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touch the bars. The latter replied that he was going to have his cattle. He again ordered him not to touch the bars, and meanwhile Hansen approached with his hands raised, in one of which he held a revolver. The deceased, it appears, then also approached Hansen, holding in his hands a light stick, which he raised as if to strike Hansen, who fired his revolver at close range, the bullet piercing the forehead of Krogsund, just above the left eye, causing him to fall unconscious. He did not move afterward, except some slight twitchings, and he died about midnight.
Hansen says he shot in self-defense, and that he was struck a blow with the stick before he shot. The wounded man's brother says that no blow was struck, though the stick was raised. Two men on the bluff, about 15 rods distant, saw the stick raised and also saw Hansen approach with hands raised, but saw no blow struck.
Hansen immediately gave himself up, waived examination, and is in jail for trial for murder, without bail. He is 23 years old and leaves a wife and child. Peterson, or Krogsund, was about 36 years old and also leaves a wife and child.
A coroner's inquest was held on Monday, and a verdict rendered that the deceased came to his death by a bullet from a pistol in the hands of Hansen, We are informed that the revolver contained only the one charge. The scene of the tragedy was not far from the stone mill above referred to, and very near the famous cave in Glenwood township, about nine miles from Decorah.
For many years after the first settlement of the county, the products of the country had to be transported to the river and goods brought back by team, McGregor being generally the trading point for several years before the railroad was extended in this direction. But the enterprising people demanded better transportation. Speaking of these first things in railroad enterprise, Sparks' History says:
In 1856 everything was booming. The abundant resources of a new country had reached a high state of development, nioney was plenty, and the prospects for the future bright. One thing alone seemed lacking to make the people perfectly satisfied with their condition-better facilities for transportation. The time had passed when the products of the county could be transported sixty miles to market by ox-teams without suffering much inconvenience and loss. Tlie time had come when a railroad was a necessity. The railroad fever was raging throughout the West, and far-seeing ones realized the immense value that would sweep in on iron rails, drawn by the iron horse. After a due amount of talk and agitation, the Northwestern Railroad Company was formed. Decorah was its headquarters, but they took in prominent citizens of Clinton. John Thompson, of Clermont, became
President; 0. C. Lee, a banker at McGregor, Secretary; W. F. Kimball, of Decorah, Treasurer; Eb. Baldwin, Chief Engineer, and E. E. Cooley, Attorney. With a mighty faith in the future, business men put down their names for stock by the thousand dollars' worth, and $80,000 of the capital was actually subscribed. Whether it all could have been paid for is another matter. With such a start as this, the company felt it could appeal to the public spirit of the people, and the county was asked to bond itself to the amount of $100,000. Strange as it may seem to later comers, who worked and toiled to gather together the few thousands which the railroad actually cost when it did come, the people enthusiastically came forward and voted aye.
The bonds were printed after some delay, and were all ready to be formally signed, sealed and delivered, when the Supreme Court stamped the law under which the bonds were being put out, with the word "unconstitutional.” The scheme collapsed, and the county was saved a burden of debt, which might have retarded its progress for all the years past, as well as scores to come. It is worthy of note that when the railroad did come to us it followed the line marked out by those pioneers, and proved that their plans were wise and far-sighted, if they were a dozen years ahead of the times.
Several attempts were made before a railroad was finally built. The company to succeed was the McGregor Western. This company was organized January 19, 1863. The commencement of the road was at North McGregor. Work was commenced in March, 1863, and in one year the road was in running order to Monona, fourteen and one-half miles. The work was completed to Postville in September, 1864, to Castalia in October, 1864, and to Conover in August, 1865.
Decorah, at this date, had become a thriving inland city, well supported with newly started manufactories. Her citizens looked upon the road that was to pass them by with a covetous eye. Railroad connection, with river and lake transportation, was necessary to the future prosperity of the place. This was readily comprehended, and every effort was put forth by an energetic people to secure better transportation facilities. As a result, proposals were made to the managers of the McGregor Western Railway to build a branch line from Conover to Decorah, nine miles. The citizens of Decorah pledged themselves to furnish $10,000, as a bonus, provided the Company would build the nine miles of road, which the managers agreed to do. Nearly $18,000 was paid in by the people of Decorah, and, on the other hand, the road was graded and bridged, ready for the superstructure. But the main line having been leased to the Milwaukee & Prairie du Chien Company, work on the branch was suspended in September, 1865.
The road is now operated under the management of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company, by which name it is known. The branch was completed to Decorah in September, 1869, in accordance with the agreement made by the company with the citizens of Decorah. The event was one of great importance to the capital city of the county. A day of celebration and rejoicing was given in honor of the event. Large crowds of people thronged to the city, and many availed themselves of the opportunity offered and made excursion trips to Conover and back. Hon. E. E. Cooley delivered an address, in which he ably set forth the great value the new railroad would be to Decorah and the surounding country.
Several attempts have been made within the past few years to secure additional railroad facilities, the principal object being to secure competing lines, so as to obtain lower freights.
On the 8th of August, 1879, the township of Decorah voted a four per cent. tax, to induce the river road from Clinton and Dubuque to LaCrosse, which was leased to and connected with the Chicago & Northwestern Railway—to extend its Waukon narrow guage branch to Decorah. The townships of Frankville and Glenwood refused to vote the tax. But the railroad was graded to Decorah, and the laying of iron out of Waukon was commenced, when the river road was bought out by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul company, and the enterprise stopped. There are indications that the latter company is about to widen the gauge of the Waukon branch to the regular standard, and perhaps extend it to Decorah, to give an easier grade to the river and accommodate the immense trade of its branches that meet at Calmar. As the road was not built as stipulated, Decorah escaped the payment of the tax, wbich had been voted.
The above project for a connection with the North western, having failed, another was attempted. On the 9th of November, 1881, the township of Decorah voted a five per cent. tax on condition that a railroad be built to the Mississippi river, at or about Lansing, Iowa. But a hoped for connection not having been secured, the upper Iowa and Mississippi railway company--as the above company was called—had the proposed tax cancelled to give a choice for the enterprise mentioned below.
This last enterprise was the proposed building of a railroad to connect with the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railway, at or near West Union or Clermont, This giving another southern and eastern connection by way of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific road (the backers of the B. C. R. & N). On the 4th day of April, 1882, Decorah Township voted a five per cent. tax for the continuation of this road, on condition that it he built by Sept., 1883, assurances being made that there was ample capital to construct the road. It cannot be told at the time of this writing whether the road will be built or not, as it could be done if necessary, if not actively commenced till the spring of 1883. A tax for this road was voted down in Military Township.
Meanwhile there are prospects of a road being built across the northern part of the county. This proposed road is called the Minnesota, Iowa & Southwestern, and is intended to run from La Crosse, Wis., via Charles City, to Western Iowa. Taxes were voted for the proposed road in the fall of 1881, by Hesper, Burr Oak and Bluffton Townships, and the right-of-way is now being purchased (in the fall of 1882) over some portions of the line in this county. It was alleged that there was a technicality in the manner of ordering the vote in Bluffton Township which made it illegal, and a new election was ordered early in 1882, in which the project met with defeat. The tax has been ordered by the County Supervisors in accordance with the old vote in Bluffton; it may be left to the courts to decide whether it shall be collected.
Decorah will probably have another railroad connection before long, but just how soon is not yet determined.
The continuation of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway from Conover, north to Ridgway and St. Paul, when Conover lost the "boom which had made it a busy, bustling little city; the continuation of the Iowa & Dakota division from Calmar westward to Fort Atkinson and beyond in 1869, and the recent completion of the line between Calmar and Davenport, are matters to be referred to elsewhere, more especially in the sketches of the towns named.
OUR PRODUCTS. Since the county became settled, until the last five years, wheat has been the principal product, and though the larger portion of the wheat has been shipped in bulk, there are now in this county six mills devoted wholly or in part to the manufacture of flour for eastern markets, while sixteen more are devoted to custom work. The fine water powers with which the county abounds, give ample facilities for these and other manufactories.
Within the past two or three years more attention has been given to dairying and stock raising, and this county promises to become, as it is well adapted to be, one of the finest in the country for this purpose. Already its stock farms and its creameries have become famous.
Of these and various other industries, the woolen mill, scale factory, paper mill, extensive stone quarries, etc., further mention will be found in our sketch of Decorah and other townships in the county.
EDUCATIONAL AND LITERARY. In educational progress this county has kept well in the front. Besides the excellent public schools, there are private ones, prominent among which is the Decorah Institute, under the excellent management of Prof. Breckenridge, attracting a large attendance of pupils from abroad. This, as well as the Norwegian Lutheran
College, located at Decorah, with its fine, large building costing $100,000, its nine professors, and its regular attendance of nearly two hundred students, are more particularly described in a following chapter giving the history of Decorah.
The first newspaper in the county has already been mentioned. Decorah has had fully a score of them, and now has several Engglish and one Norwegian newspaper, besides the religious and literary periodicals issued by the Norwegian College publishing house. Calmar and Ossian have had successive ones which have failed, but they now have one each. These newspaper ventures will be mentioned more particularly in the sketches of the several towns.
GRATIFYING SHOWING, The following from the Decorah Republican gives a comprehensive view of the growth and prosperity of the county, financially, educationally and otherwise:
The growth of Winneshiek County in wealth and evidences of material prosperity, has been steady and rapid.
In 1852, the assessment of the county only represented an actual value in both real and personal property of $81,000, while our present assessments represents an actual value in round numbers of $15,500,000. In this are included 18,270 cattle over six months old, representing a cash value of $310,000; 11,188 horses, representing a cash value of $884,000; and 23,567 swine, representing an actual value of $20,000.
The total tax levied for the year 1880, for all purposes including State, County, School and Municipal, was $104,745.95 of which $36,456.28 was for the support of schools alone. The last annual report of the County Superintendent of Public Schools showed that there was in the hands of different district treasurers in the county, school money to defray current expenses aggregating nearly $30,000
The financial management of the county has always been conservative. Such a thing as a bonded debt has never been permitted, and at no time in the history of the county has the floating debt. been so large but that it was easily paid by ordinary financiering. There is now no debt whatever against the county, and settlers are not sought as a financial relief. On the contrary, we invite them to a home where all the early wants have been met and supplied.
With no debt existing, the county possesses such requisities in the shape of public buildings and property as these: A substantial Court House, ample for the needs of the next twenty years; a good Poor House and farm for the support of its needy; and a jail-one of the best and safest in the state-for the restraint of the crimi
nal class. For the education of its children, there are already · built 92 frame, 30 brick, and 14 stone school houses, ranging in