Scott Co, Iowa USGenWeb Project


"From History of Scott County, Iowa 1882 Chicago:  Interstate Publishing Co."

Surnames:  Pease, Grafford, Warren, Glynn, Daly, Norris, Arble, Copper, Alvord, Fish, Brownlie, Brace, Stimpson, Breckenridge, Causland, Morris, Lo (Indian), Pinneo, Woods, Harmer, Holland, Baughman, McCausland, Sayder, Orrendorf, McBride, Hayes, Wing, Barr, Martin, Stearns, Miller, Reddick, Garber, Grease and Richardson.

Butler Township comprises 36 sections in the northeast part of Scott County, bounded on the east by Princeton Township, on the south by Lincoln, on the west by Winfield and on the north by the Wapsipinecon River.  It was first named Ben Bulter, but by act of the Board of Supervisors in 1866, the prefix "Ben" was dropped.

The first entry of land in the township was in 1836, when Henry Harvey Pease, in partnership with John D. Grafford, entered 500 acres of land on section 19, in what is known as Walnut Grove.  Alphouso Warren had previously "blazed" the trees on this tract, and Messrs. Pease and Grafford paid him $100 to relinquish the interest thus acquired in the land.

First Settlers

Mr. Pease built the first cabin in the township in 1838; lived two years in Dubuque after entering his claim.  He still lives on the spot where this cabin was erected.  The original structure is still standing, and forms a part of his present residence.  Mr. Pease was born Oct. 29, 1794, at Middlefield, Hampshire Co., Mass.  He removed in an early day to New York, thence to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and to Dubuque, Ia., in 1832, where he served as deputy sheriff, constable, etc., besides being engaged in mercantile pursuits.

Alphenso Warren built the next cabin, in the fall of 1838, on section 20, a little below the present residence of Mr. Thos. Glynn.  Mr. Warren came from New York, and opened and operated the celebrated grindstone quarry in this township.  He left this county some 35 years since.  Last summer he visited the "old stamping ground," and talked over the incidents of early life here with the few remaining old settlers, returning to Kansas, his present home.

George Daly, a native of Ohio, came from Moline, Ill., in 1839, and built a saw and flour mill on section 17, on what was then named Daly's Creek.  Much of the lumber of Mr. Pease's first barn was here sawed.  Mr. Daly afterward moved to Canton, Jackson Co.; and subsequently died in Plymouth County.

Aaron B. Norris was also an early settler, and move to Missouri.

First Things

The first birth in the township occurred sept. 1, 1839 - Clinton W. Pease, son of H. H. Pease.

The first marriage was between George Daly and Rebecca Arble, in the spring of 1839.  Miss Arble had recently arrived from Pennsylavia, in company with Mr. Cooper, father of Michael Cooper.

The first death was that of Delos Warren, brother of Alphonso Warren.

The first school was taught in the south end of an old double log house in Walnut Grove, near the site of the present school-house, in 1846, by Miss Alice Alvord, daughter of Whiten Alvord and niece of Mrs. A. M. Fish.

The first religious services were held in 1838, at the residence of Mr. Pease, and were conducted by James and Alexander Brownlie, Presbyterians.  A Methodist circuit rider named Brace was wont to stop at the place, the only one within 50 miles where corn was to be had for his horse.  Another, Father Stimpson, allured by former experiences, would ride 15 miles through storm and sleet to procure here a cup of tea.  The good father had a refined taste, and on occasions like this not only preached the word and advocated resignation, humility, etc., but ofttimes indulged in lengthy discussions on the question of "corn coffee vs. 'boughten' tea."

Geo. Daly built the first saw and flour mill in 1839.  It had one run of stone, and was situated on section 17.

Col. Breckenridge, from Pennsylvania, in an early day entered about 7,000 acres of wild land in the northeastern part of this township, and enclosed the entire tract with one fence.  It is related that in breaking, his teams would start from a point where J. C. M. Causland now lives, and plow a continuous furrow to the Wapsie, a distance of three miles, two round trips a day being considered good work.

The first school-house was a log structure and was built in 1850 on section 18.

An amusing incident, illustrating the trials and disappointments of early life here, is related by Mr. Morris, which we give in his own words.  speaking of the marriage of Mr. Daly and Miss Arble in 1839 he says:  "This feat was accomplished after many trials and tribulations had been undergone, arising mainly from the inappropriativeness of poor Lo, the wandering red man.  Pease, Daly, et al, had oftentimes had occasion to congratulate themselves and each otherupon the honesty, probity and other old-time characteristics of their neighbors, and had laughed themselves into paroxysms of glee over the thought that locks and bars and all such were for those who needed them; when lo! a change came over the spirit of their dream.  When the poor Indian, of untutored mind, had been incautiously left without the realms of their reckoning, he, or they (for there was a brace of them), had felt the slight to such a degree as to so cautiously appear upon the scene, so quietly operate, and silently disappear as to prove, even in these pioneer days, that "the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft a'glee."  Pease's Guinea gold watch was gone, his riding bridle, and enough else to vex his soul.  And Daly - his wedding beaver hat was gone; his wedding suit was gone; and, alas! too, was gone the money he had saved for a license fee for the minister who was to tie the Gordian knot, and for part payment for sewing upon these same wedding garments, justly due to Miss Lydia Pinneo, a sister of Madison Pinneo, who had in her kind womanly heart so efficiently aided him in his so landable and hazardous undertaking.  And with these were gone, too, the good motherly hens, brooding upon nests so soon to reward their maternal care.  His spoons were gone; his knives ditto, and truly our hero, for he was a hero, had fallen upon troublous times.  Think of it, ye  young men and maidens; sympatize with this heartbroken young man while your historian leaves him prostrate in the ashes of his dead hopes and hastens after the gaunt authors of his woe.  In impartial mood our Indians wended their devious way to the house of Pease, and in the quiet, restful hours of slumber, awaked his household in their ill-timed efforts to kindle a blaze upon his hearth.  "Ugh! me welly cold," and he bade them bring in some logs and warm their beauteous anatomies.  "Ugh! me welly hungry," and he fed them upon the viands then and there in plenteous vogue.  "Ugh! me welly sleepy," and he bade them roll their glorious frames, bedecked in all their gorgeous panoply of blanket, paint, buckskin, feathers, beads, etc., at length before the hearth and sleep the sleep of the just.  And the Pease household accepted the advice of its head, and slumbered as do the just and upright; and it happening to be on a Sabbath morn they indulged then as we of later day times do - in too much of slumber of the just and upright.  This fault, if such, cannot be laid upon their visitors, the Indians, who, in praise be it said, were up betimes or perhaps a little previous, and fearing to awake their host, had silently stolen away a Guinea gold watch, a riding bridle, and such else as to vex the household of Pease.  And then there was a wild hurrying to and fro.  Norris rode to the raging Wapsie where Bowen's ferry did its roaring tide bespan, and earnestly be sought its Charon of tidings of the truant twain.  Daly - but we left him prostrare, etc., and our veracions intermant saith now further of him; and Pease, he rode to the hamlet of Davenport thence to Long Grove, Allen's Grove and Little Walnut Grove, where he heard of our Indians, one of whom was bedecked in wedding raiment, betopped with wedding beaver hat, and bejeweled with Buinea gold watch, all of which finery he hastened  to barter to a man named Woods, for divers quantities of calico goods, buttons, trinkets, etc., to the value of $9.  And Pease overtook the Indians, and after some parley betook unto himself the riding bridle, the spoons and the knives, and was of course properly rejoiced thereat.  Upon our man woods he found the beaver wedding hat, plowing corn with its new-found owner, and to him he was also indebted for restoration of the wedding suit upon the just consideration of $7 lawful money.  And Daly, hero and Phoenix that he was, straightway arose from the ashes aforesaid, donned his marriage raiment, his wedding beaver hat - both tried and not found wanting - and joyfully led to the Hymen's alter his blushing bride, the fair Becky Arble.


There are two church buildings and societies in the township, that of the Mt. Joy M. E. church and the Presbyterian church.  The M. E. church building was erected in 1861, and is about 32 x 42 feet, located on section 30.  Its pastor was S. H. Harmer.  At present it is supplied by Rev. Mr. Holland, who preaches every two weeks.  A sunday-school is conducted during the summer months.  The present trustees are Geo. Baughman, T. W. McCausland, John Snyder, Wm. Arnold and Morgan Orrendorf.  The Presbyterian church is located on section 35, and was built in 1868, about 32 x 40 feet in size.  It is known as Mount Union Church.  Mr. McBride was first pastor; at present Rev. Mr. Hayes supplies the pulpit every two weeks.


There are nine sub-districts in Butler Township, each having a good frame school-house, the aggregate value of which is estimated at $9,800.  There are 340 persons in the township between five and 21 years of age.


Henry W. Pease was the first postmaster, and held the office for over 25 consecutive years.  The office was always at his residence, and many incidents are told by Mr. Pease of the trials of old pioneers who were obliged to travel many miles for their mail, and ofttimes would be overtaken by dark, and be obliged to make his home their resting place for the night.  In 1867 Mr. Wing was appointed, and since that time it has changed hands many times, and was finally moved to Long Grove.  For nearly 10 years there was no postoffice in the township, the last mentioned place and Ed Witt, in Clinton County, being the principal offices or the citizens of Butler.  A little over a year since a mail route was established between Long Grove and Princeton, and an office  was then located in Walnut Grove, known as Barwood, with Mr. Samuel Barr as psotmaster, who is the present incumbent.


The only railroad in the township is a branch of the B., C. R. & N., now in process of construction, which enters on section 12, and running west leaves the township on section 7.  A station is to be located on the farm of G. W. Martin, on section 7, as yet unnamed.  Another station is to be located in the eastern part of the town, to be called McCausland.  Work is to be resumed on the road soon, and it is expected to be completed from Clinton to Iowa City this fall (1882).


Butler has furnished three representatives in the State Legislature:  Mr. Wing, two terms; Mr. Stearns, one term; and Mr. Miller, who is still a member of that body, five terms.

Elections and Present Officers

The township of Butler was organized in 1865, and the first election for town officers was held Oct. 8, of that year.  Mr. Wing, since deceased, was the first supervisor; Levi J. Reddick, clerk; Duren Stearns, assessor; Ernst Miller, justice of the peace.  The present officers are:  Trustees, Geo. Baughman, Harry Garber and Hans Grease; Assessor, Samuel Morris; Clerk, Wm. Martin; Justices of the Peace, S. J. Morris, Henry Garber; Constable, Louis Fish; T. W. McCausland of Butler, is a member of the County Board of Supervisors.  There are no villages in Butler Township, no stores and but one saloon.  The nearest general merchandise store is at Long Grove, in Winfield Township, kept by Dr. Richardson.  The principal trading points for the people of this section are Davenport, 10 miles from the southern boundary of the township; DeWitt, in Clinton County, about four miles from the "Wapsie," or northern boundary, and Princeton, in Princeton Township, six miles from the eastern boundary.