ROUSTABOUT'S HISTORY OF MAHASKA COUNTY ----------------
History of Mahaska County
Chapter I-The Beginning
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."-Genesis 1:1.
Along about this same time it is in ferred that He also made Mahaska county. And the inference is also well grounded that He was fairly well satisfied with the job. At least, through our long experience here, said by diligent and persistent in quiry, we have failed to find a single person who was displeased with the local section of the Creator's handiwork. There are those of course who have lived in this second edition of the Garden of Eden, who have left it for parts untried, but history records that every one of them would be glad to come back. And many of them would if the walking were better.
After the flood, one of the descendants of Noah came to America to make his fortune, and to return to the Faderland to live in ease and luxury ever after. But after penetrating the continent as far as the
Mississippi river he became so impressed with the country that he concluded to stay. He wrote home to tell the folks about the eldorado he had discovered here, and sent them round trip tickets to come and visit him. But the Democrats must have been to control of the postoffice department at that time, as the letter was never delivered. After waiting a long time and receiving no reply, he in desperation plunged into the wilds and became a regular Indian.
But the Lord was good to Iowa's first Weary Willie, and out of the Sun, He sent him a nice wife to cook his buffalo meat and make him clothes out of the hides. She also split the kindling and carried the water from the spring, pressed his trousers after each rain and took care of him when he had appendicitis. By this method he acquired habits of ingratitude and laziness that extended from generation to generation even unto the present day. And the red men are not alone in their fixed habits. Some of the pale faces who came afterwards and swiped the Indian's lands and carried off his wampum and his superstitions, also adopted his indolence. And in order that the prophesies might be fulfilled they let the women do the work while they chew tobacco and talk politics.
It will not be necessary here to repeat the story of the discovery of America by the other branch of the human family, or of how two hundred-and-forty-four thousand early settlers came over in the Mayflower, whose carrying capacity, according to Webster's Unabridged, was only two hundred, -aand at that the bunks were not all used. But it will be interesting to know that the first white man who established his home in Mahaska county and threw his trot line in Des Moines river was Mr. Macbeth. Unfortunately, even such a good an historian as Manoah Hedge fails to tell us whether this pioneer was a descendant of the old king of Scotland of the same name, the fellow whom William Shakespeare brought into the limelight. It was lucky for the king, however, that Shakespeare, or Ben Johnson as
the case may be,-came along when he did, else this particular Macbeth might have gone down unhonored, unremembered and unsung.
But not so the one who broke the ice in Mahaska county. His name will live forever, although some people are mean enough to suspect that his pioneer cabin was not on this side of the Wapello county line. Mr. Macbeth came to the Indian village at Eddyville and obtained permission to build a summer home outside the humdrum of city life, where no traffic cop would disturb ambitions to outstrip his neighbors, and no game warden would come along to tell him how to bend a brass pin to make a fish hook. He built the home and lived there, and if it were not in the confines of Mahaska county we will always think it ought to have been, and will let it stand at that.
Just where that first Indian, which we mentioned in a previons chapter, built his capital of state, -or more properly speaking, just where he had the squaws erect the citadel,-is still a disputed question. Some relics found on the old Boyer farm on Des Moines river might indicate that it was in that neighborhood. The key to the inscriptions on these relics was unfortunately carried away in the mad rush to California after gold was discovered in 1849. Dr. Crowder thinks it was buried somewhere in Arizona to keep the Californians from getting this also. They have already gotten nearly everything else of value that was produced in this community. Several expeditions have been made in an effort to recover the treasure, but as the Oskaloosa police are wont to say, "no clue has as yet been discovered."
This failure on the part of Scott township to produce the goods has lent color to the contention of White Oak township that the first capital of
the new world was located within its borders. At any rate it was here that one of the first treaties with the Indians was made which resulted in the emigration of all the other red men, who had not already been sent to the happy hunting grounds, to other maize fields and to other buffalo preserves. We go at that buffalo proposition rather gingerly as you will remember that such good authority as Bob Garden of Tracy says there never were any buffalo here. But anyhow we are told that the big gun of the Indian tribe at that particular time was one Kish-Ke-Kosh and that he lived in great splendor and without working any overtime, in his village along the Skunk river.
In the Indian language, as interpreted by experts from Ames, Kish-Ke-Kosh means "the man with one leg off" But William Street told us at one time when he lived in his old home place where the Lacey hotel stands, that his father, General Street, had told him that no Indian ever possessed a better pair of legs than did Kish-Ke-Kosh and that the
spokesman of the tribe often used it to good effect in shooing off the agents who came to negotiate for the purchase of his land. But the Indians have no mortgage on being misnamed. Just think of the boys in this country who have been christened Teddy Roosevelt or William Jennings Bryan. There are some qualifications, the absence of which is more noticeable than the omission of a leg from the anatomy. And on the other hand think of these boys who will have to bear these burdens even unto their graves.
But as we have said before, Kish Ke-Kosh was some pumpkins among the red men of those days and it took several pipe fulls of peace purposes to get him to move on to make room for Cracker's Neck, Tioga, and other settlements that were to come later. And even after the papers were all drawn up and a forfeit posted, the white man had to take Kish-Ke-Kosh and several other Indian chiefs aboard a Des Moines river steamer and pilot them around the water route, (this has no reference what
ever to prohibition) to Washington, to see his honor, -we have forgotten who lived in the White House at that time. Enroute a reporter for the Herald witnessed this incident that has been engraven on the folk lore of the community and at last accepted as true. A party of ladies came aboard the steamer at one of the landings, presumedly, at Keosauqua, and a smart young man took them around to see the chiefs. He exhibited them much as fat stock might be pointed out at a county fair. The other chiefs stood for it, thinking it was part of the consideration for the lands they were to surrender, but Kish-Ke-Kosh swore several cuss words in his pure Sac mother tongue, and gave the young fellow such a licking that he had to stand up and eat his meals until he got to the Port of Louisa, his destination. After that the name of Kish-Ke-Kosh was respected in the land, and he lived in peace and retirement from molly coddles, until his spirit took its flight and his body was wrapped in his blanket and suspended to the limb of a tree that his bones might be bleached and come back to be worn about the necks of his children and his children's children.
Chapter III-Our Chief
Not many moons ago the Red Oak Reporter sprung the story on the unsuspecting public, that it had just been discovered by Montgomery county enthusiasts that the bones of Chief Mahaska were resting in the town of Sciola, which had an alleged population of its at the last Federal census, also a bank and an express office. What in creation Chief Mahaska would want to go away out to Montgomery county to be murdered for, when he could have the job performed so much easier and quicker in Des Moines, is a problem that no Archaeologist of any standing whatever would even consider. We will therefore in these chronicles stick to the accepted theory that the bones are resting in Des Moines, that is if no Des Moines citizen has ever found it out. In case he has, the bones have long since been carried off, as no Des Moines citizen was ever known to allow anything to lie around loose for any length of time.
At any rate Mahaska has long been
a good Indian. All authorities agree that he has been dead since about 1844. And wherever his remains may rest, we have got his monument in the public park at Oskaloosa, and we are going to keep it there if we have to reorganize the "Skunk River Army" to do the fighting. It is up to us to do something of a substantial nature to honor the fellow after whom our county was named. Sherry Frye, the famous Iowa sculptor, made the statue and it was set up by J. D. Edmundson of Des Moines, in honor of his father, William Edmundson, who was one of the commissioners who helped lay out the county, and who on several occasions entertained Chief Mahaska at a house party, or in the language of our society editors, "a week's end visit."
We do not know where Sherry got the model for the statue, but the general make up of the chief, and the countenance which stands out in such charming relief, bear silent and solemn witness to the veracity of the contentions of all the early settlers that Chief Mahaska was a fighter, but
with all was a gentleman Indian, that is, he scalped and swore without mercy, but never failed to keep his word. In this respect he was different from other gentlemen whom we have heard of, -who often use blasphemous language and good English, but have trouble in establishing a line of credit at the bank. Mahaska also left other men's wives alone as he had seven of his own, and according to the short and simple annals of the Iowa tribe, they kept him out of mischief at home and abroad.
History records that Mahaska's favorite wife, Rant-che-waime, accompanied him to Washington, when he went down there to see President Monroe and fix up the title to the land he was about to part with. While conversing with the abstractors and real estate men in the capital it is said that the Chief also met some members of the Personal Liberty League and liked their fire-water so well that he forgot an appointment he had with Rant-che-waime. Arriving at his hotel about two hours behind time, and with his feathers
badly ruffled he found his wife awaiting him with a brass curtain pole. The proceedings which immediately took place aroused the hotel clerk from his evening nap at the desk, and he sent the bell boy up to see if they needed any ice water. There was no telephone connection with the rooms in those days, and by the time the boy reached the room quiet had been restored. Poor old Mahaska, however, was not used to city ways, and imagining it was the town marshal coming for him, raised the window and stepped out. It was some forty feet to the ground, and as he had no parachute he hit pretty hard and broke an arm. It must be recorded to the credit of this good Indian, however, that he never laid the blame on his wife, but instead went along with his social engagements at the White House and "punched the face off" the fellow who asked him what had happened.
In our language Mahaska means "White Cloud," and the mistake is often made by historians in declaring that Oskaloosa was his daughter and
furnished the proverbial silver lining for the cloud. Not so. Ouscauloosa of Indian tradition was a Creek princess, so you see we all have royal blood in our veins, and have a right to draw family trees and hang on the tinsel. The Seminoles made war on the Creeks and destroyed the entire body of warriors, and carried off all the women and children, including Ouscauloosa. Arising to the occasion, as our town has always done, she made herself so attractive that Osceola wanted her for his wife. She consented, and when her trousseau arrived from Paris she married the Seminole chief, and they built their wigwam on the brow of a hill over looking the classic Che-Chau-Qua, and ever afterwards she made the living for the family.
Chapter IV-County Seat
We have on file in our library in disptuable evidence of the fact that Oliver Goldsmith, an English poet from Ireland, is the author of the following lines, crities and muck-rakers to the contrary notwithstanding:
"Sweet Auburn, loveliest village of the plain, Where health and plenty cheered the laboring swain, Where smiling spring its earliest visits paid, And parting summer's lingering bloom delayed."
But with all the poet's beautiful words, and the untiring energies of the early settlers of the neighbor hood, "Sweet Auburn" of Mabaska county history could not cut the mustard. That is to say, you know, the heartless commissioners who came upon the scene for that purpose, by order of the Legislature, would not let them have the county seat located there.
Our "Sweet Auburn" as recorded in Horace Birdsall's history of Mahaska county, Page 268, Edition of
1878, line ten, not counting the quotations, was located on "Six Mile Prairie" with its suburbs bathed in the waters of the Des Moines river, which ebbed and flowed once in every so often after a big rain up the stream. The whistles of the great fleet of river steamers could be heard in the distance three or four times a year, and the town's dreamed of smoke-stacks, suspension bridges and sky-scrapers, towered to heaven, and played hide and seek with the drifting clouds. But alas! and alack! Sweet Auburn followed its namesake into innocuous desuetude or some other seaport around the golden horn that points to the land of the sweet by and by. And the deserted village once again reverted into farm land, -although we are told it did not have far to go, -and the Indian maize laughed itself into yellow dent on the heart of the virgin prairie, and the lowing herd and the lean sided razor back waxed fat and rooted every fence post off the place while trying to lift the mortgages off the farms.
Mahaska Center, where a fine
country church now graces the land scape, and where the tallest flag pole in the new world was once raised, was also a candidate for the county court house. But it, too, failed, and afterwards the flag-staff was taken down to prevent it from falling asleep and in some unguarded moment toppling over and making mince meat out of the meeting house. The commissioners, three in number, were paid two dollars per day for their labors, and if the country roads were no better in those days than some of our side streets are now, Messrs. Jesse Williams of Johnson county, Ebenezer Perkins of Washington county and Thomas Henderson of Keokuk county, earned their money. Mahaska county as then constituted comprised all the land to the northwest as far as any one wished to venture away from home, even taking in Fort Des Moines and Fort Dodge. Soon tiring of this arrangement the people sent Judge M. T. Williams from Oskaloosa up into the wilds along the Raccoon river and ordered him to take a slice off of the outskirts of Mahaska county and make a new
commonwealth in order that some of the fellows in Des Moines might relieve their itch for office. In this commission, as well as in the many others in which he served in an early day, the Judge did a fine job and Polk county owes its existence to his labors. Many settlers have since rushed into the new territory, until they now boast of over one hundred thousand people, all but nine hundred of whom are still looking for an office.
But getting back to that beautiful May day in 1844, it was a lucky strike for Oskaloosa when the commissioners stuck their spade in the ground and said: "Here shall rise the future capital of Mahaska county." The new Bite was on what was then known as "the narrows," a high ridge running along between the rivers, and it is a notable fact even unto the present day that the rain that fails on the south side of the public square finds its way into the Des Moines river, (after passing through the septic tank), and that which falls on the north side of the square runs through the Gibbs pasture, (according to rec-
ords several times made in the district court) and empties into Skunk river, via Spring Creek. But we who have come after should always feel grateful to those good commissioners who afforded us such a pleasant place in which to fight out our political fusses, play golf and pay taxes. Then the town, or the place where the town ought to be, was named Oskaloosa. Later this in spired our first local poet of record, George W. Seevers, Sr., to sing:
"Oskaloosa! Oskaloosa! What a beauteous name! Who'd have thought a wee papoose Ever bore the same?
Once it was an Indian baby, Then a Chieftain's mate, Now a court house, next it may be Capital of State."
But as we have said before, Des Moines got all the offices, including the state house, though we once had the State Fair in Oskaloosa.
After the Indians had been properly dispatched, and the county-seat fight was settled without bloodshed, there followed a season of rest and recreation, -also the civil war period. But the next big event that we remember was sailing along through space at the end of fathers arm down to the old Iowa Central depot on First Avenue, -or Main Street as the thoroughfare was then called, -to see the first regular pasenger train that ever disturbed the peaceful dreams of Greater Oskaloosa. As we recall the scenes, a section man in a bright red flannel undershirt, kept the crowd back, a "monster locomotive" with four drive wheels and a smoke stack as big around as a hogshead trembled and roared for other worlds to conquer, a conductor in brass buttons, playing the part of a greater personage than a Roman Emperor or the king of fairyland, filled our youthful gizzard with a de sire to be a railroad man, and all the while the people cheered and yell ed "hurrah for the Iowa Central" and the "Cannon Ball."
Now that word cannon ball had no connection with the war that had but recently been settled, but was the only term that the people of the town could invent to in a measure adequately express the marvelous speed of eighteen miles an hour maintained by that pioneer train-while on the track-in its terrific efforts all the way from Albia to Mason City. But nevertheless and notwithstanding, Oskaloosa had a railway, and if it did not have any street paving or cement sidewalks it was bigger in the estimation of the people of those days than it ever has been since or is likely to be again. Main street then be gan to spruce up and Jack Shipley was given the contract for delivering the mail from the post office to the depot. When Frank Lofland failed to get the mail made up in time to catch the bus or baggage wagon Jack mounted a trusted steed at the old Bashaw Barn and threw mud or dust as the case might be all over the houses along the way and delivered an average of eighteen letters and seven papers and other parcels to that train every day for seventeen years without missing. Mr. Shipley
is now living in Alhambra, California.
Then John Waggoner was given the contract to build a two-inch plank walk, eight feet wide, all the way from the public square to the depot, down the south side of Main street. He was to have it done by a certain date, but neglected to reckon with the weather man, who even In those days was as fickle as the one who now presides over the bureau in Des Moines. We can re member him yet working under an umbrella in the rain trying to keep the job in progress, and then after it cleared off he worked often until midnight by moonlight. And the job was completed in contract time and Main street was just that much ahead of its rival, High street. The first man we remember walking over the new walk was Nan Phillips in a white linen suit and plug hat. He was hurtying down to catch the "Cannon Ball" to go to New Sharon to try a law suit. Our recollection is that he won. Shortly after this High street spruced up and the original Mahaska county court house building which stood where the Oskaloosa National
Bank is now located was moved to a new location down the street across the alley west of where the new McGregor building now stands. It was rigged up for a hotel, and being operated by a family named Noe was soon called "Noah's Ark." Cart Noe the son, was quite an athlete in those days, and as a foot racer he beat every contestant that tackled him. One Hallowe'en we remember helping put a buggy up on the wooden awning that sheltered the guests of the hotel, and it was the common talk among the boys of the time that Mr. Noe was getting his property in shape, anticipating another flood. Then came the Grinnell cyclone, the strange phenomenon of which was plainly visible here. And many of our people said afterwards that the disaster was exactly what they expected, even to the number of deaths. This catastrophe not only helped the revival that was in progress in town at the time, but it also had another unusual effect. It changed the method of reckoning the dates of local events away from "the time that Cam Ruffner sat down on the oil can," in the old and original roller skating rink that was located in a frame building where the Glaze & Haynes grocery is now located.
One of the first Oskaloosa inventions that ever drew fame and fortune was the washing machine manufactured by A. J. Parkhurst. It was sold all over the United States and the factory here for years was a busy place. Competition became sharp and Mr. Parkhurst engaged in other business. For years he owned the building of recent date occupied by the Davis Bros. Cigar Store. There was a barber shop up stairs and the barber went into voluntary bankruptcy, leaving his furniture to pay the rent. Lou Drinkle says that one day when he ran a tin shop across the street he went up to help Mr. Parkhurst invoice his new belongings. Some stranger, not knowing of the business depression, came in to get shaved. The men were game and told the fellow to get in the chair. Mr. Drinkle found a bar of White Russian soap and a wash pan, and with a dauber, used to shine shoes, he lathered the customer in good shape. But when Mr. Parkhurst came up with a hatchet to do the shaving, the
fellow balked. Jumping out of the chair he wiped the lather off with his bandana, grabbed up his suit case and went down the street like a Kansas cyclone. So far as known, he is going yet But speaking about inventions, it is an historic fact that the first time power was ever used in roasting peanuts, it was applied in Oskaloosa by W. E. Vernon, otherwise known as "Bill." Mr. Vernon was running a restaurant at the time and he and Billy Leighton built a little steam engine in the furnace room of the old Herald office and applied it to a roaster, which Mr. Vernon had at his place of business, and which for merly was operated with hand power, much like the rocking of a cradle. Patents were secured and the roasters were sold everywhere. For a time Mr.Vernon made the machines at his home on the corner of South A street and Third avenue. Later he built the building at the corner of A Street and A avenue, now used as a flour and feed store. For a time he employed as many as 25 to 30 men. The old original model was donated to the Roustabout for some
reason, and it was taken to the Trask home, where Harry and your humble servant tried to put it in operation. For a boiler we used a 5 gallon oil can. When the fire got to going good, the safety valve stuck and the boiler exploded. We dont remember what Harry got but we got a "licking" for spoiling a brand new suit of clothes.
And by the way. Mother bought the cloth out of which that suit was made from James Atchison, when he ran the store for Siebel & Esgen's Woolen Mills. The Woolen Mills, you will remember, were the fore runners of the Oskaloosa Flouring Mill, which finally burned down some six or eight years ago. But when the Woolen Mills were in full operation the foreman was a man by the name of Davis. The name would indicate Welsh extraction, but we have labored under the impression that he was English. At any rate he had three sons, Ed, Frank and Lewis. We knew all of them, but Frank being nearest our age appealed to us the strongest. Down at their home, which was one of the mill houses on First avenue west, was a regular
work shop of jig saws, turning lathes, etc. We were often taken in as one of the family and permitted to use the machines in regular turn.
Our recollection is that the rest of us succeeded in getting things out of kelter pretty often and had to depend on Frank to straighten them out. We also remember that Frank could beat us at every game without and at arithmetic in school. We could hold our own on geography and spelling and beat him running, -especially after helping ourselves to some of "Old Mr. Ferrall's" apples in the orchard on South D street. But to make a long story short, Frank went to work for Warren Johnson in the Novelty Iron Works. He was soon foreman, pattern designer and equal to any task imposed on him. As a consequence he was called to Milwaukee to work for the Allis Engine Co. Hut even this big job that paid in the end something like $5,OOO a year was not big enough for Frank so he engaged in business for himself. He is now the majority owner of a factory employing about 500 men and running 24 hours a day. They also tell us that Frank rides in an 8-cyl-
inder 1917 machine. The first time we walk to Milwaukee we are going to bone him for a ride on the grounds that if we had not been so awkward and had not broken his early ma chines as often, he would not be as expert as he is now.
Chapter VII-Good Road,
History records that Paul Revere made quite a drive one time, through the Middlesex country, back of Boston, and routed a lot of patriots out of their beds to help give the British soldiers the marble heart. Phil Sheridan also drove his black charger to good effect during the civil war. And, according to the newspaper dispatches from the front during the present unpleasantness in Europe, both the Germans and the Allies have made numerous drives. But of all the drives that were ever made, including Sancho Panza's plunge into the windmill, none stand out in the minds of our people like the drive that Don McClure made on the 28th day of December, Anno Dorno IXMXII, or words to that effect. The agreement with P. C. Peterson was that the race would be pulled off during the week between Christmas and New Year's and between sun up and sun down. Think of driving from Davenport to Council Bluffs-across Iowa in the dead of winter. But Don did it. And beat Peterson to a stand
still. Although it is copyrighted and registered, we shall always think that the color of the Great White Way should be changed in honor of the Green Dragon that carried Don to Fame and several times almost to eternity.
History also records that in the early days means of locomotion, other than "Shank's Ponies" were limited in Mahaska county. Wm. Edmundson, one of the commissioners who laid out the county and served as first sheriff, owned the only horse and buggy that could be found in the community for many years. Later, as related by Manoah Hedge, Major Neeley started the first livery stable in Oskaloosa. In 1848 Henry Stafford purchased its belongings, and one day when a party passed through town, or where the town was to be, -with two large elk, -the John the Baptists of B. P. 0. E. No. 340, -Mr. Stafford conceived the idea of having a team of reindeer, and traded for the stags. He tried every way to break them, but as Hardy Miller was not as yet in the land of the living, the job had to be abandoned. Horses then held
their own until Frank Nowels imported a team of oxen for Hoover's Distillery, and "Little McNeill" brought the first buzz wagon to Oskaloosa, on high wheels and low speed.
And speaking about handsome turnouts and good roads, recalls that the first appropriation for a public highway in Mahaska county was made about 1854 when Judge J. A, L. Crookham ordered an expenditure of $5.00 to stretch a rope across Des Moines river at Bellefountaine for the use of the ferry boat. The request was made by a delegation of farmers in the presence of John White, and when Judge Crookham besitated, Mr. White said: "Go ahead, and I will stand by you if the appropriation is ever questioned." Hence, to these two good old pioneers belongs the credit of be ing the original good roads boosters in the county, Dr. Roberts and Bill Lacey to the contrary notwithstanding.
The history of local avenues of traffic and means of locomotion would not be complete without a word about
"Metz's Path" as related at one time by Charles Glover. Metz was a machinist and worked in the old foundry that stood for years, "south of town," but now the corner of First street and Fifth avenue. He lived away over in the other part of the original quarter section, near where the old brewery used to stand. We are not charging that his place of residence had anything to do with the matter, but Metz used to be of a bibulous temperament. He was not hampered by narrow streets, and wiggling sidewalks, as there were none. Well, anyhow, it snowed awfully hard one night, -not like it does in this day and age, but as it used to do, when the rail fences were buried and a tunnel had to be dug from the kitchen door to the family pump. On this particular morning everybody else stayed in bed, hoping that some one else might come along and break a path. Well, Metz was the goat. He started out away early, as he had a long way to go and a pretty heavy load to carry. He zig-zagged and counter-marched, and went about three times the necessary distance to get to his work. He made it all
right and blew the whistle at the proper time. Those who came after followed the machinations of the early machinist, and the crooked path became a beaten thoroughfare. The snow stayed on the ground for months, as used to be its habit, and the "highway" which was established without tripod or level, -or the as sistance of the State Highway Com mission, -remained an institution of Oskaloosa, for a long time, -its fame surviving after its footprints had all been obliterated. For years it was a byword in town, that anything that was out of plumb, was "as crooked as Metz's path."
Charley Ralston told us not long ago that he had been behind the counter 38 years. Charley has us skinned about three years. We do not mean that we have been behind a counter that long, but it has been 35 years since we accepted regular work at fixed wages. Our first recollections of Charley, -or "Banty," as we used to call him, -was working in Johnson's Foundry, which was then located in the building now occupied by Clarence Vermillion and his dray and storage business. Charley was breaking up old scrap iron to fill the cupola of the foundry preparatory to casting. You will have to imagine what Charley said one day when a piece of iron flew up and hit him on the bread basket. Charley has an outspoken way of expressing himself you know. But Charley's business record, running from foundry boy to mayor of the city of Oskaloosa, is surely one worthy of consideration and praise. Starting with nothing and working 22 hours a day for 38 years, he has accumulated enough to
get married and live in comfort ever after. And we are afraid Charley won't do it. But he ought to.
Speaking about business careers, - we remember when we bought a steam laundry in a desperate effort to get printer's ink off our fingers. We run it for four years, and washed and washed, but the ink still stuck and we finally had to give it up and go back to the ink barrel and the hell- box. Now lest some one would think we were swearing, we wish to explain ourselves. Printers' pie is a bad mixture of type, and when it becomes worn or broken it is thrown into a receptacle known to the profession as the hell-box. After it is sufficiently saturated with tobacco juice it is boxed up and shipped away and traded for new stuff, -type, we mean, not tobacco juice. But why the receptacle is called the hell-box we do not know, and other authorities differ. We presume it is for the same reason that a printer's apprentice is called a "Devil." The or thography of this word also begins and ends in mystery. But, as we intended to say, -back there along about the first comma, when we bought the Laundry, we were rushing down town one morning about 7 o'clock to see that the wash water was of the proper temperature, when L. L. Hull called to us from an upstairs window and wanted to know where the fire was. We had heard of no fire and appeared surprised, whereupon, he ventured the question, that if there was no fire, what were we rushing down town in the middle of the night for? Those who knew Mr. Hull will remember that he preferred to work half the night and sleep late the next morning, some times until 10 and 11 o'clock.
When we set up shop for ourselves Mr. Hull was the first fellow to come in and wish us well. He said: "I am glad you have made the venture, my boy, and I hope you will succeed. Remember this, a man can make a success of even a peanut stand, if he will stick to it, and give it his best effort." We have often thought of that little bit of advice and have by its recollection many times been encouraged to make another resolve and
go on when despair had us by the coat tails.
Going back a little further, we be lieve L. L. Hull was about the first fellow we ever worked for. The family used to live on Second avenue west, and Mr. Hull at one time kept an eagle, an ostrich, a monkey, a peacock, and several other animals of like character. We split the kind ling and carried in coal for the house hold and also acted as animal trainer. We shall never forget how near to the seventh heaven our boyish heart soared when in addition to our regular compensation, one Saturday even big, Mrs. Hull threw in an ostrich egg. We treasured It for a long time until an unseemly fall from the man tle over the fireplace left only a memory and a bad smell. Whether it was because the family grew tired of our services or because we gave satisfaction, we have never been able to decide, but from coal beaver and animal trainer we graduated into a place in the back room of Mr. Hull's harness shop where the fly nets for all the horses in North America were made. Say, do you remember that old shop?
Located where Doll's Cafe is now? Well, if you don't, you are not a blowen-in-the-bottle Oskaloosa boy. The badge of honor and the crown of glory belongs exclusively to those who twisted and plaited while Capt. Martin, Tom Magee and Pete Ladynski cut the leather strings. Glory be, what great days those were!
Chapter IX-Base Ball
Have you noticed those dolls, dressed like clowns, that have been on display in the shop windows from time to time? Well, if you have not, it is conclusive evidence that there are no children in the family. Otherwise you would have had them pointed out to you, and long since you would have separated yourself from $2.00 for one of them, -or at least $1.50 after they had been marked down to cost plus fifty per cent.
But that is not what we started out to say. Somehow every time we see one of those clowns we think of "Boiler" Wray as he first came into our recollections. "Boiler" is none other than Charley Wray, the jovial janitor of the Jefferson school. But, as we first knew him, he wore a suit of ticking and played second base in the Second ward school nine. Second ward also included the High school, and in those days it was a real high school, being located on the fourth floor of the old building that was recently wrecked to make room for the present structure.
There have been other ball players on the local horizon, including Pipes and Hutchinson, and Tally and Pat terson, and Scott, -not forgetting Coats and Bill Tiley -but none of them ever played a better game or made more fun for the bleachers than did Charley Wray in his ticking suit. And speaking about "Boiler" makes us think of one time when he and Joe Stumps and Charley Hadley and Tim Barnes and a lot of others of the "old er crowd" were playing whip-cracker and induced us to be the cracker, when the line got under full way, we could not touch bottom and finally landed in Lundy's cinder pile. We also recall that we were pretty badly scratched and bruised, but in looking back now we are glad that cinder pile was there. Otherwise we might be going yet.
Along about this same time we also remember there was nothing south of Fifth avenue except the school and corn fields. The common was used for cow pasture except when Yankee Robinson or P. T. Barnum drove across from Beacon and pitched their circus tents there. Then the cows
had to stay at home. We were always glad to have these gentlemen came to town fey two reasons. One was to see the circus and the other was because we would get a vacation from driving cows to pasture and then home again. But it has often been a debatable question in our mind which was the harder Job, driving old bossy, or carrying water for the elephant.
Then came the Rock island railway and the row of new houses built by the late William Burnside and we had to go away out "behind Pike's" to get enough room to play bail. Mr. Pike lived over on Sixth avenue and there was a fine place south of his home. There's where we first remember seeing Charley Pike, -or C. C. Pike, the family druggist, -and we have never been sorry that we formed his acquaintance. Back of the ball grounds was a cemetery and when the ball went that far we never could get any of the colored boys to go and help hunt it. Tradition had it that there were ghosts there, and that the spirits of the departed came back and held consultations under the old wild
crabapple trees. We never saw any of the apparitions but we remember getting an awful shaking up for going over there and filling our pockets with the measly fruit, after Mr. Seerley bad forbidden us. And that is not the only thing we got either, for the fruit was green, and oh, what an internal disturbance!
Industry and enterprise followed the railway, and Wiley Wray, the father of Charley and Wm. Wray, established a feeding station for hogs along the tracks on South B street. Two big posts were set up to carry the great gate, and we can recall mounting the pillars and basking in the sunshine while watching Mr. Wray feed his hogs. One day after a heavy rain the hogs stampeded and upset Mr. Wray, one of them stepping in his mouth. He actually righted things and spat the mud out without swearing a single swear.
The Rock Island also established a round house and turn table in Oskaloosa, but later on removed them to Evans. We presume the move was
made to save the income tax as no other plausible excuse was ever offer ed. But anyway while the turn table was still here there was a big circus in town one day, and for some reason nearly all the circus cars had to be turned about to get them out of town. Boylike, the late Frank Holtman was helping, and was locking the table at the proper time so the cars could be run off on the main line. Sudden ly he got his finger in the way, and the lock pinched it off. Grasping the wound in the other hand he started up to Dr. Hoffman's office, followed by about fifty or sixty boys. When we were all lined up in front of the of flee to see what might happen next, along came Charley Palmer breath less and excited. When be finally came to enough to speak, he ejaculated, "Here is Frank's finger." He had picked up the amputated member and hurried along with it, thinking it might be grown on again, but his efforts were in vain.
Chapter X-Banks W. T. Smith and M. T. Williams are given credit with being the first bankers in Mahaska county, with John White a close second in the business. But this was in 1855 and while there may have been no bank prior to that time, money was borrowed and loaned and interest paid and collected, away back yonder when the Indian got his with the scalping knife, and the gold standard prevailed without any sixteen to one business and without the aid or consent of any other nation on earth. Money was not hard to carry in those days as there was not much to carry. But those who had a surplus and did not care for the earnings, carried their money in specially constructed belts. These belts were made of chamois skin and were worn next to the skin. In addition to serving as a safety deposit box, they were also said to be good for certain ailments, and even obviated the necessity of a bath on the part of the owner, as bath tubs then were scarce and it was not safe to lay the belt down on
the bank while the owner went in swimmining.
The forerunner of the tin can and the fruit jar or the more modern sitting room stove, as a banking house, was the haystack. At least that seems to be true of Mahaska county. Manoah Hedge relates in his interesting history that Wesley Mettler was one of the industrious citizens of Oskaloosa in the earlier years. He was somewhat eccentric, but not wanting in persistent economy. At one time when his frugality had rewarded him with several hundred dollars in silver coin, he deposited it for safe keeping in an old iron teakettle in the back shed kitchen. One morning he was chagrinned to find that some thief with a vein of generosity in his nature had lieved him of just one-half his treasure. Some years afterward he found himself custodian of more than two thousand dollars in gold coin. He owned a good-sized farm at that time, just northwest of where the First ward school building is now located. With his usual caution he sought a secure hiding place for his hard
earnings. This time he secreted the yellow metal under a near-by hay stack where he was sure no one but himself would think of looking for money. Occasionally he slipped cautiously over to the place to experience the peculiar satisfaction there is in handling a much prized treasure. All unconscious to him self, his movements had attracted at tention and one night his money was stolen. This seemed more than he could bear, and he mentioned his loss to a few of his friends, among them ex-Sherlif Dan Swearingen. To him he gave every clue of which he had any knowledge, and offered him one-half of the beautiful gold pieces if he would by any means secure the money. He did not care for the thief. Mr. Swearingen was not long unraveling the mystery and the money was restored. Hard as it was to part with the coin, the division was made, a thousand dollars was a dear lesson, but Mr. Mottler was exceedingly pleased to have recovered so generous a portion of his earnings with which to begin his old business again.
One evening in 1844 when M. P.
Crowder, father of Dr. W. L. Crowder, was returning from Oskaloosa following an Indian trail, he noticed a horseman coming toward him and could readily see from the careless manner of the rider that it was a white man. So he waited for him. The two men had never met before, but after some conversation each learned that the other belonged to the same common brotherhood of homeseekers in the New Purchase. There was almost no reserve among strangers in those days. There was a kindred fellowship that made each confide in the other. Mr. Crowder told him he was opening a new home over on Middle Creek and asked the stranger of his plans. He said he was building a mill on Skunk river north of Oskaloosa but lacked sixty dollars of having enough money to purchase the necessary machinery to equip the mill. The idea of having a mill so near to himself and his neighbors appealed so strongly to Mr. Crowder that he said, without a moment's hesitation, not even know ing the stranger's name, that be had that amount of money in the house with which he had intended to enter
his land as soon as it came into market, and that if the stranger would return the money when needed he would let him have it to use for so laudable a purpose. The stranger went home with his newly made friend and the evening was spent in a pioneer conference. The next morning Mr. Crowder counted out to his guest, who proved to he Mr. George Duncan, sixty-five dollars in silver. Sixty-five dollars was a snug sum of money in that day, especially when it had been sacredly laid aside for the purpose of purchasing a home for the family. No obligations or specified rate of interest were thought of by Mr. Crowder in making this loan. He simply thought of the unmeasured advantage of a near-by grist mill to the whole community and to his own family. Mr. Duncan went to Burlington and completed the purchase of the necessary machinery for his mill.
In 1848, James Woods, who lived over on Middle Creek, came over to Samuel Coffin's to borrow some money. He found Mr. Coffin some miles from home breaking prairie.
Mr. Coffin told him he did not have time to go to the house to get him the money, but if he would go over to the house he would find a package of money in a particular corner of the smoke house. Take from the package the sum he wanted and put the rest back where he got it. No note or obligation whatever was given. S. L. Pomeroy was administrator of the Coffin estate and says this was a fair sample of the business methods of this large-hearted man. He aimed to deal in that way only with men of veracity and his losses were not overly large.
And even after the banks were started and in good running order, we have been told that there were citizens who continued to hide their money under rafters in the barn, under the rag carpet in the parlor, and behind the kitchen clock, while not a few, contrary to the advice of their bankers, bought gold bricks and blue sky. And even to this day, human nature has not changed its habits much.
Chapter XI-Soft Soap A bridal party stopping in Oskaloosa in 1856 is recorded as writing home the following description of the best room in our best hotel: "The floor was covered with a dirty rag carpet, and a half burned candle furnished our only light. There was no washstand in the room, but instead a wash-pan placed on a common chair, with a saucer of soft soap beside it." Rather primitive, we must admit, but if the rag carpet was dirty the landlady must have been sick, as dirt had no place in the life of the pioneer women.
And lest we forget! Do you remember how soft soap was made? No? Well, then. you need enlighten ment. Nobody's education should be neglected to a point of ignorance in this once thriving industry. The first step in the process of manufacture was to saw and split the "nice dry hard wood" that used to be delivered as green as the first straw berries that come onto the market in March or April. Everybody burn-
ed wood. It was indecent not to do so. The ashes were needed. They were essential to the industry, and were carefully preserved in covered barrels. Surplus tallow, poor lard and "cracklins" were also carefully preserved all winter, usually in a large metal tank. In the spring, when every barrel in town was full of ashes, and the smell of the "cracklins" went beyond endurance, the real business of making soft soap be gan.
The thrifty person had bored holes in the bottoms of his barrels and set them up on a slightly inclined plat form. The other fellow had to dump his ashes out on the ground, bore the holes and then restore the ashes to the barrel. In any event, the next move was to prop the barrel up a little on the low side of the inclined platform and begin to pour water on the ashes. Only those who have lived in the maple syrup country, and have gone into ecstacies over the first showing of sap in the spring, can appreciate the joy that took possession of the good woman when the ashes became thoroughly
saturated and the lye began to trickle through the holes in the bottom of the barrel, then down the platform and into the big crock made especially for that purpose.
If this lye would not float an egg, with more than half the egg above sea level, it was not strong enough for the purpose intended. Of course the first lye that came through was always very strong, but the egg was kept in the crock all the while. When the port holes began to touch the danger line, the supply of water was cut off, and the first part of the process was considered finished. Then the "cracklins" were brought out. A windy day was, if possible, selected for this procedure so that the soap makers could get on the windward side of the tank and thereby be able to stand the pressure better. Into a large iron kettle set up on stakes, with a good dirt fireplace below, the tank was emptied, and as soon as possible the lye was poured over the "cracklins" as the lye had a tendency to counteract the odors. Of course there was no health department in Oskaloosa
then, but there was a due sense of justice to one's neighbors among the early settlers, and human endurance had a limit, even in those early days.
Then the fire was started and water added to the mixture and in the course of from 24 to 48 hours a great kettle full of the stuff that enabled one to get next to Godliness was ready for use. A basin of water out of the rain water barrel, with the wiggle tails wiggling in it, -and a little dab of soft soap would take the dirt off all right. Also the hide. That's the reason we always objected to washing behind the ears, or below the collar line.
But the soap kettle and the spinning wheel went into the past side by side, and Pears' soap sent Ivory floating down the stream of time, while Fels Naptha caught the Gold Dust Twins napping. But just the same, and notwithstanding, it has not been so very long ago since we saw them making soft soap down in Van Buren county, the cradle of Iowa civilization. Down where some do not know to this day that Lee has surrendered or that John Rowley, the versatile editor of the 10 column 10 point Keosauqua Republican was not elected governor of Iowa on an anti- expansion platform.
We have with us today the Great White Way, The Daniel Boone Trail, The Saints' Highway, and the White Pole Route, with more to come when we raise the necessary funds to paint the poles. Keeping this obligation in mind, it is interesting to go back to the beginning of things. Of course we do not mean, away back there, where Moses could take his telescope and locate the original paths through the wilderness, but back to the time when the Herald was started and kept a record of things that have later been so ably and so nicely retold by Manoah Hedge in his histories. The one signal fact stands out in bold relief that Oskaloosa has ever and anon been a good roads center, at least there has always been much talk on the subject around the stove, or the radiator, as the case may be, in winter time. The first essential of every great project is public opinion, and Oskaloosa has been working on this for about 75 years.
Anyhow, during the year of the
flood, when the roads were quite like they still all are, there was great in terest in the building of plank roads in this part of Iowa, especially be tween Burlington and Oskaloosa. The old Herald files are filled with notices of public meetings for that purpose all along the line. Oskaloosa was at that time very promi nently considered as a most suitable location for the state capital. We even got so far along as to have the State Fair here one season. A correspondent of the Burlington Gazette of March 19, 1852, has this to say on that subject: "Oskaloosa, the point to which all now centers by common consent, is known to be one of the healthiest and most beautiful inland towns in the west. It can easily be made the focus of all the stage lines in the state, and, as if nature were destined to do for her what the state has blindly failed to do, it is a positive fact that no less than one railroad from Muscatine and two plank roads from Burlington, the one through Keokuk county and the other through Fairfield, are now pushing onward toward Oskaloosa, making her their
declared destination. These facts, which are well known, if none others, would prompt us to select Oskaloosa for the future seat of government."
In the days of the stage coach during the `50s and early `60s Oskaloosa was a quite important station on the routes north and westward. For several years there were no stages or regular conveyances of any kind. A back line ran to Fairfield. When the business grew Fink & Walker ran a stage twice a week to points down nearer to the river. Then came the Western Stage Company. The unbridged streams and sloughs made staging a difficult task, but the profits were large and the company be came wealthy. The time between Oskaloosa and the river was from one to two days. When the roads were good, passengers could leave Oskaloosa in the evening and take breakfast in Des Moines.
There was a line of stages running up the river from Keokuk through Oskaloosa to Des Moines and from this point also directly north to Marshalltown. Another line left Wash-
ington and followed the divide west ward, crossing the north and south line at Oskaloosa and going on to Knoxville and the west. The stage barns of the Western Stage Company stood where the Young Men's Christian Association building now stands and the residence of the manager and agent of the company, Richard Lonsberry, was just across the street south. The old stage coaches came and went in those days with stately dignity and precision.
A faithful stage driver felt the responsibility of his charge as much as the modern conductor of a passenger train, and he ranked with that unselfish class of public servants. Occasionally a faithful stage driver went out with his precious load of passengers and U. S. mall never to return. Settlements were scarce and the long drives in the bitter cold weather were too much for even the hardiest natures. Public anxiety and sympathy was always keenly alive for the welfare of these heroic men in times of peril. A belated stage was often cheered as it wheeled up to the old Madison House. The driver always
alighted with his passengers and passed his lines into the hands of the hostler, taking them again when he stepped up into his airy seat for a fresh start. Horses were changed every ten or fifteen miles when possible and were driven on the gallop be tween stations when the road permitted.
Then followed the day of the "prairie schooners" and the emigration to "bleeding Kansas." Remember the ox-teams and the covered wagons? They often had eight cylinders but the driver aboard the back of the leading cylinder never succeeded in getting much speed out of the machine. But what was the hurry? The slower they went the less time they had to put in in Kansas, before returning with the legend painted on their tattered canvas backs, "In God We Trusted, -In Kansas We Busted."
We have often wondered in these days of "all wool" clothing who picks all the burs out of the wool. Did you ever tackle that job? Such a question would be wholly unnecessary if you had been a boy in Oskaloosa during the palmy days of Levi Hambleton or I. Frankel. Few of them escaped. In those days there must have been a high protective tariff on wool as there were a lot of sheep in Mahaska county. And a lot of cockle burs also. And cockle burs and wet weather and sheep's tails made an awful combination. It was also an unwritten law, -made to hold trade-that when the sheep were sheared, it was permissable to do it in the mud and let the soil and cockle burs go with the wool. But the burs would not go with the agents of the eastern woolen mills, so the stickers had to be removed. No amputations or surgical operations were permissable, and burs had to be extracted by hand, no difference how sore the fingers might be. Talk about husking corn,-that
is play beside the old-fashioned ginning process for wool.
We don't remember what the union scale was, but we got so much per thousand by measure for the burs. It was too hard work to count them. And we recall having cleared 35 cents one week, besides all the fun we had, at our own expense. After the stickers were all removed and paid for, the wool had to be packed iin immense sacks. These were suspended from big holes in the upstairs floor and ran down into the basement. A little wool was dumped in and then it had to be tamped down. This tamping business was no joke to the fellow who had to be the tamp-and if our recollection serves us right, we were it about half the time. Hanging on the end of a rope like the monkey on a jumping jack, we were hoisted up and down by the rest of the force until the aforesaid amount of wool was packed to a sufficient degree or at least until the rest of the force had all the amusement they wanted. And believe us,-with the inside of a fellow's undershirt and his hair full
of greasy wool skinning the cat and thinning the elusive center pole down in a deep bag on a July day in the back end of a ware house with a tin roof and no windows was no picnic -at least not that kind that the Sunday school kids sigh for.
After that we reached a stage in our career when we thought we were some artist, as well as druggist and bottle washer. it was when we worked for Will Mays in the room that is now occupied by Frank Nowles and his smoke factory. Will Wells was the prescription clerk, and red-headed. We used to draw fancy pictures with water colors and soap on the windows and on the big mirror at the rear of the store,-also take care of 31 coal oil lamps, 91 canary birds, 287 shelf bottles, 13 show cases, 18 different oil barrels, a stove and Joe Huber's cat. But anyhow, some fellows standing out in front of the store one day, commenced to comment on our claims on Fame. One fellow finally said, "Rats! Anybody could do that." Will Wells and his red hair came to our rescue with a 45-centimeter
gun and declared that "maybe, but he is the only fellow around here who is doing it." We have often thought of that bit of philosophy and for the good we got out of it, have long since forgiven Will Wells for making us scrub out twice a week whether the floor needed it or not.
It was during our career as first and only assistant to the prescription clerk that Terry Mays saved our life. Terry probably never knew it, but he was more of a kid than we were, and we agreed to take care of him for his mother one afternoon and forego an engagement to go coasting. The three chums who did go, Jerrel Joyce, Clarence Steddman and John Phillips came back in pieces as you will remember following the explosion of the powder house. If it had not been for Terry, we, too, would have been there. But what a commotion that explosion caused, especially around a drug store! Bottles tumbled off the shelves and others danced about like mechanical toys. Mr. Mays was sure it was Dr. John son's new air pump apparatus that had blown up, while the rest of us
was sure it was the boiler in John son's foundry. Anyway after it was over, there never was such a demand for putty and window glass in Oskaloosa. The stock of glass was big ger than that of putty, and it fell to our lot to turn the crank of the drug mill to make putty out of whiting and linseed oil. The novelty of the thing appealed to us at first, but after our back began to ache and our hands were blistered, the novelty wore off. But the putty sold for 60 cents a pound,-and it was worth the effort-to those who did not have to turn the crank.
There is just one other job that we want to tell you about and then we will promise forever to hold our peace. This was as understudy to James McQuiston, who used to operate the pop and soda department in Vernon's restaurant. In those days one could not get gas to charge the fountains in tubes that look like pictures of shells for big guns, but had to make it in a gas producer. Operating this producer was our long suit. We used to take a bucket and go over to McCall's marble shop and
buy a grist of marble dust, which our good old friend Henry Taylor would weigh out to us. This, and the proper amount of sulphuric-or maybe it was muriatic-at any rate it was acid, were put together in a tumbler operated with a crank, and the real excitement began. When the mixture commenced to foment, or whatever the chemical action might be called, the pressure gauge began to swell. If it stopped at about 80 all was well, but if it kept on going up, we hiked out the back door to await the explosion, if everything did not bold tight. After a safe length of time, Jim would sneak back and ease the pain by opening a valve, and then we charged the drums or bottled the pop as the case might be. Whew! What exciting moments those were! And how good that ginger ale tasted which we got in full settlement for the performance of our part of the contract!
We,-all of us,-thought that it never rained so much and for so long a time as it did last summer, anyway not since the time that Broth er Noah slipped one over on the rest of mankind and came out where many another fellow since his time has tried to land, the lord of all he surveyed. But the year 1851, still seems to bold the record in Mahaska county, notwithstanding the fact that John Crookham says his bottom land farm was overflowed eight times be tween the first of April and the first of November, and spoiled all the beans every time. But runing back past John's recollections, the rainfall throughout Iowa in 1851 was unprecedented and still stands unmatched. In this statement we have the back ing of Bob Garden, the sage of Tracy, who came here long before the flood, -of course we mean the Iowa freshet -and his evidence is further corroborated and substantiated by the files of the Oskaloosa Herald. Under date of June 7, 1851, the Herald said:
"One of the heaviest rains we were ever privileged to witness," notice that word `privileged'." We wonder what some of the fellows along the river banks thought of Mr. Needham, when he sorted out that word, or maybe the printer could not make it out and guessed at it, the printers do that sometimes, so we have been told. Well, any way: "One of the heaviest rains we were ever privileged to witness occurred on Wednesday of last week. The rain literally fell in torrents for over an hour, causing the face of the whole country to present the appear ance of one vast lake of rushing waters. Much damage has been done in consequence by the floating away of fences, bridges, etc. It is said that scarcely a bridge or foot log remains over a stream in the whole county."
There's something else that is Greek to a good many today. As many as have ever seen a "foot-log" please hold up their hands. That will do, thank you. And now for the benefit of the uninitiated, a foot-log was big tree that was felled on the side of a creek so it would reach the other bank and form a bridge. We have crossed a number of them, and have tried others and landed in the mud. But that was no fault of the log. And Oskaloosa doesn't need to be so stuck up at that. We can remember when there was a foot log on High avenue east across the creek that was afterwards named Sixth street, and one on South Market street just south of where the Rock Island tracks now run. Then, also there used to be one just east of tbe Second ward school house on Fifth avenue. This was the particular one on which we had most of our experience. But going back to the files of the Herald of June 7, 1851:
"The usually staid and sober Des Moines has been taking a regular `swell," literally tearing down and carrying off everything that happen ed to come in its current. Not satisfied with keeping in its own channel, it has made free to invade every man's premises in the vicinity, in many cases literally driving away families domiciled In the neighbor hood. It has left its `mark' on the
land near the share so that the set tlers may hereafter know how much is claimed by it. It is in many places from two to four miles wide. A number of dwellings were carried entirely away. This calamity will be doubly hard on the sufferers, as has not only destroyed the present crops, but has taken away the old crop that was in store for the present season. The Skunk, too, not having the fear of men before its eyes, has been spreading itself in every direction, taking along with it every obstacle that could not with stand a perfect rush of sweeping waters. Judging from appearances on would suppose it determined to declare itself navigable (without any act of legislature) by removing, with out the aid of civil law, everything calculated to hinder small crafts from taking an uninterrupted voyage to the Father of Waters.
"On Saturday, a man named San dert De Yang, a native of Holland, was drowned near Union Mills." Now, look here, If we had not read that in the Herald we would not be lieve it. What on earth could tempt
a Hollander to go that far from Pella in that early day? Fortunately however, the Herald explains that he was a bridge carpenter, and probably drove over there from Lake Prairie township. To resume: "He and a number of other men were engaged in replacing the floor ing of the bridge when he slipped through and perished in the waters without the bystanders being able to assist him. "A young man was drowned in the Des Moines river near Fort Des Moines on Friday, and two small boys near Red Rock a few days since." During this season flour or meal was very difficult to obtain, even in Oskaloosa. A pair of burrs or corn crackers were bought upon the front carriage of a wagon from Agency City, and attached to tbe gearing of the saw-mill, which stood on the presest site of the Hawkeye Overall factory building, and here was meal and hominy made for the settlement in the midst of this western sea of mud and water.
And speaking about floods, makes
us think of an incident that Dr. Hen derson once related to us. When the Doctor was actively in the practice at Old Muchakinock, he had faithful colored driver named William, but better known as "Doc" Southall. The two had been in Oskaloosa on business one day, and while here it rained some. Return ing home they reached Little Muchakinock Creek, and a regular sea of water spread out before them. Always faithful and unafraid. "Doc" hesitated in taking the rig across as no bridge was in sight. Dr. Henderson asked him if he had lost his nerve and was afraid to make the venture. "No Sah! No Sah!" protest ed "Doc," "I's not afraid and I am prepared to met my Lawd, but I hate to go, Doctor, I hate to go." "Why what's the matter, William?" asked the Doctor. "I never knew you to hesitate on anything before." "Well the fack is," said William, "dere's a lot of water dere, and I's afraid if we done bofe get drownded, and de hoss get drownded and de buggy get carried down stream, dere won't be nuffin left for Swalm to write up in de Herald, and nobody will never know what
become of us. But I's no quitter Doctah, and if you's willin' to sacrifice your chances in immortality, here goes. Get ap dere, Bess and Jim go lang! I `speck it's jest as honorable to be washed away into eternity as it is to take de smallpox and die. Go lang, I say!' And they went.
Chapter XV- Supplies
When we speak of the early days in Mahaska county we mean prier to the time that Frank Glaze first engaged in the grocery business in Os kaloosa. So in the early days, it was sometimes difficult to telephone your order up town and have the goods come on the Union Delivery in fifteen minutes. What's that? You sometimes fail now! Well, that's a matter of business and has nothing at all to do with history, so please ring off, we want to talk to a friend on one of the rural lines and have only four hours to get the connection. Get that? It you did, that's more than Landlord Cantfield did when he ran a hotel here about the year one, or possibly fifty-one. Game was quite abundant then, and the undisturbed timber yielded a harvest of wild fruits, such as has not since been known. The substantlals were pork, corn meal and wheat coffee. Even these gave out sometimes. On one occasion the boarders at the Canfield House had ~ rather late breakfast. It happened this wise:
The landlord had noticed his larder was running low, but he was in hourly expectation of supplies from Keokuk. One evening the pantry was bankrupt, but the host was in hopes his team would come with provisions before morning. But "hope deferred maketh the heart sick" at every dawn. Wm. D. looked wistfully down the divide in vain. He mounted a horse and left for Richard Perkins', secured a small quantity of meal, and half a side of bacon from a settler down there and started for home. The half dozen hungry boarders sat in front of the cabin, pining for the flesh pots of civilization, but soon their spirits rose, and their mouths began to water, for away to the south came the plucky landlord, riding like a Jehu, and holding aloft the half side of bacon as a sign of relief. And this supply failed not until other provisions came.
The grandfather of 0. C. G. Phil lips was among the first to come to Oskaloosa. He realized the fact that he was coming to a new country, and he resolved to come well
provided. Accordingly he brought with him, what he supposed to be a sufficient quantity of flour to supply his family for an entire year. The family came into the village in the evening. The news of Phillips' abundant supply spread like a prairie fire, and he had an abundance of callers. Everybody came to see him. Everybody seemed to appreciate him. They were all plain spoken people, and were not ashamed to ask for what they wanted; Mr. Phillips' levee lasted till bedtime, and was continued in the morning until breakfast, at which hour be found he had loaned out a barrel of flour to entire strangers, and it is likely all Oskaloosa breakfasted on hot biscuit instead of corn-bread, which was the more common fare
It is related that Dr. E. A. Boyer and his neighbor, Van Delashmutt, found their supply of meal and flour almost exhausted. It was quite impossible to get anywhere because of the high water. They heard of a corn cracker some eight or ten miles up the river and sent W. A. Delashmutt with four bushels of corn
packed on two horses. He arrived at Mr. Noseman's, the owner of the mill, only to find that it was out of repair. On learning, however, of the pressing need, the mill was doctored up and by daylight next morning Mr. Delashmutt was ready to return with his four bushels of ground corn. During the day Dr. Boyer noticed a vessel ascending the river loaded with flour. He put out into the swollen stream with two men and a large canoe. Hailing the steamer, he requested the captain to sell him a supply of flour. The captain told him it had been ordered by the government for the soldiers at Fort Des Moines and he could not sell it. Mr. Boyer told him he must have some flour if he had to scuttle the boat to get it, After some conversation the captain agreed to let him have two barrels of flour for the privilege of loading his vessel with rails which were floating about in drifts along the river. His vessel had made the trip from St. Louis and was short of fuel. Mr. Boyer got his flour ashore and rolled it up by the side of his cabin, covering it with some boards. When his friend Van Delashmutt
came over shortly afterwards he took him out to show him his prize. He could not have been more dumbfound ed if be had been confronted by a bear. How two barrels of flour could have reached that wilderness home unannounced was more than he could understand. The true pioneer never enjoys a good thing alone, and Mr. Delashmutt got one of the mysterious barrels and its welcome contents.
Mrs. Emily J. Coryell states that in the very early years when mills were so very far away and flour very scarce Washington Threlkeld dug out a hard wood stump near his cabin so as to form a kind of basin and fastened an iron wedge to the end of a stick, giving it a handle, which he used as a pestle to crush shelled corn. When the corn was thorough ly beaten it was sifted and the fine portion used as meal, while the coarse particles were worked up into hominy. This contrivance proved to be of much value to the neighborhood and people came in good numbers to use it, taking their turn, just as they did at the mill.
Then "Benny" Roop came to town and started his bottling works which was afterwards converted into a flour ing mill, and Oskaloosa people from that time on were able to get all the food stuff they needed by patronizing home industries. Mr. Hoop own ed the whole west end of town and used most of it for a hog lot, where he fattened many fine porkers. He fenced off a big section of it, how ever, and built thereon the finest home in Iowa up to that time. It was a brick mansion, and the material was all hauled here by team from Keokuk. Those were the days of prosperity for the "west end," and the elite of the city lived west and north of the line drawn from the Galt House through the "Green Castle," to Mr. Hoop's mill. But the railroad came along and sliced the town in two, turned the Hoop man sion into a hotel and eating house and built a depot in the front yard. Even before this, Mr. Hoop got sore on the town and moved to Beacon where he built another big mill and among other things put a quart of whiskey in the corner stone. Some sixty years afterwards W. A. Seevers bought the
old mill and had it wrecked to make miners' houses out of the material. And it is recorded that he would not speak to anybody for four days af ter some fellow opened the corner stone one night and swiped the contents.
Chapter XVI-Tbe Press
A. D. Lasker, a Jewish boy, went to Chicago from his home in Louis ville, Kentucky, years ago. The story goes that he and his father had agreed to disagree over business. methods, and giving the son $5,000 in cash, told him to go to Chicago and make his own way. The boy accepted the challenge, and upon land ing in chicago he rented a room in the Congress Hotel and started out to look for a job. He finally ran across one as office boy for the firm of Lord & Thomas, advertising agents. With a job to his credit, Mr. Lasker secured a swell suite at the hotel and commenced to live in style. The nature of his employment leaked out and the newspapers got hold of it and he soon became known as the "Millionaire Office Boy." The publicity was what he was after and he got it in big chunks. He had to draw on his father again, however, before his for tune was made, but it was not long until he had things coming his way and he became a stockholder in the
concern. From that time on prosperity smiled on him, until he is now president of the company and lives on easy street, which is even better than the Congress Hotel.
Some one will no doubt ask what that has to do with a history of Mahaska county. Just sit tight and don't rock the boat and we will tell you. It was this Mr. Lasker, an acknowledged captain of industry, sitting in his office one day, whom a young man from the country with some Iowa dust still sticking in the seams of his trousers, approached and asked for a job. An average of ten or fifteen a week did the same thing, and as was his habit, after taking down the young man's street and number, he was just about to say, "I will file your name and if I need some one I will send for you." But the young man got there first and said, "I want a job and I'll get you a $40,000 contract within a week." Mr. Lasker hesitated, and the young man stood pat. "If your firm does not care for the business, I will take it elsewhere." Here was a young man out of the ordinary,
and his remarks might have been taken for impertinence in any other line of business, but an advertising man is born, not made, and Mr. Lasker thought he saw symptoms of one under the young man's hat. He hired him for a month with the under standing that if he made good he would keep him. That was easy as the young man had the contract in his pocket at the time, and before the week was up he sprung it on the firm. The result was that Tom Kester, erst while reporter on the old Oskaloosa Daily Times, had a steady job, and is now vice president and manager of one of the biggest advertising houses in the world."
George William Shockley came to town in 1883 and in 1884 he organized the Mahaska County Old Settlers' Association,-no, that is not a typographical error, the dates are as written. He was secretary for a long time and is now president of the Oskaloosa Country Club, and when other pressing social engagements will permit he plays golf. He is also president of the Oskaloosa Chau tauqua association, a member of the
K. of P. lodge, ex-Worthy Patron of the Order of Eastern Stars, goes to the Methodist church and in his leisure hours he edits the Saturday Globe. But he carries his cares well, and when he cannot get away to go back to his old home in New Vienna, Ohio, for a rest, he gets recreation by telling what he thinks of certain members of the legislature who voted against a state appropriation for the Iowa building at the Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. He has two good running mates in Tom Shockley and I. W. Cook, and we want to say right here and now without any qualification, that these three fellows have given of their time and talents to public affairs in Oskaloosa, in a measure exceeded by no other three in our recollections.
And since we have drifted into newspaper row we might as well take a shot at H. J. Vail. He is several thousand miles away and we can dodge if he shoots back. There may have been more brilliant and more conspicuous editors in the harness in Mahaska county than Mr. Vail, but we do not recall a better
example of the real successful country editor. He started the Star at New Sharon, when New Sharon could not be found on the map with a field glass. He made a success of it, accumulated some money, caught the California fever, sold out and went west. He established the Pasadena Star and run a metropolitan paper as long as the first boom lasted. When the bottom fell out of California, after the gold had all been picked up out of the gravel, Mr. Vail found him self stranded with an elephant news paper plant on his hands. He sold out,-or more properly speaking, gave it away-and came back to Iowa. He got a fresh start and got ambitious again and went to Ottumwa to edit the Ottumwa Daily Press. The venture proved too big an under taking for Ottumwa, and Mr. Vail again returned to New Sharon and bought back his old paper, the New Sharon Star. Here he made another fortune, but this time was wiser than before, curbed his ambitions and retired from business. He is now enjoying the fruits of his labor and living in California again, almost within a stone's throw of the Pasa-
dena Star which be started years ago. And while the Pasadena Star is now rated as a $200,000 property, Mr. Vail is happier and enjoys life more, than he would if be owned the plant.
The first court ever held in Mahaska county was convened in July, 1844, by Judge Joseph Williams of Muscatine, according to the musty documents in "Billy" Martin's office. This was a few years before George Baugh became mayor of Oskaloasa. They used to call him "Long George" and we supposed he got the nickname because of his size, as he was six fete four and wore a stove-pipe hat that added another foot or two to his stature, but we afterwards came to the conclusion that he was called long because of his extended term in of fice. He served the city about forty eight years in all, as near as we can remember. Mr. Haugh was inclined to be deliberate and easy going, but a terror to evil doers just the same. Our first experience in newspaper work was telling of the human interest stories that were unraveled in his court, and some most amusing incidents cropped up as Mr. Haugh never overlooked the humorous trend or the ridiculous side of life.
Charley Kline, an eccentric German, was inclined to fracture the ordinances pretty often, and was up before "his honor" for the third time in one week. Mr. Kline was good at telling stories and he started in on Mr. Haugh when the mayor did not care to listen. He tried several times to check the flow of language but to no avail, when suddenly bringing the book of ordinances down with a thump upon the desk, he exclaimed: "Ah, Charley, you make me tired!" "Well, your honor," came the quick reply, "I was fatigued myself," and with that the Mayor fined him $2 and costs, but suspended judgment if the prisoner at the bar would leave the premises and not talk to anybody for twenty four hours. Charley promised but he fell from grace when he started down stairs and began telling himself what he thought of the mayor and the town and the country in general.
But speaking about the city administrations, that we have known, makes us think that Woman Suffrage was in evidence in this man's town many
years ago. It was even before our time but we have it on good authority that Nancy Smith was once elected mayor of Oskaloosa. It happened in this wise. The two male candidates for mayor at the spring election had both incurred the ill will of a number of voters. They organized and voted for Nancy and elected her may or. But, as we said just a moment ago, this was before our recollection, so it was also prior to the thorough organization of Mahaska county for Suffrage, as perfected by Mrs. Devitt, Mrs. Reid and Miss Dunlap, with I. N. Taylor as member of the Advisory Committee. Naturally, the sentiment lacked backbone in those days and Nancy was not ambitious, so the honor was passed to the next highest candidate, and Oskaloosa lost the opportunity of its lifetime to be the first town in the world to have a woman for mayor. But opportunity may knock again, John J. Ingalls to the contrary notwithstanding. John never knew the temper of a real for sure Suffrage organization.
Going back to "Long George," do
you remember the fire engine by that name? It was during one of Mr. Baugh's earliest administrations that the old volunteer fire depart ments fell into innocuous desuetude, and the city sold the little pump guns that had done valiant service for many years, and which had by the races they promoted engendered more excitement in Oskaloosa than any thing before or since has done, unless it was the circulation and with drawal and reinstatement of the mulct petitions. But Prohibition has nothing to do with what we started out to say. Several big cisterns were dug about town, and a steam fire engine was purchased. It worked admirably until the nearest cistern was emptied and a change of venue became necessary. Then the fire generally took advantage of the situation and proceeded to satisfy its hunger with renewed vigor. Mr. Baugh persuaded the city to sink an artesian well, from which sufficient water might be secured for the city water works. This was another "long" undertaking. The hole under the bandstand is 2600 feet deep,
and cost so much money that some of the present day bonds were given to refund the ones incurred by digging the well.
But the fire engine and cisterns kept on doing business until the present water works plant was establish ed on Skunk river, and the controversy over fire pressure started. Some times we wish the city had that old fire engine yet. If it had, its presence might relieve the pressure on the mains and we would not have to have our plumbing repaired after every fire. And say, did you ever hear the stories of heroic work done at fires in times past? They are as rich as any fish stories ever told along the banks of old Skunk, or on the main highways to town, or to the wives who kept the suppers warm long after the piscatorial devotees had promised to be home. Like to hear some of them? Well, you'll have to ask some one else. We have too much regard for our head. The roof is not very well thatched any more, and besides we do not want to lose any of our best friends. This we do
know, however, that when C. Huber & Brother's hardware store was on fire, one bitter cold night, some fellows carried a dozen kegs of nails down a long stairway, and threw an equal number of boxes of glass out of the second story window. Ever see anything like that at a fire?
Once upon a time,-(and no history is complete that does not have at least one chapter beginning this way) -so, once upon a time, a home talent entertainment was being given at the Masonic opera house. It was the Fairy Queen, and Mrs. Virginia Knight Logan was the queen. With all her many musical accomplish ments, Mrs. Logan does not play a cornet, so when in the program of the play it became necessary for her to call the fairies from their slumber with the cornet, it had been arranged that she should place the in strument to her lips, and that Horace Shadel would make the music behind the scenes. Everything worked fine until Mr. Shadel overlooked his cue and kept on playing after Mrs. Logan had put down the instrument, and had taken up her other lines in the play.
Upon another occasion a traveling troop was producing "Keep it Dark," when a big plug at the old power
house blew out and they really kept it dark the rest of the evening. Many attribute this phenomenon, or accident, to the fact that a strange black cat wandered across the stage just before the lights went out. Be that as it may, it had nothing to do with another amusing incident at another home talent entertainment, "The Union Spy," put on for the benefit of Company F. Perry Welker took the part of a Confederate officer and in a terrible sham battle he was shot down and lay stiff in death when the curtain was rung down. His cap had rolled out almost to the foot lights, and Perry noticed that when the curtain came down it would separate him from his head gear. As the play was to be reproduced the next night, Perry wanted to make sure of all his paraphernalia, so be reached out and snatched his cap under cover. The play was good, but some in the audience were mean enough to say that Perry's quick action was the richest thing on the evening's program.
Speaking about the "Union Spy" reminds us that we had a part in the
play,-being perfectly at home as a member of the awkward squad under the leadership of Charley Walling. Now it so happened that Tad Shipley and your humble servant were brought up on adjoining lots. Tad could not help it, and upon arriving at the maturity he moved to another part of town. But the "Union Spy" was pulled off while Tad was still young, just big enough to boast of his first long pants. We had the advantage of him in size, so in order to look as awkward as possible-or more properly a little more awkward than usual-we borrowed a suit of Tad's clothes. "The first long pants" came up almost to our knees, and the sleeves of the coat almost to the elbow. The coat would not meet in front and aside from Orison Dutton, Harry Hale, Ralph Proudfit and Grant Cowgill, we got the plaudits of being the most awkward one in the squad of six, But take a look at Tad now and imagine if you can that he was once smaller than we are. What remarkable stunts time will perform!
After the war was over and the Un-
ion Spy had put down the rebellion, and Fred Logan had been safely removed from the new water pipe into which he had crawled and stuck, Company F was to have inspection, and Capt. Ira Stoddard, or Captain Frank Stone,-we are not sure which it was,-maybe it was Fiske-but at any rate the orders were issued to shine up all the company property. Grant Truax was a member of the company and as he lived out in the country along the Des Moines river, he was given permission to take his accouterments home with him to be cleaned up. In those days we had the old Springfield rifles with long bright barrels and bayonets, and clean-up day meant some work. But Grant was equal to the occasion and as the farm work was in hand he turned his talents on the gun and he came in for inspection with his gun polished from end to end. He had even scraped and sand-papered the blue burnish off the lock and hammer, and admitted that that part was an unusually hard job. We were to have a Regular Army officer for in spector and there was consternation
in the camp over the performance of Mr. Truax. Grant, however, was again equal to the occasion and just before we formed in line to go on display he exchanged guns with George Hale. The officer came along in great dignity and holding up George's gun in dignity he expostulated: "What have you been doing to this rifle?" Quick as a flash came the answer: "I guess that's the one the Union Spy shot the Rebel Corporal with." The humor of the situation melted the officer's icicles, and if he had intended to send George to the guard house, he relented, and went on to the next man.
And no history of local military affairs would be complete without men tion of Company F's tramp to Ottumwa, under Colonel Swalm's paternal care. Captain Keating and the company later had some rough experiences in the Philippines, but the veterans would never have been equal to the occasion had some of them not been hardened to the work by the tramp to Ottumwa. And it was here limelight,-or more properly speak-
ing, the camp light. It was a fixed custom that upon the last night in camp there was to be a "shirt-tail parade." Every fellow who was not in the hospital or guard house was expected to fall in line, with nothing on but a shirt and take part in the "dress parade." On that particular occasion the boys got George to carry the bass drum and they strapped it on him securely. When the officers came out to put an end to the fun, George started back to his tent post haste. He stumbled over a guy rope, rolled over the drum and ran his head into the sand. His bare legs stuck up like specters in the night, and there he remained until the relief guard came to his rescue. But the officers never found out who he was.
Chapter XIX-The Finish
Some funny things have happened in Oskaloosa when one takes an impartial and unbiased review of the past. For instance, the first church building ever erected in town was turned into a broom factory and every vestage of its early mission was swept away. Then the original Quaker church, built by people who are constitutionally opposed to war, was turned into an armory for Company F. Miles Prine was once a chef on a Mississippi steamboat, and Frank Christie, with a pate that would qualify in any front row, delights to stand behind his barber's chair and tell his customer how much benefit may be derived from a certain brand of hair restorative. J. B. Doll tells of a stingy man he used to know, back in Rushville, Indiana, who went up town and bought a nickle's worth of apples, and then whistled all the way home to keep from eating any of them. But that has nothing occasion demanded quick action and Mr. Loring advised that something be done "simultaneously, altogether, and at once!"
Every time we see John Mattison we think of the time we tried to set up a tent on Skunk river in a rain storm, and after we had turned it over three or four times it held water like a sieve. Ernie Cunningham and Harry Shipley were along, and the only pleasant recollections of the whole excursion was the custard that Ernie's mother had made and which was saved by turning a bucket upside down over it. And what a joy camping used to be among the big catfish ponds that bred sand flies and mosquitoes, over the river from the mouth of Painter Creek. But in earlier days there must have been something worse than mosquitoes. Major Lacey in an address at Eveland, which he says was named after the original mother of us all, years ago said: "Some of the old settlers may remember the `Prairie Digs' of the early day. When I was seventeen I made my debut in life by attempting to teach school. I boarded around, and at the opening of school the `digs' were confined to a single family. But the close of the school showed how good a mixer the teacher was. The whole neighborhood was digging."
Admiral Frank Fletcher, the supreme head of the United States Navy, got his feet wet and "took to water" along old Spring Creek, when that stream did not belie its name by going dry every summer. And short ly after the first typewriter was bought for the court house, a bill came before the board of supervisors for a "ribbon for the typewriter." It is said that R. W. Moore was willing to admit that she was a nice little girl but he thought it was going too far to buy her ribbons. Then another time J. B. Bolton was telling Judge Dewey what the law was, "Where did you find that statute?" asked the Judge. "In the annointed code of Iowa," came the reply. And back in Judge J. Kelley Johnson's time, a colored man by the name of Patterson was brought into court for some offence. When asked by the Judge if he wished a lawyer, he replied, "No, sah. If yo' honoh please, I's had troubles enuf already."
Maetta J. Evans, whom at school we called "May," possibly because of her resemblance to the merry month of that name, was so precise that the rest of us used to feel abashed. But
think of her now writing fiction for the magazines! And they say Jeff Harbour used to crochet as good as any of the girls at Beacon, yet he grew up to be the editor of the Youth's Companion. Woods Hutchinson could not play shinny or skate for sour apples when we knew him at Penn college, yet there is not a magazine in the country which would not take his stuff now at a price that would make the rest of us whistle. Robert Meredith, who went around the world on sixty dollars, once slept on a wagon tongue, and could qualify for that many thousand in a pinch. Major S. H. M. Byers, who leaped in to fame by his Sherman's March to the Sea, used to wade knee deep in mud as a boy in Oskaloosa, and play marbles with Col. Al Swalm, until the latter became a devil-in the Herald office. Professor Warman, who went hatless in winter time and yelled "Yaw! Boo!" at five o'clock in the morning, is still busy in Los Angeles, and says he is going to help bury the last of the G. A. R.-that is the last one except himself. Then there are Listen McMillen and Robert Kissick who have written books, and Lou Shangle who once wrote a
brief for the United States supreme court. Carrie McAyeal Ogilvie, who is editor of the Midwestern Magazine of Des Moines, got her training in try ing to teach this young idea how to shoot. Entered then Mal Rose, the sweet singer of today, whose life has been burdened almost beyond measure, and yet whose verses breathe the air of spring eternal and radiate perennial joy.
But, gracious friends, we must be going. 0. A. Martin, our "Farmer Poet" in his book entitled "Sparks From a Farmer's Anvil," page 162, and beginning at the first line of the sixth verse of the 726th poem of the 5879 written up to that date, sings:
"How foolish it is to longer wait, Level your gun and keep it straight; Then you a marksman sure will be In that land where all are free."
And lest somebody might accident ally pull the trigger, we will quit right here, with a fond farewell.
--------------- Index added by Mitchel Schwartz in 2000 ---------------
Roustabout History of Mahaska County, Iowa Web Page
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy