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History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Francis Guittar

FRANCIS GUITTAR was one of the first white men to make a home in western Iowa. He was born in St. Louis September 25, 1800, and was of French descent. At the age of fourteen Francis obtained a position on a steamer owned by the American Fur Company and made trips up the Missouri River along the west border of the future State of Iowa. He soon acquired a thorough knowledge of the fur trade and was appointed in 1827 agent at “Traders Point,” where Council Bluffs stands. Here he lived and transacted the business of that famous company for twenty-three years. On his arrival he found the trading posts to consist of two log buildings and a few tents. The country was occupied by various tribes of Indians who came with hides of deer, elk, buffalo and furs to exchange for ammunition and goods. Mr. Guittar was honorable in his dealings and never sought to defraud the Indians but won their confidence and enduring friendship. He was chosen by the Pawnees as one of their war chiefs and led them in a battle with the Sioux which was fought near where the town of Fremont stands. When the fur trade was abandoned in that region Mr. Guittar established a store in the old Mormon town of Kanesville in a log building which stood at the corner of Broadway and Main streets in the city of Council Bluffs. He died in that city in May, 1896.