Fremont County, Iowa

Township History

Scott Township

Standard Historical Atlas of Mills & Fremont County
Anderson Publishing Company, Chicago 1910
History of Scott Township
By An Old Settler

This township is largely within the Missouri bottom district, and presents therefore the usual appearance of rich flood-plains. It is bounded on its eastern side by the lofty bluffs that give such a picturesque appearance to an otherwise monotonous surface. The first settlers in Scott Township were the Mormons, who came from Hancock County, Illinois, in 1845 and 1846. They found congenial homes and good farm lands in the rich soil of the Missouri bottom lands. There were among them D. C. Study, Barbara Study, George Forney, Mrs. John M. Ewell and Mary Dyke.

The first marriage took place Oct. 10, 1847, being that of Samuel Ettleman and Susan Forney. The ceremony was performed by John Huston at the house of David C. Study. In the year 1845 was born the first male child, Washington Forney, son of George and Catharina Forney. On Sept. 9, 1848, the first female child, a daughter of the same Mr. and Mrs. Forney was born. Among these newcomers Dr. Venable cared for the sick, while Rev. W. Rector administered to their spiritual needs.

The growth of the township was similar to all the other townships in the county, slow at first but soon rapid and permanent. In 1856 Abraham Fletcher, who had resided in the vicinity since 1851, laid the foundation of Thurman, formerly known as Plum Hollow and Fremont City.

Mr. Fletcher built the first residence, opened the first store and was the first postmaster. The village was incorporated in 1879, with the following officials elected at the first election: D. McF. Paul, mayor; W. R. Paul, recorder; H. F. Reel, treasurer; C. M. Graves, marshal and William Greer, J. H. Cole, W. R. Roberts, Joseph Blair, Leonard Study and J. S. Jones as councilmen. Thurman is an independent school district and has a large brick High School building with a separate building used as a kindergarten. The school meets all the requirements of the accredited high schools. At the present time the town has a population of about 500. With many beautiful homes and well built business blocks, city water works and an electric light plant soon to be built.

Besides Thurman the township has two small towns on the Burlington Railroad; Bartlett in the north part of the township is a thriving little village, having a bank, several stores and a good grain market, a church, Knights of Pythias and Woodman lodges. McPaul three miles west of Thurman on the railroad is a recognized grain center, there being two good grain elevators. As there is a good farming country surrounding the town there is a large mercantile business done there. The township has an independent telephone system and a number of rural routes. The township, when the drainage ditches are completed will be a beautiful and fertile farming country.

Among the early homesteaders are Henry Forney and Henry Clapper, who still live on their homesteads. The following early settlers are still living in the township: Leonard Study came in 1846, age 80; Henry Clapper came in 1847, age 77: Samuel Ettleman came in 1847, age 83; Catherine Forney came in 1846, age 87; Tena Huston came in 1847, age 87; A. Mann came in 1861, age 82. Of this large number besides may also be mentioned J. H. Cole, M. A. Stephenson, W.M. Greer, L., C. M. and S. Chambers.

The following is the civic society record of Thurman: Winona Lodge No. 57, Knights of Pythias, instituted April 17, 1890.

  • First officers:
    • Past Chancellor, I. A. Loose;
    • Chancellor Commander, T. C. Cole;
    • Vice Chancellor, T. C. Harris;
    • Prelate, J. F. Gallop;
    • Master of Exchequer, J. H. Cole, Jr.;
    • Master of Finance, C. R. Paul;
    • Keeper of Records and Seal, C. L. Ellis;
    • Master-at-Arms, E. L. Warner;
    • Inner Guard, H. McCartney;
    • Outer Guard, Elmer Axtell.
    • Trustees; T. C. Cole, I. A. Loose, H. McCartney.
    • Present officers, 1909;
    • Chancellor Commander, J. C. Paul;
    • Vice Chancellor, T. O. Martin;
    • Prelate, F. E. Webb;
    • Master of Work, W. E. Lundy;
    • Keeper of Records and
    • Seal and Master of Finance, H. McCartney;
    • Master of Exchequer, I. A. Loose;
    • Master-at-Arms, C. H. Paul;
    • Inner Guard, Dale Solleder;
    • Outer Guard, E. G. Mustard.
    • Trustees: W. H. Adamson, J. L. Irwin and J. H. Leeka.

  • Masons - Present officers (1909) of Mersall Lodge No. 341, A. F. & A. M.:
    • Master, Wallace Beckwith;
    • Senior Warden, C. E. Holloway;
    • Junior Warden, C. R. McCartney;
    • Treasurer, T. C. Cole;
    • Secretary, H. McCartney;
    • Senior Deacon, C. L. Stephenson;
    • Junior Deacon, A. L. McCluskey;
    • Senior Steward, L. P. Hummell;
    • Junior Steward, T. A. Irwin; Tyler, John Betts.
Transcribed by Cay Merryman


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