Congressional township 86, range 21, was organized in 1868, the year of the "Grant, Colfax and Peace" political campaign, when Gen. U. S. Grant was elected on the Republican ticket as President. Hence many new townships and counties in the country were named for him, and this included Grant township, Hardin county, Iowa. It had previously been included in Providence township. The first township officers were: Trustees, James Morgan, Alex. Mills, B. R. Gogerty; clerk, Philip Shintaffer; assessor, John Fero; justices of the peace, J. L. Myers and Edwin Davis; constable, Charles Bales.
Of the natural surface of this township, let it be stated that it was originally almost exclusively a prairie township and what native timber found was growing on section 12. Honey and Minerva creeks are the chief streams flowing through this territory. Grant is on the south line of the county, second from the western border.
The first to locate within what is now Grant township was B. R. Gogerty, who effected his settlement in 1855. He was soon followed by George Hobson, who later removed to Kansas. Hobson settled in 1856. Hiram Hammer was next to claim a residence and purchase land in the township; he came in 1857, and has long since been numbered among the deceased of Hardin county. In 1859 George Hayworth came in. No other settlers came until 1864, when Edwin Davis and Irvin Mills settled. David and Alexander Mills were also numbered among the quite early settlers of the township. In 1866, Burnett Mulford settled, but a few years later removed to Kansaas. One of the settlers of 1868 was Charles Hoelscher; James Morgan came in 1869 and Miles W. Carr, another enterprising farmer, came in 1879, remained a while and removed to Kansas, when the flood-tide of emigration swept so many Iowa men farther on toward the setting sun. J. C. Bailey, who first lived in Union township, moved to Grant in 1877 and N. S. Martin and William Anderson came in 1871. This township was not settled very rapidly, but when the Northwestern railroad was extended through the south part of Hardin county and market towns sprung up, things were soon changed and land rose in value and was all taken up during the latter part of the eighties.
First and Important Events
The first settler was B. R. Gogerty, in 1851.
The first birth in the township was Francis A., son of Mr. and Mrs. Gogerty, born July 23, 1856.
The first death was Willie Minkins, in the winter of 1860-61. He was buried at Illinois Grove, Marshall county.
The first couple residing in the township to be united in marriage was Wyatt Albertson and Barbara L. Hockett, September 29, 1870.
The Society of Friends held the first religious services in the Center school house in 1869.
A postoffice was established on section 17 in 1876 called Idaho. After railroads sprung up all about it and there was no use for it, the department at Washington discontinued it.
During the great prohibition amendment days of 1882, a petition was circulated in Grant township and signed by nearly every woman within the confines of the township. It was headed, "We, the wives, mothers and daughters and sisters of Grant township, respectfully request you to cast a vote in favor of the constitutional amendment for prohibition." It had almost one hundred and forty signatures of Grant township ladies attached to it, and had its effect at the polls on June 27, when the vote was taken all over the state.
The history of Grant township would not be complete without some personal mention of its first settler.
B. R. Gogerty was a native of Orange county, New York, born in 1827, son of William Gogerty, a native of France. He first started in life as a varnisher and finisher, learning his trade in New York city. He married and in 1855 settled in Marshall county, Iowa, moving to Grant township, this county, July 2, 1856, having been up here and broken some land the spring before and built a house. He had a family of eleven sons and daughters. Politically, he was a stanch supporter of the general principles of the Democratic party, and held numerous local official positions. In 1859 he had the misfortune to be burned out by a prairie fire, which caused him to return to the East for three years, but once having a taste of the free and enterprising prairie land of Iowa, he could not longer remain East, but returned to section 33 of Grant township.
The township officers in 1911 are: Justices of the peace, C. E. Hankey, P. D. Harvey; constable, H. P. Bailey; trustees, Hy. Weichman, Hy. Klemme, Fred Klemme; assessor, H. F. Patzer; clerk, Gust. Hoelscher.