History Buffalo Township, Buchanan County, IA
From: History of Bachanan County, Iowa And its People
By Harry Church and Katharyn J. Chappell
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. Chicago 1914


In the year 1852 a townships was formed composed of the whole of the present Buffalo, Madison, the north half of Bryon and Fremont. Subsequently each was set aside as a separate division of the county. The order establishing Buffalo Township was issued by O. H. P. Roszell, county judge, on August 6, 1852.

The first election was held in the spring of 1857 at the house of Abiathar Richardson and the following were elected township officers. A. Richardson, A. J. Eddy and Mr. Gould, trustees; Silas K. Messenger, justice; Samuel M. Eddy and R. W. Bancroft, constables; A. Richardson, clerk.


Abiathar Richardson was the first settler in the township, coming in the fall of 1849. He built for himself a log house on the west side of Buffalo Grove. He lived here alone for a year, then persuaded Silas K. Messenger to buy his cabin. Richardson soon after married and built the first frame house in the township. He died in 1872.

Andrew J. Eddy became a resident here in June, 1851, and immediately built his home near Richardson's. Eddy's home became popular with the travelers who passed this way and desired lodging for the night.

William Jewell settled here in 1850 and only a short time before Eddy. Rockwell Jewell became a settler in the township about 1852, but he only remained here four years.

Samuel M. Eddy came to Buffalo Township in 1851 with his brother, A. J., and lived with him until 1857, when he entered some land, built a cabin, and took care of his mother.


There was at one time a village in the southeast part of the township by the name of Buchanan, but popularly known as Mudville. It was platted and laid out by Abiathar Richardson in about 1857. There was a thriving business in this town before the construction of the railroad a few miles north. When this occurred, however, the town sunk to an ignominious death.

The first store to be kept in the township was by Joseph Abbott. The first blacksmith was Caleb Fairchild. Cook Richardson constructed a saw mill in the south part of Mudville and ran the factory for several years. The first postmaster was the founder Ahiathar Richardson.

The first white child born here was Emeline Jenks in September, 1852. Ezra Richardson was born in the fall of the next year.

The first death in the settlement was that of Rufus Connelly.

In the summer of 1853 a school was taught in the house of Silas K. Mossenger by Emily Gaylord. This was a subscription school. The first house was built of logs and James Bennett was the first teacher to have a class therein.

A cemetery was established here in 1868 in the eastern part of the township.

The first marriage in the township was that of Abiathar Richardson and Elmira Noyes in 1852.

The first frame house in the township was built in 1851 by this same Richardson and was located in the Village of 1VIudville. The first frame barn was constructed in 1855 by A. J. Eddy. Eddy also drew the first load of pork from the township, hauling them to Dubuque.

C. H. Jakway raised the first flock of sheep in 1857.


The first religious meetings held in the township were at the home of A. J. Eddy in 1852 by a traveling pastor named Zeigler.

The Methodist Episcopal Society was first organized in September, 1856, in a private residence. Schoolhouse and these homes were the places of meetings for a number of years after the organization. Among the early members of the society were: O. Preble and wife; L. H. Smith and wife; J. G. Ward and wife; and others. Services were afterward held in the Free Will Baptist Church. The church in Aurora was constructed in 1892 and the one in Stanley in 1894. The former church has a membership of about seventy five and the latter sixty five.

There is also a Union Church at Stanley.

The Free Will Baptist Church was organized in the township about 1857. The society was formed by P. M. Halle and wife and H. M. Bailey and wife, they having withdrawn from the church at Madison. R. Norton was the first pastor and his congregation consisted of eight members. The Aurora Church is the descendant of this society, but has never had a regular pastor. They are either supplied from Lamont or Winthrop.

There was an United Brethren Church organized in the township about 1875, but this society has become extinct and the records lost


The building of the Chicago Great Western Railroad through Buffalo Township was also responsible for the growth of the City of Aurora. The town was surveyed and platted in the year 1886, the same year the railroad came in, and the plat was filed for record on November 1st of that year. The town rapidly grew when the opportunity came for shipping and receiving tradesgoods and the 400 people living there today are mostly well to do and thrifty.

There are two good banks in the town. The first, The Aurora Savings Bank, was established in the year 1892. The present officers are: R. Richardson, president; C. H Jakeway, vice president; W. I. Warren, cashier; and Pearl IDurfey, assistant cashier. The capital stock is $10,000, the surplus is $4,000, and the deposits are $95,000. The Farmers and Merchants Bank was organized in 1898. George Spangler is the president at this time; C. Watson, vice president and W. G. Elliott, cashier. The capital stock is $10,000 and the deposits amount to $65,000. A fuller account of these two banks may be found in Volume II of this work.

The Aurora Observer is the only newspaper published in the town. It was established in 1894 as an independent paper by J A Kinney, who afterward turned it over to his brother, R. D. The latter sold to Mr. Knapp, who in turn disposed of the paper to Mr. Tennis. Tennis is now running the same in weekly issues. It is a very substantial paper, with excellent make up, and good circulation.

Fraternal societies in Aurora are represented by the Masons, the Odd Fellows, and the Modern Woodmen. There are also several ladies' sewing clubs active.

In the spring of 1899 the following men, Lake Harmon, F. L. Chapman, M. J. Brown, J. A. Kinney, M. D. Mallison, and M. T. Miller, petitioned for an election for incorporation. This was granted and the town was incorporated May 25, 1899.

The modern schoolhouse in Aurora was built in 1909 and is one of the best, in any of the smaller towns of the county.


The year 1886 ushered in the little City of Stanley, located in section 12 of Buffalo Township. It was platted and owned by S. C. Irvine. The Chicago Great Western, of course, started the town. The postoffice was established in that year.

The Stanley Exchange Bank was established in 1897, by Adam Kiefer, of Hazleton, with C. E. Hayes as cashier. R. R. Sherman is president of the bank at this time, and H. L. Irvine is cashier. The capital stock is $15,000 and the deposits amount to $125,000.

In 1905 there was a newspaper started in Stanley called the Stanley Gazette and was published by the Stanley Printing Company. The paper was of poor make up and poor editorial quality so it lived but a year or so.

The Town of Stanley was officially platted on August 17, 1886. On March 5, 1914, an election was held for incorporation and the result was favorable. D. E. Mahoney was elected mayor; R. D. Platt, clerk; George Hill, treasurer; Frank Ingamell, H. W. Bird, R. R. Sherman, H. E. Garlock and R. S. Zabriskie, councilmen.

Stanley has a good school building, erected in 1902.

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