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of Rescue No. 1, have always responded cheerfully when called upon to battle with the fire fiend; that they have often been called upon and have always conducted themselves in a mannat deserying of the gratitude and praise of the people. The force includes isome of the most expert and daring firemen who ever belonged to any organizatian of the kind.
THE WATER SUPPLY: In the spring of 1871, through the persistent efforts of Capt: Samuel W. 'Hemenway, whose life was sacrificed in the enterprise, a stock company was organized in Lansing, for the purpose of securing a water supply for the city and the citizens. The company was duly incorporated as the Lansing Artesian Well Company of Lansing. The Swan Brothers, of Boscobel, Wis., were employed to do the drilling, and operations were begun early in the spring by drilling a well on Main street, at the intersection of North Third.
Subsequently attempts were made to sink wells at the west end of Main street, and on Front street at the foot of Main. The west end well was a complete failure, owing to the alleged fact that the drillers struck granite before reaching any considerable amount of water. The well was abandoned, and soon afterward closed up by means of wooden plugs. The Front street well developed a fine flow of water, but because of a defect in piping it, or for some unknown cause, the company have been unable to prevent underground leakage. This well is still flowing under the surface, but is not used by the company, and is of no value.
The Third street well was, however, in all respects a perfect success. Its depth is 778 feet. At the time of its completion it was estimated to discharge 372 gallons per minute. The water is at all seasons of uniform temperature, agreeable to the taste, and considered to possess superior medicinal properties. It is supplied to citizens, and the city for fire purposes, by means of an extensive system of iron pipes laid in the streets in the most approved manner; and affords a most abundant supply of pure and cool water for all purposes, having sufficient head to force itself into the second story of buildings in the principal portion of town. During the summer drinking fountains are maintained by the city on Main street, where this excellent water can be obtained by all, as " free as the air we breathe.”.
Beyond question the artesian well has proved itself to be one of the most important enterprises ever attempted by the citizens of Lansing. Its usefulness cannot be overestimated. As stated, its. gratifying results were almost wholly due to the individual efforts of Capt. Samuel W. Hemenway, who first suggested the drilling of an artesian well; who demonstrated by means of his superior skill and knowledge of such subjects, the certainty of success, and who, when success had been attained, and the people were rejoicing in the splendid result, lost his life while superintending the comple
tion of the magnificent public work his ability, energy, and perse-. verance had produced. So intimately is his memory interwoven with the history of this public work, that it seems impossible to leave the subject without a brief review of his life and the painful circumstances attending his tragic death.
On the afternoon of Thursday, May 3, 1877, the Third street well being then an assured success, Capt. Hemenway entered a deep cut on Main street to personally superintend the joining of sections of the main water pipe to be employed in supplying water from the new well. While thus engaged the embankment on the north side gave way, and the unfortunate man was literally buried alive. Assistance was instantly at hand, but some little time was required to remove the large quantity of earth and rocks that had fallen upon him. When rescued from his perilous position it was found that one limb was broken in several places, and that he had probably sustained severe internal injuries. The gravest apprehension proved too true, and, notwithstanding the best medical skill and kindest attention of friends and neighbors were bestowed upon him, with a community's united prayers for his recovery, he died on the following Sunday, May 6th, 1877.
His funeral, which occurred on Tuesday, May 8th, was attended by the municipal authorities, all the civic societies in the city, delegates from neighboring Masonic organizations, and the largest concourse of people ever assembled in Lansing to perform the last sad rites for one of its citizens.
Mr. Hemenway was born on the 19th of February 1839, at Potsdam, St. Lawrence county, N. Y. His earlier years were spent in that vicinity. In 1855 he become a resident of Lansing, and was foreman in the agricultural implement factory of his brother, H. H. Hemenway, until the year 1862, when he entered the service of his country, as a member of Co. B, 27th Regt. Io. Vol. Inft. He was commissioned captain by Gov. Kirkwood, October 3, 1862. For faithful service he was promoted to the office of major, and was mustered out at Clinton, August 8th, 1865, having served three years without the loss of a single day by leave of absence. Mr. Hemenway was a republican in politics. As chairman of the republican county central committee in the campaign of 1876, he achieved a remarkable victory and had he lived would have received deserved recognition at the hands of his political associates. At the time of his death he was mayor of the city, superintendent of the well company, a leading member of the masonic organizations of the city, and in all respects the most active, enterprising and useful citizen of Lansing.
On May 30th, 1877, Decoration Day was for the first time formally observed by the people of Lansing. Coming as it did so soon after the fateful death of Mr. Hemenway, who had himself been a faithful soldier, and whose new made grave was then especially entitled to receive an offering of flowers, the occasion was rendered pe
culiarly impressive. From the oration of Dick Harvey, Esq., who spoke with intense feeling upon the occasion, the following extract is subjoined:
"of those upon whose graves will soon be strewn our floral offerings, I deem it adequate to say that when living they were soldiers, all of them brave boys, who, from time to time, have stacked their arms, done with life's relentless warfare, and now are peacefully reposing in the grand encampment of the dead.
“How sleep the brave who sink to ies:
To dwell a weeping hermit there.' With the memory of one among these noble dead, because of long and near acquaintance my heart prompts me to linger. One so lately gone the closing scene still haunts us like some hateful vision. One who had survived the perils of three long years on the tented field, but to reach the meridian of a peerless manhood and then to perish in an hour of peaceful toil, where the possibility of danger was undreamed. Oh, strange and cruel fate! Dumb, in the shadow of this dark mystery, I stand with lifted hands, and vainly strive to comprehend its meaning.
Even had I power to free my prisoned thoughts, language to reveal the sullen gloom which hangs over the troubled waters of my soul, it were better to be silent, for God knows I would not by the slightest imperfection of expression wound one poor aching heart within the hearing of my voice! Only this much then: He was my friend, strong in intellect and purpose, possessed of wondrous personal power and faultless courage, an impetuous unflinching soldier. Self-taught in the severe school of disappointment and adversity he had developed a bold, decisive character, and had stored à most comprehensive mind with practical knowledge and useful facts. A clear head, large heart and untiring industry combined to render him recognized and respected among all with whom he mingled. Struggling upward against obstacles which battle ordinary men, the dawn of a brighter day seemed breaking, the earnest of a useful and success crowned career, when alas the ill-fated hour! That treacherous bank must fall and crush out the life of him whose efforts had upreared it!
Oh what a noble heart was here undone
'Twas thine own genius gave the final blow,
Drank the last life-drop of his bleeding breast! Doubtless Samuel was not dearer to his friends than were the others to those who knew and loved them best. They all were soldiers, and in full round measure worthy of the offerings we bring them here to-day.”
The first newspaper office established in Lansing was owned by H. H. Houghton, of Galena, Ill. The name of the paper was the Lansing Intelligencer, and was edited by W. H. Sumner. Vol. 1, No. 1, of this paper was issued Tuesday, Nov. 23, 1852. The office has continued to exist until the present, although the name of the paper has several times changed. It is now the Lansing Mirror, published by Messrs. Woodward & Metcalf, Earl M. Woodward' being editor, and George W. Metcalf, a most excellent practical printer, the superintendent of the mechanical department. No. 1 of Vol. 30 was issued Oct. 13, 1882. It is now sold upon the same terms that were advertised in the first issue of the Intelligencer. Among the business cards contained in Lansing's first paper, only one name appears which is now familiar to residents of the city, that of the Lansing House, which is still standing and occupied as a hotel. It was then owned and managed by J. and J. Grant, and they promised the public among many other matters to have "porters always in attendance to convey passengers' baggage to and from boats free of charge.” This old landmark is now owned by J. W. Bates, and leased by Frank Howe.
Of those who advertised in the first issue of the Intelligencer, not one is now living in Lansing. They were then written up by the obliging editor in the following attractive style:
“James Peacock advertises a variety of goods, consisting of all the intermediates between a shawl and a coffee-mill, or a California hat and wash-board. Give him a call.
“F. D. Cowles wants the staff of life.' Feed him, somebody.
" At the sign of the Elk Horn, E. P. Bircher displays many good things, which he offers to part with for a consideration.'
"T. E. Williams has a well stocked shop-as good as we have seen anywhere. Call on him and 'exchange tin.'
"Chas. J. McGee is prepared to fill your houses with furniture, plain or ornamental, costly or cheap, according to the fancy of the purchaser, or the size of his pile.'
"Miss A. M. Battles hopes to receive calls from the ladies and the amount of their milliner's bills from their obedient lords.
“James I. Gilbert comes in for his share of the dimes,' and offers lumber as an equivalent.
“Dr. J. I. Taylor is, we believe, a successful physician, and is supposed to cure all the ills that flesh is heir to.' Personally we we hope to have no need of his services.
"Geo. W. Camp, and Remine, and Shaw, lawyers, are ready for business, and if any of our friends are so unfortunate as to go to law,' we have no doubt that either of these gentlemen will suit' them.
This paper has been republican in politics since its establishment. In 1861 it was published by G. W. Haislet, who sold the paper to T. C. Medary, and in 1870 it was purchased by Metcalf & Co. In July, 1874, James T. Metcalf bought the interest of his copartner, John T. Metcalf, and conducted it alone until July 1, 1881, when the present publishers, Woodward & Metcalf, assumed control of it. The Mirror office is well supplied with all the modern improvements, and under the management of Geo. W. Metcalf, one of the most skillful printers in the west, the press-work, job printing, and everything connected with the mechanical department of the office are done in a most excellent manner.
Under the editorial management of Mr. James T. Metcalf, this paper assumed a prominent position, and has for years exerted a most decided influence upon public opinion, both in the republican party and out of it. During the time Mr. Metcalf controlled the paper he was always true to republican principles, never allowing personal consideration to endanger the success of the party. Prudent, far-sighted, usually conservative, but aggressive when he thought it best, Mr. James T. Metcalf without any doubt did more than any other one man for the republican party in Allamakee, while editor of the Mirror. He now has a government_office, inspector postoffice department, money order system. Earl M. Woodward, his successor as editor of the Mirror, was born at Truxton, Cortland Co., N. Y., Dec. 16, 1848. Served as private in Co. C, 142d Ill. Vol. Inf., during the rebellion. Graduated from the Albany Law School, May, 1874, and came to Allamakee county, Oct. 4, 1874. He practiced law in Lansing and New Albin until July 1, 1881, when he became editor of the Mirror, with the exception of a few months' residence at Manchester, Io. Mr. Woodward is an industrious, painstaking editor, who has fully sustained the former reputation of the Mirror.
The North Iowa Journal, Democratic in politics, was the first Democratic paper started in Lansing. It was established in February, 1860 'by McElroy and Parker, and called the Democrat. They were succeeded by Christian Lomann, who changed the name to The Argus, and published it by that name for about six months. In 1862 J. G. Armstrong changed the name back to North Ioua