From: Pictorial Atlas Hardin County, Iowa.
Compiled and Published by Title Atlas Co., Inc., Minneapolis, MN, 1978.

Eldora, Ellis, Etna, Grant townships

Eldora Township:

The first settlement inthe township was madein 1850 by Samuel Smith and sons, Sam Jr. and Alexander, who took up a claim on section 29 and built a log cabin on it. Other early settlers were Jonathan Conger, R.L. Parker, Stout, Zieger, Hulbert, Edginton, Moran, Putnam and others. The first school house in the county was log cabin 2-1/2 miles SE of Eldora on the Conger farm and Thomas McClure was the first teacher in 1853. The first religious services were held in this school house in the fall of 1853 by Rev. J.R. Lawrence, a Cumberland Presbyterian.

The town of Eldora was laid out in 1853. It was surveyed and platted by John Sheperd, county surveyor. Mr. S. R. Edgington was asked to give it a name and she suggested the name Eldora from a story in a religious magazine which deeply impressed her. Another town in the township was Xenia, platted in 1857 on the SW quarter of section 28, quite a flourishing village, with a general store, blacksmith and wagon shop, a fine mill, and 15 or 20 houses, a post office and a school. The town of Eldora was laid out in 1857, and lots were sold to build such businesses as the Edgington House (hotel) and they built the first frame building in the town that was occupied as a store on the first floor by the Edgington Bros. and the second floor being the residence of Jonathan Edgington. Mr. Hulbert built a hewed log house and occupied it as a residence and tin shop. The first building completed and occupied in the town, October 1853. The third building, a log house, was erected by James D. Putman, the first clerk of the District Court for Hardin county, completed in December 1853. The Central Iowa Railway was completed to Eldora in 1868, and on the completion, W.H. Crawford and Jonathan Edgington erected a warehouse in which to store grain and from which to ship grain, with the capacity to hold 10,000 bushels. B. Butterfield also built an elevatr in 1868 that held 8,000 bushels, and another elevator was erected by a stock company in 1874 which proved unprofitable and was later sold.

The cemetery in Eldora was organized in 1860 and the first lots were sold in November 1862.


Ellis Township:

First settled in 1854 b y Miles Manning. Soon after came Henry Cooper, later in 1855 other settlers came, among whom were George Burdick, William Ford, Ebenezer Gould, Sidnesy Peck, James Peck and Xanthus Kennedy.

Township was first organized in 1856 and was named in honor of Judge Ellis Parker of Eldora. It included what is now known as Buckeye and Ellis townships.

In July of 1855, a Sunday School was organized by Fabian Bear who was chosen superintendent. A little later that year Rev. Mr. Holcomb, paster of the Eldora Methodist church formed the first church organization in the home of JMB Oviatt. Later two other Methodist churches were organized and buildings built.

The first white child born, Novembe 6, 1856, was Nathaniel C. Crockett.

The Cottage post office was established in 160 at the home of the new postmaster, Sidney Peck, and in 1870 the town of Cottage was laid out. A general store, a blacksmith shop and a cheese factory were opened. Another post office was also established December 26, 1873 named Ellis in section 5 with Daniel White as postmaster. Both post offices passed out of existence with the introduction of free rural mail delivery.

First school held in log cabin built by R. and D.C. Kennedys. Miss Roseline Rice as the first teacher in 1857.

Sometime in 1870 William Stacy secured a patent on a ditcher and immediately began to manufacture them and washing machines at his farm home.

The cottage Cemetery Association was organized in 1873.

In 1877 a stock company was organized for the purpose of establishing a library and purchasing books for it.


Etna Township:

First settled in 1853 when Thomas Humphreys, Ichabod Lathrop, Daniel Richardson, Havid Hawk and Thomas E. Schumway made claims and built cabins. Other early settlers include William P. Hays, Adam Frantz, Michael Ryan, Amos Sawyer and Agustus Leiser. Amos Doan opened the first blackshmith sop at Hardin city in May 1854, later locating at Robertson.

First School house was buit in 1864-65 of hewed logs located in section 34 on land owned by Ichabod Lathrop. First school was taught during the summer of 1855 vy Martha George. First religious services were held at the home of David Hawk in section 34 in November of that year by Rev. E.C. Crippen, a Methodist minister.

Town of Ackley was platted in 1857 for a company composed of William Acklley, Henry Huff, Roby, Abigail, A.J. and Malinda Parriot and filed for record on December 12, 1857. It was incorporated in 1868. For 8 long years it remained a paper town, later interests int he town were sold to William Ackley who became the sole proprietor.

In 1863 Jessie C. Foster opened the first general store. The completion of the Dubuque and Sioux City Railroad brought a rush of people to Ackley. The first store was opened by Secrist and Mershon in 1865. The elevator of Carton and Joseph was commencced in July of 1865.

Dr. J.W. Christ was Ackley's first physician. Ackley's first ost office was first known as Fontaine before being moved tot he town itself in 1865, just after the completion of the railroad. Joseph C. Knowles was the first postmaster. Ackley's first mayor was William Francis. early attorneys were Charles E. Clough and S.A. Read.

Ackley's independent school, first taught in the school house built for a residence in 1858, was graded in 1869 when a school building was ereced at a cost of $14,000.

For 1 year after Ackley became a town, the old Fontained post office building was the only hotel means. In 1866, Mr. Crawford erected the Crawford House, the first hotel, later destroyed by fire. R. Bolender then built the Ackley House followed by the Bolar house erected in 1870, also destroyed by fire. Subsequently, Revere, Central and Commercial Hotels were built.

Abbott was platted in 1870 by the construction company of the Iowa Central Railway Company. A post office was established in 1871.

Robertson was platted in 1880, post office in 1880. Cleves was platted in 1880, post office in 1881.


Grant Township:

Grant township was organized in 1868 and derived its name for Ge. U.S. Grant who won the Republican ticket of that year. The first to settle in what is presently Grant township was B.R. Gogety, who was swttled in 1855. The remaining early settlers came as follows: George Hobson in 1856, Hiram Hammer in 1857, George Hayworth in 1859, Edwin davis and Irvin Mills in 1864, David and Alexander Mills also in about 1864-65, Burnett Mulford in 1866, Charles Hoelscher in 1868, James Morgan in 1869, Miles W. Carr in 1879, J.C. Bailey in 1877, N.S. Martin and William Anderson in 1871. As can be seen by the staggered dates, the township was not quickly settled.

The first birth was Francis A. Gogerty, July 23, 1856. He was the sone of Mr. and Mrs. B.R. Gogety. The first death was Willie Minkins in the winter of 1860-61. He was buried at Illinois Growve in Marshall county. The first marriage was the union of Wyatt Albertson and Barbara L. Hockett in September 29, 1870. The first religious service was held by the Soceity of Friends who held the service in the Center school house in 1869. The post office was established in 1876 at what was called Idaho. As soon as the railroad hit the area, Washington discontinued it.