Dallas Township History
This township is situated in the northwestern corner of Dallas County, and is known in the government surveys as congressional township 81, range 29, west of the fifth principal meridian.
By the general division of the county into precincts, in 1850, the present territory of Dallas township formed part of Buena Vista precinct, and the first organization of a township in the county by the name of Dallas, was made March 3, 1856, as is shown by the following order of the county court, under the above mentioned date:
Ordered, That the following shall be the metes and bounds of an electoral township: commencing at the southeast corner of section thirty-six (36), township eighty-one (81), north range twenty-eight (28); thence north six miles to the Dallas county line; thence west on said county line to the northwest corner of Dallas county; thence south six miles to the southwest corner of section thirty-one (31), township eighty-one (81), north range twenty-nine (29); thence east on the range line to the place of beginning. To be known and called Dallas township. The first election to be held at the house of Adam Collins, in said township, on the first Monday of April, A. D. 1856.
The above order made it to include the present territory of Dallas and Spring Valley, and in the general division of the county into townships, February 2, 1857, Dallas township remained the same as before. A little more than a year and a-half later, September 6, 1858, this township was divided in the middle north and south and two townships were formed. of it (Spring Valley), each bounded by the congressional township lines, and at that time Dallas township was first constituted in its present form, as shown by the following order of court, given September 6, 1858.
We find no record of its boundary lines having been changed since that date.
The North Raccoon river flows through the north part of this township in a winding course, across nearly the entire north side, coming in about a mile east of the northwest corner, and at one place it bends down into the township more than a mile south of the north line, and then bends back again, passing out near the northeast corner and flowing down through Spring Valley. Several other running streams of minor importance are found also in Dallas township, and one beautiful lake, Swan Lake, situated near the center of the south half of the township, on sections 27 and 28, which affords quite a supply of fish and game and is a favorite resort for hunters and fishers during favorable hunting and fishing seasons. (See previous sketch-Water.)
The river in this locality has quite a belt of timber along its borders, which furnishes a good supply for all the township, and has one good iron, bridge spanning it within the township bounds.
prairie land in Dallas township is also of an excellent quality, sufficiently
watered and drained for stock raising and general cultivation, with a fertile
soil, and conveniently located to a good market, as Perry is only a few miles
east, on the Des Moines and Fort Dodge railroad, and Grand Junction, in Greene
county, on the C., N. W. R. R., is only about twelve miles from the north line
of Dallas township. Though the township has no towns within its own limits it is
thus well supplied with thrifty neighboring towns.
There are nine school-houses in the township, in each of which schools are taught during the average school months each year.
There are a good many large and well improved farms in the township, especially in the northern part, where many of the early settlers reside, and stock raising is becoming quite popular and extensive in the township. The township has one water power grist mill, Atkinson's mill, situated on the bank of North Raccoon. It was built in 1859, has two run of stone, is owned by J. F. Atkinson, and is situated in the heart of one of the oldest and thickest settlements in the township.
In the south and southwest parts of the township there are still found large tracts of fertile prairie land not yet brought under cultivation, much of it being held by moneyed men and speculators.
This township was settled at quite an early day in some parts up near the river in the northern portion of the township. Mr. Henderson was, perhaps, the first settler, who was soon afterward followed by several others.
R. D. Corry settled there in 1854; William E. Toll in March, 1855; W. H. Adams in 1856; and A. L. Towne in 1857. Others accompanied these, or soon afterward followed, making quite a settlement along the North Raccoon river at an early day.
The first election in the township was doubtless the one held at the house of Adam Collins, on the first Monday of April, 1856.
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