City of Castana



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The Early Years

Old Castana

 

      In the summer of 1866 A. G. Hammond of Hartford, Conn., purchased two hundred acres of land, on sections 23 & 24 of James M. Kelsey, and engaged J. B. P. Day to build a store building and a hotel the following spring. However, during the winter Mr. Hammond died and Messrs. Day & Co. (F. A. & J. B. P.) purchased the land and lumber, and during the summer of 1867 built the store and dwelling combined which was the Old Castana headquarters. The building was completed by July 4, and a big crowd gathered there... A first-class violinist traveling west in company with S.C. Hoadley could play any tune and the party held out until morning.

      The Castana post office was established September 11, 1865, with A. J. Hathaway as Postmaster. It was moved to the store in 1867 and F. L. Day appointed Postmaster, who was succeeded in 1869 by F. A. Day. In 1872 there were the following businesses in Old Castana; a blacksmith shop, two stores, and an agricultural implement depot of Penn Bros. & Co. Also mentioned is a Methodist parsonage with Hathaway's mill close by.

      The first baseball club was organized here by Geo. W. Penn in 1872. On July 4, 1873 the "Grange" had a big gathering here. A six-pound cannon was brought for the occasion and the day opened big with a heavy shower about 1 O'clock and broke up the meeting.

      In connection with the A. G. Hammond purchase, the American Emigrant Company had made a donation to the county of $2,000 for school purposes and the board of supervisors selected the bench on section 23, as a site for an academy. The movement at this point awoke the jealousy of parties interested in Belvidere and other points and the result was the abandonment of the whole matter and the funds diverted to other projects.

      Castana is one of Monona County's most enterprising towns, located near the center of the county in Kennebec Township, on land purchased by the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company by the Western Town Lot Company in the early summer of 1886, the survey being completed by July 15, the deed of dedication and the platt bearing the date of July 24, and filed for record July 29, 1886. The town is a distance of about 12 miles from Onawa, the county seat, and about 50 miles from Sioux City, the nearest jobbing point.

      The first building erected was the warehouse of Day & Co., just back of their store. This was put up in July, 1886. It is located on the rear of lot 1, block 6, and was put up by J. B. P. Day. The railroad track was laid past the depot grounds April 12.




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All material herein '2002 "City of Castana".