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Township Histories
History of Waveland 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

This township was originally called Walnut Creek, and was organized in 1856. The petition for its organization by a mistake was made to include what is now Grove and Center Townships to the west of it. This gave offense to the voters in these last townships, and at the election in 1856 they came in a mass to the polls, and at that time the boundaries were rectified in a proper application, and duly approved by the county authorities. In 1873, Wright and Waveland Townships were form of Walnut. Waveland is in the extreme southeast of the county, and adjoins Cass County on the one hand and Montgomery County on the other. The first birth in the township was William Black, born on the 4th of July, 1854. The first death was Zolphes Williams, in September, 1854. He was buried on the banks of the Nishnabotna River early in the morning. He and a child were the only ones interred in the burial ground in Section 14, Township 74. The first election was held in 1855, at which time the following persons were chosen to the township offices: Ed. Dean, John Wilson and William Mewhirter, Trustees; Frederick Mewhirter, Justice of the Peace; Frank Hostetter, Constable, and William McCartney, Assessor.

The present officers are: Clarkson Godfrey, D. K. Parker and C. M Potter, Trustees; Robert Wilson, Clerk; G. L. Mundorf and W. L. Cocklin, Justices; William Gray, Constable, and William Mewhirter, Assessor.

The present officers are: Clarkson Godfrey, D. K. Parker and C. M. Potter, Trustees; Robert Wilson, Clerk; G. L. Mundorf and W. L. Cocklin, Justices; William Gray, Constable, and William Mewhirter, Assessor.

The first marriage was that of Levi Smith and Miss Sara Wilson, in the fall of 1859.

The first mill of any kind built in the township was a saw-mill, constructed on the east side of the East Nishnabotna River in 1857 by a man named Davenport, who afterward moved it off. The second saw-mill was built by Isaac Bobb on the west bank of the same stream, on Section 13, in 1867. There are seven principal bridges in the township, two over the east Nishnabotna, and five over Walnut Creek, on the Walnut Creek and Wheeler's Grove road. There are two church organizations - the Methodist Episcopal and the Christian - but neither of them have edifices of their own, and the services are held in the public schoolhouses. The first school was taught by a Mrs. Warren in her own house, on Section 13, in 1857, and the second by Mary Ann Hackin, in an old log house in the same section, in 1859. The first public schoolhouse was erected in 1861. There are now eight excellent school buildings in the township. A post office was established at the Mewhirter bridge across the Nishnabotna River. Levi Persons was its second Postmaster, but the office has been discontinued. The first ten settlers in Waveland, and who came in 1854, 1855 and 1857, were Granville Pierson, who came from Monroe County in 1854; Joseph Pierson, who came at the same time and from the same county; W. P. Black came in the same year; Johnson Brandon arrived from Missouri in 1854; William and Frederick Mewhirter, brothers, from Ohio in the same year; George Boyer, from Pennsylvania, and Peter Cocklin and John Wilson from the same State in 1855, and John Flint from Illinois in 1857. All these settlers traveled the old Mormon trail, and built log cabins with turf roofs until they could provide better habitations. They were compelled to go to mill at Ironston, in cass County, or to Stutsman's Mill, near Macedonia. The name of the township was made to correspond with that of the post office then existing for the accommodation of the settlers.

There are two principal streams in the township, the East Nishnabotna, and Walnut Creek. There are about fifteen hundred acres of young timber and 1,000 acres of old timber in the township. The first bridge built was over Walnut Creek, on the Walnut Creek and Wheeler's Grove road. The first road laid out was the one leading from Lewis, in Cass County, to Sidney, in Fremont County.

Granville Pierson is a native of Kentucky, and was born July 14, 1827. His father, Robert Pierson, was a Virginian by birth, and died in 1843. Granville Pierson's mother was Nancy Rendler, of Boone County, Ky., and died in 1839. Both his parents died after removing to Indiana. Mr. Pierson was married in Kenton County, Ky., November, 1850, to Elizabeth Fray, who was born in Boone County, Ky., December 3, 1830. Her father, John Fray, was a Virginian. Pierson moved to Indiana, and from there to Polk County, Iowa, and to Waveland Township in 1854, where he has ever since resided, following the pursuit of a farmer. He was a soldier in Company I, of the Twenty-third Iowa Infantry, having enlisted in 1862, and was at the battles of Port Gibson, Jackson, Champion Hills, Black River Bridge and Milliken's Bend and the siege of Vicksburg. He was also at the attack upon Fort Esperanda, in Texas, and Spanish Fort, Mobile, and was mustered out of the service June 16, 1865. He is the father of ten children, namely, May Jane, George, Milton, Tabitha, Ida, now dead; Sophronia and Henry, twins; John, James and Emeline. In politics, he is an Independent.

A very distressing and tragic affair occurred in Waveland Township in August, 1876, resulting in the death of Dr. J. H. Hatton,, a physician residing a few miles from Waveland Post Office, in Cass County. Dr. Hatton practiced in Waveland Township, and about a year before that was the family physician of Frederick Mewhirter, one olf the oldest settler and the largest land-owner in the township. Hatton attended Mrs. Mewhirter in childbirth, and it was alleged by Mr. Mewhirter that Dr. Hatton in the treatment of his wife was guilty of malpractice, which resulted in permanent injury to the lady. A suit was brought for this alleged misconduct on the part of the physician in the courts of Cass County, and on some preliminary question the decision of the court was against Dr. Hatton. An appeal was taken to the Supreme Court. During the pendency of these proceedings, it was claimed that the treatment of the lady by the physician so preyed upon the mind of Mr. Mewhirter that his mental faculties became impaired to the extent of limiting his responsiblity for acts that would otherwise be criminal. Dr. Hatton and his father, an old man of seventy years of age,went to the post office at the Mewhirter bridge to visit a patient on Sunday afternoon, and after completing their errand they started to return with two horses and an open buggy. When ont he road opposite Mr. Mewhirter's residence, the latter came through the fence armed with a Henry rifle. Nothing was said as he took the track in front of the horses and fired at Dr. Hatton, strking him so that the ball passed through the liver and the kidneys. He fell forward on the knees of his father. Help was soon obtained, and he was taken home, where he lingered until the second Sunday, a week, and died. Mr. Mewhirter came to Council Bluffs and surrendered himself to Sheriff Doughty, and admitted to bail. When death ensued, he was taken into custody, a hearing had before Judge Reed, and committed to prison to await trial on the charge of murder in the first degree. This came on in the December term of the District Court at Council Bluffs. The Grand Jury indicted him for the highest grade of homicide, and he was put on his trial. District Attorney McJunkin and C. E. Richards, of Red Oak and John H. Keatley appeared and conducted the prosecution, and Montgomery & Scott conducted the defense. The burden of the latter was the insanity of the prisoner, growing out of the conduct of the deceased toward the prisoner's wife, the claim being made that he was a monomaniac, made so by brooding over the subject. After a long, tedious and well-conducted trial, the defendant was convicted of murder in the first degree. The highest penalty for the offense at that date was imprisonment in the penitentiary for life, and Judge Reed accordingly gave that sentence. An appeal was taken to the Supreme Court of the State, but the judgment of the court below was affirmed adn the sentence executed. A civil action was also brought for the wrongful killing, and a verdict and judgment obtained in the sum of $5,500.