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Transcribed from The History of Hamilton County, 1912, by Barbara Crafton Vulgamott, May, 2002.



THE TOWNSHIPS – HOW AND WHEN ORGANIZED
 

The first election was held in 1852, all of the territory included in both Risley and Yell counties was called Cass township.  There seems to have been no legal authority for the use of this name, but for that matter there was no legal authority for the election and the name Cass township was used, probably, because it pleased those in charge of the election.

In April, 1853, after the organization of Webster county, all of the territory within that county was legally named Washington township.  The following August, the entire southern tier of congressional townships (known as township 86) was detached from Washington township and given the name of Hardin township, and at the same time the next tier north, being township 87, was also detached from Washington and named Webster.  So at the beginning of the year 1854, Webster country was composed of three townships, viz., Washington, composed of the north half of the county; Webster, composed of all congressional townships numbered 87; and Hardin, composed of all congressional township numbered 86.

In 1854, all of that part of Washington township within the present limits of Hamilton county was detached and named Boone, and it included all congressional townships numbered 88 and 89, in ranges 23-24-25 and 26.  About the same time, congressional township 86 and 87, in range 23 and probably also range 24, were detached from Webster and Hardin townships and named Clear Lake.  At the time of the organization of Hamilton county, therefore, its territory was divided into four townships, viz., Boone, Webster, Hardin and Clear Lake. 

In March, 1858, the congressional township 89, range, 23, 24, 25 and 26, was detached from Boone township and named Cass, and thus some six years after the name was first used, it became legally the name of an organized township.

In 1861, the south line of Cass township was moved one-half mile north, and in connection with this action of the board of supervisors, Isaiah Doane tells the following amusing incident:

            “June 17, 1861, there was a proposition presented to the board for removing the south line of Cass township to a little more respectful distance from Webster City, as it was then on the correction line and ran through the city.  There seemed to be a sort of tacit, understanding that the measure would carry, and to the end that no legal laches might ever be found to create litigation, it was suggested that a resolution covering the case should be drawn by an attorney ‘learned in the law.’  Accordingly, one George R. Ammond, then with Jacob Skinner, was called in and ‘retained’ for the job.  After due deliberation and a look of great sapiency, he dashed off the following resolution, the adoption of which was moved by Mr. Boak:

                        “ ‘Resolved, That all that part of Hamilton county, Iowa, lying half a mile north of the correction line in said county shall be known as, and shall constitute, the township of Cass.’

“When the question was open for discussion, the writer, with his characteristic want of reverence for superior talents or position, raised the point that the resolution, strictly construed, would not give Cass township an territory; that if, as intended, it cut off all territory within less than a half mile of the correction line, it would as effectually cut off all territory lying more than a half mile from the correction line, and that thus the township would be reduced to an imaginary line half a mile from, and running parallel with, the correction line.  This construction was opposed and ridiculed with much spirit by the young attorney; but a part of the members agreed with the objector and a part thought the resolution sufficiently explicit; hence the discussion became animated, and quite a number of the professional men and literati of the city were asked to construe the meaning of the resolution; and like the board, they differed as widely and warmly as the original contestants.  Finally the motion was put to vote and the resolution voted down by five to three.”

The board finally passed a resolution giving to Cass township, all of the territory in Hamilton county lying north of a line running east and west one-half mile north of the correction line and parallel with said correction line.

In 1858, the townships of Hamilton, Marion and Norway were also organized.  Hamilton received from Webster township all of congressional township 87, range 25, and all of that part of the east third of township 87, range 26, lying south of Boone river.  From Boone township, it received all of the south tier of township in township 88, range 25, lying east of Boone river, and it also received from Clear Lake township (or from Webster, as there seems to be some uncertainty as to which township the territory transferred belonged), sections 17, 18, 19, 20, 29, 30, 31, 32, and the south half of sections 7 and 8 in township 87, range 24.  The following July, Hamilton also received from Boone the southeast quarter of section 30-88-25.

To repay Webster township for the territory transferred to Hamilton, she was given from Boone township the south half of township 88, range 26, and all that part of sections 19, 30 and 31 in township 88, range 25, lying west of Boone river.

Marion township received from Hardin township, all of congressional township 86, range 25 and 26, and all that part of Webster township lying south of Boone river, not previously assigned to Hamilton township.

Hardin township was now extinct, having been entirely consumed in the appropriations of territory made to Clear Lake and Marion townships.

Norway township took from Clear Lake all of congressional township 86, range 23 and 24.

After the readjustment of 1858, Hamilton county was composed of seven townships, to-wit:  Cass, Boone, Webster, Hamilton, Clear Lake, Marion and Norway.

Wall Lake township was created Oct. 20, 1860.  It took from Norway township all of township 86, range 24, except the east half of sections 1, 12, 13 and 24.

Grove township was created Sept. 3, 1861.  It was cut off from Cass township and contained all of township 89, range 26, except the south half of the south tier of townships and sections 6, 7, 18, 19, 30 and the north half of 31 in township 89, range 25.  Grove township did not exist, however, but a few hours at most, for on the same day it was organized, its name was changed to Fremont.  At the same meeting of the board, the name of Wall Lake township, which had been organized about a year before, was changed to Ellsworth and Clear Lake was changed to Lyon and Norway was changed to Scott.

The townships of Grove, Clear Lake, Wall Lake and Norway had now been wiped off the map and the county was composed of nine townships, to wit:  Fremont, Cass, Boone, Webster, Hamilton, Lyon, Marion, Ellsworth and Scott.

June 5, 1862, that part of township 86, range 24, which at the time of the organization of Wall Lake township, except the east one-eighth of section 25 and 36 were transferred from Ellsworth to Scott.

Rose Grove township was organized March 27, 1865.  It was taken from Boone township and originally comprised township 88 and the south one-twelfth of township 89 in range 23, and the east two-thirds of township 88, and the south one-half of sections 35 and 26 in the township 89, range 24.

Blairsburg township was organized Sept. 3, 1867.  It received from Rose Grove, sections 1 to 12 inclusive of township 88, range, 23 and sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 and 12 in township 88, range 24, and the south one-half of sections 31 to 36 in township 89-23, and the south one-half of sections 35 and 26 in township 89, range 24.  It received from Cass township the north one-half of sections 31 to 36, sections 25 to 30 and the south one-half of sections 19 to 24 in township 89, range 23.

November 20, 2868, the remainder of township 89, range 23 was transferred from Cass to Blairsburg as was also the north eleven-twelfths of the east one-third of township 89, range 24.

The name Clear Lake was revived June 3, 1868, when that township was organized, taking from Marion all of township 86, range 25.

Lincoln township was organized June 7, 1875.  it was taken from Lyon and received all of township 87, range 23.  On the same day all that part of Hamilton township located in township 87, range 24, was transferred to Lyon.

Williams township was organized Sept. 6, 1876.  It received from Blairsburg township all of township 89, range 23, that was not then a part of Rose Grove township.  On the same day Blairsburg township received from Boone township the south one-half of section 33 and 34, township 89, range 24, and sections 5, 6, 7 and 8, township 88, range 24; and from Cass, the remainder of the middle third of township 89, range 24.

Liberty township was organized Sept. 6, 1882, and at the same time, the township lines of several townships were readjusted to conform to congressional lines, and to do this, the board of supervisors passed the following resolution: 

            “Whereas, several petitions have been presented to this board asking that the boundary lines of the civil township boundaries in the north and east part of the county by changed so as to conform more nearly to congressional township lines, and in order to carry out the wishes of the petitioners as nearly as possible, and make the townships uniform in size and shape, be and it is ordered by this board that sections one (1), two (2), three (3), four (4), five (5), six (6), seven (7), eight (8), nine (9), ten (10), eleven (11) and twelve (12) north of range twenty-three (23), west of the fifth principal meridian, Iowa, be severed from the civil township of Williams, and attached to the township of Rose Grove.

            “It is further ordered that sections six (6), seven (7), eighteen (18), nineteen (19), thirty (30) and thirty-one (31), in township eighty-nine (89), north of range twenty-three (23), west of the fifth principal meridian, Iowa, be severed from the civil township of Blairsburg and attached to the township of Williams.

               “It is further ordered the sections five (5), six (6), seven (7), eight (8), seventeen (17), eighteen (18), nineteen (19), twenty (20), twenty-nine (29) and thirty (30), and the north one-half (1/2) of sections thirty-one (31) and thirty-two (32), in township eighty-nine (89), north of range twenty-four (24), west of the fifth principal meridian, Iowa, be severed from the civil township of Cass, and attached to the township of Blairsburg.

               “It is further ordered that sections: north one-half (1/2) of sections thirty-one (31) and thirty-two (32), in township eighty-nine (89), north of range twenty-four (24), west of the fifth principal meridian, Iowa, be severed from the civil township of Blairsburg, and sections thirteen (13), fourteen (14), fifteen (15), sixteen (16), twenty-one (21), twenty-two(22), twenty-three (23), twenty-four (24), twenty-five (25), twenty-six (26), twenty-seven (27), twenty-eight (28), thirty-three (33), thirty-four (34), thirty-five (35), thirty-six (36), township eighty-eight (88), north of range twenty-four (24), west of the fifth principal meridian, Iowa, form the civil township of Rose Grove, and sections seventeen (17), eighteen (18), nineteen (19), twenty (20), twenty-nine(29), thirty (30), thirty-one (31) and thirty-two (2), in township eighty-eight (88), north of range twenty-four (24), west of the fifth principal meridian, Iowa, form the civil township of Boone, which together constitute the congressional township eighty-eight (88), north of range twenty-four (24), west of the fifth principal meridian, Iowa, is hereby created a new civil township of Hamilton county, Iowa, to be know by the name of Liberty.

               “It is further ordered that the southeast quarter of section thirty (30), all of section thirty-one (31), except the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter and all of sections thirty-two (32), thirty-three (33), thirty-four (34), thirty-five (35) and thirty-six (36), in township eighty-eight (88), north of range twenty-five (25), west of the fifth principal meridian, Iowa, be severed from the township of Hamilton and attached to the civil township of Boone.

               “It is further ordered that the southwest quarter of section thirty-one (31) and the south half of sections thirty-four (34), thirty-five (35) and thirty-six (36), in township eighty-nine (89), north of range twenty-five (25), west of the fifth principal meridian, Iowa, be severed from the civil township of Boone and attached to the township of Cass.

               “It is further ordered that sections six (6), seven (7), eighteen (18), nineteen (19), and thirty (30), and the north half of thirty-one (31), be severed from the civil township of Fremont and attached to the township of Cass.

               “It is further ordered that the south one-half of sections thirty-three (33), thirty-four (34), thirty-five (35) and thirty-six (36), be severed from the civil township of Boone and attached to the township of Fremont.

“It is being the intention that the civil township of Rose Grove shall constitute the congressional township eighty-eight (88), range twenty-three (23), that the civil township of Williams shall constitute the congressional township eighty-nine (89), range twenty-three (23); that the civil township of Blairsburg shall constitute the congressional township eighty-nine (89), range twenty-four (24), that the civil township of Liberty shall constitute the congressional township eighty-eight (88), range twenty-four (24); that the civil township of Cass shall constitute the congressional township eighty-nine (89), range twenty-five (25), excepting so much as is within the incorporation of Webster City; that the civil township of Fremont shall constitute township eighty-nine (89), range twenty-six (26), west of the fifth principal meridian, Iowa, and that the boundary line of Boone and Hamilton townships shall conform to the congressional township line of eighty-seven (87) and eighty-eight (88).

               “It is further ordered that the new civil township of Liberty shall hold its first election at the schoolhouse situated on the southeast quarter of section sixteen (16) in said township, said election to be held on the seventh day of November, A. D., 1882, being the Tuesday next after the first Monday of said month, at which election there shall be elected as officers of said township of Liberty, three trustees, one clerk, one assessor, two justices of the peace and two constables, and the following named persons shall act as officers of said election:  James L. Dunn, George Castner, and Jacob Brinkema shall act as judges; and D. M. Kelly and M. L. Root shall act as clerks.”

Independence township was organized Jan. 4, 1883, and was taken from Boone, Webster and Hamilton townships.  It contained all of the congressional township of 88, range 25, except section 6 and the north one-half of section 7, which remained a part of Boone township.

Freedom township was organized Jan. 11, 1884.  The resolution of the Board of supervisors organizing this township and readjusting the lines of Boone, Webster and Hamilton townships is as follows:

            “Whereas, A petition has been filed in the office of the county auditor purporting to be signed by a majority of the legal voters residing in the congressional township eighty-eight (88), north of range twenty-six (26), west of the fifth principal meridian, Iowa, exclusive of the corporation of Webster City, to consist of the above described territory, and whereas said petition has been sworn to by A. A. Wicks, Morris Smith and Wm. A. Powell, to the effect that all the signers thereto were bona fide residents of the territory above described at the time said signatures were attached; and

               “Whereas, Notice has been give by publication in the Hamilton Freeman for two consecutive weeks previous to a date ten days prior to the day set for final hearing before the board of supervisors; and whereas, it is the opinion of this board of supervisors that all the legal requirements in the premises have been fulfilled.  It is hereby ordered that said petitions be granted, and that sections three (3), four (4), five (5), six (6), seven (7), eight (8), nine (9), ten (10), the south half of fourteen (14), all of fifteen (15), sixteen (16), seventeen (17) and eighteen (18), in township eighty-eight (88), north of range twenty-six (26) west, be severed from the civil township eighty-eight (88), north of range twenty-six (26), west of the fifth principal meridian, Iowa, be severed from the civil township of Webster and together organized into a new civil township of Hamilton county, to be known by the name of Freedom.

               “It is further ordered that said township shall hold its first election at the residence of Morris Smith, situated on the southeast quarter of section sixteen (16), in said township, said election to be held on the 4th day of November, A. D., 1884, being the Tuesday next succeeding the first Monday of said month; at which election there shall be elected as officers of said township, three trustees, one clerk, one assessor, two justices of the peace, and two constables.  The following named persons shall act as officers of said election:  William Beerman, Clement Robbins and Emery Gordon shall act as judges; and Geo. H. Daniels and W. A. Powell shall act as clerks.

               “It is further ordered that sections five (5), south half of seven (7), all of eight (8), the north half of seventeen (17) and the north half of north half of southwest quarter of section eighteen (18), in township eighty-eight (88), north of range twenty-five (25) west, be severed from the civil township of Independence, and the southwest quarter of section thirty-one (31) and the south half of thirty-four (34), in township eighty-nine (89), north of range twenty-five (25), from the civil township of Cass, and the east half of the southeast quarter of section thirty-six (36), in township eighty-nine (89), north of range twenty-six (26), west of the fifth principal meridian, from the civil township of Fremont, and together attached to the civil township of Boone.

               “It is further ordered that the southeast quarter of section 1, the southeast quarter of section 11, all of sections 12, 13, 14, 23, 24, 25, 26, 35, 36, in township 87, north of range 26 west, be severed from the civil township of Hamilton; and that the south half of the northeast quarter, the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter and the southeast quarter of section 15, the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 16,  the south half of the southeast of section 17, the east half of section 20, the west half of the northeast quarter, the west half of the northwest quarter, the southeast quarter of the northwest quarter and the south one-half of section 21, the northeast quarter, the east half of the northwest quarter and the south half of section 22, all of sections 27, 28 and 29, the south half of the northeast quarter, the southwest quarter and the east half of the southeast quarter of section 30, and all of sections 31, 32, 33 and 34 in township 87, north of range 26, be severed from the civil township of Marion, and together attached to the civil township of Webster, thereby making the said township of Webster comprise the congressional township 87, range 26, west of the fifth principal meridian.

Thus in the end, Hamilton county has seventeen townships, viz.:  Boone, which is coextensive with the city of Webster City in area; Fremont, Cass, Blairsburg, Williams, Rose Grove, Liberty, Independence, Freedom, Webster, Hamilton, Lyon, Lincoln, Scott, Ellsworth, Clear Lake and Marion, each, with the exception of the township surrounding Webster City, corresponding in extent with the congressional township lines.
 

FREMONT TOWNSHIP 

Fremont Township now includes congressional township 89, range 26, with an area of 36 square miles.  The surface of the earth is uniformly level, and the soil is a rich black loam.  Formerly it contained much swamp land, but in recent years the great Brietenkamp – Gannon Drain, with its laterals – has furnished an outlet for drainage and the swamp land has been nearly all reclaimed.

The earliest settlements in this township were in its eastern and northern portions.  The first settler in Fremont township was undoubtedly Jacob W. Paine, who opened up and improved the farm now occupied by C. A. Howd on Boone river in 1854.  He was followed closely by W. W. Boak.  Later in 1856 came the McLaughlins, and in 1857 N. H. Hellen opened a large farm in the northern part of the township.  No doubt N. H. Hellen was one of the most picturesque and dashing of pioneer characters.  He dressed the part of the pioneer according to the most approved literary ideals.  He is described as riding horseback into Webster City, dressed in black trousers, riding boots that reached his knees, red shirt, with pistol and bowiknife strapped at his belt and wearing a broad brimmed white hat that covered a head of thick, long, coal-black hair.

In 1863 Fremont township had a population of 74 people.  This steadily increased until 1880, when she supported 685 souls, and in 1910 the population had increased to much higher figures.

The only postoffice in Fremont township is Highview.  This little village consists of a depot, an elevator and a store.

CASS TOWNSHIP 

Cass Township included congressional township 89, range 25 and is the home of the oldest settlers in the northern part of the county.  The first settlers were Peter Lyon, the Stanly family and Patrick Frakes and family.  Soon after the Frakes came, Horace and Benjamin Seager, L. B. Hill, Zera Hayden, A. Haswell, John W. Lee, Reuben Bennett and W. D. McFerren and many others and in several cases the descendants of these pioneers own and manage farms their fathers or grandfathers settled upon.

The surface of Cass township is broken by the Boone river through the western tier of sections, and by White Fox creed through its center, so that land is more rolling and was naturally better drained than the townships on either side of it.  The river and the creek were both skirted with timber and this feature, too, encouraged the early settler to stop in this locality where he could have a natural grove to protect his buildings and still have rich prairie land upon which to raise his crops.

In 1856 the population of Cass township is given at 254, but it must be remembered that at that time Cass township had not been legally organized and it is almost impossible to tell what territory was included by the census taker.  The population in 1880 after the township had been reduced almost to its present size was 592.  There are no towns in Cass township, its nearest trading points are Woolstock, in Wright county, and Webster City.  The population of the township in 1905 was 707, composed almost entirely of thrifty and prosperous farmers. 

BLAIRSBURG TOWNSHIP 

Blairsburg Township, after hovering around in a rather unstable manner over the eastern part of the county, finally settled in congressional township 89, range 24.  Its surface was from level to gently rolling and quite liberally supplied with small ponds or sloughs.  As there were no streams of consequence through the township, it was comparatively slow in its development and did not make any great progress until after the building of the Great Farley Drainage ditch, which is its main outlet for drainage.  In later years, Blairsburg township has been entirely covered with a network of drainage systems and now no township in the county can show a greater percentage of tillable land.

Blairsburg township was the home of the great Lemert Percheron horse farm that was established in 1883 and was conducted with success for several years.  Business interests finally call Col. Lemert back to Ohio and the horse business was abandoned.

The principal postoffice in Blairsburg township is in Blairsburg.  It was platted by John I. Blair, Nov. 11, 1869.  For years the town made little progress, it being simply a trading point for the surrounding farming country.  In 1892 R. J. McVicker and H. C. Tuttle platted the McVicker and Tuttle addition and a year later laid out a second addition and in 1907 the Varick C. Crosley addition was added.

For many years the business of the town was conducted largely by Sol. Morrison, J. C. McNee, _____Brown, W. F. Powers, G. A. Walrath and Wilse McNee.

The population of the town of Blairsburg in 1880 was 44, and in 1910 241.  Blairsburg was incorporated December 21, 1900.  C. M. Powers was the first mayor, and since his term expired the following citizens have served:  C. P. McVicker, G. E. Conoway, P. E. Saxie, O. A. Kellogg, A. B. McNabb, and G. W. Cooper, who is mayor at the present time.

WILLIAMS TOWNSHIP 

Williams Township occupies township 89, range 23.  The first settler in the township was Henry Draper, who took up a homestead on section 18, in the spring of 1868, and during that year there settled in the township Isaiah Jaycox, Tom Duffy, Mike McDonald, Geo. Mann, Pete Laford, Calvin Wheeler, Wm. Pabboldt, E. S. Searls, James Francis, James Conley and a Mr. Wilcox.  The Illinois Central Railroad was built through the township in 1868.  Early in the spring other settlers began to arrive, among them being E. Crabtree, H. S. Orris, I. H. Brown, Samuel H. Robbins, J. E. Frost, Mrs. C. A. Wyatt and her sons, S. D. and J. K. Wyatt, P. Doyle, Steve Clayton and Michael Cunningham.  During the winter of 1869, the building of the present railroad depot was commenced, and nearly completed by Taylor Brothers of Alden, but it was not finally completed and opened for business until in August or September, 1869.  Il H. Brown became the station agent and soon afterwards a postoffice was established and Mr. Brown  became the first postmaster.

Among the first settlers that took up a residence within the township were S. M. Shaeffer, family and mother, E. Wesler, Henry Frank, B. Haijsman, Frank Leigh and father and Geo. Frost, Albert Spena, Jas. Drizhal, Zimmons, Robeck, Sooboby and J. M. Houghtaling.

In the years thereafter settlers came into the township and opened up farms or started business in the village until now all of the lands in the township are taken up and improved.

The town of Williams was laid out in 1869 by John I. Blair, and Pete Laford has the distinction of being the first resident within the limits of the town.  His was the only house in the town at the time of the building of the depot.  In the spring of 1870 Geo. Frost settled in the town and opened the first store.  It was a general store, carrying in its line not a large, but a varied stock, including almost everything that was called for by the settlers.  He also opened a lumber yard and bought grain, and sold coal and wood.  He held the field alone for about two years.  In the fall of 1871 or the winter of 1872 the Grangers built a warehouse and were making arrangements to buy grain.  Prior to that time the grain purchased had been stored in the ware rooms of the depot.  In 1872 O. J. Dutton settled in Williams and opened a general store and purchased the grange warehouse and began to deal in grain.  In 1874 L. L. Cady came and opened the first blacksmith and repair shop.

In 1875 the firm of Smelser & Martin bought out the Dutton stock and building and moved the building to Main street.  This was the first building located on Main street, where almost all the business is now transacted.

During the winter of 874-5 C. M. Mattice built the large elevator on the railroad grounds at the north end of Main street, east side, and also opened a larger lumber yard and began an extensive business in grain and lumber in the summer of 1875.

During the spring and shortly after Smelser & Martin had moved to Main street, T. D. Willson, and W. A. Carns came and built the second business building on Main street and opened a general store.  These buildings were on the west side of the street.  A little later J. W. Thompson came and built upon the ease side of Main street, the first building on that side, and opened a hardware store.  Fenton and Stone put up the next building on the west side of the street and opened a drug store and following him closely came J. G. Volenweider, building a house and opening in it a furniture store.  During this year (1875) O. N. Silvenail built the first hotel, a very much needed and welcome improvement, and J. E. Frost built a store building on the east side of Main street.  Elias Clay built a restaurant building on the west side and it was opened and run by James Lampson.  John Bennetto also built a wagon shop on the west side.  This is practically all the business building erected during the year, and they presented quite a village, where in the beginning only three or four houses were to be seen.  In the meantime several residences had been put up and the citizens looked forward to a lively business the next year.

The first building for 1876 was put up by Henry Franks, who left his farm and opened a carpenter shop, which at a later period he converted into an agricultural warehouse and embarked in that business.

From this time forward the work of building up the town went on more slowly than formerly, but none the less steady, and all of a more permanent and substantial kind.  The boon in building business houses had subsided, but residences were being put up.  In January, 1877, H. H. Johnson attracted by the location and bright prospects in view, located in the town and began the publication of a newspaper, the Williams Standard.  It was a live paper, and in the beginning received fair support, but the future growth of the town had been overestimated, and there was not patronage enough to support a paper and the project had to be abandoned after about two years’ trial.  All  classes of business were represented in the town; the country round about was settling up with thrifty and industrious class of farmers, and business settled down to a permanent, but growing basis, and the affairs of town and township went along in an ordinary way until February, 1882, when a disastrous fire occurred, sweeping out of existence at one more than half of the business part of the town, taking all of the business buildings on the west side of Main street except two.  The fire started in Pat Maloy’s saloon.  In about an hour’s time the town was in ruins.  The principal losers were the Martin estate, S. S. Morrison, Pat Maloy, Mrs. Ann Carus, Fred Volenweider, J. M. George, A. Rawhorter, J. M. Houghtaling, Chas. Draper, Frost & Co., Willis Orres and J. W. Thompson.

After the fire a public meeting was held protesting against the reopening of any saloon or place where intoxicating liquors should be sold and the protest bore the names of over one hundred persons.  Williams was incorporated October 22, 1883.  Oct 22, 1883, Williams held its first town election and elected for mayor, B. F. Corbin; recorder, L. N. Gerber; and trustees, J. E. Frost, Fred Biesner, E. Crabtree, H. N. Johnson and Wm. Wilke.

There being some doubt as to the legality of the incorporation in the spring of 1883, the legislature passed an “Act to legalize the incorporation of the town of Williams in Hamilton County, Iowa.”

Mayor Corbin was reelected in 1885 and in 1885, William Allenson became mayor.  He was succeeded in 1886 by J. M. George.  E. Crabtree presided over the officers of the city in 1887 and in 1888, J. M. Watson in 1889, H. N. Johnson in 1890, John Bennetto in 1891 and Ira Saum in 1892.  In 1893 B. F. Corbin was again elected mayor and held the office for the three terms, 1893, 1894, and 1895.  Then A. J. Simpson was elected for the years 1896 and 1897.  Walter H. Hellen was mayor in 1898 and was reelected in 1899.  E. I. Johnson presided in 1900 and A. J. Ripley in 1902.  H. F. Willie was then mayor until 1910, when Wm. Whistler was elected.  He resigned before the expiration of his term and h. F. Willie was again elected.  The mayor at the present time is William Gerber. 

In August, 1887, W. A. Hutton started the Williams Herald, but in December following it suspended.

In 1891 Wm. R. Pooley commenced the publication of the Williams Reporter and continued its publication for several years.  In 1897 the Wasp was started and some years later the Hornet.

ROSE GROVE TOWNSHIP   

Rose Grove Township comprises the congressional township of 88, range 23.  In early days it was the home of the famous Rose Grove farm and of its owner and manager Judge Rose.  While in pioneer days there was quite a settlement in the vicinity of “Rose Grove,” it was the last township in the county to become fully settled and in this township the last entry of public land was made.  The population of the township in 1869 was 65.  In 1880 it had increased to 267 and in 1905 it supported 620 people.  One of the first great drainage projects, that of the drainage of Iowa lake, was consummated in Rose Grove township.  There are no postoffices or railroad stations in the township.  Its principal trading point is Williams.

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP 

Liberty Township occupies township 88, range 24.  It has a “backbone” of “Morainic Hills” running through its center and on either side of these hills was originally considerable marshy land.  Liberty township was settled largely by people of German descent and thus, as a natural consequence, the land has been brought to a high state of cultivation.  There are no postoffices in Liberty township, its principal trading points being Blairsburg and Kamrar.  Liberty had a population of 468 in 1885 and in 1905, 620.

INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP

Independence township is the home of some of the earliest settlers in the county.  It was in this township that Willson Brewer and the Isaac Lyon’s first settled.  Later James Adams moved in and J. F. McConnell and Hiram Carpenter came up from the southern part of the county and made their permanent homes.  The sons of these men now live on the farms their fathers founded.  Independence was also the home of two mills, the Sternberg Mill and Bone’s Mill, and in early days it furnished its share of coal for local consumption.  Its principal trading point is Kamrar.  This town was platted by the Western Town Lot Company November 28, 1881.  It is located in the north half of section 35.  During the eighties W. H. Howard was the principal business man of the place.  For years he and his sons operated a store, elevator and lumber yard.  It is claimed by old settlers that the Howard boys went into business as soon as they were old enough to talk plain and the precision and tact in a business way shown by these little fellows was one of the marvels of the time.  The population of Independence township, in 1885 was 649.   In 1902 Pierce’s addition to Kamrar was platted and in 1903 Carmoney’s addition was added.  The population of Kamrar in 1910 was 262.  Independence township occupies congressional township 88, range 25 except a small portion within the limits of Webster City.

FREEDOM TOWNSHIP 

Freedom Township was the home of the Williams, Silvers, Barrs, and on account of its being close to the river on its east and to the town of Homer was the scene of our earliest history.

The surface of Freedom township is very level, so level in fact that perfect drainage was for a long time thought to be almost impossible for some portions of the township.  Of late years the Fardal drainage system has worked wonders in the way of converting wet, marshy lands into rich well tiled farms.

This township occupies congressional township 88, range 26 except a small portion in the northeast corner included in the city of Webster City.

In 1885 Freedom township had a population of 507.  In 1905, 540.

BOONE TOWNSHIP 

Boone township is coextensive with Webster City in extent and is a political organization for the sole purpose of electing justices of the peace and constables.  The history of Webster City is therefore the history of Boone township as it now exists.  But perhaps this is the proper place to call attention to a record of public service in connection with this township that is as unique and unusual as it is meritorious.  In 1874 Percival Knowles was elected justice of the peace for Boone township; at the end of his term he was reelected.  Then he was reelected again and again and nor after almost forty years he still holds the office and has held it continuously since his first election.  During the last thirty years his elections have come to him regularly without opposition and this too in the face of the fact that Webster City has been almost continuously in the throes of a town fight that stirred up opposition to almost every candidate or measure proposed.  Squire Knowles’ administration of the office has given complete satisfaction.  His decisions are usually just and are seldom appealed from.  The present indication are that this judicial office, though elective, will be held by the present incumbent until his official tenure is terminated by death or resignation.

This record in itself is a high compliment to the ability and integrity of “Squire” Percival Knowles, and entitles him to high rank among the historical characters of Hamilton county.

WEBSTER TOWNSHIP 

Webster Township was the home of the first settler, Preston C. Bell, and within its borders was located the historic town of Homer.  The history of the early settlement of the county is practically a history of Webster township.  It is rich in natural advantages.  It has land, timber, coal, stone, clay, but no railroad.  For years Webster township has wanted a railroad, and its people have always been liberal in offers of public aid, but without success.  When a railroad comes, this township will be rich beyond the dreams of the pioneer and Homer will grow again.  Homer, at one time the largest city in northern Iowa, has two store, a schoolhouse, two churches and a blacksmith shop.  Its buildings are those erected form fifty to sixty years ago.  A new house in Homer would be a decided sensation.  The farms adjoining Homer are adorned by costly buildings, but within the fatal limits of Homer, the buildings are all black with age and are of the style of a half century ago.

Webster township occupies congressional township 87, range. 26.

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP 

Hamilton Township occupies township 87, range 25.  Among its earliest pioneers were Jackson Groves, Chas. Albright, Robt. Riley and the Cary’s  In its beginning this township was filled with ponds and sloughs which actually made the trapping of muskrats more profitable than farming.  But corn and grain was a necessity of life and so the high knolls were broken up and planted, and for thirty years the knolls were farmed while fully half the land was consigned to swamp, sloughs and wet, sour places that would raise nothing but coarse slough grass and furnish a breeding place for mosquitoes and muskrats.  With the twentieth century came the great drainage era.  Hamilton township alone expended $160,000.00 for a public drainage system and as much more for private tiling, and today almost every acre in the township is susceptible of cultivation in such crops as corn, oats and potatoes.

One who had never seen the old condition would not believe such waste could exist for so many years, and one who had never seen the new condition would be loath to believe that Hamilton township of today covered precisely the same territory that it did twenty years ago, so radical has been the change.  And just fully as radical has been the change in price of land, for land that was a “drug on the market” twenty years ago at $25 per acre, can now be readily sold at $150 per acre, and the cause of it all is drainage.

LYON TOWNSHIP 

Lyon Township occupies congressional township 87, range 24.   It owed its distinction in pioneer time to the fact that Skunk river, with its fringe of beautiful woodland coursed through its eastern border.  Lyon township was the home of the Lakins, who first settled within its borders in 1855.  But the “Timber Land” was very limited and the prairie country did not settle up very rapidly.  However, in 1863, its population was 81; in 1870, 188; in 1875, 275; and in 1880, when the railroad arrived, 673.  In 1905, outside of Jewell and Ellsworth, 629, while Jewell had a population of 958.

Lyon township had its first boom of consequence as a result of the prospective arrival of the Chicago and North Western Railway in 1880.  Jewell Junction was laid out by David T. Jewell and residence lots were offered at $25 each and business lots at $100 each.  Jewell grew rapidly from the start and about one year after lots were offered for sale.  A correspondent to the Freeman gives the following description of the town which is full of interesting matter:

JEWELL JUNCTION

A little more than a year ago this thriving town consisted principally of “railroad shanties,” but a few enterprising men soon came here to commence a town.  Mr. Hoppus moved his meat market over from Callanan, Mr. Lauritson was already on the ground; George Stuart, R. H. Rhodearmel, L. E. Lanning and Warburton Bros. Put up buildings; Mr. Atkinson rented Ed. Sporiedear’s house, Mr. Mead and family occupied the depot, and “business” commenced.  Mr. Stuart was painter, and kept a small stock of groceries; Mr. Lanning was grocer and Mr. Warburton had hardware.

In January of the present year, Mr. Strong and William Stevens each built a lumber office, and Mr. Cooper, postoffice and residence, both in one building.  After that, houses were moved over from Callanan, one by one, occasionally, as the storms would permit, each moving invariably followed by a storm and intense cold.

In February, Rev. Mr. Van Emans, of Williams, came and preached the first sermon in Mr. Rhodearmel’s drug store; formed a small society of such Christians as were her, and organized a Union Sunday School.  There was an occasional meeting for singing and sociability.  The death of Dr. McDonald in March, brought the people together in a nearer acquaintance and sympathy than anything else had done.

The long blockade of the railroad left the place without mail, and one might as well have been in Sahara or rather Greenland, so far as knowing anything that was going on in the world was concerned.  It also reduced supplies till fuel was quite exhausted, and meat and bread were about all the provisions to be had, thanks to Mr. Hoppus for the meat he always managed to have on hand.  At one time there was not a pound of sugar in the groceries, and everybody was out.  But the long winter finally wore away, the blockade was raised and business commenced.  People came and began to build new houses, and more houses were brought from Callanan.  Mr. Gillman built his hotel, Mr. King, Mr. New, Mr. Miller and others, put up two-story buildings, the lower story for stores, and the upper for dwellings.  Mr. New soon had his grocery started, followed by Mr. Waite’s dry-goods store.  There are now four dry-goods. Stores.  Crosby and Virtue occupy a large, handsome room in Rev. Mr. Rankin’s building, filled with good stock; J. G. Klotzbach, in his own building on the opposite side of the street; Waite & King near the depot, with such a variety that it looks as though you might find anything you were pleased to call for; S. G. Layne, in a smaller room, but packed full of things “too numerous to mention,” are all doing a thriving business.

S. M. New and John Clark deal in groceries, crockery, etc., and it would be hard to tell which is most popular.

Two firms deal in hardware and tinware.  Burge & Atherton give exclusive attention to the above, while Warburton Bros. Add groceries and agricultural implements.  Both are straightforward, square dealing companies.

J. M. Strong and William Stevens are the popular lumber dealers, both keeping as large stocks as the means of supply and the great demand will allow. 

The disciples of Aesculapius are Dr. J. G. Wheat and Dr. F. J. Will; Dr. Wheat giving the most of his attention to his drug store, dividing popular favor in that branch with Mr. Rodearmel.

G. W. Blank keeps the meat market, with Mr. Hoppus for assistant.  Mr. Gillman is proprietor of the Gillman House, A. Anderson of the Skandinaven, and G. R. Everitt has just taken possession of the City Hotel.  All these houses are well kept, and both landlords and ladies know how to please the public.

Mr. Tallman is jeweler, having his office in Waite & King’s store.  During the summer months when the people were more intent on houses to live and work in than on jewelry and trinkets, he turned an honest penny and served his country by swinging the paint brush.  Since cold weather he has retired to his shop, where he will be happy to meet all who need his services in clock or watch repairing, or any other work in his line.

Atkinson & Company run the elevator.  W. J. Chamberlin, Cary Brothers and S. H. Hagan, buy cattle and hogs.

Fail & Blank and A. B. Barnes & Son, keep liveries.

Mrs. C. A. Strong and Mrs. S. E. Haight deal in sewing machines.

Mrs. Haight and Mrs. D. A. Kinsey supply the ladies of town and country with millinery.

George Kinsey, R. Bond and R. M. Johnson do mason work of all kinds.

The carpenters are Messrs. Richey, Bond, Sandage, Breniyer, Beckman, Stuland, and others.  Indeed, so great has been the demand for carpenter work, that anyone not otherwise engaged, who could use a saw, plane and hammer was, presto, a carpenter.

G. M. Barkhuff is wagon maker, Mr. Finch blacksmith and wagon repairer.  Charles Glamman is another son of Vulcan.

O. A. Borway keeps the boots and shoes in repair, and makes new ones to order.

Don Terry runs a dray.  Messrs. Lauritson, Hamaker and H. C. Larson do teaming.

Lest someone looking for a good location for a saloon should think us unprovided, I will say we have three, which abundantly supply the place.

P. J. Johnson is cabinet-maker, Johnson Mead and J. R. King deal in coal, and S. L. Sage teaches the village school.  “Tip” Haight, W. T. Fraizier, and S. L. Sage are the expounders of Coke and Blackstone, and their erudition and eloquence are often highly displayed in the justice courts of the place, to the satisfaction of their clients.  Haight and Fraizier are also notaries public.

J. T. Haight and J. C. Klotzbach maintain the dignity of the law as justices of the peace.

Rev. J. M. Rankin, Methodist, preaches here once in two weeks, alternating with Rev. Mr. Van Emmans, Presbyterian, from Williams.

In 1884, the Jewell Record was founded by Savage & Savage, and was first issued as a six column folio.  In 1885 Jewell had a population of 384 and Lyon township, exclusive of Jewell and a population of 673.

Jewell has prospered from the start, new additions have been added to the town, new brick buildings have taken the place of the old wooden ones, new churches have been erected, a college has been established and some of the finest residences in the county shelter the families of its business men.

In the meantime, the drainage of Mud lake has added a great deal of rich farm land to Lyon township

LINCOLN TOWNSHIP 

Lincoln Township occupies congressional township 87, range 23.  The character of the surface was generally level, filled with the usual liberal allowance of sloughs, which, when drained, are readily converted into the richest of farm lands.  The principal town in Lincoln is Ellsworth.  This town was platted in 1880 and at once began to grow.  The population of Lincoln township in 1880 was 395 and in 1889, 579, and in 1905, 888.  Ellsworth has grown steadily.  Its population in 1905, was 418.

A correspondent to the Freeman in 1881, describes Ellsworth as follows:

ELLSWORTH

Ellsworth is a reality at last and has been duly recognized as having an existence by the postoffice department, and John Ringstad is postmaster, with his office in Thoreson & Company’s store.

S. G. Johnson & Company (with A. R. Caudle as the company), have taken time by the forelock and with a commendable degree of energy have established themselves in their own building, which was removed by William and Jerry Keyzer from Callanan.

Mr. Jondahl is building a substantial dwelling and store combined, in which he proposes to place a stock of furniture at an early day.

Thoreson & Company, after many trails and tribulations, have succeeded in planting the bisected Callanan store upon their lot in Ellsworth, and in order to accommodate their increasing trade, sandwiched an extension of twenty feet between the separated ends of their former building, and they now have a large, roomy and convenient place of business.

Hoy’s “Eagle Hotel”, after much hard tugging and vexatious delays, has at last found a resting place on an eligible site and will soon be enlarged and made ready for the accommodation of the traveling public.

Peter Ryberg has removed from the “Grove” and is in full blast, associated with Peter Stein, who runs a wagon shop of Ryberg.

A gentleman from Boone has opened a butcher shop and is actively at work erecting a story and a half front, which will give him ample facilities for the transaction of his business.  He comes well prepared with all the appliances of his trade and will undoubtedly do well.

William Richards, Simon Fritzon and Cragewich & Lyders are grain buyers, and their work is well attested by huge cribs of corn already filled to overflowing and yet large quantities of corn to be delivered during the early summer months.

Harry Byers and Cragewick & Lyders are our lumber dealers, and good stocks are found on both yards at fair rates.

Charley Lakin has removed from Callanan, and is prepared to furnish a good harness or anything in that line, as well as to act the “artist tonsorial,” which he can do in first class manner.

Two saloons stand on opposite sides of the street, scowling grim defiance to each other in the early morning, growing “mellower” as the day wears on and potations begin to do their “work,” and at night the quivering shadows between meet in maudlin embrace beneath the pale moon, while Bacchus seems let loose as the welkin resounds with revelry – fit progeny of drink.

SCOTT TOWNSHIP 

Scott Township is located in the southeast corner of the county comprising congressional township 86, range 23.  The sight of the rolling prairies of this township must have been a cause of joy to the settler who had been dragging his westward course through swamps and sloughs in search of the promised land.  The first settlers in this township were Lars Sheldahl, who came in ’55 and Alexander Starry, who entered land in section 30.  Anders Christenson, Peter Larson and Lars Henderson, who came early in 1857, and they were followed very closely by Lars Henryson, who came with his family the next year and settled in section 30, buying the farm of Alexander Starry, where he lived until his death, which occurred in 1896.  Among other early settlers might be mentioned the Eglands, Oaks, Charlsons, Anfinsons, Tuckers and Chadwicks.  These men were Norwegians by birth and were instrumental in founding the great Norwegian community which ahs played so important a part in the history of Hamilton county, In 1863, Scott township had a population of 103, and it continued to increase in population with each succeeding census until, 1905, it had increased to 949.  Scott township has no towns within its borders and is given up entirely to farming.

ELLSWORTH TOWNSHIP 

Ellsworth Township includes township 86, range 24.  The first settlers in this township were Henry and George Staley, who came in 1855.  Christ Peterson and Linsey Sowers came in 1857 and John A. Cooper in 1859.  In 1863, Ellsworth township had a population of 53 and this steadily increased until 1880 it had a population of 803.  Callanan was located in this township.  When the Chicago & North-Western Railway arrived, the Callanan population was largely transferred to Jewell and Ellsworth.  But Randall was platted in 1882 and notwithstanding the loss of population caused by the moving from Callanan, in 1895, there were 956 people living in Ellsworth township.  The people who settled Ellsworth were largely emigrants from Norway.  In 1905 Ellsworth township had a population of 1, 007, it being one of the most populous rural townships in the county.

The principal trading points are Jewell and Randall.  The pioneer business man of Randall is Geo. P. Christenson, who, in company with his father, C. P. Christenson, H. L. Henderson and S. Seymour, organized the Randall Company, which did all the business of Randall for about five years.  Then the company divided, the Christenson’s taking the grain, coal and banking business, while the general merchandise was conducted by Seymour & Henderson, a firm composed of H. L. Henderson, S. Seymour, O. L. Henderson and M. L. Henderson.  This firm continued in business for about six years; W. H. Weir then ran a general store for awhile, and he was succeeded by Peterson and the Christensons.  Randall has never been incorporated and is governed by the Ellsworth township officers.

CLEAR LAKE TOWNSHIP 

Clear Lake Township occupies township 86, range 25.  So far as topography is concerned, the south half of Clear Lake township presents the finest stretch of country to be found in Hamilton county.  Its surface is gently rolling and a great deal of the land is naturally well drained.  The first settler in Clear Lake township was probably W. H. Frazier, who came to Hamilton county in 1856.

Stanhope was laid out by the Western Town Lot Company in October, 1883.  It was incorporated in December, 1897.  The first mayor was H. E. Fardall.  The first town council consisted of A. F. Swanson, J. S. Williams, Iver Johnson, G. E. Hamaker, William Taylor and L. J. Stark.  At the first election, thirty votes were cast and the above officers were unanimously elected.

MARION TOWNSHIP            

Marion Township occupies township 86, range 26.  By reason of its location near Des Moines river, perhaps accounts for its being settled earlier than many other townships.  Among its prominent pioneers are Geo. W. Hook, who came in 1853, W. H. McKinney, who came in 1857, and A. G. Barquest, who came in 1858.  The people of Marion are largely of Swedish descent.  Stratford is its principal town.  It was founded in October, 1880.  In order that a proper idea may be given of the pioneer merchants, the attention of the reader is invited to a descriptive article written for the Freeman in 1881:

STRATFORD 

A correct idea of the growth of this place may be obtained from the fact that on last Christmas day not a square foot of lumber could be found on the town site; now no less than ten business houses are open and doing a steady, lively business.  In addition to these there are two first-class hotels, one open and in good running order – the other almost completed.  The “Stratford House” is first-class, having all the accompaniments for the comfort and convenience of the traveling public.  Mr. Dawson, the proprietor, and his amiable lady are peculiarly fitted by nature and education for their vocation.

Anson Deo, the old true and tried, has at last landed his hotel building gin its final resting place, and will soon spread his viands on sumptuous tables, for many old and new patrons.  If industry and perseverance are signs of success, Mr. Deo will attain to a large measure of it.

J. W. Near, the lively old Hook’s Pointer, has opened a mammoth stock of drugs in his large building on Shakespeare avenue, where he will be found freshly powdered and perfumed ready to do any work in his line.

Stratford has a corps of physicians second to none in the state.  Dr. Chamberlain has resided here several years – acquired a good practice and is too well known to need further notice from me.

Dr. Morrison is a young man of scholarly attainments and during the short time that he has been here, has won an enviable reputation in the treatment of disease.

Dr. W. N. Green is also a young man of splendid ability and rare culture; he has succeeded in winning for himself a large practice and is in every sense of the word worthy of the high reputation he has earned.

Dr. J. J. Lewis, the well known physician of Ridgeport, will soon occupy his new building at this place.

The good people of the Methodist Episcopal church here are taking steps for the erection of a large church building to cost upward of $1500; they are well under way with the enterprise.

The Swedish Lutheran church, a fine building, stands on the town site.

E. J. Bentley, the enterprising lumberman, has sold his large stock of lumber to Charley Wise, who will do a flourishing business in this line.  Besides being a young man of wide-awake business tact, Charley has a genial disposition and vulture that is attracting scores of friends to him.

There are four grocery houses, three general stores and two hardware stores.

We are situated in the center of the great coal-filed of Iowa, in the midst of the largest bodies of timer, and command such an area of trade that our town must inevitably become an important place.

In future notes, I shall take you through our business houses – examine the buildings, and acquaint you with our men, etc., etc.  If you wish a pleasant surprise, come down to Stratford and don’t fail to call on your old friend.

PLUTO 

And the following descriptive write-up of Stratford appeared in the Freeman, January 14, 1885:

THE BUSINESS OF STRATFORD 

At the present time is well represented and established.  The hotels of the town are the Stratford House and the Central House.  The former was built by W. A. Dawson, in 1881.  It is a well built, good sized and amply furnished hotel, now operated by its owner, Mr. Dawson, who is a natural landlord.  It has recently been refitted and refurnished throughout, and is equal to and far superior to most hotels in western Iowa.  It is strictly a commercial house, and not traveling man need shun Stratford because of its hotel accommodations, as they will fin an obliging host and hostess, whose every endeavor is to please their guests.  Under the new management of this house it has gained a large patronage.  It has come to be a retreat for the weary traveler, who feels quite at home at “The Stratford House.”

The Central House was removed from Hook’s Point, in 1881, and is now operated by William Hook; and while it is not so large a house as the Stratford House, yet it has the share of patronage which it deserves.  It is a cheaper class house and serves will its purpose. 

The dry-goods business is in the hands of D. M. Blaine, T. H. Shaffer and A. C. Aaronson.  These dealers all carry a well selected variety of goods belonging to the line including staple and fancy articles.

The grocery trade is at the present represented by George Hook, John Linchrist, Isaac Hyatt and Neese Bros.  These firms do a general grocery business and buy all kinds of country produce, including poultry, butter, and eggs.

The drug dealers are Peterson & Company and Robert Norton, both of whom carry full lines of drugs, patent medicines, paints, oils, etc., such as is demanded by the town and surrounding country.

Those engaged in the hardware business are John Peterson and Crary & Rodine.  These firms both carry large stocks of both shelf and heavy hardware; they also deal in farm machinery.  One firm sold twenty self-binders last season.  These stocks are fully up to any in the county as to quality, price and variety.  The long, tedious trips to distant towns for farm supplies and hardware have become a thing of the past to the community surrounding Stratford.

The meat market is kept by Robert Neese, in a very satisfactory manner to patrons, who find in this market all that they need in the meat line, including game and fish in their season.

The livery business of the town is carried on by William Hook and John Lundell.  Each barn furnishes good turn-outs at reasonable prices.

The grain business of Stratford has come to be one of much importance.  It is now operated by Carr & Anderson, who have a large elevator near the depot.

Lumber and coal are handled by Gardner, Bachelor & Company.

The dealers in live stock are B. McCabe and Carr & Anderson, who pay the highest market price for produce, and are doing a thriving business.

The harness business of the place is conducted by George Gelder, who is an experienced workman, and has already worked into a good harness trade.

Blacksmithing, an essential factor in any community, is carried on at Stratford by J. Barton and Olof. Rosengreen, both of whom are thorough masters of their trades.

The wagon and carriage business is conducted by Mr. Berggen, who runs a good repair shop, doing excellent work.

The largest plow shop in Hamilton county is at this point, and is operated by a master workman – Olof. Rosengreen - who has all modern appliances for doing plow work.  He is doing an immense business.

Another important enterprise is the cooperage business, carried on by Brackett Bros., of Minneapolis, who employ twenty men and put out $50 per day in getting out hoop poles and manufacturing cooper stock, ready for shipment.  Large amounts of cordwood are also being shipped from Stratford.

THE POSTOFFICE 

At this point was removed from Hook’s Point in the summer of 1881.  The first postmaster was H. G. Hicks, who was succeeded in 1882 by R. W. Biggs, the present postmaster.  It became a money-order office in 1882.  The first order issued was August 7th to John Triter for $15.  The first paid was to Levi O. Lane, August 2nd, for $10.  There have been 1,740 orders issued from this office up to January 6, 1885.

THE OPERA HOUSE 

Was built by Johnson & Lindreth, in 1881.  It is over two business rooms, and is 44x50 feet, provided with good stage scenery and furniture.  This hall has been of much value to the people in and about Stratford, as a place for holding all public entertainments, meetings, etc.
 

THE CHURCHES 

Of the town are the Methodist and Lutheran.  The former was first organized at Hook’s Point, but soon after the railroad was built was changed to Stratford.  The society is within the northwest Iowa conference and have the finest church edifice in the county, save at Webster City, which is well furnished and cared for by a membership of over forty.  Rev. A. D. Hocker is the present pastor in charge.  The Lutheran church membership is made up of Scandinavians.  This church was formed five years prior to the railroad era, and had a commodious church erected on a five-acre plat secured of Mr. Ten Eyck, through his agent, Huitt Ross.  This church has quite a large membership.  Services are conducted in the Scandinavian tongue.

THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS 

Of Stratford are indeed an honor to the town.  A large, well arranged frame building was build in 1882, at a cost of $2,200.  There are two departments in this school where the best methods of teaching are employed.  No better index can appear in any community, as to the thrift, intelligence and morality of a people, than to see a due observance to religious and educational matters.  This is quite manifest about Stratford.

THE GRAND ARMY POST 

“Daniel Hill Post, No. 373,” was mustered in Nov. 14, 1884, with the following charter membership:  Thos. E. Ross, commander, L. M. Linn, senior vice commander; J. S. Evans, Jr., vice commander; E. J. Bently, officer of day; James Wedding, adjutant; Geo. W. Krouskup, quartermaster; N. T. Wilson, chaplain; E. A. Erickson, sergeant of guard; C. C. Austin, quartermaster-sergeant; James Wiggins, sergeant-major; Henry Snees and P. L. Peterson, privates.  This post was named in honor of the first soldier who enlisted from this county, as he was also the first to die.  The post now numbers about eighteen, and is in fine condition.  They meet the first and third Saturday evenings of each month.

THE INCORPORATION 

OF Stratford dates from September, 1883.  The present officers are J. H. Johnson, mayor; Geo. F. Tucker, recorder; L. Emerson, I Hyatt, Charles Rodine, M. H. Greene, George Gelder and Robert Norton, concilmen; R. W. Biggs, marshall.  The incorporation is provided with a “lock-up”, but since the prohibitory law went into effect, the citizens of the place say it is of no use to them.

The professional men of the town are G. F. Tucker; J. M. Blake and “Judge” McKinney, attorneys; Drs. Rodgers and Chamberlain, physicians and surgeons.  These men are skilled in their chose professions, and are doing a good business.

“ROSS TOWN” 

is that portion of Stratford which was platted by Huitt Ross, and is situated on the south side of the railroad track.  This place is for the most part made up of dwelling houses, and has been much improved in the last year or two.  Nestled in among a fine clump of trees may be seen the pioneers house of all that location – that built by Mr. Ross – many years ago.  The first frame house erected in that part of the county was his, which was built in 1853, or over thirty years ago.  It is now used as a granary.  His present fine residence is well finished and neatly furnished throughout.  After so many long years of toil and hardship it seems indeed befitting that one so deserving as Mr. Ross should be so pleasantly situated.  He has a well improved farm, containing the finest orchard in this county.  There are evidences on every hand that Mr. Ross is a genius in many respects – a man of great experience, self-educated, yet thoroughly posted on almost any practical subject.

       

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