This territory comprises all of Congressional township 86 north, range 15, west of the fifth principal meridian. The surface is quite rolling, with many deep ravines in the southern part. The soil is a rick, dark loam, inclined to sandiness, in places. The township is well watered. Twelve Mile creek rises on section 18, and flowing through sections 8,9,10,15,14,23 and 24, makes exit at the northeast corner of section 25. Given creek enters the township on section 1, and running in a southerly direction through sections 12 and 13, makes confluence with Twelve Mile creek on section 24. Four Mile creek enters on section 30, and running in a southeasterly direction through section 29,28 and 23, leaves the township on the southwest quarter of section 34. Along these streams there are rich bottom lands. There is but little timber in the township. "Five Mile Grove," on section 23, originally contained about eighty acres, consisting of oak, cherry and poplar mainly, but in an early day this was mostly cut off. It remains at present about its original size and is covered with a thrifty growth of young timber. There is also a small grove on the southwest quarter of section 32. This is all the native timber in the township.
The township is mostly settled by a class of people born in Scotland or of Scotch extraction. They are an industrious, enterprising class of citizens, having good farms, comfortable homes, and well improved lands.
The Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northwestern railroad crosses this township, entering on the northeast corner of section 25, running thence northwest through section 24, and traversing the west half of sections 13 and 12, leaves from section 2.
The first persons to settle in this township were Conklin and Cornelius Gay. They came in 1855 and located on section 23, where they built a small cabin and remained until 1857, when they removed to Buckingham township, where Cornelius died in 1865. Conklin, with the family of Cornelius, are now residents of Humbolt county.
The next to arrive in the township was Evander Murdock, who arrived in 1857, and settled on the southeast quarter of section 33. He was from new York State, was a married man and their son Clarence was the first white child born in the township. They now live at Cedar Falls.The
The next settler was Jasper H. Scott, who came with his family in 1859, and built his cabin on the northeast corner of the northwest quarter of section 36, where he still resides.
In 1850, David Heath and Lorenzo Hall arrived and lived in the house formerly occupied by Olleslauger and Butler, on section 23. They remained about seven years when they removed to Kansas, where Heath was shot by his step-son. Hall now lives in Wright county.
In 1858, John Fleming, from Pennsylvania, purchased a tract of 400 acres of land. He was never an actual resident, but improved his farm and took an actual interest in church and township affairs. He died here May 25, 1868.
In 1861, William and Walter Kline came; the former finally settled on section 29, where he yet resides, the latter settled on section 34, and is still living in the township. Andrew Dodd came the same year and settled on section 34, where he still remains.
William Kline is a Pennsylvanian by birth, as were also his parents. They had nine children; William being the eldest, born October, 1826. When he was sixteen years of age his parents emigrated to the then now country of Ohio, settling in Wayne county, here they engaged in farming. Here William assisted his father until attaining his majority, and at this time entered a mill to learn the miller's trade. After mastering this trade, he leased a mill, and getting married commenced business for himself. He remained in his business until 1853, when he engaged in farming for one year. In 1845, he removed to Johnson county, Iowa, and engaged in farming until 1861, then came to tama county, locatnig in Crystal township, where he remained until March, 1865, at which time he located on his present farm on section 29, Grant township. Mr. Kline takes an active interest in educational matters both in the township and his own district, and on the organization of the township was elected a member of the first School Board. At this election he was also given the office of Justice of the Peace, which office he still holds, and has held since his first election, with the exception of one year. August 22, 1850, Mr. Kline was joined in wedlock with Miss Sarah Ellen McVicker, born in Waynt county, Ohio, in 1829. Her parents moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio in 1826. Mr. and Mrs. Kline have had nine children: John, Catherine Ann, William Penn, Virgil A., Byron C., Jane Adaline, Agnes A., Ida Belle and Mary Estella.
Walter Kline was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, August 12, 1829. When twelve years of age he removed to wayne county, Ohio, where he grew to manhood and received a common school education. In 1853, he came to Iowa, first stopping in Johnson county and afterwards going to Muscatine and other places in the State. In 1861 he came to Tama county where he has since resided. In 1864, on the 27th of October, he was married to Mrs. Elizabeth Eldridge, a native of Franklin county, Ohio. She was the widow of Ely Eldridge to whom she was married in 1861, in Crystal township, by Rev. david Donaldson, of the M. E. Church. The fruit of this union was one child-Henry E. September 15, 1861, Mr Eldrige, through patriotism, enlisted in the 28th Iowa Infantry, serving until his death on June 30, 1862. Mr. and Mrs. Kline are parents of six children, Clara M. and Amra J., (twins), Ely L., John W., Wesley S., and Majory E. Mrs Kline is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which she joined in 1860.
In 1864 L. P. Dinsdale arrived and selected a farm on section 24. He is still living in the township.
The settlement of this township was not very rapid. The next year, 1865, the Whannell family came and settled in this neighborhood, mostly in Crystal township. Thompson Weir was also one of the settlers of this year.
Robert Whannell is a son of John and Margaret (Kelley) Whannell, who were natives of Scotland. They came to America in 1857, and settled in Knox county, Illinois. His father died at that place July 29, 1864, from the effects of an injury received at Dixon, Illinois, while returning from a trip to Iowa. The family consisted of the parents and five children,-Peter, now a resident of Crystal township; Thomas also living in that township; Jane, deceased; John and Robert. The two latter named are residents of Grant township In 1865, the mother, with Thomas, John and Robert, removed to Tamt county, settling in Crystal township, where Peter had preceded them; she made her home with her children until her death on Jone 29, 1869. Robert was boen in Scotland on the first of March, 1842, and came with his parents to the United States. He was reared on the farm and has since made farming his business with good success. His education was acquired in the common schools of Scotland and Illinois. He came to Iowa, as above stated, with his mother and settled in Crystal township where he remained until 1873, when he moved uon the land where he still resides in grant, which he had previously purchased. Politicially, Mr. Whannell is an advocate of Republican principles, and has held various local offices. On the 23d of January, 1873, he was married to Miss Jane Wilson, a native of Connecticut, born December 20, 1847. She is of Scotch extraction, her parents, West and Margaret (Dryman) Wilson being natives of Scotland. They came to the United States in July, 1846, and settled in Connecticut where they remained until April, a856, when they removed to Tama county, Iowa, and located in Crystal township. Here the mother died in March, 1860, and the father, who has since married again, is still a resident of the township named. The result of the first marriage was nine children. Mr. and Mrs Whannell are the parents of one child, Westina Maggie. They are members in good standing of the United Presbyterian Church, and are highly respected and esteemed by all who know them. John Whannell is one of the enterprising and thrifty farmers of Grant township. He was born in the parish of Colmonel, Ayrshire, Scotland, August 4, 1839. In 1857 he came with his father's family to Knox county, Illinois, where they engaged in farming. Here John grew to manhood, receiving a common school education. On August 5, 1862, he enlisted in Company I, 102d Illinois Infantry,his captain being Edwin H. Conger, the present State Treasurer of Iowa. With his regiment he took part in many of the hard battles ofthe way, including Ressace, Peach Tree Creek, Kenesaw Mountain and New Hope Church, South Carolina, where he was slightly wounded. He was also with Sherman on his successful march to the sea, and at the grand review at Washington, where he received his discharge dated June 6, 1865, and was mustered out in Chicago. He then returned to his home, and in July came to Tama county, settling in Crystal township, where he engaged in farming with his brothers' Peter, Thomas and Robert. He was married November 5, 1870, to Miss Ann Preston, a native of England, born August 12, 1847. When five years of age her parents emigrated to Canada, and her mother died a few years later. Her father died when she was fifteen, and at the age of seventeen she came to Tama county, Iowa. In May, 1871, Mr. Whannell removed with his family to their present home, on section 31, Grant township. His farm contains 240 acres under a good state of cultivation. Mr. and Mrs. Whannell are respected members of the Amity congregation of the United Presbyterian Church. Their children are: William J., Margaret J., James K., Elizabeth A., Robert C. and Thomas Garfield. thompson Weir is a native of Renfrewshire, Scotland, born in 1820. In 1854, he came to New York city, thence to Connecticut, and in the spring of 1855, went to Chicago, where he remained until 1865, when he came to Tama county, and has since been one of her most respected citizens. In 1869, he removed to his present home on section 32, Grand township. His wife was formerly Miss Margaret Sloss. She is a native of Ayrshire, Scotland.
Andrew Dodd was a settler of 1866, and is one of the representative men of Grant township. He was born in Aryshire, Scotland, in 1816. His father was a native of Cumberland, England, and when a young man went to Scotland, where he was married to Mary Wright, a native of Wigtownshire. They then engaged in farming, making Scotland their home until their death, the father dying in 1857, aged seventy-two years; the mother in April, 1882, at the advanced age of eighty-six. They reared a family of eleven children, Andrew being their second. He grew to manhood in his native shire, receiving a common school education. At the age of twenty-four he married Miss Alexander, of Ayrshire, who died in 1841. He was again married, May 12, 1846, to MIss Christina Wilson, a native of Ayrshire. In 1853, they left their native land and came to the United States, stopping the first winter in Perry township, this county, and in the spring rented a farm in Crystal township, where they resided until 1866, then purchased their present home on section 34, in Grant township. In politics Mr. Dodd is a Republican and has held the office of Township Assessor for many years. He and his wife are active members of the Amity congregation of the United Presbyterian Church. They have had thirteen children: Henry, deceased, James W., Robert H., Andrew W., West, Thomas, deceased, John, deceased, Wiliam, Edward H., Jane L., Mary S. and Maggie J., deceased.
In 1867, the settlement of Grant township was increased by the arrival of William Keown, George Barker and John Howard, who are still prominent citizens.
William Keown was born in the county of Down, Ireland, in 1837. His parents were natives of that county and remained there until their death. When seventeen years of age, William left his native land to seek a home in the United States, first stopping in Pennsylvania, remaining until 1867, then coming to Tama county and settling upon his present farm, on section 14, in Grant township. He was married, February 18, 1861, to Miss Aseneth McAlevy, a native of pennsylvania, born in 1836. They have had nine children, five of whom are not living: Elizabeth, Aseneth, Nancy, Charlotte and Sarah. Mrs. Keown is a member of the Old School Presbyterian Church. Mr. Keown, when he came to this country, was a mere boy with no means, but by industry and hard work has succeeded in accumulating a fine property, his farm containing 200 acres of well improved land. He has been successful in his farming and now has a pleasant home.
George Barker is the oldest settler in the northern part of Grant township, where he settled, on section 2, in 1867. He is a native of Canada, born in 1821, there receiving a good common school education. When he was sixteen years of age he shipped as a sailor on the lakes between Buffalo and Chicago, which occupation he followed until 1838, when he was hired to run an engine in the construction of the Illinois and Michigan canal. He remained on this work until 1841, then returned to New York State, where he stayed until 1843, when he again went to Canada and engaged in the lumbering business in connection with farming, which business he followed until he came to Tama county. He was married on the 10th of January, 1844, to Lydia Comstock, a native of Canada, born December 10, 1819; died in April, 1878. This union was blesses with five children: Eliza J., George F., Sarah A., John C. and James A. (deceased). Mr Barker was again married on the 22d of November, 1882, to Mary Hodge, a native of Ireland. She is a member of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Barker has seen many changes since his settlement in Tama county. When he came, his neighbors were distant from him, four, five and six miles, and the nearest trading points were Cedar Falls and Waterloo; now, the cars run through his township, and his market is at the railroad towns, but little farther fro his home than were the houses of the first neighbors. George's father, John Barker, was a noted shipbuilder of Yourshire, England. In 1812, at the time of the American war, he came to Montreal, in the employ of the British Government, to take charge of the construction and repeiring of vessels. After a time, he engaged in business for himself, and died at Montreal, in 1856.
John Howard was born November 8, 1840, in Montgomery county, and was brought up in Broome county, New York, where he received a common school education. He enlisted August 19, 1862, in Company E, 137th Infantry, New York Volunteers, and served as a non-commissioned officer until June 9, 1865, when he was discharged by reason of the close of the war. He took part in many a hard fought battle, including Chancellorsville, Gettysbugr, Lookout Mountain, MIssion Ridge, Ressaca, Kenesaw Mountain, and a host of other battles. He was also with Sherman on his famous "March to the Sea," and at the grand review at Washington. On receiving his discharge he returned to his home in New York. In March, 1867, he started for the far west, and, after stopping a few months in Illinois, came to Tama county, arriving September 25, at which time he purchased his present farm, returning in December to New York. On the 25th of February, 1868, he married Miss Lucina Giffen, a native of Pennsylvania, and in the spring came to their new home. In politics Mr. Howard is an Independent and has held various local offices. He owns 320 acres of land located in Grant, and 160 acres in Buckingham townships. He moved to his farm in Buckingham township in March, 1883.
Among the arrivals in 1868 were William and John Young, James Murray and James C. Fleming.
William and John Young are natives of Ireland, but the fmaily, at an early day, emigrated to Clinton county, Iowa. William settled upon the place he now occupies in Grant township in 1868. they are large land owners and prominent farmers. William has been a member of the School Board for many years.
Among the arrivals in 1869, were Eli S. Bennett, William Brown and Hugh Brash, all of whom still remain here.
Eli S. Bennett was born in Fairfield county, Connecticut. He grew to manhood in his native State, and received a common school education. He learned the machinist's trade and followed it for five years at Pine Meadow, Litchfield county. In 1858 he went to Elkhorn Grove, Carroll county, Illinois, and engaged in making shovel plows in conection with farming. He came to Tama county in 1869, and settled in Grant township. He was married on the 17th of September, 1859, to Miss Mary E. Thorp, a native of New York. They have been blessed with seven children--Lucius C. (deceased,) Charles E., George C., Frank R., Aura, Mary E. and Viva A. (deceased.) In politics Mr. Bennett is a Republican, and has held the offices of Township Trustee and Treasurer, and has also been a School director and a membe of the grand jury. Mr. and Mrs Bennett are members of the Baptist Church.
Another of the prominent farmers in Grant township, is William Brosn, boen in Wigtownshire, Scotland, in 1845. His father was a native of Ayrshire, Scotland, boen in 1815; his mother was boen in 1816, in Wigtownshire, where they now reside. William received a common school education in his native land, and when seventeen years of age, learned the blacksmith's trade, which business he followed until 1869, then came to Tama county, engaging at his trade in Crystal township. In 1867, he removed to Grant township, and commenced farming on land that he had previously purchased, making it his premenent home. His farm contains 320 acres. Besides farming he is largely engaged in raising stock. he was married in 1871, to Miss Margaret Wilson, a native of Connecticut, born Debember 20, 1847, and a twin sister of Mrs. Robert Whannell. Four children have been born to them, three of whom are now living--John W., Mary and Janie. Jessie died when nine months and two days old, Mr. and Mrs. Brown are members of the United Presbyterian Church.
Hugh Brash, in 1837, came with his parents from Scotland to Western Canada, where he grew to manhood and received a common school education. He was born in Scotland in 1832, was reared on the farm and followed farming until 1869, then came to Tama county, settling on section 19, Grant township. His marriage to Miss Isabella McKeligan, a native of Canada, took place in 1855. They have had eight children, seven of whom are still living--Elizabeth, Jessie, Agnes, Mary, Maria, Ida Jane and Katie Bell. In politics Mr. Brash is a staunch Republican, and has hald various local offices.
Since 1869, a number of settlers have arrived, who have been or are now representative men and prominent citizens of Grant township. Among these may be mentioned: W.H.Slessor and his two sons, James and W.T., James Davison, William Mitchell, Alexander McCracken, William F. Fleming, James McCreath, James Sloss, James Watson, James Innes, James Mutch, thomas Watson, Allan Sloss, James Murray, James Stewart, Peter Swan, Newell H. Adams, Samuel Reid, Samuel D. Long, James Davidson, J.R. Davis, Andrew Dodd, W. Kline, William Dodd, John Harrison and others.
William Hardy Slessor, one of the prominent farmers of grant township, was born in the parish of Cruden, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, February 20, 1817. His parents were natives of the same shire, his father being born in 1789; his mother, Jane (Gray) Slessor, born in 1792. His mother descended from a very old family, her ancestors having lived in that vicinity for two hundred years, and it is said of them that they were a family of stone-cutters, one of whom built Old-deer-Kirk, in Old Deer parish, which kirk is still in a good state of preservation, after standing for two hunderd years, and at present is being used for church purposes.
The father of William H. by trade was a stone-cutter, of whom William learned the tade when nineteen years of age, and followed it for eight years, when he enlisted in the Light House department of the Civil Service, remaining twenty years, and then turned his attention to farming for three years in his native parish. June 25, 1867, he left his native country to seek a home in America, first locating at Lyons, Ohio, remaining three months and then removing to Rock Island, Illinois, where he remained until January, 1870, at which time he came to Tama county, and settled in Grant township, on section 17, his present residence. Mr. Slessor received his education at the Perocel school in Cruden parish, and also at the Architectural Drawing School at Peterhead parish, where he attended for three winters. While in the light house service, Mr. Slessor devoted the most of his leisure time to reading the works of some of the best authors, thereby becoming well informed on most subjects. He was married in Novenber, 1845, to Miss Catherine Mess, born February 27, 1827, in Old-deer parish, Aberdeenshire. Nine children have been born to them--William T., James, Sarah A., John M., Isabella J., Margaret J., Victor A., A., A. E., O. C. and Catherine (deceased). Mr. and Mrs Slessor are members of the Amity congregation of the United Presbyterian Church.
W. T. Slessor was born in the Isle of Man, in 1848, his parents afterwards removing to Aberdeen, where he received his education. After leaving the common schools he attended the academy at Aberdeen for five years, and then learned the stone-cutter's trade, which business he has followed a number of years in this country, having worked from Minneapolis to the Gulf. In 1873, he gave up working at his trade and engaged in farming, which occupation he still follows. In 1865, he came with his parents to the United States, and after stopping for a time in Ohio, went to Rock Island, Illinois, and in 1870, came to tama county, where he purchased the farm on section 8, in Grant township, where he now resides. He has a farm of 160 acres, and is largely engaged in raising stock. He was married on the 18th of March, 1875, to Miss Mary E. Aldrich, a native of Ohio, born in 1854. Miss Aldrich after leaving the common schools, attended the High school at Marshalltown for six months, and also spent two months in taking a normal course at Vinton, after which she taught school five terms. Mr. and Mrs. Slessor have been blessed with four children--Florence N., William O., Sarah L. and Estella B. William o. when eighteen months old had a severe attack of spinal fever, which settled in his limbs, crippling him for life. The parents are both members of the United Brethren Church.
Alexander McCracken is a native of Wigtownshire, Scotland, born in 1837. He was married in 1863 to Miss Williamina McCosh, whe was born in Ayrshire in 1836. In 1870 he left his native land and came to Tama county, Iowa. In 1876, he purchased and removed to his present home, on section 34, in Grant township. His farm contains 160 acres. Mr. and Mrs. McCracken are Presbyterians in faith.
Wm. F. Fleming is one of the leading farmers of Grant township, owning a farm of 800 acres of well improved land, with comfortable buildings for his stock. He has two hundred head of cattle and is also largely engaged in raising hogs. He resided on section 24, where he settled in June 1871. Mr. Fleming is a native of Pennsylvania, born in 1838. while young he worked out on neighboring farms until he had accumulated a few dollars, with which he purchased cattle and sheep, and sold them to buyers and butchers in the vicinity, thus making some money. On the outbreak of the Rebellion he contracted to buy stock for the Government and made considerable money. He was married in december, 1870, to Rebecca Williams, a native of Pennsylvania, and the June following came to tama county, where he has since resided. His wife died December 5, 1876, aged thirty-two years, eight months and two days, leaving four children: John, Mary E., Sarah J., and Rebecca W. December 26, 1878, he married Miss Matilda Yeigh, a native of Pennsylvania, born November 14, 1844. Mr. Fleming received a common school education, and is a supporter of the Democratic party.
James McCreath is a son of James and Margaret (Logan) McCreath, natives of Ayrshire, Scotland, the father being born in 1789, the mother in 1787. In March, 1853, James accompanied his parents to Ireland, where they rented a farm and engaged in farming. Here his mother died, May 17, 1861. James was married November 24, 1856, to Miss Sarah Beckett, a native of the county of Antrim, Ireland, born October 28, 1831. They made Ireland their home until 1864, when they came to the United States, landing at New York city. After remeining here about eight months, they removed to Cook county, Illinois, and there followed farming until 1871, then came to Tama county and settled on section 22, in Grant township, where they still reside. Their farm contains 160 acres of well improved land. Mr. McCreath is also largely engaged in raising stock. He was born in Ayrshire, August 31, 1824. HIs education was acquired in the common schools. In politics he is a staunch Republican and has held various local office. He was Justice of the Peach for six years and a member of the Board of School Directors for five years, Mr. McCreath and wife are members of the Amity congregation of the Presbyterian Church. They have had nine children: Alexander B., James, Gilbert, Maggie L., Grace A., (deceased), Anna, Mary E. B., Jane and Georgie A.
James Slessor, one of the substantial farmers of the township, is a native of Aberdeen, Scotland, born in 1850. He was given the advantages of a common school education in his native country. In 1868, he accompanied his parents to the United states, stopping two months in Ohio, then three years at Rock Island, Illinois, and from there came to Tama county, where he settled in Grant township, on section 8, his present home. He was married, in 1876, to Miss Sarah Brush, a native of Iowa, born in 1857. She has borne him three children: Daisy, James and Charlie. Mr. and Mrs. Slessor are members of the Methodist Church. Mr. Slessor owns a fine farm containing 240 acres, and makes stock-raising a specialty.
James Sloss is a native of Scotland, boen in October, 1830. He was reared on a farm and received a good common school education. In 1852, he left the land of his birth and came to the United States, locating first in Chicago, Illinois, where he remained for five years. The outbreak of the rebellion found him in Arkansas, and being a Union man and outspoken in his views, he incurred the ill-will of the rebels, which displeasure they manifested by forcibly marching him upon a steamer, instructing him to "put for the north." He went, landing at St. Louis, Missouri, where, through love for his adopted country, as well as a desire to get a little satisfaction out of the Southerners for their treatment of him, he inlisted, December 1, 1861, in the 1st Illinois Artillery, for three years, or during the war. He participated in many battles and engagements, coming out without a wound, and was honorably discharged June 5, 1865. Shortly after receiving his discharge Mr. Sloss came to Tama county, locating first in Perry township and remaining until 1871, when he purchased his present home in Grant township. In 1875, he was married to Miss Jeannette Wilson, a native of Scotland. They have been blessed with four children, two of whom are now living: Herman West and an infant names Flora Wilson. John and Allan are both deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Sloss are members of the Amith congregation of the Presbyterian Church. Their farm consists of 160 acres of land, all under good improvements.
James Watson was born in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1830. He grew to manhood in his native country and was given a common school education. When sixteen years of age he went to a neighboring town, Lunearty, and worked at bleaching cloth, which business he followed until 1852, at which time he came to Lyons, Clinton county, Iowa, where he purchased a farm. He made this his home until 1872, when he moved to Tama county and settled on section 10, in Grant township, where he has since lived. Their farm contains 320 acres of well improved land. Mr. Watson was married, March 27, 1857, to Miss Margaret Young, a native of Ireland, born in 1830. Eight children have been born to them, five of whom are now living: Mary J., Agnes, John, William and Sarah. Mr. and Mrs Watson are members of the Amity congregation of the United Presbyterian Church.
James Innes, one of the representative farmers of Grant township, was born in Banffshire, Scotland, January 5, 1830. His parents were natives of the same shire, his father being born in 1795, his mother Margaret (Adam) Innes, in 1805. In 1846 the parents emigrated to the county of Oxford, province of Ontario, where they engaged in farming until their death, the father dying June 22, 1879; the mother July 6, 1882. James, the subject of this sketch, assisted his father on the farm, and is proud to say that he remained under the parental roof and under the guidance of his father long after reaching his majority, even one year after his marriage, not going for himself until thirty years of age, at which time he engaged in farming. Mr. Innes came to Tata county in Nobember, 1872, and settled in grant township, on section 16, where he still resides. Since becoming a resident, he has taken an active part in county and township affairs, and has held several local offices. On the 25th of March, 1859, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Monroe, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, where she was boen in 1838. In 1841, her parents emigrated to Oxford county, province of Ontario. The father lived there until his death, March 12, 1881; her mother is still living. Mr. and Mrs Innis have had born to them ten children--Robert g., James., Katie E., John W., Maggie A., George (deceased), George, Willie and Alexander, twins, the latter deceased, and Mary M. Mr. and Mrs. Innes are members in good standing of the Amity congregation of the United Presbyterian church of which he is an elder. As a farmer Mr. Innes has been very successful, and may well be classed among the leading farmers, not only of his township, but of the county, having a fine farm of 640 acres in a good state of cultivation. He deals quite extensively in stock. He is a conscientious Christian, a good neighbor, strictly honest in his dealings and well liked by his neighbors and friends.
James Mutch was born in 1838, in the parish of Cruden, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. His parents were natives of the same shire and are both dead; the father dying there in 1874, the mother in 1877, at Edinburgh.
James was reared on a
farm, receiving advantages of a common school education. In
1866, he crossed the Atlantic and went to Oxford county,
province of Ontario, where he remained until 1873, then came to
Tama county, purchasing land in Grant township. He worked among
his neighbors as a farm hand until 1876, when he returned to the
land of his birth, and while there on the 9th of February, 1877,
was married to Miss Mary Gray, also a native of Cruden parish.
They immediately set out on their wedding tour, spending their
honey-moon on the ocean, on their way to their new home in Iowa.
Arriving in due time, they went to housekeeping on the farm
where they now reside. Four children have been born to
them--Lizzie, Alexander, Jimmie and an infant not named. Mr. and
Mrs. Mutch are members of the United Presbyterian Church. In a
financial way Mr. Mutch has been very successful. Coming here
poor, by industry and hard work he has succeeded in buying and
paying for his large farm of 440 acres. He has improved his land
and is at present engaged largely in stock raising.
Thomas Watson was born in Perthshire, Scotland, in April, 1850. When he was about one year of age his parents emigrated to the United States and settled in Clinton county, Iowa, where they engaged in farming; here Thomas grew to manhood on the farm, remaining until his father's death, when he went for himself and in 1873 came to Tama county, Iowa. His farm consists of 160 acres, located on section 11, where he still resides. September 14, 1881, he was joined in marriage to Miss Ida O. Felter, born in Buckingham township, Tama county, October 1, 1858. Her father was a native of New York, and came to Buckingham township in 1856, where he married Miss Charlotte Thomas, a native of Preble county, Ohio. She died in 1866. The father died in the winter of 1881-82. Mr. and Mrs. Watson are the parents of one child--George.
Allan Sloss, one of the prominent farmers and a member of the present board of Township Trustees, of Grant township, was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1833. His parents were natives of Scotland, where they lived until their death. The father died in 1847; the mother in 1873. Allan attended the common schools until his father's death, after which he learned the millwright trade, serving four years. In 1856 he left his native land first stopping in Chicago, Illinois, here he engaged at his trade and in different parts of the State, also in Tennessee where he was in the Government employ. In 1873 he came to Tama county, purchasing a farm on section 11, in Grant township, and engaged in farming which he still follows.
Mr Sloss has been twice married, first in 1863 to Miss Jeannette Shanks, a native of Scotland, born in 1840. She died in 1869 leaving three children, Mary E., Andrew and John, now deceased. February 19, 1873, he was again married to Ellen M. Carson, born in Cook county, Illinois. Three children bless this union--Ellen M. and Annie B., twins, and Jeannette. Mr. and Mrs. Sloss are members of the United Presbyterian Church. their farm contains 400 acres of well improved land. They make stock rasing a speciality.
James Murray is a natiave of Oxford county, province of Quebec, born November 23, 1845, and is of Scotch descent, his father, William Murray, being born in Southerlandshire; his mother, Elizabeth (Ross) Murray, in Rosshire, Scotland. In 1840 they emigrated to Canada, and, after remaining at Montreal for eighteen months, removed to Oxford county, where they yet remain. James, the subject of this sketch, was reared on his father's farm, and attended the common schools. In 1869 he left his home, came to Tama county and stopped near Traer. He spent the first winter with Dr. Daniel, of Buckingham township, and the next spring entered the employ of Mr. Hartshorn to work on a farm, remaining for two years. While here he purchased the farm where he now lives, on section 16, in Grant township. He worked for different parties until 1873, when he concluded to improve his own farm. November 8, 1877, he was married to Miss Addie Stanley, a native of Johnson county, Iowa, born October 11, 1856. Her parents were natives of Butler county, Pennsylvania, where they were married, and in 1852, emigrated to Johnson county, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Murray are the parents of three children--Mary Omie, Hattie and William. Mr. and Mr. Murray are members of the Presbyterian Church.
James Stewart was born in 1810, in Perthshire, Scotland. His early life was spent on a farm, receiving advantages for the acquirement of a common school education. In 1865, he came to the United States and first settled in Clinton county, Iowa, where he remained engaged in farming until 1875, then removed to Tama county, and located on section 9, Grant township, where he now owns a well improved farm of 160 acres. He was married in his native land on the 22d of December, 1853, to MIss Jeannette Rodgers, also a native of Perthshire, Scotland. Eight children bless their union: John R., James, Peter, Agnes, Maggie, Alexander, Jessie and Janie. Mr. and Mis. Stewart are members of the Amity congregation of the United Presbyterian Church.
Peter Swan, a native of Scotland, was born October 17, 1846, and grew to manhood in his native county, receiving a common school education. His early life was spent as a laborer on the neighboring farms, and in February, 1868, he left Scotland, came to New York city, and first got employment as porter in a hotel in Delaware county. Here he remained until the spring of 1875, when he came to Tama county and purchased a farm on section 35, in Grant township, his present residence. His farm contains eighty acres of good land. His parents were natives of Scotland, where his father died in 1851; his mother is still living.
Samuel Reid is among the pioneers of Tama county, as he settled in Crystal township, in 1856. He is a native of county Down, Ireland, where he was born in 1830. His parents died when he was but eleven years of age when he went to Scotland and there remained until 1852. He then crossed the ocean to New Brunswick and engaged at lumbering in connection with carrying on a farm. In 1854, he went to Greenville, Connecticut, where he remained until 1856, when he came to Tama county as above stated. He made his home in Crystal township until 1877, when he removed to his present home on section 26, of Grant township. He has 327 acres of land in this and Crystal township, and makes stock raising a specialty. In the spring of 1859 Mr. Reid was married to Miss Jane Ellen Quinn, who was born in Franklin county, Ohio, in 1842, and seven children have blessed the union; Abraham M., Emily A., Thomas L., Almina M., Sarah J., John G. and William Garfield. Mrs Reid is a member of the United Presbyterian Church, belonging to the Amity congregation. In political matters Mr. Reid is a Republican and has held various local offices.
Newell H. H. Adams settled upon his present farm on section 35, containing 249 acres, in 1880. He is a native of Orleans county, Vermont, where he was born in June, 1841. He is a son of Abial A. and Irene (Gray) Adams, both natives of Vermont, the father being born in 1803, the mother in 1805. the father died in 1882, in Vermont, where the mother is still living. Newell was reared on a farm and received a good common school education. In 1861, he enlisted in Company C, 8th Infantry, Vermont Volunteers, serving until June, 1864 when he re-enlisted in Company F, 1st Vermont Calvary, and served until the close of the war. He took part with his regiment in many battles and was wounded June 10, 1863, at Port Hudson, Louisiana, from the effects of which he now draws a pension. On receiving his discharge he returned to his home in Vermont, and in 1868, went to Montcalm county, MIchigan. After remaining there one season he went to Stephenson county, Illinois, where he spent three years and then returned to Michigan. In 1875 he came to Tama county and rented land in grant township, engaging in farming. In 1880 he removed to his present home as stated. Mr. Adams has been twice married, first to Miss Mary Whitney, a native of Vermont; she died in Ogle county, Illinois, in 1871. By this marriage there were four children, one of whom, Abel D., is still living. On May 23d, 1872, he was married to Miss Lenora McKinney, a native of New York, where she was born in 1853. Five children have blessed this union, three of whom are still living; Frankie D., Berthan and Bowen C. Politically, Mr Adams is a staunch Republican and has held local offices both here and in Michigan.
Simeon D. Long was born in Somersetshire, England, in 1845. His parents were natives of the same shire and both were born in the year 1823. His mother died in 1855; his father in 1879. The father was a miller, of whom Simeon learned the trade and followed that business until he left England to seek a home in the new world. He first located at Fulton, Illinois, remaining four years engaged in farming, then came to Iowa and followed farming four years in Clinton county, after which time he removed to this county and settled in Grant township, where he now lives. Mr. Long has been twice married. His first marriage was to Miss Sarah Link, a native of Lake City, Minnesota, on the 12th of October, 1877. She died in 1878, leaving one child, Mary E. His second marriage took place February 12, 1880, and was with Miss Marjory Durwood, a native of Scotland, born June 6, 1824. She has borne him one child, Simeon E. Mr. Long is a member of the Church of England; Mrs Long of the Presbyterian.
Grant township was organized in June, 1868. The first election was held in the following October, and resulted in the election of J. W. Fleming, Supervisor; J.C. Fleming, Clerk; J.H. Scott and L.D. Hall, Trustees; William Kline, Justice of the Peace.
Township matters have been managed efficiently, and nothing has occurred to disburb the usual tranquility. Among those who have been prominent in township affairs, and have held office, are Jasper Scott, Alexander Mitchell, J.J. Allen, James Young, L.P. Dinsdale, James C. Fleming, James Stanely, William Kline, W.P. Seelye, E. Bennett, Andrew Dodd, William Krouse, John Kline, William Mitchell, robert Whannell, James Watson, J. Nichols and James Weir. The present officers are: Trustees, Robert Whannell, Allen Sloss, James Davidson; Clerk, J.R. Davis; Assessor, Andrew Dodd; Justices, William Kline and William Dodd; Constables, John Kline and W. John Harrison.
At the election held June 27, 1882, there were sixty-one votes polled in favor of the Constitutional Amendment and eight against.
This township was originally a part of Buckingham. When it was set off and assumed its present boundaries, it was named "Grant" in honor of Gen. U.S. Grant.
Jasper H. Scott, in company with others, was instrumental in the organization of Grant township and one of the first Trustees elected. He is the oldest settler now in Grant. He is a native of Hillsboro, Highland county, Ohio, born May 16, 1820, and is of Scotch extraction on his father's side. In 1829, his parents moved to Columbus, Indiana, where he spent his boyhood days. In 1840, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Hawkins, a native of Fayette county, Kentucky. In 1853, Mr. Scott removed to Ogle county, Illinois, and engaged in farming. He remained there until 1859, when he came west and settled on section 26, Grant township. Mr. and Mrs. Scott are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, having joined in 1840. They have had born to them thirteen children, ten of whom are now living.
James Mitchell, for many years Township Clerk and the present Secretary of the School Board, is a native of New Jersey, born in 1837. When sixteen years of age he went to Canada, where, in 1863, he married Miss Margery Davidson, a native of Scotland. In 1870, they came to Tama county, settling on section 10, Grant township, where they still reside. They are members of the United Presbyterian Church. They have had eight children, seven of whom are now living.
John Russell Davis, present Clerk of Grant township, is a native of St. Joseph county, Michigan, born April 3, 1848. In 1856, his parents removed to Tama county and settled in Crystal township, on section 30, where they now reside. His father, a native of Connecticut, when quite young went to New York State and later, married Miss Polly A. Thorp, remaining in New York until 1844, then removed to St. Joseph county, Michigan, where the subject of this sketch was born. John R. was reared on a farm and received a common school education, with a course of book-keeping. He is a staunch Republican and besides his present office he has been Justice of the Peace. He resided on section 4, and owns 160 acres of fine land. On the 22d of November, 1881, he was married to Miss Jennie Spicer, born in Marquette county, Wisconsin, February 1, 1860. Her father is a native of Chenango county, New York, her mother of Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, where they were married in January, 1856. They came west the same year, first stopping in Marquette county, Wisconsin, until 1861, when they went to Illinois, and in 1864, removed to Tama county, settling in Indian Village township, where they yet reside. Mrs. Davis, after finishing her studies in the common schools, attended the Normal course at Toledo for two terms, and at Marshalltown one term, thus qualifying herself for her profession. Previous to her marriage she followed the profession of a school teacher, teaching altogether seven terms.
The first school in this township was taught during the summer of 1860, in a building 8x10 feet, built by J. H Scott for a summer kitchen. John Hopkins was the teacher, a young man who lived with his parents in Buckingham township. He is now married and lives in Perry towhship. The first school building was erected in 1865, on the northeast corner of the northeast quarter of section 25. It was a frame building 20x30 feet and cost $210. It was used for school purposes until 1874, when it was sold at auction and purchased by William C. Seelye for $75. It is now used on his farm for a granary. There are now eight school buildings in the township, and opportunity is furnished every child to obtain an education.
VARIOUS ITEMS OF INTEREST
marriage was that of John H. Scott, son of Jasper H., to Miss
Sarah Belknap on the 12th of December, 1869. The ceremony was
performed by rev, baker, of the Methodist Episcopal Chuch. The
parties to this transaction are now living in Nobles county,
Minnesota, and are the parents of six children. The first birth
was that of Clarence Murdock, born in 1858 The first death was
that of William Stopp, who was murdered. The first and only
blacksmith shop in the towhship was located on the southeast
corner of section 16. It was 16x20 feet. The first work done was
for Campbell & Evans, November 25, 1870. Mr. Davidson
contunued in this business in connection with his farm work
until 1876, when the shop was closed and he devoted his entire
time to his farm. James DAvidson is a native of Scotland, born
in Banffshire, July 18, 1836. His father, Thomas Davidson, was a
native of Aberdeen and when eight years of age went to
Banffshire where he was afterward married to Miss Jane Morrison.
they were residents of Banffshire until their death. Six
children were born to them, only two of whom are now living:
James, the subject of this sketch, and May, now wife of William
Mitchell, both residents of Grant township. James attended the
common schools until seventeen years of age, then he was
apprenticed to John Abgrie to learn the blacksmith trade,
serving three and a half years. In 1855, in company with his
employer, he left his native hills for the Western World. They
first stopped in Middlesex county, Canand West, where they
worked at their trade about eighteen months; then went to Oxford
county, and engaged in blacksmithing until 1870. At this time
they dissolved patnership, Mr. Davidson taking his share and
coming to Tama county, Iowa, locating on section 16, Grant
township, where he erected the first blacksmith shop, and
engaged in blacksmithing with tools which he had brought from
Canada. Mr. Davidson was married May 27, 1869, to Miss Mary Ann
Murray, native of Oxford county, province of Ontario, born
NOvember 2, 1847. Her father is a native of Southerlandshire,
Scotland; her mother of Rosshire. Her parents emigrated to
Montreal, Canada, in 1840, remained eighteen months and then
removed to Oxford county, where they still reside. Mr. and Mrs.
Davidson have been blessed with six children, four of whom are
living: Willie J., Thomas, Elizabeth J., and May. Mr. Davidson,
by hard work and industry has accumulated a large property, his
farm containing 320 acres of well improved land, and is classed
among the leading farmers of his township. Mr. and Mrs. Davidson
are active members of the United Presbyterian Church, and are
highly respected by all who know them. Mr. Davidson takes an
active interest in educational affairs, and has held the office
of School District Treasurer six years. In politics he is a
staunch Republican, and is a mamber of the present Board of
The particulars regarding the first death and first house erected in Grant township, will be found in the Chapter upon "Events of Interest."
township cemetery was surveyed by W. H. Holstead, County
Surveyor, in May, 1877, and is located on the south side of the
north half, and the north side of the south half, of the
southeast quarter of section 16. The first interments on these
grounds were the remains of Maggie A., Elizabeth M. and James
S., children of James and Margaret Watson, all being buried
during the same month.
THE CHURCH IN GRANT TOWNSHIP
By a Local Writer.
The first religious services in grant township were held in the Selye schoolhouse in 1861, by Rev. Mr. Upton, Congregationalist, of Buckingham. He was followed by rev. Mr. Roberts, Congregationalist. Next came Rev. Mr. Baker, a Methodist minister. Then Rev. Mr. Dodd, Presbyterian from Salem. None of these effected an organization.
"The United Presbyterian Congregation of Amity" is the only Church organization in the township. It is under the care of the U.P. Presbytery of Cedar Rapids.
This congregation was planted in the summer of 1873, in the Bennett school house, by the preaching of Rev. J.H. Turnbull, paston of the Tranquility U.P. Church, ten miles sotheast of here. It was partially organized December 29, 1874, by the enrollment of seventeen members, Rev. P. H. Drennen officiating. It was fully organized February 27, 1875, Rev. J. H. Turnbull and Elder Peter Whannell from Tranquility, officiating. The original members were twenty--JOhn Porter, Rebecca Porter, William Creswell, Catherine Creswell, James Watson, Margaret Watson, Mary Jane Watson, James DAvidson, Elijah Fletcher, Jannet Fletcher, W.H. Slessor, William Watson, William Mitchell, Margery Mitchell, John Galloway, Agnes Galloway, John Young, John Dalglish, Isebella Dalglish, and James Innes. James Innes and James Watson were elected ruling elders. John Galloway, John Dalglish and Wm. Mitchell were elected trustees.
The following ministers filled appointments here for a longer or shorter time, before the present pastorate--Revs. J.H. Turnbull, J.L. Bull, P.H. Drenned, J.D. Whitham, J.R. Doig, D.D., James Duncan, D.D., Andrew Gordon, J.H. Gibson, J.P. Black, G.W. Hamilton, Thomas Pare, J.A. Ferguson, R.A. Gilfillan, Reid, S.T. Herron, W.J. McAllister. These ministers are held in grateful remembrance by the people.
Rev. J.H. Turnbull, the founder of this congregation, was born July 1, 1842, at Hindley, Roxboroughshire, Scotland; educated in Monmouth College, at Monmouth Seminary; pastor of Tranquility congregation 1872-1875; and pastor at Fall River, Mass., since 1876.
Reb. W.J. McAllister was stated supply at Amity, for two years previous to the present pastorate. He was born, March 25, 1832, in Washington county, N.Y.; graduated at Monmouth College, in 1870, and in MOnmouth Seminary in 1872; pastor of wheatland, Illinois, for two years; stated supply at Amity, 1876-1878, and died, February 9, 1879, at Traer, Iowa. He was a fine scholar, a faithful preacher, and a man of blameless life. He will be held in everlasting remembrance. Rev. David Livingston, of Traer, has always helped this congregation by neighborly sympathy and co-operation.
The present paston, Rev. J.M. Hamilton, is of Irish descent, and was born June 5, 1852, in Guernsey county, Ohio; third son of John and Elizabeth Hamilton came to Iowa in 1858; graduated at Monmouth College in 1876, and at Xenia Seminary in 1878. Preached first at Amity, October 11, 1878; was called as pastor December 17, 1878; began regular work January 1, 1879, and was ordained and installed May 14, 1879. Was married June 5, 1879, to MIss Anna Hoffman, of German descent, a graduate of Simpson Centenary College, and third daughter of Thomas and Maria Hoffman, of East Des Moines, Iowa. Two children have blessed their home--William James, born March 3, 1880, still living, and David Livingston born October 13, 1881, and died, June 1, 1882.
Amith Church is located on the southwest corner of section 16, and was built in 1879, at a cost of $2500. It is a frame building 54 x 34; fine steeple seen for miles; recess for pulpit, large entry, two Sabbath school rooms, a gallery, seats over 300, and is well filled from Sabbath to Sabbath. The parsonage, a neat, convenient building of eight rooms, is near the church and was built in 1882; cost $1500. Present membership, 125. Enrollment since organization, 160. Have lost only one member by death, the venerable and respected John Young, Sr. Members of session are--James Innis, James Watson, James Young, Peter Whannell, Wm. Brown and John Brown. Trustees are--James McWhirter, John Nicoll and Wm. Todd, Will G. Brown has led the singing acceptably for years.
Preaching every Sabbath at 11 A.M. Sabbath school at 12 M. Young people's prayer meeting Sabbath evening. General prayer meeting each Wednesday evening. Ladies Missionary Society, third Wednesday of each month.
They have a good Sabbath school; enrollment, 256. Average attendance, 120, and the following officers: Superintendent, Peter Whannell; Assistant Superintendent, Wm. Mitchell; Secretary and Treasurer, J.A. Innes. Mr. Whannell has served very acceptably as Superintendent since the organization. There are thirteen classes with the following teachers: John Brown, J.M. Hamilton, Wm. Mitchell, Alex. Southerland, James Innes, Mrs. James Young, Wm. Dodd, Alex Brown, John Nicoll, Mrs. P. Whannell, Lizzie Brown, Magie Weir and Belle Young.
We have a new library of 200 volumes. The Ladies' Missionary Society of Amity was organized in June, 1881. Officers: President, Mrs. J.M. Hamilton; Vice Presidents, Mrs James Davidson, Mrs. John Brown, Mrs James Stanley, Mrs. Peter Whannel and Mrs. James Watson; Secretary, Mrs. Will Brown; Treasurer, Mrs James Young; Collectors, Mrs. Thomas Becket, Misses Janie Whannell, Maggie McWhirty, Katie Innis and Sadie J. Watson. Society meets monthly. Programme: Business, MIssionary Exercises, Essays, Readings, Conference, Prayer meeting. The society attends to collecting funds for missions, raising about $200 annually. It is a blessing to its members, to the community and Christ's cause.
We have two prayer meetings. A cottage prayer meeting, well attended from house to house, on Wednesday evenings, and a young peoples' prayer meeting in the church on Sabbath evening, with a large attendance, and commendable devotion. The young people of the congregation are intelligent, earnest Christians; a number are teachers, and many of them are seeking a liberal education in the higher schools and colleges.
The congregation is in good order, spiritually, socially and financially. It is alive to every good work, supporting the work well at home, and contributing liberally to the Mission Boards and institutions of the church. During the present pastorate it has paid to all objects over $2,100 annually, an average of about $20 dollars per member annually. We trust it is only entering upon its usefulness.
"I therefore wish that peace may still
Within thy walls remain,
And ever may thy palaces
John Fleming organized the first Sabbath school in Grant township, in 1863, at the school house on section 25. This was called the Jasper Sabbath school.
John Fleming was born June 29, 1800, and was married to Miss Mary Wills, April 26, 1826. They had eight children, one daughter and seven sons, the youngest of whom died in infancy. Mr. Fleming came to Iowa in 1854, to look after land, and every year until 1861, made a summer trip to Tama county. In 1861, his son James C., came with him, and together they completed their house on section 23, Buckingham West, Tama county. About 1863, Mr. Fleming organized the Jasper Sabbath School, as stated above, it being the first organized in Buckingham West, as that region was then called. Mr. Fleming was Superintendent of the school until his death, which occurred May 25, 1868. J.C. Fleming was then in the county for the purpose of building on his farm, but was delayed in his improvements by the death of his beloved father. The remains were placed in a metalic coffin, shipped to Pennsylvania, and buried in the Kishacoquillas Cemetery, in MIfflin county. HIs son, John W. and wife, came to Tama county, in March, 1866, and located in Buckingham West, on sectgion 23. In 1869, James C. Fleming came to grant township, Tama county, to improve his farm on section 24. He erected a house and returned to Pennsylvania. James C. was married in Pennsylvania, on the 23d of December, 1869, to MIss Tillie R. Wilson, of Mifflin county, of that State, and in March, 1870, permanently located in Grant township, Tama county, Iowa on section 24.
Religious services have been held in the Weir school house at different times, and preaching had by ministers of various denominations. The first to preach here was Rev. Roberts, a Congregationalist, and afterwards the rev. Mr. McAllis er, of the United Presbyterian Church, and Henry Baldwin, now one of Grundy Centre's lawyers. The latter gentleman organized the Sabbath school here with a membership of thirty or forty, and Fernando Kelly as Superintendent. This school continued in active operation for a few years, then suspended for a time, to be revived by James Weir, member of the United Brethren Church. This Sabbath school was kept up until the Union Presbyterian Church was erected.
ALLENDALE STOCK FARM.
is located on the southeast quarter of section 24. L.P. Dinsdale
& Son, proprietors. In 1875 they commenced the business of
raising shorthorn Durham cattle. Thier first purchase being
Master of Arts, No. 20,372, for $335, and Lady Thompson, second.
To thest two magnificently bred animals were added a number more
from the best herds in the United States. Their herd now
contains representatives of the best in the country, and the
notable improvement in the stock of Tama county is largely due
to the enterprise of this firm. They have annual sales of full
blooded stock. The last one was held in the fall of 1882.
L.P. Dinsdale, one of the substantial farmers in Grant township, and senior member of the Allendale stock farm company, is anative of Yorkshire, England, born January 16, 1817. His parents were natives of the same shire, his father being born November 14, 1791, his mother, Jane Parker, in 1794. They lived in their native shire until their death, the father dying October 12, 1857; the mother May 4, 1840. L.P. was reared on the farm, receiving a limited common school education. When he was fourteen years of age he was apprenticed to learn the shoemaker's trade, remaining until twenty-one years of age. In the spring of 1845, he left his native land, came to Canada and settled in Petersborough county, where he purchased a farm and followed farming until 1864, at which time he removed with his family to Tama county, settling on section 24, in Grant township, where he has since resided. He was married in July, 1836, to Miss Martha Birtch, born in Yorkshire, in 1811. She died in Grant township, July 22, 1873. This union was blessed with seven children--Jane, Elizabeth, James, John, now deceased, Ellen and Alice. In politics, Mr. Dinsdale is a warm supporter of Republicanism. In his farming operations, Mr. Dinsdale has been very successful, owning 840 acres of good land in Grant and Buckingham townships. He takes quite an interest in horticulture, and has an orchard containing over 800 fruit trees of the different varieties adapted to this climate. But he may justly take pride, as he does, in his herd of short horn cattle, which have been selected by himself with great care, from the best herds in different parts of the Union.
Connell postoffice was established in May, 1872, and Alexander Mitchell was appointed postmaster, with James Davidson as assistant, the office being kept at his house. The first two years mail was carried by the neighbors from Buckingham. In 1874 a mail line was established from Buckingham, by way of this office, to Coleville. This route was discontinued in September, 1879, when the office soon ceased to exist.