City History

Germund O. Bean and wife Thora, were probably the first settlers in Kesho. They migrated from Norway first setteling in Illinois in 1867, A few months later the family moved to Iowa and settled in Kesho. Germund and Thora built and stocked a general store. By the time the railroad was built in 1869, they had a store ready to serve early settlers of this area. In 1873, Germund became postmaster of the Post Office which was located in his store. When Peter Dustrud became postmaster in 1881, Germund had a blacksmith shop and creamery in operation. In 1884 G.O. Bean was making 500 pounds of butter daily in his creamery and shipped over a thousand tubs by rail. He was also shipping pressed and bailed hay by the car loads. They left Kesho-Callender in the late 1880's to move to Georgia where they operated a cotton plantation. The Callender's were wealthy people from Brooklyn Heights, NY. James and Agnes Callender bought the land that the town of Callender was founded on from Walter Carter in 1875 who in turn purchased the land from the United States in 1858. James Callender was born in 1829 in Scotland and immigrated to this county in 1850. He was associated with the leather business, and with the produce of cotton exchanges. James died in 1893. Agnes died in 1905, and her Last Will and Testament appears on many of the original abstracts of the property in town. They had four children -Thomas Callender, James Callender, Jeanetta Hemingway and Agnes Lillian Hadden. One of the sons, James, was an authority on John Paul Jones and wrote many other books. The town of Kesho was renamed Callender after the couple bought land on the west side of the railroad tracks. An agreement was made with the city officials that the town would be named after them and in return they would donate the land for the churches, school, park and town hall.
Callender street view