bill scoville


Waucoma, Iowa
Population: 257

“At first, and for many years, the town had a tardy growth, but the advent of the Davenport and St. Paul branch of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railway, in 1879, gave the village a new lease of life peopled with a class of public spirited citizens whose influence, money and enterprise.

The Waucoma mill was one of the earliest industries established in the town, and one which did more than anything else to bring trade and develop business. It was at first equipped with the old fashioned stone buhrs. but with the progress of the times it became a full roller system and turned out as fine a quality of products as any of its competitors. At present this mill is operated exclusively for the grinding of feed, buckwheat, etc., and has abandoned flour making since the failure in the spring wheat crops.

The first hotel in Waucoma was operated by Milo Goodell and was known as the Empire House. A little later it passed into the hands of “Uncle Bill” Scovil, who operated it after a manner peculiarly his own, for many years. The Commercial House and the Palace Hotel were later additions; the latter, and the best hotel Waucoma has ever had, was burned in January, 1907, and the Commercial suffered a similar fate in the autumn of 1908. In each case other property was destroyed, these being the greatest fire losses the town has ever sustained.“