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1914 County History
1914
Township Histories

On January 10, 1840, Governor Lucas approved an act of the Territorial Legislature providing for the division of the several organized counties of Iowa into civil townships. Pursuant to the provisions of this act, the county commissioners of Lee County, at their regular session in January, 1 841 , divided the county into ten townships, to wit : Ambrosia, Denmark, Franklin, Green Bay, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Van Buren, Washington and West Point. Ambrosia Township has disappeared, the territory once comprising it being now included in the townships of Montrose and Des Moines. Changes have been made in the original boundaries of some of the first townships and new ones have been erected until at the present time there are sixteen civil townships, viz. : Cedar, Charleston, Denmark, Des Moines, Franklin, Green Bay, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Madison, Marion, Montrose, Pleasant Ridge, Van Buren, Washington and West Point. 

Cedar Township 

This township occupies the northwest corner of the county. It was originally a part of Harrison Township, but in the spring of 1844 a petition was circulated throughout the northern half of that township asking the county commissioners to erect a new one. In response to that petition the board, on July 3, 1844, issued an order that "All that portion of Harrison Township included in Congressional Township 69 north, of range 7 west, be set off as a separate township, to be hereafter known and designated by the name of Cedar Township." It was also ordered that the first election in the township be held at the house of Charles Brewington on the first Monday in April, 1845. The judges at that election were Andrew Dye, Isaac McDaniel and William Mottley; the clerks, John C. Atlee and Ephraim Allen, but the returns of the election and the names of the first township officers then chosen can not be found. 

The first white settlements in the township were made in the year 1836. It is not certain just who was the first settler, but the honor is claimed for Isaac McDaniel, a North Carolinian, who came from his native state and located in that part of Lee County, where he continued to live for more than forty years. He was soon joined by Nathaniel Anderson, William and Benjamin Warren and Paul Brat- ton, all from Illinois. Perry McDaniel, a son of Isaac, was the first white child born in the township and the second was a daughter of Nathaniel Anderson. The first marriage to be solemnized was that of Ephraim Allen and Aylsie Rowland. George Holt and Jane Warren were united in marriage a little later. Nathaniel Anderson died in 1834 — the first death to occur in what is now Cedar Township. 

In 1837 a log schoolhouse was erected by the settlers in section 6, near the northwest corner of the county, and the first school was taught there in the fall of that year by a man named Hall. In that year the government survey was completed through that part of the county and the settlers secured the title to their lands in the fall of the succeeding year at the land sale in Burlington. 

The first church building was erected by the settlers, without regard to denominational affiliations, in 1843. It was a log house and stood near the schoolhouse erected in 1837. The Baptists were the first to use the building, though religious services had been held in the homes of some of the pioneers some time before the house of worship was built. 

Cedar Township is six miles square, embracing Congressional Township 69 north, range 7 west. It is bounded on the north by Henry County; on the east by Marion Township; on the south by Harrison, from which it was taken, and on the west by the County of Van Buren. Its area is thirty-six square miles, or 22,040 acres, nearly all of which is capable of being cultivated. 

In the auditor's report of the financial condition of Lee County for the year 19 13 the value of taxable property in Cedar Township is given as $625,639, the highest of any township in the county, except Madison and Jackson, which include the cities of Fort Madison and Keokuk, and higher than these if the two cities mentioned be excluded. The township has a little over ten miles of railroad, and nearly seventy miles of telephone lines. It is divided into ten school districts, in which fourteen teachers are employed. The ten school- houses are valued at about one thousand each, exclusive of the ground upon which they stand, and the enrollment for the year ending June 30, 1 91 4, was 171. 

The officers of Cedar Township, elected in 1912, were as follows: Peter Mertens, A. E. Dick and R. S. Pease, trustees; A. B. DeRosear, clerk; R. E. Bell, assessor; A. H. Heaton, justice of the peace; Allan H. Heaton and Fred Smith, constables. According to the United States census for 1910 the population of the township was then 863, and Cedar enjoys the distinction of being the only township in the county to show a gain over the census of 1900. 

Charleston township

On January 2, 1844, the board of county commissioners issued and entered upon the records the following order: "That portion of Jefferson and Van Buren townships lying in Township 67 north, range 6 west, be stricken off and form a new township, which shall be known by the name of Charleston Township." It was also ordered that the first election should be held at the house of R. B. Robinson on the first Monday in the succeeding April, but the returns of that election seem to have disappeared. 

As established by the above order, Charleston Township includes all of the Congressional Township 67 of range 6, and has an area of thirty-six square miles. It is bounded on the north by Franklin Township; on the east by Jefferson; on the south by Des Moines, and on the west by Van Buren. Sugar Creek flows through the western part and Jack Creek through the eastern part, the latter rising near the Town of Charleston. Along the streams the land was originally well timbered, the central portion being chiefly prairie. Through this prairie now runs the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, upon which New Boston and Charleston are stations. 

The first white settlements within the limits of Charleston Township were made in 1834, when Thomas McGuire, William Kilgore, David Coon, George Moore, John Robinson, Robert Grewell, and perhaps one or two other families located in the Sugar Creek Valley. William Simmons was the first white child born in the township. At the time the first settlers came the half-breed tract, which includes the greater portion of Charleston Township, had just been placed on the market, under an act of Congress approved on January 30, 1834. It was not long, however, until litigation over titles to the land arose, and this retarded the settlement of all the southern portion of Lee County. This is the main reason doubtless why the Township oi Charleston was not erected and organized until some years after the establishment of the first civil townships in the county. 

According to the county auditor's report for the year 1913, Charleston Township had at that time five school districts, with an enrollment of 156 pupils, five teachers employed and five school- houses, the estimated value of which was $4,700. There were eight miles of railroad and about seventy-five miles of telephone line, and the taxable property of the township was assessed at $397,920. The population in 1910, as reported by the United States census, was 786. 

Jacob Hopp, Fred Heiser and Charles Klingler were the trustees in 1914; J. H. Vermazen, clerk; J. G. Renz, assessor; H. G. Kirchner and D. A. Hancock, justices of the peace, and W. C. Pickard, constable. 

Denmark Township

Denmark was one of the original ten townships established by the county commissioners in January, 1 841 , and the first election was ordered to be held at the house of L. L. Thurston. At that election, which was held on the first Monday in April, 1841, Daniel Newton and James N. Hamilton were chosen justices of the peace, and John G. Field and Thomas M. Clark, constables. These were the only officers elected. 

This township is situated in the northeastern part of the county and embraces that portion of Congressional Township 69, range 4, lying south of the Skunk River. It is bounded on the north by the Skunk River, which separates it from Des Moines County; on the east by the Township of Green Bay; on the south by Washington, and on the west by Pleasant Ridge. Its area is about twenty-four square miles.

Some of the earliest settlements in Lee County were made within the present limits of Denmark Township. As early as the spring of 1833 John M. Forrest located on section 25, near the present Village of South Augusta. He was a native of Tennessee, a surveyor by profession, and came to Iowa with the expectation of assisting in the survey of the lands of the Black Hawk Purchase. In 1837 he sold his claim and removed to Arkansas.

John O. Smith, who is credited with being the second settler, came in March, 1835. His experience in getting located and providing shelter for his family shows the hardships to which the pioneers of Lee County were sometimes subjected. Mr. Smith was a native of North Carolina, but was living in Hancock County, Illinois, when the Black Hawk Purchase was opened to settlement. Hearing flattering reports of the country he started upon a tour of investigation, selected a claim about a mile east of the present Town of Denmark, cut logs for a cabin and then returned to Illinois for his family and team to haul the logs to the place he had selected for his dwelling. With his wife and child he set out with an ox team and wagon, taking what he supposed would be sufficient corn to feed the team while the cabin logs were being hauled, but he encountered so many delays that the corn was all gone before they reached their new home on April i, 1835. As there was no feed to be had west of the Mississippi, Mr. Smith sent his oxen back, split rails and built a pen, which he covered with clapboards, and this was his first dwelling place in Iowa. The cracks in the pen were covered with quilts, blankets, etc., and in this rude shelter the family lived for nearly two months before a better house could be provided. Mr. Smith afterward became one of the prosperous and influential citizens of that part of the county and was for a time the postmaster at Denmark. 

The next settlers, of which there is any authentic account, were Joshua Owen and Isaac Briggs, relatives of John O. Smith, who came some time in the summer of 1835 and settled on Lost Creek. Briggs soon afterward removed to Washington Township and Owen was the first sheriff of Lee County. 

In 1836 Timothy Fox, Curtis Shedd and Lewis Epps came with their families and settled where the Town of Denmark now stands. A little later they were joined by William Brown, of Massachusetts, and the four men laid off the Town of Denmark a year or two later, Other early settlers were Samuel Briggs, David Tibbetts, Carroll Payne, John Wren, Silas Gregg and Barzilla Mothershead. The first death was that of a man named Pedigo, who settled near the Skunk River, his death occurring in the fall of 1835. A son of John O. Smith died in August, 1837, and a funeral sermon was preached by Rev. Micajah Rowland, the first sermon of that nature in Denmark Township. 

The first school was taught in 1837 by a man named Williams. The schoolhouse was a log cabin on the farm of David Tibbetts. At the close of the school year of 1913-14, the county superintendent of public schools reported five schoolhouses in Denmark Township, valued at $4,300, exclusive of the ground. There were nine teachers: employed at salaries ranging from forty to eighty-five dollars per month, and 180 pupils were enrolled in the five districts. 

Denmark is the only township in Lee County without a railroad. Sawyer is the most convenient railroad station for the people living in the western part, and Wever for those living in the eastern part. The township has about twenty-five miles of telephone lines and the value of taxables for the year 1913 was $235,717. In 1910 the population was 674. The officers for 19 14 were: J. P. Klopfenstein, C. E. Lewis and Harry Houston, trustees; Joseph A. Maxwell, clerk; T. H. Burton, assessor; F. P. Whitmarsh, justice of the peace. 

Des Moines Township

As stated in the opening paragraph of this chapter, Des Moines Township was originally a part of the Township of Ambrosia, which was one of the original ten ordered by the board of county commis- sioners in January, 1841. At the first election in Ambrosia Township, on the first Monday in April, 1 841 , Cyrus Peck and Moses Martin were elected justices of the peace, and William W. Willis and Samuel Smith, constables. These men were still in office when, on August 4, 1842, the commissioners ordered that "the Township of Ambrosia shall hereafter be known as Des Moines." 

This township is situated in the southern part of the county and includes that part of Congressional Township 66, range 6, lying in the State of Iowa. It is bounded on the north by Charleston Town- ship ; on the east by Montrose ; on the south by Jackson ; on the south- west by the Des Moines River, which separates it from the State of Missouri, and on the west by the Township of Van Buren. Its area is about thirty-three square miles, or 21,120 acres. 

The first settlers in Des Moines Township came in 1836. Among them were Charles Stearns, James and William Allen, William and Robert Mix, John Billips, Johnson Meek and Samuel Hearn. Mary Billips, who was born on March 23, 1837, was the first white child born in the township. The first marriage was that of Robert Meek and Mary Ann Allen, in 1838. Samuel Hearn settled near the state line and established a ferry across the Des Moines River. "Hearn's Ferry" was a favorite place for holding meetings in early days. At the first election for officers of Lee County, in 1837, Mr. Hearn was elected one of the commissioners of highways and his residence was one of the voting places. John Billips and Johnson Meek were judges at that election. 

Des Moines Township is well supplied with transportation facilities. Along the southern border runs the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, through the villages of Vincennes and Hinsdale, while the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe runs from northeast to southwest across the northern portion, via Argyle, and crosses the Des Moines River not far from Hinsdale. Altogether, the township has a little over nine miles of railway. Telephone service extends to all parts of the township, there being about fifty-five miles of telephone lines. 

According to the county superintendent's report for the year ending on June 30, 19 14, there were then six school districts in Des Moines Township, the six schoolhouses being valued at $4,600 — a very low estimate. Seven teachers were employed during the preceding school year, at salaries varying from forty to sixty dollars per month, and 139 pupils were enrolled in the schools. 

The value of the taxable property in 1 913 was $574,700 and the population in 1910 was 799. The officers of the township for 1914 were as follows: F. J. Brodsky, L. Meister and J. W. Sunden, trus- tees; John Cruze, clerk; Vandale Marsh, assessor; Gust Peterson, justice of the peace; Frank Roush, constable. 

Franklin Township

Franklin was one of the first ten townships, authorized by the board of commissioners in January, 1841, and the first election was ordered to be held in the Town of Franklin on the first Monday in the following April. At that election John Gandy and Jesse H. Catting were chosen justices of the peace ; James McVey and Andrew Sample, constables, no other officer being elected. 

The township is situated in the central part of the county, embracing Congressional Township 68, range 6, and has an area of thirty- six square miles. It is bounded on the north by Marion Township; on the east by West Point; on the south by Charleston, and on the west by Harrison. The Government survey was made in 1 836-37 and the settlers obtained patents for their lands in 1838. Charles B. and Edley McVey, Alexander Cruickshank, George Perkins and Miles Driscoll were among the first settlers. Edley McVey and Miles Driscoll settled near the present Village of Dover, but subsequently removed to Jefferson County. In 1836 Henry and Jacob Abel, Germans, located claims near Franklin. 

The first schoolhouse was built on the Cruickshank farm in 1839 and a term of school was taught in that year by a man named Turner. At the close of the school year in 19 14 there were five schoolhouses in the township, five teachers were employed and the number of pupils enrolled was 107. 

In 1842 the Methodists built a church at Franklin — or Franklin Centre, as it was then called — the first house of worship to be erected in the township. 

Franklin is well supplied with transportation facilities. The Burlington & Carrollton division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad runs east and west across the southern portion, through South Franklin and Donnellson. At Donnellson it is crossed by the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant division of the same system, which runs north and south. The township also has over fifty miles of telephone lines. 

In 1 913 the taxable property of the township was assessed at $535,270. The officers then were as follows: Peter Lang, Jacob Frueh and A. T. Cruikshank, trustees; August Fey, clerk; J. P. Galli, assessor; J. G. Krehbiel, justice of the peace; John Gibson, constable. The population in icjiowas 1,290. 

Green Bay Township

This township is the most eastern in the county. It was erected as one of the first ten civil townships in 1841, but the boundaries between Green Bay and Denmark were readjusted in January, 1843. On the north it is bounded by the Skunk River, which separates it from Des Moines County; on the east and south by the Mississippi River, which separates it from the State of Illinois; and on the west by the townships of Denmark and Washington. Its area is about thirty square miles, embracing all that part of Congressional townships 68 and 69, of range 3, lying in Lee County. The soil is a deep, black loam, very fertile, though some parts of the township are so low that the land has to be protected by levees. It is one of the leading agricultural townships of the county. In the southern part is the body of water called Green Bay, about four miles long and one-fourth of a mile in width. Lost Creek flows in a southeasterly direction across the township and empties into this bay. 

The first white settlements in Green Bay Township were made in 1835 by William Saucer and the Smalls. Thomas Small was elected one of the thirteen constables of Lee County in March, 1838. William Franklin came to the township in the spring of 1837, and the population was soon afterward increased by the arrival of Joel Smith, J. C. Poole, John Haynes, William Lucas and the McCowen family. William Saucer was a member of the first petit jury impaneled after Iowa Territory was organized in 1838. It is said that the name "Green Bay" was suggested by William Lucas when the township was created in January, 1841. 

The Burlington & St. Louis division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad runs through this township, and the stations of Wever and Wescott are located within its limits. There are about five and one-half miles of railroad track and forty miles of telephone lines in the township, which is divided into five school districts, in which 163 pupils were enrolled during the school year of 1913-14. According to the county auditor's report for the year ending on December 31, 1913, the value of the taxable property of Green Bay was $338,995, and the United States census for 1910 reported a population of 744. 

When the township was first erected in 1841, it was ordered by the board of county commissioners that the first election should be held at the house of Wesley Hughes on the first Monday in April. At that time James D. Gedney and John Pomeroy were elected justices of the peace, and Enoch Morgan and Ephraim B. Hughes, constables. The officers of the township in 19 14 were: Horace E. Hyter, H. E. Lange and Fred Schulte, trustees; Fred O. Tucker, clerk; E. H. Liddle, assessor; William Sweeney, constable. 

Harrison Township

Harrison Township, one of the original ten created in January, 1 841, is situated in the western part of the county, and as at first established it included the present township of Cedar. It was named for Gen. William H. Harrison, who was elected President of the United States in 1840. It now embraces Congressional Township 68, range 7, and therefore has an area of thirty-six square miles. It is bounded on the north by Cedar Township; on the east by Franklin; on the south by Van Buren, and on the west by Van Buren County. Sugar Creek rises near Big Mound, in the northwestern part, and flows diagonally across the township toward the southeast. There are also some smaller streams. Along the watercourses the land was originally covered with a growth of timber, but the greater portion of the township is composed of prairie. 

James and William Howard are credited with having been the first white settlers in what is now Harrison Township. They came there before the Government survey was made and staked out their claims in the Sugar Creek Valley. A little later Isaac Renfrew and his brother located near the Howards. Isaac Beller, Stephen Perkins and his son, George, and the Lorey and Schweer families were also early settlers. Exum S. and D. T. McCullough, the former from Tennessee and the latter from South Carolina, came in 1836. E. S. McCullough became one of the active and influential citizens of Lee County. He served in both branches of the State Legislature, and was otherwise identified with public affairs. His death occurred in 1876. Melinda Schweer was the first white child to be born in the town- ship, Joseph Lorey and Cyrus Howard being born a little later. The first death was that of a Mr. Stewart. 

In 1837 tne Government survey was completed in the township and the pioneers purchased and received patents for their lands between that time and 1840. The first school was taught in the "Howard Settlement," about 1838, but the name of the teacher appears to have been forgotten. In 1914 there were six school districts in the township, in which seven teachers were employed and 172 pupils were enrolled. 

Across the southern portion runs the Burlington & Carrollton division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway System, about six miles of track lying within the township. Warren is the principal ralroad station. Harrison also has about fifty-five miles of telephone lines. The value of the taxable property in 1913 was $488,858, and in 1910 the United States census reported a population of 614. 

The first election in Harrison Township was held at the house of Jesse Johnson on the first Monday in April, 1841. Stephen H. Graves and Henry Dye were elected justices of the peace, and William L. Graves and R. P. King, constables. Stephen H. Graves was elected one of the first assessors of property in Lee County, in April, 1837, an d in March, 1838, was chosen one of the first board of county commissioners. The officers of the township for 1914 were as follows: L. H. Schweer, John Bargar and Joseph Kelly, trustees; William C. Smith, clerk; E. J. Warson, assessor; Joseph Carver and S. R. Hampton, justices of the peace, and Fred C. Winters, constable. 

Jackson Township

This township occupies the extreme southern part of the county, in the triangle lying between the Mississippi and Des Moines rivers. It is one of the ten townships erected by the board of county com- missioners in January, 1 841 , and includes Congressional Township 65, range 5, except such portions as are cut off by the river boundaries, and a little of the eastern part of township 65, range 6. Its area is about thirty-eight square miles. On the north it is bounded by the townships of Montrose and Des Moines; on the east and southeast by the Mississippi River, which separates it from the State of Illi- nois; on the south by the Des Moines River, which separates it from Missouri, and on the west by the township of Des Moines. 

The first habitation built by a white man in Jackson Township was the log cabin erected by Dr. Samuel Muir in 1820, within the limits of the present City of Keokuk. Much of the early history of the township will be found in the chapter on the City of Keokuk, where the first settlers located. In the extreme northeast corner of the township is the little Village of Sandusky, where Lemoliese, the French trader, established his trading post in 1820. Owing to the fact that Jackson lies within the limits of the old half-breed tract, where titles to the lands were a subject of litigation for so many years, settlers were somewhat slow in coming in and forming permanent settlements. The first township election was held in the Town of Keokuk on the first Monday in April, 1841, when Alexander Kerr and L. B. Fleak were elected justices of the peace, and Leroy P. Gray and Emery Jones, constables. In 1914 the officers of the township (outside of the City of Keokuk) were: Henry Thieme, A. H. Linnenberger and Henry Peters, trustees; Will D. Turner, clerk; Luman Van Ausdall, assessor. In the city, John Leindecker and James S. Burrows were township justices in 1914, and Austin Hollowell and Henry Reichmann held the office of constable. 

The township was named for Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States. It is well supplied with railroads. The Burlington & St. Louis division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy system runs along the Mississippi River; the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant division of the same system runs northward from Keokuk through the central portion; the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific runs along the southern border, and Keokuk is the terminal city for divisions of the Wabash and the Toledo, Peoria & Western railroads. Altogether there are nearly seventeen miles of track in the township, which has over sixty miles of telephone lines, so that facilities for transportation and communication are unsurpassed by any township in the county. 

Outside of the City of Keokuk, the value of the taxable property in 1913 was $499,927. The nine school districts in that part of the township employed ten teachers and enrolled 273 pupils during the school year of 1913-14, and the estimated value of the schoolhouses was $11,000. The population in 1910, exclusive of the city, was 1,438. 

Jefferson Township

Jefferson Township is one of the original ten townships erected by order of the county commissioners in January, 1841. As originally established it included the present Township of Charleston. It is bounded on the north by the Township of West Point; on the east by Madison and the Mississippi River, which separates it from Illinois; on the south by Montrose Township, and on the west by Charleston. Its area is about thirty-three square miles. 

The pioneer settler in Jefferson Township was William Skinner, who came to Lee County in the spring of 1834 and soon afterward selected a tract of land on Sugar Creek, in section 5, for which he afterward obtained a patent from the Government. Mr. Skinner was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, in 1795. In 1816 he married there and soon afterward removed to Cincinnati, Ohio, where his wife died, leaving three children. In 1830 he married Elenora Ferre and in the spring of 1834 came to Fort Edwards (now Warsaw), Illinois, making the trip by steamboat down the Ohio and up the Mississippi. After a residence of about two weeks at Fort Edwards, he decided to "try his luck" in the Black Hawk Purchase. Securing two canoes, he lashed them together and with this homely craft brought his family and effects across the river at the foot of the rapids. His first residence in Iowa was the frame shanty that had been erected by Moses Stillwell on the side of the hill at Keokuk, but which was then unoccupied. 

About that time Lieutenant Crosman came up from St. Louis and began work on the buildings of Fort Des Moines, where the Town of Montrose is now situated. Mr. Skinner was employed to make 20,000 clapboards for roofing the barracks and other buildings, for which he was paid $20 per thousand. After this contract was completed he was employed to superintend the erection of the log houses for the military quarters, because not one of Lieutenant Crosman's men knew enough about "mechanics" to erect a plain log cabin. For this work Mr. Skinner received a salary of $60 per month in "real money," as he afterward expressed it. He also assisted in cutting grass and laying in a supply of hay for the horses of the dragoons, and later built a residence for Colonel Kearney, the first commandant of the fort. With the money received from the Government for this work he paid for his land. 

In December, 1834, he removed his family to his claim on Sugar Creek. As he had been engaged by the Government practically all summer and fall, he had not erected a cabin on the land selected some months before. The family therefore took possession of a small hut that had been built by Chief Black Hawk during the sugar making season. This hut, the walls of which were of small poles and the roof of bark, stood on the east bank of the creek, not far from the present railroad bridge. Subsequently Mr. Skinner erected a cabin of his own on the west side of the creek — the first habitation of civilized man within the present borders of Jefferson Township. 

Hugh Wilson was the second white man to establish a claim in the township, coming a little while after Mr. Skinner and locating in the Sugar Creek Valley. A man named Baker came a little later and in 1838 Mr. Skinner sold his first claim to Henry Applegate and bought Baker's place, the latter going on farther west. 

Concerning early conditions in Jefferson Township, William Skinner some years afterward said: "People hadn't much time for amusement or social intercourse. They were too busy making rails, building fences, cutting and hauling logs to build cabins, etc., to fool away their time hunting after anything that did not promise to add to their hopes of an easier day in the years to come. The settlers were always friendly and frequently visited each other, and while the men indulged in the discussion of such themes as interested them, the women knitted, talked and smoked, for in those days it was not considered unladylike for women to smoke. In fact, smoking was more commonly indulged in by the women than by the men. People lived plain and didn't put on any style then. They made no attempt at display, and when some of the young people concluded to leave the old folks and set up for themselves, they did not receive much of a 'setting out.' Brides didn't receive presents then as they do now. Some who had nothing but a single suit of clothes each when they were married settled right down to hard work and economy, and in a few years were well to do. Young people married for love then and worked to earn homes." 

Among the early couples to get married were Thomas McGuire and a Miss McCullough. Mr. Skinner told how he happened to pass McGuire's cabin soon after the young couple went to housekeeping and stopped for a brief visit, "just to see how they were getting along." He found McGuire and his wife seated on the puncheon floor before the fireplace, eating mush and milk out of an iron pot that stood between them. Each had an iron spoon and a tin cup, but were without either chairs or table. Such cases were not uncommon back in the '30s, yet the men who lived after this fashion were the ones who laid the foundations of Lee County's subsequent prosperity.

The first election in Jefferson Township was held at the house of Cyrus Peck on the first Monday in April, 1841. Arthur Hafferty and Gershom Dawks were elected justices of the peace, and Daniel Dodson and William Grimes, constables. The township officers in 1914 were: Thomas Wilson, George Haeffner and George Smith, trustees; J. M. Kudebeh, clerk; Z. T. Lyon, assessor; August Burg- dorf, justice of the peace.

The first school was taught in the Skinner neighborhood in 1837.- In 1914 the county superintendent reported seven school districts,, in which 1 18 pupils were enrolled during the preceding school term.. The seven schoolhouses were estimated by him to be worth $4,600,. exclusive of the grounds, and the teachers received salaries varying, from thirty-five to fifty-five dollars per month.

Jefferson Township has more miles of railroad and more miles: of telephone lines than any other township in the county— nearly eighteen of the former and over seventy-five of the latter. The St. Louis & Burlington Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway System runs north from Keokuk to Viele, where it turns east. At Viele it forms a junction with the Burlington & Carrollton Divi- sion of the same system, and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe also crosses the township. In 19 13 the value of the taxable property was $605,003, and the population in 1910 was 607. 

Madison Township

What is now Madison Township was originally a part of the Township of Washington. The records of the County Commissioners' Court for April, 1841, contain the following entry: "Ordered. by the board that fractional township sixty-seven (67), range four (4), be, and the same is hereby, set off into a separate township, for the purpose of carrying into effect an act entitled 'An act to provide for the organization of townships, 1 approved January 10, 1840; and it is further ordered that said township shall be known by the name of Madison Township. The first meeting of the electors of said township shall be at the Washington House, in the Town of Fort Madison, on the first day of May next." 

The name was adopted from Fort Madison, and indirectly for James Madison, who was President of the United States from 1809 to 1817. For some reason the election was changed from the first day of May to the first Monday in that month, which fell on the third. John A. Drake and William F. Nelson were elected justices of the peace, and Isaac R. Rose and John D. Williams, constables. In 1 9 14 the justices were Joseph S. Buckler and Joseph A. Nunn, and the constables were C. H. Perry and William F. Kumleh. 

Madison Township is situated on the eastern border of the county. It is bounded on the north by Washington, from which it was taken; on the east and south by the Mississippi River, and on the west by the Township of Jefferson. Its area is about seven square miles, prac- tically all of which is included within the corporate limits of the City of Fort Madison. Much of the early history of the township is therefore included in the chapter relating to Fort Madison, where a majority of the first settlers located. Among those who settled in the township outside of the town were Dr. Campbell Gilmer, near the northwest corner; James Billiard, two miles west of the site of the old military post; John G. Schwartz, Michael Seyb and Harmon Dingman, Germans, who came from the Fatherland in the latter '30s and settled at Fort Madison or in the immediate vicinity. John G. Kennedy and Peter Miller were also pioneers of this township, the former coming from Tennessee and the latter from Maryland. Peter Miller was the second mayor of Fort Madison after the town was incorporated. He likewise served as county commissioner, treasurer and sheriff at different times. 

In the reports of the county auditor, county superintendent and the United States Census Bureau, Madison Township and the City of Fort Madison are treated as the same jurisdiction. From the first of these reports it is learned that the taxable property was valued at $1,034,248 in 1913; that there were then about eleven miles of railroad in the township, and forty-six miles of telephone lines. The report of the county superintendent shows forty-one teachers employed in the public schools, 1,198 pupils enrolled, and five school buildings valued at $65,000. 

Marion Township

At the April session of the county commissioners in 1841, it was ordered that congressional township 69, range 6, be cut off from Franklin Township and erected into a separate township, to be known as Marion. As thus established, and as it has since remained, the township includes the congressional township described in the order and contains an area of thirty-six square miles. It is situated north- west of the center of the county; is bounded on the north by the County of Henry; on the east by Pleasant Ridge Township; on the south by Franklin, and on the west by Cedar. Sugar Creek and some of its tributaries flow in a southeasterly direction across the township, affording good natural drainage and water for live stock, etc. Along these streams the surface was originally covered with a growth of timber, some of which is still standing, but the most valuable trees have long since been cut down and manufactured into lumber. 

It is believed that the first white settler in what is now Marion Township was Alexander Cruickshank, who selected a tract of land in what afterward became the Clay Grove Settlement. He had formerly located in Pleasant Ridge Township, where he cleared a piece of ground and raised a crop of corn in 1834, and in the fall of that year changed his residence to Marion. His son, James Cruickshank, was the first white child born in the township. His birth occurred on May 7, 1835. 

Several settlers came into the township in 1835. Among them was Samuel Paschal, a native of Tennessee, but who removed to Illinois in 1825, and who remained a resident of the township for nearly half a century before his death. A man named May started with his family from Illinois, but died before reaching the Black Hawk Purchase. His widow and children came on and located in Marion, where one son, William M. May, became a successful farmer. James and Elias Overton, Solomon Jackson, Luke Alphin and Joseph Carmack all settled in the Clay Grove neighborhood before the close of the year 1836. 

In that year the government survey was made in the township by Captain Parks, of Michigan, who was employed as a government surveyor for twenty years or more, and the settlers soon afterward obtained their titles to the lands they had selected. Another pioneer was Lindsey Ware, who selected and cleared a farm in the Clay Grove Settlement. His daughter,- Anna, was married to Zedekiah Cleve- land in the winter of 1836 — the first wedding ever solemnized within the limits of what is now Marion Township. 

The first store was opened at Clay Grove by a man named Harlan ; the first school was taught by a man named Turner, in a log cabin on the farm of George Taylor, in the summer of 1839; the first death was that of Lindsey Ware's wife, in August, 1838. Her body was buried upon her husband's farm, but some thirty years later was removed to a cemetery. 

The first regular schoolhouse was built of round logs on Mr. Cruickshank's farm in the fall of 1839. In 1914 there were nine school districts in the township, but during the preceding school year only six teachers were employed and the enrollment was only sixty- three pupils, many of the children attending the parochial schools. 

At the time the township was created, in April, 1841, the commissioners ordered that the first election should be held at the house of John Taylor on the third Wednesday of the following May. No returns of that election can be found. The officers for 1914 were as follows: John W. Raid, Isidor Link and George Hinrichs, trustees; George Hellman, clerk; August Peitzmeier, assessor; John Mittendorf, justice of the peace, and Joseph Fritzjunker, constable. 

Marion has about seven and a half miles of railroad; fifty-five miles of telephone lines, and taxable property in 1913 valued at $587,199. The one line of railroad is the Fort Madison & Ottumwa Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway System, which enters the township from the east near the southeast corner and runs northwest up the Sugar Creek Valley. The population in 19 10 was 746. 

Montrose Township

This is one of the townships bordering on the Mississippi River. It is situated in the southern part of the county; is bounded on the north by the Township of Jefferson; on the east by the Mississippi River, which separates it from the State of Illinois; on the south by Jackson Township, and on the west by Des Moines Township. It was created by the county commissioners on July 8, 1841, by the division of Ambrosia Township, and includes the fractional congressional township 66, of range 4, having an area of about thirty-two square miles. 

Montrose enjoys the distinction of being the site of the first settlement made by a white man within the present limits of Lee County. In 1795 Louis Honore Tesson (sometimes written Louis Tesson Honore) received a grant of land one league square (nine square miles), at such point as he might select, on or near the Mississippi River and within the Province of Louisiana. The grant was issued by Zenon Trudeau, the lieutenant-governor of Upper Louisiana, and was sanctioned by Baron de Carondelet, the Spanish governor-general at New Orleans. By the terms of the grant Tesson was required to plant trees, cultivate the soil, instruct the Indians in agriculture, and endeavor to convert them to the Catholic faith. 

Tesson selected his claim at the head of the Des Moines Rapids of the Mississippi River, where the Town of Montrose now stands, built a house and surrounded it with a picket, planted a garden and set out about one hundred fruit trees — chiefly apples. He also established a trading post and brought his family to the new grant, where he lived for several years. Through his commercial operations he became indebted to some St. Louis parties, and on March 27, 1803, his property at the head of the rapids was sold at public auction to Joseph Robidoux, one of his creditors, for $150. Robidoux died a few years later and left instructions for his executor, Pierre Choteau, to sell all his real and personal property and divide the proceeds equally among his legal heirs. Pursuant to the will of Robidoux and his last instructions to his executor, the Tesson grant was again sold at auction in 1809 and was bought by Thomas F. Riddick for $64. 

In the meantime the Province of Louisiana had passed from Spain to France and had been' purchased from the latter nation by the United States. Under the various treaties by which these transfers were made, the Federal Government agreed to recognize the validity of certain land grants made by the Spanish authorities, one of which was the Tesson grant on the Mississippi. The question came before Congress and a commission of three members was appointed to inquire into and report upon the character of the claim and the legality of the title. This commission made a report in favor of confirming the grant, but Frederick Bates, then recorder in the United States land office at Little Rock, Arkansas, declined to issue a settlement right to more than one square mile of the original one league square, his reason being that the Indian title to the lands had not yet been relinquished to the United States. His action was subsequently confirmed by the federal authorities, and on February 7, 1839, President Van Buren issued a patent for 640 acres to the heirs of Thomas F. Riddick. This patent was recorded in Lee County on March 30, 1839. 

Concerning the old orchard planted by Tesson, it has been stated that the trees were carried from St. Charles, Missouri, on the back of a mule. When the first white settlers came to Nauvoo, Illinois, just across the Mississippi, they would sometimes cross the river to gather apples. In 1834 Lieutenant Crosman established Fort Des Moines upon or near the site of the Tesson Settlement. James C. Parrott, who was a member of Crosman's command and afterward postmaster at Keokuk, in speaking of the conditions at the time the fort was built, said: "We saw many traces of a former settlement around the camp, the most prominent of which was the old orchard of apple trees a short distance below. The orchard at that time contained some ten or fifteen trees in bearing condition. The fruit was very ordinary, being a common seedling. The Indians were in the habit of visiting the orchard and gathering the fruit in its green state, so that none of it, to my knowledge, ever came to perfection. There were also some sage bushes growing in the prairie to the rear of the camp; and there were also remains of dirt or adobe chimneys visible in the same locality; which goes to prove that a settlement had existed there at some former period." 

In 1874, through the influence of Daniel F. Miller, one of Lee County's leading attorneys, the Tesson "Old Orchard Block" was conveyed by George B. Dennison and wife to the mayor and board of aldermen of the Town of Montrose, to be held in trust for the Old Settlers' Association of Lee County as one of the historic points of the county, thus preserving for all time the recollections of the first white man's establishment in Southeastern Iowa. 

After Tesson, the next white man to locate in what is now Montrose Township was Maurice Blondeau, who established a trading post about half way between the present villages of Galland and Sandusky. He has been described as "a jolly, good Frenchman, weighing considerably over two hundred pounds, and a great favorite with the Indians." 

In 1829 Dr. Isaac Galland located about three miles below Montrose, where the Village of Galland is now situated. Here he was joined the following year by Samuel Brierly, William P. Smith and Isaac R. Campbell. In 1832 Capt. James W. White took possesssion of at least a part of the old Tesson grant, built a log house and planted a small field of corn. When Fort Des Moines was established two years later, the Government purchased his claim and the house was used as the first hospital for the post. Late in 1834 Stephen H. Burtis built a log house about a mile and a half below the fort. He was elected a member of the first board of countv commissioners in March, 1838. From that time the settlement of Montrose Township went steadily forward. The title to the lands of the Black Hawk Purchase had become fully vested in the United States on June 1, 1833, and the proximity of Fort Des Moines offered protection to the settlers until it was abandoned in 1837. 

The first school in the township — which was also the first in Iowa — was taught at Galland in 1830 by Berryman Jennings, who afterward went to Oregon and became a millionaire. The report of the county superintendent for the year ending on June 30, 1914, gives seven school districts, which employ eight teachers, exclusive of the five employed in the Town of Montrose, with an enrollment of 185 pupils in the township and 219 in the town. 

Montrose is well supplied with facilities for transportation. Along the eastern border runs the Mississippi River and following its course is the St. Louis & Burlington Division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway System, which passes through the Village of Galland and the Town of Montrose. Farther west is the Keokuk & Mount Pleasant Division of the same system, which passes through the Village of Mount Clara. These lines provide ample shipping opportunities for all parts of the township. Alto- gether the township has about fifteen miles of railroad and seventy miles of telephone lines give communication with all the surrounding country. 

In the order establishing Montrose Township, in July, 1841, it was also ordered that the first election should be held at the Town of Montrose, but no returns of that election are available. The officers of the township in 1914 were: E. B. Crane, John Orth and C. F. Fruehling, trustees; R. P. Allen, clerk; Allan Philip, assessor; A. LeFevre, justice of the peace, and William Braton and William Spain, constables. The value of the taxable property in 1913 was $447,548, not including the property in the Town of Montrose, which was assessed at $57,939. In 1910 the population, including the town, was 1,780. 

Pleasant Ridge Township

The Township of Pleasant Ridge was originally included in the Township of Denmark. Late in the fall of 1842 the citizens living in the western part of Denmark began the circulation of a petition for the establishment of a new civil township, and on January 4, 1843, ^e board of county commissioners ordered: "That so much of Denmark Township as is included in the congressional township 69 north, range 4 west, south of the Skunk River, shall be set off and established as a separate township, to be known by the name of Pleasant Ridge Township." 

As thus erected, the township contains all of congressional township 69, range 4, except a small portion of sections 1 and 2 in the northeast corner, which is cut off by the Skunk River, leaving an area of about thirty-five square miles. It is bounded on the north by Henry County; on the east by Denmark Township; on the south by West Point, and on the west by Marion. The land was surveyed in 1837 and the settlers obtained patents in the years 1838-39. Some coal has been mined in this township. 

One of the first settlers in this part of the county was Alexander Cruickshank, who "staked out" a claim about two miles from the Skunk River early in 1834 and raised a crop there that season. Dur- ing the summer he was employed for awhile in assisting to build the barracks at old Fort Des Moines. There he burned about six hundred bushels of lime — the first ever burned in Lee County — which he sold to the government at \2 l / 2 cents per bushel. In the fall of 1834 Mr. Cruickshank sold his claim in Pleasant Ridge Township and removed to the Township of Marion. 

Other pioneers who came about the same time as Mr. Cruickshank were William and Thomas Clark, Edward, John and David Enslow, George Berry, John Burns, James Foggy, Margaret Damon and a family by the name of Kirkpatrick. Henry Hellman, a native of Germany, came with his family in 1834 and settled in Pleasant Ridge Township. One of his sons, Joseph Hellman, soon afterward became a resident of the Town of Fort Madison, where he resided for many years. 

George Berry was a surveyor and laid off several of the early towns in Lee County, among which are Charleston, Saint Paul and Pilot Grove. In 1837 he taught the first school in Pleasant Ridge Township, in Mr. Kirkpatrick's house. The first schoolhouse, a round log structure of the regulation frontier type, was built in 1839 on section 16. In 1914 there were eight school districts, employing twelve teachers and enrolling 117 pupils. 

The first sermon was preached by Reverend Mr. Pittner, a Methodist Episcopal circuit rider, but the time and place where the meeting was held cannot be learned. The first church was erected on section 16, near the schoolhouse, by Methodist Episcopal denomination. 

When the township was established in 1843, it was ordered that the first election should be held at the house of Thomas M. Clark. No official returns of that election can be found, but from outside sources it is learned that Edward Enslow was elected one of the first justices of the peace. Following is a list of the township officials in 1914 : Joseph Goody, William Hunold and A. P. Fletcher, trustees; J. C. Foggy, clerk; W. J. Niemeyer, assessor; E. A. Snook, justice of the peace. 

Pleasant Ridge has but about two miles of railroad, the Fort Madison & Ottumwa division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy System crossing the southwest corner, but there is no station in the township. There were about fifty miles of telephone lines in 1913, when the property of the township was assessed for taxation at $458,414. The population in 1910 was 588.

Van Buren Township

Van Buren is the most southwestern township of the county and is one of the original ten established in January, 1841. It was named in honor of Martin Van Buren, who was at that time President of the United States. As at first created it included the western half of the present Township of Charleston. Since that township was cut off in 1844, the boundaries of Van Buren have been as follows: On the north by Harrison Township; on the east by Charleston and Des Moines; on the south and southwest by the Des Moines River, which separates it from the State of Missouri, and on the west by the County of Van Buren. Its area is about thirty-three square miles. 

Some authorities give John Tollman the credit of being the first settler. Early in the '30s, after a short residence on the Mississippi, a few miles below Montrose, he built a cabin on the Des Moines River, but, from some descriptions, this location is probably in Des Moines Township. Among the early settlers, about whom there can be no dispute, were Lewis D. Kent, Abraham Hinkle and Lewis Crow, all of whom were living within the limits of the present township in 1836. 

Authorities also differ as to who was the first white child born in the township, some claiming that distinction for Eliza Jane Hinkle, a granddaughter of Abraham Hinkle, and others state that the first birth was that of Lucinda Kent. Both children were born in the year 1836. 

Israel Cameron joined the little colony in 1837 an ^ in 1840 he taught the first school, using his door-yard for a schoolroom. He had fifteen pupils in attendance most of the time, but on rainy days the children received a holiday. In 1913-14 the seven school districts employed nine teachers, and the number of pupils enrolled was 125. David Galland came at the same time as Mr. Cameron and was one of the early justices of the peace. 

Being situated in the half-breed tract, the settlement of the township was slow, owing to the litigation over land titles, and when it was created in 1841 there were probably not more than a score of families living within its borders. After the title question was adjusted by the courts, the settlement of the southern part of the county was more rapid, and in 1910 the population of Van Buren compared favorably with the other townships of the county, being then 613. 

The only railroad in the township is the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, which follows the course of the Des Moines River — about nine miles of track lying within the township. The people living in the northern part are within easy access of the Burlington & Carrollton division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy System, which runs through the southern part of Franklin Township. There were in 1913 over fifty miles of telephone lines in Van Buren, and the taxable property in that year was valued at $284,206 — less than one-third of its actual value. 

When the township was established it was ordered by the board of commissioners that the first election should be held at the house of Abraham Hinkle on the first Monday in April, 1841. At that election John Milliken and John Arrison were chosen justices of the peace; John Richards and John Cuppin, constables. In 1914 the officers of the township were : G. W. Warson, S. W. Wells and W. H. Butlin, trustees; T. C. Pollard, clerk; William Shepherd and Robert Anthony, justices of the peace; Winfield Scott and A. F. Thews, constables; G. W. Ware, assessor. 

Washington Township

It would require considerable research to ascertain just how many civil townships, or other political subdivisions, there are in the country that bear the name of George Washington, the first President of the United States and the "Father of his Country." Washington Township in Lee County is one of the ten established in January, 1841, and as originally created it included the present Township of Madison. Since April, 1841, the boundaries of Washington Township have been as follows: On the north by Denmark Township; on the east by Green Bay; on the south by the Mississippi River and the Township of Madison, and on the west by West Point Township. It includes the congressional township 68, range 4, except a small tract in sections 35 and 36, which is cut off by the Mississippi, and has an area of nearly thirty-six square miles. 

John Box, who came to the Black Hawk Purchase in 1833 and located in what is now Washington Township, is credited with being the first white settler in that part of the county. In 1834 ne was joined by Ebenezer Ayres, Joseph White, Samuel Ross, Benjamin Box, James Smith, John Gregg, John Small, the Herring family, and a Mrs. Palmer, with her two sons — Devore and Lycurgus. 

In April, 1835, Peter P. Jones, a native of New York, and William M. Davis, of Ohio, located lands in the township. D. F. Box, who was born in March, 1835, was the first white child born in the township, where he resided for many years. In October, 1836, John Sawyer came from Massachusetts and settled near the present railroad station of that name. 

By order of the county commissioners in January, 1841, the first election for township officers in Washington was held at the school house on section 16, on the first Monday in April, 1841. At that time Samuel Ross and David Wilson were elected justices of the peace, and Charles Field and William C. Paine, constables. In 1914 Herman Vogt, S. F. Hughes and Gus J. Miller were the trustees; Alex- ander Foggy, clerk; William Mansheim, assessor; S. F. Hayes, justice of the peace, and S. F. Ritter, constable. 

The schoolhouse on section 16, mentioned above, was the first schoolhouse built in the township, but the name of the first teacher seems to have been forgotten. In 1914 the county superintendent reported nine school districts, with an enrollment of 120 pupils. 

Washington has a little over seven miles of railroad, the Fort Madison & Ottumwa division of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy System crossing the southern boundary near the center and running in a northwesterly direction until it enters West Point Township. Benbow and Summit Sidings and Sawyer are the stations in Washington. The township had about seventy-five miles of telephone lines in 1913, and the taxable property was then valued at $488,856. In 1910 the population was 910. 

West Point Township

This is one of the best agricultural townships in the county. It was established in January, 1841, and was made to include congressional township 68, range 5, giving it an area of thirty-six square miles. It is bounded on the north by the Township of Pleasant Ridge; on the east by Washington; on the south by Jefferson, and on the west by Franklin. Sugar Creek flows through the southwestern part. 

So far as can be learned from authentic sources, a young man named Whitaker was the first white man to locate a claim in what is now West Point Township. In 1834 he selected a tract of land in section 5, though the survey had not then been made, and later sold out to John L. Cotton and John Howell. This tract is now the site of the Town of West Point, an account of which will be found in Chapter X. 

In 1835 there were several new arrivals. Among them were two brothers, William and Isham Burton, who came from Indiana and settled in the northwestern part. They made the bricks with which the old Presbyterian Church at West Point was built. In April, 1835, Lewis Pitman came from Kentucky and settled on the creek which still bears his name, where he lived until his death in 1862. About the same time Zedekiah Cleveland, a New Yorker, located near the western boundary of the township and the following year married Anna Ware, whose father lived in what is now Marion Township. Some time in this year William Hunter opened a blacksmith shop at West Point — the first disciple of Tubal Cain in that part of the county. 

During the year 1836 the population was increased by the arrival of William Patterson, Green and John A. Casey, R. P. Creel, Hawkins Taylor and a few others. Patterson was a Virginian; the Caseys came from Illinois, and Creel was a Kentuckian. Both Patterson and Creel afterward removed to Keokuk. Casey, after locating a claim, returned to Illinois and remained there over winter. In 1837 he again came to West Point and made preparations for bringing his family the following season, but soon after returning to Illinois a second time he died. In May, 1838, his widow came to the claim her husband had located, bringing with her two sons — John A. and Joseph M. The latter was at that time about eleven years of age. He afterward became one of the prominent attorneys of Southeastern Iowa and served with distinction as judge of the District Court. 

Pursuant to the order of the board of commissioners at the time the township was created, the first election was held in the Village of West Point on the first Monday in April, 1841. William Alexander and Peleg H. Babcock were elected justices of the peace, and John H. Rickey and John McDonald, constables. The officials of the township in 1914 were as follows: John Rueter, J. G. Honadel and Theodore Vonderhaar, trustees; Herman Lohman, clerk; Henry Harnagel, assessor; John Kempker and Herman Brinck, justices of the peace; Joseph H. Fedler, constable. 

Peleg H. Babcock, who was one of the first justices of the peace, came to Lee County in the winter of 1837-38, having been married but a short time before. After a short sojourn in Fort Madison, he removed to a claim north of West Point, but two years later became a resident of that village. He served as clerk of the territorial council of Iowa and as a member of the Legislature. In 1844 he removed to Fort Madison and four years later was elected clerk of the District Court. In 1859 ne was appointed inspector of the penitentiary at Fort Madison, a position he held for several years. He was a prominent Odd Fellow and when he died members of that order came from all parts of the state to attend his funeral. 

The people of West Point Township have always believed in education. Subscription schools were taught there as soon as enough settlers had located to make it profitable to a teacher, and in 1839 an academy was incorporated. Its history will be found in the chapter on Educational Development. In 1914 there were six school districts, in which seven teachers were employed, and the number of pupils enumerated was 291. 

West Point has about five miles of railroad, of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy System, and there are over thirty-five miles of telephone lines in the township. In 1913 the value of taxable property was $371,819, and in 1910 the population was 1,342, which includes the incorporated Town of West
Point.

Source:  History of Lee County, Iowa, by Dr. S. W. Moorhead and Nelson C. Roberts, 1914

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