On April 15, 2021 Dan and Debbie's Creamery of Ely posted a story on their blog:
"THE TOUCHBERRY LEGACY WILL LIVE ON; The historical Fuhrmeister Farm on the south side of Ely, Iowa becomes a permanent part of our family’s journey to sustainability on our dairy farm and creamery.
(Please click the link to read the story.)
THE FUHRMEISTER FAMILY
The Fuhrmeister Family are Ely area pioneers. Christopher Fuhrmeister came from Germany and bought land south of Ely in 1838. He then returned to Germany and brought his family over.
From THE CEDAR RAPIDS REPUBLICAN, Thursday, December 14, 1905.
His father, Christopher Fuhrmeister, was .... a wagon maker and meeting with reverses, came to this country to recoup in the mill business. He crossed the ocean several times before removing his family here and was a great admirer of General Jackson, naming his son (Andrew Jackson Fuhrmeister) for him while the family were still residents of the old country.
He wished to save his sons the necessity of serving in the army; he knew that in the United States there would be a better future for them, and these reasons entered into his decision to move his family to the United States.
The family came to this country in 1841, landing at Baltimore, and coming by canal boat and rail over the B.& O. Railway to Pittsburg. Thence they came down the Ohio and up the Mississippi to Muscatine and arrived at Iowa City, October 14, 1843. They settled at once on the old Fuhrmeister homestead farm near Ely.
(From the same 1981 article) The original Banner Valley Post Office sits in Fuhrmeister's back yard, a memento of days when the area was known as Banner Valley rather than Ely. Settlers in the 1840s and 1850s would stop at the one-room cabin to pick up the mail.
BANNER VALLEY POST OFFICE
In 1871, Christopher Fuhrmeister purchased the present farm from George Stream, also an early pioneer.
From: (1956) HISTORICAL STORY OF THE FUHRMEISTER AND STREAM FAMILIES
- By Luther Andrew Fuhrmeister
This post office was known as the Banner Valley Post Office. Below is a very early photo of the house that was once on the farm. There are also two photos of a part of the house, which still stands on the farm, and is designated as the Banner Valley Post Office.
FROM THE ELY CENTENNIAL BOOK:
In the year of 1856 a Post Office was established about one half mile South of the present site of Ely. The Banner Valley Post Office was short-lived. November 27, 1856, George H. Walker was appointed the first Postmaster. George Stream received an appointment as Postmaster on December 24, 1859. The third and final appointee was Alexander Gillmore, receiving his commission December 15, 1864. On July 23, 1866, the Banner Valley Post Office was discontinued.