This prosperous and enterprising little place is situated on the Sioux City & Pacific Railway, twenty-one miles below Sioux City, and four miles from the Missouri River. It possesses no corporate powers in itself, but is a part of Sloan Township, which was formerly a portion of Lakeport Township, but which, in January, 1876, was organized as a separate township, the first officer of which were: F.O. Hunting, President; G.R. Beall, J.R. Coe, Trustees, and W.G. Williamson, Clerk. The connection of township affairs with those of the village has been so close that it is scarcely possible to do justice to one without giving something of the other’s history.
This place, although older than many other towns in Western Iowa, is still in its infancy, and though for several years it seemed to make but little progress, it is now rapidly building up, and bids fair to become an important point.
The date of the first permanent settlement in this section is not definitely known, but it is believed that Rufus Beall, now deceased, is entitled to that honor, as he first came here in 1856, he was a very large landholder in the vicinity as early as the first date given, and made several lengthy stays. George R. Beall, a nephew of Rufus Beall, is at present the oldest settler in the township, he having made it his place of residence as early as 1868. Another settler, who came the same year, was Andrew Fee.
Sloan proper was platted in 1870 by John I. Blair, at that time President of the Sioux City & Pacific Railway Company, and all deeds were made in his name. Blair received the land as a gift from one of the enterprising citizens of this place. Previous to the platting of the town, there was a store on the site which had been erected in 1868 by J.B. Johnston. There was also a post office, which was known as Hamlin Post office; but the real place commenced, in a measure, its existence with the platting of the town. Among the settlers who came about or just before this time, were John Tulley, now dead, R.C. Barnard, Fred T. Evans, Ed. Haakinson, and others.
The population of the village is variously estimated at from 200 to 225, and it is probable that the latter figure is not too great. The nationalities represented are various, though the Native American element is in the majority, many of the latter being from the State of New York. On the outskirts of the village is a strong Scandinavian representation. Taken in combination, the people of Sloan are as good citizens as could be wished for, and hey would be welcomed with open arms to any locality.
A movement is on foot to secure incorporation, and the desired object will no doubt become an accomplished fact at an early day. The prevailing sentiment at present, however, seems to be that the population is hardly, as yet, up to the required standard, but as that drawback is fast being remedied, it will probably not prove an obstacle for any very extended period.
Sloan is well represented in the various lines of business necessary to a properly balanced village, and all show signs of prosperity.
The following are the various establishments: Three general merchandise stores, one grocery store and meat shop, a butcher shop, saloon, drug store, hardware store, blacksmith shop, blacksmith and wagon shop, hotel, restaurant, barber shop, livery and sale stable, furniture store, photograph gallery, lumber-yard, stock and grain dealer. In addition to these, the learned professions are represented by one clergyman, as elsewhere noticed, and one physician. The bar has no representative here. The post office is a money order office. The railroad shipments, which are rapidly increasing, will average two car-loads or more per day of stock and other products of the country.
Source: Woodbury County Iowa, History of Western Iowa, 1882