American troops at Manila, Philippines, at the turn of the 19th century.

Dogs’ Journey From Iowa to the Philippines: A War Story

“Nearly a thousand men were falling over each other in their efforts to reach the rail and ‘feed the fish’.” Pvt. Joseph Ignacious Markey, wrote in 1900 about the 51st Infantry Volunteers, Company M, from Red Oak, Iowa. Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays.

A log raft passing a drawbridge on the Mississippi River, 1898.

Iowa History: World’s Only Female Boat Captain

“I can’t resist the desire to be on the steamer. It is positively fascinating this life and grows upon me.” The words of Ida Moore Lachmund of Clinton, Iowa, were shocking in 1897. She was talking about her life as a river boat captain on the Mississippi River. It wasn’t a typical career for women at the time. Ida Moore Patterson was born and educated in Philadelphia.

Marquis of Lorne was governor general of Ottawa, Canada

When Cattle Derailed A Queen’s Son-In-Law In Iowa

“Is there danger?” Marquis of Lorne demanded of his servants.

“We’re slaughtered!” he predicted.

The Marquis of Lorne believed he was being attacked by Irish Republican anti-British government agitators as he rode the Sioux City & Pacific Railroad in October 1881.

Army mule photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

Big Test In Iowa, Wisconsin When The “Automobile Truck” Threatened Army Mules

Dubuque was bustling with activity and excitement early in the summer of 1912. U.S. Army battalions from four states were arriving in June. About 2,000 men would camp south of the city after traveling from Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska and Illinois. The soldiers were going to be testing some new equipment for the war department. City leaders hoped the soldiers would perform their drills and maneuvers in an exhibition for the public.

German prisoners held at Vaux, France, 1918

Iowa History: The Deadliest Weapon in the World

On the lawn of a “beautiful old chateau” on the banks of the Marne River in France in July 1918 during the Great War (World War I) a commanding general of the American Expeditionary Forces pinned Distinguished Service Crosses to the chests of 37 marines for their “extraordinary heroism.” One of them was an Iowan, John J. Ingalls of Maquoketa. (Some sources indicate Ingalls’ address was Olin when he joined the marines, others Maquoketa.)

Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays. Cheryl Mullenbach is a former history teacher, newspaper editor, and public television project manager. She is the author of four non-fiction books for young people. Double Victory was featured on C-SPAN’s “Book TV” and The Industrial Revolution for Kids was selected for “Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People.” Her most recent book, Women in Blue traces the evolution of women in policing.

In the early 1900s a man could make a living as a rat catcher.

Iowa’s Most Wanted List In 1911

The rat, mice, and ground squirrel populations of Iowa were about to be drastically reduced if the state department of health commissioner had his way. In December 1911 Dr. Guilford Sumner issued a statement that was circulated throughout the state. He wanted to exterminate every rodent that potentially carried the bubonic plague, cholera or leprosy.

Wright County, Iowa, map from 1885

Iowa History: A Real Western Suffragette

In August 1910 the St. Louis Dispatch newspaper devoted a full page to a “Real Western Suffragette.” The reporter was writing about Carrie Vaughn Anderson, a former school teacher who was running for county recorder in Wright County, Iowa.

A corn field in Jasper County, Iowa is shown circa 1939.

Iowa History: State Fair of 1868: Gloomy, But Motivational

Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays. Cheryl Mullenbach is a former history teacher, newspaper editor, and public television project manager. She is the author of four non-fiction books for young people. Double Victory was featured on C-SPAN’s “Book TV” and The Industrial Revolution for Kids was selected for “Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People.” Her most recent book, Women in Blue traces the evolution of women in policing. Visit her website at: www.cherylmullenbachink.com

The Iowa State Fair of 1868, the 15th annual, was a disappointment in some ways.