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Township Histories
History of Boomer Township
 Townships  Formed
  Belknap 1872
Boomer 1860
Carson 1882
Center 1860
Crescent 1857
Garner 1877
Grove 1858
Hardin 1870
Hazel Dell 1872
James 1860
Kane 1853
Keg Creek 1874
Knox 1857
Layton 1873
Lewis 1878
Lincoln 1875
Macedonia 1855
Minden 1877
Neola 1872
Norwalk 1872
Pleasant 1873
Rockford 1855
Silver Creek 1860
Valley 1879
Washington 1873
Waveland 1873
Wright 1872
York 1861

The order to constitute Boomer was made June 8, 1858. It formerly was a part of Rockford. It is a full congressional township, being bounded on the north by Harrison County, east by Neola, south by Hazel Dell, and west by Rockford Townships.

The first election under the new organization was held on the 12th of October 1869, at the house of Samuel BATEMAN and township officers were chosen. There were nineteen votes cast, of which eighteen were democratic and one republican. This one was that of Z. REMMINGTON, referred to in part of the history of Neola. The first township officers chosen were Samuel DIGGLE, Wm. FOUTS, and Joseph MOHAT, as trustees; Henry GITTINGS, clerk; and Samuel BATEMAN SR. and Joseph BARDSLEY, justices of the peace. There is no record of constables having been elected.

The first settler was Lee BYBEE, a Mormon, who, with a number of families, established a camp and built cabins as was their custom during their temporary sojourn while enroute from Nauvoo to Salt Lake. In two or three years, these moved on and their camping ground was later included in the farms of L.S. AXTELL and George DRAKE. The names of the first births and deaths are not known, but the first wedding was a double one, the parties in one being William McKEOWN and Miss Eliza Jane HALL, and in the other Ezekiel CHEENY and Miss Lucy HARDY. This was in 1848. The latter couple subsequently went on to Utah and were lost sight of.

The first school opened was in Bybee's camp in the winter of 1847-8. J. L. DEFOREST was the teacher, who afterward died in Harrison County. The persons most active in securing the organization were Judge HALL and I. M. SIGLER. The latter being the strongest kind of Democrat, and something of a wag, proposed the name of Bloomer as a joke on D. C. BLOOMER, who was equally as strong a Republican. But Judge SHERMAN spoiled the fun by leaving out the "l" making it Boomer, which was adopted. The first highway laid out was what is known as the Harris Grove and Council Bluffs road, laid out by Edward LATHAM, as commissioner, in 1853, and the first bridge a wooden one across the North Pigeon near William McKEOWN's.

Nearly all the first settlers were English and accustomed to reaping with the sickle. Ike SIGLER had the only grain cradle, which was as much a wonder to them as the McCormick reaper to us a half century ago. The first fanning mill was owned by Robert KENT and he charged his neighbors toll for using it. I. M. SIGLER was, for many years, a prominent citizen. He died about 1888 in Nebraska from the effects of a fall, and his remains were brought home for interment. He was a soldier of the Mexican War and a native of Indiana.

Mr. L. S. AXTELL has always been a highly useful citizen, was a school teacher in Council Bluffs in the early days, where he married a Miss WADE; has represented Pottawattamie County in the Legislature and was, for several years, county superintendent of schools.

Boomer has been at a disadvantage compared with her neighbors in having neither a railroad nor town. It has as good soil, however, as the sun shines upon, well adapted to grain or stock raising. It also has groves of native timber that have been a wonderful help to the settlers. The township officers at this writing (1907) are C. M. AXTELL, J. H. PAGE, and G. H. DARRINGTON, trustees; and Nels CHRISTIANSON, clerk; J. M. AXTELL and Geo. H. DARRINGTON, justices of the peace; C. L. THOMAS, assessor; and G. F. PAGE and Wm. WRIGHT, constables. The school board consisted of Joseph MACKLAND, president; secretary, Geo. H. DARRINGTON; treasurer, Lewis PETERS. Pay of teachers, first grade $40; second, $35 per month, respectively. According to state census of 1905, there were four hundred of school age in the township, of which two hundred and twenty were males and one hundred and eighty were females.