Muscatine North & South Railroad Company
The Men and their Dream
M.N.& S. Motorcar #100
The four original incorporators were all prominent citizens of the City of Muscatine, which helped fuel the interest in the new road of all the small surrounding towns that hoped to be a part of the route.
William Huttig, a German native, came to American in 1855 at age 19, settling in Muscatine as a music teacher. Following the civil war, Mr. Huttig returned to Muscatine and entered the grocery business.
In 1868 he started in the lumber business with his brother, eventually manufacturing window sash and doors. In the large plant built in 1881, The Huttig Manufacturing Company was incorporated and continued to grow into other parts of the country.
In addition to lumber interests, Mr. Huttig also played a key role in the Muscatine Real Estate Company, Muscatine Oat Meal Company, Terra Cotta Lumber Company, and the Muscatine Street Car Company. Mr. Huttig and Henry Jayne, another MN&S incorporator were President and Vice-President respectively, of the company in charge of the Muscatine high bridge.
Of Mr. Huttig, the following was written in the History of Muscatine County:
"Mr. Huttig has noted the disadvantages under which a young man labors who starts in his business career without adequate school training and has become a stanch friend of education, serving for about ten years as member of the Muscatine school board... He is a liberal contributor to all worthy causes, recognizing the obligation of large employers to assist in the advancement of the general good."
Mr. Huttig was 57 years old at the date of the MN&S incorporation.
Richard Musser also had a background in lumber. R. Musser and Company built a sawmill on the bank of the Mississippi River in South Muscatine in 1871. Richard and his brother Peter managed the company which was first established in 1855 under the name Hoch, Musser and Company. The Musser Lumber Company was organized in 1885 and continued until 1905, when the supply of logs had been exhausted. Although one of the original incorporators, Richard Musser never rode the rails of the Muscatine North & South Railroad. He died in 1896.
Henry Jayne, a native of Pennsylvania, came to Iowa with his parents at the age of six. He took up the study of law at the office of Judge Brannon. Following his admission to the bar in 1871, he was immediately admitted into a partnership with Judge Brannon, under the name Brannon & Jayne. From the History of Muscatine County the following appeared:
"Mr. Jayne possesses a mind of singular precision and power - in a marked degree a judicial mind, capable of an impartial view of both sides of the question. In his practice he is absolutely fair, never indulging in artifice or concealment, never dealing in indirect methods but winning his victories, which are many, and suffering his defeats, which are few, in the open fields face to face with his foe. He has achieved high distinction at the bar, and he deserves it... He is a man of courteous manners, yet firm and unyielding in all he believes to be right. Whatever he does is for the best interests of his clients and for the honor of his profession, and no man gives to either a more unqualified allegiance or riper ability."
My how times have changed the verbal passages used to describe a lawyer.
Mr. Jayne obviously had a deep conviction for the MN&S as he would later act as a representative for the bondholders in the purchase of the road in 1904.
Mr. Jayne was 45 years old when the road was incorporated.
George M. Titus was a native of Cayuga County, New York. Mr. Titus arrived at Wilton, Iowa to study law in 1876. He continued his preparation for the bar in Muscatine as a law student in the office of Allen Broomhall. He was admitted into the bar in 1880.
In addition to his abilities as an attorney, Mr. Titus has also served as a State Senator for two terms. The History of Muscatine County had the following to say about the Honorable George M. Titus:
"Mr. Titus' efforts have been equally effective and valuable in his support of measures and project for the welfare and upbuilding of this city. The development of Muscatine has always been a matter dear to his heart and his public and private acts have constituted an element in the city's growth and progress. He organized the Muscatine North & South Railroad and the Muscatine Bridge Company and was the first to suggest the Kansas City Cut-off of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, extending the line of that road from Ottumwa to Davenport. As this work was prosecuted the first station west of Washington was named in his honor. He was one of the three original promoters of the project to transform the horse-car system of Muscatine to an electric system and in many other ways he has contributed to the upbuilding of this city through the promotion of her public enterprises."
Mr. Titus was 36 years of age when the Articles of Incorporation were filed for the MN&S.
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