History of Palo Alto County, Iowa
By J.L. Martin as prepared for the Celebration at Emmetsburg
July 4, 1876

people can not be otherwise than good, and a significant tact on this point is that the first two grave-yards opened in the county, to-wit, in what are now West Bend and Fern Valley, were not opened for those who had died of disease, but rather by violence.
     We quote the following from J.A. Smith's History of Northwestern Iowa:
     "The climatic conditions of this region preclude the possibility of contracting bronchial affections, and fever and ague are of very rare occurrence. This is a poor country for doctors; what few there are wear poor clothes, and visit their patients either on foot or behind a horse so thin that its shadow attracts less notice than the virtues of a Congressman."
     Thus, as we close this brief sketch of its infant history Palo Alto marches cheerily onward, alive to the music and abreast with the progress, religion and refinement of the world's best civilization.
     In our researches we think we have discovered evidence of a prosperous and happy future for its people, and our prayer is that its sons and daughters (for the daughters will have more to do with it in the future than in the past) may by their sobriety, integrity and heroic virtue hand it over to a future generation on the next Centennial Day, with its hilltops crowned with castles, the palatial mansions of a patriotic people, whose honor, strength and virtue shall make them worthy citizens of our beloved country, and be the crowning glory of all.      J.L.M.

     Emmetsburg, Iowa, July 4th, A.D. 1876.

Supplemental History


Palo Alto County.

     EDS. REPORTER-In answer to inquiries and by way of Supplement to our CENTENNIAL HISTORY of this (Palo Alto) county, we would say that all the bright anticipations of 1876 are being realized. The grasshopper pest referred to has evidently departed forever. Our crops have been abundant, and our condition as an enterprising, agricultural people has averted in a great measure the financial evils felt so severely in older settled countries.
     Since closing our Centennial History, Emmetsburg has had a healthy, if not rapid growth. The county has largely increased in population.-The school building then being constructed here was rapidly completed and school opened in two departments (a portion of the time three departments have been organized) and the school is, and has been, second to none of its grade in this part of the State.
     Many new business houses, shops and factories have been added to those we had in 1876, (for a list and description of which we refer the reader to the Index and Advertising Pages of our Cen. hist. and to the advertising columns of the REPORTER. Another wagon factory is to be opened soon, and a plow factory has recently been established. We presume one or more cheese factories will be opened soon as there is a fortune for someone in it-and it has become almost a necessity.
     Emmetsburg, the county seat, was incorporated a few months ago, and the Milwaukee & St. Paul, Railway Company are rapidly constructing the McG. & M.R.R. across the county; they confidently expect to reach this town with their trains the last of July.
     Property, especially real estate, which has been very cheap here in the past, is rapidly advancing, and persons desiring to purchase in town or country will do well to buy soon.
     Immigration is pouring in upon this season as in days of yore, and all who come to help us settle and improve the country and transform the broad domain of rolling prairie into teeming fields and blooming gardens will receive a hearty welcome and a share in the success and happiness that surely awaits each one of us who does his duty.

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