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Berlin - Grant Township

The following history is from the Clinton Herald, July 4, 1976:

Berlin originally was an acreage in Olive Township, but became a separate unit in 1856.  Large county ditches enabled much of the low land to be drained and reclaimed.

The township which did not have any villages, carried the name of Berlin until 1918.  At that time, residents, in a fit of World War I patriotic fervor, decided to throw out the German name as a result of a special election held on Nov. 15th, the area became known as Grant Township.

(Berlin Twp. was established 1856; previously part of Olive;
renamed Grant during WWI)

An article in the Oct. 11, 1918 issue of the Clinton Advertiser states, "The people of Berlin township have changed the name of "Berlin Cemetery" to "Pine Hill Cemetery," and will change the name of the township as soon as a suitable name can be decided upon."


1925 Atlas of Clinton County Grant Twp. Farmer's Directory



Berlin was formerly included in the township of Olive, and was erected into a new township in February, 1856.  The first election was held on the first Monday in April, 1856, in Spark's Schoolhouse.

Among the oldest settlers of this township may be named Thomas Flathers, the oldest settler, who resides in the northeastern part of the township.  Mr. Flathers has been County Surveyor and has represented the township in the Board of Supervisors.  Michael Hughes and his sons Richard and Michael L., Joseph Russell, Matthias Hoffman, who was recently killed by the overturning of his wagon while returning to his home from Maquoketa, Charles L. Sherwood, who fill the important office of Drainage Commissioner for one or more terms and did much for the township in the way of county ditches.  He has removed to Sac County, Iowa.  W. Hiersche and his son Rudolph, G. M. Gohlmann, the largest resident land owner in the township, having entered and now owning Section 13.  An amusing story is told of the trip to Iowa City, where this entry was made.  Mr. Gohlmann and Mr. Henningsen, the present County Treasurer, left Sabula for Iowa City to enter land, and the strife was who should first reach the land office.  The Gohlmanns had a crack team, while our county official had a poor plug of a horse.  Before reaching Tipton, the Gohlmanns were far in advance and stopped for the night, thinking the race was won.  Mr. Henningsen, however, nothing daunted, pushed through the night, and when the Gohlmanns reached the land office they met their competitor coming away from the office, having secured his entry.  It is pleasantly told further that Mr. Henningsen, knowing the section they desired to enter, made choice for his friend of another section, having the pleasure of beating them in the race without prejudice to them.

There were Mr. Correll and his sons Abraham and Daniel, the latter of whom lost his arm at Arkansas Post, and who has been County Recorder for the last two terms; James R. Risley, who has represented the county in the Board of Supervisors; John Hyde, Governor Nowels, and others.

The lands are now mostly owned in small farms, and are occupied by an intelligent and thriving community of farmers.  The market place of this township has been divided between Maquoketa and DeWitt, although now Grand Mound comes in for a portion.

The schoolhouses in this township are excellent, and much attention, given to the education of their children.  Indeed, this has become a stereotyped statement in writing of the townships and cities of Clinton County, where, as one man expressed it, after having made a tour of the South, he would "bet that there were more square feet of floor-room to educate children on in Clinton County than in the whole State of Georgia."

Biographies from the 1879 History of CC by L. P. Allen (pgs 806-808) Names include:

  • John COOK
  • Charles CORNISH
  • Jacob CORRELL
  • Michael DEVINE
  • Joseph KEITH
  • Rudolph HIERSCHE
  • Richard HUGHES
  • G. R. NOWELS
  • George W. PEEK
  • John SMITH
  • William TORPEY.

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.