Archive for the ‘Webster City’ Category


Webster City Coal Situation

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Jan. 3, 1903

Webster City Coal Situation

Was Extremely Critical at That Place Wednesday

They have a Two Days’ Supply

Unless Situation is Relieved They Fear a Coal Famine Will Confront Them

Webster City, Jan. 2 — The coal situation in this city has become extremely serious. But one dealer in the city Wednesday had a supply and at this place no orders were booked for Wednesday’s deliver, as the present supply was sold ahead. Unless the situation becomes relieved within a few days Webster City will find herself in the throes of a coal famine.

All the dealers have coal ordered ahead and are expecting it every day but it is slow in arriving. The city electric light, steam heat and pumping plants have not more than two days’ supply ahead. Superintendent Cummings was seen and stated that he had a car of coal on the tracks and an order for 10 or 15 tons with the Crooked Creek Coal Company. The electric light plant uses between 10 and 12 tons of coal per day of 24 hours. The pumping station and heating plant will use as much or more than this, so that the situation which confronts our municipal utilities is far from assuring. The prospect of a dark and waterless city is before us. City officials, however, are hopeful and believe that they will be able to keep a supply ahead.


$200,000 for Webster City

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 8, 1903

$200,000 for Webster City

By Demise of Mrs. Kendall Young Webster City Gets Princely Sum

The Story of the Bequest

It Was Made by Her Husband, Who Was Wealthy Pioneer of Webster City

Webster City, Sept. 8 The death of Mrs. Kendall Young in Battle Creek, Mich., Monday, was announced in this city today. By the death of Mrs. Young, Webster City will received $200,000 (about $5,032,308 today) to be used in the building of a library as a monument to the memory of Mr. and Mrs. Kendall Young. The fund has been in trust since 1896, when Mr. Young died, but could ot be used until the death of his wife.

The will provided that upon the death of Mrs. Young, $25,000 ($629,038) should be expended for a fire proof building. The remainder of the fortune must remain intact, and only the income of it, or so much of it as the trustees may see fit, is to be used for library purposes.

Kendall Young was born in Maine, and his wife in County Kent, England. The two were married in this city in 1858, and with the exception of a short residence in Irvington, have lived here ever since. At the time they were married here, the population of the city was but 400, and of the county 1,600. Through Mrs. Young’s generosity, the Kendall Young library on a small scale was established in 1898. At that time it became apparent to her that the annual income form the estate was more than she required or desired for her personal use. She very generously offered the use for library purposes of the magnificent Kendall Young home on Wilson avenue, beautifully situated and surrounded by spacious ornamental grounds, together with its furnishings, including many valuable paintings and pictures. She also proposed that the surplus income form the estate should be devoted to the immediate establishment and maintenance of the library.

At the February, 1898, term of the district court, upon the joint application of Mrs. Young and the executor, it was ordered that the executor annually turn over to the library trustees the surplus income from the estate, to be by them used for library purposes. At this time Mrs. Young was confined in the Battle Creek, Mich., sanitarium, on account of her health, where she remained until she died.

Mr. Young laid the foundation for his fortune during the California gold craze of 1849, and with this start began business in Hamilton county, where the balance of his fortune was made. Since the death of her husband, Mrs. Young has been cared for by the trustees of the estate. These gentlemen have seen to it that she has had all the comforts that money could buy. She has wanted for nothing, and yet, good soul that she was, she has often talked with them about the cutting down of her personal expenses in order that the money might be saved to the estate. She was 73 years of age. The funeral will be held in the city Thursday from the old Young home, now the library building.


Gets a Wife Through an “Ad”

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 22, 1905

Gets a Wife Through an “Ad”

Iowa Man Chooses a Unique Method of Securing a Helpmeet

Webster City, Ia. Aug. 22 — Bert Owen, a young machinist from Valley Junction, has been in Webster City for several days in search of a wife. He advertised in the want ad column of one of the state papers for a helpmeet and a Hamilton county girl answered the advertisement. Owen returned home this morning in a very happy frame of mind and announced to close friends here that the wedding would take place during the week of the state fair.

Just who the fair damsel is is still something of a secret. Owen announced that her home is in Stanhope, but that she is visiting relatives in Webster City, and that she answered his advertisement form this city. Owen refused to disclose her name, but talked freely of his brief but successful romance.

He came to the city several days ago registered at the Wilson hotel and sought out the lady who had answered the advertisement. “She had sent me her photo,” said he at the depot this morning, “and I liked her looks. But say, she’s a whole lot better looking than the picture and I’m just sure we will like each other.”

Owen is quite talkative. Upon his arrival here he visited several stores in the city and sought information from the clerks as to the woman who had answer (sic) his advertisement. He was not at all backward and confided to all that she had answered his matrimonial advertisement and that he had come to the city to look her up. Since she is from Stanhope, south of the city, not many knew her. Owen, however, was not disheartened by this and apparently the investigations he carried on were satisfactory to him for the brief acquaintance of only a few days will culminate at the marriage altar.


Bones Broken in Game

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 10, 1905

Bones Broken in Game

Ball Player Breaks Collar Bone in Webster City

Webster City, June 10 – Third Baseman Dow of the Williams’ base ball team, which played in this city, had the misfortune to break his collar bone during the game. He was taken to the office of Dr. Rummel where the fracture was dressed. The injury will not prove serious and the young man returned home on the afternoon train.

The accident happened in the last half o the sixth inning. The Williams team was at bat and Dow was on first base. He attempted to make second and a long low ball was thrown (to) Arthur Martin, who was  holding this base for the Baraca team. Martin stooped to get it and tag the runner and Dow attempted a slide. He collided with Martin’s knee with such force as to break the collar bone.

The young man was taken from the ball diamond and assisted to the office of Dr. Rummel. The doctor states tat the injury is by no means serious. It will lay the young man up for two or three weeks, however. Of course beside the breaking of the collar bone, Mr. Dow was considerably bruised about the shoulder.


Ford Will Recover From His Injuries

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: May 24, 1904

Ford Will Recover From His Injuries

Principal of Webster City High School Recovering from Assault

Supt. Gerber Under Arrest

Head of Hamilton County Educational Affairs Charged With Assault

Principal Ford of the Webster City school, who was assaulted by County Superintendent L.N. Gerber, a week ago today, will recover from his injuries. His condition now is such as to warrant a hope that he will be able to resume his duties within the course of a few weeks.

Superintendent Gerber was arrested Saturday on the charge of assault with intent to commit great bodily injury. The arrest was made at the instance of O.M. James, of Marion, Ky., a brother-in-law of the injured man. Mr. James left his home in Kentucky to go to Webster City for that purpose. Superintendent Gerber’s bond was fixed at $500 ($11,975 today) which was furnished.

The outcome wil (sic) be awaited with interest, not only in Webster City, but over the state, as it has been well aired during the past week. The trouble between Ford, the principal of the high school, and Gerber, the county superintendent, has been one of long standing. It came to a climax a week ago today when the county superintendent called at the office of the principal to obtain an explanation from Ford as to his action in suspending Gerber’s son from school. It was asserted by Ford that he dismissed young Gerber because the latter was impertinent. The answer, however, did not satisfy Gerber and hot words followed. It is then alleged that Gerber struck Ford with a statuette which he took from the mantel. Gerber claims that Ford was injured by being struck on the head by the statuette, which had been accidentally knocked from its place on the mantel. the stories of both will receive a further and better airing at the hearing, which is set for June 1.


Webster City Educators’ Fight

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: May 19, 1904

Webster City Educators’ Fight

Has Now Assumed a Serious Aspect – The Critical Condition of Mr. Ford

Principal Tells His Story

Which is in Every Way Against the Action of Co. Superintendent Gerber

Webster City, May 19 – Principal Ford of the high school, whose unfortunate encounter with County Superintendent Gerber in the office of the high school Monday evening has been a sensational topic of conversation, has made a statement regarding the encounter, which is corroborated by Mr. McNown, who was a witness to the alleged assault on the high school principal. His version of the affair is as follows:

Ralph Gerber was late to school and as he passed the superintendent, Mr. Ford, said that he was late. Young Gerber was half way up the stairs at that time and he came down again and asked him what he said. Mr. Ford repeated that he was late, whereupon the young man said-  it was pretty small business , or words to that effect.The superintendent thereupon suspended Gerber for three days for impudence. The young man returned with his father and the elder Gerber immediately started quarreling in the superintendent’s office. Mr. Ford told him to leave his office but Gerber refused.

The city superintendent said that in that case he would himself leave and turned to go when Mr. Gerber struck him in the back of the neck. At this instant C.W. McNown entered the room. He had been engaged in the laboratory across the hall and both doors were open. He hurried across to the office. When he entered, Mr. Ford had been struck and was reeling around in a dazed manner.

Mr. McNown took hold of Mr. Gerber and turning him around, told him that he had better leave the office. Just then Mr. Ford reached for a statuette, concerning which there has been much talk, and tried to throw it at the county superintendent, but was too weak and sank down. At this time Mr. McNown was between the two men. Mr. Gerber did not touch the statuette. Mr. Ford did not reach for it until after he had been struck. Mr. Ford did not follow him into the h all. He was dazed and sank down in his own office.

Mr. Ford says that it is his intention to push the matter of the assault to the fullest extent.

It was hoped yesterday that Prof. Ford had passed the danger point, as he seemed to be much improved during the day and the last evening was able to converse with friends. However, during last night his fever arose to 103 with pulse at 136. Drs. Hall and Whitley were called at 3 o’clock this morning. There is slight change for the better this afternoon, the patient’s condition being considered as critical. A nurse was summoned from Fort Dodge this afternoon to assist in the case. Prof. Ford’s condition is cause for general regret and sorrow thruout the community, and everybody will sincerely hope that he may soon be on th (sic) road to recovery.


Mangled By Stallion’s Bite

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(Editor’s note: graphic content)

The Fort Dodge Messenger: May 18, 1903

Mangled By Stallion’s Bite

Hnnry (sic) Vauble, a Webster City Farmer, Terribly Injured

Entire Cheek is Bitten Out

Entered Barn to Look After Sick Horse and Got Into Stallion’s Stall by Mistake

Webster City, May 19 – Henry Vauble, aell to do farmer living seven miles north of this city, had his whole cheek bitten out by a vicious stallion here this morning. He is now at Mercy hospital, suffering great pain from his injury.

Mr. Vauble has had a horse undergoing treatment at one of the Webster City livery barns for some days past, and this morning came in to see how the animal was getting along. By a mistake he got into the stallion’s stall which was next to that of his horse. The animal turned and with one vicious snap tore away the man’s whole left cheek.

Vauble staggered back, the blood flowing from the wound in streams. The employes (sic) of the barn promptly came to his aid and he is being given every attention.


Webster City Has Sensation

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: May 17, 1904

Webster City Has Sensation

Heads of the County and City Schools Clash With Dire Results to the Latter

Educators Lose Their Tempers

County Superintendent and City Superintendent are Subjects of Talk

Webster City was treated to a sensation Monday that will be a topic of conversation for at least a day or so. A clash between the two leading educators of Hamilton county occurred in the office of City Superintendent of Schools Ford Monday afternoon and today the partiscians (sic) of the men engaged have something to think about. Beginning at the beginning it is a long story, but in a few words, the unpleasantness directly resulted from the suspension from school of a son of County Superintendent Gerber. The city superintendent did the suspending and it is needless to say that the county and city superintendents were the principal figures in the sensation.

The head of  the city schools, who is also principal of the high school, Monday informed the younger Gerber that his presence at school would not be allowed until further notice. The elder Gerber did not take kindly to the treatment accorded his offspring, and paid a visit to City Superintendent Ford at the latter’s office the same afternoon. The results form the sensation.

The story is told in brief as follows:

When Mr. Ford went to Webster City some time ago his advent apparently was not welcome to everybody in town and at no time since has harmony reigned. In the first place it is alleged he was subjected to an unusually severe examination by the county superintendent. He passed the examination successfully, but the fact that it was unnecessarily severe was not forgotten. It rankled in the breast of the city principal and something different than brotherly love existed between the men since that time.

It is customary when a  pupil is a little late at the Webster City high school to excuse him if possible, for the purpose of maintaining a minimum of tardy marks. Monday Superintendent Ford was ringing bell for the afternoon session as young Ford (sic – should be young Gerber) was approaching the school. In such cases it is said to be customary for the teacher ringing the bell to delay the process until the pupils are in their seats, but on this occasion it is alleged Mr. Ford was not at all reluctant with ringing the bell with all possible speed, presumably with the intent of registering a tardy mark against the boy. When the latter passed the principal into the school building Ford remarked:

“You are tardy sir.”

Acording (sic) to the boy’s story all he said was, “Well, wouldn’t that get you?”

According to the boy’s story all he because of young Ford’s insolence he suspended him from school. (Editor’s note: this is exactly what was printed. Young Ford should be young Gerber.)

The same evening Superintendent Gerber visited Superintendent Ford in the principal’s office in the high school and demanded an explanation of Gerber’s (sic – should be Ford’s) action toward his son, claiming that the suspension was unnecessary and that it was only one of the many incidents in which the high school principal had sought to revenge his feelings toward Gerber by taking out is spite on the latter’s son. One word led to another and what followed is told by Gerber alone. Mr. (Ford) was bereft of his senses from the time of the interview until 3 o’clock this morning. Superintendent Gerber claims that in the heat of the argument he turned and in doing so overturned a piece of statuary from its place. In falling the statuary struck the high school superintendent on the head, rendering him unconscious, from which state he did not recover until early this morning.

The affair has caused a stir in Webster City and its outcome may have one or several endings. Providing the county superintendent’s version of the affair is corect (sic) it may be regarded as an unfortunate circumstance. Otherwise serious results may follow. City Superintendent Ford’s account of the interview is now in order.


Little Child Dies in Wagon Home

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 7, 1903

Little Child Dies in Wagon Home

Child of Henry Palmer, Emigrant, Taken Ill and Dies From Exposure South of City

The Family Came From Clare

Child Was Buried at the Expense of the County. A Very Sad Case of Destitution

Webster City, March 7 – An example of privation and exposure in which was mingled the pity and compassion of all who knew the circumstances, was brought vividly before the city authorities Friday morning. A trapper and his wife, bound from Clare, Webster county to Des Moines, travelling (sic) across the country in a covered wagon, lost their 7 months old babe while camping in the edge of this city,  under the most pitiable conditions.

The trapper, Henry Palmer by name, and his family left Clare a week ago. They traveled in a covered wagon drawn by a mule and a horse. They wagon is scantily furnished and extremely chilly and damp for travel in this sort of weather. Palmer and his family traveled slowly, camping for several days in places where they found trapping good. Mr. Palmer hunted and trapped, while his wife was occupied mostly with the care of their baby. They arrived in the vicinity of this city last Monday and camped between the F.A. Edwards Bluff View farm and the John Essig place. The day they pitched camp here, the baby was taken sick with grip and pneumonia, brought on by exposure. Dr. Conrad was called, and attended the baby until Thursday, when Dr. Richardson was called. Thursday night the child died. The city took charge of the little body, and interment was given it in the city cemetery at 3 o’clock Friday afternoon.

The outfit driven by Mr. Palmer excited much interest from those who saw it today. In the rickety wagon was a stove with its pipe protruding thru the canvas. The team looked much the worse for privation, and about the whole outfit was an air of extreme poverty. The genuine sorrow and heartbroken spirit of the parents added to the pitiableness of the situation. After the last sad rites had been performed over the body of their infant, Mr. and Mrs. Palmer proceeded on their journey to Des Moines, where Mr. Palmer expects to get work and where they will locate.


Webster City Young Men Sad

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Feb. 29, 1904

Webster City Young Men Sad

One Result of a Recent Trip to the Neighboring Gypsum City.

They Were Given Good Time

And When They Went Back Home They Slept Too Soundly.

Two young men whose homes are in Webster City came to Fort Dodge the other day and had an awful time getting home. The Webster City freeman-Tribune says they were shown a good time in Fort Dodge and from past experience of Webster City’s good times in Fort Dodge it is more than likely that while here they contributed generously to the mulct tax.

Their sad story is told by the Freeman-Tribune in the following:

“A three mile walk and a livery bill of $3.50, all extra was what it cost two certain Webster City young men to make a little afternoon’s trip to Fort Dodge the other day. It wasn’t because the Webster City boys got lost looking at the skyscrapers, or bought the new Crawford hotel of a sharper or anything of that kind. Oh no.

“The boys, whom we will call Jack and George, for the reason that these names will fit as well as any, spent the afternoon in the Gypsum City, were shown a first-class time by the natives, saw the gypsum mills, the ruins of the mill which burned the other night, the site where the Great Western shops were to have been built – if they hadn’t been erected in Clarion – went thru the automobile factory and numerous other sites famed on the pages of history. In the evening, tired of their sight-seeing and weary to the bone, they boarded the midnight train for home. It being so late, they felt sleepy and therefore didn’t see the lights of Webster City until the train was pulling out of Blairsburg. The boys wanted the “con” to run the train back, but he wouldn’t . Then they wanted him to carry them on to Waterloo and promise to send them back on a special car – but he wouldn’t . He just wouldn’t do anything that a good, respectable, polite conductor ought to do. The boys then wanted to fight – and he wouldn’t even do that. He just grasped them by the nape of the neck and ejected them from the train three miles out of Blairsburg.

“The men found their way to the ‘burg and by putting up $3.50 induced the livery man there to bring them back to dear old Webster City.”