Early Names of Council Bluffs

Hon. D. C. Bloomer, the distinguished pioneer, educator and ex-mayor, of Council Bluffs, was lately asked to give some account of the names by which that now flourishing city was known in its infancy, and more especially that of "Kanesville," which appears in early records and laws. He replied to this request in the following interesting and valuable letter:

Council Bluffs, Iowa
May 25, 1896.

My Dear Sir:

I do not think that the name "Kanesville" was ever established by any legislative authority in Iowa.

This locality was first given the name, in the very early days, of "Hart's Bluff;" next of "Miller's Hollow," and next of "Kanesville." This name was derived from Col. Kane, of Pennsylvania, who came here in the very early days of 1846, and was a great friend of the Mormons. He mustered the "Mormon Battalion" into the United States service in that year. In honor of him the Mormons gave their town the name of "Kanesville," and a post-office was established here in 1848, and Evan M. Green made Postmaster. The District Court was first opened here in 1851. In these authoritative acts, both of the General and State Governments, the name of "Kanesville" was recognized and so continued to be until it was changed to ''Council Bluffs,'' by the General Assembly early in 1853. (See Acts and resolutions of the Fourth General Assembly, chapter 43, page 72.) Since then, the name of "Kanesville" has been dropped, except among some of the old settlers who occasionally use it. While the Indians were here no other name seems to have been used, so far as I can find, other than "Miller's Hollow", or "Traders' Point." Just what name was used by the General Government in its transactions with the Indians I cannot determine; but possibly you may be able to settle that point by documents in your historical collection.

Both the State and General Government simply recognized the name "Kanesville," beginning with 1846, when that name was first applied to this locality.

Yours very truly,
Charles Aldrich, Esq.
D. C. Bloomer 


© Iowa American History and Genealogy Project
Created February 2016 by Judy White