F.J. Krob 120th Anniversary

F.J. Krob & Company made some ink! They are featured in the Jan/Feb issue of Grain Journal magazine. The article focuses on the original wooden grain elevator in Ely, which was built in 1900.

Click this link to read the article on-line!
Old Time Elevator: 120 Years and Counting
F.J. Krob Co. Continues to Operate Ely, IA Elevator for Well Over a Century

 -- by Barbara Krupp-Selyem

 [photo: An early photo of F.J. Krob]


From the article: In 1910, William Howard Taft ... was serving as the 27th president of the United States.. Frank Joseph (F.J.) Krob, and his brother-in-law Wes Fiala bought the Ely elevator from C.S. King, though it wasn't long before Fiala sold his interest to Krob. Now, more than 110 years, 20 presidents and four generations later, the Krob family continues to own and operated the F.J. Krob elevator at Ely.  (below is the C.S. King Elevator that the Krob's purchased.)

 An old F.J.Krob sign posted recently on Facebook by Charlie Drahos.

1877 Richard Cox Fire

 Ed Vavra posted this on our Facebook page February 19, 2021

Cedar Rapids Times: The Weekly Times

March 15th, 1877

A DISASTROUS FIRE - Wednesday morning of last week, about 4 o'clock, during that fearful cold snow and wind storm, the residence of Richard Scott near Ely, was burned, with all the goods it contained. 

Mr. Scott was awakened by the roaring of the flames and had but barely time to seize the little ones of his household, who were quietly sleeping in their beds, and forcibly threw them out of the door into the storm ere the roof fell in and the house was in ruins. 

The family consists of eight children, ranging in age from 15 to 2 years, and the only articles of clothing they saved was the night clothes they had on, except that the oldest daughter secured one of her dresses.  Fortunately, Scott, in gathering up the children, gathered a portion of the bed clothes with them; otherwise they would have been utterly unprotected from that biting storm.  

Barefooted and naked, except the scanty underclothes and the meager supply of bed clothing they secured, the little ones wended their way to Mr. G. C. Stream's, where they were hospitably provided for. 

Mr. Scott lost his wife about a year ago, and he was struggling along as best he could to keep his family together.  Being a man of very limited means, the loss falls heavily upon him.  But we are glad to know that the good people of Ely and vicinity are making a successful effort to partially, at least, replace the loss.
Ed's note: Mr. Scott was 42 years old at the time of the fire He and his wife, Priscilla (born Cox), were married in 1854 and lived about 100 yards south of Wright Brothers Blvd (half way between Spanish Rd and Ely Rd).  Both were pioneers of this area before Iowa became a state in 1846.

After the 1877 fire, the home was rebuilt closer to the road where Mr. Scott lived until he remarried in 1887; at which time he relocated to the Palo area. He died at the home of one of his children in 1917.

Despite the hardships of life, Mr. Scott was known to be a good and kind-hearted man. As one story goes, Mr. Scott took his friend and neighbor George Clarkson into his home after the death of Mrs. Clarkson.  Mr. Clarkson was penniless and lived out his days with the Scott family until his death. 

The stone in Rogers Grove Cemetery marks his resting spot and is inscribed "Erected by Richard Scott".

Richard Scott was buried in East Fairview Cemetery, Lenox, Taylor County, Iowa. His first wife is buried in the woods West of Ely.

Information from the cemetery page states, "Richard Scott was born Aug. 5, 1834 in Ireland and died Dec. 31, 1917 in Adams Co., Iowa. He married Priscilla Cox Oct. 12, 1854 at Putnam, Linn Co., Iowa.


About Ivanhoe and the Wolfe family

We all know about Ivanhoe Road that you encounter when you head north out of Ely on Jappa Road. But many may not know that this is a very old road. It once was more of a trail used by early pioneers, and was named Ivanhoe because of the Ivanhoe Ferry that was used to cross the river at what is now Highway 1 south of Mount Vernon. And it was the Ivanhoe Ferry because there once was a town there.

From: History of Linn County, 1878:  Ivanhoe was laid out as a town in 1838, and found and noted by the government surveyors in 1841 on the line between sections 29 and 30, Franklin Township, on the north bank of the Cedar River.  It was on the old Dubuque and Iowa City road and had a post office from 1845 to 1849.

According to the 1911 History of Linn County
Ivanhoe was never platted, but was only a squatter town. "Colonel Merritt kept the first store at Ivanhoe for parties in Rock Island.  This town had better prospects of becoming a great city than any other town in the county.  It had a good river frontage, a rich country around it, plenty of timber and good water, and had the government road besides. For some unknown cause the place seems to have been ignored when Marion and Cedar Rapids began to flourish."  (p. 271 vol. 1)

More about Ivanhoe at the "Dungherder"s blog - entitled "Abandoned Iowa: Ivanhoe"

Portraits and Biographical Album of Linn County, Chapman Bros., 1887.

DANIEL D. WOLFE, one of the highly esteemed and prominent residents of Franklin Township, occupies a fine farm on section 31. He was born in Seneca County, Ohio, Oct. 4, 1837. His father, John Wolfe was also a native of Ohio, and emigrated to Iowa while it was still a Territory. His grandfather, also John Wolfe, was a native of Pennsylvania and a descendant of German ancestry. He removed to Ohio at an early day, and located in Seneca County, where he remained the balance of his life and passed to his rest in 1855.

JOHN WOLFE, the father of our subject, was reared on his father's farm in Ohio, and married in the county of his birth, the maiden name of his bride being Miss Annie Dildine, also a native of the Buckeye State, and born in Fairfield County.

JOHN WOLFE came to the Territory of Iowa in 1839, and made a claim in Cedar County, where he remained until the following year, and then returned to Ohio for his family, which consisted of his wife and four children. They made the journey overland to their new home and located upon the claim, which, however, they only occupied for a short time.

Mr. Wolfe had visited Linn County in the meantime, and concluded that he could secure a more desirable location there. He accordingly made a claim on section 12 of what is now Bertram Township, but removed the following year. He then made a third claim on Cedar River, which comprised a part of sections 27 and 31.

He also purchased the ferry which was used to cross the river at this point, and as he surmised, a village soon sprang up at this point, which was named Ivanhoe. He erected a large boat-house, fitting up a part of it for a habitation, opened it to the public, and kept the first pioneer "hotel" in that region. He continued thus occupied the greater part of the time until his death. He entered his land from the Government, erected a dwelling-house on section 31, and when not engaged with his hotel business employed his time in the cultivation of his land.

At the time of his death, in 1854, he was living at the brick hotel in Ivanhoe. His widow survived him several years, and died on the home farm on section 30.

Mr. Wolfe was a prominent man in his community at that early day, and a leader among the early pioneers. He was the first Justice of the Peace in this section. The household of Mr. and Mrs. John Wolfe included nine children, six of whom grew to be men and women: Rhoda, the eldest daughter, married J.S.F. Bryney, and is now deceased; Sarah R. became the wife of G.W. Harvey, and lives in Washington Territory; the next son was Daniel D.; a daughter, Melissa A., married Aleck Gregory, and they live in Missouri; Laura A. became the wife of George Klinick, and they are residents of Linn Township; Squire W. was the youngest son.

DANIEL D. WOLFE was a child of three years when he came with his parents to Iowa, and may properly be said to have grown up with his county. He was still but a boy when deprived of a father's care, and he made his home with his mother until his marriage, which occurred in January, 1860. The lady of his choice was Miss Elizabeth Dill, a native of Knox County, Ill., and daughter of John and Mary Dill. At the time of his marriage he was running the ferry across the river at Ivanhoe, carrying on business which his father had established there a number of years previously. 

Click to enlarge the map:
In this 1869 map of Franklin Township, Linn County you can see
where the Ivanhoe Ferry crosses the Cedar River as well
as "D & W Wolfe land holdings on the east side of the river.

In 1863 he sold his ferry and engaged in farming, three years later removing to Solon, Iowa, where he engaged in the grocery trade. After two years he went east to Seneca County, Ohio, having disposed of his grocery, and was there engaged in the timber tract, getting out ties for the railroad which was then being built, and at which he was occupied for a space of eighteen months. In the meantime his brother, Squire, had purchased the ferry, with which he had heretofore been connected, and our subject going back to Iowa, became joint manager of the old business until the building of the bridge. It was again called into requisition on account of the bridge being carried away by high water, during which they ran the ferry one year. Since that time the brothers have been continuously engaged in agricultural pursuits, and have become joint proprietors of a farm which contains 480 acres, and comprises a part of sections 19, 30, 31 and 32. 

Mr. and Mrs. Daneil D. Wolfe have become the parents of four children --John D., Isa B., Thomas L., and Gracie G.

SQUIRE W. WOLFE is unmarried, and has made his home with his brother Daniel since he has been associated with him in business. He was born in Franklin Township in 1844, and remained with his mother on the old homestead until her death.

The brothers Wolfe are gentlemen still in the prime of life, and with a prospect of many years and continued usefulness. They are classed among the solid citizens of Franklin Township, and are among the leading men of the community. They are honorable and upright in their business transactions, and their farming operations are carried on with system and good order. Their homestead is a model one and an ornament to this section of country.

 Wikipeida says: Unlike other towns founded around that time on the Old Military Road, Ivanhoe faded away; many of its residents relocated to Mount Vernon, Cedar Rapids, or Marion. The February 1921 edition of The Palimpsest describes the area as having been "a refuge for horse thieves and dealers in counterfeit money", though it is unclear whether that was during the time that the town existed or afterwards.

Besides the cemetery there are no standing structures left of the old town. 

Ivanhoe Cemetery at Find-A-Grave

Location of Ivanhoe Cemetery off Highway one before the bridge over the Cedar River
Click to enlarge


Grave Yard Book of Western Cemetery from 1869

 In 2013 the Ely History Society was contacted by Paula Sexton. Her elderly uncle had passed away and she found a number of items relating to the early days of the town of Western, Iowa. One of the items was a "Grave Yard Book" containing early burials in Western Cemetery, as well as burials that had been moved from the "old cemetery" in Western. The dates of the events range from 1869 to 1898.

In checking current lists of the burials in Western Cemetery, I realized that many of these early burials were not recorded. They had been lost through the years.

I felt it was important to publish what was contained in this old book, so I scanned the pages to enable me to magnify them. I then began the long process of transcribing the book page by page. The script as written by G. A. Manasmith, Sexton, was at times very hard to decipher, and the spelling was not the best. However, I tried to transcribe it as written, making corrections as necessary, but preserving the author's original entries. There are some entries I was unable to decipher. In addition there were a few obituaries tucked into the book that I also transcribed.

I hope that this transcription will help people who are looking for their ancestors graves.

Barb Horak,Collections Manager
Ely Community History Society

“The Grave Yard Book.”

The first 2 pages show a plot map of the cemetery with numbered lots. “A Plot of the grave yard of the town of Western” is the heading on the map.

"The first grave was dug by me in the year of AD 1869 when the transfering or removing of the Dead commenced. The Last Removal was made the 3rd day of May AD 1871 from the old Grave yard on A. Perry’s and A. S. Collier’s farm."  - G. A. Manasmith, Sexton 

The final entry in the book was in the year of 1898.

These links take you to uploads to Google Drive. You should be able to use the "+" to enlarge them.

Plot map 1 

Plot map 2

Lot Owners

 As I have time, I will upload each scanned page, but for now, here is the transcription. 

Transcription: Names of Lot Owners

Transcription: Town of Western, Iowa Original Cemetery Book

Transcription:  List of Old Cemetery Transfers & Free Burials

These are the burials I was unable to find in present Western Cemetery listings. 
Missing Burials 

And finally, Obituaries from the Western Grave Yard Book 

1884-Chesley L. Brockman
1888-Irene Stansbury
after 1885 - Rev. J.G. Snyder, (died in Des Moines)
1994-Jane Workman (loose slip of paper)
(unknown year) Isaac Workman (died at West Side)
1885-Mrs. Cinderella Rutt
1878-Jacob Funkhouser
1878-Mary Elizabeth DeMoss
(unknown year) Elizabeth Shuey
1874-Martin Rider

The present Western Cemetery is located on the northeast corner of the intersection of "C" Street and Vista Road, two gravel roads, just east of the small town of Western.

You can find present listings of burials in Western Cemetery at
Iowa Gravestone Photo Project

In searching newspaper archives, I have found a few obituaries that have the term "Western Cemetery" in them. Here are obits for 

William A. Boudinot, more about the family 
John H. Nesmith
(not Nethmeth as the obit states)
Ransom Davis
Mr. Manning, who is probably Daniel M. Manning.
Anna Manasmith

 Click to enlarge the obits, then click AGAIN if they aren't large enough




Auxiliary to American Legion Post #555

 This is a transcription of the history of the Auxiliary to Ely's Post #555 American Legion, written [we believe] by Ann Fuhrmeister [possibly written in 1971 according to date on envelope].


Auxiliary to Post #555, American Legion; Ely, Iowa

Before and during WWI groups of women all over the U.S. organized by Red Cross met in homes, home-economics rooms in schools, etc., to sew and roll bandages, first to help England and France, then our own country. Then, after 1919 when the Legion was organized, these women who were already in service groups, became Auxiliaries to the Legion Posts.

In small towns and villages, one of the first objectives was a Legion and Auxiliary meeting place. As in other towns, Ely’s Post was organized in early 1921, named St. Quentin #555, and the women’s auxiliary charter was signed at Washington D.C. on August 1, 1922, countersigned at Davenport August 10, 1922.

National President - Edith Irwin Hobar
National Secretary - Pauline Currick
Department President (Iowa) - Mrs. Donald McCrae
Department Secretary (Iowa) - Mrs. M. Myron Skelly

The Charter members were: Mrs. George Clark, Mrs. Frank W. Elias, Mrs. David S. Fackler, Georgia Fuhrmeister, Mrs. Peter F. Fuhrmeister, Mrs. Sophia Hanus, Julia Hartl, Mrs. Edward Havlicek, Mrs. Joseph Jonas, Mrs. Alois Kadlec, Mrs. Frank J. Koss, Mrs. Frank J. Krob, Mrs. Alfred Minor, Mrs. Agnes Motycka, Mrs. John Phillips, Mrs. Thomas Phillipson, Mrs. Thomas P. Smith, Mrs. Joseph Stastny, Mrs. Stephen Stastny, Viola Stastny [Becicka written in pencil], Mrs. Lumir Truhlar, and Mrs. Frank A. Zahradnik.

The first president was Georgia Fuhrmeister. Early records show nearly every one served as President or as another officer at one time or another. Mrs. Stephen (Matilda) Stastny was a long time faithful secretary, often walking from her farm home to town for meetings - roads were still in the mud and rut stage.

When the Post bought a lot for a Legion building, the Auxiliary started making money by serving food at farm sales. Remember this was before R.E.C. and good roads and a later-acquired lunch wagon. A board laid over machinery, possibly in front of some shed or chicken house, was the counter - there was no heat for the workers and hamburgers were fried and coffee heated on an oil stove someone had brought from home. Many tales were told of the extreme hardships endured by the women serving these farm sales, and the tragedies, too, as when the pan of raw hamburger meat tumbled off some machinery into the debris below (chickens had roosted on the machinery!) These farm sales netted as little as $4.18 and $16.70 to $130.43 for a large sale. Quilting, rag rugs, bake sales, dances, suppers served, and ice cream socials were other sources of income.

After the lot for the Legion building was purchased on April 21, 1922, instead of building a new structure, two Ely wooden school buildings were available (since the district was putting up a new 2-story brick modern school) for $300. These were put together in such a way that the larger one was the hall - the smaller, placed with side to end of hall and raised several feet higher, was the stage, with the basement below serving as kitchen. Stoves in the hall, on the stage and in basement heated the hall - but water had to be carried from neighbors until the well was drilled near the outside door of the kitchen to save steps for the ladies! Also, 2 small structures were erected at the end of the lot near the alley - marked “M” and “W”. Lights were furnished by the local electric light plant. This set-up was a community center for plays - dances - programs - suppers - school affairs and commencements. In 1928, the hall was enlarged so that it was large enough for basketball, for which the school board rented the hall for many years.

From 1923 to 1930 the Auxiliary gave the Post a total of $791.23. All this money was laboriously made at farm sales, suppers, quilting, bake sales, dance refreshments, rag rugs, etc. The amounts were:

 6/13/23    $ 29.28     
12/2/24      105.30
2/1/28        121.65
11/20/28    300.00
12/12/28     50.00
4/8/29         50.00
1/13/30       35.00
3/10/30     100.00
TOTAL    $791.23

A new building was dedicated in 1955. Thus a new need for help from the Auxiliary. Annual fried chicken dinners and other dinners (as Prairie High School Athletic Banquets) and other projects - such as rummage sales, rag rug sales netted $22,374.83 given to Legion for paying the cost of the new Hall. [crossed off in pencil is “from Feb 1955 to July 1967.]

Besides helping the Legion pay for building expenses, the Auxiliary met all requirements as to assigned child [either a son or daughter of a Veteran], gifts to Veteran Hospitals, etc., and earned many citations through the years.

The Auxiliary has had one member at Iowa Girls’ State as counselor (Martha Phillips) and two Linn County Presidents (Martha Phillips and Dianne See.) 

Read more Ely Legion History at their website

Below are photos of the Ely Legion Hall dedicated in 1955.