1868 Harrison – Jefferson Townships, Harrison County, Iowa

Harrison Township

Harrison Township is the northeastern township of Harrison County. Timber in this township is not over abundant, the groves being small; but since it is surrounded by groves on all sides it cannot suffer for timber. Through it flows the beautiful Boyer’s healthy water. The Boyer is a small river, and one of the best streams for mills and water powers in the west. Springs abound in abundance, and a healthier climate or purer water cannot be found anywhere.

In the latter part of 1856, or the beginning of 1857, three settlers located here and built themselves temporary houses, and commenced opening farms. The names of these three pioneers are James Welch, Henry Olmstead and Nathan Brown. Settlers now began slowly to come in, and in two years after a brick school house was built near Mr. Olmstead’s and is not the residence of Mrs. Olmstead. The first teacher was Miss Cole. The same year the Congregationalists organized a church of seven members with Rev. H. D. King (formerly of Gustavus, Trumbull county Ohio) for their pastor. Mr. King a worthy model, beloved by Christians and respected by all. They have erected at the new town of Dunlap, a church building 20 by 40 feet, with the Rev. Mr. Freeman for their pastor.

The nearest point of trade, traffic and nearest mill for the first settlers of this township was at Council Bluffs, a distance of forty miles, where they marked their produce and bought their sugar, tea, coffee, and clothing. The nearest post office was at Shelbyville, a distance of 6 or 8 miles where they received two mails a week, carried on the back of a horse.

Dunlap Township

In June 1867, the new town of Dunlap was laid off into lots. Dunlap is situated on the Northeast quarter of section 9 and the southwest quarter section 10. This town since that date has had the most rapid growth of any new town in western Iowa. The R.R. company have built a two story hotel or eating house. The building is 40 by 140 feet. The dining room inside is 38 by 75 feet. The company have also built a round house with 15 stalls. There are three schools and two churches; the Episcopal Methodist having lately organized with Rev. Laidley for their pastor and have recently built a commodious church building at Dunlap. Dunlap has one hundred and fifty dwelling houses and a population of five or six hundred. It has stores, groceries, hotels, boarding houses, wagon shop, blacksmith shop, furniture factory, one good physician, drug store, clothing store, saloon and business men generally.

The first and to this date the only physician and surgeon of the place is Dr. Dwight Satterlee. The Dr. was a surgeon in the U.S. Army during the late war with the rebels, serving until the stars and strips waved triumphant over all its former and rightful domain.

Coldron and Swartz, lumber merchants, take pains to keep a good stock of all kinds of building material, and it is admitted that they keep the Saginaw and Greenbay lumber, which is the best the market affords.

J. Williams and Sons opened the first grocery store at Dunlap and they now keep a good stock of groceries, fruits, tinware and furniture. J.W. Whiteley, the real estate agent, is a man you would like to do business with, prompt, punctual and reliable. Being the man who sold the first town lot ever sold at Dunlap and being continually in the convincing business is fully acquainted with lands in that vicinity. McDonalds’s billiards saloon indicates nothing bad. Being a place of amusement it is visited by the friends of the game, and those seeking innocent and healthful pastime. C.F. Groff is the only scientific plasterer in the county. Mitchell & Bryan are pioneer dry goods merchants of Dunlap, and now keep the only stock worth advertising. Cotton and Manning, the pioneer druggist on the place are eminently fitted for the business they follow, having been raised to it, and fully understanding it. Wheeler and Warner are the pioneers in the lumber business. They keep all kinds of lumber and building material and are gentlemen, agreeable and reliable to do business with. W. L. Brown is an old citizen of the west, has been county judge of Shelby county, and held other important places in the public trust with honor. Persons wishing a good pair of boots or shoes, either fine or course will do well to call on Thomas Whiteley. His work is decidedly the best that can be done in the county.

Jefferson Township

Leaving Boyer and passing south, either by rail or private conveyance, we come to Jefferson Township. Through this township also, the Boyer River, of which so much has been said of its abundant water, winds its way, and with its numerous tributaries of creeks, brooks, rivulets and never-failing springs. The principal bodies of timber are found in Elk, Six Mile and Harris groves.

The first settler was Geroge McFord, in 1848 or 1849, and in three years perhaps the number reached half a dozen families. Among the number were William Howard, James Dunnigan, Samuel McGavern, Peter Brady, Thos. W. Reeder, George White, McGavern, Stephen King, Isaac Childs and Henry Kanouse. Mr. Henry Reel has sometimes been accredited to this township. His residence, however, is in Calhoun township, while a part of his farm and his mill are in Jefferson. Most of these early settlers are still at their old places. Most of these early settlers are still at their old places. Some of them, however, have made short moves and located in adjoining towns. Mr. James Dunnigan is still here, and retains that social welcoming character common with the pioneer. Peter Brady may be found on his old farm, Thos. W. Reeder is still a prosperous, energetic citizen of Jefferson. Mr. George White is keeper and proprietor of the hotel at the town Logan, and as a hotel keeper is acknowledged to be one of the best our county affords. S. King is on his old place, which is one of the nicest farms the county affords. Mr. King was the first county Judge of Harrison county, afterwards County Superintendent of common schools; and still later, in 1863, was elected on the Republican ticket, Representative to the legislature of the State of Iowa; which office he filled with honor to himself, and to the satisfaction and credit of his constituents. In 1867 he was again nominated by the Republican convention, but withdrew from the canvass, and Mr. J. H. Smith was elected.

In 1854, Thomas B. Neeley, Dist. Att’y elect, P. G. Cooper, county Clerk elect, James Hardy, County Judge elect and Chester Hamilton, Sheriff elect, wishing to appear before Judge King and take the oath of office, started from Magnolia. They had to cross the Willow and Boyer, neither of which had a bridge. Being on horseback, they got across the Willow without much trouble; but coming to the Boyer they found the stream considerably swollen by recent rains, and there was a proposition to turn back, whereupon one spoke, “What will my wife say if I go back home before M?” This was a stimulus to the whole party, and hitching their horses, drawing their boots, they swam the river and in a short time were duly qualified as county officers.

Buena Vista and Jeddo were the first towns laid out in the township, and as these are near each other in location, and important as trading points, we here speak of them in connection. these, at one time, could raise as much excitement of rivalry, perhaps, as some of our railroad towns at the present time. Buena Vista finally leading off with one or two hotels, stores and shops, until 1867, when the destroying angel for small towns, (the Chicago North Western Railroad) left the town in the most extreme throes of misfortune. some years ago Hon. L. R. Bolter commenced buying up the lots of the ancient town of Jeddo, preparatory to making them into a farm. He now has the way clear and there is on file, in the office of the probate court of this county, a petition for the vacation of the town, which will be, beyond a doubt granted. Mr. Bolter has moved most of the houses off, only leaving one for a residence and a few tenant houses; and now has as a nice farm.

Logan Township

Logan is southeast from Magnolia and on the line of the Chicago and North Western Rail Road. For beauty of location, this town has no superior. The first business house was a drug and grocery store. The town was laid out the last of June 1867. Next Messrs. Cole and Fish moved their store from Whitesboro. Meantime, Rundasill, Wood and Low of Magnolia, had a store room in process of completion. soon after, Broadwell and Cavin commenced their store room; and before winter set in, Logan had three good stores. There is not at Logan two good dry goods and grocery stores, with full stock, one good drug store, one shoe shop, blacksmith shop, meat market, one physician, one dentist, one good hotel and one boarding house, one lumber merchant, and dealer in agricultural implements; three warerooms and deposit wheat, corn and produce for shipment. Within 50 yards of the town stands Reel’s Mill, owned now by James McCoid. This site on which this mill is built is one of the best.

Business Directory, Logan, Iowa

  • Cole & Fish, general merchants;
  • G. B. Cadwell, dealer in stoves, tinware, and hardware;
  • James McCoid, proprietor McCoid’s Flouring Mill;
  • Kelly Bros., druggist, dealers in drugs, medicines, paints and oils;
  • Geo, White, hotel proprietor;
  • Rudasill, Wood & Low, general merchants;
  • T. M. C. Logan, wholesale and retail dealer in agricultural implements and produce merchant;
  • William Orr, licensed stock broker.

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