Adair County Iowa
History of Jefferson Township
This subdivision of Adair county lies in the northern tier, the second from the east line of the county, and is a full congressional township, known as township 77 north, range 31 west. It is bounded on the north by Guthrie county, on the east by Lincoln township, on the south by Grove, and on the west by Walnut. The surface is rolling, and the soil a dark productive loam that yields a large return to the busy husbandman. It is mostly prairie, but some timber is found along the streams, and quite a fine body of it is found in the south part along the banks of Turkey creek. This grove consists of white, red and burr oak, elm, butternut, bass and poplar. Many trees have been cut from this grove, but there is considerable good timber left. The township is watered by Middle river, Turkey, and many other creeks and their tributaries. Middle river enters from the west, on section 7, and flowing in a general southeasterly course, intersects sections 7, 8, 17, 20, 21, 22, 27 and 35. In the northwest part of the latter it makes a confluence with Turkey creek. This latter stream, rising in Walnut township, flows into this township on the west line of section 30, and in an easterly course, crosses sections 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, and in 35 enters the main stream as above mentioned. Numerous other streams have their head in the northern part of the township, and all afford an excellent supply of that great necessity of all stock-raisers and farmers—good, living water. There is no town within the borders of Jefferson, and but one post office, that known as Holaday’s, on section 28. The inhabitants are, as a class, industrious and energetic, and all seem in a prosperous condition. By the census of 1880 this township is seen to have had a population of eight hundred and forty four souls, but in the four years that have elapsed since then this has largely increased.
EARLY SETTLEMENT. The first to make a settlement within the present boundaries of Jefferson township was William Alcorn, who came here in the spring of 1850, and taking up a claim on section 27, near the upper crossing of Middle river. He could not enter land at that time, so simply took the claim and put up his cabin. This was on the farm now owned by George B. Wilson. Here Mr. Alcorn resided until he sold out to John Febus, when he took up another claim on section 33, now owned by Andrew Dickey. In the fall of 1854, growing dissatisfied with his surroundings, he removed to Winterset, Madison county, and now resides near Redfield, Dallas county. He is a native of Illinois, but came to this county from Dubuque. With Mr. Alcorn came John Gilson, who made a settlement, in 1850, on what is now the McGinnis farm. He afterward removed to Harrison township, and later left the county. A sketch of this gentleman will be found in the chapter devoted to national, state and county representation, under the sub-head of county clerks, he being the first to fill that position in Adair county.
Daniel Vancil came from Illinois in the same spring of 1850, and settled on section 35, on the farm now owned by J. B. McGinnis. He erected him a log cabin here, about the same time that William Alcorn did. He did not enter any land, but has the reputation of having been a “claim jumper.” In the fall of 1852 he returned to Illinois, where, about a year afterward, he was hung by a mob of infuriated citizens, he lying under the imputation of considerable crookedness.
George M. Holaday came to this township in the spring of 1853, and settled on what is now the Baker farm, on section 26. Here he built a double log cabin, which was said to be the best house in the county at the time. A full sketch of this gentleman will appear further on, in the judicial chapter, he having been elected the first county judge of this county.
John Febus came to what is now Jefferson township from his native state, Indiana, in the spring of 1853, and purchased the land of William Alcorn, on section 27, for some $300. He remained here until the fall of 1855, when he moved to Winterset, Madison county, and later to Nebraska, where he died.
Jacob Bruce came to this township in the fall of 1853, and settled upon section 33 in the following spring, where he is still living. A sketch of Mr. Bruce is inserted in the chapter devoted to the early settlers of the county in a former part of this volume. Mr. ‘ Bruce entered the second piece of land in the county, William McDonald having made the first entry.
Mahundry Hollingsworth, in 1854, came to this vicinity and settled upon section 27 on what is now the Loucks’ farm, where he built a cabin. In 1856 he left here and went to Winterset. He came from Indiana. Section 27 received another settler in 1854 in the person of Samuel Minert. He was a native of Indiana and was a tenant on the farm of Mahundry Hollingsworth. He remained here about a year, and then removed to Harrison township, and some time after left the county. He is now dead. Among the arrivals of 1854 was David H. Shields, a native of Georgia, from whence he had come to seek a home in Iowa. He came here in the spring of the year, and in the fall purchased two hundred and forty acres of land on sections 27 and 34, of John Febus. On the 19th of April, 1855, Shields sold this land to George B. Wilson, and moved into Harrison township, and purchased the claim of John Gilson. He, after a few years, removed from the county.
George B. Wilson moved to Adair county, June 16, 1855, having, in April previous, purchased of David Shields two hundred and forty acres of land, one hundred and sixty of prairie and eighty acres of timber, situated on sections 27 and 34, Jefferson township, known as the Alcorn place. G. B. Wilson was born in Highland county, Ohio, September 5, 1825. He moved with his parents to Indianapolis, Indiana, in the fall of 1843, where he resided until the spring of 1855. From thence he moved to his present home. He was married in the fall of 1850, to Sarah A. McClure, a daughter of Benjamin and Nancy (Watts) McClure, of Indianapolis. The father of G. B. Wilson lived to the good old age of eighty-eight years. His mother and only brother fell victims to the cholera in the fall of 1850, near Indianapolis, Indiana. Of a family of eight children all have passed away but the subject of this sketch, and a sister, a resident of Chicago, Illinois. G. B. and Sarah A. Wilson have a family of five children living and two dead—Flora E., Mary A., Charles L,, Oscar D. and Arthur F. G. B. Wilson has given his attention to farming in the main, though he has connected therewith for many years, showing lands for entry, buying and selling lands, acting as agent for non-resident landowners, paying taxes, making collections and has been for many years a notary public. He is probably the oldest postmaster in Iowa, as he has filled that position at Holaday’s for over twenty years. The subject of this sketch being averse to seeking and holding office had, at an early day, much against his will, to fill various township offices, as the result of his being a fair accountant and a good penman. He is now making a specialty of thoroughbred shorthorn cattle and Poland-China hogs, which he takes pleasure in showing to lovers of good stock. He has at the head of his herd of shorthorns Wiley Duke 3, a Bates’ bull, bred by Martin Flynn, of Polk county, Iowa. “Wiley Duke” was sired by Baron Stanhope, a noted prize winner, who won first prize as a yearling at the Western Provincial Fair, in 1878, and also of the golden medal (sweepstakes), beating the best show bulls in Canada. His winnings at the Iowa State Fair in 1873 were first prize in his class as a two-year-old, first position at the head of first prize herd, and the grand sweepstakes prize.
Doctor William Tingle in the spring of 1855, came from Indiana, and entering the land opened up a farm on section 36, on which he built a cabin. He afterward sold out to Shreeves and Hollingsworth, and moved to Winterset, where he kept a hotel. He some time ago removed to Audubon county, where he is supposed to be living at the present, although this is not certain, as he has not been heard from for some time.
Patrick Hugh, (Hall), a native of the Emerald Isle, came here in the spring of 1856, from Keokuk, Iowa. He rented the farm now owned by John Loucks, where he staid until he had raised a crop, when he removed to Walnut township, and has since left this county. When he moved here a sister-in-law, Ann McCallister, came with the family. She afterward married an Englishman by the name of Thomas Fox, who was a very peculiar man, and with whom she did not live very happily. To have peace, they came before William H. Easton, a justice of the peace, to have drawn up and signed, papers for a division of the property. When this was done, Mr. Fox took his papers, and showing them to the neighbors, remarked, “ I’m all right now; I’ve got a divorce, now;” not seeming to realize that a justice court could not grant a divorce. His wife, on hearing of this would get mad, and come before the justice and make complaint of her husband because, “He didn’t mark the ground straight, or plow straight,” and wanted to know what she could do about it.
A party, always spoken of as “ Old Glunt,” and whose prasnomen seems to have been forgotten, came from Indiana in 1856, and rented the Holaday farm and put in a crop, but before harvest time had quite come around, he sold the growing crop and the lease of the place to John Easton, and returned to Indiana.
Stover Rinard made his appearance in this township in April, 1856, and located upon section 8. He is a native of Randolph county, Indiana, and is the son of Adam and Patience (Greene) Rinard, and was born March 29, 1832. He came to this state in 1855 with Lewis Underwood and Jeremiah Rinard, and with them tarried in Henry county for a short time before coming to this section. He was married in Henry county to Miss Elizabeth Underwood, daughter of Lewis and Keziah Underwood, on the 4th of July, 1855. The fruit of this union has been four children—Charles P., Nettie M., Ulysses G, and Alonzo. Mr. Rinard is still a resident of the township. In the summer of 1856 Jeremiah Rinard made a settlement on section 5, in this township, with his family. He built a cabin on the south half of the northeast quarter of the section, where he lived for many years. He came from Indiana, where he was born, and in August, 1879, removed to Franklin county, Kansas, and in 1883, to Washington county, Arkansas, where he is now living. He was married in Indiana, in 1850, to Miss Lucinda Underwood, a daughter of Lewis and Keziah (Bond) Underwood. They had two children—Alonzo H. and Amorian. Mrs. Rinard died at her residence in this township, February 5, 1870.
George Welker came to Jefferson township from Indiana, in the summer of 1856, and settling upon section 36, entered eighty acres, and put up a log cabin. He lived here but a short time when he removed to Madison county, but is now a resident of Harrison township, this county. Before leaving he sold his claim to John R. Short, who had just come to this place from Indiana, of which state he was a native. Short settled down upon his farm, but shortly after the war he sold out to Barnet Isley, and went to Dallas county, and when last heard from, was living about twenty miles north of Des Moines. He was, or thought he was, which amounts to pretty much the same, a pettifoger and quite shiftless, and disliked work. It is said of him that he would leave any work to attend a law-suit, although he would never charge anything for his services in any suit he defended or brought for his neighbors.
Stroud A. Petts, - a brother-in-law of Mr. Sherer, also made a settlement on section 3, in this township, in the summer of 1856. He came from Lee county, Iowa, and building a cabin, lived here until the summer of 1859, when he died at Greenbush, Warren county, where he had gone for medical treatment, and was buried there. His widow afterward married a man by the name of Rich, who was killed by the caving in of a well, about two years after the marriage.
Sino Sherer came here in the summer of 1856 from Lee county, Iowa, and settled on section 7, where he built a cabin. In 1865 he sold out to B. F. McMullen, and moved to Andrews county, Missouri, where he was living at the last accounts. He was road supervisor while here, and being a man of limited education, always spoke of a culvert as a “culprit,” which was the occasion of many a hearty laugh at his expense.
Simon Barrows, a single man, came here in the fall of 1856 from Davenport, Iowa. He was a native of Massachusetts, and came to superintend a large tract of land. He took possession of, and occupied a cabin that had been built on section 33. He taught the first school in this township in the winter of 1856-7,’ and was elected to the office of county superintendent of schools in 1861, but resigned before the expiration of his term of office. He then removed to Des Moines, and shortly after was elected superintendent of common schools of Polk county, in which office he served one or two terms, and then removed to Adams county, where he preached. He was a strong Congregationalist, and had done some preaching while in Adair county.
John Loucks settled upon section 27 during the month of December, 1856, where he still resides. John Loucks is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, and was born on the 15th of December, 1824. He was married in Marion county, Indiana, March 13th, 1845, to Miss Catherine M. Robinson, who died in June, 1849. On the 1st of January, 1851, he was again married to Mrs. Vastha Day, a daughter of Benjamin McClure. They have seven children—Lydia P., Theophilus, Hannah J., David, Eddie, Kate, and Hallie. John came to Polk county, Iowa, in October, 1854, and there remained until 1856, when he came to Adair county and settled on section 27, Jefferson township, where he owns four hundred and forty acres of land, all under cultivation, and has some fine-graded shorthorn stock, sheep and hogs. He was called out when Anderson made a raid through this part of the state, but it was only for a short time, and was offered the resolution to give every soldier who went from this county, a coupon bond for a hundred dollars, payable twenty dollars a year with interest, besides regular bounty. Mr. Loucks is a member of the Christian church, has been road supervisor, school treasurer, and called the first school meeting in the township in 1857. He learned the carpentering trade in Greenfield, Illinois, and there received most of his education. He has been secretary of the school board, trustee and justice of the peace, chairman of the republican party of Adair county, and is at present a member of the cemetery association. Mr. L. has taken a prominent part in the politics of this county, and by his good judgment and wisdom has made many friends in the republican party.
John Shreeves came from Winterset in 1857. He is now engaged in the lumber business in Greenfield. A sketch of him appears among the county officers of the county. John Easton resides on section 22, Jefferson township, where he owns one hundred and twenty acres of good farm land, and ten acres of timber, and follows general farming and stock-raising, having some fine imported stock. He was born on the 1st of March, 1808, near Cazenovia, New York. He moved with his parents to Onondaga county, in 1812, and there remained until 1827, when he came to Oswego county. He came to Peoria, Illinois, in 1837, where he followed carpentering, and came to Kickapoo mills in Peoria county, in 1851, where he operated a flouring mill until 1857. In 1857 he came to his present township, Adair county, and settled on section 26. In the spiing of 1858 he bought a small log cabin on section 22, in which he lived until 1864, when he built his present residence, which has scarcely an equal in the township. He was married in February, 1833, to Miss Ruth Twichelle, a daughter of Sawin Twichelle. They have, five children— William H., Dorcas, John, Hannah and Minnie. Mr. Easton has been honored by the office of justice of the peace. William H. Easton, a son of John and Ruth (Twichelle) Easton, is a native of Oswego county, New York, having been born on the 17th of November, 1833.- He moved with his parents to Peoria, Illinois, in 1837, where he was married in 1854 to Miss Mary J. Thurston, a daughter of Jesse Thurston. They have been blessed with eight children—Mary Emma, Ella May, Ruth Caroline, Nathaniel Lyon, J. Scott, William H., Edwin S. and Adeline.
In May, 1855, Mr. Easton entered four hundred and forty acres of prairie land in Jefferson township, and bought seventy acres of timber land of G. M. Haladay on section 4, Grove township. He returned to Peoria, Illinois, and in October of the same year he moved his family to his land, spending the winter in a log cabin, which is now standing on the farm of Andrew Dicky. He built a log cabin on what is now his present location, and there lived until 1882, when he erected his new dwelling place. He now owns four hundred acres of good cultivated land, and ten acres of timberland, which is of great value. He is a general farmer and stock-raiser having some fine shorthorn cattle. Mr. Easton has held every township office, and helped make the first assessment while in the assessor’s office, and was the second representative from Adair, being elected in the fall of 1873. Dillon Hunt, a native of Indiana, made a settlement in 1858, on section 7, buying a farm of Stover Rinard. He shortly afterward sold the farm to a Mr. Still, and returned to his native state. Mr. Still re-sold the place to its former owner, Stover Rinard.
Samuel S. Beale, supposed to have been a native of Indiana, came to Jefferson in 1858 and rented a farm owned by William Hollingsworth, on section 35, where he resided about a year and a half, when he moved to Andrews county, Missouri. One of his sons is the editor of one of the journals of Springfield, Missouri. James Horn back, in the spring of 1859, came from Winterset, and rented the Hollingsworth and Holaday farms, where he remained about a year, when he returned to Madison county. He was an Indianian. Jonathan Shreves was born in Clay county, Illinois, on the 8th of April, 1836. His father died, and in 1844 Jonathan and his mother moved to Montgomery county, Indiana, and in 1850 came to Madison county, Iowa, where the subject remained until 1860, when he came to Adair county, and settled in Jefferson township. He was married on October 11, 1860, to Miss Dorcas A. Easton, a daughter of John and Ruth (Twichelle) Easton. They have one child, Lydia Shreves. He enlisted in August, 1862, at Greenfield, in Company D, Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry. He was in the engagements at Helena, Little Rock, Arkansas; Mobile, Alabama, and several smaller engagements. He was honorably discharged on the 10th of August, 1865, at New Orleans. Mr. Shreves owns one hundred acres of good land, all under cultivation. His nicely cultivated farm and well breeded stock show that Mr. Shreves is an intelligent and progressive farmer, and one who meets with the best success.
OTHERS now began to flock into this territory, until today the township has quite a large class of intelligent agriculturalists, among the more prominent of which are the persons mentioned below: Benjamin F. McMullen is a native of Montgomery county, Virginia, and was born on August 30, 1824. He removed with his parents to Tazewell county, Virginia, in the fall of 1847, and there remained until 1860, when he came to Guthrie county, and to his present location on section 7, Jefferson township, in 1864. He has two hundred and ten acres of land, mostly under cultivation, and a large pasture. He is a member of the Purity lodge, No. 283, A. P. and A. M., of Casey, and has been justice of the peace and a member of the board of supervisors. Mr. McMullen was married in the fall of 1847, to Miss Oelia Carter, a daughter of John Carter. Mrs. McMullen was killed by lightning in May, 1867, while in bed. It cut a path about the width of a finger down Mr. McMullen’s left side, and shattered the bed-post at the foot.” Mrs. McMullen left six children— J. Hershell, Oasiah, Millard, Cyrus, 61 Lucinda and Abram. Mr. McMullen was married again, in 1868, to Miss Mary Zornes, by whom he has had six children Emiline, Frank, Charlie, Dora, Delilah and Clara. His eldest son, John Hershell, was born on the 1st of July, 1848, in Virginia. He came to Thompson township, Guthrie county, in 1860, and in the spring of 1863 he came to Jefferson township, Adair county, and settled on his present location on section 7 in 1868. He owns fifty-two acres of good land, and has a fine stock of Norman stock. He is a member of the Purity lodge, No. 283, A. F. and A. M. William F. Edgerly, born on the 16th of September, 1842, is a native of Exeter, Maine, and is the son of William and Hannah (Leighton) Edgerly. He was united in marriage on the 25th of July, 1863, to Miss Artemisa Billings, daughter of Dr. John Billings. Their union has been blessed with two children—Clara and Alice. In 1866 William moved to La Salle county, Illinois, and there remained until 1875, when he came to his present location in Adair county, Iowa. He now owns one hundred and sixty acres of good improved land, on section 14, Jefferson township, and is general farmer and stock raiser. He has held the township offices of trustee and assessor, and has held the office of secretary of school board for four years, and is now in that office. William A. Perkins is a native of Barron county, Kentucky, having been born on the 1st of February, 1812, and is the son of Jesse and Mary (Allen) Perkins. He was married there to Miss Virginia Perkins, a daughter of Charles Perkins. Mr. Perkins died in Marshall county, Illinois, leaving one child, Virginia. He was again married in Illinois, in 1855, to Miss Lucinda Hester, a daughter of John Hester. They have six children—Thomas, Elizabeth, Josephine, Emma, Ellen and Allen. In 1877 William Perkins came to his present location, on section 4, where he now owns four hundred acres of good land, and raises Poland-China hogs and shorthorn cattle. He has held a number of offices while in Illinois. William Wilson was born in Lambertville, New Jersey, on the 5th of July, 1816, and is the son of Joseph and Sarah (Pidcock) Wilson. He was married on June 11, 1842, to Miss Charlotte Martindale, a daughter of Jacob Martindale. They have had four children—Aaron, Joseph, Sarah A. and George H. Joseph died January 17, 1881. After his marriage William was engaged in farming, which he followed for some fifteen years. In 1861 be moved to Henry county, Illinois, and there remained until the spring of 1880, when he came to his present location in Jefferson township, where he now owns one hundred and sixty acres of good land, all under cultivation, and has some fine stock of shorthorn cattle.
Leander Jones, a prominent man of Jefferson township, was born on the 21st of January, 1827, in Beaver county, Pennsylvania. In 1843 he moved with his parents to West Virginia, where he was married, in February, 1849, to Miss Jane A., a daughter of Squire Sayre. In the year 1852, Leander and his family moved to Peoria county, Illinois, and to Woodford county in 1854. In 1856 he came to Marshall county, and there remained until 1878, when he came to his present location in Adair county. He owns one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 5, Jefferson township, and also a large orchard, containing one hundred and thirty-five bearing trees, and has a nice stock of Herefords and shorthorns. He learned cabinetmaking in Pennsylvania, and followed that trade for eight years, and then learned the carpentering trade in Virginia, but on coming to the West he began farming, and has followed that occupation ever since. He has, and now holds, the position of justice of the peace, and is road supervisor. Mr. and Mrs. Jones have been blessed with four children—Viola E., W. Wood, Fairest F. and Cassius C. Charles R. Orabb, farmer and stockraiser, was born February 17, 1841, in Allen county, Ohio, being the son of John M. and Amanda (Root) Orabb. His parents moved to Williams county, Ohio, in 1848. Charles was married there on the 1st of January, 1860, to Miss Sarah 0. Cleland, of Defiance county, Ohio, she being a daughter of John and Latetia (Carr) Cleland. They have four children— John, Edwin, Jennie, and Charles Looman. In 1861 he moved to Defiance county, and from there to Henry county, Illinois, in 1865. He came to Walnut township, Adair county, in the spring of 1870, and to Menlo in 1875, where he engaged in the agricultural implement business, and continued the same till 1877. He came to his present location in the spring of 1882. He is a member of the V. A. S. and of Orescent lodge No. 228, A. 0. U. W., of Menlo, being a trustee in the latter organization. Mr. Orabb enlisted in Company G, 142d Indiana infantry, October 24, 1864, and was discharged July 24,1865. He is engaged in farming and stock-raising of all kinds, but pays particular attention to Hereford cattle, now having one hundred and ten head of them, with Imp. Heavy-sides at the head of the herd. At present he holds the position of .clerk of the township. Alonzo H. Rinard was born July 28, 1851, in Randolph county, Indiana, being the son of Jeremiah and Lucinda (Underwood) Rinard. In the summer of 1856 he came with his parents to section 5, Jefferson township. He was married in Penn township, Guthrie county, on the 30th day of December, 1874, to Miss Virena Hollingsworth, ‘ a daughter of Cyrus and Rachael (Stanbrough) Hollingsworth, They have two children—Conway H. and Lucinda May. Mr. R. is a member of the Friends’ church of Casey. He is the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of improved land, and is engaged in raising high grade short-horns. He lives on the west half of the southwest quarter of section 8, where he moved in March, 1875. He has held the positions of sub-director and road supervisor.
HISTORIC ITEMS. Jacob Bruce made the first start toward an orchard, both in this township and county, with two hundred apple trees, in the spring of 1858. The first ground broken in the township of Jefferson was on the farm of William Alcorn by a man by the name of Thomas Wilkinson, in the fall of 1852. William Alcorn planted the first corn in the spring of 1852. This was planted in the sod. G. M. Holaday sowed the first wheat sown in the township in 1854. The first oats were sown by.G. M. Holaday and John Febus in the spring of 1854; the former on section 35, the latter on section 27. Jacob Bruce cradled the first oats raised in the township in the summer of 1854, for Messrs. Holaday and Febus.
The first birth in Jefferson township was that of Jefferson Holaday, the son of George M. and Lydia Holaday, who was born in the fall of 1854. This child died in the autumn of 1855, and was buried on the farm now owned by John Loucks, in a pasture field.
The first death in the township was that of a seven or eight year old son of William Alcorn, who was bitten by a rattlesnake in the summer of 1853, and died from the effects. The little sufferer was laid to rest in the pasture lot now owned by John Loucks.
The first marriage in the township was that which united the destinies of William Stinson and Elizabeth F. Crow. The ceremony which took place upon the 7th of May, 1854, was performed by the county judge, G. M. Holaday, at the residence of William Alcorn. This was the first marriage in the county, as shown by the records.
The first religious services held in Jefferson township was in June, 1854, at the log cabin of John Febus, on section 27. These were held by John Oreager and Samuel Johnson, residents of Madison county, who were of what is known as the New Light Christian church.
The first election was held at the house of G. M. Holaday, on section 35, in 1Q55.
The first log house was built in the spring of 1852, by D. Vancil, on section 35. The second, finished about the same time, was put up by William Alcorn, on section 27. The first frame house in the township was erected by George B. Wilson, in 1857, on section 27.
MILLS. In 1858 John Easton purchased a sawmill, or, rather, the machinery for one, in Winterset, and set it up on the farm of his son, William H., on section 23. This was the first in the township. Mr. Easton operated this mill until the breaking out of the late civil war, in 1861, when he sold it to Jerry Barker and William McCollom, who moved it into Madison county. This mill was run by steam power and did custom work. In the spring of 1866, Marshall McCollum started a steam saw-mill near J. B. Bruce’s place on section 24, which ran about one season, when it was moved away. Some malicious person drove a spike into a log, and when he ran the saw into it he made up his mind that he wanted to emigrate and did accordingly. The Middle river grist-mill, located on section 7, was built in the winter of 1874, by Isaiah Hollingsworth at an expenditure of over $4,000 including the machinery. The main building is 20x28 feet of ground area, with an addition of ten feet more. The machinery is good and consists of two buhrs, and the mill has an average capacity of reducing five bushels of wheat per hour. In September, 1876, Andrew J. Thompson bought out Mr. Hollingsworth and is the present proprietor. Andrew J. Thompson, the present proprietor of the Middle river mill, was born in Chatham county. North Carolina, March 4, 1835, his parents being James and Ollie (Mann) Thompson. With his parents he went to Marion county, Indiana, in 1852, and came to Walnut township, Adair county, in the spring of 1855, where his parents both died, his mother dy ing in March, 1862, and his father in May, 1876. Andrew was married March 22,1857, to Miss Hannah McHatton, a daughter of John McHatton, of Guthrie county. They have nine children—Melissa, Kate, Leander, John F., Sarah, Cornelia, Delilah, Pinckney and Maudie. In the fall of 1856 he bought the mill and came to his present location. He formerly followed farming, and was school director several times while a resident of Walnut township. The Chamberlain mill was completed in January, 1879, and is 24x28 feet in ground area, and is 20 feet to the eaves. This is what is called a “new process mill,” and is fitted up with the latest kind of machinery, and cost about $4,800. Only flour and meal of the best XXX brands are turned out, and the mill can show some thirty barrels of flour and a hundred bushels of corn as its daily capacity. When crowded to the utmost, two hundred and fifty bushels of corn have been ground in one day. The mills has three burrs, good water-power and safe, as the bottom of the stream, and one side of it are solid rock. The dam was built during the years 1876 and 1877.
William E. Chamberlin, present proprietor of the Chamberlin Mills, is a native of Potts county, Pennsylvania, and was born on October 1, 1846. His father, Daniel Chamberlin, is a native of Allegheny county, New York, having been born in March, 1823, and was married in 1843 to Charlotte Baker, by whom he has had six children—William E., Albert, Morilla, Lois C, Elijah D. and Sophia H. In March, 1871, he came to this township,wherehenow owns two hundred acres of cultivated land on section 34. The subject of this sketch moved with his parents to Genesee county, Michigan, in 1851, and to LaSalle county, Illinois, in 1869. In 1871 he came to his present location on section 20, Jefferson township, Adair county, where he owns one hundred and sixty acres of good land, which is mostly seeded with grass. He is a stockraiser, having a few head of the Hereford grade cattle beside his other cattle. He was married in February, 1870, to Miss Sarah Hormel, a daughter of Joel Hormel. They have one child—Daniel W. A stone quarry is located on the farm of Jacob Bruce, on section 33, which, although he has not opened up in a regular manner, still has furnished a great deal of good stone. As the need arises for this valuable building material no doubt it will be fully developed to the great benefit of the county, and the owner.
EDUCATIONAL. The first school in Jefferson township was taught by Simon Barrows during the winter of 1856 and 1857 in a cabin which then stood on what is now the farm of J. B. McGinnis, on section 35. The pioneer school-house in the township was erected in the fall of 1858, by John Loucks, at a cost of $800. This was built on section 27, where it still is standing and is used by the Christian church. Judge Holaday and Stover Rinard laid the foundations, and the latter shaved the shingles for the roof. The first teacher was a party by the name of William Orandall. The second teacher here was Miss Cady. The first school officers were the following named: John Easton, president; George B. Wilson, secretary; John Loucks, treasurer. These all served during the year 1857. School district No. 1, embraces sections 1, 2, 11 and 12. The school-house, which stands upon the northeast corner of section 11, was erected in 1872, and the first teacher was Miss Emma McPherson, now Mrs. W. 0. Pugh. The edifice is 22x24 feet of ground area, and cost $700. The last teacher was Miss Nettie Wilkins. School district No. 2, consisting of sections 3, 4, 9 and 10, has a school-house on section 4, 22x24 feet in size, where W. B. Martin was the first teacher. The last preceptress was Miss Ella E. Elkins. School district No. 3, embraces sections 5, 6, 7 and 8, and has a school-house standing on the northeast corner of section 7, which is 20x30 in size. This building was erected in 1876, at a cost of $500, and the first teacher was John Nunan, the last Miss Etta Elkins. School district No. 4, consisting of sections 17, 18, 19 and 20, has a fine schoolhouse erected on the southeast corner of section 18, which is 22x24 feet in dimensions. The pioneer teacher was Miss Sue Holaday, and the last one Miss Olara E. Jones. School district No. 5, consisting of sections 15, 16, 21 and 22, has a school-house on the southwest corner of section 15, which is 22x32 in size. The last teacher, in the fall of 1884, was Mrs. R. 0. Jones. School district No. 6, covering sections 13, 14, 23 and 24, owns a schoolhouse situated upon the southeast corner of section 14, which was built in 1872. This edifice is 22x24 feet in ground area, and cost to erect in the neighborhood of $600. The first teacher was Miss Sarah Sankurne, the present teacher is Miss Mary A. Short. School district No. 7, now comprising sections 25, 26, 35 and 36, had a schoolhouse erected in 1869, in which J. S. Smith was the pioneer teacher. The new schoolhouse which stands upon the northeast corner of section 36, a neat frame edifice, 22x26 feet in size, was completed in October 1878. The first teacher in the new building was 0. W. Baker. During the summer of 1884, this school was presided over by W. E. Glasscock. School district No. 8, comprises all of sections 27, 28, 33 and 34. The schoolhouse, which is 22x24 feet in size, stands upon the southeast corner of section 28. The first teacher was Thomas Neaville, and in the summer of 1884 it was taught by Miss Kate Musmaker. School district No. 9, covering sections 29, 30, 31 and 32, has a school-house on the northeast of section 31, which was erected in 1875, and is 20x24 feet in size. Sylvester N. Orowell was the pioneer teacher in this building, and in the summer of 1884 Miss Ella Bates taught the school. Prior to the building of this house, school was held in the district, and to Mrs. Jennie Dutton belongs the honor of being the first teacher. During the great wind storm in June, 1880, the school-house in district No. 8 was blown down the hill upon which it stood, a distance of some hundred and twenty feet. The force of the wind turned the building half around, and on its journey it came in contact with some burr-oak hitching posts, which it broke clear off at the ground. The chimney was destroyed, and some little damage done to the building, yet singular to relate, although the teacher’s desk was bottom side up, the side lamps upon the walls were not shaken out of the brackets, nor broken, although the stove was distributed all over the building. The coal house was torn all to pieces, and a piece of board with the staple and padlock carried by the wind about half a mile, to the residence of John J. Payne, at that time the director of the district. These strange freaks of the wind are worthy of a place in this connection, as they are well vouched for.
POST-OFFICE, The post-office now known as Holaday’s was established in 1853, as Wahtawa and William Alcorn commissioned the first postmaster. This was originated during the great overland travel to California, and was established mainly for the accommodation of these emigrants to the golden shores of the Pacific. It was located at the house of the postmaster, on section 27, and was named after a local Indian chief. G. M. Holaday was the postmaster during the years 1855 and ‘56, and was succeeded in 1857 by William H. Easton, who in turn gave way to John A. Easton. In the spring of 1864, George B. Wilson, the present postmaster, was appointed, and held that office continuously ever since. The name of the office was changed on the accession to office of G. M. Holaday. The office is now located at the house of Thomas Breen, on section 29, and Miss Mary A. Breen, is deputy postmaster.
ORGANIC. Jefferson township was organized in 1855, and the first election held at the house of G. M. Holaday on section 35. The first officers chosen were as follows: Jacob Bruce, William McDonald and Robert Wilson, trustees; William Hollingsworth, clerk; and Jacob Bruce, road supervisor. The present officers are: E. C. Graves and Michael Flynn, trustees; a vacancy caused by the removal of George H. Wilson, reducing the number of three to two; C. R. Crabb, clerk; R. 0. Jones, constable; George Thurman, Charles Hitchcock, A. J. Thompson, C. R. Crabb, H. M. Miller, J. T. Williams and Joseph McGinnis, road supervisors.
INCIDENT. Among the sad incidents that mar the history of Jefferson township was the drowning of Mr. Montgomery, his daughter- in-law and two children and Jonathan R. Baker, a resident of this township, in the Middle river. Mr. Baker came from Madison county in 1862, and purchased the Holaday farm, of Judge Pitzer, on section 26. On the 3d of July, 1876, these parties had all been to Greenfield celebrating the nation’s birthday, the 4th coming on Sunday, and at night-fall a terrible storm came up which swelled the creeks and rivers to torrents. They started home in the dark and trying to ford the Middle river in the northeast corner of Grove township, the flood swept them away and all the wagon load except two were drowned. Mourning was brought to several happy homes by this sad incident.
CEMETERY. In 1865 J. B. McGinnis donated two acres of land on his farm in section 34 for the purpose of a cemetery, and the same was surveyed by George B. Wilson, Wesley Taylor, who was at that time recorder, entered the plat upon the county records, for which service he, with his usual liberality, declined to receive any compensation. The first burial within this beautiful city of the dead was Eli Bruce, a son of Jacob Bruce, who died about the time of the laying out of the grounds.
Taken from "History of Guthrie and Adair County Iowa, 1884", transcribed by Carlyss Noland