A BRIEF HISTORY OF PRINCETON, IOWA
According to a journal of Zebulon M. Pike,
Princeton began life as a major village of the Fox Nation. As
more and more people moved west,
many changes took place.
1835 – The first
claimants to land in the township were Giles M.
& Haswell H. Pineo.
1835 – The first
church services at St. Henry’s Catholic Church.
(Now is Our Lady of The River Catholic Church).
1837 – Daniel Hire
settled about 4 miles from the river and built
the first wood frame House.
1838 – Benjamin
Pike opened the first store in the township;
Benjamin Doolittle built the very
first ferry across the Wapsipincon River between
Davenport and Camanche; Jonas Barber built the
first mill; and Jacob Rose built the first
distillery. The town was known as Elizabeth
City and the area was Pinnacle Point.
1840 – F.F. Pike
built the first store in town; both the
Methodist and the Presbyterian churches began to
1841 - The first
post office, with a Pinneo being appointed
1852 – The city of
Princeton was laid out and recorded, and
services started at “Old Brick” Salem Lutheran
Church (now Zion Lutheran Church).
1857 – Princeton
became incorporated in January of that year.
1858 – Samuel
Porter was the first elected mayor for a
population of 500. The census count has since
gone much higher, and much lower. The city’s
population in 2005 is 946.
1860 – The
completion of the first rail service to Chicago.
1872 – The
beginning of the Independent Order of
Oddfellows, Swan Lodge #234 and Rebekah, Echo
1876 – The Ancient
order of United Workmen, Andrew Lodge was
1906 – The start
of Princeton Camp of Woodmen of the World.
1908 – The
beginning of the Home Guard Lodge #14.
1908 – Farmers
1910 – The first
newspaper, The Princeton Review was founded.
1922 – Henry
“Heinie” Boll started the Boll’s store. It
continued until 1997; run first by Heinie
and later by his son Merlin. The building is
now the Community Center.
the area’s children started in a log cabin,
moved to a converted barn and then, in 1866, to
a stone building. Virgil Grissom Grade School
open in 1966 and now takes care of our young
always had strong ties to the mighty Mississippi
River and can boast of good boating, hunting and
fishing, especially where the Wapsipinicon meets
the Mississippi. We also have some of the best
birding areas in the whole state of Iowa.