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Adair County Iowa


Washington Township

Washington township is situated in the southwest corner of Adair county, and embraces all of congressionalal township 74, north, range 33. It is bounded upon the north by Jackson township, Richland on the east, Adams county on the south, and Cass county on the west. The township is well watered by the Nodaway river and its branches, along which considerable timber of natural growth is found; as much, in fact, as in any other township in Adair county. The soil, as is generally the case in this county, is very rich and productive, yielding large returns to the industrious and prosperous citizens which comprise the inhabitants of this township.

EARLY SETTLEMENT. Washington township began its evolutions toward settlement and civilization in 1849, considerable earlier than most of the townships of Adair county. During the early days and history of this township, the pioneers were obliged to go to Marysville, Missouri, to do their milling, a distance of over a hundred miles. During the dry season, when the water was low, they were obliged to go still farther—to Rochester, Missouri.

The first to come here with the determination of making Washington township a permanent home, was Thomas Johnson, who settled upon section 4, in the spring of 1849. He erected a small log cabin and broke out some ground, from which he raised a small crop of wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, etc., during the first year of his settlement. Mr. Johnson emigrated from Lawrence county, Indiana, in 1841, to Page county, Iowa, where he remained until he came to this township. In 1861 he removed to Oregon, where he still resides. A more detailed account of Mr. Johnson appears in the general chapter of early settlement of Adair county.

Prominent among the early settlers of Washington township was James R. Campbell, who entered land on section 3, in the spring of 1850. A sketch of this gentleman is found in a chapter of Adair county on early settlement. In June, 1854, a man by the name of Bowers came to the township and settled upon the farm afterward known as the Shelby Garner place. He shortly afterward opened a blacksmith shop at this place, which was the first enterprise of the kind in the county as well.

July, 1854, James and John Stanley settled in the sub-division of the county now known as Washington, on section 3. James is still a resident of this county, but John has removed, it is believed, to Adams county. Few indeed, are the settlers of Washington township that have witnessed more of its growth and development than James H. Stanley. He was one of its pioneers, and there is probably not a better posted or better known man in the township. He was born May 30, 1828, in North Carolina, his parents being Harris and Sarah (Brown) Stanley, and was the seventh in a family of nine children. When he was about ten months old his father removed to Rush county, Indiana, where he resided three years. He then went to Hamilton county, Indiana. Here James was reared, following the occupation of a farmer, and receiving the education common at that day, which would now, with all our school facilities be considered, probably, quite limited. April 14, 1853, he departed for the then wild west of Iowa. Arriving in this state, he wintered in Morrison county, and in the spring of 1854, continued his journey, and located in Washington township, this county, settling first on section 3. There were then but five families in the township, and inside its boundaries there was not abridge. He built a log house 16x18, where he resided for several years, and has experienced all the privations and hardships of pioneer life. In 1857 he removed to his present farm where he owns four hundred and thirty-seven and one-half acres of as good land as the township affords. He has a bearing orchard of six acres, and raises considerable small fruit. Besides farming, he pays considerable attention to general stock-raising. He was united in marriage August 21, 1851, to Miss Harriet King. They have seven children— Ann, Melinda, William, Harriet May, Henry, Isaac and Nancy Isabel. They have lost by death three children—John Wesley, Rebecca Ann and Lucinda. Mr. Stanley is highly respected by all who know him, and has a large fund of information in regard to the early events in the township and county. Rev. Harris Standley, (transcriber’s note: the spelling of the last name changes here) the parent of John and James Standley, followed them in their settlement. He was a minister of the denomination of Disciples, or more commonly known as Oampbellites. Of him it is said that he was the first resident minister located in the county, although there had been occasional services held by Elder Rann, of the Methodist church, a year earlier. At the same time that the Standleys came, Ambrose Jenkins made a settlement.

Monroe Winn came in 1854, and settled on section 31, where he still resides. Monroe Winn is a native of Hancock county, Indiana, and was born August 7, 1832. His parents were Isaac and Rachel (Winn) Winn, both natives of Kentucky. Monroe was the fifth child in a family of seven children. His early life was spent in assisting his father on the farm. At the age of twenty-one years he removed to Iowa, taking a team, and locating for eight months at Winterset. He then came to Adair county, locating in Washington township. He has a fine farm of two hundred acres, containing both timber and prairie land, well adapted for both stock and grain. He was united in marriage June 15, 1855, to Miss Phoebe Cox, a native of North Carolina, and daughter of Isaac and Seely (Williams) Winn. They have eight children — Lorenzo, Frank, Charles, Edward, Harvey, Theodore, Eveline and Alice.

During the summer of 1854, Thomas Thompson, David, Samuel and Henry McClure entered land in the township. Samuel moved to Jackson township, while the other two gentlemen subsequently removed from the county.

In November, 1854, Washington received another citizen, Shelby Garner, since which time he has made that place his home. We append his personal sketch. Shelby Garner, Sr., ranks among the early settlers of Washington township. He was born in Wayne county, Indiana, on Middle Fork, February 8, 1816, and is the son of Laban and Jane (Littler) Garner, both natives of North Carolina. Mr. Garner spent the first fourteen years of his life in his native county, with the exception of four years in Montgomery county, and then removed to Tippecanoe county. His next removal was to Warren county in the winter of the same year. He there cultivated a farm and that has ever since been his occupation. In 1837 he came to Iowa before the first land sale. He was at the first land sale and was the first settler in Louisa county. When he had been there ten years he returned to Indiana. After remaining in Indiana eighteen months, he started, April 16, 1848, for California. He made a stop at Salt Lake on the journey, and arrived at the gold diggings January 23, 1849. He remained there three years, and then returned to Montgomery county, Indiana, arriving there in 1852. In 1853 went to Louisa county again, and in November, 1854, he settled on his present farm, and here he has seen most of the events in the history of his township as they transpired. His farm formerly contained one thousand acres, but as he has divided a portion of it among his children and sold some, it now consists of two hundred and fifty acres. He was married in May, 1852, in Tippecanoe county, Indiana, to Miss Elizabeth Thompson, daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Taylor) Thompson, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively. They have seven children living, whose names are—Peter, Henry, Elizabeth, Shelby, Sam W., and Sarah. Two of their children have died —Hannah and Laban. Mr. Garner has never aspired to hold office, but enjoys the confidence of his neighbors in a large degree. E. S. was married to Elizabeth Adams, daughter of John and Rebecca Adams, July 23,1837. She died August 17, 1847. Peter and Laban were sons of his first wife. Samuel Thompson, a native- of Montgomery county, Indiana, was born on the 17th of January, 1829, came to Adair county in the fall of 1854, and located upon section 16, in Washington township. In the fall of 1865 he removed to Jackson township, where he is still living. He was one of the parties interested in the fourth marriage in the county, having married Miss Sarah Garner, on the 29th of August, 1855.

Elijah B. Sullivan, a native of Indiana, is among those who comprise the early settlement of Washington township. In December, 1854, he entered land on section 16, and erected a log cabin, and in January, 1855, moved his family to the township, where they still reside. With him came his brothers—Titus H. and J. B. The latter of these is a resident of Jackson township.

Peter Stickel and family made a settlement in the spring of 1865. Boyd D., their son, was elected first prosecuting attorney of the county, although not a qualified lawyer. He afterward enlisted in the war, where he served his country faithfully and heroically, expiating his life in the gallant cause.

J. J. Leeper, Robert Snodgrass and James Bradley came in June, 1855. The two latter gentlemen afterward removed to Oregon. A history of the former gentleman may be found in the history, under the heading of county judges.

John Ammon made a settlement during the year of 1855. He was a member of the first grand jury of the county. He afterward removed to Missouri, where he died. Titus Sullivan was another of the early settlers of Washington, entering land in the summer of 1855. He changed his residence to Summerset township, where he subsequently died.

In the year 1855, John Ireland settled in Washington township, and was sheriff of the county at one time. He afterward left the township, and, while on his way to Washington Territory, died. William and Francis Corr made a settlement prior to the fall of 1855. Francis held the office of county judge and treasurer, at an early date of the county’s history, besides other prominent offices. At present he resides in Pocahontas county, this state. In the chapter of national, state and county representation may be found a sketch of this gentleman.

Hugh McCall entered land on section 25 in 1855. His present residence is still in the township on section 32, and his personal sketch will be interesting. Among the early settlers of Washington township who are closely identified with its interests we may mention the name of Hugh McCall. He is a settler of 1855, and has consequently witnessed with his own eyes much of the transition which has taken place in transforming the area of the county from an uncultivated waste to a land of peace and plenty. He is a native of Fulton county, Illinois, and was born July 25, 1838. His parents were John and Polly Ann (Maxwell) McCall, the former a native of Indiana, the latter of Illinois. Hugh was the oldest of their twelve children. When he was but a year old, his parents removed to Bates county, Missouri, where they remained eight years, then going to DeKalb county, Missouri. Hugh was there eight years, and came to Adair county, as before stated, in 1855, locating on section 25, Washington township. His early life was spent on the farm, and there the war found him. When the country needed the aid of her sons in defense of her honor and her flag, he was one of those who presented himself for enlistment, and August, 1862, found him enrolled in Company D, 29th Iowa, Colonel Thomas H. Benton, jr., which did valiant service in the army of the Southwest. He was, among others, in the battles of Little Rock and Mobile. During the service he was promoted from private to the position of corporal. He was honorably discharged, and returned to Washington township. He went onto his present farm, which was then wild land, in 1872. He has one hundred and twenty acres, and that which is not timber is in a good state of cultivation, and good water. He is engaged in general farming and stockraising. He was married December 6, 1866, to Miss Cynthia J. Campbell, of this township. They have three children— James Curtis, Diantha A., and John. He enjoys the esteem of his neighbors generally, and is prospering in his business of farming.

Joseph Dunlap settled on the northwest quarter of section 24, in 1855, entering the land. He afterward purchased forty acres more, making his farm two hundred acres. He was born in Claremont, New Hampshire, in October, 1814, and was raised on a farm. When he was twenty two years of age he came west, locating in Wilmington, Illinois. Here he was married to Miss Catherine Henderson, a native of the north of Ireland, who had come to New York when she was but four years old. They have three children living— Charles H., Mary L. wife of James H. Hulbert; and George W. In 1869 Mr. Dunlap, with his family, except Mrs. Hulbert, removed to a farm near Seattle, Washington territory, where they now live. Mr. Dunlap was a great reader and a lover of domestic life, and had many friends.

D. M. Strong, one of the public-spirited citizens of Washington township, is a native of Niagara county. New York, and was born July 20, 1833. His parents were John M. and Olive (Standish) Strong, both natives of Vermont. Their family consisted of seven children, of whom our subject was the youngest. He was reared in Niagara county until he had reached the age of fourteen, when the family removed to Illinois, locating in Ogle county. D. M. Strong resided there until 1866, and received his education in the common schools. On leaving Illinois he removed to Franklin county, Iowa, and after spending three years there he came to Adair county, and located on his present farm, which was then quite wild land, but which is now well improved. It consists of one hundred and twenty acres, and contains a good bearing orchard. Small fruits are also among its productions as well as the ordinary products of the farm. He was married May 10, 1853, to Miss Lucy Jane Fellows, of Lee county, Illinois. Mr. Strong is one of the successful farmers of the township. S. J. Casteel is a native of Jefferson county, Pennsylvania, and was born December 5, 1829. He is the son of James and Mary (Dorr) Casteel, both natives of Pennsylvania, and he is the second in a family of three children. The parents both fell victims to that dread disease, small-pox, when S. J. was but two years of age, and the task of rearing him, left as a child without parents, fell to the lot of his grandparents. They removed to Perry county, Ohio. There the subject of this sketch lived until 1856, when he went to Mahaska county, Iowa, where he resided until 1863. He removed to his present location in this county in 1865. Here he has one hundred and sixty acres of fine land, consisting of timber and prairie, well adapted for stock, grain or grass. He is engaged in the general pursuit of grain cultivation and stock raising. His residence and outbuildings are kept in good repair, and the general aspect of the farm is pleasing. He also has a valuable orchard. He was married September 10, 1856, to Miss Mary Cove. They have six children living—William, John, Hannah Jane, Lizzie, Josh and Asa. Mr. Casteel has held the office of justice of the peace for seven years, to the entire satisfaction of the people.

B. W. Witt, a son of Josiah Witt, was born on the 14th of July, 1832, in New Hampshire. He was the second of a family of five children, and in 1833 he moved to New York, and was there reared on a farm. He then learned the mason’s and in 1854 he came to Pond du Lac, Wisconsin, where he remained one year, and worked at his y trade. In 1872 he came to Iowa and settled in Kossuth county, where he owned a farm near Algona. He remained there one year, when he moved to Hancock county, thence to Adair county, in 1875, where he settled in Washington township. He first improved a farm on section 12, but not being good land he settled on section 10, where he owns five hundred and fifty-one acres of good land, and contains the oldest; farm in the county, settled by Thomas Johnson in 1849. Mr. Witt has a nice barn for his stock, and has everything that is necessary for farm life. He is engaged in farming and stock-raising, having some of the finest stock in the township. He was married in November, 1857, to Miss Priscilla Alden, a native of New York. They have five children—Clara E., Waldo A., Mary E., Albert E., Ida J. Mr. Witt’s family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. He has been a member of the school board, and is one of the most prominent men in the county.

Thomas Kembery was born in Somersetshire, England, in May, 1835, his parents being James and Ann (Hicks) Kembery. Thomas was the fourth in age of their seven children. When he had reached the age of eighteen he determined to try his fortune in a foreign clime, and sailed for the West Indies, and while there was among the orange groves of Jamaica and Antiqua. But that land did not reach his expectations, and after staying a short time he went to New Orleans. From there he started for Texas, but instead he went by river to Muscatine, Iowa, arriving there in 1853. From there he went to Iowa City and thence to Des Moines. He was there engaged in teaching and other occupations. In 1859 he went to Indiana, and after spending about two years in that state and Ohio he returned to Iowa, teaching school several terms. He came to this county in March, 1861, and settled on his present farm in 1866. He enlisted in February, 1865, in the Iowa cavalry, Company I, Colonel Horton commanding. He was in the service nine months, when he was honorably discharged, the war being at an end. He has five hundred and sixty acres of good land, suitable for all the purposes of agriculture and stock-raising. To these pursuits he gives his attention and he has been very successful. He was united in marriage in September, 1866, to Miss Sarah Ann Campbell, of Washington township. They have seven children— James B., Sarah Ann, William E., Ethel May, Maria Agnes, Bessie I. and Thomas Franklin.
J. G. Hendry, one of the worthy citizens of Washington township, is a native of Andover, Essex county, Massachusetts, and was born February 3, 1842. He is the son of James and Catherine (Gregg) Hendry, both natives of Scotland, the latter coming to this country in 1828. When the subject of this sketch was but seven years of age his parents removed to Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, where our subject was reared, spending most of his time on the farm, with the exception of that spent in the acquirement of an education. He received the advantages obtainable in the common schools, and then attended the Fond du Lac city high school. In the spring of 1869 he came to Adair county and located on the farm, where he now resides, in Washington township. Here he has five hundred and twenty acres of choice land, divided between prairie and timber, and suited to all the purposes of a farm and country residence. He pays attention to stock raising, and has an apiary of some thirty stand of bees. Mr. Hendry was married December 18, 1869, to Mary Emma Clark, of Frederick county, Wisconsin, daughter of Daniel and Harriett M. (Jones) Clark. Mr. and Mrs. Hendry have seven children—Grace, Katie, Hattie, Hayes (born the day Hayes was elected), Freddy, Charles, and Jessie. Their son James died when eight years of age. Mr. Hendry is now serving his fifth term as justice of the peace. He is also township trustee. He is a member of the Masonic order.

Henry Griffin is a native of Walworth county, Wisconsin, and was born January 26, 1846, his parents being Elias and Isabella (Charlton) Griffin, the former a native of New York state, and the latter of England. They were the parents of four children, our subject being the oldest. His early life was spent principally on the farm, he receiving his education in the district schools in the intervals of farming. In 1864 he came to Washington township, Adair county, where he has since made his home. He has one hundred and forty acres of good land, well adapted to all the purposes of farming and stock raising. He was married March 12, 1865, to Miss Lydia Guile, daughter of Elijah and Charlotte Guile. Mr. and Mrs. Griffin are the parents of six children—Flora Belle, Chase, Orville, Louie Oleborn, William H. and Charles F. Mr. Griffin is one of those men who takes an interest in the affairs of his township and county, though he has never aspired to public office.

Royal Guile is a native of Wyoming county, New York, and was born May 29, 1833. His parents were Elijah and Charlotte (Jefferson) Guile, the former a native of Vermont, and the latter of Massachusetts. Royal was the fourth, in order of age, of their six children. In 1843 his parents removed to Walworth county, Wisconsin, where he was reared, and where he worked on the farm and received his education. When nineteen years of age he went to Sauk county, Wisconsin, where he resided some two and one half years. He was married there, September 24, 1854, to Miss Mary A. Barringer, a native of Sauk county. He traded his farm in that county for one in Dane county, where he lived eight years. In February, 1865, he came to Adair county, first settling in Greenfield, where he resided some three years, engaged in the hotel business for a part of the time. In 1869 he came on to his present farm in Washington township. He has one of the best stock farms in the county, and his possessions comprise seven hundred and forty acres. It is upland prairie, bottom land, and timber. It is well supplied with running water and springs, and well adapted to farming and stock-raising. His barns and out-buildings are all comfortable, as is also his residence. Mr. and Mrs. Guile have a family of six children— Isadore, Elvin, Emma, Clara, Clayton, and Royal Jay. They have a high standing in the township. Mrs. Guile is a native of Steuben county, New York.

S. C. Bloom is a native of Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, and was born July 31, 1833, his parents being Samuel and Mary (Campbell) Bloom, They had eleven children and the subject of this sketch was the oldest of them. The Bloom homestead in Pennsylvania had been held by the family before the revolutionary war. When S. 0. was six years of age, his parents removed to Richland county, where he resided until 1852, following the occupation of farming. He came to Iowa in January, 1852, locating in Keokuk county. After staying there one year, he went to Louisa county, where he resided nine years. He enlisted in Company F, 28th Iowa, Colonel William Stone, serving some three months. He was honorably discharged, and returned to his home. He came to Adair county and bought his farm in June, 1865. It was then wild land, but soon succumbed to the influence of cultivation. He bought his present farm in 1869, and on it established his home. The farm contains six hundred and eighty acres of as good land as there is in the township, and it is well improved. He carries on farming and stock-raising. His land is bottom land, timber and upland prairie. He was married November 15, 1854, to Miss Frances Mont, a daughter of James and Jane Mont, of Richland county. They had ten children, of whom seven are living— S. J., Mary Jane, Laura Maria, Andrew Taylor, Eva, Samantha, Chester E., and George Arthur. The three deceased were—Frances Jane, Albert LeRoy, and Stephen Culver. He is one of the substantial men of Washington township.

James Moar was born on the 12th of September, 1849, in Scotland, and there remained until nineteen years of age when he came to America and settled in New York, on the 1st of June, 1868. He remained there four years when he came to Adair county, Iowa, and bought a farm in Washington township. He has one of the best farms in the township, being nicely improved and under good management. He has some fine cattle and horses, and is known as one of the finest stockbreeders in the township. He was united in marriage in March, 1876, to Miss Millie Sullivan, a daughter of E. B. Sullivan, one of the prominent men of this county.

Among the prominent and successful men of this township we will not forget to mention Benjamin Briggs, who is a native of New York, born August 19, 1815. He remained in New York until twenty-five years of age when he came to Wisconsin and took up wild land and laid out a farm. In 1870 he came to Adair county and laid out his present farm, which contains one hundred and ten acres of fine land, an orchard of one hundred and twenty-five bearing trees, and is nicely situated. He was married on the 31st of October, 1839, to Miss Lydia Slocum. They have three children —Emma, Bayman and Frank. Mr. Briggs has held office in the township a number of terms.

ORGANIC. Washington is one of the oldest townships of Adair county, being organized in 1854, the same year of the county organization. At that time the county was about equally divided into two townships —Washington and Harrison. Washington was gradually diminished by the setting off of other townships, until it is now a congressional sub-division, technically known as township 74 north, 33 west.

MILL. A mill was erected at an early date by Thomas Johnson, it being the first in the township. Their principal business at that time was grinding corn, although there was a bolt for wheat, which was operated by hand.
HISTORIC. The first marriage which occurred in Washington township, was that of Manoah S. Sullivan and Sarah A. Standley, November 7, 1855. The first religious services were held at the residence of Thomas Johnson on section 4, in 1858. The first birth was a daughter to Thomas and Rosa Johnson. She was born in May, 1850, and was named Margaret. At present she resides in California. A child of Thomas and Rosa Johnson, was the first death in Washington. The first school-house in the township was erected by volunteer labor, in 1855, on section 9, and was of logs. The first term of school was taught by John J. Leeper, now a resident of New Mexico. The first post-office of Washington was kept by Thomas Johnson, at his house on section 4, who received his commission in 1855. It was known by the name of Adair post-office. The first school taught in Washington township was at the residence of Thomas Johnson, during the winter of 1851-2, which was also the first in the county. The teacher was Dianthe Richardson, afterward Mrs. Joshua E. Chapman. The second birth in Washington township was Ann, daughter of John Oilman, who was born during the year of 1851. She afterward removed to Jamestown, Colorado, where she probably still resides.

Taken from "History of Guthrie and Adair County Iowa, 1884", transcribed by Carlyss Noland

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