Hardin County - Buckeye Township

The Past and Present of Hardin County Iowa
ed. by William J. Moir.  Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1911.

Transcribed by Linda Suarez

Buckeye is the second township from the north line and in the western tier of Hardin county townships. It was organized in 1865 by the board of county supervisors, and the first township meeting was held at the Kellogg school house, then on section 11. This is an almost exclusive prairie township, the only timber being along the small streams. The South Fork of the Iowa river enters the township on section 6, passes through nine sections of the township, and then enters Ellis township. Tipton creek enters on section 30, passes through sections 29 and 32 and from 33 enters Sherman township. Originally, there were several small springs, affording an abundance of pure water, some containing medicinal qualities.


On section 26 there are strong indications of pre-historic fortifications, but by whom and when built no man will ever know. It has generally been believed that it was an old Indian burying ground, but others have believed that it was where a body of Mormon emigrants encamped while en route from Nauvoo to Salt Lake, after being driven from that place in 1846. These earthworks are in the shape of a half-moon, with two rows of rifle pits in the circle. As late as 1885 these works were easily discernible. L. J. Shepherd, of Ellis, found a flint-lock gun, with its stock rotted away, which led him to believe it a modern-day burial place. It is usually thought, however, to be of very ancient origin.

Early Settlements

This township was first settled by two brothers, named Pilgrim, who located on the southwest quarter of section 12 in the summer of 1853. There they built a double log house, each part being about sixteen feet square and one story high. It was covered with shakes. This building stood on the stage route from Dubuque to Fort Dodge, and was the only house between Cedar Falls and Webster City. It is related of this place, that the Pilgrims, while agents at this stage station, would feast their guests by spreading the cloth on a dry goods box for a table. When the meal as completed, the cover of the box was removed, and what remained of the repast, together with the dishes, were placed inside. These Pilgrim brothers, who were true pioneers, remained until 1855, when they sold out and went on farther west.

The next settler in the township was John Snider, formerly from Ohio, but who came from Illinois in the spring of 1854, entering nine hundred and sixty acres of land, including most of Snider's Grove. He built the second house in the township on the southwest quarter of section 2. He remained a resident of the township until he died in 1861.

In 1855 came L. T. Beard and his brother, D. A. Beard, entering a half of section 15 and a part of section 10. L. T. Beard built the first frame house in the township.

During 1856 the settlement was increased by the advent of several families, including Richard Linn and T. Kellogg. Richard Linn bought the old homestead place of the Pilgrims, the township's first settlers. Together with a brother, Mr. Linn purchased eight hundred acres of land. He was prominent in political and religious movements and was once the president of the Hardin County Agricultural Society. He moved to Table Rock, Nebraska, in 1865, where he died in 1881.

In the spring of 1854 came J. I. Lyon, a native of New York city. He only remained six weeks, returned to his old home in Illinois, and came back in 1866, when he moved to his farm in Buckeye township.

Other pioneer settlers were G. L. Morriell, Alexander Barhite and A. P. Kellogg. From 1863 settlement was rapidly made and it cannot now be interestingly traced; suffice to say the township is dotted thickly with fine farm houses and the lane, every acre, is well tilled and valued at far higher a figure than was ever dreamed of by the settlers of the fifties and sixties.

First Events

The first couple married in Buckeye township was L. T. Beard and Mary E. White, by Rev. John Wilcox, on July 27, 1857.

The first child born in the township was the infant born to Mr. and Mrs. John Snider, in the autumn of 1855. It lived but a short time and its death was the first to chronicle within the township.

The first school house was a frame building erected in the fall of 11857, on the southwest quarter of section 11, by L. T. Beard, at a cost of seven hundred and fifty dollars. Mary Ross taught the first term of school there in the summer of 1858; there were only eight pupils. L. T. Beard taught the winter term in the same house.

This township was without a railroad until about 1901, when the Des Moines & Iowa Falls "Short Line" was built through to Iowa Falls, with a station point at Buckeye, now a thriving hamlet.

Village of Buckeye

One of the latest town plattings within Hardin county is Buckeye, in this township. When the "Short Line" railroad was constructed through the township about 1900-01, this village was platted and has come to be a prosperous hamlet of much commerical importance, and is rapidly growing. In 1904 it had a population of two hundred; had a good bank, a history of which appears in the Banking chapter; a newspaper, see Press chapter; a good hardware store owned by B. F. Baker; a general merchandise stock, by George H. Bailey and a number of smaller concerns. Since then the town has made rapid strides in the way of improvements. Other pioneers of this place are: Louis Barrick, grocer; R. H. Bowman, drugs; Buckeye Mercantile Company; Diamond Grain Company; Hammond & Fluke, hardware dealers; C. A. Rummell, hardware; the Iowa Lumber Company; Charles W. Litchfield, liveryman; Mrs. A. I. Totten, groceries.

The present (January, 1911) business interests of the place may be named as follows:

General Dealers - Buckeye Mercantile Company, established in December, 1901, is an incorporated concern having a capital of ten thousand dollars, with officers, president, W. V. Shipley; secretary and treasurer, George H. Bailey; directors, Messrs. Shipley, Bailey and H. J. Bruhns. They erected a double store building, fifty by sixty-five feet, which has been added to.

Hardware Dealers - Fred Nolte, G. Lutschwager.

Lumber - Schull Lumber Company.

Meats - George Lutterman.

Furniture - E. Stringer.

Grain - Farmers' Elevator Company, Western Elevator Company.

Coal - The lumber and grain men.

Livery - H. Wiringa.

Banking - The (private) Bank of Buckeye.

Physicians - Dr. C. S. Trimble.

Drugs - Burroughs Drug Company.

Millinery - Buckeye Mercantile Company.

Restaurant - S. H. Davis.

Live Stock - Gehrke & Son, W. M. Schedmidaka.

Blacksmithing - A. Underwood.

Harness - E. Stringer.

A stock company engaged in the creamery business and run a number of year, but closed down in 1910.

Post Office History

May 26, 1902, a post office was established at Buckeye. It is a fourth-class office and has issued money orders since April 4, 1904. The postmasters have been, Ed. Kauffman, who served a short time and was succeeded by the present incumbent, George H. Bailey, of the Buckeye Mercantile Company, in which business house the office is held. He took the office September 13, 1902.

Municipal Interests

Buskeye was incorporated as a town, under the laws of Iowa, May 25, 1903, and the mayor's office has been held by these men: L. D. Van Patter, Dr. C. S. Trimble, C. S. Van Patter and E. Stringer. The present officers are: E. S. stringer, mayor; R. S. Cornell, clerk; G. C. Kinney, assessor; H. J. Bruhns, treasurer; A. Underwood, marshal; councilmen, G. H. Bailey, S. J. Hartman, Fred Nolte, C. E. King, Gus Runge, C. S. Trimble.

The town is now laboring under a heavy tax with which drainage ditches are being cut through the platting of the town, and when that is completed they will likely take up the matter of providing a system of water works for fire protection.

The only lodge in town is the Odd Fellows order, of which R. S. Cornell is the secretary. See Lodge chapter.

Township Officers

The 1911 township officers are: Justices of the peace, A. P. Kellogg, M. R. Gehrke; constables, W. Weringa, Aite Wirds; clerk, Jacob Fish; trustees, S. W. Benshoof, John Lutschwager, Emil Vierkandt; assessor, N. Neuenfeldt.

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