History

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HISTORY OF MOUND CITY

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Mound City was part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.  A treaty was signed with the Sac, Fox and Ioway Indians for Holt County in 1836 with the first permanent white settlers in 1838.  Thomas Ferguson built a two-room cabin along the south side of Davis Creek in 1840 and sold it in 1845 to Andrew P. Jackson to be later known as “Jackson’s Point”, a famous stage stop on line from St. Joseph to Cainsville (Council Bluffs).  The first post office was at Jackson Point with A.P. Jackson as the first postmaster.  In 1853 Galen Crow operated a store on the north side of Davis Creek, the present site of Mound City.  In 1855 the post office was moved over to Crow’s with Galen Crow as postmaster, then called “North Point”.  Mr. Crow really founded Mound City.  Mound City was incorporated February 18, 1857 by the General Assembly.  At the first public sale of lots, 42 sold from $22 to $180 each.  Mound City almost lost existence during the Civil War.  The town was reincorporated in 1873 and the first town board was elected in 1875.  In 1880, the railroad reached Mound City with a 33-mile spur from the main line at Bigelow.  1881 was  a boom year with the opening of the Opera house, 700 attended.  There were 60 new buildings, with some residences costing $2000.  The first Mayor was elected in 1883, prior to this he was known as the Chairman of the Board.  The city installed water works in 1891, lights in 1895, the library opened in 1909 and a sewer system was installed in 1912.  The first Chautauqua was also in 1912.  State Street was paved with brick in 1914 at a cost of $29,000.  In 1952 a new city hall was built.  In 1957 the city celebrated its centennial.  The swimming pool was built in 1961 and renovated in 1999.  In 1968 a one-cell sewer lagoon was constructed.  Sewer extensions were completed in 1974 and the lagoon was expanded in 1985 to three cells.  A fourth cell was added in 2004.  A new water tower was constructed in 1996 and a new water plant was completed in 1998. 


In 1857 the first school was at 5th and Mill.  A grade school was built in 1874 and a high school erected in 1894.  A new gym and auditorium were built in 1937.  The vocational building was erected in 1953 at a cost of $75,000.  The school burned in 1963.  In 1974 a new addition was completed.

The first telephone was connected in 1898 to a switch board put in by Mound City Light & Power Co. (In 1906 they incorporated as Holt County Independent Telephone Co. and were sold in 1926 to Midwest Telephone Co.)  Farmers Mutual Telephone Company organized in 1902 and was purchased by United Telephone Co. in 1948.  The first Rural Free Delivery of mail went out of Mound City in 1901. 

In 1935 the Federal Migratory Wildlife Refuge was established.  It was changed to Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge in 1978.

Highway 275 opened to traffic in 1930 and Interstate 29 reached Mound City in 1976. 

Church congregations in the early years included the First Christian Church in 1841, which met in homes, Methodist Episcopal Church organized in 1864 with five members, Church of the Brethern in 1870, Presbyterian Church and Academy started in 1873.


Mound City had its share of disasters.  1866 was called the grasshopper year.  They struck again in 1875.  An explosion in 1878 at the flour mill killed five men.  In 1881 the area experienced a drought.  A disastrous fire started in the Smith & Andes store in 1885 destroying the entire block.  In 1888 another fire destroyed the Glenn’s building.  Davis Creek flooded the town in 1896 causing a great deal of damage.  Mound City Mills also burned that year.  The depot burned in 1917 but a new depot opened in 1922.  1948 saw a fire in the Drennon building and an explosion at News-Independent.  Between 1950-1952 the Crawford building, Midland Hotel, Exchange Post Office, Moss Electric and Toymen building burned.  The Coast Guard came in to assist with a flood in 1952 that affected the whole area.  Flooding also took its toll in Holt County in 1993.
--Information taken from Chamber of Commerce Booklet