« ForrigeFortsett »
absorbed the Independent (which was started by Ed. Wood and S. S. Haislet in the summer of 1874), the combined paper taking the name Independent-Register. In January, 1876, Mr. Aiken sold out' his interest, Henry Woodruff becoming editor and manager of the Bee, which continued without change till January, 1879, Ed. Wood taking the Independent Register, and soon dropping the word Register from the name. About the first of June, 1876, Mr. Wood sold out and gave place to J. F. Meagher, who, in the latter part of July, "stepped down and out," the present proprietors of the Decorah Journal becoming its purchaser, and its subscription list was united with that of the Bee. In January, 1879, the regular publication of the weekly Decora Journal commenced, it being virtually the successor of the old Register and Independent, and the Bee office soon dropped its separate character and became part of the Journal establishment. Henry Woodruff, the editor and publisher, was born at Vienna, Trumbull County, Ohio, October 20, 1836. He learned the printer's trade, commencing at he age of 15, in the office of the Anti-Slavery Bugle, at Salem, Ohio, then a center of western abolitionists, of which the Bugle was the organ, Abby Kelley and S. C. Foster, Wm. Loyd Garrison, Parker Pillsbury,the Burleighs and the venerable and quaint colored female lecturer, Sojourner Truth, who is still living, often making that town their western headquarters, and lecturing there. He afterwards worked at his trade at Warren Ohio, and graduated at the High School there, having lived for a time at Talmadge, Ohio, and from there he went to Western Reserve College, at Hudson, Ohio, since removed to Cleveland and known as Western Reserve University, from which he graduated in 1865, being meanwhile four months in the Union army, and was married in Hudson, September 17, 1865, to Miss Cordelia Kilbourne. He lived for a short time at Geneseo, N. Y., and also at Cleveland, O., and in July, 1867, went to St. Paul, Minn., where he at once became editorially connected with the Daily Press. He was one of the prize speakers and the poet of his class, but has since made no effort in the way of rhyming, except to accept the invitation in 1873, to deliver the Alumni poem at Western Reserve College commencement, at Hudson, in June, on the occasion of the late President Garfield's address to the college societies, and to twice read the annual
poems before the Minnesota State Editorial Association. He remained at his editorial work at St. Paul, excepting an interval of a year and a half, as editor of a paper in Stillwater, until he came to Decorah with his family about December 1, 1874. Their residence is on the northwest corner of Broadway and Grove Streets. They have three children. The Journal office is now situated on the first floor of the brick building on the east side of Winnebago Street, near Main, vacated by the postoffice in 1881. It made arrangements some two years ago with the Luther College Publishing House, just across Main Street, to run its Cylinder
Press by steam, and has since had its newspaper Press work done there. It has a job office, press, etc, in its own office, from which is also issued the monthly Home Journal. which has a large circulation.
The other English printing office in Decorah is that of the Decorah Pantagraph, successor to the Decorah Radical. Geo. W. Haislet, after leaving the Register office, went to Cresco, where he published a paper for a time, and in August, 1875, came back to Decorah and started another Ventilator, but soon suspended publication and went to Dubuque, where he continued in the newspaper business. In the fall of 1876 he came back to Decorah, and on October 10th commenced the publication of the Decorah Radical, which he continued till his death, March 6, 1881. The Radical was continued by Mrs. Haislet, Judge M. V. Burdick conducting it for a time. It was purchased April, 1882, by C. H. Craig, who changed its name to the Decorah Pantagraph, and is its present publisher. It does not run a job office and has its newspaper press work done at the Posten office which is near at hand. Mr. Craig was born in Albany, N. Y., November 20, 1856, and received his education in the public schools there. He came west to Sioux Falls, Dakota, in April, 1878; became connected with the newspapers, and remained there until he came to Decorah in April of the present year. He is at present unmarried, but the deservedly happy lot of a Benedict is predicted for him by his friends. The Decorah Posten is the only Norwegian paper in Iowa. B.
:( Annundsen, the publisher, came to Decorah in 1867 and started a printing office. He established the Posten in September, 1874; it was then a small four page sheet, 18x24 inches; subscription price 50c. a year. The first month the subscription list grew to 1,200. In 1875 the paper was enlarged to 22x32 inches, subscription price $1.10. In 1876 its size was 24x36; in 1877, 24x38; and in 1878 it was enlarged to its present size, 29x40, being in large four-page form; price, $1.10. Its present circulation is over 7,000. It is independent in all things and owns to be a purely literary and famíly newspaper. B. Annundsen, the persevering and energetic proprietor, was born at Skien, Norway, in 1814. He came to America in 1864, and to Decorah in 1867, as already stated. He has a family, and his residence is on east Main street.
The publishing house of the Norwegian Lutheran Synod has grown to be a very important one. Besides printing the several Norwegian newspapers and magazines, it does a large book-publishing business and has complete book-binding and stereotyping departments. Its regular periodicals are the Kirketidende, a church weekly, and the Opbyggelsesblad, a church monthly, and Fer Hjemmet, a semi-monthly for the family. It is now engaged in printing from its stereotype plates a large edition of the New Testament in the Norwegian language. It is also extensively engaged in the publication of Norwegian religious and school books,
and has several presses and other machinery run by a powerful steam engine. The publishing establishment is on Main street, near Winnebago, and its retail department on the corner of Winnebago and Main streets, next door to the Journal office. It employs more than twenty hands, and its business is rapidly increasing, as it has for its field all parts of the United States where Norwegians have located. Its manager, J. L. Lee, who was born in Christiana, Norway, in 1835, was educated there, came to America in 1852, and to Decorah in 1872. He became manager of the business in 1877, and to him its success is largely due. The residence of Mr. Lee and family is in West Decorah.
The extent of the newspaper business in Decorah may be judged from the fact that during the three months ending with September, 1882, the Decorah postoffice mailed 13,825 pounds of newspapers, or nearly seven tons, for which the government secured a revenue of $208.62.
Decorah and its suburbs abound in charming, extended, and beautiful views, and romantic places of resort for the summer vistor; and within the limits of the township are many more. The wonderful Ice Cave, about half a mile north of the busines part of the city, has been mentioned in the opening part of this chapter. From the bluff above it, one of the finest views of Decorah can be had. About a half a mile west of it, a few rods up a romantic valley is "Spring Mill,” where a large stream of water pours out of a cave in the bluff, about 100 feet high, while it is fully another hundred feet to the top of the overhanging bluff, from which a magnificent view of city and valley is gained. About half a mile east of Ice Cave, a romantic valley leads up to A. C. Ferren's grounds, where two large springs, clear and cold, make a favorite place for picnics, and the home of some beautiful trout, which Mr. Ferren has raised. Coming back to the bank of the river, a gradual ascent towards the east leads up to the top of the perpendicular, rocky bluff, from which is a beautiful view of the city and valley abore, and the river below-lying apparently at your feetthe whole presenting an extraordinary picture. From Pleasant Hill, southeast of the city, and from the hill at the head of Washington street, other fine views of city and valley can be had. About two miles south the immense spring or underground river, forming Trout Run, comes out from a mamoth rock at the foot of a bluff, winds around a grassy slope where stands the residence of Prof. Seevers, while in the foreground, tall, rocky pillars and perpendicular bluffs overlook the beautiful valley for miles below. There are also delightful picnic grounds at Union Springs, near the scale factory, referred to in this chapter. Several Îarge springs of pure cold water flow out from the bluff at all seasons of the year, while close at hand are grassy lawns and refreshing shade
from the heat of summer. But there are delightful rambles inside the limits of the city. Only a few rods from Upper Broadway, just beyond the beautiful residence of Henry Paine, is the shady summit of the precipitous bluff overhanging the river and “dugway" road to Addicken mill and Union Springs. Here the eye takes in a view of West Decorah, Luther College, and the broad expanse of river and valley. And yet not half has been told. The eye of the rambler is greeted with continual surprise.
In speaking of places of resort it is convenient just here to refer to some noted ones in other parts of the county. A drive to Bluffton, about twelve miles northwest of Decorah, where immense rocky bluffs overlook the river, takes one through some of the wildest and most romantic scenery on the Upper Iowa River. In the southern part of Burr Oak township, a few miles from Bluffton, is the well-known "Cold Spring," where a stream of water sufficient to turn a mill flows from the mouth of a cave, under a towering bluff 100 feet high. In the cave is a lake about 100 feet long by forty feet wide, the top of the cave rising in a high arch as it recedes from the entrance. Again, about eight miles from Decorah, on a cross-road between the Waukon and Frankville roads, near the Peter Oleson flour mill, in Glenwood township, is another large cave. The entrance is low and narrow, and a boat and torch are necessary to explore the cave. Once in, there is plenty of room, and water that will float a boat through a narrow channel that seems to be a quarter of a mile long, and further if one cares to go. In some places the ceiling is in plain sight and at others invisible in the darkness.
Another cave, as large as a good-sized mercantile salesroom, can be found on the Coleman farm, about six miles up the Iowa River. The caves and springs in this county on and near the Waukon road, are frequently visited by picnic parties from Waukon. There are other caves that might be mentioned. But we will close by saying that it will amply repay any one to visit the large and beautiful grounds of Col. J. W. Taylor, about six miles west of the city; where art has combined with nature to make nature look still more varied and beautiful, and where frequent surprises greet the eye as one drives through avenues lined with evergreens, succeeded by flowers, solitary woods, bright and velvety openings in the forest, and finally reaches the cozy, unique log cabin of the proprietor, beyond which a bridle path leads down past a precipitous bluff to the bed of a beautiful stream, where are abundant springs, grassy slopes and green fields beyond.
A PARTING WORD.
Decorah has good reason for pride in its large, handsome and substantial business blocks, as well as its beautiful residences. Its court house, and handsome, substantial new jail, have been described in the chapters of county history, The elevated portion of the court house grounds is very nearly in the center of the city; their beautiful terraced slopes at once attract attention, and from them the eye looks down on a beautiful city, spreading out across a broad valley, and the grand, encircling hills which surround and protect it. May it attain the growth that its natural advantages entitle it to, and the public spirit of its citizens make it quick to utilize and make the most of those advantages, and use all for the promotion of its natural, as well as moral and social welfare.
Townships and Villages of the County; General Remarks; Rivers
and Railroads, Shape and Size of County; Its Geology, Products, and Resources; Healthy Climate; Rich Soil and Beautiful Scenery.
The general history of the settlement and development of Winneshiek County, as well as its chronological history, has embraced to a great extent that of its several townships and villages, and in the biographical sketches toward the end of this volume. The history of Decorah has also been to a large extent that of the county at large. But there are many things that pertain specially to the townships and villages, and separate mention of them will be of interest. As a matter of convenience, the townships are taken up by tiers, commencing with the northern tier, and the western township of that tier. FREMONT TOWNSHIP AND THE VILLAGES OF KENDALLVILLE AND
PLYMOUTH ROCK. Fremont township is in the extreme northwest corner of the county. Positively who was the first settler is not decided. A. C. Hitchcock, afterwards deputy sheriff, and Wm. Finfield and wife came there in 1854. There were probably earlier settlers, for Rev. Ephraim Adams, in his Thanksgiving discourse, said that the siding for the Winneshiek House, which was built in 1854–5, was got out at what was known as Carter's Mill, at Plymouth Rock. Fremont township for several years belonged to Burr Oak precinct. In August, 1856, an election was ordered to establish Fremont township, and was carried. The first township officers were:
Justice of the Peace, Joseph Eddy; Town Clerk, Wm. F. Daskam; Constable, C. Parmalee; Trustees, DeWitt Brady, J. P. Johnson, D. E. Shelmadine.