1882 Biographies

Odebolt History Pages



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The following includes an early account of the town of Odebolt and biographies on:

F.R. Bennett, C.D. Boardman, J.C. Bodine, S.H. Bowman, J.W. Burnside, Frank L. Dennis, Henry Dockstader, Alfred G. Erlenborn, C.E. George, Dell Coy, A. Groman, M.D, Henry Hanson, W.A. Helsell, Martin Keck, W. Van Dusen, J.H. Ketterer, C.S. Lee, E.A. Moody, Frank A. Ross, H.F. Warneke, H.C. Wheeler, John Wright, N. Wright, R.U. Wheelock, Mr. Rehterberger, John M. Zane.  Also S.M. Elwood, H.T. Martin, L.G. Blair, B.C. Bowman.


This town is situated in the western part of Sac County on a branch of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway. It was laid out by the Blair Town Lot and Land Company in 1877. M.H. Hennepin is not only the first business man of Odebolt, but is one of the earliest settlers, having been engaged in selling supplies to the laborers before the town was laid out or the railroad completed. The first house erected in the town was built by W.Van Duesen, and served both as a store and dwelling. He was soon followed by Geo. McKibbin, and James Ross. The railroad was completed to this town in 1877. The first regular train reached this point November 19th, 1877.

H.T. Martin is among the early settlers of Odebolt. He organized the first Sabbath School in December, 1877, and was the first commissioned Notary Public in the place.

The depot was built in 1877. J.T. Martin was appointed the first depot agent, and Miss Emma Martin was the first telegraph operator.
The town of Odebolt was incorporated in March, 1879, James Ross being the first Mayor, and J.M. Zane, Recorder; J. Flanders, J. Ketterer, E. Geist, C. Dalbkymer, C.B. Hatfield, and J. Bowles served as Councilmen. James Ross still holds the position of Mayor, W.V. Sindt, Recorder; J. Flanders, J. Ketterer, E. Geist, H. Rheberger, J.W. Fairbanks, and C.S. Lee, are the present Councilmen.

The population of Odebolt is now estimated at 1,200 souls.

THE ODEBOLT REPORTER was started in Sac City in 1877, by W.W. Yarham, and was moved to Odebolt the same year. Frank Kelley purchased the paper from Yarham. It was afterwards bought by Taylor & Mann, and still later purchased by A.J. Mann. G.A. Kikok afterwards purchased the paper and sold it to F.L. Dennis in April 1881. This paper is republican in politics, is an eight-column quarto, and has a circulation of 600.

THE ODEBOLT OBSERVER is a neat six-column quarto weekly paper. It was started in July, 1880, by Martin & Bennett. Bennett soon bought Martin's interest, and is now the sole proprietor. This paper is Democratic, and has a circulation of 500 copies.

THE CENTRAL WESTERN IOWA DISTRICT FAIR ASSOCIATION - This comprises the counties of Sac, Ida and Crawford, and was organized August 1st, 1881, with W.W. Field as President, P.Coy, W. Van Duesen, H.C. Wheeler, A.D. Peck, I.S. Bailey, E.P. Masser, E.A. Benenett and S. Peterson as Vice-Presidents; F.L. Dennis, Secretary; W.J. Summerville [Summerwill], Treasurer. This society owns twenty-five acres of land, situated one-half mile north east of the town, and will hold their first fair in the fall of 1882.

ODEBOLT FIRE COMPANY - The Hook and Ladder Company was organized in the spring of 1880, and consists of forty members, all uniformed. J. Mattes, Foreman; E. Hamlin, Secretary; W.V. Sindt, Treasurer; Dave W. Flack, Assistant Foreman.

FLAX MILL - Odebolt boasts of a flax mill which was established in 1880 by Winslow & Son. This is a large frame building with steam power. John Dement is the proprietor.

LIBRARY - Odebolt has the finest public hall in Sac County. It was erected in 1881, by John Wright. It is a brick structure, 50x90 feet with five hundred sittings.
THE BUSINESS OF ODEBOLT may be classified as follows: Seven general stores, three groceries, two harness shops, two hardware stores, three drug stores, two jewelry stores, two furniture stores, three restaurants, two banks, three hotels, three elevators, three lumber yards, four agricultural implement dealers, three livery stables, four blacksmith shops, two wagon shops, three millinery stores, three barber shops, two meat markets, one photograph gallery, two printing offices, one ready-made clothing house, one exclusive dry goods store, three saloons, post office.


METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOCIETY - Was organized in 1877. This society organized with only three or four members. Rev. Mr. Faus, acting as first pastor, was succeeded by Rev. W.W. Brown, he by Rev. D.M. Beams, he by Rev. R.S. Fysh. The present incumbent is Rev. William Preston. It has a Sabbath School with an average attendance of seventy pupils. R.M. McDowell is Superintendent. The society has no church building but holds services in the Masonic Hall. The present officers are: E. Geist, A.B. Smith, M.D. Fox, J. Bowker, J.W. Savage, Trustees; J.L. Brown and E. Geist Stewards. There is a parsonage which was erected in 1877 at a cost of $450, and a lot upon which is contemplated the erection of a church building this year.

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SOCIETY - Was organized in the spring of 1879, by Rev. Father Pape. The first officers were: M.B. Lynch, Treasurer; J. Conradi, L. Suntz, J. Miller committee. The Rev. Father Norton is present pastor. The present officers are H.J. Muxen, Secretary and Treasurer; H. Wester and N. Thies, committee. The society now numbers about fifty families. They have a fine frame building 40x60 feet erected in 1879, at a cost of $1,300. This was the first church building in Odebolt.

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH SOCIETY - Was organized in 1879, by Rev. Fullenweider. The first and present officers are: John Bruce, James Taylor, C.W. Sutton, G.W. McKibbon, W. Van Duesen, Trustees, and W. Matthews and W. Simpson, Elders. Rev. Fullenweider was succeeded by Wm. Porter, he by Rev. Gilkerson. S.N. Vail is the present incumbent. This society numbers sixty. There is in connection a Sabbath School with an average attendance of sixty pupils, with C.W. Sutton as Superintendent. There is also a good, substantial frame structure 30x50 feet, with 250 sittings, which was dedicated in May, 1881. The cost of the building was $3,300.

ODEBOLT PUBLIC SCHOOL - This school became an independent district in April, 1880. The first school taught in Odebolt was taught by Jacob Gable. The first school board consisted of W.W. Stanfield, Z.G. Sparks, H. Hansen, J. Flanders and J. Ketterer, Trustees; Wm. Graham, Secretary; J.T. Martin, Treasurer. The present officers are the same, except in place of J. Ketterer, who has been succeeded by John Wilson. Mr. Taggert is the Treasurer at present. C. Messer is the Principal of the school, and Anna Beekman and Mrs. Emma Gill, assistants. The enrollment is 220 pupils, with an average attendance of 150. They have a neat frame building containing three rooms, which was erected in 1880 at a cost of $3,000.

WHEELER LODGE NO. 398, A.F. & A.M - Instituted October, 1879, and worked under dispensation until June, 1880, when their charter was received. The charter members are and first officers were: J.M.Zane, W.M.; W.A. Helsell, S.W.; H.T. Martin, J.W.; Frank Burleigh, Treasure; F.A. Cobb, Secretary. H.C. Wheeler, W.W. Field, Geo. Belt, and Mr. Douglas were among the charter members. The present officers are: E.P. Messer, W.M.; W.A. Helsell, S.W.; J.M. Zane, J.W.; C.W. Sutton, S.D.; E. Grist, J.D.; Wm. Graham, Secretary; Frank Burleigh, Treasurer. The society has a membership of thirty, and is in a flourishing condition. This society meets once each month in their hall.

HARMONY COELLEGIUM No. 5, V.A.S. - Was instituted December 3d, 1881. The charter members were: F.L. Dennis, Aaron Young, A.G. Errenborn, C.D. Boardman, W.E. Mill, C.A. Stoops, D.A. Watterman, C.R. Dingman, J.A. Gibson, H.B. Preston, J.H. Wagner, H.F. Warneke, Irwin Austin, W. Jacob, E. Schmidt, H. Anderson, L. Halboth, George Halboth, A.B. Cooley. The first and present officers are: F.L. Dennis, Rector; Aaron Young, Vice-Rector; A.G. Errenborn, Scribe; C.D. Boardman, Questor; W.E. Mill, Usher; C.A. Stoops, Speculator; D.A. Watterman, C.R. Dingman and J.A. Gibson, Curators. The society has about twenty-five members, and holds meeting once a month.

ODEBOLT LODGE, A.O.U.W., NO. 217 - Instituted May 25th, 1880. The first officers were: J.W. Dubbs, P.M.W.; J.W. Burnside, M.W.; C.S. Lee, Foreman; W. Van Duesen, Recorder; C.B. Francisco, Financier; H. Hansen, Receiver; T.M. Keever, Guide; J.E. Einspahr, O.W.; A.E. Matthews, J.W.; A. Groman, and C.D. Boardman, Medical Examiners. The present officers are: W. Van Duesen, M.W.; F.L. Dennis, Foreman; Ed. Colvin, Overseer; G.M. Tagget, Recorder; C.D. Boardman, P.M.W.; J. Mattes, Guide; C.H. Babcock, Receiver; L. Olney, O.W.; C.B. Francisco, Financier. There is a membership of about forty, and the Lodge meets once in two weeks.


F.R. BENNETT is editor and proprietor of the Odebolt Observer, which was established in July 1880, and is a six-column quarto paper. In 1847 he edited and published the Advertiser, at Rock Island, Ill., afterwards was connected with various papers in Clinton county, Ia. He came to Odebolt in 1880. This is the only democratic paper published in the county and it has a subscription list of about 500. Office on second floor of Schmitz block and is thoroughly fitted up as a job office. He employs three compositors.

C.D. BOARDMAN, physician and druggist, was born at Potsdam, St. Lawrence county, N.Y., in 1854; moved with parents to Lyons, Clinton county, Ia.; there attended school, and in 1871 entered the Agricultural College, of Ames. He graduated in 1874 and in the winter of same year entered the Chicago Medical College, from which he graduated in the spring of 1877. The same year he opened an office at Monticello, Ia., also engaged in the drug business, in partnership with Dr. Mellett; at the end of one year Dr. Boardman became sole proprietor. In May 1880, he moved the stock to Odebolt and established his present business.

J.C. BODINE, farmer and stock raiser, was born in N.Y. in 1835; in 1865 moved to Aurora, Ill., where he engaged in the stock business. He moved to Grinnell, Ia., in 1868, thence to Sac county, in 1874. He purchased in Cook township, where he now resides, a farm of 320 acres, which is well improved. He also owns another farm containing 160 acres, which he rents. Mr. B. is one of the representative farmers of this county; has filled many offices of trust; in politics is a democrat.

S.H. BOWMAN, of the firm of S.H. Bowman & Co., dealers in lumber, coal, lime and mixed paints, was born in Baltimore, Md., in March 1854. In 1873 he entered the Business College of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., from which he graduated in May 1874. He went to Neb. in 1878, and was engaged in the lumber business at various towns. In March 1880, he came to Odebolt, Ia., and established the above business; he is the senior member and business manager of the firm, which has branch yards at Ida Grove, Battle Creek and Danbury.

J.W. BURNSIDE, dealer in dry goods, boots, shoes, notions, carpets, etc., was born in Steuben county, N.Y., in 1833; moved with parents to Crawford county, Ia., when quite young. He received his education at the Methodist University of Delaware, O., afterwards attended Bryant & Stratton's Commercial College, of Chicago, from which he graduated in 1854. He then engaged in the mercantile business at Garden Prairie, Ill. In the spring of 1862 he enlisted in the 95th, Ill. Inft.; remained in the service until 1866. During that time he was transferred from the volunteer service to the regular army. He was in several important engagements, was wounded at the siege of Vicksburg, also at Fort Du Risse. After leaving the army he located at Boone, Ia., and engaged in mercantile business. In 1878 came to Odebolt and engaged in business as above.

FRANK L. DENNIS, editor and proprietor of the Odebolt Observer, was born in Clinton county, Ia. in 1852. He learned his trade in the DeWitt Observer office; remained there until 1878, then moved to Wall Lake, Sac county, and established the Wall Lake Journal, which he sold in April 1881. He came to Odebolt and purchased the Odebolt Reporter, which was first established at Sac City by W.W. Yarham, who moved it to this city in November 1877. The office is in the basement of Wright's Opera Block and is fitted for a first-class news and job office. The paper is republican in politics, is a six-column quarto, with a subscription list of six hundred.

HENRY DOCKSTADER, proprietor of the Revere House, was born in Jefferson county, N.Y., in 1836; moved in 1842 to Tioga county, Pa.; thence to Jones county, Ia., in 1857. He there engaged in farming until 1872, then moved to Panora, Guthrie county, where he farmed until the autumn of 1881. He came to Odebolt and took charge of the Odebolt House, which he thoroughly renovated and refitted, changing the name to Revere. It is now a first-class hotel.

ALFRED G. ERLENBORN, dealer in general merchandise, was born at Mendota, Ill., in 1860. He received his education at the Jesuit College, of Chicago, Ill., from which he graduated in 1875. He entered the banking house of Ereleborn Bros., at Mendota, of which bank his father was the senior partner. In 1879 he went to Denver, Col., was there employed as bookkeeper in a wholesale grocery house. He returned to Iowa in 1881 and located at Odebolt. He engaged in the loan business and also as bookkeeper for Warneke. Afterwards engaged in business as above; also does a loan and insurance business; is assisted by his brothers, Otto and Julius and W. Pitschner.

C.E. GEORGE, of the firm of George & Coy, attorneys at law, was born at Alexandria, Grafton county, N.H., Dec. 20th, 1857. He received his education at the high school of Bristol, N.H., and the New London, N.H., and Newbury, Vt., Academies. He read law for two years with Hon. S.B. Page, at Woodville, Vt., and in 1879 graduated from the Vermont University, obtaining the degree of A.B. He also graduated from the law department of the Ann Arbor, Mich., University. He came to Odebolt, Ia., in March 1880, and engaged in the practice of his profession. During the summer of the same year he formed a partnership as above. Dell Coy, of the above firm, was born in Kane county, Ill., Aug. 15th, 1857. He received his education at Wheaton college, Wheaton, Ill., and in 1878 entered the Union College of law, at Chicago, from which he graduated in 1880. Came to Odebolt the same year. They attend strictly to law, collection and insurance business, and although both young, have placed themselves in the foremost ranks of the profession.

A. GROMAN, MD, was born in Lake county, Ind., in 1856. He received his preparatory education at Crown Point Seminary and studied medicine with his father, Dr. C. Groman. In the autumn of 1876 he entered the Homeopathic College, of Chicago, from which he graduated in March 1878. He opened an office at Odebolt, Ia., in June of the same year. Office on second floor of Wright's Opera block; consultation room adjoining.

HENRY HANSON, grain, seed and stock dealer, was born in Sweden; came to America in 1868 and landed in N.Y.; remained in that state until 1874, when he came to Sac county, Ia. He purchased land and farmed until 1877, then moved to Odebolt and engaged present business. He owns a steam elevator fitted with all of the latest improved machinery, employs nine men in elevators and warehouses, two bookkeepers and C.B. Hatfield, grain and stock buyer.

W.A. HELSELL, of the firm of Zane & Helsell, attorneys at law, was born in Millersburg, O., in 1855; moved with parents to Iowa in 1861. He graduated in the scientific course at the Ames Agricultural College in 1877 and in 1879 graduated from the law department of Simpson's Centenary College. He was admitted to the bar before the supreme court at Des Moines, June 9th, 1879, and in the July following formed a partnership as above. He attends to the law and trial business and Mr. Zane to the loan, insurance and abstract business of the firm. They have a complete set of abstract books.

MARTIN KECK, proprietor of restaurant, ice cream and oyster parlors, also dealer in fancy groceries, confectionery, cigars, tobacco, etc., came to Sac county, Ia., in 1878; engaged in farming, then came to Odebolt and established business as above.

J.H. KITTERER [Ketterer] & Co., proprietors of the Pioneer hardware store, which was established in 1878 by W. Van Dusen, purchased the business in Aug. 1879. The firm is composed of J.H. Kitterer and Joseph Mattes; they are men of long experience in the hardware business, having previous to coming to this city been engaged in the same. They employ one clerk and three tinners. Make specialties of Glidden barbed wire, "Splended" heating stoves, "Diamond" and "Acorn" cook stoves.

C.S. LEE, dealer in agricultural implements, was born in Beaver county, Pa., March 1st, 1856; moved the same year with parents to De Kalb county, Ill. In June, 1880, he entered the employ of the Sandwich manufacturing company, at Sandwich, Ill.; traveled fro them until Nov., 1881, when he located at Odebolt and engaged in business as above. He is agent for the goods manufactured by the following named firms: Sandwich Co., Briggs & Enochs, Scandia Plow Co., of Rockford, Ill., Vandiver Co., of Quincy, Ill., Daly Harrow Co. and others.

E.A. MOODY, painter and grainer, was born in Milwaukee, Wis. in 1848; was educated at Notre Dame College, of South Bend, Ind. In 1861 he enlisted in the regular army, and served during the war of the rebellion. Was discharged in 1865; returned to Milwaukee and learned his trade. In 1868 he moved to Cincinnati, O., where he remained one year, then went west, and after a time located at Yankton, Dak. He returned to Milwaukee and soon after moved to Cherokee, Ia.; was there engaged in business three years. In Dec. 1878, he came to Odebolt and engaged in business. He does a good business and employs five men.

FRANK A. ROSS, insurance agent, came to Odebolt from Boone, Ia., where he had resided for twenty-five years. He first engaged in teaching school, and in Feb. 1880, established business as above. His office is at the Mayor's office , over the City Drug Store. He is agent for the Home Life Association, of Burlington, Iowa, for three counties, Sac, Crawford and Carroll.

H.F. WARNEKE, dealer in grain and stock, came to Odebolt, Ia., from Plattville, Wis., in 1879. He established a saloon, which he continued until Aug., 1881, and in the Sept. following he established his present business. He has shipped since establishing business to Jan. 1, 1882, two hundred carloads. His warehouse has a capacity of ten thousand bushels; employs five men.

H.C. WHEELER, farmer and stock raiser, was born May, 10th, 1835, at Hopkinton, N.H.; the following year moved with parents to Chicago, Ill. He there received his education and finished at the Academy of Warrensville. In 1854 he went to San Francisco, Cal.; there engaged in the real estate business, and after two years returned to Chicago. He remained two years and again went to San Francisco. He became one of the first members of the San Francisco Stock Exchange and remained there until 1864. After spending one and one-half years traveling in Europe, he came to Sac county, Ia., and invested in real estate and commenced extensive farming operations. He now owns a large tract of land adjoining Odebolt on three sides. Also one thousand acres in Plymouth county, and one thousand acres in Crawford county. In 1877 he donated the right of way, town site and $2,000 in cash to the railroad company. He laid out and owns two additions to the town of about one hundred acres. He resides in Wheeler township, three miles from the city; has three boarding houses on the farm, employs forty men and fifty teams. He has a herd of sixty head of Short Horn cattle and forty Clydesdale horses and colts, besides other stock. He has spent considerable time in making practical a steam plow for use on his farm; it includes ten plows in a frame. Mr. Wheeler is one of the directors of the State Fair Association. He owns valuable property in Chicago.

JOHN WRIGHT, banker, came from Cedar county, Ia., to Sac county in 1872. He purchased 1,000 acres of land in partnership with his brother, N. Wright, and engaged in farming until Nov., 1878, at which time he opened the bank, having previously erected the bank block, the front room of which is occupied by the bank and contains a fire-proof vault and a Marvin safe, with an electric time-lock. The rear room is occupied by George & Coy, attorneys. Mr. Wright does an extensive loan business in partnership with C.E. George. He has recently erected, on the corner of Second and Maple streets, a brick block, containing two store rooms below and two offices in front on second floor, and fine opera hall in rear. This hall is well fitted with stage, scenery, dressing rooms and well lighted. He also owns other valuable city property.

WHEELOCK & REHTERGER, dealers in agricultural implements, on corner of Second and Maple Sts., handle McCormick's goods, also goods from all the leading firms, including Cook's buggies and carriages. R.U. Wheelock has been in the employ of the McCormick Co. for fifteen years, and is a man of extensive experience with machinery. Mr. Rehterberger is by trade a blacksmith, and owns a shop in the rear of the warehouse, on Maple street, where he employs two men. He does a large business, making a specialty of wagon and buggy work.

JOHN M. ZANE, of the firm of Zane & Helsell, attorneys at law, was born in Cumberland county, N.J., Oct. 16th, 1845. He received his education at Bridgeton. At an early age he moved to Philadelphia, Pa.; during the rebellion he was for two years a member of the U.S. quartermaster's department. In Sept. 1866, he went to Springfield, Ill., there read law in the office of Herndon & Zane. He taught school at intervals while reading law; in Feb., 1872, he moved to Jasper county, Ia., and in Dec., 1873, was admitted to the bar at Newton, under Judge L.C. Blanchard. He began the practice of law at Prairie City. In 1874, on account of failing health, he went to Colorado and spent two years traveling in the Rocky Mountains; then returned to Prairie City, Ia. He came to Odebolt in 1877 and opened a law office, and in July of the following year formed his present partnership.


S.M. ELWOOD, of the firm of Davis & Elwood, a attorneys at law, was born in Greensburg, Pa., in Sept., 1850; moved with parents to Grinnell, Ia., where he attended the Iowa College. He graduated from the Iowa City law school in the class of '73. He moved to Sac City in autumn of 1875, and engaged in practice with Capt. Stanfield, now of Odebolt. He formed his present partnership in 1877. He attends strictly to trial business, and is considered one of the most successful attorneys in the county. Mr. Davis attends to the land, loan and insurance business of the firm.

H.T. MARTIN, county superintendent of schools, was born in Putnam county, Ind., in 1839; moved with parents to Boone county, Ia., in 1853. He returned to Ind. in 1855, and attended the Cloverdale Seminary for two years; spent the following winter in Mo., and in 1858 returned to Boone county, Ia. He engaged in teaching school, and for twelve years taught in that county. He then entered the employ of the railroad company and was agent at Ontario, Story county, for eight years, and for four years at Odebolt, Sac county, where, in partnership with Mr. Bennett, the present editor, he established the Odebolt Observer. He was also engaged in the restaurant business ten months. In the fall of 1881 he was elected county superintendent, on the independent ticket.


L.G. BLAIR, photographer, was born in Ill.; moved to Wis. when quite young, and in 1876 moved to Denison, Ia. He came to Ida grove in 1879, and established business. He has a branch establishment at Odebolt; is prepared to do first-class work at low prices.


B.C. BOWMAN, of the firm of S.H. Bowman & Co., lumber dealers, is a native of Md.; moved to Neb. in 1876; thence to Ia. in 1879 and engaged in the lumber business at Odebolt, Ida Grove, Danbury and Battle Creek.


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