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The city is located on a handsome site at a point where the Wapsipinicon River cuts through rolling hills, many of which were covered with oaks. The northsouth, east-west grid was laid out in 1847, first on the east side of the river and later on the west side. In the early 1850s a dam and mill were constructed across the river. The Illinois Central Railroad reached the community in 1859, and later the Burlington, Cedar Rapids, and Minnesota Railroad arrived. The courthouse site and its adjacent park were planned to be away from the commercial downtown. The earliest residential areas developed south and north of First Street East; later it extended across the river south of First Street West.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim

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