This video was captured on East Burlington, Fairfield Iowa on July 21, 2012.


Fairfield Iowa Fruit Orchards

December 17, 2010

As of about 1913, Sanford Zeigler (b. 13 July 1859, d. after 1940) owned “an orchard of thirty acres one mile north of the city, mostly planted to apples.” Sanford was also a director of the Zeigler Canning Company in Muscatine. His is the last biography in Vol. II of Fulton’s History of Jefferson County, Iowa.

Other 19th-century Fairfield nursery-men or orchardists included Solomon Light and Jedidiah (“Jeddy”) Mount, who had a greenhouse on the Libertyville Road. In the late 1880s J. M. Whitham and J. W. Burnett’s Fairfield Canning Co. shipped out train-carloads of corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, and possibly blackberries. There was also a cider and jelly factory in town at that time.

James M. Whitham maintained his nursery from 1865 until 1880, when his son Charles Wallace Whitham took it over. Charles’s dauughter Daisy donated the land to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation in 1980. Originally known as the Fairfield Nursery, it was on a 145-acre farm in section 28 of Center township now preserved and known as Whitham Woods.

Oldenburg Coach Stallion, Landessohn, owned by C. E. Stubbs, Fairfield, Iowa, 1893.

Oldenburg Coach Stallion, Landessohn, owned by C. E. Stubbs, Fairfield, Iowa, 1893, picture.

Fairfield lawyer D. P. Stubbs & his sons imported and bred Oldenburg coach and heavy draft horses on “the old Bayard Farm,” 400 acres of which they purchased in 1885. Part of the “old Bayard Farm” is now Chautauqua Park.

“The American “Oldenburg Coach Horse Association” has been recently organized (C. E. Stubbs, Fairfield, Iowa, secretary), and after some trials and tribulations in the way of suits and restraining injunctions, is now fairly launched before the public.” — Horses, cattle, sheep and swine, by George Washington Curtis, 1893, The Rural Publishing Co., pg. 40.

The Maasdam Family operated a draft horse farm south of the present hospital. The barns have been restored, a period house has been moved on site to replace the one that burned, and the grounds are being reworked to accommodate a visitors’ center.

The Maasdam – Wheeler farm raised and sold Percheron horses well into the 2nd World War, because fuel was scarce for powered ag equipment. We may yet need them!

Maasdam Barns map & photos

‎”The city [Fairfield] is in a blue grass country, in which much live stock is bred; and it is an important market for draft horses.” — The Encyclopedia Brittanica, 1911.

‎”For several years Fairfield has been considered a great horse market, and thousands of these animals are shipped from this point annually….A gentlemen from Nebraska, who deals largely in horses, says Jefferson County farmers raise better horses than any county he visits. — May 15, 1878, Fairfield Ledger, pg. 3 Col. 4.

Research by John Stimson, Rory Goff & Rena Goff