Odebolt, Iowa - 1891-92 Building Boom

Odebolt Saw Building Boom as Population Grew in 1891-1892
Many Business Buildings and Dwellings Erected at That Time

(Source: “Fifty Years of Progress, The Odebolt Chronicle, August 25, 1938, Section Thirteen, Page 1)

Back in 1891, Odebolt was in the midst of one of the biggest building booms that this locality has ever known.  Architects were busy with plans and specifications.  New buildings were rising on every hand.  Every able-bodied citizen was at work and workmen for several miles around were called in to assist in the rapid building program then in progress.

The population of the town was approximately 1500 with a growth of 350 during the preceding year.  The town was destined to become one of the leading centers of trade in Sac and surrounding counties.

Following are some of the buildings that were erected at that time: 
 Joseph Mattes brick block, $13,150; 
Petersmeyer Bros. Elevator, $5,000. 
Gray, Babcock and Sears elevator, $5,000; 
Addition to the school, $1,800
Swedish Mission parsonage, $1,000; 
Henry Hanson dwelling, $6,000; 
G.C. Spelbring dwelling, $1,500;
 George C. Colton, five dwellings, $8,000; 
William Weldon dwelling, $1,200;
Jacob Koehler, dwelling, $2,500; 
H.W. Petersmeyer, house and barn, $2,000; 
M.W. Smith dwelling, $1,800;  
Phillip Johnson, dwelling, $1,100; 
Mary A. Cole, dwelling and barn, $1,300; 
John Erickson dwelling, $1,200; 
Swedish Lutheran church, $2,000; 
Farmers Creamery Co., $2,000; 
Thomas Brothwell, house and barn, $1,200; 
A. F. Rhea dwelling, $1,100.

Numerous other buildings and civic improvements such as sidewalks, crossings, painting, new fixtures, sheds, fencing and addition of machinery came to a total of $14,150, making a grand total for the year of $90,000.

During the following year building continued at almost the same rate.  Such additions to the business district as the store owned by C.W. Sutton and Son, erected at a cost of $6,000; an addition to the store owned by Mrs. J.N. Schmitz costing $2,000; Green Bay Lumber Co., shed and dry house at $1,000; 5,000 feet of sidewalk at $1,500; and many other improvements of smaller nature.  Many of those in town then began to build new homes.  Some of the finest homes for miles around were built in Odebolt.  At least a dozen new houses were built during that year.

A number of the energetic citizens of that day have lived to see Odebolt grow and develop into one of the e most beautiful towns of its size in the United States.

- transcribed by B. Horak

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