Adair County Iowa
History of Jackson Township
The whole of congressional township 75 north, range 33 west, is organized into a civil township, and known by the name of Jackson. It is bounded on the north by Eureka township, on the east by Summerset, on the south by Washington, and on the west by Cass county. The surface is considerably rolling, and it is said that no township in the county furnishes better facilities for stock and sheep-raising. It is well watered by the west branch of the Middle Nodaway river and its tributaries, which furnish an abundant supply of that great necessity of successful stock-raising—good, living water. The “Middle Nodaway,” enters Jackson from the north, on the upper line of section 4, and traverses that section, together with 9, 10, 15, 22,27, 34 and 33, leaving on the south line of the latter. Rutt’s branch, one of the affluents of this stream, enters Jackson from Summerset, at the northeast corner of section 12, and flowing through sections12, 1, 11, 14, and makes a confluence with the main stream in the southeast quarter of section 15. Numerous other small creek and rivulets meander, like silvery ribbons, through the green meadows of other parts of the township, and while they drain, yet add to the fertility of an already fecund soil. This latter is of the dark brown loam that is considered the best for general agricultural purposes. There is considerable timber within the boundaries of this township, and in fact there is more of this valuable product in Jackson than in any other township, with the possible exception of Washington, in the county of Adair. In an early day before the foot of the white man had trespassed upon the soil of this county game was very abundant. But before the settlers came in the buffalo had disappeared, but the wapiti, sometimes called elk, remained in great numbers, while the deer were in myriads. The wapiti were all killed off during the hard winter of 1856-57, or at least after that time but few of them were to be found. So great were their numbers at one time, that tradition says truly, that upon one occasion Abner Root and John G. Vawter marked a route from the east branch tot he middle branch of the Nodaway river, a distance of five or six miles, by planting elk horns which they picked up by the way within sight of each other the whole distance. Deer remained for many years after the wapiti had disappeared and afforded meat to many an impecunious settler in these parts.
This is a purely agricultural township, there being no town within its borders, no railroad traverses its territory, and but one post-office within its limits. The inhabitants are mostly Americans of an intelligent and industrious class, and everything betokens a large degree of prosperity.
EARLY SETTLEMENT. Around a recital of the first settlement of a place lingers a large amount of romance, and oft times it is quite hard for the historian to determine what is true and accurate, and what is not. But it is beyond any question that the pioneer of civilization in this township was Alfred Jones, Sr. This individual, who was a native of North Carolina, came from Kentucky to section 4, in Jackson township, on the 3d of June, 1852, and located there with his family. There he resided until his death, October 18, 1881.About the middle of June of the same year, 1852, Willis Lyons squatted upon section 12, and built a residence thereon. He afterward abandoned this house, and inhabited a dwelling chiefly under ground, made in the bank, near the big spring on section 11. Mr. Lyons claimed considerable of what was afterward Vawter’s grove, which claim he afterward sold to a Mr. Taylor. Mr. Lyons did not stay long, but drifted away. He was of that shiftless class of people that are often found on the verge of civilization, and that seldom improve the country, but on the coming of neighbors, move to other quarters. The Mr. Taylor spoken of above was not a permanent settler, but while on his way to California with a drove of cattle, stopped here, and purchasing the claim of Mr. Lyons, fed and kept his cattle on this claim until spring, when he went on his way to the then new Eldorado of the West.
During the year 1852 John Cears, one of the representative men of the township, came here and located upon section 3, where he now lives. A sketch of him appears among the early settlers of the county, in the chapter devoted to them, in the forepart of this history. Azariah Root, in the fall of 1853, settled upon section 11 with his family, and built him a cabin of hewed logs with frame addition. A history of Mr. Root occurs among the county judges in the representative chapter. Abner Root settled upon section 11 in the fall of 1853, with his father. Four years afterward he removed to section 12,where he erected a frame house, and where he resided some years. He is now a resident of Eureka township, whither he moved in 1876. He was the first sheriff of the county and his sketch occurs in that connection. In 1855 John Martin located upon section 12, and acted as the agent of John G. Vawter, a merchant of Winterset, on this land, which belonged to that gentleman and his partner, a Mr. Lansing. Martin continued to live here until 1866, when he removed to Kansas, where he has since died. J. J. Leeper, afterward county judge, made a settlement on section 34 in 1854,but left this for Washington township, in1856. A sketch of this old settler will be found in the chapter devoted to the representative men of the county. John Kenney located upon section 5 in 1855, where he lived until 1860, when here moved to Kansas. He now resides in California.
William Johnson, a former resident of Michigan, was a settler of the year 1856,locating upon the northeast quarter of section 4 during that year. George Miller settled on section 23 or 24, Jackson township, about the year 1856. He was from Wayne county, Indiana, and followed the double trade of farming and carpentering. He resides at present in the town of Fontanelle.
J. P. Sullivan, who was born in Monroe county, Indiana, October 15, 1827, came West in 1853, and located in Clarke county, Iowa. In 1856 he came to this county, and settled upon the northeast quarter of section 24, of this township, where he lived for twenty years. In 1876 he left here and moved to Nebraska, but is now living in Phillips county, Kansas. He was a very active worker in all township matters while he was a resident of it and took a great interest in educational matters. In 1856 J. B. Sullivan located upon section 34, where he now lives.
John W. Stinman, one of the citizens of Jackson township, who has witnessed much of its growth and development, as well as that of the county at large, was born in New York City, May 22, 1817.His father was a native of New York state, but a descendent of Holland stock, and was a sea captain up to the time of his death, which occurred in New York when he had reached the age of seventy four. His mother was a native of Birmingham, England, where her father followed the occupation of a needle-maker. She removed to America when thirteen years of age, and settled at Tarrytown, New York. John W. came to Adair county in 1857, when the county was, to a great extent, in a state of primitiveness which would hardly be dreamed of at this day, and has consequently witnessed and taken part in all the mingling of hardships and pleasures known to pioneer life, the recital of which is so dear to those who have passed through those times of trial. He first rented the farm of J. J. Walter, on section 11, Jackson township, where he remained two years, then removing to the farm of George Rider, where he also remained two years. He then purchased a piece of land on section 9, on which he built a log house, 16x18 feet, in 1860. In this he lived about eight years. This house was torn down in 1884. He removed from his log house into a more commodious residence which he had built in 1863, which was 20x26 feet in dimension, and in which he now resides. His farm now consists of one hundred and twenty acres, he having added unto his former possessions by the purchase of the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 10. The waters of the Middle Nodaway flow by his house, affording a pleasant prospect. He has about thirty acres of timber land. He was married in September, 1838, to Miss Louise E. Hall, a native of Geneseo, Yew York. They have four children—Anna, their first born is the wife of James Lee, of Red Oak; Joanna L. is the wife of Milton Smith, of Montgomery county; John J. married Miss Delia Campbell, and lives in Eureka; J. W. married Miss Ella Embra, and owns forty acres near the old homestead. Mr. Stinman learned the trade of a carpenter in New York, which was of much use to him in his early labors here. After the family removed to this county, the children had to walk to and from Fontanelle morning and night, in going to school. He is a republican in politics, also a master Mason, and a member of the I. 0. 0. P., both of which orders he has been connected with for many years. He has held the offices of county supervisor, township clerk and school director. Eli Roberts came from Clarke county, Iowa, in 1857, and took up his residence with J. B. Sullivan. He was engaged in breaking land for other parties, and in1859 put up a house on Mr. Sullivan’s place. In 1861 he removed to Oregon, and from there to Colorado, where he died in 1882.
G. P. Rider made a settlement on section 22, in 1858. He was a native of the “Empire State”—New York, whither he returned about 1860. Aaron Codner made a settlement on section15, during the year 1863, where he remained for many years. In 1877 he left this county and went to Kansas, where he is believed to be living yet. Lemuel Lewis came to this township in1863, and located on section 5, where he still lives, being the present postmaster of Jackson post office. He is a native of Tompkins county. New York, born Juen 8, 1814. He was married on the 27th of July, 1836, to Miss Amanda M. Hungerford, by whom he has had two children—Alvira and Truman L.
Among the settlers of 1865, were John Hall Bryant, on section 12; F. V. Jeffreys, on section 3.Fred V. Jeffreys was born in London, England, on the 8th of October, 1828.He was reared there until thirteen years of age, when he came alone to America, and settled in Illinois. He then worked on a farm in different parts of Illinois, and there remained until 1865, when he came to Jackson township, Iowa. He now owns a farm of two hundred and four acres of land, and raises some fine cattle. He was married on the 1st of January,1854, to Ellen O. Cooper. They have had eight children—Richard P., born on the 24th of September, 1855; Thomas D., born October 7, 1857; Roda E., born February29, in leap year, 1860; George A.W., born on the 23d of June, 1863; William F., born June 16, 1870; Minnie J., born on the 29th of January, 1875; James W. R., born January 12, 1876, and Robert Irving, born January 13, 1880. Mr. Jeffreys was a director of the school district. Road supervisor. He raises Poland-China hogs, polled Angus cattle, and has been school treasurer.
S. M. Kendrick made a settlement on section 32, during the year 1866, where he lived some ten years, removing to Nebraska in 1876. Joel A. Aspinwall, a resident of section14, Jackson township, was born in Jefferson county, Wisconsin, January 23, 1849.There he spent his early life, and received his education in the common schools. In April, 1868, he was married to Miss Mary Schofleld, a daughter of Mr. Peter Schofleld, of the village of Menasha, Winnebago county, Wisconsin. Mr. Aspinwall’s attention was first attracted to Adair county through his uncle, Dr. Batos, who lives here, and he removed to this county in the fall of 1869. He has a farm of two hundred and forty acres, one hundred and sixty of which is on section14, and eighty on section 13. He raises various products of the soil, and makes the raising of stock a specialty. He is constantly adding to the value of his property through the thorough processes of good farming. Mr. and Mrs. Aspinwall have three children, whose names are, Maude E., Millard A. and Clark P.
August W. Rechtenbach was born in Germany, on August 1, 1831, and when fifteen years of age he came with his parents to America and settled in Bureau county, Illinois, where he was engaged in agricultural pursuits, until 1869, when he came to this county, locating on his present location in Jackson township, where he now owns a section of land, and raises some fine live stock. He has held the most prominent offices in the township, and is one of the most substantial citizens. He was married in September,1852, to Miss Amelia Neindorf, a native of Germany. They have seven children living—Theodore, John, Gustave G., Elizabeth, William, Mary (died), George H., and Louisa. Mr. Rechtenbach, is a member of the Evangelical church.
Gustave G. Rechtenbach, a resident of Jackson township, resides on section 17, where he owns a large tract of land, known as the Pleasant Hill farm. He has some of the finest stock in the county, and has some of the fine graded cattle. He was born in Germany, on the 6th of December, 1836, and when ten years of age, he emigrated to this country with his parents, and settled in Bureau county, Illinois, where he was reared and educated. In 1871 he engaged in the implement and lumber business in Ohio and Illinois, and was so employed until the spring of 1879. He then began the hardware business, and so continued for several years. In 1880 he came to this county, and was here engaged in improving his farm in the summer and returned to Illinois in the winter. In1883 he brought his family, and his present house and farm buildings were soon built. Mr. Rechtenbach was married in May, 1858, to Miss Christina Bahler, a native of Germany. They have two adopted children—Catharine R. and Alice A.
Mr. Rechtenbach has at the head of his herd of fine cattle a bull called Leo II, born April 27, 1881, bred by J. W. Bailey, of Ohio, Illinois, and sired by Leo No. 35,982, A. H. B. His dam was Lady Somerset by Mayflower, No. 10,469. Her dam, Essie by Clay Muscatoon, No.11,517. Her dam. Queen of May by Muscatoon, and the various sires, Phil Sheridan (imported), Marquis, Red Jacket, Oliver, Mohawk and Sam Martin.
Truman L. Lewis, one of the prominent men of Jackson township, was born in Oswego township. New York, on the13th of November, 1844. He was reared and educated there, and when sixteen years of age he went to learn the general trade in a woolen mill in Mexico, New York. In 1863 he came with his parents to Fontanelle, where he clerked for J. 0.Gibbs, and worked in and about town until the spring of 1866, when he located on his present farm, where he owns eighty acres of land, all well improved. He was united in marriage, in 1873, to Miss Julia D. Taylor, a native of Wisconsin. They have four children living—Stella I., Newton E., Charles and William R. Mr. Lewis is a member of the I. 0. 0. F. and of the Evangelical church.
Henry J. Roos came to Adair county in 1881, and located upon one hundred and sixty acres of good land in Jackson township, where he now lives. He was born in Germany on the 25th of December,1853, and emigrated to America several years after. He then settled in Henry county, Illinois, and resided on a farm until 1873, when he removed to Bureau county and there remained some three years. He then moved to Mason county, Illinois, where he lived until1881 when he came to this county and settled on his present location. He was married on the 17th of July, 1877, to Miss Mary Bruning, a native of Mason county, and by whom he has had four children, two of whom are now living—Sadella, Oscar G. (living), Lillie and a boy not named (dead). Mr. Roos is a member of the Evangelical church.
Henry Burg, section 18, Jackson township, is a native of Germany, born on the 4th of October, 1844, and in 1852 he came with his family to this country, and located in Lee county, Illinois, where he received his education. In 1864 he enlisted in Company E, 140th Illinois infantry, and served in that capacity until November, 1864, when he returned home. In 1874 he came to Adair county, and settled in Jackson township, where he now owns eighty acres of well improved land, and raises some stock. He was married on the 23d of September, 1874, to Miss Anna M. Gruss, a native of Germany. Mr. Burg is a member of the Catholic church, and was trustee in 1883.
Jacob Burg, a brother of Henry Burg, was born in Germany, on the 15th of March, 1840, and in 1852 he came to this country. In 1879 he came to this county and located in his present location, on section 18, where he owns eighty acres of good land. He was married in November,1867, to Miss Caroline Cruss, a sister of Anna Cruss, and a native of Germany. Edwin R. Faurote is a native of Ohio, born on June 16, 1850, and in 1854 he came to Winterset, Iowa, where he was reared and educated. When eleven years of age he received the position as clerk in a store, belonging to W. W. Moore, of Des Moines. In 1870 he was there engaged in the grocery business, and eight months later he sold out and removed to Kansas, where he resided until the fall of 1871, when he returned to Iowa, and located in Summerset township, Adair county. After remaining there several months, he came to his present location, where he and his wife’s grandfather, J. Bryant, own three hundred and twenty acres of good land, and Mr. Faurote owns one hundred and sixty acres of land in Eureka township, which he rents. He was married on the 28th of November, 1872, to Josephine E. Leobo. They have four children—Elsie M., John J., Jennie M., and Francis G.
John Hall Bryant, a grandfather of Mrs. Faurote, was born in Delaware in April, 1803. He came to Adair county in 1865, and settled on section 12, Jackson township. He was married in June,1824, to Miss Sophia Daw. They had seven children—Abram P.; Harriott T. married Francis Leobo, and is the mother of Mrs. E. R, Faurote; Katy A., Isaiah W., Conrad, John D., and George W. Mr. Bryant is over eighty-one years of age, and is in good health for a man of his years.
Norman Norton was born in Oswego county. New York, in 1831, and is the son of John C. and Betsey E. (Sterling) Norton. He was the seventh of a family of nine children, and was there reared and educated, and farmed until 1852,when he went to Napa county, California, and there farmed for three years, when he returned to New York and there resided until 1861, when he came to Cass county, Iowa, and in the fall of the same year came to Jackson township, Adair county, and in 1864 he came to his present location on section 4, where he owns two hundred and eleven acres of well-improved and. He was justice of the township in1862, and again elected in 1880 and ‘81, and has been township trustee. He is a member of the I. 0. 0. F., Legion of Honor, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Norton was married in September,1857, to Miss Elvira S. Lewis, in Mexico, New York. They have had three children — Addie (dead), Minnie and John W.
John Latas resides on section 22, Jackson township. He is a native of Poland and was born on the 18th of September,1826. He was there reared and educated, and there remained until 1847, when he enlisted in the Austrian army, and was in the Hungarian war. In 1850 he escaped from the army to England, and from thence to America, locating in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he learned the iron and brass mechanical work. He then went to St. Louis, Missouri, and there worked about two years, when he moved to Leavenworth in 1857. He then traveled through Wisconsin, finding a location, where he at last settled in Grant county, Wisconsin, and in 1868 he came to his present location in Adair county, Iowa. He owns two hundred and eighty acres of well improved land, a small orchard and some fine farm buildings. He was married in April, 1850, to Miss Caroline Ranley, a native of Germany. They have seven children living—Albert P., Catharine, Jacob, Mary, George, Magdelena and Louisa. Mr. Latas has held several offices of trust, and has been a very prominent man in the township.
George Reis was born in Germany, on the 4th of November, 1821. He learned the milling trade, and continued at that business until 1849, when he came to America, and settled in Illinois, where he worked in a brick yard for one month. He then moved to Marshall county, Illinois, and there farmed until 1855, when he moved to Lee county, where he lived until 1880. He then came to his present location in Jackson township, Adair county, Iowa, where he owns one hundred and sixty-six acres of land on section 19,and his farm is known as one of the best in the township. He was married in November,1857, to Miss Margaret Beitz, of Germany. They have nine children—Katie, Maggie M., George, (dead), Lizzie, Anna M., Carrie, Emmack, John, Barbara and George W. Mr. Reis is a member of the Catholic church.
Josiah A. Daugherty, of Jackson township, though not so essentially an early settler in the county as some others, has still been here long enough to witness many changes. He was born in Crawford county, Pennsylvania, December 6, 1829, his father, John D., being a native of Virginia and having the honor of being the son of a revolutionary war soldier. He was a farmer and stone-mason in Pennsylvania, and died there in 1854. In the fall after his father’s death Josiah came with his mother to Dubuque county. He came to Adair county, May 31, 1869, and bought one hundred and seventy-five acres of Truman Poce, on which he has farmed since. He made valuable improvements which were burned in 1880, and the pleasant residence he now occupies was built since that occurrence. He was married September 14, 1854, to Miss Nancy Mason, of Venango county, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of William Mason. They have eight children—Frank M., Ruth 0., William E., Clara B., Effie A., Oscar and Austie (twins), and Josephine. Mr. Daugherty is an enterprising farmer, and success is crowning his labors to improve and keep up his place.
Isaac Bailey, one of the enterprising farmers of Jackson township, was born in Butler county, Ohio, March 8, 1837, being the son of Thomas Bailey, a cooper by trade, his people being natives of Virginia and of Scottish descent, on his mother’s side. When quite young his parents removed to Montgomery county, Indiana, and here Isaac was raised, spending much of his time at the cooper’s trade with his father. He came to Adair county, in the fall of 1873, and bought his present farm, consisting of one hundred and forty-five acres in sections 11 and 12. He removed onto the farm in September, 1874, and has since paid his attention to its cultivation. Forty acres of the land is in a high state of cultivation, the remainder being in pasture, with the exception of a portion that is covered with a young growth of timber. He makes stock raising a specialty. He was married in Montgomery county, Indiana, to Miss Thompson, by whom he had two children. She died September 4, 1867. He was again married in August, 1870, to Miss Elzena Timbleson, by whom he has had five children. Mr. Bailey’s farm has a good running stream on it, and a good bearing orchard with grapes and small fruit.
HISTORIC ITEMS. The first election for township officers was held in October, 1861, at the house of Abner Root. The first preaching in the township was at the house of Alfred Jones, sr., by the Rev. Harris Standly. The first election in Jackson township was held in 1853, while this county was apart of Cass, at which time Alfred Jones, sr., was elected justice of the peace. The first marriage in the township was that of Joseph W. Betts and Polly G.Thompson, on the 18th of August, 1856,by Judge Azariah Root.
ORGANIC. The township of Jackson was organized in 1861, and the first election took place upon the 8th of October, of that year, at the house of Abner Root, at which time the following officers were chosen: Abner Root, E. Whitney and James Tolen, trustees; J. P. Sullivan, clerk; J, B. Sullivan, assessor; N. Norton and N. S. Taylor, as justices and road supervisors. The present officers are the following: E. H. Sullivan, clerk; J. B.Sullivan, Isaac Bailey and T. T. Smith, trustees; J. A. Aspinwall, assessor; William Campbell, justice. The first death in Jackson township occurred on the 24th day of December,1860, and was that of the wife of John Martin. The body was buried on Azariah Root’s farm, but in 1869, it was disinterred and re-deposited in the bosom of mother earth, in the cemetery on section 12. The first child born in the township was that of Miniture Jones, born in 1853.The child with its parents live on the Missouri river.
POST-OFFICE. The post-office in this township is named after it, Jackson, and was established in1872, with Ed. Bancroft as postmaster. He ran it for about two years, when he was succeeded by Lemuel Lewis, in April,1874. Mr. Lewis is the present incumbent and holds the office on section 5, where he has a small stock of groceries, put in by him in November, 1880.
EDUCATIONAL.The first school-house in the township and county was erected in 1856, by Abner Root and Abram Piatt, on section 12, near the residence of E. R. Paris. The first school-teacher was Miss Phoebe McDougal. The first term was for five months, and the general attendance about thirty. The salary attached to this arduous position was the munificent salary of three dollars per week and board. The pioneer board of directors was composed of three members: Azariah Root, Alden Smith and John Martin. The present board of school control in Jackson township is composed of the following excellent material: E. R. Faurote, Simon Adamson,T. T. Smith, G. H. Metzgar, H. Pfundheller, C. D. Newberry, Joseph Dory, Peter Howe and A. D. Groves. E. H. Sullivan is secretary, and T. T. Smith, treasurer. School district No. 2 was organized in 1859, and a school-house was built of native lumber by Joseph Richand J. W. Stinman. This was 16x18 feet in size, and the pioneer teacher was Miss Kate Henning. The present house was built in the fall of 1872, by Madison and Roberts, and is 20x30 feet in size. The first teacher was Stephen Jones, and the present one Miss Ella Brown. School District No. 3 was organized in 1870, and embraces sections 5, 6, 7and 8. A school-house was erected the same year, in which F. H. Gears was the first teacher. A new building was erected in the fall of 1883, on the northeast corner of the northeast quarter of section 7.This is 26x34 feet in size, and cost about$750, together with the furniture. The present teacher is Miss Mary Sullivan, who has about thirty-five pupils. School District No. 4.—The first schoolhouse was the old one formerly used in district No. 5, which was moved here in1873. This was used for about two years when the present house was erected by W. M. Madison, at a cost of about $1,000.The first school in the old building was taught by Ralph Dorance; the first in the new one Miss Lizzie Totten, the present one M. 0. Reed. The district comprises all of sections 17, 18, 19 and 20. This district was organized in 1866.School District No. 5 embraces sections15, 16, 21 and 22. The first schoolhouse was erected in 1862, on the southwest quarter of section 15, and was a small frame building. The present commodious house was erected in 1876, by John Taylor, of Fontanelle, on the site of the old one. School district No. 7 embraces sections 25, 26, 36 and 35. The house is an old one, having been put up of native lumber in 1869, at a cost of $800. School district No. 8.—The first schoolhouse in the south part of the township was built in the spring of 1866. This was a small building, 14x16 feet in size, constructed of native lumber. Here Miss Sarah Sullivan taught the first school, and had but five scholars. This house stood on the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 34. In 1876 this schoolhouse was sold to L. A. Ohaffa, who uses it as a granary. A new house was then erected on the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 28, which is26x32 feet in ground area, and which cost $600. The first teacher in the new building was Miss Esther Ward, and during the summer of 1884, Miss Jennie Daugherty, who had some thirty children under her. School district No. 9 embracing sections 29, 30, 31 and 32, has a school-house on the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of section 32, which was built in1870. This is 18x22 feet in dimensions, and cost about $700. Miss Eva Bancroft was the first teacher, and Peter Groves the last, in the summer of 1884.
MILL.The pioneer steam saw-mill of the county was built in Jackson township by Mr. Vawter in 1859, on section 11. This was in what was called Vawter’s grove, the greater part of which was claimed by Willis Lyons in 1852, but which claim he sold out to a Mr. Taylor, who in turn disposed of it to Lansing and Vawter. The mill was not a paying investment and was soon afterward removed.
Taken from "History of Guthrie and Adair County Iowa, 1884", transcribed by Carlyss Noland