Documentary History of American Water-works

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Northwestern States
Iowa Monticello

Monticello, Iowa

Monticello was chartered as a city in 1867.

A company was organized in 1877 to construct water works, but it ran short of funds and sold its well to the city in 1879, which completed the system in October 1879 as designed Thomas N. Boutelle.

Water is provided by the city of Monticello.

1879 The History of Jones County, Iowa: Containing a History of the County, Its Cities, Towns, &c.
Pages 474-475:  Water-Works
In the summer of 1877, a stock company was organized, with Hon. George W. Lovell, President, and had for its object the securement of good water privileges for the inhabitants of the city of Monticello. A well was sunk near the depot to the depth of nearly twelve hundred feet, with the hope of securing a flowing well, but the hopes of the company were not fully realized. An abundant supply of water was secured, but it rose only to within forty feet of the surface. The funds of the company being exhausted, nothing was done for the space of about eighteen months, when the company sold out its interest in the well to the city for the amount of their investment, $3,200, the city agreeing to pay the same to the stockholders in the way of water-rents, in installments of 10 per cent each year, for ten years, without interest. An open well to the depth of the surface of the standing water was dug, walled and cemented, and a contract was let to George F. Blake & Co., of New York, to put in a pumping apparatus, whereby the water could be pumped and carried to a reservoir on the hill west of the city. A reservoir was built and neatly inclosed, at the place named, with a capacity of two hundred and fifty thousand gallons. The pumps and necessary appendages have been put in place, and water-mains laid to the principal parts of the city, and everything has been pronounced a decided success. The water is excellent, nearly as soft as rain-water, and two or three degrees warmer than that of ordinary well-water. The supply seems to be entirely inexhaustible. The entire cost to the city of the Water-Works, thus far, has been about $16,000.
The following officers have been duly appointed: S. Y. Bradstreet, Superintendent; Dexter Page, Engineer. Commissioners—S. Y. Bradstreet, Chairman; B. D. Paine, S. E. Sarles, M. M. Moulton, Dexter Page.
The primary object of the company who inaugurated the enterprise has been consummated, and the city has a full supply of good water. From the water-mains, surface pipes are being put in at the present writing, and everything is eminently satisfactory.

1882 Monticello, from Engineering News 9:67 (February 25,  1882)

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

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

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

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

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

1910 History of Jones County, Iowa, past and present, by Robert McClain Corbit
Pages 475-476:  Monticello Water Works
The water works plant at Monticello is the property of the municipal corporation. The plant was installed in 1879, and came as the result of an effort to secure an artesian well.
In the summer of 1877 a number of citizens organized a stock company, with Hon. G. W. Lovell as president, and subscribed three thousand two hundred dollars for the purpose of sinking a deep well to ascertain if possible whether a flow of water above the surface could be obtained. The well was drilled to the depth of one thousand, one hundred and eighty seven feet without obtaining an overflow. The water came to within forty feet of the surface, and was of such splendid quality that during the following eighteen months the subject of investing in a water works plant and using the well for the supply of water, was much discussed.
The well was given a thorough six days test, and engineers declared that it would furnish water sufficient to supply the town. The matter was submitted to a vote of the electors in May, 1879, and carried by a vote of two hundred and sixty-nine for to sixty-eight against.
The owners of the well sold the same to the city, taking their pay in what was known as scrip, which entitled them to use water at the fixed price to the amount of their stock in the well. This scrip was retired many years ago. The town was bonded for twelve thousand dollars and the work of establishing the plant completed during the summer of 1879. A reservoir was built on the hill in the western part of the town sufficiently large to hold two hundred and fifty thousand gallons of water. During the past few months this reservoir has been increased in capacity by increasing its height to thirty-five feet. It is of reinforced concrete and holds five hundred and fifty thousand gallons. The addition cost in excess of six thousand dollars. Many extensions have been made to the mains since those days, and the plant is now estimated to be of the value of forty thousand dollars. The bonds issued at the institution of the plant were paid long ago.
At the expiration of about fifteen years, the well failed to furnish as much water as the increased needs of the inhabitants of the town demanded, and a new well was drilled beside the old one. After a time, however, both of these were abandoned, and new wells were drilled in the eastern part of the town, which furnish a sufficient supply of excellent water. The new wells, which supply the town with water, were drilled to the depth of only a few hundred feet. B. D. Paine was mayor of the town when the water works system was built. S. Y. Bradstreet, who took a great interest in its establishment, was the first superintendent. Dexter Page was the first engineer.
During the past year, the expenses of operating the water works, including the new pipes and extensions to the mains in the sum of nine hundred and sixteen dollars were about four thousand dollars. The receipts for water were three thousand, four hundred and sixty-one dollars. For several years no taxes have been levied for the support of the water works. They have been self-sustaining, and have furnished a surplus sufficient to make the extensions which have been demanded from time to time.
The present superintendent of the water works is H. S. Lee, and the engineer, Peter Matthiesen. Henry Hoffman was engineer for a period of nearly ten years.

© 2020 Morris A. Pierce