The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


November 22, 2013

Sawdust of gold in Clinton's past


From 1870-1895, and later (after the start of WWII), that remained pretty much the case. Sadly, once industry moved from the “rust belt” to the “sunshine states,” hard times would hit Clinton too. (Remember, however, that the Midwest still has one critical resource… water … another thing we must value and preserve.)

But our small centrally-located insular town’s “glory days” — a time when it was peopled by many mighty millionaires — faded fast. Clinton’s early elite were seen as “special” by most of the locals, but they’d actually grown up quite common themselves.

Owing to a lucky combination of intelligence, talent and timing, they were able to amass considerable fortunes in a relatively short timespan. They needed (and possessed) business acumen, forward vision and skills with people, as well as mechanical and building talents…all rolled into one.

Most had tough personalities, which could flare up if provoked, but they also seemed innately aware of a need to take care of the common man, knowing that a successful community requires united “team” effort. These wealthy magnates didn’t like to give up control or pay too much for anything, but they did live on the same blocks as their workers, provided generously for public schools, recreation and the arts, and also served on school boards and other government offices. W.J. Young was once even Clinton’s mayor.

The Lamb family had an opulent lifestyle. They used the Mississippi as their private playground. They traveled on their private fleet of steamboats down to New Orleans and up to Frontenac, Minn., on Lake Pepin. Before leaving, they notified a local grocer to provide provisions for three months and load them on their steamboats. They stopped at all the towns along the way and they swam off of sand bars as they frolicked. The Wanderer and the Idler were pushed by powered boats like the Chaperone and the Summer Girl.

Text Only
  • Johnny Appleseed Road Show-3 [Duplicate] Exhibit on real Johnny Appleseed will hit the road CINCINNATI — If you picture Johnny Appleseed as a loner wearing a tin pot for a hat and flinging apple seeds while meandering through the countryside, experts say you’re wrong.They’re hoping that a traveling exhibit funded by an anonymous donation to

    July 21, 2014 8 Photos

  • Rastrelli's Rastrelli's restaurant a cornerstone in Lyons District Pete Rastrelli (1900-1966) came here to work for Marcucci’s as a candy maker in 1926 after learning the trade at businesses like Curtis Candy Co. in Chicago.In Clinton, he met and married a nursing student named Ida Baldacci. Ida was an orphan from C

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mourning millions: EU leaders mark WWI centennial

    At a site where their countrymen once slaughtered each other with machine guns, artillery and poison gas, the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and other European nations commemorated the 100th anniversary of World War I and vowed Thursday to preserve peace on the continent.

    June 27, 2014

  • Tour de France marks World War I centennial

    Before sunrise on June 28, 1914, a pack of cyclists set off from Paris on the 12th Tour de France. Hours later, an Austrian archduke stepped out in Sarajevo and was assassinated in the street, igniting the carnage of World War I.

    June 27, 2014

  • 6-11-14 McEleney photo A closer look at the McEleneys' history Leo and Emmett McEleney started their business in 1914. Now, 100 years of service to the community has been accomplished. They started with Jeffery automobiles, and it was their mechanical prowess (Emmett) and business sense (Leo) which really helped

    June 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • 6-11-14 McEleney's page 1 McEleney's celebrates a century

    Somehow it seems fitting that Emmett McEleney was born in 1886 the same year Carl Benz completed the Benz Patent Motor Car, considered to be the first true automobile. The world was a very different place when Emmett and his brother, Leo, started a

    June 11, 2014 9 Photos

  • Puget Sound anchor might be from 1792 expedition

    Experts will examine an anchor recovered from Puget Sound north of Seattle to determine if it was from one of the earliest ships to explore Northwest waters.

    The anchor was found six years ago by sea-cucumber diver Doug Monk, who formed Anchor Ventures with amateur historian Scott Grimm to bring it to the surface. It was in Admiralty Inlet off Whidbey Island.

    June 10, 2014

  • Fashion History of Lingerie-57 [Duplicate] Corsets to Wonderbras: museum takes on lingerie NEW YORK (AP) -- From a 1770 corset to a 2014 bra-and-panty set in lacy stretch silk, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology has put the focus on lingerie and ladies foundation garments in a new exhibition. In about 70 pieces, "Exposed: A

    June 10, 2014 21 Photos

  • World honors D-Day's fallen 70 years later

    Gone are the screaming shells, seasick soldiers and bloodied waters of 1944. On Friday, a sun-splattered Normandy celebrated peace, with silent salutes, tears and international friendship marking 70 years since the D-Day invasion helped change the course of World War II and modern history.

    June 6, 2014

  • WW I trenches unearthed at Camp Dodge JOHNSTON -- Archaeologists hired to dig at World War I training trenches on the Iowa National Guard Base at Camp Dodge have uncovered several artifacts dating to when the United States entered the war: rifle shell casings, a machine gun suppressor fr

    May 29, 2014