January 6, 1851, the County Commissioners' Court
ordered the division of South Fork Township as then constituted,
separating there from that part of it lying on the southwest side of the
Maquoketa River. Township 87, range 4, was thereupon created and named
Buck Creek, the first election to be held at the schoolhouse near Aaron
Blanchard's. Later the name was changed to Union.
This township lies in the southern tier and borders on Jones County. On
the north is Delhi Township, on the west Hazel Green and on the east
South Fork. The waters of the Maquoketa and its tributaries drain the
land and afford ample quantities for stock the year round. Plenty of
good soil is found here, which early attracted settlers. Today the
township has many fine farms and the prevailing high prices of their
generous yields of food stuffs give the surroundings an aspect of
prosperity that is really substantial. Union has less area than any
township in the county and it is the smallest in population. The absence
of any town or village within its confines may, in a measure, account
The first person to choose land in that part of Delaware County set off
as Union Township was Samuel P. Whitaker, who located here in 1839.
Richard Waller, Joseph Ogilby, Ira A. Blanchard and Orlean Blanchard
located in the township in 1840. Nelson Main, Silas Main, Charles Roff,
_____ Green, William Robinson and Aaron Blanchard were not far behind
those just mentioned. L. D. Cross arrived in 1842, and for many years
lived on section 33.
Robert Hogg entered land in this township in 1846. He built a cabin, in
which he had a small stock of merchandise for barter and sale. Mr. Hogg
was a gunsmith and was frequently called upon by the Indians to mend
their rifles. A daughter, Mrs. I. C. Bacon, was born in this house in
1847. Her husband, I. C. Bacon, came to the township in the fall of
1853. A son, I. C. Bacon, now owns the homestead.
Nicholas Wilson was a settler of Union Township of 1849. He became one
of the prominent farmers and owned several hundred acres of land.
Henry W. Winch was a settler of 1850 and lived on section 32 in this
township, where he held various local offices.
James H. Hogg was born in Delaware County and came to this township in
1850. He was engaged in business at Grove Creek a number of years and
also was postmaster five years.
William Danford settled in Union Township in 1852. He bought 200 acres
of land, on which he erected a log house. Mr. Danford planted a
cottonwood tree in 1853 that is now five feet in diameter at the base.
Amos Richardson built a frame house in the '50s, opposite the present
Buck Creek Church. During the Civil war this house was the distributing
point for mail of families living in that part of the county. Mr.
Richardson also built before the Civil war the schoolhouse still
standing near the Buck Crock Church.
Christopher Dolley, a native of Prussia, immigrated to the United States
in 1843 and spent the winter in Chicago. After a residence of ten years
in Cook County he came to Delaware County in the spring of 1853 and
located on a farm in Union Township, where he died in 1888. With him at
the time was his son Godfrey, who enlisted in 1861 in the Twelfth Iowa
Infantry. After the war he returned to the Delaware County farm and
married Malinda Robinson, a daughter of William and Olive Robinson, who
came to Delaware County in 1846.
Marion E. Davis was brought here in 1854 by his parents, who settled mi
a farm in this township.
Benjamin Keith, Jr., settled here in 1854 and lived on section 6. His
son. George, now lives on the land entered by him. Peter Keith came in
1851 and lived on section 7.
Christopher Stanger left the State of Illinois in 1854 for Iowa and
settled in Union Township. In the following year a calamity overtook his
family when two children ate wild parsnips. The untimely death of the
little ones cast a gloom over the whole community.
George H. Dutton came from Washington County, Ohio, to Delaware County,
Iowa, in the spring of 1856, bringing a young wife with him. He
possessed but limited means but what he had he invested in a tract of
forty acres of land on Buck Creek, in Union Township, settled on it and
went to work. He afterward removed to Milo Township, where he owned a
farm lying on sections 34 and 35.
James Milroy settled in this community in 1856, buying land at the high
price of $12 an acre. A son, James Milroy, still owns thirty acres of
the original place, and a grandson, John W. Milroy, eighty acres.
Alexander Johnson became a pioneer farmer of Union Township in 1856. He
bought 160 acres of land, upon which six of his children are now living.
It is said that during the recruiting days of the Civil war. Union
Township furnished to the Union armies seven men over her quota.
The Freewill Baptists built the first house of worship in Union Township
in the early days of the settlement, and here both Baptists and
Methodists worshipped in harmony of spirit and delectability of soul.
The Methodists organized a society of that creed in the log schoolhouse,
built in the '50s near the Buck Creek Church. They erected a church
about one and one-half miles north of their present building and, after
using it about twenty years, erected the present Buck Creek Church. L.
B. Stanger, a member of the board of trustees and for many years
superintendent of the Methodist Episcopal Sunday School, made a bequest
to the church of $600, which was paid at his death in 1907 and used for
permanent improvements. Mr. Stanger was an ideal citizen and is greatly
missed in the church and community. This is one of the very best rural
churches in the state, employing a resident pastor at a salary of
$1,200. The membership is now over one hundred. The present pastor is
Rev. G. J. Chalice, who was appointed in September, 1914.
The first schoolhouse in Union Township was a log structure, which stood
three-fourths of a mile west of Hogg's store. The second was also built
of logs and stood across from and below the Buck Creek Church.