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Your Link to the Past

Your Link to the Past

Crary, Margaret

SC56.1.Crary_Margaret.01Sioux City writer Margaret Crary authored nine novels for young people during her lifetime.  She received many awards for her literature, and several of her books became Junior Literary Guild selections.  Many of her books featured Sioux City history in their themes.








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Darling, J.N. “Ding”

DingDarling1Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling was a well-known political cartoonist. His cartoons were printed in almost 150 papers across the United States. All were drawn before television and some before radio when newspapers were the most important form of communication. Darling drew through two World Wars and the terms of seven presidents. He drew during many important events in the 20th century, including the Great Depression, prohibition and the labor movement. Throughout his life, Darling was also a huge supporter of natural conservation.


Darling was born in Michigan in 1876 at the same time as the United States’ centennial. His family moved to Sioux City in 1885 when his father, Marcellus Darling, accepted a position as a minister at First Congregational Church. Some of Darling’s best memories came from his childhood in Sioux City. He loved the tall grass fields in South Dakota where he and his brother played. Darling sat on the banks of the Missouri and Big Sioux Rivers listening to the sounds of nature on summer nights. It was in the prairies around Sioux City that Darling discovered his love of nature.

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Eaton, Fred L.

SC04.PE.Eaton_Fred_L.01The Floyd River Flood of 1892 and the Financial Panic of 1893 left Sioux City a ravaged community.  Many of Sioux City’s largest businesses collapsed and the town’s great promoters were left bankrupt. Eastern investors, who had invested heavily in Sioux City businesses, were left trying to salvage what they could from the shambles. Creditors of some of Sioux City’s failed companies organized the Credits Commutation Company to try and recover some of their losses.  They hired Fred L. Eaton, a banker from Vermont, to come to Sioux City and supervise that recovery.

When Fred Eaton arrived in Sioux City, the boom days were over and many businesses were in ruins. The stockyards, elevated railway, Combination Bridge and many other businesses were bankrupt.  Eaton convinced a majority of the eastern investors that restoring economic health to Sioux City would be of financial benefit to them.  Under his direction, the Credits Commutation Company voted to support the completion of the Combination Bridge and Eaton became the secretary/treasurer of the new combination bridge company.   

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Davidson Brothers-Ben, Dave and Abe

SC56.1.Davidson_Ben.01Ben Davidson was the first of three brothers to come to Sioux City.  Born in Slusk, Russia in 1858, he set off for America in 1880. He landed in New York with no money, no friends and no job.  Within three days, however, he had a job with the India rubber comb factory on Long Island, earning just sixty to seventy-five cents a day.  He set about learning the language and ways of his new country.

Ben heard about the many opportunities in the west, and made plans to improve his situation.  He bought some tin goods and peddled his wares from town to town.  He worked his way west until he arrived in Omaha, Nebraska.  There, he became ill and had to stop for three months. When he recovered, he set out for Sioux City, arriving on July 10, 1881.  When Mayor Swartz kindly allowed to him peddle his goods without a license, Ben decided to make Sioux City his home. 

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Eichelberger, Dr. Agnes

Sioux City's first woman doctor, Dr. Agnes Eichelberger (1864-1923) devoted her life to the care of women, children and infants. Known for her generous heart and great kindness, the pioneering Dr. Eichelberger brought quality maternity care to all women of Sioux City, regardless of financial status.

Born in Lewiston, Illinois in 1864, Eichelberger's first job was as a clerk in her father's department store. She dreamed, however, of becoming a medical missionary, a career that her father opposed. With her mother's encouragement, she attended Hartman and Oberlin Colleges. Next, she enrolled in Northwestern University in Chicago and obtained experience in the Women's Division of Cook County Hospital. She graduated with honors in 1888 and received an internship at Cook County, where she acted as house surgeon in 1889.

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