History Fremont 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


Fremont Township was set aside as a separate township in March, 1856. The order reads: "Ordered by the court that township 89, range 7, excepting sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, together with sections 13, 21, 25 and 36, of town 89, range 8, and sections 1, 12 and 13, of town 88, range 8, and sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 of town 88, range 7, be, and the same are hereby declared to be constituted as a separate precinct, to be called Prairie Precinct and it is ordered that an election be held in the said precinct on the first Monday in April next, at the schoolhouse, near the residence of Zenia R. Rich, in said township, for the purpose of electing one township clerk, two constables, two justices of the peace, three township trustees, one road supervisor, and one school fund commissioner, for the county, Signed, O. H. P. Roszell, county judge."

The township was named in honor of John C. Fremont, the first republican candidate for President in the United States.

There have been many changes in the township since the date of organization. It now consists of Congressional township 89, range 7. When the first petition was delivered to the court asking for an organization it was then requested that the township be given its present name, Fremont, but the court refused this and named it Prairie. At the time of the second election in the township, however, the present title was given.


The first settlers in the township were Z. R. and S. W. Rich, two brothers, who came here in July, 1851 They were in the county the preceding year, but did not locate and enter land, hence could not be called settlers in that year. These two men, Z. R., with his family, built for themselves a lonely log cabin near the stage road from Independence to Coffins Grove, Delhi and Dubuque. Travelers on this road often stopped at the Rich cabin to spend the night or to rest their mounts. Their home may be called the first hotel in the township. Their marketing was done in Dubuque, fifty five miles distant.

Alm Peck from New York settled in the township in April, 1855. He entered land from the Government. When he came there were in the township only the two Riches and James Fleming. Peck afterward became prominent in the affairs of the township and served as the first clerk.

Andrew Payne settled here in October, 1855, coming from the State of New York. He was a brother in law of Alru Peck and came here with the latter.

James Fleming settled in Fremont Township in July, 1854, coming direct from Wisconsin. He was a native of Massachusetts.


Z. R. Rich built the first schoolhouse in the township in 1856. Laura Peck, afterward Mrs. Toogood of Independence was the first teacher in this log school. She held the position for two years. The school was supported by the two Rich brothers, for at the time there were no settlers within four miles in this township. In 1858 a school district was organized The house constructed by Rich was rented for the first term and S. W. Rich was engaged to teach. No more schoolhouses were built until the closing years of the Civil war. The first one was in the Fleming district in the southwest part of the township. Among the first teachers of this latter school were Laura Peck, Ellen Payne and S. W. Rich.

The first cemetery established in Fremont Township was in the southwest part, in 1855, on land donated for the purpose by James Fleming and Airu Peek. Quite a number of the early pioneers are buried at this place.

The first death was that of Omer Fleming on February 17, 1855.

The marriage of S. W. Rich and Emily Gaylord was the first in the community, occurring in 1854.

It is said that the first white child born here was Ella Rich. The birth happened December 29, 1853.

The first crop was raised in the township by Z. R. Rich during the year he came. It consisted of buckwheat and sod corn. The Rich brothers also raised the first wheat in the summer of 1854.

Creameries were established in the township in the '70s by C. W. Schoville and W. L. Mallory.

There never has been a town in this township, but the rich agricultural districts and the prosperity of the farmers residing within the township bounds make it one of the best in the county.

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