Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


Establishment of Townships

Crawford County, Iowa

Following is a brief history of how the townships were established in Crawford County beginning in 1856.

January, 1851, 50 new counties were created in Iowa, including Crawford, which comprised 16 townships of land area in lieu of the 20 now within its boundaries. It was attached to Shelby County for all judicial and financial purposes, and was in effect unorganized territory. The county was named after William Harris Crawford.

1855: Crawford County became a separate political entity from Shelby County, following the circulation of a petition. It should be noted, that at this time Crawford County did not include the current (2006) western tier of townships: Soldier, Charter Oak, Willow and Boyer. That land area was then part of Monona County.

1856, March: The south tier of townships was set apart as a separate township, to be called Union Township. This was the first subdivision made of the county, all of the north part still being called Milford Township.

1858, March: A new subdivision was made, and Denison Township was created. The description for boundaries was "Commencing with the northwest corner of Union Township, on the east side of Monona County, running due east along Union Township line 24 miles, until it strikes the west side of Carroll County, thence north 8 miles, thence due west 24 miles, until it strikes Monona County, thence south to the place of beginning. However, over the subsequent several years these boundaries were frequently changed.

1860: Section 1, Township 82, Range 39, being what is now (in 1911) the northeast corner of Washington Township, was taken from Union Township and added to Denison Township.

1865, September: A petition was received, signed by J. T. Hammond, W. W. Galland and others asking that townships 82, 83, 84 and 85 of Monona County be attached to Crawford County.

On the second Tuesday in October, 1865, a general election resulted in 71 votes for and 27 against changing the county boundary. The vote to change the boundary also passed in Monona County. Consequently the Monona Townships of Soldier, Charter Oak, Willow and Boyer were annexed to Crawford County as a single township under the name of Boyer Township.

The inside history of this matter seems to be that the county seat of Monona County was located at Onawa, near the Missouri River, at the extreme west end of the county. Monona was one of the largest counties in the state and the east portion was rapidly filling with people along the Maple River. The people of Onawa were afraid that the population increase would cause them to lose control and the county seat would be moved. Therefore they wished the boundaries be changed to reduce the size of Monona County. As a consequence, Crawford County became one of the larger counties in the state at the expense of Monona County.

1866, September: Jackson Township was created. Jackson Township was 4 miles north and south and extended 24 miles east and west from the Carroll County line to the east line of what is now Soldier Township.

1869, June: Charter Oak Township was created. This new township was taken from Boyer Township and comprised of what is now Soldier and Charter Oak Townships.

1869, September: East Boyer Township was organized, comprising what are not the Townships of East Boyer, Hayes, and the south tier of sections of West Side Township.

1870, June: West Side township was created. It contained parts of what is now Jackson, Stockholm, Milford and West Side Townships.

1870: Washington Township was created. It comprised the east half of present day Washington Township together with all of Nishnabotny and Iowa Townships.

1871: Washington Township was enlarged by the addition of what is now the west half of that township.

1871: Paradise Township was created. The first township that was created to be confined to the government regulation of six square miles.

1872, June: The final completion of the township organization of the county occurred at this time. It was then that the townships were reduced to their present boundaries. The new townships were Stockholm; Otter Creek; Morgan (attached to Otter Creek for judicial and financial purposes); Soldier; Hanover (attached to Goodrich for judicial and financial); Goodrich; Hayes; Willow (attached to Boyer for judicial and financial); Nishnabotny and Iowa (attached to Washington for judicial and financial).

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa, Vol. II., 1911. S. J. Clarke Publishing, Chicago.