HAZEL GREEN TOWNSHIP
On the second day of March, 1857, township 87, range
5, was established and called Hazel Green. The territory within its
limits was separated from Union Township. The County Court appointed as
commissioners to call an election, C. L. Flint, Edmund Barnes and Eri
Richardson; they were also named as judges of said election.
Hazel Green Township is bounded on the north by Milo, on the east by
Union, and on the west by Adams townships; its southern line is on Linn
County. Its land is covered with a heavy bed of drift, upon which a soil
unexcelled in the Mississippi Valley has been developed during the ages
of the world's changes. Buck Creek and its branches drain the undulating
prairie, and near the center of the township the creek's channel is well
defined, but it is a mere shallow ditch in the prairie. Under the
conditions as stated, Hazel Green has developed into a community of
fine, highly productive farms, splendidly improved and good to look
upon. The citizens are progressive here and have modern farm buildings,
good fences, roads, bridges and schoolhouses.
James H. Squires and S. S. Squires left the State of New York in 1852
and settled in this community. The same year Thomas J. Squires arrived
here but returned to Jones County in 1853. The year 1867 found him back
in the township on section 23, where the other Squires settled.
Preston Midkiff was here as early as 1853 coming from what is now West
Christopher L. Flint, a native of the State of New York, moved to Hazel
Green in the spring of 1853 and was in charge of Hazel Green postoffice.
The office has long since been discontinued. It was established June 18,
1856, and mail was brought from Marion. John P. and William P. Dickey
were successors to Flint. Mr. Flint also served as justice of the peace.
He was one of Delaware County's ablest men. He was a man of large
business capacity and at one time owned over thirteen hundred acres of
land. His son, Charles L. Flint, was born here June 1, 1854. Mrs. Flint
was matron of the Iowa Building at the World's Fair—Philadelphia—in
Other early settlers were Bradley Crozier and James Sheppard, who
located on section 1, in 1853, and a man by the name of Shellhammer
settled on a tract of land not far from Flint's, on the north.
James Wilson arrived in Hazel Green Township in 1854.
Gustavus Merriam was a settler of 1855, coming from Massachusetts with
his family in that year. He long resided on section 26.
Jacob Mangold, a worthy pioneer of this township, was born in
Switzerland and came to the county in 1855. He entered land on section
33 and resided there many years, a respected citizen of the community.
R. W. Morse settled here in 1856. He was a local minister of the United
John Chrystal was born in Scotland, immigrated to the United States in
1856 and settled in Delhi Township on section 35. He removed from Delhi
to Hazel Green Township in 1864 and located on a line tract of 320 acres
on section 8. His brother, David, who came soon after, was an ardent
republican until his death, September 4, 1910.
Another early settler was Thomas Guthrie, who arrived in the county in
1856. A son, William S., served in the First Cavalry during the Civil
war, and Albert A. in the Fourth. Thomas L. was a member of Company K,
Twenty-first Iowa Infantry.
Joseph A. Thomas was one of the largest landowners of Hazel Green
Township. He was born in Connecticut and came to Delaware County in 1862
and bought 160 acres of land on section 16, Hazel Green Township.
Previously he had driven a flock of 950 sheep from Michigan to Iowa, the
largest flock except one in Iowa at that time. He kept this flock for
seven years. He accumulated large tracts of land both in Hazel Green and
Adams townships, being able to buy a farm almost yearly from the sheep
industry, general farming and dairying. Some years ago he erected the
Thomas creamery on land which eventually became part of the townsite of
Ryan. He was also postmaster at that enterprising little village and a
stockholder in the bank.
Newton Green was one of the early settlers of Delaware County, coming
from Maryland in 1846 with his family, a member of which was Newton
Green, Jr. They settled in Union Township on a farm and there the elder
Green died in 1883. The younger man in 1868 purchased land in section
24, Hazel Green Township, on which he moved in that year. He enlisted in
Company K, Twenty-first Iowa Infantry, and was a good soldier.
The birth of Sarah Shellhammer, in the spring of 1853, was the first in
the community; that of Matthew Sheppard, October 15, 1853, was the
The first school taught in Hazel Green Township was opened by Mrs.
Edward Pierce, at her home, in the winter of 1858-59. A schoolhouse was
built in District No. 1 the following summer.
A. R. Dickey started a small general store at the hamlet of Hazel Green
in 1878 and soon thereafter had a creamery in operation in a small way.
The Presbyterian Church was organized in Milo Township about 1863 and
was immediately transferred to Hazel Green Township. Services were first
held in the Guthrie schoolhouse, where the sacrament of the Lord's
Supper was administered in the summer of 1864. The first members were
Thomas and Mrs. Elizabeth Guthrie, Alexander and Jean Wilson, John
McCullom and Jean McCullom and John Wilson. The organization dissolved
May 1, 1870, and from it sprang the Congregational Society, organized
that year by Rev. Alvah Day. In 1874, a church edifice was built and
dedicated in 1875.