Born in New Hampshire in 1818, Gilman Folsom caught the “go-west-young-man-go west” bug, moving to Iowa City in 1841. Coming here to practice law, Folsom had a rough go of it in his first few years, but eventually, he became a very well-known and well-respected Iowa Citian – serving in the Iowa House of Representatives for two terms (1850-1854). Gilman married Emily Arthur in August 1843, and took over his late father-in-law’s ferry business in Iowa City in 1845. By the late 1840’s, people were clamoring for a bridge of any kind to replace the slower ferry service. Thanks to Gilman Folsom, Iowa City’s first bridge was constructed (1854), connecting both sides of the river on the National Road – which today is the Iowa Avenue Bridge. Thanks, Gilman, for being the first to ‘bridge’ the gap!
CHECK OUT THE COMPLETE BLOG SERIES – Iowa City’s Top 50 Influencers – Part I
Back in 1979 – The Iowa City Press Citizen ran a special seven-page section called Chronology 1841/1979 and it featured Iowa City’s famed historian – Irving Weber – and his look at 25 People Who Left Their Stamp On Iowa City. So, here we are – forty-four years later – and now, I’m offering these two posts – dedicated to those who have greatly influenced our city over the first 100 years or so. This page features the First 25, and as you can see, each of the 25 names has a brief overview with a link(s) to read more, if you like. Enjoy!
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