Center is a full congressional township, bounded on the north
by Valley, east by Wright, south by Grove and west by Belknap
and Carson townships. The main streams are Second, or Graybill,
creek and Jordan. The earliest settlers who came were Joshua
C. Layton, who arrived April 2, 1852; Reuben Maines came in
1855; Joseph Layton, Jacob Rust and Joseph Darnell in 1854;
Louis Huff, Benjamin Palmer, Charles S. Robinson, Thomas Ephraim
and Wm. McKee in 1856.
Joshua C., or Captain Layton, as his friends called him,
was born in Clark county, Ohio, August 27, 1807.
The first justice of the peace in Center township was Jacob
Rust. The first birth was in the family of Joseph Darnell
and his wife and the child died. The first marriage was between
James Morris and Lavinia Layton, daughter of Joshua C. Layton,
on the first day of July, 1856. Mr. Layton was also the first
assessor and made the assessment of the township in three
clays. The first school was taught in a log cabin in the northeast
quarter of section 7. This was in the winter of 1858-9 and
taught by Martin Luther Ingoldsby.
The first mill established in the township was on Jordan
creek for grinding corn. It was simply a large coffee mill
with a sack attached to receive the meal. Its capacity was
about one bushel per day. It was run by a Mormon named Jordan,
from whom the creek derived its name.
In 1856 three brothers named McKee brought a portable sawmill
into the settlement and afterward sold it to Joseph Layton
and Joseph Darnell, who moved and set it up near the Botna
bridge at Big Grove, and while in use the boiler burst and
totally destroyed it.
The first Fourth of July celebration ever held in this vicinity
was in 1857 at a paper town laid out on the dividing line
between Center and Valley townships and named Iola. This was
on the faith of a railroad being built through here. The people
came from all around and had a basket picnic, but the railroad
failed to come that way and the three houses constituting
the town were moved and Iola became a memory.
In 1861 a military organization was effected and called the
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
and J. C. Layton was made its captain. Its first duty was
to go under General Dodge to. the southern border to repel
a threatened invasion of Iowa by Missouri rebels, but on arriving
at the border they found the frontier already prepared for
defense by volunteers from the border counties and accordingly
returned to Council Bluffs, but were soon called upon to go
to Sioux City, as the Indians were becoming troublesome on
the northern frontier, but, after remaining there with a detachment
of infantry and a battery of artillery and the Indians becoming
quiet, the alarm subsided and the expedition again returned
to the Bluffs and were disbanded.
There was no more loyal community during the time that tried
men's souls than that of Center township, of which Mr. Layton
was an acknowledged leader and in recognition of which a township
has been named in his honor. The people of this township have
continued ever since to maintain their character as a progressive,
upright and industrious community, and while it has no town
of its own its interests seem identical with those of its
next neighbor, Belknap.
There are many names of the old pioneers that should be remembered,
among which are -Jacob Rust, Joseph Darnell, Louis Huff, Benjamin
Palmer, and the noble women who braved the hardships and privations
that have resulted in transforming an uninhabited waste to
one of the fairest spots on earth.
The affairs of the township at the present time are entrusted
to the following named officers: Trustees, G. W. Gage, T.
R. Strong and W. Storts; clerk, George H. Nash; assessor,
Paul Beezley; justices of the peace, Arthur Putnam; constable,
The following named persons constitute the school board:
President, J. A. Goehring; secretary, F. D. Gould; treasurer,
T. R. Strong.
According to the state census of 1905 there were two hundred
and eighteen persons of school age, of which one hundred and
eight were males and one hundred and ten were females.
Compensation of teachers is $40 and $35 for first and second
Garner township was settled by the Mormons at the same time
that Kane, Rockford and Crescent were. What made this point
particularly inviting was the abundance of timber for building
their cabins and fuel, but even more was the little old Indian
mill, which had been built by the government for the benefit
of the Pottawattamies ten years before, and was run by S.
E. Wicks. He was the last government agent to run it, and
when that tribe removed the old mill was left and Mr. Wicks
remained and became in full possession, making excellent flour
to as late as 1860. He had married a squaw and they reared
quite a large family, but they became scattered after the
death of their parents.
Among the first settlers were Wm. Garner, Adam Ritter, J.
D. Haywood, in 1846, followed a little later by M. B. Follet,
J. B. Dingman, George and Simeon Graybill, George Scofield,
John Child, J. J. Johnson and Wm. Child.
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
These all remained after the great body moved on to Utah
and became some of the most prosperous farmers in the county,
but, at this writing only one or two are living. The township
is named in honor of the first named, who was known far and
near as Uncle Billy Garner. He became wealthy, secured a large
quantity of land mostly in the Mosquito valley, and as fast
as one of his numerous family became of age or married, he
would deed them land for a farm. Although of limited education
his judgment in nearly all matters was considered infallible.
This township is of irregular shape, a large piece king reserved
by Kane from the southwest part, but this has been more than
made up by a panhandle extending to the river along the south
line of both Crescent and Hazel Dell, making the north line
nine miles long, so that it is bounded on the north by Crescent
and Hazel Dell, east by Hardin, south by Lewis and Kane, and
west by Kal1e and the Missouri river. The principal streams
besides the Missouri river are the Big and Little Mosquito
and Indian creeks. It is strictly agricultural, there being
no manufactories at present. Mr. Garner built a woolen factory
many years ago, but it was abandoned after a trial of a few
years. It is crossed by five railroads, the Rock Island and
the Milwaukee passing diagonally through the center, and the
Great Western cutting through the southeastern, while the
Northwestern and also the Illinois Central pass through the
panhandle on the extreme west. Probably half of it is timber
land. Up to this writing, although a large and wealthy township,
it has never had a railroad station or store. It had, however,
for many years a large hall, built by the Grange, where meetings,
both political and religious, were held, as well as elections,
balls, and all kinds of social gatherings.
Long before this was built, however, the little schoolhouse
had crept into the edges of the groves and were used for social
In contemplating the habits of these early settlers, their
industry, frugality and honesty, one is tempted to ask whether
civilization may not be carried too far. If there was no church
here, neither was there a saloon, and their wants were simple;
their industry provided all of the substantials and from the
moment of their coining their condition was being improved.
The second mill built in the township was located about three
miles above the Wicks mill on the same stream. It was erected
by Wm. Garner in 1858, but after running a few years became
unprofitable and was abandoned.
Any history of Garner township without reference to Uncle
Billy would be like the play of Hamlet with that character
omitted. He was a typical North Carolinian with just enough
of the southern dialect to be interesting, and of such integrity,
that he commanded the respect of the entire community, and
when his work was done, in addition to his neighbors; a special
train took friends from the city to follow his remains to
the little cemetery named after him and overlooking the home
he had enjoyed for half a century. He was of long lived stock,
his father having passed the century mark and his mother to
nearly ninety. In 1846 he was married to Miss Sarah Workman,
and if ever one was appropriately named; it was she. While
he was in the
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
army she conducted the farm, in addition to her manifold
duties in the house, with almost masculine ability.
While the man seems to be the subject of most history, there
are thousands of noble, patient women that have been real
helpmeets and contributed more than their half to the general
welfare and there is something wrong that they fail to receive
credit for it. The only way seems for them to become historians
and speak for themselves, as we are so vain as to claim all
the credit ourselves.
The first school ever taught in Pottawattamie county is claimed
to have been held in the little Mormon suburb of Kanesville
called Carterville. This was in 1847. A Mr. Curtis was the
teacher and he contracted to teach for $12 per month, but
at close of school was compelled to compromise for a part.
From this modest beginning the institution had grown by 1881
when the school enrollment reached three hundred, with twelve
At this writing (1907) the school board is organized as follows:
F. S. Childs, president; B. G. Davis, secretary; and W. S.
Clay, treasurer; with twelve subdistricts; with compensation,
first-grade teachers $42.50, second grade $35, per month.
According to the state census of 1905, there were four hundred
and fifty-seven persons of school age.
The vicinity of the old Wicks mill has for more than half
a century played a conspicuous part in the early history of
Pottawattamie county. It was here where the immigrants obtained
their first flour and corn meal, and later, for many years,
it was the place where the Latter Day Saints held their yearly
meetings, some coming for nearly one hundred miles. A beautiful
grove furnished an ideal camping ground, the Mosquito creek,
like the Jordan, became famous for the number baptized in
its waters, and alongside of the road coming from under a
bluff was an excellent spring capable of supplying any number
of worshippers. Nearby was a little schoolhouse where young
Kinsman taught and from where he used to write interesting
letters to the Nonpareil. Little did we think at that time
of the noble part he was soon to play and the fame he was
soon to achieve by his heroic death near Vicksburg. All honor
to General Dodge and the others that assisted in recovering
his remains and having a suitable monument erected to his
Later on this spot witnessed one scene in a tragedy enacted
in June, 1865. At this time a highwayman made his appearance
in this neighborhood. His first victim was Mr. Jesse Smith.
He was on his way to his home in Crescent when he met the
robber about two miles north of the city and was taken down
into a ravine on the east side of the road; relieved of his
money and held prisoner until towards night, and the teams
had ceased to pass along the road, when he told him to take
the road, turning neither to the right or left, which he proceeded
to do, but returned to town the next day and gave the police
his description. The next victim was a Mr. Kaywood, whom he
met on the Canning hill in east part of the city. This was
just at dark, and after taking his money permitted him to
go on. There were but three or four police at that time and
probably fifty men turned out and helped to
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
scour the brush around the city, but without success, and
the very next day a Mr. Perks, while bringing in a load of
wood, was halted on the hill in the southern part of the city
and made to deliver. It will be remembered that the old Wicks
mill had been replaced by a new one, built by George Parks
and S. S. Bayliss, and was known as Parks' mill, and was operated
by him, he going out mornings and returning evenings on horseback.
The evening after the third robbery, on coming in as he came
within fifteen or twenty rods of the spring by the roadside,
a man rose from drinking and started on ahead. Mr. Parks was
in the habit of carrying money for buying grain, and as a
consequence always went armed, and seeing this man the conviction
flashed upon him that this was the robber, and that he was
making for a little thicket ahead, there to await him, and
instantly resolved to take the initiative, and quietly riding
up ordered him to throw up his hands and keep them there on
pain of instant death for refusal. He then ordered him to
walk by the side of his horse's right shoulder, keeping his
bands over his head, until opposite the first house, being
that of Mr. Vogle, whom he called to come out and disarm his
prisoner. The weapons were two splendid revolvers, duly loaded
and ready for use. Just then a team came along with several
men and the man was brought into town where a committee was
waiting to receive him.
There being no jail at that time, he was taken to a room
in the Hagg block, now known as the blue front, and the following
day he was fully identified by his victims. The green goggles
he wore when on duty were found in his pockets. Sheriff Voorhis
requested someone to file information, but all refused, and
the sheriff was calculating to get an order to commit him
to the nearest jail; but the next morning he was found dead
hanging to a willow tree in the yard where John Hammer kept
his building material. It appeared that he was from Kansas
and on hearing of his fate some one of his friends wrote to
our mayor asking for particulars and saying he was not considered
a bad man at home, and that he had been a soldier in the Union
army. He was buried beside the other victims of vigilants
on the ridge above the Soldiers' cemetery. But to return to
Another tragedy was enacted later wherein a young man named
Charles Grainwell was killed by Thomas Davis. It occurred
at a threshing. The young man was pitching the sheaves to
Davis, who was feeding, and the sheaves coming too fast Davis
became angry, and after some words Davis stabbed Grainwell
with the big knife for cutting bands with fatal result. Davis
was tried, convicted and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary,
but after serving two years and a half was pardoned and left
Still later a Chautauqua assembly was established here and
conducted for two or three seasons, but was not a success
financially and was discontinued.
The present township officers are as follows: Trustees, F.
S. Childs, Fred Janson and G. W. Shipley; clerk, H. E. Tiarks;
justices of the peace, Ed. Rozenberg and J. C. Begley. No
constable seems to be needed, as none qualified after the
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
Grove township derives its name from the fact that it has
a number of fine groves that if properly cared for will be
sufficient for a dense population, arid what in the way of
forest would have been considered indispensable fifty years
ago would now be objectionable. It has been demonstrated that
it is easier to make a farm from prairie and raise timber
than to clear heavy .timber land and get it under cultivation.
In Grove township we have a happy medium; enough but not a
surplus. Grove township was included in Macedonia township
until September 25, 1858, on which date, by authority of the
county judge, the territory consisting of congressional township
74 north, of range 30 west, was declared a civil township,
and the same was declared an election precinct, and it was
ordered that an election be held therein on the second Tuesday
in October, 1858.
The election was held as ordered and the following persons
elected: George B. Otto, township clerk; E. W. Knapp, justice
of the peace; Cornelius Hurley, constable; David Watson, assessor;
and Thomas Connor, A. J. Field and S. M. B. Wheeler, trustees.
It is a full congressional township, and bounded on the north
by Center, east by Waveland, west by Macedonia and Carson
townships, and south by Montgomery county. It is watered by
Jordan, Farm and Indian creeks, all flowing south, and are
fed by springs that never dry.
Long before this township had been organized or a permanent
settler located trails were made by the Mormons while on their
pilgrimage, and these became the roads of the pioneers that
In 1848 the following named men came in over the old Mormon
trail from Illinois, viz.: James Watson, came with ox teams;
George Owen, drove both horses and oxen; George Taylor, came
with ox teams. These brought their families with them and
were soon followed by many others.
The first sawmill in the township was built and owned by
John Smith in 1853, and was located an Farm creek. This mill
was washed away during a freshet and was rebuilt in 1856 by
C. Hurley, Sr., and again washed away. The next mill was built
by J. S. Watson about two miles below. In 1859 S. M. B. Wheeler
built a mill on Jordan creek. These were all sawmills, and
the settlers were compelled. to go to the old Indian mill
near Council Bluffs or to Meeks' mill on Rock creek in Missouri,
and at times when the roads were impassable they resorted
to pounded corn. Roads were gradually being opened and soon
enterprising citizens established mills. The first bridge
was aver Jordan, on the Mormon trail. In 1850 the settlers
became so numerous that they began to talk of schools, and
they employed a Dr. Williams to teach a school in one room
in the residence of Jacob. Anderson. This proved so satisfactory
that a second term was taught by a Mr. John Day in a little
log cabin near the residence of S. M. B. Wheeler. The first
building erected in the township for school purposes was located
forty rods north of the center of section 20. It was built
of logs with punchean floors and seats. This was built in
1855 and used for a number of years. In 1865 the next schoolhouse
was built, being located in the southeast corner of the southwest
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
quarter of section 21, and for a time was used by the children
of the entire township until 1868, when the township was divided
into three subdistricts. From this modest beginning the schools
continued to grow until, in 1881, when there were nine subdistricts
with eight ungraded schools. Number of months taught, five
and one-half; teachers employed, male five, female ten; compensation
per month, males $30.86, females $29.70; pupils of school
age, males one hundred and seventy-five, females one hundred
Many of these early settlers left Nauvoo intending to go
to Utah, but for one reason or another they paused here and
finally concluded to remain and few, if any, have had cause
to regret it. The first to organize a religious body in the
township were the Latter Day Saints. E. W. Briggs and W. W.
Blair were the organizers, and the original members were John
Smith and wife, E. W. Knapp and wife, A. J. Field and wife,
James Otto and wife, Levi Graybill and wife, John Winegar
and wife, Joseph Smith and wife, and Stephen Smith. John Smith
was their first president and E. W. Knapp the first clerk.
Services were first held at residences of the different members
and later at schoolhouses, but the society becoming more numerous
and wealthy, in 1874 they erected a modest church building
at a c03tof $763. The membership had increased until in 1881
it had reached ninety and maintained a regular Sabbath school.
The Wheeler's Grove class of the M. P. church was organized
in 1865 by its original members, among whom were Isaac Denton
and wife, Jacob Elsweck, Alexander Osler and Susan A. Stedman.
In 1875 they erected a church building at a cost of $1,300,
and by 1881 their membership was sixty and their Sunday school
Pleasant Grove congregation of the C. P. church was organized
by the Rev. J. W. Carter July 1, 1876, was received under
the care of the West Iowa Presbytery of the C. P. church August
18, 1876, with Rev. J. W. Carter the first pastor. In 1879
they erected a church building at a cost of $1,400.
The Christian church was organized by Rev. Cephas Ellis and
Samuel Johnson. Their first pastor was the Rev. Samuel Johnson.
In 1881 they commenced building a church at a cost of $1,200.
They had at that time a Sunday school of sixty pupils.
The village of Eminence was laid out in 1875 by L.D. Woodmansie,
who also was the first resident and also the postmaster, and
in addition started a general merchandising business. And
the next to locate was Dr. A. J. Michael, and he was followed
by Malcom McKenzie, a blacksmith, and next came J. L. Harrell.
He engaged in the manufacture and sale of harness, and later
a general store was opened by F. E. and N. Pershall, brothers.
September 30, 1863, Mrs. Isaac Denton gave birth to boy triplets,
which were named, William, Wallace and Willard. They lived
but a short time. On August, 17, 1864, the same lady gave
birth to twins, but they lived but four and six hours respectively.
The most terrible cyclone that ever visited western Iowa
spent its most
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
destructive force on the devoted heads of the people of this
township in which in less time than it takes to record it
an entire family was killed and thousands of dollars' worth
of property was destroyed. The details have been given by
the press and are too well remembered by the citizens to require
repetition, but simply to say that strong well built houses
and barns were reduced to kindling, farming implements and
domestic animals blown out of sight, even fowls stripped of
their feathers in an instant. The saddest feature was the
instantaneous killing of the family of Mr. Osler, Mrs. Paist
Long since the damage, so far as money value is concerned,
has been repaired, but the loss of the friends who perished
cannot be forgotten.
According to the state census of 1905 there were in the township
two hundred and forty-two persons of school age, of which
one hundred and twenty-nine were males and one hundred and
The school board is constituted as follows: President, James
K. Osler; secretary, John A. Knox; treasurer, G. M. Putnam.
Teachers' salary, $38 and $33.
The township officers are as follows: Trustees, L. A. King,
J. A. Mitchell and A. C. Bissbe; clerk, Thomas Morgan; justices
of the peace, Harvey Bolton and E. V. Winans; assessor, John
A. Knox. No one qualified as constable.
HAZEL DELL TOWNSHIP.
Mention has already been made of the division of Crescent
township by which Hazel Dell was formed. It is a full congressional
township. It lies mostly on high rolling upland, sloping easterly
toward Mosquito and westerly towards Pigeon creeks. There
are fine groves of timber in the ravines and the soil is as
good as any in the world. Most of the first settlers were
Mormons, but the larger part went on with the great movement
to Utah. The first officers of the new township were: J. P.
Boulden and James Osborn, trustees. Nearly all the early history
of this township is identical with that of Crescent, but it
has become famous as being the birthplace of Indian creek.
This is probably the most active stream on earth of its size.
It rises in some springs near Hazel Dell church, drains twenty
square miles before reaching the city, when it has to be spanned
by as many bridges. Engineers have grappled with it for forty
years and it seems to relish the fun. It has not been an unmixed
evil though, for it has been bringing down millions of yards
of earth to fill the low ground at the foot of the bluffs
without which the beautiful ground where Bayliss park, the
courthouse, library and much of the best property in the city,
would new be a morass like it is a mile either way from these
We will probably hear more of this stream in connection with
the city of Council Bluffs.
Hazel Dell! What prettier name could be found for a township?
It of itself is suggestive of rural happiness. It was fortunate
in its first settlers, being as good people as could be found
anywhere. The Valliers, Nixons, Greggs, Coopers, Kings, Barretts,
Rev. Cooper, O'Brien, Halls, Gouldens, Trip
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
lets, Springers, Osborns, McGruders, Frosts, Jenkins and
many more of the same sort; one would think they might be
exempt from most of the troubles with which other communities
are afflicted, but it seems that the evil one had long ago
invaded a much happier though smaller one, and so this township,
like most others in the county, must have its tragedies.
On the 26th of February, 1878, in the northwest corner of
the township, the people were shocked by the killing of David
Roberts by Jonathan J ones. After a long and tedious trial
Jones was acquitted on the plea of emotional insanity caused
A long time previous to this an affair was pulled off that
partook of the nature of melodrama. There was a "fine
old English gentleman" who was a widower, had a farm
in one of the beautiful dells, and a fine trotting horse named
Charley, of which he was very fond. He dressed well, was seventy,
and still was not happy. He longed for a companion, and he
found one about half his age, and all for a time went well.
He was wont to extol her many virtues to his friends in town
when he met them. In fact he found her superior to either
of his former wives (this was the third) and one fine morning
he started to go to look at some land at quite a distance,
but promised to return for supper, and she kissed him good-bye
and put her arms around Charley's glossy neck and kissed him.
Someone once said "Frailty, thy name is woman!"
When that old gentleman returned he found his house a desolation!
The finest of the bedding, all of the silver, china and glassware
that had been his former wife's, had disappeared as effectually
as if the earth had opened and swallowed them up.
All his efforts to locate her were fruitless, but after some
weeks it was reported she was half way to Salt Lake with a
younger man and former lover.
Another tragedy occurred more recently in the extreme southeastern
part of the township. It appeared that a store at Weston had
been robbed. Deputy-sheriff J. C. Baker was investigating
the matter, and on questioning a young man named George Matheson
pretty closely, he became indignant and shot Baker. He was
indicted and tried for assault with intent to commit murder
and found guilty, but appealed and cause was sent back on
error in ruling. On rehearing he was convicted of assault
with intent to inflict great bodily injury. In a civil action
Baker recovered a heavy judgment. It seems but proper to make
special mention of old Mrs. Nixon, the Spartan mother long
since deceased, that sent three sons and three sons-in-law
to the Union army.
During the winter of 1855-56 an old settler, Mr. Barrett,
father of O. L. Barrett, superintendent of the county infirmary,
became lost and was frozen to death, but his widow conducted
the farm and reared the family. At this time the people of
Hazel Dell will compare favorably with those of any township
in the county.
Its present officers are as follows: Trustees, Hans Henningson,
R. M. Hough and Geo.T. Ford; clerk, W m. Nixon; justices of
the peace, T. F. Emmerson and R. T. Hanson; assessor, S. D.
Hough; constable, Harry Shroder; board of education, president,
C. J. Christofferson; secretary, Will. Nixon; treasurer, J.
H. Gregg. Acc0rding to state census of 1905 there are
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
three hundred and eighty-two of school age in the township,
one hundred and ninety-three males and one hundred and eighty-nine
females in eight subdistricts.
This township is only touched by railroads on the extreme
southeast corner, where the Rock Island and Milwaukee running
parallel strike the village of Weston. This place has an elevator,
lumber yard, general store, one church (Catholic) and a graded
school. The teachers receive $40 and $35 respectively for
first and second grades.
Mr. Jacob Hansen is entitled to special mention, having served
the public faithfully as supervisor and later on the joint
commission of Harrison and Pottawattamie counties to assess
the benefits to the land owners by reason of the construction
of the several ditches petitioned for and granted by the joint
boards of said counties.
Hardin township was organized in 1869. Previous to this it
was a part of Kane. It is a full congressional township, and
is mostly high rolling prairie but has some groves of natural
timber. This township is named in honor of Richard Hardin.
He came to Council Bluffs with his father, Davis Hardin and
family, in 1838 when a boy. That being the first white family
this far up the Missouri. The Hardins were typical Kentuckians.
Tall, heavy boned, fond of hunting, generous and liberal in
all their views. Davis, the father was sent to take charge
of the Pottawattamies, as will be more fully treated in the
part of this history pertaining to Council Bluffs. Keg creek,
Little Keg and Little Silver creeks are the principal streams,
and the township is watered by springs.
The first permanent settler was Mr. Reece D. Price, who came
from Wales in 1849 and settled with a number of Mormon families.
There were one cluster of thirteen log huts in one camp and
another of eleven. In the summer of 1850 these went on to
Utah and left the family of Mr. Price entirely alone. The
rich lands, of which none are better, soon attracted settlers,
and by 1858 quite a number of first-class citizen, had located
here. Among them were Mrs. Perry and family, R. C. Thomas
and family and Mr. W. K. Eames from Vermont, in 1857, and
from this time on they continued to arrive, and soon a school
was started. The first ever taught in the township was by
Mr. -Lorenzo Burr in 1857. He was employed by Mr. Reece D.
Price, and the school was in a log cabin belonging to him.
The first bridges built were over Keg creek at the Hardin
stage station and Weasel Run. Both are built of logs. The
first road was the old stage road, running from Des Moines
to Council Bluffs, and the Western Stage Co. did a great business
until the coming of the railroads.
The Methodists organized a little society as early as 1880,
also quite a large Sunday school. The first schoolhouse built
by the township was on section 18, near the residence of Mr.
James Wild. The first to teach in the new building was an
English priest by the name of Middleton. "
From this modest beginning the schools had increased to the
in 1881 there were five subdistricts. Number of teachers,
males, two, females,
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
seven. Salary per month, both sexes, $30; number of pupils,
males, one hundred and two, females, eighty-two.
Schoolhouses, frame, four; brick, one; value $1,500.
Since 1881 these have increased to nine in 1905 with three
hundred and six persons, including those of the new town of
McClelland, between the ages of five and twenty-one years.
The Chicago & Great Western Railroad is the only one that
passes through this township. It was completed in 1903, and
immediately the new town of McClelland sprang into existence
and at this writing there are a lumber yard, depot buildings,
three general stores, one drug store, one implement and hardware
store, two saloons, a livery stable and blacksmith shop and
The Methodists have organized a church and erected a neat
house of worship.
Mr. Pete Cramer is engaged in buying and shipping stock.
The county infirmary is also located here under the superintendance
of O. L. Barrett.
Among those who, by industry and integrity, have made themselves
prominent are D. F. Dryden and Elias Quick, the former being
a farmer and large stock raiser. He was for a time a member
of the board of supervisors, and is an ex-soldier of the civil
war. The latter started a store in 1883, and a postoffice
was established at his store in 1884, and named Quick postoffice.
Few merchants have been as fortunate as he. Starting in with
a moderate stock, everyone of the twenty-three years showed
an increase in his business and profits. This was due largely
to his strict attention to business and partly from the fact
that no better class of people can be found than those with
which he is surrounded, and both these gentlemen have become
wealthy and built elegant homes in the city, where they now
make their homes, letting their boys continue the business.
There are two churches in the township, one being' the Methodist,
Mount Hope, the other being Presbyterian.
A Masonic lodge and Eastern Star were organized simultaneously
in 1900, and a lodge of Modern Brotherhood in 1898, also a
lodge of Modern Woodmen at Armour Grange in 1904.
No community, however well ordered, seems to be exempt from
It appears that a young man named John Emerine had married
a daughter of Mr. W. K. Eames. Emerine became so dissipated
that his wife obtained a divorce and returned to her father's
home. They had one child and Emerine would insist on coming
to see the child, and on being ordered away by the father,
shot him but only wounded him slightly. On coming again young
Eames shot him, only wounding him, after which he left, and
was gone some time and again returned, and being seen around
the premises a younger son of Mr. Eames shot him again, this
time proving fatal. There was no indictment.
The present township officers are: J. M. Underwood, Eugene
Steepfell and F. B. Chambers, township trustees and M. W.
Davis, clerk; A. F. Mammen and A. K. Chambers, justices of
the peace; J. O. Chambers, constable and H. R. Smith, assessor.
HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
The present board of education is composed as follows: President,
J. W. Wild; secretary, J. A. Price; treasurer, George Quick.