On the 3d of April, 1852, the following important action was had in reference to the boundaries of townships in the county. The number of townships had increased from the original six to twelve organized ones, at the time of this definition of boundaries:

"Whereas, the boundaries of the political townships in this county, by changes and alterations at different times heretofore made, have become uncertain and confused; and whereas, some portions of the county have never been legally attached to any township of which there can any record be found, it is therefore ordered by the Court that the boundaries of the several political townships in the county be established as follows:

Camanche Township—Bounded as follows: Commencing on the Mississippi River, 160 rods south of the south line of Section 7 in Township 81 north, Range 7 east, of the Principal

Meridian; thence west to the range line between Ranges 6 and 7 east; thence north to the northeast corner of Section 13 in Township 81 north, Range 6 east; thence west to the northwest corner of same section ; thence north to the northeast corner of Section 11 in same Township; thence west to the range line between Ranges Sand 6 east; thence south to the northwest corner of Section 18 in Township 81 north, Range 6 east; thence west to Brophy's Creek; thence down said creek to the Wapsipinicon River; thence down said river to the Mississippi River; thence up said Mississippi River to the place of beginning.

"Lyons Township—Commencing on the Mississippi River, two miles south of the north line of fractional Township 82, north of Range 7 east, being on the south line of the second tier of sections in that township, counting from the north side; thence west on section lines to the range-line between Ranges 5 and 6 east; thence south on said range-line to the northwest corner of Section 7 in Township 81 north, Range 6 east, intersecting the north line of Camanche Township; thence to the Mississippi River on the northern boundary of Camanche Township; thence up said river to the place of beginning.

"Elk River—Commencing on the Mississippi River at the northeast corner of Clinton County; thence west on the north line of said county to the range-line, between Ranges .5 and 6 east; thence south on said range-line to the northwest corner of Section 18, in Township 82 north, Range 6 east, being the northwest corner of Lyons Township; thence east on the north line of said township to the Mississippi River; thence up said river to the place of beginning.

"Deep Creek—Contains Township 83 north, Ranges 4 and 5 east, being therefore twelve miles in length, east and west, and six miles in width from north to south, and lying immediately west of Lyons Township.

"Bloomfield—Commencing at the northeast corner of Township 83 north, Range 3 east; thence south nine miles; thence west twelve miles to the range-line between Ranges 1 and 2 east; thence north nine miles to the northwest Corner of Township 83 north, Range 2 east; thence east twelve miles to the place of beginning.

"Sharon—Contains Township 88 north, Range 1 east of the Fifth Principal Meridian

"Liberty—Consists of Township 82 north, Range 1 east.

"Spring Rock—Contains all of Township 81 north, Range 1 east, lying west of the Wapsipinicon River.

Olive—Commencing on the Wapsipinicon River 160 rods west of the range-line between Ranges 2 and 3 east; thence north to the south line of Bloomfield Township; thence west on said line to the east line or Liberty; thence South on said line to the northwest corner of Township 81 north, Range 2 east; thence west to the Wapsipinicon River; thence down said river to the place of beginning.

"Union—Commencing on the Wapsipinicon River at the mouth of Silver Creek; thence up said creek to the mouth of Clear Creek ;7 thence up said creek to the east line of Section 16, in Township 81 north, Range 3 east; thence north to the northeast corner of said section; thence west to the east line of Olive Township; thence south on said township line, to the Wapsipinicon River; thence down said river to the place of beginning.

"De Witt—Commencing on the Wapsipinicon River at the mouth of Brophy's Creek; thence up said creek to the south .line of Section 8 in Township 81 north, Range .5 east; thence west to the range line between Ranges 4 and 5 east; thence north to the northeast corner of Township 81 north, Range 4 east ; thence west to the northeast corner of Section 4 in said township; thence north to the northeast corner of Section 21, in Township 82 north, Range 4 east; thence west to the northeast corner of Olive Township, being 160 rods west of the northwest corner of Section 19, in Township 82 north, Range 3 east; thence south to the north quarter-stake of Section 13, in Township 81 north, Range 2 east, being the northwest corner of Union Township; thence east to the northeast corner of Section 16, in Township 81 north, Range 3 east; thence south to Clear Creek; thence down said creek to Silver Creek ; thence down Silver Creek to the Wapsipinicon River; thence down said river to the place of beginning.

"Center—Shall consist of Township 82 north, Range S east; the north two tiers of sections in Township 81 north, in same range, and the east half and the northwest quarter of Township 82 north, Range 4 east."

"The above boundaries correspond with old boundaries as near as can be ascertained, with a few necessary alterations. A. R COTTON,

"County Judge Clinton County."

On the 27th of April, 1852, Sections 1, 2, 3. 12, and 13, in Township 81 north, Range 4 east, and Section 18 and so much of Section 17 as lies west of Brophy's Creek in Township 81 north, Range 5 east, was taken from De Witt and attached to Center Township.

On the 7th of September, 1852, land is donated to the Catholic society for a church site in De Witt, and, also, for $60 the ground for a cemetery is sold to the same society.

On November 1, 1852, the boundaries of Dc Witt Township are again changed. "The boundaries are to be altered in the following respect, and that it shall be as follows: Commencing where Clear Creek crosses the west line of Section 15, in Township. 81 north, Range 3 east, it shall run thence south to the northwest corner of Section 22 in said township; thence east to the northeast corner of said Section 22; thence south on the section line to the Wapsipinicon River; thence down said river to the mouth of Silver Creek, and that all land east of said boundary line, hereto for belonging to Olive Township, shall be attached to De Witt Township."

On the 9th of April, 1853, a change was also made in the boundaries of Center and Deep Creek Townships, as follows:

Ordered, That the north half of Township 82 north, Range 4 east, be taken from Center Township and attached to Deep Creek Township.

This term of Court closed April 14, 1853, and Judge Cotton resigned, desiring to engage in the practice of his profession. By the provisions of the law the District Attorney became his successor to fill the vacancy. On the 16th of the same month, Court is opened by E. Graham, "Prosecuting Attorney and Acting County Judge," and A. H. Cotton, Prosecuting Attorney, the latter having been appointed to this position to fill the vacancy caused by Mr. Graham's becoming County Judge.

From the frequency of the orders for delivery of deeds of town lots in De Witt, it is inferred that the "seat of justice" is enjoying a degree of prosperity hoped for, but long deferred. The deeding of lots, issuing of marriage licenses and the allowance of claims is for a time the principal business of the Court.

On the 23d of June, 1853, the contract for the building of a Court House is let to S. N. Bedford and T. P. and S. M. Butler, they being the lowest bidders. The building was to be 40x50 feet in size, with a front projection for a portico, walls of brick, the lower story to be nine feet in the clear, the upper story to be fourteen feet in the clear, and brick partition walls, "equal in style of mechanism and construction to the Scott County Court House." By the terms of the contract, it was to be completed by the first day of October, 1854. The contract price was $5,900. It was completed at Or near the specified day, and the attention of county authorities of some other localities is called to the fact that only $50 were allowed the con tractor's for "extras." John Cotton, James D. Bourne and Thomas Butterfield had been appointed by Judge Graham to act in conjunction with him in superintending its building.

Previous to this time, the permanency of the location of the county seat at De Witt had been questioned. Strong opposition had been manifested against the erection of permanent buildings, and efforts had been made to obtain a vote of the people upon the question of a removal of the county seat. Both Lyons and Camanche were aspirants for the honor and profit of the removal. To this opposition may be attributed the failure of previous action, which has been noted in the abstract of Commissioners' proceedings upon the question of public buildings. But now, as the power to "provide suitable buildings" was vested in the County Judge without any vote of the people, Judge Graham proceeded, immediately after becoming Judge through a vacancy, to erect the buildings, and, as was then supposed, to permanently settle the vexed question of the location of the "seat of justice" of Clinton County. His action, of course, occasioned severe criticism from the friends of other localities.

On the 18th of March, 1854, an order was issued to A. D. Park, "a citizen of Henry Township," authorizing an election at the schoolhouse near

Conrad Van Ness', on the first Monday in April, for the purpose of organizing that township and the election of officers. The boundaries were given as "Township 83 north, Range 4 east." In the May following, however, the name of this township was changed to Waterford; in July, the Union Township was named Orange. In the previous April, one tier of sections were taken off the south side of Bloomfield and attached to De Witt.

On the 2d of July, 1855, the boundaries of Spring Rock Township were ordered to be as follows: "Township 81 north, Range 1 east."

Judge Graham closed his official career August 15, 18.55, and, on the same day, the record is resumed by Judge Daniel McNeil.

During the year 1855, a jail was built at the county seat. Scott & Quick were the contractors, and the contract price was $1,668.75.

At a session of the Court held February 11, 1856, another attempt was made to satisfactorily arrange the boundaries of the several townships in the county.

The boundaries of Bloomfield Township were fixed as follows:

"Beginning on the line between Jackson and Clinton Counties, at the northeast corner of Township 83 north, Range 3 east; thence west along the north line of said township, between the counties aforesaid, to the northwest Corner of said Township 83 north, Range 3 east; thence south along the west line of said township, and along the west line of Township 82 north, Range 3 east, between Ranges 2 and 3 east to the southwest corner of .Section 7, in Township 82 north, Range 3 east; thence east to the southeast corner of Section 12 in said Township 82 north, Range 3 east; thence north along the range line between Ranges 3 and 4 to the place of beginning."

A new township was also organized, and called Brookfield, the boundaries of which were as follows:

"Beginning on the line between Jackson and Clinton Counties, at the northeast corner of Township 83 north, Range 2 east-; thence west along the north line of said township to the northwest corner of Township 83 north, Range 2 east; thence south along the west side of said township, between Ranges 1 and 2 east, to the southwest corner of said township ; thence east along the south line of said township, between Townships 82 and 83 north, to the southeast corner of said Township 83 north, Range 2 east; thence north on the range line between Ranges 2 and 3 east to the place of beginning."

The first election was held on the first Monday in April, 1856, at Spark's schoolhouse.

A new township was also organized, and called Berlin. Its boundaries were as follows:

"Beginning at the northeast corner of Township 82 north, Range 2 east; thence west along the township line between Townships 82 and 83 north to the northwest corner of Township 82 north, Range 2 east; thence south along the range lines, between Ranges 1 and 2 east, to the southwest corner of Township 82 north, Range 2 east; thence east along the township line, between Townships 81 and 82, to the southeast corner of said township; thence north along the line between Ranges 2 and 3 east to the place of beginning."

The first election was held on the first Monday in April, 1856, at the dwelling of Lewis Sherwood. The organization of this township compelled \changes in the boundaries of Olive and De Witt Townships, and the record says:

"Olive Township will not extend further north than to the township line between Townships 81 and 82 north, but will embrace all of Sections 1 and 12 in said township."

De Witt Township will not embrace any part of Sections 24, 25 and 36, in Township 82 north, Range 2 east, those sections being in Berlin Township; nor any part of Sections 1 and 12 in Township 81 north, Range 2 east, the same being in Olive Township."

On March 3, 1856, on petition, a new township was formed, and called Clinton, from territory taken from Lyons and Camanche. Its boundaries were as follows:

" Commencing at the middle of the Mississippi River, on the State line between the States of Illinois and Iowa, where the line between Townships 81 and 82 north intersects said State line, running west on said township line to where it intersects the range line between Ranges 5 and 6 east; thence south on said range line, between Ranges 5 and 6, to the southwest corner of Section 18, in Township 81 north, Range 6 east; thence east on the section line between Sections 18 and 19, Township 81 north, Range 6 east, and the same course until it intersects the State line between Illinois and Iowa; thence northerly on said State line to the place of beginning."

It was further ordered, March 3, 1856, that a new township, to be called Eden, be formed from parts of De Witt, Center and Camanche Townships, with boundaries as follows

"Commencing at a point on the Wapsipinicon River, between Sections 34 and 35 in Township 81 north, Range 4 east; thence eastwardly down that river to a point '~here the section line between Sections 14 and 15 in Township 80 north, Range 5 east, crosses said river ; thence north on the section line to the northeast corner of Section 10 in Township 81 north, Range 5 east; thence west on the section line to the northwest corner of Section 11 in Township 81 north, Range 4 east; thence south on the section line to the place of beginning."

The first election was held on the first Monday in April, 1856, at the tone schoolhouse "on the east side of Brophy's Creek."

These new townships necessitated changes in the boundaries of Lyons, Comanche, Center and De Witt Townships, which were accordingly modified to correspond with the lines of Center so far as they were changed by its erection.

On the 15th of March, 1856, Washington Township was organized. Its boundaries were those of Congressional Township 82 north, Range 4 east. The first election was held the first Monday in April, at the house of Joel King.

The boundaries of De Witt, Waterford and Center were modified by its organization, and they were changed accordingly. However, by action had March 11, on petition, all those sections which had been taken from the township of De Witt were returned to and again included in its boundaries.

On the 20th of February, 1857, the town of Hampshire was organized:

"Beginning on the range line between Ranges 6 and 7 east, on the section line between Sections 12 and 13 in Township 82 north, Range 6 east; thence west to the range line between Ranges 5 and 6 east; thence south to the southwest corner of Section 6 in Township 81 north, Range 6 east; thence east on the section line between Sections 6 and 7 to the range line between Ranges 6 and 7 east; thence north on said range line to the place of beginning."

The first election was held on the first Monday in April, 1857, at the Hess schoolhouse.

This necessarily caused a change in one boundaries of Lyons and Clinton Townships, out of whose territory the township was taken, and their boundaries were changed accordingly.

On the 11th of March, 1858, on petition of citizens, Congressional Township 82 north, Range 3 east, was taken from the townships of De Witt and Bloomfield and organized as a township, and called Welton. The first election was held at the Walrod schoolhouse, on the first Monday in April, 1858.

By this organization, the six original townships at the organization had, by the increased population and its demands for convenience in the dispatch of business, been more than trebled, now. numbering twenty civil townships. This number has since been increased to twenty-one by the organization of Lincoln Township in 187, and which was taken from Clinton Township.

Judge McNeil's term of service as County Judge continued until December 31, 1859, when he was succeeded by John C. Polley, who performed the duties of the office until December 31, 1860, when the powers and duties of the office were vested in a Board of Supervisors, elected by and sent from each civil township.

The first meeting of the Board of Supervisors convened at De Witt, January 7, 1861. The following were the members of that body:

Berlin, John A. Hyde; Bloomfield, Robert Williams; Brookfield, John

S. Maxwell; Camanche, J. V. Van Epps; Center, J. Henry Smith; Clinton, J. Van De Venter; Deep Creek, J. McLellan; Dc Witt, John F. Homer; Eden, H. B. Millard; Elk River, George A. Griswold; Hampshire, Elbert Hammond; Liberty, James Cummings; Lyons, Norman Boardman; Olive, James Vance; Orange, A. S. Allison; Sharon, Arthur Lillie; Spring Rock, S. H. Rogers; Washington, Patrick Lawler; Waterford, John Crouch; Welton, R. J. Crouch.

Norman Boardman was elected Chairman, and Loring Wheeler, Clerk.

Having thus followed down the chain of this branch of the history as fully as the limits of the work will permit, and to the inauguration of the "Supervisor system," -we shall only incidentally refer to their record as it becomes identified with events or measures of a public character. It may be to some a chapter of dry detail, but to the thoughtful reader the story of the wonderful development of the county is graphically pictured because truthfully done, by the extracts from the musty records of the doings of the people's representatives.

SOURCE: Allen, L. P., History of Clinton County, Iowa, Containing A History of the County, it's Cities, Towns, Etc. and Biographical Sketches of Citizens, War Record of it's Volunteers in the late Rebellion, General and Local Statistics, Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent Men, History of the Northwest, History of Iowa, Map of Clinton County, Constitution of the United States, Miscellaneous Matters, &c, &c., Illustrated. Chicago IL; Western Historical Company, 1879

 

 

 

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