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Harrison County Iowa Genealogy

Allen Township
excerpts from the 1891 Harrison County History

Allen Township, constituted in 1872, comprises Congressional Township 81, range 43, and was named in honor of one of the early settlers. Monona County is north of Allen Twp; Lincoln Township is east; Magnolia Twp is south and Jackson Twp is west.

Among the small spring creeks, which lend both value and beauty to the surface of the township, may be named Allen, Stowe and Elk creeks. There is little native timber, except small groves located on the south line and Stowe's Grove in the northwestern part which extends over into Monona County. It is a very productive part of Harrison County. The soil is especially fertile and well suited for the production of grains, corn, vegetables and all the fruits common to this latitude.

The population are chiefly American born. The State census gave Allen 300 in 1885, while the 1890 federal census places it at 574. There being no towns, villages or railroads within this portion of the county, farmers of necessity draw their crop product some distance to market. Yet thrift and rural prosperity is found on every section of land within her borders.


The first to effect settlement in this goodly section was David IMLAY, who settled on section 34, about 1856. His son-in-law, Samuel SPINKS, settled at the same time on the section. Mr. IMLAY died during the Civil War and Mr. SPINKS survived until about 1885. The widow still remains in the township. Allen Township did not settle up with much rapidity, until after 1870.

John W. WIDOES, of secion 12 came to the county in 1868, locating in Clay Township, where it is said he shook with the ague for seven long years and then removed to section 13, in Allen Township, where he now lives.

Asher SERVIS ("Uncle Bubby SERVIS," familiarly known throughout the entire county) was an old Mexican soldier, who came to Harrison County in the '50s and settled in the east part of the county, but subsequently moved to Allen Township, locating on section 17 and 20, where he lived in a rude "dug-out." From that point he removed to Raglan Township and died there on section 11. He was a great pioneer character; he was many years a prominent member of the Board of Supervisors and a man of much native ability, though odd in his own peculiar ways.

Fletcher ARMSTRONG came to Allen Township in 1871, during the month of March and settled on section 33, where he remained five years and removed to Cass Township, where he still resides.

J.C. McCABE, present owner and editor of the OBSERVER, the Republican paper at Logan, came from Raglan Townsip in 1871 and settled on section 28, and there followed farm life and school teaching, until April 1, 1888, when he moved to Logan.

William MILLER and family became settlers of Allen Township, on section 16, in 1872. About two years later he died when the family moved to Modale, where the wife died in 1889.

Merritt BARRY came to section 36, in 1876 and is still a resident.

John T. BURCH came to section 24, in 1877 and is still there.

Simon V. SHEARER, of section 11, came in 1879.

John R. CLARK effected a settlement during 1880, on section 11.

Charles LEWIS, os setion 15, came in 1877. He at first rented land, but now is a prosperous farmer.

John F. DICK settled on section 18 -- his present home, in August, 1878.

William LA SEUR came to Dunlap in 1868, worked out and rented land until he settled on section 17 in 1880.

Early in the '80s came Carl F. PETERSON to section 20.

Another settler of 1878 was Conrad WAKEHOUSE, of section 29, where he still lives.

A. MASSINGILL settled on the northwest of section 8, about 1878. He had been a resident of Harrison County many years. In 1888, he removed to Missouri.

Peter BOLCH settled on section 33, in the spring of 1874. He worked by the month for J.C. McCABE several months and in 1876, purchased land where he now lives.

A pioneer of 1872 was Erastus CHAFFEE (now dead) who came to section 34. He remained seven or eight years and traded for land in Boyer Township.

As early as 1862 William H. McHENRY settled on part of section 34. In 1871, he moved to Woodbine.

John MANN, Jr. settled on section 28, in 1876 on eighty acres of wild land.

John T. BOONE came to Allen Township about 1880 and still lives on section 34.

H.P. MORROW came in 1882 and is now an extensive, well-to-do farmer of section 12.

Isaac COX came in about 1880, from St. John's Township and located on section 34.

Oscar LEWIS became a settler on section 4, in the fall of 1881. He first rented land on section 11, and leter purchased on section 15.

William GRIFFITH came to the county in 1868 and to Allen Township in 1882, settling on section 8.

Benjamin MAYNARD, of section 16, lived there from 1874 to 1880, sold and removed to Kansas. He is now editing the COURIER at Blair, Nebraska.

A little later -- about 1876, came E.A. ATHERTON. He finally moved to Kansas.

James BEECHEM settled on section 6, in 1873 or 1874. He moved to Little Sioux after about five years.

Leander LEE settled on section 16, about 1880.

J.H. CROM settled on ection 11, about 1878. His father was among the pioneers of Magnolia Township.

Taylor ATHERTON settled on section 27, about 1880. He came from New York. In 1891, he sold out.

William GLOVER came to section 34, in 1884.

Louis KUCKS, of section 27, came to the county in the fall of 1884, rented near Mondamin and moved to Allen in 1885.

Francis M. MILLS, of section 27, came to the county in August, 1868 and to Allen Township in 1886.

Following is a list of more of the prominent settlers and the years they came to this county.

Noble W. YOUNG came to the county in 1881 and rented land for a time but soon purchased land in Allen Township.

Lewis J. SHERWOOD came to the county in 1880, renting land for about ten years, when he bought his present farm on secton 7.

Charles W. SHERWOOD had come in the autumn of 1876, but bought his present farm in 1889.

In 1882, Madison C. STEARNS purchased the farm on which he now resides.
Nels PETERSON, of section 20, first came to the county in 1870, locating to Raglan Township, but has been absent about sixteen years since that date.

In 1884, Samuel NUZUM made settlement and William NEAL, in 1885.

Thomas MAGNET came to the county at the breaking out of the Civil War.

Joseph S. MILES accompanied his parents to Harrison County in 1868, first locating in Lincoln Township.

O.L. MICHEL came in 1878, Oscar LEWIS, in 1881 and W.G. HOLMAN, in 1871.

Another resident of Allen Township, is Solomon J. COX, who was born in Harrison County.

Madison H. CHAFFEE is numbered among Harrison County's farmers. He came to the county in 1868, locating in Bigler's Grove in Boyer Township; he came with his parents.


A post-office was established in Lincoln Township, know as "Olympus," in 1882, with L.B. PROSE as postmaster. H retained the office at his farm house, on section 5, until his removal from the township in July, 1890, when H.P. MORROW was appointed postmaster, and the office removed to his home on section 12, of Allen Township. This office provides the farming community between the west side of Harrison and the east side of Jackson Township with mail facilities. A carrier takes the mail from Woodbine twice each week.


The first school in what is now Allen Township was taught on secton 34, in the winter of 1871-72, by J.C. McCABE. The schoolhouse, which was completed in the fall of 1871, was moved a decade later to section 27. Mr. McCABE relates how, at the first term of school, he had only five pupils. He taught five terms in successsion at this point.

The second schoolhouse erected in the township was built on Stowe Creek, on section 8, in 1874. It was a frame structure, and is still in use.

As the township has settled up it has kept pace with its neighbors in the matter of public schools, and to-day it is provided with seven schoolhouses. Its total enrollment of pupils is one hundred and ninety-eight.

There are no church buildings within Allen Township, but a Methodist Episcopal Class has been formed, which holds regular services at the Allen Creek school house, on section 13. This class belongs to the "Woodbine charge."

A Free Methodist society also holds meetings at the same school house.

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