1868 History: Morgan – Union Townships, Harrison County, Iowa

Morgan Township

Morgan Township has been included under the organization of Raglan, and formed a part until the 1st of January, 1868, at which time the previous petition, it was organized as Morgan Township. Morgan lies west of Raglan and on the Missouri River, four by five miles in extent, and contains a good timber and farming land.

Mondamin is the name of a new town laid off on the U.P. & S.C. Rail Road, and bids fair to be a good trading and shipping point. The first settlers of this township were E. J. Hagerman, D. W. Fletcher, I. Gamet and G. H. Burcham, all of whom settled about the year 1857. Now most of them, may be considered rich, for the west; in enviable circumstances at least. I have not yet seen a more promising country for the enterprising farmer than the Missouri Valley.

Raglan Township

Raglan Township partakes of the Missouri and Soldier River bottoms, and then extends up to the bluffs. The settlement of this township commenced in the year 1852, by A. Lockling and A. Pate, D. M. Follett, John Danielson, J. Ingleson, Chester Hamilton and Jacob Minton. Chester Hamilton was the first Sheriff of Harrison county and Jacob Minton the second.

John Danielson shortly after the outbreak of the rebellion enlisted in Co. “H” 15th Regiment Iowa volunteers, and from a private was soon promoted to captain, and received a severe would in the leg at the battle of Pittsburgh Landing.

Raglan is a good township and is prospering in agriculture and schools.

Taylor Township

Taylor Township originally formed a part of Magnolia Township, but was added to Calhoun during Judge Brainard’s administration, and in 1860 was set off as a full township.

In the year 1853, Robert Hall made the first settlement, in the north-eastern part of this township. The following year, J.C. Wills, S. J. Oaks, and Mr. Lockling, put up buildings and commenced improvements. Messrs. Mahomey & Wakefield are actively engaged erecting a flouring mill in this township near the residence of Mr. Wills on the Soldier River. The only religious organization is of the Christian (or Campbelite) order, a congregation having been organized in April 1867, Mr. Snyder pastor.

St. John Township

Harrison County was organized in the year 1853, and from that period up to 1857, the sough part of the county constituted a precinct for voting purposes, and held elections at Harris Grove. In the summer of 1857 the township of St. John was organized.

In 1851, Mr. William Dakan, an enterprising farmer, settled here. It was again two years before any additions were made to the number of these enterprising men. this year (1853) William Spencer, John Deal, John Hatcher, Champion Frazier and others settled here and commenced preparing farms.

In the fall of 1857 a company was organized consisting of Robert and George McGavern, John Deal, G. H. Cotton, E.W. Bennett, Noah Harris, P. J. Purple and James A. Jackson. The company was organized the 27th day of August, by selecting Robert McGavern, president; E.W. Bennett, secretary. The object of this company was to lay off and build up a town; consequently, the town of St. John was laid out, and building immediately commenced. Harvey & Woodruff opened a store that fall and Jacob Preston opened a hotel which he called the Boyer Valley House, and soon sold out to Jacob Fulton. A school house and some dwellings were built the same season. The winter not being favorable, improvements now ceased until spring, when there was a general waking up all over the township, and improvements went ahead. This year the town built a school house, the best then in the county. Thus improvements went on until wild-cat banks failed all over the country, ruining a great many good business men, and casting its blight on old and new towns. But railroads build towns, and in 1867 the cars made their appearance one mile northwest from St. John, the New St. John was laid off; since, however, the name has been changed.

Missouri Valley

Missouri Valley is beautifully situated at the foot of the bluffs, one mile from the Boyer River, six miles form the Missouri and at the junction of the C. & N. W. Railroad and U. P. & S. C. Railroad. It contains one hundred dwellings. The population is about 600 hundred. The freight agent, Mr. Waldo Abell, of the C. & N. W. Railroad Company, informed me that during the winter months of 1867 and 1868, the net income of this office was $35,000 per month. The township now has six school houses, in each of which are taught from six to nine months of school.

Missouri Valley Business:

  • T. E. Brannen, attorney at law;
  • P. D. Mickel, attorney at law;
  • J. M. Riley, saddler and harness maker;
  • H. C. Warner, wholesale and retail dealer in general merchandise;
  • R. McGavern & Company, dealers in hardware and agricultural implements; Smith and Cogswell, carpenters and joiners;
  • McGavern & Hull, dealers in drugs;
  • D.A. Babcock, dealers in stoves, tinware and farming implements;
  • J.C. Enke, plaster and brick layer;
  • McBride & Birchard, druggists;
  • L. S. Snyder & Company, dealers in stoves, tinware and hardware.

Union Township

Union township is in the south-east part of Harrison County. It has Pigeon and Mosquito Creeks with their tributaries, running through it, and numerous springs of good water. it has two small groves, Union and Wakefield.

The first settlement commenced in 1853. Samuel Wood, Mr. Sellers, Mr. Egon and Mr. Lelan were among the first to locate here. Although the township has not filled up quite so fast as some others, I know no reason why it will not be numbered among the best of farming land.

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