Wall Lake is situated in Sac County, on the Maple River Railroad, seventeen miles from the Junction. This town is three miles south of the Lake. It is situated on a beautiful plateau, which slopes gently from the summit of the surrounding hills, which form a part of the great watershed that passes entirely through the state. To the south and west is a beautiful sheet of water, containing a surface area of three square miles. This inland sea is frequently termed the “goose pond.”
The town of Wall Lake was laid out and platted by the Blair Town Lot and Land Company in 1877. The Town plat consists of two additions containing 300 lots. Perhaps it would be of interest to our readers to relate a coincidence between Storm Lake and Wall Lake. The first lot in Storm Lake was sold the same day of the month, the same hour in the day and for the same money, as was the first lot in Wall Lake just seven years afterwards.
Wall Lake is surrounded with a splendid farming country. The soil is a rich black loam. Splendid water can be easily obtained. The population of Wall Lake may be fairly estimated at 400. Arrangements are now being made to erect a large steam grist mill in this town, which will add much to its interests.
April 1st, 1977, Mr. Donaldson erected the first building for the purpose of a saloon, the building material being brought across the county from Storm Lake. The next actual settler was O. A. Anderson, who came April 15th, 1877. Mr. Peck completed his residence July 2d, 1877. P.A. Elpstrand opened a boot and shoe shop, July 7th, 1877. F. Rohm, of Alta, opened the first blacksmith shop. The first religious services held in Wall Lake were held at the residence of Mr. Palmer, on Sunday evening, August 15th, 1877, by Rev. W. P. Griffin. On the 20th of July work was begun on the depot, which was completed August 15th, 1877. The first lot was sold to D. Wayne, & Co., of Carroll, who erected a fine warehouse and purchased the first load of wheat sold at Wall Lake of a Mr. North, at 75 cents per bushel, September 10th, 1877. Wayne & Co., shipped the first car load of wheat. The fist lumber yard was started by Wilcox Bros., in August 1877. September 19th, 1877, G. M. Parker received and sold the fist goods in Wall Lake. August 7th, 1877, the fist child was born in Wall Lake to Mrs. O. A. Anderson. April 2d, 1878, the first death occurred in the family of C. E. Wentworth. April 21st, 1878, a destructive tornado passed through the city and vicinity. Seven buildings near, and two in the town were entirely destroyed, eight more being considerably damaged. The amount of damage done was $30,000.
The fist telephone was constructed February 11th, 1878, between J. C. Fletcher’s and C. E. Wentworth’s places of business. Ehlers and Wentworth did the scientific part of the work.
Wall Lake was incorporated in March, 1881. A. D. Herrig was elected first Mayor, W. L. Ehlers, Recorder; D. M. Bingman, Geo. Burgan, F. E. Cheney, H. Mohr, H.J. Simpson and T. E. Wilcox served as Trustees. These are the present municipal council.
The Wall Lake Journal, a neat, seven-column folio weekly paper, was started August 29th, 1878, by F. L. Dennis, as a six-column quarto. Cook & Gregg purchased the paper April 1st, 1881, and ran it as a five-column quarto. T. J. Newburg took charge, October 1st, 1881. J. L. Kroesen, the present editor and proprietor, purchased the paper December 1st, 1881. Mr. Kroesen runs a neat job office in connection with his paper, which is Republican in politics and has a circulation of 600.
The business of Wall Lake may be classified as follows: General stores, three; hardware, two; restaurants, three; hotels, two; lumber yards, two; agricultural implements, four; livery stable, one; harness shops, one; elevator, one; grain dealers, three; saloons, three; furniture store, one; shoe shop, one; millinery stores, two; bank, one; barber shop, one; post-office; drug store, one; meat market, one; blacksmith shops, three; wagon shops, two; printing office, one.
Sac County Iowa, History of Western Iowa, 1882