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History of Fayette County, Iowa,

A history of the County, its Cities, Towns Etc.

Page 551


 Center Township

" The east half of the southeast quarter of Section 15, Township 93 north of Range 9 west, was entered by Frederick Boyes April 12, 1855. J. N. B. Elliot became the owner in 1868, and June 6, 1872, he deeded the right of way to the B., C., R. & M. Railroad Company, and sold the remainder to the Randall Brothers in the Fall of 1873. In June, 1874, the line of Randalia was laid out on this tract by Pitney F. Randall, Josie D. Randall, Alonzo Randall and Andrew J. F. Randall, proprietors; survey made by P. F. Randall. The plat was filed for record Dec. 9, 1874, at 11 o'clock P. M.

A. J. F. Randall commenced the erection of a two-story building on Lot 22, Block 10, First Street, in July, 1874. It was designed for a store on the first floor, and for a dwelling house on the second. It was completed and the upper floor occupied in September following, and the next year the store was filled and occupied by C. Hurlbut, of Fayette. This was the first building erected on the town plat. It is now occupied as a store and post office by Randall & Underwood.

The second building was the Randalia Hotel on First street, Lot 36, Block 11, by Napoleon B. Underwood, who commenced it about the 15th of October; completed and opened it as a hotel Nov. 15, 1874. It is now owned and occupied by John M. Proctor.

The first warehouse was erected in November, 1874, by Gilchrest & Co., of McGregor; G. N. Levally built the second one in the Winter of 1874-75; the third was built by Bassett, Huntin & Co., of McGregor, in the Fall of 1875, and the fourth by Cameron Bros., in 1876.

The railroad was completed to this point from the north, in August, 1873; first Station Agent, A. J. F. Randall; present Station Agent, C. E. Brainard.

The Post Office was established in October, 1874, A. J. F. Randall, Postmaster. The first blacksmith was A. C. Shiery.

Randalia, in July, 1878, has two general stores, one grocery and boot and shoe store, one drug store, two hotels, one harness shop, one milliner, one dealer in lumber and agricultural implements, one meat market, one blacksmith shop, two saloons and four warehouses.

The amount of shipments by railroad from this point for the year ending February 28, 1878, is as follows: 100,00 bushels of wheat; 198,462 pounds of dressed pork; 32 cars of live hogs; 7,950 dozen of eggs; 8 cars of oats; 11,740 pounds of green hides; 8,700 pounds of butter; 1,350 pounds of tallow; 60,380 pounds of flax seed; 93,810 pounds of timothy seed; 8,960 pounds of poultry.

Rogers' Addition on the south consists of Blocks 1, 2 and 3, and is owned by J. C. Darnell, who resides near the village.


Randalia is in Independent School District No. 3, Center Township. The school house was built on the northwest corner of Elm and Second streets in 1876, and the first school in it, which was the first held in the town, was opened in the Fall of that year; Miss Sophia Smith, teacher.


The first service in the new town was by Rev. Mr. Moulton, who held religious services in the school house soon after it was finished in 1876.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Randalia was re-organized in the Fall of 1877, with seventeen members, among whom were Moses L. Phelps, Mrs. Emeline Phelps, S. Snyder, Mrs. S. Snyder, Miss Emma Hill, Mrs. Caffyn, Mr. and Mrs. Knapp, Mrs. Coates, Emma Hubbard, Rev. E. Hartsough and Mrs. Hartsough. Mr. Hartsough is Class Leader. Elder Lyman Hull preaches to this society once in two weeks in the school house.
The first Baptist Church was incorporated Feb. 1, 1878; corporators, J. P. Hultz, William Pallings, P. Odekirk, D. Helmer, Mrs. D. Helm, Mrs. J. P. Hultz, Delia Odekirk and Mrs. Barbara Riffenburg. In June, 1878, the society laid the foundation for a house of worship on Fourth street, Block 3, Lot 3. Rev. Mr. Perry, of West Union, is the present Pastor, and holds religious services once in two weeks in the school house.

Center Township

The first settlement of Township 93, Range 9, dates from 1850. Thomas Woodle selected a location near Gamble's Grove in 1849, soon after the Indians were removed. He was accompanied by Thomas Douglas and Thomas B. Sturges, who located near him. Woodle entered his land on Section 13, January 13, 1850, and settled on it the following Spring. Phillip Herzog entered land in this township in 1850. Thomas D. Robertson entered in 1851; J. C. Higginson, Robert Alexander and Harrison Augur, in 1852; John Miller, John T. Webb, David S. Wilson, Addison F. Stillwell, George S. Murray, William S. Murray, Reuben C. Hale, Jacob Snider, Lyman Morgan, Allen Sparks, Hezeheal B. Bussey, George Clouse, Laurena E. Barber, Jacob D. Follmer, Owen Sykes and others, in 1853; Abraham Bare, Thomas J. Lewellen, Caleb Potwin, James H. Proctor, Stephen D. Helms, Otis Baker, Alarsen Hamlin, Robert S. Adams, William L. Coleman, Elijah Hartsough and others, in 1854. John Bare, Christopher Bare, Cornelius Frye, Clark Roberts, B. Sykes and others came in 1855.

In 1852, Thomas Woodle sold his place to Frederick Dunham.

The first white child born in the township was D. Marion Hartsough, October 28, 1854. The first wedding, says Mr. Dooley, was probably that of Eli Mulnix and Desdemona Dunham in 1853. The first death was Mary, daughter of Martin Dunham, in 1852. The first school house was built about 1859, in District No. 1, and is known as the "Dunham School House." The first and only church was built by the Methodists in the south part of the town in 1877, and is called the Fairview Church. The first sermon was delivered by Rev. H. S. Brunson, date not remembered.

Political Record

There is no record of the order of the County Court creating the Township of Center, as stated in the General History. Township 93, Range 9, was created a civil township in 1856, by Judge Newcomb, who named it "Fremont," although he had made another township with the same name not a month before. Since that portion of this work was written, the Township Clerk, J. D. Dooley, Esq., after several days' search, succeeded in finding the first records of the township which commence with a copy of a precept from the County Court as follows:

To Any Constable of Fayette County:
You are hereby notified, that the County Court of Fayette County has framed a new township called Center Township, being Township No. 98 north of Range 9 west. An organizing election to be held on the first Monday in April, 1858, at the house of H. S. Brunson, at which election there will be elected three Township Trustees; a Township Clerk; two Justices of the Peace and two Constables and Supervisors. A vote will also be taken for School Fund Commissioner. You are required to serve and return this warrant as required by law, etc.
Given under my hand this 13th day of February, 1858. Signed, J. W. Rogers, County Judge.

Seventeen voters assembled at the time and place appointed. Elijah Hartsough, David Bare and John M. Proctor were elected Judges of Election, and James Orr and John Dunham, Clerks, who were sworn by C. A. Heywood, Deputy Sheriff. The township was then organized by the election E. Hartsough, David Bare and Thomas J. Lewellen, Trustees; James Orr, Clerk; H. S. Brunson, Justice of the Peace; J. F. Lyman and S. Snider, Constables.

Another election was held in October, when Eli Mulnix was elected Clerk; Eli Mulnix and Harrison August, Justices of the Peace; E. Hartsough, J. M. Proctor and David E. Snider, Trustees."


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