Harrisonville, Iowa

(Lincoln Township)

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Harrisonville, Iowa  located in Lincoln Township

  Harrisonville was a family settlement consisting of Harrison's and their kin, and a very extensive settlement including Sager, Soule, Roe, Dean, Franklin, Peron, Selbee, Van De Bogart, Sweet, Nash, Bailey and Calkin families.  All originally living in a family settlement near Climax, Kalamazoo Co., Michigan.  They were considered the first permanent white settlers in Kalamazoo County, Michigan in the fall of 1828.  A very clannish family, they also had settlements in Adams Co., Indiana; Hill City, S.D.; Madison Lake, S.D.; Sheridan Co., Nebraska; Kalispell, Montana; Aylesbury and Craik, Saskatchewan; and Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.

The first permanent family member to settle was Galon Soule.  He had just served in the Civil War (23rd Infantry Indiana), and at the end of the war was discharged in Sioux City.  He lived there through 1866;  went and worked as a hired man for the Barrett family, in Lincoln Twp., Plymouth County, Iowa, and the following year took over their homestead.  Galon, traveled to Michigan, and wrote letters expressing his belief that this was great country and the family needed to make the trip.  Finally, in 1872, his uncle, Alexander Harrison I and sons, traveled to northwest Iowa to see what all of the prompting was about.  Alexander invested heavily in the settlement.  He did not move here himself but several of his sons made their way to Lincoln Twp. east of Hinton, Iowa. 

Fred "Keg" Harrison (son of Alexander I) and his uncle, Frederick Harrison and family moved here in 1874; "Keg" 's nephew, Orrin Mils Sager, moved along with his father, Eli Sager, in 1876.  Alexander's sons, Alexander II and Benjamin Carter Harrison had settled in Lincoln Twp. by 1879.  With their father's financing they decided to make the settlement have more of a community feeling.  Ben's original dwelling was in Section 17, by where today the Lincoln Twp. Cemetery is located at the corner of Lynx Avenue and 310th Street.  Both his second wife and their infant daughter, died within months of one another, and so he moved to Section 27, where he established Harrisonville headquarters.

Harrisonville; had a blacksmith shop, bakery, orchard, horse breeding and training facility including a track; also a repair and "inventing" shop.  Many patents were given to Ben Harrison and his workers for agri-related products they invented.  For many years, mail was picked up at James Station, and brought out to Harrisonville for residents to pick up their mail at a local facility in the community.  Harrisonville, encompassed Section 17 through 32, with the headquarters being in Section 27.  This area was called Harrisonville from 1874 through 1901; residents always using a James or Hinton mailing address.  The Harrison family had 3 large threshing crews which they could employ up to 60 additional workers per threshing crew.  Many of the workers were transient relatives who would come to Iowa from Michigan for seasonal work... earning the Harrisonville neighborhood to be called "the Michigan Crowd," by the German settlers in the area.

A few of the buildings remain on the Harrisonville headquarters in Section 27, and of course, the settlers and family are all buried together in Lincoln Twp. Cemetery, once called the Harrison Cemetery.  Also, a community recreational facility was located along the Whiskey Creek, and called Whiskey Slough, consisting of baseball diamonds, a dance hall, boxing and wrestling matches and horse riding facility.  Whiskey Slough continued until the early 1930s.


More Harrisonville History Documentation

(Check out the link above for more detail regarding Harrisonville. Be sure and use your Back Key to return to this page.)

Compiled by Justin Herbst
nlherbst@aol.com



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