This township is bounded on the north by Madison, on the south by
Lincoln, on the east by Union, and on the west by Jackson. North river
and Cedar creek pass through the township, flowing from west to east.
There are several small streams and numerous springs. The township is
finely located, and its natural advantages have been pretty thoroughly
Irvin Baum was the first settler. He came in May, 1846, and was one
of the very first settlers in the county, as well as the first in this
particular township. William and Jacob Combs came soon after. Claiborn
Pitzer came in '47, as did also Robert Evans, George Fry, Jacob Fry and
Jackson Howard. R. P. Bruce and Jonathan Myers came here in '49. Eli
Sulgrave, Emanuel and Sherwood Hamilton were among the other early
The present officers are: Justices - Wm. Garrett, Wm. H. Bard.
Trustees - J. S. Ford, W. E. Terry, J. F. Hays. Constables - E. S.
Mills, M. V. Henry. Assessor - James Foresman. Clerk - John M. Flanagan.
Ivin Baum had the misfortune to lose his cabin by fire a short time
after it was put up. It was a log cabin, 18 by 20 feet, and one of the
best in the county at that time. Without giving any notice the neighbors
for many miles around assembled and put up another cabin for him.
Similarly in 1847 the fences of Wm. Combs were destroyed by fire while
he was absent in Missouri and his crops exposed to the depredations of
stock. The neighbors at once got together and replaced Mr. Combs'
Mr. Davies cites the following incident to show some of the pioneer
experiences in this township: "During the severe winter of '57 the
deep snow had so frozen and crusted on the top that it became
impracticable for horses to travel on it; and the severe weather had
continued so long that some of the settlers were becoming short of food.
Under these circumstances Jacob Combs, William Combs, Irvin Baum and
Lewis Baum determined on going to the mill to procure meal, and to do
this they were obliged to beat the snow with wooden mauls all the way to
Compton's mill, on Middle river; and in this way their horses were
enabled to travel and they to obtain their meal. This is only one of the
many hardships which the early settlers had to undergo.
The map shown above was drawn just 4 years before the history shown above was
written. The map shows the North River starting in Section 7, traversing
the township, and exiting in Section 12. The two cemeteries active at
the time are shown in red. The McDoanld-Chase cemetery had just seen its
first burial the year this map was made. The map maker chose to show just
the approximately 180 families who lived in the township at the time.