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Sealls House Historic Property Study 2011 july



The Property Study was specified as a mitigation treatment as part of the adverse effect to a historic property that resulted from the proposed demolition of the property affected by the 2008 flooding ...

The Property Study was specified as a mitigation treatment as part of the adverse effect to a historic property that resulted from the proposed demolition of the property affected by the 2008 flooding in Iowa and federally funded through a CDBG Disaster Recovery grant. The property study was accepted by the Iowa SHPO within 30 days of its submission.



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    Sealls House Historic Property Study 2011 july Sealls House Historic Property Study 2011 july Document Transcript

    • IOWA HISTORIC PROPERTY STUDY: Sealls House Olin, Iowa HADB #53-016 / ISI #56-0691 July 2011 Prepared by Timothy S. Weitzel, M.A. Historic Preservation Specialist Community Development Division On Behalf of the City of Olin and East Central Iowa Council of Governments
    • Iowa Historic Property Documentation Study Sealls House HADB #53-016 Iowa Site Inventory #53-00691 Timothy S. Weitzel, M.A., Historic Preservation Specialist Iowa Department of Economic Development, Community Development Division A Mitigation TreatmentSupplemental Disaster Recovery Community Development Block Grant Home Acquisition Program on behalf of City of Olin, Iowa The 24 CFR Part 58 Responsible Entity July 2011
    • PREFACE SEALLS HOUSE HISTORIC PROPERTY (Interpretive Summary)The Sealls House located at 208 E. Locust Street, Olin, Iowa was constructed approximately in 1895 orwithin a few years of that date. The house exhibits distinctive features in some of its decorative elements,ready-made and shipped to Olin and applied as decoration according to the tastes of the owner andbuilder of the house. The styles embodied in the design palate are therefore a local interpretation of broadthemes in the architecture of Midwest American homes spanning the last decades of the 19th century andinto the first two decades or so of the 20th Century. Property Deed Records and detailed City plat mapfurther refined the suggested the date of construction.An unusually wet winter and late spring thaw in 2008 lead to generally high water content in the soil(Buchmiller and Eash 2010). Over the late spring and summer, one community after another in Iowasuccumbed to higher than usual rainfall. With the ground already saturated and creeks, streams and riversrunning higher than usual, the heavy rainfall had virtually nowhere else to go but into the adjacentfloodplain. Within towns, this cause substantial damage to a record number of properties, many of themhistoric and occupied by low to moderate income residents. Following a Presidential Disaster Declaration,Congress enacted as series of public laws to allow federal agencies and dollars come to the rescue. TheFederal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security moved in to provide relieffirst. At the same time, officials knew that FEMA funding would not be enough. As the EmergencyManagement Division of the Iowa Department of Homeland Security geared up for record number ofreconnaissance surveys to identify and evaluate historic properties, IDED with the help of state and federalrepresentatives in government secured a supplemental disaster recovery Community Development BlockGrant through US Department of Housing and Urban Development. One program under those allocationsaims to minimizing future risk to loss of life and property by removing those properties that weredemonstrated to be in a hazardous location on the flood plain. The homeowner must voluntarily apply tothe program. Other programs involved rehabilitation of flood damaged properties, repair and constructionof public sewers and flood control structures and assistance to business among others.The Sealls house is modest residence and the last surviving example of a of its specific design type in Olin.A city-wide reconnaissance survey conducted in spring 2011 indentified a handful of other Gable front andwing houses, none of which retain historic integrity. Of the houses that retain their historic integrity, thevast majority, well over three quarters of the total, are larger Queen Anne homes. One is a fairly large Artand Crafts period bungalow. Few smaller houses retain integrity. The machine-made applied ornament tothe upper gable end on the street side of the Sealls House along with the bracket supports under the orieland the corner plinths all speak to a design that is unique among its peers in Olin. However, events havealigned in such a way that is it no longer practicable and feasible to retain the house on its original site.Working in advance of the CDBG flood acquisition program, The Iowa Homeland Security survey teamrecommended the house located at 208 E Locust Street, Olin Iowa, as eligible to the National Register andFEMA adopted the recommendation as their Agency Determination (Svendsen 2010, Svendsen and
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation StudyZimmer 2009). The Iowa State Historic Preservation Office concurred with the finding (Ammerman 2009).As a result, the City of Olin adopted this finding as their determination of eligibility for the building.Therefore, the intended acquisition and demolition of the flood-affected property means that the adverseeffect to a historic property must be mitigated.Properties listed in the National Register receive limited Federal protection and certain benefits under theNational Historic Preservation Act and its implementing regulations at Title 36, Code of FederalRegulations, Part 800. The National Register, criteria for eligibility, and standards for evaluation aredelegated to the National Park Service under supervision of the Secretary of the Interior. For moreinformation concerning the effects of listing, and how the National Register may be used by the generalpublic and Certified Local Governments, as well as by local, State, and Federal agencies, and for copies ofNational Register Bulletins, contact the National Park Service, National Register, 1849 C Street, NW, NC400,Washington, D.C., 20240. Information may also be obtained by visiting the National Register Web site atwww.cr.nps.gov/nr or by contacting the Iowa State Historic Preservation Office, State Historical Society ofIowa, Department of Cultural Affairs, 600 East Locust Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0290.The Secretary of the Interiors Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation arefound in the Federal Register, Vol. 48, No. 190 (Thursday, September 29, 1983). A copy can be obtained bywriting the National Park Service, Heritage Preservation Services (at the address above). iii
    • Preface ACKNOWLEDGMENTSThe author wishes to express sincere appreciation to Eugene Rearick for his cooperation in opening hisflood ravaged house to be photographed and evaluated. iv
    • TABLE OF CONTENTSList of Figures ............................................................................................................................. vList of Tables ........................................................................................................................... viiiPreface ....................................................................................................................................... iiChapter I: Introduction ............................................................................................................. 1Chapter II: The Property In 2011.............................................................................................. 4Chapter III: Historical Background ......................................................................................... 10Chapter IV: Construction History ........................................................................................... 30Chapter V: Significance........................................................................................................... 33Reference Sources .................................................................................................................. 34Appendix A: Building Elevations, Plans and Sketches ........................................................... 36Appendix B: Representative Photographs............................................................................. 46Appendix C: Reference Figures and Tables ........................................................................... 83
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study LIST OF FIGURES IN TEXT FIGURES Title ..................................................................................................................................... Page Relative locations of key political geographic features important in Olin History............... 16 Principal Highways and Stage routes during the Territorial Period...................................... 29 APPENDIX A: BUILDING ELEVATIONS, PLANS AND SKETCHES Number ...................................................................................................................................... Page 1. North Elevation Sketch ....................................................................................................... 36 2. Trim and Doors Sketch ........................................................................................................ 37 3. Basement Plan Sketch......................................................................................................... 38 4. First Floor Plan Sketch ......................................................................................................... 39 5. Upper Story Plan Sketch ..................................................................................................... 40 6. Roofline Sketch ................................................................................................................... 41 7. Elevation: Primary Façade, View South.............................................................................. 42 8. Elevation: Tertiary Façade, View West ............................................................................... 43 9. Elevation: Tertiary Façade, View North.............................................................................. 44 10. Elevation: Secondary Façade, View East ............................................................................ 45 vi
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study APPENDIX B: REPRESENTATIVE PHOTOGRAPHS Number Page 1. Sealls House, View SW ........................................................................................................ 47 2. View NE ............................................................................................................................... 48 3. View SW............................................................................................................................... 49 4. Property, View NW ............................................................................................................. 50 5. Accessory Building, View NE ............................................................................................... 51 6. Accessory Building, View SW .............................................................................................. 52 7. Neighborhood, View SW..................................................................................................... 53 8. Neighborhood, View SW..................................................................................................... 54 9. Neighborhood, View NW .................................................................................................... 55 10. Neighborhood, View NW .................................................................................................... 56 11. Neighborhood, View NE...................................................................................................... 57 12. Neighborhood, View SE ...................................................................................................... 58 13. Basement, central room ..................................................................................................... 59 14. Exterior of south wall of central room, door to west passage .......................................... 60 15. Front Room or Parlor, View E ............................................................................................. 61 16. Front Room or Parlor, View NW ......................................................................................... 62 17. Front Room or Parlor, Dining Room, Kitchen..................................................................... 63 18. Dining Room and Doorway to Bath .................................................................................... 64 19. North wall of dining Room and Entry ................................................................................. 65 20. Covered ceiling, leaking evident ......................................................................................... 66 21. West Room and Closet under stairs ................................................................................... 67 22. Stairs from Main Floor to Upper Story ............................................................................... 68 23. Upper Story , Leaks evident ............................................................................................... 69 vii
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study 24. Upper Story, Front Room scuttle to attic and wall structure ............................................ 70 25. Accessory Structure. Pot belly heating stove ..................................................................... 71 26. Detail of Applied Gableboard ............................................................................................. 72 27. Detail of corner pilaster ...................................................................................................... 73 28. Detail of Oriel ...................................................................................................................... 74 29. Detail of Northwest building Corner .................................................................................. 75 30. Detail of coal chute set in modern cast concrete block wall ............................................. 76 31. Detail of Chimney ................................................................................................................ 77 32. Detail of Water Pump ......................................................................................................... 78 33. Detail of Cast Concrete front stoop and hand worked railing........................................... 79 34. Detail of East Wing, Exterior of North wall ........................................................................ 80 35. Detail of handmade wooden awning ................................................................................. 81 36. Detail of handmade wooden flag pole bracket ................................................................. 82 APPENDIX C: REFERENCE FIGURES AND TABLES Number Page 1. Location Map ................................................................................................................... 83 2. Composite USGS Map...................................................................................................... 84 3. LiDAR Hillshade Relief Map ............................................................................................. 85 4. 1838 General Land Office Map ....................................................................................... 86 5. 1875 map ......................................................................................................................... 87 6. 1877 map ......................................................................................................................... 88 7. 1893 map ......................................................................................................................... 89 viii
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study 8. 1893 City of Olin plat map ............................................................................................... 90 9. Schematic Representation of Land Use History as of fall 2008 ..................................... 92 LIST OF TABLES IN TEXT TABLESTitle Page Historic Population Estimates for Olin, Jones County, and the State of Iowa ....................................... 22 Professions Listed for Rome Township in 1850 Census ......................................................................... 23 APPENDIX C: REFERENCE FIGURES AND TABLESTitle Page Table of Historic Persons, Occupations and Immigration Details .......................................................... 92 ix
    • CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTIONThe City of Olin, together with grant administration assistance from the East Central Iowa Council ofGovernments and technical assistance provided by the Community Development Division at the IowaDepartment of Economic Development participated in this project. The city of Olin, as Responsible Entityfor the CDBG project, examined the property and determined that the damage to the property wassubstantial and that the level of damage outweighed the total value of the property. Beyond this, theCDBG was unable to repair the property due to its location in the floodplain. Given that few other optionswere available other than to acquire and demolish the property, the City had limited options to provideassistance to the homeowner other than to proceed to apply for assistance to acquire and remove theproperty from the floodplain. With just the one property in the Olin CDBG acquisition program, there werea limited number of choices in the type mitigation to be performed.A general pattern of history for the house and community were established. Although limited by theavailable resources, an intensive residential property study containing a comprehensive documentation ofthe history and architecture of the property was accomplished. This document is the result of this study.The mitigation treatments for properties affected by the 2008 Natural Disasters were originally designedto go beyond the direct documentation of a property with the intent to provide something additional thatwill be of lasting value to historic preservation in the affected communities. As research progressed on theSealls House it became evident that documentation of association with historical events, trends, andpeople would be difficult because there has not been a concerted effort to describe the History of Olinsince the Sesquicentennial Celebration of the town, held in 1985. Previous to this, the most recenthistorical description for the community was prepared in the early part of the 20th Century. For this reason,there has been a greater level of attention directed at providing a public interpretation of the people,events and broad patterns of history that form the historic context for the larger area that includes Olinand goes beyond the specific property that is the focus of the mitigation effort.This document is prepared as a mitigation treatment to one of these historic properties, the Sealls Housein Olin, Iowa. The signatory acceptance of this document by the State Historic Preservation Office indicatesfulfillment of the prescribed mitigation treatment—the activities agreed to by the consultation parties asrepresenting an at a minimum and adequate and sufficient compensation for the loss of a HistoricProperty due to a federal undertaking.PurposeThis document is an intensive historic property documentation study of the Sealls House, 208 E. LocustStreet, Olin, Iowa. The document intends to discover any historic associations as well as provide an in-depth discussion of the architectural history of the building and its associated land parcel with discussionof how these relate, interact with and were shaped by the courses of events in the City of Olin, JonesCounty, and the State of Iowa. 1
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation StudyMethodsIn the fall of 2008, the State of Iowa was well underway in securing funding and making plans to recoverfrom the 2008 natural disasters in a manner that was Historic background information and intensiveresearch reviewed the site forms prepared previously for the property along with a search for county andtown plat maps or atlases, a search for Sanborn maps, City directories, and township and City historicalcensus and tax records information. The current owner (as of June 2011) provided access to a copy of theabstract of title to the property for review and graciously allowed visits to the property on two separateoccasions ahead of property acquisition by the City. On April 30 and May 25, 2011, Tim Weitzel, IDEDHistoric Preservation Specialist conducted on-site visits, exterior and interior survey, and backgroundresearch on behalf of the City of Olin. A reconnaissance tour of the majority of the town on both sides ofWalnut Creek was also made by the author. Although the initial determination of eligibility was madeoutside of the CDBG undertaking, the assessments of building condition, research, architecturaldescriptions, photography and sketch work not otherwise attributed are credited to the author. Theopinions expressed herein are not reflective of broader departmental opinion, goals or policy and shouldnot be taken out the context of the purpose for this report.Conducting background research and onsite inspection, the Historic Preservation Specialist at IDEDattempted to discover what information there could be found about the history of the property, to identifypotential association with persons, events or patterns of history and to document its current and originalcondition.Research included examination of the plats, atlas, fire insurance maps, county histories and indexesavailable at the Iowa State Historical Archives in Iowa City. Research also involved an extensive, potentiallyexhaustive internet search for background information, maps, census data, and historical narratives forindividuals associated by title or other records with the property. An oral interview was conducted on twooccasions during site visits with the current homeowner. Plat maps and atlases, state and federal censusand tax records available for the 19th Century in Rome Township and Olin do not indicate addresses of theindividuals recorded. Insurance maps do not cover the majority of Cronkhite’s Addition. City Directoriesare lacking for Olin. The scrapbooks, photos, and other memorabilia at the Olin Heritage Center indicatethe community has a long and proud remembrance of their associations with military service, especiallywith the Second World War, and especially the Navy. Former residents of the property and the Communitywere invited to contribute any knowledge of local history to the project.The Jones County Historical Society was invited to contribute any information for Jones County history.Lead by Richard Harrison and Don Wherry and their membership especially document photographer JimChristiansen the Society has had the foresight to provide their county history in an accessible, digitalformat for all to see and learn from. More to their credit, the effort has been entirely voluntary withsupport from their membership and the IAGenWeb project and we can therefore set aside some of theissues with inconsistency of format and it can be understood that the overall format is intended for anaudience much broader than professional historians. Homeowner, Eugene Rearick, reported additionalfloods, some minor, some more severe and described efforts to repair the house along with variousdetails as he was able to recall them about changes he has made to the property. Members of the Henryand Julia Hanken family were contacted but were unavailable for comment 2
    • Chapter 1: IntroductionPurpose of the Funding SourceThe federal involvement is related to the 2008 natural disasters in Iowa, which, in April of that yearresulted in heavy losses to property due to sustained and severe flooding of the Wapsipinicon River. As aresult, the owner of the Sealls House became eligible for assistance through the supplemental disasterrecovery Community Development Block Grant, specifically under the program that offers homeonwersthe voluntary opportunity to sell their property to the City which will then contract to safely demolishbuilding to reduce future risk to loss of life and property due to flooding by removing flood proneproperties from the floodplain.Although many properties across the state were repaired and rehabilitated for continued use, a number ofHistoric Properties received damage in amounts too large to feasibly repair and when combined withprogram requirements to limit exposure to future flood hazard risks the conditions for providing assistanceto homeowners require removal of property and construction of green space that will serve as a bufferarea for future flooding. 3
    • CHAPTER 2 NARRATIVE DESCRIPTION OF THE HISTORIC PROPERTYThe Sealls Property, 208 E. Locust St, is located on Lots 3, 4, & East 12 Feet of Lot 5, Block 3, Cronkhite’sAddition to Olin. Olin is located in Section 13, T83N–R3W, Rome Township, Jones County, Iowa (Figure 1).This location is about 41.9988 degrees north latitude and 91.1396 degrees west longitude. (UTMCoordinates: 15 654075 4651321). The property is a set of two buildings, including a single family dwellingand an accessory building that is a combination garage, shop, and storage building. An active well islocated just behind the primary building, below a concrete stoop.To establish the potential significance of a building or neighborhood, it is necessary to develop a historiccontext within which to evaluate a property. One aspect of the history of a built up area is its history ofland use, which further informs the need of what other potential there is for historic properties within agiven area. This chapter will describe the natural and built environment, discuss the neighborhood andthen will provide an in depth description of the property as it stands today. It is assumed that most housesare residences first and their purpose is to provide a home to its owners. As a result, architectural reviewanticipates changes to a building over time. Different owner-builder partnerships arrive at theseimprovements with greater or lesser degrees of success. Each house is weighed in its current conditionagainst the original design and intent for the building and also gains the context of its own history and thatof its neighborhood, community and persons or events associated with the building. Some houses retainarchitectural or other historic significance, many do not.Any time there is a reduced sense of historic integrity, the importance of associations with events orpersons of significance becomes more distinct because a building with only moderate architecturalintegrity may still be significant for its historical association with events, patterns of history, or individualswho are historically significant. NEIGHBORHOOD DESCRIPTIONOlin is a small community with a population of about 700 people in 2009. The community is located on theright bank of the Wapsipinicon River, just above the point where Walnut Creek branches from the mainchannel (Figure 2). The town is located in the Iowan Surface Landform Region, an area that was been downcut by wind and water erosion during the Pleistocene with additional large scale erosion (mass wasting ofland surfaces) in the early middle Holocene. As a result, The hillsides have natural step-like structuresowing to erosion contacting former subsoil horizons in which heavy clay accumulations create animpermeable barrier to groundwater and naturally resistant to movement unless overly dry or saturated.As part of former land surfaces, the impermeable clay forces groundwater to remain somewhat close tothe surface flowing toward the Wapsipinicon (Figure 3). 4
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation StudyOlin is situated at the distal end of an upland ridge that trends somewhat abruptly downward to thefloodplain of Walnut Creek on the south edge of the Central Business District, but trends much moregradually from there to the north east and the Wapsipinicon River. The Wapsi valley is oversized due toancient periglacial outwash flooding that would have occurred at depths tremendously greater thantoday’s flood events. As a result the channel is meandered and at places abraded. This tends to createslower water rate and flood waters can only be accommodated by overflow into the adjacent floodplain.Areas of relatively poor drainage and high water table form Marshy areas along the floodplain margins. Inthe past, the river would frequently cut new channels but modern agriculture and landownership hasattempted to restrict the river to much narrower channel. Many streams cut across the floodplain on theway to the river. The lower reaches of these channels also have been embanked with earthen levies. Inaddition to Walnut Creek, there were four other creeks in the Olin area, including, just below town, SiblesCreek that Joins Walnut Creek, Catfish Creek north of town that was rerouted, possibly by the railroadafter that creek washed out the railroad berm in 1927 and then placed into a channel protected byearthen levies (Figure 2, Olin Heritage Center 2011). The fourth was a small stream channel that formerlyran through town and is visible on a late 19th Plat Map (Figure 8). The flooding is perhaps exacerbated bythe naturally occurring sizable reduction in width of the valley just below Olin. As the Wapsipinicon leavesAnamosa, it enters a broad outwash basin about 15 miles or so in length. However, just below Olin, theriver has cut through an area of resistant material (glaciofluvial sediments high in clay content or bedrockoutcrops) as the Wapsi heads toward Hale, especially in the north–south transect through the west halfSection 17, T83N–R2W. The resulting width of the valley is much narrower and the valley lacks the capacityin additional floodplain area to accommodate flooding, and the water likely tends to back up from thispoint. American settlers to the Olin area found Walnut Creek to have a rate of flow sufficient to powermills and the wetlands and steam corridors formed a riparian habitat with groves of trees to use to buildand as fuel for cooking and heating and supported early industry in saw milling (Figure 4).The neighborhood is comprised of Houses more than 50 yrs old that have been altered, houses less than50 years old, pre-manufactured housing, and lots vacated since the flood. Of the houses more than 50 yrsold, most are 1 ½ or 2 stories tall. There are a variety of forms, including four square, side gable, and frontgable. Newer forms are based on vernacular ranch styles, including raised ranch, two stories tall with splitfoyer or split level entrance as well as one story ranches. The building set backs are not consistent, whichalong with the wide variety of styles and forms, indicates a protracted period of growth further indicated alack of a focused time period with which to establish a historic context. One of the most direct means toestablish a historic context for a district is continuity in development, especially if that development isfocused into a relatively short time period. Also congruity in styles and forms can be another means toestablish commonality within a subset of a community. Absent these and there usually needs to be a fairlydirect association with specific events or persons or a distinct example of a discernable broad pattern ofhistory which is also significant.In this example, however, there are a number of alterations to the neighborhood setting, design, andmaterials that have not achieved significance in their own right. These alterations include replacementsiding (cement tile, metal, hardboard, and vinyl) and replacement windows and doors. Most porcheshave been permanently enclosed. Some new houses have been built, where as others were removed inthe past or recently due to flood hazard mitigation through FEMA voluntary acquisition and health-safety demolition programs. These alterations have sufficiently diminished the materials, design, settingand association to the point that historic integrity has been lost. The statement of significant for theneighborhood therefore will indicate this area does not constitute a historic district. 5
    • Chapter 2: Narrative Description BUILDING DESCRIPTIONThe Sealls house is a one and a half story residential building with asymmetric massing with primary facadeoriented to the north. Its form is front facing, gabled-ell-and-wing house with a one story side wingoriented east to west. The house was built on a relatively modest stone foundation, and its structure was awooden frame. The roof originally was likely wooden shingles. In form and arrangement of mass and bulk,the house effectively calls upon the rural architecture of the Eastern United States and the folkinterpretations that were made there of European, especially English Country aesthetic and organicarchitecture (Gottfried and Jennings 1989, 2009).The primary building, the dwelling r residence, clearly indicates that damage was sustained from the floodin 2008 and there are further indications of other episodic and gradual damage due to floods and frequenthigh water table. There appears to have been problems with contracted work on the property, particularlythe roof. Because power was cut to the property and the meter pulled, all portions of the building are atbest a semi-conditioned space. The property as it existed in 2008 had no permanent means to redirectwater or to remove it from below grade on the property.A very small west wing was built at the back of the west elevation. The side wing on the east elevation anda projecting rear addition and the original open porch were modified to increase the usable space of thehome and to update the house with important amenities, namely running water, kitchen and lavatoryfacilities and heating. Despite additions there has been an attempt to maintain similarity in cladding andexterior trim work. The alterations therefore are most notable in the foundation materials and rooflineand to a lesser degree there are some minor inconsistencies in the building fenestration—the windowsand doors have some alterations.Foundation and Basement Level DescriptionThe builder utilized locally available foundation stone. The front-facing wing was and is an open gableform. The roof over the original wing may have been gabled as well, but it’s difficult to discern due toextensive alteration. The basement under the original house is rock-faced, dolomitic limestone dressedonly along the courses. Above grade, the walls are close to being coursed, rock face limestone but belowthe grade line they verge into a jumble closer to coursed rubble trending to uncoursed or puzzle rubble(c.f. Phillips 1994). It appear to be a type of stone widely available in Jones and Cedar County (Anderson1998). As discussed in the Olin Industry section, rock quarries have been present locally since the lastthird of the 19th century. Under the south addition, the base course is a form of massive, rectangularconcrete block, possibly cast on site or brought in by rail or wagon, which is overlain in places in rock-faced, coursed limestone. In other areas, such as the east coal room, the original stone is overlain inmodern concrete block. The basement floor has been paved in all but the central cellar and was visiblywet at the time of the visit. The central cellar retains a dirt floor. The exposed courses of the westaddition appear to be rotating and slumping inward. The foundation under the rear and east additions istypical concrete block similar to modern concrete masonry units. The porch is supported by an openbrick lattice or honeycomb brickwork of extruded, high-fire, high quality face brick with a raked finishand definitely not locally made. Both the front steps and rear entry stoop are cast concrete. The rearentry stoop also serves as a cover for the well head and place to mount the steel pump, whichreportedly still functions. 6
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation StudyMain Floor DescriptionOn the main floor, from the outside, there is a small oriel with paired 1-over-1 double hung windows,which is repeated in the upper story. A decorative board with turned spindles and pierce work is hung inthe gable end. On the west elevation there is an accent window above the double hung window which alsolines up with the basement window. The entire east side appears to have modifications to foundation androofline due to a series of additions. On the back elevation, an addition was added to cover the back entryarea and the basement entryway and add a bathroom. This area correlates to the modern blockfoundation. However, the modern block foundation extends under the dining room.There are two rooms on the first floor that appear to be detailed in what would be a Primary order ofdecorative treatment. Only these primary rooms had decorative trim, the front room or parlor and theroom contained in the wing, or dining room. The door and window trim were fairly simple but flushbeaded with quirks rather than raised detailing. The flush beads occurred as four narrow v-notches orquirks providing greater relief for the three unraised bead lines. Ogee plinths were used for base blocksalong with square upper corner blocks with concentrically circular paterae. Under the windows, the apronwas a piece of the flush-beaded casing. The windows were simple sashes, with one over one lights. Theinterior doors are four panel, with the lower panels being smaller than the top. The two primary entrydoors, originally opening onto e the porch in the ell, is a half-glass, sash door with segmented arch over thesingle, clear glazed light. The decorative base board is now entirely missing. Previously the boards hadbeen removed, dried and replaced but conditions and circumstances worked against replacing thebaseboards on this occasion. The hardware sets on the more elaborate doors was Ornamental Aestheticakin to Eastlake style fittings. The walls have been replastered at some time before 2008, but only with arough coat, not really either a brown or scratch coat, but non-uniform plaster, probably gypsum and notelime, was completed before it was painted. The plaster has been removed to about the height of themeeting rail of the windows on most of the first floor, and entirely in the west addition, which is a fewinches above the high water mark still visible on the windows and a few vertical trim boards. The ceilingtrim in the front room is a 2 ½ inch cove. All of the ceilings on the main floor have been replaced with apaper fiber acoustic tile.Finish flooring on the first floor is limited to the primary rooms (front room parlor and the dining room). Itis thin strip flooring, possibly oak, but the grain is hard to see. These floors are puckering and buckling fromthe moisture in the basement and possibly the leaks from above. There is no visible joint where the eastaddition was added on but this is visible from the porch were a corner board runs down the middle of thewall and this lines up with the approximate location of the central room of the foundation in thebasement. The flooring in the west bedroom is wider strip flooring, which appears likely to be pine or firand usually would only be found in the upper stories or servant areas of larger homes. It probably wasused here as an economical measure. The original use for this room is not known. It has been used as abedroom for some time. The flooring in the kitchen and bath are synthetic composite sheet material ortile. The finish flooring in the primary rooms (front room and the dining room) is thin strip flooring,possibly oak, but they have been scoured hard and not refinished so the grain is hard to see. Theflooring is buckled in several spots. There is no visible joint where the east addition was added on. Theflooring in the addition is wider strip flooring, which appears likely to be pine or fir.The kitchen and bath look like they were updated in the 1940s, with the modern metal cabinets and newfixtures you could get then. The few remaining light fixtures, such a metal fitting with glass shade in thenorth bedroom, give the impression the house was probably wired for the first time in the 1930s or 1940s. 7
    • Chapter 2: Narrative DescriptionFlooring in the kitchen is small square tiles. The west gabled addition and upstairs both have a lower-ordertrim, than the primary two rooms. It is plain and utilitarian when compared to the fluted work in the frontroom and dining room. The porch has been enclosed, the east roofline altered, and an imposing additionto the rear and east elevation has made a noticeable difference in the style of the building. It is not easy todiscern what the original nature of the property was. The foundation and exterior trim work suggest thebuilding was either a gabled-front-and-wing building, with several later additions, or it was a variant of thatform or front-facing gable with up to three original wings and then later altered through additions. Thefront porch does not appear to be original and rather appears to date to the mid-20th Century. However,some relatively unique aspects probably indicate this addition has gained significance in its own right,despite the modifications to the original design. A wooden slat awning, the decorative treatment to theporch skirt made in face brick, a purpose-built concrete stoop and a handmade bracket for a flag polesuggest a great deal of pride in ownership of the building. These features are well-executed and thereforeretain a high level of workmanship. Some of the materials match the existing structure, other do not butperhaps compliment it, or otherwise are not highly detracting from the original, with the exception of thechanges to roofline, which has altered the massing, and the foundation block. The manner in which therear addition was added and the changes that this made to the roofline as well as the enclosure of theporch appear to be fairly well executed. While their design are perhaps not very compatible to the originaldesign, the reader is reminded that the building is of a vernacular nature, with only a light degree ofarchitectural styling. The materials and the decorative treatments for the cladding and window trim matchthe original. The foundation materials along the west elevation are not very compatible with theappearance and design of the original stone.Upper Story DescriptionThe stairway to the upper floor is a box stair, with narrow fliers, tall risers, and runs in one long flight. Thearea beneath the stairs is a closet. The stairs are carpeted. The rooms to either side of the upper floorlanding rise another step into each room. The ceilings are plaster, where it has not collapsed, exposing thelath. The walls are papered in a mid-1980s pattern. The trim in the upstairs and addition are of a plain,utilitarian, nature with 1 x 3 or 1 x 4 boards, butt joints, and no back band. The windows have thin, milledlumber bullnose stools and another 1 x 3 or 1 x 4 dimensional board as the apron. Access ways leave thesouth room upstairs and allow entrance to the east and south attic areas. An attic hatch is located in thenorth room of the upstairs. A mid-century pressed class shad covers the light in the north room. The southroom has a bare bulb with a twist switch fixture hanging from the electrical wire (fabric insulation). Bothupper story rooms have a structure in the wall adjacent to the stairwell reminiscent of wall chimneys seenin multi-story brick buildings near the roof. The house entirely wood framing and it is not clear how such afeature would be supported. It is clear they structures extent do the roofline due to the large amount ofleakage around them. If these were chimneys, they have been reduced down to the roofline. The chimneystill visible on the roof runs through the south room extending from basement through the roof. Today amodern HVAC system has an air handler and heating chamber in the upper floor and heat pump lookingair conditioner on a pedestal outside next to the kitchen. Like the studs on the first floor, the roof raftersand original knee walls also appear originally to be unplanned, full dimension, machine-sawn boards. Lateradditions are readily identifiable by the presence of planned, nominal dimension lumber that has theappearance of fir rather than pine. 8
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation StudyStylistic ElementsThe stylistic orders of the Sealls House, such as there are, are first and last styled elements bought andapplied in a vernacular manner. That said, more details can be conveyed by selecting an order with whichthe majority of the building features are aligned. The Sealls House is at the core, Front-and-wing form witha 1 ½ story front, open gable with a one story wing. The form and exterior ornamentation have elementsin a Cottage Order with predominantly Picturesque Aesthetic details, though there are some elementsborrowed from the Italianate Aesthetic (Gottfried and Jennings 2009). The exterior of the building alsofeatured a few elements with discernable styles. The applied gable decoration has the appearance ofcarpenter gothic construction details and stylistic elements, including steep roof pitch, open gables, oriel,fleur-de-lis, a four pointed star, and wheat or acanthus floral elements. This matches much of the stylisticfeel of the house, its roof pitch, the rough dressed foundation stone, the plain sawn clapboards and trim,and simple one over one windows and the Oriel especially references a cottage aesthetic. However thesegmental arch main entry doors and in particular the console or foliate brackets beneath the oriel aredistinctly Italianate in appearance. The Interior styling is limited to the front two main rooms and kitchen.The Primary Order is largely Italianate Aesthetic with some overlap in trim, and hardware with theOrnamental Aesthetic (c.f. Gottfried and Jennings 2009). The house was laid out in a very modest andutilitarian nature and as a result, opportunities in which to embellish the basic form of the walls, doors,trim and so on are limited. The stairway has no balustrade or newel. The largest opening between roomsdoes not have a screen, colonnade, or pocket doors. The interior design included both elements of classicalrevival that align best with the Italianate order that also feature elements of Ornamental Aesthetic details.These are limited in the parlor and dining room. Ornamental work includes fluted vertical trim boards andpaterae, entry doors with semi-glazed, segmented arch windows over two panels, but Hardware akin toEastlake (Gottfried and Jennings 2009). Effectively no ornamentation was used or applied in the remainderof the original house. Elements distinctive of the modern colonial revival from the middle of the 20thcentury were used in the Kitchen remodel. Together, along with a purpose-built feel to the floor plan andlayout, the thrift and modesty of features used daily, such as stairs and bedrooms, all speak to a housebuilt on a budget, and with materials available locally, either as raw material or bought as finished goods.Following the civil war, and in the city advertisements it is clear that all kinds and sorts of buildingmaterials were available, shipped in by train, no doubt. The modesty of the design and ornament speakpossibly to thrifty homeowners but also it should remembered the economic and social situation,following the Panic of 1893 and the temperance prohibition of the last quarter of the 20th Century.Description of the Accessory BuildingHistoric preservation reserves the term building for habitable and occupational construction while theterm structure is tends to be reserved for construction with engineered design, such as bridges, viaducts,tunnels, outdoor facilities and so on. However, most planning and property assessors will use the termstructure to mean the same thing as a building, as in primary structure, secondary structure, or assessorstructure. The property includes a secondary or accessory structure—a building with a vehicle door onback that is built into a hip roofed wall dormer and looks somewhat like it has an agricultural origin. Therear vehicle door faces a ramp built of limestone consistent with the original foundation of the house. Theramp provides vehicular access from the alley into the lot and the door of the accessory building. The alleyotherwise is elevated above the adjacent lots to the north of its alignment and extends from 18 inches tothree feet above the back yards along its length. Rearick stated this was a modification of the outbuildingby Hanken, who was a lineman for the Olin-Morley Telephone Company. Rearick added the two stallgarage door on the north side of the accessory Building. 9
    • CHAPTER 3 HISTORICAL BACKGROUNDBecause residential vernacular buildings develop over time, and their interpretation of national and worldtrends in architecture are specific to a given place, architectural historians tend to regard survivingexamples as important to local history in that they the remaining tangible examples of the trends andtastes in architecture of the period available in a readily visible and direct manner as well as informing theviewer about key aspects of local economic and social conditions.The neighborhood provides much of the associations of land development, when and why the subdivisionwas built town was a place to obtain finished goods, sell produce, and interact with the other people in thetownship. The town was also the nerve center for communications—post office, newspapers, telegraphand telephone office, and social halls were all located in the Central Business District alongside stores andshops. As the town expanded toward the railroad, much of the focus of the town also shifted toward theconnection with the outside world. The hotel would be situated near to the Depot. Before land use zoningordinances, Industrial operations could occur anywhere but usually were found on the edges of town. Thetownspeople at the time the house was constructed were the merchants, workers, clergy, clerks,professional services, and leaders of the community and the residential streets that naturally grew outfrom the Central Business District, or Main Street, is where the townspeople lived. Before Television, muchof life was carried out along Main Street but visitors to other people’s homes were a frequent and evencommon occurrence. Socialization was entertainment and vice versa. HISTORIC CONTEXT FOR OLINOlin is a small incorporated community that has a substantial number of front gabled and Gabel-ell-and-wing buildings. A fairly large number of Folk Victorian and Queen Anne styled homes featuring roundturrets and canted turrets. Many buildings have a American Colonial Revival stylistic influence. Mostbuildings have frame construction, and there are three or so brick buildings. Walnut Creek has a fairlysteep-sided valley. The majority of potentially historic buildings are north of that divide. Much of the townsouth of Walnut Creek dates to the 1960s and later. The contemporary Public Library and more recentschool building are on the south side of town, as is the current grain elevator.The Central Business District features mostly brick clad buildings, including an 1893 Brick Front Commercialand a 1903 Masonic Hall. Most of the well-preserved buildings are within a block or two of JacksonAvenue, which is also the main thoroughfare through town. Examples include 100 W. Cleveland St, 100 E.Maple St., 509 Jackson St., One brick bungalow is fairly large and retains a high degree of integrity andthere is an Italianate house that is in a moderately good state of preservation. Integrity at the District typeof property appears to be lacking. The residents have for the most part kept up on improvements, withmajor changes occurring once per decade or so to a majority of the housing stock. For many reasons, 10
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Studyincluding losses due to natural disasters, as well as open lots remaining available for infill, many homeshave been built since 1960.The town of Olin was officially incorporated in 1878 with a population of 392 following a State circuit courtaction which granted a request in the form of citizens’ petition but quite likely also had at least beenencouraged by the Chicago, Milwaukee, & St. Paul Railroad (the Milwaukee Road). The town had beenplated as early as 1854, which at that time there were effectively three unincorporated but adjacentvillages that represented a single community.In many ways, the last decade of the 19th century was a high water mark for community development inOlin. Olin adopted a centralized electrical utility in 1909 when Oxford Junction Light, Power, & Mill Coinitiated a franchise to provide electricity to the local population. The town implemented centralized citywater and sewer utilities in 1898. Prior to this, a city well was located along Jackson Street, probably at 2ndAve. A photo of this well is available in County Histories and at City Hall in Olin. A one-cent from around1898 to 1907 is a hand tinted color image that depicts Olin as an Idyllic, Victorian farm village in the UpperMidwest. A copy of the post card is in the collection at the Olin Heritage Center (Ellison 2011).Consistent with other Idyllic villages in the upper Midwest, Olin has seen its share of memorable occasions,ranging from curious happenstance to the devastating for community growth and prosperity. Two minorearthquakes had little effect on Olin in 1890 and 1909. In 1904, one of two banks in Jones County thatfailed before the Great Depression and regarded at the time as the single greatest financial disaster in thehistory of the county. R.J. Cleveland recalled the winter of 1842–43 was especially severe, the coldest herecalled from 1840 to 1979. A severe snow storm was recorded 1959. Several tornadoes and windstormshave passed through Jones County over the years, including an 1860 tornado that killed two children whentheir farm was mostly destroyed in Rome Township and Olin reportedly felt the effects as well. A county-wide 1898 mesocyclone or strait line winds destroyed over 7,000 windmills in the county and blew barnsover in the north. Another event that figures prominently in historical accounts of Olin is the Olin College,founded when the town was incorporated, but closed within two years due to problems with their publicrelations image. The founding of small, private colleges that failed to thrive into the present areunfortunately not uncommon in Iowa History. Those events appear in county histories but appear to havehad little to no effect on the course of events for the growing town. On the other hand, two fires alongJackson Street shattered growth in the central business district (Corbit 1910). In 1876 a fire of unrecordedcauses expanded out of control and destroyed nearly the entire east side of Jackson Street including someresidences. Only the harness shop at the south end was saved by a bucket brigade, probably operatingfrom the well or Walnut Creek. The second fire occurred 1892 and was thought to have been intentionallyset (Corbit 1910). This fire resulted in total loss to the west side of the central business district excludingonly two frame buildings again on the south end, nearer to the town well and river and within reach of thebucket brigade. The town hall and its records of Rome Township, the School and other importantdocuments were also destroyed at this time (Corbit 1910). In the great misfortune, the Olin Recorder wasdestroyed physically but the operation was rebuilt within a month. The outcome of the two fires was theopportunity to build a brick clad streetscape that is largely what survives today. Today the Olin volunteerhose company is prominent fixture of the community, proudly hosting annual fund raising events.Floods of the Wapsipinicon River have repeatedly affected Olin including 2008 when 80 homes wereoutright destroyed or substantially damaged due to record flooding (23 ft or 9 feet above flood stage). TheUS Geological Survey has also recorded previous major floods on the Wapsi in 1968, 1971, 1993, and 1999,2004, and again in 2010. In 1927 a flash flood Catfish Creek washed out the 1912 railroad berm built with a 11
    • Chapter 3: Historical Background steam shovel and in 1931 there was a train wreck near town (Olin Heritage Center 2011). During television coverage of the latest flood event in 2010, Aaron Alderson, a resident of Locust Street and a neighbor to the Sealls House quipped to the KCRG reporter that “I dont know, I guess Im fortunate to live on the flood street again. They ought to just rename the street probably,” Alderson said. Those same neighbors spent 3 days building sandbag flood walls that provided largely ineffective to stop the invading water. The USGS has reported that flood discharges and peak elevations were at record levels for the middle reaches of several Iowa Rivers, including the Wapsi in 2008. In 2006, the Olin area became the subject of attention as a three span, bow string arch, wrought Iron bridge was flown from its original site crossing the Wapsi between Olin and Hale, to its new location several miles upstream near Anamosa. The Olin area was once the setting for a number of wrought Iron bridges which were installed to cross the relatively large number of streams and rivers in the area. The iron bridge for the road (Iowa Highway 38) over the Wapsipinicon was replaced with a concrete deck bridge in 1959. The highway had been converted to asphalt hard surface in 1957. The Early Years: Settlement and Growth in the US territorial period Olin is located in Section 13, T83N–R3W, Rome Township. This vicinity is within the Second Black Hawk Purchase, 1832. Although there were some, especially American fur traders who entered the territory before this time the land was officially opened for settlement in 1833. The earliest settlement to present day Jones County (1837) was Hugh Bowen, in 1836. The first political division of the County was by electoral precincts. Walnut Precinct, an area that include all of the area in corresponding to the congressional survey area of township T83N, and half of T84N and R1W to R3W. The area was given the political division name Walnut Precinct. In 1842, the precinct system was converted to Civil Townships, and Walnut Precinct became Rome Township with no alteration of the political boundaries. Over the next decade and a half, the townships were subdivided and began to confirm with greater regularity to the Congressional Townships delineated by the Government Land Office Survey.Great Seal of the Iowa The Iowa Territory was organized and incorporated within the United States in 1838 and continued until statehood was granted by Congress in 1846. Jones County is located in a Native American land cession from 1832. Originally it had been in a large province of New France, name Louisiane (1682–1764), held by Spain for France (1764–1800), and finally included in the US Louisiana Purchase of 1803 from France and governed for about a year as the US District of Louisiana (1804–1805). From that point, the area was under the jurisdiction of the Territories of Louisiana (1805–1812), Missouri (1812– 1821), Michigan (1833–1836) and Wisconsin, including the District of Iowa (1836–1838), the succeeding territories being the area remaining after an area gained sufficient population to be granted statehood and was then cleaved out of the larger territory, orphaning the remainder. County formation followed a roughly similar process. Organization and regulation in Iowa began primarily when the Michigan territorial legislature organized the first two counties (previous settlements had remained largely unregulated). From 1821 to 1833 the area that became Iowa briefly reverted to an unorganized federal territory intended to be inhabited by displaced Native Americans from East of the Mississippi and the new state of Missouri, which created a new drive toward establishing states due to the Missouri Compromise. Jones County is located in the area known as the First Black Hawk Purchase or less commonly as Forty-Mile Strip or Scotts Purchase. The acquisition was an attempt to formally compensate the acquisition of land form Native American nations by execution of an international treaty— itself still a somewhat new concept. The treaty also served as a formal declaration to end recent hostility between the United States 12
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Studyand the amalgamated Sauk and Meskwaki. The uprising known now as the Black Hawk war was anoutcome of centuries of displacement and the attempted revolution by members of Sauk and Meskwakitribes under the leadership of Chief Blackhawk was seen as a last stand to fend off the invading Americans.The Americans conversely saw the Sauk and Meskwaki as former British allies and they stood in the way ofexpansion. The uprising was in many ways was an aftershock of the War of 1812 but also was response tothe forced relocation of Native American tribes, which had become an active federal policy underPresident Andrew Jackson, 1829–1837. For the still young United States, an “Era of Good Feelings” wasmelted away with Jackson’s polarizing stance on many issues, among them slavery, Native AmericanRemoval, and a system of rewarding political support with political favoritism, not the first, or the last, butcertainly a point in time when this became yet another sore point between opposing political viewpoints.The second Wisconsin Territorial Legislature meeting at Burlington during the winter of 1837–1838approved the subdivision of Dubuque County and organization of nine additional counties, including JonesCounty. Not too long after that decision and before adjourning the legislative session they decided tocreate a separate Wisconsin Territory with a capital closer to the Wisconsin settlements where many ofthe members of the assembly lived. The Iowa Territorial Legislature met in the fall of 1838 and confirmedthe decisions to create nine new counties, retaining the name of Jones County whose namesake was thecongressman from the Wisconsin Territory. The first election of officers occurred in 1839 and the firstpolitical divisions were established 1840.One of the earliest recorded settlements known in Rome Township was platted north of the presentlocation of Olin. It was named Elkford (Figure 4). The existence of this settlement is something of amystery. Due to the loss of early township records, the only firm evidence is in the form of theGovernment Land Office Survey and other accounts appear to be derived from this source. One possibleexplanation is that the inhabitants laid out a claim and then returned east to gather their family and forone reason or another were unable to return to their claim. It was common for a claim to be staked andthen to not actually live on the claim until a number of years later. John Merritt is one such example as isthe platted town site was situated in the northeast quarter of Section 11, a location about a mile north ofthe current city (Western Historical Company 1879). At the time of the General Land Office Survey ofRome Township, January 13 to February 3, 1838, the survey team recorded the location and name ofElkford but noted that although the town was visibly laid out, no improvements had been made. The nameElkford appears next to a settlement an early territorial period map of the surveyed counties of Iowa(Coulton in Cole 1920). Little more can be said without speculation. However, it is intriguing to considerthat John Merritt had set up a cabin in 1836 and quietly returned to New York, returning the next yearwith his father, his many brothers and their families. The GLO and Settlers in their reminiscences recountthe large stands of timber that occupied the overly broadened river valley and the tributary channels. Thelarge Groves of trees, including the one labeled “Sugar Grove” in Sections 15, 14, 22, and 23. As confirmedin R.J. Cleveland’s reminiscence from this time, platted towns were easy to spot (Corbit 1910, WesternHistorical Company 1879.) They typically were cleared of brush and all but the largest trees ended up asmaterials to stake out the streets and blocks, and too, much of the wood that attracted settlers to an areawas burnt as fuel and it appears that Rome was not an exception.Segments of well established trails were noted by the Government Land Office survey team and R.J.Cleveland remarks on the existing of previously made trails during the early settlement period. At thebeginning of the settlement period in the Black Hawk purchases, paper towns were abundant and usuallywere staked out and plats filed by earlier Euro American settlers to the area. Competition was variable, buta wide variety of incidents ultimately worked in favor of some town sites over others. Often times these 13
    • Chapter 3: Historical Backgroundtowns were laid out by fur traders and others engaged in trade of goods and produce with NativeAmerican Tribes in the area. One estimate for the number of Native Americans in the State at the time ofinitial settlement in 1832 was 8,000 with about 50 American settlers. That number rapidly inverted, and by1840 population estimates were 43,000 settlers. Not infrequently settlers were in to be found across theMississippi River in “Indian Territory” ahead of the approval to settle in Iowa. If found, companies of USArmy Dragoons were obliged to remove them back to the east side of the River (for example Van der Zee1916). The Dragoons also were charged with keeping the peace between tribes as well and most of theforts in Iowa were a testament to this fact.Absent of other information, it would appear Elfkford likely never caught on as an idea or possibly, thesettlement was founded too far in advance of support structure. John Merritt reportedly set up a claimcabin in the general vicinity of Elkford as early as 1836, but due to the large number of encounters withNative American, he decided to return to New York. When he returned, it was with many of his adult sons,brothers, and their wives and families and his father and they set up in Section 3. Careful examination ofearly plat maps indicate that a cemetery was reported in the vicinity of Elkford in Section 11, appearingvariously to the southwest or north east of the turn from a northerly track to a westerly track before theOlin to Newport Road branches form Green Rd to head up pas the Merritt homestead in Section 3. Thelocation of the cemetery symbols are in the same NE ¼ of Section 11, Rome Township, the approximatelocation of the Rome 11 Cemetery. It appears at least one or more pioneer families lived in the area ofElkford for at least a time sufficient to require the dedication of a cemetery. At the same time, theconfused locations of the cemetery through the 1870s, disappearing by 1893 suggests some level ofconfusion existed through the 19th century but according to at least one local land owner, the headstonesare extant but have been removed from their original location in the cemetery. Beyond the cemetery,these early settlers left behind few traces of their time in Rome Township.At around the same time that the land survey was being completed, the first Euro American birth in thecounty was recorded in separate homestead area. Rebecca Merritt was born two miles west of present-day Olin in 1839. John Merritt in 1837 had settled in what is now the southern part of Jackson Township,on the right bank of the Wapsi and at a location later platted as Merritt’s Timber, (Section 33, T84N–R3W).Merritt was preceded in the county by Hugh Bowen and John Flinn at Bowen’s Prairie in 1836 and in thatsame year Daniel Varvel and William Clark at Monticello. Also in 1837, an unnamed African Americansettled near Pleasant Grove in Hale Township. During the 1839–1840 County Meeting, Road districts and in1840 Election Precincts were assigned numbers. The Precincts were Bowen Prairie, Farm Creek, BuffaloFork, and Walnut (Western Historical Company 1898). The areas unequally divided the county with BowenPrairie taking the northwest quarter of the county, and the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter ofthe county, Farm Creek having the remaining three-quarters of the northeast part of the county, BuffaloFork, taking the south west and northwest of the southwest quarter of the county, and Walnut taking therest. As population grew, regular townships of 36 sections, six miles on a side, were divided out of theseearly townships. People living in Walnut township in 1840 may later be found living in Hale Township in1851 without having moved.Rome Township 1837Olin proper has its origins in two platted communities laid out in the tallgrass prairie of the Iowa District,Wisconsin Territory. Walnut Fork was organized by Norman B. Seeley. Adjacent and to the east of WalnutFork, was the platted village of Rome, which appears to have been championed, if not directly organized,by Richard J. Cleveland. Seeley arrived in 1839 and Cleveland in 1840. 14
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation StudySeeley had arrived at the future site of Olin somewhat after the first wave of settlers who came in 1837.The first families listed included John and Joseph Merritt, Orville and Oran Cronkhite, Francis Sibbals, IsaacSimpson, Moses Garrison, George Saum, Thomas Green, Horace Sealy, and the Booth, Brown, and Joselynfamilies and others soon followed. By 1840–1841, at least 15 families are recorded in the area. Householdsizes were quite large at this point in history, so the total population may reasonably be assumed to bemany times the number of recorded surnames.Seeley was a man of purpose and he directly went to work building a log cabin, a hearth for iron working,and a sawmill that began operation on Walnut Creek the same year, the second in the County. He added agrist mill in 1841 and his settlement, which became known as Walnut Fork, had secured a foothold in thetallgrass prairie, which was a good start. A good image of what an early Iowa gristmill of the 19th Centurylooked like is provided in a July 10, 1965 reprint by the Monticello Express of a 1900s photo of the 1848Eby’s (Applegate’s) grist mill and saw mill south of Monticello.The 1840 plat of Walnut Fork is still evident in the subdivision record for Olin, and is situated west ofJackson St between Locust and 2nd St (Figure 5). The claims of Iowa ghost town indexes to the contrary,this location is on the hill that is now occupied by the Olin, a safer and drier location to live, even if themills were located along the creek. The success of Seeley earned him the chance to name his portion of thecounty Walnut. In 1841, when a post office was established at Walnut Fork, Seeley became the postmasterand the post office retained the name Walnut Fork even after Seeley’s capture and untimely death atAndersonville during the Civil War. The first political division of the county for purposes of democraticrepresentation occurred in 1842. Seeley’s precinct was called Walnut Fork or Walnut Precinct, the currentlocation of Olin. Contrary reports notwithstanding, this early village were situated on the higher groundwest of Walnut Fork at the approximate location of the Central Business District for Olin. 15
    • Chapter 3: Historical Background OLIN Platted 1842, 1854 Incorporated 1878 Elkford (before 1838) Cronkhite’s Addition to Olin (1873) T84N Smith’s Addition to Olin (1873) Walnut Creek Walnut Fork (Platted 1854, settled 1839) Rome (Platted 1842, settled 1840) T83N R4W R3W Relative locations of key political geographic features important in Olin History—Walnut Fork, Rome, Smith’s Addition, Cronkhite’s Addition, and Elkford. Bloomfield was an apparent name given to this a Stage Coach stop in this area for 1840–1849. Several land additions followed incorporationThe second plat filed in Olin was a contemporary of Seeley’s Walnut Fork and was named Rome. Romedeveloped on a similar trajectory to Walnut Fork. The plat for Rome was accepted in 1842, three yearsafter Walnut Fork was settled, but just two years after Rome was settled and apparently much sooner thanthe official plat was filed for Walnut Fork. Like its Classically derived namesake—Rome, Italy—in the IowaTerritory, Rome was located on higher ground along both sides of a sinuous body of water, Walnut Creek,and perhaps occupying several hill tops and side slopes. Despite while the township name was changedfrom Walnut to Rome, the post office continued to be known as Walnut Fork until 1872, when twoadditions to Olin were added. The town was platted as Olin in 1854.Despite many romantic portrayals of the settlement of the Northwest Territory and the tallgrass prairieareas beyond it and west of the Mississippi River whereby the intrepid pioneer would enter the frontierand live off the land, many of the first Americans to arrive in the area that would become eastern Iowanever completely left cash economies. Early settlers seemed to realize the importance of economic ties tothe east to provide a steady supply of goods and services and conversely to provide markets for thefrontier goods to be sold. Despite the Puritan roots of New England, most people moved from the east tothe Northwest Territory with the acceptance of risk in return for the opportunity to become wealthy.To secure permanent trade relations, settlements and eventually towns would be needed. But among thefirst things sought out by nearly every fledgling community were the Post Office, a recorded Plat, Seats ofGovernment, From there, the local council and mayor would be able to control the generation of revenue 16
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Studyand funding for future improvements, including obtaining rail access and finally major industry andcommercial operations.Nearly every early historical account will enumerate the locations and dates of the first post offices. It is aperhaps unfortunate reality; however, that post offices and post masters both were somewhat ephemeral,easily displaced or removed to another location at the time that their post was superseded by anothercommunity in size and relative importance. As one of the early forms of official recognition, the post officewas a position eagerly sought. Early post offices were little more than an appointed postal clerk who wasalso usually conducting business in trade, milling, or other profession and had enough ties to the area tobe reliable place to send the mail. Consistently there was the drive to file a civil plat, build population tothe point where the area could be recognized by the government, and then seek out the local or regionalseat of for the new government that would be formed.The two platted villages that can still be seen in the Jones County assessor’s information appear to havebeen in direct competition but perhaps in a friendly way for the first quarter century or so of thecommunity’s history. By the time of the first recorded histories in the early 1870s, the Civil War had comeand left and the economy of Olin was on the rise to a high point in the 1890s.Transportation, the Railroad, and Incorporation of OlinUntil the arrival of the railroad in the last quarter of the 19th Century, travel to Olin was restricted tooverland routes (Thompson). Although a system of canals had been proposed for Iowa paralleling majorrivers in their flood plains, this idea never developed (Sage). Even though steam boats had traveled northalong the Mississippi as early as 1820s, and assertions contemporary to about 1840 that the Wapsi wasnavigable, the Wapsi was at once too meandered, to rapid a current, and also presumably toounpredictable throughout the year to allow for steamboats especially along the middle stretch of the river(Van der Zee 1905, Cooper 1958).Logically, no roads existed at first, other than the occasional trail used by Native Americans and the oddexplorer or fur trader. For the most part, these improvised roads remained packed only by use, and werejudged by at least on historian to have been inadequate for team wagons (Van der Zee 1905). The firstappropriations for roads in the Iowa Territory were made in the 1836 session and concentrated on makingBurlington accessible to other established settlements, such as Keosauqua, Keokuk, and Dubuque. In the1838–39, roads were extended to the new capital located Iowa City. In 1839, territorial representatives toCongress secured funding for a Military Road connecting Dubuque to Iowa City, Mt. Pleasant, and theMissouri Border and an Agency Road from Burlington to Agency City near Ottumwa. The Military Road waslaid out under direct supervision of a surveying engineer with a marker furrow plowed by Lyman Dillon.Although no other federal appropriations were granted in the next many years, Van der Zee notes theexceptional success of obtaining even the funds for the Military Road due to the generally poor economyfollowing widespread economic downturn in 1837 (Van der Zee 1905). Beginning in 1840, the TerritorialLegislative Assembly made it a legal requirement that voting citizens perform three days service work onbuilding and improving roads and building bridges or pay a fee in lieu of the work (Van der Zee 1905,Thomson 1989).In his memoir, Richard J. Cleveland mentions the particular trouble it took to travel in eastern Iowa beforethe railroad. R.J. Cleveland mentions in his memoir having walked 50 miles to Dubuque for supplies dozensof times in the 1840s and once to Davenport. The 1838 Government Land Office survey recorded 17
    • Chapter 3: Historical Backgroundsegments of these trails (Figure 4). Cleveland likely would have used the trails to go northward, ford theWapsi at a favorable location and join the Federal road somewhere northwest of Monticello.This account is repeated with others traveling to Iowa in the 1830s. Although the common mental imageof early settlers was traveling by covered wagon, most early settlers had invested their wealth in suppliesand tools and traveled as they could, by lumber or supply wagon if on the Cumberland Trail throughIndiana, or by boat down the Ohio, and up the Mississippi or across the great lakes. Many times a pioneerwould settle first in Midwest but between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. After a time, some proceededon to Iowa for a number of reasons, but many times it was because they had little money, and there wasopportunity in the west to earn a better living. It can be learned in the several accounts of Old SettlersReunions, that until the last half of the 19th century, many pioneers did not have sufficient assets to buy awagon and may traveled as far as they could in someone else’s lumber or supply wagon and thenproceeded as needed by foot, which is what R.J. Cleveland did. Although Cleveland caught a ride on alumber wagon, several others arrived with oxen, or horses, or both as well as wagons. Others did leaveOhio, Indiana or other states well-equipped. George Saum, did bring wagons and draft animals, as didOrville Crohkhite. Both ultimately were very successful, as was Cleveland. As time passed, people wereable to travel by stage coach, but this was not available to the first pioneers. That anyone, let alone manypioneers would travel hundreds of miles in any manner, to undeveloped area suggests the travelers soughtopportunity and thought they had a reasonable chance of obtaining success. It is assumed that the popularaccount of early Iowa published by Albert M. Lea, a former US Army Dragoon, and similar accounts inGalland’s Iowa Immigrant 1840, published and promoted by William C. Jones provided a vivid image thatgreatly promoted life on the frontier in Iowa. However, within 10 years, many farmers did arrive with oracquired oxen, horse, and because extremely successful. Despite the hardships, Cleveland recalled withgreat pride and satisfaction in the opportunity to have been a pioneer.Still, the Wapsipinicon and other waterways, such as Walnut Creek could prove difficult to Ford, addinganother level of complexity in getting from here to there in eastern Iowa. Ferries were essential, and anumber of people made their fortunes in early Iowa history running ferries at crossings on the Mississippi,Mathias Ham or Antoine Le Claire, for example. The Territorial Legislature, later County Governments) setthe rates that could be legally charged. The first Ferry available to cross the Wapsipinicon River wasestablished in 1847.Ferries, though, were susceptible to the random nature of rivers and the demand for bridging rivers andstreams became increasingly sharp. Cleveland noted no ferries or bridges in the Jones County existed inearly in the history of the Olin area. With the economy recovering and the US industrial revolution reapingrewards in technologies for forming and shaping metal as well as mining coal, it was only a matter of timebefore marked improvements would arrive in Iowa. A bridge was built over the Wapsipinicon River atNewport in 1865. Newport was the first County Seat, formerly located in Lot 2, Section 33, T84N–R3W)Jackson Township and consisted just Adam Overacker’s log cabin designated to be the courthouse. TheCounty Seat moved to Lexington (Anamosa) the following year. Several wrought iron truss bridges forroads were built in the Olin area in the 1870s, mostly by the King Iron Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio(Western Historical Publishing Co. 1879). The railroad bridge over the Wapsi was built in 1872, a simplepony truss. Walnut Creek Bridge was built 1877 at Olin, replaced 1917(Western Historical Company 1879,Olin Sesquicentennial Committee 1985). As bridges were built, the roadways to and from them wereimproved to the point that they were generally passable by horse and wagon. 18
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation StudyThe fact that travel to the vicinity of Jones County was difficult on a good day and an entirely overlandventure, at least as far as most American settlers were concerned, certainly had much to do with thecontinued lobby on the part of the Iowa Territory to Congress for transportation authorizations. It is clearthat while George W. Jones was representative to Congress from the Wisconsin Territory had much to dowith the improvement of Federal roadways (Van Der Zee 1905). L likewise, they had much to do withrailroad appropriations spurring the railroad rivalries of the third quarter of the 19th century. Every townwanted to be part of good railroad connection, and every railroad company wanted to be the first toconnect to any area (Thompson 1989, Cole 1920, Sage 1974, and Schwieder 1996). These appropriationsno doubt lead to the rapid increase in economic output from Iowa as it moved from supplying lumber,lead, and furs becoming a leading producer of grain, dairy, and meat with secondary specialties usedlocally, including beer, wine, brick, tile, coal and all manner of locally manufactured goods. Principal Highways and Stage routes during the Territorial Period as describe by Van Der ZeeThe duality of the railroad development era was despite the potential for rapid growth and developmentthe railroad could bring, there was a less than permanent nature of towns in the face of the apparentwhimsy of railroad companies. As can be seen in Olin, many towns expended large sums of capital andphysical effort to obtain the favor of a railway (Thompson 1979). Often times these investments paid offbut usually at the expense of other towns that were not served directly. In addition to ready transport forgoods and passengers, railroads could bestow the favor of a workshop, roundhouse, or refueling/wateringstation on a town. This usually meant many jobs for a good number of years. The Milwaukee Road, forinstance, based its principal shops in Iowa out of Dubuque (for example Jacobsen 2011). On the other 19
    • Chapter 3: Historical Backgroundhand, the prevalence of towns by the name Junction, are usually an indication of an appendage to a townor where a town sometimes picked up and moved to be connected with transportation by rail (Thompson1989).The Railways of the 19th century had several distinct advantages that made them a vast improvement overmany other types of transport. Once steel and fuel were plentiful, the rails could be laid just aboutanywhere. Railroads also made use of the influxes of immigrants as a ready source of labor to preparegrades, build trestles and bridges and lay track and even move streams in many instances. It can be notedthat the former location of Catfish Creek ran near the center of Section 11 and 12, and appears to haveoriginated in Section 16 in the 1875 plat map. By 1875, the railroad had diverted the course of at least onestream to the north (Andreas 1975, Burlingame 1877). Rechanneled streams are an occurrence in IowaHistory and examples can be found in studies of other localities, for example USGS plat maps and local andcounty historical accounts (for example Weitzel 2005).Railroads in Iowa began in 1854 with the Mississippi & Missouri Railway that extended into Eastern IowaThompson 1889, Weitzel 2005). Other companies had an interest in railroading, and with their persuasion,the U.S. Congress passed a sweeping land grant bill in 1856 whereby railroad companies could expect a sixmile right-of-way on either side of the main alignment. The idea was to provide ample opportunity foralternative routes when engineering or other obstacles were happened upon. In areas where the full 6miles were not available, the grant could be made up in alternate locations.Depending on opinion and judgment of some historians, many of the early railroads only existed on paperuntil the investors were bought out by the official company (Thompson 1989, Western Historical Company1879). In this somewhat cynical view, the paper roads were meant to diffuse liability and protect theinvestors. With a few notable exceptions, many planners for railways consistently underestimated thelevel of work necessary build a new railway and likewise were over confident in the potential investmentreturns. In many accounts, once construction began expenses outpaced capital, The Iowa Central Air LineRailroad, is perhaps the best known example of this. As a result, so the alternative viewpoint states, newcompanies were created to prevent the loss of the lucrative land grants as the initial investments ran intodebt and receivership, which was a frequent occurrence (Sage 1974, Thompson 1989). The difference ismore of a point of view, perhaps. In any case, railroad construction east of the Mississippi had proven tobe a worthwhile investment. A vision for linking the eastern United States with the west coast took holdand planning began for the first and subsequent transcontinental rail routes. To hasten private investment,President Lincoln authorized an incentive for the first railroad to reach the Council Bluffs Terminus of theIowa segment of the future Transcontinental Railroad. Land grant authorization came with a more thangenerous offer in the form of land grants in return for meeting specified completion dates. The penalty forfailure was forfeiture of the land grants. Four principal rail routes across Iowa had been planned in theinitial Land grant program (Thompson 1989; Sage 1974). Through the 1860s, as the parent companies ofthe first four railways enjoyed success and a fifth railroad was started in 1863 with a completion date setfor 1875 (Thompson 1989, Sage 1974). This railway eventually became the Milwaukee Road and had twoalignments in Iowa. The northern track was intended to connect Chicago to Prairie Du Chien, and fromthere crossing to McGregor then northwest to Cresco and on to Minneapolis and St. Paul, reaching Canton,South Dakota by 1879. A branch line pushed on to Sioux City with connections to the southern track. Dueto the Panic of 1873, this segment did not meet the specified deadline and the company had to bereconstituted to renew the grant and prevent forfeiture to inventors (Western Historical Company 1879,Sage 1974). The southern route had originally been intended to run from Jackson County to Hardin Countyand on to the Dakotas Western Historical Comply 1879). The townspeople of Sabula and Ackley envisioned 20
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Studya small rail company to connect their communities from Savannah, Illinois to the Dakota Territory(Western Historical Company 1879, Corbit 1910). It was organized in 1870 as the Sabula, Ackley andDakota railroad which made it about one third the distance across Clinton County from Sabula before itran out of financial steam. Its counterpart in Illinois was the Western Union Railroad but it like thenorthern route—the Milwaukee & Mississippi and Dubuque & Pacific—it was controlled through smallfront companies by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad (Sage 1974, Thompson 1879). The Sabula,Ackley and Dakota Railroad was bought out by the same company (Western Historical Company 1879). Aswas the case with many small railway companies in Iowa in the 1850s–1875, the smaller company enjoyedthe backing of a larger, usually silent partner company which assisted their efforts in connecting Olinagricultural producers in Rome Township to Chicago (Thompson 1989, Sage 1974, Western HistoricalCompany 1979).By 1872, earlier in some accounts, the southern track of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad hadreached Olin, and continued on toward Marion, Iowa (Thompson 1989). In fact, continuing the history ofthe Milwaukee Road further back, O. Cronkhite and D.A. Carpenter of Rome also invested in the Sabula,Ackley and Dakota Railway Company a n attempt to revive the failed 1859 Anamosa Branch of the TiptonRailway and the second attempt to bring a rail line to Olin (Western Historical Company 1879). Cronkhite,the settler of 1837 had become less than 20 years later a successful farmer who understood and wasdriven by the need to be connected to markets. It is no surprise, then, that the platted name for the townwas not Sealy’s Walnut Fork, or Cleveland’s Rome. Instead, the 1854 plat carried the namesake of GeneralSuperintendent of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad—D.A. Olin (Western Historical Company1879, Corbit 1910).In 1872, the focus of development in the slow but steadily growing villages of Walnut Fork and Rome wasdrawn to the north end of the current community, with the anticipated arrival of the Sabula, Ackley &Dakota Railroad (North West Publishing Company 1893). In 1873, two areas of the community wereplatted as additions to Olin (Western Historical Company 1879). Walnut Fork and Rome became part ofthe Olin town plat in that year. Five years later in 1878 and following a rise in prosperity and growth due tothe railroads that the town officially became incorporated. At the time of incorporation, Olin consisted ofseveral small enclaves or formative communities, including the original town sites of Rome, Walnut Fork,and the two 1873 additions to the town plat of the platted but unincorporated town of Olin that includedCronkhite’s Addition in the northeast part of the community and Smith’s addition, in the northwest corner.The central business district was located in Rome. Most of the institutional space for churches and thePublic School were in Walnut Fork. The Livery was in an unincorporated area until Cronkhite’s Addition.That addition and Smith’s Addition were mostly residential, and most lots were occupied, except whereCatfish Creek ran through town. Much of the area between was still empty lots (Figure 7, Figure 10). Again,it is apparent that Elkford was proven not viable before even Norman Seeley founded Walnut Fork, but thename of the community remained part of local history through the first (Western historical Company1879). By 1910, Corbit does not even mention Elkford.Olin Demographics Professions and TradesThe first Federal Census was taken in Rome Township in 1850 with population of 584. That number wasjust 442 people in the State census for 1852 and some of the families that arrived earlier were not listed. In1854, the State Census recognized separate totals for Rome Township (539) and Town of Rome (104),returning to just the township for the for 1856 (737). The Federal Census of 1870 recorded 1068 for theentire township. The population in 25 years had roughly doubled. Unlike the dominant trend the trend of 21
    • Chapter 3: Historical BackgroundJones County as a whole, and the State at large, Rome Township’s population did not increasetremendously with the coming of the railroad, that arrive in 1873. In 1885, the State Census recognizedOlin, at 487. There were 634 in the Township. The federal census again collapsed the total in 1910 (1236).The state census for 1895 and 1925 show Olin at 648 and 646 respectively, which was a period of stabilityfor the town but Rome Township lost population during that time going from 927 to 689. From censusdata, we find that in the first Federal Census, immigrants came to Rome Township from 17 states, threecountries, and Iowa. 188 or 32% of the 584 people moved from Ohio and 94 (16%) had moved fromIndiana. 137 or 23% came from Iowa. Just over 3% came from another country, either Germany or theUnited Kingdom (England or British North America).Historic Population Estimates for Olin , Jones County, and the State of IowaYear Rome or Olin Rome Twp Jones County State of Iowa1833 — — — 10, 5311838 — 15 families — 22, 8591840 — — — 43,1161846 — — — 96,0881850 — 584 3,007 192,2141854 104 643 10,481 —1860 — — 13,306 674,9131870 — 1,068 19,712 1,194,0201880 — — — 1,624,6151885 487 1,121 18,300 —1900 19,444 2,231,0001895 648 1,575 — —1960 — — 20,693 2,758,0002010 702 — 20,638 3,046,355Olin CommerceUnlike many other townships in Jones County, but closer demographically and philosophically withMadison and perhaps other townships, the pioneers and second generation immigrants to RomeTownship included predominantly American Citizens from the East, including Massachusetts, Virginia, NewYork, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Hampshire and 8 of 27 came from Ohio, a goodly number,nearly 30%, of the Patrons to the Andreas Atlas. One patron came from Germany. Three were natives toJones County.In the early days of the settlements at Olin, there were not a great many options for supplies andmaterials. It is clear that many came to farm and immediately went about farming when they arrived.Many farmers grew wheat, something relatively unknown as a potential crop today. Other grains includedoats and maize corn. It is fairly clear that little was available off the shelf or readymade before about 1850.R.J. Cleveland indicated many times he had walked the 50 miles to Dubuque more than 50 times and once 22
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Studyto Davenport for supplies prior to the general store opening in either 1847 or 1848. As first roads, thenbridges, then railroads and finally highways were built, the range of available goods as well as potentialmarkets expanded dramatically, and in comparison perhaps exponentially by the middle of the 20th C.when food became marketable to the world. Much of the grains if not all was consumed locally orregionally at first but as transportation improved, milled grains were sold to markets outside the area.Norman Sealy set up grist mill to accommodate local trade in flour.Olin was on a stage coach route, and mail arrived in this manner (Van der Zee 1905, Cleveland 1910).Livestock was brought into the state, but at first this was mostly for products rather than as meat, such asbutter and cheese or wool. Again, by the 1880s, hogs and cattle were sold as meat in addition to anincrease in products made. Throughout the 19th century, farms remained diversified, growing three ormore grains, peas, beans, potatoes, buckwheat, oats, corn, wheat, maintaining pastures, selling grass,clover and hay seeds, and making butter and cheese, wool, and meat. Miscellaneous other crops andproduce included flax, honey, wax, hops, and wine. Two noticeable trends through the period wereincreasing specialization, decreases in number of crops per farm, and increasingly selling raw materials,like unprocessed grains to larger mills further away and such as milk to dairies rather than making butterand cheese on the farm. Another striking trend is the contrast of settler reminiscences of the generalfertility and depth of native soils and the use of fertilizers by the 1870s. Cut wood continued to be anagricultural product throughout the 19th century. Eventually wood would be all but replaced by coal (CoalAge 1911). In the 1921 Atlas, there were two banks operating and merchants listed included the Olin RugFactory, and the Hog Reliance Company, makers of medication and remedies for pigs, which was becominga big business.There is little doubt that once a stable settlement was established and transportation was secured that theprosperity of Olin was mainly dependent upon goods and services in support of the famers of RomeTownship. By 1850, a merchant and clerk along with a number of skilled tradesmen and a fewprofessionals had moved to town. In the 1860s, Inland Revenue tax receipts from Rome indicate trade andfees for physician-surgeons, carriage, keepers of Stallions, retail liquor, slaughtered hogs, conveyance,miscellaneous retail and general, unspecified income. During the same period, Walnut Fork reports sales inHogs, Sorghum, Retail, Carriage, Watch, and Hotel. All of these materials came and went primarily byoverland route to Dubuque. By 1870, the town added a shoe Maker, veterinary Surgeon, Wagon maker.Professions listed for Rome Township in 1850 CensusFarmer Carpenter Black Smith Physician Others Total (1850)138 9 3 2 6 158 People 10 Professions87.3% 5.7% 1.9% 1.3% 3.8% 100%In 1875, successful farmers outnumbered all other trades 2 to 1. Some famers were successful enough tohave hired hands and domestic servants on staff. Professional Services available in the last quarter of the19th Century included attorney, Justice of the Peace, Physician and Surgeon, Land Surveyor and Teacher.The teacher and butcher were of diversified interests and both also professed to be farmers. Tradesincluded Carpenter, Sawyer, Sawmaker, Cooper, Clerk, and Blacksmith (Andreas 1875).At this time, finished goods locally available included cut meat, grain, cut lumber, lath, shingles, lime,plastering hair, building sand, stucco, paper, mouldings and millwork, other building supplies (Andreas1875). By 1893, Olin’s businesses included purveyors of building supplies included window glass, sashesand doors, and Portland cement delivered most probably by rail, and the brick and tile works as in 23
    • Chapter 3: Historical Backgroundoperation at this time (North West Publishing Company 1893). A this time the fuel source included coal—both hard (anthracite) and soft (bituminous or lignite) probably from Iowa or Illinois but potentially fromthe Dakotas with peak coal use occurring between about 1912 and the Second World War (Coal Agevarious dates). Grove size and numbers, decreasing since settlement, had become marked by this (Figures4, 5, 6 and 2). With a newspaper, insurance agent, a notary public, schools churches, and social events,Olin was bustling, if modest, community. There was a hotel across from the Depot; its location is noted inthe 1893 plat of Olin. Supplies available from local merchants included dry goods and finished goods,including ready-made clothing, boots and shoes, furniture, undertaker’s goods, and window blinds. TheLamb Brothers has opened the Olin creamery in 1880 and continued until 1906. Olin’s farmers had addedbeing breeder of stock or stock raiser to their operations listed in the 1893 directory and a modest stockyard was located along the southern railroad siding west of the Depot, There also was a breeder of farmwork horses and a couple Livery stables were in town, the location also noted on the 1893 plat.Olin IndustrySealy had set up two mills on Walnut Creek, first a grist mill and then a saw mill. It is not clear exactlywhere the mills were located or when these were not longer in use. Later a grist mill and a woolen milloperated on the north east side of Olin in the 1870s but the millrace appears to have been defunct by1893 (Burlingame 1877, Western Historical Company 1879, North West Publishing Company1893). Therace and mill are not indicated in the detailed city plat and the companies do not appear in advertising orpatrons listings.By 1893, Olin had a local stone quarry with finished quarry good including flag stone, stone steps, watertables, cap stones, lintels and pedestals and column bases for granite and marble available on short notice(North West Publishing Company1893).The Olin plat in the North West Publishing Co.’s Jones County atlas showed Olin Brick & Tile Company heldtwo parcels in 1893. Their primary products were common brick and field drainage tile (Andreas 1875).That company existed from 1881 to 1903 and utilized coal fired kilns throughout its existence (Corbit1910). Since coal was used to fire kilns, it was also available for the steam boiler to power the pug mill andextruded. Brick of this type can be attributed to manufacturer running a steam-powered pug mill andextruder and coal fired kilns (Brick 1897, Weitzel 2005, 2008). Although temperatures high enough to meltclay into glass can be achieved with wood-fired kilns, the design of these kilns is not typically conducive tolarge-scale production. There is probably little doubt the company flourished with the reconstruction ofthe central business district after the two fires (Corbit 1910), but likely ran out of work as competitionincreased and better brick became available by rail car and latter by large overland truck vans. The exactlimits of their product distribution area are not known. The 1875 Andreas Atlas Patron’s directoriesindicate that the distribution of their products extended to Anamosa, probably to other towns and famersin Southwest Jones County, and possibly further to the northeast and into northwest Cedar County.SchoolsThe first report of school teaching occurred in the summer of 1840 in the Sugar Grove. Later, MaryCleveland taught school out of their home. The abstract of title for the Sealls house indicates an area wassubdivided from Cleveland’s original 80 acres for a school building. The lot was later rejoined to theproperty. In 1893, a school was cited in the middle of Block 4 of Walnut Fork. Calls for consolidation forRome Township elementary schools appear in the local press as early as 1920 (The Olin-ite 1920). The First 24
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation StudyHigh School, built along the lines of a 1880s H.H. Richardsonian Romanesque styled institutional building,was demolished in 1960 (Olin Heritage Center 2011). For a brief period, a College existed at Olin. Theschool was religious foundation opened in 1878 and closed 1881. There were reported indiscretionsbetween the music teacher and the principal who had also lost favor in the community through openinvolvement in the intemperance movement (Corbit 1910).Building Location and Land Use PlanningThe 2011 Assessor’s plat indicates the Sealls House is sited with a moderate set back on its lot. As is typicalwith many pre-1930 land additions, the house massing and location emphasizes an orientation toward thestreet on which the house fronts. The combined alignment of buildings, large and small, toward the streetcan serve to create a formal avenue if the setbacks are roughly uniform, especially when the front set backis small and the building is close to the street. The majority of open space on the lot is oriented toward analley, a common approach that emphasized utilitarian or privacy of functions for that space. When auniform set back provides deep front lawns, the space opens up to a park like area and though less formal,more of the lot is devoted to public space. This arrangement is typical of more affluent developments thatdate to early part of the 20th century and later, especially in suburban communities. A third alternativeoccurs when the setbacks are not aligned and a less formal but frequently haphazard appearance is theresult. It usually indicates an extend period of development during which the local authorities exercisedlittle or no control over development-a less than ideal situation for urban designers and planners, but asensible approach to small communities where local government is less hierarchical and exercise of controlis simply not practical. It is known within studies of near-surface geology, geomorphology and archaeologythat the area of flowing water visible in a streambed is only a small fraction of the total area in whichground water will move, seeking the channel, but when the channel is full, it will continue parallel to thestream below the surface (Figure 3). This factor creates seasonal and episodic high water table that will beevident in basements in these areas. By the 1930s the north side of the block had been built out and all thelots had houses on them. A marked study in contrast, the buildings along the south side included a houseat the south east corner of Jackson St and E. Locust, the Sealls house, and possibly one other at the southwest corner of Wall St and E. Locust. That house appeared before 1893 at that location. It is not possible totell with the tree canopy in the 1930s and 1950s aerial photos. By May 1994, that lot was cleared. Amanufactured home later replaced the house until it was removed around 2009. The series of maps andaerial photos therefore is a study in contrasts. The North side did not build out immediately, but did soeventually whereas the south side was not ever completely built out and although houses did come andgo, there were empty lots from the date the subdivision was platted. HISTORIC CONTEXT FOR THE SEALLS HOUSEPrior to 1875 Lots 1–4, Block 3 Cronkhite’s Addition were held by Nicholas M. and Susana Everhart,husband and wife. The land was initially acquired by patent for 80 acres from the U.S. Government LandOffice in Iowa City that was granted to R.J. Cleveland. William Cronkhite Eventually purchased the land andplatted the land addition with his name in 1873. On October 26, 1875, Lots 1–4 were transferred to JamesSlife. Jones County Property Transfer Records show the property as owned by passing to James Slife in1875. It is believed that the Sealls family held the property when the house was erected in ca. 1895. In1926 members of the Sealls family transferred the house to Josephine Sealls Crain and Jennie SeallsRummell. They held the property together until 1939 when Jennie transferred it to Josephine. Two years 25
    • Chapter 3: Historical Backgroundlater in 1941, Josephine sold it to H.B. and Sarah Hanken. The Hankens retained the property in the familyuntil 1972 when a contract to purchase the house was signed transferring the house from Henry and JuliaHanken to Eugene Rearick. The contract had a purchase price of $12,500 for the property and was paid infull in September 1980. In 2010, Eugene Rearick indicated his intent to sell the property to the City of Olinas part of a CDBG block grant.The single largest mortgage on the property appears in 1870s after the patent holder to the original 80acre parcel was deceased and a subsequent owner, William Cronkhite, had platted the land addition underhis name. In other words, no improvements appear to have been made antebellum or during the Civil War.Margaret Sealls obtained the property, at the time just Lots 3–4, Block 3 of Cronkhite’s addition, underwarranty deed in 1877 for $800 and mortgaged it for just under $243 in that same year. J.C. Austin was themortgage holder. The terms of the mortgage were satisfied in 1902. Three years later, Margaret Seals andher husband E.R. acquired the additional property including Lots 5, 6, & 7 of the same Block 3 to thecombined the parcels. The Sealls go on to have eight children, presumably in this house. Margaret diedtwenty years later and her children inherited the property, probably through probate court. No amountswere recorded in this entry on the deed. The next two largest sums taken against the property appear tobe related to the purchase of the property by the Hanken’s in 1941 (mortgage satisfied in 1944) and thenin 1950 another mortgage is taken out and probably indicates when much of the alterations probablyoccurred. There was a major effort to clear the title of any inconsistencies and potential problems in 1895,including an affidavit of sale from Mary E Lowery (formerly Cleveland) which correlates to the originalestimate for the date of construction (Svendsen 2011). HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF FAMILY NAMESSEALLS-TRUAX-RUMMELLThree families in Rome Township intermarried and were involved to a greater or lesser degree in thehistory of the Sealls house. These Include the Edmund and Margaret Sealls Family, the John AlbertRummell Family, and the Mary Truax family. The Easterly family is reported to have been well known intheir time and its members were In-laws of the Sealls. As stated on the original Iowa Site Inventory formfor the Sealls House completed by Marlys Svendsen, it is believed that the Sealls family held the propertyin ca. 1895 when the house was built based on the deed, county atlas and stylistic details of the property.The Sealls family first appears in early Olin History with three brothers Sealls who were among theenlistees in the volunteer Iowa Volunteer Infantry from Jones County during the Civil War. These were E.R.(1830–1907), Bernard (1838–1912), and Amos Sealls. Of the three, E.R. is the most noteworthy. The threebrothers married three women who where sisters—Margaret, Martha, and Elizabeth Truax. Mary(Stingley) Sealls was their mother, and referenced as the Widow Sealls who arrived in 1853 in the 1879county history. According to the 1910 county history, she and a Mr. Stingley arrived the same year andbegan farms.Edmund and Margaret J. (Truax) Sealls arrived in Olin before the Civil War, emigrating from Indiana.Edmund was born 1830, Margaret in 1834. They emigrated from Indiana. Margaret Sealls acquired theproperty through warranty deed from James Slife in fall 1877. They paid $800. Margaret and Edmund tookout a mortgage on their property from one J.C. Austin, in the amount of $242.60 in 1891. They paid this off 26
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Studyin 1902. By 1905, lots 5, 6, 7 & 8 were considered one contiguous property. In 1893, their property on EastLocust Street remained vacant. Unfortunately, no maps were identified for the Cronkhite Addition post1893. The area remained too sparsely populated to be included in fire insurance mapping and most atlasesdiscontinued showing lot in town after 1900. Edmund Sealls died in 1907. Margaret died in 1917. She leftno will as indicated by the annotation on the deed to this fact. Her Son-in-law J.A. Rummell acquired theSealls house in September of 1925.E.R. Sealls was the landlord of the local hotel, Olin House (Corbit 1910). Sealls advertised in Stickle &Arien’s short-lived Olin Times (1874–1875) and this is possibly the hotel indicated in the 1893 town platlocated near the Train Depot. No city directories were available to identify city residents beyond patronsand businesses listed in County Plat Atlases. E.R. Seals was listed in the 1910 County History as a memberof the Grand Army of the Republic post 191, organized 1883. E.R. Seals was listed in school records asbeing on the Board of Directors for the Olin High School, and in 1894, was listed a director of the OlinCemetery (Corbit 1910). E.R. Sealls was a City Trustee for three years beginning in 1880. He was a memberof Town Council from 1889–1892, 1894–1896. E.R. was also a member of several local fraternal, mutualbenefit, benevolent service, and workers representational lodges, Including the Independent Order of OddFellows Ancient Order of Untied Workmen, and Ancient Landmark Society, which was affiliated with theFreemasons, A.F. & A.M. Lodge No. 200, serving as their treasurer for three years. The fraternalorganization began in the 1700s in Europe, was brought to America by English Colonists and is widelyinvolved in charity and community service activities. Edmund also was a member of the Order of theKnights of Pythias lodge No. 245, an international, non-sectarian fraternal order, dedicated to universalpeace and understanding. The order was established in 1864 in Washington, D.C., by Justus H. Rathboneand was the first fraternal order to be chartered by an Act of Congress.Edmond and Margaret had eight Children, including Claudence (b. 1866), Jennie M. (b. 1868), George V.(b.1870), Will E. (b. 1873), Elnora (b. 1877), and Josephine (b.1890). Other children in the Sealls familyincluded Kathleen Sealls (1896–1904) and Ann Sealls (no date). George was assessor almost continuouslyfrom 1899 to 1906. Later, but before 1920, George moved to the west coast state of Washington andmarried his wife Rachel there. Jennie attended the school in Olin and was a trained musician whoperformed or arranged musical events in multiple locations in the county. She married John AlbertRummell and was treasurer of the Olin Cemetery Association.Amos Sealls was a Private in Company B, Ninth Iowa Regiment Volunteer Infantry First Brigade FirstDivision Fifteenth Army Corps in the Civil War. In 1857, he married Elizabeth Truax (b. 1840, Indiana). Theylived in Jackson Township. Their daughter, Mary, was born 1873. Amos died before 1880.Barnard (Barney) Sealls, a farmer and private in Company A 15th volunteer Iowa Infantry in 1885, was bornin 1838 and buried in the Olin Cemetery in 1912. His wife was Martha C (Truax) Sealls (1840–1917). Theywere married a month after Amos and Elizabeth. Mary Sealls lived with Barney and Martha on their farm.Mary (Stingley) Sealls was the widowed mother of Edmond, Barney, and Amos, was born in Ohio in 1807and died in Olin at the age of 72, December 1880.Other relations include son-in-law, Claude Stingley (1875–1933) who married Elnora (Nora Sealls-Stingley),daughter-in-law Della I.(Easterly), who married Will (their children were Nellie Mae and Edmund Sealls),and son-in-law John A. Rummell ,who married Jennie Sealls. John and Jennie later inherited the house oracquired it through an action of the probate court. Josephine married William H. Crain (d. 1919) who 27
    • Chapter 3: Historical Backgroundemigrated from Pennsylvania In 1890. Josephine held the property after Jennie and John moved toLebanon, Missouri.RUMMELLJohn Mathias Rummell (1828–1906) first and Margaret Ann (McConkhil) first appear in the state census of1856, which indicates they moved in that year. The 1910 county history reported that J.M. Rummell,Samuel Easterly, Norman. B. Seeley established the Olin cemetery in the early 1840s. Their Son John AlbertRummel married Jennie Sealls. They were recorded as living in Lebanon Missouri in 1910.John M. Rummel was from Pennsylvania and Margaret (1832–1919) was from Virginia. John’s grandfather,was George P. Rummell, who appears in the 1856 census as well. George was a stone mason. He and hiswife J. Rummell were from Pennsylvania. Their three teenage children were born in Ohio and emigratedfrom their state of birth at the same time. Among them, John Albert Rummell had reported income for1865, he married Jennie Sealls. David E. Rummell enlisted in the in August of 1861 and was mustered outin January 1864. He obtained the rank of Corporal and filed the history of Company B, Ninth IowaRegiment Volunteer Infantry. He continued his life of service to community and country as the WalnutFork postmaster in 1868 and 1872. He was listed as a Tinner in 1875, a druggist in 1879 and advertised inthe Olin Recorder for this profession. He was a General Insurance agent and Notary Public in 1883. He wassuperintendent of the Olin School from 1897 to 1908. He, D.E., and Wm. Rummell were among the 32signatories to the petition to incorporate Olin in 1868 (Corbit 1910). David. E., George Franklin, and WilliamRummell each take turns at being City Treasurer and City Council Members throughout the 1880s with D.E.becoming mayor in 1896. C.P. Rummell is City Clerk from 1899–1901. From the 1840s, Josiah M. Rummellis instrumental in the initial care of the Olin Cemetery Association and D.E. Rummell from 1894 servedcontinuously on the board of that organization most often being its president.John M. Rummell retired to Olin in 1894 and died in 1906. His wife was still living in their house in town in1909. J.A. Rummell acquired the Sealls house in 1925 when Margret Sealls died intestate.Martha Jane Rummell was married to T.W Easterly. Easterly arrived at Rome in 1852 from Ohio at the ageof 17. They lived in their hewn log house well into the 1880s. Agriculturalist E. R. Easterly, reportedly wellknown, was their son, born 1871 in Rome Township. Della I was married to W.E. Sealls, son of Edmund andMargaret. Other Easterly progeny and siblings moved to western Iowa and John Albert in Missouri. HANKENThe Hanken Family has long been associated with Jones County History, going back to shortly after 1854when Wesley and Margaret Hanken came to Jones County after their marriage in Germany and a brief stayin Dixon, Illinois. Wesley’s father and three brothers all arrived in Rome at the same time. The family istherefore large and by the middle of the 20th century, the number of cousins was quite large. Henry Hanken was a lineman for the Olin-Morley Telephone Company after the Second World War. Thetelephone company was organized in 1900 as the Merritt telephone company. Telephone lines wereextended within a few years from Morely and St. John to Olin and from Morley to Anamosa in 1901 givingrise to the Olin–Morley Telephone Company, with J.A. White President and W.M. Gilbert BlahneySecretary. E.R. Easterly was the treasurer beginning in 1908. Initially J.W. Lyon conducted repairs and ranthe basic operation. H.S. Merritt was the president. The main office and exchange building was located at 28
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Studythe south end of Main Street in Olin. The modifications to the Accessory Building that Rearick thought mayhave been due to Hanken being a rural mail carrier probably are more likely related to a service vehiclewith ladders or aerial boom lift and bucket. Sara (Platner) Hanken (1902–18967) is buried in the OlinCemetery.SLIFEJames Slife was the son of Daniel and Catherine Slife. James was born in Ohio and moved to Jones Countywith his parents in 1849. Daniel Slife was a carpenter from Ohio, who was born in Maryland. He and hiswife Catherine, who was from Pennsylvania, moved to Jackson Township in 1849 and appear in the USCensus 1850 with four children born in Ohio (Christina, Rachel, James, and David). James’ uncle and auntwere Valentine and Margaret M. (Houstman) Slife. They were farmers from Ohio who moved to JohnsonCounty in 1839 and Jones County in 1840–41, 18 months later. Their farm was in Sec. 26, JacksonTownship. James was in the Olin Lodge, No. 90, Ancient Order of United Workmen with Edmond Sealls andW.A. Seeley. H. Rummel was the Lodge Master.EVERHARTNicholas M. Everhart. Came to Olin between 1870 and appear in the 1895 state census. Nicholas and hiswife Susan owned Lots 1–4, Block 3 Cronkhite’s Addition from 1874 to 1875. Their house in Rome was builtin 1842 by Richard J. and Mary (Seeley) Cleveland. On October 26, 1877 the Everharts transferred propertyto James Slife. Nicholas was a He was a merchant and Postmaster 1872 until 1885 and Treasurer of the ill-fated Olin College (1878–1880). N.M. Everhart owned a house built by Richard Cleveland in 1842.CRONKHITETwo farmers with the surname Cronkhite were among the first of the Euro American land holders andsettlers to Rome Township before the Civil War. Orville [Oril] Cronkhite arrived in the fall of 1839 and isamong the first recorded settlers to Walnut, later Rome Township, John Merritt having the distinction ofbeing the very first settler to this part of Jones County in 1837. Orville was on the Board of Directors for theSabula, Ackley & Dakota Railroad in 1870 and the early paper railway company known as the AnamosaBranch of the Tipton Railway. Richard J. Cleveland as noted in his Reminiscence that Orville was among thedozen or so families in the Township when he arrived from Boston with his wife, Mary (Seeley) Cleveland.Orville was married to Lavina (Baugh) Cronkhite. Orville was from New York and Lavina from Ohio. Thecouple had six children, two of whom traveled with them from Indiana. Son William E. Cronkhite was bornin Indiana. He came to Jones County with his parents in 1839 in the Section of Walnut Township thatbecame Hale Township. His wife Caroline (Mangold) was from Switzerland, emigrating from that countrysometime between 1837 and 1846. They married in 1866 after William returned from the Civil War. Hebecame the first county treasurer that same year. William and Caroline purchased the Clevelands’ 80 acresfrom Mary. Three years later, he filed the plat for the 1873 Cronkhite addition in which the Sealls house islocated.Orville’s brother Orin [Orran] arrived shortly before the 1870 census, having left New York with Orville buttaking up a claim in Lee County from 1840 until he moved to Jones County. Orin was married to Lucinda(Baugh) Cronkhite. 29
    • CHAPTER 4 CONSTRUCTION HISTORYThe Sealls House appears to have been originally built as a front and wing cottage with a porch built intothe ell. It was styled but not architect designed. Ready-made decorative elements and cladding wereadded to a standard dimension lumber frame, the exposed members of which appear to be cut byreciprocating saw (not by circular saw mill, pit saw or adze). The joists are not cantilevered and instead arecut and notched to fit over the wall on either side at the central room of the house and are supported byknee walls that originally extended to frost footings along the building perimeter. All the joists haveperpendicular, vertical saw cuts akin to a steam or water powered saw mill. This type of board could havebeen shipped in or locally made but they are later than first settlement period, are not pit sawn or handhewed and at the same time are also earlier than 20th century rotary sawn and mill planed dimensionallumber.To the original building three or four additions and a front porch were added over the first 60 years of thebuilding’s life. The exact form of the original roof over the east facing wing remains uncertain as are thedates for the various remodeling events. It appears likely that some additions predate the middle of the20th Century at the point when most of the incongruous styles were added to the kitchen and bath, newermaterials were added to the foundation and roof structure and changes were made to the basement toaccommodate central heating. Eugene Rearick indicated all the additions predate 1971, which is consistentwith the materials and type of construction observed in the west and rear alterations but it should benoted that through the 1960s a wider range of traditional materials were available than at a later date. It ispossible much of the cladding was made to match the original, potentially confusing the issue of whenadditions occurred. The configuration of the basement and foundation walls suggests an east wing wasbuilt with the original house but smaller than presently seen. On the front elevation of the side wing avertical trim board appears to be the original corner of the east wing and indicates the location of theaddition, which is supported from below by a modern cast concrete block wall.The basement plan is clearly modified from the original. There is a central cellar, an area into which adoorway was set originally near the base of the stairs. It is consistent with an exterior bulkhead doorwayfor a cellar entrance. Alternatively, a bulkhead doorway may have entered on the east side of the houseadjacent, but at the time still outside the wing of the house. It appears that extensive area of floors thatextened beyond the central cellar were supported by only a frost footing that followed the original outerwalls. If there was a basement entrance along the east side of the house, it would likely also have been abulkhead entrance and the wooden stairs would have descended into the area that was later converted toa coal room. Holes have been cut in the stone of the central cellar and they appear to be consistent forsupply lines and return gravity ductwork for a central gravity, “octopus” or so-called “stoker” furnacesthough some appear to be the size of windows or access ways for crawl spaces. The chimney for thegravity furnace is of extruded, fairly high-fired brick. The chimney runs up through the roof and is locatedjust to the west of the central axis of the front wing of the house. The original construction period of thehome is consistent with availability of brick from the Olin Brick & Tile Company and the brick in the houseis not inconsistent with the type of brick that could have been made locally. It remains unknown if the 30
    • 4: Construction Historyfurnace was built with the house or added later. Central gravity or “octopus” furnaces were available in the1880s (Holohan 2011). However, a large stove that could have come from the house sits in the shop areaof the secondary building of Sealls House property. There is no firm evidence that heating was provided bystoves that directly heated individual rooms. Having many more stoves than a cooking range and oneheating stove is a considerable investment and contradicts some of the more Spartan appearance of themajority of the house as well as the efficiency of single, central unit. There are not chimney plates or otherindicates of former connection points for stoves anywhere in the house. If walls were relathed andplastered following mid-century or earlier additions, which appears likely, then evidence for theseconnections may have been removed. An old pressure tank stands near the chimney and the houseprobably had hot running water from the time that it and the furnace were installed.At some point the following modifications have been made to the basement: Some of the mortar has beenrepointed with concrete. The dirt has been dug out in what was likely a crawl space surrounding thecentral cellar and concrete block was laid down to underpin the original limestone frost footing. Thisarrangement was reversed on the east side where the newest wall was set on top of the stone, which satat the same level as the central cellar. Plumbing runs down from the kitchen and bath in the newer southbasement area.. The coal chute hatch door is set into a newer basement wall of this type of block. Thisblock is highly visible along the east and south elevations. Therefore, the foundation along the southeastaddition is clearly not original. Aesthetically, it adds little to the overall appearance of the building andarguably alters the original design and materials.Along the south basement, an entirely new wall has been laid down. The south wall is made of a massivetype of CMU). These are huge blocks and moving them any distance would be very labor intensive (notthat stone does not ever get moved a long way. On the south and west sides of the basement, outside thecentral cellar, the floor elevation is a good foot lower than the central cellar, and has a concrete floor. Themiddle room seems to still have a rammed earth floor but there is a lot of debris from several types ofinsulation that have been pulled down and lay on the floor. Reportedly a floor drain is located in thesoutheast corner where a show curtain is hung. The drain was not visible due to the standing water on thefloor. Water stood about 8 inches on the floor on the May 25th visit.From the exterior and main floor, the west wing appears to be the oldest apparent alteration but it is notclear if it was or was not constructed with the original building. The foundation is of similar stone to theremainder of the building, but it is not clear if the block is structurally tied into the basement wall or laidadjacent to the exterior of the original building. The trim, roof pitch, and cladding match the originalstructure. The roofline attaches to the main structure at a point where the ridge board of the wing isnearly in contact with the west eaves. The space under the floor of the wing is not accessible from thebasement. The west gabled addition and upstairs have a lower order trim than the primary two rooms. It isplain and utilitarian when compared to the classically styled trim work in the front room and dining room.The Kitchen addition was originally smaller, much more like the west addition, and then was added on toalong the back and east side, allowing the dining room to expand, add a bathroom on the main floor,increase the kitchen space, and enclose the entryway to the basement as well as a coal chute and coalroom for the large furnace installed about this time. The foundation under east wall of the addition ismodern concrete block. Under back wall the foundation is a somewhat massive, apparently solid, concreteblock. The west wall and north wall are limestone but supported from beneath with the same massivestone block. The rafters of the roof for the south addition are a clear indication of the alteration to theroofline and the relative time periods the alteration took place. The west side, the original roof, has full-dimensional, rough cut 2 x 4 lumber with reciprocating saw mill marks while the east side has nominal 31
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Studydimensional 2 x 4, mill planed, clear of visible knots and reddish in color, suggesting Douglas fir, a commonstructural grade material in the middle of the 20th century. The Fir rafters match the type in the AccessoryBuilding, which is thought to have been built by Hanken. The door hardware on the secondary or accessorybuilding matches the 1940s-1960s time period.The choice of trim also indicates potential alterations. Only the primary rooms had decorative trim but thedecorative treatment, if any, along with width, thickness, type of cut or saw marks, and methods ofconstruction all can be approximately equated with known time periods. Only the primary rooms haddecorative trim. The door and window trim was fairly simple but the decorative base board is entirelymissing. The base blocks of the door trim are consistent with Ornamental Aesthetic or Italianate Aestheticinterior trim (c.f. Gottfried and Jennings 2009). They have a flat base, caped with a large recurvate trimpiece, not unlike a stylized scroll or acanthus typical of renaissance classical revival. The hardware sets onthe more elaborate doors was Ornamental Aesthetic akin to Eastlake style fittings, but not exactly in theEastlake style (Gottfried and Jennings 2009). The walls have been replastered at some time before 2008,but only with a rough coat, not really either a brown or scratch coat, but uneven plaster, probably gypsumand not lime, was completed before it was painted. The plaster has been removed to about the height ofthe meeting rail of the windows on most of the first floor, and entirely in the west addition. The meetingrails area a few inches above the high water mark still visible on the windows and a few vertical trimboards. The ceiling trim in the front room is a 2 ½ inch cove. The ceilings have been replaced with a paperfiber acoustic tile in the other rooms on the main floor.The door and window trim was fairly simple but flush beaded with ogee plinths or base blocks and squarecorner blocks with paterae, but on the windows, the apron was a piece of the flush-beaded casing. Thewindows were simple sashes, with one over one lights. The doors are four-panel, with the lower panelsbeing smaller than the top. The flush beads occurred as four narrow v-notches or quirks providing greaterrelief for the three unraised bead lines. The Front entry door is a half-glass, sash door with segmented archover the single, clear-glazed light. Any remaining decorative base board has been completely removed.The hardware sets on the more elaborate doors of the front room parlor was Ornamental Aesthetic akin toEastlake style fittings but in exact detail somewhat different. The time period for this type of decorativehardware is consistent with the 1890s. The hardware on the door to the upper floor had a sanitaryporcelain handle. The walls have been replastered at some time before 2008, but only with a rough coat,not really either a brown or scratch coat, but nonuniform plaster, probably gypsum and not lime, wascompleted before it was painted. The plaster has been removed to about the height of the meeting rail ofthe windows on most of the first floor, and entirely in the west addition, which is a few inches above thehigh water mark still visible on the windows and a few vertical trim boards. The ceiling trim in the frontroom is a 2 ½ inch cove. The ceilings have been replaced with a paper fiber acoustic tile in the other roomson the main floor. Trim in other areas is plain and utilitarian with butt joinery and no ornamentation.The kitchen and bath look like they were updated in the 1940–1950s, with the modern metal cabinets andnew fixtures you could get then. The few remaining light fixtures, such a metal fitting with glass shade inthe north bedroom, give the impression the house was probably wired for the first time in the 1930s or1940s. Flooring in the kitchen is small square tiles. The upper story floors are linoleum.Rearick stated has had the property since 1971. He says he has had a number of floods, and made repairsafter each. At some point, he is not sure when, he moved his mechanical units—furnace and waterheater—to an attic space off of one of the two second floor bedrooms. It appears that the mechanicalcontractor or other installer or the recent roofer failed to flash the vent pipe correctly and all penetrations 32
    • 4: Construction Historyof the roofline appear to be leaking. All have water damage and plaster has failed along the ceiling in theselocations and lower along the eves in a number of spots as well. Where the plaster has not fallen, it ismildewed. After cleaning up from the flood, which removed the base boards, plaster to about 3 feet in thedining room, and left the floors puckered, Rearick undertook to have electrical service entrance upgradedto 200 amps moving it from the basement to the front room. Rewiring of the house and outbuilding in 12a.w.g. wire with plastic receptacle boxes were begun, but not completed. The roof was reshingled, but itappears that flashing was not installed correctly. The current condition of the house, provided that itretains sufficient structural integrity that it continues to function as originally intended, does not influencethe determination of eligibility of a historic property. SIGNIFICANCEThe Sealls house is modest residence from around 1895 and the last surviving example of a of its specificdesign type in Olin. Few smaller houses in the community retain integrity. The house is primarily definedby its form, scale, and both interior and exterior ornamentation, and especially the exterior. The machine-made applied ornament to the upper gable end on the street side of the Sealls House along with thebracket supports under the oriel and the corner plinths all speak to a design that is unique among its peersin Olin. The modest single family residence retains distinctive characteristics of a type, period, and methodof construction and therefore is eligible to the National Register under Criteria C for architecture. Thehouse also was the dwelling of a large family with direct ties to many of the other prominent families andsocial organizations of the community. As such, it is a surviving example of Olin society at the end of the19th Century and the building reflects the either or both the attitude toward thrift and the economicsituation of the period of construction and represents changing values and attitudes toward housing in themiddle of the 20th Century. The alterations to house occurred more than 50 years ago and are thereforedeemed to have obtained significance in their own right particularly in this instance due to the state ofpreservation and the addition of hand-made elements in the mid-20th century juxtaposed favorably withmanufactured design ornaments from the late 19th century. Therefore the house is also a survivingexample of Mid-20th century modifications of an existing structure and reflects changes in technology andtastes in housing over the period of significance. Given that major changes to the house and propertyoccurred during the ownership of the Hanken family, and that form and appearance of the accessorybuilding was directly related to Mr. Hanken’s profession and designed by him to accommodate histelephone boom truck, and that Mr. Haknen provided a vital service to the community through the Olin-Morley Telephone company, the accessory building is a contributing part of the overall property. Takentogether, the property as a whole is judged to also be eligible under Criteria A for association with broadpatterns of history, specifically local interpretations of social norms and responses to trends inmanufacturing and the economy and housing needs of the middle 20th century. 33
    • REFERENCE SOURCESAmmerman, Jeremy, Architectural Historian. Letter of Concurrence dated March 19, 2009 to Marlys Svendsen and Justine Zimmer, Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division, R&C #090353049 Regarding FEMA—Jones County—Olin—Flood 2008—HADB #53-013—HISTORICAL AND ARCHITECTURAL RECONNAISSANCE SURVEY FOR 2008 FLOOD PROJECTS IN OLIN, JONES COUNTY BY IOWA HOMEALND SECURITY & EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIVISION–REVISED 3/9/2009. Iowa State Historic Preservation Office, Department of Cultural Affairs, Des Moines. 2009.Anderson, Wayne l. Iowa’s Geologic Past: Three Billion Years of Earth History. University of Iowa Press, Iowa City. 1998.Andreas, Alfred T., A.T. Andreas’ Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Iowa. Andreas Atlas Company, Chicago. 1875.Atlas and Plat Book of Jones County, Iowa. Jones County Times. [s.l.] 1921.Bennett, H., Insurance Map, Olin, October 1899, Pop. 900. Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 1899.Brick, Vol. VI, Windsor and Kinfeild Publishing Company, 1897. Vol. XVIII, Windsor and Kinfeild Publishing Company, 1903. Vol. XXI, Windsor and Kinfeild Publishing Company, 1904.Buchmiller, Robert C. and David A. Eash. Floods of May and June 2008. Open File Report 2010-1096. http://www.usgs.gov www. pubs.usgs.gov/of/2010/1096/. U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, 2010.Burlingame, Q. C.E., New Sectional Atlas of Jones County, Iowa. [s.l.]. 1877.Cleveland, R.J. Reminiscences of Rome, personal manuscript essay, reproduced in Corbit, R.M. 1910 and Western Historical Company 1879.Coal Age: Devoted to Coal Mining and Manufacture. Hill Publishing Co. (Continued after 1916 by McGraw-Hill), New York. 1911–ca. 1955.Cole, Cyrenus. A History of the People of Iowa. The Torch Press, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 1921.Colton, J.H., Map of the Surveyed Part of Iowa. New York. 1830.Cooper, Claire C. The Role of Railroads in the Settlement of Iowa. M.A. Thesis, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. 1958, Cited in Thompson 1989.Corbit, R.M., ed. History of Jones County: Past and Present. S.J. Clarke Publishing Co, Chicago. 1910.Ellison, Todd. Tips for Determining When a U.S. Post Card Was Printed, from Beginner’s Guide to the Hobby of Postcard Collecting, The Capital of Texas Postcard Club. Center for Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO. 2006. Accessed June 15, 2011.Gottfried, Herbert and Jan Jennings. American Vernacular Design: 1870–1940. Iowa State University Press, Ames. 1985. American Vernacular Buildings and Interiors: 1870–1960. W.W. Norton Co., New York. 2009.Holohan, Dan. Ask Old House Journal. Old House Journal, February 2011.The History of Jones County, Iowa. Western Historical Company, Chicago. 1879.Jacobsen, James E. National Register Nomination Form, Washington Street and East 22nd Street Historic District, Dubuque, Iowa, State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines. Certified January 10, 2011. 34
    • Sealls House Historic Property ReportLea, Albert. M. Notes on the Wisconsin Territory; Particularly with Reference to the Iowa District or Black Hawk Purchase. H.S. Tanner, Philadelphia. 1836. Reprint The Book that Gave Iowa Its Name. State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City. 1935.McAlester, Virginia and Lee. A Field Guide to American Houses. Alfred A. Knopf. New York. 2000.Olin Heritage Center. Scrapbooks: clippings, photos, and historical accounts. Olin, Iowa. 2011.Olin, Iowa. Fire Insurance Bureau, [s.l.]. 1935.The Olin-Ite. [newspaper] Vol. 1, No. 23. May 5, 1920. Olin, Iowa. 1920.Olin Sesquicentennial Committee, Olin, Iowa Sesquicentennial, 1835-1985 : the Oldest Town in Jones County. Olin Sesquicentennial Committee, Olin, Iowa. 1985.Philips, Stephen J. Old House Dictionary. National Trust for Historic Preservation. Washington, D.C. 1994.Platbook of Jones County, Iowa. North West Publishing Company [s.l., probably Philadelphia]. 1893.Sage, Leland. A History of Iowa. Iowa State University Press. Ames, Iowa. 1974.Schwieder, Dorthy. Iowa: The Middle Land. Iowa State University Press. Ames, Iowa. 1996Standard Atlas of Jones County, Iowa. Geo. A. Ogle Co., Chicago. 1915.Svendsen, Marlys. Iowa Site Inventory Form 53-00691, Department of Public Defense, Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division. 2011.Svendsen, Marlys and Justine Zimmer, Historical and Architectural Reconnaissance Survey for Flood Projects in Olin, Jones County. HADB #53-9013, Department of Public Defense, Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division, Des Moines, Iowa. 2009.Thompson, William H. Transportation in Iowa: A Historical Summary. Iowa Department of Transportation, Ames, Iowa. 1989.Van Der Zee, Jacob. The Roads and Highways of Territorial Iowa. Iowa Journal of History and Politics, Volume III, Benjamin F. Shambaugh, ed., State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City. 1905. The Opening of the Des Moines Valley. Iowa Journal of History and Politics, Volume XIV, Benjamin F. Shambaugh, ed., State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City. 1916.Weitzel, Tim. An Armchair Walking Tour of the Longfellow Neighborhood, Library Cable Chanel 4, August 1, 2005, Iowa City Public y, Iowa City. 2005. History Notes: The Oakes Brickworks and “1142” in The Long View [Newsletter], Longfellow Neighborhood Association, November 2005, Iowa City, Iowa. 2005. The Longfellow Neighborhood Historic Markers, in Past, Present, Future, Spring 2005, Friends of Historic Preservation, Iowa City, Iowa. 2005. The Oakes Brickworks, Sign #2B, Longfellow Neighborhood Art Project. Historic Markers and Public Art in the Longfellow Neighborhood, Iowa City. http://www.icgov.org/default/?id=1684 and http://www.icgov.org/site/CMSv2/file/publicArt/LNAbrochure.pdf, Accessed July 20, 2011, City of Iowa City, Iowa City, Iowa. Updated 2008. 35
    • APPENDIX ABUILDING ELEVATION AND PLANS 53-00691 Sealls House 208 E Locust St., Olin, IA North Elevation Sketch Primary Façade ( h ) 36
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study 53-00691 Sealls House 208 E Locust St., Olin, IA Trim and Doors Sketch Primary Order 37
    • Appendix A: Building Elevation and Plans Gaps near top of wall and hole cut, then refilled are likely to have been for ductwork from gravity furnaceCoursed, rock-faced limestone block Concrete Block equivalent to that currently available, (CMUs) with coal chute installed Coursed rock faced limestone over massive cast concrete block 53-00691 Sealls House 208 E Locust St., Olin, IA Basement Plan Sketch (Schematic) approximately .01” per Foot 38
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation StudyElectrical serviceentrance and panel Trim these two rooms: First Order hardware, moldings, and doors. Closet Joists run original width of central cellar. Trim this room: Tertiary Utility trim, non- 0rder; wide strip flooring decorative, but stained to match existing in room. CELL W. Standing well pump 53-00691 Sealls House 208 E Locust St., Olin, IA First Floor Plan Sketch (Schematic) approximately .01” per Foot 39
    • Appendix A: Building Elevation and PlansUpper attic Scuttlein ceiling Access hatchways to attic above addition (connects to attic over east wing and porch Original size and massing of rear addition Standing well pump 53-00691 Sealls House 208 E Locust St., Olin, IA Upper Story Plan Sketch (Schematic) approximately .01” per Foot 40
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Front Gabled Roof Hip Roof over enclosed porch, mid-century alteration Side Gable d Roof Wooden slat awning Half shed/half hip roof Overlapping roofGabled Roof, modified into long Shed on east slope 53-00691 Sealls House 208 E Locust St., Olin, IA Roofline Sketch (Schematic) approximately .01” per Foot 41
    • Appendix A: Building Elevation and PlansSealls House, Elevation: Primary Façade, View South 42
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Sealls House, Elevation: Tertiary Façade, View W 43
    • Appendix A: Building Elevation and PlansSealls House, Elevation: Tertiary Façade, View N 44
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Sealls House, Elevation: Secondary Façade, View E 45
    • APPENDIX B REPRESENTATIVE PHOTOGRAPHSPhotographic Documentation SpecificationsPhotos on this supplemental form taken by Tim Weitzel, IDED-HPS, on behalf of the City of Olin, for CDBG-DRHB flood risk minimization building acquisition and removal activity.Narrative Description (supplemental form)Field photography—4.29.11Date April 29, 2011Camera IDED Canon PowerShot S3 ISFormat JPEG 1600 X 1200 pixels at 360 dpiImage Size 5.25 X 7 Inches (Nominally scaled to ISIF format)Archival Photos—5.25.11 (provided on Compact Disk, write-once -R DVD-ROM #255-1 & #255-2)Date May 25 2011Camera Weitzel Nikon D60 Nikor DX 18-55 mm lensFormat RAW 2592 X 3872 pixels at 300 X 300 dpi/ppiColor mode SRGB 24-bit depth 46
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Photo 1. Sealls House, View SW 47
    • Appendix B: Representative PhotographsPhoto 2. Sealls House, View NE 48
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Photo 3. Sealls House, Property, View SW 49
    • Appendix B: Representative PhotographsPhoto 4. Sealls House, Property, View NW 50
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Photo 5. Sealls House, Accessory Building. View NE 51
    • Appendix B: Representative PhotographsPhoto 6. Sealls House, Accessory Building, View SW 52
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Photo 7. Sealls House, Neighborhood, View SW 53
    • Appendix B: Representative PhotographsPhoto 8. Sealls House, Neighborhood, View SW 54
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Photo 9. Sealls House, Neighborhood, View NW 55
    • Appendix B: Representative PhotographsPhoto 10. Sealls House, Neighborhood, View W 56
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Photo 11. Sealls House, Neighborhood, View NE 57
    • Appendix B: Representative PhotographsPhoto12. Sealls House, Neighborhood, View SE 58
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Photo 13. Sealls House, Basement, central room, View NW 59
    • Appendix B: Representative PhotographsPhoto 14. Sealls House, Basement, exterior of south wall of central room, door towest passage, View W 60
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Photo 15. Sealls House, Front room or Parlor, View E 61
    • Appendix B: Representative PhotographsPhoto 16. Sealls House, Front Room or Parlor, View NW 62
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Photo 17. Sealls House, Front Room or Parlor, Dining Room, Kitchen, View S 63
    • Appendix B: Representative PhotographsPhoto 18. Sealls House, Dining Room and Doorway to Bath, View SE 64
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Photo 19. Sealls House, North wall of Dining Room and Entry, View NE 65
    • Appendix B: Representative PhotographsPhoto 20. Sealls House, Covered ceiling, leakage evident, a. dining room, View NE;b. Parlor, View SW 66
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Photo 21. Sealls House, West Room (Bedroom) and Closet under stairs, View NW 67
    • Appendix B: Representative PhotographsPhoto 22. Sealls House, Stairs from Main Floor to Upper Story,View E 68
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Photo 23. Sealls House, Upper Story, Leaks evident. a. at chimney (Added middle of 20th C. South Room), and b. along west eaves in north room, View NE (Top), View NW (Bottom) 69
    • Appendix B: Representative PhotographsPhoto 24. Sealls House, Upper Story, a. Front Room Scuttle to Attic, and b. Wall 70Structure, with leaks evident. View NE (Top), View SE (Bottom)
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Photo 25. Sealls House, Accessory Structure. Pot belly heating stove reported to be from a train depot, View NE 71
    • Appendix B: Representative PhotographsPhoto 26. Sealls House, Detail of Applied Gableboard. Ornamentation built from machined woodelements featuring lathe-turned spindles, scroll saw cut work, saw milled boards, drop pendants, andfeaturing Victorian Stylistic Elements (Carpenter Gothic and Queen Anne Elements). View SW 72
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Photo 27. Sealls House, Detail of Corner Pilaster with capital made of, bedmold fillets, and 5/4-board cap. View SW 73
    • Appendix B: Representative PhotographsPhoto 28. Sealls House, Detail of Oriel with curvilinear scroll saw cut ornamentalbrackets with integral drop pendants. View SW. 74
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Photo 29. Sealls House, Detail of Northwest Building Corner showing relationship of weatherboard, cornerboard, and stone foundation. Also note absence of water table, and joint work repointed with Portland cement. View S 75
    • Appendix B: Representative PhotographsPhoto 30. Sealls House, Detail of coal chute set into foundation wall of effectively modern castconcrete masonry unit construction on east elevation. View W 76
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Photo 31. Sealls House, Detail of Chimney and roof vent that post-dates period of construction. View NW 77
    • Appendix B: Representative PhotographsPhoto 32. Sealls House, Detail of Water Pump. View NE 78
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Photo 33. Sealls House, Detail of Cast Concrete front stoop and hand worked steel railing. View SW 79
    • Appendix B: Representative PhotographsPhoto 34. Sealls House, Detail of East Wing, Exterior of North wall. View S 80
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Photo 35. Sealls House, Detail of handmade wooden awning. View SW 81
    • Appendix B: Representative PhotographsPhoto 36. Sealls House, Detail of handmade wooden flag pole bracket attached eastadjacent to front porch doorway. View SW 82
    • APPENDIX C REFERENCE FIGURES AND TABLES OLIN JONESFigure 1. Location Map. Sources: Iowa DOT and Wikipedia. 83
    • Appendix C: Reference Figures and Tables ElkfordFigure 2. Composite USGS Map depicting local topography, permanent water, and the location ofearly settlements and existing City of Olin. Note also the constriction of the river valley as theWapsipinicon exits the Rome outwash plain heading eastward toward Hale. (USGS Morley, 1996 andUSGS Stanwood, 1990 7.5 quadrangles.) 84
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Iowa Highway 38 Railroad Berm River Scarp and Ox Bow (abandoned ancient channel) Cleveland St FIRM ZONE A2nd St North St APE Locust St Creek Scarp and Ox Bow (abandoned channel) Alley Harrison St Jackson St Wall St FIRM ZONE A Figure3. LiDAR Hillshade Relief Map depicting areas of greater or lesser elevation and highlighting natural and constructed topographic features. Area between dashed lines is the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map designation for Zone A, which has a flood risk equivalent to the 100-year flood plain (risk of flooding equal to 0.1% chance per year). Source: Iowa State Geographical Map Server, Iowa Department of Natural Resources Light Detection and Ranging 1 meter digital elevation model and Flood Insurance Rate Map, Intranetix FIRM viewer. 85
    • Appendix C: Reference Figures and TablesFigure 4. 1838 General Land Office Map of Section 13, T83N-R3W and vicinity, including physicalgeographical information such as rivers, streams, embankments, and political geographic features suchas the plat of Elkford and segments of well-established and conveyance trails. Note also the large grovesof trees, including the one labeled “Sugar Grove” in Sections 15, 14, 22, and 23. Retrieved June 9, 2011,from the Iowa Geographic Map Server, Iowa State University Geographical Information SystemsResearch and Support Facility and ISU GLO Research Project, Paul F. Anderson, Department of LandscapeArchitecture and Department of Agronomy. 86
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Elkford Figure 5. 1875 Map. Plat map depicting Rome Township within a Plat of Jones County from a statewide atlas. Note the proposed route for the S. A. & D Railroad, which had been recorded but was not built. The rights to the line were bought and constructed as one line of the Chicago, Milwaukee, & St. Paul. Source: A.T. Andreas’ Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Iowa. Andreas Atlas Company, Chicago. 1875. Color copy retrieved June 9, 2011, from the Jones County Historical Society Web Site, photographed by Jim Christensen. 87
    • Appendix C: Reference Figures and Tables ElkfordFigure 6. 1877 Map. Plat and Atlas showing Olin, the mill race north of town, and the location ofearly settlements. Burlingame 1877, color copy retrieved June 9, 2011, from the Jones CountyHistorical Society Web Site, photographed by Jim Christensen. 88
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Figure 7. 1893 Map. Plat and Atlas showing Olin, the mill race north of town and Olin Town Cemetery in the middle of Section 24, south of town. North West Publishing 1893, color copy retrieved June 9, 2011, from the Jones County Historical Society Web Site, photographed by Jim 89
    • Appendix C: Reference Figures and TablesFigure 8. 1893 Map. Plat of Olin, indicating subdivisions, lot lines, geophysical features, and ruralownership. North West Publishing 1893, color copy retrieved June 9, 2011, from the Jones CountyHistorical Society Web Site, photographed by Jim Christensen. 90
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study G. O. 9 70 11 12 13 14 15 16 O. G. G. D. D. D. D. D. f. D. Sealls House Former creek channel D. D. D. f. D. G. D. G. 8 7 6 5 4 3 G. 2 1 G. 9 70 11 12 13 14 15 16 G. O. O. A.G. D. D. D. D. D. D. 1870–1890 D. Dwelling 1890–1910 f.D. (former) 1910–1930 G. Accessory Building 1930–1950 1950–1970 1970–2008 Overlapping building footprint from distinct time periods Figure 9. Schematic Representation of Land Use History as of fall 2008 Block 2 and Block 3, Cronkhite’s Addition. 91
    • Appendix C: Reference Figures and TablesTable of Historic Persons, Occupations, and Immigration DetailsName Occupation and Offices Residence Year Arrived Birth Place Vital Statistics From LocationSEELEY, Norman B. 1st Post Master, Miller, Farmer. Elections Walnut Fork 1839 New York b. 1810 1839–1852 held at his house near Jackson and d. 1864 (POW 2nd Avenue. Andersonville, GA)Lydia New York b. 1812CLEVELAND, Richard J. Surveyor, Farmer-Gardner, Post Master, Among Rome 1840 Boston b. 1805 the many areas he surveyed include the Plat for 220 ac. Illinois Graduated d. 1877 Rome and Lexington (Anamosa) Sold 1868 Harvard 1827m. 1839 Illinois 1840 New York b. 1814Mary (SEELEY) Illinois Moved 1836 m. 1878 Joseph LowryMERRITT, John 1st Settler in Olin Area and first as far west as Merritt Homestead 1836 New York b. 1806 the Merritt Homestead in Jones county. May Sec. 3 New York Moved 1836, d. have arrived as early as 1836 but returned to Rome TWP 1837 1837 New York, then Clinton, IA with his family. 754 ac Clinton, IACatherine or Katherine Farmer, 1st Road Supervisor Jones County Pennsylvania b. 1800(CULP) District 3, Trustee, Inherited Surveyor’s d. 1835 Compass from Abolitionist John Brown Pennsylvania m. 1827Caroline (DUNLAP, b. 1828HARVEY) d. m. 1856MERRITT, Joseph H. Farmer Merritt Homestead 1837 New York b. 1833 Sec. 3 Ohio Moved d. Rome TWP New York b. 1800Mary (Pennsylvania) d. 92
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study Table of Historic Persons, Occupations, and Immigration Details Name Occupation and Offices Residence Year Arrived Birth Place Vital Statistics From Location CRONKHITE, William E. Farmer, Road Supervisor, 1st County Treasurer Cronkhite Homestead 1837 Indiana b. 1833 to Sec. 3 d. 1926 Rome TWP m. 1866 Walnut Fork Switzerland b. 1837–1846 Caroline (MANGOLD) d. after 1920 CRONKHITE, Orville Farmer, Merchant, Election Judge, Probate Cronkhite Homestead 1839 New York b. 1810 Judge, Justice of the Peace Sec. 15 d. 1875, Rome 440 ac. Ohio b. 1814 Lovinia (BAUGH) d. 1900, Olin CRONKHITE, Orion Farmer Cronkhite Homestead Before 1870 New York b. 1813 (Oran, Orin) Son William Steward b. 1849 Jones County Sec. 15 Rome TWP, Lee Co. IA 1840 d. 1871 Freemont TWP, Cedar Indiana m. 1835 County 1880 Lucinda (SAUM) Ohio Ohio b. 1817 d. after 1885 RUMMELL, John Tanner, Olin 1853 Pennsylvania b. 1828 Mathias Son of G. P. and J. Rummell of Pennsylvania Ohio moved 1835 d. 1906 m. 1853 Margaret (MCCONKIE) Parents of John Albert Rummel who moved to Ohio Ohio Lebanon, Missouri 93
    • Appendix C: Reference Figures and TablesTable of Historic Persons, Occupations, and Immigration DetailsName Occupation and Offices Residence Year Arrived Birth Place Vital Statistics From LocationRUMMELL, David E. Merchant, tinner, miscellaneous offices Olin 1855 Pennsylvania b.1840 Son of G. P. and J. Rummell of Pennsylvania. Ohio moved 1835 d. m. 1868Harriet, or Hattie Olin 1852 Ohio(EASTERLY) Ohio b.1851SAUM, George Farmer, Saum Homestead, 1841 (1839) Ohio b. 1814 Father was in U.S. Continental Army Walnut Grove, Fort Madison d. 1908Susana T. (STINGLEY) Orchards 1842 Sec. 27 Rome TWP Indiana b. 1811 First McCormick Reaper in county 1844 190 ac Anamosa m. 1834Cordelia HUGENS First raiser of stock 1846 d. 1873 Eventually owned 1600 ac Jones Co., 400 ac. Cedar CountySLIFE, Daniel Carpenter Olin 1849 Ohio (Pennsylvania)CatherineNote: All women were listed as “Keeping House”Source: US Federal and Iowa State Census, Ancestry.Com, Historical Biographies 94
    • Sealls House Historic Property Documentation Study