According to the best records we have, Luarke Wade Hampton Cox, and two of his brothers came to this area from Texas in the spring of 1842. Hampton Cox built his first house near Sampson Creek, near where the railroad bridge now stands. The land had not been surveyed at that time, and settleres were known as squatters. When the land was surveyed in 1845, Hampton Cox and his brother Sam were among those who entered a quarter section of land. Later Hampton Cox built a one and one half story frame house on the east side of what is now Arch Street.
Nathanial Funk came from Indiana in 1865 and bought land and built a house. On March 23, 1868, he established a post office under the name of Sampson Creek with himself as the Postmaster. He held this position until August 4, 1869, when he persuaded Seth R. Dillon, of the firm of Dillon Bros., who had put in the first store here the preceding year, to take it over.
The building of railroads was going on everywhere, and a survey was run through the Cox farm land, which was located in a direct route between Bethany and Albany. Right of way prospectors and surveyors made many trips through the county. Mr. Cox decided the railroad was assured and coming through town; so he decided to buy Dillon Bros. Store and lay out a townsite. the town was platted and recorded in November 1869 under the name of Hamptonville, but the post office was still Sampson Creek, Mr. Cox became postmaster Nov. 29, 1869.
There was but one other business in town at that time, a saw mill and corn burr operated by Joshua Lowe and Isaac Arthurs, unless Geo. Meredith's venture would be considered a business.
In 1862 Geo. Meredith and his wife, who were native Kentuckians, bought a large tract of land west and sough of the Cox settlement. There was a two storied log house on the land; and the trail from the east to Robidoux Landing ran near its gate. It soon became a regular stopping point for freighters and other at the end of a day's drive. Although it was called a Tavern then, it later became New Hampton's first Hotel.
Because of his health, Hampton Cox sold his store in 1872 to Michael Cochrane, a Scotchman. He also took over the postmastership on Nov. 20, 1872. Hampton Cox died July 12, 1876. Ironically, he never lived to see the railroad come through Hamptonville.
After his death, Freeman L. Friend, a blind man, bought his real estate and continued negotiations with the railroad and in 1880 sold it to the railroad company. The railroad was finished in 1882 between New Hampton and Albany; and the first train ran in November 1882.
Note the change in the name from Hamptonville to New Hampton. The citizens of Hamptonville, petitioning the Harrison County Court, incorporated as "The Village of New Hampton" August 4, 1881. The following is the first Board of Trustees: A.M. Willey, John C. Stoner, William M. Yokum, A.C. Lainhart, and Isaac McCan. The postoffice name of Sampson Creek was changed November 25, 1881. New Hampton became the name of the town and post office. In 1903, acting upon another petition from the towns people, the Harrison County Court allowed the village to be incorporated as the Town of New Hampton on November 5. The following was the first Board of Trustees: A.L. Clabaugh, C.E. Swartz, J.H. Cover, J.H. Clevenger and W.F. Rowlett.
After the railroad came, John C. Stoner built a large ten-room, two-storied hotel just south of the Depot. The railroad had bought increasing hotel business, and Stoner had a flourishing business. He later sold it to I.N. Carson & Son. Carson lived there and operated the business for some time. While he retained ownership, he moved his family into a new dwelling nearby. Some of the men who ran the hotel as renters were Geo. Miles, Dr. A.M. Willey & wife, Usher Bush, Chas. and Ida Lyons, Lucinda Kidney, Amos and Mary Fox, and John and Mary Plymell.
In the mid-eighties, Dr. A.M. Willey and wife, Kate, built a residence and hotel on Arch Street just north of the railroad tracks. They operated this place for many years except for a short time when they were in the "Carson Hotel". After they retired the building became the "Central" with its telephone switchboard. Later it was sold to W. Baker and used again as a hotel and residence. At present Chas. Wilkinson lives there.
For many years the hotel business flourished in New Hampton. this was especially true before the advent of cars and trucks. "Drummers" left the train here on their regular visits to outlying towns like Matkins, Newcastle, Martinsville, and Washington Center. It was at about this time (1900) that Chas. and Ida Lyons erected the large hotel that sat where the vacated fire house is now standing. They had a good business, but received such a good offer for the business that they sold out to Reuben and Martha Foltz and their daughter Lottie. they ran the business untill Lottie married, when they were obliged to sell, being no longer able to run it themselves. Harve Spillman bought the hotel then as an investment; and many different parties ran it for him. The Switzers stayed the longest of any of them. The hotel burned in the late twenties.
After the Stoner Hotel burned in the winter of 1908-1909, John and Mary Plymell, who had been operating it finally found themselves another in the old Stinson property owned b Nathan Snipes. They bought this and enjoyed a good trade there for several years. One of their busiest times was on stock shipping days. They served good meals there at very reasonable rates. Theirs was the last real hotel New Hampton has had.
In 1929, Geo. and Edd Beeler built and operated a cabin court on Race Street, just south of the present location of Groves Plumbing and Heating. For a good many years, beginning in the late nineties, the first place for the greatest number of cars shipped on this branch of the CB&Q Railroad alternated between New Hampton and King City. Both averaged over three hundred cars per year.
From the 1890's until about 1900 the shipping pens of this town were its very life. Stock was driven and hauled to them from Hatfield to the north and from the McFall and Pattonsburg area to the south. The merchants of the town detested the aroma but wouldn't have had them moved, as the sale of livestock came thousands of dollars of profit to their tills. Stock buyers and shippers were: Joe Sullinger, Hugh and John Foster, Jim Bill Severe, Arthur and Alex Williamson, Hamp and William Johnston, Ellis and Cliff Baldwin, John Mock and Luther York, Jimmie Scott was weighmaster and had his shoe repair shop in the scale house for several years. At present the service is limited to freight, mostly fertilizer, during the season.
In 1842, Jeremiah Young and family with his brother Harvey, moved to the area southwest of what is now New Hampton from Blunty County, Tennessee, by way of the Cass County, Mo. Jeremiah Young had scouted the country for a location the fall before.
Sampson Creek ran one mile west of his cabin and turned east to join White Oak Creek. The country east was bare of settlers until near Big Creek. The Youngs had passed a few cabins along Grand River, and later learned that there was a cabin or two on Painter Creek, the Carters and Rosses. To the north and east, the Stewarts, Edson, Dennys, Yorks, Nobles and Glenndennings were within the New Hampton trade territory. Magee families settled both north and south of Sampston Creek and (all from Kentucky) Bargers, Blessings and Clevengers lived, with Smiths, Funks and Benders nearby. There were Millers, Ladds, Plymells and Clouses to the east; and to the south Daniels, Whiteleys, Dailys, Wards and Clarks. The John Foster place was near and also the first Chipp families. The Everlys, Headingtons, Williamsons and Braces also lived close by. The wide prairie country on the west was later taken up by the Givsons, Clellands and Chenoweths. The Rowlettes were early settlers, as were the Colemans, Linvilles, and well up on Painter Creek the Stevensons. By the time the railroad was here all of these older families had become well established with comfortable farmsteads, including large orchards, good fences and well-stocked pastures.
In July 1883, a destructive wind storm did tremendous damage to orchards, fences and buildings. With the coming of the lumberyard in the 1880's repairs were soon made. Before the turn of the century, brick buildings began to be erected. James Wright built the first brick building and it is still standing. Fremont Kidwell put up the next. Both of these were made from brick burned in a kiln just north of town.
C.E. Swartz and C. Tucker built a large building for the production of ice, the processing of produce and cold storage facilities in New Hampton about 1919. For some time this was one of the largest business ventures in this area. Produce was hauled from surrounding towns and processed in this plant. Eggs were graded and shipped in carload lots to eastern markets, live poultry was shipped in carloads in summer months. In winter months poultry was dressed and boxed before shipping. Thousands of rabbits were brought and barreled for shipping. The surrounding community was supplied with ice from the plant. The plant furnished work for many area residents..
source: Harrison County Bicentennial History
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