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


Scott township was organized by order of the county judge in 1858. This was one of the last townships to be organized in the county, on account of the fact that there was no timber in the township, and settlers for the first fifteen years after the land was open to public entry were very few indeed. The resolution ordering the establishment of the township was as follows:

"Ordered that congressional township 91 north, range 8 west, be and it is hereby formed into a new township for all purposes contemplated by law under the name of Scott township. And Prentiss M. Freeman is hereby appointed to discharge the duties, as required by law, necessary to organize said township. The first election in said township to be held at the house of Edward Kniseley in said township on the first Monday in April, 1858, at which election there will be elected three township trustees, one clerk, two constables, two justices of the peace, and a vote will also be taken for school fund commissioner." This order was made February 5, 1858. The township was named after Gen. Winfield Scott, at that time lieutenant general of the United States armies, and the leading figure in the war with Mexico.

Land values were quite low in Scott township for many years, as shown in the equalization of real estate for the year 1839, when values for Scott township were placed at three dollars per acre, but there was a rapid increase in the value of land from that time on, and at the equalization in June, 1910, the average value of all the land in the township was placed at about forty dollars per acre for purposes of taxation, which is probably not far from one half of its actual selling value. The assessment valuation of the township, personal and real, for 1909, was two hundred and seventy two thousand and fifteen dollars. In recent years the township has developed wonderfully, and now contains some of the best farms in the county. A very large number of groves have been planted, and many of the farm buildings are equal to the best. The township has one trading point, a large general store at Scott Center, where many of the people in the township do their trading. There is also a creamery, harness shop and a blacksmith shop there. There is no church building in the township, but there is one, a union church, just over the line of the township, on the east, and another, a United Brethren church, just over the line of the township on the north; both are maintained very largely by the people of Scott township. There are eight schools in the township. In 1839, when there were probably but one or two schools, the number of pupils was thirty seven; and in 1910 the number of pupils was one hundred and ninety nine. There are no reliable school records showing when and where the first school was held, or who was the first school teacher, but Scott township is well to the front in educational matters. The population in 1859 was sixty eight, and in 1903, according to the state census, it was five hundred and fifty seven. In the presidential election of 1860 there were fourteen votes for Lincoln and five votes for Douglas, which represented the political complexion of the settlement at that time.

On June 7, 1861, the first board of supervisors, with one member from each township, assembled at the court house in West Union, with S. C. Crosby representing Scott township. This township was the farm home of Hon. Andrew Addie, who represented the county very creditably in two sessions of the General Assembly of Iowa. He was also clerk of the district court, being elected in 1879, as a Democrat. Mr. Addie is now retired and living in Arlington. For many years he was a prominent and well known resident of this township.

The first entry of government land in Scott township was made by Peter L. Moe, October 16, 1854, by a land warrant. He entered the south half of the northeast fractional quarter of section 1. The second entry was made by William Bailiff, November 7, 1854, for cash. He entered the fractional north half of the northeast quarter of section 1. These two entries form the first quarter section of land entered in Scott township. The first sale of Scott township land, after being entered, was made by Peter L. Moe, to William Bailiff, November 16, 1854, four days after Mr. Bailiff had entered the north eighty acres of the same quarter section. He purchased the eighty acres for sixty dollars, and paid one hundred dollars for his eighty acres, while the same land today would readily sell for one hundred dollars per acre.

Scott township has one and three hundred and fifty four thousandths miles of the main line of the Chicago Great Western railway, and is within reach of stations on three sides, but has no station within its borders. The township is mostly settled by Americans, with probably as few people of foreign birth as any township in the county. A large amount of tile draining is now being done, and it is probable that within a few years Scott township, which in early times was regarded as the poorest township in the county, will turn out to be one of the most valuable. It has always been a township largely devoted to stock raising, and has produced some very fine herds of thoroughbred cattle. Coincident with this industry, dairying is carried on extensively, and affords a steady and unfailing income to those engaged in it.


John Powers and his son, Henry Powers, were the earliest settlers at Scott Center, where the early development of the township began. James Carpenter located on section 23, Scott township, in 1855. He was a native of Orange county, New York. A. Ross was a Scotchman by birth and located in this township in 1863. Other pioneers in Scott were: L. W. and H. B. Brownell, Henry A. Burdick, John B. Doctor, C. B. Gardinier, J. W. Hazen, W. C. Hillman, Robert Hunter, James Kernahan, Solomon Knapp, O. Lincoln. J. C. Miller, John Morehouse, William C. Ponds, John Shields, James Spensley, George Stebbins, William O. Sumner. These were among the pioneers who started the wheels of progress in this "prairie township." Its early development was tardy, owing to the absence of timber snitable for building and fencing. But the stranger passing through the township today would not realize how barren the territory was considered in early days. Stately groves, ornamental hedges and profitable orchards dot the landscape everywhere, while the handsome homes, commodious barns, and fattening herds, indicate the general prosperity of the people.

Scott township has thirty nine and a half miles of telephone lines, represented by four different companies. The Corn Belt Telephone Company has twenty eight miles; the Interstate, seven and a half miles; Scott Telephone Company, three miles, and the Iowa Telephone Company, one mile.


The schools of the township are organized under the rural independent district system, there being eight districts, in seven of which schools were taught during the last year. No. 4 had no school, but the attendance of the eighteen pupils was provided for in other districts. Of the one hundred and ninety nine pupils of school age in the township, one hundred and forty seven were enrolled in the schools (seven), making a total average daily attendance of one hundred and six. The average cost of tuition for each pupil in the seven schools was two dollars and forty eight cents. Four non resident pupils were enrolled in district No. 3. and six were enrolled in district No. 6. These contributed sixty three dollars and fourteen cents to the respective district funds. The eight school houses are valued at four thousand and seventy five dollars. The school apparatus in the eight schools is valued at four hundred and thirty dollars, and their school libraries represent three hundred and sixty eight volumes.

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