Newhall, John B. A Glimpse of Iowa in 1846; Burlington, Iowa: W.D. Skillman,  1846

The village of Cascade, although immediately on the borders of Jones county, is, in fact, in Dubuque county, on the north side of the Maquoketa; the counties being divided by the river. The village is rapidly improving, and already contains two hotels, an extensive flouring mill, four dry goods stores, three blacksmith shops, two tailor shops, one wagon maker, one saddler, post office, &c. Thee are, also, two church edifices in the village, a Methodist Episcopal, and a neat structure has been erected the past year by the Congregational Society of that place. Cascade also contains a flourishing Temperance Society, embracing more than 100 members. The country around is highly picturesque, and rapidly settling by a virtuous, intelligent population from many of the eastern States.

The History of Dubuque County, Iowa...Chicago: Western Hist. Co., 1880

     This is the southwestern township in Dubuque county, and was settled at an early date. Probably one third of the area is woodland, and it is traversed, in a southeasterly direction, by the North Branch of the Maquoketa. The water power, or the cascade, was the attraction for the early settler or speculator. The surface is uneven, the soil a sandy loam, and, as a township, it is fairly adapted to agriculture.
     EARLY SETTLEMENT- The Delongs were the first settlers at Cascade. The father came in 1834 and broke ground and planted corn, and, in 1835, came again and sowed wheat on his claim near the falls. In 1836, he, with his wife and five sons, William, John, Parley, Jacob and Perry, and a daughter named Susan, located in Cascade. One of his cabins was built nearly on the site of G.G. Banghart's store. He soon sold the water-power and a narrow strip of land adjoining to John Sherman, who, in partnership with Arthur Thomas, in 1837, built the first flouring mill. In same year they built the first hotel and first store. In 1838, the first saw-mill was built two miles above Cascade, by the Delong brothers. The mill was afterward known as Dillon's, and later was a paper mill, and, still later, was converted into a flouring-mill and known as Myer's. The original Delong was a miner, and is still living in Dubuque, Caleb Bucknam, father-in-law to G.G. Banghart, bought out the Delongs, in 1841 and the next year platted the village of Cascade. The United States survey of land, in this vicinity, was made in 1836-37; Albin Burt, a civil engineer, located the meridian lines for Iowa, was attracted by this place and brought his family soon afterward, and was prominent in local improvements. He died in 1846. Peter Summers has been a continuous resident since 1839. Egbert McComber, Elan Rafferty, C.O. Freeman, J.S. Hamilton, are veteran pioneers and worthy citizens. So also were John Rafferty, Mahlon Lupton, Asa Leek and Lyman Dillon, all deceased, who settled near the falls as early as 1840. The first birth within city limits was that of Chauncey Thomas, in 1838, and the first marriage was in 1839; the parties were Jeremiah Reed and Susan Delong, the bride being a blushing maiden of thirteen summers. The first school was taught by L.A. Styles, in a dwelling-house, about 1840. In January, 1842, the first postoffice was established in Cascade,and L.A. Styles was the first Postmaster. J.B. Heniors, in 1840, was the first dispenser of pills and potions. The first lawyer was the talented and cultured Scotchman, W.W. Hamilton, who located here in 1842. He was, for some time, editor of the Dubuque Times; was a member of the State Senate several years, and served as general adjustor for the Illinois Central Railroad. The first temperance meeting was held at the house of Arthur Thomas, on the 19th of February, 1842, at which twenty persons were present. Upon organizing, William Collins was chosen President, Asa leek, Vice President, and William Hutton, Secretary. The first merchant was G.G. Banghart, who still retains a leading prominence.  Judge Taylor, who resides just over the line, in Richland, Jones County, hold a larger place in in the public confidence and affection. Many of the early settlers still live in the vicinity. In 1849, there was a large exodus of Americans to California, since which date the foreign element has largely controlled the destiny of Cascade.
     CHURCHES- Catholic and Protestants are liberally supplied with houses of worship.
     The Methodist Episcopal was the pioneer church. It was completed in the summer of 1844, but services were held in it before it was sided up or the floor laid. The society have had a continuous itinerant pastorate from 1841 to the present time.
     The Congregational Church was built in 1845. Rev. E.B. Turner was the first Pastor. The Baptist Church was built in 1854; the present efficient Pastor is Rev. John Bodenham. The Presbyterians have a neat church edifice, a prosperous society and an acceptable Pastor, Rev. W. Donaldson. In 1871, an Episcopal church was erected, but has no resident Pastor.
     The St. Mary's German Catholic Church was built in 1859; it is of stone, and will seat 200; the congregation numbers 100 families. They have a parochial school in the basement of the church. The Pastor is the Rev. John Beauman, who resides at Worthington. The St. Martin's Catholic Church (Irish) was dedicated November 9, 1867. It is a substantial stone edifice and will seat fully 600. Congregation consists of 200 families. The building Committee were Daniel Seely, John seely, Nicholas Shaffer, Hugh Devlin, Gregg Seely, P. Mullally, James Kinsella, and Thomas Drysdell.
    St. Martin's Parochial School was established in June, 1869. The building is of brick, two-story, and 40x60 feet. School is taught by six Sisters of the B.V.M. Present popular Pastor is Rev. J.P. Hennessey.
     SOCIETIES- The Cascade Lodge, No. 127, of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, was organized April 17, 1858, under a dispensation granted April 10, 1858. The charter members were W.H. Hogan, W.M.; W.J. Bemis, W.W.; C. Mulloy, J.W.; S. Hopkins, S.D.; A. Jackson, J.D.; H.D. Crane, Treasurer, and George Welch, Secretary. The date of the charter is June 2, 1858.
     The Ancient Order of United Workmen organized a lodge in Cascade, on the 20th of October, 1879. The officers are: E. Rafferty, Past M.W.; I.W. Baldwin, M.W.; J.F. Anson, F.; J. Meinhart, G.; W.H. Huntington, R.; C.H. Huntington, Fin; T. Kingsley, Rec.; G.Wise, G.
    THE PRESS- The Cascade Pioneer, founded by C.H. Monger, now of the Anamosa Journal, is the only newspaper published in Cascade. It is an eight page quarto, and is nominally neutral or independent. I.W. Baldwin has been editor and proprietor since June, 1877. He is genial and capable. His experience as a Democratic manager in Northern Illinois causes his neutrality to be tinged with a liberal Democracy. The editor is public spirited and popular, and an excellent moral tone pervades the Pioneer, which is devoted to Cascade first and the world afterward.
     MANUFACTURES- The brewery of Frank May involves more capital than any other single enterprise in Cascade. It was established in 1856, in a little log building, which was the first house built in Cascade, in 1836, by William DeLong. It is now a four-story stone structure, 116x24 feet, with a wing, same height, 22x30. The malt cellar is 20x50 feet, and the fermenting-room also 20x50. The ice  cellar is 18x30 feet, and stores 200 tons of ice. Beneath this is the cooling cellar, and still deeper, hewn out of the solid rock, is the lager-beer vault, 88x18x12 1/2 feet, and twenty feet below surface of ground. A seven-horse power engine is employed. About two thousand five hundred barrels of beer are manufactured annually. It is one of the most extensive inland breweries in the united States, and is first-class in all its appointments.
     The flour-mill is owned by T.J. Chew, Jr., and is leased to William M. ??? It has four runs of stone, and four twenty-one horse power turbines wheeling capacity is six barrels of patent flour per day. The flour has an established reputation. W.L. Baldwin is the miller in charge.
     The wagon factory of Charles H. Huntington is a two-story wooden building, 65x38 feet, with two wings, one 18x30 and the other 18x28 feet. He employs from seven to twenty men, according to the "times."
     Heitchew & Murphy also have a furniture factory and saw-mill, which is doing an extensive business in the line of picture-frames and upholstered furniture.
     John Loes has, since 1850, been in the wagon and blacksmithing business in Cascade. He has a large establishment and a good reputation.
    Seven general stores, three drug stores, three milliner stores, two furniture stores, two boot and shoe stores, four dressmaking establishments, four carriage and blacksmithing establishments, one hardware store, four carpenter shops, two clothing stores, two harness-shops, two livery stables, two merchant tailors, two jewelers, two stove and tinware stores, one grist-mill, one saw-mill, two butcher shops, three restaurants, two hotels, one cigar manufactory, four toy stores, three carpet weavers, one printing office, one malter and brewer, six boarding houses, one cooper-shop, two barber-shops, one cabinet manufactory, two photograph galleries, one marble works, three insurance offices, two butter and egg merchants, twelve saloons, two grain merchants, one sewing machine agent, and one organ salesman, one Notary Public, five boot and shoe makers, four schools, twelve teachers, one money-order post office, seven churches, six ministers, four doctors, one lawyer, and one railroad depot, are now located in Cascade.

History of Dubuque County, Iowa; Weston A. Goodspeed, ed. by F. T. Oldt and P. J. Quigley; Chicago: Goodspeed Hist. Assoc. 1911    

     Cascade Township (township 87 north, range 2 west) was organized as road districts and election precincts before the township as such had an official existence.
     An an election precinct it was Great Maquoketa in 1838 and elections were held at the house of Jacob Hamilton. It was also called White Water precinct. In August, 1839, elections were held at the house of Joseph Hewitt. Patrick Flinn, James H. Kirkpatrick and Willis Thompson were judges of election. The military road was built in 1839 and thereafter Cascade had a postoffice of its own. Arthur Thomas was postmaster of the "Falls" in 1840. In 1840 the township was in the third county commissioners' district. As first created, in 1843, the township embraced parts of the present townships of Cascade, White Water, Taylor and Dodge. It was given its present boundaries in 1849.
     Nicholas Delong was the first settler of Cascade township. He first came in 1834, when he plowed a small tract and planted it in corn. The next spring he returned and sowed a field of wheat. In 1836 he brought out his family, consisting of a wife, daughter Susan and five sons, William, John, Parley, Jacob and Perry. His cabin was located on the present townsite. John Sherman arrived about 1836 and bought a part of the water power and in partnership with Arthur Thomas about 1837 erected the first flouring mill and began business. At the same time they established a store and built a hotel. The next year the Delong brothers built the first saw mill about two miles above. Previous to his arrival here Nicholas Delong had been a miner, probably at Dubuque and perhaps at Galena. In about 1841 Caleb Bucknam, whose daughter married G.G. Banghart, bought the Delong property, and in 1842 laid out the village. Alvin Burt, Peter Summers, Egbert Macomber, C.O. Freeman, Elan Rafferty, Lyman Dillon, Mahlon Lupton, John Rafferty and Asa Leek were all early settlers of this township. L.A. Styles was postmaster-about 1842. W.W. Hamilton arrived about 1842. G.G. Banghart kept a large general store. Judge Taylor was here early.
     Joseph Dean, Caleb Bucknam, Levi A Styles, Peter Knoop, W.W. Hamilton, Arthur Thomas, Alonzo Meecham, Asa Leek, Nathan W. Dotan, John Gibson were all useful citizens.
     The citizens of the North Fork of Maquoketa, on February 17, 1838, assembled and organized for the protection of their pre-emption rights and for the regulation of their claims. They adopted a constitution and assumed the name "North Fork of Maquoketa Association" for the mutual protection of settlers' claims on government lands. No settler could have more than three quarter sections of land. No person under sixteen years could hold a claim. The following were the officers: Charles W. Harris, president; Webster M. Dowell, vice-president; Francis M. Hamilton, secretary; Abraham Daniels, Samuel Groff, John Hanley, Fielden Braden, James Hoffman, Thomas Owens, E. Richardson, Vincent D. Smith and James B. Powell, grand committee.
     The water power was the origin of Cascade, both of the name and the village. The military road, after 1839, was extensively traveled and caused Cascade to grow. Caleb Bucknam bought out the Delongs about 1840 and laid out the west town. Lyman Dillon owned the saw mill and G.G. Banghart opened a store. James Cooley was here early; also the Powells, Hamiltons, Smiths and McGintys. Mr. Bucknam donated land to the Catholic and Protestant churches and to their cemeteries. In 1842 the place was called West Cascade in the records of the county. About this time a road was established from Cascade westward to the county seat of Delaware county. The act of February 16, 1842, declared the Big Maquoketa a navigable highway. A large temperance meeting at the house of Arthur Thomas in 1842 organized with twenty persons and with William Collins as president. The Methodists organized in 1841 and erected a church in 1844. The Congregationalists built in 1845.
     About fifty Irish families, just over from Europe and now at St. Louis, went one of their number, a young Irishman, to Dubuque to select a location for all of them. He selected points along the Maquoketa in the southwestern part of Dubuque county. - (Bloomington Herald, June 10, 1842)
     A mass meeting of the citizens of Cascade was held at the Methodist church in that village on January 29, 1848, to take into consideration the expediency of making Cascade a point upon the contemplated Dubuque & Keokuk railroad, according to the charter granted by the last legislature. William Johnson was chosen president of the meeting; John Dean; vice-president, and N.P. Cook and W.S. Hall, secretaries. The following committee to draft resolutions was appointed: Dr. B.F. Dewey, George Banghart, John McGinty, James S. Hamilton and Joshua Johnson. The meeting was addressed by George Banghart, C.O. Freeman, Dr. B.F. Dewey and Rev. L.H. Woodford. The resolutions warmly favored the selection of Cascade as a point on this contemplated railroad line.
     In 1847 William Lawther & Co. conducted a large store in Cascade. The leading hotel at this date was managed by Henry Miller. William W. Hamilton, a Scotchman and a lawyer, was here early and became very prominent.
     At a large railroad meeting in Cascade in December, 1852, G.G. Banghart served as a chairman and Dr. G.W. Trumbull as secretary. W.S. Hall, T.S. Denson, L. Barnett, Lemuel Litton and Alfred Darling were present. The inhabitants here were endeavoring to secure the Dubuque & Pacific railway, or any other. The McGinty-Clark murder and suicide occurred near Cascade in 1855. By August, 1856, the village had a population of about 450 people, McCann was hotelkeeper. At this date there were seven or eight merchants, the big flour mill owned by the Chews, saw mill, brick yard, private schools, the academy, mechanics, blacksmiths, etc. James Hill laid out a large addition to the village. John Bates resided there.
     In an examination before David F. Barr, justice, at Cascade, in June, 1857, Michael Flanigan was given a preliminary trial for the murder of James Newell by striking him on the head with an ax handle. Both resided in Jones county. The defendant was bound over to court in the sum of $4,000, on the charge of manslaughter. The alleged crime was committed at Francis M. McNally's grocery. Charles Winchel, a storekeeper, saw the blow struck. William Bucknam, a shopkeeper, was a witness. At this date Ruthorp owned a shop, Taylor had a store and Dr. Baker practiced medicine, also Dr. Beman. Frank May's brewery was there in 1856.
     A grand mass meeting to be held at Cascade July 25, 1857, was called to consider the proposed new constitution. The best speakers from Dubuque were advertised to be present. Resolutions against the proposed new constitution were passed. In July, 1857, a mob of over 300 men surrounded the dwelling of Jack Parrot, of Cascade, intent on hanging him on the charge of horse stealing. At this time Parrot was constable of the township.
     Cascade in 1858 had a population of nearly 1,000. Over seventy-five new buildings, it was claimed, were erected in 1858. They were built on both sides of the river. The falls in the river gave rise to the name Cascade and were about nine feet high. There were two large mills at the town-a flouring mill on one side of the river and a saw mill on the other. There were four large dry goods stores, one drug store and several grocery stores. There were four churches already up and two more being erected. A large brick academy and a brick public school were in flourishing condition. There were five blacksmith shops, three wagonmaker shops, two cabinet shops, besides carpenters, shoemakers, tailors, etc.
     In 1858 Cascade Academy was under the superintendence of Mr. and Mrs. H.D. Wilson, A.M. The fourth session of this school began Monday, September 7, 1858. Instruction in all branches usually taught in colleges was given. The tuition was from $4 to $8. The trustees were Anthony S. Chew, G.W. Trumbull and W.W. Hamilton.
In July, 1858, wheat near Cascade was not over half a crop; oats were injured by rust, but the corn prospect was good. The Cascade Juvenile Vigilance Committee enforced the hog law--they penned up about thirty head at one time and asked owners to pay charges and take them away. The Cascade Philomathean Society held regular meetings; the Masons had just organized, and despite the hard times and uncertain currency about twenty new dwellings were erected in 1858. The Catholics were about to commence on a new church there, the Methodists already had laid the basement of their large brick church in the eastern part.--(Cascade cor. E. & H., July 20, 1858.) A tornado swept through the county about two miles west of Cascade in July, 1858, prostrating crops and timber. Cyrus Goff  was a brick manufacturer; Hastings and Scott  were at work in the "gold mine" near Cascade; the Irish neighborhood near Cascade was in a prosperous condition.
     In 1858 Thomas Palmer was indicted for keeping a gambling house at Cascade. He kept a saloon there. He was found guilty by a jury in the District court before Judge T.S. Wilson. In 1858 there were three new mail routes extending out from Cascade: from Cascade to Iowa City, from Cascade to Tipton, from Cascade to Wyoming. In August there were eight mail routes coming into or passing through the village.
     The academy at Cascade was conducted by Professor Wilson in 1858. During the spring term there were about seventy pupils m attendance. While out hunting with a party of men a Mr. Connelly,  of Cascade, accidentally shot a young man named Banghart with a full charge, but did not kill him.
     On July 4, 1862, Cascade turned out to celebrate. The Declaration was read by Prof. C.W. Von Coelin and speeches were delivered by M.B. Mulkern, Austin Adams, and J.M. King Washington's farewell address was read by Doctor Trumbull. Simon Chamberlain  was postmaster in 1863.
     The following citizens of Cascade, in August, 1864, notified the public that the new Cascade Academy, with the ablest and most experienced teachers, would be open for the reception of students September 15:G.W. Trumbull, John Taylor, G.G. Banghart, W.S. Hall, T.J. Chew, T. Litton, and L. and L. Benham. Prof. J. Nolan, A.M., was principal. Sixty students were enrolled by November 1.
     In 1864 the paper mill two miles from Cascade was established by Mullally, Hutchins & Co. They first made wrapping paper, mainly from rye and oat straw, but later advanced to printing paper. The main building was 30x40 feet and two stories high. McNulty was connected with the company. He seems to have secured Hutchins'  interest. Their paper was on the market in Dubuque in November and was exhibited at the county fair. In October, 1869, the mill was destroyed by fire caused by the explosion of a kerosene lamp. The loss was estimated at $30,000.
     The Spring Valley mills on section 26 were built in about 1870 by F. Gilliger and had three run of stone.
     In December, 1866, there was published in the Dubuque Herald the following description of Cascade abridged: Cascade is on the Maquoketa river, where there were falls about ten feet high, with power sufficient for forty or fifty pairs of buhrs. The town was in a heavily timbered section and was surrounded with a well settled and prosperous farming community. The Cascade flouring mill, owned by T. Chew, but leased by Crane Brothers, had four run of stone. T. Chew ran a saw mill; Thomas Crawford & Co. ran a cabinet factory; there were several stores and shops; German Catholic church, Rev. M. Lynch; Irish Catholic church, same pastor; a new Catholic church just finished, 100x50 feet, built of stone; new Methodist church, Rev. Wortz; Baptist church, Rev. Reas; New Presbyterian church, Rev. Sawhill; Second Advent church, Rev. Huff; Cascade Academy, R.G. Gislon, principal, and two district schools.
     In November, 1867, Cascade had a population of about 1,000, seven dry goods stores, seven groceries, three drug stores, three hotels, three schoolhouses, six churches, a large grist mill, a saw mill, two cabinet and other shops, three wagon and carriage makers, four blacksmiths, four shoe shops, a distillery, doctors, lawyers, etc. In 1868 one span of the Cascade mill, then under construction, fell into the river, carrying down eight men. No lives were lost, but the property loss was about $2,500. The Cascade Pioneer was established early by C. H. Monger and did a great deal to build up the town and improve the community under J. W. Baldwin.
     September 19, 1878, was a great day for Cascade. The first ground was turned on the narrow gauge railroad which extended from Bellevue to that town. About 2,500 people were present when John W. Tripp threw the first shovelful of earth. A large procession, under Chief Marshal R. R. Creston, paraded the streets and marched out to the grove, where the speaking took place. Fred O'Donnell was orator of the day, but speeches were also made by Gen. L. A. Wright, Dennis A. Mahony, Dennis O'Brien, Mr. Tripp and others. The first locomotive arrived at Cascade in December, 1879.
     The stock fair held at Cascade in 1880 was well attended and a success. Many excellent animals were exhibited. At this date, December, 1880, the village was incorporated as a town. There were 161 votes, of whom 128 favored incorporation and 32 opposed it. In 1881 a squad of people at Cascade tarred and feathered a man, whereupon he commenced suit against them for damages. In 1886 a new bank was established, with B. B. Richards, of Dubuque, as president.
     The fair at Cascade in 1891 was attended by 5,000 people on the best day. It had already given fame to this little town. "No man's land," at Cascade, began to be famous about this time. The five hundred yard law concerning liquor selling was the cause in this town, situated in two townships, in two counties and on the two sides of the river. There was almost open war between the Jones county officials and the saloonkeepers of Cascade. The Cascade opera house was built in the early nineties. The Cascade bank and the Farmers 'and Merchants' bank gave much needed accommodation to business men. In 1894 the Cascade water works were put in for $10,792 by the Smedley Manufacturing Company. Two hose carts and about 1,000 feet of hose were secured. The corporation tax in 1895 was $1,082.45. The Cascade Light & Power Company was established in 1895 with D. M. Finley president. It began with a capital of $7,000 and with about twenty-five to thirty lights.
     In December, 1895, thirty-six of the heaviest shippers of Cascade--merchants, live stock dealers, foundrymen, mill owners, lumbermen, liquor dealers and other shippers--petitioned the State Board of Railroad Commissioners, asking that the railway service be improved. Twenty-six carloads of corn for Cascade were not forwarded for want of cars. A short crop necessitated the importation of this grain.
     In 1896 the Cascade Courier was established by Bruce Baldwin. The county joined Cascade in 1897 and both held a joint fair that was a signal success. This was the sixth successful fair held at Cascade. There was a good track and a number of fast horses A baseball tournament was scheduled, with prizes of $100, $60 and $40. Five thousand people attended. The fairs of 1898 and 1899 were successful, though interest began to wane.
     Cascade in 1904 had a water system, electric light plant, two newspapers--Pioneer and Katholischer--Cascade mills, two banks, two creameries, one railroad and German Catholic, Irish Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist churches.
     Cascade in 1910 had five churches, public and parochial schools, two banks, two weekly newspapers, many general stores, grocery, hardware, drug, clothing, boot and shoe stores, hotels, restaurants, mills, saw and flour, physicians, lawyers, milliners, shops of various kinds, saloons, builders, band, creamery, electric light plant which cost $7,000, an insurance institution, lumber dealers, city water works, opera house, telephones, live stock dealers, livery, undertaker, jewelers, marble yards, barbers, real estate dealers, photographers, etc. It is one of the best towns of its size in the state.


Anderson, Elanine J. Old World Iowans; Mason City: Klipto, 1949.

     Those who are born here, stay," one of the older settlers who has spent his entire life in
Cascade observed; and from other citizens of the town come hundreds of tales to bear out this
statement. Though the young people may venture off to the City for a while, or attend schools of higher education, an exceptionally high percentage hurry back to Cascade after a short time. The Rooneys, Sullivans, McDonalds, O'Connells, Calahans, and the like make up over 50 percent of Cascade's thriving population; thus continuing to keep the upper hand in the town's number despite the lapse of over 100 years since their arrival, and the fact that Germans (who have so often crowded out other nationalities in Iowa communities) have been in Cascade almost as long as its Irish founders.
     There is a record of exploration (with intent to settle) in this region as early as 1829. It was
not until 1834, however, that the first permanent settler, Nicholas Delong, established himself
here, and owned and occupied three log cabins. Two years later, in 1836, the United States
government sent out a party to survey the land and locate the meridian lines for Iowa. Alvin Burt, the civil engineer in charge of the task, completed his duties and turned in his report; but meanwhile, he had been so pleased with this new territory that he hurried back and established a permanent residence in Cascade.
     Realizing that with a little effort and civic pull Cascade could become one of the most
progressive towns in Eastern Iowa, the Irish have, from the beginning, worked hard to help their town along. Because of their efforts, the comparatively small prize of Cascade, and its lack of extensive industrialism is a sad subject for its citizens to reflect upon—but so the fates had decreed. The dam which they built in the first years of settlement proved to be much too small for industrial purposes, and consequently, farming and private enterprise commerce grew up instead. Nevertheless, small industries developed to the extent that Cascade could easily and completely be self-sufficient.
     Lyman Dillion, whose grandchildren still live in Cascade, was the man who plowed the
furrow of ground to mark the route of the first road through Cascade. This was the original
Military Road from Dubuque to Iowa City; and its passing through here gave the settlers an
encouraged outlook. The transportation problem, however, became stagnant in the several years following. Stage coaches made regular runs through town, but when trains became the mode of travel, Cascade was not the new route. Streets were laid out along the Military Road, meanwhile, which accounts for Cascade’s off-angle lay-out.
     Agitation for a railroad started in 1847, and kept up until 1880, when the people of Cascade had one of the biggest days of celebration in the town's history upon the arrival of the first narrow gauge locomotive, sent through by Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul line.
     One of the main reasons for the establishment of The Cascade Pioneer, a weekly newspaper,
was to campaign for the railroad; and it has served as a successful medium of several other
projects as well as an adequate source of the news, local, national and international. The Pioneer got off to a flying start, for three days after it was founded (June 23,1876) the big story cracked open that General Custer had been wiped out by Indians under Sitting Bull on the Little Big Horn in Montana. Since several groups of settlers traveling farther West (one group, to California in the Gold Rush, as early as 1849) who had stopped temporarily at Cascade, had been massacred by the Indians in a similar ruthless manner, the General Custer affair found a ready and sympathetic newspaper audience. Tilden and Hayes ran for president that year, this too helped to further still more newspaper interest.
     The Pioneer was started by Isaac W. Baldwin, and up until the last few years (for over 60
years), it had always been in the hands of his descendants-Charles D. Baldwin, his son; and
Howard C. Baldwin, his grandson.
     Because of his invaluable help in the railroad campaign, and his native ability in civic affairs, Isaac Baldwin became the first mayor of Cascade when it was incorporated on January 18, 1881. The Pioneer today published by another good Irishman, Leo J. Sullivan, and includes a section devoted to the news of a nearby town, The Farley Advertiser. With its many personals and farm advertisements, the Pioneer is a typical small-town newspaper. In one advertisement, for example, the top section of the lay-out was devoted to an excerpt from the poem "Winken, Blinked, and Nod" advertising the advantages of the beautiful Lullaby bed for baby; the bottom of the ad carried (in bold-face letters) a reference to the proprietor's other occupation, "Licensed embalmer, Hearse, Ambulance service."
     During Cascade's Centennial celebration, the Pioneer published a 24-page edition, in
commemoration of the town's progress. At this time, too, the Cascade Commercial Club closed
all stores during a large part of the centennial celebrations—which were from June 28 to July 4, 1934. Sending 50 planes to various cities throughout Iowa to advertise the celebration, the
Booster club met with marvelous success's by being received with hospitality everywhere, and
later visited in their celebration by hundreds of Iowans from these towns. Perhaps upwards to
half the state’s legislature and high officials were on hand; and the town surprised outsiders by bringing in notable entertainers from all over the United States. In their historical pageant alone, over 300 people participated as members of the performing cast. The Pioneer was doubtlessly responsible for a large share of the centennial's success.
     Peculiar as it may seem, the first church in the Irish community was a Congregational church built in 1846. The same year, the second, a Methodist church, was constructed. In the town's history, there have been at least three other denominations of Protestants represented by churches, yet today two Catholic churches account for nearly the entire population of the town.
     A French missionary, Father Peradine, built the first Catholic church in Cascade in 1848— where St. Martin’s (Irish) now stands, and his church was destroyed by a group of "Know Nothings" in their march North. Not until 1851, however, did a resident pastor come, and thereafter one of the two Catholic churches was frequently without a priest. St. Martin's, with a seating capacity of 1,000, generally well attended today. There are more Germans in this Irish congregation all of the time, too, as more intermarriages occur in Cascade. Although there are special services in the church on St. Patrick’s Day and often parties—there no strong racial feeling here at other times of the year. and the inhabitants try to keep everything "strictly American".
     Connected with St. Martin's church a fully-accredited high school (one of the two parochial
high schools in Cascade) to which the majority of Irish children are sent. A nearby convent of the Sister of Charity—eight sisters here —furnishes teachers for the school. The convent, too, is over 100 years old.
     Up until three years ago, a public school was also maintained, but the parochial schools
forced it out of existence. The public school building—built in the 1830's—was the building in
which a Southern spy was captured during the Civil War.
     During the Civil War, there was a decided difference of opinion between two groups in
Cascade. Thomas Chew, an early settler, belonged to the Southern sympathizers, and for a long time he harbored John Y. Beall, a wounded confederate spy, and brought him to safety later. On the other aide of the question, were those who volunteered to serve in the Northern troops, and who helped round up Southern spies and deserters (as in the schoolhouse incident). The first Iowa Volunteer Cavalry which made a name for itself in the war, had several Cascade members in its regiments. Many others fought with the infantry. Since most of the settlers came from Limerick County in Ireland with its reputation as being the "Fighting Irish" —this participation could be expected.
     When the first World War broke out, because of the number of Germans who were coming
into Cascade, and the usual attitude toward England which the Irish take, there was considerable opposition and bitter feeling over the war; but when America entered the fight, Cascade was remarkably cooperative in all war activities, and in supplying men. The same thing was true in World War II; and St. Martin's parish alone had 139 men in service with five, killed in action. Cascade has a voluntary fire department, which practices occasionally, and fights fires successfully. Behind the fire station, is a small jail, which generally has only drunks as visitors. One public official termed this as a "very useful addition".
     Both the municipal building and the fire station are housed in a very attractive building—built by the jobless unskilled workers of Cascade during the depression. In this building, the City Council holds its meeting; and during the winter, high school basketball is played in the auditorium. The entire two-section building was dedicated to the American Legion.
     Knights of Columbus are the strongest men’s organization in Cascade. Women here have
several clubs of diversified interests, among which are the Cascade Women’s Club, various
bridge clubs,and the Women's County Farm Bureau. The latter organization holds meetings to learn how to refinish furniture, make time-saving meals, and make kitchens "handy", etc.
     To combat periodic floods, Cascade has tried different methods of protection. Finally, steel
bridges were installed and the drainage system was revamped in order that the floods which
seemed always to prevail—might not be so destructive, at least. One of the worst floods in
Cascade's history, in 1896, resulted in two peoples deaths, three seriously injured, and $600,000 worth of damage.
     Cascade has several celebrities of which it justly proud —Urban C. "Red" Faber, being the
most famous. With an outstanding career in baseball, "Red" won three games in the World Series of 1917—a record that has been tied but never beaten. "Red" came home to Cascade for the Centennial in 1984. Another Cascade boy, James Crusinberry, was sports writer for the Chicago Tribune, and in the course of his career wrote up many of the stories about "Red" Tommy Grogan, lightweight boxer of national prominence several years back, was also from Cascade. One interesting story in the town’s history how the Irish helped the Ringling Brothers circus become an entity. When the circus (for numerous and varied reasons—most pressing of which was financial backing) was about to fold up, Al Ringling, the publicity man in the five-brother outfit, made friends with Isaac W. Baldwin (then mayor and newspaper editor) and R. J. McVey, a private banker. Helping and encouraging the brothers, the Irish of Cascade turned out almost 100 percent to welcome the circus to Cascade; and so highly was the event publicized that many for miles around came to join the festivities. With the money they made in Cascade, Al Ringling bought the first elephants to appear with his circus, and soon switched from trucks to trains for transportation.
     When the Ringling Brothers circus was playing in a nearby town many years later, Al
recognized two men in the crowd as friends from Cascade, and announced to the circus crowds that the two men would be at the gate to admit and identify everyone from Cascade free of charge. "Anyone from Cascade has the run of the grounds wherever we are," Al said, and then he added the highlights of the story about the boost to success which Cascade citizens had given the circus.
     The Irish at Cascade are mostly farmers or small businessmen. All of the territory to the
South and East of the town is farmed by Irishmen—and very successfully; though the Germans have taken over same other good farming sections.
     Cascade cannot be fairly described without including a little about Garryowen, a small "all Irish" community started by the Catholics nearby. Garryowen, like the little brother of Cascade, and there exists a state of mutual admiration and cooperation between the two towns.
     In 1840, the first log church was built in Garryowen; later replaced by a magnificent atone
structure, St. Patrick's church, and the town became St. Patrick’s Garryowen. (The church over 90 years old. Located in the middle of an area of farmland, Garryowen is rather isolated from all except Cascade itself. To this church, however, hundreds from surrounding farms come regularly; and it is related how on Christmas Eve the families of the pariah would leave in the early evening, by ox-cart, to attend the midnight mass. After mass, the frozen lunches were eaten, and the trip home-seven or eight miles—was begun again.
     Father P. F. Malone is the present priest at Garryowen. Besides himself, a small convent of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary are at Garryowen to staff the large, brick parish school. This branch of sisters have been represented here since September of 1853.
     Garryowen not an original name; but rather the community was named for a settlement in Ireland from which many of the district's farm people came. As one Irish citizen of Cascade
stated concerning the situation at Garryowen, "There is no other race in there. That is a beautiful feature of the town!" But, to see the little gem cut out of the agricultural region around it, is to realize that it is beautiful in other aspects, too.
     Although there are large groups of Irish people in several larger cities, because of the vast
expanse of Irish farmland and small communities around it, and the "all Irish" citizens which comprise the town, Cascade is truly the hub of the genial Irish people in Iowa.




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© 2001 Cathy Joynt Labath