History of Kanaranzi

Transcribed from "The History of Rock county"
By A. P. Rose
Published in 1911

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Numbered among the half dozen smaller villages of Rock county is Kanaranzi, named after the township within which it is located. Stated specifically, it is situated on the southeast quarter of section 3, seven miles from the county seat on the Watertown-Ellsworth branch of the Rock Island railroad. The business town consists of a store, elevators and shops that derive their support from the agricultural country adjoining.

  The building of the Burlington railroad into Rock county in 1884 brought with it the possibility of new towns, and among the places to materialize was the station in Kanaranzi township. The grading of the proposed line was hardly commenced before there were negotiations between the railroad authorities and representatives of the farmers and landowners of Kanaranzi township in regard to locating a town, which it was expected would satisfy a long felt want for a more convenient market.

  But a whole year was allowed to pass before the agitators hopes were realized. In August, 1885, the townsite company connected with the railroad took action. A survey was made during that month by LeRoy Grant, from which a town plat of nine blocks was made. The dedication occurred September 28, 1885, and on October 14 the instrument was placed on record. The land on which the town was located was originally the property of Charles Thompson.

  No sooner was the town to be laid out than activity in its promotion became evident. The first to build on the site was A. E. Patterson, who completed a grain warehouse about the first of September, 1885. Ezra Rice put up the second grain house later in the same month, which was opened for business with Thomas Ganfield in charge. The depot was also erected during the fall of 1885, but it was not until October 18, 1886, that the station was formally opened. G. T. Bandy, formerly of Cazenovia, was installed as agent. A number of residences covered the improvements of the latter year. Mr. Bandy became Kanaranzi's first postmaster, assuming charge at the opening of the office on January 28, 1887. As a result of the heavy wind storm on August 2, 1887, Kanaranzi was for a time with only one grain warehouse, the establishment of E.A. Brown who had succeeded A.E. Patterson, suffering complete destruction. It was immediately rebuilt. In October, 1887, a correspondent boasted for the town two grain buyers, a newly established stock yard and a photographer.

  Kanaranzi was without a mercantile establishment for the first three years of its existence. The first store opened by C. Northrup and E. Milne in a building they erected early in October,  1888. Several months later this firm sold to G. T. Bandy, the station agent, who during the season of 1889 also engaged in the lumber business. Mr. Bandy disposed of his interests in 1891 to Elias Blakeslee, who in June succeeded him as postmaster.

 With the addition of a lumber yard, blacksmith shop and saloon late in the year 1892, Kanaranzi reached the high point in its development. The last two decades have changed but little the appearance of the village, but it has experienced all the healthful tendencies of improvement which a community of its size can exhibit. A substantial school building was erected in the village in 1899.