The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


September 9, 2013

Clinton Improvements and Artesian Well Water

The Gas Light and Coke Co. was founded in 1869 for $60,000. The names of Young, Weston, Howe, Toll, Lamb, and Bailey were prominent among the Board of Directors. Col. Noyes’ home on 9th Avenue So. and 5th St. was the first to have gas lights. Later, that mansion became the convent for the BVM nuns teaching at St.Mary’s.


Another invention was first seen in Clinton at the Barnum and Bailey Show in 1886, when an exhibit of “a new curio,” the incandescent light bulb, was shown in a glass cage! A Mr. S.M. Highlands was superintendent of the waterworks and the electric company at the same time.


In 1891, E.C. Walsh of the State Electric Company arranged for the change from horse/mule drawn trolleys to electric, and new track was soon laid to coincide with the Iowa Interurban Electric Railroad.


By 1895, the production of electric current was quite common; and, in 1912, the Clinton Gas and Electric Co. took over for the The Gas Light and Coke Co. A number of years later, in 1943, Interstate Power Company gained the franchise. They had been operating the company since 1925, and their first job was to run a 69,000-volt transmission line to Dubuque -- their other Iowa franchise.


1889 brought paving to Clinton, when City Engineer B.B. Hart contracted with Rockford Construction Co. to pave 5th Avenue from 1st to 6th Street with paving bricks, and 2nd Street from 1st Avenue to 10th Avenue So. Prior to that, the roads had been covered with crushed rock, and some were macadamized (early roads, compacted, bound with concrete or asphalt). Bricks were the paving choice

from 1889 to 1920, when concrete and then asphalt began to be used.


The cost for the 2nd St. project was $24,363.53, complete with sandstone curbs

and London Mills brick on a macadam foundation. Fifth Avenue, from First to Third, was done for $17,775.04 and, in 1891, Second Street was completed from 1st Avenue "to the city limits" (near the Courthouse) for $54, 472.92. Later, it might be noted, the Purington Company made bricks in Peoria that were used extensively in Clinton, though they were no relation to an early Camanche settler, Amanda Purinton (with no "g"), as stated in an earlier article.

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