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

Hardin, Jackson, Pleasant townships

Hardin Township:

Hardin township was organized in 1854 by the county court. Rocksylvania became the first platted village in Hardin township. "Sylvania" meaning woods and the land being rocky, Rocksylvania was derived to mean "rocky wood". A short time after Rocksylvania had been platted by Mr. Talbott, a man by the name of Capt. White came along and became Mr. Talbott's partner and finally bought him out. Since the Iowa River ran over a rocky ledge making a pretty waterfall, the name was changed to Iowa Falls.

The first settlers of Hardin township were Benjamin Talbott, Nathan Townsend, and John Caldwell. In 1851 they developed their homestead at various locations int he township. The marriage of Sam Parkinson and Almira Stevens was the first marriage in 1854 in Hardin township. John Caldwell traveled 9 miles to perform the ceremony and was rewarded with the legal fee of $2.00. The first birth in the township was Oliver Townsend, son of Nathan and Sarah Townsend, in the fall of 1852. The first death in the township was that of Mrs. Daniel Lane, recorded in 1855. She was buried on the sloping hillside near the Illinois Central Depot. The first post office in Hardin township was established in Rocksylvania by Mr. Talbott. The first postmaster was Edward Terrell and the name given to the post office was "Rockwood". The first religious services in Hardin township were held in 1852. The denomination was that of the Friends and the services were held in a log cabin in section 12. The first school was held in a log cabin in 1854. It stood near School Creek. The first term was taught by George P. Griffith.

 

Jackson Township:

Jackson township was first trod on by white feet in October of 1850. A number of emigrant wagons, drawn by 5 yoke oxen and 1 span of horses, made a halt upon the picturesque banks of the Iowa riveron section 2, in what is now known as Jackson township. These pioneer wagons contained Jacob Kidwiler, wife and 9 children, Adam Crim, and Francis Mitchell. All had just completed their long journey from Crawfordsville, Indiana, and now become the first to locate in Hardin County.

Mr. Kidwiler built a cabin in 1851 and in this he lived until his death in 1863. His wife died the following week of her husband. Joseph H. Kidwiler was the first white child born in Hardin county, June 26, 1851.

Some more of the early settlers to come to Jackson township in 1851 were Levi W. Southard, Jushua Ball, Levi Livengood and Solomon Livengood.

On February 14, 1854, Hardin City was platted. It was located in section 12, township 88, range 20. Lewis Haden had conceived the idea for the site, whereup he built a sawmill and a corn cracker. In 1855, a post office was secured, with James Fairchild as its postmaster.

In 1857, Allen Greer and J.S. Hiserote founded Berlin. It was situated in half of section 22 and half of section 23, township 88, range 20. A badly needed post office was not securied until 1863, when John Ross was appointed postmaster. Berline was a small village of 25 dwellings, a general store, blacksmith shop and a wagon repair shop. Several firses dwindled the town over the years and nothing was rebuilt. In 1911 only 2 or 3 buildings were left.

Eagle City was another thriving small town of the early days. It was platted on May 18, 1878 by its owner Samuel Fossler. It never grew to much more than being on paper. In 1883 it had only 1 store, a blacksmith shop owned and operated by J.H. Kidwiler and Jeremiah Hubbard. There also were a half dozen dwellings and a grist mill run by Samuel Kossler. Prior to Fossler's operating his Eagle City Flouring Mill, the water power proved by a sawmill that Fossler ran before he started his grist mill. The post office was established in 1878 where Joseph Kidwiler was the first postmaster. Mail came twice a week from Eldora.

Owasa being part of Jackson township was platted by K.H. Smith and son in 1883. A post office was established in 1884, the year after the Chicago, Iowa & Dakota railroad went through. Some of the early businessmen were the following: J.H. Smith & Son of Eldora put first general store goods in 1883, Mr. Abott was the first grain dealer, T.J. Buchanan was first hardware, the first grocery store was established by Ransom Brothers. H.G. Manley had the earliest blacksmith shop, the first harness makers were Tisher & Van Avery, and the first established restaurant was operated by Claence Krisbie in 1908.

 

Pleasant Township:

The first settlement was made by Isaac S. Moore in 1851 on section 21. He was active in the affairs of the county and for many years served on the Board of Supervisors. The township was organized in 1854 by Alexander Smith, the county judge. It then comprised the west half of Pleasant and all of Tipton and Sherman. In 1859, Tipton was separated from the larger townsip. There are 3 cemeteries inthe township, Rough Woods in section 8, Point Pleasant in section 18, and Duke, now known as Pleasant Chapel, on Section 28. The first religious services were held at the Isaac Moore house in 1853 by Rev. E. C. Crippen of the Methodist Espicopal Church and this society erected a church building on section 28 at a cost of $1200.00, with Leondius Smith and S.B. Hubbard given much credit for its being built. It was the Pleasant Chapel Church, now disbanded for lack of members.

In 1858, Rev. Williston, missionary of the Iowa Valley Presbyterian Church, came to the Point Plesant area and held services at the Lewis Howell home and later the Shintaffer school house, and a chrch was organzed in February of 1860 by 14 members. They procured a building that had been built in the town of Point Plesant, for he Hardin County Courthouse, and lost the election to Eldora. Services were held there until the first of 4 churches was built in 1894 on land given by Augustus Mitterer, south of the town on the west side of the road in Tipton township, and was disbanded in 1971 for lack of members.

A class of Methodists, organized by Rev. Eli Mossman, built a church at Rough Woods. The building still standing there has also been disbanded many years, around 1919.

The Zion Church of the Evangelical Association organized and built a church in 1903-1904, located 5 miles northwest of Eldora and served for 50 years. This building has been torn down.

The first school was taught by Isaac S. Moore in a log cabin in section 28 in 1853-54. Another village in the township was built up on section 34, and was laid out by Chicago Northwestern Railroad Co. in 1880, and its name was Quebec. It was a busy livestock shipping station and grain elevator. It had a general store, physician, church, post office, and many other businesses and homes. The church was oranized by an Evangelical organization. It was disbanded many years ago and the building is in use as a home.