Bremer county and Frederika township were named for Frederika Bremer, a popular Swedish novelist.

Levi Rima, with his family and Loren Rima, his father, were the first settlers in this township. They came on September 20, 1852, and located on Section 20. Loren Rima returned to Illinois in the spring of 1853, and came back in the fall, bringing with him two other sons, Aerial and Gideon, and a daughter, Lucinda. George Rima, a brother of Loren, W. R. Bostwick, M. F. Gillett, Crawford Thoroughman, Andrew Gillilan, Albert Walling and sisters and their mother, and Jeremiah Turk all came in the summer or the fall of 1853.

Eli Eisenhart and Asa T. Martin, with their families, came from Illinois and settled in this township in 1855. Thomas Lashbrook, John Ronco and E. J. Walling settled here in 1856.

The first death was that of a child of a Mr. Robinson, who lived on what is now Section 3, Fremont township, but which was then a part of Frederika township. The child died in November, 1853.

The first birth was a child to Mr. and Mrs. Jeremiah Turk, who lived on Section 32.

The first marriage was that of M. F. Gillett and Olivia Walling, March 20, 1855.

The first sermon preached in the township was at the house of W. R. Bostwick, by the Rev. Father Jenkins, in April, 1854.

The first school was taught by D. P. Walling in his own house on Section 19, the winter of 1855-56. The first school house was commenced in the summer of 1858, on Section 19, and was occupied for school purposes the following winter, Porter Bement being teacher.

The first sawmill was built by Loren Rima, in the now town of Frederika. It was operated by water power and was in running order in June, 1855. In 1857 John Henry bought some land in Section 7. He there built a gristmill in connection with the Rima sawmill.

The first cluster of houses in the township was called Martinsburg, after A. T. Martin, who located it. Its name was changed to Tripoli when a postoffice was located there. A. T. Martin was the first postmaster. A steam power sawmill was built there by A. T. Martin in the fall of 1855.

The first house, a log one, was built by L. C. Rima, on Section 18, in 1852. The first frame one was built by A. T. Martin, at Tripoli, in 1855.

The township was organized on the 22nd of May, 1858, but the first election was held at the house of W. R. Bostwick, in April, 1854. The following were elected to office: M. F. Gillett, clerk; W. R. Bostwick, Loren Rima and Crawford Thomas, trustees; L. C. Rima, justice; Aerial Rima, constable.

The town of Martinsburg was platted by H. S. Hoover and recorded December 27, 1865.

The town of Frederika was surveyed May 6, 1868, but the plat was not filed until 1873. The town of Frederika was called at first Henrytown, or Henry's Mills, for the gristmill located there. The mill did a large business for a long time and was widely known for the excellency of its service. Frederika is a hustling little town containing several stores, a bank, a creamery and other business enterprises. The business men look after the needs of the fine farming community by which it is surrounded. There is a good church and a pretty good school building. The people take a deep interest in school and religious affairs. Any enterprise that is undertaken by the people of Frederika and vicinity is sure to be a success.

Last updated 4/9/16
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Pioneer Days of Bremer County -- Chapter IV