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Harrison County Iowa Genealogy

Cincinnati Township
Transcribed from the booklet-History and Description of Harrison County by G. F. Waterman, Magnolia, Iowa,
Printed at the Western Star Book and Job Office 1868 Chapter XI page 47.

Contributed by Janette Lager

Cincinnati Township is situated in the south west corner of Harrison County, Iowa, has Clay and Taylor townships on the north, St. John township on the east, Pottawattamie County on the south and the Missouri River on the west. The township contains 36 sections or square miles of land, which lays fairly on the Missouri bottom; nearly one half of which is cottonwood timber of the largest growth. In this timber may be found six or eight team saw mills continually transforming this timber into fence and building material. The land, as regards the soil, is the best; but a considerable portion of it overflows and is swampy.

The first permanent settler was R.S. Gurley, in 1854. The township was organized in 1857, by Squire Messenger, of Calhoun; on committee were Messrs. J.S. Fountain and J.H. Waggoner. The town of Cincinnati, or Parrish City was then laid out; and its promising situation soon gathered around it many settlers. The first vote of the township was given as 39. It was the hard times from 1858 to 1863 that did mischief to this place, and hence a decrease of numbers on the town site, instead of an increase. The citizens have strong hopes for this city here yet; and with the advantages of an excellent boat landing, (hundreds of vessels land here during the summer season), railway junction, and the railway bridge, which the C.& N.W. RR Co., are now constructing. Their hopes seem well founded. And no one who is acquainted with the county, now doubts that there will be, in this township, a large town, to say the least, if not a city. As for its railroads, and river privileges, the reader is referred to the map accompanying this book.

Copied from History of Harrison County 1891. Chapter XXIV, page 221-225 page 224


The first village platted in Cincinnati Township was Cincinnati, Platted on section 22-78-45, June 9, 1857, by W.V. Mason, who represented a corporation made up of thirty three men, many of whom were from Ohio, near the city of Cincinnati. The location being on the Missouri River, it was designed and believed, that no distant day, this newly platted ground would come to be a city, second to none along the western slope. It was fixed as a steamboat landing and was accessible to the finest timber and was on a line, where a railroad would (they believed) eventually cross the Big Muddy. And in this they were not mistaken, for not many years later the Elkhorn passed that way and Blair, Neb., sprang into existence, overshadowing all towns on the Iowa side.


This was platted by Isaac Parrish on sections 21 and 22 of Cincinnati Township, May 22, 1858, the location being about the same geographically, as the village of Cincinnati, a sort of a rival town site. Its history was brief and of no final consequence. The high hopes of its prophetic proprietor were nipped in the bud by the survey made and the location of Missouri Valley, California Junction and other town sites.


This little hamlet is situated on section 15-78-45 and was platted by the Missouri Valley Land Company, Sept. 9, 1880. It is the junction point where the Sioux City & Pacific railroad leaves the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley line. It is six miles to the west of the city of Missouri Valley. It seems to be the odds and ends left from the defunct villages of Cincinnati and Parrish City, this being the railway point which overthrew their existence. The place is situated in the midst of one of nature’s own garden spots. All the owners of the land are wealthy men, possessed by genuine push and westernlike enterprise. The farmhouses, bards and general improvements all attest as to the thrift and prosperity of the surrounding country.

The first to open up a stock of merchandise at this point was Palmer & Jones, who came from Ohio in 1867 and opened a general store. Jones died and David Fletcher bought his store and later he sold to Ed. Cook. The store next passed into the hands of John Book who sold to W.A. Smith. James Ball also owned it and moved the goods to Nebraska. W. Word then rented the Smith store building and put in a general stock. He finally sold to H.R. Coulthard in the spring of 1891.

In 1876 J.W.Cokeley built a store room and put in a general stock, ran two or three years and in some manner it was burned all sorts of reports were afloat at the time. He went to Kansas.

In September 1882, Fountain Bros., erected a frame building and began merchandising and are still among the dealers of the village.

BUSINESS of 1891

General dealers - Fountain Bros.; H.R. Coulthard
Grain - Fountain Bros.; W. A. Smith
Coal - W.A. Smith
Stock - W.A. Smith
Blacksmith - William Brotherton
Post office and Express office.
Town Hall
A creamery ... is now abandoned.
Good Templars Lodge formed 1891.
Farmer’s Alliance has been instituted.

Contributed by Janette Lager of the Harrison County Genealogical Society.

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