This growing town was platted in the autumn of 1877, by the railroad company. The first hotel was built by A.P. Kennedy in 1877. The Maple River branch of he Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, was completed from Maple River Junction, the first train arriving in October 1877. A branch of the C.,M. & St. P.R.R. from Sioux City to Mapleton is now graded, and will ere long be placed in running order
In September 1877, J. Garrison built the first store in Mapleton. It was 10×12 feet in dimensions. The Messrs. Scott soon afterwards built the store they now occupy.
The first settlers in the village were: J. Garrison, W.F. Scott and brothers, W.F. McHenry and B. Whiting, who settled here in the autumn of 1877. The town was incorporated in 1878, with J.F. Scott as Mayor. The population is about 600.
The Mapleton Bank was organized October 3d, 1878, with B. Whiting, President; N.H. Bliss, Cashier, and with abundance of capital. It is a flourishing and substantial institution. At present, B. Whiting is the President, C.I. Whiting, Cashier.
The schools of Mapleton are graded, and in excellent condition. A handsome structure was erected in 188-81, at a cost of $3,500. J.A. Wakefield is the Principal. About 100 pupils are enrolled.
An order of Odd Fellowship was organized Sept. 11th, 1879, with five charter members. J. Hutton was the first N.G. The Lodge now has twenty-five members.
A Masonic order was organized in July, 1880, with then charter members. The present membership is fifteen. J.D. Rice was the first Master of this Lodge.
The Presbyterian Church Society was organized July 31st, 1881, by Rev. A.K. Baird, assisted by Rev. J.C. Gilkerson, the present pastor, with a membership of seventeen. The church officers are one Elder and three Trustees.
The M.E. Church Society of Mapleton was organized by Rev. Thomas Cuthburt, during the year of 1880. The church edifice, a neat and durable brick building of the Gothic style, 32×50 feet in dimensions, was erected during the same year, at a cost of $2,300, and the following Trustees were appointed: W.E. Roberts, President; B. Whiting, Treasurer; George Adams, Secretary; A. W. Cobland, G.A. Smith, Trustees. The Society is small, but growing, was organized with a membership of six, and now numbers twenty. During the year, 1881, the Society built a parsonage at a cost of $800, the building being in every way highly creditable to the organization. There is, in this connection a Sabbath School, with an average attendance of eighty. W.E. Roberts is the Superintendent; Rev. H.P. Dudley is the present pastor.
The Baptist Church Society was organized in 1880, with ten members. A.I. Lanterman is the leader.
Mapleton’s business and professional establishments are represented as follows: Four general stores, one newspaper-the Mapleton Press-one bank, four hotels, two livery stables, two hardware stores, three saloons, two blacksmiths, one boot and shoe store, one grocery, one millinery store, one harness shop, four physicians, two grain dealers, two lumber yards, one wagon factory, one furniture store, one farm machinery establishment, two meat markets, four dealers in live stock.
An article with the captivating caption, “Society in Mapleton,” says: “Mapleton will compare favorably with older towns east or west as regards social privileges. Although a town of only eighteen months growth, we here find many advantages that would be prized by those seeking homes in the west.
“Our people are mostly from the Eastern States, and are well informed, public spirited and up with the times. As yet we are without an organized church, but union services and Sunday school are regularly held in the public hall, and there is a prospect that either a Presbyterian or Congregational society will soon be formed. The Methodist Episcopal Church contemplate building a house of worship the coming summer.
“The ‘Blue Ribbon’ movement has reached Mapelton, and upward of 200 have signed the pledge. It is to be hoped that efforts that have been made in this direction will not be in vain.
“A literary society has been sustained during the past winter with considerable interest. Lectures, readings, concerts and other entertainments have not been wanting to afford amusement for the winter evenings. The many demands for money incident to carrying on the enterprise of a new town are met with cheerfulness and a ready response by our citizens and no laudable undertaking has yet failed for the lack of means.
“A tax has been levied in Maple Township and partly collected for the purpose of erecting a substantial school building, that will be the pride of the city. A mayor, six aldermen, and other efficient officers manage municipal affairs; quiet and good order universally prevail in our midst.
“People looking for homes in Western Iowa should visit Mapleton before deciding on a permanent location.”
The following is taken from editorial correspondence to the Carroll (Ia.) Herald: “Western Iowa is constantly furnishing examples of the sudden rise and rapid growth of new towns. The wild prairie of yesterday is frequently transformed into the busy and bustling center of trade to day. One of the most notable of these instances is found in the history of Mapleton, from which place I write. The town was platted in the fall of 1877, and is consequently less than a year and a half old. The Maple River branch of the Northwestern road reached here about the middle of October 1877. At that time there was no settlement worth mentioning. Now the town numbers five hundred inhabitants, and is growing steadily. The railroad, which leaves the main line sixty miles southeast, terminates at Mapleton. By virtue of this fact, the place enjoys exceptional advantages over other towns on the line. It is located near the beautiful Maple River in the far-famed Maple Valley, long noted as comprising within its limits the finest farming land in the west, but until recently not accessible by railroad. It will doubtless remain the terminal station for years to come, and its present prosperity cannot but increase in the future. Although Mapleton is young, it has none of the characteristics of a mushroom town. The buildings are extremely creditable and calculated for permanency. Many of the residences are handsome and attractive. The location of the town is excellent. It lies on high, but nearly level ground, sloping just enough to afford good drainage. The residence lots are all superior, and there is ample room for a large city. The land surrounding it is unexcelled for agricultural purposes, nearly every acre being tillable. The Maple River furnishes numerous water powers, there being three grist mills within five miles of the town.”