HON. WILLIAM BAUGHMAN, GRISWOLD.
When that hardy young Pennsylvanian, William Baughman, drove his prairie schooner from Keokuk and landed at his destination -- sections 4 and 5 -- there was not a neighbor with which to consult within the present limits of Pleasant township. Seeing that he was alone, this was not such a hardship; but the following winter he brought his wife from Pennsylvania and located the family at Indiantown, while he came again into the township to cut logs for the building of a cabin. These he hauled to Lewis, where he had them cut into proper lengths, carted them back and built with them the first house in Pleasant township, into which he moved his family in the spring of 1856. Mr. Baughman became one of the most prosperous and prominent citizens in this section, served two years in the State Assembly in the early 'eighties, and is now a veteran pioneer of seventy-eight.
So far as known, no permanent settlers followed Mr. Baughman into Pleasant township prior to the 'sixties. (Bio of Samuel Stetler continues on here.)
From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pg. 174.
William Baughman is one of the most venerable and venerated fathers of Cass county, the Honorable being attached formally to his name because his friends and fellow citizens sent him to the General Assembly of the State a quarter of a centery ago. He was one of the first settlers in the county and the first in Pleasant township, and when in his prime was one of the most extensive land owners in thiis section of Cass.
Our subject come of that good hardy common-sense stock known as Pennsylvania Dutch, his parents, as well as himself, being natives of Westmoreland county. He was born June 19, 1828, the son of Jacob and Margaret (Cort) Baughman, the former dying in Pennsylvania about 1884, and the latter in 1882. They had a family of eight sons and five daughters, all but two of whom are living and three (William and two sisters) are residents of this county. The father was a man of unusual business and executive ability; he was far more than an industrious famer, reputable and enviable as such a limited character may be. He was not only a large and successful dealer in stock and grain, but an able manipulator of real estate, and prior to his death owned the greater portion of the town of West Newton, Westmoreland county. Adam Baughman, the grandfather, like his son and grandson, was a Pennsylvania agriculturist, and possessed all the industrious and persevering characteristics of his forefathers.
With these as immediate ancestors, it is not difficult to account for the sterling traits of character which William Baughman inherited and which, with the thorough schooling and farm discipline for which the people of his race are noted, fashioned him into the type of young man who would be invaluable to a new country which had no place for idlers or incompetents. In the spring of 1855 he made his first journey to Iowa alone, taking up land on sections 4 and 5, Pleasant township, which was entered by his father, Jacob Baughman. He then returned to Pennsylvania for his wife and children, starting again for the West in the fall of the year. He went by way of Pittsburg, and the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, to Keokuk, and thence overland, along the old Morman trail and directly across southern Iowa, to Iranistan. A prairieschooner, drawn by four good horses, conveyed his household (both family and effects). After locating his family for the winter, he commenced to cut logs for the building of a cabin on his claim. First he hauled the rough timber to Lewis, where the only saw-mill in the county cut it, and then he hauled them to the site of his hut, about a mile and a half east of Griswold. The rough log hut which he thus built was the first house in Pleasant township, and was occupied by his family in the spring of 1856.
Mr. Baughman's original farm consisted of a one-half section of land, which he continued to improve for nearly forty years, or until 1894, when he removed from the old homestead to the town of Griswold. He also added to his landed possessions, from time to time, until he was the proprietor of 1,100 acres. With the advancing years and retirement from active labors, he has disposed ofmuch of his farming property, but still retains the comfortable ownership of more than 600 acres of valuable land.
In 1850 William Baughman was married to Johanna B. Schwartz, a native of Germany who came to the United States in childhood. They became the parents of nine children, the following being still alive: Jacob, a resident of California; John, who lives in this county; Ada, Mrs. Roode; Samuel, who also resides in Cass county; Mary, who lives at home; Clara, now Mrs. Moore; and Albert, also a resident of the county. Mr Baughman is a devoted member of the Presbyterian Church.
When our subject first entered the present limits of Pleasant township for the purpose of founding a home, the last of the Mormons (who preceded the first of the permanent white settlers of Cass county) wer about leaving for their Salt Lake homes. Straggling bands of the once numerous Pottawattamie Indians were also still to be seen. His arrival was therefore at the transition period, between the unprofitable occupancy of savages and temporary settlers and the permanent founding of civilized and developing communities. In this permanent growth Mr. Baughman proved himself an important factor. He was a leader in the agricultural progress of his section; he rendered able services and gave wise advice in the management of the public affairs of the county, and finally in 1881 he commenced a term of two years in the State Assembly. It is not too much to say that in a review of those who may be considered as among the builders of Cass county, none now living hold a firmer place in the affections and esteem of all classes than Hon. William Baughman.
From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pp. 259-260.