D. E. Aukes


The two townships now known as German and Pleasant Valley were organized in 1858 as Orcutt township in honor of Adam Orcutt, one of the first settlers. It was divided in 1867 and the newly formed townships were given the names by which they are now known. Adam Orcutt and his son-in-law, John Huse, who came in 1854, were the first American families to live in the township. Mr. Orcutt moved to Buck's Grove, in Pleasant Valley township, in '69. Among the first German families were those of Wm. Tjaden, Dirk Spieker, John Ubbe, Heye Bunger, Heye Muller, Albrecht Steenblock and others. German lost its last American family when Wm. Eberhardt sold out and moved to Grundy Cneter. The first church to be organized was what is now known as the Engelke church. The first Evangelical preachers were Rev. H. Kleinsorge and Rev. Hentje. In 1862 nineteen citizens were listed on the assessor's books, 30 horses valued at $1,100, 65 cattled at $851, 80 hogs at $207. The total value of personal property was $2,208.00. Land was valued at $2.00 per acres, the total value being $91,147.00. In '63 there were 45 horses; 90 cattle, 2 sheep and 80 hogs. That year land was valued at $1.50 per acre. At the general election in 1864 twenty-four votes were cast. Of the voters 15 were German and 9 American. Stephen Tjaden, one of the voters, was a soldier. The writer came from Logan county, Illinois, in 1869. He bought the SE 1/4 of Sec. 25 for $1,600. The same land was sold in '55 for $1,000 and again in '67 for $800. Few, if any of the early settlers had any means to start with, but by hard work and rigid economy they have made German township the more fertile spot in Grundy county.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 15 May 1924, pg 3