Our Iowa Heritage Index: 1880-1889.

As you can see, our growing website Our Iowa Heritage covers a lot of time (pre-1800 to the present) and a lot of people. We’ve written about famous people and the not-so-famous ones as well. Yet, despite a person’s prominence (or lack of it), everybody has a story. And as you read our posts, you’ll hopefully discover that everyone’s story is a good one. So, in order to better find these good stories and details surrounding them, we’ve added this INDEX of HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS to help you along the way. Enjoy your journey.

Our Iowa Heritage: An Introduction. We might suggest you start here! Here’s how & why I got started collecting stamps, coins, and other Iowa memorabilia.

The 1880’s in Iowa City. A city is more than just buildings. Here you’ll find some personal letters that offer a glimpse of what it was like to live in Iowa City at the end of the 19th century.

Cyrus Sanders – Setting Johnson County History Straight. Cyrus Sanders came to Johnson County in 1839, just as Iowa City was being formed. He not only wrote a daily journal about his earliest days here, but in the 1880’s, The Iowa City Daily Republican invited him to write a regular column on Johnson County history. In 1882, a bit of under-handed shannanigans literally stole away Cyrus Sanders’ material, publishing it under other people’s names! But today, we’re giving honor to where honor is due.

Iowa City Breweries – The Beers That Made Milwaukee Jealous. In the 1850’s, Iowa City was growing rapidly and provided a fruitful marketplace for creative entrepreneurs. Three German-American craftsmen took their passion for making great beer and by 1880 had built three large breweries employing hundreds of workers. City Brewery, Union Brewery, and Great Western Brewery – all located within two blocks of each other and connected via an expansive underground beer-storage system.

Iowa City Breweries – 1880’s: In Heaven There Is No Beer. In 1882, the Republican-led Iowa State Legislature passed Amendment 1 – a prohibition act that declared Iowa a dry state. Iowa’s Supreme Court shot the amendment down in 1883, but by the following year, the Legislature had countered. Everything came to a head in Iowa City during the summer of 1884 – resulting in what historians call the Iowa City Beer Riots – where the German-Democrat beer-makers literally came to blows with Republican-led tea-totalers.

The Baileys & The Montgomery Ward Wish Book. In the 1880’s, a 28-year old traveling salesman ran with the idea of a mail-order business that would eliminate intermediaries, cut costs, and make a wide variety of goods available to rural customers who could buy via the mail and pick up their orders at the nearest train station. At its zenith (1880s – 1940s), Montgomery Ward, like its cross-town Chicago rival, Sears, sold virtually everything the average American could think of or desire – and all the shopper had to do was lick a stamp. But on occasion (1889), a small delay might happen. Just ask M.H. Bailey of Iowa City.

The Wonderful World of SUI Colors – Black & Golden. In 1887, a handful of SUI students started asking some tough questions like ‘why do we not have any school colors?’ or ‘why do other colleges have a school song and we’re just singing about corn?’ Good questions, don’t you think? Join us for the colorful story about how SUI answered these burning questions.


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