The History of Keokuk County, Iowa
DES MOINES: UNION HISTORICAL COMPANY.
1880.

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP.

This is the northeastern township of the county, and is known upon the tax-books and by real estate dealers as township No. 77, range 10 west. In 1850 it had a population of 5; in 1856 there were 399, and in 1875 there were 1,080 inhabitants.

The present township officers are as follows:

Justices of the Peace—John Wilson and John Moler.

Constables—Wesley Simons and W. S. Roach.

Trustees—Thos. McCam, W. S. Roach and James Beaty.

Clerk—Thomas Kelley.

Assessor—John McMahon.

The township was organized in March, 1854, at the solicitation of William J. Watkins, and named by him in honor of the township from which he came in Henry county, Indiana. The settlers at that time were Thomas and James Butler, Isaac Truax, William Harding, R. McDowell, John J. Whitmore, James Lockridge, and others who have since died or changed their location to some other part of the country.

The first election was held on the first Monday in April, 1854, at which time the following officers were elected: Clerk, Wm. Harding; justice of the peace, George Disor; trustee, Thomas Watkins; assessor, W. J. Watkins, who took as pay for his services a warrant, and traded the whole of it for a $2.50 pair of boots. This assessment was made in that same year, 1854, and was the first in the township. David Brown, Jeremiah Suitor and Henry Lockridge acted as judges of the election, and Wm. J. Watkins as clerk. This township has eight school districts, and the first schoolhouse was in district No. 3. The first death in the township was a child of William Carmichael. The first marriage was that of Louis May to Catharine Watkins, by George Disor, J. P.; the next was that of James Lockridge to Lucy Whitmore. The first preaching was in a school-house, and in 1854 the Dunkers organized their church, which is still in good condition. Beside this, there are two other churches, German Baptist and Catholic. The former was organized in 1855, Samuel Brower, D. Miller and S. Florey being among the first members. In 1865 a frame church-building was erected, at a cost of $2,500. Elders David Brown, Samuel Florey, Andrew Moler, B. F. Florey and Christopher Brower have been the pastors. The present membership is about 130.

ST. PATRICK'S CHURCH

Was organized in 1875 by Rev. J. F. Nugent. Martin Stapleton, John Kelley, Patrick Devine, Anthony Kelley, Patrick Rourke, Patrick McCam, and others, were the first members. A frame church building was erected in 1875, which cost $2,000. The land upon which the building was erected was donated by Patrick McCam. There are about twenty families belonging to this church.

Transcribed by Pat Wahl. Thank you, Pat!

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