NASHUA HISTORY TIME LINE
Compiled by Jerry Adelmund
Revised 24 June 2005
1836 A trading post was established near Bradford. (2)
1840 Land was broken and fenced by the government at the forks of the Cedar Rivers for an Indian Reservation which was never used. (2)
1846 December 28, Iowa admitted as a sovereign state in the Union. (2)
1847 There was a reported massacre of Sioux Indian women and children by the Winnebago Indians in Deerfield Township, now in Chickasaw County. (2)
1848 Truman Merritt was the first man to make a settlement within the boundaries of the county, located near the Little Cedar River at Greenwood. (2)
1850 Greenwood Cemetery was plotted.
The first white child, the daughter of Truman Meritt, was born in Chickasaw County at Greenwood. (2)
The first white male child was born to Elmer Case at Greenwood. (2)
1851 Nashua Methodist church was organized. (5)
The Illinois Central Railroad was chartered.
1852 The first grammar school in the county was started in Bradford. (2,7)
1853 First attempt to organize Chickasaw County. (2)
1854 First log cabin was built by John Hall, who was the first man to settle in Bridgeport (Nashua.) (2,7)
The first business was established on the west bank of the Cedar River.
April 3, Chickasaw County was officially organized. The court house, a log building, was built in Bradford. (2)
December 31, John Bird was named organizing sheriff. (2)
The first sermon in the county was preached at the home of John Bird. (2)
The town of Chickasaw was platted and the saw mill was constructed there. (2)
1855 The original Nashua (Bridgeport) plat was surveyed. (7)
Nashua first named Bridgeport. Later name was changed to Woodbridge, and later named Nashua at the suggestion of E.P. Greeley and Charles Greeley who came from Nashua, New Hampshire.
1856 Smiley Sample opened a grocery store and E. P. Greeley, a general store.
Miss Maggie Nichols taught the first school in Nashua. It was in a wooden structure located where the Methodist Church now stands.
1857 Andrew Sample erected the first grist mill, which lasted 10 years until the building of the Greeley Mill.
The Bradford Lodge of the Masonic Order was founded in Bradford, later moved to Nashua.
The Montgomery House, later known as the DeNoyelles and the Commercial Hotel (our present hotel) was built and opened with a grand ball on July 4.
The Castle Hotel was built on the banks of the Cedar River where Cannon Park is now located. (
The Cedar Valley Times (newspaper) was first published in Bradford. (2)
The county seat relocated to Chickasaw Center (New Hampton) from Bradford. (2)
1858 Steam saw mill was erected by Charles Greeley. (2)
Andy Sample established first grist mill at Nashua. (2)
May 10, The first Nashua Post Office established. (7)
1860 The principle crop was wheat which was hauled to McGregor to market. A round trip took 6 days in good weather.
Mr. Greeley owned power making machinery that supplied a flour mill, a saw and grist mill, lath and shingle mill and he was making arrangements for a cabinet shop, stave factory, a turning lathe, a course feed mill and wool carder.
Nashua was quickly growing because the saw mills made frame buildings possible. It also provided wood for fences to keep animals contained.
A Republican mass meeting for Abraham Lincoln and Hamlin was held in Bradford with a parade in which one Chickasaw Delegation came on a flat boat drawn by 58 oxen and carrying 120 men.
The Bradford Academy, an institution of higher learning, was erected in Bradford. (7)
1861 The Civil War brings Illinois Central RailroadÕs regular service to a halt. It is used by the army to move 31% of the troops and 30% of the supplies need for the war.
1862 Dr. B.M. Dewey became NashuaÕs first medical doctor.
E. P. Greeley constructs a merchant mill with a granite foundation. This mill burned in 1899 and another stucture was built on that site. The original foundation is now the observation deck and fishing area below the dam. (8)
1864 The Little Brown Church was completed.
1865 Following the Civil War, unemployment was high so the government paid men to dig up young saplings in the woods and transplant them along Nashua streets-thus all our maple trees now.
1866 July 7, First Congregational Church organized.
Turner & Bellamy Lumber Company is established.
The Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors let the contract, to build the bridge over the Cedar at Nashua.
1867 May 22, The first edition of The Weekly Nashua Post was published.
June 3, Nashua was incorporated, under the laws of the State of Iowa. (2)
Thomas S. Bradford was elected the first Mayor of Nashua.
The first wooden bridge was completed over the Cedar River.
Nashua supports water power, timber land, 2 boot shops, 1 shoe shop, a wagon factory, 2 saw mills, 1 lawyer, a flour mill, 1 cooper shop, 2 lath and shingle mills, a steam saw mill, 3 blacksmiths, a woolen factory, a brick manufacturer, a hardware store, a tin shop, 4 dry foods stores, 1 variety store, 1 drug store, a printing office, 1 millinery, 2 hotels, 1 meat market, 6 mechanics shops, mail service and 5 churches.
The population of Nashua was about 600.
1868 Oak Hill Cemetery Association was formed.
July, Illinois Central Railroad is completed to Nashua and a wooden railroad bridge is built over the Cedar River and a depot is constructed on the east side of the railroad on Madison Street. (8)
The first Catholic church was built. It was a frame building on the corner of Madison and St. Lawrence Streets.
Rosenbaum Brothers open NashuaÕs first bank. Also the first in the county. (2,7)
1869 The first brick school building was constructed on the present high school site. School had been held there in a wooden building but this was sold to the MethodistÕs for $210 and moved toward town, later to be moved again, then torn down. This new brick school building stood until July, 1962. (8)
The charter election was held. 146 votes were cast and the town recorded a population of 745.
1870 The Castle Hotel was moved to Main Street
The first Congregational Church built.
The town of Lawler was incorporated.
Dec. 18, St. MarkÕs Episcopal Church is consecrated. This church stood on the corner of Douglas St. and Lexington Ave. (8)
1871 Masonic Lodge organized in Nashua.
1872 The new fairgrounds were completed and Nashua had a four county fair and the fairgrounds were established by the Union Agricultural Society. (9)
1873 The town of New Hampton was incorporated. (2)
The Roman Catholic Church was organized in Nashua. (2)
Economic conditions made the construction of the Nashua & Milwaukee Railroad unprofitable to complete, so construction was suspended and never resumed. (8)
J. W. Patterson operates the ÒPatterson HouseÓ Hotel, later to become the Nashua Grand Theatre. (8)
1874 Andy Felt starts the first bank in Nashua. (6)
1875 The Castle Hotel burned. (8)
1877 We find the first record of fire equipment. The city ordered two 25 ft. ladders, some hooks and 96 pails.
The Bradford Academy was closed. It now became the counties first high school until it closed in 1887. (7)
1878 The Methodist church built for $12,000. The finest religious edifice in the county. (2)
An Iron double span bridge is constructed over the Cedar River replacing a wooden structure. This stood until being replaced by a steel bridge in 1921. (8)
1879 First National Bank of Nashua was organized, A. G. Case, President. (2)
1880 Court House in New Hampton destroyed by fire. (2)
1883 Knights of Pythius chartered.
1884 Construction of the present Methodist Church begins after the other was destroyed by fire.
1885 First graduating class from Nashua High School.
April 26, the present Methodist Church was dedicated.
The Kirkland Hotel was built on the corner of Cedar Street and Main.
The Nashua Times was founded by J. D. Knapp. This newspaper later was bought and became The Nashua Reporter in 1893.
1886 A water works system is constructed by the city. Thirty hydrants are systematically distributed around the city for fire protection.
1890 Two-wheeled hose cart bought for fire fighting bought by the city.
1891 Isabella Club first met.
1892 The Nashua Pickle Factory contracted 100 acres of cucumbers. The year before they shipped 20 rail cars of pickles to Chicago.
1893 Lutheran services held in Nashua. (8)
August 3, The first issue of The Nashua Reporter was published by Misses Minnie Murray and Margaret Gorman.
1894 April 20, The Nashua Creamery Association is established. (6)
1896 April, Nashua has a population of about 1700 and provided an excellent hotel, opera house, graded school, churches, banks, elevators, lumber yards, a fair representation of businesses and elegant fair grounds.
Sept. 7, Electricity first came to Nashua. The town of Nashua entered into a contract with C.F. Freehauf for the electric light plant. This later passed into the hands of the Nashua Electric Company. In 1914, it was purchased by the Cedar Valley Power Company.
Nashua High School begins their first football season.
Lundt Funeral Parlor and furniture store is established on Main Street in Nashua.
1900 Dr. Stuart came to Nashua. (6)
The Big Four Fair Society was organized, replacing the Union Agricultural Society that was established in 1872. (9)
Mill building built on the Cedar River, replacing the previous structure destroyed by fire.
1901 The first library is opened in town, located above a store front on Main St.
The Bowen family buys the Nashua Woolen Mills and begins operation after ten years of idleness at the facility. (8)
1902 The Catholic church was moved to the present location. From 1904-06, a parochial school was operated.
December, The first telephones in Nashua were established according to stories in old files of the Reporter. The Nashua exchange of the Cedar Valley Telephone Company was reported to have 30 phones in business places and residences and six farm lines with a total of 40 phones.
January, Farmers Co-operative Creamery Association of Nashua was incorporated. (6)
1903 The present IC railroad bridge is built over the Cedar River. The bridge cost $40,000 and took nine months to complete. (8)
A new brick high school building constructed adjacent to the old school. School began almost a month late on account of the new building not being completed on time. (8)
May 30, The new SoldierÕs Monument at Oak Hill Cemetery in unveiled. (8)
1904 Saint MichaelÕs Cemetery ground was purchased from W. F. Getsch on May 26, and the old cemetery at Pearl Rock was abandoned.
1905 Construction begins on the Nashua Carnegie Library, costing $6,000. (6)
1907 January, A fire on Main Street destroys five businesses and costs $15,000. (8)
1908 Nashua Catholics suffer from bigotry by an organized Ku Klux Klan.
Our present fire company was organized.
Dr. McDaniel came to Nashua. (6)
1909 First State Bank is started.
April 26, The Red Cross Drug and Jewelry Company is incorporated in Nashua.
1912 MillerÕs Meat Market opened.
Nashua High School begins their first basketball season.
1913 The former city hall on Woodbridge Street and the city water pumping station across from the Power house were built. (8)
1914 Present Saint MichaelÕs Catholic Church built. (8)
The Nashua Electric Light Company is purchased by the Cedar Valley Power Company.
Nashua P.E.O. established.
1915 Construction of the present Congregational Church is completed. (8)
The Cedar Valley Power Company starts the first 24-hour electric service in Nashua. Prior to this, electricity was just furnished during the day time hours.
The Case Bank was organized into The Commercial State Savings Bank.
August, The Memorial Fountain was erected on Main Street in memory of Mr & Mrs Lipman Loser who were the head of the Banking House in Nashua for many years. (8)
1916 The Illinois Central Rail Road constructs a new depot in Nashua. This was located across the tracks, to the west, from the original depot. (8)
1917 Nashua Equity Cooperative Association was established and purchases Nafus & Sons. (6)
March, Cedar Valley Electric Company completes the construction of a 254 foot long dam and hydroelectric power plant on the Cedar River at Nashua. (8)
1918 Flu epidemic hit Nashua.
1919 The Nashua Reporter and Weekly Post combined.
September, The Nashua Woolen Mills complete a shipment of 200,000 blankets for a U.S. Navy war contract. (8)
The Ward Public School on the East side of town, is no longer used by the Nashua School District. (8)
1920 The Crystal Ice and Fuel Company ice house is constructed on the east shore of Cedar Lake here. It is one of the largest in this section of the state. The building is 110 ft wide, 150 ft long and 50 ft tall. The hundreds of tons of high quality natural ice is not only used for local consumption but also by the Illinois Central Railroad for the cooling of their rail cars. (8)
1921 Steel Double Span bridge is built across the Cedar River at Nashua. (8)
1923 First fire truck was purchased, a 1923 Model T, by the Nashua Fire Department.
September 8, The Nashua Woolen Mills burns, destroying most of the third floor. The factory is rebuilt only to burn again in 1926. (8)
1924 Cedar Valley Electric Company is sold to the Iowa Public Service Company.
October, Main Street is paved for the first time. (8)
1925 Present Bradford Mason Lodge in Nashua built. (8)
1926 The biggest fire in NashuaÕs history - the Woolen Mill - burned, a $75,000 fire. (6)
The new Lake Resort Club House, the Sunset Inn, is built on the East side of Cedar Lake. (8)
1927 Methodist Activity Building dedicated.
The Cedar Valley Power Company is purchased by the Central Iowa Light and Power Company.
April 30, The Bradford Lodge No. 129 of the Masonic Order dedicate a new Temple, costing $10,000 that was built on the site of the former Baptist Church property on the Diagonal and Main Street. (8)
1928 Iowa Public Service Company takes over electric service with the buy out of Central Iowa Light and Power Company.
Nashua Pickle Factory building was destroyed by fire.
1929 November 11, Cannon Park dedicated in honor of those who gave their lives in the Civil War.
1930 Reo Speedwagon fire truck purchased.
1931 First Nashua State Bank was established with the merger of the First State Bank and the Nashua State Bank.
The Illinois Central Railroad discontinues passenger train service on this line of the IC. Prior to bus service in Nashua, 6 passenger trains stopped here daily. (8)
1932 Nashua Lions Club organized.
1936 Junior Federated Club organized. Mrs. P. E. Stuart founder.
An addition is built onto the Nashua High School. This 3 story structure will include classrooms and an auditorium (gymnasium). (4)
A new sewage disposal plant is built. The town sewer system has been in use since 1911, but until now, no facilities to purify the sewage before dumping into the Cedar River.
1937 The class of 1937 is the first class to have commencement in the auditorium. Classes had traditionally held graduation in the Nashua Opera House.
The Boy Scout cabin is completed. It is built by WPA labor and logs donated by Bell Telephone and IPS.
1938 January 5, The annual ice harvest was started this week by the Crystal Ice and Fuel Company with a crew of about 100 men. Ice is about 20 inches thick, but must be trimmed to 12 inches to get solid, clear ice.
January 20, A total of 260 tickets were sold for the annual Nashua FiremanÕs Ball. It was held January 20 at the Nashua Opera House.
1939 Modern street lighting is installed on Nashua streets and intersections.
April 10, The Nashua Public Schools were reopened after being closed the previous Thursday and Friday in an effort to check the spread of Scarlet Fever. The school buildings were very thoroughly scrubbed and disinfected. Books were taken out of lockers and sprayed with disinfectant.
The Public Library was also ordered cleaned and disinfected by Mayor Waite. All books were wiped off with a disinfected cloth.
October, Fred Hauser opens a new manufacturing shop 1/2 block north of Main Street on Highway 346. Thirty years later this building will become the Nashua Fire Department.
1940 A great year for butter manufactured by Nashua Farmers Cooperative Creamery. Imagine the Kirkland Hotel, NashuaÕs largest downtown structure, being surfaced on the outside with pound cartons of butter, laid like bricks. Then imagine 4 more buildings the same size covered. This is a total of 599,241 pounds of butter made in Nashua this year.
1941 Lundt Furniture and Funeral Home was purchased by the Chenoweth Family.
1942 Nashua athletic teams adopt the Bulldog as the school mascot at Homecoming. Prior to that, they were referred to as the "Fighting Scarlet and White" or the "Nashua Eleven."
The old Livery Barn on North Main Street was demolished. It was later replaced with the Hauser Manufacturing Plant, later used by the City of Nashua as a city shed. (8)
1943 June 16, A decision was reached to not hold the Big Four Fair again this year. The exposition was canceled in 1942 due to the lack of good free attractions and a midway carnival due to the war-time conditions.
August 4, Golden Anniversary Addition of the Nashua Reporter is published.
August 25, No Nashua Reporter is published this week due to the war-time shortage of help and vacations due to office staff.
The original Illinois Central Railroad depot is demolished. (8)
1946 V F W initiated.
October 9, The Nashua Opera House is torn down. (8)
Dr. Clark came to Nashua.
The Crystal Ice House ends operation due to the roof caving in. (8)
1947 March, Nashua Bric-Block Factory opens. This facility later became the Hydrotile Company.
1948 Nashua Bric-Block Factory is bought by N. T. Fosse, becoming the Nashua Tile Company.
1951 The steel grandstands at the Fairgrounds is built, replacing a wooden structure that was destroyed by fire. The roof was put on in 1954. (9)
The Nashua Equity Cooperative purchased Bellamy Lumber Company. (6)
1953 Chickasaw County Historical Society formed.
1955 Nashua Centennial- 80 parade entries- 20,000 people attend.
Historical Society Museum established in Bradford.
1958 The Nashua School District begins using buildings at the Fairgrounds as classrooms as the consolidation of country schools begin. (9)
The Greeley Building, one of the oldest brick buildings on Main Street, was stripped of its top two floors and veneered with a new brick face for the MillerÕs Meat Market. (8)
1959 A new highway by-pass is constructed to the west of town. Greeley Street is no longer used as Federal Highway 218.
1960 Highway 346 is hard surfaced for the first time.
1961 Construction begins on the Nashua Elementary School.
August, Nashua school enrollment is 904 students.
March 27, All-time greatest flood experienced by Nashuans on the Cedar River.
April 27, St. JohnÕs Lutheran Church burned.
A new gymnasium and superintendents office is added to the Nashua High School.
1962 NashuaÕs First brick high school building was demolished. (8)
Hydrotile continues a major expansion with the building of another large steel building at the plant in Brooklyn. They currently employ 70 workers.
August 16, Nashua Bulldogs play on the new football field. The fairgrounds field had served as the home of the Nashua teams.
Nov. 5, Present Lutheran Church dedicated.
December 9, Nashua Community School District dedicated a new elementary school, and the gym addition to the high school as well as the remodeling the 1936 building. The total cost of the new school, remodeling and high school addition is $600,000.00. (8)
1963 Operation of the hydroelectric power plant discontinued by Iowa Public Service in Nashua.
1965 The Grand Theater on Main Street was demolished. (8)
1967 Nashua Town and Country Club built.
February 14, Two Nashua school busses collide on slippery Highway 346. 44 of 78 pupils aboard received medical attention. All students were examined by a doctor.
April 13, The Nashua Bowling Alley, located across from the high school, burns. This was the worst recent fire since St. JohnÕs Lutheran was destroyed by fire Feb. 25, 1960.
1968 Current city hall is constructed by the Iowa Public Service Company to be used as an office and equipment warehouse.
April, Iowa Public Service Company gives 2.54 acres to the City of Nashua for a park at the end of Lake Shore Drive.
1969 March, The former Hauser Manufacturing Company building provides spacious quarters for the newly relocated Nashua Fire Department.
April 11, The Illinois Central Railroad Stock Yards are dismantled. They were built after WW II and were key in shipping livestock in and out of the area.
May, IPS opens a new $65,000 Office building on South Main Street with an Open House for local patrons. This will later become the Nashua City Hall.
August, Record enrollment for the Nashua Community School, 1072 students begin classes this fall.
1972 The Illinois Central Railroad merged with the parallel Gulf Mobile & Ohio to form Illinois Central Gulf. By 1990 the name was restored to Illinois Central Railroad.
1975 June 10, St. MichaelÕs Parish Center is dedicated.
1977 The Farmers Co-op Creamery in Nashua ends operations, being established in 1901. (8)
May, New concrete grain silos are built by the Nashua Equity Coop Elevator.
1980 ?? Two additional silos are built at the grain elevator.
1982 The 1903 high school building was demolished and the addition to the high school began.
1983 February 6, the Nashua Community School dedicated a new addition and remodeling of the high school.
1984 December 3, Metal Span bridge over the Cedar is raised and replaced with a concrete bridge below the dam.
Sept. 22, The recently abandoned Illinois Central Gulf Railroad line thru Nashua was again in use. The first train of the newly established Cedar Valley Railroad Company comes through Nashua.
1985 The Nashua Bulldogs win the Class 1-A Iowa High School BoyÕs Basketball Championship.
NashuaÕs 355,000 gallon water tower is completed.
The 100th graduating class receives their diplomas from Nashua High School.
1986 An addition is completed to the Nashua Public Library.
1989 The lake is dredged by the Army Corp of Engineers, Chickasaw, Floyd and State of Iowa road crews.
1990 The dam is refurbished and the 700 acre Cedar Lake is restored at a cost exceeding $850,000.
March 8, The lake is filled for the first time in close to a decade. After the powerhouse gates are closed, it takes just 8 hours for water to run over the control gate.
June, Nashuans hosts the first annual "Water Over the Dam Days" celebration.
1991 Hydrotile, a major Nashua employer, goes out of business.
The Cedar River Railroad was established with the acquisition of the Cedar Valley Railroad, becoming a subsidiary of the Illinois Central Railroad.
1992 First Nashua State Bank builds a new facility on Cedar Street.
August, The Nashua Community School District and the Plainfield Community School District begin a whole-grade sharing agreement for the 1992-93 school year.
1993 Bids are taken for the renovation of the current City Hall building (former IPS office), in preparation for the moving from the 1913 City Hall building on Woodbridge Street.
1995 February 12, Methodist Fellowship and Education Building is dedicated.
1996 May 31, Olympic Torch passes through Nashua in route to the opening of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Illinois Central Railroad purchases the Chicago Central & Pacific Railroad (the former Iowa Division) and the Cedar River Railroad.
1997 July 1, Nashua-Plainfield Community Schools consolidate.
1998 June 18, Tornado like winds hit Nashua, taking down century old trees and damaging homes and businesses.
1999 May 1, After 125 years in business, First Nashua State Bank is purchased by Lincoln Savings Bank of Reinbeck.
The Illinios Central Railroad merges with the Canadian National Railroad.
2000 July 9, Nashua Telephones are switched from the 515 to 641 area code.
August, Chickasaw County Big 4 Fair celebrates its 100th anniversary. (9)
Plans are made for the construction of a new fire station to be built on Greenwood Avenue on the old Pierce property.
A subdivision is started on the south side of town off the golf course.
2001 April, Featherlite Inc., discontinues the manufaturing of trailers at Nashua.
2002 Dec. 2, First State Bank opens for business on Greenwood Avenue in Nashua.
2003 Chenoweth & Son Funeral Homes in Nashua & Fredericksburg merged with the Hugeback Funeral Homes in New Hampton, Lawler and Protivin to create the Hugeback & Chenoweth Funeral Homes.
Nov. 14, The Avenue of the Saints By-pass ribbon cutting ceremony takes place. The road is opened to traffic on the West side of Nashua a few weeks later, making the 536 mile four-lane complete.
2004 Nashua begins a Main Street Revitalization Program.
Sept. 27, First State Bank opens their new office building on Main Street.
An all-weather track is completed at the Nashua-Plainfield Athletic field in Nashua.
2005 Nashua celebrates the Sesquicentennial (June 16-26) in conjunction with the Annual Water Over the Dam Days Celebration.
Cedar Vale opens in a new facility across from the new Nashua Fire Department station.
(1) The Weekly Nashua Post, Volume 1, Number 1, May 22, 1867.
(2) The History of Chickasaw & Howard Counties, Iowa. ©1883.
(3) The Weekly Nashua Post, Special Industrial Edition, April 1896.
(4) The Nashua Reporter, September 23, 1936.
(5) The Nashua Reporter, Golden Anniversary Edition, Aug. 4, 1943.
(6) The Nashua Reporter, Centennial Edition, October 6, 1955.
(7) Chickasaw County Iowa Pictorial Atlas, Histories. © 1978.
(8) Nashua - A Look Back In Time - The Nashua Reporter Series, 2004-2005.
(9) ÒThe Fair is Open to the World,Ó 100 years of Progress, History of the Big
Four Fair. 1900-2000.