Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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History of Lincoln Township
Cerro Gordo County, Iowa

Lincoln township was set off from Mason and Lake townships by the board of supervisors at their June session, 1861, and now comprises congressional township 97, range 21 west. The township is well watered by Lime creek and Callamus creek. The former furnishes a good water power. Originally there was a good supply of timber along these streams, but it is fast disappearing before the ax of the settlers. There is but little wet land in this township, the greater part being a beautiful rolling prairie land, with the richest soil found in the county.


To Abel CLARK belongs the honor of being the pioneer of what is now Lincoln township, settling here with his family in 1854.

Ira WILLIAMS first settled on the west side of the Shell Rock river, between Rock Falls and Plymouth, from where in May, 1856, he came to Lincoln township and located on section 24.

In 1856 Gabriel PENCE, accompanied by his son, John, came to Cerro Gordo county and purchased several hundred acres of land in the northwest portion of Lincoln township. In May, 1857, Mr. PENCE, wife and seven children removed from Jackson county and settled in their new home. The oldest daughter was married and did not come to the county until 1859. Gabriel PENCE settled on section 6, and his sons, two of whom were married, located near him.

Gabriel PENCE was born April 18, 1806, in Ohio. His father, John PENCE, was the owner of a flouring and woolen mill in the State of Ohio, which property he sold and removed with his family to Indiana, where he built new mills. He operated these a number of years, and finally because of impaired health and a desire to see his family settled in life without being scattered, he sold out and went to Illinois, where he purchased a large tract of land, established his children on farms, and there resided until his death, which occurred in 1844. He was twice married and reared a large family of children.

Gabriel PENCE was trained to the vocation of his father. While in Indiana he married Nancy McCONNELL, and about 1836 emigrated to Illinois. Six years after he moved to Jackson Co., Iowa, where he purchased land and resided until 1857. In that year he came to Cerro Gordo county, and actuated by the inherited desire to preserve his family in one unbroken circle so far as possibly, he bought a large tract of land in Lincoln township, and distributing it among his children, had the satisfaction of seeing them all settled in the same neighborhood. At a surprise party given in his honor, every lineal descendant was present including children, grand-children and great-grand-children four generations, about fifty-three in number. He died Feb. 7, 1880, and his wife followed him Oct. 11, 1882.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Gabriel and Nancy (McCONNELL) PENCE were interrred at Lincoln Cemetery, Lincoln Township of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa.

Of the ten children, Mr. and Mrs. PENCE reared to maturity, seven still survive, John, Elizabeth (Mrs. George GOODELL); Hannah (Mrs. William RHODES); George, Allen W., Eliza (Mrs. B. G. RICHARDSON), and Lydia, now the wife of Benjamin DUELL.

Mr. PENCE was a man of sterling traits of character. He was a fond father, and built a substantial and permanent reputation in the township where he expended his fortune. He bore the highest character as an old-fashioned Christian gentleman.

John PENCE, his oldest surviving child, was born May 7, 1828, in Indiana. He settled in Iowa at the date named in his father's sketch, and in 1849 was married to Louisana LOCK. He settled in Cerro Gordo county in 1857, on section 6, Lincoln township, where he is the proprietor of 500 acres of land. His children are as follows Levinna, now Mrs. UMBARGER; Nancy, now Mrs. BOOTH; Sarah, now Mrs. LAVANWAY; Charlotte, now Mrs. YOKOM; Lizzie, now Mrs. TAYLOR; Ella, now Mrs. UMBARGER; Arthur C., Rachel A., John L. and Lawrence W.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: John PENCE was born May 7, 1829 (as per cemetery transcription), and died October 5, 1923. Louisiana (LOCK) PENCE died July 11, 1906. Arthur PENCE was born August 17, 1865, and died May 27, 1896. They were interred at Lincoln Cemetery, Lincoln Township, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. Also interred at Lincoln Cemetery is Gabriel PENCE, son of J. & L. PENCE, died December 16, 1861.

A. W. PENCE was born April 11, 1835, in Henderson Co., Ill. He was reared on a farm and settled in Cerro Gordo county in 1857, and has since been a resident of Lincoln township, where he owns 158 acres of land. He married Caroline, daughter of J. B. COBB, of Jackson Co., Iowa. Following are the names of their children Mary M., John E., Lincoln G., Phebe J., Cora F., Carrie A., Alice N. and Wallace S. Mr. PENCE is an adherent of the republican party, and belongs to the Church of the United Brethren. TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: A. W. PENCE died January 4, 1900. Caroline (COBB) PENCE was born November 25, 1838, and died July 14, 1918. A. W. and Caroline were interred at Clear Lake Cemetery, Clear Lake, Iowa.

Lincoln G. PENCE was born October 12, 1862. His wife Lillian E. was born October 28, 1867, and died September 1, 1956. They were interred at Lincoln Cemetery, Lincoln Township of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa.

George PENCE was born Oct. 14, 1832, in Indiana. In 1857 he came to Cerro Gordo county with the members of his father's family. In the fall of the same year he returned to Jackson county and was married to Susanah KEGLEY. She died Nov. 9, 1879, leaving seven children, three of whom have since followed their mother to the unseen land. Those who still survive are Nancy, Mrs. D. A. YOKOM, Lenora, Laura and Susanah. Mr. PENCE is engaged in farming, and intersperses his agricultural labors with that of a sportsman's life. He is a republican in politics, and in religious views adopts the creed of the M.E. Church.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: George W. PENCE died March 19, 1896. Susannah (KEGLEY) and George PENCE were interred at Lincoln Cemetery, Lincoln Township, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. Also interred at Lincoln Cemetery is C. PENCE, (probably Cloa), daughter of G. & S. PENCE, died at age 13 years, 6 months and 20 days on December 11, 1880; Laura PENCE, daughter of G. & S. PENCE, died at age 12 years, 2 months and 1 day on December 21, 1880; Lenora E. PENCE, daughter of Geo. & S. PENCE< died at age 14 years, 1 month and 10 days on April 5, 1884.

Among other earlier settlers was Richard OSBORN, who settled in 1859, on section 5. Milton GOODELL also settled on the southwest quarter of section 9, in 1859. He was a single man, but built a log house and went to farming. Upon the breaking out of the civil war he enlisted in the service [Sergeant with Company B of the 32nd Iowa Infantry], was wounded and taken prisoner on the Red River Expedition and sent to a hospital, where he died from the effects of his wound [April 9, 1864].

B. G. [Byron G.] RICHARDSON has been a resident of Cerro Gordo county since 1860. He is a farmer and a man of fine faculties, well read, genial and courteous, and a public spirited citizen of his township. Since the date of his residence he has been continually in local office, and is now secretary of the school board, and has been justice of the peace for the last fourteen years. He is an adherent of the republican party. His parents, S. M. and Locenia RICHARDSON, emigrated from New York to Wisconsin, and in 1860 to Cerro Gordo Co , Iowa, where they settled with their family. Mr. RICHARDSON was born Aug. 3, 1840, in Cortland Co., N. Y., and became a resident of Lincoln township in 1863. While a young man he was engaged summers in farming, and in teaching winters. He was married in [April 9] 1863 to Eliza [Jane] J., daughter of Gabriel PENCE. Mr. and Mrs. RICHARDSON have the following children Seth G., Ida M., Ralph, Roy, Rosa, Grace and Byron P. The homestead includes 174 acres of land.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Byron G. RICHARDSON was born August 3, 1840, and died November 2, 1915. Eliza Jane (PENCE) RICHARDSON was born January 14, 1842, and died March 16, 1932. Otis Allen, son of B. G. and Eliza (Jane) RICHARDSON, ws born September 1, 1864, and died December 23, 1871. They were interred at Lincoln Cemetery, Lincoln Township of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa.

George GOODELL, a pioneer of Iowa, came to the State in 1854 and first settled near Iowa City. Two years later he went to Bristol, Worth county. The next season he went to Illinois and afterwards to Kansas. He returned to Iowa in 1860 and has since been a resident of Lincoln township. He was born in Ohio, July 4, 1839, where he spent his boyhood. He is finely located on 160 acres of land on section 5. Mr. GOODELL has been twice married. His first wife, to whom he was united in 1863, was Marietta (sic) PENCE. She died in 1872, leaving three children Lydia, Gabriel and Haven. The present Mrs. GOODELL was Mrs. Elizabeth (PENCE) OSBORN, sister of Mr. GOODELL'S first wife. In political principles Mr. GOODELL is a republican.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: George GOODELL was born in 1837, and died in 1920. Maryett (PENCE) GOODELL was born in 1844, and died in 1872. Elizabeth (PENCE) OSBORN GOODELL died at the age of 52 years, 11 months and 25 days on October 4, 1883. Richard Haven GOODELL was born February 4, 1870, and died January 13, 1947. His wife, Lucy (KIRK) GOODELL was born September 8, 1879, and died November 24, 1971. They were interred at Lincoln Cemetery, Lincoln Township of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa.

Thomas LAW, Sr., is a son of "Auld Scotia," born in 1806. In youth he learned the weaver's trade, which occupation he followed in his native country. He was married in 1830 to Mary HAMILTON. In 1849 he came to the United States and took up his residence in Oneida Co., N. Y., and was employed in the dyeing department of the New York Mills. He brought out his family in 1850. In 1855 he went to Columbia Co., Wis., and engaged in agriculture. Some time after he went to Dodge county in that State. He came to Iowa in the fall of 1863 and located on section 16, Lincoln township, where he died in 1878. His wife is still living. They reared a family of twelve children, eleven of whom were born in Scotland, and seven are still living. Following are the names of those surviving Thomas, Jeanette, Mary, John, James, Elizabeth and Isabella.

Thomas LAW, Jr., was born in Scotland, Dec. 3, 1830, and was instructed in the weaver's trade. He came to the United States in 1850 with the other members of his father's family, and worked in the New York Mills, of Oneida Co., N. Y. He went to Wisconsin in 1855 and in 1861 to Michigan. In February of that year he was married to Mary BISHOP, daughter of William and Janet BISHOP. In 1862 Mr. Law went back to Wisconsin, and came to Iowa in the same year in search of a permanent location, and after some prospecting fixed upon Cerro Gordo county. In 1863 he brought his family to Iowa and established a home, where he now resides. Mrs. Law died Oct. 3, 1878, leaving five children Jessie C, William H., Mary E., Annie M. and Thomas B. Mr. Law was a second time married. His second marriage was with Mary Ann, daughter of Thomas H. and Susan FRENCH, and occurred Nov. 27, 1879. They have one son John S. Mr. LAW belongs to the republican party and has been township clerk, and was township treasurer for a period of six years. The family attend the Congregational Church.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Thomas LAW, Jr. died April 3, 1913. Mary (FRENCH) LAW was born February 28, 1852, and died October 24, 1914. Mary H. LAW, daughter of Thomas LAW, Jr. died at the age of 77 years on January 10, 1886. John S. LAW, son of Thomas and Mary Ann LAW, was born February 26, 1881, and died in May of 1903. They were interred in Lincoln Cemetery, Lincoln Township, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa.

Emory Osgood THOMPSON has been a prominent citizen of Cerro Gordo county since 1866. He was born in St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., Aug. 22, 1814. He was brought up on a farm and received an excellent education in an academy. In 1836 he went to Wisconsin and was there engaged eighteen months in surveying. In 1838 he returned to New York and was married to Lucinda HILDRETH. In 1853 he again went to Wisconsin, where he followed farming, in Green Lake county. He enlisted in the Union service in 1861, enrolling in the 57th Illinois regiment, Volunteer Infantry, and after serving a year was discharged on account of physical disability. He was under fire at the battles of Shiloh and Fort Donelson. Mrs. THOMPSON died in 1880, leaving eight children Julius, Julia, Alice, Lucy, Emma, Rozella, Mary and Nellie. Mr. THOMPSON was afterwards married Dec. 2, 1882, to Mrs. Nancy WILLIAMS. He has been actively interested in local and county politics most of his life. He has acted as county supervisor and has held several township offices. Among other positions of prominence, he has occupied that of postmaster at Rockwell for fourteen years. In religious sentiment he has been a Baptist from youth.

Ira WILLIAMS, the first husband of Mrs. THOMPSON, was the second settler in Lincoln township. He was born in Montgomery Co., N. Y., in 1809, and was reared on a farm. He was married in 1834 to Nancy RICHARDSON, and emigrated, in 1845, to Illinois. In 1855 he came to Cerro Gordo Co., Iowa, and lived one year on the west bank of the Shell Rock river, in Falls township, and then took up his residence on section 24, Lincoln township. He was a soldier for the Union three years. He died in 1877. Mr. and Mrs. WILLIAMS reared nine children, seven of whom are living Cynthia, Reuben, Ellen, David, Lemuel, Mary and Gilbert.

Amos THOMAS, a settler in Cerro Gordo county, is a son of Rufus and Mary (FORD) THOMAS, the former a native of New York and the latter born in Connecticut. He was born in Herkimer Co., M. Y , Jan. 8, 1834. The family transferred their residence to McHenry Co., Ill., in 1837, and in 1854 to Winona Co., Minn., where the senior Thomas died, in 1877. The mother died in Cerro Gordo county in 1882. Of the children, brothers and sisters of Amos, four are still living Louren, Rufus, Charles and Lorenzo. Mr. THOMAS was brought up a farmer, and 1857 went to McHenry Co., Ill., and was married to Mary WESTCOTT. After that event he returned to Winona. In 1864 he enlisted in company K, 11th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and remained in the Union service until the close of the war. He settled on section 16, Lincoln township, in 1866, where he now owns 160 acres of land which is in an excellent state of cultivation. Mr. and Mrs. THOMAS have six children Janette, Polly, Clara,Cora, Alice and an infant son. Mr. THOMAS is a republican in politics, and is warmly interested in educational matters.

C. H. PHILLIPS owns and resides on a farm of 168 acres of land in Lincoln township, every detail of which gives evidence Of the good sense, thrift and energy of its proprietor. His residence was erected at a cost of about $1,200. He was born in Ontario Co., N. Y., April 27, 1820. His parents, Abiather and Hannah (RANNEY) PHILLIPS, were natives of Massachusetts. Mr. PHILLIPS was brought up on a farm, and in 1854 [at Allegany, New York] was married to Almira, daughter of Edwin H. and Cynthia [(WETMORE)] BLACKMORE, of Ontario Co., N. Y. They remained residents of that county until 1865, when they moved to Ripon, Wis., and the next year to Lincoln township, Cerro Gordo county, Iowa. The children who yet survive are Lambert, Lester, Norman, Edwin, Nina, Albion and Dora. Mr. PHILLIPS takes little interest in politics save in the discharge his privileges as a citizen of the United States.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Charles H. PHILLIPS died on April 18, 1898. Almira (BLACKMORE) PHILLIPS was born April 25, 1836, Allegany, New York, and died June 15, 1918, Clear Lake, Iowa. Charles and Almira were interred at Lincoln Cemetery, Lincoln Township of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. Also interred at Lincoln Cemetery, Edwin H. PHILLIPS, born 1871 and died 1949; Edwin's wife, Alta L. PHILLIPS, who was born in 1877, and died in 1963; and, Clarence T. PHILLIPS, son of C. H. & A. PHILLIPS, died at age 12 years, 4 months and ___ days on October 30, 1881;

James FERRIER is a native of Scotland, born May 1, 1826, and growing to manhood among the lochs and mountains of "Auld Scotia." He was married in 1847 to Joanna LUMSDALE, and eight years later turned his face to the new world, reaching the United States in 1855. His first tarry was in Columbia Co., Wis., going thence to Dodge county, in that State, and from thereto Iowa. In the spring of 1866 he purchased 200 acres of land in Lincoln township, on section 15, where he took up his residence the same fall. He now owns 440 acres of land in first class condition. Mr. and Mrs. FERRIER have been the parents of ten children, and have eight now living Catharine, Joanna, Jane, William, Ellen, James, George and Martha. Mr. FERRIER is a Presbyterian in his religious sentiments. He has identified himself with the republican party, and held the various township and school offices.

C. W. FULLER is fully entitled to be enrolled among the prominent and worthy citizens of Cerro Gordo county. He has received the best evidence of the confidence of his townsmen in their support for local offices, has fought for the integrity of his country's flag, and made a meritorious record as a citizen. He was born in Allegany Co., N. Y., July 13, 1841, where he attained his majority on a farm. In 1861 he went to Columbia Co., Wis., returning to his native State in the fall of 1863. He enlisted in January, 1864, in company F, 4th New York Heavy Artillery, which command was attached to the Army of the Potomac from the battle of the Wilderness to the surrender of Lee. On the mustering out of his regiment he returned to Wisconsin. He was married in 1866 to Marion, daughter of Gideon and Rachel ALDRICH. He moved to Iowa and located on their present home in the spring of 1867. They have two children Walter E. and Leslie C. FULLER. Mr. FULLER is a republican in politics, and owns a farm of 160 acres of fine land on sections 17 and 21.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Interred at Lincoln Cemetery, Lincoln Township of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, is Infant Daughter of C. W. & M. FULLER, born and died September 17, 1883.

H. J. WILLIS became the owner of 120 acres of land in Lincoln township in 1868. At the date of his purchase it was an unbroken prairie, but he has placed it under fine improvements and erected a good residence, suitable and commodious barns and other buildings. The farm now includes 190 acres. Mr. WILLIS was born in Massachusetts, Aug. 18, 1821. His parents were John and Elizabeth (NEWCOMB) WILLIS. He was left fatherless at eight years of age. His mother went, in Is 32, to Onondaga Co., N. Y., and five years after to Wayne Co., Ohio. In 1842 she went to McHenry Co., Ill., where she died in 1854. At the age of fourteen Mr. WILLIS comraenced his struggle with the world as clerk in a mercantile establishment. When he attained his majority he adopted farming as his vocation in life. He was married in 1844 to Fannie BUN, and in 1863 came to Iowa. He first went to Winneshiek, county, where he lived two years, and then made another transfer to Richland Centre, Wis. In 1867 he returned to this State and made a brief stay in Floyd county, after which he fixed his residence in Cerro Gordo county. To general agriculture he has added stock farming, and exhibits fine samples of thoroughbreds. Mr. Willis is a leading citizen of Lincoln township, and is valued by his townsmen on account of his meritorious character. He is a Royal Arch Mason and a republican in politics.

W. H. MOFFETT settled in Lincoln township in 1868. He was born in Chenango Co., N. Y., Nov. 6, 1839, and emigrated with his parents to Walworth Co., Wis., in 1859. In 1861 he enlisted in company A, 4th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, serving under Gen. BANKS until May, 1866, when he returned to Wisconsin and in 1868 came to Iowa, and has since that time lived in this township. In 1860 he married Susan HILL, daughter of William and Mary HILL. They have eight living children Delos P., Fred, Clarence, Bert, Hubert, Wayne, Maud, Edna and May.

D. TAYLOR, who has been a resident of the township since 1868, was born in St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., Feb. 24, 1817. His parents were Nathaniel and Eunice (DRAPER) TAYLOR. He was reared on a farm and married to Amelia A. BRAYDON. In 1844 he moved to Columbia Co., Wis., and in 1868 came to Iowa. His wife died Jan. 12, 1876, leaving three children, one of whom was living in 1883 George D. He married Clarissa WHITMAN, Dec. 25, 1877. In politics he is a republican. He has been a member of the Methodist Church over forty years.

Rev. H. H. SHIELDS connected himself with the denomination of United Brethren at the age of seventeen, and when twenty-years-old began his labors as an itinerant preacher. He was. actively engaged in that capacity through a long term of years. In 1867 he was stationed in charge of the United Brethren Church in Lincoln township. He was born in Clinton Co., Ohio, Sept. 27, 1838. His father's family removed to Huntington Co., Ind., in 1852. They moved to Winneshiek Co., Iowa, in 1855, and went afterwards to Clayton county, and thence to Jones county, where the mother died, leaving nine children. The father is now a resident of Lincoln township, and is in hale old age, able still to work at his trade, shoemaking. Mr. SHIELDS still acts as local preacher, but devotes, himself chiefly to agricultural pursuits. His farm is located on section 6, of Lincoln and Grant townships. He was married in 1863 to Nancy J., daughter of Isaac and Barbara WHITE. The family includes four children Barbara E., John W., Edith M. and Ira H.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Rev. Henry H. SHIELDS died in 1933. Nancy J. (WHITE) SHIELDS was born in 1844, and died in 1888. Susan Adella SHIELDS was born in 1855, and died in 1931. They were interred in Lincoln Cemetery, Lincoln Township of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa.

S. H. Conrad CLASS owns 200 acres of land in Lincoln township, where he has been a resident since 1873. He is engaged to some extent in dairy and stock farming, to which his farm, fixtures and belongings are well adapted. Lincoln Springs Creamery is located on Mr. CLASS' farm, and he is one of the interested partners. He was born Dec. 25, 1835, in Germany. His parents were Conrad and Dorothy CLASS. In 1857, at twenty-two years of age, he entered the Prussian army and after two years service, hired a substitute and emigrated to the United States where his brothers, Fred and William, had settled some years previous. His younger brother, Simon, accompanied him and they went first to Oconto, Wis. Mr. CLASS went to Michigan tn 1860, thence to Pennsylvania, and afterwards settled in Holmes Co., Ohio. In 1862 he was married to Nancy FRAZIER, a native of that county, and daughter of John and Mary (CASSIDY) FRAZIER. Two years after his marriage, in 1864, he enlisted to fight for the Union in company K, 178th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, serving one year. He returned to Ohio and operated a saw mill until 1869. In that year he went to Henry Co., Ill., and engaged in farming, coming to Iowa four years later. The children of Mr. CLASS' family are Almon F., John W., Joel F. and Phebe J. Mr. CLASS is a republican in political faith and is at present township clerk. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and holds a high position in the esteem of his townsmen. The family attend the Christian Church.

L. R. HARDING has been a resident of Cerro Gordo county since 1873. He passed a year in Mason township, lived three years in Lake, and has been a citizen of Lincoln township six years. He owns 240 acres of land on section 22. He is the son of David H. and Fannie (REEVES) HARDING, and was born in Orange Co., N. Y., April 23, 1832. He was bred to the calling he now follows, and, March 11, 1858, married Hannah, daughter of Daniel and Hannah (HALLOCK) MAPES, of Orange county, born Aug. 25, 1836. He resided in the Empire State and interested himself in farming until his removal to Iowa. In politics Mr. Harding is a republican, but was formerly a democrat. He commands the respect and good will of all who know him, for honesty and integrity of character. Mr. and Mrs. HARDING have three children Alva, born Feb. 18, 1860; Edgar, born July 15, 1862; Harry T., born April 3, 1864.

Jacob P. HILL, of the firm of HILL Brothers, proprietors of Lincoln Flouring Mills, is a prominent business man and a leading citizen of the township of Lincoln. He was born in Rockland county, N. Y., Jan. 8, 1855, and the same year his father's family emigrated to Whitewater, Wis., where Mr. HILL, Sr., followed the business of a cooper until the year 1862, when he enlisted in the United States service, where he remained until his death, which occurred in the fall of 1864. The wife and mother then removed with her children to Jefferson Co., Wis., where she lived till her family grew up and commenced life for themselves, when she removed to Rockford, Iowa, remaining there till 1881, when she removed to Clear Lake, this county, where she now lives. Four of her five children are now living Georgiana, now Mrs. William HILL, James, Jacob P. and Susie, now Mrs. Franklin AYERS.

Jacob P. HILL resided in the State of Wisconsin until 1873, when he came to Floyd Co., Iowa, and followed the cooper business till 1877, when he made the acquaintance of and married Rebecca HILLER. He then, with his wife, removed to Cherokee, Iowa, and engaged in the milling business with P. F. FASSLER under the firm name of HILL & FASSLER, merchant millers. The same year Mr. FASSLER withdrew from the milling business and it was continued then under the firm name of HILLER & HILL, with J. P. HILL manager until 1881, when Mr. HILL sold out and came to this county. Their two children are Edward Leroy and Nora Zuella.

James HILL, of HILL Brothers, mill proprietors, is son of George and Ann CONKLIN HILL. He was born in Rockland Co., N. Y., in 1852, and accompanied his father's family to Wisconsin, and in 1870 came to Rockford, Iowa, where he engaged in coopering until that business became unprofitable, when he interested himself in milling, which has since occupied his attention. In 1882, conjointly with his brother, he purchased Lincoln Mills, where he is still engaged in business. He was married April 23, 1876, to Alma WALKER. Their sons are named George and Guy.

Daniel WATTS was born in England, in 1822, and received the training and instruction required for the duties of a bailiff, general auctioneer and appraiser. He is a man of unusually fine business qualifications and exhibits the rare qualification of ambidexterity, using both hands in penmanship with equal facility. He is highly esteemed by his fellow citizens and is prominent in all public interests. He married Mary Ann Ind, and in 1854 emigrated to Canada, where he managed a meat market and afterwards a hotel until 1863, when he engaged in farming. Two years later he came to the United States and purchased a farm in the vicinity of Milton, Wis., where he resided, in order that his children might have the advantage of good schools. His wife died Sept. 27, 1868, leaving seven children George A., James, Henry, Daniel, Fannie, William and Sarah. Mr. WATTS married his present wife, formerly Mrs. B. A. SUMNER, in 1871. He came to Iowa in 1875 and settled on section 28, Lincoln township, where he now resides.

George A. WATTS, eldest son of Daniel and Mary Ann (IND) WATTS, was born at Bristol, England, April 26, 1849. He came to Canada with his parents and in 1865, to Wisconsin, where he followed the trade of machinist in Milwaukee and Racine and afterwards at Chicago. He became a resident of Lincoln township, in Cerro Gordo county, in 1874. He purchased unimproved land, but has now a fine residence and a farm under good improvements. He was married in 1869 to Mary J., daughter of Thomas and Jane GIDDINGS, of Dane Co., Wis. Mr. and Mrs. WATTS have three children George Wilbert, Harry Earl and Lavergne G. Mr. WATTS is a man of good business qualities and is highly respected citizen, having been honored with several offices in his township.

Thomas H. FRENCH was born in England, July 16, 1851. His parents, Thomas A. and Susanna (PITMAN) FRENCH, came to America in 1855, and after a stay of one year in the city of New York, went to Rock Co., Wis., and afterward to LaFayette county, in that State. The mother died in August, 1863. Five children reached maturity Henriette, Thomas H., Mary Ann, Martha and Florence. The father died in Texas. Thomas H. FRENCH was reared a farmer, and remained a resident of Wisconsin until 1875, the date of his settlement in Lincoln township, Iowa. He pursues the vocation to which he was trained, and has a valuable farm of eighty acres, located on section 16, of this township, and under good improvements. He was married in 1878 to Ella, daughter of Ross and Ellen (BENTLEY) WITMAN. Leroy, Claude and Luella, are the names of the children of this household. Mr. FRENCH is a republican.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Thomas H. FRENCH died September 16, [illegible], and was interred in Lincoln Cemetery, Lincoln Township of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa.

E. S. WINANS first came to Cerro Gordo county in 1855, but as he was a single man, he remained but a short time. After leaving he followed boating on the Mississippi river. In 1862 he enlisted in company C, 3rd Wisconsin, and served twenty-nine months, and was discharged on account of disability, caused by a wound received at the battle of Chancellorville. He returned to Iowa and engaged in farming in Worth county. In 1879 he came to Cerro Gordo county, settling where he now lives in Lincoln township. He owns 180 acres of excellent farm land. His residence was erected in 1880, is the best in Lincoln township. He was born in Ohio, Nov. G, 1829. His parents were H. S. and Rachel WINANS. He resided in his native State until 1854. In 1857, at Berlin, Ohio, he married Amelia FAUKELL. They have three children Henry S., Edward W. and O. B. In politics he is a republican. He served as county supervisor of Worth county. He is member of the Masonic fraternity.


Aug. 20, 1861, the clerk of the board of supervisors issued a call for the first election on the second Tuesday in October. The voters met at the house of John RUSSELL. Gabriel PENCE was chosen chairman, John PENCE and James L. FRY, judges. This election resulted as follows:

Gabriel PENCE, supervisor; A. W. PENCE, John PENCE and Abel CLARK, trustees; James SPEERS, clerk; Gabriel PENCE, assessor; James FRY and Ira WILLIAMS, justices of the peace; George PENCE and Abel PENCE, constables.

Officers serving in 1883 were: D. BRYSON, John PENCE and George P. DEMPSEY, trustees; S. H. C. CLASS, clerk; G. W. ALDRICH, assessor.


The first school was taught by Nancy WILLIAMS, in 1857, in the house of Mr. WILLIAMS. The pupils were the three daughters and one son of John RUSSELL, two of Mr. ROBINSON'S, three of Abel CLARK's, and five of Mr. WILLIAMS', also a son of Henry L. BROWN.

This township is made up of seven school districts.

District No. 2 was provided with a school house in 1865, and was located on section 9. It is a frame building, costing $450. The first teacher was Mrs. John LAW.

In district No. 3 a school house was provided in 1869, at a cost of 950. This is a frame structure, located on the southwest quarter of section 29. The first school taught here was by Ellen E. WILLIS, who had fourteen pupils enrolled.

Districts No. 5 and 6 each have good school houses. The former is situated on section 21, and the latter on section 11. >{? District No. 7 was formed in 1875. The present school house, erected at a cost of $550, is on section 18. Alice COBB, now Mrs. Andrew BROWN, taught the first school. She had about twenty scholars enrolled.


Rock postoffice was established in 1863, with Gabriel PENCE as postmaster. He was succeeded by B. G. RICHARDSON, W. P. YOKUM, E. O. THOMPSON and J. H. HAZELBARGER.


The first burying place in Lincoln township was located on the northwest quarter of section 5, and known as the OSBORN cemetery. The bodies buried there have all been moved to other grounds. The present cemetery is located on section 8. The first interment was George CLYMER, who died in 1871.


The first religious services held in the township was at the house of Gabriel PENCE, in 1858, by Rev. James HAWKINS, who was a Methodist clergyman; there was no class formed, however, as there were not members enough in the vicinity to warrant it. The first organized society was perfected at the house of Gabriel PENCE, in 1860, by Rev. MUSSELMAN, a United Brethren preacher. The first members were: A. W. PENCE and wife, John PENCE and wife, Richard OSBORN and wife, and Mrs. George PENCE. Meetings were held at Gabriel PENCE'S residence for nearly a year, and in the school house until 1876, when a church buildingwas erected. Rev. MUSSELMAN was succeeded by Revs. MURPHY, PRESTON, POTTER, MARTIN, KANOUSE, Lasher MORRIS, H. H. SHIELDS, HOWARD, HALL, LAUGHLIN, FULCUNER and Rev. Mr. JOHN, who was pastor in 1883.

The class in 1883 numbered about twenty-five. The society have a parsonage near the church.

The Methodists had preaching at various times, but no organized class until 1872, at which time a protracted meeting was held by Rev. MALLORY, in the school house. In 1876 they built a church edifice. In 1883 Rev. ELLIOT was the pastor in charge. The society also maintained a good Sunday school.


This branch of industry was established, in the spring of 1883, by S. H. C. CLASS and John JOHNS. It is situated on section 9, at a point where gushes out a large cold spring, forming a steady stream almost ice cold. The size of the Creamery is 18x24 feet, two and one half stories high, costing $1,250. Both butter and cheese are manufactured here under the direction of Mr. JOHNS, whose long experience has made him an expert at the art of butter and cheese making.


The Lincoln Mills were located on the right bank of Lime creek, which furnishes a nine foot head. These mills were built by N. C. CARPENTER, who commenced to operate them in 1879, but were not completed until 1882. In March, 1882, Mr. CARPENTER sold to J. P. and James HILL, who now operate the same under the firm name of HILL Brothers. It is run as a custom mill. This mill is 26x40 feet, besides wheel house, and is two stories high, containing three run of buhrs. The power is derived from a forty inch turbine wheel. The cost of the property was $4,500.


In the winter of 1 856-7 two sons of Ira WILLIAMS, Reuben and David, aged twenty and fourteen years, respectively, went over to Horace GREEN'S, a neighbors, to water his cattle. They left home about 10 a.m., and owing to the extreme cold weather, they had to go up the stream in search of another place at which to water the stock. They finally succeeded in watering them, but while doing so a violent storm arose with such fury that they could not get the cattle to return, and in their attempt they themselves were lost, and compelled to remain out all night. After wandering some time they found a small grove, in which they took shelter, and kept on the move all night to keep from freezing to death. They finally thought the storm had abated sufficiently to admit of their venturing home, but they again soon lost their way, and were also unable to return to the clump of trees, around which they had tramped so many long hours as their only refuge. David became exhausted and Reuben gave him his left hand, keeping his right one in his pocket, as he knew the one exposed would be frozen soon, and he took the precaution to save the right hand. In this manner they moved along not knowing whither they journeyed, keeping pace across the stormy prairies, until the bitter night had passed away, and the sun had made its cheerful appearance in the eastern horizon, when they found, to their utter astonishment, that they were near Mason City. They were overheard by two men, who were cutting wood and who came to their relief, taking them on into Mason City. Reuben could still walk, but David was completely exhausted. David, very naturally, was the first to receive medical attention, and thus was saved from much suffering endured by Reuben, who lost his right foot, and half of the other, also a finger on his left hand. David lost a part of his right foot and two toes from the other foot. The latter resided in Worth county in 1883, and Reuben was a resident of Minnesota.

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: Creamery, located in the central part of Lincoln Township, was a post office operating from 1889 to 1900.

"Lincoln Township." History of Franklin and Cerro Gordo Counties, Iowa. Chapt. XXIX. Pp. 883-903. 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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