Biography of Colonel J. M. Griffith

Colonel J. M. Griffith, who was an important factor in developing the East Side, came from the East in the Fall of 1850, and, after looking over the field, concluded to invest. He rented a store on Second Street, paid one hundred dollars for rent in advance, to secure what he wanted, went away, returned the next Spring, took possession of the store, and began a general merchandise business. He evinced his characteristic public spirit by laying a sidewalk in front of the store lot, the first laid in the city. The town was rapidly becoming a trading-point. Settlers from […]

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Ira Cook

Biography of Ira Cook

A very prominent man in Des Moines in the early days was Ira Cook. He came to Davenport in 1836, with his father, a small boy, worked fourteen and fifteen hours a day helping his father start a farm, and plant by hand what he declared was the first field of corn in Scott County. He came to Des Moines in September, 1852, on foot, with ten men, his supplies and camp equipage drawn by two horses, en route to sub-divide, as United States Surveyor, a district of ten townships in what are now the counties of Carroll and Sac.

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