The History of Keokuk County, Iowa


It corresponds with congressional township, No. 77, range 13. Although it contains some of the best farming lands in the county, it was not settled till long after the rest of the county. When the settlements did begin the country was improved rapidly, and at present there is probably not a section of land in the township which is not improved. The first settlers were: J. H. Grasser and Cyrenus Emmons. The former came from Ohio and settled in Adams township; from there lie went to Prairie and settled on section fourteen, where he now resides. Emmons came from Ohio and settled on section thirty-two. One of the first physicians was Dr. J. D. Davis, who came from Richland. Rev. D. C. Smith, a Methodist minister, preached the first sermon at the house of Harley Peck; the Friends organized the first church. L. Hollingsworth, afterward county auditor and treasurer, now residing in Sigourney, taught the first school in Coal Creek district; he received $27 per month and had twenty-six pupils. The first school-house was built in this district in 1867, at a cost of $400. It was afterward moved on to section thirty-two, and is now the residence of Aaron Pim. In the early settlement of this part of the county prairie fires were of frequent occurrence, and sometimes very destructive. When disasters of this kind occurred, the more fortunate neighbors spared no effort to relieve the wants of the sufferer.

The town of Coal Creek was laid out in April, 1866, and the plat includes parts of four sections, 29, 30, 31 and 32. There has been a post office located here for a number of years.

The B., C. R. & N. railroad passes through the south part of the township, upon which has recently been laid out a town by the name of Thornburg.

In 1850 this township was not yet settled and had no separate organization; what few persons may have resided in its present limits were attached to what was then known as Coal township. In 1856 it contained a population of 105; in 1875 in contained a population of 926. No other township except Lafayette can show such a rapid increase in population.

The present township officers are:

Justices of the Peace—N. Holderman and E. Rust.

Constable—J. P. Santee.

Trustees—Samuel Smith, C. Allison, W. H. Biglow.

Clerk—Thomas Ward.

Transcribed by Pat Wahl. Thank you, Pat!

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