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Proof of the Month: Name too 'brassy' for town

By Peter Huntoon

How on earth did a town in Iowa end up with the name Goldfield in a state with no known gold-bearing rocks? The answer seems beyond fiction!


According to A History of the Origin of the Place Names Connected with the Chicago & North Western and Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railways, published in 1908, the early settlers desired to honor one of their own by naming the place after him, but his name was Brassfield.

“It was thought that this would not do for the village, and consequently they discarded the ‘Brass’ and for it substituted ‘Gold.’”

Goldfield has a population of about 650 and is located in north central Iowa 80 miles north of Des Moines.

The bank succeeded the Bank of Goldfield in 1900 but operated only four months before being liquidated.

The bankers received 150 sheets of 10-10-10-20 brown backs totaling $7,500. None of the notes has been reported.

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter. >> Subscribe today.

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