Cass county is one of the southwestern sub-divisions of the State of Iowa, being in the third tier north of the Missouri line and the second east of the Missouri river, which here forms the western boundary of of the State. It embraces sixteen congressional townships, and is twenty-four miles square, and contains something like 368,640 acres. The entire county is on the "Missouri Slope," or within the area drained by the tributaries, of the "Big Muddy," as the Missouri river is universally called. The numerous streams that thread with silvery wave the emerald prairies of (Cass county,completely drain its surface, and diversify the character of the landscape. Among the more important of these streams are the East Nishnabotna and West Nodaway rivers, Indian, Turkey, Troublesome and Seven Mile creeks. The former of these water courses, the Nishnabotna, or as the settlers say "the Botna," enters the county on the north line of section one, in Pymosa township and flows in a general southwesterly course, traversing, on its way, the townships of Pymosa, Atlantic, Washington and Cass, and makes its exit near the southwest corner of thew last named. Indian creek has its head waters just over the line in Shelby county and flows in an almost direct line south, through the townships of Brighton, Washington, and Cass, and makes a confluence with the "Botna" in section 17, in the latter. Turkey creek rises in the north- west corner of Adair county and enters Cass on the northeast line of Grant township, meanders through that township and those of Franklin, Atlantic and Cass, and forms a junction with the Nishnabotna in section two of the latter. Troublesome creek is in the northeastern part of the county, and flows into the "Botna." The west branch of the Nodaway river has its head in the southeast part of Lincoln township, and flows in a general southwesterly course to join the parent river, These streams, together with their numerous affluents, supply an abundance of living water for all stock purposes, until it may be truly said that Cass county has hardly a section that has not a stream of living water on it, making it a perfect paradise for stock raisers. The northeast corner of the county is about 920 feet above low water mark, in the Mississippi river, at Davenport, or about 1450 above the tide level of the ocean. The surface is generally undulating prairie, but there are considerable groves of timber along the streams; in fact, the acreage of timber land in the county is reported to be upward of ten thousand, and is pretty well distributed throughout the entire county. The soil partakes of the general character peculiar to the Missouri slope of Iowa, and is peculiarly rich and productive. In fact, lying as it does in the great corn belt of the State, it has a soil and climate unsurpassed by any, and equalled by but few counties in the United States, and is nearly always blessed with an abundant crop. The valleys along the principal streams are wide and afford some of the finest farming lands in the State. The valley of the Nishnabotna has a wide reputation for beauty and fertility, and many of those lying along the smaller streams have the same characteristics.

Almost the entire surface of the county is susceptable to the highest cultivation, and is adapted to all of the cereals, grasses, fruits and vegetables common to the latitude.

Cass county is also well adapted for stock purpose and many of the more intelligent and progressive agriculturists are turning their attention in that direction, and already many fine herds of short horns and other fine breeds are seen dotting its emerald pastures. Many of those who had the necessary foresight, and embarked in this line at an early day, are now enjoying the benefit at their ease, in competency and affluence.

Cass county has considerable stone suitable for building purposes, the chocolate sandstone, quarried on the Nishnabotna, near Lewis, having been largely used in this and adjoining counties, for many years, and is a very durable and handsome stone. Limestone, suitable for the manufacture of lime has been, also, found in several localities.

Lying within what is known as the upper coal measures, it would not be surprising that at some future day, coal would be found and. developed within almost any part of Cass county, but it can only be by deep mining. This useful mineral is now found only in Edna township, where there are several banks being developed.


Cass county is divided into sixteen civil townships, each comprising a full congressional township. These are named as follows, commencing at the northeast corner: Grant, Benton, Pymosa, Brighton, Washington, Atlantic, Franklin, Lincoln, Massena, Union, Bear Grove, Cass, Pleasant, Noble, Edna and Victoria.

Transcribed by Cheryl Siebrass, March, 2022 from: "History of Cass County, Together with Sketches of Its Towns, Villages and Townships, Educational, Civil, Military and Political History: Portraits of Prominent Persons, and Biographies of Old Settlers and Representative Citizens", published in 1884, Springfield, Ill: Continental Historical Co., pp. 233-234.

PREV <== Continue Reading ==> NEXT

Copyright © 1996 The IAGenWeb Project      
IAGenWeb Terms, Conditions & Disclaimer