City of Hancock

Excerpts from the 1907 History of Pottawattamie County

The Carson branch of the Rock Island Railroad was completed and put in operation in the summer of 1880. That same summer, F. H. Hancock, of Davenport, who owned the land now constituting the townsite, laid out the town of Hancock. Samuel Armstrong built the first house, beginning it in October, 1880, and C. W. Newman opened a coal yard about the same date, and near that time he established a blacksmith shop.

The first store was erected by B. F. Stevenson, in the grocery business, but it was soon transferred to E. Kinney & Co. F. H. Hancock began buying grain in December 1880, and in two years bought and shipped 325,000 bushels of corn. The first lumber sold was by Seiffert & Wiese to W. H. Benjamin, June 3, 1881, the first day of opening their yard. G. Deidrich, mayor of Avoca, started a general store in October, 1881. Battelle & Bavan opened a saloon and also engaged in hog buying. Whismand & Archer opened a general store. The Anderson Bros. opened a saloon and restaurant, and A. A. Anderson opened a meat market, and Dr. C. Hardman and Brother a drug store. Samuel Armstrong opened a hotel. W. H. Patterson opened a law office, W. S. Williams was postmaster; I. G. Carter, constable; Henry Carter, drayman; J. Reed, carpenter; Paul Reed and Ira Cook, plasterers. The town had over 100 persons at that time.

The Methodist Episcopal church was organized in 1874, but was known as the Valley church. The pastor was Rev. William Armstrong. It had seven original members: I. G. Carter and wife, W. H. Clements and wife, Mrs. Martha Reed, Mrs. Ira Cook, and Mrs. Andrew Carrier. They also had a Sunday school of which W. W. Whipple was superintendent.

Valley Lodge, No. 439, I.O.O.F. was instituted December 9, 1881. The first officers were Samuel Bell, N.G.; A. H. Whittaker, V.G.; W. S. Williams, permanent secretary; Fairfield Thayer, recording secretary; and William Converse, treasurer.

In 1907 Hancock had 300 inhabitants. J. C. Lake was manager of the Des Moines elevator and W. R. Stevenson was manager of the South Branch elevator. The trustees were: L. C. Hannah, Thomas Green and J. H. King; clerk, H. M. Eagers; justices of the peace: N. A. Lindsey and M. H. Anderson; assessor, R. J. Coe.

According to the 1905 state census Hancock had 90 school-age children of which 47 were males and 43 were females.

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