Archive for the ‘Real estate’ Category


Title to 160 Acres is Now in Question

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: May 12, 1903

Title to 160 Acres is Now in Question

Webster County Land Which Was Once Included in Swamp Land Grant is Claimed by Denver Lawyer

The title of fifteen forty acre tracts of Webster county land, with an average value of fully $40 an acre ($958 today) and a total value of $24,000 ($574,788), is now in dispute, owing to an action taken by the county board of supervisors two years ago, at which time, on the recommendation of their agent, S.J. Bennett, they waived the rights of the county on these tracts, which were originally included in the swamp land grant. Upon t his action of the county the swamp land selections on these tracts were canceled by the United States land office at Des Moines.

All this time, the owners of the fifteen tracts in question were blissfully unconscious that anything was going on, no notice having been served upon them. When they learned what had been done, their titles had already been cancelled, and a Denver lawyer names Moses had filed application for the purchase of the lands for the regular government price, a proceeding which he was perfectly free to pursue under the law. The owners were notified a day or two ago, and by prompt action were able to reach the land office at Des Moines in time to give themselves at least a fighting chance to reclaim the title to their property. Had Mr. Moses go this payment to the land office before the files filed their remonstrance, he would have received the title to the land, but the remonstrance arrived first, and the matter will probably go to the interior department at Washington for final action. To save their title to the land, it will be necessary for the owners to undo all that has been done with the department in Washington and it will probably be considerable time before the litigation is concluded.

Attorney Frank Farrell, who has been retained to represent the present occupants of the land, gave the history of the transaction this morning as follows:

“Two years ago, an agent from the department of the interior in Washington came here to adjust the swamp land grant in this county. The board appointed as their agent in the matter S.J. Bennett, at that time a member of the board, who made a tour of the county with the representative of the interior department, and made a waiver upon part of the county covering some fifteen tracts of 40 acres each, on the theory that they were not swamp lands, and not properly included wihtin the swamp land grant.

“These tracts were all regularly selected as swamp lands as early at (sic) 1869 and the selection was reported to the proper officers of the state and the United States, but the county had neglected to call upon the governor of the state for the patents covering the same. All of these tracts were included in the sale of swamp lands made by the county in 1860. The county’s grantee sold them to different parties, and most of them have been transferred, by deeds of general warranty, many times during that period. All of the tracts have been regularly taxed for more than forty years. All are under improvement and cultivation, and all but three of the tracts have been continuously occupied by the owners for periods ranging from ten to twenty years. The other tracts have been occupied by tenants.

“It seems that in the adjustment with the agent from the interior department, the county, thru its agent, made formal waiver to its claim to the lands as being swamp lands. On the strength of this waiver the swamp land selections were cancelled at the United States land office at Des Moines and this cancellation was later approved by the general land office at Washington. The owners or occupants of these lands had no notice of the proceedings.

“Upon the approval of the cancellation, a Mr. Moses of Denver, Col., had an application on file for the purchase of the lands at the government price. Information as to the action that had been taken came to the owners and occupants a day or two ago, and action was taken immediately with regard to doing all that was possible to retain the title of the lands.”


Want Department

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The Evening Messenger: May 2, 1899

Want Department

For Sale or Rent. The building and fixtures formerly occupied by the Root & Howe meat market. Enquire of Mrs. L. Schultz.

For Sale Cheap. Two good lots with nice little cottage. Will sell at bargain if taken right away. Inquire of Coughlin & Trost.

For Sale. The Mitchell Implement Co. has two hundreds loads of good black dirt for sale.

For sale. Fine river sand. Enquire at this office.

For Sale Cheap. Business property on First avenue south, 40×140. Residence property on Fourth avenue north between Eleventh and Twelfth streets. Residence property on Sixth avenue north between Eleventh and Twelfth streets. Inquire at this office.

Girl Wanted. A girl for plain cooking. Apply at Harrington House.

Paper Hanging. C.C. Ames does first-class paper hanging and painting at reasonable prices. Address Lock Box 5, 911 Second avenue north.

Second hand store is the place to go if you want to buy or sell anything in the line of furniture, cook stoves or carpets. What have you to sell? C.L. Jewell, Proprietor, 2d door south of Court House.

Agents Wanted. By the Midland Life Associations. Good contracts offered to suitable parties. Apply at once.

Girl Wanted. Girl to do house work in family of two. Inquire at 402 north 7th street.


Plans For Work on New Library

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Feb. 17, 1903

Plans For Work on New Library

Will be Commenced as Soon as Contract is Let for Setting Marble Now on Hand

Little Remains to be Done

With Setting of Marble Building is Practically Finished. Hoped to Open May 15.

Work on the new library building will recommence just as soon as the contract is let for the setting of the car marble which now stands in the Minnneapolis (sic) & St. Louis yards, consigned to the Northern Building company, and awaiting a claimant. One of the members of the library board stated this morning that there would be no difficulty in securing the contents of the car as soon as needed.

The library board has extended a proposition to the Vermont Granite & Marble company, which furnished the marble, to look after its setting also, and is awaiting a reply, which is expected shortly. It is considered highly probable that the contract will go to these parties.

The marble now in the yards comprises all that is needed for the completion of the building. It is for wainscoting, floor and stairs, and when it is in place the new library will be practically finished.

The steel book racks have arrived and are ready to be put in place; the woodwork is finished,a nd the electric fixtures are ordered. As yet however, no furniture has been ordered.

An effort will be made to hurry the work along so that the date of opening Fort Dodge’s fine new library building may be on May 15, the twenty-ninth anniversary of the starting of the library in this city. Whether this can be accomplished or not, is a matter which depends on many things, but the building will be finished by then if possible, and the occasion of the opening will be marked with appropriate exercises.


First National Bank Building

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Jan. 28, 1907

First National Bank Building

As has been reported in this publication before the new home of the First National bank, of Fort Dodge, will be built during the coming year and will be a very attractive addition to the business district. It will be a thoroughly metropolitan structure and marks the beginning of a new era for this city. The investment of this large sum of money in a combined bank, store and office building proves the faith held in the future of Fort Dodge by a conservative corporation that members of which have had excellent opportunities to judge of the safety of real estate property here.

That other citizens will exhibit similar enterprises and do their share in promoting progress here may well be expected. Nothing in lacking to bring Fort Dodge to the front, but confidence on the part of its own people and there is abundant evidence that the spirit of faith among them is strong.

The detailed plans of the new building are now being prepared by the firm of Liebbe, Nourse & Rasmussen, of Des Moines, and it will require about 30 days to get them in shape for the contractors to estimate on. It is expected that about April 1st the work of construction can be started and after that the erection will go on as fast as money and men can push it.

The site is the real estate owned by the bank at the southwest corner of Central avenue and 7th street 60×140 feet in size. Two fairly good brick buildings on the west and south limits of the land will have to be removed to make place for the new buildings. J.C. Hoagland and Schultz Brothers’ meat market occupy these buildings and will continue in business in other locations. The plans of the buildings so far as it has been decided on have been summarized as follows by the architects:

The Building Plans.

The building is to be 60×140 feet and six stories high and finished basement. The first floor will be on the level of the side walks, the banking room without an exception will be the finest in the state, will be 28×100 feet with a 14 foot ceiling, marble wainscotting and mahoghany finsh (sic) and tile mosaic floor. The entrance to building and elevators will be finshed (sic) in the same with marble walls and majoghany finish, bronze elevator finish and marble staircase and mosaic tile floor: tile floor will be carried through the walls allover the building.

On the ground floor are also three fine store rooms, in style and as elaborate as the bank rooms.

The office floors show the best plan we have ever seen: every office, toilet and halls have large wide outside windows all directly lighted. The halls are wide and the rooms can be combined or thrown together, making large or small offices.

The toilets will be marble and tile floors and enameled porcelain fixtures.

The Banking room on first floor will have a money vault and separate book vault and an additional safety deposit vault. In connection with this department will be a room for men and one for ladies finely fitted up in mahoghany.

In the basement connecting with the banking room only, will be a large room and storage vault. The employees of the bank have each an individual coat locker and every convenience in the way of lavatories, toilets, etc.

The building will be heated by the very best and most modern steam heating system; will be electric lighted throughout.

Another feature of the building will be the thorough construction of the basement and first and second floors in reinforced concrete, making the building practically fireproof; this with a security fire proof vault on each floor with boxes for each office will give perfect security from loss by fire.

The exterior of the building will be on the classical order, walls of granite brick and granite terra cotta; the base of building and entrance of white stone.


Richard Snell is Caller in City

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The Fort Dodge Daily Chronicle: Sept. 30, 1910

Richard Snell is Caller in City

Nothing Definite to Announce Regarding New Building at Corner of Eighth and Central Avenue.

Richard Snell arrived in the city this morning for the purpose of looking after business interests in this section of the state, and this evening will be entertained at a six o’clock dinner at the Wahkonsa by Hon. O.M. Oleson, and at which time he will meet a number of the business men of the city.

When asked this afternoon regarding his plans for the erection of a business block at the corner of Central avenue and Eighth street, by a representative of The Chronicle, Mr. Snell asserted he had not settled definitely on the nature of the building which would be erected in the spring and for this reason had nothing to give out at the present time.


The Graft Didn’t Work This Time

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 16, 1905

The Graft Didn’t Work This Time

Fort Dodge Citizen Receives Letter From an Alleged Real Estate Agent.

A Fort Dodge citizen who isn’t very sleepy received recently an alluring offer of a real estate firm from an Iowa city to sell his farm for him. A contract was sent for him to sign. It was so arranged that a casual reading would lead one to think that the contract was to pay the firm 50 cents per acre for selling the land. The blank is really a request from the farmer to the real estate man to try and sell his farm, to advertise it, etc., for which they are to receive a commission of 50 cents per acre when the land is sold. Not sold by the firm, but when sold. The citizen wrote the firm that he didn’t care to give them $160 ($3,832 today) for trying to sell his land and he thought he could advertise it cheaper himself. He offered to pay them the commission when the land was sold by them or through their efforts. He has heard nothing more from this firm. We notice form newspaper reports that this firm is catching many suckers. These generally rush to an attorney for help but without avail as the contract says that they will pay the fifty cents per acre to the firm for trying to sell the land and there is no escape from the contract.


Business Block for First Avenue South

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 15, 1904

Business Block for First Avenue South

Big Three Story Double Store to be Build (sic) at 8th Street and First Ave. South.

Be Finished in Four Months

Upper Stories Furnished for Office Rooms and Flats – Will Be One of the Best Business Buildings of the City – Work Began at Once.

The contract has just been let for the erection of a fine business block on First ave south at the corner of Eighth Street. J.T. Gleason is the man who is backing the enterprise.

Double Store Room

The building is to be three stories with a basement the full length. The lower part of the structure will be finished and fitted for two store rooms, both of which will be large and roomy designed to accommodate two large business enterprises. The second story of the structure will be finished up for offices and flats. It as (sic) not yet been decided what will be done with the third story. The office rooms and flats will be finished in the latest and most up-to-date manner, and the building, when completed, will be one of the finest in the city.

Will Be Finished in Four Months.

The contract has been let to W.J. Zitterell of this city, who is to turn over the completed building for acceptance inside of the next four months. Work will be begun at once. The excavators will begin this week, and the project pushed to completion with all possible haste.

Purpose Not Known.

What the purpose of Mr. Gleason is in the erection of the building is not known. When asked this morning what business would occupy the structure, he stated he had nothing to say with regard to this part of the matter, but inferred it might be for rent. Architect J.H. Albrigh3t (sic) designed the building.


City May Get Another Park

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 12, 1905

City May Get Another Park

Property Owners Along the Upper River May Donate the Land

Would be a Large Tract

No Strings on the Proposition if it is Made – City Would (be) Expected to Give It a Proportionate Share of Attention With Other Parks.

Negotiations are pending which may result in another generous donation to Fort Dodge’s public parks. While it cannot be said that the matter has been definitely settled still it is known that the Morgan estate and Messrs. A.R. Loomis and E.G. Larson are considering the gift to the city of the land up the river from the brow of the hill to the water from the Fort Dodge brick company plant – known as Thiede & Heileman’s yard – to the F.M. Grant land, which lies alongside the hill leading from Round Prairie down to the famous “river road.”

If Mr. Grant should see fit to join with these other property owners in donating the land on the hillside to the people of his home city it is likely that Doctor Kime who owns the next strip of shore land would give a similar portion.

The information negotiations do not contemplate putting strings on the gift otherwise than that it shall be improved as a park out of the regular fund for which a tax was voted for ten years at the last municipal election.

While a dam would greatly enhance the value of this idyllic spot as a pleasure ground that would not be stipulated as a necessity by the donors.

There would be at least sixty acres in the proposed park site, perhaps much more for the land is irregular and would need to be surveyed.

There is no question but the city council would accept such a gift with alacity (sic) and give the land its proper proportion of improvements with the other city parks. It will be hoped the intention may grow into action this year.

There is no more beautiful spot for a park than this land lying in the forest above the site of the old Arnold Mill dam.


Has Discovered His Parentage

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 12, 1903

Has Discovered His Parentage

Irving B. Bischoff, of Fonda, Claims Interest in Webster County Lands by Inheritance

Says His Real Name is Young

Story of One ot (sic) Most Peculiar Claims Ever Presented in Webster County

As a result of a quarrel with the man whom he had all his  life supposed to be his father, Irving B. Bishoff (sic) of Fonda, who now believes that his real name in (sic) Young, was in the city on Wednesday, investigating what he believes to be a valid claim to certain Webster county lands. Bishoff (sic) claims an interest, by inheritance, in 130 acres of land in Johnson township, now owned by W.F. Rubel.

The story of Bischoff’s discovery of his real parentage is a strange one. For thirty years he has lived quietly in Fonda, believing himself to be the son of the man whom he now considers his step father. A short time ago, a difference of opinion arose between the two men, in the course of which the elder Bischoff announced the fact that the relation between them was not that of father and son. The younger man started to unravel the mystery, with startling results:

He now believes that his grandfather was James S. Young, and that his father was Samuel Young, who died before he was born. After his father’s death, his mother married Bischoff. J.S. Young was the owner of 130 acres of land in Johnson township, described as follows: the north one-half of the south east quarter and the east fifty acres of the south one-half of the south east quarter of section 20, range 89, township 30.

James S. Young left a will in which he bequeathed this property to his wife, Martha Young, during the term of her natural life. Later Martha Young brought suit to have her dower set apart to her, alleging that her son Samuel Young died unmarried and without issue. This was done, and subsequently another suit was brought by one of the heirs to have the land sold and the proceeds divided. In this suit it was alleged again that Samuel Young died unmarried and without issue. Accordingly, the land was sold, and the proceeds divided among the heirs.

In both suits, notice was served on the unknown heirs by publication. Whether this notice will have any effect on the claim of the heir who has thus unexpectedly presented himself, is said to be a matter of doubt, as he has all the time resided within the borders of the state of Iowa, while the notice by publication applies only to those resident outside the state.

Bischoff claims a 2-9 interest in the 130 acres now owned by Mr. Rubel.

Bischoff was in the city on Tuesday going over the records with a view to establishing his claim. He stated while here that he will hereafter go by the name of Young  which he claims to be lawfully his.

The case is one of the most peculiar which has come up for sometime. The fact that the allegations in both previous suits claim that Samuel Young died unmarried and without issue point apparently to a secret marriage on the part of that individual. Bischoff while here, asserted that he would trace the matter to its foundations, and would take all steps to secure possession of what he believes to be his patrimony.


New Bank in Fort Dodge

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 11, 1903

New Bank in Fort Dodge

Ed Breen of Estherville and Tom Breen of This City Interested

Preliminary Plans are Made

Bank Will Occupy Present Palace Barber Shop Quarters – Dennis Coughlan to Be Cashier.

Ed Breen of Estherville, associated with his brother, Tom Breen, of this city, is to open a new bank in Fort Dodge within the next thirty days. The quarters on Central avenue, between Seventh and Eighth street, at present occupied by the Palace barber shop, will serve as headquarters for the new banking business, which will move in as soon as proper furnishings can be secured.

The new bank will have a capital of at least $50,000. Fred and Charles Larrabee will be included among the stockholders, and it is probable that Charles Larrabee will move to this city from his present home in Armstrong.

Dennis Coughlan, as present the teller of the First National bank, has accepted the position of cashier with the new organization.

The bank expects to do the commercial business which savings banks are allowed to do and at once step into a permanent place among the sound financial institutions of Fort Dodge.

Edward Breen is to move his resident from Estherville to Fort Dodge. He is expected to reach the city tonight.

(Editor’s note: I searched through several city directories from 1908 to 1935 at the Webster County Genealogical Society. The 1908 directory is the earliest one they have after 1898. In the 1908 directory, it gives the following information on the Iowa Savings Bank: Address, 715 Central Ave. Organized 1903. Capital $50,000; Surplus $11,000. President: E.J. Breen; Vice President: Charles Larrabee; Cashier: D.J. Coughlin; Assistant Cashier: C.B. Smeltzer.

The bank was still listed in the directories I checked through 1930. In 1931, it is no longer listed, and there is Scott’s Fruit Markets Inc. listed at that address. This is just east of The Messenger building. The building was torn down several years ago and made into a parking lot for Messenger employees. I don’t have any further information on why the bank ceased to exist, but it’s most likely a result of the Great Depression. Before 1930, there were about six banks in Fort Dodge (I didn’t keep track). After 1930, there were two.

In addition, by 1925, Ed Breen was no longer listed as president – that title went to Charles Larrabee. There were two vice presidents: Daniel Rhodes and C.B. Smeltzer. D.J. Coughlan was listed as Cashier and W.L. Hamilton and F.L. Shraon (sic) were assistant cashiers.)