BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE FIRST SETTLEMENT AND ORGANIZATION OF THE VARIOUS TOWNSHIPS
Albert Stannard was the first person to settle in this township. He came with two minor children, a son 16 years of age, and a daughter 14, from Battle Creek, Mich., in the fall of 1852. They wintered in a rude hut, constructed of logs and poles, on the banks of the Wapsie. He was followed the next summer by Crawford Thoroughman and his son-in-law, Andy Guless.
John Mitchel, John Acken, Asa Adams, J. H. Eldredge, Wm. Blackwell and Simon George settled in the township in 1852.
Then followed in rapid succession Benjamin and Frank Goodwin, Thomas Lashbrook, R. G. McDonald, Malcomb Fisher, Robert and John McCracken, James Leamon, Timothy Clary, Chauncey Brooks, G. T. Sayles and a few others.
Douglas township was organized June 22, 1858, and the first election was held at the house of Asa Adams, June 28th of the same year. John Acken, J. P. Goodwin and Albert Stannard were the judges; G. T. Sayles and L. F. Goodwin were the clerks of election. The following were elected to office: A. Stannard, N. A. Sanford and Simon George, trustees; L. F. Goodwin, clerk; G. F. Sayles and Wm. Blackwell, justices of the peace; Thomas Lashbrook, constable. Whole number of votes cast, 23.
The first death was that of Stephen Goodwin, a son of Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Goodwin. He was a boy ten years of age. Seventeen days after coming to the township, and while still living in their wagons, he attempted to get a rifle from a wagon to shoot some chickens. In drawing the gun from the wagon, muzzle toward him, the gun was discharged, the ball entering his chest. Death was almost instantaneous.
The first marriage was that of Orville McGinnis to Mary Goo.dwin, October 4, 1854.
The first birth was that of Walter Goodwin, son of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Goodwin, in March, 1857.
The first postoffice was established on Section 25, in January, 1880: Phillips Burgess was the postmaster. In 1879-80 he opened a small store in connection with the the postoffice. He continued in business but a short time. Mrs. A. E. Walker opened a store on Section 8, with a stock of general merchandise in 1880. She had a good trade. The place was called "Dickie", for her husband, Richard.
Helen A. Acken taught the first term of school in a log house on Section 12.
The first religious services were conducted by Mr. Newell, a Free-Will Baptist, in the spring of 1856, at the Acken school house on Section 12. In June, 1857, Elder Terry, a regular Baptist minister, began to hold meetings at the residence of J. P. Goodwin. The first regular religious organization was effected by the St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran church, which was organized in 1872, with Rev. August Engelke as minister, and hid a membership of 32 persons. The next was that of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran church, organized in 1874 by Rev. G. Hageman. The first pastor was Rev. David Kutz, who remained until 1880.
Last updated 4/4/16
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