This township was first settled
by Mormons who were a part of the great exodus from Nauvoo. They made
claims and, after staying one year, nearly all sold out to Gentiles who
came after them. The first man to open a stage station between
Wheeler's Grove and Council Bluffs was a Mr. Gardner, and this was the
only one between the two points. He soon sold out to a Mr. Moore and
moved on with the Mormons to Salt Lake. In 1854, John Bratton bought
out Mr. Moore, and for three years longer, there was a stage route
through here, though a post office that had been kept here was
discontinued when Mr. Moore removed from this point. The first settler
that came with the intention of staying was Pleasant Taylor, but when
the stage route was changed, he followed it and established a station
farther north on the same stream that has been known ever since as
Taylor Station. John Bratton was the second permanent settler, a native
of Pennsylvania but came here from Ohio. He finally went to Silver City
in Mills County.
The first schoolhouse was at this station, it being a
log cabin with a turf roof, and the first teacher was Miss Maggie
Weirich of Council Bluffs. This was in 1857. In 1861 a frame
schoolhouse was erected, and also a church. In 1860, a Protestant
Methodist church was organized with seven members, without a regular
pastor. Jason Parker was the first Justice of the Peace. The first
marriage was between George E. Smith and Mrs. Clarrissa Wheeling.
first child born in the township was a son to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas
Wells. Mrs. Bratton attended the birth of the child. She followed the
profession of midwife for all that section of the country for years,
and her husband was a preacher. The first death of an adult was that of
Mrs. Margaret Piles in August 1857. An infant of hers died in July of
the same year, and both were buried near the station.
During the Pike's
Peak excitement, the station was a lively point; from 60 to 70 teams
would pass through daily.
In 1856, five hundred Mormon emigrants passed
through on the stage road with hand carts, not a single horse in the
entire outfit. They seemed to feel happy and not to realize the
terrible journey before them.
In 1878, W.H. Hartman of Glenwood, Mills
County, organized a branch of the Christian Church at the Pontius
Schoolhouse. Among its current day institutions are the Treynor Savings
Bank, two general stores, one furniture and implement house, one drug
store, one livery barn, and two saloons. Mayor, Ferdinand Schoening;
clerk, T.P. Carter; marshal, Fred Schrede, with six aldermen. Trustees,
Perry Kearney, Julius Strohbehn, and J.G. Moss; clerk, F.W. Ouren;
justices of the peace, Jurgen Jensen and Henry Parker; constables,
none; assessor, C.E. Springer. School Directors: Pleasant Valley -
President, F.M. Smith; secretary, Perry Kearney; treasurer, W.A.
Allensworth. Sucksdorf - President, F.H. Schultz; secretary, P.N.
Sucksdorf; treasurer, Jurgen Heesch. Silver Center - President, George
A. Stevens; secretary; Herman Schnepel; treasurer, August Dammrow. Lone
Star - President, John Trede; secretary, John Clark; treasurer, G.W.
Kauke. Valley - President, James T. Fox; secretary, I.H. Stevens;
treasurer, J.G. Moss. Living Springs - President, A.T. Rains;
secretary, F.W. Ouren; treasurer, Henry Anderson.