Early Reminiscences, Personal Incidents and Anecdotes,
And A Complete Business Directory Of The County
By Samuel D. Chapman 1879
Contributed by Patty Delmott and Transcribed by Cyndi Vertrees
York township, east of Otter Creek and south of Oneidea, lies in 83 north and 13 west. A good share of this township is prairie, with timber along the banks of Salt Creek and tributaries. In the eastern part of this township the land is beautiful and very fertile. The western part bordering on Salt Creek is quite broken, and is mostly inhabited by Bohemians who by hard work have succeeded in opening out some fine farms.
The first settlement effected in this township was in the year 1851, by W. R. Van Doran, who came in at this date and erected a small cabin on section 22. E. McKern, I. Smith, Alexander Fowler and families came in shortly after and erected cabins in other parts of the township. The first land entered in the township was by Z. T. and L. H. Shugart, in the year 1853. These gentlemen still remain on the land holding the original deeds.
The township was organized April 1st, 1856, and the first election was held at the house of J. R. Graham, and named by him it, being the name of a township in which he used to reside in New York.
The first marriage was Mr. Jacob Bruner to Miss Susan Ashby, February 17th, 1856, by J. C. Vermilya, County Judge.
The first death was Mrs. C. Edmonds, April 22d, 1859.
The first child born in the township was a son of W. R. Van Doran, in the year 1854.
The township contains one town, Waltham, located in the north eastern part on section 3. There are two grist mills, one at Waltham, established in 1856 and operated by S. Lewis, and one about the center of the township on Salt Creek, known as Brunerís Mill, established in 1873. The township also has one church.
The first school was taught in 1854 on section 14. The teacher name we were unable to learn.
The products of the township are such as are common throught-out the County. In horses, cattle, hogs and other stock it ranks second to none. Here are the homes of W. White, L. H. Shugart, J. Peck, S. Overturf, M. H. Pierce, J. Kessel, J. Hervert and J. Scrable all of whom for a number of years have turned their attention to fine stock. They also have as fine farms as can be found in the County.
Justices - J. R. Graham, E. Robinson, O. T. Brainard, R. O. Rogers, J. Sale, J. B. VanAuken, J. Holt, J. Townd, V. Kessel, G. Foster, H. L. Smith and B. Cady.
Trustees - S. Overturf, G. W. Selvey, J. Edmonds, J. R. Graham, J. J. Garrison, B. Twogood, J. Lighbody, S. Dykeman, S. F. Eccles, S. Miles, A. Mason, L. B. Dodd, J. Holt, W. Ashley, C. S. Barton, W. Alexander R. And H. Rogers, J. Yount, J. D. Hutchinson, F. Beneisch, J. Scrable, E. M. Campton, V. Kessel, J. B. VanAuken, V. Hervert, B. Brown, C. Mason.
Clerks - Z. T. Shugart, J. Allen, G. W. Selvey, H. L. Smith, J. T. Cobb, C. Mason, S. J. Bear, D. W. Wintersteen, A. Rogers, B. A. Peck, M. H. Pierce.