The Webster City Postcard Project

old postcard of webster city

Welcome to the Webster City Postcard Project!  Scroll through the galleries below to see postcards and images from the past and what those same locations look like today.  Some shots are aerial and others are at ground level.  Click on an image to get a larger view.  You’ll also find some bonus images and video just for the fun of it!  And don’t forget to check out our Facebook page here!

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Enjoy the galleries!

Aerial view from the 1940's

This aerial view of Webster City from the 1940’s shows how important the railroad was.  It’s also interesting to see the two stockyard locations. The bottom of the image is Broadway St. looking east.  We placed numbers on the 2021 image showing where those locations would be today.

The Illinois Central Railroad Bridge

The railroad arrived in Webster City on April 6th, 1869.  According to Ed Nass in his book Hamilton County Memories, the Freeman reported “Iron Horse Crossed the Classic Boone” and “Came Snorting Into Webster City.”  Officials boarded the train and had the honor of making the trip across this bridge.  The line was originally The Dubuque and Pacific.  It became the Illinois Central in later years.

Shiloh's Cabin

Shiloh arrived in Webster City in the early 1900’s.  His story is fascinating and best told by Ed Nass here.  He lived in a cabin on a small island in the Boone River just south of the Bank St. bridge.  The river has changed over the last 120 years and a sandbar appears to be all that remains.  We’ve included images of the original Catholic church and rectory.  When they were torn down, he used some of the materials to expand his cabin.

The Elks Building

The Elks Building is one of our most recognizable buildings.  It is currently undergoing renovation by LIFT WC, a local nonprofit organization.  On the original postcard, you can see it was called the Elks Temple.  It has also been referred to as the Elks Lodge.

The corner of Des Moines and Bank St. looking northeast

This is the postcard that started the Webster City Postcard Project.  The 1st Methodist Church was located where Asbury United Methodist is today and the Baptist Church was located where Fuller Hall is today.  Apparently, there was also a skating rink in this area.  Webster City won a semi-pro state championship around 1947.  Credit to Richard Zolnosky for this information.

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