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The site of Bethel, in 1988.

Doris and Bethel are twin town sites in Buchanan County, Iowa, United States, both located just north of Highway 939 in central Buchanan County near Independence. Founded as whistle-stops along the Chicago and North Western Railway, the sites are abandoned today.

Galbraith's Rail Map of Iowa from 1897 shows no towns located between Independence and Winthrop. However, by the early 1900s, a number of Iowa newspapers were reporting on events occurring in Doris.[1][2][3] A lot sale for plots of land in Doris was held by James Duffy in September 1902; a railroad station and stockyards had recently been completed.[4] Farming activities in Doris were reported as late as 1939,[5] but with increasing infrequency.

In 1917 the Waterloo Times-Tribune reported a story about two men fleeing from the law in Independence; the thieves were apprehended in Doris.[6]

Doris was the site of a freight train collision on September 30, 1922, when a train leaving from Masonville rear ended another train at the Doris siding. The accident resulted in the death of one conductor and the injury of two others, and the derailment of both trains.[7]

The town sites were located three fourths of a mile apart, Doris at the junction of Highway 939 and North Doris Avenue, an unimproved and unpaved gravel road located between Winthrop and Independence. Bethel was less than a mile west, near the intersection of 939 and Nathan Bethel Avenue. Both towns were populated during the early 20th century, but with the advent of rural migration to larger communities, the sites gradually emptied. By the 1990s, Bethel had lost all but a few scattered farmhouses. The town site at Doris is completely abandoned, and all the buildings there have long since been razed to make way for fields. Only a few scattered farms exist in the area.


  1. ^ "It Surely Was Joslin's Jonah Day: Doris, Iowa, Farmer Tells of Hard Luck of Hired Man". Waterloo Reporter (Waterloo, IA). 1913-06-19. p. 9. 
  2. ^ "Interest in Butter Sales". Waterloo Evening Courier (Waterloo, IA). 1911-10-19. p. 11. 
  3. ^ "Rockford". Waterloo Times-Tribune (Waterloo, IA). 1912-04-13. p. 9. 
  4. ^ Oelwein Register (Oelwein, IA). 1902-09-17. p. 2. 
  5. ^ "Bins Received for Resealing Corn". Oelwein Daily Register (Oelwein, IA). 1939-10-10. p. 5. 
  6. ^ "Colored Thieves Are Caught At Doris". Waterloo Times-Tribune (Waterloo, IA). 1917-06-23. p. 2. 
  7. ^ Summary of accident investigation reports, issues 1-22 13. Washington, DC: United States Interstate Commerce Commission Bureau of Safety. 1923. pp. 52–54. 

Coordinates: 42°28′49″N 91°48′52″W / 42.48028°N 91.81444°W / 42.48028; -91.81444

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doris,_Iowa — Please support Wikipedia.
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