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Pocahontas County, IA
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Bellville Township

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

Settlers arriving in the 1870's


  • 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.
  • Scherf, Peter
  • 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.
  • Sinnott, James
  • 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

    Families mentioned 1880 and prior, but no specific date found

    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.

  • Anderson, August Beneke, D Beneke, Rudolph Bivans, L. S. Burgeson, Abraham
    Cady, J Christmas, John Ellison, P Elsen, Henry Elsen, Gerd
    Elsen, Charles Geddes, Alexander Gill, S.H. Hallock, C. H. Himan, A.
    Hogan, J. Larson, G. Larson, John Loats, A.G. Lundgren, C.P.
    McAuliff, M McAuliff, J McAlpin, M McGrath, M Miller, G
    Peterson, C Quinn, Patrick Ragan, D Reedland, A Short, E
    Smorkovski, Anton Stickelberg, C Stickelberg, A Zinn, A

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    Information transcribed, compiled and arranged by Tim Meyer, copyright 2003 - 2004