The name of Cono was that of a Winnebago Indian chief who, it is said, hunted along the Wapsipinicon River in
the township in the very early days before the white men came. The earliest settlers knew him and said that he
was a "good Injun" if one ever lived.
The Township of Cono was organized and set apart as a separate township on September 21, 1858. The order of the
county judge to this effect follows: "Be it known, that on this 21st day of September, 1858, it hereby is
ordered that a new township be formed of the thirty six sections of Congressional township 87, range S, in said
county, and that it take the name Cono, all in accordance with the petition of Jonathan Simpson, W. McCaughty and
others. Signed, Stephen J. W. Tabor, county judge."
The first election was held in 1858. George Anson. J. B. Gleason and Samuel Hovey were elected trustees; Martin
C. Glass and M. Hampton, justices; W. McCaughty, assessor; and Edward Hovey, county supervisor.
The first permanent settlement in the township was made by John Cordell in 1843, on a small creek near the present
site of Quasqueton. He came from Ohio and entered his land from the Government immediately on his arrival. He lived
in this township only one year and then he moved to Liberty Township, where he resided until his death. In the
fall of 1851 Cordell was one of the commissioners who surveyed the road from Quasqueton to the county seat of Marshall
County. This was a state road. He died at Quasqueton in the year 1858.
William Rounds come to this township about 1852 and built his shanty on Sand Creek He remained only a short time,
however, having become very dissipated and deserted his family and went to Kansas where he died soon after. Mrs.
Rounds went to Marion and the children were bound out.
Leander Keys and T. B. Burgess settled here in 1845 and are credited as having built the first frame house in the
township. Keys was a carpenter by trade and Burgess was a tailor, but it is said that they worked at their respective
trades only "occasionally." Burgess married a girl from Wisconsin, then rented his farm and went to that
state, where he lived a short time, eventually returning and selling his interest in the farm, then going to Cedar
Rapids, where he started a livery stable. Keys went to California in 1850, and after two or three years in that
state, came back and married Cora Anna Coffin, of Delaware County Then he moved to Independence and engaged in
the dry goods business and was elected sheriff of the county while living here. He soon moved back to California
and stayed there until his death.
George Anson, a native of England, came to this state in 1853 and worked at his trade as gunsmith in this township.
The date of his departure is not known.
Morris Todd became a resident of Buchanan County in 1854, and in the year 1863 he moved to Cono Township and settled
on section 3. For over twelve years he served the county as assessor, and also was a member of the county board
Jacob Kress settled here in 1856, coming from the State of Illinois. He was born in Baden Baden, Germany, in 1836
His marriage occurred in Cono in 1857. He resided here for a number of years and had one of the best farms in the
county before his death.
Adam Gimpher came from Germany and settled in the south part of Cono Township in 1857. Henry Burnham became a settler
of the township in 1857 and pursued his trade of blacksmith. He served the county once as supervisor and has been
a director several times of the county schools. He possessed one of the good farms in the township, all of which
land was built up by his labor and perseverance.
W. G. Anson became a resident of Cono Township in 1853 and here followed his trade as cabinet maker. He was a native
Englishman He married a Quasqueton girl, Harriet Blair. He gave up his trade a few years after coming to this country
and then became a farmer.
Perhaps the first death to occur in the township was that of Allen Cordell, a son of John Corderl, in the summer
The epidemic of fever and ague which struck the community in 1844 and 1.845 seized upon nearly every person living
here at that time. Dr. E. Brewer, living near Quasqueton, was the only available physician, so he attended to all
of the cases.
L. Keys and T. K. Burgess raised the first wheat in the township in the summer of 1846.
The first white child born in the township was Lucien Stout.
It is said that the first marriage was between William Burway and Jane A. Cooper on February 5, 1854. D. C. Hastings
and Margaret A. Cooper were also married on August 3d of that year.
A postoffice was established in the southeast part of the township about the year 1849 and H H Grimm was appointed
postmaster. The office was abolished six years after. The postoffice at Rowley was established in the year 1873.
An Evangelical religious society was organized in 1857 and Rodolph IDeipher was the first pastor. There were fifteen
members at this time. In 1869 they constructed a house of worship near the center of the township The society has
been disbanded for a score of years.