History of Harlin Township, Fayette County, IA
From: Past and Present of Fayette County, Iowa
B. F. Bowen & Company
Indianapolis, Indiana 1910


We are indebted to Mrs. S. T. Barnes, of Maynard, for the following sketch of Harlan township history:

The township of Harlan was organized in 1859: until then it was a part of the precinct comprising the now townships of Westfield, Center, Banks, Fremont, Harlan, Smithfield, Scott, Jefferson and Oran. The voting place was Lima. In 1855 Westfield was organized, and from that time up to the second Tuesday in October, 1859, the residents of this township voted at Fayette, in Westfield township. On that day the first election was held at the house of T. J. Dewey. The polls were opened at nine o'clock A. M. and closed at six P. M. The following officers were elected: Trustees, T. J. Dewey, William Taylor and W. B. Aylesworth; township clerk. F. M. Aylesworth; justices of the peace, J. B. Kingsbury and C. M. Shanklin; assessor, Brown Stewart. The first school record is of a meeting called for March 11, 1861, by William Taylor, president of the school board. The first teacher was Helen Norton, now Mrs. Jasper Dewey; the school was in a log house that was built in 1859, by Mills, and owned by T. J. Dewey, at that time in district No. 2, and commenced May 14, 1860. The salary was eleven dollars per month, without board. The first school house was erected in the fall of 1861. It was built of logs near the northeast corner of the original town plat of Maynard and the first teacher was Miss Amanda Stevenson. The first frame school house was erected in the summer of 1862, by William G. Barnes, and the first teacher of this school was Miss Hessie Crawford, now Mrs. Milton Taylor. In the fall of 1855 C. M. Shanklin built a log house, and in the spring of 1859 moved his family from Illinois. This house stood near the two oak trees on the corner of the land now owned by Frank Burdick, across the street from the old creamery. The first white child born in this township was born to Mr. and Mrs. W. P. Shy, in the year 1852, in a cabin on the site now occupied by the house owned by William Malvern. The first person buried in Long Grove Cemetery was Minerva Dewey, who died in November. 1863. At the time of organizing the township of Harlan there was a population of about sixty, and seventeen voters.

The first actual settlers in what is now Harlan township were the Shy, Mills and Myers families, who located on section 11 and commenced making improvements. Two of them soon sold their claims to H. Barnes, Sr., who raised a crop of wheat in 1853. T. J. Dewey purchased another of these claims and settled near Mr. Barnes. But Henry Maynard is entitled to the credit of making the first land entry in this township. He came from Illinois in 1851 and entered the southwest quarter of section 14, but returned to Illinois and did not take up his residence here until 1861. Andrew Walsh was another early pioneer, in addition to the names given elsewhere.


There are eight sub-districts in the district township of Harlan, besides the independent district of Maynard. In the eight sub-districts there were nine female teachers employed during the last year, at an average salary of thirty seven dollars and forty six cents per month. Duration of the schools during the year was eight months. The school enumeration shows one hundred ninety eight persons between five and twenty one years of age in the district township, of whom one hundred forty six were enrolled in the schools. The disparity between the number entitled to school advantages and the number enrolled is due, in most instances, to the absence of the older pupils in attendance at higher schools. This is true of all the rural districts in the county, and should not be construed as evidence that many pupils are not attending school. The average cost of tuition in Harlan township was three dollars and thirty seven cents for each student attending. The school apparatus used in the eight schools is valued at one hundred ninety five dollars, and there are four hundred seventy two volumes in the school libraries of the township. The school houses are valued at three thousand nine hundred fifty dollars.


This is the only village in the township. It is located on parts of four sections at the center of the township, east and west, and about two miles west of the east line. Portions of the town are now laid out on sections 14, 15, 22 and 23. C. M. Shanklin purchased a part of the land upon which the town was located, and built a house on it in 1864. But the town was not laid out until the construction of the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Minnesota railroad was assured in the early seventies. Maynard was laid out in 1872-3 by J. J. Berkey, of West Union. The plat was recorded October 16, 1873, and the village was named in honor of Henry Maynard, at the suggestion of the president of the railroad company. The first residence on the town plat was erected and occupied by Joseph Hadden, but the first building was a grain warehouse.

The disappearance of Daniel Schuck, in October, 1877, was the first real sensation in the quiet little town. Schuck was a bachelor living alone, but during the season of 1877 he had a hired man named Christ Kraft, who lived with him. Schuck was last seen on the t7th of September and on the 19th Kraft began hauling grain to Maynard and sold it. He alleged that Schuck had sold him the farm, but had misrepresented financial conditions, stating that there was a five hundred dollar mortgage on the farm. then there was one thousand dollars against it. Kraft soon rented the place to another man and disappeared from the community. A legal proceeding was instituted, but no cause of action was developed, and neither party to the tragedy has ever been seen in the vicinity. The claim of Kraft that he had purchased the farm was not sustained in law, and an administrator settled the estate of Daniel Shuck, his continued absence being, in law, prima facie evidence of his death.


For a history of the Methodist Episcopal and Presbyterian churches in this township, the reader is referred to the special articles on those subjects. The same is true of the Catholic and Lutheran communicants, who are numerous throughout the township.

There are two country churches still holding organizations near the north line of the township, but over in Center township. One of these is a Methodist organization, while the other is owned and sustained by the United Brethren. The latter is the location of an annual camp meeting usually held in the groves adjacent, and this has been the scene of many enthusiastic revivals, as well as of a summer outing for people of all religious faith, many attending from distant points in the county or elsewhere. This is known as the "Grub" church, because of its location in and near scrubby timber. It was organized in March, 1878, under the ministrations of Rev. R. D. McCormick, a pioneer minister in the United Brethren church and who is still living in the county. It was organized with fourteen members, some of whom lived in the town of Maynard, about three miles south of the church. Since the division of the church on disciplinary grounds, as mentioned elsewhere, this organization has allied itself with the "Liberals." Previous to the building of the church edifice, services were held in the school houses until the formation of a class was assured.


The village of Maynard was incorporated in June, 1887, and since that date it has developed into a good trading point, being always an excellent stock and grain market. The residence portion of the town is extremely handsome. being situated in beautiful natural groves. The site of the town is on level ground, which is a characteristic of the township throughout. There are about three sections of timber land from Maynard north to the township line, these sections being 3, 10 and 15, with a little scattering timber adjacent. The south branch of the Volga river flows north through the town of Maynard, through this timbered belt, and enters the main stream near Fayette, in Westfield township.

The Long Grove Dairymen's Association was incorporated at Maynard. in December, 1875, with Henry Maynard, president. Judson A. Stevens, vice president, E. B. Snecligar, secretary and treasurer. The association erected a commodious building of two stories and basement eighteen by thirty feet, at a cost of one thousand six hundred dollars. This was the first creamery established in the community, and a. thriving business was transacted. The first officers are all dead or removed from the county, and though there is still a prosperous creamery business conducted at Maynard, it is operated by private enterprise. There is also a feed mill, and other public enterprises in the town, besides several good stores, mechanical shops, machinery supplies, etc. The only hotel in the place was burned recently, and a larger and better one is now under construction. The Maynard Savings Bank is the monetary institution of the town. The officers are, W. B. Beatty, president, A. H. Meihe, vice president, and E. F. Varnke, cashier.


The Maynard school district, coincident with the boundaries of the corporation, has a new and modern school house with four rooms, employing one male teacher and four females, the former at a salary of seventy five dollars per month and the latter at an average salary of forty one dollars and sixty six cents. Nine months' school is provided for during the year. Of one hundred fifty one persons between five and twenty one years, one hundred twenty nine were enrolled in the schools, with an average daily attendance of one hundred fourteen. Besides these, there were eleven non resident students attending who contributed one hundred thirty six dollars and eighty cents to the school funds of the district. The average cost of tuition per month for each pupil was one dollar and seventy six cents. The school house is valued at five thousand seven hundred dollars, with six hundred dollars invested in school apparatus. There are one hundred sixty nine volumes in the school district library.

Some of the old settlers of the town and near by community were the Maynard and Pember families, J. A. Stevens, E. B. Snedigar, C. S. Older, C. B. Rich, Emory Frost, A. S. Payne, H. S. Hadsel, W. E. Davis, Isaiah Stansberry, Levi Smith, O. D. Bement, Harlow Giles, J. P. Prendergast. O. L. Farrand, Christ. First, S. H. Coon, Hiram Barnes, S. M. Goodall, J. S. Hatton, W. H. Syford, W. H. Potter, J. A. Vincent, F. M. Leach, George A. Sampson, Adam H. Weaver, S. S. Westgate, Joseph E. Beckner. S. P. Cushman, E. Packard, W. B. Beatty, M. C. Payne, S. T. Barnes, George Barkoff John Cutler, George Rice, the Talcott families, Matthew Smith, E. E. Day, Josiah Davis, the Conrads, H. L. Hadsel, George Sykes, the Fosket and Hollister families. It is not assumed that this is a complete list of early settlers' names, and some may be omitted from the list who ought to be there; but this is the best that can be done at this late date.


In December, 1873, Long Grove Grange was organized in Maynard, and during its existence, which covered a period of many years, nearly every man and woman in the surrounding country was associated with it. Many of the early members are dead and others removed, while the younger generations have allied themselves with other societies.

The Ancient Order of United Workmen lodge has been one of the continuing institutions of the place, and much good has resulted from its existence. Diana Lodge No. 87 was organized on the 3oth of November. 1876. and was for a number of years an exceptionally strong organization. It is purely an insurance society, though the ritualistic and social functions are a source of pleasure to the members.

Maynard Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized in 1891, and started out with a strong membership. It has always been an active and influential society in the town. A few years ago the Westgate lodge was consolidated with the Maynard organization, thus discontinuing the one and strengthening the other. This is now the most prominent and active social and beneficial fraternity in the place.

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