Cerro Gordo County Iowa
Part of the IaGenWeb Project



History of Grimes Township
Cerro Gordo County, Iowa

This township is bounded on the north by Union township, on the east by Pleasant Valley, on the south by Franklin county, and on the west by Hancock county, and comprises congressional township 94, range 22 west.

Grimes township is all prairie land with rolling surface; the upland is a gravel loam. There are some extensive sloughs with surrounding flat lands that furnish an excellent grazing territory, which is utilized during the summer months by large herds of cattle. Two small streams run in a southeasterly course through the township.

The first actual settlement was made in 1869 by Lorenzo PRATT, who settled on section 30, and remained there until 1881, in which year his wife died, after which he moved to Hancock county.

The next settler was Henry PRESCOTT, who located on section 35, where he still resided in 1883. Mr. PRESCOTT was born in New York, Nov. 26, 1828, and at the age of twenty-one went to Illinois. In 1856 he married Miss E. McNISH, and in 1860 came to Floyd Co., Iowa, and from there to Cerro Gordo county, in 1876.

The third settler was Peter SEVERTS, who settled on section 29, in 1879. The same year John HUNTER came and remained two years after which he moved to Wright county.

Charles A. WINTER, a prominent agricultural and stock farmer of Grimes township, is located on the northeast quarter of section 24. His farm of 240 acres was purchased by his father in 1871, and is devoted to stock-raising The present proprietor has been a resident since March, 1880. He has added buildings to the value of $2,010. and the place is supplied with all first class facilities for the business which chiefly occupies Mr. WINTER'S attention. His parents, William and Sarah (ROBINSON) WINTER, settled in Black Hawk county, coming thither from Michigan, in August, 1859. Mr. WINTER was born May 13, 1856, and grew to manhood in Black Hawk county. He was reared to the duties of an agricultural life, and was married May 31, 1876, to Ida May, daughter of E. M. and Mary J. STEAD, of Cedar Falls, Iowa. Their two children are deceased. Mr. WINTER is a gentleman of perseverance and energy, and of upright, trustworthy character. In politics he endorses the principles of the republican party, and has served his township as trustee and treasurer.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Charles Winter was born in 1839, and died in 1900. He was interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City, Iowa.

George BECK, clerk of Grimes township, is a native of the Keystone State; born in Cumberland county, J__. 18, 1852. He is the son of David and Amy BECK. His parents went in 1854 to La Fayette Co., Wis., and in 1864 came to Iowa and settled in Floyd county, where they still reside. Mr. BECK was married in 1872 to Francis R. COOK, of Wisconsin, at which time he again became a resident of La Fayette county, in that State. In 1879 he came to Chapin, Franklin county, and in the winter of 1880 settled on section 32, of Grimes township. Mr. and Mrs. BECK have six children David, William, Francis, Christopher, Ida and Ira. Mr. BECK is a subscriber to the principles of the National greenback party. He has filled various township offices.

S. S. SANFORD, township trustee of Grimes since its organization, was born in Illinois, March 6, 1846. His father, Nirum SANFORD, was a farmer, and brought up his son to pursue the same honorable and profitable calling. His mother was Jane AUSTIN before her marriage. Mr. SANFORD was an inhabitant of his native State until the age of eighteen, when he went to Watertown, Wis., where he obtained a situation as clerk in a general store. He was there employed two years, when he went back to Illinois and resumed farming. In 1867 he came to Fayette Co., Iowa, where he lived until 1880. Since that year he has been a resident of Cerro Gordo county and of Grimes township. He was married in 1869 to Martha, daughter of William and Eliza WELLS. Mr. and Mrs. SANDFORD have one son Lester. Mr. SANFORD is an adherent of the republican party.


Grimes township was organized in 1880, and the first election held at the house of J. H. HUNTER, in April of that year, at which time the following officers were elected:

S. S. SANFORD, George BECK and Jonathan MANN, trustees; J. H. HUNTER, clerk; Henry PRESCOTT, assessor; Lorenzo PRATT, justice of the peace; A. H PRESCOTT, constable.

Upon the constitutional amendment in June, 1882, there were nine votes cast for and two against the proposed amendment.

In 1883 the following officers were elected:

S. S. SANFORD, R. W. HENNING and L. T. LILLIE, trustees; George BECK, clerk; L. T. LILLIE, justice of the peace.


The first school in Grimes township was held in the house afterward occupied by C. A. WINTER, in the winter of 1879-80, which was taught by Jonathan MANN. There were two school houses in the township, in 1883, costing #450 each.

The first death in Grimes township was Cecil M., son of Charles W. and Ida May WINTER, who died April 2, 1880, aged two years and eight months. He was buried on the farm.

"Grimes Township." History of Franklin and Cerro Gordo Counties, Iowa. Chapt. XXV. Pp. 859-62. Union Pub. Co. Springfield IL. 1883.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, April of 2011



  • 1895 Grimes Township Plat Map

  • Return to 1883 History of Franklin & Cerro Gordo Counties ~ Table of Contents

  • Return to Cerro Gordo History Index Page

  • Return to Cerro Gordo Home Page


    © Copyright 1996-
    Cerro Gordo Co. IAGenWeb Project
    All rights Reserved.