This township lies in the southeastern corner of Cass, and is bounded
upon the north by Massena township, with Adair county on the east,
Adams on the south, and Edna township on the west. It is a full
congressional sub-division, known as township 74, range 34, comprising
about 23,040 acres, which is well known throughout the county as rich
and very productive soil. The township is quite well watered by
numerous small creeks and branches of the West Nodaway, which flows
through sections 6 and 7, in the northwest corner of the township.
There is but very little timber of natural growth found within the
borders of Victoria, but a large number of artificial groves are being
developed by her citizens. The character of the land is generally
rolling. This territory, which, less than twenty years ago, not a
house could be seen in all the vast expanse of prairieland, is at
present a well-settled district, which can boast of as fine farms and
spacious buildings, as any in the county.
William E. Johnson, a native of Connecticut, was the first to
effect a settlement within the borders now known as Victoria township.
At an early day he emigrated to Trumbull county, Ohio. His father,
Henry, was also an early settler of Trumbull county. In 1856, William
removed to Fayette
county, Wisconsin, and in the spring of 1857, came to Victoria
township, settling on section 6. He remained here several years, when
he disposed of his property and removed to Cloud county, Kansas, where
he now resides, engaged in agriculture. Mr. Johnson was born November
14, 1821, in the State of New York, near the Hudson river, and was the
son of Henry and Elizabeth (Holcomb) Johnson. He was married in 1846,
in Ashtabula county, Ohio, to Catharine Walden, daughter of Rev. Asa
Rev. Asa Walden was born in Connecticut, in 1790. At the age of
seventeen he removed with his parents to Trumbull county, Ohio, who
were among the early settlers of that county. He was married in
Bristol, Trumbull county, in 1813, to Mary Cline, who was born in
Virginia in 1794. Her parents were also early settlers of Trumbull
county. When a young man he united with the M. E. church, and later
became a minister of the gospel of that denomination. In 1847, he
removed to Ashtabula county, where he engaged in preaching and farming
until 1856, when he went to Wisconsin. In the spring of 1857, he came
to Victoria, effecting a settlement on section 6, and was probably the
second settler of that territory, as he came but a short time after
his son-in-law, William Johnson. He here united with the Christian
church, and for some time afterward preached for that denomination.
His death occurred August 1, 1861, and in 1878, the demise of his wife
took place. There were eleven children born to them, four of whom are
still living: Philena, widow of Mr. Lidle, who resides at present in
Harrison county, Iowa; Catherine, wife of William E. Johnson, living
in Cloud county, Kansas; Sophronia, wife of Isaac Johnson, a resident
of Edna township; and Mary A., wife of Rufus L. Peasley, resident of
Harrison county, Iowa.
The next settlement of Victoria was that of Frank H. Whitney,
and his father, John. Frank came in January, 1858, and began the
erection of a log cabin, which after its completion, was occupied for
some time by his father. In March, of this year, he broke out some
land and raised quite a fine crop of corn from the sod, which was
undoubtedly the first grown in the township. Mr.
Whitney is noticed at length in connection with the banking interests
of Atlantic, where he
Another early settlement in the township was made by Thomas
Tate, in 1859. He is a native of England, and came from Adams
county, Wisconsin, to Victoria, settling on section 1, where he still
resides. He was married in 1838 to Elizabeth Betts, also a native of
England. They have seven children: John, George, Thomas, William,
Eliza, Sarah and Alice. When he first
settled in the township his market place was Council Bluffs.
Mathew Symons, an Englishman, came in 1869. He entered a rough
tract of land on section 36, where he has since remained, engaged in
As early as 1871, settlements were made by R. Bell, J. G. Sholes,
Joshua Devore, H. P. Sweet, Lemuel Jones, A. L. Beadle and J. A. Hill.
Robert Bell was a native of Scotland, and settled on the
northwest part of section 25, where he remained until his death.
J. G. Sholes, a native of Vermont, entered a homestead on
section 35, where he remained until 1881, when he disposed of his
property here, and removed to Nebraska.
H. P. Sweet came from New Hampshire, and settled upon section
27. He remained here but a short period, when he sold his property and
removed to Woodbury county, from which place he subsequently went to
Dakota, where he still resides.
Lemuel Jones settled on section 8, where he lived a few years,
and disposed of the place to Alexander Dallas, who still resides
there. Mr. Jones removed to Adams county, where he now lives.
Joshua Devore resides on section 28, having a farm of two
hundred and fifteen acres of cultivated land. He was born in
Washington county, Pennsylvania, on the 1st of December, 1824, and
when ten years of age went to Columbia county, Ohio, where he grew to
manhood. He was married on the 2d of July, 1840, to Caroline Lacy, a
native of Germany. They have been blessed with eight children — Hannah
C, Joshua P., Andrew, Henry J., George L., Franklin E. and
Elizabeth. Hannah died on the 14th of November, 1878. Mr. Devore came
to Hardin county, Ohio, from Columbia county, and bought a farm in
Jackson township, and there remained until the
fall of 1870, when he came to Iowa, and spent the winter in Mt. Etna,
Adams county, and settled on his present farm in the April following.
He has planted a fine orchard, and has large numbers of
stock, which are nicely sheltered. Mr. Devore was the first assessor
elected in Victoria township. He has held the office of township
trustee, and is at present justice of the peace.
A. L. Beadle, a native of Illinois, settled upon section 27,
purchasing some land of H. P. Sweet, and still occupies the place.
J. A. Hill, whose nativity is traced to Wayne county, New York,
came from Jo Daviess county, Illinois, and settled upon section 14,
his present residence.
OTHER PROMINENT SETTLERS.
After this the settlers came in more rapidly, and it would be
impossible, in this connection, to trace them with any degree of
regularity. However, among those who came in since that time and
are now prominent citizens, may be mentioned the following, as
representing the class of Victoria's inhabitants:
Julius Triplett is a native of Bureau county, Illinois, and was
born on the 11th of June, 1844. He was there educated, and in 1865 was
engaged in the mercantile business in Illinois. In 1867 he sold out
and resumed farming in Bureau county, where he remained until 1874,
when he came to Cass county, and settled in Victoria township, where
he now owns two hundred and forty acres of improved land and a nice
set of buildings. He was united in marriage in February, 1867, to
Miss Ella Codington, a native of New York. They have five children
living: Clate, Jennie, Bessie, Julia and Ned. Mr. Triplett is the
present township clerk, having held that position seven years.
He was elected in the fall of 1881, to represent the fifth district.
William Holste was born in Germany in 1832, and in 1847 came
to America with
his parents, and located in Cook county, Illinois, where they were
among the first settlers. He lived there until grown to manhood,
assisting his father to improve the farm. He was married in 1855 to
Miss Mary Tatge, a native of Germany. He and his wife went to Benton
county, Iowa, and were there among the early settlers. They remained
there eight years, when they returned to Cook county, buying a farm
near the old homestead. In 1881 he bought a farm in Victoria township,
Cass county, Iowa, of six hundred and forty acres, which is one of the
largest farms in the township. He has improved his farm, and has set
out a large orchard. Mr. and Mrs. Holste have been blessed
with six children: William, George, Henry, Johnnie, Herman and Mary.
William Holste, Jr , son of William and Mary (Tatge) Holste,
was born in Benton county, Iowa, on the 17th of October, 1855. He
moved to Cook county, Illinois, at an early age, and was there
educated in the common schools. He was united in marriage in 1877, to
a native of Cook county. In 1880, Mr. Holste and his wife came to Cass
county, settling in Victoria township, and bought a farm on section
27, of Charles Pickett. He has make many improvements, and it is now
one of the best farms in the township. They have been blessed with two
children: Paulina and Alfred. Mr. Holste was elected township trustee
in the fall of 1883.
Nathan Spier came to Cass county in February, 1880, having the
January previous, purchased a farm, which he now occupies on section
22, Victoria township. He was born in Iowa county, Iowa, on the 19th
of October, 1851. His father, Charles R. Spier, was born in New York,
and was one of the early settlers of Iowa, coming there in 1847. His
mother, Angeline (Hortwell) Spicer, was a native of Ohio, and died in
1853. Nathan .was reared to manhood in Iowa county, and in 1873 he was
married to Sarah De Haven, a native of Virginia. They have four
living: Nellie R., Earl K., Nettie E. and Dora N. In 1872 Mr. Spier
moved to Taylor county, and then to Adair county, but soon after came
to Cass county. He now owns a large orchard, and has one of
the finest houses in the township.
John Krouse was born in Germany, on the 26th of February, 1835.
When about eleven years of age be left his native country, and
emigrated to America, and first settled in New York. In a month or so
he moved to Pennsylvania, and was there engaged in different
occupations. He remained there eleven years, when he removed to Cook
county, Illinois, where he was engaged in carpentering six years, when
he came to Grundy county, Iowa, and there worked at his trade for one
year. In 1875 he came to Cass county, and rented a farm on section 7,
Victoria township, and in the year 1882, he bought his present farm on
section 10. It is now nicely improved, and he has erected a nice frame
house and several granaries and stock barns. Mr. Krouse was married in
1875, to Louisa Snyder, also a native of Germany. They have seven
children: Katie, Henry, Daniel, Louisa, Johnnie, Willie and David.
Richard Bell, born in Scotland, August 10, 1822, is a resident
of section 26, Victoria township. He was a shepherd when only fourteen
years of age, and was so employed until 1871, when he left his native
land and came to Quebec, and remaining there a short time he went to
Marshall county, Illinois, where he rented a farm for two years, when
he came to Cass county, and settled on his present location, where he
bought (two years previous to this) a farm, planted a grove and began
to cultivate his land. Since that time he has purchased other land,
owning now about three hundred and sixty-three acres, and raises some
fine stock. He was married in 1846, to Margaret Willy, who died in
1856, leaving three children: Agnes, Janet and William. His second
wife's name before her marriage was Margaret Hall, by whom he has had
two children: Thomas and Richard.
George N. Morse was born in Bedford, New Hampshire, on the 27th
of June, 1842, and when twelve years of age he moved with his parents
to Clinton county, Iowa, where he was educated in the public schools.
He was married on the 2d of June, 1868, to Hattie Cornell, a native of
New York State. Mrs. Morse died in September, 1873, leaving three
children -- Hattie, Bertrand and Reginald. Mr. Morse was again married
in 1881, to Margaret E. Hollen, and by whom he has had one child,
Henry. In 1877, Mr. Morse came to Victoria township, Cass county, and
purchased land on section 20, and has since planted shade and fruit
trees, and has, since his settlement there, built a nice frame
residence and other farm buildings. He has also purchased one hundred
twenty acres since first coming here, owning at present a farm of two
hundred and eighty acres. Mr. Morse has been honored with the office
of justice of the peace, and still holds that position.
J. O. H. Spinney came to Victoria township, Cass county, in
March, 1877, having
previously bought the southwest quarter of section 14, which was at
that time an unimproved prairie. Since his settlement he has purchased
other land, and now owns 800 acres of land. He has planted a fine
orchard, built a dwelling house, and has erected necessary farm
buildings for sheltering stock and grain. Mr. Spinney was born in
Freedom, Maine, on the 9lh of November, 1837. He was there reared and
educated in the public school. At the opening of the war he enlisted
in the service, being in most of the principal battles. He was honored
by several minor promotions, and in June, 1862, he was promoted to
fourth duty sergeant, and so remained until 1864, when he was made
first lieutenant. A few weeks later he was made captain of his
company, and so remained until the close of the war. In the winter of
1865, he was detailed as clerk at the Brigade headquarters and in the
spring was appointed marshal, at Iuka, Mississippi. He was honorably
discharged in November, 1865, and went to Stark county, Illinois,
where he had moved before the war, and worked at the carpenter's trade
until 1869, when he went to the Pacific coast, where he entered large
tracts of timber land, and was engaged as depositor at the land office
Olympia, Washington Territory. In 1870, he concluded to return east,
and traded the timber land which he had entered for the land which he
now owns in Cass county. On his return home he resumed the management
of the water cure at Davenport, for two years, when he returned to
Stark county, and there remained until coming to his present location,
in 1877. Mr. Spinney was married on the 1st of January, 1866, to Julia
H. Beville, a native of New York. They have been blessed with three
sons: Burton A., Louis B. and Howard H.
Thomas Tabasinske came to Cass county in 1874, and settled in
Lincoln township, where he purchased eighty acres of land, which he
sold in 1876, and settled in Victoria township, on the southwest
quarter of section 16. When his land was first settled it was nothing
but a wild prairie, but he soon built a house, planted a grove, and
improved his land, and at the present time his farm is one of the best
in this part of the county. He was born in Milwaukee county,
Wisconsin, in 1851, and when ten years of age he moved with his
parents to Illinois, settling in Bureau county, where he grew to
manhood and was educated in the public schools of that place. Mr.
Tabasinske was married in 1877, to Electa Widner, also a native of
Wisconsin. They have two children: Eddie and Frank.
John Agnes was born in Scotland, in 1820. When three or four
years of age he removed with his parents to the extreme northern part
of Scotland, where he was reared to manhood. At an early age he became
a shepherd, and watched his flocks on the mountain side until 1858,
left his native land and came to America, and settled in Marshall
county, Illinois and there remained until 1872, when he came to Cass
county, Iowa, and settled in Victoria, where he built a nice house and
planted a large grove. In 1848, he was married to Jane Burnett, a
native of Scotland. They were blessed with eleven children: Margaret,
William, Isabella, Lizzie, James, Thomas, Robert, Adam, Jane,
Alexander S., Violet and Johnnie. Mr. Agnes was carried by the angel
of death, from his family and friends in April, 1882, and his
departure was greatly mourned by all who knew him. He was a man of
more than ordinary ability, and his substantial and prominent
character was known to many of the citizens of Cass county.
Among the prominent and substantial citizens of Victoria township, we
will mention Martin Dressier, who was born in Pennsylvania, on
the 11th of November, 1849. When about five years of age he moved with
his parents to Indiana, setting in Elkhart county, and nine years
later moved to Mahaska county, Iowa, where he was reared on a farm and
received his education in the district school. He remained a resident
of Mahaska county, engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1878, when
he removed to Kansas, and took up a homestead in Graham county.
Several years later he sold this claim and came to Cass county, Iowa,
settling in Victoria township, in 1881, on section 15, where he now
has an improved farm.
Henry R. Moore is a native of Butler county, Ohio, born August
21, 1844. In 1851 he moved with his parents to Jefferson county, Iowa,
where his father purchased a farm. Henry remained with his parents
until seventeen years old, when he enlisted in company B, Nineteenth
Iowa Infantry. He participated in the engagements of Prairie Grove,
Van Buren, siege and capture of Vicksburg, capture of Yazoo City,
Forts Gaines and Morgan, Spanish Fort, Mobile and Pierce's Point,
Florida. He was one of our country's bravest soldiers, and it was one
of his greatest ambitions to fight for our Union. He was discharged at
the close of the war, and was nearly, and at times was entirely,
blind, and did not regain his sight for over three years after the
war. He returned to Jefferson county, and there remained until 1870,
when he removed to Harrison county, Missouri, where he lived until
1878, when he came to Cass county, and located in Victoria township,
now occupies the south half of the southeast quarter of section 13. He
was married in 1868, to Minerva E. Clemons, a native of Pennsylvania.
They have five children: Eva B , Ida E., Etta M., Janey L. and Frank
In 1876, William H. Collman came to Victoria township, and
settled on section 32, where he purchased a farm of his father, and
began to cultivate his land. He was born in Kendall county, Illinois,
on the 25th of July, 1853, and is the son of Henry and Sophia Collman,
natives of Germany. William was reared on a farm and remained a
resident of Kendall county until he came to Victoria township, Cass
county, in 1876. He was united in marriage in 1877, to Emma Schumann,
a native of Germany. They have one child: Henry L. Mr. Collman is
one of the most successful men in the county, and is highly respected
by his many friends.
Johan Johannis, a native of Germany, was born on the 6th of
May, 1828, where he was reared on a farm. In 1864, he left his native
land and emigrated to America, where he settled in New York, but soon
moved to Cook county, Illinois, and there remained until 1879, when he
came to Cass county, settling in Victoria township, where he has
planted shade trees, built a fine house and has improved his land. Mr.
Johannis was married in 1853, to Mary Muns.
They have had six children: Charlie, William, Henry, August, Mary and Lewis.
W. T. McKee came to Cass county, Iowa in 1873, settling on
section 28, where he purchased eighty acres of prairie land. He sold
his farm in Massena township in 1881, and came to Victoria township,
where he has since resided. He was born on the 21st of February, 1847,
Blair county, Pennsylvania, and when six years of age he went to
Maryland, and lived with his grandparents in Alleghany county, until
fifteen years of age, when his parents moved to Maryland, he then made
his home with them until seventeen years of age, when he enlisted in
company K, Third Maryland Infantry, serving fifteen months, when he
was discharged with his regiment. He then returned home and remained a
short time, when he went to Davenport, Iowa, and was there
engaged in farming until 1873, when he came to Cass county. He was
married in February, 1867, to Mary Ruch. They have been blessed with
seven children: Nora M., Anna T., Henry F., Katie, William A., James
G. and Clara E.
Robert Bagshaw resides on section 14, Victoria township, where
he owns a large farm. He came to Cass county in the fall of 1872, and
in the winter of 1874-75 he purchased the southeast quarter of section
14. He has improved this farm, and has planted an orchard and has some
fine farm buildings. He was born in Derbyshire, England, in 1845, and
was there located until 1869, when he left his home and emigrated to
America, locating in New York. On the fourth of July, of the
same year he moved to Wisconsin and there remained until 1873, when he
came to his present location. He was married in 1873, to Elizabeth S.
Walker, a native of Illinois. They have six children: Robert J., Hugh
F., Alice E., Alfred E., Lula F. and Mabel C.
Walter Rae came to Cass county in 1875, and settled on section
25, Victoria township, and in 1877 he moved to Adams county and there
remained two years, when he came back to this county and settled in
Lincoln township. In 1880 he rented a farm on section 23, and in 1882
bought his present location on section 23, Victoria township. He was
married in 1871 to Janet Johnson, a native of Scotland. They have
seven children: Jessie, William, John, Allen, Robert,
Mary and George. Mr. Rae is an elder of the Presbyterian church, and
in this county is one of the prominent leaders of that faith.
John M. Laing, a native of Michigan, was born on the 8th of
February, 1842, and was there educated. In 1864 he started for
Illinois, and located in McDonough county, where he entered land,
and there remained until 1872, when he came to his present farm in
Cass county. He built a frame house which was destroyed by a cyclone,
and soon after built his present house. He has planted many shade and
ornamental trees in his groves, and has three hundred and twenty acres
of good improved land. He was married in 1865 to Emma Lindsey, and by
whom he has had seven children: George A., Dora E., Nettie M.,
Orlando J., Day, Aaron F. and Chester A. Mr. Laing is
class leader in the Methodist Episcopal church, and is one of the
Reuben Robinson was born in Vermont, on the 25th of July,
1818. He was married in March, 1839, to Emeline Smith. He remained on
the old homestead until 1872, when he sold out and came to Illinois,
where he spent a year in Lee county, and in the spring of 1873, he
came to Cass county. The family lived in a wagon, by which they had
transferred their goods, and in the fall camped in a school house.
They now own an improved farm on section 27, Victoria township, have
good buildings and a fine orchard. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson have been
blessed with six children: Melvina B., Laura L., Elizabeth S., Emma
N., Ella S. and Hattie.
This office was established in 1877, at the residence of Enos Sayers,
on section 21, with Enos Sayers as postmaster. He held the office
until 1879, when it was removed to the residence of John Coddington,
on section 15, who was commissioned postmaster of the same. In the
year 1880, Mr. Coddington removed from the township and the office was
then discontinued. The postoffice was on the mail route from Anita to
Victoria township assumed official organization at the October
election, 1870, held at the Tate school house, with Thomas Tate, Jr.,
organizer. June 11, 1870, the territory technically known as township
74, 34, was set off from Edna township. The growth of this
sub-division during the past few years has been rapid and substantial,
as in 1873 there was a population of about two hundred, while to-day
it has more than trebled that number. There is no record of a
proceedings of the first election, but it is learned from authentic
sources that the following were the first officers: William
E. Johnson, Thomas Tate, J. C. Sholes, trustees; Royal Hudspeth,
clerk; Joshua Devore, assessor.
School district No. 1, embracing sections 1, 2, 11 and 12, has a
school house on the south-east corner of section 2 erected in 1880.
The first school in this district was taught by John Tate, at his
house, during the winter of 1863-4. In 1867 a school house was erected
on the south-west corner of section 1, and Eliza Tate was the first
teacher. The first teacher in the new building, erected in
1880, was Fannie E. Moseley.
School district No. 2, includes sections 3, 4, 9 and 10. It has a
school house located on the southwest corner of section 3, erected in
1876. Alice Hill has the credit of being the first teacher in this
School district No. 3, including sections 5, 6, 1 and 8, has a school
house on section 5, which was erected in 1884, Mrs. Eliza McDiarmid
being the first teacher in this building. Prior to the erection of
this building, school was held in the district at a house on section
7, which was built about the year 1868. The pioneer teacher in this
house was Mrs. Royal Hudspeth.
School district No. 4, comprising sections 17, 18, 19 and 20, has a
school house on the southwest corner of section 17, erected in 1878.
The first school in this district was taught by Mrs. George N.
Morse, at her home on section 20, in the fall of 1878. Before the term
was completed Mrs. Morse was taken sick and the school was abandoned.
The first teacher in the school house, erected in 1878, was Alice
School district No. 5, has a school house on the northwest corner of
section 22, erected in 1877. The district embraces sections 15, 16, 21
and 22. Abbie Skellinger was the first teacher in the
house erected in 1877.
School district No. 6 comprises sections 13, 14, 23 and 24. This
district was organized in 1871, and the first school was taught by H.
S. Smeleer, at his house, located on section 14. In 1872 a school
house was erected on the northwest corner of section 24, at a cost of
$600. Alice A. Hill taught the first term of school in this building.
School district No. 7 embraces sections 25, 26, 35 and 36. The first
school was held at the residence of Mathew Symonds, on section 36, in
1871, being a two months' term during the summer of that year, and
taught by Francis Symonds. In 1872 a school house was erected in the
southwest corner of section 25. Alice Webb was the first teacher in
School district No. 8 includes sections 27, 28, 33 and 34. The first
school house in this district was built in 1872, on the northwest
corner of section 34. Mary Sweet taught the first term of school in
this building during the winter of 1872-3. There were but six
scholars, all children of Joshua Devore.
School district No. 9 embracing sections 29, 30, 31 and 32, has a
school house on the northeast corner of section 31, which was erected
in 1875. James Watters taught the first term of school in this
The United Presbyterian congregation of Victoria township was
organized March 23, 1880. The meetings of the society are held in what
is known as the Bell school house, on the southwest corner of section
25, in district No. 7.
The first school in the township was taught by John Tate, at the
residence of his father, Thomas Tate, on section 1, during the winter
of 1863-4. The first death which occurred within the territory now
known as Victoria, was that of Rev. Asa Walden, who died August 7,
The first birth was that of William H., son of Wm. E. Johnson, born
May 10, 1858.
The contracting parties to the first marriage of Victoria, were Asa
Walden, Jr., and a Miss Gardner, in 1861. The marriage ceremony was
performed by Rev. Hillman.
Transcribed by Cheryl Siebrass, November, 2010 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 Reporesentative Citizens", published in 1884, Springfield, Ill: Continental Historical Co., pp. 578-587.