History of Newton 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


Newton Township was organized by the following order on July 20, 1854: "It is ordered by the court that township 87, north, range 7 west, in this county, be and is hereby set apart as a new township, to be called Newton Township. This order to take effect on the third Monday in July next and not sooner. Signed, O. H. P. Boszell, County Judge."

The first election was held the first Monday in August, 1854, at one of the schoolhouses in the south part of the township. Andrew Whisenand, Charles Hooter and Nathan Holman were appointed by the court as judges of election. The following township officers were elected: Charles Hoover and Reuben C. Walton, justices; Jesse McPike, Andrew Whisenand and Charles Hoover, trustees; Charles McPike, assessor; Amos Long, clerk; and Green Berry, constable.


The first permanent settler in the township was Joseph Austin. In the spring of 1845 he built a cabin in the vicinity of a good spring at the timber edge. Austin lived here until 1853, when he moved to Cono Township. He fought for the Union in the '60s.

Reuben C. Walton was the next to settle here in the spring of 1847, on section 33, in the south part, near Austin's home. A spring which flowed near to his home was afterwards known as the Walton Spring. Walton was one of the, first magistrates of the township and is said to have performed the first marriage ceremony.

W. H. Harris and W. Ogden, with their families, settled here in 1851 near the Austin place. These men remained only about two years.

Charles Hoover first came to the state in April, 1851, and stayed for a short time at Quasqueton. He then came to this township. His nearest neighbor lived at a distance of four miles from his home. Hoover was noted as a deer hunter, bagging fifty seven in fourteen months.

Martin C. Glass settled in Newton in the year 1849 and bought out the interests of Austin, the first settler. He lived in this township for three years, then moved into Cono.

Jesse McPike settled here on April 28, 1853. He also bought the Austin place, with its noted spring, and here remained until his death on August 25, 1875.

Henry M. Holman came here in 1851, settling first in Cedar County.

Andrew Whisenand settled here in 1851 on the property later owned by Reuben C. Walton. He was one of the organizers of the township and was one of the first judges of election. He was also a township trustee and one of the pioneer Methodists.


The first religious meetings held in the township were by the Methodists, at the house of Reuben C. Walton, about the year 1853. Samuel Farlow was the preacher. Services were held at the house of Jesse McPike also.

The Christian Church was organized here in 1853 with some fifteen members, among whom were H. N. Holman and wife, S. Payton and wife, P. Payton and wife, William and Thomas McKee, and Nathan McConnell.

These two churches have since passed out of existence in this township.

St. Patrick's Catholic Church was first organized in 1856. Services were first held in a log schoolhouse, but in 1870 a large church structure was put up and also a pastoral residence. These are at Monti. Among the priests have been Fathers Slattery, Shields, Ghosker, Malone and Clabby. The church now numbers about sixty families and is the only church at Monti.

The Protestant Methodist Society was organized here in 1858 at the Hoover schoolhouse with about twenty members. The church is now in good condition at Newtouville and has about sixty five members.


The first schools of the township were maintained by popular subscriptions. The very first school was held in 1848 in the south part of the township, near the place of the first settlement, and was taught by Ned Bartly. He had ten scholars in his first class. Mr. Harris shortly afterwards donated the use of a loghouse for the school. In 1850 Reuben C. Walton and several other men got together and built a log schoolhouse in which classes were held for a number of winters. Samuel Calvin, later a professor in Iowa University, taught the first school in this house. A few years later the district built a good house on this old site. There was also a house built in the eastern part of the township. Besides the early teachers above mentioned there were Mrs. Geiger, Charles McPike, A. Henry, George Francis and Charles Moore.


The first death in the township was that of a daughter of James Brown, and granddaughter of Jesse McPike, in September, 1853.

Leonard Austin was the first white child born here, his birth occurring in the winter of 1847.

The first wheat in the township was raised by Joseph Austin in the year 1846.

The first wedding was that of Isaac Arwin and Jane Holman in 1855. Charles McPike was wedded to Jane Ramsey about the same time. Reuben C. Walton conducted both of these ceremonies.

The first store in the township was kept by J. S. Long in the south part of the township on H. M. Holman's farm.

A postoffice was established here and named Newton Centre in the summer of 1855, in the south part of the township, near where the first settlements were made. The first postmaster here was Ulysses Geiger, and after him were R. C. Walton, Turner Cartright and R. Downs. In 1873 the office was transferred to the center of the township and Samuel Hoover was appointed postmaster. This office is now at Newtonville.

A cemetery was established in the south part of the township in 1853. Jesse McPike donated the land. The first burial here was Mrs. Long. Charles Hoover had a private burying ground near his home in the early days. In 1880 there was a cemetery association formed with James Ironsides as president, W. King, treasurer, and Samuel Hoover, secretary. A cemetery was established near the Catholic church in the east part of the township in 1856 and this is now known as the Catholic Cemetery of St. Patrick's.

The old postoffice at Newton Centre was afterward called Newtonville, but has been abolished. The Village of Newtonville has been seriously handicapped by the lack of transportation facilities, and consequently has never reached a stage of development. There are one or two lodges there and one church, the Wesleyan Methodist, described elsewhere in this volume.

The same might be said of Monti. There is one church there, the Roman Catholic, presided over by Father. Donaghey This society was organized in this vicinity about twenty five years ago, but was never very active until ten years later. In the late '90s a church building was erected, the interior being one of the finest in the county. A parsonage was also erected for the pastor.

Neither of these towns have a postoffice at present, but are supplied by rural free delivery.

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