In the election of October 5th 1840 the people of Jackson County decided upon a Township organization for their county.
January 6, 1841 Bellevue Township was organized, originally Bellevue Township included the northern halves of what are now Jackson and Washington townships. Bellevue Township covers 26,648 acres or 43.2 square miles, 1.1 square miles consists of water.
Bellevue is located on the east central border.
Bellevue Presbyterian Cemetery
Daugherty Farm Cemetery
North Spruce Creek Church Cemetery
Old City Cemetery
Saint John's Lutheran Cemetery
Saint Joseph's Cemetery
Saint Nicholas Catholic Cemetery
July 3, 1843 Brandon Township was organized from the division of the original Butler Township. Brandon township is 22,912 acres or 35.8 square miles with no water areas, there are no incorporated towns but Brandon Township does have three nature & wildlife areas, and the landscape includes three creeks.
Hickory Gorve Cemetery
Tracy Farm Cemetery
THE SETTLEMENT OF BRANDON TOWNSHIP.
Levi Wagoner's Last Installment of His Articles on the Early Pioneers Who Settled in the Forests of Brandon Township in the 40's and 50's:
Among the pioneer settlers there are a few in the eastern part of Brandon township in Jackson county who have been overlooked and are worthy pf mention. Among these may be named Nathan Metheney, Eli Metheny, Henry Snodgrass, Wash Snodgrass, Joseph Snodgrass, Hugh Snodgrass Cephus Clark, Sr., Andrew Clark, all of whom were here prior to 1850 and were already fairly well staked down when the writer came in quest of land the same year at which time there was still an abundance of government land in this part of Jackson county. There were also in the eastern part of Brandon township, the Tracy brothers, Bazil and Henry F. Tracy, and their father, Elijah Tracy, Jesse Willison, Jesse Burkey. All the above named were among those who formed the first settlement in this part of the county, and whose lands usually joined each other so that formed community fairly well settled from the start. Still farther west and around Emeline were others who ante-dated those already named. The Sinkey brothers, James and Matthew, Clark Cooley, Titus Cooley, Eldad Cooley and Wm. Martin arrived in 1844 and '45.
At that time the country hereabouts was an unbroken forest, with but few clear places that exceeded 10 acres in scope, and a stranger in passing through this forest of tall timber would little suspect that he was in the midst of a settlement where more than half the land was occupied without being able to see from one cabin to another. In these early times much of the fine timber was cut and rolled into log heaps and burned to get it off the ground, and by this means the settlers added each year a little more to his little farm. But this waste did not long continue, for as soon as the settling of the prairie lands on either side began to be settled, there sprung up a brisk demand for all kinds of lumber, shingles, pickets, rails and fence posts. Even firewood was frequently hauled out from 10 to 20 miles, and much of the time of these first settlers was given to supply the needs of the adjacent prairies, which became general till the large body of timber between the Maquoketa rivers was reduced to farm lands.
Jackson county's pioneers were for the most part from Ohio and Pennsylvania, and had mostly come into this territory in 1840 with a few exceptions which dated back to 1836. Some of these first settlers were soon boasting of being well fixed. Being well fixed at that early date consisted in having a well chinked cabin covered with clapboards, and at least one window to admit light and sunshine, and a floor made out of split plank that were heavy enough to stay in place without being nailed down. These plank being thus lose on the sleepers or joists made it very convenient to take up and to stow away garden vegetables in a hole beneath the floor, which constituted the cellar. Each cabin was provided with a large fireplace, often large enough to admit wood 4 and 5 feet long. It was necessary to have long frontage to allow the good housewife to prepare the meals at one corner, while the family occupied the other to warm by, for in those days cook stoves were not known. Some of the best equipped residences were built double with hall between and fireplace in each apartment, which made a house or two rooms, however, these could only be found among the well-to-do. Barns were built in the same way, timber being so plentiful that only the choicest was used for building purposes. This was virtually the center of this largest body or timber in Iowa, 25 miles in length and an average breadth of over 7 miles. Here was where the writer first saw, what appeared to be, the true elements for an attractive home.
In 1855, there was another heavy influx of settlers that took up the yet remaining unoccupied lands. Among these may be named Wm. Dick, John Snodgrass, Wm. Snodgrass, Harvey Humphrey, Michael Kirby, Alexander Davis, Painter Davis, John Lazier. Dr. West, Lucius West and others. Among these last named was also Eli Beck, a school companion of the writer, who by accident, lost the use of his left hand, and on account of which Mr. Beck determined to establish the first store on what was then known as Alden's four corner, the present site of Emeline. Mr. Heck erected a building 12xl6 feet and here placed a stock of groceries of $300, all told. His business was a success from the start and in eighteen months his assets had increased to over $1,000, at which time he sold out. He started again at Otter Creek in Jackson county on a much larger scale, where in six years he accumulated holdings that amounted over $20,000. After this Mr. Beck sold out and returned to his native state where be again entered into commercial business for a number of years, is still living and is now one of the retired men of Greensburgh, Penn.
Among the first named of the pioneer settlers were several who had served in two wars. Clark Cooley was a teamster under General William H. Harrison in 1812-13, and the writer frequently had the opportunity to interview him in regard to his experience in northern Ohio during that war. On one occasion, Mr. Cooley was in a talkative mood and told the writer the following story: "I was 16 year old when I hired to drive an ox-team in Gen. Harrison's army in northern Ohio, and my business was to have army supplies from the base of supply about sixty miles to where the army temporarily encamped at Lake Erie. I was furnished, as many others were, with two yoke of oxen, and a heavy wagon covered with canvas. At this time the roads were extremely bad for it was after a prolonged wet spell late in the fall of 1813, and Harrison's army was running short of provisions on account of delay in the provision wagons on account on heavy roads. One day when I was within two miles of camp with my load drawn by four stout oxen, I got stuck in a mud hole in the road. I was there over an hour and had already exhausted my oxmanship in a plan to get out, and had concluded to unload at least a part of the load and carry it along to a place where a firmer footing could be found. I was discouraged and fatigued, as was also my noble team. I had expected that other teams that were behind me would soon overtake me from which I might get help but none showed up. In my predicament I looked up and then down the road when I saw several men on horseback coming toward me. I strained my eyes to see if I could discover whether they were friends or enemies. As they came nearer I discerned them as George Harrison's staff officers. The General himself, with a single companion, was riding a few rods behind the other braves who were already passing around my mud-stuck wagon without even taking a look at my condition. Presently the old General with his other companion came up, the General suddenly stopped his horse to take in the situation and then raised himself in his stirrups, and in a somewhat irritable tone shouted out a halt to the officers that were already several roads ahead. At this, the men came to a sudden stop and faced about. The General then beckoned and they started toward him and as soon as they arrived the General ordered them to dismount, and then addressed himself as follows: This wagon is our wagon, and this team is our team, and this boy is our driver, and there is no way for us to get away from here till we have helped this boy out of the mud. The General then addressed himself to me, and said: 'Have you an axe about your wagon,' when I answered by producing it from the wagon. The General took the axe in his hands and held it up, and said to his braves, 'Take this axe and go to wherever you can find four poles about fourteen feet long and bring them here.' Although the men were high in rank and bigots too because of it they obeyed the order all once, and while the men were getting the poles the General talked to me as he would to a comrade, asked me my name and place of residence, of the folks at home in the most common way, and very soon all my embarrassment had left me. By this time the men were coming back with the first installment of two poles, one of the men thinking that would be enough. But the General merely said to bring just two more, and the men again started and soon returned with the required number. He now placed the poles under the hub and then his men to the poles and said to the men to get themselves on their best rooting and when he said lift let every man do his best. He then asked me the name of my oxen which I gave him as Broad & Bright and Ben & Diman. At this he smiled and said, that was in part, at least, the names of the oxen that he used to drive. He then asked me to lend him my gad with the long lash with which he straightened the oxen into line with the road, and patted the cattle on their sides with his hand in the meantime calling their names. This done he said to his men, 'All ready and every man do his best,' and then with a loud crack of the whip he said, 'Now go. A minute later my wagon stood on better ground "
I then asked Mr. Cooley how he was impressed with his experience in the mud hole, and of the men that helped him out. Well, said he, 'I thought of the man that went down from Jerusalem to Jerico and fell among thieves, and of the priests that passed him on the other side, and of the good Samaritan that did not think himself too good to help him up and place him on his own mule."
Wm. Martin, who also was one of the first settlers and a comrade of Mr. Cooley's during the war or 1812-13, had also served In the Black Hawk war in 1832. Both these men were already past middle age when they settled in Jackson county in 1844, while Andrew Clark was one of those who came about 1850, and had served in the Mexican and also in the War of the Rebellion. With all of these early settlers named in this chapter, the writer had a personal acquaintance, and the least this writer can say of them is that there was not one runt among them They were all sober men and without a blot on the character of any of them, and all came as poor men but they did not all stay poor. LEVI WAGONER.
[Source: Annals of Jackson County Iowa, Reprinted from the Maquoketa Record, published by the Jackson County Historical Society 1909, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]
HISTORY OF BRANDON AND FARMERS CREEK TOWNSHIPS TO 1850.
In looking over the Annals of Jackson County, I find nothing definite on record of the early settlement of that part of the county embracing the western part of Farmers Creek and the eastern part of Brandon townships. In this territory there was already a flourishing settlement in 1850 when the writer first visited Jackson county. This settlement derived its name from the Rev. E. Larkey, who was probably the first to make a permanent home at the cross roads which at that time was called Larkey's corners. Here was already what might be called a model settlement-a settlement of intelligent men and women, a schoolhouse that did credit to its founders at that early date, a place for divine worship, a Sunday school, and a well-organized literary society of good grade, all these were already in evidence in 1850 when the writer formed his first acquaintance with the pioneers, some of whom made their beginning as early as 1844.
Mr. Allen H. Buchner Sr., was the first of my intimate acquaintances in 1850, who was already staked down in this settlement. He was a man of genial disposition, well informed, and easy to approach, in fact, he was a sort of encyclopedia of useful knowledge that gave him a prestige over his neighbors and made him the central figure in whatever company he chanced to come. But there were others in this settlement scarcely less noted. A stranger coming from the eastern states believing, as many of them did, that the sun rose and set east of the Alleghany mountains, often found themselves outwitted by these sturdy pioneers in Larkey settlement. Most of these old settlers had acquired their notoriety and prestige by their long experience of frontier life, and among these old veterans were probably more ministers of the gospel than could be found in any other districts of like size and population in Jackson county. First, Rev. E. Larkey, Nathan Said, Thos. Said, Russell Dutton, and later came J. W. Said on the stage. All of these the writer frequently had the privilege of hearing expound the word, and all of these had the rare gift of extemporaneous speaking and that without notes. And yet another that should be included among the ministers, was Rev. Dr. Blackburn, a man of far more than ordinary ability. My personal knowledge of this community dates back to 1850, and as to the dates of arrival of these first settlers prior to 1850, I have no correct knowledge. But through the kindness of Mr. R. H. Buchner I present the ready a facsimile list furnished by him to assist in giving correct names and dates, which I subjoin to what has already been said. And now Mr. Buchner sends me the following list of names and dates which read as follows:
"My father, Allen H. Buchner, was born June 28, 1821, in Canada, and grew to manhood in that country. Afterward he crossed to the States and worked on the Erie & Welland Canals for several seasons, after which he sailed on the lakes for several years and left the last boat he sailed on at the present city of Chicago, and crossing Illinois on foot came to Iowa in 1844 where he made his home in Jackson county until in 1876. He again moved to Kansas where he lived a number of years, when old age and infirmity caused him to give up farming, and he again returned to Jackson county and died at the home of his son, J. A. Buchner, in the city of Maquoketa, Feb. 14, 1894. He was married to Emily Furnish, Aug. 8, 1845. My mother was born in Illinois, April 19, 1829, and died Sept. 8, 1900. My grandfather Thos. Furnish came across the river from the Galena lead mines in 1836. He was among the earliest pioneers who came to make a home in Iowa. He was born May 16, 1803, and grew to manhood in Kentucky, and was married before leaving Kentucky. Grandmother Furnish was a sister to Nathan Said, and was born May 6, 1807. They raised a family of six boys and four girls, all of whom are living and are married and are now scattered over the western states from Indian territory to Oregon. My grandfather Furnish learned to be inspired with an ambition to be on the frontier of civilization. He made one trip to western Iowa to settle, but had to return for he got so far away from supplies that he could not procure the necessities of life. About 1856 he again crossed the Missouri and located in northeast Kansas. He again crossed the plains with an ox-team at the time of the Pike's Peak gold excitement, but returned as many others did disappointed. At the time of our Civil war he was forced to leave his Kansas home on account of the gorilla warfare between Missouri and Kansas. He came back to Iowa and stayed till after the war, and then again returned to his Kansas home, where he died at a ripe old age. Grandmother Furnish lived to join in the rush to Oklahoma with her sons who inherited the disposition of their forefather to be at the frontier, and died in that territory at an age of but little short of a hundred years.
"Nathan Said, Jesse Said, Bartlett Said, Caleb Said and Thomas Said, all brothers came from Illinois at about the same time that grandfather did, and located on land in western Farmers creek and eastern Brandon townships.
I neglected to say in its proper connection that my grandfather Furnish served in the Blackhawk war, playing life in a military band, and was present at the Brown raid, known as the Bellview war, and also at the hanging of Grifford and Barger, and was prominent in assisting to break up the lawless combinations of that early date.
Eliakim Wilson, father of Eli Wilson now of Iron Hills, Edward Larkey, Geo. Larkey, James Dillon, son-in-law of Edward Larkey, Russell Dutton, a Mr. Dutton, the father of Ezra and Emory Dutton, David McDonald, and possibly others that I cannot now call to mind settled at an early in Farmers creek township in sections 17 and 18. Most of the last named parties came from Nauvoo, Illinois soon after the raid that drove the Mormons out.
Mr. Barger, who killed his wife, settled in Brandon township on section 13, and was living there in 1849, when he went to California, and on his return a few years later to find his wife had a child in his absence, is supposed to have caused the trouble that led to the killing of his wife. Barger lived on land adjoining my father's place, and my people knew the inside of that case better than the general public did."
The above statement is substantially as received from my informant, R. H. Buchner, and serves to post the reader with the beginning and progress of the Larkey settlement prior to 1850. Since this last date the writer has personal knowledge, except in one or two instances, which when authentic information is obtained, will give the nucleus for a final chapter on the history of the Larkey settlement prior to 1850, so far as the writer is concerned.
[Source: Annals of Jackson County Iowa, Reprinted from the Maquoketa Record, published by the Jackson County Historical Society 1907, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]
On January 6, 1941 Butler Township was organized, the name was changed to Lehrin in 1845, then changed back to Butler, the original township was split in half forming Butler and Brandon Townships. Butler township is 23,232 acres or 36.3 square miles with very little water, one creek and no incorporated towns.
July 1845 Fairfield Township was organized from the eastern half of Harrison (Maquoketa) Township and a portion of Van Buren Township. Fairfield Township is 22,784 acres or 35.6 square miles, the landscape includes a half square mile of water and a few creeks.
Spragueville is located on the east central border.
Fairfield Township Cemetery
Haylock Farm Cemetery
North Bend School Cemetery
Richardson Farm Cemetery
Salem Lutheran Cemetery
Schmidt Farm Cemetery
Summer Hill Cemetery
HISTORY OF FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP
(From the Sabula Gazette of July 22, 1876.)
Fellow Citizens: Your committee to whom was assigned the duty of writing the history of Fairfield township beg leave to present the following:
What is known as Fairfield township is congressional township 84 north, range 4 east of the fifth principal meridian. It was let by contract to Col. Thomas Cox, and subdivided into sections by John McDonald, surveyor, in the year 1837. Under the territorial government of Iowa the east half of it was attached to Van Buren township and the west half to Maquoketa township for political purposes. The first Justice of the Peace under this government, within its limits was Ephriam Nevil, and the first constable was Enoch Nevil.
It was elected into a Civil Township in 1846 by seven legal voters. The first officers were as follows: Justices of the Peace, Wm. Reed and B. F. Hull; constables, H. M. Reed and J. N. Jones; clerk, Walter Henry; trustees, J. B. Rowley, John Scarborough and S. A. Richardson.
The name Fairfield was nominated by Benjamin F. Hull, and agreed to by all present. Fair, and adjective, means beautiful, handsome, pleasing to the eye, favorable, open to access. Field means open space for actin or operation. Fairfield-the best place for man to settle for ease and comfort, with all the conveniences about him to enable him to become healthy, wealthy and wise.
EARLY SETTLEMENT, INCIDENTS
John Cox was the first settler. His log cabin was put up by Hugh Neiper and Alex Frazill. (Who came near being poisoned to death from drinking coffee in which it is supposed a spider had been boiled. However, they reached Bellevue after three days weary travel and were restored to health by Dr. Moss.)
In the same year Leonard Hilyard, Joseph and Morris Hilyard and Ephriam Nevil moved with their families, into the northwest corner of the township. Here death laid its icy fingers on Elizabeth Hilyard, the mother in Israel of the new settlement, and the first grave in the township was opened for her.
Here the first connubial celebration took place, between Wm. Watkins and the Widow Maxwell, whose husband was killed in the Bellevue war.
Here also the first child was born in the township, Maggie Cox, who is now 38 years old.
Here also the first sermon was preached, by Bishop Morris, brother of the first -eceased. The second sermon was preached by Rev. John Macklintyre. When the settlers gathered for worship the men brought their guns along to protect themselves and families from Indians and wild beasts, and set them down outside the door. The preacher though he would reprove them for their impiety, and took for his text, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." Just as he had announced his text a black bear came from the woods wand went to the river named after himself. (Maquoquitois Black Bear) to slake his thirst. The dogs gave the alarm, the men snatched their guns and made pursuit and poor Bruin, for his audacity in disturbing public worship, forfeited his pelt, his flesh going to satisfy the hunger of those who had lost their spiritual rations through his appearance.
Here also the first religious service was performed at a funeral conducted by J. B. Rowley at the burial of Betsey Hilyard, wife of Morris Hilyard.
Here also the first school was taught, by J. B. Rowley, in 1843.
The next settlement was made by John Holroyd, who is now the oldest settler living in the township. He left Liverpool the first day of April, 1840, (the day of the Bellevue fight) and settled in the southeast corner of the township. After enduring the privations and hardships of pioneer life, he suffered the loss of seven children and a nephew by a steamboat explosion when his family were coming to him from England.
Here the first land was entered in the township, Mr. Holroyd and Henry Neurrs each taking up an eighty September 8, 1845.
Here a class was formed for religious services in 1851; and in 1853 the Summer Hill school house was built, and a grave yard laid out, the first person buried in which was a son of James Elwood.
The third settlement was made by Wm. Reed, at the mouth of Rock Creek in 1842.
Here, as elsewhere, death came, and in less than one month the mother and two grandsons were numbered with the dead. Their remains were conveyed to Cemetery Hill and interred by the husband and son, no one being present but the members of the family.
The first sermon preached here was by Rev. Jeremiah Farrier, a seceder clergyman, from Galena. The congregation numbered seven. After this the place now known as North Bend was settled, and a school was taught by J. W. Butler.
A class for religious services was organized in 1850, and in 1854 a Sunday school was organized, and has been continued through the summer season ever since, and is now in a prosperous condition.
Here a Congregational church was organized in 1855, under the name of Rock Creek; and in 1859 a Baptist church was organized under the name of North Bend.
The fourth settlement was made in the southwest corner of the township by B. F. Hull, S. A. Richardson, Lyman Wright, Wm. Haylock and others, in 1845.
The first marriage here was that of Nelson Kimball and Hannah Stalcop. The ceremony was performed by Rev. George Larkin.
There was a school house built in 1847, and a school taught by Miss Wentworth.
The first buried in Fairfield grave yard was B. F. Hull.
An M. E. class was organized here in 1849, and a Sunday school was organized some time after.
Here the first celebration was held on the Fourth of July within the township.
Niagara limestone is found in great abundance for building purposes and for making lime. In some places it is stratified and easily converted into use, and will doubtless ere long be a source of wealth. Timber abounds and grows so rapidly that there are more solid inches of wood in the township now than when it was first settled. Water is plentiful. The Maquoketa river flows through the township. Water is usually obtained for culinary purposes by drilling. The soil is productive and may be brought to a high state by cultivation.
THE STAPLE COMMODITIES
are wheat, corn and oats, horses, cattle and swine. Garden vegetables of all kinds grown in a temperate zone can be raised here with profit.
Three have been killed by accident, one committed suicide, one found dead, one drowned.
Fairfield's educational facilities are equal to, if not in advance of those of her copeers. There is generally eight months school in the year. Her grown in school facilities has kept pace with her improvement in other respects. Starting with one small school in a log hut, she has at present eight districts with splendid large schoolhouses, well equipped for training the youthful mind. She has furnished for the public good one lawyer, two teachers and numerous school teachers. Her talent being entirely too honest to reach high stations has remained in comparative obscurity.
MANUFACTORIES AND TRADE.
The township has no manufactories or mills, except one steam saw mill, but there are such institutions near her lines. She contains one store and two blacksmith shops. Workers in wood are numerous. Many farmers do their own making and repairing.
HEALTH AND MORALS.
She has not within her limits a lawyer or a doctor. Neither could make a living without combining some other occupation with the practice of his profession. The inhabitants are generally peacable and healthy. This happy moral and physical condition may be partly attributed to the fact that there is not now and never has been a saloon within the limits of the township.
Christianity was introduced with the first year's settlers, and although the followers of Jesus were few they bore the standard of the cross through all the privations and hardships of pioneer life, until it became honored and respected among men, and believed on by the many. More effort has been put forth to unfurl the banner of the Gospel in Fairfield than in any other township in the county. She has within her territory but one meeting house, but the large and commodious school houses furnished ample accommodations for meeting and Sabbath schools.
NOW AND THEN.
Now the people live on luxuries. Then on Necessities.
Now they live on the choicest viands, fine flour, preserves, pies, pudding, pickles and canned fruits. Then they lived on hog and hominy, venison, fish, samp potatoes, pumpkins and wild plums.
Now they ride in splendid carriages drawn by fancy horses. Then they rode in lumber wagons drawn by oxens.
Now they count their money by dollars, hundreds and thousands. Then they counted it by cents, picayunes and bits.
Now the children attend school in school houses well equipped and study reading, writing, arithmetic, spelling, English grammar, history, geography and physiology and school teachers get from $18 to $45 per month. Then they attended in the log hut and studied spelling, reading, writing and arithmetic, and teachers got from $1.50 per week to $12 per month.
Now the evening twilight is melodious with the sounds of the organ and the engine whistle. Then it was made hideous by the scream of the panther and the owl of the wolf.
Now money is an equivalent for all dues and the acquisition of wealth is man's master passion. Then the currency was an exchange of commodities or labor, and there was such a desire to pay back in the kind received that Squire Reed married Wm. Conway "on tick," and waited till Conway was elected Justice of the Peace, and then Conway married Reed to his third wife to pay the debt, no interest being allowed on anything except money.
Now, at the last election, there were 165 votes polled. Then at the first election there were 7.
Then the people were all on a level, and sympathy and kindness were extended to all. Now pride and vanity show their undignified heads, and cast is seen in all communities and assemblies.
LAST, BUT NOT LEAST.
Whereas, the founders of our government in its infancy invoked the blessings and protection of Diving Providence, to which may be ascribed their great success: It seems fitting that at this centennial celebration grateful acknowledgement should be made to the Supreme Ruler of the World for the protection and blessings He has conferred upon us and we would suggest that thirty minutes be set apart for public, religious and devout thanksgiving to Almighty God for the blessings that have been bestowed upon us as a township, and humbly invoking the continuance of His favor and His protection.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
WM. E. REED.
[Source: Annals of Jackson County Iowa, Reprinted from the Maquoketa Record, published by the Jackson County Historical Society 1909, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]
FARMERS CREEK TOWNSHIP
January 6, 1841, Farmers Creek Township was organized, originally including the area that would become Otter Creek Township. Farmers Creek township 35.6 square miles with no bodies of water, three streams and no incorporated towns.
Beedle Farm Cemetery
East Iron Hill Cemetery
West Iron Hill Cemetery
January 1855 Iowa Township was organized from portions of the original Union Township. Iowa Township is 46.2 square miles, 2.4 square miles consists of water, the landscape includes several lakes and three streams or creeks.
Miles is located at the south western border.
Canada Hollow Cemetery
Horst Farm Cemetery
Schroeder Farm Cemetery
July 1845 Jackson Township was organized, the northern half was formerly part of Bellevue Township and the southern half was formerly part of Van Buren. Jackson Township consists of 23,040 acres or 36.0 square miles with no water areas.
Springbrook is located in the central area of the township.
Heim Farm Cemetery
Homan Farm Cemetery
Huff Farm Cemetery
Monner Farm Cemetery
Old Springbrook Cemetery
Saint Peter & Paul Catholic Cemetery
July 1845 Maquoketa Township was organized, it was originally called Harrison Township and included the west half of Fairfield Township. Maquoketa Township consists of 23,104 acres or 36.1 square miles, only 128 acres of water, the landscape includes a couple of streams.
Maquoketa rests on the border of west central Maquoketa and east central South Fork Townships.
Jessen Farm Cemetery
Mount Hope Cemetery
Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery
October 2, 1842 Monmouth Township was organized from the western half of the original South Fork Township. Monmouth Township consists of 23,040 acres or 36 square miles, there are no water bodies but there are several streams and creeks.
Monmouth is located in the west central area and Baldwin is located in central Monmouth Township.
Foley Farm Cemetery
Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery
OTTER CREEK TOWNSHIP
July 1846 Otter Creek Township was organized from what was originally the north half of Farmers Creek. Otter Creek Township consists of 23,040 acres or 36 square miles, there are only 64 acres of water.
The south edge of Zwingle rests in Otter Creek Township. (Most of the town is located in Dubuque County).
Saint Lawrence Catholic Cemetery
January 6, 1841 Perry Township was organized, originally including the area now call Richland Township. Perry Township consists of 23,040 acres or 36 square miles, there are no water bodies but there are several streams and creeks.
Andrew is located in central Perry Township.
Dark Hollow cemetery
Jackson County Poor Farm Cemetery
Saint John's Catholic Cemetery
PRAIRIE SPRINGS TOWNSHIP
Prarie Springs Township was organized from the western half of Tete des Morts Township. Prairie Springs Township is 23,040 acres or 36 square miles with no water area.
La Motte is located on the south central border of Prairie Springs, the border shared with Richland Township.
St. Theresa's Catholic Cemetery
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PRAIRIE SPRINGS TOWNSHIP FIFTY YEARS AGO. (Written in 1910)
By Wm. Moran
At the request of my old friend, James W. Ellis, I am going to write a chapter on Prairie Springs township fifty years ago.
In the fall of 1858 my parents, Michael and Catherine Moran, with their family of seven children, left their happy home in the "Blue Grass State" and came by boat down the Ohio River and up the Mississippi. After being on the water ten days, we landed at Dubuque, September 30, 1858.
After a short stay in that city, we journeyed about eight miles by team, to what was then known as the "Sullivan Postoffice," in Prairie Springs, Jackson county, Iowa, which my father purchased of Jesse Black and conducted the same for two years; he then moved onto one hundred and sixty acres of land which he had previously purchased near Centerville on section 16, which he owned and controlled for several years. Later he bought other property in Prairie Springs, which he owned till his death, which occurred at LaMotte, Iowa, October 16, 1894, at the age of seventy-nine.
My mother, Catherine Fitzpatrick, was a native of Wexford, Ireland, and lived to the age of eighty-eight. She ended this life at her home in LaMotte, April 19, 1903. They both rest in the beautiful cemetery at St. Theresas. I was a boy of about eight years of age when my parents settled in Iowa, but I can remember the deer, wolf, and wildcats, and other wild animals that were roaming the country then. The old cradle was the only reaper in Jackson county; many a night have I sat and read by the old tallow candle, while my mother near by spinned the wool with her old spinning wheel. Some of our first neighbors were Jordans, Ryans, Currans, Scullons, McDole, Trews, Murrays, Regans, and Daleys.
I attended school at district number four, Prairie Springs, during the winter, and in the summer I have drove as many as six and eight yoke of oxen on a breaking plow, very few people having horses in their possession then. Three years after our arrival in Iowa the Civil war broke out. My brother, James, enlisted at Dubuque, Iowa, in 1861; while present at the battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, he was shot in the right hand and spent some time in the hospital; he was finally honorably discharged. He wished to reenlist, but would not be accepted on account of his wound; he then went to the front as a teamster; after three days he was captured by the rebels near Little Rock, Arkansas, and taken to the stockade at Tyler, Texas, where he died ten months later.
The first polling place was at Centerville; after about forty years, by a decision of the board of supervisors, it was moved to LaMotte last fall. Centerville could also boast of the first grist mill in Prairie Springs, owned and operated by U. D. Slaupp.
The old Catholic church at St. Theresas is one of the landmarks, being there when my people came to Iowa. The Methodist and Baptist churches were located at LaMotte.
I have seen the county grow, from the time my father served his patrons at his small postoffice, to the present day, when the rural route system is followed in most every county in Iowa. Prairie Springs has its rural route, with at least one hundred patrons, whose mail is delivered to his door every day by the carrier, Mr. Mark Reddin.
LaMotte of fifty years ago, was comprised of four or five dwelling houses, a small schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, general store, under the supervision of McDonnell and Hannah. The postoffice was conducted first by Z. W. Montague; second, James McDonnell; third, John Wilson, fourth, N. A. Hoffman, fifth, N. B. Nemmers, and N. A. Hoffman, the present postmaster. At the present day we can boast of LaMotte with her population of three hundred and fifty as one of the finest little towns in the State of Iowa, with her beautiful churches and schools. The parochial school was built a year ago, at a cost of eight thousand dollars; the public school, which is second to none in the county, was built in 1903 for seven thousand dollars. It has general stores, three in number; three hardware stores, three blacksmith shops, three hotels, four "thirst parlors," livery barn, creamery, grist mill, lumber yards and stockyards.
As LaMotte is known as a good shipping point the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad runs through the town. LaMotte also has its bank with a capital of ten thousand dollars. The town has its home paper, "LaMotte News," edited weekly by C. L. Olmsteadt. It has two resident physicians, one dentist, two veterinarians.
Members of the city council are: J. H. Ahlers, mayor; N. A. Hoffman, recorder; N. B. Nemmers, treasurer; J. F. Reddin, assessor. Councilmen: J. C. Mueller, T. E. Daugherty, J. R. Dunne, T..R. Ahlers, M. A. Hingtgen, T. R. Harris.
The writer, with his family of seven loving children who were deprived of their mother's care several years ago by death, now reside on section 28, Prairie Springs township.
Very respectfully, Wm. Moran.
[The History of Jackson County Iowa, by James W. Ellis. S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois, 1910 (Currently by Brookhaven Press). Submitted by Mary Kay Krogman]
July 1846 Richland Township was organized from the north half of Perry. Richland Township is 35.7 square miles with no water area.
La Motte is located on the north central border Richland and south central border of Prairie Springs Townships. The unincorporated Cottonville area is also a part of Richland.
East Hill Catholic Cemetery
Holy Rosary Cemetery
SOUTH FORK TOWNSHIP
South Fork Township originally included the area now known as Monmouth Township. South Fork Township is 23,040 acres or 36 square miles with 192 acres of water area.
Maquoketa is located on the border of east central South Fork and west central Maquoketa Townships.
Woods Farm Cemetery
TETE DES MORTS TOWNSHIP
January 6, 1841 Tete des Morts Township was organized, it would later be split into Tete des Morts and Prairie Springs Townships. Tete des Morts Township is 22,144 acres or 34.6 square miles with 2.2 square miles of that covered by water.
Saint Donatus is located in the northwest quadrant of the township.
Federman Farm Cemetery
Saint DOnatus Catholic Cemetery
St Nicholas Catholic Cemetery (Spruce Creek)
January 6, 1841 Union Township was organized, originally including what is now Iowa Township. Union Township is the smallest with 11,200 acres or 17.5 square miles. This includes over 25% or 4.5 square miles of water, the landscape includes numerous lakes and streams.
Sabula is located on the east central border, Sabula is an island town.
Saint Peter's Catholic Cemetery
VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP
January 6, 1841 Van Buren Township was organized, including parts that would become western Fairfield, southern Jackson and southern Washington Townships. Van Buren Township is 23,104 acres or 36.1 square miles, 128 acres consist of water
Preston is located in the south west area of Van Buren Township and Miles is on the south east border of the township.
Old Van Buren Cemetery
Russell Farm Cemetery
Saint Joseph'S Cemetery
Watts Farm Cemetery
Early Pioneers of Van Buren Township.
(Written for the Jackson County Historical Society by Hon. Chas. Wyckoff.)
To the Members of the Historical Society:
I feel honored by the program committee in asking me to furnish the society with a few items relative to the early settling of Van Buren township, Jackson county, and while I realize my inability to so arrange a few facts as to make them as interesting as could some one more skilled in writing, still I am willing to add my little mite to assist in this good work-arranging historical facts so they can be published and handed down to future men and women.
John Jones was the first settler of Van Buren township. He built the first cabin in the northeast quarter of section 14, known as the copper diggings. The stone in that locality is mixed with iron ore and he succeeded in making a number of people believe that he had found a valuable copper mine. Some of the families he induced to come were so poor they could not get away; was compelled to stay and take up claims and become good citizens. Some stayed in Jackson county and some in Clinton county. The Griswold family, father and mother of the late George Griswold, who was so long president of the old settlers' organization of Clinton county and took great pride in promoting its interest. Jones came from Galena to Van Buren township in the fall of 1836. After his copper mines failed he left the country and I think died in St Louis.
The next settler in the township was Andrew Farley. The Farley family came up the Mississippi river to the mouth of the Maquoketa river and landed and then went to work and constructed a raft on which was placed the few household goods. The raft was towed up the river, canal fashion, the Farley boys acting as canal horses, to the mouth of Deep Creek. There was at that time a log cabin in Clinton county built by Captain Hubbard, southwest of Preston, now known as the John Bascom place. The captain will be remembered as the old steam boat captain that made his home in Maquoketa at the Miller House. The Farleys landed In Van Buren township on the 17th day or May, 1837. They got from a party who occupied the above named cabin an ox team and sled and hauled their goods to the northeast quarter of section 28, now owned by Sam McNiel, and built a log cabin. Mr. Farley was killed in the Bellevue war in 1840, leaving a family of nine children, the oldest being the late Christopher Farley, who during his life was so well and favorably known in Jackson county, a boy of 17, as its head. Mr. Farley had gone to Bellevue to mill with an ox team, his son having gone on foot and drove the team home with his father's dead body as part of the load. Mr. Farley knew nothing about the trouble and one man that was shot asked some one to for God's sake raise his head and Mr. Farley went to do as requested and was shot, and it was never known which aide fired the fatal shot, but it was the general opinion that it was not intended for him.
The next settlers in Van Buren township were W H. Vandeventer, who built a cabin in section 18 near Deep Creek. William Latta, M. W. Tisdale, a Mr. Walker and Azariah Prussia built a cabin on section 15, near the big spring in the famous town of Buckeye, in the fall of 1837. In the spring of 1838 Samuel Durant, Ephraim Elsworth and Bartholomew Corwan built cabins-Durant on section 22, Elsworth on 23, Corwan on section 24. Mrs. Corwan died in August the same year, she being the first white woman dying in Jackson county, her remains resting In the old cemetery near the cabins of Corwan and Elsworth On the first day of September, 1838, my father came to Van Buren and built a log cabin on southeast quarter of section 2 In the spring of 1839 David and Fletcher Swaney, T. J. Pearce came from Michigan and built cabins. T. J Pearce on section 9, David Swaney on section 22, Fletcher on section 15. As far as I am able to learn those were the only settlers in Van Buren township in the fall of 1839.
[Source: Annals of Jackson County Iowa, Reprinted from the Maquoketa Record, published by the Jackson County Historical Society 1907, submitted by M.K.Krogman]
February 1851 Washington Township was organized from areas of the original Bellevue and Van Buren Townships. Washington Township is 25,536 acres or 39.9 square miles with 2.2 square miles covered with water. The landscape includes numerous lakes and streams including the Maquoketa River.
Huff Farm Cemetery
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