In March, 1856, S. P.
Mosher and others petitioned the County Court for the erection of a new township, to be composed
of congressional townships 88, range 5, and 88, range 6, and to be known as Pleasant Valley.
The prayer was granted,
but the new organization was called Milo.
The Maquoketa and its
branches drain the undulating prairie land of Milo. The soil is par
excellence for general farming and stock-raising. Splendid homes, highly improved and cultivated farms, modern
outbuildings, good fences, excellent roads, churches, and schoolhouses are in
evidence on every hand. Milo takes a
high place among her sister townships and the group make a county that is hard
to beat in all Iowa.
Joel Bailey was one of
the real pioneers of Delaware County. His first intention
was to settle in South Fork, at or near the present location of Hopkinton, but upon his arrival there in March,
1838, he found the Nicholson family already established on a claim. This
swerved him and his companions. Cyrus and
John Keeler, towards the northwest, and arriving in Milo Township, they
selected land on sections 10 and 15. Here they built a log cabin and broke about
twenty acres of prairie sod. Mr. Bailey then worked during the summer for a Mr.
Belong, in Dubuque County, and in the fall, having raised a patch of wheat and
corn, Bailey and Belong took a load of each to Sage's Mill, on the Maquoketa,
six miles from Dubuque, and had the grain turned into flour and corn meal.
This they peddled in Dubuque, and the flour was the
first to reach Dubuque
from the western settlements. The next fall Mr. Bailey raised a crop of wheat on
his own claim. He took a wagon load of the grain, or forty bushels, to Sage's
Mill, the wagon being drawn by three yoke of oxen. He reached his destination in
two days, and then to his consternation learned the water was low and that
several "grists" were ahead of him. While waiting for his turn he worked in the miller's blacksmith shop and thus paid for his "keep." Getting his flour, he again went to Dubuque
and disposed of it, procuring necessary groceries, clothing and other things.
This flour was the first to reach an outside
market from Delaware County.
Mr. Bailey was for
more than fifty years identified with the growth, prosperity and improvement of Delaware County.
He was born in Otsego
York, and was left an
orphan at the age of nine years. At
the age of fifteen he was taught the trade
of making gun barrels. He also had an opportunity to learn surveying. In the fall of 1835 he
left the scenes of his childhood and traveling toward the setting sun, landed in Milwaukee
when that city was scarcely a respectable hamlet. Here he boarded through the
winter, at the first hotel, kept by a half -breed and his squaw wife. In the
spring of 1836, attaching himself to a party of Government engineers young
Bailey spent six months surveying on Rock
River, in Illinois. In the spring of
1837 he came to Iowa with a party of
Government engineers and assisted in surveying the south half of Delaware County and parts of Buchanan
and Dubuque. In January, 1838, he
returned to Milwaukee. The following
spring, in company with John and Cyrus Keeler, who were from Delaware
York, he returned to Delaware
County, Iowa, where the party made
claims and built a cabin on the south fork of the Maquoketa River, at what is now known
as Bailey's Ford.
Judge Bailey was
active in the organization of the county, was one of the committee who selected
the location for Delhi as the county seat
and was the first county surveyor and judge of the County Court. He married Arabella Coffin, daughter of Judge Clement Coffin, of
Coffin's Grove, in 1844. Their eldest child, Clement James, was the first white
child born in Milo Township. In 1849, young
Bailey was in the Government survey of Shell Rock and Cedar rivers in Iowa, and in 1850 made an
overland trip to California, returning in 1851 by
way of Panama. As school fund
commissioner, he sold most of the school lands in the county. Again he was in
the Government survey in 1854, this time on Root and Canyon rivers, in Minnesota, and in 1855 in the
north part of Wisconsin on the headwaters of
River. In the spring of
1855 he was appointed postmaster at Bailey's Ford, then a stopping place on the
stage line from Dubuque to Independence. After that time he
held the office of county treasurer, county recorder and county judge and twice
held the office of mayor at Manchester.
In 1841, Leverett Rexford built a log cabin near the Bailey home,
which was later inhabited by John Lillibridge. After
his work was completed he helped Mr. Bailey build a new cabin just north of his
first one, which long remained
The Legislature, in
1843, appointed Joel Bailey, O. A. Olmstead and Robert W. Green to locate and
mark a territorial road, commencing at a point in Buchanan County, thence by the county
seat (Delhi) in Delaware County, to intersect the
road from Marion, Linn County, to Dubuque County, at or near
July 7, 1845, Clement
Coffin, Henry Baker and Aaron Sullivan were appointed to view and mark a road
"from Joel Bailey's to Baker and Coffin's Grove, thence westerly to intersect
the territorial road from Buchanan County to Delhi,'' and Joel Bailey was
appointed to survey the road.
About the year 1847 Leverett Rexford, one of the early settlers of this
township, began the construction of a dam and sawmill on Spring Branch, near
Bailey's Ford. The dam was nearly completed and the frame work of the mill ready
to raise when he died, in the fall of 1848. John W.
Clark purchased the frame and machinery, removed it onto the Maquoketa at Hartwick, where he built a dam and erected a mill in the
spring of 1849.
Jane and Eliza Scott,
whose home was near Delhi, upon returning to
their employment at the county seat, in the spring of 1853, attempted to ford
Spring Branch, a mile above Bailey's, but the water was so high that their horse
and wagon were swept into the "deep hole" and the horse was drowned. The
current carried one of the girls safely to shore, but the other was drawn into
the eddy but was finally rescued by her sister, who succeeded in reaching her
with a pole and drawing her to shore. One of the girls reached Bailey's cabin,
but was so exhausted she could not for some time explain the situation. As soon
as she made herself understood, Mrs. Bailey left her and hastened to the
locality where the other girl was expected to be found. On her way she met John Lillibridge and they together carried the insensible
girl from where they found her to Mr. Lillibridge's
horse and placing the limp body on the animal's back, she was conveyed to the
Bailey home, where both the unfortunate girls were given every attention and
later taken to Delhi.
The first stone
schoolhouse in Delaware County was erected in 1853,
near Bailey's Ford. Some years later it was destroyed by fire.
There were many
families settled in Milo Township in the later '40s and
early '50s, but only a few of the names of these brave, industrious men and
women are available for the purposes of this work. However, those at hand are
John Wood was a native
of Ohio and removed with his parents to Illinois when two years of
age. He became a resident of Delaware County in 1845 and in 1861
enlisted in the Second Iowa Cavalry.
David Conner was one
of the old settlers of Delaware County, coming here in 1846.
William Crozier was a Buckeye by birth and came to Illinois and from there to Delaware County in 1846, settling in Milo Township. He was a veteran of
the Civil war and a member of the Freewill Baptist Church.
John Clark, it was
said, was the fourth settler of Milo Township, taking up his
location here on a farm in 1849, at the time there were but five families in the
county. He married Olive Rexford, in 1841, a daughter of another
John P. Belcher, son
of Miles and Celia T. (Lillibridge) Belcher, left the
State of New
York in 1850 and settled
in Milo Township, entering a tract of
Mark Hamblin removed
from Wisconsin with his wife and
son, Edwin M. Hamblin, to Delaware County in 1851, locating in Milo Township.
Martin Lanning settled
in the township in 1852.
John Emrich belongs in the category of Delaware's pioneers, having
come to the county in 1855.
H. P. Duffy was a
native of Ohio. He married and
immigrated to Illinois, where he resided
until 1854. In the spring of that year he located in Milo Township and became one of its
best farmers. Mr. Duffy left the farm in the spring of 1889 to engage in the
feed business at Manchester, purchasing the feed
store of D. P. Ballard.
J. M. Akers, Kentucky born, moved with his
parents to Indiana about 1827. He
married Miss M. F. Wright, in 1843, and came to Delaware County in 1857, locating in Milo Township. George W. Ennis
moved with his family from New
York to this township in
1853. He was a veteran of the Civil war.
C. P. Dunton lived on section 15 many years. He came to the county
in 1858, enlisted in Company K, Twenty-first Iowa Infantry and was mustered out
in 1865. He now resides at Manchester.
Sealey and Mary Kaster, both natives of Pennsylvania, came to Delaware County in 1854, where he
became a successful farmer. His son, Hiram Kaster, was
given 100 acres of land in Milo Township in 1864, by the
father. On this land Hiram Kaster settled and began
farming. Six years thereafter he purchased forty acres more in the adjoining
section 2. He was a veteran of the Civil war and held various township offices.
He was a member of the Spring Branch
Creamery Company, which was organized in May, 1889.
Golden is situated on
section 31, and is a station on the Illinois Central, which enters the township on that section and
running almost due north, makes its exit on section 6. There are but a
few houses and a general store in the place.