BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE FIRST SETTLEMENT AND ORGANIZATION OF THE VARIOUS TOWNSHIPS
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP AND WAVERLY
The early history of Washington township and of Waverly are much alike, the only difference being that the early history of Waverly does not include all the early history of Washington township.
On February 21st, 1859, when this township was organized Waverly was a part of and included in Washington township and so remained until it became a separate township, January 8th, 1886. The first election was held April 3rd, 1859, at a house formerly occupied by H. A. Miles. At this time the following officers were elected: Town Clerk, N. M. Smith; Trustees, Edward Tyrrell, Horace Wallace and James Estep; Assessor, Edward Tyrrell; Justices, N. M. Smith and John R. Buckmaster; Constables, Joseph G. Ellis and Jonathan Goforth; Drainage Commissioner, Edward Tyrrell; Supervisor of Roads, Wm. Powell. The most of those elected were residents of what is now La Fayette township.
To clear up the difference between the time of the first election and the organization of the township and, perhaps, some of the others as well, it will be necessary to state that this election was held under an order of the County Court, given February 6, 1854, dividing the county into election precincts as follows:
Townships 91, 92 and 93, ranges 11 and 12, constituted Bremer precinct (afterward changed to Frederika precinct).
Township 93, ranges 13' and 14, constituted Polk precinct.
Township 92, ranges 13 and 14, constituted Washington precinct.
Township 91, range 13, constituted Jefferson precinct.
Township 91, range 14, constituted Jackson precinct.
The first to settle in the township, outside of Waverly, was John Clark. He came with his wife and eight children in the fall of 1849 and settled on section 8, township 91, range 13, which is now a part of Washington township. He was a real pioneer and did much to help build and settle up the country. One of his sons, David Clark, has been several times favorably mentioned in former articles.
Among others that came in 1850 were Rev. Chas. N. Martin with his wife and sons, J. H. Martin, Samuel B. Martin, Wm. B. Martin and their families. The Rev. Martin was a Baptist minister, who for a long time looked after the spiritual welfare of some of the early settlers, and his wife, familiarly called "Aunt Betsey," has been before mentioned as the first doctor to locate in the county.
Wm. Hinton, Jacob Heckard and his sons, David and John Heckard, J. H. McRoberts, Joseph Kerr and Aaron Daw came also in 1850.
Daw was a nephew of Lorenzo Daw, the famous eccentric early day preacher, and, like his uncle, was rather peculiar in his ways.
W. P. Harris was a prominent pioneer who came in 1853.
Robert Farnsworth came in 1855. About this time there came H. R. Wells, John Findley, B. W. Johnson, John Davis, Anson Case, E. I. Bussey, A. M. Winner, Mr. Glassford and several others, all of whom were active in the development of the township.
Last updated 4/9/16
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