« ForrigeFortsett »
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.
PLEASURE RESORTS. 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 large 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, aud 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. will close by saying that it will anply 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 de
scribed 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 1851. 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.
The population of the township by the census of 1880, was 692. There are two postoffices at two small villages in the townshipKendallville and Plymouth Rock.
The village of Kendallville, which by the census of 1880 contained 75 inhabitants, is on the southwest side of the Upper Iowa River, is two and a half miles from the west line, and three-quarters of a mile from the south line of the township. It was originally called "Enterprise," and was located on the claim of Mr. Shelmadine. S. G. Kendall came to this county from Mississippi in 1860, commenced the erection of a flour mill and other improvements, and started the mill in operation in 1862; the village from that time was called Kendallville, and the postoffice was changed to this place from Twin Springs, one mile north; the plat of Kendallville was recorded September 9th, 1874. George Potter was the first postmaster. The first store was kept by David Bennett. A Grange hall was built January, 1868, two stories high, 20x50 feet, is still conducted by the society of Patrons of #usbandry, and is one of the few lodges in the state in a flourishing condition. The mill passed from Mr. Kendall's hands to Mr. Lawler, of Prairie du Cbien, and from him to John McHugh, of Cresco, who still owns it. Kendallville has two stores, one by J. L. Daskam, the postmaster, and one by R. Barnes; J. H. Stockman has a blacksmith shop. It is 21 miles from Decorah and eight from Cresco, with which it connects by a tri-weekly mail. The extensive Kendallville stock farm of John McHugh is located near here.
Plymouth Rock village and post office is within half-a-mile of the south fline of Fremont township, and 14 miles from the east line. It was platted in September, 1855, and the plat recorded January 15, 1856. The siding for the Winneshiek House, built in 1854-5, was obtained from what was known as Carter's Mill, at Plymouth Rock. It has a population of about 30, and is about 19 miles from Decorah, and 10 from Cresco. It has a tri-weekly mail. G. V. Puntney, postmaster, runs the flour mill; L. Wanless bas a general store.
BURR OAK TOWNSHIP AND VILLAGE.
Burr Oak is the second from the west in the northern tier of townships. Geo. V. Puntney, now of Plymouth Rock, settled on section 30, in 1851. “Burr Oak Precinct” for several years embraced all the northern tier of townships. For its several divisions, see County History. Burr Oak village is on Silver Creek, near the center of the eastern side of the township, and about three-fourths of a mile from its eastern line. It was platted by S. Middlebrook, May 16, and plat recorded July 14, 1855. Samuel S. Belding was proprietor of the town plat; Manning's addition was recorded October 15, 1856. By the census of 1880, Burr Oak