Most of the following
information was reprinted from Rip Van Winkle Centennial Book.
Ordinance No. 6
James Boyles-James Wilson Charles Brown
Gill Burleigh Joseph Davidson
Herbert Eagerty Claudis Ferguson
H.E. Gibeaut Myron Wells Gleason
James Charles High Edna
Richard Jackson, Jr. John T. Johnson
O.B. Judd Martin Kahler
John Ezekiel McKibben The Moffit
Mr. & Mrs. Harland Maurer William Kohl
Duncan McNee J.W. Thomas
William Page Catheus (Cass) F. Platner
Dr. F.M. Wilson William S. Rate
Charles Puffer Gilliland Family
John Onstott David Rhoads
Louis Sievers Pryor Scott
Martin Van Buren Scott William
Scott Family John Thimmes, Sr.
Eli Henry West Roy D.
Allen James Siver Chas.
A group of early settlers came from Ohio, Pennsylvania and other eastern states in 1836 and settled along a
stretch of timer and a stream of water about a mile and a half northwest of
what is now Mechanicsville. Many log
cabins were built through the woods. One
man built two cabins, one for his family and the other for a store and post
office. The post office was established
in 1847. This settlement was called
“Pioneer Grove.” The land running south
was on a ridge and swampy, but further south was open prairie. Joseph Strattan in 1850 claims this ridge
land but soon sold it to Geo. Weaver.
This land is the present Mechanicsville.
Weaver then sold his interest to John Onstott who with Daniel A.
Comstock plotted the original village of Mechanicsville. This parcel
of land when surveyed was about 60 acres.
Mr. Comstock soon sold his rights in the land and moved away, leaving
John Onstott sole owner of the village site.
the year 1857 David Dorwart became the owner of a tract of land situated east
of the original village, but not immediately joining the eastward boundary of
the same. An unplotted parcel of about
40 rods in width lay between the village and the Dorwart purchase which was at
that time termed the Iroquois tract and was owned by John Onstott. Dr. Dorwart completed an arrangement with the
Northwestern Railroad shortly after the Iroquois land came into his
possessions, whereby 40 acres of the tract were to be plotted as a village
site, the railroad receiving for its compensation every alternate lot. In order to unite the 2 plots and secure the
harmonious development of both, Mr. Onstott at once surveyed the strip of land
between his own village and the new site which consisted of about 20 acres,
thereby extending the general plot so as to include 120 acres.
railroad then located its depot on the present site instead of on a point
originally suggested in the original plan.
Thus the village plot was made and as then made, it still remains.
the village was made up of hard working men, carpenters, masons, wheel wrights,
John Onstott decided “Mechanics” and –ville would make a good name for the
“village”, so thus it was named and still remains. Mechanicsville with a population at one time
of around 1,200, but at present, 1974, it has a population of 1,010 people.
began to be built as the village soon began to grow. Small homes were built and John Onstott built
a one room school house. Most of these
first cabins were built without any certain dimensions, without nails, screws,
bars of iron of any description. Most
cabins had fireplaces and were often built without lime. Yet everyone lived happily. Schools and churches continued to be built as
more people joined the first settlers.
There were several 2 story buildings made of brick and stone plus many
one story wood buildings. They were
built on a 2 block area running east and west.
Many of the wooden buildings have either burned or been torn down and
new cement and brick buildings replaced them.
On April 6, 1868, the first
election of the incorporated town of Mechanicsville was held and
a total of 147 votes were cast. T.C.
McClelland was elected mayor; I.I. Huber was elected as town recorder. Trustees elected were Isaac Johnson, Andrew
Pettie, John Osterlich, Vincent Keith and J.E. Rice.
council met for its first session April 20, 1868 and elected George Eagerty town
treasurer. James Melton was named street
commissioner at a salary of $2.00 a day.
of the first ordinances they passed prohibited the townspeople from letting
their horses, mules and hogs roam the streets as the hogs wallowed in the mud
on the streets and the animals were hard on the lawns and gardens.
was much difficulty getting people to abide by the law, and several of the
marshals resigned when the pressure became so great because of divided feeling
regarding prosecution for allowing animals to run at large.
An ordinance to provide against
riding or driving on the sidewalks or pavement:
it ordained by the mayor and council of the town of Mechanicsville, Cedar County, Iowa:
That if any person or persons shall hitch, tie or fasten any horse, mule or
other animal so as to stand upon any pavement or sidewalk or shall ride or lead
any animal thereon or drive any carriage, buggy, wagon or vehicle thereon, such
person shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined a sum not less than One Dollar,
nor more than Five Dollars at the discretion of the Mayor and costs of suit
together with any damages shown to have accrued from such trespass. Damages accruing to said pavements or
sidewalks shall be recovered by action before the Mayor or any court having
jurisdiction of such cases.
This ordinance shall be in force and effect from and after its passage and
publication as provided in ordinance No. 1 of said town. (Passed May 26, 1891, published May 27, 1881)
This is one of the early ordinances
of the Town of Mechanicsville.
as every family has its early beginnings, in a man and a woman, so every
Community owes its origins to the families which settle, established homes,
businesses, schools and churches.
has rightly been said that “we grown on the backs of giants.” The men and women, who chose our land to
people, were pioneer, giant types. They
came to a new land, inhabited by unknown others. They left communities, friends, and often times families, and established life to break new, untried
paths. A vision of a good and prosperous
life sustained them in the face of uncertainty, hardship and the unknown.
the occasion of our hundred and twenty years of Mechanicsville life we salute
some of those pioneers. And they join us
in the memories of days gone by, and look with us into the futures of our
early settlers of this community was James Boyles, a Native of Pennsylvania,
who settled on 120 acres in Pioneer Township in
1854. He married Nancy Reid in 1827 and
they were the parents of William, Robert, Thomas, Caroline, Margaret, George,
James, Lyman, Albert and David. They
were Charter Members of the First Presbyterian Church. They were buried in Pioneer Cemetery and later
removed to Rose Hill Cemetery.
son, David, married Elizabeth Wilson, daughter of James Wilson.
Wilson was also a native of Pennsylvania and he came
to a 120 acre farm in Pioneer Township in
1854. He was married to Fannie Alexander
in April of 1835 and she died in September of that same year. On April 30, 1837, he married Eve Sines. They were the parents of Alexander, Fannie,
John, Mary, William,
Matilda, Elizabeth, MaryAnn, Samuel
and Jacob. The Wilson’s were also
charter members of the First Presbyterian Church and are buried in Rose Hill Cemetery.
and Elizabeth Wilson Boyles were the parents of four daughters: Nora (Mrs. John Jackson), Alice (Mrs. W.J.
Glasgow), Nancy (Mrs. Leslie Rhoads) and Inez (Mrs. Frank Boyles). Inez Boyles operated a restaurant here for
many years. She is now a resident of the
Cedar Manor Nursing Home in Tipton.
and Mrs. W.J. Glasgow were the parents of three children: W.D. Glasgow, Inez
(Mrs. Leander Crock) and Evelyn (Mrs. Weldon Woods).
of the Crock children, Jack, Herb and Mrs. Betty Hart all reside in the
and Mrs. Weldon Woods are the parents of Neva (Mrs. Harold
Eiler, Tipton) and Mrs. William W. Woods, Mechanicsville.
families of Mechanicsville date back 120 years to their forbearers in England.
Brown and Maria Smith were the coachman and the cook for a physician in Cambridge shire, England in the
1840's. Europe was wracked with wares, and although
English soil was as yet untouched, taxes for the defense of the British
Isles made it impossible for most commoners to acquire a place
of their own. Charles had a brother in Iowa, who already
was a farm owner, a dream come true.
Charles shred the same dream.
Charles proposed marriage to Maria, the cook.
She hedged a little by protesting, "Charles, you don't want
me. I am ten years older than you and I
have false teeth." Charles replied,
"I don't care--I love you just the same." So
they were married, and in 1846 (the year Iowa attained
statehood) they embarked for Iowa with their
precious English recipes and traditions and a few treasured pieces of house
they arrived at the east bank of the Mississippi River, the
travelers found the river frozen over; they walked across on the ice. They proceeded on into Iowa to the Coon
Creek area, home of his brother.
and Maria Born's resources were exhausted; he arrived with 25 cents in his
pocket. He was given work by Mr. Stein
on his farm. Mr. Stein was the
grandfather of the late Claude Stein, who was the brother-in-law of Mrs. Retha
Houle, who presently resides in Mechanicsville.
Mr. Stein was blind, so he hired Maria to read to him.
two years, Charles and Maria bought their farm of about 120 acres for $1.25 per
acre. It was purchased from land dealers
who bought government land and sold it to incoming pioneers. Farm land further
north near Mechanicsville was selling for 50 cents per acre, but Charles felt
it important to live near a water source.
raised two sons, Henry and William. A
daughter, Emily, died in childhood.
married Elizabeth Ehresman and was the father of Charles Brown, now retired at
Stanwood; also Emily, now deceased, who married Christopher Kerslake. Emily was the mother of Roland Kerslake of Lisbon and Dorothy
Kerslake Gallmeyer of Lisbon. A third daughter was Nellie Brown Kamberling,
who children live near Lisbon.
the youngest son of Charles and Maria, married Sarah Hunter and they had one
child, George E., who is retired but continues to live on the farm five miles
southwest of Mechanicsville. He and his
wife, Mary Puffer Brown, have six sons and one daughter: Three sons are operating Brown Farms,
Inc: David, Joel and Robert. Robert is married to Dixie Davis and they
have one daughter, Jennifer. The other
children are Douglas, married to Patricia Lidrich; they
are the parents of two daughters, Lisa and Beverly. Max, married to Sally Ahrens, is the father
of Valerie, Christopher and Eric. Roger
lives in Lancaster, California; and Nancy lives in Waterloo with her
husband, Larry Durnan and their son, Brian.
had sisters and brothers who are now deceased.
A name from
those early years, with no known descendants, is that of a Gill Burleigh. It is recalled that during the Civil War, Mr.
Burleigh was a United States Indian agent in the Dakota
native of Maine, he was
impressed with the fertility of the Iowa soil. After the War, he returned to Iowa and
purchased two large farms northeast of Mechanicsville and a third farm three
miles west of town. He returned to Maine, disposed of
his holdings there, and brought his family, including his wife, two daughters,
a brother and a maiden sister back to Iowa. He also brought the nucleus of a herd of
purebred Hereford cattle,
reportedly the first herd west of the
Mississippi. He imported stock from England, including
some animals of the Anxiety family, a strain that is still popular today. The Moffit herd, which was popular for many
years, got its start from those of Gill Burleigh.
his brother, John died, Mr. Burleigh sold the farm west of Mechanicsville.
he built a small house on East First
Street for his sister, Kate, where she
spent her remaining years.
his wife's death, Mr. Burleigh took his two daughters and moved to Southern
Pines, North Carolina. Accompanying him were two Hatcher brothers,
carpenters, who were to build his new home.
Burleigh returned to Mechanicsville a number of times to look after business
interest and to visit friends. His last
trip was in 1918; while here he became ill and was taken to a hospital in Battle
Creek, Michigan, where he
was born and reared in Ireland and there he
married Elizabeth McClellan. They came
to America shortly after their marriage and settled in Connecticut until 1861, when
they journeyed to Iowa. They were the parents of two
sons: George and Joseph; and three
daughters: Mrs. Mina Pieper, Mrs. Hattie
Sanely and Mrs. Emma Young.
son George Davidson was born in 1853 in Connecticut. In 1881 he married Mary E. Jackson, daughter
of Richard and Nancy Jackson. They made
their home on a farm east of Mechanicsville until 1912, when they moved to the
City of Mechanicsville. George and
Mary Davidson were the parents of six children:
Joseph R., Fred, Harry, Mabel, Lucile and Ethel. Lucile, who makes her home in Mechanicsville,
is the sole surviving daughter.
Davidson's son, Harry Davidson, married Verna Guthrie and they were the parents
of two childre:
Kathleen and Verle, both deceased.
Verle married Lillian Connor and they were the parents of two
children: Verlynn, Jessup, Iowa; and Harry
G., "Butch". Butch resides in
Mechanicsville and is married to the form Carmen Kadlec. They are the parents of four children:
Jeffrey, Bradley, Timothy and Nicole.
was born in 1854, also in Connecticut. He married Martha Jackson in 1895, a second
daughter of Richard and Nancy Jackson.
They established their home on a farm southeast of Mechanicsville were
Don Davidson now resides. They were the
parents of Ralph, who passed away at the age of 5, and an adopted son,
Alvin. Alvin married
Louise Dahoff, and his surviving sons, Don Joseph and Robert farm in the
married Jean Shrope and they are the parents of a daughter, Mary Jo.
married Joye Scott and they are the parents of four children: Barbara, Nancy (Mrs. Brooks Haesemeyer) Susan
Herbert Eagerty was born and lived his entire life in
Mechanicsville. At an early age he
entered the dry goods business established in 1860 by his father. "Bert" was known by all and the
Eagerty store was a town landmark.
Eagerty estate sale held July 10,
1957 in the yard of the old Eagerty residence was one of the
big events in Mechanicsville. The many
antiques advertised brought a large crowd from near and far.
In 1848 Claudis Ferguson and four brothers came from Pennsylvania by train to Clinton, Iowa and on to
Mechanicsville by stage coach. They
built a log cabin on what is now the Robert Davidson farm. In 1849 two of the brothers left for the California gold
rush. They were never heard from again.
same year Claudis returned to Pennsylvania, took a
wife, Polly Steele, and brought his bride west to their new home. It was a three room log cabin just across the
road from the Robert Davidson home.
Eight children were born in this cabin home: James C., John, Ruben,
Oliver, Alice, Irene, Emma, and Janette. James, Oliver and Irene (Mrs. Chris
Brown) lived all their lives in the Mechanicsville area.
had one son, Ray, who died in the 1940's.
Oliver lived on the home farm until 1916 when he moved southeast of
Mechanicsville. He was married to
Budget Nolan, and they were the parents of four boys: Elmer, who did in 1910; Glen, Lawrence and
Claude, all deceased. Lawrence had two
daughters: Betty Emrich of Tipton and Mary Ellen Nassif of California.
Claude had three children: Tom, Mary Lord and Jean Netolicky, all of Lisbon.
son, James C. Ferguson, married Oceana Brookman who was from Connecticut. In 1880 they built the east one-half of the
present home of Gladys and Everett Ferguson.
Here eight children were born:
Ross, Howard, Frank, Everett, Morris and three children who died in
infancy. Everett is the only
surviving member of this family. Everett's family is
Wallick, Deerfield, Illinois; Richard,
Tipton; David, Lisbon; and Walter, Vienna, Va.
Herring of Mechanicsville and Ruther Peterson of Cedar Rapids are children,
living in the area, of the Morris Ferguson family.
The history of
Mechanicsville would not be complete without mention of a man who contributed
much to the community as Mr. Harry E. Gibeaut.
Mr. Gibeaut was born and reared in Mechanicsville. By hard work and thrift he was able to gain
an education, graduating from the local high school and the College of Pharmacy at the University of Iowa. For many years he was cashier of the Helmer
and Gortner State Bank. He was always
tireless in his efforts to benefit the community and always willing to listen
to another's problems and ready to offer advice and assistance.
Gibeaut occupied a unique place in the community and was held in high esteem by
all who knew him.
Myron Wells Gleason
Gleason was an early settler in Cedar County, coming to Iowa with his wife,
Amanda Walbridge Gleason, in the spring of 1843.
had five children before she died in 1856.
Mr. Gleason then married Hannah Strahorn in 1856 and they were the
parents of three children. (The Strahorn
families were also early settlers.)
of the sons, Frank K. Gleason, told his son, Glen Gleason, about the Indians
that camped at the fork of the creek that ran through the farm now owned by the
George Browns. The Indians got the
measles one year; they became overheated in the teepees and jumped in the creek
to cool off. Many of them died as a
result of the sudden chilling.
also recalls the first telephone in Mechanicsville. It was in the drugstore. If anyone in the town received a call,
everyone came to listen to the conversation.
There was only one wire strung on the poles and it was often knocked out
by electrical storms until someone thought of putting a spare wire above the
one in use to catch the lightning.
Gleason died in 1893 and is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery. No descendents are living now in the
area. Among the last of the family were
Guy Gleason, who died in 1946; Kathryn (Mrs. Alfred Gleason Shilling); and Charles
James Charles High
James Charles High migrated from Indiana to Scott
County, Iowa in 1851 with his family of seven.
The James Highs were the parents of eight children. (Charles Wilson High was
born in Scott County in 1857).
family moved four years later to Jones
County, Iowa and later to
Cedar County, settling at
Pioneer Grove in 1864. The
Pioneer Flour Mill was erected in 1872 by James
Charles High who came from a family of millers.
Wilson High, son of James Charles High and Betsy Wilson, married Anginline
Colby in November of 1886. Miss Colby
was the daughter of Julius and Mary Colby.
made their first home at the Mill Pond with Charles High carrying on the
milling operation for a number of years.
the family moved
to a farm near Olin, Iowa. James High, a long time resident of
Mechanicsville was born on this farm.
1902 the family moved to Jones County line and
built the farm home now owned by James High, grandson of Charles W. High. This
farm home was the birthplace of Alice Laverne High (Mrs. Peter Klimek).
and Anginline High continued to farm the home place until 1911 when they moved
to Mechanicsville. Here Charles and his
son, Julius, operated a grocery store in Mechanicsville for three years. In 1920 they razed the old Boozer Photography
Studio and proceeded to build a modern brick garage
building in the north side of Main Street.
building was occupied by the McCasline Service and the Cedar Theater. The Theater was operated by Alice and Peter
Klimek. The building was later sold to High Lamont
and became the Lamont Dealership.
High died April 11,
1941, at the age of 84, the victim of a grass fire. Anginline High died in December, 1949. James
Charles High still owns and farms the homestead.
Eda Bernadeen Helme
Helme, a resident of Mechanicsville for over 25 years, was born in Cedar
Rapids in the early 1890's and now in her 80's she is
residing at the Nursing Home in Clarence, Iowa. She is quite mentally alert and still carries
on a rather regular correspondence with friends and relatives.
finishing high school in Saugatuck Michigan and college
in Valparaiso, Indiana, she entered
nurses training at Butterworth Hospital, Grand
Rapids, Michigan, graduating
1917 Miss Helme answered the call of our country and in December of that year
she was on her way across the Atlantic with a group
of doctors and nurses from Grand Rapids. The ocean crossing took 21 days and they
landed in Liverpool, England. From there they were transferred to France where she
served in Evacuation Hospital No. 5. This was a TENT hospital,
not far behind the front lines. She has
many interesting stories of her experiences.
The group returned to the United
States in May, 1919.
her service in France Miss Helme
returned to her wok in Grand Rapids, but in the
spring of 1928, while serving as a Registered Nurse for the Board of Education,
she offered to drive a little boy home from his doctor's office. The little boy was ill with what was later
discovered to be poliomyelitis and Miss Helme was also stricken with the dread
disease a short time later. She was left
an invalid and since then has been unable to carry on in her chosen profession.
Helme's grandparents were pioneers in Cedar
County, Iowa. Her mother, Amelia Emily Rate, married in
1882 to Ezra A. Helme of Shabbona, Dekalb County, Il was born Feb. 27, 1857,
the first of five children of Mr. and Mrs. Edward F. Rate on their farm near
Buchanan. Mr. and Mrs. Rate also raised
several foster children. Mr. Rater
emigrated from London, England and settled
in Iowa before the
State joined the Union in December, 1846.
still farming near Buchanan, Mr. Rate started the manufacturing of husking
gloves as well as cotton flannel gloves.
He hired as many local people as possible, but the business
grew so that it was found necessary to move to Iowa
City were he established the E.F. Rate & Sons glove factory. Many Iowa City people were
employed there and the firm was represented by outside salesmen. Women's gloves were also added to their line
and Mrs. Rate, as well as their daughter and husband, Mr. and Mrs. Helme,
enjoyed long and full lives, each of the succumbing well after reaching their
80th birthday. And the farm south of
Buchanan is still in the hands of a Rate descendent. (Presented by Eloise Helme McLaughlin, niece
of Eda B. Helme)
Jr. was born February 24, 1863 at Rock Island, Illinois, the son of
Richard and Nancy Jackson. The Jackson family moved to Fremont Township, Cedar County, Iowa in 1865. He had three sisters Mary (Mrs. George
Davidson), Jennie (Mrs. William J. Dallas) and Martha (Mrs. Joe Davidson). He had two brothers, Will and John. All are now deceased.
Jackson, Jr. was married to Margaret Crystal Mois, March 23, 1892 and started farming in Fremont Township. Here they established their home until 1896
when they moved to Linn Township south of
Mechanicsville where they spent most of their lives. Richard and Margaret Jackson were the parents
of fiver children: Bertha (Mrs. Gover
McNee), Allen D., Mina Mae (Mrs. Rudolph McNee), Nancy Ann (Mrs. Glen
McKibben), and Harry Richard. Richard
Jackson, Jr. was a member of the Presbyterian Church where he served as an
Elder for many years. One of the
surviving grandsons, Roland McNee, continues to farm in the Mechanicsville
Johnson and Susan Mowery were married March, 1858 and lived on their homestead
two and a half miles south of Mechanicsville until Mr. Johnson passed away in
November, 1896. They were the parents of a. daughter, Artaresa Johnson Miller,
and five sons: Albert, Wilson, Oliver, Frank and James and a son who died in infancy.
Mrs. Johnson continued to live on the farm with her youngest son, James until
1898 when he married Cora A. Wagaman. In that year she established her home in
Tipton where she lived until her death in 1914.
bought the family farm from his father’s estate in 1914 where they lived until
his wife’s death.
Mr. and Mrs. James Johnson were the parents of a
daughter, Lola Marie, who was married to Forest Shrope August, 1921 and since
1928 have lived on the Johnson family farm.
Mr. and Mrs.
Forest Shrope were the parents of three daughters: Margaret (Mrs. Robert
Tonne), Jean (Mrs. Don Davidson), and Marie (Mrs. James Phillips, deceased).
There are five grandchildren: Mrs. Kathryn Tonne Lamont, Merle and Lyle Tonne,
Mary Jo Davidson and Jeff Phillips, and two great-grandchildren: John and Chris
came to Mechanicsville in 1864 from the area of Cleveland, Ohio. He
purchased what is now known as the Gortner farm, which lays south of the
railroad tracks, and which included that portion of southeast Mechanicsville
which is south of East First Street.
He built a
small house on the farm, and then returned to Ohio, and the
following year he returned to Iowa bringing
with him his wife and five children. He engaged in farming and later acquired
extensive land holdings in northwestern Iowa.
He was considered one of the wealthiest men in Cedar County. From the
home which he built on East First Street, Mr. Judd
engaged in a business of loaning money.
Mr. Judd was
a man interested in his community. Included in his activities was the
promotion of the Tn-County Fair which was held in
Mechanicsville and helping to establish the Rose Hill Cemetery.
One of the
Judds’ daughters married a local physician, Dr. N.E. Hubbel. The other daughter
Sheldon, who was a banker and
business man in Ames. The only living descendant of the Judd family is Miss
Berniece Moffit of Felton, California.
father of Charles B. Kahler, came to the Mechanicsville area at the close of
the Civil War. He had enlisted in the Union Army, the 115th Ohio Volunteer Infantry,
at the age of 19. He came to Iowa because
relatives of his deceased mother, the Krumroy family, had settled in the
In the late
1860’s he married Sarah Edith McKay, daughter of Rachel and David McKay. The
McKays had come to Mechanicsville from Ohio and settled
in the Pioneer Grove settlement in 1853. David McKay was a minister in the
Methodist church, riding circuit to preach. He was killed by a threshing
machine in 1856. One son enlisted in the Iowa Volunteer Infantry from
Mechanicsville during the Civil War and died of disease contracted in the army.
and his wife, Sarah E. McKay Kahler, moved to the farm north of Mechanicsville
in 1874. The farm is still owned by his descendants. Their three children were
Charles B., Clara E. Kahler Risley, and Ray.
Charles B. Kahler was born in 1870 and died in 1955.
He spent his entire life of 85 years in and near Mechanicsville. He married
Dora H. Smith on Jan. 25,
1910. Dora Smith’s father, Charles C. Smith and mother, Mary
Johnson Smith, were from pioneer families, both of whom arrived in Cedar County in 1854. Mrs.
Dora Kahler died in 1969 at the age of 91.
was educated in rural schools near Mechanicsville and graduated with one of the
first classes. He often told of clearing trees and brush from the fields with
axes and teams of horses, and of fencing fields with “stake and rider” log
fencing or by planting hedge (Osage orange) fences. He also told of the Indians
who traveled each summer to camp on the banks of Pioneer Creek. They hunted
roots and berries in the timber and begged produce from the settlers.
Rattlesnakes, wolves and prairie chickens were a common sight in those pioneer
times. He would also point out traces of an old wagon road crossing a timber
pasture and continuing on into neighboring fields and tell of the night
settlers fled down the road toward Mechanicsville to escape the devastation of
a tornado that had swept through the White Oak community. As a young man, he
had often joined ice skating parties on the mill pond north of Mechanicsville.
Dora Kahler were the parents of twin daughters who died in infancy and another
daughter, Adria (Mrs. Leon Ralston), who received her education in the
Mechanicsville schools, graduating with the class of 1933. She was married to
Leon D. Ralston in 1942. Leon Ralston’s maternal grandparents, August (Gus)
Pieper and Mollie Cameron Pieper, were descendants of pioneer Cedar County families.
The Ralston’s have two children, Lynn (Mrs. Duane Mesnard) and L. Derell, both
of whom were born while the family resided north of Mechanicsville.
McAllister and his wife, Nancy Craig McAllister, left Ireland and moved to
Canada in 1825.
They lived in
Canada until 1852
when they moved to Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. McAllister had three children: Thomas, who
Elizabeth McCluskey, Mary (Mrs.
Samuel S. Pfautz) and Margaret (Mrs. Oliver Ferguson).
McAllister was nearly 30 years old when he established his home in Iowa. He bought
160 acres of prairie land on which he built one of the first brick farm houses
in the country. The bricks for this house were fired in his own kiln located
near his home. It was to this house that the pioneer Catholics came to worship
on horseback, by wagon, on foot and on a crude handcart that traveled on the
newly laid railroad tracks.
Elizabeth McAllister had seven children:
John, Bernard, Mary, Nancy, Elizabeth, James and Agnes, who was adopted
at the age of 11. Agnes married Lewis E. Hudachek and they became the
parents of two children, John and Mary. Mr. and Mrs. Hudachek lived on the McAllister
farm until 1964 when they moved out of state. Mrs. Agnes Hudachek died in 1968.
the son of Francis Krumroy, was born July 4, 1847 in Sumner County, Ohio. During the mid 1870’s he
left his home state and came to Iowa, settling on a farm four miles north of
Mechanicsville, now known as the Gorman Robinson farm.
year 1877 he married Lydia Kohl of Jones County and, for 32 years, they lived
on the farm homestead until they moved to Mechanicsville in 1908.
Krumroy was born Aug. 2, 1856, the
daughter of William and Hannah Kohl. Adam and Lydia Krumroy were members of the
Mechanicsville Methodist church. Mr. Krumroy was one of the organizers of the
Mechanicsville Trust and Savings Bank.
They were the
parents of five daughters and three sons, all deceased: Clemma (Mrs. Bert
Humbert), Ida (Mrs. Joe Kohl), Gertie (Mrs. Dave Minish), Grace (Mrs. Ira
Hempy), Pearl (Mrs. Arthur
Vanderbilt), Frank, Edward and Kenneth Krumroy.
Mr. Krumroy died Dec. 8, 1926 and Mrs. Krumroy, on Jan. 7, 1937.
Direct descendants of the Krumroy family living in the Mechanicsville
area are Violet Hempy Clifton and Kay Don Krumroy.
McKibben was born March 3,
1868 the youngest son of Ezekiel and Annamelia McKibben. He
was one of 11 children raised on the McKibben homestead southwest of
McKibben was united in marriage to Anna Louise Cook, Jan. 13, 1892 and they
farmed the family homestead for a few years. Two children were born there: a
daughter, who died in infancy, and a son, Glen Ezekiel McKibben. The John
McKibbens moved to their farm in Linn Township southeast of
Mechanicsville where they farmed until 1926 when they moved to Mechanicsville.
The son, Glen McKibben married Nancy Ann Jackson, and
they make their home in Mechanicsville.
The Moffit Family
Moffit was born April 24,
1829 near Ballinmallard, County Tyronne, northern Ireland, the
youngest of ten children. Older sons of the family came to America in 1828 and
one of them, Andrew, came to Cedar County in 1838. He
was so impressed with the country that he wrote his father, then fi5 years old,
to sell the family holding of 13 acres in Ireland and come to Iowa.
Moffits and six of their younger children started the journey early in 1840.
They came by ship to Philadelphia, Pa.; by wagon
and canal boat to Pittsburgh, then down
the Ohio River and up the Mississippi to Muscatine where they
arrived nine months and 18 days after leaving Ireland. The family located
south of Mechanicsville near Mason Grove in Linn Township.
1852, Alexander and his brother, Francis, set out for California with a
covered wagon, six oxen, two milk cows and a pony. Alexander returned by the Isthmus of
Panama only to make a second journey to California before
settling in Cedar County. He bought
his first land in 1858, paying $1,061 for 157 acres. Other purchases listed in
the family records are 80 acres bought for $640 in 1864; another 80 acres in
1869, costing $1,800. By 1869 he owned 960 acres.
Moffit married Martha Poteet, a neighbor’s daughter, in 1859. Of the 11
children born to this marriage, eight survived infancy.
In 1880, Mr.
Moffit purchased his first purebred Hereford, the bull,
Curly 6070. He was so pleased that in 1882 he paid $3,000 for four imported
cows and $800 for an imported bull, purchased from Badwell and Burleigh, an
importing firm. After Alexander’s death, two of the sons, Albert and Edwin,
continued the Hereford breeding.
Both died in 1941 and the herd was dispersed Dec.29 and 30, 1942.
On Monday, Sept. 20, 1909, Mr. and
Mrs. Alexander Moffit celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary. It was
planned by their eight children, John T. Moffit, Tipton, Iowa; Cassius C.
Moffit of Brewster, Minn., who later returned to Mechanicsville to farm;
William A.; Albert H. Edwin B; Lulu Moffit; Martha J. Stookey of
Mechanicsville; and Mary L. Reeder of Tipton.
Moffit maintained a lifelong interest in public affairs. Politically he was a
Republican; he held various township and school offices; was a member of the
Cedar County Board of Supervisors; and was a member of the States’ 16th General
Assembly. He was an active member of the Presbyterian church of Mechanicsville.
In 1867, a
brick home was built about one half mile east of Highland Crossing. The brick
for the home was brought from Muscatine. In 1968 Mr.
and Mrs. Alan Weets bought the land and the buildings. Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Smay and Mr. and Mrs. Forest Moffit, grandchildren of Mr.
Moffit, still own and farm some of the original land.
Moffit died in November, 1919. He was preceded in death by his wife, Martha on Sept. 1, 1914. The
Alexander Moffits are survived by nine grandchildren and 11 great
Mr. & Mrs. Harland Maurer
Although Mr. and
Mrs. Maurer were not born in Mechanicsville, no one had more interest in the
activities and history of Mechanicsville. With the help of Mr. Maurer, Mrs.
Maurer kept a scrap book of the two for over 50 years. A good deal of the
information which appears in the centennial history came from this scrap book,
thanks to the Maurer’s.
were members of many town groups and were willing to lend a helping hand to
all. Mr. Maurer was a lawyer. He also
served as postmaster from 1923 to 1936.
was born near Reading, Pa., on July 21, 1853. He was the
son of William and Hannah Fetterling Kohl, both natives of Pennsylvania. The father,
a farmer, was engaged in agricultural pursuits in the Keystone State until
1855. Attracted by the advantages
offered by the West, he became a resident of Iowa, locating in
Jones County. There he
purchased a farm of 165 acres upon which stood a log house and a log stable. He
became prosperous in his undertaking and continued activity in agriculture
until he died June 3, 1901.
On June 3, 1860 all of the
buildings on his farm were blown away by a tornado; although no lives were
lost, Duane and his father were badly injured. The family of Mr. and Mrs.
William Kohl consisted of 13 children, seven sons and six daughters. Three sons
enlisted for service in the Civil War. Duane attended country school and
assisted his father in farming.
On Dec. 22, 1875, Duane Kohl
married Laura Scott. After his marriage he continued to farm until Feb. 20, 1900. He then
moved to Mechanicsville where for four years he bought and shipped stock. For
one year he was in the restaurant business. He then engaged in a business
venture dealing in poultry, butter and eggs while he continued to manage his farm.
He became one of the organizers of the Mechanicsville Savings Bank, and one of
the promoters of the Mechanicsville Telephone Company, of which he was a
Four sons and one daughter were born to Mr. and Mrs.
Kohl: Oscar, who was a businessman in
Clinton, father of Albro and Hazel; Joseph, who was a farmer; Thomas also a
farmer and father of Glen; Alvin, who was a druggist and pharmacist, and father
of Harrison; and Mae Staab, who had a daughter,
Harrison Kohl is the Executive Director of the Sun
interesting experiences happened to Laura Kohl. She fell in a cistern while
living in her home where her daughter, the late Mae Staab Hatcher, lived. The
cistern was behind a small house where the John Jackson’s lived as neighbors.
The house was located where the Methodist Sunday School building stands. It is
believed she was rescued by firemen and recovered after being given a drink of
One other time she was struck down while crossing the street to visit a
friend. The driver of the vehicle turned out to be a preacher
from Clinton. He said, “I
am pleased to meet you.” Laura replied, “I’m not glad to meet you!”
When she was
77 years old, Mrs. Kohl presented a quilt to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The flag quilt with all the stars and stripes of the American flag was pieced
together with hundreds of tiny stitches. The President received it on his 53rd
birthday. Laura received a note of thanks from his private secretary, M. A.
Lehand, saying he was delighted to accept the quilt, and more than grateful for
the spirit which prompted her to send it.
One of our
early pioneer families was that of Duncan McNee. As a boy of 12 he had
journeyed with his parents from Perth, Scotland to Perth, New
Brunswick, Canada. At the age
of 33 a married man (Catharine McIntyre) he started westward into the United
In the spring
of 1837 he walked to Davenport, Iowa, and up the
Old Indian Trail to Section Two, Linn Township, Cedar County. Here he
made a homestead claim. He had wanted to locate near Cedar Bluffs, but there
were too many Indians in that area and he was afraid they might steal from him.
He returned to Perth and in the
fall was joined by his two brothers and their wives for the journey by covered
wagon to establish homes here. Descendants Rudolph and Roland McNee are in
possession of two wooden chests which traveled to Iowa in that
weathered the Iowa winter until
log cabins were built. One of the brothers, Daniel McNee, moved to Fremont Township where they
bought land. The other brother moved northwest of Davenport. Sometime
before 1849 William S. Rate built a rock house for Duncan McNee from stone
hauled from the Cedar Valley and Wallick
quarries. This house remains on the farm owned by Roland McNee, great grandson
of Duncan McNee, and now occupied by the Paul Kirstein family. Duncan McNee
raised five children on this farm: Finly, John, Peter, Marjory and Margaret.
purchased a 160 acre farm in 1873 and in 1875 was married to Lavina Rate. Five
children were born to this marriage: Maggie, Ida, Grover, Harry and Rudolph.
The sole survivor is Rudolph McNee who lives south of Mechanicsville. He was
married to Mina Jackson now deceased and they were the parents of 2 children,
Opal, New York City and Roland
who farms the home place.
among the McNee story and traditions are the following:
three deeds for the land originally claimed by Duncan McNee, signed by three
presidents: Tyler, Polk and Zachary Taylor.
In the year 1897 a thief broke into the house while
the Peter McNee family was at the Cedar County Fair in Tipton and stole $800 of
their life savings. Again, in the year 1936 a thief entered the same house
occupied by the Rudolph McNee family while they were attending the Cedar County
Indians would come to the McNee home, three wagon loads at a time and beg for
food, up to the turn of the century. When given eggs and loaves of home baked
bread they would peacefully leave.
J. W. Thomas
was born in 1827 in the state of Ohio. In 1856 ‘he
moved to Iowa, settling in
Mechanicsville in 1865. He married Rebecca Tidrick in 1852. They had seven
children: Maggie L., Mary E., William A., Harvey P., and Abbie J.; two died,
Johnathan E. and Joseph A. Of these children, William A. took charge of the
farm and remained in Mechanicsville. In 1887 he married Fannie Hawthorne and to
them was born four children: Merrill H., Elizabeth M., William G. and Jonathan
Jonathan P. (Paul) married Frances Angell in 1920 and
to them were born three daughters: Bettie (Mrs. Jerry Hedin, Hawaii), Dorothy
(Mrs. George Auld, Minnesota), and
Marilyn (Mrs. Ray Jewell, Mechanicsville). Merrill, a bachelor, lived with the
Paul Thomas family and they continued the farm operations. In 1960 the Thomas’
retired and moved to town and the farm was sold to Kenneth Montz in 1965.
Paul died in
1965; earlier that same year Frances suffered a
paralytic stroke and spent her final years in a nursing home in Marion, Iowa, until her
death in 1972. These circumstances left Merrill alone, so in 1968 Mr. and Mrs.
Ray Jewell and sons, Thomas Ray and James Paul moved to the Thomas home and
took care of Merrill until his death in 1970.
William Champe Page was born in Orange, Virginia in 1837.
While he was young, his parents moved to a plantation south of Vicksburg, Mississippi. He grew to
maturity in this southern community.
As an adventurous young man, he went as a Second
Lieutenant with General William Wallsen’s ill-fated expeditionary force to Nicaragua. It was
there that he contracted yellow fever and was nursed back to health by a
return to the United States, he secured
a job on a Mississippi River boat. He
became a licensed river pilot, and during the Civil War, he served as a river
boat pilot for the Confederacy.
After the War, he moved to St. Louis where he met
and married an Iowan. It was through his wife’s influence that he was persuaded
to return to Iowa and to
Mechanicsville, where he established a home about 1870. He entered local
business, starting the W.C. Page Bank which was located in a small building
just west of what is now Cook’s Hardware. He later sold his banking interest to
Helmer and Gortner.
His first wife and young adopted daughter became ill
banking years, William Page was a member of the mercantile firm of Page, Fritz
and Bennett. Then in 1890, he built the Page Hotel.
In 1895 he
married Miss Alice Furman, and together they operated the hotel whose clientele
consisted mainly of traveling salesmen. It was a popular stopping place for
traveling men until the advent of the automobile and paved roads. Mrs. Page’s
meals, especially Sunday dinners, attracted many people to the hotel.
Page died in 1910; Mrs. Page continued to operate the Page Hotel until her
health failed. Later it was converted to the Page Apartments by their daughter,
Mrs. F.M. Wilson.
(Cass) F. Platner
born August 2, 1856 in a log
cabin married Margaret Jane Ellison, a granddaughter of Pryor Scott, one of the
pioneer settlers of Pioneer Grove. Margaret Jane was born February 11, 1864. Cass was
the son of Henry Clay Platner (1835-1916) and Mary Caroline Ringer (1835-1899).
After the marriage of Cass and Margaret Jane on February 21, 1883, they soon
settled in the Pioneer Grove area on the farm where the Robert Ross family
Margaret Jane were the parents of two children, Mary Eda and Howard Ellison
Mary was born August 24, 1884 and married John Fry on January 28, 1914. John was
born April 19, 1882 and they
spent their married life in the Mechanicsville area. They had no children. Mary
died November 30, 1973 and John, on
September 8, 1956.
Ellison Platner was born July 20,
1886 and married Hazel Miller February 21, 1918. Hazel was
born February 21, 1890, daughter of
George E. Miller and Emma Easterly Miller of Lisbon, Iowa. They were the
parents of four children and spent their married lives on the farm where
Herbert Platner now lives.
Jeanette Platner married Donald E. Puffer of Mechanicsville on April 21, 1942 and they are
the parents of two sons. Phillip L. of Mechanicsville married Jacquelyn Ann
Colton and they are the parents of two sons, Wade and Matthew. Steven, of
Coralville, married Jacqueline K. Wilson and they have two sons, Craig Steven
and Aaron Michael.
Arlene Platner married James Robert Ross of Mechanicsville on June 14, 1943 and they are
the parents of two daughters, Kaylene, who married Terry Worby March 1, 1975 and Jo Ann
Ross, both of Mechanicsville.
Miller Platner married Genevieve M. Crock of Tipton on August 12, 1950. They are
the parents of Gerald H., who married Mary Knapp and live in Defiance, Iowa; Larry D.,
Diana Kay, Thomas E. and Teresa Ann of Mechanicsville.
Platner married Glen U. Farrington of Mechanicsville August 21, 1948. Their
children are Gordon, married to Wanda Tenley, Norman, Elaine and Gloria, and
all live in the Mechanicsville area.
Dr. F.M. Wilson
In the spring
of 1912, Dr. F. M. Wilson came to Mechanicsville to practice veterinary
medicine. Previously he had graduated from the Walker High School and the Chicago Veterinary College and had
taught two terms of country school.
The first two
years of his practice were quite difficult in comparison with modern day
practice. His means of transportation were horses and buggy and the country
roads of today. He covered a rather large territory and his work varied from
handling a ton animal to trimming the beak of a parakeet.
Besides his practice he found time for public
service, serving one term as mayor, several terms on the town council, 13 years
on the local school board and six years on the County Board of
Education. He also served as a director of
the Mechanicsville Telephone Co. and for some years was President of that
War I, Dr. Wilson enlisted in the Veterinary Corps and served in France as a First
home in 1919 and resumed his practice. He was active in the organization of the
American Legion Post in Mechanicsville and was its second commander. Dr.
Wilson practiced his profession for 62 years in the Mechanicsville Community.
He was interested in veterinary association work, and was president of the
Eastern Iowa Veterinary Association in 1931 and of the State Association in
1939. He also served on the Executive Board of the A.V.M.A. and was on the
board of State
Veterinary Medical Examiners for
In 1927 he was
married to Pagie V. Page. They are the parents of two daughters, Mrs. William
Woods (Virginia) of rural
Mechanicsville and Mrs. Herbert Skerry (Barbara) of Hampden Sydney, Virginia.
William S. Rate
William S Rate came to Linn Township in Cedar County in
1867. He was born in England in 1821 and
came to the United States with his
father when he was 12 years old where they made their home in New York and Pennsylvania.
In 1840 he moved to Galena, Illinois and in 1848
married Margaret Ditto, a native of Germany, they moved
to Johnson County, Iowa where they
farmed for 17 years.
Later he bought 160 acres of prairie land in Linn Township, built a
house and several other buildings, and moved his family here in 1867. He continued to improve the farm, planting a
thousand fruit, nut and shade trees to form a grove around the farm buildings.
Mr. Rate was a stone cutter by trade and would walk
to Muscatine on Monday
morning, work there all week and return home Saturday. He cut stone for the first capital building
in Iowa City, a church in
Muscatine and for the
farm house on the late Grover McNee farm now owned by Roland McNee and tenanted
by the Paul Kirstein’s.
Mr. Rate died in 1906 and his wife and daughters,
Selena and Esther, ran the farm until 1921.
Then, at the request of his mother, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Rate and family
moved to the farm home. Fred Rate died
in 1954; since that time his daughter, Pauline, her husband, Lester, and son
Allen, have been farming the place. The
Fred Rate daughters, Pauline (Mrs. Lester Achenbach) and Nona Rate inherited
the farm at his death.
Mr. and Mrs. William S. Rate were the parents of
twelve children, and many of their descendants still live in this
community. Some of the grandchildren and
great-grandchildren include Rudolph McNee, Roland McNee, and Edward Jack. Forest Shrope, Mrs. Robert Kramer, Mrs. Clarence Miller, Howard Stork, Nona
Rate and Mrs. Lester Achenbach.
Germany was the
place of origin of the Puffer family.
The first Puffer descendants settled in Boston and New
Hampshire and from there they branched out to St. Louis, Missouri and then
north into Iowa.
Charles Puffer was the first of the family to live in
Mechanicsville. He came to Iowa in 1843 from
New Hampshire and settled
with his brother on a farm north of Mt. Vernon. Wood from his timber was donated to erect the
first building of Cornell College. In 1847 he married Abigail Comstock and they
established their home on the farm known as the Puffer Homestead located in Pioneer Township two and
one-half miles southwest of Mechanicsville.
A country school was built on the northwest corner of the homestead and
children of the family were educated here until consolidation went into effect.
Authernail G.W. Puffer was the eldest son of Charles
Puffer. He married Arminda Boyles in
1874 and they were the parents of Ray, Mabel and Everette.
Ray married Chloie Brock and they farmed west of
Mechanicsville until the time of their retirement. They became the parents of two children,
Mildred and Raymond. Mildred was married
to Lloyd Kohl and they were parents of three children: Delmar, married to Marilyn Blood - their
children, Samuel, Daniel, Anna Marie, Andrew, Nathaniel and Jacob; Marilyn,
married Rev. John Crawford - their children, Steven, Linda and Nancy; and
Audrey, married to Dwayne Christensen - their children, Denise and David. Raymond married Helen Slater, their children:
Kaylene, married to Francis Massaro - one son, Michael; Douglas, married to Iris
Carr - one daughter, Heather Dawn.
Mabel was married to Claude A. Harper and they reside
on a wheat ranch in eastern Washington with their
children, Olive, Joseph, Max, Marjory and Miriam.
Everette was married to Grace Kohl in 1905 and they
lived in the house then located near the creek on the homestead. In 1913 they built the present home, and the
older structure was moved north of this residence. They were the parents of three children:: Mary, Julia, and Donald.
Mary was married to George Brown, parents of Douglas, married to
Patricia Lidrich, parents of Lisa and Beverly; Max, married to Sally Ahrens,
parents of Valerie, Chris and Eric; Roger; David; Joel; Nancy, married to Larry
Durnam, parents of Brian; and Robert, married to Dixie Davis, parents of
Julia was married to Edward Jack, parents of:
Patricia, married to Charles Coon, parents of Arminda, Timothy and Jason;
Susan, married to Robert Sullivan, parents of Rodney, Sara and Andrew; Barbara;
Michael, married to Gail Wolrab, parents of Tasha and Zachary.
Fourth Generation of Puffers to live on the homestead
is the present occupants, Donald and Edith Platner Puffer. They are the parents of two sons: Phillip
married to Jacquelyn Colton, parents of Wade and Matthew; and Steven, married
to Jacqueline Wilson, parents of Craig and Aaron.
Samuel Gilliland came to Cedar County in 1836 as
one of the early settlers. In 1839 he
entered a claim in Pioneer Township and in that
community he spent his entire life. He
was married to Julie Comstock and they set up housekeeping in a log cabin. He was a staunch Methodist, becoming a member
of the church in 1843 and he was an active member of the church in
Mechanicsville. Mr. Gilliland passed
away in January, 1911 at the age of 97.
Dan Gilliland, son of Samuel Gilliland, lived in
Mechanicsville and owned the "Electric Light Distributing System"
know as the Gilliland Electric Co. The
electric plant was operated on the Gilliland property, now owned by his
granddaughter, Mrs. Alberta Krumroy. Dan
Gilliland married Florence Brogan and they had three children, Haven Gilliland,
Ethel Gilliland Norris and Maude Gilliland Stoffel.
After Mr. Gilliland's death, the management of the
electric plant was continued by his son, Haven.
He entered the armed services in 1916 and at that time Mr. Gilliland's
son-in-law, Clarence Norris, leased the electric plant, later purchasing it and
in 1934 he sold it to the Iowa Railway and Light Company.
Haven Gilliland and Maude Gilliland Stoffel have
passed away. This third child, Mrs.
Ethel Norris, still resides in Mechanicsville.
Most of the Onstott’s who came to Pioneer Grove and Cedar County was natives
of Pennsylvania and Ohio. They were mostly of Holland Dutch descent.
They brought their young families with them and
settled in and around Pioneer Grove which at that time included the west part
of the town.
John Onstott, one of the pioneers from Ohio, was
interested in getting a town started and with a Mr. D. Comstock invested in
small plots of ground which they sold to those who wished to stay here and
establish homes. Mr. Onstott had two
sons, Jacob Henry and John. Jacob Henry
remained here and John moved on to Nebraska where he
lived the remainder of his life.
John Onstott was a carpenter by trade and was
instrumental in getting a one room school built at the west end of Pioneer
Grove. He cut all the shingles for this
building by hand.
Jacob Henry was married to a local girl, Julia
Rogers. They had no children. He was a local businessman and was primarily
interested in farm implements.
Peter Onstott also came here in 1851 with his wife,
Emily E. Gibeaut, and a growing family.
He acquired 800 acres of land southeast of Mechanicsville. They had nine children, but when an epidemic
of scarlet fever hit the country, some of the children died. The five remaining brothers were: Jacob L.,
Peter, John, Charles and Elmer.
As each son married, the parents gave each a homestead
of 120 acres, reserving 200 acres for themselves. At one time, there were 27 children belonging
to these five brothers. The brothers
built a school house on one corner of Charles Onstott's land and it was called
"the Onstott School." All the children for several miles around
also came to this school. Harry Gibeaut
taught in this school for several years and lived with the J.L. Onstott family.
There are only four living Onstott children; and one
remains in Mechanicsville, Bertha (Mrs. John I. Cook).
County, Pennsylvania was the
homestead territory of David and Edwin
Rhoads. In the 1850's the two ventured
west. They went as far as the Pike's Peak region of
the Rocky Mountains, but deciding not to
settle, they joined a wagon train returning east. Along the way, they heard about a building
under construction on the Cornell College campus at Mt. Vernon, and since
David was a bricklayer by trade, they decided to head for Iowa. He helped in the construction of the first
college building, a chapel, erected on the Cornell campus.
They settled in the area south of Mechanicsville in
1856; Edwin on the farm now owned by Delmar Kohl, and David on the farm now
owned by P.K. and Inez Pearson. Their
first "home" was a barn they built on the Edwin Rhoads farm. This barn is still standing after these many
years. David Rhoads built a two story
home on the farm and this home is now in its fifth generation of inhabitants. David's son, Eugene, was born in this house
in 1879; his daughter Inez Pearson lived in it; and her son, Donald and his
three children, Cynthia, Dennis and Craig now make their home in the original
house, five generations!
Edwin and David Rhoads were later joined by two
brothers, Samuel and Cornelius, and two sisters. David is the only Rhoads whose descendants
live in the Mechanicsville area.
David Rhoads was born in Pennsylvania in 1833 and
in 1860 was married to Anna Mary Heneks.
They had four children: Wilbert
C., Charles E., Frank and John C. Mrs.
Rhoads passed away in 1867.
In 1872 he married Catherine Armentrout and they
became the parents of seven children:
Samuel, David, Harry, Joseph, Herman, Eugene and Anna.
Charles E. Rhoads married Ida Statler and they were
the parents of Forest, Frank and Howard.
Dorothy Hamilton and they had three daughters:
Mary Jean (Mrs. William Penningroth), Miriam (Mrs. Gene Heneks) and
Margaret Ann, deceased. Mary Jean has
two children, Bruce and Lynn. Miriam has
two sons, William and Robert. The
Mechanicsville vicinity is home for Mr. and Mrs. Forest Rhoads, his children
and his grandchildren.
Frank married Ena Hickerson and, after living on the
Edwin Rhoads farm for several years, retired and now resides in Mt. Vernon.
Howard married Eloise Gallmeyer and they have one
son, Cary, who is married to Judy Peterson and they are the parents of two
children, Pam and Jeff. Cary farms south
Samuel Rhoads, David's son, married Ida Cook and they
were the parents of two sons, Elwood and Lee.
Elwood married Velma Bleasdale and they have two
sons, David, Aurora, Illinois and Sam, Cedar
Lee is residing in Lisbon and has one
daughter, Mary Ann (Mrs. Jack Martin) living there also. Two other daughters now live out of state,
Susie and Alva, and Lee's son, Glenn, is now deceased.
Eugene Rhoads was married to Amanda Spencer and they
had one daughter, Inez. Inez married
P.K. Pearson and they have one son, Donald R. who married Jo Ann Thumma. Donald has three children: Cynthia, Dennis and Craig.
Anna Rhoads, only daughter of David, was married to
Cecil Overbaugh and they were the parents of three children: Florence (Mrs. Gordon
Spry, Waterloo), Horace and
Florence had three
children: Doug, deceased; Richard and
Horace married Florence Anthony and they live
southeast of Mechanicsville.
Donald R. Married Helen Stanerson and they are the
parents of four children: Donald, Cedar
Rapids; Glenn, Davenport; Alvin, Ankeny; and
Marilyn, Ankeny. Donald Overbaugh resides on the farm also
owned by his grandfather, David Rhoads.
Louis Sievers was born in Germany in
1819. He came to America in 1848,
returning to Germany in 1851 to
marry Hannah Rekemeyer. They returned to
America in 1852.
Louis and Hannah Sievers came to Jones County where they
lived until 1855, when they moved to Pioneer Township in Cedar County. They were the parents of five children: Minnie (Mrs. Fred Frey), Emma (Mrs. Charles
Shrope), Caroline (Mrs. Ira Ketring), Mary and Henry.
Henry Sievers remained in his parent's home and
farmed the home place until his retirement.
He died of injuries received when he was struck by a car in December,
1943 in St. Petersburg, Fla., where he
was spending the winter.
The Henry W. Sievers Memorial building is named in
Among the early settlers of Pioneer Grove to our northwest, few, if
any, had more descendants residing in the community and Cedar County than Pryor
Scott, a native of Kentucky.
was born November 4,
1798. As a young man,
he moved to Scioto County, Ohio and from
there to Indiana. He returned to Ohio where he was
married to Ruth Caraway in 1825. The
newlyweds then moved to Crawfordsville, Indiana. In the spring of 1837 they decided to move
westward. Crossing the Mississippi at what is
now Muscatine, and then
overland by covered wagon, they settled on a pleasant ridge in the timber of
Pioneer Grove. That land is now owned
and occupied by the Robert Ross family, direct descendants of Pryor Scott.
this homestead, Pryor and Ruth Scott reared six of their children. Their first home was log cabin, and their
water came from a spring located along the ridge south about 340 rods
away. The Scotts had a neighbor about
three quarters of a mile to the southeast, Abner Stebbins, who settled in 1836
on land where Robert Holladay now lives.
It is on this farm that the first cemetery in Pioneer Grove was started
and still remains today.
land for the original schoolhouse was given by Pryor Scott, and that first
school still stands. It is located on
the Wilbur Colby farm occupied by Douglas Willey. Three generations of the Scott family
attended this school.
1837, Iowa was a
territory under the jurisdiction of the Governor of Wisconsin, Henry
Dodge. Governor Dodge appointed Mr.
Scott a Colonel in the territorial militia.
From that time on, Pryor Scott was known as Colonel.
So ardent a Democrat was he, that he named two of his sons after
Democratic Presidents, Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren. His political activities were by no means
limited to naming his sons after presidents.
Pryor Scott served in the Iowa State Legislature.
and Ruth Scott are the ancestors of many families of the area including the
family names of Fairly, Ellison, Platner, Kohl, Scott, Vanderbilt, Ross, Clifton and
Scott children were: Margaret born 1826
married J. Samuel Fairly, and after his death married Bill Albaugh; Mary born
1827, married Samuel Ellison; Jan born 1829 died in 1832; Joseph born 1831,
married Margaret Boyles; Henry born 1832, married Mariah Todd; Martha F. born
1834, married Squire Mackey; James P. born 1836; Rachel born 1838; Martin Van
Buren born 1840, married Sarah Owens; Andrew Jackson born 1845; and Ruth born
1848 married Joseph Owens.
one time, Mr. Scott owned approximately 1,000 acres of land. Some of the original land Mr. Scott acquired
from the government has continued to be owned by his descendants. He gave each of his sons and one daughter a
farm, all approximately three to five miles northwest of Mechanicsville.
Ruth Scott died in 1874 after 50 years of marriage. In 1875, Mr. Scott married Mary Ruble. To this union were born two children, Notley
and Grace. Thus in two generations,
these two men, Pryor Scott, born in 1798 and his son Notley Scott, born in 1878
bridged the historical periods from the administration of John Adams to that of
the late Lyndon B. Johnson, before Notley died in September, 1965. In fact, when Pryor Scott was born, George
Washington was still alive, although no longer President. Pryor Scott died in 1888 in his 90th
year and is buried in Rose Hill cemetery.
Mrs. Mary Ruble Scott died in 1928.
Martin Van Buren Scott, known as "Van," was
born Nov. 6, 1840, the son of
Pryor and Ruth Caraway Scott. He married
Sarah Owens in 1868 and they lived on a farm three miles northwest of
Mechanicsville, which his father gave him and which the elder Scott had secured
from the government. They later moved
into Mechanicsville, the farm remaining in the family. The Vern Svoboda family now lives on the
farm. Mrs. Svoboda is a great
granddaughter of Van Scott.
Sara and Van were the parents of six children: Walter (1894-1950), who married Anna
McQuowen, had one child, Alma, now Mrs. Harold G. Davis of Durant, Iowa; Irene
(1893-1943) who married Mort Hatcher; Marth F. (1876-1880); Linns R.
(1879-1880); Zella M. (1879-1903); and Mary Caraway (1871-1945), who married
John A. Clifton.
They were the parents of three children: Hope and Van Arthur; both died in infancy;
and John Merle of Mechanicsville. Merle
married Violet Hempy in 1928 and their children are: Alberta of Mechanicsville, who married Vern
Svoboda, their children being Wayne, Joy and Sallly; Verla of Cedar Rapids, who
married Gerald R. Pollock, their children being Anne and John; Patricia of
Pittsburgh, Pa., who married James McGlasson, their children being Laura and
William R. Robinson was born November 26, 1836 in Champaign
County, Ohio. When he was four, his parents moved to Fairview Township, Jones
County, Iowa. He had two brothers and three sisters.
In August, 1862, William R. Robinson enlisted with
the Union in the civil War, Company H, 35th
Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and was involved in eighteen engagements, including Vicksburg. During this period of conflict, he was
neither wounded nor hospitalized.
After being honorably discharged in 1865, he settled
in Greenfield Township. In 1870, he married Luzetta Piper, who was
born near Fort Wayne, Indiana, Sept. 28, 1850. Their family consisted of seven daughters and
One son, William married Edith Ilsley, and they made
their home on the Robinson family farm.
Their family consisted of seven children; Gorman, Corrine (Mrs. Marvin
Betcher, Davenport), Narvis,
Quentin, Victor, and twins, Calvin and Casper. William Robinson Died on Oct. 14, 1946. His widow, Mrs. Edith Robinson, now 85 years
old, lives in Mechanicsville in the Pioneer Terrace Apartments. Besides her six sons and one daughter, she
has eighteen grandchildren and fourteen great-grandchildren.
All six of the Robinson's sons are engaged in farming
in the Mechanicsville community; all live within nine miles of the family farm.
Joseph Scott was born to Colonel Pryor Scott and Ruth
in 1861. They lived on the Scott farm in
Greenfield Township located
northwest of Mechanicsville, where he spent his entire life. Colonel Pryor Scott gave each of his children
a farm. Joseph Scott and Margaret Boyles
were united in marriage on Feb. 1, 1855. Nine children were born to this family, these
included: Jim, Laura, David, Tom, Ruth,
Mary, Margaret, George and Frank; a grandson, Joe Vanderbilt, also made his
home with them. A new home was built in
1870 and was destroyed by fire on April 2,
1946. A quaint old
windmill was built by Joseph Scott in 1885; up until 1920 when its wooden wheel
became so worn it had to be moved, it pumped water daily for the family and
livestock and ground feed for the latter.
A gasoline engine later was installed and also served as an aerial for a
Jim Scott married Ella Vanderbilt, Hays County, Nebraska. Seven Children were born to this family, Mae,
Ella, Will Clay, Glen, Cleave and Blair.
Tom Scott married Jessie Vanderbilt; one child, Hallie, was born to this
family; David Married Nancy McKibben, Mary married Lou Pfeifer of Johnstown,
Nebraska, one daughter, Marguerite, was born to this family; she married a
Keefer of Portland, Oregon.
Frank Scott and his sister, Margaret, lived on the
home place until moving to Mechanicsville.
Margaret met a tragic death when a gas stove exploded. Ruth Scott married John Vanderbilt. Ten children were born to this family, Neva, Joe,
Jessie, Herman, Ira, Floyd, Letser, Ray, Arthur and Billy. Jesse Vanderbilt married Will Ferguson and
one son Parnell was born to this marriage.
Joe Vanderbilt married Bertha Robinson where Billy
made his home.
Arthur Vanderbilt married Pearl Krumroy. Neva Vanderbilt married George Ross; three
children were born to this family, these included, Robert, Ruth Ann, and
Nancy. Robert married Arlene Platner and
they had two daughters, Kaylene and Jo Ann; Kaylene married Terry Worby and
Ruth Ann married Max Fiala and they have one son, Joey; Nancy married
Lloyd Phillip and they had four children, Lisa, Kevin, Craig and Aaron.
Laura Scott married Duane Kohl in 1874. Five children were born to this family; these
included Joe, Tom, Alvin, Oscar and Mae.
Oscar married Rose Carr and they had one son, Albro and one daughter,
Hazel. Albro married Bertha Meyers and
they had one daughter, Mary Jane. Mary
Jane married Robert Mullan and they had five sons, Steve, John, Pat, Mark and
Hazel Kohl married Smith and they had one daughter,
Rosemary. Rosemary married Ronald
Shaffer and they had two daughters, Donn and Micky.
Tom Kohl married Laura Albaugh and they had one son,
Glen. Glen married Francis Albaugh and
they have one son, Tim.
Joe Kohl married Ida Krumroy,
they adopted a son, Paul. No information
is available on Alvin H. Kohl, deceased.
Mae Kohl married Fred Staab and they had one
daughter, Mary. Mary married Charles
George Scott, born Aug. 12, 1865 married Elizabeth Squires, born Nov. 2, 1869. One daughter, Mamie and two sons, Clair and
Hurley were born to this family. Mamie
Scott married John Thimmes, Jr. and they had one daughter DeLoris. DeLoris Thimmes married Chester R. Shaffer. Clair Scott married Irene Davis and they had
one son, John "D". John
"D" married Luella Bachus, 3 sons and 1 daughter to this marriage,
Stephen, Sammie, Shellie and Sally.
Hurley Scott married Gladys Koppenhaver; 2 daughters,
LaVaughn and Joye and 1 son, Roxy, were born to this family.
LaVaughn Scott married Milford Pruess; 4 sons,
Robert, Tom, Terry and Ricky, and 1 daughter, Carol, were born to this family.
Robert married Brenda Lukehart and 1 son, Chris and 1
Daughter Sue Ann, were born to this family.
Tom married Sharon Doerman and 1 daughter, Michele
and 1 son, Matthew was born to this family.
Joye Scott married Robert Davidson, 3 daughters,
Barbara, Nancy, Susan and 1 son, Scott were born to this family.
Roxy Scott married Marlene Weber; two daughters,
Sandra and Debby and one son, Ricky, were born to this family.
The Scott name will be carried on by Roxy Scott and
John D. Scott and sons.
Paul and Merle Thimmes currently farm the Scott
The Thimmes farm located northwest of Mechanicsville
has been in the family for 122 years. It
was purchased on July 20, 1853 from Pryor Scott by William and Hannah Fetterling
Kohl, who had migrated to this area from Reading, PA. Thirteen children were born to
this family. Five of the boys served in
the military service during the Civil War.
On June 30, 1861 the farm buildings, including the log house were
destroyed in a great tornado. Two of the
Kohl children had narrow escapes as a result of that storm—Martha Jane was only
a baby and was found unharmed in her crib under the logs of the destroyed
house; Duane was later found in a cherry tree in the farm orchard located
nearby. The farm buildings were later
rebuilt with much of the lumber being procured in Minnesota, floated down the Mississippi River and transported by wagon to the family farm. The original barn still stands.
1880, Martha Jane Kohl and John Thimmes, Sr. who had migrated to the area from Lancaster, Ohio, were united in marriage and moved to the farm which they later
purchased from William Kohl on February 22, 1898. Five sons
were born to this family: George,
Anthony, John Jr., Leo and William. All
of the Thimmes children continued to reside in the Mechanicsville area. George and Anthony were unmarried; John Jr.
married Mamie Scott and had one daughter, DeLoris; Leo married Maggie Milligan
and they had two daughters and three sons, Lola and Verna, Forest, Paul and Merle; William married Ruby Gibson of
Onaka, S.D. and they had two daughters and three sons, Marjorie, Getty, Gene,
Melvin and Mervin.
and Martha Jane Thimmes retired from farming and moved to Mechanicsville in
1909. For a number of years Mr. Thimmes
owned and operated a meat market and later a theater in Mechanicsville.
and Maggie Thimmes purchased the family farm from John Thimmes, Sr. on March 1,
1920. Paul and Merle Thimmes purchased the home
farm in 1957; Merle Thimmes and his wife Doris reside. Their son Tommy, born December 5,
1971 has the
distinction of being the fifth generation of the family to live on this farm.
Thimmes married Elmer Bixler had a son David (unmarried), and daughter Sharon (6-13-42). Sharon married Patrick Gutwiler (7-4-60) and had 5 children Michael (11-9-60), Linda (5-7-62), Janet (7-31-63), Kathy (2-27-65) and Brian (2-24-67). Michael was married to Rhonda Hegarty and had a
son Jessy (10-28-90) and daughter Rachel (11-15-96); Linda married Dennis
Coppess (9-4-82) and had two sons Daniel (8-19-83) and Bradley (10-24-86),
Janet had a son Jonathan 3-15-84, Kathy married Eugene Kelly who has 2 sons
from a previous marriage; and Brian married Michelle who has two daughters from
a previous marriage.
Married Sherrill Baker and had two sons Gary and Sherrill, Jr. Sherrill married Sally and had two daughters.
Eli Henry West
In 1855 Eli Henry West and some other men came from Ohio to buy land
in Iowa. According to the Cedar County court
records, Eli Henry West bought 240 acres east of Mechanicsville from Ambrose J.
Keith on Sept. 25,
1855 for $7,600. Some
of the land lay north of the road and the rest laid south of what is now
Highway #30. On this land he built a
small house and barn.
He returned to Ohio and the
following spring she returned to Iowa with his
wife, Sallie, and their six children.
Several other Ohio families
joined the Wests in the wagon train to Iowa. They brought four covered wagons loaded with
furniture, food, and feed for the cattle and seed for their crops.
Sallie West drove her own team of Kentucky
thoroughbreds and her own carriage. The
team had a silver mounted harness. The
two oldest boys rode horses and drove the cattle behind the wagons. It was a hard trip. They sometimes waited three or four days
before they could cross swollen creeks and rivers. They arrived in Mechanicsville in the late
The Family lived in the little house until a new
school was built. Then Eli bought the
old school and moved it with a 12 horse hitch to their farm. He remodeled it and they made it their home. It is presently standing today.
Eli Henry West, Jr. known as "Tanner" was
about seven months old when they arrived in Mechanicsville. They lived on the farm until their father
died in September, 1896. At that time,
the farm was sold and divided among the children.
Eli Henry, Jr., married Nancy Keith and they made
their home in Mechanicsville. He trapped
and sold hides (which accounts for his nickname) and drilled wells. It was he who drilled the first well in Cedar County. Tanner and his wife, Nancy, had six children,
one of whom made his home in Mechanicsville.
Charles Henry West, known as "Pete", married Iva Maurer. They had two children: George Donald West, who lives in
Mechanicsville; and Nona Splichal, who lives in Cedar
Pete's brother, Roy West and his wife, Ruth, also
made their home in the Mechanicsville area.
Roy was a
lineman until age 55 when they bought a farm; later they moved back to
Mechanicsville where Ruth resides today.
George D. West was born in Mechanicsville and has
lived most of his life here. He married
Reva Newhard and they had two children:
Donald R. West resides in Mankato, Minn., and
Marilyn, who lives in Mechanicsville with her husband, Ronald Skow and their
three sons, Ronald, John and David.
Roy D. Stoffel was born in Mechanicsville, where he
always made his home. In 1900 he took
over the shoe store which was established in 1876 by his father, Henry
This store and the adjoining men's clothing store
owned by Roy's brother,
Charles, was well known in Mechanicsville.
Roy was very
active in church and public organizations and was always willing to help with
all community work.
His hobby was growing flowers.
Allen James Siver
Allen James Siver, when a young man of 16 or 17, rode
a train from Schnectady, N.Y., heading
west. As the train slowed down at
Mechanicsville, he leaped off at the Hudachek farm, west of town, and asked for
work. He was taken on as a hired
man. Later he worked for James Shrope. He saved his money and homesteaded in
southern Jones County.
The family of Alice Hannum came west from Ohio in a covered
wagon and settled in southern Jones County. She married Thomas Manly and to this union
was born 7 children - the 6th girl, Cora Manly; wed Allen Siver on Feb. 26, 1891.
Allen and Cora Siver had 3 sons, James Otis Siver,
who lives on a farm in southern Jones County, with
Mechanicsville address; Arthur Thomas Siver, now living on the original Manly
farm in southern Jones County, and John
Allen Siver, deceased.
Descendants of James Otis Siver now living in Mechanicsville
are, his son, Floyd Otis Siver; grandsons, David Allen and Howard Eric Siver
and great-grand-daughter, Susanne Marie Siver; granddaughter, Janet Siver
Taylor, and great-grandchildren, Robert, Clifford, Vicky and Sandra Taylor.
Chas. E. Wheeler, a native of Mechanicsville, studied
law and began his practice here in 1874.
His first case was as a defender of Bob Johnson in
famous Jones County Calf Case.
"Charley," as he was called, represented Mr. Johnson through
the entire litigation which lasted 20 years.
The case was tried in seven different counties; was four times appealed
in the Iowa Supreme Court entailing fees that amounted to $75,000 for an army
of lawyers; and concluded with a final judgment for $1,000 and court costs
amounting to $2,886.84.
When the trials were over Mr. Wheeler breathed a sigh
of relief, and would accept for his fee only a broken down horse and $100 in
Mr. Wheeler moved from Mechanicsville to Tipton and
later to Cedar Rapids. However, he always retained his love for his
hometown, and returned at every opportunity to visit with old friends. He personally made arrangements for his
burial and that of his family in the Rose Hill cemetery in Mechanicsville.
independent school district for Mechanicsville was set aside in 1853. The one room school was built at what is now
the west edge of town by John Onstott.
George Whistler was the first public instructor in this school.
1866 a lawsuit settled a dispute and the first board of education were elected
for Mechanicsville’s first independent school district. E.J. Rigby was selected as principal and
Ellen Culver as a teacher in the intermediate department. There was no instruction above the 8th
grade. The old Presbyterian Church
standing just north of the present school was used for additional
classrooms. Mechanicsville’s next school
was a two story frame structure which faced south on the present school site. This building now stands on the Forest
Johnson farm east of Mechanicsville. The
bell was not placed on the building but was situated in a wooden tower near the
building with the rope run through the second story windows making it hading
the 1850-1875 the population increased to such an extent that a new and larger
facility was needed. A 3 story brick
building was erected at a cost of $10,000.
The cornerstone from this building was saved and placed in the lower entrance
of the present structure. In 1875 the
bell was moved from its separate tower and placed in a tower on the roof of
this new 3 story building. An
interesting feature in the construction of this building was the Mansard roof.
1907 the district purchased for playgrounds all ground lying immediately south
of the schoolhouse to the railroad for $1,200.
In March of 1908 the voters cast their ballots for a new building. Construction began in the spring of 1908 and
was ready for use in the fall of that same year. Until the building was ready, primary classes
were held in the Methodist church, the city hall house the elementary and upper
grades and the high school used rooms over Cranford’s furniture store.
new building was designed for elementary and high school and did not have a gym
1917 a petition was signed by 174 voters stating that territory surrounding the
town should be incorporated with the present district. The proposed consolidation was defeated. Three years late the matter was proposed
again with territory covered about ˝ as large.
This measure passed and the district was consolidated in 1920.
1915 domestic science and manual training rooms were equipped, the library was
improved and new bleachers were placed on the athletic field at their present
brought with it crowded conditions and the 1908 building was no longer
adequate. In 1926 an addition was voted
at a cost of $64,000. The new addition
would contain the gym, auditorium, classrooms and superintendent’s office. The gym is recognized as having a unique
floor and in 1926 was one of the best in the state.
1952 an additional building was added.
This was built across the street east of the regular school
building. This housed the vocational
agricultural, home economics and music department and provided garage space for
1959 the state department warned that all small schools must increase their
enrollment and curriculum or lose their state aid. A steering committee was organized and
reorganization plans were studied.
1961 it was decided that most feasible plan would be to combine the
Mechanicsville and Stanwood schools into one district. This was voted on and passed thus forming the
new Lincoln school
district. The Mechanicsville center
would house grade K through 6th and Stanwood would have grades 7
through 12. Nineteen sixty-one was the
last class to graduate from the Mechanicsville school and the beginning of the Lincoln Elementary Center in
1968 a new art room, library and offices were added to the entrance of the old
buildings of 1908 and 1926, with the cornerstones of both buildings left in the
walls of the offices on the first floor.
1974 it was decided that the tower holding the bell was no longer repairable
and this was removed. At present the
bell is stored in the school basement. The Alumni Association has appointed a
committee to work out a plan to display the bell as a memoriam to the
Mechanicsville Education System. The
bell has called many of us, our children and grandchildren into the halls of
the Mechanicsville School.
show that track was the earliest form of competitive school sport. Our school history records many outstanding
athletes: Jack Kohl, 1904, broad jump
and sprints events; David Walshire, discus throw, hammer throw, shot put and
high jump; Carl Thomas, weigh and discus throwing; Leo Miller, 440 and 880 yard
dash and mile run; Herbert Andre, pole vault.
Kohl, Clement Wilson, Leo Miller and Carl Thomas were known as the best relay
team in this section.
1907 Clement Wilson and Everett Ferguson attended the national Meet in Chicago. Clement placed first in the 221 yard dash, Everett third in the
mile run. In 1912 Clement Wilson was
chosen as one of the members of the Olympic team to represent the U.S. in Stockholm, Sweden.
was on schedule with the 1912-13 team winning a state
was played from 1922 until 19332 with the team of 1923 being the most
was first played outdoors, later moved to the Sturges’ Opera house and then to
the new gym in 1926. Competitive
basketball for girls started in 1938.
Gemberling, coach and high school principal, found the “M” relays, which drew
large crowds from many areas in eastern Iowa each
spring. Because of the World War II
situation it was dropped in 1942.
Wm. H. Sharp
To 1899 no record
1899 L.L. Kennedy
1900 G.E. Mattison
1902 L.L. Kennedy
1906 O.H. Helmer
1910 Len Hines
1912 W.A. Jackson
1914 Len Hines
1920 F.M. Wilson
1922 John Secor
1924 Forest P. Hines
1928 John Secor
1930 W.J. Dallas
1932 John DeWald
1934 Frank Miller; Mrs. Emma Miller was
appointed Mayor after the death of her husband in Dec of 1939.
1940 H.D. Nicoll
1946 Buell Pieper
1948 J.C. Houle
1950 Earl Miller
1952 A.W. Cruse.
J. Philip Sorensen was appointed Mayor in September after the death of
1959 J. Philip Sorensen
1964 E.H. Littig
1966 Cecil Smay
1970 Philip Nies. Clarence Maher appointed Mayor after Philip
Nies resigned in June.
1971 Clarence Maher
1972 Thomas Railsback
1980 Larry Butler
1992 Bruce Kern
1996 Kirk Wenndt. Calvin Paup was appointed Mayor after Kirk
Wenndt resigned 7/10/2000 to 12/31/01
2002 Steven B. Joy
2004 David L. Furry
2014 Larry Butler
Clerks of Mechanicsville
Linda K. Coppess,
first paving of streets was done in Mechanicsville in 1925. This was Main Street or as is listed on the new map of the town as First Street. Owners of
property abutting the street were assessed for their share of the pavement
1959 Shive Engineering Company, Cedar Rapids was hired to complete a survey of needed street
improvements within the town. They were
replaced by Howard R. Greene Company, Cedar Rapids, on April 18, 1960 to complete the street improvement programs. Bids were let in February, 1961 and the low
bid of $270,165.31 by the Iowa Road Building Company, Fairmont, Minnesota
long legal battle followed that made national papers and the project was not
completed until July of 1964.
town applied for federal funds for assistance in the construction of a sanitary
sewer system and sewage construction of a sanitary sewer system and sewage
treatment plant in August 1938. The
request was denied. On June 5, 1939 a sanitary district for the town was established by
Ordinance #46. Storm sewer improvements
were let for bids in August. All bids
were rejected. On Sept 5, 1940 a bid of $5,039 from the Christensen Construction Co., Cedar Rapids was accepted by the town council. In January of 1950 the system was reviewed
and it was decided to purchase a plant site on the northeast edge of town from
Mr. and Mrs. John Mulherin in November of that year. The contract was awarded to Fred Eisert
Construction Co., Shenandoah for $148,109.