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History of Clayton County, Iowa
Chapter XXV

Elk Township

Elk Township
(page 757-758)

Elk Township, so named because of many elk having been found there when the county was new, is in the southern tier of the county, and is township 91 north, range 4 west, of the fifth principle meridian. It is bounded on the north by Volga, on the east by Mallory, on the south by Delaware County, and on the west by Lodomillo Township. Elk Township contains a great deal of timbered land, but much has been cleared off, and a good portion of the soil is now under cultivation.

The first man to settle in the township and enter a farm was Lemuel Johnson, who located on the northeast quarter of section 2. He afterward removed to Ohio. Among the first settlers of the township were Dennis Quigley, A. G. Lewis, John Garber, Joseph Grimes, Thomas and James Cole, William Beyer, John Rowan, Chris. Sarver, Mark W. Lovett, and Davis Bagby. My Lovett is still living on the farm he entered in 1848.

The first blacksmith shop was built by Isaac Otis and son, in 1852 on section 10. The first store was opened by Isaac Otis and Son in 1852, on section 10, and the same pioneers built the first gristmill, in 1855. A saw-mill had been built on section 10, in 1848 by Joseph Grimes and James Cole. Isaac Otis, Jr., built a woolen mill in 1860, which does a good business.

Elk Township is inhabited exclusively by an agricultural community, and contains no villages. There is but one post-office, and that one, Wood Centre, is on section 29.

There are three Methodist Episcopal churches in the township each of which is doing good work, though with a small membership. There is also an Adventist church. All of these churches have regular services.

The first birth in the township was that of John Lewis, now dead. The first marriage was that of Jacob Rounds and Phoebe Quigley. The first death was that of William Beyer.

The first school-house built in Elk Township was constructed of logs, in 1850, and was on the southeast quarter of the southeast half of section 24. It is still standing. The first teacher was David M. Zearly. This was before the township was organized. J.B. Bloodsworth was the Treasurer, and he and John Lockridge were two of the first three Directors. Philip Fishel was the third Director. There were then not more than ten scholars in the whole district. There are now nine schools in the township, and eight school-houses. One school is taught in a church. There are 400 children of school age in the township, and the value of the school property is $5,925.00. The present Directors are: District No. 1, John J. Hagaman; No. 2, Fred Craig; No.3, Wm. Woodall; No. 4, John Taylor; No. 5, C. Hinkle; No.6, James Flemming; No. 7, George White; No. 8, A. B. Durphy. The Secretary is F. T. Pilkington the Treasurer is Elias Hall.

The first Justice of the Peace after the township was organized were Isaac Otis, Sr., and William Wooster. Before the township was organized the first Justice was Joseph Grimes.


This chapter concludes with biographical sketches.


transcribed by Cinda McNeal Crosley
source: History of Clayton County, Iowa, 1882, Chicago: Inter-State Publishing Co., 1882. Reproduced by the sponsorship of the Monona Historical Society, Monona, Iowa, reproduction Evansville, Indiana: Unigraphics, Inc., 1975; page 757-758


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