The Hull area was surveyed in 1856, one decade later Webster Merrill built a log cabin in the area and became the first resident; other settlers gradually settled in the community by 1873. Several large railroads, such as the Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul railroads reached the town site, specifically the Nelson Rombough homestead on Nov 24, 1878. Around this time the town was named Pattersonville, after John G. Patterson.
Soon after this time streets were laid out to construct a 25 block area, many of these street names still exist today, such as Main, Maple, Walnut, Chestnut and Elm.
The first hotel and several churches arrived in the town in 1884, at this time 200 people lived in the Pattersonville area. George Ireland was elected as Hull’s first mayor in 1886. It was also in this year that the town name was changed to Hull, after John A. T. Hull (John Albert Tiffin Hull), as a local vote of choice over Winland, a name the Railroad tried to implement.
Who was John A. T. Hull?
John A. T. Hull (John Albert Tiffin Hull) was a long time Republican politician in Iowa. Hull was an experienced government man, he served as a represented of the states 7th district in congress for 20 years, and had two previous terms of experience as the lieutenant governor, and two as Iowa’s secretary of state.
Hull was born in Sabina, OH on May 1, 1841, his family moved to Iowa when he was a child. After earning his law degree he served in the Civil war, but left wounded in 1863. Then Hull launched a career in banking and agriculture, later he would turn to politics. Hull practiced law in Washington D.C but left after a defeat in the 1910 Republican primary.
Hull Historical Society Featured Video: Save the Reimann House
Major Starts in Hull Iowa:
The Foreign Candy Company
The Foreign Candy Company started after Peter De Yager, who at that time worked as a high school German language teacher at Western Christian High School in Hull, took some of his students on trip to Germany. After touring a gummy-bear factory, De Yager asked his students to write thank you letters to the candy-store owners. The German factory sent 10 cases of its sweets back home to the students in reply, which the students sold to the community to afford another trip to Germany. This inspired new candy exchanges and the opening of Foreign Candy Company in 1980. Today, Foreign Candy Company buys and sells candy from across the globe.
Pizza Ranch was born in Hull in 1981. Since that time Pizza Ranch has expanded across the Midwest with more than 165 restaurants. Each restaurant offers pizza, chicken and a Christian ministry that is popular with many Republicans in Iowa and several other states. The link between the Pizza Ranch and politics originated when former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee spoke before 40 people at a Pizza Ranch in 2007. Adrie Groeneweg, co-founder of Pizza Ranch donated $1,000 to his campaign, which blossomed into a tangible relationship between Pizza Ranch and the Republican party after Huckabee won his campaign in Iowa. Since then Pizza Ranch has become a tradition of sorts for politicians to schedule events in the restaurant. Both Republic and Democratic parties have used the Pizza Ranch circuit, however the Republicans have had a stronger bond with the restaurant.
Hull Early Days Gallery:
All images are taken from the Hull Centennial History Book and all credit goes to the Hull Centennial Book & the City of Hull. For more information on the images here, or to view a hardcopy of the book, please stop by the City Office at 1133 Maple Street, Hull.
Situated amidst fertile farmland, Hull is a picture of small-town life. Visitors soon learn that the people of
Hull are energetic, caring and concerned about their community and that they often volunteer their time
and resources for the good of the community.
Within the city are active churches, excellent public and private schools, vibrant businesses operated by
friendly and caring business people, and great recreational facilities including a golf course, parks, and much more!
City of Hull Map
City Office: 1133 Maple Street
Hours: 7:30am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday