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History of Clayton County, Iowa
Chapter XXVIII

Giard Township


Giard Township
(page 812-815)

This is township 95 north, range 4 west. It contains thirty-six sections, and is bounded on the north by Allamakee County, on the east by Mendon Township, on the south by Farmersburg Township, and on the west by Monona Township. It abounds in timber, fine springs and brooks, and is as good a township for farming as need be found. On the west side of the township especially the land is unsurpassed, and many of the farms are under a high state of cultivation.

Giard was organized in April, 1854, by order of Elias H. Williams, Judge of the County Court. It was so named from Basil Giard, who made his claim here in 1795. The first officers of the township were: Clerk, B.F. Spaulding; Trustees, S.S. Phillips, Hugh Graham and James Tapper; Constables, Isaac Matthews and Joseph McCorkel; Road Supervisor, James McMullen and James Stultz; Assessor, Isaac Matthews; Justice of the Peace, Allen E. Wanzer; Supervisor, James Tapper. The present township officers are: Clerk, James E. Irwin; Assessor, John Geraghty; Justices, Peter Farley and Guy Kinsley; Trustees, George Koch, John G. Kortee and Peter Farley.

The first settler of the township was Chauncey S. Edson, who immigrated sometime in 1836. He hailed from Vermont, and located on section 26, where he took a claim, and at the time of the land sales he purchased it and made his farm there. He lived here till his death. Among the early settlers Allen E. Wanzer was a prominent figure, though his character was not of the best. He was a man of some natural ability but of little culture. He held several local offices - was Justice of the Peace for some time, and was once Mayor of McGregor. The place where he first located was long called Bogus Hollow, because some people suspected that he manaufactured spurious money. Mr. Wanzer came from the State of New York, and died in McGregor.

Another early settler was a man by the name of Weatherwax, who settled on section 27. Samuel A. Goss came in at an early date, and settled near where Mr. Edson lived. He died in Minnesota. In 1841 William Clement and Hugh Graham came and settled on section 28. They were from New York City. In 1841, also, James Tapper purchased his land and settled upon it. Another early settler was a man by the name of Merikel. He settled on section 34, afterward removing from the county, and nothing is now known of him. Ira B. Briggs came in at an early date.

The first couple married were P.R. Moore and Clarissa Brown, both living in Giard Township, but the marriage was performed by Rev. Sidney Wood, in Farmersburg Township. The first birth in the township was that of Orpha Cummings, a daughter of Santon Cummings and Hannah Cummings, who is now the wife of P.P. Olmstead, Esq., of Monona Township. Orpha Cummings married a man by the name of Collins, and died in Monona Township. The first death was of a man named Hinkley, in Bogus Hollow, who was employed as a teamster between McGregor and Fort Atkinson.

The first school building was a log-cabin on section 29, which had been originally built as a dwelling. The first teacher was a lady by the name of Mary J. Neill, who afterward married the Rev. William McCormick. This cabin was 14 x 16. Another log-cabin was afterward erected in place of the pioneer school-house. In 1855 a frame school building was erected on section 30. This was afterrward moved to where the present school building stands in district No.4, and sold at auction. The present school building was then erected, at a cost of $1,000. This is the best school building in the township.

The early school records are very imperfect, having been at first kept on waste paper. The first entry on the books is dated June 11, 1858. At a meeting of the board held on that day, $400 tax on the property in the township was voted for the current school expenses of that year. Isaac Mathews was at that tiime President of the board, and B.F. Spaulding was the Secretary.

At a meeting held Oct. 23 of that same year it was resolved to employ only male teachers, and to pay not to exceed $16 per month. There were at this time seven sub-districts in the township. Nov. 18, 1860, the pay of the teachers was raised to $25 per month.

The presidency of the School Board has been held successively by Isaac Mathews, J.C. Stulltz, W.J. Paul, J.C. Stulltz, John Tapper, John B. Sutter, D.F. Bickel, James Tapper and George Hazlett, the last of whom was elected March 17, 1879. He is the present incumbent.

The secretaryship has in turn devolved upon B.F.Spaulding, Porter F. Dickinson, J.C. ???pel, George Hazlett and Guy Kinsley. The last named has held the office since March 18, 1867.

The Treasurers have been Porter F. Dickinson and M.L. March, who has held the office since March 18, 1866. James Tapper was Treasurer before Dickinson for several years.

A report of the district secretary to the county superintendent, made Sept. 20, 1865, shows the number of persons of school age to be: Males, 220; females, 198; total, 418. There were enrolled in all the schools, in winter, 305; in summer, 283. The average daily attendance was 189.

In 1871 there were seven schools in the township, open eight months in the year. In these schools were enrolled 398 pupils. The average daily attendance was 177. There was at the same time a school population of 527. The aggregate amount paid teachers during the year was $1,540.

In 1881 eight schools were taught eight months, and one school four months. In these schools were enrolled 441 pupils, and the average attendance was 213. At the same time there was a school population of 523. The aggregate amount paid teachers during the year was $2,326. The average compensation per month was: For males $30.75; females, $26.18. Males taught in the aggregate twenty-four months, and females taught forty-four months.

After various sub-divisions of the township it now comprises nine sub-districts, in which are located ten school buildings, built at various times within the last twenty-two years, for sums varying in amount from $400 to $1,000.

The Union Baptist Church of Council Hill was organized at the Kinsley school-house, May 20, 1862, with a membership of thirty-six, most of whom were baptized by Rev. John A. Pool, who was afterward installed as pastor. He resigned in November, 1864. The church was then for two years without a pastor, when Rev. A.W. Hilton took charge of the work, in connection with the church at Hardin. This arrangement was continued until October, 1871, with profit to the church. Elder Hilton then resigned, moving to Cherokee County, and his place in the church was occupied by Rev. D.P. Marryatt. He remained until November, 1874. Rev. Joel H. Austin commenced preaching for the church in August, 1876, and resigned in April following. Since then the society has had no regular services. There is a small Sunday-school connected with the church, which still holds meetings.

The first preacher was Rev. Mr. Knight, who held services at private houses. He was connected with the Methodist Episcopal church. There are four churches in the township - the German Methodist Episcopal, Evangelical, United Brethren and Regular Baptists.

There are three postoffices in the township - Beulah, Giard and Council Hill.


(page 815-817)

The village of Giard is situated mostly in the north half of the northwest quarter of section 35, township 95 north, range 4 west. It was surveyed in May, 1871, by Norman Hamilton. The proprietors were Daniel F. Bickel, G. Haefner, William H. Harding, John A. Bernhardt, Jacob Haefner, Ira Hastings, Louis Miss, Rev. John Mann, John Hartwick, Thomas Peck, C.A. Severy, Charles Haefner, F. Carrier, W.R. Wilder, Henry Giles, C. Mundt, C.C. Angier, Solomon Steel, Louis Datisman and Harmon Snyder.

The first house was built by John Hagerty. James W. Frazer built a frame store, and sold goods for some time. The first wagonmaker was William Rosberg. The first blacksmith was a man by the name of Hudson.

The first shoemaker was John A. Bernhardt. The first school was taught by Jason Kinsle.

There are two churches here, the United Brethren and German Methodist Episcopal. The United Brethren church was organized in 1866 by Rev. John Roen. D.F. Bickel and wife, Gideon King and wife, Alonzo Jones and wife and many others were members. John Jones, Gideon King, Trustees; Herman Schneider, Class-Leader. The first religious services were held at a log school-house, about two miles southwest of the village. The first pastor was Rev. John Roen; at the present time there is no pastor. There have been several revival seasons of much interest - one under the pastorate of Rev. Roen, one under Rev. Loughlin, and on several other occasions. The house of worship was erected in 1867, thirty by forty feet; it cost $1,500. Present officers are : Tim Foley, Class-Leader; S. Steel, Steward; Tim Foley, Martha C. Bickel and S. Steel are Trustees. The membership is now quite small and the church languishing. There is a Sunday-school in connection with this church, of forty-five members; Johnson Neill is the Superintendent.

The evangelical Association was organized in 1868. Among the first members were Mr. Henry and wife, George Winkowitch and wife, H. Eiffert and wife, W. Guthiel and wife, John Eibel and wife. The first Trustees were H. Schneider, George Winkowitch and Christian Luberman. The present Trustees are: George A. Troeger, George H. Eiffert and Adam Eibel. The first minister was Rev. Mr. Kaufman. The present minister is Rev. Charles Schneider. The church is about thirty by forty feet, and was erected in 1870, at a cost of $800. It is frame, painted white. The Sunday-school was organized at the same time as the church. Its average attendance is fifty, and its total membership is seventy-five.

Emanuel German Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1847, Rev. John Mann, pastor. The first church was built in 1855, and the wants of the society demanding a larger church, in 1868 it was sold for a granary, and the same year the present edifice was erected, thirty-eight by fifty feet, at a cost of $2,000. Daniel Bickel and wife, Adam Berg, Conrad Helwig and others were the first members; there have been about 200 members since the organization. The first officers were: Daniel Bickel, Class-Leader; Daniel Bickel, Adam Berg, and Henry Froelich, Trustrees; Rev. Timkin, Fred Schuler, Carl Schuler, Voshall, Chris. Wentz, William Fiegenbaum, Louis Schofer, and others, were pastors. The present pastor is Henry Kaste. There were several large revivals from time to time, and many were added to the church. The present officers are: John Hartwig, Adam Berg, John R. Barnhardt, Trustees; John Froelich, Class-Leader. The present condition of the church is fair. There is a Sunday-school of about seventy-five scholars. John Hartwig, Superintendent.

There was a main road laid out through this township by the United States as early as 1838 or 1839, leading from Fort Crawford, at Prairie du Chien, to Fort Atkinson, on the Turkey River, at which place they commenced and did considerable toward building a fortification. This was done for the purpose of carrying out the treaty with the Winnebago Indians. At this time there were many Indians in the country. They belonged to the Winnebago tribe, and often passed along the military road.

Mr. Wanzer used to say that "there was more peace and friendship in those days than there was when there came among us disturbers of the peace." But communities cannot long be satisfied under a state of affairs which promises peace, only through the prestige of being the possessor of a good rifle, and of being at the same time a ždead shot." Therefore a justice of the peace was appointed under the territorial law. The appointment fell upon a young Irishman, who was not troubled with a large amount of official businesss, until one day there was some counterfeit money passed, application was made for him for a warrant to arrest the perpetrator. The justice issued the warrant, which read in the following manner:

"In the name of King George III (!) you are hereby commanded to arrest and immediately bring before me (here naming the party) to answer to the wicked crime of passing counterfeit money."

The testimony showed that there had been several pieces of counterfeit coin passed as good money, and the justice was of opinoin that defendant should be punished some, though not severely, as the offense was not great. He looked over the statutes to see how much to fine him, and not readily finding any provision adapted to his case, he said : "As the statutes do not say anything about fining the passing of counterfeit money, I will alter it to assault and battery," and he accordingly fined the prisoner. This, it is believed, was the only case the Justice ever had before him.


This was built in the spring of 1882, by Neill & Bickel, and is 26 x 36, witha stone basement. The firm can make 2,000 pounds of butter per day, and this season expect to use the cream from 1,000 cows.


This chapter concludes with biographical sketches.


transcribed by Roxanne Barth (Giard twp.) and Sandy Bressler (Giard)
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 812-817


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