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History of Cass Co. 1877


S. J. Applegate, now of Atlantic, then of Scott county, located about 300 acres of land in the neighborhood of Morrison's Grove, not far from the present town of Anita, in 1855, but did not come out and cultivate it.

W. F. Brenton, who was born in Charleston, Clark county, Indiana, in 1827, settled in Edna township, where he still resides, October 14th, 1854, and is the oldest settler of the township, now residing within its borders. Mr. Brenton's daughter Edna (now Mrs. Thos. Black) was named for Mrs. Edna Townsend, for whom Edna Township was named.

Wm. S. Townsend removed from the Iranistan settlement to Edna Grove, about the year 1852, and made some improvements on the farm where Edward Porter now lives. Townsend broke the first ground in that part of the county, and was foolish enough to grub out a part of the grove for a small field, when thousands of acres of beautiful, uncultivated prairie lay all around him. Edna township was named for Townsend's wife. A post office was established at Edna Grove in 1855, and Townsend was the postmaster. The mail was carried once-a-week from Afton to Lewis via Edna. The post office was discontinued a few years ago, or in fact was changed to Newlon's Grove, seven miles distant.

John Irwin (deceased) and A. J. Irwin located in Edna township in 1854.

Reuben Brackett, (father of Arthur and Charley, who reside in Atlantic) came from Lee county, Iowa, and settled on the hillside near the Lewis mill, where Rev. B. L. Shepherd now lives, in 1856, bringing with him the first fruit trees that were ever brought into the county. Mr. Brackett afterward became the pioneer nurseryman of the county, he lived in Lee county as early as 1837 and in that year planted the first osage hedge that was ever put into Iowa soil. In his early life he was the original inventor of rubber cloth which is now in such general use. He sold his patent before it became valuable, getting $3,000 for it. He was the father of C. B. Brackett, president of the State Horticultural Society; he died in 1866 at the age of seventy-six years.

Samuel L. Lorah selected and adopted his present home in Pymosa, June 1st, 1855. Having had large official experience in Ohio, where he was clerk of the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which he lived fifteen years, and Probate Judge three years, Judge Lorah was soon chosen to official position in the township and county here. His services were valuable in bringing order out of chaos, in the county's affairs, after he became County Judge. He continues to occupy the house he built in 1855, the lumber for which he hauled from the Iranistan saw mill. For the first few years he did his trading at Council Bluffs. His daughter Ellen (now Mrs. Peter D. Ankeny, of Des Moines) taught the second school that was taught in Pymosa. The Judges, in passing back and forth from Lewis, to hold court, in an early day, used to nearly always stop at Judge Lorah's for dinner or lodging, and if they stopped long enough they generally got beaten at checkers.

David A. Barnett, (father of J. S. Barnett now well known in the county) with his family settled near Grove City in 1855. For two or three years thereafter James S., then a young lad, was the only pupil in that school district. Judge Barnett held many positions of honor in the county, and was a strong Abolitionist. He died in 1868. In an early day preaching was frequently held in his cabin. He was a native of Ohio.

Wm. Fansler, in 1854, lived on the land whereon L. C. Sanborn's residence in Atlantic stands, and had a cabin in that grove. The land then belonged to Capt. Thomas B. Johnson.

Wm. Fansler, in 1854, lived on the land whereon L. C. Sanborn's residence in Atlantic stands, and had a cabin in that grove. The land then belonged to Capt. Thomas B. Johnson.

Wm. Stewart settled at what was called Middle Turkey Grove, in 1854. He had one son and twelve daughters, and the girls were all old enough to be called young ladies, except one. It is stated that there was not a young man in the county who would go there alone for the purpose of making love--each fellow was afraid he wouldn't have enough love to go around.

James Lockwood, whose age is now seventy-three, came from Niagara county, New York, and settled where he now lives in Franklin township, in 1855.

John R. Kirk cam in June, 1853 and entered eighty acres near the place where Wiota now is. The eighty Mr. Kirk traded to Morris Hoblit for the land on which he now lives. As elsewhere noted Mr. Kirk kept the stage station for a considerable length of time. Mr. Kirk was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, in the year 1830. From Pennsylvania he removed to Logan county, Illinois, and from the last named place he came to Cass.

William W. Haworth, now deceased father of Job and W. W., Jr., bought Adam Vinnage's farm south of Lewis, in July 1854. Vinnage had two brothers-in-law, Seth Bray and Benj. Bales, and themselves and their families were the earliest settlers of that locality--having pitched their tents there in 1853. Bales died in 1855. Vinnage removed to Taylor county. Two of Vinnage's children died in 1853, and were buried on the farm near Job Haworth's present barn.

William Judd settled in Franklin township in 1853. Wm. H. Strater, Wm. Humerick, W. W. Jameson and R. L. Jameson came in 1855, or earlier. R. L. Jameson died in 1873.

John Seaman and his sons August, Henry, Fred and William came in 1856, and made a farm. Mr. Seaman died in 1867. William died in the army, being a member of the 4th Infantry. Fred also served in the same regiment, while August was in the 23d regiment.

John Eller built a house in Franklin township at an early day, but did not remove from Jefferson county until after the war.

From the History of Cass County, Iowa Together With Brief Mention of Old Settlers
by Lafe Young, Atlantic, Iowa:  Telegraph Steam Printing House, 1877, pp. 20-23.
Transcribed for Cass County by Cheryl Siebrass.

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