Pocahontas County, IA
Bellville Township is township 90 of range 32. It is the second township to the east in the southern row of townships. When first surveyed it was noted there was not a tree in sight. The land was covered with many small marshes and a few large marshes. Most of this area was unfit for cultivation. The land of the county was basically level and much of it covered in pea vine. However, the soil was first and second rate and once the marshes were drained they made good fields for planting.
Bellville Township was established on June 6, 1870. The first elections were to be held on October 11, 1870 in the cabin of William Bell.
Early Residents of Bellville Township
Settlers arriving in the 1860's
- Anderson, Nelson
- Anderson, Nils - was born in Sweden in 1836. On September 5, 1869 he entered into his homestead of 80 acres in Section 18. In 1870 his wife, Kizer Olsen and children arrived. Their children were Turina (nee Henricks-a step daughter of Nils), Christina, August, Euphemia and Emma. His wife Kizer died in 1876 and two years later he married Emma Olsen (no relation to his wife) and they had a daughter Betka. Nils and Emma lived on the homestead until 1896 when they moved to Pomeroy. In 1875 Turina (b. 3-30-1850, d. May 2, 1899) married Frank Peterson of Colfax Township. Christina married John A Johnson also of Colfax Township in 1872. Frank and Turina's first two children were Hilda and Ida. August mined gold in Colorado. In 1895 Euphemia married Nils Walleen and they removed to Washington State. Emma married William Johnson and they moved to Colorado.
- Bell, William - in 1871 added a house to his cabin and lived on his homestead until 1878 when he left to pursue mining gold. He, along with Niels Hanson, were the first to settle the township. The township was named after him. His land was in section 10.
- Bennett, James - in March 1869 entered into a homestead and died on his land in 1872. James Bennett was the first assessor of Bellville Township. His wife Sylvia Bennett continued to live on the homestead until 1876 when she sold and moved to Manson (Calhoun County). She secured the rights to half his original claim in section 26, the other was declared to be swamp land. She also got the rights to the adjoining claim, which belonged to Alex Oleson. In 1876 Sylvia sold both claims to Col. Blanden (possibly Lander Blanden, below) and moved with her family to Manson, Calhoun County.
- Brownlee, William - was born March 1, 1838. He was born in Welland County, Canada to Thomas and Sarah Brownlee, who were of Scotish-Irish decent and came from the county of Armaugh, Ireland. On November 3, 1861 he married Elizabeth Owen. In 1862 they came to the US settling in Walworth County Wisconsin. In 1869 with his family of 2 small children he came to Pocahontas County. They located their homestead in section 18. After three years they purchased another farm in section 8 where they lived until 1892. In 1892 they moved to Pomeroy, Calhoun County. They eventually had eight children, three of which died young. Those who lived are William Allen, Bert O - who married Harriet Swisher, Bern R - who married Mabel Joslyn, Mary F and Howard Lee.
Mr Browlee held many township offices. He was a trustee (1872), clerk (1873), justice of the peace (5 years), towship secretary (five years), president of the school board (4 years), treasurer of the school fund (3 years). He was the first citizen of Bellville township to serve on the board of county supervisors, a position he held for 8 years. On January 7, 1884 he resigned his position to accept the job of county treasurer. His wife was a schoolteacher whom was well respected in the community. Their home was situated near Lizard creek and is near the largest lake in the township, which was also a favorite of the local Indian tribes.
The 1880 census lists the Brownlee household as follows:
- William-Male Age-42 Born-Canada Occupation-Farmer Father born-Ireland Mother born-Ireland
- Elizabeth H-Female Age-41 Born-Canada Occuptation-Housekeeper Father born-Wales Mother born-New York
- William A - Son Age-14 Born-Wisconsin Occupation-Hired Hand
- Lillie B - Daughter Age-11 Born-Wisconsin
- Bertie - Son Age-6 Born-Iowa
- Bernie - Son Age-8 Born-Iowa
- Marry F - Daughter Age-1 Born-Iowa
- Magrett Nelson - Other Age-23 Born-Denmark Occupation-Working in House Parents born-Denmark
- Cady, Alonzo - came with a wife and 2 children. In March 1869 he entered into a homestead in Section 24 and lived there for several years before moving Lizard township, and then to Dakota Territory. He was one of the first trustees, the second assessor and for three years secretary of the township school board.
- Christmas, John - claimed his homestead in 1869 in Section 34. He moved there with his wife Mary (nee Strong) and two children. John had been a soldier in the Civil War. In February, 1870, their third child Carrie Christmas was the first child born in Bellville Township. He sold his homestead in 1875 to Saunders S Assing and removed to Fort Dodge. Carrie Christmas married Morton Root and lived in Fort Dodge. After three years, John moved back to Manson and was killed crossing the railroad tracks in a buggy driven by Edward Tullar while in Rockwell City.
The 1880 census lists the family as follows:
- John age-45 Born-Canada Occupation-Drayman Father born-NY Mother born-France
- Mary age-45 Born-Canada Occupation-Keeping House Parents born-England
- Hattie - daughter age 22 Born-Canada Occupation-At Home
- Georgiana-daugther age 20 Born-Canada Occupation-Teaching
- Carrie-daughter age 10 Born-Iowa Occupation-At school
- Jennie-daughter age 7 Born-Iowa Occupation-At school
- Mary-Mother age 89 Born-France Parents born-France
- Dickinson, William B and son-in-Law Parks, Milton B, each entered homestead claims in Section 14, on August 31, 1868. These were the first two claims entered in the township. They didn't occupy their claims soon enough and the claims were forfeited. They re-entered their claims in 1873 and 1873 and received their patents. William Dickinson was a civil war soldier and of late resides with his daughter in Gilmore City. During his time in the county he was the first secretary of the school board, the first justice of the peace and the first clerk of the township. Milton B Parks was one of the first trustee's of the township. In the early 1880's Milton moved to Havelock and was in the drug business until his store was destroyed by fire, after which he moved to California.
- Enright, Patrick - was born in Ireland in 1833. He and a couple of brothers moved to Canada in 1857. In 1861 Patrick married Cecilia Flynn. They moved to Pocahontas County in 1869 and homesteaded 80 acres on Section 12 in Belville township. Cecilia died in 1876. Patrick died October 28, 1898. He had lived for 29 years on the homestead. They are both buried in Lizard Catholic Cemetery. Patrick and Cecilia had five children.
Thomas b. 7-3-1863, married Mary E Quinn. Mary is the eldest daughter of Patrick Quinn and a native of Canada. Thomas and Mary had two children, Thomas Joseph and Rose Mary. John born 1865 married Magaret Masterson on September 23, 1896. Margaret was born in Illinois on 12-26-1872. Margaret died December 29, 1899 leaving her husband with an infant son. James, who was born 1867 is noted as travelling in the West. Mary A, who married John F Quinn in 1891 and now resides on a farm in Bellville Township. Cecilia who married John F Quinn in 1891 and now resides in Pomeroy, Calhoun County.
Here is the information from the 1880 US census:
- Pat Age-46 Born-Ireland Occupation-Farmer Parents born-Ireland
- Mary A-Daughter Age-9 Born-Iowa
- Thomas-Son Age-18 Born-Canada Occupation-Farm Hand
- Johnie-Son Age-16 Born-Canada Occupation-Farm Hand
- James-Son Age-14 Born-Canada Occupation-Herding
- Celia-Daughter Age-6 Born-Iowa
- Erickson, Aaron - from Sweden, built a cabin on his homestead in Section 20 in September 1869. The next year he was joined by his wife and family. In 1872 his claim was relinquished to Martin McAuliff. Aaron then purchased a farm in Section 18 on which he raised his family.
Here is information from the 1880 census:
- Earn (Aaron) Age-48 Born-Sweden Occupation-Farmer Parents born-Sweden
- Nettie-Wife Age-44 Born-Sweden Occupation-Housekeeper Parents born-Sweden
- Annie-Daughter Age-16 Born-Sweden
- Sophia-Daughter Age-11 Born-Sweden
- Antony-Son Age-13 Born Sweden Occupation-Herding
- Lizzie-Daughter Age-7 Born-Iowa
- Robert-Son Age-6 Born-Iowa
- Hilda-Daughter Age-5 Born-Iowa
- Rosie-Daughter Age-3 Born-Iowa
- Lillie-Daughter Age-1 Born-Iowa
- Gorden-Son Age-19 Born-Sweden Occupation-working in brick yard
- Hagan, James
- Hanson, Niels - a native of Denmark, was born August 24, 1839. He and William Bell were the first settlers in the township, arriving in March 1869. During June of 1870 he filed his homestead claim in Section 10, and received the patent for this land in 1874. In 1876 he lost his homestead due to loss of crops from grasshoppers, he purchased the adjoining 40 acres also in Section 10. In 1871 he married Lena Loding, a native of Norway who was living in Fort Dodge. They had 4 sons (Hans, Martin, Niels and Edward) and 2 daughters (Hannah and Minnie). Hans, the eldest son married Mary Hanson in 1894 and they lived on her fathers farm in Colfax township, Section 8. Hans and Mary Hanson had 2 daughters, Minnie and Mabel. Hannah, the eldest daughter of Nels and Lena married Anton Larson and they lived on his fathers farm. Anton and Hannah Larson later became the owners of the first hotel in Palmer.
In 1899, the town of Palmer, first called Hanson, was located on his farm. His daughter Minnie was appointed postmistress of the first post office which opened in January, 1900.
Here is information from the 1880 census:
- Nels Age-40 Born-Denmark Occupation-Farmer Parents born-Denmark
- Nekoline (Lena) Age-39 Born-Norway Occupation-Housekeeper Parents born-Norway
- Hans-Son Age-8 Born-Iowa
- Martain-Son Age-7 Born-Iowa
- Hannah C-Daughter Age-5 Born-Iowa
- Nels P-Son Age-3 Born-Iowa
- Minie-Daughter Age-2 Born-Iowa
- Johnson, John and Frederick
- Lampe, John G - was born in Germany about 1806. In his youth he came to America and resided near Galena, Illnois. While there he married Catherine Nundar. They later lived in Potosi, Wisconsin and in the fall of 1868 with their four children moved to Pocahontas County. Their children were Henry, George, Mary (Mrs Elisha Cain) and Frank. In 1869 John, with his sons Henry and George, and John's son-in-law E.K. (Elisha K) Cain filed claims for homesteads in Bellville Township in sections 4 and 6. At the time of their homesteading, the only other residents of the township were William Bell, Niels (Nils) Hanson and Philip Myers. Catherine Lampe died in April, 1873 in her 74th year, and is buried in the Catholic cemetery in Pomeroy, Calhoun County. Henry Lampe, b. 1806, near the turn of the 20th century was probably the eldest person living in the county.
Here is information from the 1880 census:
- John Age-70 Born-Prussia Occupation-Farmer Parents born-Prussia
- Catharin Age-63 Born-Baden Occupation-Housekeeper Parents born-Baden
- George-Son Age-31 Born-Wisconsin Occupation-Farmer
- Frank-Son Age-23 Born-Wisconsin Occupation-Farmer
- Catharin-Daughter In Law Age-25 Born-Prussia Occupation-Housekeeper Parents born-Prussia
- Lee Elskamp-Other Age-12 Born-Wisconsin Occupation-Herding Parents born-Baden
- Lampe, Henry B - was born September 14, 1845. He married Joanna Kruel on November 12, 1872. They resided on the homestead Henry selected in 1868 on Section 4. They had 13 children, four of whom died young. John married Christina Niehous on Mary 6, 1896 and lived in Lincoln Township. Mary married John Schwandy on May 18, 1897 residing also in Lincoln Township. William, Kate, Gertrude, George, Maggie, Minnie, and Edward are the rest of the children.
The 1880 census lists the Lampe household as follows:
- Henry age-34 Born-Illinois Occupation-Farmer Parents born-Hanover
- Anna age-24 Born-Prussia Occupation-Housekeeper Parents born-Prussia
- John-son age-6 Born-Iowa
- Mary-daughter age-4 Born-Iowa
- Willie-son age-1 Born-Iowa
- Harm Carson - other Age-17 Born-Illinois Occupation-Farm Hand Parents born-Pennsylvania
- Mary C Wessing-Other Age-14 Born-Wisconsin Occupation-Working In House Parents born-Prussia
- Kate O'Neal-Other Age-24 Born-Canada Occupation-Teaching School Parents born-Ireland
- Lampe, George - also resides on his homestead of 1868 (section 4) but it has grown in size to 200 acres. He and his wife have six children; Anna, Mary, Kate, Lizzie, Henry and Rose, one having died in childhood.
- Lampe, Mary - married Elisha K Cain in 1869 in Lizard Township. He was a school teacher who taught the first school in the township which was held in the cabin on the Lampe homestead. The Lampe's produced the "largest child" born in the county. Their son, born in 1871 weighed 22 pounds at birth. At the time they were living in section 21. In February, 1872 they moved to Lincoln township where Elisha was assessor and justice of the peace. He was also a teacher, farmer and carpenter. In 1884 the family moved to Clayton County. They and their thirteen children eventually moved to Minnesota.
- Lampe, Frank - married Kate Condon and they lived in section 9.
- Lawson, John - John Lawson, his wife were Swedes. They arrived in the spring of 1869. Her parents "came to this county in the spring of 1869 accompanied by three children andPhilip Myers". They settled in section 20. John's wife died in 1878 and John died in 1889 leaving five children. Their daughter Hulda was the second child born in the county during a terrible snowstorm from March 14-16, 1870. John Lawson's sister is Mrs Peter Ellison.
- Myers, Philip - claimed a homestead in March 1869 along with his wife and two sons, in Section 28. He later sold it to Patrick Quinn and moved to Kansas. During the Civil War he was a member of the 112th Illinois infantry.
- Nelson, Swan - was born 09-30-1843 in Sandby of Kristianstads l'an Sweden. He left his homeland on May 4, 1869 at the age of 26. He first visited in Moline, Illinois where his sister and brother-in-law (Peterson) resided. But they found when they arrived his relatives had moved to homestead in Northwest Iowa. His sister had ended up in Calhoun county. He arrived in Bellville township on June 5, 1869. He married Celia Nelson (b. 9-6-1835), also a native of Sweden. He homesteaded in Section 34, where they built their first sod house and moved in May 2, 1870. Son Nelius Moonat Nelson, born May 4, 1870 was the first male child born in the county. He is the eldest child of Mr and Mrs Swan Nelson. He became a very well respected public school teacher in the county and the moved to Dakota. Son August Leonard, born 10-8-1871. The other children were Mollie, Sophia and Axel Emil. On January 34, 1899, son Axel Emil married Selma Christian Petrie and they had their first son 12-28-1899.
- Niehouse, Bernard - Came from Germany and in October, 1869, and secured a homestead in Section 6. His wife, a sister of Bernard Fisher passed and Bernard lived with his son-in-law John Lampe.
- O'Kiefe, James - and 2 sons John W and Daniel, arrived in August of 1869 and found homesteads in Section 12. Daniel married about 1877. James died at Daniel's home in 1881. John W and Daniel soon moved to Lake township and lived in Section 31. In 1899 John W married and owns land in Section 12, Bellville township. From about 1876 to 1881 James was the treasurer of the school board of the township. His son John was Secretary of the school board in 1876.
The 1880 Lake township census lists Daniel's family as follows:
- Daniel age-30 born-Iowa Occupation-Farmer Parents born-Ireland
- Margaret age-24 born-New York Occupation-Keeping House Parents born-Ireland
- Anastatia-daughter age-4 born-Iowa
- Thomas M-son age-3 born-Iowa
- Julia M-daughter age-1 born-Iowa
- Parks, Milton - (see also Dickinson, William) was married to Emma. The 1880 census lists them as follows;
- Milton B - age 36 Born-New York Occupation-Farmer Parents born-New York
- Emma - wife age 30 Born-New York Occupation-HouseKeeper Parens born-New York
- Peterson, Peter, wife and 2 sons
Settlers arriving in the 1870's
- Anderson, August - entered a homestead in May 1872. He has a wife and 2 daughters.
He homesteaded land originally sought by Claus Hanson, who filed a claim in June 1869, but forfeited.
The 1880 Bellville census lists them this way:
- August age-44 born-Sweden Occupation-Farmer Parents born-Sweden
- Augusta age-43 born-Sweden Occupation-Housekeeper Parents born-Sweden
- Annie S-daughter age-13 born-Sweden Occupation-Herding
- Josephine C-daughter age-9 born-Iowa
- Assing, S.S.
The Assing household extracted from the 1880 census:
- Sander S age-65 born-Hanover Occupation-Farmer Parents born-Hanover
- Antye age-56 born-Havover Occupation-Housekeeper Parents born-Hanover
- Sander S-son age 30 born-Hanover Occupation-Farmhand
- Harm-son age-22 born-Hanover Occupation-Farmhand
- George-son age-18 born-Hanover Occupation-Farmhand
- Anna-daughter age-23 born Hanover Occupation-Working in House
- Gretye-daughter age-14 born Hanover
- Behrens, Heilert W - was born in Germany in November of 1827. In the spring of 1852 he married Marie Hedden, who was also born in 1827. They had two sons, Frederic and Henry and two daughters who died in Germany. In May of 1870 they arrived in Pocahontas County. They bought 160 acres in Section 32 Bellville township, eventually owning 500 acres. He later sold 400 acres to his son Henry B. Marie Behrens died in August of 1892 and is buried in Pomeroy, Calhoun County. In 1893 he married Mrs Josephine Dibbert but they divorced in January, 1897. Heilert served for two years as justice of the peace and for seven years as a trustee for the county. He also served as organist in the German Evangelical church of Pomeroy, Calhoun County for many years.
Son Frederic W Behren, born 1866, married Eliza Neetting in 1888. They had 6 children, two of whom died young. Those who lived were Emma, Anna, Lily and Frederic.
Son Henry B Behrens, born 1868, married Annie Albright also in 1888. They had 5 children, one of which died young. Those who lived are Minnie, Marie, Elizabeth and William.
The 1880 census lists the following:
- Hilbert W age-52 born-Oldenburg Occupation-Farmer Parents born-Oldenburg
- Gerken M age-52 born-Oldenburg Occupation-Housekeeper Parents born-Oldenburg
- Henery-son age-22 born-Oldenburg Occupation-Farmhand
- Beneke, Rudolph - was born to Henry and Mary Beneke, February 23, 1850 in Sudgeorgesfehn, Germany. In 1868 he came to America with his elder brother Diederic, who later resided in Lincoln Township. Diederic, according to the 1880 census, was married to Augusta (nee ?) and their sons were John, age 4 and Henry, age 1. Rudolph purchased land in Bellville township, section 4, in 1871 while living in Scott county. He returned to Bellville township in 1875. On January 1, 1877 he married Annie Smorkovksi, born 12-4-1855, the daughter of Anton and Barbara Smorkovski. They were from the Srmk area east of Prague, Chechoslovakia. Their children were Henry (1-24-1878), Rudolph (9-18-1879), Barbara (3-18-1881), Earnest August (8-30-1882), Anton (11-28-1884), Anna Sophia (8-16-1886), Mary (4-16-1888) and Frank (7-9-1893).
Mr Beneke was a very sucessful farmer. Between 1882 and 1897 he bought and sold land ending up with a total of 746 acres. Mr Beneke was a trustee for 6 years and president of the school board in 1890.
- Blanden, Lander and C.G.
- Burgeson, Abraham - wife was Eliza. They arrived in Bellville township in 1870. Eliza entered 40 acres in section 18 as a timber claim. The claim was forfeited in 1877, but re-entered it a few days later under her husbands name. In 1893 the patent was issued to their son Alvin Burgeson. Abraham and Eliza then moved to Section 1 in Colfax Township where they raised their large family.
- BurnsMichael -
Hayden, James - entered into adjoining homesteads in Section 10 during January 1870. They lived in the same cabin for several years until they built their own cabins. James Hagan farmed both lands while Michael Burns worked on the railroad. About 1884, Michael Burns married a daughter of William Gadaw. James Hayden did not marry and lived alone on his homestead. His homestead was originally entered by Peter Murphy.
- Cain, E.K.
The 1880 census includes the following in the Cain household:
- Elisha K age-32 born-Iowa Occupation-Farmer Parents born-Not noted
- Mary R age-30 born-Wisconsin Occupation-Keeping House Parents born-Prussia
- Annie P-daughter age-10 born-Iowa Occupation-Dom-Assist.
- Lizzie J-daughter age-9 born-Iowa
- Nettie M-daughter age-7 born-Iowa
- William F-son age-6 born-Iowa
- George H-son age-3 born-Iowa
- Mary C-daughter age-1 born-Iowa
- Carlson, Andrew
- Clancy, Maurice - visited from Canada in 1874 and bought 240 acres in Bellville Township Section 29. In 1875 he and 2 of his children moved to America and settled on the land he had purchased. His wife is Catherine Crowley, and the sons who came with them are John and Patrick. Patrick was married at the time and his wife came with them. Maurice and Catherine were both natives of Ireland. Maurice lived to the age of 75 years and died in 1889. His wife died in 1891 at the age of 70 years. Both are buried in the Catholic Cemetery in Pomeroy, Calhoun County. Altogther they had 6 children, including John and Patrick. "Their family consisted of four sons and two daughters, two of whom settled in Canada". At age 26 son Michael drowned in Lake Winnepeg while engaged as a surveyor in Dakota. Before John moved further west he owned a portion of his fathers land on which he lived for two years. Three years after moving west John sold the land to his brother Patrick.
The 1880 census lists Maurice and Catherine as follows:
- Moris Age-60 Born-Ireland Occupation-Farmer Parents born-Ireland
- Catharine Age-70 Born-Ireland Occupation-Housekeeper Parents born-Ireland
- Note-their age is not recorded correctly. According to the death dates as recorded by Flickinger, Maurice was born about 1814 and Catherine about 1821.
- Clancy, Patrick - is a native of Canada and moved to America with his parents Maurice and Catherine (see above bio) and brother John in 1875. In 1872, while still in Canada, he married Elizabeth McAlpin, a sister of Mrs John O'Brien. Patrick and Elizabeth had five children - Michael, Catherine (who was a teacher), Mary, John, Bridget A and Thomas Michael. John lived on his father farm and increased the size from 240 acres to 360 acres.
Here is the information from the 1880 census:
- Patrick Age-35 Born-Canada Occuptation-Farmer Parents born-Ireland
- Elizabeth Age-35 Born-Canada Occupation-Housekeeper Parents born-Ireland
- Katie-daughter Age-8 Born-Canada
- Mickle D-Son Age-5 Born-Iowa
- Mary E-Daughter Age-4 Born-Iowa
- Johnie P-Son Age-1 Born-Iowa
- DeWall, George
- Ellison, Peter - his wife is a sister of John Lawson, secured their homestead in Section 20 in 1873. They had 3 children-Annie, Christine and Edward.
- Gadaw, William - came from Germany with his wife, two sons and daughter. He bought his land in 1873, Section 24. After the death of William and his wife, their sons William and Ernest continued to live on the property. Three daughters were born while they lived in the county. The youngest daughter married Michael Burns.
- Hallock, Charles H - son of David B Hallock, located his homestead on Section 34 in 1870.
The 1880 census lists the following:
- Chas H age-30 born-Connecticut Occupation-Farmer Father born-Connecticut Mother born-New York
- Hannah E age-22 born Illinois Occupation-Keeping House Father born-New York Mother born-Illinois
- Ralph M-son age-11 born-IA Occupation-at school
- Enos D-daughter age-4 born-Iowa
- James W-son age-1 born-Iowa
- Patrick Cain-other age-52 born-Ireland Parents born-Ireland
- Hallock, David B - arrived in the county in 1870. He had a large family with him. His eldest son Charles Hallock also homsteaded in 1870. His homestead caught fire in April, 1873 and his wife ran in to save their sleeping child, but her clothes caught fire. She put out all the flames in a nearby slough, but died soon afterward. In 1874 the crops were devoured by grasshoppers for a second time. Me moved to Lake Township, and five years later Charles moved to Kansas.
- Himan, Aaron - came with his wife to this county in April 1870 and found a homestead in Section 2. He was born in Sweden May 21, 1835. On August 12, 1869 in Illinois, he married Matilda Solomonson. They had 3 children, Charles W, Jennie and Oscar E. Aaron was the brother-in-law of Gustav Peterson, who married Matilda's sister.
Here is the information from the 1880 census:
- Aaron Age-42 Born-Sweden Occupation-Farmer Parents born-Sweden
- Matilda Age-38 Born-Sweden Occupation-Keeping House Parents born-Sweden
- Charlie W-Son Age-19 Born-Iowa Occupation-Farm Hand
- Jinnie-Daughter Age-8 Born-Iowa
- Nellie-Daughter Age-5 Born-Iowa
- Johanna-Mother Age-64 Born-Sweden Occupation-House Keeper Parents born-Sweden
- Charlie-Father Age-59 Born-Sweden Occupation-Carpenter Parents born-Sweden
- Kezer, Charles - was born March 8, 1835 in New Hampshire, to Graham and Elvira Kezer. In August of 1862 he married Sarah Jane Smith, born 4-23-1841 and was living in Stark County, Illinois. In the spring of 1870 they homesteaded section 28. In 1881 two of his daughters died from cerebral meningitis. In 1884 the family moved to section 22, Lincoln township. Six children of Charles and Sarah lived to adulthood - Edmund M, who married Elizabeth Boyd on 11-5-1895 and had one daughter Joyce Pearl. His wife is the daughter of John and Elizabeth Boyd. Anna Elvira, who married Arthur Irwin on 11-28-1895 and later removed to New Hampshire. The other four children had not yet married, and they are Julia Winifred, Sarah Jane, Franklin G and Charles Samuel.
Mr Keezer assisted in the formation of Bellville township in 1870. He was the first president of the school board, and served also in 1874, 1876-77. We was also township assessor (1874-1877), township clerk (1877-1882), secretary of the school board (1875: 1878-1886)
Here is information from the 1880 census:
- Charles Age-45 Born-Vermont Occupation-Farmer Father born-New Hampshire Mother born-?
- Sarah J Age-38 Born-Ohio Occupation-Housekeeper Father born-Ohio Mother born-New York
- Edmund-Son Age-15 Born-Illinois Occupation-Farm Hand
- Annie A-Daughter Age-13 Born-Iowa
- Mary I-Daughter Age-9 Born-Iowa
- Lucy M-Daughter Age-6 Born-Iowa
- Julia W-Daughter Age-4 Born-Iowa
- Sarah J-Daughter Age-1 Born-Iowa
- Larson, John
- Lieb, Henry
- Long, Andrew O - wife and 2 children
The 1880 census lists the family as follows:
- Andrew O age-43 born-Sweden Occupaton-Farmer Parents born-Sweden
- Carry age-38 born-Sweden Occupation-Housekeeper Parents born-Sweden
- Annie-daughter age-15 born-Sweden Occupation-Housekeeper
- Peter-son age-12 born-Iowa Occupation-Herding
- Alma-daughter age-9 born-Iowa
- Marry-daughter age-7 born-Iowa
- Manda-daughter age-5 born-Iowa
- Frank-son age-3 born-Iowa
- Emma-daughter age-9M born-Iowa
- Willie Carlson-Other age-4M born-Iowa Parents born-Sweden
- Lungren, Charles P - and his wife were both born in Sweden in 1853. In the second year of their marriage they left Sweden and came to Bellville Township where they owned a 200 acre farm in Section 2. This is where they had their 8 children: Hildah, the eldest married Alfred Olsen in 1896 and they reside in Grant township. Ellen, the third daughter married Charles Olson and they also reside in Grant township. The other children are Clara, Jennie, Martin, John, Albert and Mollie. The belonged to the Swedish Lutheran Church, Colfax township.
- McAlpin, Michael - arrived in 1871 coming with his family from Canada. They selected a homestead in Section 8. His wife died in 1872 and is buried in Lizard Catholic cemetery. Their children were James, Bridget, Margaret and Maria. James married a daughter of Henry Kreul and lives on the old homestead. Bridget and Margaret lived in Minnesota. Maria married Bernard Kreul and they reside in Pocahontas. Michael remarried about 1895 and moved to Fort Dodge.
- McAuliff, Martin - Came from Canada in April 1878 and secured the homestead originally settled by Aaron Erickson, in Section 20. He lived in Pomeroy, Calhoun County and owned 320 acres in Bellville Township. He once nearly married, but "is still enjoying single blessedness".
The 1880 census lists him as Martain age-39 born-Canada Occupation-Farmer Parents born-Ireland
- Nelson, Betsy - homesteaded in Section 34 after arriving from her native Sweden in 1871. She built and resided in a sod house until she received the patent for her homestead. Once she secured the patent she sold it to her brother-in-law Elias Swanson. Betsy is a sister of Swan Peterson (below). Besty married Peter Peterson of Calhoun County and moved to Manson.
- Nelson, Mr and Mrs James - arrived in the township in 1877 coming from their native Denmark. They purchased the farm of Fred Wiegert in section 4 Bellville township. They had a son Rasmus, and two daughters, Maggie and Carrie. In 1889 Rasmus married Mary Hanson and they eventually owned and occupied his fathers farm. Maggie married John P Peterson. Carrie married a carpenter, Charles Kelso and they lived in Palmer.
- McAuliff, Thomas - elder brother of Martin McAuliff, secured his homestead in December 1871 in Section 18. This homestead was first claimed by William Brownlee in 1869 . He lived on it about 8 years and then moved to Colorado, but still owns the property.
- Norman, Andrew - secured a homestead in 1876 in Section 6. His only son, John Norman owns a farm in Section 1.
- O'Brien, John - was born march 31, 1849 in Canada. While there he married Bridget McAuliff February 3, 1879. Bridget was born in 1854. One month after their marriage they removed to Bellville township, section 17. John was known as the Bellville giant. He was 6 feet tall and weighed in at 260 pounds. When he was 25 he showed his great strength by lifting the side of a horse-power after two men together couldn't lift it. Together they had ten children: William, Mary, Jane, Richard, John, Margareta, Thima, Thomas Michael, Anna Winnifred, Elizabeth Catherine, Alice, Martin Edward and George Emmet.
The 1880 census lists the new O'Brien family as follows:
- John age-31 born-Canada Occupation-Farmer Parents born-Ireland
- Bridget age-23 born-Canada Occupation-Housekeeper Parents born-Ireland
- William-son age-2M born-Iowa
- Marry Mercer-other age-19 born-Illinois Occupation-School Teaching Parents born-Ohio
- Oleson, Louis
- Owen, William R - arrived in April, 1870 from Canada. He occupied his homestead in Section 18 until 1873 when he moved to Ft Wayne, Indiana. Samuel H Gill secured the patent for the homestead and lived on it. In 1878, a cyclone hit his homestead in April, destroying all of his buildings and killing his wife.
- Peterson, Christian - arrived in Bellville Township in 1870. He was born in Denmark in 1855. About 1880 he married a daughter of Hans Markeson who died in 1892 leaving a family of 5 children.
- Peterson, Gustav - was born in Sweden in 1841. His wife was a sister of Matilda Solomonson (Mrs Aaron Himan). They arrived in the county in 1870. His homestead was in Section 2. In 1871 he sold the claim and moved to Section 35 in Lincoln township. In They had 5 children, Henry, Albert, Ida, Minnie and Paul.
- Peterson, John P - arrived in the 1870's and homesteaded in Section 12. Previous homesteaders of that land were James F Peterson, Ira G Vaughn and Andrew C Williamson. In 1880 he married Maggie Nelson, a daughter of James Nelson. He was assessor from 1883 to 1886, and has served ten years as a trustee.
- Peterson, Peter - born in Denmark in 1827 secured a homstead in 1871 in Section 2. His wife died in Denmark leaving one son, George. His second wife died in 1890 and left two more sons, John P and Christian. Peter died in 1893. All three sons resided in Bellville Township.
- Peterson, Swan - A native of Sweden entered a timber claim on May 26, 1876, in Section 36. This land had originally been entered by F. Carlson in 1868. It was then homesteaded by Johanna Peterson from 1871 until about 1876.
- Quinn, Patrick - is a native of Canada who was born March 25, 1825. His parents moved to Ontario, Canada when he was a young child. Here he married Bridget Guilteman, who was born in Ireland in 1834. They had 10 children - Andrew, Thomas, Bridget, Patrick, John, James, Martin, Michael and Maggie (one is not listed). They moved to Bellville Township in 1872, purchasing the land of Phillip Myers in Section 28. They eventually owned 720 acres. While in Iowa they had another 4 children for a total of 14. Seven of the boys taught school. They had 11 sons and 3 daughters.
The children are:
- Quinn, Andrew G - married Eva Howe in November, 1888. She was from Illinois. They live in Colfax township and have 5 children-Mary B, Edward, Francis, George and Genevieve Ann.
- Quinn, Mary E - was married on April 12, 1893 to to Thomas Enright. For 13 years prior to her marriage she was a school teacher. They live in section 12 and have 2 children, Thomas and Rose.
- Quinn, Thomas B - was married to Genevieve Whaley on November 27, 1896 and they have removed to Texas.
- Quinn, Bridget - is at home
- Quinn, Patrick A - married Cecelia Enright on December 6, 1892. They own a farm of 160 acres in Bellville Township. They reside in Pomeroy, Calhoun County. Their only child died at a young age.
- Quinn, John F - married Mary Enright in February of 1891. They have 160 acres in Bellville township and 3 children - Mary E, George F and Cecelia F.
- Quinn, James D - is married to Mary Campbell. They were married November 24, 1896. They live on 160 acres in Sherman township.
- Quinn, Martin B - completed a business course at Highland Park college in 1892 and now works in the railroad office in Arkansas.
- Quinn, Michael - Maggie A - Joseph - Paul - Edward and Walter (twins) live at home as of this writing (abt 1900).
The 1880 census lists the Quinn household as follows:
- Patrick age-50 born-Ireland Occupation-Farmer Parents born-Ireland
- Bridget age-40 born-Ireland Occupation-Housekeeper Parents born-Ireland
- Andrew-son age-21 born-Canada Occupation-Farmer
- Mary-daughter age-18 born-Canada Occupation-Schoolteaching
- Thomas-son age-17 born-Canada Occupation-Farm Hand
- Bridget-daughter age-15 born-Canada Occupation-None listed
- Patrick-son age-14 born-Canada Occupation-Farm Hand
- John-son age 13 born-Canada Occupation-Farm Hand
- James-son age-12 born-Canada Occupation-Farm Hand
- Martain-son age-11 born-Canada Occupation-Farm Hand
- Mickle-son age-9 born-Canada
- Margrett A-daughter age-7 born-Canada
- Joseph-son age-6 born-Iowa
- Paul-son age-4 born-Iowa
- Walter-son age-2 born-Iowa
- Edward-son age-2 born-Iowa
Reedland, Andrew - came from Sweden in 1873 with his wife and three children. They homesteaded in section 32. They lived there until about 1889 and then moved to Colfax township, and a few years later to Kansas.
Schon, John - he and his wife arrived about 1876. They came from Illinois with nothing, but after 10 years was the owner of 200 acres of land on which he built a fine home. He had a brother, M.B. Schon who lived in section 19. On September 23, 1886 while seated at the supper table, he was shot and killed by a young German man, Otto Otten. Otto was a neighbor and friend of the family and the shooting was completely unprovoked. Otto confessed his crime and was sentenced to life in prison at the penitentiary at Anamosa.
Strong, Joseph - secured his homestead claim in 1871 from land forfeited by Isaac Tappee in section 34. He was the brother of Mrs John (Mary) Christmas with whom he lived. After a few years he sold the land to Swan Nelson and removed to Colorado.
Vaughan, Ira G - had a homestead in Section 12, property later owned by John P Peterson.
Weigert, Fritz (also spelled Wiegert-also known as Frederick) - was born in Germany where he married his wife Mary. In the fall of 1870 Fred, Mary and 2 of their children, Herman and Augusta, secured a homestead in Bellville township, section 4. A third child, Frederick Jr was born in Iowa. About 1877 he sold the homestead to James Nelson, father of Erasmus Nelson. He then bought the farm of Alonzo Cady in Section 24. In the spring of 1897 when Fred was 73 and Mary age 65, they left the farm and moved to Manson, Calhoun County. Son Herman married Louisa Weigert in 1888 (no relation), and lived in section 16 in Lake Township. Augusta married George Peterson in 1884 and they live in section 10, Bellville township. Fred JR married Maria Kelso (Kalso-Ed.) and they live on Fred's homestead.
Wendell, Peter - in the spring of 1871 homesteaded section 22 in Bellville township.
Peter was born April 7, 1842 the son of Peter and Caroline Wendell. Six months after his birth there was a terrible cholera epdemic in Cincinnatio, Ohio which killed both his parents. He has an elder brother still living in Ohio. Peter was raised by his Uncle John Rice, who moved to Iowa when Peter was 10.On August 2, 1862 in Guttenberg, he enlisted at the age of 18 for three years as a bmember of Company D, 27th Regiment Iowa Infantry. At the Battle of Town Creek he was severly wounded, the ball passing through his left lung, fracturing five ribs. He was honorably discharged at Memphis, Tennesee on May 25, 1865. On November 25, 1865 he married Amelia Munch. She was the widow of Christoff Seemans who has passed away soon after his return from the war. He has a fine farm. Peter and Amelia had seven children. Edward died in April, 1888 at age 19. In 1887 son William married Folena Schon and they removed to Fonda. From about 1890 to 1900 William and his brother George were partners in a meat market. William and Folena have five children-Harrison, Clarence, Gilroy, Pearl and Adelia. George married Lizzie Griffin in 1896. They reside in Fonda and have one child. Albert married Anna Wendell. They later moved to Marietta, Ohio. Lillie married Charles Kennedy, proprieter of a barber shop in Gilmore City. Ida is a teacher of high merit in the public schools of the county. Emma became Mrs Benjamin Kidd in i1898 and they live on a farm in Lake township.
Williamson, Andrew C - homesteaded in Section 12, which was also homesteaded by Ira G Vaughn and later homesteaded by Swan Peterson.
Settlers arriving in the 1880's
- Anderson, Peter - was born 10-17-1856 in Sweden. His father was Frank B Anderson, who later lived in Grant Township, Pocahontas County. He lived for 3 years with his father. About 1883 he purchased land in Section 7. He married in 1886. His wife was Christine Youngren, born 10-4-1862 in Sweden. They had seven children - Ida, Oscar, Elmer, Frederick, John, Nellie and May.
- Boog, John W
- Loats, Benjamin
- Peterson, George - was born in Denmark in 1843. He married Augusta Weigert daughter of Frederick (Fritz) Weigert. He came to the United States in 1883.
- Peterson, George J.O. and S.O.
- Reining, George
- Schuster, Frank W
Families mentioned 1880 and prior, but no specific date found
- Carlson, F - originally claimed land in Section 36 in 1868. He lost the claim and the land was later owned by Swan Peterson.
- Gill, Samuel - lived in Bellville township, section 18. On April 21, 1878 a tornado hit their home. He had a wife and two daughters. His wife died from injuries in the storm. It is noted they lived across from the residence of George Wallace.
- Markeson, Hans - had a wife, 2 sons and four daughters. One daughter married Christian Peterson.
They are listed on the 1880 census as follows:
- Hans age-54 born-Denmark Occupation-Farmer Parents born-Denmark
- Elizabeth age-50 born-Denmark Occupation-Housekeeper Parents born-Denmark
- Sena-daughter age-17 born-Denmark Occupation-Working in House
- Gusta-daughter age-14 born-Denmark
- Tilda-daughter age-9 born-Iowa
- Charlie-son age-21 born-Denmark Occupation-Farm Hand
- Kate Allas age-22 born-Canada Occupation-Teaching School Parents born-Ireland
- Murphy, Peter - see also Michael Burns/James Hagan. It is sais that the homestead lived on by James Hagan was the one originally entered by Peter Murphy. James entered his claim January, 1870, so Peter Murphy was in the township prior to that time.
- Oleson Alex. - owned land in section 26 adjoining that of James Bennett. He sold his land to the widow Sylvia Bennett between 1872 and 1876. It is not noted when he purchased the land or arrived in the county.
- Peterson, James F - also homesteaded Section 12, which had been owned by Ira G Vaughn and Andrew C Williamson. It was later owned by Swan Nelson.
- Peterson, Johanna, Mrs - homesteaded Section 36 from 1871 until about 1876. It was then purchased by Swan Peterson.
- Tappee, Isaac - attempted to homestead land later homesteaded by Joseph Strong. It was in section 34. (it was later owned by Swan Nelson)
Men eligible for military duty as of 1874
Here is a list of males residing in Bellville township who were eligible for military duty. These individuals were new in the county since the previous list was prepared.
||Bivans, L. S.
||Hallock, C. H.
Information transcribed, compiled and arranged by Tim Meyer, copyright 2003 - 2004