Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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History of Lime Creek Township
Cerro Gordo County, Iowa

This is in the northern tier of townships in Cerro Gordo county, bounded on the north by Worth county, on the east by Falls township, on the south by Mason township and on the west by Lincoln [township], comprising congressional township 97, range 20 west. This township is mostly a prairie township, with an occasional natural grove, around which the first settlements were made. Lime creek, the principal stream, is one of the finest water courses in the county. It enters the township on section 19, and passes through its territory in a southeasterly direction, making exit from section 34, into Mason township. Some of the best tilled farms of the county are situated along this stream, and the passer-by cannot help admiring the beautiful farm houses, large barns, well cultivated lands and apple orchards.


The first settlement in what is now Lime Creek township was the second in Cerro Gordo county, and it was effected by David and Edward WRIGHT, who settled on the northeast quarter of section 28, sometime during the month of September, 1853. They were natives of the State of New York. David WRIGHT afterwards removed to section 29, where he resided for several years. At this early date deer were plenty, and one day while Mr. WRIGHT was out hunting his dogs gave chase to a deer. The frightened animal becoming tired in his race for life, sought refuge in the creek near Mr. WRIGHT'S house, whereupon Mrs. WRIGHT rushed bravely to the spot, and with a hatchet killed the animal, which was half buried in the creek. The family subsequently removed to Northwood, where Mr. WRIGHT died in 1881, and Mrs. WRIGHT died in May, 1883. Edward Wright removed to the State of Oregon, where he died. His widow resided in that State in 1883.

In 1854 Wellington BENTON settled on section 28, where he resided until 1869, then removed to [Neosho] Newton Co., Mo. [where he died at the age of 62 years and died on March 21, 1887].

Henry MARTIN, a native of Vermont, entered the northeast quarter of section 21. In 1855 he erected a log cabin on the same, which served as a residence until 1866. He then built a stone dwelling, and in 1882 erected his present spacious farm house.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Henry MARTIN was born in 1830, and died April 24, 1893. He was interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City, Iowa.

Stephen WRIGHT, a brother of David and Edward WRIGHT, in the same year settled on section 28.

James G. BEEBE, came from La Salle Co., Ill., and resided on section 28 until 1870, then removed to Mason City. In 1883 he resided near Motley, Minn.

A. BEEBE settled on section 27, and re- mained a resident of the township until some time during the civil war. He then returned to Eldora, Hardin county, where he has since died.

Seth B. STEVENS also came from La Salle Co., Ill., and has since resided on section 22.

Jacob Van CUREN came from Indiana, in 1854, and resided on section 27 until 1862, then emigrated to Oregon.

Mr. Van PATTER and family came from Illinois and settled on section 8, where Mr. Van PATTER, while plowing in the field, suddenly fell dead from heart disease. His son, John Van PATTER, resided on the homestead until 1882, then went to Dakota, and now lives near Chamberlain.

Seth B. STEVENS, another settler of 1854, became a resident of Lime Creek township when it was still designated in the official papers as township 97, range 20. He was born in Cayuga Co., N. Y., June 20, 1824. His parents settled in La Salle Co.. 111., when he was fifteen-years-old. In 1854 he came to Cerro Gordo county and settled on section 22, of this township. He belongs to the long catalogue of the Union's defenders, having enlisted in the 14th Iowa regiment, in company C, Oct. 24, 1861. He went with the regiment to Dakota, on frontier duty, and veteranized in the spring of 1864. In April, 1865, he was prostrated by disease, and discharged from the hospital in August, 1865, when he returned home. He has been a prosperous farmer and is now the proprietor of a half section of land.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Seth B. STEVENS was interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City, Iowa.

In 1855 John RUSSELL came to Cerro Gordo county, removing from Jackson Co., Iowa, with seven or eight yoke of oxen, and at the same time bringing about forty head of cattle. When he arrived in the county he purchased more stock, thus increasing his herd to over sixty head. The following winter, 1855-6, was very severe and as his stock was not properly sheltered over forty head perished in the storms. Mr. RUSSELL first settled in the timber near Lime creek in a log cabin 20x32 feet It was covered with the fashionable roofing of that day, shakes, which was made by himself. This spaoious cabin had a wide doorway so as to admit a yoke of yearling steers, with which he used to haul large logs into the cabin to be burned in the fire-place. In 1856 he came to Lime Creek township and settled on section 30; one year later he removed to section 29. He now resides in Mason City.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: John RUSSELL died at the age of 81 years on August 27, 1890. Matilda (FERGUSON) RUSSEL, John's wife, died at the age of 77 years on August 22, 1890. They were interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City, Iowa.

John J. RUSSELL is the son of John and Matilda (FERGUSON) RUSSELL, pioneers of Cerro Gordo county. He was born in Knox Co., Ohio, Nov. 5, 1838. His parents became residents of Iowa, and he reached man's estate under the personal care and guidance of his father. In October, 1861, Mr. RUSSELL made the cause of the Union his own, by enlisting in the 14th Iowa Volunteer Infantry. The command went to Fort Randall, Dakola. In 1864 he was transferred to the 4Jst Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and later to the 7th Iowa Cavalry. He received an honorable discharge Oct. 31, 1864, and returned to his home. In 1867 he located upon the farm he has since occupied, on the northwest quarter of section 33, in Lime Creek township. He was married in 1866 to Miss HARTSHORN, of DeKalb Co., Ill. William Arthur, Hester H., Charity, Mary E., Nannie, Julia and Bettie are the names of their seven promising children. Mr. RUSSELL has been several times chosen by the votes of his townsmen to fill offices of trust, and is the present asssessor.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: J. J. RUSSELL died October 3, 191_. Elizabeth (HARTSHORN) RUSSELL was born August 2, 1840, and died January 18, 1932. They were interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City, Iowa.

Thomas B. WILSON, a native of Vermont, came to Iowa from LaSalle Co., Ill., and in 1855 settled on section 27. He died in 1871, and his wife died in 1878. Paul DENNIS, a son-in-law of Mr. WILSON, came at the same time. He first located on section 27, and afterwards removed to section 20.

In the same year Timothy H. PARKER, a native of Pennsylvania, came from Indiana. He left his family in Dubuque while he came to Cerro Gordo county, purchased land on section 34, Lime Creek township, and made necessary preparations for his family, which he removed to their new home in the spring of 1856, where he still resides. Mr. PARKER brought five horses, one wagon and a carriage to the county.

Ambrose M. BRYANT is one of the pioneers of Cerro Gordo county. He came in 1855 and pre-empted the southwest quarter of section 9. For many years his house stood alone on the prairie, the settlement in the early days being along Lime creek, and it was twenty years before any improvement was made in the northern part of the township. He made a spendid selection of land, upon which there are never failing springs of good water. He is a native of New York, born in Chenango county, Oct. 2, 1833. His younger days were spent on the farm, where he remained until 1855, then came west. He has engaged in grain and stock raising in which he has been successful. In 1883 he had 400 acres of improved land. In 1860 he built a frame house, and in 1872 a large barn. He was married in 1860 to Mary DENNIS, a daughter of Paul and Mary DENNIS. They have been blessed with five children Paul, Jessie, Seth, Jethro and Walter.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Ambrose M. BRYANT died January 4, 1910. Mary Jane (DENNIS) BRYANT was born October 4, 1842, and died February 21, 1904. They were interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City, Iowa.

Timothy H. PARKER is a leading representative of the pioneer corps of Cerro Gordo county. He settled here in 1855. Mr. PARKER was born in Broome Co., N. Y., Nov. 16, 1818. His parents went to Erie Co., Penn., in his youth and a few years later to Trumbull Co., Ohio. Their final move was to Jay Co., Ind., where they were pioneers. Mr. PARKER was married in Mercer Co., Ohio, Oct. 17, 1839, to Elizabeth De HAYES. She was born in Preble Co., Ohio. They settled in Jay Co., Ind., where they remained until 1855, when they set out to find a new home farther west. In the spring of 1856, they pitched their tent on section 34, which has ever since been their home, Mr. PARKER having come the previous year. They have nine children Betsey A., Martin B., Margaret J., Ellie C., Francis S. and Frances E. (twins) Lydia L., Mary L. and Willie H.

A. L. WHITNEY, a native of Delaware Co., N. Y., and a blacksmith by trade, came to the county in 1858, and first locating at Mason City, he opened a shop and pursued his trade for about ten years. He now resides on section 28, where he has also erected a shop.

David DUNBAR, a native of Pennsylvania, took up a claim, on section 16, some time previous to 1860, as in that year he sold to Levi PARKER, who still resides on the place.

Leonard HILL, a native of Putnam Co., N. Y., came from Linn Co., Iowa, in 1860, and settled on section 34, where he tilled the soil until his death, which took place in [April 27, aged 61] 1882 [interment at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City]. His family still reside on the homestead. Leonard HILL settled in Cerro Gordo county in 1860, and was a pioneer not only of this county but of the State, of which he became a resident in 1856. He was born in Putnam Co., N. Y., June 6, 1821. He passed his early life in school and on his father's farm, but when he was seventeen, was thrown upon his own resources by the death of the latter. He went to the city of New York, and served three years learning the trade of a mason. He acted three years in the capacity of foreman with his employer and then came west. He stayed two years in Wisconsin working at his trade, going back to New York at the expiration of that time. He invested his money in a sloop and engaged in the Hudson river traffic. But he had imbibed a strong regard for the west, and in his own words "never saw a train start for the west, without a desire to go." At the expiration of two years he sold his sloop and turned his face toward the setting sun. He settled in Linn Co., Iowa, where he took the contract to build the Western College in that county. He was married Jan. 15, 1857, to Lorinda BERGER, a native of Stark Co., Ohio. The family resided in Linn county until 1859, when they came to Cerro Gordo county. Mr. HILL bought land on section 34, and also on section 3, of Mason township. His first house was built of plank and lined with stone. In this the family lived seven years, then going to Mason City, where Mr. HILL worked at his trade. In 1874 he built a fine two-story brick house on section 34, Lime Creek township, and took possession in November of the same year. He died there April 27, 1882. Mr. HILL'S entire life was characterized by industry, energy and perseverance. He left to his family the fruits of a life of thrift, and to his townsmen the record of his honest and upright career. He is survived by his widow and five children Laura, William F., Byron, Kate and Carrie.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Leonard HILL'S gravestone gives his death dated as March 27, 1882. Lorinda (BERGER) HILL died at age 71 on March 3, 1911. Leonard and Lorinda were interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City.

Levi PARKER, a representative of the pioneer element of Cerro Gordo county, is a son of the Green Mountain State. He was born in Franklin Co., Vt , April 2, 1822. His parents removed to Illinois in 1840 and were pioneers in Lake county. His father bought government land which he put under first class cultivation and occupied until his death. Mr. PARKER also bought government land, built him a home and resided there until 1860, when he sold out and moved westward. He bought school land on section 16, Lime Creek township. The family occupied the log house first erected for several years, when their present frame building was built.

Mr. PARKER was married in 1845 to Martha C. VANDERMARK, a native of the Empire State. The family includes seven children Martha C, aged 37; Silas G., aged 35; Stephen F., aged 33; Albert L., aged 31; Alonzo M., aged 28; Obed H., aged 25; John W., aged 21.

Josephus COOPER was a native of that portion of the State of Virginia which is now West Virginia. He was born in December, 1808, and when twenty-one years of age went to Illinois, where he settled in Stephenson county. The land he there purchased became his through government patent and he is in a double sense a pioneer. He put his farm in good condition with improvements and in 1857 sold out and came to Iowa. He tarried one year in Dubuque county and set out for Bremer county, then in its primal state. He located twelve miles north of Waverly, remaining until 1860, when he removed to Floyd county. Four years after he came to Lime Creek township and purchased a farm on section 1. On this place he put excellent buildings and first-class improvements, and here he passed the remainder of his life. He died March 6, 1879. He was a kind-hearted, generous spirited man, and left a splendid record among his fellow men. His wife, Libbie (TUCKER) COOPER, died in 1860. Six of their eight children are living Jane, Emeline, Jesse, Emery, Rebecca and Josephus. Eliza died in 1866; Elizabeth, in 1876. Josephus, youngest son, occupies the homestead. His brother Emery and a sister reside with him. Emery Cooper owns a farm in Worth county.

Charles H. O'NEIL, trustee of Lime Creek township, was born in Clinton Co., N. Y., March 11, 1844. His parents became residents of Marquette Co., Wis., when the son was seven-years-old. In two years they went to Fond du Lac county, where they were pioneers. When at the age of twenty-two years Mr. O'NEIL went to Minnesota, and stopped in Dodge county, where he was married Dec. 24, 1866, to Marcella BEIDLEMAN. They went to Fond du Lac county, where they passed the next two years, then came to Lime Creek township, and purchased unbroken land on section 19. They lived on this land five years and then bought their present farm of 160 acres on section 8, on which they have since lived. Mr. O'NEIL has built a house and put his farm under good improvements. In 1883 he built a barn, 30x40 feet, with 16 feet posts, and has besides a granary, 16x24 feet. Mr. and Mrs. O'NEIL have three children Melville J., Ella M. and Leslie D.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Charles H. O'NEIL died in 1926. Marcella (BEIDLEMAN) O'NEIL was born in 1846, and died in 1938. Leslie D. O'NEIL was born in 1877, and died in 1933. They were interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City, Iowa.

George A. O'NEIL, brother to C. H. O'NEIL, was born in Clinton Co., N. Y., Jan. 17, 1848. He was married Nov. 25, 1875, to Lucinda B. WHITING. They came to Lime Creek township in 1878, and purchased a farm of Dwight BROWN, on the southeast quarter of section 7. Their children are Arthur and Lucia.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: George A. O'NEIL died in 1931. Lucinda B. (WHITING) O'NEIL was born in 1853, and died in 1938. They were interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City, Iowa.

L. A. PECK, who came to Lime Creek township in 1869, was born in Rock Co. Wis., Nov. 26, 1847, and was there reared to agricultural pursuits and received a fair education at the common schools, and afterward was advanced by three terms at the Milton Academy. In 1869 he came to this township, where his father had a large tract of land. He improved some of the land, staying on it part of the time and spending the remainder in Wisconsin. In 1881 he located permanently on section 27, where he still lives.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Luther A. PECK died in 1928 and was interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City, Iowa.

Dwight BROWN came to Cerro Gordo county in 1870, and settled on the east half of section 7, in the northwest portion of Lime Creek township. He was born in Windham Co., Vt., June 1, 1823. At the age of eighteen, he went to Chicopee, Mass., and was there employed several years in a cotton mill, going thence to Lowell, Mass. He there engaged as an operative in a factory. His stay in Lowell was brief and he proceeded to Fitchville, Conn., where he worked three months. At the expiration of that time, he went to Clinton, Mass., and acted as overseer of the weaving department in the Lancaster Mill, some twelve years. His first independent business venture was in the grocery and provision trade, which he operated a year, sold out and moved to Wisconsin. He bought a farm in Linden, Sauk county, where he lived ten years, and then moved to Madison. He lived there a short time and went to Charles City, Iowa. Here he engaged in farming and dairy business three years, then came to Cerro Gordo county as stated. He has interested himself quite extensively as a wheat grower. His crop in 1876 was 3,220 bushels. Mr. BROWN was married Aug. 11, 1844, to Maria M. INGALLS, born in Caledonia Co., Vt. They have children as follows Adelibert D., Frank M., Emma M., Hattie J. and Carrie E. The first child died in infancy. Frank was born in Massachusetts May 26, 1858, and died Dec. 21, 1874. Hattie was born July 23, 1859, and died Dec. 11, 1874.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Dwight BROWN died in 1910. Maria M. (INGALLS) BROWN was born om 1827, and died in 1916. Frank's gravestone gives his birth year as 1855. They and daughter Hattie were interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City, Iowa.

Ansel HARROUN is a pioneer in the strongest sense of the term, having changed his location with the westward progress of civilization three times. He was born in Genesee Co., N. Y., Dec. 23, 1818. When he was two-and-a-half-years-old his parents went to Pennsylvania, and settled in Crawford county, near Meadville. He was educated in the common schools and reared to a farmer's vocation. In 1844 he came west and located in Darien township, Walworth Co., Wis., and two years later went to Fond du Lac county where he was a pioneer. He took up government land in Springdale township, built a log house and proceeded to make the customary improvements preparatory to successful farming. In 1856 he became a pioneer in Olmstead Co., Minn. He bought land in Dover county and engaged in wheat culture. In 1870 he sold his property and came to Iowa, settling on the northeast quarter of section 24, Lime Creek township. His farm shows all the improvements common to the first-class homesteads of the county. The buildings are good and Mr. HARROUN has a fine grove of trees of his own planting. He was married to Delilah CROSSLY, a native of Crawford Co., Penn. Mr. HARROUND is an indefatigable reader and is one of the best informed men in the vicinity.

Patrick REYNOLDS settled in the township in 1873. He was born in Ireland in 1830 When seven years of age, his parents moved to America, settling at Toronto, Canada, where they lived seven or eight years and then moved to Wisconsin, living a year at Milwaukee, then removed to Washington county. His father purchased timber lands of the government. He assisted his father in clearing up three good farms. In 1856 his father gave him forty acres of land and he, at the same time, purchased forty acres adjoining, thus making him an eighty acre farm, which he sold in 1869, and came to Iowa, purchasing land on section 2, Lime Creek township. He returned to Wisconsin and in 1873 made another purchase of land in this township, on section 34; this time moving his family on the place. His farm is well improved and shows every mark of being cared for by a thrifty farmer. He was married June 21, 1858, to Susan SHORT, a native of Carroll Co., Ohio. They were blessed with nine children John, Eliza, Frank, Maggie, Thorn, Lizzie, Eddie, Ella and William. Lizzie died when two-and-a-half-years-old.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Patrick REYNOLDS died November 25, 1905. Susan (SHORT) REYNOLDS was born April 6, 1836, and died April 1, 1923. They were interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City, Iowa.

Henry MATLEY, a settler of 1876, was born Feb. 17, 1836, in Lancastershire, England. At the age of ten years he entered a cotton mill, where he worked four years. At fourteen he came to America with his parents. His father bought a farm in Columbia county, near Portage City, Wis., and he resided there until twenty-one years of age, when he went to Monroe county, and bought a farm near Sparta. He enlisted Aug. 15, 1862, in company C, 23d Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry and served until the termination of the struggle for the Union. He was honorably discharged July 4, 1865. Vicksburg, Arkansas Post, Cyprus Bayou, Greenville, Miss., Champion Hills and Black River Bridge, are among the engagements in which his command was actively engaged. At Vicksburg he received a Minnie ball in the fleshy part of his arm which inflicted a severe wound. He was in action at Jackson, at Carrion Crow, Miss., and was taken prisoner at the last place, Nov. 3, 1863. He was exchanged June 6, 1864, at Jackson. The war ended he returned to his former employ of farming, at Sparta. In June, 1867, he sold his farm and went to Minnesota, where he bought a place in Buford township, Blue Earth county. He put it under good improvements, erected valuable buildings, and in 1876 sold out and came to Lime Creek township, where he bought his present property on section 6. He has made extensive improvements, built a brick house, barn and sheds and has a beautiful and valuable homestead. He has a large number and variety of shade and ornamental trees, and an assortment of fruit trees, all of which enhance the worth and beauty of the location. Mr. MATLEY was married Jan. 27, 1870, to Ann DRAPER, a native of Derbyshire, England. Bessie MATLEY is the only child.

Among the settlers of 1876 was George R. MILLER, a native of Vermont, born in Alburgh, Grand Isle county, Feb. 10, 1823. When but a few years of age his father died, and soon after his mother moved to Canada and located in the province of Quebec. When he was seventeen-years-old, he commenced to learn the blacksmith trade. After a few months of hard work, he and the trade had a falling out, as he remarked to a friend, and he then turned his attention to farming. He was married in 1849, to Mary WILSEY, who was a native of Canada He settled at Russelltown, where he remained until 1854, at which time he moved west. He made the trip to Chicago by lake, and from there he took a team and drove to Minnesota, locating in Fillmore county. He built a log house which he covered with shakes. He remained in this until 1869, when he built a good frame house. In 1876 he sold out and removed to Lime Creek township. Mrs. MILLER died in January, 1879. In 1 883 they had three children living Sabra, George E. and Lucinda. His second wife, to whom he was married in November, 1873, was Helen MANING. By this union there were two children Julia W., and Ethel E. Mrs. MILLER also has three children by her first husband Hattie H., Lottie L. and Eddie M.

Lewis C. NEIDERMYER came to the township in 1877. He is a native of Germany, born June 6, 1850. When four-years-old he came, in company with his parents, to America, settling in Orange Co., N. J. When but fourteen years of age, he enlisted in company H, 39th New Jersey Volunteers, and was with the regiment until its discharge in July, 1865. He participated in the battles of Hatch's Run, Pittsburg Landing, Stone Creek, and many other engagements. When discharged he returned home. When he was only seventeen-years-old he started out in life for himself, first going to Indiana, where he engaged in farming one year, and then went to Colorado, and there engaged in mining and farming for about eighteen months, after which he returned as far as Kansas, and spent four years near Atchison, and from there went to Illinois, spending one year, thence to Pierce Co., Wis. He was married in 1876 to Miss L. THING. They have four children Florence E., Clarence C, Chester A. and Frank.

Mrs. Sarah FISH, daughter of John H. and Rebecca (CROSS) VANDERMARK, was born in Tompkins Co., N. Y., Jan. 17, 1817. She was married May 2, 1836, to J. B. NICKERSON, a native of the Old Bay State, born near Boston. He was a machinist by trade, and settled at Owego, N. Y., where he opened a machine shop in 1839. He afterwards went to Chicago, which was at that time but a small place. In 1854 they went to Danby, DuPage county, where Mr. NICKERSON died of cholera, July 4 of the same year. Mrs. NICKERSON was married in 1856 to Daniel FISH, a farmer near Danby. After a residence there of nearly eight years they went to Wheaton, where Mr. FISH died in 1873, leaving one son Daniel, Mrs. FISH had four children by her first marriage. William Henry died of cholera at Danby three days before his father. Robert C. died in Chicago in his fifteenth year. James D. was born in Chicago, where he obtained a good education in the public schools. He was graduated from Bryant & Stratton's Commercial College, and enlisted in the 141stIllinois Infantry, and afterward re-enlisted in the 9th Illinois Cavalry. He lost his health and set out to travel. He has been absent sixteen years and the family have had no intelligence from him in fourteen years. George Albert, youngest son, died at the age of twenty-two months. Mrs. FISH owns a residence in Wheaton, Ill., which she left in 1880 to reside in Lime Creek township where she has a farm, managed by her son Daniel, who was born May 8, 1858, at Danby, Ill.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Sarah (VANDERMARK) NICKERSON FISH died on January 28, 1890. She was interred at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City, Iowa.


This township was set off from Mason in 1870; but the records of the first elec- tion were lost. The following served as township officers in 1882:

C. H. O'NEIL, D. H. SIMONS and John PEALTY, trustees; Lorenzo THOMPSON, W. H. KLING, constables; B. F. GIBBS and James DRAPER, justices of the peace; J. J. LLONG, clerk; J. J. RUSSELL, assessor.


The first death in the township was Miss CORINGTON, who died in the winter of 1855-6. She was buried in Mason township.

The first marriage was that of Charles LUTZ to a daughter of Alexander LONG in the summer of 1855. They were married by Squire John McMILLEN at the house of the bride's parents, on section 34. He obtained the license from Floyd county.


The first school in Lime Creek township was taught in the summer of 1855 by Eliza A. GARDNER, who was one of the family whom the Indians captured at Spirit Lake. This school was taught in a log house owned by Wellington BENTON, which was a rude cabin covered with shakes, and was situated on the northeast quarter of section 28. In the summer of 1856 Frank E. TEMPLE taught in the same building.

The first school house built by public money was erected in 1857, on section 34.

There are now nine sub-districts, eight having a school house, and one having three making eleven school houses in the township.

In district No. 1 the first school house was built in 1874 on section 2. Miss CUMMINGS taught the first school.

District No. 2 was provided with a building in 1878, on section 10.

District No. 3 held its first term of school in a building situated on section 6, erected in 1872. Fannie DEXTER, afterward wife of Julius THOMPSON, of Worth county, was the first teacher. Nellie DEXTER taught in 1883.

In district No. 4 the first school was held in a log cabin owned by Stephen WRIGHT, located on section 19, in the winter of 1858-9.

In 1860 a school house was built from public money, on the same section; but in 1864 it was being moved to the southeast part of that section, and while on the way was damaged by lightning, but was finally repaired and in use in 1883.

In district No. 5 the first school house, built in 1857, was located on section 22. Elizabeth HOYT taught the first school. This house was afterwards enlarged and converted into a church for the several denominations worshipping in the neighborhood, and was used for such purposes until 1880, when it was changed into a dwelling house. The next building in the district was erected in 1865, and located on section 21. It was a stone building, and used for school purposes until 1875, at which time it was torn down. In 1882 the district had no school building.

The first building in No. 6 was constructed in 1878, situated on section 13. Edith CRANE taught the first school.

In district No. 7 a school building was provided in 1871, which stood on section 25. Emma RUSSELL taught the first schools.

District No. 8 has three school houses. The first was built in 1857, on section 34. Henry GRAY and Frank TEMPLE were among the early teachers. During the years of the war this house was destroyed by fire and another reared on the same site. The other two are located on sections 27 and 28.

In district No. 9 the school house was erected in 1878, on section 31. Cora BABCOCK taught the first term of school.


The first services in the township were held by the United Brethren at the house of Alanson BEEBE. Rev. MUSSELMAN conducted the services.

The Free Methodists organized a class, in 1873, at the house of Mr. Van PATTER. Rev. Thomas LaDUE had charge of the organization, which consisted of the following named members:

H. W. SHUMAKER, Mrs. Calvin PARKER, William JELLISON, William HULET and Mrs. Ellen HULET.

H. W. SHUMAKER was chosen class leader. Meetings were held at the chapel on section 22. They were supplied with a minister from Plymouth. D. H. SIMONS was leader in 1883, and the society numbered but ten members. Religious meetings had been held at the school house in district No. 3, in 1873. Rev. BENNETT, a Congregational minister, was the first preacher, and a little later, Rev. George ROGERS, a Baptist clergyman, preached for this society.

Early in 1879 the Evangelical Association organized a class in the school house. Rev. C. W. ANTHONY, with eight members, constituted the society, as follows:

Mr. and Mrs. Henry MATLEY, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis SNELL, Mrs. Peter TRAINOR, Mrs. Mary ANDERSON and J. J. LONG, who was also named class leader.

Elder T. J. FINK was the first preacher. He remained about two years and was succeeded by Rev. D. W. BROWN. In 1883 the society numbered fifteen members.

A union Sunday school was formed in 1876. Rev George ROGERS was elected as its superintendent.


In an early day the people turned their attention towards the raising of sorghum or sugar cane. At that time mills with wooden rollers were in use, to crush the juice from the stalks; and they employed lame kettles in which to boil it down. But in 1880 Henry MARTIN commenced to make sorghum by the improved plan. He made large quantities, which found a ready sale at a fair price.


In 1871 N. M. NELSON and Henry BRICKSON established a brick yard on section 34, Lime Creek township. They continued in business until 1877, when Mr. NELSON became sole proprietor, and has since operated alone. The bulk of the brick used in Mason City have been the product of this yard. In 1882 about 400,000 brick were turned out.

Mr. NELSON was born in Norway, March 4, 1841. He was reared to the age of nineteen on a farm, when he determined upon a seafaring life. He was a sailor four years, and the fortunes of his wandering life made him acquainted with the chief entry ports of Russia, Greece, Turkey, Adusa on the Black Sea, and other harbors of the Eastern Continent. He came to America in 1864, landing at Quebec. He went directly to Chicago, and during the first year spent his time prospecting. In 1865 he went to Jacksonville, Ill., where he was employed four years in a brick yard. His next move was to Ackley, Iowa, and there he was engaged in the same calling two years. In 1871 he came to Mason City and founded his present business, as stated. He was married in 1872 to Nellie GATES, a native of Norway. They have four children Annie, Jennie, Gilbert and Hanna Elisa.


This was the first creamery started in this section. Leonard HILL built in the spring of 1 880. Cream was gathered from Lime Creek, Mason and Lincoln townhips. In 1881 he started another creamery at Clear Lake. The first year he made 30,000 pounds of butter, and in 1881 business had increased one-third. In January, 1883, Messrs. LAMB & BABBITT, of New York, through their, agent, Frank S. CHAPIN, bought the property and operated it on an extensive scale.


A natural curiosity appears in this township a boulder cave, discovered in 1875 by Will DENNIS and John ELDER, who were drilling for a well near the cheese factory on the ROBERT'S farm. After going down eight feet, the drill suddenly dropped four feet, and, upon examination, it was found that there was a cave containing about 670 square feet, entirely ceiled over with rock, and the bottom covered with boulders about the size and shape of a gallon jug.

"Lime Creek Township." History of Franklin and Cerro Gordo Counties, Iowa. Chapt. XXX. Pp. 903-07. Union Pub. Co. Springfield IL. 1883.

Additional information from WPA Graves Survey and cemetery transcriptions

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, April of 2011



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