Le Mars, Iowa

The first actual settler on the townsite of the present Le Mars was Captain B F Betsworth, who arrived in 1866. Here, on unbroken prairie, the captain built his humble cabin along the banks of the Floyd River. It was not until 4 years later that Le Mars was platted. It was brought into existence in 1870 by the building of the railroad from Dubuque to Sioux City, which is now a part of the Illinois Central, but the old name "Dubuque & Sioux City Ry" appears on many a presentday abstract of Le Mars real estate titles. The little hamlet of Le Mars was first called St Paul Junction.

John I. Blair platted the town, which did not receive its permanent name until September 1870. At that time a party including John I Blair and family, W W Walker, Mrs John Weer, Mr and Mrs Swain, Mrs Parsons, Dr and Mrs Wm R Smith, Mrs John Cleghorn, Col Waynee and Anabelle Waynee, Mrs Reynolds and Mrs Underhill came by special train to Le Mars. The men of the party set about to survey a plat of the village. One of them suggested that while the women were waiting they might as well think up a name for the settlement. Someone suggested Floyd Valley, and others were suggested, but none seemed to fit. Finally it was agreed upon to use the initials of the women present, and of several combinations LeMars was deemed the prettiest. Later the name was sometimes taken for French, and due to this accidental resemblance, the present version, Le Mars, came into use.

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