Frankfort Township

From the 1881 History of Montgomery County Iowa



Frankfort Township

By reason of the first county seat being located in Frankfort township, many things transpired or had their historic crisis here which really belong to other parts of the county, but cannot easily be jointed in with other localities - hence are given under "Frankfort Township;" and reference is made to this narrative wherever there is occasion for it in the other township histories.

The township clerk's records do not furnish anything earlier than February, 1871; but this township had a whole age of history prior to that, and we have gleaned what we could from the county records in regard to it that specially belongs here, besides the old settlers' gossip and other matters embodied in nearly every chapter of the general history of the county.

August 25, 1854 - We, the undersigned commissioners appointed by the judge of the sixth judicial district for the purpose of locating the seat of justice of Montgomery county, Iowa, met on the 23d day of July; and after being sworn according to law did proceed to locate said seat of justice on the southwest quarter of section 17, township 72, range 37 west. Given under our hands.

W. S. Townsen
R.B. Lockwood
R. W. Stafford
Fees for locating - six days each - $36.00.

Judge A. G. Lowe accepted the above report, made official order accordingly, and named the place Frankfort.

The first mention of trustee is the name of W. W. Hines, who acted March 3, 1856, in that capacity, and received $1.50 for it; but no township is named.

April 19, 1856 - Robert Johnson is allowed $2.50 as trustee, but no township given. And again November 23, 1856, Robert Johnson is allowed $14.00 for services as "township trustee," but the name of the township is not given.

December 27, 1856 - Pleasant Jones is allowed $15 for services as township trustee, but for what township does not appear.

March 20, 1857 - Ordered, That all that portion of West township east of the Nishnabotna river be a new township by the name of Frankfort, and the first election to be held at the house of Amasa Bond, in the town of Frankfort, for the purpose of electing township officers.

October 1, 1856 - T. A. Petty was appointed agent to sell county liquors in West township (at town of Frankfort). August 22, 1857, Isaac M. Binns was appointed as the county liquor selling agent.

September 7, 1857 - The new county judge, J. R. Horton, recites a lengthy detail of facts, and then records: "From the foregoing facts the court comes to this conclusion: That the time that said T. A. Petty received his appointment was not at such time as the law provides for the appointing of an agent; and from that fact, and the fact that said T. A. Petty gave no bond, nor received any certificate of his appointment, there was no agent for the sale of intoxicating liquors, nor has the county any interest in any such liquors whatever." But, on January 27, of this same year, Mr. Petty had been officially allowed $293.13 to pay for his liquors. (See under West township).

December 19, 1857 - A contract was let to Charles Bolt to build a bridge 54 feet long across the Big Tarkio, east of Frankfort, for $225.

June 5, 1858 - Orders. "The boundaries of Frankfort township shall be as follows: Beginning on the north line of the county at the corner between sections 3 and 4 (range 37), thence wet with county line to the range line between ranges 38 and 39; thence with said range line south till it intersects the East Nishnabotna river; thence with said river south to the county line; thence east with said county line to the section corner between sections 33 and 34 in township 71, range 36, (should be 37); thence east to the southeast corner of township 72, range 37; thence north on the range line between ranges 36 and 37 to the corner of sections 25 and 36, thence west to corner of 33 and 34; thence north on the section line to the county line." The words and figures given in brackets do not appear in the record, but are necessary to make any sense to the descriptions, as any one can see by tracing it on the map. The above boundaries taking the present townships of Sherman, Red Oak, Grant, west half of Scott, west half of Frankfort, besides sections 34, 35 and 36 of the east half; and the west half of Pilot Grove township.

John Shafer served as assessor of Frankfort township in 1858, and received $44 therefore.

August 16, 1859 - H. L. Harlow is allowed $3 for crying sale of lots in Frankfort.

John Shafer, assessor of Frankfort township in 1860, allowed $10.

Prior to 1860 the business of counties had been conducted by the county judge; but the Eighth General Assembly passed an act, March 22, 1860, (took effect July 4, 1860), creating the County Board of Supervisors.

The first meeting of such Board in Montgomery county occurred at Frankfort, January 7, 1861, when the following members appeared;
Frankfort township - Daniel Stennett
Red Oak - S. S. Purcell
Jackson - Thomas Moore
Washington - Isaac Conner
Douglas - James M. Christopher
West - William A. Mahan

The act creating the county board made the clerk of the district court ex officio clerk of the board; and D. C. Powell was the clerk at this first meeting. The law provided that members of the board should hold their office two years, but in such a way that one-half should hold over and one-half be newly elected each year - hence, at the first meeting they were to draw lots for one-year and two-year terms. The result of this drawing gave the two-year term to Stennett, Purcell, and Christopher; and the one-year term to Conner, Moore, and Mahan. Daniel Stennett was elected president of the board. D. L. Wickham was appointed constable of Frankfort township.

The first session of the county board lasted five days, and the following bills for the first meeting were allowed:

Isaac Connor, for services and mileage $10.96
Thomas Moore, for services and mileage 11.44
S. S. Purcell, for services and mileage 10.84
W. A. Mahan, for services and mileage 11.87
J. M. Christopher, for services and mileage 11.44
Daniel Stennett, for services and mileage 10.72
D. C. Powell, clerk, services five days 10.00

February 4th - William T. Reid was allowed $13 for services as county superintendent, and this is the first mention that such an office then existed. Mr. Reid was also a justice of the peace, but the record fails to show in what township.

February 5th - Fourteen citizens of Frankfort certified that Solomon Stout was a citizen of good moral character, and he was licensed to sell liquors.

Under the same date, the name of R. Johnson appears as justice of the peace, but nothing to show in what township.

April 8, 1861 - Wayne Stennett appears as assessor of Frankfort township; John Bolt was township trustee this year, up to October election. A large part of the business of the county board in 1861, seems to have been paying the bounty on wolf and wildcat scalps, which now received only $1.00 instead of $1.50 as at first.

June 4, 1861 - each one of the six civil townships was declared to be a swamp land drainage district, thus: District No. 1, Douglas; No. 2, Frankfort; No. 3, West; No. 4, Red Oak; No. 5, Washington; No. 6, Jackson.

The tax levy for 1861, was, for ordinary county revenue, four mills on the dollar; school tax, two mills; bridge tax, one mill.

At the October session, N. W. Titus is mentioned as constable of Frankfort township.

April 1, 1862 - Daniel Stennett resigned his seat as member of the county board of supervisors for Frankfort township. The name of P. P. Johnson appears April 4th, as township trustee; and June 4th he is appointed to fill the vacancy in the board caused by the resignation of Daniel Stennett. Stennett served as township assessor this year, J. R. Horton as township clerk, George Martin and S. Stout as trustees; L. C. Cook also appears as trustee this year. (There is something "out of whack" about this, (three trustees), but the record does not explain it.)

The year 1862 is the first year in which a full list of county officers can be culled out from the "Minute Book," and they were:

County Judge - J. R. Horton
Recorder and Treasurer - J. B. Packard
Sheriff - Charles Bolt
Clerk of the District Court - W. W. Merritt
County Superintendent of Schools - Wm. T. Reid
Drainage Commissioner - S. C. Dunn
Surveyor - David Ellison
Coroner - (nothing to show who)

Board of Supervisors -
From Douglas township - J. M. Christopher
From Frankfort township - P. P. Johnson
From Jackson township - I. N. Applegate
From Red Oak township - S. S. Purcell
From Washington township - Wm. Dunn
From West township - Perry Carr
W. W. Merritt, ex-officio clerk of the board

The board of supervisors for 1863, were:
Douglas township - Wm. T. Reid
Frankfort - L. C. Cook
Jackson - I. N. Applegate
Red Oak - I. F. Hendrie
Washington - Wm. Dunn
West - Stephen Glanden

The final canvass of votes on the removal of the county seat from Frankfort to Red Oak, was made June 8, 1864, and the result stands thus:

The whole number of votes cast was 233
Of which Red Oak Junction had 104
Red Oak had 11-115
Frankfort had 89
Frankfort had 20-109

There is a discrepancy of nine votes in the totals, but we give the figures just as recorded.

January 8, 1867 - The county board changed the boundary of every township, in nearly every case including particular sections and parts of sections, but no new civil township was made. The details of these new and complicated boundary lines occupy two pages of the bulky "Minute Book," but are neither interesting nor important.

January 8 and 9, 1868 - The county board set off three new civil townships, and named them Grant, Lincoln and Sherman. (See each one, for its first boundaries.) This required some changes in other parts; and at this time Frankfort was ordered to include only township 72, range 37. The first election of this newly defined Frankfort township was ordered to be held at the Pilot Grove school house, at the usual time of fall elections.

June 8, 1870 - Sections 1, 2, and 3, of township 72, range 37, were detached from Washington and added to Frankfort for civil purposes. The order of January, 1868, had made all of township 72, range 37, to constitute Frankfort township, but as it did not formally recite the detachment of these three sections from Washington, they technically belonged to both townships until this time. This and some other cases given in these township histories, serve to show how much trouble and vexation a little carelessness or neglect on the part of a public officer may make for the people.

September 6, 1870 - The board passed an order "that a township for civil purposes be organized in this county from portions of Red Oak, Frankfort and Washington townships, comprising the following described territory, to-wit; all of township No. 72, of range No. 37." It is ordered to be called Frankfort, and "that the first township election in said township shall be holden on the day of the next general election" at the school house in the town of Frankfort. This is the third first township election held in this township; and the county board of Montgomery county has the honor of discovering, and proving, too, that there can be three firsts of the same thing.

October 18, 1870 - The county sold to J. R. Horton all the interest which Montgomery county had in the town of Frankfort, for the sum of $312. This was the highest bid made at a public sale held by the county.

The town plat of Frankfort has been entirely vacated for more than ten years past, and converted into a farm. The land is now owned by Adam Vetter. But there is still a school house there, and the cemetery of the extinct town is still in use as a neighborhood burying ground.

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