Sac City, Sac County Iowa

The population of Sac City is now estimated to be 800. The place is one of the most flourishing in this section of Iowa. The present town officers are: Mayor, John Alexander; Recorder, Charles L. Early, Trustees: R. H. Lamoreux, Phil Schaller, P. H. Hankins, N. R. Flack, Jos. H. James. .

In 1856 Sac City was laid out on land belonging to Hon. Eugene Criss, and was selected as the seat of government for the county. It is situated on the Coon River, about five or six miles northeast of the center of the county. The business part of town lies on level ground, on the first rise from the bottom lands along the river, while the residences are principally on ‘higher ground, overlooking the business streets.

The town site is handsome and picturesque. In fact, it would be difficult to find in our prairie country a more beautiful location for a town. The Coon River, lined by a narrow strip of bottom land, half encircles the town. Native forest trees are scattered over the whole town site, so that even the later comers may have enough shade around their homes to take away the disagreeable bareness usually belonging to a new residence in a prairie country. It would be difficult for even the most fastidious to find fault with the appearance of Sac City, taking its age and size into consideration.

Sac City was incorporated in 1865, and Judge Criss, the founder of the town, was, quite appropriately, its first Mayor. The town is, in every respect, in a prosperous condition growing rapidly and gaining every season in handsome and permanent buildings, and last, though not least, it is out of debt and has money in its treasury.

Judge Criss built the first house in Sac City. It was a log house and was built in 1855 and is still standing.

The Sac City Creamery was established in 1879. It was formerly situated one and one-half miles from town. The proprietor, G. M. Parker, has subsequently built a fine brick building 24×40 feet, with ice-house 20×32 feet, steam power engine and washroom 16×30 feet, erected in 1882. The creamery is to be supplied with all the modern improved machinery. The cost of construction was about $5,000. It is to be run on the cream gathering plan. The new creamery is to be known in future as the Pearl Creamery, and will begin operations in April, 1882.

The classification of business in Sac City is as follows: General stores, three; groceries, three; dry goods, one; boots and shoes, one; clothing, one; fancy goods, one; millinery, three; hardware, two; drugs, three; meat markets, two; blacksmiths, three; wagonmakers, two; banks, two; furniture, two; photograph gallery, one; restaurant, one; hotels, two; physicians, four; attorneys, four; harness, two; livery, two; shoemakers, two; tailor, one; lumber and coal, two; elevators, three; cigar factory, one; mattress factory, one; stock dealers, three; saloons, four; iron foundry, one.

The Court House is 84 x56 feet, solidly and handsomely built in brick, with limestone foundations and is one of the best county buildings in the northwest. It cost $30,000. The first floor is fitted up for the county officers, with vaults for the county records, etc. The upper story has the court-room, jury-rooms, etc. With the court-room fitted up for a session of court there are about 400 sittings, but in use as a hall for lectures or political speaking, there is sitting room for 600 people. The basement is only partly in use. One room is fitted up with floor, stove, chairs, tables, etc., and is in use as a jail. A cage of boiler iron, containing two cells, fills about half the room and makes the jail a pretty secure one.

On Coon River, adjoining the town, and only a quarter of a mile from the Court House, are the City Mills, the property of Hon. Eugene Criss. The mills have three run of stone (including one for the manufacture of patent flour), and are run by water power. Judge Criss, in 1857, built a steam saw mill, and in 1862 dammed the Coon and used the water-power for his saw mill. The building of railroads, and the consequent cheap transportation of pine lumber, made the saw mill no longer a necessity, and in 1872 the conversion of the Sac City Mill into a flouring mill was completed and in December of that year the first “grists” were ground. Since that time it has been the leading mill, and one of the most important institutions of Sac County, as well as a source of profit to its proprietor.

Sac city has a very pleasantly situated cemetery, just at the north edge of town, and on the bank of the Coon River, but abut ten feet above high water mark. It has quite a number of native oak trees, and some of the burial lots have had considerable care bestowed upon them.

Sac City, has but one newspaper, and has been able to give it a fair living support. As a rule, it is the fault of the community if the local newspaper is a poor one. Give it a better patronage and it will be improved. It takes money to make any kind of business” go.” The Sac Sun was first issued July 11, 1871, as a seven column folio, and was enlarged July 1st, 1878, to an eight-column folio, its present size. It is, and always has been, Republican in politics. Always among the handsomest papers in the State, typographically the Sun has also been always carefully edited and with special attention to those matters which are the life of country newspaper. Mr. James N. Miller has been the editor and the publisher during its whole existence, and the Sun itself is the best evidence of his qualifications for that position.

Sac City had two newspapers for about six weeks near the close of the year 1877. Kelly & Yarham issued the first number of the Reporter at Sac City on the 22d of October of that year, but removed it to Odebolt on the 6th of December.

Sac County Iowa, History of Western Iowa, 1882

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