The Methodists dedicated their church in April, having purchased it from the Episcopalians in 1876.
The Episcopal Church was maintained here for very few years. Due to emigration and death it was disbanded.
The Waukee Cheese Factory as initiated in May, 1878 under the management of a Mr. Denman of Des Moines. A notation is made in the August 15th, Dallas Center Globe that the cheese factory was closing for the season and there was quite a stock of the article on hand for sale. It is not known where this chees making took place or if they ever opened for another season, but it was reported to be very superior in quality.
This was the year the Des Moines-Adel and Western Railroad, a narrow gauge, was built from Waukee to Adel. The laying of the iron was to start about the middle of June at the west edge of Waukee. It was announced from Adel that Thos. Ashton was chosen as a general superintendent of the new railroad with S. L. Ward to be engineer and Wm. Hadden fireman. It is not know if these men kept these jobs very long.
The narrow gauge engine “Adel” arrived in Waukee in August, “a homely, ungodly looking sort of a creature.” The first run of the ‘Adel” occurred in October, carrying all who would come along for the ride to Waukee and back, This little engine was later dubbed “The Teakettle”. Ora Williams curator of the state historical society, from 1939 to 1946, was one of the boys of that first run. From his article written for the Annals of Iowa, we quote “The locomotive was much like a mine engine, with the water tank slung saddle fashion over the boiler. There were one or two freight boxcars in which wood benches had been set up for the guests. The two or three flatcars had boards across for seats for the youngsters. All were, of course, of narrow gauge.”
Some of the businessmen listed during this year were:
B.T. Halstead – set up a law office and permanently retired from teaching
E.B. Smith, Eaq., – located his law office in Waukee
Wm Overmier sold his meat market to Mr. Meracle
Dr. Duncan moved his office to the Johnson building
G.S Wharton moved his butcher shop to his farm just west of town.
Wm. A. Carter and Son opened a drug store in the building previously occupied by
A Library Association or reading club was formed by some of the citizens and they purchased about $30 worth of good books.
Before Waukee was incorporated the people had succeeded in ridding the town of its saloon. We copy this report from the paper:
“Waukee breathes clear once more on account of the complete removal of the late saloon. After much protest from the residents the saloon keeper agreed to sell his stock and quite business. The amount was raised and the people emptied the contents of beer kegs and ale bottles in the streets. All parties seemed satisfied – the one on leaving an uncongenial business place and the other on ridding the town of a nuisance. All opposition, however, was to the business and not to the man for many would have liked so clever a fellow to remain.”
Before continuing with more history, it must be noted that General L. A. Grant sold all his holdings in and around Waukee in July of 1880 to O. W. Mead. His town was on its own.