Fremont County, Iowa

Township History

Riverton Township

Standard Historical Atlas of Mills & Fremont County
Anderson Publishing Company, Chicago 1910
History of Riverton Township
By E. Smith

Five miles from Missouri and sixteen miles from Nebraska, Township 68, Range 41, West of the 5th P. M., with a few acres outside this limit, 5 miles North and South and about 6 miles East and West, organized from a part of Madison Township in about the year 1870 is Riverton Township.

The pioneers who settled prior to the year of organization have nearly all crossed the “Great Divide” of those coming prior to 1860, the only two now living and upon the land purchased by them in 1859 and continuously their homes since, are Coleman and Isaac Smith, both passed the three quarter century mark. Among those deceased are: D. S. Brown, George Miers, G. B. Murray, William Burge, E. E. Beasley, William Beasley, W. T. Frazer, M. Swaney, James Lucas, Barney Alken, Robert Buttercase, James McIntosh, John Kelsey, Chauncy Cowles, Richard Barnard, Chas. Barnard, Thomas Thomson, R. W. Marvin, Julius Winkler.

Dame Nature has graciously smiled and dealt generously with the good people who for the last fifty years have come and gone from the township. No calamities, if so they should be named, have visited us during the period, except the grasshoppers of 1875, hail storm of 1883, drought of 1894 and the craze of ’96. The former three well nigh wiped all farm crops from the land and the later much sense from some of its people, but so bountifully have all loss of treasure and brain been restored, that to now say that anyone was not without its blessing would be to impeach the truth as we see it in the year 1910.

The township is well drained, and part of it at times is well watered. Several small creeks pass through it into the Nishna River, whose east and west branches unite in one fond embrace just west of Riverton one mile, but this union, so securely held for centuries, perhaps is about to be broken by the advent of two straight and narrow ditches which will eventually take all the water from the old channels and again unite about four miles further down the stream and much nearer the Big Muddy. This chastisement comes from the irregularities of the lives of the rivers, so crooked have they been in their actions and so uncontrollable in the day and so much out at nights, sometimes all over the new lands, that their conduct is to be changed, and hereafter an endeavor will be made to confine them as near as may be in the straight and narrow paths which will lead the water more quickly away.

The financial condition of the township is the best; no debts that can be measured in dollars and cents against the township, the town or school districts within its boundries; we lead in the good roads problem, more cement culverts in the township and more cement and brick crossings and side walks in the town of same name than in any township in Iowa, for the number of people within its confines, about 1,300.

Transcribed by Cay Merryman


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