Muscatine County Iowa

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album, Muscatine County, Iowa, 1889, page 662

Moscow Township.

THIS township comprises all of township 78, range 2 west, except five sections on the east. It is a fine body of land, the greater part of which is prairie. The Cedar River flows through the township, entering on section 6, and flowing in a southeasterly direction into section 9, where it takes a westerly course about one mile, and then flows south into section 29, and then west, passing into Goshen Township from section 30. Sugar Creek, Musketo Creek, Little Musketo Creek also flow through this township into the Cedar River. The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad passes through the township from east to west, with a station at the village of Moscow.

Charles Drury and Mr. Webster were the pioneers of Moscow Township, coming in 1836 from Indiana, and locating their claims on the banks of the Cedar River, where the village of Moscow now stands. They were followed soon after by William Leverich, T. T. Clark, Luke Cunningham, Thomas McConnell, Irving Reynolds, David Reynolds, Mr. Kilgore, Martin Baker, Mr. Comstock, Harvey Hatton, Mathew White, Harvey Matthews and Friend Johnson.

Soon after their arrival Webster and Drury staked off town-lots on their claim and soon had a flourishing settlement around them. Some of the town-lots brought a high price; William Hendrickson, the first blacksmith in the place; paying $175 for a corner lot. The first store was opened by Mr. Mitchell in a log building late in the fall of 1836, who soon had a fine trade among the Indians, there being at that time more Indians than whites in this vicinity. It is said that his trade with the Indians was so extensive that many settlers at a later day got the impression that Moscow was an Indian trading-post. An Indian fort was, however, built here some years previous by Antoinne Le Claire, and traces there of were visible as late as 1838.

The years of 1837 and 1838 brought William White, William Reynolds, Daniel Healy, George W. Hunt, and Alex. Chandler Ross. The latter opened a store, but soon after burning an unoffending Indian was obliged to leave the country. The first sermon was preached in the room which had been occupied by Ross in 1838, by Martin Baker. The first building devoted to religious purposes was a dwelling which was purchased by the members of the Christian Church, about 1845. They afterward built a good church-building. The Lutherans some years later also built a good church-building.

The first tavern in the town was kept by Mr. Mitchell. The first ferry in the Cedar River at this point was run by William Hendrickson. The first death was that of Mr. Webster. The first school was taught by Miss May Comstock, in a portion of a double log-house. The present two-story frame building was built in 1867. One of the first teachers was the late Judge Bissell, of Cedar County, who in those days wore a buckskin suit throughout. The first railroad train passed through the village in 1855, in which year a bridge was built across the Cedar River, which was replaced in 1876 by an iron bridge. The dam across the Cedar River was built in 1866, and the mill in 1867, by the Moscow Mill and Dam Company.

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