Rare promotional map of Sioux City, Iowa.
One of the earliest obtainable maps of Sioux City to have been published locally. The map shows the railroads, depots, streets, ferry, a proposed bridge, streets, parks and a number of early subdivisions, including Hornick's Addition, Smith's Addition, North Sioux City, Clark's Addition, Rose Hill Addition, Higman Addition, Kirk's Addition, Galbraith's 1st and 2nd Additions, Webb's Addition, Chase Taylor's Addition, Lawn Ridge Addition, Hedge's Addition, Rustin & Co's Addition, Meek Anderson & Arthur's Addition, Cary's Subdivision and a massive Pierce's Addition, along with Covington, across the Missouri River. The Union Stock Yards are identified prominently.
While Sioux City's roots extend to the mid-1850s, the 1880s was a decade which saw the City's explosive gross, fueled by the meat packing and stock yard industries.
The map was engraved and printed for one of Sioux City's most colorful early characters, John Peirce. Peirce was one of the most colorful figures in Sioux City history. Peirce moved to Sioux City in 1869, where he became involved in real estate speculation and became one of Sioux City's major promoters during its boom years. He was instrumental in developing the north side, grading the hills and building a cable line the full length of Jackson Street all the way to 40th Street. Peirce was active in promoting projects for the development for Sioux City, including cable lines, businesses and railroads. He built a stone mansion for his family at 29th and Jackson (now the Sioux City Public Museum). In 1890, the Peirce's sold their old home at 21st and the Boulevard to the Sisters of Mercy as a site for a hospital.
Until fairly recently, Sioux City historians and civic promoters held Peirce in high esteem for his years of seeming dedication to the growth of Sioux City, especially of the North Side. More recent investigation has shown that in the end, Peirce was a very clever scoundrel who actually got away with his crime. Like most other businessmen, Peirce had been hurt very badly by the financial panic of 1893. While most of Sioux City's leading businessmen honorably spent years working and rebuilding to pay back their debts, Peirce began scheming for a way to bilk the public out of the funds he needed to effect his relocation to the west coast. In 1900, he initiated a nation-wide lottery to dispose of his northside mansion (which later became the Sioux City Museum). About 40,000 tickets were sold at one dollar each. The drawing took place at the Union passenger depot on Christmas Eve of 1900. It was first announced that the winner was a jeweler from Vinton, Iowa. However, a few days later, it emerged that the winning ticket was actually held by a New York millionaire, William Barbour (Peirce had owed a hefty financial debt to Mr. Barbour). The abstract for the Peirce Mansion reveals that a warranty deed transferred title to Barbour nine days before the actual drawing and nineteen days before Barbour was publicly known to hold the winning lottery ticket. Barbour promptly sold the mansion to William Gordon, in exchange for bonds which were issued by the company operating the Combination Bridge.