Settlers began coming to the Aredale community on or before 1860. In the 1880's the settlers wanted a better market for their dairy products. At that time, they were making dairy butter, which sometimes sold as low as five cents or ten cents a pound.

In the spring of 1890, a group of farmers met at Pittsford #3 Schoolhouse. They decided to have a cheese factory, that would be located on the southwest corner of a farm, one mile south of the present town of Aredale. They contacted a cheese maker, who came to plan and supervise the construction of the building. Before he began work on the factory, he married and moved away. The building was later finished; but stood idle until the following spring, when a man bought it and put in a cream separators and butter making equipment. He engaged Becker Brothers (John & T.) to operate the creamery. At that time the milk was taken to the creamery, separated, and the skim milk returned to the farmer. There were a number of millk haulers, with horse drawn wagons; they picked up the milk in ten-gallon cans.

A little later, they petitioned for a post office. The mail was to be brought from Dumont, twice a week. John Becker was appointed Postmaster. At that time there were no bonding companies. The Postmaster needed three landowners as bondsmen. William Wray, John McCauliff and A.H. Ufford were his bondsmen. Jack Stanbrough carried the mail to and from Dumont with a one horse, two wheeled cart.

There are different versions as to how the name of Aredale developed. One is that Henry Hannawalt suggested the name; another is that the name of Airville was mentioned, as it was the name of a town in Pennsylvania, where one of the men originally came from. The name of Airville was also suggested at this time. When it was submitted to Washington, D.C., the spelling was changed and the town became Aredale.

In 1900 the railroad was built through Aredale. Since it was not going directly through the townsite, it was decided that Aredale should be moved one mile north. The present town of Aredale is located on section 29, 30, and 32 of Bennezette Township in Butler county. It was laid out and platted by the Iowa and Minnesota Town Site Company. The plat was recorded on June 28, 1900. The town began to grow, lots were sold, and business places were soon built. Before long there were 2 general stores, a hardware store, a drug store, a bank, an elevator, 2 lumberyards, a telephone office, a billiard hall, and a barbershop

The first Postmaster in the new township was John McCauliff. Other Postmasters were H.M. Bailey, Lee Buckmaster, Mabel C. Polk and Katie Hopkins.

Mr. Bailey and Fred Ilgenfritz owned the first general stores. Mr. Graves was the first hardware dealer. He sold to Boale and Dye. Other owners were: Mr. Hardman, Folbrechtand Tiederman, Bailey and Polk and William Buttjer. George Slaughter was the first druggist, followed by Arend Drier and Lee Buckmaster.

A line of company built the first elevator and lumberyard. In 1905, the farmers built an elevator. A few years later, the Line Company took their elevator down and moved their lumberyard. George Ilgenfritz had the second lumberyard and the implement shop. George Miller built the hotel. Dr. Osborne was the first doctor, followed by Dr. Theirman and Dr. Wickman. Mr. Squires had the first Butcher shop. His son Irvin had the livery and feed yard. Later on he sold it to Klopp and Worth, who also sold automobiles. Aredale Savings Bank was organized and built in 1901.

Soon there were several oil stations in town. Russell Scarrow had a station longer than anyone in Aredale, although he was not the first. William Cooney was the first resident livestock buyer. William Channey had the billiard hall. Frank and Dick Esslinger were early blacksmiths. William Van Riper made cement tile for a time. James Popejoy bought cream for Higley Company of Mason City. He was also the Justice of the Peace. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Bushbaum served meals, while the Aredale Building was being constructed at a location one block south of Main Street.

Before there were churches in the community, church services were held in schoolhouses. The Presbyterians held their services in the Wray Schoolhouse, located on the Wray farm, situated on land now in the Aredale town limits. This church no longer exists in Aredale.

The First Methodist Church was organized in 1901. On June 19th, the Coldwater Methodist Church building was purchased and moved to town. On June 22nd, the Article of Incorporation was drawn up. On August 27th, the deed for the land was secured from the Iowa & Minnesota Town Site Company. On September 8th, the sanctuary opened for servcies. Trustees were: J.K. Worley, A. Sproul, P.M. Sproul, Frank Baldcock, and Charles Hernes. In 1923 the old building was destroyed be fire and the remains were dismantled. In the same year, the new building was erected and dedicated.

The Grace Evangelical Church began by the preaching of Rev. B.R. Wiener in 1899. The first trustees were: A.W. Fassler, H.A. Fassler, and W.F. Pencook. The parsonage was built in 1911. It was destroyed by fire in 1933 and a new one was built. In 1968, the First Methodist Church and the Grace Evangelical Church were combined as the United Methodist Church. The pastor was Rev. Thompson.

For many years, June 28th was observed as Field Day in Aredale. There was a lively celebration. One of the biggest attractions was the baseball games. Aredale had many good teams. Crowds always overflowed the town.

Aredale has had several buildings destroyed by fire. It has also been the site of two train wrecks. The first, in 1916, took the life of one man. The second, in 1953, demolished the depot. Both were collisions with another train and both occurred directly in front of the depot.

Aredale was incorporated in 1901. It has always had a mayor-council type government. Some of the past mayors were: Herman Voss, A.D. Allen, Merlin Richard, William Van Horn and Beryl Richard.

There is not longer a schoolhouse in Aredale. The high school students were transferred to Dumont in 1940. The school was finally closed in 1957. Recently there have been reunions for those who graduated from Aredale.

The following article was taken from the Aredale Centennial Book; published in 2000


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