
by two roads in addition to the car line. One road follows the
Missouri river from the city proper and the other is by way of
the Military road to North Riverside and then along the Sioux
river to the park. It is large enough to accommodate unusually
Among the good playground parks are the Children's Park, West
Side Park, Anderson Park Fairmont Park and
Gilman Park. A new swimming pool has just been installed
at the Children's Park. Anderson Park has a swimming pool, tennis
courts and an abundance of playground equipment. Fairmont Park
was recently enlarged by purchasing a small partial block across
a little used street. The street was then vacated and a much larger
and better park was the result. This is the Greenville playground
for hundreds of children of that neighborhood. Gilman Park is
a playground in the summer time and a skating rink in the winter.
Large amplifiers were placed there last year that gave music for
the entire park.
One of the newer parks is the Lewis Park in Morningside, now
being equipped as a camp ground closer in than Stone Park. It
has: tennis courts, baseball diamond, skating in winter, playground
the year around, and will soon be equipped with comfort station
and bath house, swimming pool and adequate camping facilities.
Other parts of the city, including Leeds, Riverside, Coles Addition
and Morningside, have been supplied with excellent parks. Garretson
Park, in South Morningside, is composed of 120 acres. Little work
has been done on improvements here, but it is an excellent piece
of land and will later be one of the leading parks of that part
of the city. Peters Park arid Cecelia Park, in Morningside, are
shady resting spots.
Numerous small spots, such as Call's Triangle, Hedge's Rest,
Pierce Street Triangle, Floyd Plaza and others are scattered all
over the city. They are not large enough to be of value as parks,
but add greatly to the beauty of that part of the city. They add
a spot of green with some flowers and perhaps some trees.
In Sioux City, the parks are considered a vital part of the city.
They are cared for with as much thought and consideration as are
the school buildings and other public buildings. The Park Department
of the city is well organized and has plans prepared many years
ahead for the development of certain sections of city property
into parks. In the winter children are given consideration by
providing them with skating in the city parks and 0ll specially
roped off city streets. In the summer they are given adequate
playgrounds. Swimming and wading pools are being added year by
year until within a few years every part of the city will be well
supplied with them.
There is probably no other city in the country of equal or twice
the size of Sioux City where the children are so well provided
for, where they are given so many parks and playgrounds and where
their play is supervised and watched over. The large area of parks
may be credited somewhat to the spirit of the great west which
is as yet uncrowded and where the cities were founded long after
eastern cities became overcrowded. The west has profited by this
and every city that is laid out considers among the first steps,
the kind of parks that she will have.
The highways and city streets are almost parks within themselves
with beautiful trees arid green grass along the roadside.
Sioux City's First Theater
Built Over Half Century Ago
First run pictures, big city vaudeville and
metropolitan plays amuse theater goers in Sioux Cityseventeen
SIOUX CITY could well be called the city of diversified
theatrics with every class of show from the dime movies to dollar-and-half
picture shows and latest plays from the city circuits. In Sioux
City, like in many other western cities, the moving picture shows
have overshadowed the legitimate show, although vaudeville, high
class musical comedies and late dramas are well patronized both
by the people of the city and the surrounding territory.
The first show house that Sioux City had was called the Academy
of Music, and was built in 1870. It was a four-story building
with the academy, which was used for all kinds of shows, on the
second floor. The seating capacity was about 800. For the next
18 years this was the playhouse for Sioux City where amateur and
professional dramatics reigned. Occasionally, we are told by the
earlier settlers, the show would give way to a political speech
or debate as this was the only public hall of any character.
The most important event in the theater life of Sioux City was
the building of the Peavey Grand Theater in 1888. It was built
by community effort as many hotels and auditoriums are built today.
It also housed the Chamber of Commerce for that time. With the
opening of this show house, Sioux City began to receive the best
shows and players in the United States. Practically every great
player, singer, musician or other person of note in the theater
life, from 1888 to the beginning of 1900, came to this show house
at some time. This continued to be one of the leading show houses
in the northwest until 1919, when it was forced to close because
it was no longer safe for large crowds. So suddenly came the close,
and so accustomed to attending the shows were the public, that'
they were bewildered for years.
In 1896, Sioux City was startled and delighted at their first
moving picture shown in the old Grand Theater by Jack Carmody,
now manager of the Sioux City Bill Posting Company, and show promoter
of the Auditorium. "The Morning Bath" was the title
of this first picture which was the forerunner of the present
high-class picture houses of Sioux City. Probably not a man in
that small audience a quarter of a century ago realized the remarkable
growth that was to come to the moving picture world within their
(click on image for larger size)
Little attention was paid to vaudeville until 1907,
when the Lyric Theater was built, although there had been several
attempts previous to that. Within a short time the then growing-famous
Orpheum circuit took over the Lyric and Sioux City was proud to
be a part of that great system of vaudeville shows that is known
all over the United States and which has made a real place in
the amusement world for high-grade vaudeville acts. The building
soon became too small for the Orpheum and a new structure was
erected in 1918, which is today perhaps the most popular show
place in the city. The best that is to be had in the world of
music, singing and popular novelty acts are shown here for the
amusement of theater goers. The old Orpheum became the Rialto,
now a moving picture house.
From the showing of the first film in 1896, started the history
of moving pictures here and it has been a history full of rapid
growths. Even when business is low and people are discouraged,
they continue to attend the picture shows and continue to enjoy
them. Such show houses as the Plaza, Royal, Princess and Rialto
are beautifully constructed theaters appealing to the class of
people who delight in beautiful surroundings as well as good shows.
The latest pictures are shown at these places regularly; in many
cases almost simultaneously with the showing in the eastern cities.
Other moving picture houses are Sioux, Hipp, Scenic, Model, Star,
Garden, Sun, Park and Palace. These show good pictures at more
moderate prices and appeal to a great number of people. Behind
all of these shows are show managers who know the wants of the
people and know how to serve them.
The Auditorium is the scene of the modern dramas and musical
comedies shown in the city. It is the only show house now showing
this class of theatrics. That Sioux City likes good shows is evident
from the great crowds that attend these shows which are staged
regularly during the season. Great actors, musicians and artists
appear here who do not, as a rule, play in cities as small as
Sioux City. This is due to a great extent to the way in which
the Auditorium is managed.
The Sioux City Concert Course and other organizations are responsible
for bringing to the city a great number of artists every year.
Sioux City is fond of high-class music and attends these performances
in great numbers. Lecturers and speakers are brought here through
many clubs, churches, school authorities and others. They are
for the most part open to the public and of an educational as
well as interesting nature.
In recent years, from want of more facilities, the high school
auditorium has been used to good advantage for musical acts and
for lectures by nationally known speakers. Amateur plays by various
societies and fraternal orders are also staged here frequently.
(click on image for larger size)
St. Joseph Hospital
St. Joseph Nurses' Home
St. Vincents Hospital
Woodbury County Poor Farm
Good Medical Institutions
Make Sioux City a Health Center
With eight hospitals, two new ones and a new
addition planned, and with numerous charitable institutions, Sioux
City cares for the sick and afflicted.
SIOUX CITY is well equipped with hospitals and institutions
to care for the sick and afflicted. At the present time there
are eight hospitals with a capacity of over 600 people, in addition
to various homes for the unfortunate girls, orphan asylums and
other social and charitable institutions. The first hospital to
be opened here was the Samaritan, in 1875. It was incorporated
in 1882 and re-organized and named the New Samaritan in 1915.
For some years after the establishment it was conducted under
the auspices of the Women's Christian Association. From a small
institution of a few patients it has grown to be an important
asset to the medical profession in Sioux City. Its patients come
from many parts of the surrounding states.
Plans have been prepared for a new building to house the New
Samaritan which has greatly outgrown its present quarters. The
location will be in the north part of the city away from the noise
of street cars and heavy traffic. Its completion will be a great
addition to the hospital facilities of the city.
The next hospital to be built was the St. Joseph's Mercy Hospital,
which started out humbly in 1890, and has since grown to be the
largest in the city. The original building has been rebuilt and
added to until it now has capacity for over 150 patients and plans
have already been prepared and work started on a still larger
building. A large class of nurses are graduated from here each
year. Approximately 90 are in training at the present time. They
live in a new modern dormitory erected for that purpose on the
grounds of the hospital. Anticipating a large growth, many acres
of land were purchased before the city grew up in that section.
This land is now being used for the extensions. The staff of this
institution includes 33 nurses, physicians and sisters.
Another large hospital is also a Catholic institution. It is
the St. Vincent, the newest and most modern in the city. Erected
on a high hill near, and overlooking the business district of
the city, it is easily accessible from all railroads and highways.
There are 100 beds here, including those in 80 private rooms of
the fireproof building. The hospital was first organized in 1907,
but found it necessary to build a new building which was finished
and opened in 1917.
The Lutheran General Hospital was organized in 1902
by a number of individual Lutherans and Lutheran
congregations in Sioux City and surrounding territory. After a
struggle on the part of the workers who founded it, the hospital
became established and began to grow. By 1910, it was found that
there was inadequate room in the building. This necessitated an
enlargement that year, followed by a still greater expansion in
1920. The hospital is now modern in every respect with a capacity
of 75 patients.
The Methodist Hospital had its beginning in 1919, when Dr. William
Jepson made a gift of the St. John's Hospital to the Methodist
Conference. The building was remodeled, a nurses' home was provided,
and it was opened as a general hospital for the people of the
city and community. Its growth has been such as to demand a larger
building. This has been planned and work undertaken. The new institution
will be modern in every respect and large enough to answer the
needs of the city for some years to come. The present building
has a capacity of 50 beds, all of which are in use practically
all the time.
In 1914, the need for a hospital devoted entirely to maternity
cases resulted in the Sioux City Maternity Hospital being established
by a group of local people. The 25 rooms of this institution are
always in demand because of the wide reputation it has achieved
during the years of service since it was organized.
In addition to these hospitals of a public or denominational
character, there are a number of private institutions, including
the Hillside Sanatorium, with capacity for 50 people and with
16 nurses, and Morningside General Hospital, opened this year.
These eight institutions mentioned maintain nurses' training schools
with good attendances. The operating rooms are open to the entire
medical profession who take advantage of the wonderful equipment
including laboratories, x-ray rooms and other facilities. With
the completion of the already planned new buildings, Sioux City
will be equipped to handle the sick of this territory in an efficient
Working alongside of the hospitals are a number of notable institutions
such as Florence Crittenton Home for unmarried mothers, Good Shepherd
Home for wayward girls, St. Monica's Home for abandoned babies,
St. Anthony's Home for orphans of two years and over, and the
Boys and Girls Home for orphans. Medical attention is given those
too poor to pay for it, through the Family Welfare Bureau, Sioux
City Day Nursery for babies, Tuberculosis Association, Visiting
Nurses' Association and the Woodbury County Free Medical Dispensary.
These organizations are financed through public donations to the
Bureau of Social Agencies, of which they are members.
The growth and importance of the hospitals in Sioux City has
made the city a center for health activities.