Ruthven was incorporated in 1878. Robert and Alex Ruthven owned the land. They gave half of the land to the Railroad Co. in return for locating the town plat there.
The first resident was Thomas Miller. The first store was run by John McDonald. Later C.W. Hastings bought our McDonald and Potter and Scovington also put in a store.
West Bend was settled by Jeremiah Kelly of Ruthven and a man named Jones. It was named after the bend in the river that made a sharp turn to the west here.
Kelly built the first frame house here. Jack Gallegar opened a saloon in 1881. James Evans owned a store. In the fall of 1881 Edward Bagley opened a hardware store. James Tilford also opened a store and H.H. Jacobs opened a large store. James Johnson was the first postmaster. Frank Minger was the first blacksmith. Elmore Minger built the first barn. L.E. Hampton ran a clothing store. J.C. Felhauser built West Bend House Hotel with Dan Kelly as proprietor. The first doctor was E.W. Backman.
Rodman is in Fern Valley Township. Rodman offered the railway half interest in land to plat a town and name it Rodman.
William Sloan was the first postmaster. Thomas Bates built the first house and worked for the railroad. E.E. Shriner built a store in 1888. M.L. Fritz built a hotel.
Area farmers saw the advantages of having a rail depot. They bought the Jerry Conway farm and then offered to donate it to Burlington Co. in return for a rail station. The railway agreed in 1881.The town was first called Blairgowrie after the farm to the East. Later people petitioned to name the town Osgood after the town in Canada which was the home of E.P. McEvoy. Mr. McEvoy owned the land where the town was laid out. In 1882 C.H. Geddings built a store and was the first postmaster. Z.F. Dickinson and A.A. Wells started many different enterprises.
The railway went through in 1882. For several years only August Reichle lived there. In 1885 J.A. Spies and his father settled there. In 1887 George Zahm built a store and then sold it in 1888 to N. Oshier. Zahm then built a new store and sold it to Preston Fahenstock. Together J.A. Spies and George Zahm owned the first lumberyard. Preston Fahenstock built a creamery in 1892. Henry Baum built a hotel in 1890. In 1895 H.N. Oshier opened the grain elevator. Miss Anna Mahan was the first teacher.
Cylinder was named after Cylinder Creek. It started out as a large hay barn built by Brown and sons in 1885. They put in siding in able to load hay.
In 1889 John Goeders built a store and was also the postmaster. In 1890 Charles Terwilliger ran a store. John Ganzley was the first blacksmith. E.E. Hughes ran a hotel and livery barn. George Wells was the first mayor in 1901 and M.N. Oleson was the first Marshall.
In 1882 Curlew was a rail station. It was named by the president of the Des Moines and Fort Dodge Railway, a man named Whitehead, for the many curlew birds he found in the area. S.A. Easton opened a hotel. In 1888 Melvin Fish bought his hotel and later built a livery, feed barn and grain elevator.
Mallard was incorporated in 1882. George Inman gave the railway 1/2 interest to locate on his land in Rush Lake Township. President Whitehead of the railway named the town for its great quantity of ducks. Joseph Mihlfread built a small shack. Hackenburg ran a store and was the first postmaster. John Mertis was first official resident. In 1883 C.H. Sands started a grain, coal and lumber business. Orrie Kendall built a hotel. Charles Ziegler opened a hardware store in 1883.
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