New Ideas From Iowa Get Big Military Test in 1870

A group of soldiers gathered at an artillery field on the grounds of Fort Monroe, Virginia, on Monday, Feb. 7, 1870. The U.S. government had authorized the Army to carry out the testing of a new product designed by an Iowa man.

Iowa’s 1880s Big “Beat ‘Em-all Barbed Wire Company” Patent Controversy

“A lot of fellows tried to drive the bull into the wires with him on it,” J.H. Harrington described an incident that had occurred at the Delaware County fair at Delhi in 1859. When a “somewhat intoxicated” fair goer hopped on a bull’s back and rode around a track enclosed by a strange looking fence, Harrington took notice.

The Prairie City Bank Robbery That Ended In An Iowa Cornfield

It was about 1:30 in the morning on October 28, 1902, when Prairie City dentist, Dr. S. B. Gidford, woke up in his room across the street from the bank. As he stuck his head out a window, a “loaded 44-caliber Colt” was “presented to his face” by a stranger who told him his life was “worth less than 30 cents.”

Iowans Lost At Sea In 1875 Disaster

Survivors described the cries and shrieks of dying passengers as “heart-rending.” And one recalled the last voice he heard was that of a “little child in a cabin.”

No Hitching Posts, No Business: Iowa History

Farmers in the Charles City area threatened to take their business to neighboring towns if the Improvement Association removed the hitching posts in the city park. But the 45 women who had formed the new association in 1903 weren’t about to back down. Before long the hitching posts were gone and only a fading memory. The hitching post removal had been a hard-fought victory for the women, but it was only one of many improvements they planned for the town over the next ten years. Number one on the list was to beautify the city’s only public park.

Poor Drainage Criticism Dates to Mid-1800s But For Different Reason In Iowa

It was rumored that a wagon and team of oxen had disappeared from sight as its driver attempted to cross Purgatory Slough. They were never seen again. And the Marshalltown Evening Times Republican reminded readers about the rusty gun barrel and human skeleton that had been discovered in Hell Slough. Both sloughs were located in Calhoun County, but travelers in most parts of the state faced the dangers of the wet, marshy swamps that mired down wagons and caused headaches for human. Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays.