The News From Dysart - Third Week of January 1914

Top Stories

Harry K. Thaw Nearing Release

Papers around the country are once again reporting "that Harry K. Thaw is nearing his freedom. Men who conducted a recent examination declared him not insane and he is now waiting for the court to grant him bail. Some of his friends say that he expects to go into business in Pittsburg. He ought to make a fine lawyer after all the experience he has had through the courts. "

Editor's Note: True crime enthusiasts will likely recognize Harry Thaw's name. In 1906 he shot noted architect Stanford White at Madison Square Gardens in front of hundreds of witnesses. The story captured the nation's attention during this time of yellow journalism fanned by Thaw's wealth, mental illness and his beautiful wife, Evelyn Nesbitt, a young actress of her day. His trial was considered the "Trial of the Century" at the time. He has been the subject of numerous books, articles and podcasts. Follow this link to hear a favorite.


Public Funding For Tuberculosis

Oakdale Sanitorium in Iowa

Oakdale Sanitorium in Iowa

In a reprint, The Dysart Reporter states that during the previous year, nearly $20,000,000 was spent on efforts to treat and prevent TB in the United States. At the time there were five hundred sanitoriums and hospitals throughout the country for this purpose. In Iowa, the expenditure of money was not as large as the Eastern states but a great deal of work was still being done. It quotes, "the Bureau of Tuberculosis has been successful in securing the cooperation of practically every social force in the state, and a vast amount of volunteer work has been carried on, extending in many instances to the most obscure section of the state."


By this time, the state sanatorium at Oakdale was fully operational. Oakdale eventually was absorbed by the city of Coralville. Dr. J.P. Redmond of Dysart was appointed examining physician for the Oakdale sanitorium in this territory by the state board of control. In an article in 1910 he reported that citizens of Dysart who were being treated there were doing well. In 1918 it was reported that Guy Shugart of Elberon had gone to Oakdale to visit his wife.

Editor's Note: These types of separate isolated communities were popular at this time and in the same paper it was announced that land had been secured to build an epilepsy colony in Iowa. This opened in 1917 at Woodward, Iowa.


The Cedar Rapids Gazette published a weekly column on the news from Oakdale including the arrival of new patients and visitor information. For most of the patients Oakdale became their long-term home and functioned as a separate community.

William Taylor 1/15/1858-5/27/1915

William Taylor 1/15/1858-5/27/1915

In the April 15, 1915, edition of the Dysart paper it was reported that the superintendent of the state sanitorium was in Dysart to consult with Dr. Redmond regarding the sickness of William Taylor. It seems reasonable to assume this is the same William Taylor who is buried in the Dysart Cemetery and died in May of 1915. He had farmed northwest of Dysart and left a large family.

Editor's Note: There are several resources available on the internet to learn more about the Oakdale Sanitorium including this one:

The photo for William Taylor is from here:

Dysart City News

E.F. Douglas has been appointed the Acting Postmaster.

Dysart Town Hall - Stepping Stones in Time

Dysart Town Hall - Stepping Stones in Time

Notice from the Mayor's Office: "Owning to erroneous reports instigated by dishonest parties regarding the cost of material for inside electrical wiring I desire to inform the citizens of Dysart that all material is furnished the consumers at a basis of 5% over cost price, except Sunbeam Magda Tungston lamps. The invoices are the town property and open for inspection at the mayor’s office. We will be glad to order flat irons, washing machines and any other electrical devise on same basis. John P. Redmond, Mayor.

Editor's Note:

The Town Hall was established in 1878 under the Town Hall Company. Gore and Hallett used the lower level as their agricultural implement warehouse and the second floor was the town hall. It was located at the corner just west of what was once Wieck's Feed Store on Wilson Street. Stepping Stones in Time

"The Town Council has decided to close the gas plant on completion of the electric lighting system which will be about February 4, 1914. Parties desiring residences or business places connected with electric lights should notify the mayor’s office at once. J.H. Lindeman, Town Clerk"


Electric Lights were anticipated to change the whole town! Main Street "The Great White Way"!

Business News

Tile Yard to Run Full Tilt

Stepping Stones in Time

Stepping Stones in Time

The stockholders of the Dysart Brick & Tile Co. met and elected George Hix, M.S. Barnes and Chas. I Creps as officers. Last summer the stockholders made plans to trade the tile yard for real estate, but the deal never closed and at this meeting they decided to open the yards as soon as spring weather allowed and to run a full force of men. The previous summer the yard only ran about one-third of the time and their stock was quickly sold. Recently the manager had been turning down orders. The stockholders voted to improve some of the equipment and kilns. Up until that point, the plant had employed 7 or 8 men, but the number was going to increase to about 15. The Dysart Brick and Tile Co. it was reported was well known across the state.

Stepping Stones in Time

Stepping Stones in Time

Editor's Note: This was located just west of Dysart Fair Grounds. It was organized in 1890 by George and Ernest Hix who were brothers. They shipped bricks all over the country by railroad. The plant burned out twice. In 1902 fire completely destroyed the plant but it was rebuilt. It was destroyed by fire again in 1927. After this the company was completely dissolved by a vote of the shareholders. Many of Dysart's buildings were made of bricks manufactured at the plant including the Dysart Museum.Stepping stones in time

The stockholders of the First National Bank have elected the following directors: C.P. Federson, E. F. Douglass, F.H. Schmidt, C.J. Schmidt, Herman Schroeder, Henry Eckhart, Theo. Heckt, Dan Lally and W. C. Heineman.

B.H.S. Hardware Co. Has Ford Business

The B.H.S. Hardware Co has contracted for the Ford agency for this vicinity and has already sold two cars, one to Emil Barta and one to James McNamee. They received a car load of cars here the first of the week. The building formerly occupied by the millinery store will be fixed up for a garage and they will keep their car and supplies there.

School News

Chief Red Fox

Chief Red Fox

Chief Red Fox

Chief Red Fox

"Chief Red Fox, of the Sioux tribe and graduate of Carlisle College visited the high school Wednesday and gave an interesting talk about the Indians and their customs. He also gave some of their dances which the little people enjoy very much."

Editor's Note: During the early months of 1914 Chief William Red Fox traveled throughout eastern Iowa performing and lecturing. Between January and March of that year he had performances scheduled in Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Davenport, Greene, Nashua, and Allison. Born in 1870 he was the son of Black Eagle and nephew of Crazy Horse. As a child he witnessed the massacre at Wounded Knee on 6/25/1876. He lived at Fort Yates from 1876-1882. He was removed from his tribe and sent to the Carlisle University (Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania) from which he graduated in 1889. He was recruited by Buffalo Bill and spent several years traveling with his Wild West Show. Later he performed by himself and traveled with his wife who had been a trick rider in the Buffalo Bill show and child as a vaudeville performer. He appeared in several silent movies. He lived to be 105 years old and died in 1976. Chief Red Fox is the author of a book entitled The Memoirs of Chief Red Fox. Throughout his life he continued to perform and lecture on his heritage and sought "to dispel many of the erroneous notions in the brains of the American children regarding the Indian & his characteristics. "

"The DHS. pupils are looking forward to a new gym which they feel sure will be erected soon. "


Another Serious Car Accident

Friday evening word came to town that Dr. Lames and wife were in an auto accident about two and a half miles northeast of town, near Jim Wilson's farm. The accident occurred about 3 p.m. and they were not discovered until about 4 p.m. when some children returning from school saw them. The car had flipped, and both had been ejected from the vehicle. The doctor was pinned under the car. Jim Wilson and his hired man, George Kling, soon came to the rescue and lifted the car off the doctor. Mr. and Mrs. Lames were taken to the Jim Wilson home. Dr. Gessner was notified about the accident and soon went out to care for them and brought them to town in his auto. Both were badly hurt. Mrs. Lames had a broken arm and wrist as well as being badly bruised. Dr. Lames had a broken shoulder, several broken bones in his hand and leg injuries. Dr. Gessner sent for two physicians from Waterloo to assist him and between the three physicians it took three hours to tend to the injuries. They were recovering at home with the help of a nurse who had been sent down from Waterloo.

Editor's Note: Stepping Stones in Time includes a biography of Dr. Lames. A summary of that biography is added here. Dr. G. Lames, was one of Dysart's most respected citizens and a pioneer in veterinarian medicine. He was born in Le Claire, Iowa. As a child, he played with Wild Bill Cody in Le Claire. In 1881, he graduated from Davenport Business College. He moved to South Dakota taking up a land claim which he worked for six years. He graduated from Chicago Veterinary School in 1891. After practicing in Le Claire for one year, he moved to Dysart where he stayed for the rest of his life. When he arrived in Dysart, he only had twenty -five cents in his pocket which he spent for a night's lodging. He had an immense field to be covered by walking, horseback or wagon. He and a veterinarian from Vinton were the only veterinarians for this part of the state. He had no office of his own but worked through the drug store. Because there were no telephones, he could be gone for three or four days without coming home. During that time his wife would not know where he was. He passed away in 1937 and was the father of Harry "Doc" Lames who also served as a veterinarian in Dysart. Stepping Stones in Time


Henderson Stock Co. Scheduled to Perform

The Henderson Stock Co was scheduled to perform at the Opera House. They were to present the latest up-to-date comedies and dramas including a grand scenic and electrical performance of Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jeky (Dr. Jekell) and Mr. Hyde.

"At Valley Forge"

To be presented at the Dysart Opera House, a play showing the brave deeds and sstartling episodes relating to a patriotic story of the American Revolution promised to "touch the hearts of the people". The ad promises that the military and civilian costumes worn in the drama are exact reproductions of those worn during the revolutionary period.


The Dysart Reporter printed a beautiful resolution regarding Mrs. Arthur ( Mary E. Cary) Sewall who had recently died after falling from her sleeping porch.

Resolutions of Respect

"Whereas, on the evening of Tuesday, January 6th, 1914, the messenger of death invaded our circle and severed a link from our chain, summoning from time to eternity Mrs. A. Sewall (Mary E. Cary Sewall), one of our most beloved members. We shall never again enjoy her genial companionship and wise council. She was always a willing worker in our circle and we mourn her departure, and her memory will ever be kept fresh and bright in our hearts, as she was loved by all, and therefore be it.

Resolved, that it is with sorrow that we thus part with Mrs. Sewall. We would emulate her virtues and bow in humble submission to the power of one who "Doeth all things well," hoping for a meeting in the great circle of a never-ending eternity, where with hands clasped in hers, we shall take up the link of the chain now severed.

Be it resolved that the sympathy of The Hearthstone Circles go out to the bereaved relatives, and while we fondly cherish the memory of the departed one, we will never forgot those whom she loved.

Be it resolved that we, the members of the Hearthstone Circle so conduct ourselves that when the summons comes our circle will be unbroken in our home on high.

Resolved that these resolutions be spread upon the minutes of our circle and that they be published in the Dysart Reporter and that copies of same be sent to the near relatives of the deceased.

The Hearthstone Circle

Editor's Note: Although no information could be found about The Hearthstone Circle, it seems logical that it may a group from the Catholic Church of which Mrs. Sewall was a member.




Dave Wilson

Dave Wilson

Posted in Iowa Stories.