BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE FIRST SETTLEMENT AND ORGANIZATION OF THE VARIOUS TOWNSHIPS
The early history of this township is identical with the early history of the county.
Ezra G. Allen was the first settler in the township. He settled on Section 25 in 1848.
John T. Barrack came with his family in 1849, and was the founder of Janesville, which was named for his wife, Jane.
Issac McCaffree was also a settler in 1849, settling on Section 32.
Aaron Moore, J. H. McRoberts, Rev. S. W. Ingham and Rev. S. T. Vail came the same year.
Wm. Payne came in 1850 and settled on Section 36.
During 1851, J. H. Martin, Samuel Jennings, Simeon F. Shepard, Wm. McHenry and Abraham Meyers arrived.
The first township election was held in April, 1854, at which 61 votes were cast. The following were elected to office: Trustees, T. J. Sewell, James Boyd, and James Queen; clerk, E. W. Fish; justices, Matthew Rowen and R. J. Ellsworth; constables, P. B. King and W. B. Hamilton.
The first school—a subscription one—taught in the township was at Janesville, by Rev. S. T. Vail. The first regular school was taught by Dr. Loveland in a log house on Section 35.
The first religious service was held at the house of Wm. Payne by Rev. S. T. Vail, in the fall of 1850.
The first marriage united Joseph Thornbrey and Miss Kane.
The first child born was a son to John and Jane Barrack, January 2, 1853.
The first postoffice was established at Janesville, in 1853. John Hunter was postmaster.
The township, as it is at present constituted, was organized on March 9, 1857.
Janesville is the only town in the township, and is the oldest in the county.
The first settler, as said before, was John T. Barrack.
The first store was opened by Hunter & Leverich. The next was soon after established by Keeler & Olmstead.
The first Baptist church was organized April 17, 1858, and their church building was erected in 1867.
The Presbyterian church was organized December 17, 1853, at the residence of Matthew Rowen. During the summer the church edifice was erected.
Janesville circuit of the M. E. church was organized in 1854. The church building was completed in February, 1866.
The plat of Janesville was filed July 22, 1854.
John T. Barrack erected a sawmill here, and afterward there was built a grist mill, but at present both they and the dam across the river are things of the past.
The town of Janesville, while not large, has a fine lot of hustling citizens and is sustained by some of the most enterprising farmers in Bremer county. The stores are well stocked with those things most needed by its trade. There are a bank, a newspaper and a creamery doing a fair amount of business, and the only cheese factory in the county. This factory is owned by the Fowler Brothers, of Waterloo. It produces a cheese of excellent quality, which finds a ready market. The town has a consolidated school, which meets the approval of its patrons. Most lines of business are represented.
Janesville is on the Illinois Central railroad, and is situated on the Cedar river.
Last updated 4/9/16
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