Beaver Township History

     This township is the second one from the east in the north tier of townships in Dallas county, and is known in the government surveys as congressional township 81, north of range 27, west of the 5th principal meridian. In the general division of the county into precincts in March, 1850, it was mostly included in Des Moines precinct, a small corner being in Buena Vista. February 2, 1857, it was constituted a township by itself, with its present boundary lines as shown by the following order of the county court on that date:

     Ordered, By the court that the district of country included in the following limits shall form and constitute the township of Beaver, to-wit:

     Commencing at the northeast corner of township No. eighty-one (81), north range twenty-seven (27); thence west to the northwest corner of the aforesaid township; thence south to the southwest corner of the aforesaid township; thence east to the southeast corner of the aforesaid township; thence north to the place of beginning.

     In January, 1859, Beaver township, as thus constituted by the above order, was entirely cut to pieces and swallowed up by the extension of Des Moines and Sugar Grove townships, about one-half being thrown into each of these townships. (See sketches of Des Moines and Sugar Grove.)

     June 3. 1861, the board of county supervisors issued the following order, again constituting the township of Beaver, with the same boundary lines as before:

     Ordered, That the district of country included in township No. eighty-one (81), north of range twenty-seven (27), west of the 5th P. M. Iowa, form and constitute the township of Beaver; and that a warrant be issued for an election to be held at the house of Seth B. Dayton, in said township, on the 8th day of October, A. D. 1861, for the purpose of perfecting an organization of said township; and that there be elected at that time and place, three township trustees, one township clerk, two justices of the peace, two constables, one assessor and such other officers as may be provided by law.

     Warrant issued to Seth H. Dayton, June 14, 1861.

     No record appears of the above described boundary lines having been changed since that date.

    Beaver township has no river passing through its limits, but has several large creeks and running streams.

     The big Beaver creek passes in through its west line about a mile south of the northwest corner, and flows diagonally in a winding course through the township, passing out at the east side about a mile and a-half north or the southeast corner. The little Beaver creek flows into it from the north, a little east of the center of the township; and Slough creek flows into it from the south, passing through the southern part of the township, nearly centrally north and south, and emptying into the big Beaver on section 16. These three streams, each of considerable size, water and drain the entire township nicely, and together with the large tracts of fertile prairie and farming land contained within the township limits, render it an attractive locality for stock-raising and agricultural pursuits. There is considerable timber along some of these streams at different places, especially bordering on the Beaver creeks, and being so near the central part of the township is quite convenient to all portions. The belt of timber along the North Raccoon is not far distant from the western portion of the township, and the Des Moines river timber on the other side is comparatively convenient to all the eastern portion of Beaver township, so that all parts are well supplied with timber, coal, building material and milling privileges at convenient distances.

     Though the township has no town within its own limits, it is conveniently located to the two thriving towns in adjoining townships, Minburn and Perry. The D. M. & Ft. D. R. R. passes through the southwest corner of the township, cutting off a small portion.

     The township has no post-office located within its bounds, but is handy to at least four different ones, Perry, Minburn, Xenia and Snyder post offices.

     Beaver, though organized quite early as a township, did not progress in settlement and improvement so rapidly for a number of years, as it was at one time entirely divided up and thrown into adjoining townships, and did not, perhaps, take so much interest in its general progress as a township until after it was organized in June, 1861, in its present form; and since that time, especially of late years, it has been making marked progress. Though there is still a large tract of unimproved land in it, there are some well improved farms and some thriving settlements.

     Spanning the Beaver creek, there are two wood frame bridges built by the county, within the township limits, each about sixty feet long, built by Jonathan Peppard, of Union township, and good roads are now being constructed on the principal section lines throughout the township.

     The first settler in Beaver township was Seth H. Dayton, who located there at an early day.

     Among the early settlers of the township, also, were J. M. Townsend, Mrs. Gardner and family, C. C. Burdick, Mr. McConnell, and others, who came in about the same time and soon after those above mentioned.

     This township was organized with seven voters, all of whom were Democrats, making the township for a long time the banner Democratic township of the county, but of late years it has become Republican.

     The Walworth family also came at an early day and settled in Beaver township among the very first, and built a mill on Beaver creek. There are nine school-houses in the township.

     The first election held in Beaver township was, perhaps, the one held at the house of Seth H. Dayton, October 8, 1861.

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