News Quiz: Iowa’s Governors

Former Iowa Gov. Robert Ray died July 8 at the age of 89. Ray, a Republican, was respected by people in his party and Democrats because of his bipartisan approach to governing. Test your knowledge on some of the other chief executives who have served the state during its history.

Iowa Gold Seekers Headed For The Dakota Black Hills in 1874. What Did They Find?

For about $100 a man could secure all the necessary articles he needed in Sioux City, Iowa, to outfit himself for a gold digging expedition to the Black Hills in 1874. Items included a rifle, revolver, flour, salt, ammunition, blankets, cooking utensils, a pick, shovel and gold pan. This was valuable information for a group of 26 men and one woman with her 10-year-old boy, who were preparing to make the trek into the Dakotas in search of riches. Charles Collins, editor of the Sioux City Times, was organizing the expedition, along with an experienced frontiersman named Thomas H. Russell. Eph Witcher and John Gordon were leading the group from Sioux City to the Black Hills.

New Ideas From Iowa Get Big Military Test in 1870

A group of soldiers gathered at an artillery field on the grounds of Fort Monroe, Virginia, on Monday, Feb. 7, 1870. The U.S. government had authorized the Army to carry out the testing of a new product designed by an Iowa man.

Iowa’s 1880s Big “Beat ‘Em-all Barbed Wire Company” Patent Controversy

“A lot of fellows tried to drive the bull into the wires with him on it,” J.H. Harrington described an incident that had occurred at the Delaware County fair at Delhi in 1859. When a “somewhat intoxicated” fair goer hopped on a bull’s back and rode around a track enclosed by a strange looking fence, Harrington took notice.

The Prairie City Bank Robbery That Ended In An Iowa Cornfield

It was about 1:30 in the morning on October 28, 1902, when Prairie City dentist, Dr. S. B. Gidford, woke up in his room across the street from the bank. As he stuck his head out a window, a “loaded 44-caliber Colt” was “presented to his face” by a stranger who told him his life was “worth less than 30 cents.”

Iowans Lost At Sea In 1875 Disaster

Survivors described the cries and shrieks of dying passengers as “heart-rending.” And one recalled the last voice he heard was that of a “little child in a cabin.”