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Page 51History of Story County, IowaPage 51

The next public buildings, or building used as such, was a frame office about 12x14 feet, that stood on the south-east corner of S. F. Balliet's lot, north of the old Court House. This was used as a county office until a Court House was built. It now stands on the lot north of Mrs. Kellogg's new residence, on the west side of the same block. The use of this building was quite an upward movement, as it was the first home for the County business, the first building used exclusively for that purpose.

After this came the first Court House, built at a cost of about $1,500, and when finished and accepted was found to be without flues, or any means of heating it. This was remedied by putting in the flues after the building was completed; and to that oversight it is most likely may be imputed its destruction by fire on the night of December 31, 1863.

The County Jail was built in 1870, at a cost of about $5,000.

The Court House now in course of erection, at a cost of about $40,000, will, it is to be hoped, long stand as the Centennial work of Story County, and a monument of the pride and liberality of her citizens.


The amount raised by taxation for schools the first year after the organization of the county, as shown by the report of the School Fund Committee, $177.31, this being for the year 1854. The amount of School House Tax collected and paid out for the year 1875, was about $27,000. In addition to this the Independent District of Nevada expended the proceeds of about $14,000 in bonds. The amount of Contingent Fund expended, was near $10,000; the Teacher's Fund was about $30,000; making a total expenditure for common schools for the year 1865 of about $80,000. In addition to this the expenditures for all purposes in connection with the Agricultural College must be about the same, making a grand total of expenditure in the cause of education for that year, in Story County, of about $160,000. Let those who are ambitious to educate their children, note the advantages offered in that direction by this community.


Mr. J. C. Smith's Mill had the capacity to crack corn at the rate of about two bushels per hour, "when in full blast," and was operated, when the stage of water offered power, from 1854 to 1863. The mill-stones were made from bowlder's picked up on the prairie and manufactured by Thomas Vest, who then lived near Ontario. (So says Jonah Griffith.)


The town was laid out in the fall of 1865, being named for Oakes Ames, one of the proprietors of the Cedar. Rapids and Missouri River Railroad. In October of that year Noah Webster erected the first house. It still stands on the corner northeast from the West House, and is still occupied by the builder. He was assisted in the

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