In June, 1871, the St. Louis, Chillicothe & Omaha Railroad had been completed as far as where the present town of Jameson is situated. A surveying party from Chillicothe surveyed the town and completed the work on Saturday, June 12, 1871. It is situated on a beautiful eminence, with a magnificent agricultural country surrounding it, consisting of both prairie and woodland with industrious farmers in possession. The town company appointed Benjamin G. Kimball as agent, and they commenced on the following Monday to dispose of town-lots at about $100 per lot. The ground upon which Jameson stands was originally entered by Charles Cravens, October 2, 1854, and a year later the portion joining it by Ark Briggs. The land is known as the east half of the southeast quarter of section thirteen, township sixty of range twenty-eight. At the time of the location of the town, the land was the property of Henry Briggs. His residence, built for a farm house, and where he now lives, was erected in 1868. At the time the survey of the town was completed, the railroad depot was about finished and the stockyards fully so. A public square was laid out with an area of between two and three acres af land, and located just south of the residence of Mr. Briggs.

The first building erected was by Herbert D. White, a small frame building used for a grocery, confectionery and restaurant. The second was the store of a Mr. Threlkeld. Others believe the second building was a store house built by James F. Hamaker. Business, for a new town, opened out lively; bustle and activity prevailed. E. H. Hubbard put up the first hotel so that man need not starve. It is now called the Jameson House. J. M. Wannamaker started the first blacksmith shop, and as he was an excellent wagon-maker he did a large repairing business in that line. He has since removed to Trenton, in Grundy county.

William McCoy, with a few fast horses, some excellent buggies, a few fancy whips, in the meantime, built a livery and feed stable. Putting all these things together and Mr. McCoy was ready to furnish the young bloods with a handsome turnout. It certainly helped the cause of church going as the young men went after the girls and brought them to church, which they reached in good time, but were generally terribly late in getting home.

Dr. William Allen opened the first drug store, and was the first physician located in the town. Messrs. Leeper & Grapler started the first lumber yard.

The post-office was called ” Feurt Summit,” but was afterwards changed to Jameson.” The first postmaster was John A. Brown. In November, however, Dr. Walker became the postmaster. Threlkeld & Tucker opened a very fine dry goods store in July, or near the first of August. At all events, they were under full headway the first week in August, 1871.

The first court ever held in the town of Jameson was held by Squire Scott, one of the justices of the Grand River township. A first class-saloon having been opened in. the town of Jameson, of course, this made business for a justice’s court at once. It is a sort of corollary to a justice court anyway. Captain Mike O’Horan donated six dollars and Pat eight dollars, Pat’s other name being missing, and a third candidate for a donation proved he was innocent, and so Jameson opened with $14, at the first session of her court as a contribution to their school fund.

Business

That some idea may be had of the business of Jameson within the first six months of her existence, the railroad company’s books show that there were twenty-four cars of grain and fifty-three cars of stock shipped from that ‘point during the months of October and November, 1871. A large number of buildings were put up and business, for the short time that the town had existed, was immense. The merchants boasted of a large trade; the largest of any in the county. Perhaps they were a trifle enthusiastic in their figures, but they undoubtedly did a large business.. Besides being a convenience to the surrounding country, Jameson became the starting place on the cars for the good people of Harrison county. The people not having anything like cars in that county at that time, were somewhat new to rail-road traveling, and would occasionally make some rather innocent mistakes from the amount of rural simplicity they carried around with them.

Back to: Daviess County