James Bawn


Among the first settlers of this township were Worthing Ingalls and Martin Cartner, who came in '65. Most of the houses were made of logs and were from eight to twelve feet high to the eaves, and were built by the settlers themselves. Later logs were hauled to a saw mill at New Hartford and small frame houses were built. As the settlers depended entirely on the forest for fuel, fencing and building material, they naturally settled first along the Beaver creek. For many years the curlew, or long-billed snipe, having a bill 8 to 10 inches in length, sand hill crane and many varieties of wild ducks nested here in the spring and disappeared in the summer. The number of prairie chickens was wonderful, and at times they flocked together so thick that when suddenly frightened and they took flight their wings made a noise like distant thunder. Hunters with guns and dogs have nearly exterminated them. Oxen were used by many of the early settlers in doing all kinds of work. The first death was that of a little daughter of Jacob Codner, whose death was cuased by a prairie fire. The first school was taught by Miss Lydia Farr (Mrs. C. R. Mack) in the Ira B. Thomas home. When most houses were built of logs, house raisings were occasions for neighborhood gathering and a general good time, and barn dances were common. For a number of years Galena, Ill., was our nearest railraod town and market for our produce. The youths of those early days seemed to derive as much enjoyment and pleasure from their simple amusements and entertainments as the young people of today do, from all of the modern inventions which they have to instruct and amuse them.

The early settlers are now mostly gone, but we can truthfully say that they were good citizens and did their full share toward improving the county. They had little means, but were men and women of high character, unlimited energy and general intelligence, all of which were needed to meet the emergencies of pioneer life.

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