This township was organized in 1846,
and is 91 north, range 5 west. It is just east of
Cass, which is the southwestern township of the
county. The lad was principally covered with timber,
except the southern and western portions, but much of
the timber has been cleared off. The surface of the
country is much of it rough, but it contains also
much rolling land, that is capable of high
cultivation. It is drained by Doe Creek, Gooseberry
Creek, Dutch Branch, and other small tributaries of
the Volga and Maquoketa. The divide between these two
streams passes south of the middle portion of the
Lodomillo is said to derive its name from the
following circum-stance, though it should be said
that some doubt the story: Schuyler Peet once wished
to load a fanning mill into his wagon, and the mill
being rather heavy for him, he asked a tall Indian
passing by to assist in lifting it. The Indian was
not inclined to degrade himself by work, and replied
in broken English, Load-a-mill-oh!
Another story is, that a large patch
of watermelons was raised near the present village of
Edgewood, and this gave rise to the name of
Load-of-mellons, which has since become
Lodomillo was settled largely by
immigrants from New England and New York, which fact
gave the name Yankee Settlement to the
village on the southern edge of the township. There
are but few Germans and Irish. The first comer was a
Mr. Lyon, who located on section 26, in the fall of
1844, and afterword removed to parts unknown. In 1845
the first permanent settlers came - F.C. and William
C. Madison, Isaac Preston and Horace Bemis and
families; and George L. Wheeler, Rev. N.W. Bixby came
in 1847. Other early settlers were John Gibson, Henry
Brown, Schuyler R. Peet, Joseph Lee, Oliver Purdy,
Nathan Purdy, Moses Purdy, Frank Riley, Jonathan F.
Noble and family.
The first marriage in Lodomillo was
that of F.C. Madison and Elizabeth Purdy, by Rev.
J.W. Bryar, In November, 1848.
The first birth is believed to have
been that of Isaac Purdy, who was born July 5, 1845.
The first death was that of Mrs. Elizabeth Madison,
June 16, 1850. There are two cemeteries in the
The first school was taught by
Charlotte Mulliken, in a house built in 1847, near
where Walters Mill now is. There are at present
two school-houses in the township. The first
school-house was built on section 36, in 1846. When
this became unsuitable for school purposes, the women
of the district asked for a new one. The intelligent
voters not agreeing to this, Mrs. Peet and several
other ladies quietly slipped out one evening while
Schuyler and a few neighbors were enjoying a game of
seven up, and set fire to the school-house. The log
structure was reduced to ashes, and the men concluded
to build the new school-house. This was erected in
The President of the first School
Board was Schuyler Peet, elected in 1846.
The first religious services were
held at the house of Schuyler Peet, by Rev. Joel
Taylor, of the Methodist Episcopal church, in August,
1846, and occurred on election day. There are at
present three church organizations Methodist
Episcopal, Free-Will Baptist and United Brethren.
There are no manufactories or mills
at present in the township, except a steam saw and
grist mill on section 36, built in 1860 by J.W.
Windsor. It was burnt in 1874 and rebuilt by Mr.
Walters the following year. There are two cemeteries,
one in Edgewood, one on section 30.
A brick-yard was started in 1850 by
Edwin Steele and a Dr. Webster. Amasa Baker also
started a lime-kiln.
The first postoffice was established
on section 34, in 1851, and G.L. Wheeler was the
first Postmaster. A postoffice was afterward started
at Yankee Settlement, now Edgewood, and is now the
only one in the township, the other having been
The first election was held in
August, 1845, in the house of Schuyler B. Peet,
section 35, soon after the organization of the
township, and passed off very quietly. There were
eight votes cast.
The first Township Clerk was
Frederick Silas, elected in 1845. The first Justice
of the Peace was Schuyler R. Peet, chosen in 1845.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was
organized in the fall of 1845, by Joel Taylor. The
first members were F.C. Madison, Isaac Preston and
wife, Horace Bemis and wife, Nathan Purdy and wife.
F.C. Madison was the first Class-Leader, and has held
the office for thirty years, till he resigned. Isaac
Preston was Steward. Joel Taylor was the first
pastor, and there have been many others since. The
present pastor is Albert Cochran. There have been
several very extensive revival services and many
confessions, under the pastorates of Revs. Webb,
Garrison, and Knickerbocker. Present officers of the
church are: Il.F. Byers, Class-Leader and Steward,
and F.C. Madison, Steward. Present condition of the
church is goof. There has been a membership of about
500 since its organization. There is a Sunday-school
of about sixty scholars. It was organized in 1849 and
The Free-Will Baptist Church.
This society was organized May 13, 1848, by Rev. N.W.
Bixby and wife, assisted by Deacons H.C. Crosier and
J.A. Smith. Rev. N.W. Bixby and wife came to Iowa in
1847 and became citizens of Lodomillo the same year.
They came under the direction of the Free-Will
Baptist Board of Home Missions.
The names of the original members of
the church are: Newell W. Bixby, Ruby Bixby, Norman
Scovil, Mary Scovil, Martha Noble, and Horatio
Wilkinson. N.W. Bixby was elected pastor, and Horatio
Wilkinson, Clerk. The church was organized in the
log-cabin of N.W. Bixby on section 28. The Elder, as
he is generally called, has sustained the relation of
pastor till the present time, with the exception of
There have been several revival
seasons since the organization of the church. The
pastors wife, Mrs. Ruby Bixby, was during her
lifetime very useful in revival work, and the
revivals were largely due to her untiring devotion.
Rev. William B. Hamblen once held a series of
meetings which resulted in the addition of nine
members of the church.
Sixty-nine persons have been added to
the church by baptism, and fifty-six by letter,
besides the original six members. The total
membership is 131. There are at present forty members
connected with the church, besides a few who are
regarded as non-resident members.
Meetings are held at stated times at
the school-house, on section 28, and at the Methodist
Episcopal church, in the village of Edgewood. There
is a covenant meeting once in four weeks, and a
ladies aid society is connected with the
church, which meets once a month. The church is
connected with the Delaware and Clayton quarterly
The Sunday-school was organized in
the log cabin of N.W. Bixby, in 1848, with Mrs. Ruby
Bixby as Superintendent. The present Superintendent
is Henry Joys. Mrs. C.H. True is Secretary. In the
last report of the Sunday-school the membership is
stated to be forty.
The Winnebago Indians were
occasionally troublesome in the early days. Their
reservation lay to the west, but they would
frequently cross their lines, for
hunting, they said. But the hunted not
only wild game, but occasionally a hog or an ox in
some farmers claim. This would necessitate
pursuit and punishment. The most common and most
effectual way to do this was to administer a
switching. An Indian feels greatly degraded by a
Mr. Madison tells of the hardships
the early pioneers suffered. Hardships indeed they
were, but of the kind that elevate and ennoble man,
instead of degrading him. The first settlers were too
poor to pay for their land when they first came, and
lived on Uncle Sams domains, rent free, for
many years. When a man got enough money ahead, he
would go to the land office at Dubuque and enter his
land. The pioneers of Lodomillo went to Dubuque for
everything provisions, mail, flour, etc.,
could not be procured nearer. The nearest mill was at
Quasqueton, Buchanan County, thirty-six miles away,
but the Cat-fish Mills at Dubuque were generally
patronized. Some pounded their own wheat at first.
Those were indeed Democratic days, when a man could
go to church in buckskin breeches and blanket coat.