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This historical article is courtesy Mahaska County Historical Society President John Jacobs.

Oskaloosa Daily Herald

Oct. 5, 1934


That old controversy as to whether buffalo lived in Iowa or not, will not down. Harvey Ingham started it all over again after several years of peace in an article entitled “Uncle Jimmy Dickerson.” In the article Mr. Ingham uses the name Robert L. Garden. G A. Rigger, now of Des Moines, a former Oskaloosa printer, corrects Mr. Ingham, and gives the right name, Robert I. Garden, “The Buffalo man.” Continuing he says:

“Not serious of course but back in 1905 when the question of whether or not the buffalo ever inhabited Iowa was more or less momnet, Mr. Garden in his 'History of Scott Township, Mahaska County; called Mr Ingham before for the misuse of Gordon for Garden.

“In Mr. Garden's history he contends that with one exception the word inhabited was always used (meaning the buffalo) which does not necessarily imply that one was never seen or might not have been killed in Iowa. Mr. Garden had offered a reward of $50 for proof that buffalo had inhabited Iowa. The final outcome was at Algona, IA., June 17, 1905, when W. H. Ingham at a public hearing made a motion which carried that Mr. Garden reimburse Jimmie Dickerson to the extend of $10 for the latter's expenses to and from Hancock county and so the mattered rested.

“It may be of interst to printers to note that Mr. Garden insisted that his history bear the union label. It was published by the Oskaloosa Globe in 1907. This was because Mr. Garden's father was a member of the Philadelphia typographical association, his certificate having been issued on April 15, 1837, signed by Alm Bowman, president, and D. H. Crane, secretary, a possession much cherished by Mr. Garden.”

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