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Township Histories
History of Hardin 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

Hardin Township was organized in 1869. Previous to this it was a part of Kane. It is a full congressional township and is mostly high rolling prairie but has some groves of natural timber. This township is named in honor of Richard Hardin. He came to Council Bluffs with his father, Davis HARDIN and family in 1838 when a boy. That being the first white family this far up the Missouri. The Hardins were typical Kentuckians; tall, heavy boned, fond of hunting, generous and liberal in all their views. Davis, the father, was sent to take charge of the Pottawattamies, as will be more fully treated in the part of this history pertaining to Council Bluffs. Keg Creek, Little Keg, and Little Silver Creeks are the principal streams, and the township is watered by springs.

The first permanent settler was Mr. Reece D. PRICE, who came from Wales in 1849 and settled with a number of Mormon families. There were one cluster of thirteen log huts in one camp, and another of eleven. In the summer of 1850, these went on to Utah and left the family of Mr. Price entirely alone. The rich lands, of which none are better, soon attracted settlers and by 1858 quite a number of first class citizens had located here. Among them were Mrs. PERRY and family, R. C. THOMAS and family, and Mr. W. K. EAMES from Vermont, in 1857, and from this time on they continued to arrive, and soon a school was started. The first ever taught in the township was by Mr. Lorenzo BURR in 1857. He was employed by Mr. Reece D. Price, and the school was in a log cabin belonging to him. The first bridges built were over Keg Creek at the Hardin stage station and Weasel Run. Both are built of logs. The first road was the old stage road, running from Des Moines to Council Bluffs, and the Western Stage Co. did a great business until the coming of the railroads.

The Methodists organized a little society as early as 1880, also quite a large Sunday school. The first schoolhouse built by the township was on section 18, near the residence of Mr. James WILD. The first to teach in the new building was an English priest by the name of MIDDLETON. From this modest beginning, the schools had increased to the extent that in 1881 there were five subdistricts. Number of teachers, males, two, females, seven. Salary per month, both sexes, $30; number of pupils, one hundred and two, females, eighty-two. Schoolhouses, frame, four; brick, one; value $1,500. Since 1881, these have increased to nine in 1905 with three hundred and six persons, including those of the new town of McClelland, between the ages of five and twenty-one years.

The Chicago & Great Western Railroad is the only one that passes through this township. It was completed in 1903, and immediately the new town of McClelland sprang into existence and at this writing, there are a lumber yard, depot buildings, three general stores, one drug store, one implement and hardware store, two saloons, a livery stable, and blacksmith shop and one elevator.

The Methodists have organized a church and erected a neat house of worship. Mr. Pete CRAMER is engaged in buying and shipping stock. The County Infirmary is also located here under the superintendance of O. L. BARRETT.

Among those who, by industry and integrity, have made themselves prominent are D. F. DRYDEN and Elias QUICK, the former being a farmer and large stock raiser. He was for a time a member of the board of supervisors and is an ex-soldier in the Civil War. The latter started a store in 1883 and a postoffice was established at his store in 1884 and named Quick postoffice.

Few merchants have been as fortunate as he. Starting in with a moderate stock, every one of the twenty-three years showed an increase in his business and profits. This was due largely to his strict attention to business and partly from the fact that no better class of people can be found than those with which he is surrounded, and both these gentlemen have become wealthy and built elegant homes in the city, where they now make their homes, letting their boys continue the business.

There are two churches in the township, one being the Methodist, called Mount Hope, the other being Presbyterian.

A Masonic lodge and Eastern Star were organized simultaneously in 1900 and a lodge of Modern Brotherhood in 1898, also a lodge of Modern Woodmen at Armour Grange in 1904.

No community, however well ordered, seems to be exempt from trouble. It appears that a young man named John EMERINE had married a daughter of Mr. W. K. EAMES. EMERINE became so dissipated that his wife obtained a divorce and returned to her father's home. They had one child, and Emerine would insist on coming to see the child and on being ordered away by the father, shot him but only wounded him slightly. On coming again, young EAMES shot him, only wounding him, after which he left and was gone some time and again returned, and being seen around the premises a younger son of Mr. EAMES shot him again, this time proving fatal. There was no indictment.

The present township officers are: J. M. UNDERWOOD, Eugene STEEPFELL, and F. B. CHAMBERS, township trustees and M. W. DAVIS, clerk; A. F. MAMMEN and A. K. CHAMBERS, justices of the peace; J. O. CHAMBERS, constable and H. R. SMITH, assessor.

The present board of education is composed as follows: President J. W. WILD; secretary J. A. PRICE; treasurer, George QUICK.