Cylinder, IA

Town in Palo Alto County, IA

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Sponsors of Cylinder, IA

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About Cylinder, IA

Although Cylinder came into existence over a 100 years ago, it still can boast that it is the only town by that name in the country and perhaps in the world. It was named after the Cylinder Creek which flows to the west of the town; the creek which is said to have received its name from an attempt of early settlers to cross the stream at high water with an engine, a feat that was too difficult. The engine became mired in the mud, the cylinder became detached, lost in the creek and never found. Brown and Sons built a large hay barn and house in 1885 and the Milwaukee Railroad Company put in a siding to help them load hay, John Goeders built a store in 1889 and the depot was built the following year. Two early depot agents were Joe Yankee and C. H. Slagle. The depot was purchased by the town in August 1976 for $1.00 and moved it to the city park to be used as a shelter house. The Cylinder Woman’s Club and the Lion’s Club were instrumental in readying the property as a park.

In 1892, Kelly Bros. put up another store and E. E. Hughes erected a hotel. The Queen Hotel was on the corner, just south of the Cylinder State Bank. It was later used as a home for the Joe Namer and Conrad Kleigl families before its demolition to make way for a bank parking lot. This corner has been the sight of many accidents through the years as people tried to take the well known Cylinder curve at too high a speed and came crashing into the buildings. The Bank has not only been plagued by accidents, but numerous robberies through the years. The livery barn, located just west of the hotel, was run by Delbert Dowd and his son Art. They hauled freight and groceries to the stores and big kegs of beer to the saloon, just north of the town hall and run by George Kleigl. There was later a meat market at this location, run by Leslie Grey and Frank Wright. The jail which sat on town property was later bought by Halvor Larson and moved to his farm west of Cylinder.

The town of Cylinder was incorporated in 1901 with George Wells as the mayor and M. N. Olson, the first constable. Gus Frink also served in this capacity for many years. Now the mayor acts as constable.

In 1901 Ed Kelly ran a store and post office where the Lowell Frink house is. Lowell runs a salvage business on the premises now. Another salvage operation at the present is run by Ervin Alderson northeast of the town. An early implement shop operated by Theodore Johnson who sold the John Deere machinery on the east side of Main street, was later used by August Anderson, J. T. Body Shop, Berkland Lumber storage and is now Cropmate Fertilizer.

The grocery on the west side was purchased in 1891 by Harold Boise and then Mr. Mosner. It was then owned by George Wells and then E. E. Hughes. In 1901 it was sold to Freedom Lodge, Order of Odd Fellows. The people for miles around enjoyed the dances held at the upper level. Other early proprietors were Fred Streit and Tom Hamilton, who also owned a grocery store at Crippen, five miles from Emmetsburg. Harlan Gaard also ran the store and in 1937, the store was sold to Bennie Gildseth, in 1949 it was purchased by Eugene Sweeney, and in later years owned by Gilbert Saxton, Dana Devitt, Tom Dietrich and Richard Peterson before closing in 1982. The building now has two apartments and Richard and Jan Endicott have their insurance office there. At one time there was another grocery operated by G. N. Olson and T. C. Thompson. It burned to the ground in 1924 as did a drug store that had been operated by Mr. Okema, Mr. Thomas and Jerome Huber. There also was a pool hall run by Mr. Reynolds on the same side of the street. The telephone office which had originally been in the Jay Letson hardware store, was moved into a house, and was there until it was torn down to make way for the General Telephone Co. new dial system. G. A. Africa had a barber shop in a side room of the cafe operated by his wife, on the east side of the street. Lewis Johnson later ran the barber shop, Many proprietors ran the cafe through the years. The present Diner is operated from a mobile home by Marianne and Minert Reinken on the lot that formerly was the George N. Olson home. Chris Meltvedt, a carpenter, also owned a furniture store on the east side. Later Ale Johnson a painter, made his home there and was then made into a tavern by Nick Hock before being purchased by Frances and Burton Peterson. There also was a hardware store on this side run by C. J. Oliver. Charles Nelson, a carpenter, had his shop on his property on the west edge of the town Many of the homes in the surrounding countryside were built by Mr. Nelson.

Palo Alto County, IA

Visit our county page and you will find information about our town and county's points of interest, festivals/events and faith community. You also will learn about the community organizations that have built and continue to build strong communities (chambers, community groups, and departments, etc) and much more when you visit the Palo Alto County, IA page.

Veterans of Palo Alto County, IA

Veterans come from many walks of life and whether a veteran has severed two decades ago or two days ago, they have made our freedoms possible. Below you will find stories about many who have served. If you would like to nominate a veteran to be included on your town and county page CLICK HERE!