13. CALHOUN COUNTY, IOWA

 

Section I: History and Geography


History

 

When the county was originally platted in 1851, it was named Fox County.  As the legislature assembled in 1853, the county’s name was changed to Calhoun in honor of U.S. Vice President John C. Calhoun.   The county was officially organized in 1855 and Lake City was named the county seat.  In 1870, the Illinois Central Railroad was extended through the northern part of the county and Manson and Pomeroy competed with Lake City for the county seat.  A compromise was reached in 1876 when voters approved Rockwell City, in the center of the county as the new county seat.

 

The county is largely level, making it ideal agricultural land.  At the turn of the 20th century, the digging of ditches and the laying of farm drainage tile eliminated wet land unsuitable for growing crops.  Calhoun county has some of the best agricultural land in the state.

 

Rockwell City’s initial spurt of growth came when the railroad was extended from Jefferson in 1882.  To entice the railroad to come to Rockwell City, the town’s founders promised F.M. Hubbell, the railroad’s owner half of the town lots.  In 1918 the state woman’s reformatory was built at Rockwell City.

 

The first settlers were from states to the east as far as New England, and from the south.  Foreign-born groups included Germans, Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, Irish, Hollanders, English and Czechs.

 

Boundaries

 

Calhoun County is located in north central Iowa.  It is bounded by the following counties: West – Sac Co., NW – Buena Vista Co., North – Pocahontas Co., NE – Humboldt Co., and East – Webster Co., and South – Greene and Carroll Counties.

 

Current towns and communities (Zip codes given for towns having Post Offices)

 

 

 

Town/Community        Township                                             Population

1890                                  2000

 

Farnhamville 50538        Reading                                                   137                   430

Jolly 50551                    Butler                                                      100                     54

Knierim 50552               Greenfield                                                                          70

Lake City 51449             Jackson, Calhoun                                  1,160                1,787

Lohrville 51453               Union                                                      435                   431

Lytton 50561                 Garfield, Sac Co.                                                              305

Manson 50563               Lincoln                                                    822                1,893

Pomeroy 50575             Butler, Sherman                                       481                   710

Rinard                           Cedar                                                                                72

Rockwell City 50579       Twin Lakes, Center                                   516                2,264

Somers 50586               Cedar                                                                              165

Yetter                           Elm Grove                                                                         36

 



 

 

 

 

Abandoned towns

 

Town                           Township                                 Town                           Township


 


 

Brooklyn                                                                       Muddy

Burns                                                                            Piper                             Logan

Calhoun                                                                        Rands                           Logan

Calhoun Center              Center                                       Richard                         Center

Crandall                                                                        Schonberg

Eads                                                                             Sherwood                      Lake Creek

Elm Grove                                                                     Twin Lakes                    Twin Lakes

Kissemmee                                                                   Tow Head                      Center

Knoke                           Butler                                        Wightman                     Union

Lavinia                          Twin Lakes                                Yatesville

Mosley

 

 

Section II: Resource Centers

 

Courthouse:

 

[CCCH] Calhoun County Court House

4th and Court Street, Rockwell City, Iowa 50579

 

Genealogical Society

 

[CCGS] Calhoun County Genealogical Society

426 5th Street, Rockwell City, Iowa 50579

 

Libraries with Genealogical or Historical Collections

 

·         [CCHL] Calhoun County Historical Library

150 High Street, Rockwell City, Iowa 50579

·         [FL] Farnhamville Library

240 Hardin Street, Farnhamville, Iowa 50538

·         [LCPL] Lake City Public Library

120 N. Illinois Street, Lake City, Iowa 51449

·         [JJHL] J J Hands Library

609 2nd Street, Lohrville, Iowa 51453

·         [LPL] Lytton Public Library

118 Main Street, Lytton, Iowa 50561

·         [ML] Manson Library

1076 13th Avenue, Manson, Iowa 50563

·         [PPL] Pomeroy Public Library

114 North Ontario Street, Pomeroy, Iowa 50575

·         [RCL] Rockwell City Library

426 5th Street, Rockwell City, Iowa 50579

·         [SCL] Somers City Library

Somers, Iowa 50586

·         [IGSL] Iowa Genealogical Society Library

628 East Grand Avenue

Des Moines, Iowa 50309

·         [ISHL] Iowa State Historical Library

600 East Locust Street

Des Moines, Iowa 50319

 


Section III: Records – records may be found at the record sites abbreviated after each entry.  See Section II for complete record site information.


Census

 

·         Federal: 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, microfilm: [ISHL], [IGSL]

·         Federal Indexes: 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1920: [ISHL], [IGSL]

·         Iowa State: 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925, microfilm: [ISHL], [IGSL]

 

Vital Records

 

·         Birth registrations, (from 1880): [CCCH]; (1880-1927), microfilm: [ISHL]; (1880-1899), microfilm: [IGSL]

·         Birth index, (1880-1957), microfilm: [IGSL]

·         Delayed births, (to 1990), microfilm: [IGSL]

·         Delayed birth registrations, (1878-1942), microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Marriage registrations, (from 1857): [CCCH]; (1875-1928), microfilm: [ISHL]; (1892-1928), microfilm: [IGSL]

·         Death records, (from 1880): [CCCH]; (1880-1932), microfilm: [ISHL], [IGSL]

 

Probate and related records

 

·         Probate records, (from 1873): [CCCH]; (1880-1910), microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Probate index, (1880-1924), microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Probate docket, (1884-1913), microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Will books, (1909-1928), microfilm: [ISHL]

 

Land and related records

 

·         Land records, (from 1855): [CCCH]; (1856-1903), microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Index to land records, (1855-1887), microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Town lots, (1875-1888), microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Index to town lots, (1869-1879): [ISHL]

·         Original Entries, Alphabetical Listing of Purchases, (land records), n.d.: [IGSL]

 

Maps, atlases and gazetteers

 

·         Chatfield Directory Service: Calhoun Farm Directory, (1953): [ISHL]

·         Manson Journal: Atlas and Plat Book of Calhoun Co., (1920: [ISHL]

 

Court records

 

·         Court records, (from 1860): [CCCH]

·         Naturalizations – declaration of intent, (1873-1906), microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Naturalization records, (1873-1902), microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Index to naturalization records, (1873-1906), microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Naturalization records – minors, (1887-1906), microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Divorce records, (from 1906): [CCCH]

 

Cemetery

 

·         Calhoun County Genealogical Society: Calhoun County, Iowa Cemeteries, (1994): [ISHL]

·         Works Progress Administration: Grave Registrations, (1942): [ISHL], [IGSL]

·         Calhoun County Genies: Calhoun County Cemeteries, (1977): [IGSL]

·         Calhoun County Genealogical Society: Crown Hill Cemetery, Butler Township, (2001): [IGSL]

·         Calhoun County Genealogical Society: St. Francis Catholic Cemetery, (2001): [IGSL]

 

Funeral homes

 

·         Lake City

-          Lampe Funeral Home

418 N. Hancock Street, Lake City, Iowa 51449

·         Lohrville

-          Brawn Funeral Home

404 Maple Street, Lohrville, Iowa 51453

·         Manson

-          Larson – Weishaar Funeral Home

1408 11th Avenue, Manson, Iowa 50563

·         Pomeroy

-          Michael L. Powers Funeral Home

210 Main Street, Pomeroy, Iowa 50575

·         Rockwell City

-          Palmer and Swank Funeral Home

528 Main Street, Rockwell City, Iowa 50579

 

Church, Bible

 

·         Brief Historical Sketch of Emmanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Center Township, 60th Anniversary, (1928): [ISHL]

·         Watters: The First Hundred Years, 1865-1965, Woodland Christian Church, Lake City, (1965): [IGSL]

·         Nelson: History of Our Evangelical Lutheran Manson Church, (1955): [IGSL]

 

Military

 

Deyoe: Calhoun County in the World War, n.d.: [ISHL]

 

Newspapers:  (on microfilm)

 

·         Lake City

-          Calhoun County Pioneer: [ISHL]

-          The Lake City Graphic, (1886-1916): [ISHL]

-          The Graphic, (1916-1926): [ISHL]

-          The Graphic and News, (1926-1939): [ISHL]

-          Lake City Graphic, (1942-1997): [ISHL]

·         Lohrville

-          The Lohrville Enterprise, (1894-1897): [ISHL]

-          Lohrville Enterprise and Farnhamville Index, (1960-1965): [ISHL]

-          Twin Lakes Trader, (1974-1975): [ISHL]

-          The Newspaper, (1975-1976): [ISHL]

·         Lytton

-          The Lytton Star, (1916-1921): [ISHL]

·         Manson

-          The Manson Democrat, (1896-1920): [ISHL]

-          The Manson Journal and Democrat, (1922-1928): [ISHL]

-          The Manson Journal, (1928-1987): [ISHL]

-          The Calhoun County Journal-Herald, (1987-1996): [ISHL]

·         Pomeroy

-          The Pomeroy Herald, (1889-1987): [ISHL]

·         Rockwell City

-          The Farmers Advocate, (1891-1893): [ISHL]

-          City Advocate, (1906-1909, 1922-1927): [ISHL]

-          The Rockwell City Advocate and Calhoun County Republican, (1927-1950): [ISHL]

-          The Rockwell City Advocate, (1950-1975): [ISHL]

-          The Advocate, (1982-1983): [ISHL]

-          Calhoun County Advocate, (1984-1996): [ISHL]

 

Educational, business and other:

 

·         Ferguson: After 45 Years … the Farmers Cooperative Company, [ISHL]

·         Ridge: Our Vanished Country Schools of Calhoun Co., Iowa, (1959): [ISHL]

 

Miscellaneous:

 

·         Owens: My Early Life in Calhoun Co., Iowa, n.d.: [ISHL]

·         Miscellaneous Records from Calhoun Co., Iowa, n.d.: [IGSL]

 

County & Local Histories:

 

·         Clark Pub Co.: A Biographical Record of Calhoun Co., Iowa, (1902), (reprint 1996): [ISHL]

·         Stonebraker: Past and Present of Calhoun County, Iowa, (1915): [ISHL]

·         Calhoun County Historical Society: Calhoun County History, (1982): [ISHL]

·         Calhoun County Pioneer History: a Sesquicentennial Slice …, (1995): [ISHL]

·         Cole: Happiness is my Universe: Reminiscences of Calhoun Co. (1972): [ISHL], [IGSL]

·         Centennial History Committee: Rockwell City’s 100 Golden Years and Calhoun Co. History, 1876-1976, (1976): [IGSL]

·         Hippen: Marsh Rainbow Arch Bridge in Iowa, (1997): [ISHL]

·         Crahan, et al: A Brief History of Manson, Iowa, Observing Its Centennial, (1972): [ISHL], [IGSL]

·         Manson Quasquisicentennial: 125 Years, 1872-1997: (1997): [ISHL]

·         Bierg, et al.: The Town and Community of Jolly; First 100 Years, (1983): [ISHL], [IGSL]

·         Patterson: The Twin Lakes (Calhoun Co.) Story, (1975): [ISHL]

·         Newhouse: Towns of Calhoun Co., Iowa, (1966): [ISHL]

·         Quade: Knierim: A Photo-narrative, (1995): [ISHL]

·         Calhoun County Historical Society: A Tour of Calhoun County Historical Sites, (1968): [IGSL]

·         Denise: The History of Lytton, Iowa, 1899-1982, (1982): [IGSL]

·         Calhoun Knoke Diamond Jubilee, 1901-1976, (1976): [IGSL]

·         Wolf: Over the Years, (Lytton Area), (1974): [IGSL]

 

Publications

 

·         Iowa Genealogical Society: Hawkeye Heritage articles through 1993, [IGSL]  (Entries indicate year, issue number and page number.)

-          1856 State Census for Calhoun County, (1970), 4:157

-          1857 Tax List for Calhoun County, (1970), 4:158

-          1860 Federal Census for Calhoun County, (1970), 4:159

-          First Marriages, 1856-1884, (1970), 4:175

-          Grand Army of the Republic, Albert E. Allen Post 113, Manson, (1970), 4:161

-          Grand Army of the Republic, Frederick W. Lander Post 156, Lake City, (1970), 4:165

-          Grand Army of the Republic, Lohn Post 349, Lohrville, (1970): 4:173

-          Grand Army of the Republic, Opdyke Post 332, Rockwell City, (1970), 4:171

-          Grand Army of the Republic, Pomeroy Post 480, Pomeroy, (1970): 4:170

-          Calhoun County History, (1970), 4:156

-          Rockwell City Ladies Club – 1903, (1970): 4:18

·         The following Calhoun County Publications are for sale through the Iowa Genealogical Society.  See the Iowa Genealogical Society webpage for a detailed listing and availability.

-          Calhoun County Cemeteries, listed by township

-          Marriage records, 1856-1884

 

Section IV: Credits

 

We wish to acknowledge the contributions made by members of the Calhoun County Genealogical Society the Calhoun County Courthouse, the Iowa State Historical Society and volunteers at the Iowa Genealogical Society in providing data contained in this research guide. Their efforts have been of immeasurable help in gathering this information.