Documentary History of American Water-works

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Northwestern States
Iowa Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids was chartered as a city in 1849.

The city awarded a 25-year water works franchise to the Cedar Rapids Water Company on February 19, 1875.  The company built a system that used steam engines to pump water from the Cedar River.

The franchise expired in 1900 and the city bought the water company on July 1, 1903 for $23,000.

Water is provided by the City of Cedar Rapids.

1875 An ordinance to provide for a supply of water for the inhabitants of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for domestic use and fire protection, February 19, 1875.

1876 An act to Legalize Ordinances No. 14J and No. 147, Passed by the 216. City Council of the City of Cedar Rapids, in Relation to the Establishment of Water Works in said City and the Conveyance of Land on which to erect the same. March 8, 1876.

1876 The Muscatine Journal, July 31, 1876, Page 2.
The Cedar Rapids water works were successfully tested last week.

1878 The History of Linn County, Iowa: Containing a History of the County, Its Cities, Towns, &c., a Biographical Directory of Its Citizens, War Record of Its Volunteers in the Late Rebellion, General and Local Statistics, Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent Men, History of the Northwest, History of Iowa, Map of Linn County, Constitution of the United States, Miscellaneous Matters, &c
Page 496:  Water Works.
The Water Works building was erected in 1875 by James Cushing; it is built of cut stone, and presents a fine appearance. The works are located at the northern terminus of Washington street, and have an imposing tower at the south entrance. The smoke-stack is built of brick and is ninety-five feet high. The McGowan pumps and engines, of Cincinnati, Ohio, are used in the works. The water from the river is run through a filter into an immense well, and is pumped up from the well. The works have a capacity of 4,000,000 gallons every twenty-four hours. The hydrants are so arranged that in the business and more thickly settled portions of the city, from 4 to 8 inch streams can be brought to play in any locality. The entire city is surrounded by mains, rendering all portions of it within the reach of water.
The officers of the Water Works are: W. W. Walker, President; T. M. Sinclair, Treasurer; J . M. Brocksmit, Secretary; F. O. Weeks, Collector. Directors W. W. Walker, T. M. Sinclair. George Douglass, J. L. Bever, J. C. Brocksmit, William Waterhouse and Charles Weare. James Savage, First Engineer; J. C. Fox, Second Engineer; John Childs, Fireman and Pipeman.

1882 Cedar Rapids, from Engineering News 9:134 (April 29, 1882)

1882 Cedar Rapids from "The Water-Supply of Certain Cities and Towns of the United States," by Walter G. Elliot, C. E., Ph. D.

1884 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa. April 1884

1888 "Cedar Rapids," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1890 "Cedar Rapids," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.

1891 "Cedar Rapids," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.

1897 "Cedar Rapids," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.

1899 Fire and Water 26(19):ix (November 4, 1899)
At Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the council had served notice to Cedar Rapids Water Company, to sell to the city at a reasonable price, or the latter will build a system at a cost of $400,000.

1900 Kimball et al. v. City of Cedar Rapids et al., 100 Fed. 802, April 16, 1900, Circuit Court, Northern District of Iowa, Cedar Rapids Division.

1900 An ordinance regulating and fixing water rates to be hereafter charged to private consumers by water companies for furnishing water within the city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. June 18, 1900.

1901 "City not entitled to fix rates charged private consumers by water company," Water and Gas Review 11(11):26-27 (May 1901)

1901 "Ottumwa and its Waterworks," Fire and Water Engineering 30(6):272 (August 10, 1901)

1901 "The Cedar Rapids, Ia., Water Trouble," Municipal Engineering 21(3):176 (September, 1901)

1902 The Cedar Rapids Water Company, Appellee, v. The City of Cedar Raids, Appellant, 118 Iowa 234, May 27, 1902, Supreme Court of Iowa

1903 "Ottumwa's Struggles for Municipal Ownership," Municipal Engineering 24(2):112 (February, 1903)

1905 Cedar Rapids Water Co v City of Cedar Rapid, 199 U.S. 605, October 23, 1905, United States Supreme Court | Records and Briefs |
Dismissed for want to jurisdiction.

1913 W. J. Sloan, Appellant, v. The City of Cedar Rapids, et al., Appellee, 161 Iowa 307, September 20, 1913, Iowa Supreme Court

1921 Report on water works improvements Cedar Rapids, Iowa, by Burns & McDonnell

1924 Report on water works improvements under bond issue authorized by the people March 27, 1922.

2020 Morris A. Pierce