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Harrison County Iowa Genealogy

Lincoln Township
excerpts from the 1891 Harrison County History

Civil Township 81, range 42, bears the name of Lincoln Township, having been organized in 1868. It was so named in honor of President Lincoln. It is bounded on the North by Monona County, on the east by Harrison Township, on the south by Boyer, and on the west by Allen Township. Willow Creek enters on section 3, and leaves on section 31. There are smaller streams which drain and water the township as finely as any of Harrison County's twenty sub-divisions. The population in 1885 was 248, and according to the 1890 federal census returns it has 544.

There are no towns or villages within the township. The populace do their marketing and purchase the bulk of their goods at either Woodbine or Dunlap. For mail facilities the people are accomodated by Olympus post-office, established 1882. It was located on the southeast of section 7. The first postmaster was L.B. PROSE, who held the same until July, 1890, and was succeeded by H.P. MORROW, the present(1891) postmaster, who keeps the office at his residence on section 12, of Allen Township.

It is a rolling, prairie land, with no timber aside from about 200 acres of native timber, "Four Mile Grove," and the many artificial groves planted by the hand of the early settlers. The chief business of the people here is general farming and stock raising.


To have been a pioneer in this portion of the county was to undergo no little hardship, and to be the possessor of one of the many valuable farm homes, now found within this territory, is indeed to be counted among the independent men of the "Kingdom of Harrison." It was during the year of 1853 that settlers first looked over the fair, fertile domain, with the view of making for themselves homes. The first settler was Henry HUSHAW, who now(1891) resides at the village of Woodbine. He came in the fall of 1855, and located on section 36. Today, he is totally blind.

Nathan JOHNSON became a settler on section 36, in 1856. He came from Indiana. He died on the same place he settled in about 1879. He was a member of the Board of Supervisors several terms. John JOHNSON, of Indiana (son of Nathan), came with Henry HUSHAW in 1855. He settled on section 36, by subsequently removed to Nebraska.

John SELLICK came to this township in 1857, locating on section 32. About the same time came Hiram MOORE, settling on the southeast quarter of section 36. Upon this land was fought the last battle with the Indians.

Sisston SNYDER, now of Missouri Valley, settled on the Cherry farm in 1859; this was on section 33. In 1856 Isaac PALMER entered a quarter of section 31, remained ten years and sold to Elisha MAHONEY, who sold, and the place is now owned by Nephi PURCELL.

After the Rebellion came the following: H.M. WHEELER came from Council Bluffs, and began the improvement of the south half of section 20, claiming to have an interest in the property, He was a foppish young fellow and "cut a great swell." He at first was engaged at illegally making whisky at Woodbine. He professed to own much land, but finally it turned out that he had no title to the land, and only farmed it for what he could make from the crops grown thereon. He left about 1880.

Just after the was came "Square" J.S. MCLAIN, who took land on the north half of section 16; he moved to Nebraska in 1885. In 1881 Mike HOPKINS settled on a part of section 25; he died in 1880. Nephi PURCELL became a resident of the township in 1868. He bought land on section 31 and still lives in the township. His settlement in the county dates from 1856.

Charles MILLS came in 1868, settling on section 32, where he now(1891) resides. William BUZZELL settled along the Willow at quite an early date, but only remained three years. Prior to the Civil War, Hugo HOLDOELGLE, a German, settled on section 33. He served in the 29th Iowa Infantry in the time of the war. He finally sold his farm, and now lives near Dunlap and follows gardening.

Benjamin P. MARKS came to the county in 1865, and to Lincoln Township in 1868, and settled in section 13. Homer D HULBURD, of section 15, came to the county in 1868; his father was Daniel HULBURD. In 1873 came Abel POWLEY, who located on section 36, where he still resides, a well-to-do farmer. James ROBERTS settled on section 32 in 1872; he is still a resident and a single man. In 1877 John S. EDWARDS settled on section 2 and 3, and still remains there.

In 1880 came W.S. STEWART, who located on section 17. He now lives in Allen Township. J.C. EVANS came the same year to section 9. Thomas MANN settled on section 29, in 1880, on what was known as the WHEELER farm. "Gus" TURNO settled on section 40, the same year, or perhaps a little later on.

During 1881 came L.B. PROSE to the south half of section 7. He remained until February, 1891, and moved to Logan, where he had traded for the "Lusk Hotel," which he operated for a time. Mr. PROSE speaks of A. BALLARD, of section 3; William EVANS of section 3; D.G. SMITH of section 9; Wheeler MENDENHALL of section 33, all having been in the township prior to his advent in 1881. They are nearly all resident farmers there still.

From 1881 to 1884, this township grew rapidly in settlement. In 1883 ninety votes were polled. By reference to the biographical department of this volume the personal sketches of many of the settlers of later date will appear; giving much concerning their first settlement in Lincoln Township.

William S. BURCH dates his settlement in the county from Janury, 1878, rented land in Allen Twp for three years, purchased his present farm in 1880, moving on in 1881. W.H. BARSBY purchased 280 acres upon section 6, where he now lives, in the autumn of 1884. James C. EVANS is a pioneer, coming to the county in 1856. Thomas MANN came to the county with his parents, when 16 years old (21 years ago). He is now located on section 29, Lincoln Twp.

Oscar L. SMITH, of section 31, is a blacksmith by trade. He came to this county in 1881, and for a time worked at his trade in Woodbine, after which he came to Lincoln Twp. Edgar TAYLOR, of section 20, has been a resident of the county since the autumn of 1873. Abel POWLEY also came January 1, 1873, and purchased the farm he now(1981) occupies. Marion PURCELL became a pioneer in 1856, coming at that time from Indiana to Pottawattamie County, and a year later to Harrison County.

In 1882 James R. HAWK came to Harrison County, first locating near Dunlap, but one year later located in Lincoln Twp. John ENGE of section 4 is another man who has experienced the hardships subject to pioneer life. William ELLIOTT has been a resident since 1871. Charles CLEVELAND came in 1885, and located on his present farm on section 15. James H. CRIM came in 1853, with his parents; he was at the time 8 years of age. John BLOCH, who came to the county in the spring of 187-, is now a prosperous farmer on section 16.


The first public school building in Lincoln Township was built in 1859 on Mud Creek. The first teacher employed was "Doc" Nathaniel MEFFERD. Just at the close of the Civil War the township was provided with two schoolhouses, one in the southwest part of the township at James Robert's place and one on Mud Creek.

As the township has settled up it has kept pace with the sister subdivisions of Harrison County. At present it is provided with seven good frame school houses valued at $2,700. The total enrollment is placed at 134 pupils.

During the early '70's a Sabbath-school was formed by Dr. GILKEY, a Presbyterian. It was held at the school house on section 16. This building was removed to section 8 in 1882.

In 1886 a Methodist class was formed as a part of the Magnolia Circuit. Services were held at the school house known as "Centre" on section 15. In 1891 a Sabbath-school was organized on Mud Creek where all denominations attend.

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