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The early settlers of Waverly “at once saw [that] the advantage of the site—good solid rock bottom, good banks, and ample fall of the river—constituted a particularly eligible locality for the building of a town.” 22The town was surveyed and laid out on the east bank of the river in 1853, and at the same time a log dam and sawmill were constructed. In the following year a grist mill was built, and in 1856 a bridge was constructed across the river. At the year of its founding Waverly was selected as the seat for Bremer County, and the first courthouse was built in 1854. The Cedar Falls and Minnesota Railroad reached the community in 1864, and by early 1900 Waverly had emerged as a hub for several north-south and east-west railroads. As with most Iowa communities, Waverly was active in church building in the late 1860s, and an institution of higher learning, Wartburg Teachers' Seminary, was established in 1878. The major change in recent years has been the construction of a new shopping center at the west end of the town.


Andreas, Atlas of the State of Iowa, 1875, 443.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim

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