At first, the
settlers, without exception, made their claims near the timber, and the
best of the prairie was entered by non-residents and remained unsettled
until 1859. At this time, settlers began to come in rapidly, and in
1854, the township was detached from Iowa and organized. J. Ray and E.
Supple were the first justices of the peace, and Caleb Marston, clerk.
In 1848 Davis Creek post office was established on
section 5, C. G. Maynard being the first postmaster. In 1854 Dairy post
office was established on section 28. R. Prettyman being the first
postmaster. Both of these offices were a long time ago discontinued. In
1880 there was one post-office located in the township. It was called
White Ash and was located on section 1.
The first birth in the township was that of John
Tomkins, son of John and Catharine Tomkins. It is not positively known
where the first school was taught, but Mr. Emmerson taught a very
successful school at Harrisburg in 1854; he was buried at Davis Creek
cemetery. The Kentucky school-house. erected on section 11 in 1845, was
probably the first schoolhouse in the township. The first person
sentenced to the penitentiary from the township. He was convicted of
forgery in 1855.
Harrisburg was laid
out by John Burris in 1855. This town was located on section 14. For a
time, great efforts were made to build up a town. Mr. Burris bought a
large amount of land in the vicinity of the town which was located on
the southwest quarter of the section. Quite a number of lots were sold
and all the land in the vicinity of the proposed town was rapidly
About one hundred houses were built in the town and
on the land adjacent which was supposed to belong to Burris. At the
full tide of prospering, Harrisburg met with a sudden collapse from
which it never recovered, and ever since that time the material
proportions gradually vanished from the mortal eye and its memory
from human recollection. The cause of Harrisburg's decline and fall was
the sudden failure of Burris and the financial ruin of all who o had
anything to do with him.
Baptist, Methodist Churches
Davis Creek Baptist
church was organized July 11, 1868. D. Rice, A. Owens, J. Letiry, J.
Little, W. Owens, F. Green, D. Owens, Mary Letiry, Nancy Green, Eliza
Marston, Jane Rice, Mary B. Green, Mary E.Little, Sarah T. Marsh, and
Margaret B. Owens were the original members in 1858 a frame church
building was erected on the northeast quarter of the section 11.
East Praire M. E. church was organized i n 1870,
with a membership of about 80. In May 1876, the organization bought the
East Prairie school-house, located on section 8, and fitted it up for a
place of worship at a cost of $350.