Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Oct. 29, 1912

“Women Can Do More Than Commercial Clubs,” H.J. Finn

Packing House Man Tells How to Boost Trade

Proposes “Ft. D. Stamp”

“Patronize Home Industries,” He Declares

Packing Plant Helps City

Brings Stock Shippers Here and Increases Trading — Employs Fifty Men and Will Double Number Soon – Increases Clearing House Receipts.

H.J. Finn, provision manager for the Suizburger & Sons company at Kansas City who has been assisting in opening the local plant, declares that large donations to the Commercial club of Fort Dodge will not assist in advertising the city and its products as much as would the co-operation of the women in a league of some kind. In an interview today, Mr. Finn advocated patronizing home industries.

“It is the general impression,” said Mr. Finn as he sat in the Wahkonsa hotel, that Commercial clubs must be inactive owing to an indisposition on the part of certain parties to put in money, but in this I do not agree. Let me offer some suggestions.

“Let the Commercial club get up a ‘Made in Fort Dodge’ stamp. I am sure all manufacturers here would use it, every dealer might attach it to his correspondence and the revenue from this would go far toward advertising the city.

“Form a Women’s league and let them get out small advertising cards calling attention to goods effecting the home and every woman writing to a friend with(in) 100 miles from here enclose a copy to her friend inviting a visit here to shop. A little such enthusiasm by your people for six months or a year systematically followed up would mean more than Mr. Merchant, Tom Jones or William Smith would hand over $1,000 each. The idea is to get ‘everybody doing it’ and keep at it — newspapers, merchants and people.”

Patronize Home Industries

In commenting upon the patronizing of home industries as a means of aiding their growth, Mr. Finn spoke of the business the packing company are now engaged in.

“The advantage of such a business as ours is manifold,” he said. “At present we employ about fifty men and in the very near future this would nearly double. We are bringing many hogs to Fort Dodge that would go to Chicago and other places. Shippers accompanying them will do considerable shopping here instead of Chicago.

We are shipping large quantities of finished meat to country points, the pay for which is collected by your banks. Altogether in normal times we should increase the bank clearings from $50,000 to $75,000 weekly. Is such business not worth the moral support of your people. Notice as you visit the shopping if our meats for example are as much in evidence as they should be.

“But we are not the only ones. Do your citizens ask for Fort Dodge made shoes and other products? If people want Fort Dodge made shoes they can get them by demanding them.

“You certainly have a beautiful city and I should imagine it would be delightful to live here. Your hotel cannot be excelled outside of Chicago. Your churches are beautiful and your amusements are cheap. You have a nice scenic river, but have little water so that it has but little boating value.

“Suppose you put in a low dam across the river at about the tile factory or better still at Shady Oaks – a dam high enough to raise the water say four or five feet. This would not cost much and the county might (undecipherable word) it to reduce the cost of bridge foundations. With three or five feet of water in your river who would not (undecipherable word) a canoe, skiff or motorboat? The opportunities for pleasure in your city would be increased one hundred per cent.”

Mr. Finn has traveled all over the country and is familiar with conditions in may cities. He believes that Fort Dodge has a great future. As his work of putting the local plant is about completed after more than six weeks’ stay here, he will go back to Kansas City.


Window Glass Costs More

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 21, 1905

Window Glass Costs More

There Has Been More Than Forty Per Cent Increase in the Cost of Glass Since Early Summer

Window glass is rapidly becoming a luxury. Within the past six weeks the price of this article has been increased to not less than forty per cent over the prices prevailing early in the summer. At a meeting of the western glass window jobbers held in Chicago a week ago another ten per cent increase was made. Local dealers have not received formal notice of this, but expect it within a day or two. They were apprised of the meeting for the purpose of arising the prices.

A Glass Shortage

The reason for the great rise in the price of window glass is a shortage of glass all over the country. Most window glass is blown by men engaged for that purpose. During the summer months it is almost impossible for them to work because of the heat. The glass blowers also have very strong unions and there is an agreement between them that there shall be no work during the hot summer months. For this reason nearly all of the larger glass factories are closed down during the summer months.

There is only one manufacturer of window glass that operates during the summer, the American Window Glass company, which controls a mechanism for the blowing of glass. The machine is patented and the other glass factories cannot make use of it. The American Window Glass company is running at its full capacity, but it is not able to supply the demand on account of the great building boom prevalent all over the west. Inasmuch as there was not a great deal of window glass in stock this summer to begin with it is natural that the price shuld (sic) rise during the summer months.

Price Affects Many

Jobbers say that the retailers are not the only sufferers from the shortage in window glass. The price has been raised to the jobber just as it has been raised to the retail trade.

There is little indication that the price of window glass will be lowered for some time yet at least. The glass factories will not resume work until October 1 and it will require a month for them to get the market stocked. After that the prices will in all probability moderate to some extent,


Telephone Line Finished

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 17, 1906

Telephone Line Finished

The New Selective Farm Line South of City Finished Yesterday — First of Kind Outside City

The final work in establishing the new selective farm telephone line, southeast of the city, was completed late yesterday aftrnoon (sic), by the Iowa Telephone company. It is the first line of the kind to be established out of the city by the Iowa company, and is the beginning of a series which will radiate into the country in various directions. It is a result of the work of L.A. Townsend, special solicitor for the Iowa Telephone company, out of Des Moines.

The line extends from Fort Dodge to a point between Kalo and Otho. It is strictly a party line, and is composed of two wires, with five telephones on each wire. It is what is known as the metallic circuit line, which provided for each party of it long distance telephone service. On calling into the central office in the city the service is the same as though the telephone were in Fort Dodge, with the advantage of long distance service.


A Free Trip to the World’s Fair

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 5, 1904

A Free Trip to the World’s Fair

Boston Store Makes Magnificent Offer to Public of Fort Dodge

Give Away Five Railway Tickets

Inaugurates Voting Contest, Winners to Have Free Trip to St. Louis

There is a good trip and a good time in store for five customers of the Boston Store during the coming summer. In this evening’s issue is a notice in the Boston Store advertisement, that the management will give first class railway round trip tickets from Fort Dodge to St. Louis, to the five persons having the largest number of votes. The voting starts Monday and tickets or votes will be given with each fifty cent purchase. A Messenger representative in conversation with Mr. Charon was informed that there would be no restrictions of any kind placed  upon those who vote, except that none of the clerks in the store will be a candidate. A large receptacle will be placed in a conspicuous place in the store where the votes may be deposited. These will be counted once a week and an annauncement (sic) made of the count and the votes for each candidate that have been deposited. The tickets will be awarded some time during the month of July. Just what date has not been decided upon, but will be announced later. It is the intention to procure the tickets over one or more of the roads running into Fort Dodge.

This is the most liberal premium t hat has been offered to the buying public in the nature of railroad fare for some time. There have been trip tickets given away in former years, but no one concern has ever offered to give five away at o ne time. There is every reason to believe that the interest in the voting will spring into popular favor from the start and that there will be a spirited contest. A trip to the World’s Fair will be something to look forward to with great anticipation. Five persons would make an ideal number to go together in a party.


Pigeon Raising as Ft. Dodge Industry

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Oct. 24, 1903

Pigeon Raising as Ft. Dodge Industry

B.C. Keim Begins with 500 Birds to Raise Pigeons to Satisfy the Epicure.

Business a Profitable One

P.D. Keim, Owner of Number of Carrier Pigeons, Also Interested.

B.C. Keim, living at 1413 Second avenue north has made a new business venture in Fort Dodge. That business referred to is the raising of pigeons for the market. Mr. Keim has been in this line of work but a very short time and has already about 500 birds, old ones, and expects to have at least 500 more at once, or as soon as he can purchase them. He makes his purchases thruout the country, buying them anywhere and paying a good price for them.

His pens are at his home, and they have a capacity of over 1,600 pigeons, all of the birds being confined to these pens. The principal object of course, in raising these birds is to dispose of them on the market, where they are dressed and are considered a great delicacy by the epicures in the city. They are sold when about four weeks old, and are at this time plump and tender. The young birds, or squabs, bring anywhere from $2.00 to $3.00 (about $49.29 to $73.93 today) per dozen on the market, and the demand for them is always good.

Mr. Keim’s father, P.D. Keim, is also interested in raising pigeons, but he has none but the fancy kind, known as “homers.” These birds are too valuable to be sold on the market, as they are the kind known as the “carrier” pigeon those formerly used for carrying messages, during time of war and before the telephone or telegraph was invented. They may be taken any distance form the home where they were raised, and if loosed will return to that place, no matter what the distance, seeming to know by instinct what direction to fly, and will go at once and direct to that place, without once swerving from the true and direct course.

Mr. Keim has large pens fitted up for these birds, leaving them plenty of room in which to fly but not allow them outside of the pens, as the chances are that if he did they would return to their former home. He expects to soon have some young ones, and these may be allowed their liberty as they will always return to him. He now has a half dozen pairs of the fancy birds and expects before a great while to have enough of these kind from the birds that he now has to put them on the market as the “Homer” squab is much more tender and plump than the ordinary bird, and consequently brings a higher price while it would be to (sic) expensive to buy the “Homer” birds at from $1.00 to $2.00 ($24.64 to $49.29) a pair they can, if the breeding is fast, be raised at no greater cost than the ordinary pigeon, and after the first outlay, the cost is no more.


Gardening Done on a Large Scale

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Becker Florists at Frontier Days Parade 2012

Becker Florists is still in business. They run this truck every year in the Frontier Days Parade. This photo is from June 2, 2012.

The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 8, 1905

Gardening Done on a Large Scale

Becker Brothers Have Been in Business Since 1885.

Have Two Separate Gardens

Rich River Bottom Land Below Town Furnishes Several Crops a Year and Farm Land East of Town is Also Worked – Ups and Downs.

Let the amateur gardner (sic) walk west on First avenue south from Sixth street and down in the valley he will see a sight that will delight his eyes. Laying out in regular rows or planted in solid plots, are many kinds of vegetables. about a block of the rich river bottom land is used for truck farming and supplies many of the people of the city with vegetables.

This plot and a ninety acre farm are owned by the Becker brothers, Fred, John and Chris. John Becker tends to the garden on the flats and the other brothers to the farm, on which are raised more vegetables and the ordinary farm products. The ground on the flat is so rich that no attention is paid to the evolution of crop theory but the same kind of vegetable is sown repeatedly. In the farm east of town the land is not so rich, so that care in the planing of the vegetables is necessary.

The Becker brothers started operations in the year ’85 (1885) and have continued them in the same place ever since. The place has undergone some improvements, such as tearing down the extensive green houses and building hot beds instead, but beyond that and a few other changes, the place is just the same. All of the early vegetables are started about the fifth of February if the weather permits. If the weather does not permit at that time the gardeners are forced to wait until some time in March. The earlier the stuff is planted the better it is, of course, for the planter’s pocket book. The ground is plowed deep in the fall so as to let the frost get in the earth and pulverize it. As soon as the weather permits the plants are set out and the seed sown. The earliest stuff is planted in the ground on the flat and the late product in the ground east of the city. No fertilizer is needed as the ground is so rich that two or three crops are grown on this piece each year.

All of the products of these plots are sold to the stores, and not peddled from house to house. This selling to the stores reminded Mr. Becker of the uncertainty of the income obtained from the sale of the vegetables. He said: “one year in the middle of July I had nothing to do but sit around and smoke. The price of the early potatoes was twenty-five cents a bushel and we decided to sell our crop. We thot (sic) we had done quite well but when fall arrived potatoes were selling at eighty cents per bushel and we had lost a large sum of money. I remember of another time when we decided to hold our crop for higher prices. We did, and in the fall our potatoes sold at 23 cents a bushel and we lost again. So  you see that while the income is good some years, at the end of other seasons, even the weather thought the weather is fine we get little for our crop.”

(Editor’s note: In the quote from Mr. Becker, he refers to prices from different years. I used an inflation calculator, but since I didn’t know which years he was referring to, I used 1905. So 25 cents would be about $5.99, 80 cents would be about $19.16, and 23 cents would be about $5.51 – if he meant 1905. Since he was referring to previous years, the amounts would be higher.)


Operators Stop Work as Bees Swarm

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 2, 1905

Operators Stop Work as Bees Swarm

Western Union Telegraph Office Closed for Half an Hour

Drive Operators From Keys

A Very Amusing Incident Occurred at the Western Union Telegraph Office This Morning But One Whose Comic Part is Not Appreciated

The Western Union Telegraph operators, manager and messenger boys were all driven from their office in quick fashion this morning at about 10 o’clock. The operators and other employes (sic) were working at their desks when a swarm of bees flew through the open door and began to light on different objects all over the room.

With a shout of dismay the operators left their keys and hurried from the office. They all hurried  with heads down too, for the upper part of the room was filled with these insects. The operators and other employes rushed into the street and before any had stopped they were on the other side of the street.

A hurried consultation was held and a plan of attack was drawn up. The plan had to be decided upon quickly too for the operators had left their work, even while they were sending and receiving message. The could hear the dot and dashes being rattled off which signified their call and knew that operators elsewhere were all wondering what was the matter at Fort Dodge.

Fortunately as the employes took themselves out of the door the door itself was left wide open and some of the bees seeing that there was nothing to be found there were leaving the room. As the employes discovered that the enemy’s forces were being reduced they made a valiant rush for the office and taking newspapers rolled up and other misslies (sic) began the work of extermination. Soon the slaughter was great and over-whelming. But meanwhile the time had been flying and before it was thought safe to resume operations at the keys a half hour had gone, and messages from all points were piling up. Now the office rules are that a door shall be kept tightly closed until a screen door can be purchased.

The swarm of bees is attacking many business houses.

At the Keim and Bunn candy factory they have become a veritable nuisance. Sulphur (sic) is being burned constantly there to drive them away.


His Case is a Peculiar One

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: May 31, 1904

His Case is a Peculiar One

A Man With a Broken Back Lives Nearly Two Years – Case of Joel Johnson

The case of Joel Johnson of Coalville, whose death occurred Friday, is one of the most peculiar and sad ever occurring in Webster county.

It will be remembered the unfortunate man was hurt while working in a coal mine in Coalville nearly a year and a half ago. He was buried under a fall of coal and his back was broken just below the points of the shoulder blades. He was brought to the hospital in this city and in the hope of relieving the pressure on the spinal cord, an operation was performed. It was discovered, however, when the incision was made, that the spinal cord had been almost entirely severed. It was thought that man would live but a short time, but a part of the injured vertebra was removed and the patient recovered apparently his health, but of course, not retaining any action or feeling in any of the organs below the region of the injury. Having no relatives he was removed to Coalville, where he was cared for at the expense of the county. He gradually began to grow worse again after his return to Coalville and about six weeks ago became so bad he was brought back t o the hospital in this city, where he remained under the care of the county physician until death.

Previous articles:

Is Paralyzed From Waist Down

Juel Johnson in Sad Plight


In The Mines Around Lehigh

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: May 11, 1903

In The Mines Around Lehigh

Great Activity Has Been Evidenced of Opening Lehigh Coal Fields

New Mines are Numerous

Several New Shafts are Being Sunk and Output From Lehigh Will be Increased.

The Lehigh Argus in its last issue has an interesting and comprehensive review of what is being accomplished toward the opening of coal fields around Lehigh, more especially in Deception Hollow.

The statement will be of more than ordinary interest to Fort Dodge people and is as follows:

“The work in Deception Hollow of opening the new mines by Sam’l McClure Co. is progressing rapidly. A large shaft 7×14 feet has been sunk and the work of driving the entries is now under way. It is only seventeen feet down to the coal where the shaft is located but the shaft has been sunk below the coal several feet to make a sump. Double shifts have been put on and the men are driving back into the thicker coal. The entry will be driven due south. At the shaft the coal is two feet six inches thick, 200 feet south from the shaft is it three feet and six inches thick. The coal is very bright and fine looking and those best posted claim it to be the Tyson vein.

“The coal is there and in good quality but until the entry has been driven back and the Great Western people can be convinced of the quantity and qaulity (sic) they will not expend $50,000 in extending their line to the mines. From present appearances it is quite probable the road will be built.”

The Fort Dodge Messenger: April 4, 1914

Local News

Colonel Smith Here – Lieut. Colonel Smith of the Second Minnesota Regiment was in the city Friday, visiting with local officers of the national guard.

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To attend funeral – Paul E. Halfpap and Mrs. C.W. Leamon left Friday for Chicago where they wree called by the death of a relative.

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To Live in Duluth – Mr. and Mrs. C.D. Fitts expect to leave Fort Dodge soon for Duluth where they will live. Mr. Fitts who travels for the American Radiator Company has been transferred to Duluth.

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Uncle is Dead – Mrs. E.C. Bryant and Mrs. Arthur Anderson have received word of the death of their uncle at Rock Rapids. The deceased man is a brother of Attorney Ladd of Clarion, father of the two Fort Dodge women.

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Bethlehem Pastor Here – W.H. Linden of Rock Island, will be in the city during the Easter vacation and conduct the services at the Swedish Bethlehem church. Mr. Linden has accepted the call from this congregation and will be their pastor after his ordination next June.

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Family on Visit – Mrs. E.E. Hastings and son Robert and daughter Catherine, left today for Grundy Center. Mrs. Hastings and her daughter will go on to Cedar Rapids to visit at the home of the former’s mother and Robert will visit in Grundy Center for the week.

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Builds Beautiful Home – W.C. Tyrell, formerly of Fort Dodge and well known here as “Cap.” Tyrell, is building a beautiful country home a mile and a half south of Belmond. It is to be three stories in height, steam heated, electric lighted, with plumbing of the most modern kind and every other convenience now afforded.

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Her Brother Dies – Mrs. J.H. Torp today received word of the death of her brother at Los Angeles, California. Her mother, Mrs. Katharine Myers who has been spending the winter with Mrs. Torp, leaves for Rockland, Michigan, to attend the funeral. The body will be brought east.

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Reside Here for Time – Mr. and Mrs. Wilson Byerhoff have come here from South Dakota and have leased Mrs. Rose Wilbur’s house, 302 north Eighth street for their residence while Mr. Byerhoff is engaged in work for W.J. Zitterell, in construction of the Snell Building. Mr. Byerhoff assumes and office position for Mr. Zitterell.

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Passion Week Services – Subjects for Passion week at the Congregational Church are:

Monday evening – “The Story of Jesus’ Life.”
Tuesday Evening – A series of stereopticon pictures on Jesus’ Life and Ministry.
Wednesday Evening – “The Love Watch.” A story of the Bethany home will be interpreted by Mr. Minty.
Thursday evening a sermon “Gethsemane” and communion service Friday evening. A meeting for fellowship and prayer.

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Injured in Peculiar Accident – M.A. Hartwell, 1026 south Eighteenth street, is at his home incapacitated for some little time by injuries reported to have been received Thursday night about 7:00 when he was at work on a train of interurban cars switching near Gypsum. Mr. Hartwell was conductor on the train. Suddenly a car jumped the track and bounded along the ties. Mr. Hartwell jumped and in so doing struck a fence and is said to have several ribs broken and other injuries which have temporarily deprived him of the use of his legs. It is not though (sic – should be thought) he is fatally hurt. A peculiar circumstance in connection with the accident is that the car which left the track bounded along the ties for about fifty car lengths and then returned to the rails.

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Called to Hastings – H.S. Sanders was summoned to Hastings, Neb., to attend the funeral of a brother.

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Roads Drying Rapidly – A few days of drying weather will put the highways in pretty good shape again. The drags will be started in almost at once, in case it does not rain more.

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Agency Here – The Missouri Valley Oil Company of Omaha will install an agency in the city within a short time. E.M. Ouren, secretary and treasurer of the company, was in the city Friday making plans for the opening of an agency.

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Locate Here – The Gray Welding and cutting Company have located in the city at First avenue north and Twenty First street. The firm has as its officers, Elmer Gray, president and Charles Gray, manager. These young men have come here from welding factories in Chicago.

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Fort Dodge Holds Record – The naval recruiting station had more enlistments during the month of March than that of any other city in the Iowa district. Five men were sent in from here. There were fifteen applications of which six were accepted. One of those accepted has failed so far to enlist.

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Kirkpatrick Buys Residence – W.A. Kirkpatrick has purchased the Adalphine Langbehn property on First avenue north between Seventeenth and Eighteenth streets. Mr. Kirkpatrick will occupy the property as a residence. The consideration was $2,700 ($58,044 today).

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Humorous Contest – Sixteen students of the high school competed for first, second, third and fourth places in the humorous contest that was h eld at the school Friday afternoon. Elizabeth Bedell was the winner and the others who managed to stay in for the finals are Behring Belt, Dorothy Monk and Bertha Johnson.

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Special Services at Saint Marks – There will be special services at Saint Mark’s church tomorrow in honor of Palm Sunday. The church has been decorated and the musical program will be exceptionally good. Mrs. F.W. Fuerman and Carl Kullenbeck will sing solos.

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Toll of Labor, Great Film – The Toll of Labor, the big five reel film that will be put on at the Magic Theatre Sunday and Monday, is one of the biggest feature films of the season. It contains the story of Emile Zola’s story, The Germinal. The film has been widely advertised for months in the picture journals, although it was only released March 16.

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Sees Interesting Views – T.W. Reely entertained a goodly sized audience at the Baptist church Friday evening, by an illustrated account of his European trip. Mr. and Mrs. Reely spent many months abroad while Mr. Reely made an especial study of architecture. They collected many attractive views in every place they visited and these with little personal aneodotes (sic) of the customs of the people, the talk was made very interesting. “We were interested,” said Mr. Reely “in studying the types of people, and in the churches we attended, we noticed they were just about  as varied as you would see at any gathering in this country, and quite similar.” Mr. Reely showed first, the views of England, including, besides London, quaint old towns, beautiful English gardens, and cities, Stratford on Avon, Castle of Varnick Oxford where the great university is located. “Every shire in England has some great man of whom it is proud,” said Mr. Reely. After England, Holland was visited, then came a trip down the Rhine, and to Luzerne and Italy. Antwerp he considered a city of  unusually attractive buildings. The beauty and variety of the towers of Cologne were other interesting features.