|by Edmund Booth
Dr. (Nathan G.) Sales was a native of New York. At sixteen he started out in the world on his own hook, as a shoemaker, traveling from place to place in the frontier state of Indiana, with his kit of tools on his back, and finding work were he could. He tells some amusing stories of his adventures in this time. Like most young men who make their own way after learning a trade, he had difficulties and mishaps to encounter and overcome, in a thinly settled fever and ague State, as was Indiana at that day.
When the Black-Hawk war broke out he joined the American troops as a volunteer and about the year 1850, received therefor a land warrant of a hundred and sixty acres, with which he entered a quarter section immediately north of and adjoining Anamsoa.
The Black-Hawk war over he returned to Ohio, read medicine and married. He settled in Iowa City about the year 1845 where he practiced his profession. In 1847 when thirty-three years of age, he removed with his family to Anamosa, the place having recently become the county seat. Only two or three dwellings were in existence in the place and these were frame. The doctor erected a log cabin on the lot immediately in the rear of what was later J. Foxall's chair and cabinet manufactory, and here he lived several years, practicing the healing art among the few settlers scattered for miles around.
In 1848 he was elected to the lower branch of the Iowa legislature being a Democrat and that party then having a majority in the county, as well as throughout the state. He was next elected to the State Senate by the three counties of Jones, Jackson, and Cedar and held the postion three years. Through the influence of U.S. Senators Jones and Dodge he was appointed Receiver of Public Moneys at the Chariton land office. After three years and most of the public lands in the District being sold, he resigned and returned to Anamosa, where he continued to reside.
In 1856, when Anamosa was, with the exception of six or seven one story houses, where what is now called down town, he and Wm. T. Shaw took, for the time and circumstances a bold step and erected the Fisher House, at the corner of Main and Garnavillo streets. The doctor also erected the tall brick dwelling for his own residence, now standing on the summit of the highest point on north Garnavillo street. He was like many of our best men always ready to contribute freely, and according to his means to public enterprises, such as the building of churches, schools, railways etc.
He was three times elected Mayor of Anamosa by his party, the last time by one majority over E. Cutler, the first Mayor having been Wm T. Shaw, the second Ames H. Peaslee, and this latter succeeded by Dr. S.
Source: Centennial Edition of the Anamosa Eureka, Anamosa, Iowa, August 18, 1938, section 8, page 1.
Submitted by: Mary Kay Kuhfittig