City of Neola

Excerpts from the 1907 History of Pottawattamie County

 Neola Township had no special attractions until 1869 when the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railraod was built and the town laid out on the lands owned by Messrs. Withrow, Wright and Allen. The first house where the city now stands was built by D. Little about 1868, who kept store in the building. The second was put up by Mr. Kuhl, a harnessmaker. Mr. Norris was the first blacksmith to open shop in Neola, and it was in the loft of this shop that Mrs. Doane taught the second term of school in the town. The first term was taught in Neola in the winter of ’69-70. Miss M. Webster was the teacher, and the school was held in the building owned by David Tostevin.

The Neola House was among the first buildings in town, and was erected by Charles Hamilton. It was built for a hotel and has been used as such. A post office building was erected in 1870 by Mr. Duncan, who was also the first postmaster.

Daniel Flynn erected a building the same year and opened a saloon. Mr. C. Dillin engaged in the grain trade as early as 1873, to which he added the sale of coal and lumber, and built up an extensive trade in each of these commodities.

In 1882 the town received its charter and became a city, and elected the following officers: J. P. Organ, mayor; C. M. Crippen, recorder; O. L. Davis, marshal. The city council was composed of T. Rishton, W. Downs, J. W. Butler and R. F. Lovell.

The principal business at that day was done by the following persons: Grain, C. Dillin and J. A. Hamilton; general merchandise, H. Mendel, B. Rishton, J. W. Butler, F. Rishton, Eggleston Brothers and Bradley & Burton; druggists, Vanness, C. F. Robbins, and B. A. McKay; hardware, Reichart Brothers, C. M. Witt and C. B. Stone; clothing, Remington Brothers and C. M. Crippen; stock buyer, G. W. Rogers; newspaper, Neola Tribune, E. P. Innes, editor; real estate, H. L. McWilliams and D. Tostevin; hotels, Commercial, S. Burgess, proprietor; Neola House, McKinney, proprietor; bank, Neola, Mr. Henry, president; Mr. Lodge, cashier; meat markets, Haggerty & Reichert and Handbury & Sills; livery stables, A. King and Downs & Mott; insurance, H. L. McWilliams and Riley Clark; millinery, Mrs. F. M. Gallup; carpenters, Purcell & Rogers, Eli Vickery, Wm. Schierbrook and Mr. Fulgen; physicians, Drs. Barton, Vanness, Harvey, Todd and Lawrence; attorneys, H. L. McWilliams and J. P. Organ; postmaster, G. W. Remmington.

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was the first secret society to organize a lodge in Neola. Neola Lodge No. 410 was organized on May 27, 1880. The first officers were: J. A. Hamilton, N.G.; E. E. Harris, V.G.; J. C. Chapman, secretary; and Jacob Brown, treasurer. There were 44 members in 1881.

Irwin Lodge, No. 118, Iowa Legion of Honor was the next secret society to effect and organization in Neola. This was on August 15, 1881. The first officers were: E. Reichert, W.P.; John Watson, V.P.; E. L. Eggleston, R.S.; C. M. Witt, F.S.; J. Buchanan, C.; C. B. Stone, T.; A. W. Loomis, D.; K. Lanning, S.; S. N. Harvey, M, E.: L. W. Todd, M.E.

Agate Lodge No. 423, A.F. and A.M. was organized in March 1882. The first officers were: A. S. Avery, W.M.; S. L. Harvey, S.W.; W. Harper, J.W.; H. Mendel, S.; J. W. Butler, T.; J. D. Garrison, S.D.; W. Phillips, J.D.; N. W. Watson, tyler.

On the 22nd of March, 1880, by authority of the Presbytery of Council Bluffs, a church was organized by a committee consisting of Revs. G. M. Lodge, F. H. Cleland and Elder J. S. Love. The members were John Buchanana and Jessie, his wife, and their children, Katie, Jennie, Kennedy and David, Lawrence Hunter and wife, Mrs. Anna Remmington and Dr. Harvey and wife. John Buchanana was elected a ruling elder and Lawrence Hunter a deacon. A church was completed in March, 1882.

According to the authors, in 1907 the town had 1,200 inhabitants. The city government consisted of: Mayor, Fred Foss; council, Ed. Rattigan, George Remmington, N. B. Chrisman, A. Ransom, H. S. Watkins and G. W. Giese; marshal, George Murphy, and James Hayes, deputy.

According to the state census of 1905, there were 354 of school age in the city, of which 170 were males and 184 females.

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