Recalling pleasant things and taking the time to dwell on them.
The 1870’s in Iowa City.
As we mentioned earlier, Iowa City’s population exploded between 1850 and 1860 – from 1,250 souls to 5,241! But with the Civil War slowing down the economy, and the westward expansion taking Iowa’s capital to Des Moines (1857), for most of the 60’s, growth in Johnson County slowed to a snail’s pace and by the time we arrive at 1870 – Iowa City’s population has only increased to 5,914.
(M-0142) Here’s a very rare CDV card from Isaac Wetherby’s Iowa City studio featuring a photo of Old Capitol on University Square. When comparing this photo with other Wetherby shots of Old Capitol – fyi: he took the first one in 1854 – we believe this one was taken in the mid-1870’s. A CDV – carte de visite – was a type of small photograph (2.5″ x 4″) used in similar ways as passport photos today and usually featured pictures of individuals. This classic shot of Old Capitol was probably placed on a CDV display card and used as a sales sample for those wanting to buy a larger version of the photograph.
As Iowa State University (SUI) entered into the 1870’s – the campus – called University Square – was pretty simple – Central Hall (Old Capitol) in the middle, South Hall (left) – built in 1861, and North Hall(right) – opened in 1866.
In 1876, a new iron bridge replaced the long out-of-service Folsom toll bridge on Iowa Avenue, and with it being the nation’s centennial year (1776-1876), this new bridge was called the Centennial Bridge. Read more about the bridges of Iowa City here.
(P-0336)Here’s an interesting post card from the Treasurer of SUI – Iowa State University-as it was called then. It’s postmarked in Iowa City on February 5, 1879 and is a confirmation receipt for $3.00 to Isaac Blunt in Westerville, Iowa in Decatur County. Blunt was applying $3 toward the student account of B. Edwards.
Kudos to the amazing resources below for the many quotes, photographs, etc. used on this page.