Sigourney: The Story of Us

SIGOURNEY- 175 years is a long time for anything, especially for a small town to thrive. However, Sigourney has outlasted others and set aside the opinions of critics, all in a rich history that tells a unique story. For 175 years now, Sigourney has been a community of its own, deep in the heart of ag-country, yet independent of any outside influence. This is the story of us.

Unique and notable People

Have you ever pondered over what notable people ever inhabited your town? Every town has a set of unique individuals who have contributed stories and success to the community of which they are a part. Sigourney is no different. Sigourney has had a wide variety of notable individuals come from the community, especially in the political world. Some of those individuals stayed their whole lives in Sigourney, while others left the community before they made a name for themselves.

Having a member of Congress live in your community is a big deal, especially in a rural state like Iowa. However, in the 1870s, it wasn’t that big of a deal, particularly as Iowa had 13 different US Representatives at one point. Sigourney was lucky enough to have a resident serve as a member of the US House of Representatives from 1875-1879. Ezekiel Silas Sampson was Keokuk County’s prosecuting attorney 1856-1858, as well as a district judge until 1875. He was elected in 1874 to the US House as a Republican. He defeated E. N. Gates, of the Anti-Monopoly Party, by nearly 3,000 votes in that year’s election. He was re-elected in 1876 in a landslide against three opponents. However, Sampson’s tenure in the US House abruptly ended when he was handily defeated by Greenback James B. Weaver, who would later run for President. Sampson retired back to Sigourney, where he practiced law before passing away 1892.

For more on this story and others, catch the June 5 edition of the News-Review.