Grant Township History

    This township is the second from the north in the east tier of townships in Dallas county, and is known in the government surveys as congressional township 80, north of range 26, west of the 5th principal meridian.

     The territory it now includes formed parts of different precincts, and passed through various changes in boundary and division lines, until the general division of the county into townships in February, 1857, when it was made to constitute the north half of Walnut, and was finally organized into a separate township, with its present boundary lines, September 7, 1868, as shown by the following order, which appears on the record under that date, as made by the board of supervisors:

Petition presented by J. D. Whitman and others asking for the organization of a new township, formed of parts of Walnut and Des Moines townships, to-wit: Township 80, range 26.
     Ordered, That the petition be received, and the township organized as petition  for September 8, 1868.

     Ordered, That the township organized of congressional township 80, range 26, be called Grant township, and that B. W. Thomas be appointed to organize said township in pursuance of law. Warrant issued to B. W. Thomas, September 14, 1868.

This township has no river passing through it, but has one running stream of considerable size. The Beaver creek flows across the northeast part of it, entering at the north side about midway and following a very crooked course to the southeast through the township, passes out at the east side about midway, flowing on into Polk county, and emptying into the Des Moines river.

This stream, through the territory of Grant township, has considerable timber along its borders, and numerous other smaller streams flowing into it from different directions, which afford the northern part of the township a sufficient supply of surface water and drainage, while the southern part of the township has not so many running streams, but has small ponds of surface water in various places which partly supply the demand for surface water for stock use.

There is still a great deal of vacant prairie land in this township that has not yet been cultivated, affording fine opportunities for opening valuable farms in a desirable location, within a short distance of the State Capital. There are numerous large and well improved farms, however, in the township, and some extensive stock-raisers and dealers, both in blooded herds and in feeding and shipping for market.

J. D. Whitman has an extensive and valuable herd of thoroughbred Shorthorns and high-grade blooded cattle, with which he has taken much pains in improving, and deserves great credit for the increasing interest thus awakened in the township and surrounding country, in improved stock-raising, by his pains and energy in the advancement of this branch of business so important and profitable in the West. There are others, also, in the township, who are taking great interest in this work, and are getting fine herds of high-grade stock around them, already giving the township quite a desirable reputation in that line, though it is yet young as an organized township, compared with others around it.

It has also a number of extensive stock-feeders and shippers, among whom may be mentioned Hooker & Gillett, who deal quite largely each year, not only in raising, but in purchasing and then herding, feeding and shipping during summer and winter seasons, thus creating a home market for stock cattle, when those having a small number do not desire to feed and also gaining for the community a reputation as a stock township. The township has no railroad in its limits, but the Des Moines & Ft. Dodge R. R. passes just west of it, leaving the lively thriving town of Dallas Center within a mile of the southwest corner of Grant township, and thus furnishing excellent facilities for shipping either north or south, and thence east over two main roads to Chicago. Being situated so near Des Moines also makes Grant a good feeding and shipping point. It has no town or post-office within its limits, but Dallas Center being so near, and Minburn and Waukee not far distant, the facilities for trading and market are comparatively convenient, and these three post-offices, together with Snyder P. O., so near the north line, in Des Moines township, all parts of the township can easily get and send mail matter.

     Mr. Humphrey was the first settler in Grant township. He settled on section 22, in 1849.

     Mr. L. Morgan was among the first settlers in Grant township. In 1855 he located on section 22, where he still lives, in old age, comfortably situated.

J. D. Whitman was among the first settlers of the township, coming in and settling on section 30, in 1857, where he still lives, carrying on his large stock business.  

L. W. Briggs, on section 35, and A. Huff also came at an early day and for several years this township settled up rather slowly, being for a long time quite unsettled as a separate township organization, but during later years it has been progressing finely and making good improvements in preparation for fruit-growing, stock-raising, and general agricultural pursuits. The township has nine school-houses in its bounds, and as many sub-districts. The first election in the township was, perhaps, held in the fall of 1868.

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