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From Norwich to Galtsville to Galt


n 1881, Norwich was platted as a Rock Island railway town. This was followed by a post office in 1882, named Galtville. Finally, the town of Galt was incorporated in 1913. Never a “boom town”, Galt still managed to have a number of businesses in the early 1900’s. Surrounded by farmland and farms, the little town boasted a two general stores, a drug company, furniture store, lumber, coal and cement store, general hardware, blacksmith, harness maker, meat market , two grain, stock and seeds stores, an auto shop, a barber shop, and a hotel. A few other small businesses also thrived. A Congregational church was established in 1891. Dr. William Potter set up practice in Galt in 1893, and practiced there until the 1950’s. An 1882 issue of the Wright Co. Monitor mentions that Galtville has a new postoffice “two miles north of Empire…which will probably be discontinued.” (Empire is one of our ghost towns.) The State Saving Bank was organized in 1898 and the Bank of Galt in 1917. Thieves broke into the bank in 1924, and in 1939 was robbed again. The 1939 heist was rumored to be “Ma Barker and her sons”! Another distinction of the bank is that it was the only Iowa bank to remain open when President Roosevelt ordered all banks closed in March, 1933. A major fire took out most of the businesses on the west side of downtown in 1923, and a tornado went thru in 1933. Of true interest, Galt in the 19030’s was a cucumber producing town, curing cucumbers in large vats until they were shipped to the Marshall Canning Co. of Marshalltown. The pickles were sold in Jack Spratt stores. In 1937 the Monitor reported farmers were paid $4,726 for their produce. Galt held a “Dill Pickle Day” celebration from at least 1933 – 1938, with free coffee and Dill Pickles, among

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