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
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.