City of Minden

Excerpts from the 1907 History of Pottawattamie County

 The township of Minden took the name of the little town which had already been formed on the line of the Rock Island Railroad. The first election took place in the schoolhouse in Minden. The judges were Wm. Spears, August Kaven and James Crow. The clerks were J. R. Crow and J. Lake, and about 100 votes were cast.

Casper Foster of Davenport, Iowa, purchased 10,000 acres of the Rock Island road and a condition was that the company should establish and maintain a station on this property. This was complied with, hence the town of Minden, named in memory of Minden back in the fatherland (Germany) of most of these industrious settlers.

The first house built in the town was by Hugo Prester, Mr. Foster built the second and Peter Ehlers the third. G. Diederich built the first store in 1875, and moved in a general stock of goods from Avoca. J. O. Jeffries built the next business house and engaged in the grocery trade, with a restaurant attached.

The first carpenters of the town were Henry Urbahan, August Kaven and Fred Kruganbery. The first blacksmith was a Mr. Rodecker. The first lumber business was by Messrs. Pria & Hornley, a Davenport firm. Peter Ehlers was the first to begin the grain trade. Dr. McLeod was the first physician to hand out his shingle in the little town and James Crow the first land agent. Under the jurisdiction of James Crow a schoolhouse was built. Previous to this time a school had been taught by a Mr. Kelsey in one room of Mr. Foster’s residence.

In 1878 a German Lutheran church was organized with Rev. Julius Oehlert as pastor. The originial members were August Kaven, Adam Turk, John Stuhr, Jr., Jacob Wasser, Deidrich Rohlfs, Peter Alleman, August Bock, Wilhelm Bolte, Wilhelm Giese, John Stuhr, Sr., August Giese and Carl Leitzke.

In 1880 the principal business men were: J. B. Norton was druggist; John Hammer and J. C. Garmong, hardware; Peter Stuhr and J. C. Garmong, agricultural implement dealers; Stuhr Brothers, J. W. Crow and J. H. Yoder, dry goods and grocery merchants; Seiffert and Weis, lumber dealers; L Harm, physician and surgeon; J. C. Garmong, harness dealer; Henry Rohlfs and H. Peterson, blacksmiths; and Adolph Winder, hotel proprietor.

Although quite a town had started soon after the advent of the Rock Island Railroad, Minden was not incorporated until 1890.

According to the 1905 state census, Minden had 147 of school age, 67 were males and 60 were females.

The authors note that the people in Minden were largely of German origin. In 1907 the city officers were: Mayor, John Geiger; clerk, Lewis Rohlfs; city council: A. E. Grueman, J. U. Reesy, Jacob Geiger, G. H. Muhlstein, E. P. Otto and D. H. Auper.

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