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Township Histories
History of Macedonia 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

It will be remembered that on the 12th day of February 1853, steps were taken to divide Pottawattamie County into three townships. This was done at a special session of the county court, which was constituted of the county judge, T. Burdick, who held the office at that date and made necessary order, and S. T. CORG was the clerk of the court and made up the record of the transaction. The record so made states in substance that the former division of the county into election precincts be discontinued, and the county of Pottawattamie divided into three townships, viz., Macedonia, bounded on the north by the north line of the county, east by the east county line, south by the south county line, and west by the meridian or range line running north and south across the county between range 40 and 41. It will be seen that this created Macedonia Township with the same territory that now constitutes the twelve easterly townships or fully tw! o-fifths of the county, and the history of the present Macedonia properly begins at that date, although some incidents date previous to this.

The first settler was Thomas Jefferson RING. He was born in Massachusetts May 24, 1804. Came west and reached Louisiana, Missouri, in 1848, and came overland from there and arrived at old Macedonia May 1, 1848 in time to raise a crop of corn that year. In 1850, when the emigration to Salt Lake was at its height, the Botna was out of its banks for three months and caused great delay and suffering to those who were on their way west. Mr. RING had secured a lot of flour from Council Bluffs before the river rose and this he divided with those on the east side, and when this supply failed, they were compelled to resort to pounded corn.

The next settler after Mr. RING was one by the name of Jacob MYERS from Ohio, who built a saw mill and then a grist mill in connection with one HAWS at the old town of Macedonia. This mill was built in 1848 but was washed out in the great flood that followed its construction, and after this Mr. MYERS went to Michigan and was lost sight of. Previous to this, however, J. B. STUTSMAN, one of the first merchants of Council Bluffs, had bought a half interest in the mill, and Wm. MARTIN the other half, and in 1851 they erected a saw mill and in 1853 a grist mill, which was managed by Z. LOSH, an experienced miller, for a year and by others until another flood in 1861 which took the second mill out and the site was abandoned. But for a long time before and after the place was called Macedonia, it was called Stutsman's Mill. And it might be pleasant to the Macedonians to know that this same old time, generous, enterprising gentleman is at this time living at ! Harlan and that he carries his ninety years as lightly as most men of seventy. He also opened the first store. Another old timer that arrived about this time was a Mr. TUTTLE who afterward went on to Utah.

In 1852, a Mr. HANSHALDER bought the stock of STUTSMAN and conducted the business in the same building. The first school in the township was taught by Joseph LYMAN, when but a boy of sixteen or seventeen, of which we shall hear more, as he was one of the boys you can't lose. This school was taught in a rented building, there being no way to have one built by the public. A blacksmith named Henry ADAMS started a shop in 1862 and conducted it for two years and sold out to John McDERMOTT.

The first postmaster was Calvin A. BEEBE, who lived on the TOMPKINS farm, and it was kept here; and here the first election after the organization of the township was ordered to be held. FINK and WALKER had the contract to carry the mail between Des Moines and Council Bluffs, and there was a weekly service each way. As soon as events justified it, the Western Stage Co. put daily coaches on the route by way of Big Grove and continued until the Rock Island Railroad was built in 1869.

The first schoolhouse built at public expense was erected a little east of the old town, A. M. DENTON being the contractor. The finishing lumber was brought from Boonville by wagon. J. Z. LOSH came in as before stated and conducted Stutsman's mill a year, but in 1856 he discovered a good mill site a few miles above, and there he erected what was known for many years as Losh's mill. With the advent of the C.B.&Q. branch railroad, the new town of Carson sprang into existence, which will be noted under another head. That company commenced building a branch from Hastings on their main line, and they had it completed and trains running to a point three quarters of a mile east of the old town at the river on the Fourth of July 1880. Here a new town was laid out and also called Macedonia. This company consisted of Hon. B. F. CLAYTON, and R. H. WOODMANCY of macedonia, T. J. EVANS of Council Bluffs, and T. J. PATTEE, general manager of the C.B.! &Q. Railroad.

The first store erected in the new town was by R. H. WOODMANCY, the first carpenter shop by J. T. BIRD, and the blacksmith shop by Henry KEELER and Co., and a new schoolhouse was built the following season. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church organized a society as early as 1871, under the auspices of the Rev. J. W. CARTER. From the date of its organization until 1880, services were held in the schoolhouse in old Macedonia, but in the fall of the latter year, they erected a neat edifice in the new town at a cost of $2,000 without incurring any debt.

The Methodist Society that was organized under the direction of Rev. Thomas H. SMITH was reorganized in 1873 under the supervision of Rev. Henry DeLONG. When the new town was established, they sold their house and built a church costing $3,000.

The first child born in the new town was in September 1880 to Mr. and Mrs. William DYE, and the first death was that of Mrs. Emma MTICHELL in the same month. The first marriage ceremony was performed by Rev. J. W. CARTER in the marriage of Mr. Charles BEESLEY and Miss Ora LOWE in August 1881.

An Odd Fellows lodge was established on the fourth of February 1881, with W. DYE, E. L. COOK, A. M. COLE, E. A. VANVRANKEN, A. S. STAGGERS, AND J.S. RAINBOW as charter members, and the officers installed at the organization were: W. DYE, N.G.; A. M. COLE, V.G.; E. L. COOK, Secretary, and E. A. VANVRANKEN, Treasurer. The first hotel was the Macedonia House and was opened by Geo. H. KALER.

The postoffice was removed from old to new Macedonia, and Ohio KNOX was made postmaster and through his efforts it was declared a money order office. In 1880, MECKELIVERT & YOUNG erected a steam elevator, and during the first season managed two hundred and fifty thousand bushels and in 1881 over five hundred carloads of grain.

A new HOWE truss bridge was erected across the Botna at the old town in 1881. A joint stock company was organized in 1880 to conduct a banking business under the laws of Iowa, and known as the Macedonia Bank, the shareholders being George MECKELIVERT, Richard MECKELIVERT, D. L. HINSHIMER of Glenwood, and William DYE of Macedonia. The Masonic fraternity established themselves in the town shortly after it was laid out, Ruba Lodge being organized in the winter of 1881, with a membership of seventeen. John CRAIG was made the first worshipful master; J. M. KELLEY, the first senior warden; D. L. BULLA, the first junior warden; Ohio KNOX, secretary; B. F. CLAYTON, treasurer; S. A. JONES, senior deacon; D. W. BOMFF, junior deacon; J. W. CARTER, chaplain, and A. B. RAYBURN, tyler.

The most notable event in the early days was the great fire, which, in March 1882, destroyed the main portion of the town, but the buildings destroyed were rapidly replaced. The terrible cyclone that wrought destruction in Grove Township, passed near old Macedonia and was plainly seen from there as it passed on towards Wheeler's Grove.

Long before this, an occurrence happened that should not be omitted. It appears that in 1859, at a shooting match into which whiskey entered pretty largely, a young man named Alf PIERCE lost his life. At the time a man named BATCHELOR kept a store where the old town still stands, and with his family lived in rooms in the rear of the store. The merchant sold whiskey to the crowd during the match, but towards evening the boys getting boisterous, the merchant closed the store and retired to the back rooms with his little family. After a while, some of the young men wanted more shiskey, and, the front being closed, they went around to the rear and entered, at the same time demanding more liquor, and on being refused, became abusive, whereupon BATCHELOR took down his gun and shot one of them named Alf PIERCE dead. It caused great excitement and during the trial that followed, nearly the entire population of the township were present. Mr. BATCHE! LOR was defended by Judge A. V. LARIMER and D. W. PRICE. The latter, in the closing argument, made the effort of his life, and for nearly a half century it has had no equal at the Pottawattamie County bar, and the verdict was Not Guilty.

During the nearly half century that has intervened, great changes have occurred here as well as elsewhere. The railroad has invaded this quiet nook, a young city as a natural result has sprung into existence, supplanting the old village, while the almost boundless prairies have been transformed into as fine farms as can be found anywhere. So far, the events related applied to the township, which has been reduced to twenty-four sections, by cutting off twelve in forming the township of Carson.

The town of Macedonia was incorporated in 1892 with the following officers: Mayor, J. M. KELLEY; recorder, S. H. HOPKINS; marshal and street commissioner, Wm. MARSHALL; treasurer, T. I. CLARK; countil, E. E. SMITH, W. DYE, T.J. YOUNG, E. H. SEMPEL, E. B. LANE, and A. I. MITCHELL, MD. At this writing, it has one bank, one hotel, two general stores, one restaurant, one hardware and furniture store, two drug stores, one elevator, one implement house, one livery stable, one lumber yard, one brick yard, one meat market, two blacksmith shops.

The Methodists and Presbyterians each have churches. It has a graded school with principal and four assistants. The fraternal orders are represented by one Masonic Lodge, one of Odd Fellows, one of Modern Woodmen and Royal Neighbors. It has also a neat opera house and a newspaper, the Botna Valley News, one milliner and dressmaking establishment, and two barber shops.

The present city administration is as follows: Mayor, J. C. RAYBURN; recorder, H. K. DYE; marshal, W. L. HOBSON; aldermen, A. M. MILLER, Grant PILLING, Milton OSLER, H.A. SMITH, J. M. KELLEY and T. C. NICKEY. The town, according to the census of 1905, had one hundred and nineteen persons of school age, of which sixty-four were males and fifty-five females. The township, exclusive of the town of Macedonia, had males, ninety-five, females, eighty-eight. The Board of Directors are E. A.. SEABERG, president; G. T. CLAYTON, secretary; and W. J. HAMILTON, treasurer.

The township officers are as follows: Trustees, N. L. HOBSON, John R. MAYNES, and A. C. LEWIS; clerk, Thos. I. CLARK; constables, W. L. HOBSON, and Abe BRANDEN; assessor, J. M. COONS.

Although this is one of the smallest townships, it possesses as good soil as can be found on earth, with streams that are utilized for power, fair groves of timber, and quarries of stone, and is occupied by as progressive and up-to-date people as can be found anywhere.