IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Table of Contents

History of Clayton County, Iowa
Chapter XXXVII

Monona Township

Clydesdale Colony

Monona Township
(page 1022-1027)

This is township 95 north, range 5 west. It contains thirty six full sections, and is bounded on the north by Allamakee County on the east by Giard Township, on the south by Wagner, and on the west by Grand Meadow. About seven-eighths of the township is high rolling prairie, and the remaining part timber. The highest point of land in Clayton County is said to be in Monona Township. The divide between the Turkey and the Yellow Rivers runs throughout it. Bloody Run drains about one square mile on the east, and branches of Robert's Creek drain it on the south. Hickory Creek runs through the northwestern corner of the township. The quality of soil is equal to the best that can be found in the West, and consists of black clay loam, with loose clay sub-soil, which, with thorough farming, produces excellent crops of all kinds of grain and grass.

On the 13th day of July, 1840, P. P. Olmsted and his brother David set out from Prairie du Chien across the Mississippi in search of a home. After one or two days' journey, they concluded to make a claim in what is now Monona Township. Returning to Prairie du Chien, they purchased an outfit for keeping house, and then settled on their claim. They were the first white settlers in Monona Township. About two miles northwest of their location, was an Indian village, with a population of 200 Winnebagoes, whose chief was Whirling Thunder. There was also a farm of about forty-five acres connected with the village and cultivated by the Indians. This farm had been broken and fenced by the United States Government in 1838. They found the Indians peaceable, but never regarded them as very agreeable neighbors. Their first experience concerning the character of their neighbors was derived a few days after they had completed their cabin. Some of the Indians called during the absence of Mr. Olmsted and brother, and carried away all their bed clothes and provisions.

The next October, Whirling Thunder and his band moved to Fort Atkinson, where the whole Winnebago tribe of Indians, numbering about 3,400, were being moved, most of them from Wisconsin, for the purpose of compelling them to occupy the neutral grounds, according to stipulation. The Indians often crossed their reservation lines, however, and visited the whites. Speaking of the Indians, Mr. Olmsted says:

"We were often visited by the Indians, who were friendly and peaceable. On two or three occasions only did they show any disposition to injure us. About the first of August after we had completed our cabin, brother David went to Grant County, Wis., where he remained about two weeks leaving me alone to work on our claim, and during his absence eight or ten Indians, of both sexes, came into our cabin and asked for food. I gave them what I had cooked, but which did not appear to satisfy them. One of them commenced searching the cabin for more food, which did not surprise me or cause me any alarm until I discovered that he held in his right hand a butcher knife with blade drawn, which he tried to conceal under his blanket, but which I discovered probably in time to save my life, for as soon as I saw it and noticed the manner in which he held the knife, I was satisfied that he intended to take my life, and I immediately stepped to one corner of the room and caught hold of an ax, which was the best weapon within my reach, and told them to go out of the house, which order was obeyed with some apparent hesitation.

"About the first of the following November, brother David and myself being at our cabin together, seven strong-looking Indians came from the west, and upon speaking with them we discovered that they intended mischief. The first words spoken by them were threats to burn our cabin. After hearing their threats we bolted the door. They did not show any weapons, and I think they did not intend to injure us, but as soon as we shut the door against them, they commenced trying to break it down by throwing their weight against it. About the time they commenced trying to break down the door, Mr. Schnider, then employed as blacksmith at the mission near Fort Atkinson, came along with his team, and the Indians withdrew from the house. Knowing that Mr. Schnider had been employed by the Government for several years, and could converse with the Indians in their own language, we requested him to stay with us that night and try to persuade the Indians to be peaceable and not further molest us. Mr. Schnider very kindly complied with our request, and succeeded in preventing any further attack upon our premises. "What the result would have been had not Mr. Schnider come along just at that time, I am unable to determine. Had the Indians persisted in their attack upon our cabin we should have defended it to the utmost of our power, but they might have overpowered us and our lives been sacrified. I shall ever remember with gratitude the timely aid rendered us by Mr. Schnider, who afterward settled in and became a respected citizen of Giurd Township."

In February, 1841, S. Cummings and wife, with, three children, removed into the township. Mrs. Cummings was thus the first white woman to live in Monona Township. One of her children whom she brought with her, and who was born in Giard the November previous, was afterward Mrs.Oscar Collins. Mr. Cummings died in 1843, and Mrs. Cummings subsequently became wife of P. P. Olmsted.

In the early summer of 1841, the two Olmsteds sold claim to John Rowe, and they then selected claims, on a part of each of which the village of Monona has been built. During that summer P. P. Olmsted built a hewed log house, which was the first house built in the village. In the fall he sold his claim to A. T. Depue, bought his brother's claim, and erected a frame house 16x30 feet. This is believed to have been the first frame dwelling built north of Prairie La Porte and Millville. In the spring of 1842, C. B. Grey built a blacksmith shop which he P.P. Olmsted carried on that year. Among their customers were: Asaph Griswold and James Carlin, who resided southeast of Garnavillo; Elisha Boardman, John Downie, H. D. Brownson, and Jeremiah Gould, residing at and near where Elkader been built; John and Thomas Linton, living near Yellow River and Joel Post, of Postville,

During the following summer, E.D. Button (afterward of Clermont), E. Bonnel and John Roberts settled in the township, all of them unmarried men. The same year two rival whisky shops were started, known as Sodom and Gomorrah. In 1844 Mr. Bushnell and family, P. B. Moore and family, and John Zimmerman, came to Monona Township. By 1847 the population of the township was about forty.

In the summer of 1840 a man by the name of Howard came to the township and erected and operated a hotel near where the Ten Mile House now stands. He was a gambler by profession and the year following his arrival killed a man named Sanders, of Giard Township. This was the first murder in the present limits of the country. Howard fled the country and was never afterward heard from.

James King came in 1841, and purchased the house that was erected by Howard, but subsequently located about two miles west of where Monona now stands. He was a native of Canada West but had lived at Prairie du Chien. After remaining here several years he returned to Canada. But Canada manners, Canada customs and Canada climate did not suit him, so he again came to Iowa and located at McGregor, where he remained until his death. John Rowe came the same year and purchased the claim of the Olmsted Brothers, known as the Cold Springs. Here he remained about three years, when he sold out and located on the southeast quarter of section 23, where he remained a few years, selling that and buying a place on Hickory Creek. Shortly after buying this place, he sold out and removed to Minnesota, where he is at present residing.

John Bull was another locating here in 1841. He was from Pennsylvania. After remaining here a short time he went to Wisconsin, where he married, and a few years later returned to this county and settled near Garnavillo, where he resided until his death.

The same summer C. B. Guy and Robert Tucker, the latter a discharged soldier, came and located a claim, which was subsequently known as the V. H. McNeil place. In the summer of 1842 Guy built a blacksmith shop in company with P. P. Olmsted, and ran the first blacksmith shop in the township, and the first north of Turkey River. People came from Elkader and Garnavillo for their work. Guy subsequently removed to McGregor, and from there to Postville, where he still resides. Tucker remained here until 1849, when he went to California, and on return-took up a claim in Wagner Township, and subsequently one in Mendon Township, where he died.

A. T. DePugh moved in late in the summer of 1841, and settled the northwest quarter of section 13, purchasing the same of P. P. Olmsted. He was from Michigan.

On the 7th day of June, 1847, Monona was named by a vote of majority of the people who met for the purpose of organizing the township. The name was intended to be after the Indian maiden who, tradition said, when separated from her lover by her father, leaped from a high rock into the Mississippi River. It was afterward, when too late, discovered that Winona was the name intended. When first organized, Monona Township extended east to the Mississippi, and north and west to the neutral line. About one-fourth of what is now Monona Township was formerly included in the neutral ground.

Jedediah Barker and Patrick Cain were the first Trustees, and J.C. Stults the first Township Clerk.

In the summer of 1847, Reuben Gregg, John Gregg, B. McGonigle, Joseph Degraw, and their families, and A. Scott came into the township.

The Winnebago Indians were removed in 1848, to Minnesota, which opened the northwestern part of Monona to settlement by the whites, as well as a vast and fertile country north and west. At this date commenced the true and rapid prosperity of Monona Township. Prior to that date settlement was slow, owing to the presence of the savages.

In 1849 a postoffice was established at Monona, and P. P. Olmsted was appointed Postmaster. A store was started the same year by T. A. Olmsted and P.P. Olmsted. At this time many new settlers came in, among them Matthew Thompson, Andrew Thompson and their families, John McAndrew and family, Francis and Hugh Carr and David Drummond. In the summer of 1848 Monona, Grand Meadow and Marion Townships were surveyed, and in 1850 the land was offered for sale and was rapidly purchased by emigrants, but very little being bought by speculators. Since 1851 the population of Monona Township has increased from 100 to 1,500.

The first school was taught by Miss Wiltsey in the summer of 1845, in a part of P. P. Olmsted's house. In 1849 the first school-house was built. It was a frame building, and was located in the northeastern part of the village.


Zion German M. E. Church, of Monona, was organized bv Rev. Fred. Smith in 1869. The first members were as follows: Jacob and Sarah Christian, Peter and Julia Christian, William and Barbara Brinkman, Valentine and Mary Bernhardt, John and Mary God, Frank and Elizabeth Hupfer, Philip Hines and wife. The first Trustees were William Brinkman, Peter Christian and Philip Hines. The ministers of the society have been as follows in their order: Peter Helwig, Carl Schuler, Rodall Frigenbaum, August Limburg, Henry Caste, August Brumm and H. Caste.

The present Trustees are Peter Christian, William Brinkman and Jacob Christian. They have a small frame church, 30 x 40, which cost $1,170. The first Superintendent of the Sunday-school was Philip Hines; the present one, Peter Christian.

Clydesdale Colony
(page 1022-1027)

In 1850 several families in Scotland united for the purpose of emigrating to America in a body. Landing in this country, they came West and selected land in Monona Township. The Clydesdale Colony, as it was known, was composed of James Freebairn and family, John McAndrew and family, James Love, John Jack and family, John Davy, Robert St. Clair and family, David Drummond and family, Andrew Anderson and family, John Campbell and family, John McHuffy, John Craig and family, and Alex, McKinsley. James Freebairn was President of the colony. Among those now living are David Drummond and Andrew Anderson. The rest have passed away, but among their descendants are found some of the best citizens of Clayton County.

Village of Monona
(page 1027-1030)

The most important village to-day in the township is that of Monona, which was laid out in July, 1851, by Ezra Hurd, County Surveyor, for P. P. Olmsted, B. B. Harding, Silas Egbert, Daniel Brown and J. T. H. Scott. It is situated on the south half of section 12, township 95 north, range 5 west. New Monona contains part of sections 11 and 13, in addition to the above. It was surveyed May 1, 1856, by Norman Hamilton, for Paul Egbert, Orpha Depue, H. E. Howe, T. G. Slitor, Joseph Degraw, P. P. Olmsted and B. M. Fonda. In 1867 Elijah Boley made an addition in the northwest corner of section 13.

Monona has had a varied existence, sometimes being prosperous and again apparently lifeless. Its situation is pleasant, and it is surrounded by as fine farming country as can be found in the State.

A store had been established here in 1849 by T. A. & P. P. Olmsted, for the benefit of the community surrounding. This was the beginning of the mercantile trade, which is now represented by a number of good substantial firms.
T. A. Killen & Co., who do business here, carry a large and varied stock of general merchandise, and occupy a room 70 x 22.

The business was established in 1868 by T. A. Killen and Paul Egbert, who continued until 1872, when John Killen purchased the interest of Mr. Egbert, the firm now consisting of T. A. and J. Killen.

The oldest drug store, the old reliable one of the place, is that of C. A. Dean, established in 1856. He bought out P. P. Olmsted in the general store and added a full stock of drugs. He is also Postmaster, and has been since 1861.

William A. McGonigle is a druggist, who commenced business in 1881. His line of drugs, books and stationery is up to the demand of the times and community.

The business now carried on by Cortis & Howard was established in 1875 by Cortis & McNeil, and continued by them for two years, when Mr. Cortis became sole proprietor, but soon after taking as a partner F. H. Howard. The firm carries a stock of general merchandise.

A. M. Davis is the present hardware dealer of the village. The business was established in 1867, by E. Boley, who controlled it till 1867, when Mr. Davis became proprietor.

A. C. Norton, photographer, commenced business here in 1872, and at the expiration of the first decade, finds his business in a satisfactory shape. He is also a dealer in clocks, of which he has in stock a fine line.

The manufacturing interests of Monona are centered in a steam grist mill, erected in 1875, by F. L. Wellman. It is two stories in height, and 75 x 36 feet in size. The building was erected at a cost of $1,500. The machinery in the same is valued at $2,000.


The secret and benevolent societies of Monona are the Masonic and United Workmen.

Clayton Lodge, No 70, A. F. & A.M.., was organized March 30, 1854, under a dispensation from the Grand Lodge officers of the State of Iowa. The first meeting was held in the hall above the postoffice, with the following officers and members present: John Northrop, W. M.; William S. Scott, S. W.; Moses Teeters, J. W.; C. N. Atwood, Treasurer; Charles Bates, Secretary; William Crawford, Tyler; H. H. Soule, Chaplain. The lodge continued to grow in membership and influence until the next annual communication of the Grand Lodge, held June 5, 1856, at which time a charter was granted. The first officers elected under the charter were: John Northrop, W. M., William S. Scott, S. W.; C. A. Dean, J. W P. B. Mason, Treasurer; T. R. Comstock, Secretary; B. H. Olmsted, S. D.; E. H. Fowler, J. D.; S. M. Wilford, Tyler; Rev. James Stout, Chaplain. The lodge has had on its rolls the names of 166 members. The following named have officiated as W. M. since the organization of the lodge: John Northrop W. S. Scott, C. A. Dean, J. T. H. Scott, P. B. Mason, F. D. Hinckley, Rev. Moses Polley, William Mott, E. L. Rice, J. R. Milliman, and E. J. Dailey. This lodge furnished ten volunteers for the Union army during the Rebellion— T. H. Barnes, M. W. Barnes John Everall, A.L. Payne, T.A. Olmsted, J. G. Orr, J.A. Reed, Theodore Sherman and Willoughby Wells. The present officers of the lodge are: E. J. Dailey W. M.; Thomas Sherman S. W.; James Watkins, J. W.; John Killen, Treasurer; Moses Polley, Secretary; William Brown, Tvler; Rev. Moses Polley, Chaplain.

Monona Lodge, No. 172, A. O. U. W., was organized June 10, 1878, with the following named officers and charter members, seventeen in all: Silas Egbert, P. M. W.; Fred. L. Welliman, M. W.; J. H. McGonigle, Foreman; Chas. A. Strobridge, Overseer; John Killen, Recorder; P. P. Olmsted, Jr., Financier; Paul Egbert, Receiver; George Egbert, Guide; John A. Thompson, Inside Watchman; Henry J. Rudel, Outside Watchman; A. M. Wheeler, F. H. Howard, Dr. H. T. Schneider, Dr. C. H. Hamilton, A. C. Norton, William Smith. The lodge is now in good financial condition, with money in its treasury, and has a present membership of twenty-four. One death has occurred in the lodge —A. M. Wheeler. The following named are the present officers: John Killen, P. M. W.; Henry C, Howe, M. W.; George Egbert, Foreman; J. H. Barnes, Overseer; John Woodard, Guide; C. H. Hamilton, Recorder; H. T. Schneider, Financier; F. H. Howard, Receiver; H.J. Rudel, Inside Watchman; F. L. Wellman, Outside Watchman.

Northern Light Lodge, No. 156, I. O. O. F., was organized Oct. 17, 1867, by Grand Master William P. Sharp, assisted by William Garrett, Grand Secretary, with the following named charter members: L. G. Ireland, E. L. Rice, Harvey Murphy, Jonas Degraw, A. A. Frendy and F. F. Winters; ancient members, J. R. Powers and Elijah Bailey. The following named were elected and appointed first officers of the lodge: L. G. Ireland, N. G.; E. L. Rice, V. G.; L. S. Butler, Sec.; H. Murphy, Treas.; Moses Polly, C.; A.A. Frendy, W.; J.R. Bowers, R. S. N. G.; E. Boley, L. S. N. G.; J. Degraw, R.S. V. G.; William Brown, L. S. N. G.; Moses Polly, Chaplain. The lodge has had a very successful career, and has initiated ninety-six members since its organization, numbering at the present time forty in good standing. The following comprises the list of Past Grands: L. G. Ireland, E. L. Rice, J. R. Bowers, H. Murphy, L. Butler. E. Boley, A. Elmore, Wm. Brown Jed Barker, Matthew Thompson, J. F. Thompson, F. L. Wellrnan, James Love, M. Polley, J. Hicks, R. W. Randall, Wm. Horrobin, A. C. Norton, David Grube, H. T. Schneider, James Gregg, H. Gilster, E. Green and Henry Heman. The hall which the lodge occupies was purchased for the sum of $2,000, of which amount every dollar was paid, and the lodge is out of debt and in good condition financially. The present officers of the lodge are: E. L. Rice, N. G.; Peter Grube, V. G.; J. R. Bowers, Sec ; E. Green, Treas.; H. Gilster, W.; F. L. Wellman, C.; W. Brown, O. G.; W. R. Brown. I. G.; Warren Cassady, R. S. N. G.; H. Downing, L. S. N. G.; R. P. Oliver, R. S. V. G.; A. Williams, L. S. N. G.; E. L. Rice, F. L. Wellman, H. Heman, Trustees.

Village of Hardin
(page 1030-1031)

The village of Hardin was surveyed in January, 1854, by S. P. Hicks, County Surveyor, for Leonard B. Hodges and others, on the northwest quarter of section 6, township 95 north, range 5 west. West Hardin was added in 1855 by Leonard B. Hodges, and another addition was made in 1858 by David Dickerson and C. E. Dickerson.

Previous to the survey and platting of the village a store and several dwelling-houses had been erected, and the prospect was deemed good for the building up of a most flourishing town or city. Surrounded by a splendid agricultural country, which was fast filling up with an enterprising people, everything seemed to favor the owners of the land and cause them to make an effort to win a prize by the sale of town lots, and affording a market for the large amount of produce that would be raised by farmers in the neighborhood.

The first store was opened by A. D. Frazer, one of the original proprietors of the place, in 1851, and in the spring of 1852 R. T. Burnham brought on a large stock of goods. This may be said to be the beginning of the new town. With the growth of the town the mercantile trade increased, so that in 1855 there were five stores where complete stocks of general merchandise were kept for sale; while at the same time all other trades were represented. No town in the northern part of the State was then in a more flourishing condition.

The name of the first man running a blacksmith shop in the place has been forgotten by the early settlers living in 1882, but Robert Montgomery came at an early day and operated for some years.

The first religious service held in the place was in a log school-house two years before the village was laid out. Rev. Mr. Bishop, of the Methodist Episcopal church, officiated. The first house of worship controlled by this influential body of Christian workers, was originally erected for a wagon shop, but purchased and fitted up for divine services. This was probably the first class organized in the Northwest.

The town of Hardin was so named in honor of Colonel Hardin, of Illinois. As already stated, it was at one time a very flourishing place, but the building of the railroad about two miles south left it "out in the cold," and from that time forward it began to decline until to-day it has but little left to show where once a pleasant, thrifty and enterprising village once existed. The business of the place is now represented by Julius C. Beedy, who is the Postmaster and merchant.

Village of Luana
(page 1031-1033)

The village of Luana is on the line of the C., M. & St. P. R. R., and was surveyed December, 1867, for Wm. S. Scott, proprietor, and is situated on section 8, township 95 north, range 5 west. Additions were made in 1871, by Alpheus Ernst, and in 1872 by Asher Adams, S. E. Adams, J. M. Truman, H. M. Truman, J. M. Chapman and S. M. Chapman.

The town was so named in honor of Mrs. Scott, the wife of the proprietor, whose Christian name was Luana. Previous to the survey being made there was a frame house erected upon the site in 1853 by Jacob Zimmerman. After platting the village the first house erected was by E. P. Oliver.

The first store building erected was by William Mott.
The first stock of general merchandise was by Thomas Comstock.
The first blacksmith was David Jennings.
The first wagon-makers were Daily & Luddington.
The first shoemaker was was Watson Askew.

The first school-teacher in District No. 3, of which Luana is a part, was Andrew J. Felt.
The first religious services held in the neighborhood were by Rev. J. R. Cameron, of the Methodist Episcopal church.
The postoffice was established in 1864, James M. Chapman being the first Postmaster. The present Postmaster is A. M. Bronson. The office is a money-order office.
The first hotel in the place was kept by William S. Scott, who continued the business for eight years.
Jacob Buck is one of the principal dealers now in the place. He opened a stock of general merchandise in 1879, and has since been identified with the place.
C. A. Strowbridge is the druggist of the place, and carries a stock equal to the demand.
The Methodist Episcopal church at Luano was organized by Rev. J. R. Cameron in 1867. Robert P. Oliver was appointed Class-Leader; John Lawcock and W. S. Scott were elected Stewards. In 1868 the society contemplated erecting a house of worship, and the following named persons were elected Trustees of the church: Wm. S. Scott, Luther Nichols, Benjamin Bettys, J. M. Chapman, Geo. W. Oathout, Jas. Adams, John Lowcock [note spelling difference earlier in paragraph]. These with the stewards and class-leader were the first officers of the church.

The first religious services were held in a brick school-house, which then stood about half a mile west of town, but has since been removed.

The following are the names of the pastors who have had charge of Luano church: J. R. Cameron, first appointed in 1865, three years; A. G. Wood, part of one year; Wm. Cobb, two years; J. O. Hazelton, two years; G. L. Garison, one year; C. Cressy, two years; H. H. Hammond, one year; C. H. Taylor, three years; E. Ketchum (present incumbent), now in second year. There has been scarcely a year since its organization that has not witnessed some new accessions to the membership of the church; but the revivals especially noteworthy, occurred during the pastorates of J. R. Cameron and W. Cobb. Large numbers were converted and united with the church under each of these pastors. At the close of Mr. Cobb's pastorate the membership numbered 105, the largest membership that the church has ever had at any one time. The foundation of the present house of worship was laid in 1868, and the building finished in 1870. It is 34 x 60 feet, and cost $4,000.

The present officers of the church are: Pastor, E. Ketchum; Class-Leader, Wm. S. Scott; Stewards, Wm. S. Scott, Geo. W. Oathout, John Lowcock; Trustees, Wm. S. Scott, John Lowcock, I.D. Olmsted, Geo. W. Oathout, D. I. Farnham, A. McKellar, J. M. Chapman.

There has been such a large emigration from this region west ward that the church during the last five years has sustained a loss of seventy-six members by removals. The present membership is fifty-six.

A Sunday-school was held in the brick school-house each summer from 1857 to 1867. Stephen H. Thompson was the first Superintendent. Since the organization of the church, the Sunday-school has been held winter and summer. The present officers are: Superintendent, Guy Higby; Assistant-Superintendent, Mrs J. M. Chapman; Secretary, Nellie Russel; Librarian, Edward Dailey; Treasurer, Mrs. L. L. Von Berg. Enrollment, sixty-three. Average attendance, forty-seven.

School History of the District Township of Monona
(page 1033-1036)

During the summer of 1845 the first school ever taught in the district township of Monona was taught in a dwelling-house owned and occupied by P. P. Olmsted in the present village of Monona, Mrs. Wiltsee having been employed as teacher. The following year a school was held in a small building owned by John Bull, and afterward owned by Reuben Gregg, and used by him as a carpenter shop, and located on the lot now occupied by the Monona House. Miss Gay was employed as teacher. A school was taught here for several terms previous to the organization of a school district and the building of a school-house.

Until 1855 no schools had been held outside of the village of Monona within the limits of the present district township of Monona. During this year a school was taught in the present district now known as Sub-district No. 2, Miss A. L. Winter teaching a few pupils in a dwelling-house occupied by her father, Mr. Jacob Winter. In 1857 and 1858 schools were taught in the same district in a small log building owned by Harvey Green, and that had been previously used as a saloon. Miss Priscilla L. Winter and Miss Clementine Fonda taught here.

During the winter 1854-1855 a school was taught in a small building owned by W. S. Scott in the village of Luana. The irrepressible A. Felt, afterward editor of the Nashua Post was employed as teacher.

In 1856 the first school-house erected within the present limits of the district township of Monona, was built half a mile west of the town of Luana. Through the energy of its citizens, and Board of Directors, composed of W. S. Scott and S. H. Oathout, they succeeded in building a commodious and substantial brick school-house that for nineteen years fully met the wants of the district. John Ufford taught the first school. During this year Miss Angeline Tibbetts taught a school in the place, then known as Clydesdale, in a small log-building still standing on the farm owned by James Thomas. During this year also the citizens built a small school-house within the district, now known as Sub-district No. 5, and employed Charles Ford to teach the winter term of 1856-1857.

In 1857 James Parker, E. Rowland, Robert Killen and E. F. Boyles organized a school district in the northeastern part of Monona Township, embracing a part of Monona Township and a part of Franklin Township in Allamakee County, and employed Miss Angeline Tibbetts to teach a few pupils in a house occupied by Mr. Tibbetts. In 1858 the School Board of which employed E. F. Boyles to build a small frame school-house in said district at an expense of about $350, and employed Miss Angeline Tibbetts to teach the first term.

Until 1858 there had been but little unity of action in respect to school matters within the township; but under the "New School Law" the township was organized into sub-districts.

The first meeting of the electors of the district township of Monona, for the purpose of electing school-officers, was held in the village of Monona on the 3d day of May 1858.

The whole number of votes cast was eighty-eight, of which H. C. Martin received for President, eighty-five; P. P. Olmsted, two; O. D. Bowles, one; J. T. Mott, received for Vice-President, eighty-seven; E. B. Hutchinson, Secretary, eighty-eight; Silas Egbert, Treasurer, eighty-eight. Wm. Mead and T. G. Slitor, Judges.

The first meeting of the Board of Directors of the district township, was held May 11, 1858, and was composed of the following persons : P. P. Olmsted, Thomas Glass, W. S. Scott, L. Seymour, W. G. Alexander and E. F. Boyles.

On June 2S, 1858, was held the first meeting of electors of Monona Township, for the purpose of voting a tax to defray the expenses of schools. A tax of four mills upon a dollar was voted.

Sept 6, 1858, was held the first meeting of the electors of the township for the purpose of voting a tax for building school-houses. A tax of five mills upon a dollar was voted.

In 1858 a district was organized in the southwest part of Monona Township, now known as Sub-district No. 4, and during the winter 1859 Miss Rosie A. Glass taught a school in her father's dwelling-house, receiving as compensatien [sic], $15 per month.

During the year 1861 the Board of Directors divided the District Township into seven sub-districts, the boundaries of which have remained essentially the same to the present time.

Under the direction of the Board of Directors in 1871 Mr. James Parker was authorized to build a frame school-house in sub-district, joint one at an expense of $800. In Sub-district No. 2, there were no permanent accommodations for holding schools until 1862. Previous to this time schools had been taught in several different places. During this year I. P. Winter, E. F. Boyles and Alexander Gilchrist were authorized to have a frame school-house built in said district at an expense of $450, and R. M. Slitor was employed to teach during the winter term of 1862-1863.


The old "brick school-house" in Sub-district No. 3 being too small to furnish suitable accommodations for the growing necessities of the place, the Board of Directors appointed a committee composed of S. H. Thompson, Wm. Mott and David Grube to relocate the site for a school-house, and build a two-story frame building, which was completed and furnished at an expense of $2,500.

At the present time commodious and well arranged school-houses have been supplied to all the sub-districts of the township, and by the judicious management of the various Boards of Directors, the schools have produced practical results that will compare favorably with the best schools of the rural districts.


After a district was organized for the village of Monona and adjacent territory, a small school-house was built, daring the year 1849, upon a lot south of, and adjoining the lot of the present school-house in the village of Monona.

As the demands for more ample accommodations required a larger building, during the year 1854 a large two-story brick building was erected, that for several years met the wants of the district.

Until the year 1867 the village of Monona was a part of the district township.

As the district deemed it necessary to re-locate and build a new school-house, during the year 1869 the present school-house was built, a large two-story brick building, at an expense of about $17,000.


In 1858 Hardin became an independent district, and is composed of parts of Monona, in Clayton County, and parts of Post and Franklin Townships in Allamakee County. During the present year a commodious frame building will be erected amply sufficient to meet all the wants of the district.


This chapter concludes with biographical sketches.


transcribed by Nancy Fredricks
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 1022-1036


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