HONEY CREEK TOWNSHIP
On petition of George W. Stewart and O. S. Boggs,
township 90, range 5, was created September 16, 1858, by merging
Coldwater, erected in 1849, and York, erected in 1852. and naming it
Honey Creek. The election to complete the organization was ordered to be
held at the house of Caspar Dunham.
Honey Creek Township lies in the northern tier and is bounded on the
west by Richland Township, on the south by Delaware Township, on the
east by Elk and on the north by Clayton County. Honey Creek, with its
tributary, Lindsay Creek, drains the larger part of its territory. In
the west half of section 35, Honey Creek wanders in a broad valley
bounded by rocky cliffs twenty-five feet high. The township is
generously supplied with gravel, particularly along the valleys of the
creeks. This is a good farming community and as far as the eye can
reach, fine modern homes make a vista which is indicative of the wealth
and progress of their owners.
William Bennett was not only the first settler in this township, but
also the first person to take up a habitation and assume the customs of
the white man in Delaware County. Bennett was a hunter and trapper and,
in the winter of 1834-35 built a cabin in section 35, on the banks of
Honey Creek. In the following summer he and his family occupied their
new home and took up the course of life that comes to the pioneer. His
wife, Elizabeth, was a daughter of William Eads, and the abortive site
for the county's capital was named Elizabeth, in honor of Mrs. Bennett,
having been the first white woman to settle in Delaware County. However,
the Bennett family left the county in the spring of 1838, and for that
reason futile efforts were made to wrest from Bennett the distinction of
being the first settler. He certainly was in the community long enough
to become acclimated at least and to acquire a residence for political
purposes. Bennett with his family returned to Eads Grove in the fall of
1840, but only remained until the summer of 1841, when his restless
spirit prompted him to seek other scenes of activity. He thereupon went
over into Buchanan County, built a cabin on the "Wapsie" and was the
first white settler, so it is said, in that county. On April 16, 1842,
he laid out a town, employing Joel Bailey as the surveyor. This town he
called Democracy. The name was afterward changed to Quasqueton, and here
Bennett built a mill in 1843; that same year he again moved, this time
The pioneer, Bennett, had not long been gone, in the early part of 1838,
when William Eads and family took up their residence in the cabin left
vacant by the son-in-law. This cabin was in the timber, a beautiful
tract of woodland, which afterwards became known as Eads' Grove. It was
here that another son-in-law of Eads, John Hinkle, located with his
family about this time. Hinkle later settled further north, near the
site of York, in what afterwards was called Hinkle's Grove. William Eads
was quite prominent in the early days of the county and put forth every
effort to establish the county seat at Eads’ Grove. He accomplished his
aim but his triumph lasted only a short time and the fruits of victory
were wrested from him.
B. T. Lonsberry entered land in the vicinity of Eads' Grove in 1839, on
April 4, and on the 12th Eleazer Frentress entered land there, which was
long occupied by the family. Frentress also entered land at Hinkle’s
Grove. This same year Robert B. Hutson, John Clark and Michael H. Hingst
settled near Eads’ Grove.
Daniel Brown, said to have been the first blacksmith in the county,
located at Eads’ Grove in 1840. Among others who sought homes here in
the year just named were Robert Gamble and William Evans.
In 1841 Alexander Brown and Morris Reed settled near Eads’ Grove.
D. H. Thornburg was a settler here when there was not a dozen families
in the whole county. He came in 1841 from Ohio and settled in Honey
R. N. Steele was a native of New York, where he married Elizabeth A.
Alger in 1837. With his wife he arrived in Delaware County in 1843 and
settled on section 1, Honey Creek Township, on a farm consisting of 200
acres, which he brought to a high state of cultivation. This was his
home for many years. His son, Hiram E. Steele, was a veteran of the War
of the rebellion.
Derastus J. and O. E. Noble came with their parents from the State of
New York in 1845 and located on section 1, in this township.
One of the early settlers in Honey Creek Township was H. B. Alger. He
was a native of New York and emigrated to the West in 1845, locating
that year on section 1, Honey Creek Township.
George W. Martin and James Martin, with their parents, left the Buckeye
state in 1845 and after many days in traveling they reached Delaware
County, where they settled on section 26, in Honey Creek Township. The
Martins were among the leading and most prosperous farmers of this
George H. Bliss removed from the State of Illinois to Iowa in 1849 and
settled on a farm consisting of forty-seven acres, in section 33, Honey
Creek Township. John Bliss came with his parents at the same time.
Orin S. Boggess, a native of New York, immigrated to Illinois and in
1850 arrived in Honey Creek Township, probably settling on section 28,
where his widow and two children resided for some time.
J. H. Clark came to Delaware County in 1853, where he married Esther A.
Howland in 1865.
Selden F. Bush also came in the '50s. He was a native of Herkimer
County, New York, and settled on section 4 in 1853, where he lived many
years and improved a fine farm.
Lewis G. Clute came to Iowa from the State of New York in September,
1853, and first rented land in Honey Creek Township. He was married in
1859 and in 1862 bought a farm.
James H. Barr located on section 6 in 1855. William Barr and family
settled here in 1856.
George W. Belknap, son of Joseph Belknap, was born in Edgewood, Honey
Creek Township, in 1855, married Mary Worley in 1874, and located in
William Parker settled in Honey Creek Township in 1855. He entered land
on section 20, which he improved and made his home for a number of
years. In 1858 Mr. Parker married Lucretia T. Larrabee.
Wallace Johnson, with his family, settled in this township in 1856,
coming from the State of New York.
J. E. Eldridge settled on a farm in section 6, in June, 1856. He married
Augusta Fitzsimmons in 1857. Mr. Eldridge was a veteran of the Civil
J. J. Eaton came with his parents to this township and settled on
section 13. He enlisted in the Civil war and was honorably discharged in
1864. He became a very good citizen.
N. R. Nichols, an early settler, left his home in the East for the
prairies of Iowa and located on section 18, in this township, in 1857.
Mr. Nichols died in 1864.
John M. Coolidge was born in Honey Creek Township, March 5, 1857. He was
the eldest son of Zena E. Coolidge, one of the oldest settlers of this
township and one who took a lively interest in all that pertains to the
improvement of the county in which he lives.
John F. Graham was born in Nova Scotia. He immigrated to this county in
1858 and settled on section 17. Mr. Graham became one of the prominent
farmers of his community and served as a member of the board of
Truman R. McKee was one of the quasi pioneers of Delaware County, having
settled in this township in 1859, selecting a tract of land on section
20, where he improved a farm of 120 acres. Mr. McKee was a veteran of
the Civil war and a noted drummer.
DEFUNCT TOWN OF YORK
In the year 1851 George W. Stewart, who had settled
on section 9 in 1855, laid out a town on part of his land and named the
"future great" York. On the site was a house which he had built the year
of his arrival, and in this modest structure he lived and opened a small
general store in 1855. In December of that year, a post office was
established and Mr. Stewart was placed in charge. He also entertained
travelers who desired accommodations. At one time the place contained
three or four mercantile concerns and the hope was entertained that York
one day would grow to larger proportions, but the Davenport & St. Paul
Railroad came to Edgewood and blasted the hopes of all here, and the
Town of York is now but a memory. In 1873 a schoolhouse was built near
the edge of town, but in 1875 the post office was discontinued. To the
south of York, on section 33, is Thorpe, a station on the Chicago Great
The greater part of this town lies in Clayton County. The place got its
origin from the settlements made here and in the vicinity by people who
came from the far eastern states. Among these were Lorenzo Mulliken and
Daniel B. Noble, natives of the State of New York. They located in the
edge of Turkey timber, on section 1, in the spring of 1842. In a short
while they had for neighbors Henry W. Lyon and family, who moved to
Eads' Grove the following spring.
Nelson Steele and family came in the fall of 1843 and in 1844, Samuel
Mulliken, father of Lorenzo, and his family became a part of the colony.
By this time the locality became known as the "Yankee Settlement.” Elder
N. W. Bixby and wife arrived in 1846. He was a clergyman of the Freewill
Baptist Church and both the Bixbys held religious services in the homes
of the pioneers. It is said Mrs. Ruby Bixby could preach more
interestingly and strenuously than her husband and was much ''smarter”.
R. J. Bixby, now one of the most prominent citizens of Edgewood, was a
son of these excellent pioneers.
The first house erected in the future village was put up by Joseph S.
Belknap in the spring of 1849. In this building he kept a store and also
made his residence. He was the founder of "Yankee Settlement," or
Edgewood. At the time there was only one settler near the place on the
Clayton County side-John Gibson, who arrived in 1846.
The "Yankee Settlement'' postoffice was established on section 1,
January 12, 1848, and Bohan Noble was the postmaster.
In 1852, Mr. Belknap opened his store, the first in the village. He also
kept tavern. Mr. Belknap built several houses in 1853 and 1854, and in
one of them, which was on the Clayton County side, he opened a store and
moved there in 1854, previously selling his interests in Delaware County
to Harrison Gifford.
A Congregational Church was organized and a building erected in 1854.
The first pastor was Rev. H. N. Gates. Rev. A. Graves came to this
charge in 1857 and was followed, in 1862, by Rev. L. P. Matthews. Within
a few years no regular pastor was engaged and the church was attended by
a minister from Manchester.
The first schoolhouse was built in 1855. The first hotel was kept by
The name was changed from "Yankee Settlement'' to Edgewood when the
Davenport & St. Paul Railroad Company made the place a station on its
line. Its depot is on the Clayton County side, also the postoffice,
churches, most of the business houses and schoolhouse. On the Delaware
side there are 260 people; on the Clayton side, 2,300 people.