1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS, a city of Linn county, Iowa, U.S.A., on the Cedar river, in the east central part of the state. Pop. (1890) 18,020; (1900) 25,656, of whom 4478 were foreign-born, an unusually large and influential part being Bohemians; (1910 census) 32,811. It is served by the Chicago, Milwaukee & Saint Paul, the Chicago & North-Western, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific (which has repair shops here), and the Illinois Central railways, and by interurban electric lines. The city has an air of substantial prosperity; its principal streets are from 80 ft. to 120 ft. wide, paved with brick and asphalt, and well shaded. Prominent among its buildings are the federal building, the auditorium, the public library and the Masonic library, which contains one of the best collections of Masonic literature in the world. The city has two well-equipped hospitals, a home for aged women, a home for the friendless, and four parks. The grounds of the Cedar Rapids country club comprise 180 acres. Cedar Rapids is in a rich agricultural country. The name of the city was suggested from the rapids in the river, which afford abundant water power and have enabled the city to take first rank in Iowa (1905) as a manufacturing centre. From 1900 to 1905 there was an increase in the value of its manufactured products from $11,135,435 to $16,279,706, or 46.2%. More than one-fourth of the value of its manufactures is in Quaker Oats and other food preparations; among those of less importance are lumber and planing-mill products, foundry and machine-shop products, furniture, patent medicines, pumps, carriages and waggons, packed meats and agricultural implements. Cedar Rapids has also a large grain trade and a large jobbing business, especially in dry goods, millinery, groceries, paper and drugs. At Cedar Rapids are Coe College (co-educational; Presbyterian), which grew out of the Cedar Rapids Collegiate Institute (1851), was named in honour of Daniel Coe, a benefactor, and was chartered under its present name and opened in 1881; the Interstate Correspondence schools, and the Cedar Rapids business college. The first settlers came in 1838; but the city’s early growth was slow, and it was not incorporated until 1856. It has been governed by commission since 1908.