Events and People

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Milton Lott
Twelve year old Milton Lott froze to death along the Des Moines River in December of 1846. He fled his family’s cabin near the mouth of the Boone River, after a raid by Sioux chief Si-dom-i-na-do-tah and his warriors. Milton’s father, Henry Lott, had incurred the wrath of the chief by refusing to vacate his home after the chief informed him that he was an intruder on Sioux hunting grounds. Although the Sioux hunting grounds may not have extended as far north as Lott’s cabin, the real motives behind the attack most likely lay in Lott’s selling whiskey to the Sioux and pilfering their horses to sell for his own profit.

Whatever the actual story was, Milton fled in terror, leaving his mother behind, after the chief ordered him to deliver the horses on the Lott homestead to him upon pain of death. The Indians wrecked havoc on Henry Lott’s property as Henry and his stepson watched from across the river, only going for help when the Sioux were long gone. When Lott finally returned three days later, he found his terrified wife alone, suffering from grief and exposure. She died a short time later.

John Pea and Henry Lott followed Milton’s tracks to a spot near where a creek enters the Des Moines River below Centerville in Yell Township. They found Milton’s frozen body on December 18, 1846 and placed it in a hollow log to protect it from animals until burial could take place. Milton was buried on February 14, 1846, with little ceremony near where he died. Henry Lott moved to the Madrid area in the summer of 1847 and then in the autumn to Fort Des Moines. He moved back to the mouth of the Boone River in 1849 and lived there with his second wife until her death a few years later. He farmed out his children and with his stepson moved further north where he again encountered Si-dom-i-na-do-tah. After the chief displayed silverware that had once belonged to Lott’s first wife, Lott planned his revenge. The chief and his family were murdered by Lott and Lott grabbed the silver, later showing it to John Pea. He also stole the chief’s horse, which was found by authorities in his possession and resulted in an, indictment for murder against Lott and his stepson by a grand jury in Des Moines. Before the grand jury could act, Lott and his stepson disappeared and were never seen again.

On Oct 11, 1903, John Pea identified Milton Lott’s grave; and in November of 1905, the Madrid Historical Society placed a marker at the site.

Kate Shelley
On the afternoon of July 6, 1881, fifteen year old Kate Shelley and her family anxiously watched as storm clouds gathered over Moingona. By evening, Honey Creek had turned into a torrent of flood waters. Around 11 p.m. the Shelleys heard a train whistle, then a crash and the hissing of water: No. 11 and its crew were in the creek. Kate rushed out into the tempest with only an old lantern and the lightening to guide her. No. 4, the Atlantic Express, was due. Kate climbed the hill behind her home, and made a circular route above the creek to reach the railroad grade. As she called out to the men in the maelstrom, one answered. She told them she would go to Moingona for help. Struggling to the Des Moines River Bridge, Kate managed to cross it and run to the Moingona Station to alert the officials that the Honey Creek Bridge was out and engine no. 11 and its crew were in the creek.

She became a worldwide heroine. Poems and newspaper and magazine articles were written about her. For her bravery Kate was awarded two medals, one by the state of Iowa, the other by school girls of Dubuque. The Chicago and Northwestern Railroad gave Kate a free pass and stopped the train at her door. In 1891, the Chicago Tribune helped raise money for Kate’s impoverished family by commissioning a rug to be made and sold. With the $917.05 raised by the rug’s sale, Kate was able to build a new home for her family and purchase additional land. In 1903, the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad awarded her the position of Moingona station agent. She served until close to her death on January 21, 1912. The train made a final stop at her door to transport her to her funeral. She is buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Boone.

Shelley was present at the dedication of the Boone Viaduct on May 19, 1901. The longest, double track railroad bridge in the world, built between 1899 and 1901, it was renamed the Kate Shelley High Bridge sometime later. The new high bridge, opened in October of 2009, was constructed beside the old bridge and is also named the Kate Shelley High Bridge.

Mamie Doud Eisenhower
Mamie Geneva Doud was born in a small rented cottage at 718 Carroll Street in Boone, Iowa, on November 14, 1896. She was the second daughter of John Sheldon Doud and Elivera Mathilde Carlson. Doud was born in New York State, but worked for his father’s Chicago meat packing firm which had a branch in Boone. His wife was born in Boone of Swedish immigrant parents. Mamie’s older sister, Eleanor, was also born in Boone, possibly at 515 8th Street. The Douds left Boone for Cedar Rapids when Mamie was 9 months old. John Doud made a small fortune in the meat packing industry in Cedar Rapids and in 1905 moved his family to Colorado where they settled in Denver. Mamie grew up in Denver and San Antonio, Texas, where the family wintered. In 1915 she met West Point graduate 2nd Lt. Dwight David Eisenhower at Fort Sam Houston. A year later, on July 1, 1916, they married.

Eisenhower’s military career took him around the world, frequently separating the couple. Until they purchased their Gettysburg farm in the early 1950’s, they had no home of their own. Eisenhower reached the pinnacle of his success during WWII when he was named Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe. In 1952, and again in 1956, he ran for president and won both times by a landslide. Mamie was catapulted into the public eye as first lady. During the eight years of her husband’s presidency, she was known for her charm and outgoing manner. She was the ideal wife, mother and hostess. The Eisenhowers retired to their farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1961.

During their marriage, the Eisenhowers returned to Boone to visit with Mamie’s Carlson relatives when they could; and Mamie returned several times following her husband’s death in 1969. Her last visit was in 1977, two years before she died. The Eisenhowers had two children Doud Dwight (Ikky or Icky), who died at age 3 in 1921 of complications from scarlet fever, and John Sheldon, born in 1922, and who followed his father into a military carrier. He is still alive.

GAR Encampment
June 6, 1906 marked one the biggest events in Boone history. That year, Iowa veterans of the Civil War, known as the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), had their annual encampment, the 32nd, on June 5, 6 and 7 in Boone. In conjunction with that event, the Women’s Relief Corps, (W.R.C.) held its 23rd encampment in Boone. Over 3,500 GAR veterans marched in a grand parade down Story Street with nearly 15,000 persons witnessing. According to first hand accounts, the parade formed at 8th and Story streets at 1:30 p.m. and the soldiers marched north to 12th , then doubled back to 7th Street. They then went west on 7th Street to City Park (Blair Park, high school grounds), where they turned north on Carroll Street, marching back to 8th Street and past the reviewing stand where the parade disbanded.
In addition to the parade, participants enjoyed a band concert in City Park, excursions across the Kate Shelley High Bridge and receptions throughout the city. Many of the events during the encampment took place in City Park, including camp fires, speakers, song fests and meetings.

1908 Boone Suffrage Parade
At noon on October 29, 1908, 100 brave women took to the streets of Boone and protested for their right to vote. They marched with flags flying and a band playing from the Universalist Church, which was located on the southeast corner of 7th and Carroll Streets, down 7th Street to Story Street and up Story to 8th Street. There the parade paused for an open air meeting which featured a brief address by the Reverend Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), and two English girls. After the speeches, the parade reformed, and the ladies marched back to the church on 8th and Carroll Streets.

The parade marked the only women’s suffrage march ever held in Iowa and one of the first, and possibly the first, suffrage parade, to be held in the US. It was organized by two women, Rowena Edson Stevens, wife of Judge John L. Stevens, of Boone and Eleanor Elizabeth Gordon, an ordained Unitarian minister living in Des Moines, who was in 1908 the president of the Iowa Equal Suffrage Association (IESA.) Stevens was the organizer of both the Ames Political Equality Club and the Boone Equality Club as well as being a past president of the IESA

The parade took place as part of the 1908 annual convention of the IESA, held on October 27, 28, and 29 at the Universalist Church in Boone. Suffragists from all over the state and nation were present. Shaw was the primary speaker during the three-day event.

The Boone County Historical Society and other statewide organizations reenacted the parade on October 25, 2008 in honor the 100th anniversary of the 1908 parade. A monument to the original parade participants and the Iowa women who had played important roles in the suffrage movement was dedicated on that day.

Information provided by Boone Historical Society