Settlement of Townships in Hancock County, IA
From: History of Winnebago County and Hancock County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organization,
Progress and Achievement.
The Pioneer Publishing Company
Chicago 1917



Amsterdam Township consists of the Congressional Township 94 North, Range 25 West, and is bounded as follows: on the north by Erin Township, on the east by Twin Lake ownship, on the west by Magor Township and on the south by Wright County.

The first settler to locate within the limits of this township was a man named Langfelt, who settled on the southeast quarter of Section 12 about the year 1865. Little is known of Langfelt as he did little of immortal character while here and soon left. In 1868 J. B. Leavitt settled on Section 27, but remained just a year, then moved into Kansas, where he thought better opportunities awaited him. It is thought that the next settler to come to Amsterdam Township was George Hooker, who located on Section 14 in the year 1871. Of Hooker also little is known at the present day, as he did not become a permanent resident. W. H. Pritchard purchased his property in 1876.

The first marriage in the township was that of William R. Smith and Ada M. Payne.


Avery Township is composed of Congressional Township 94 North, Range 23 West, and is bounded as follows: on the north by Ell Township; on the west by Twin Lake Township; on the south by Wright County and on the east by Cerro Gordo County.

The first settler in Hancock County located in Avery Township on September 9, 1854. This was Anson Avery, from whom the township was named. The previous winter C. D. Philo and George Nelson had come up in this direction on a hunting and trapping expedition, and had encamped at this place all during the winter while hunting for game. The beauty and natural advantages of the country appealed to Nelson and he determined to return here and take up a permanent claim. However, Anson Avery arrived before he returned. The Avery and Nelson families were the only ones here during the winter of 1854-5. More of the early settlement of this township is given in the chapter on the early settlement of the county.

The first child born in the township was George, son of Anson and Lovina Avery, whose birth occured in January, 1855. The first death was that of George W. Haskins, son of Benoni and Abigail Haskins, on June 2, 1855; he was buried on his father's land, on the southwest quarter of Section 29. The first marriage was that of Albert Yonkers and Jane Haskins in 1856. The couple went to Mason City to have the ceremony performed. The match proved an ill starred one, as they shortly separated and the husband eventually went to prison.

Avery Township was organized in 1858 and then comprised the south half of Hancock County, or what now constitutes the townships of Ell, German, Erin, Boone, Magor, Amsterdam, Twin Lake and Avery. The first election for township officers took place in June, 1858, at the home of Benoni Haskins on Section 29. No official record exists of this election and all that is obtainable in the way of historical information is that Robert L. Irwin and Orrick Church were elected justices of the peace and Thomas Magill constable. After the other townships were organized and Avery Township assumed its present size and form in 1878 a new organization took place and the following officers were chosen to manage the affairs of the civil division: Anson Avery and James Wilson, trustees; C. M. Church, clerk; C. S. Farmer, assessor; C. J. Boughton and C. S. Farman, justices; James Thomas and Frank Carpenter, constables.

A water grist mill was erected on the Iowa River in this township by A. D. Hiams in 1873. This mill was located on Section 30. It was a frame structure, twenty by thirty feet, and two stories in height. There were two run of buhrs, one for flour and one for meal.

The cemetery was first established in Avery Township in 1862 and was located on the southeast corner of the southwest quarter of Section 29. The first burial in this cemetery was that of the two children of M. S. Gillman and George Savogue in 1863.


Located in the northwest corner of Hancock County is the township of Bingham, comprising all of Congressional Township 97, Range 26. Crystal Township forms the east boundary and Orthel Township the south.

The first settler in Bingham Township was Silas J. Wright. He purchased a portion of the school lands on Section 16 in 1868. He started active farming in pioneer style, but soon tired of the country and returned to Illinois, whence he had come. John Bingham, who located on Section 20 in May, 1869, has been credited by some as being the first permanent settler. He was a native Englishman, having come to America in 1850 when nineteen years of age. In 1874 the Ross family came to the township and settled on Section 34. After two years' residence here they removed to Kansas. Frank Aiken also came during the last named year, but spent just four years here, then went to the Dakotas. C. H. Barber appeared in the township in 1875 and located on Section 16. With the latter came his brother, M. T. Barber, who also located upon Section 16. John Quinn and Isaac Emmons entered the township in 1877 and made homes here.

The first birth in the township was that of Elizabeth, daughter of John and Clarissa Bingham, on July 7, 1869. The death of this same child in February, 1874, was the first casualty.

Bingham Township was organized by being set apart from Crystal Township in 1878, although the first election did not occur until October 14, 1879. Then the following were elected to the first offices of the township: J. R. Flack, J. G. Bingham and Frank Aiken, trustees; David Bingham, clerk; J. R. Flack, assessor; Frank Aiken, justice; J. R. Flack, constable.

Notable among the early features of Bingham Township was the township library, which was organized in 1878, when the civil division was formed from Crystal Township.


Boone Township comprises Congressional Township 95, Range 26. The township was first organized in 1880, but at that time included what is now Orthel Township. The latter was set off and the township of Boone became of its present size and form in 1882.

The first pioneer who located in what is now Boone Township was Maurice Day, who settled on Section 6 in 1870. Day erected a crude home for his family, a building of frame, sixteen by eighteen feet in dimensions. Stephen Day, a brother of Maurice, came at the same time. He was a younger man, without family, and stayed only about two years, then moved to Upper Grove in Avery Township. The Day brothers were from the state of Pennsylvania.

The next settler of Boone Township was Iver Nissen, a native of Denmark, who settled on Section 11 during the year 1871. A pioneer named Stanlope, also a native of Denmark, located on Section 11 in 1872. In 1875 he moved to California. J. B. Hill, from Black Hawk County, Iowa, located upon Section 6 in 1876.

The first birth in Boone Township was that of a daughter of Maurice Day, in 1872. The child died while very young. Her death was the first fatality in the township.

On November 2, 1880, the first election was held for township officers, the township then including what is now Orthel. The polls were located at the Daggett schoolhouse. Following is the list of officers chosen at this time: John Holloway, E. Lloyd and T. Pressnell, trustees; Frank Heal, clerk; G. W. Flack, assessor; S. Basford and John Holloway, justices; G. R. Flack and Fred Cook, constables; H. C. Potter and E. Lloyd, road supervisors of Districts 1 and 2. At the June meeting of the board of supervisors, 1882, the order was issued authorizing the organization of Orthel Township


The civil township of Britt is identical with Congressional Township 96, Range 25. The first settler in the township was Thomas Clark, who was employed by the railroad as a section boss. He located in what is now the town of Britt in April, 1873. Next came B. McMullen, who built the first frame house in the township in 1874. The previous spring, however, McMullen had broken land on Section 25. R. S. Rasmusson located on the Britt site in March, 1875. Peter and J. Jenson came a short time later. The last named three men were natives of Denmark.

The first child born in the township was Willie Clark, his birth occurring in the summer of 1874. The first marriage in the township was that of a domestic in the household of E. Marshall and a man hired to Mr. Devenpeck. The first death is supposed to have been that of a sister of B. McMullen.

The township of Britt was established October 1, 1873, and the first election for township officers was held at the Devenpeck house on October 14th of the same year. The first officers were: R. M. Day, J. B. Daggett and B. McMullen, trustees; A. J. Sprague, clerk; R. M. Day, assessor; G. Devenpeck and A. J. Sprague, justices; William Porter and G. W. Eddy, constables.

The Evergreen Cemetery was located and established on March 20, 1877, by the township. The board appointed for the work, composed of H. C. Potter, J. H. Burdick and R. S. Rasmusson, selected about five acres on the southeast quarter of Section 28. The first burial was the body of William Wooliscroft, father of Jesse Wooliscroft. The second was Mrs. Breese.

Britt Township happened to be in the track of the destructive cyclone which passed this way June 24, 1882, and suffered more damage than any other township in the county. The buildings belonging to Eli C. Southwick on Section 11 were completely demolished.


Congressional Township 96 North, Range 23 West, is the township of Concord. It is bounded on the north by Ellington Township, on the south by Ell Township, on the west by Garfield Township and on the east by Cerro Gordo County.

The first settlement was made by James M. Elder, who moved from the settlement in the lower part of the county in December, 1865. The county seat had been located at the village of Concord the previous month and Mr. Elder, having been elected clerk of the courts, removed here. H. N. Brockway, then county treasurer, was the next to locate in the town. The Elder and Brockway families were in fact the only families in the township for about two years.

In 1868 John Milroy came here for the purpose of building a hotel for Leonard & Stanley and after the structure was completed he purchased it, becoming the first landlord. This hotel was the first building in the township outside of the county offices and the dwelling of the officials. It was erected in 1869. Milroy bore a bad reputation and justified it by deserting his family shortly after buying the hotel. In 1869 Samuel R. Kelly came to the village of Concord with his sister and made a settlement. A man named Smith came in 1870, but did not remain long. He was the first school teacher in the district. L. B. Bailey and John Maben were settlers here in January, 1869. In 1868 or 1869 George S. Morse located at the village and opened a store. In 1870 C. D. Pritchard and William Finch came and bought out Morse. About the same time a grocery store was opened by the Knapp brothers.

The first death in the township was that of Charles F., son of James M. and Mary E. Elder, on September 2, 1866.

The first postoffice in the township was established at the village of Concord, or what was then called Hancock Center, in 1867, with James M. Elder as the first postmaster. He was paid the sum of $12 a year for his services in this capacity, which position he held until 1870, when he was succeeded by C. D. Pritchard. In 1871 Charles C. Doolittle was commissioned postmaster.

The township of Concord was organized in the autumn of 1869 and the first election was held in October of that year. The first officers were: J. M. Elder, Ira Bailey and Manser Dyer, trustees; John Milroy, clerk; J. M. Elder and Ira Bailey, justices of the peace; A. Hoose and S. It. Kelly, constables; and Manser Dyer, road supervisor.


The first settlers in Crystal Township were Edwin Trumbull and Myron Booth. Trumbull located upon the south side of Crystal Lake, broke ground and erected a house. He did not stay long, however, but moved to Webster City. Booth settled near Trumbull's location. In after years he, too, moved to another locality. These two men gave the name of Crystal to the lake near which they settled. In 1866 James McDowell and Warren E. Turner settled in this township, where they remained, but finally removed, the former to Missouri and the latter to Kansas. B. W. Witt is said to have been another settler of the same year - 1866. In 1868 a new tide of emigration came this way and among the newcomers of that year were Eugene Marshall, Jonas A. Scott, Jacob Scott, F. G. Scott, E. W. Scott, Byron F. Scott, W. H. McQuairie, Peter Spang and Luke Nichols. The Scott family became somewhat notable for several reasons, the chief of which was their handling of the school funds. Something is said of this in the chapter on education. McQuairie left this county in October, 1883, for the West Coast. Nichols remained until his death and Spang later returned to New Hampshire. Marshall held several public offices during his residence here, among them being those of county surveyor, superintendent of schools and deputy treasurer. He moved to Caledonia, Minnesota, and entered the banking business.

The first marriage in the township was that of Henry Hennenhofer and Maria Smith in 1872, the ceremony by Luke Nichols, then a justice of the peace. The first birth was a son to William H. McQuairie in 1869. The first death was that of a daughter of F. G. Scott in 1870.

The township of Crystal was organized according to law on October 12, 1869, then consisting of the territory now comprised in both Crystal and Bingham Townships. The first officers elected were as follows: B. F. Scott, county supervisor; E. W. Scott, clerk; William H. McQuairie, assessor; Eugene Marshall, Warren E. Turner and Jacob E. Scott, trustees; John G. Bingham and James McDowell, justices of the peace; B. F. Scott and Myron Booth, constables; Peter Spang, road supervisor: Bingham and McDowell failed to qualify and on March 20, 1870, the trustees appointed William G. Rodman as justice of the peace. Daniel W. Chase was elected constable on November 5, 1872, and was the first person elected to that office to qualify. Eleven votes were cast at the first election.

Crystal Lake postoffice was established in 1870. William G. Rodman was the first postmaster and continued until 1878, when the office was abolished. A township library was organized in 1876.


The first settler in Ell Township, which is 95 north, range 23 west, was Sebastian Ell, after whom the township is named. On Section 15 he located in September, 1870, and erected the first house in the township. Ell was a native of Prussia, born there in 1820, and came to American shores when sixteen years of age. He engaged in farming at Columbus, Ohio, for eighteen years, then lived in Ogle County, Illinois, for thirteen years. Philip Getz also settled in the township in September, 1870, locating upon. Section 4. John Bock was another of the pioneers. Bock located upon Section 21 in 1873. Wilhelm Baker arrived here in 1875 and cast his few belongings down in Section 29.

The township of Ell was organized in 1879 and the first election was held on the 11th of October of the same year. This election was held at School House No. 2 and resulted in the choice of the following officers: J. M. Bickford, Sebastian Ell and John Succow, trustees; Charles Kluckhohn, clerk; Frank Robbins, assessor; S. Graham, justice; H. Merrill, constable; Philip Getz, road supervisor. There were twenty seven ballots cast at this first election.

In 1876 Fred Bock, a brother of John Bock, came here from the old country. Joseph Karr came in from Ellington Township in 1878, having come to the latter division two years previously. Charles Ford was a settler of 1879. John Stork purchased land in Ell Township in 1878. Richard Corey located here in 1880.


This township, one of the first settled in Hancock County, is located in the northeastern corner of the county. The first known settler within the limits of this township was Jacob Ward, who came in with John Maben. The latter located in what is now Madison township, but Ward made a settlement on Section 22 of Ellington Township. Ward came in on September 27, 1855, and he and Maben were also the first in the northern part of the county, the Avery location being in the southern. Jacob Ward, or Uncle Jake as he was called, resided here until the summer of 1881, when he was killed in the cyclone which then devastated a part of the township. June 11th was the date of his demise. In the autumn following the advent of Ward and Maben two others came - Jacob and Harrison H. Rice - and made a settlement on Section 8. The Rices sold out to Maben after a few years and left the vicinity. Philip Tennis was another settler of the year 1855, locating upon the northeast quarter of Section 7. A Mr. Pease who located here in 1855, settled on Section 23. Nearly all of these first settlers moved on when they felt the pinch of civilization; they belonged to the class of men who followed the frontier as it progressed westward.

In December of 1855 Bernard and Andrew Bolsinger, Joseph and Lewis Barth settled in the township. Bernard Bolsinger afterward went to Oregon, there dying, but his brother remained here. Francis N. and Richard Colburn and S. J. Wright made a settlement in the township next, locating on lands in the vicinity of the others during the year 1.856. The Colburns were New Yorkers. James C. Sonar located on Section 7 during the year 1855. He was very prominent in early Hancock County politics. Grove R. Maben made a claim in the township of Ellington in 1857, choosing a site in Sections 6 and 7. He first bought one hundred and twenty acres, but in later years became the owner of over a thousand acres of good tillable land. He constructed a brick house on his farm in 1869, having burned the brick upon his own premises. He also supplied brick for the first courthouse at Concord, hauling them overland the ten miles distance. He also had the contract for building the first house of justice.

The first marriage in the township was that of a man named Edson and a Miss Gillespie in 1859. The birth of Sarah, daughter of Jacob and Emily Ward, in February, 1856, was the first in the township. The first death was that of Calista C. Colburn, infant daughter of Richard and Diana Colburn, in 1858. The death of the mother in the same year was the first among the adults.

The postoffice at Ellington was established in 1859 and Charles C. Doolittle was appointed postmaster. He was succeeded afterward by James Crow, G. W. Beadle and G. W. Gillett.

Ellington Township was organized in June, 1861, the election for officers occurring at the time of the general county election in October, 1861. Francis N. Colburn, James Crow and Jacob Ward were judges of election and B. F. Denslow and C. C. Doolittle clerks. The election resulted in the choice of the following officers: F. N. Colburn, C. Bice and Louis Barth, trustees; Charles C. Doolittle, clerk; James Crow and C. C. Doolittle, justices; and Louis Barth, constable.

In 1857 Wes Hayes came to the township and located in the brush, burning a space large enough for the erection of a small dwelling. S. D. Wilson was a settler of 1868 and A. W. Larson in 1869. E. A. Roberts, F. S. Northup, David Howes, L. W. Chase, E. Tompkins, S. N. Howland were settlers of the late '60s and the early '70s.


Congressional Township 95 North, Range 25 West, known by the name of Erin Township, was first settled in May, 1871, by Garrett Devenpeck. He located on Section 3 and built the first house in the township. He died at his home on September 3, 1883. Mr. Devenpeck was the first justice of the peace in the township, was at the time of his death a member of the county board of supervisors, also held other public offices during his lifetime. The next settler in Erin Township was William J. Porter, who located on Section 3 during the last of May, 1871. Porter boarded at Devenpeck's home while he was breaking the land, but in the autumn of the year erected a house for himself. Porter was a native of Ireland and came to America in 1845, remaining in Massachusetts until 1868, when he came to the untried West. B. McMullen was the next man to locate in the township - his appearance being in 1873 on Section 11. A Mr. Macken came during the same year and settled on Section 14. In 1874 there came to the township, among others, Michael McGruder, Patrick McGruder and J. O'Rourke.

The first marriage in Erin Township took place on the 27th of February, 1879, between F. T. Burdick and Nellie M. Devenpeck. The first death was that of John Porter, who was killed by a fall from a wagon.

Erin Township was officially organized at the October election of 1879 and the following officers elected for the ensuing year: John Murray, B. McMullen and P. Sheridan, trustees; and G. Devenpeck, clerk.


The subdivision of Hancock County known by the name of Garfield comprises the territory lying within Congressional Township 96 North, Range 24 West. The first settler here was John Stork, later a resident of Ell Township. Stork broke the first prairie in the township and sowed the first grain. He also erected the first house. His son, Frank Stork, built the first frame house within the same limits. Among the other early settlers of this township were: John Yarosh, Herman Slick, Joseph Hejlik, John M. Hoesley and Eben Melcher.

The township was organized in 1880 and received its name from President Garfield. The election was held at the Slick school house on November 2, 1880, and resulted in the choice of the following officers: J. M. Hoesley, A. O. B. Smith and John Hartman, trustees; Eben Melcher, clerk; J. W. Finch, assessor; A. O. B. Smith and John Schuler, justices; A. J. Smith and John Dangerfield, constables. At this election the judges were J. M. Hoesley, Eben Melcher and A. O. B. Smith; J. W. Finch and George F. Schuler acted as clerks of election.


All of Congressional Township 95 North, Range 24 West, is included in the civil township of German. The first settler in the township was Harvey R. Stull, who located upon Section 32 in the year 1869 and built the first home in the locality. Stull left the county a few years afterward and died at Wadena, Minnesota. Manser Dyer, an old settler in the county, moved into German Township in 1870 and erected the second house. Dyer later went to Kansas. The third settler was James Peck, who settled here about 1871, erecting a house and opening a farm. He remained here until his death on April 6, 1880. Other settlers who came into this township, or to land now within the township, during the early days were: Frank Wellmyer, M. Y. Moore, Henry Switzberg, John Mason and Fritz Griewe, the latter of these in 1875.

The township was organized in 1878 and the first election was held at the Linz schoolhouse on October 8 of the same year. The following officers were chosen at this time: F. Hartke, H. Terhufen, and Henry Stifle, trustees; G. P. Mertin, clerk; H. Griewe, assessor; S. W. Mertin, justice; E. Steineke and H. Schwartzenberg, constables. The judges of this election were: Henry Terhufen, E. Linz and G. P. Mertin; S. W. Mertin and F. Linz acted as clerks. Twenty four votes were cast at the polls.

The first postoffice in the township was established in 1882 and Henry Terhufen was commissioned postmaster. This office was discontinued shortly afterward.


The civil township of Madison comprises the territory known as Congressional Township 97, Range 24 West. It is located in the northern tier of townships and is bounded as follows: On the north by Winnebago County, on the east by Ellington Township, on the south by Garfield Township and on the west by Crystal Township.

The first settlement in the township was made in September, 1855, by John Maben. On the 27th of that month he located in the eastern edge of the present township, on Sections 12 and 13. Maben became one of the most prominent and influential citizens of Hancock County. In the late fall of 1855 James J. Barker and Samuel Jefford made their appearance in this township and settled, the former upon Section 2 and the latter on Section 11. Jefford died of consumption during the winter of 1859. Barker also died while a resident of this county. In 1856 Eli Moon, Charles It. Wright and George Stroskopf came into Madison Township and effected a settlement. Moon located upon Section 1. Wright chose parts of Sections 12 and 13 and proceeded to open up a farm. He died in 1859 of lung fever contracted while surveying roads. Later settlers of prominence were James Lackore, Harrison Wheelock and Jacob Seibert.

The first birth in the township occurred in January, 1856, being that of a son of Thomas Bearse. The first marriage was that of James J. Barker and Harriet Dawson in 1860.

A cemetery was laid out as a public burial place in 1864 on Section 11. The first interment was that of Charles It. Wright. Wright was the first citizen of the township to die and was first buried at Forest City, but when the township cemetery was opened his remains were removed here.

The township of Madison, then comprising the north half of Hancock County, was organized in June, 1858. The first election was held at the dwelling of James C. Bonar. The judges of the election were James C. Bonar, Jacob Ward and F. N. Colburn. G. R. Maben and Charles R. Wright were elected justices of the peace and John Jefford and H. H. Rice constables. The names of other officers chosen are not available due to the absence of the official records. The returns of this election, however, were sent to Winnebago County, where they were canvassed by Robert Clark, county judge of that county, and C. D. Stockton and C. W. Scott, justices there.


In the extreme southwestern portion of Hancock County lies the Congressional Township 94, Range 26. This is Magor Township, so named in honor of Henry Magor, one of its early settlers and representative men. The territory formerly was a component part of Amsterdam Township, but in 1878 it was set apart and made a separate civil division. The first election was held in the fall of that year and resulted in the choice of the following officers for the township government: James Crane and Alvah Packard, trustees; William Magor, clerk; Harrison Bailey, assessor; Thomas Magor, justice; M. Lang, constable; Henry Magor, road supervisor.

The pioneer settler in Magor Township was James Crane, a native of New York state, who located on Section 21 in the year 1866. He was the only settler in this waste of prairie grass until June, 1880, when he was killed. A neighbor named Samuel Bisel who was herding cattle on the range adjoining Crane's land allowed some of the stock to wander into the latter's preserve. Crane became angry and seizing a club started to drive them off. The two men quarreled over the affair and the herder struck Crane over the head twice with his gun. The last blow struck caused the gun lock to penetrate the skull, death resulting immediately. Bisel was tried, the jury disagreed and the case was carried by change of venue to Wright County, where the defendant was finally acquitted.

The next settler in the township was Harrison Bailey, who located on Section 16 during the year 1869. He did not remain long, but moved into Minnesota. In the spring of 1878 Henry Magor came and located on Section 25. He came here from Wisconsin, although a native of England. He, in partnership with J. E. Corwith, the latter of Galena, Illinois, purchased about 1700 acres of land.

No other settlements were made in this township until the founding of the town of Corwith in 1880. Several men owned land in the township prior to this time, but did not make their residence here.

The first death in Magor Township was that of James Crane. The first birth was that of a daughter of Mr. Crane. The first marriage was that of O. H. Stilson and Lida Olmsted on October 2, 1881.


Until the 7th of November, 1882, this township Was a component part of Boone, having been set off from the latter at the June session of the board of supervisors during that year. The first election for township officers occurred November 7, 1882. At that time J. J. Donahue, J. M. Orthel and Albert Dyke were judges and F. Heal clerk of the election. The following gentlemen were chosen to fill the various offices, namely: H. C. Potter, J. M. Orthel and Joseph Lans, trustees; Frank Heal, town clerk; J. J. Donahue, assessor; H. C. Potter and A. Dyke, justices of the peace; Fred Schwartz and Jacob Schmidt, constables; H. C. Potter, road supervisor.

The first settler within the limits of the present township was John B. Daggett, who, in the year 1870, opened up his farm on Section 21. Here he erected his house in 1871 and on March 26, 1872, brought his family from Algona, Kossuth County. They traveled on sleds across the prairie. Mr. Daggett was the pioneer in developing the dairy resources of northwestern Iowa. He built a cheese factory and made cheese from the milk of fifty cows in the summer. In the fall and winter he converted his factory into a creamery and manufactured butter. Daggett was a native of Maine. He lived here until his death on March 12, 1879.

The next pioneer was a Mr. Sprague, a New Yorker, who settled about the year 1873: He stayed here about four years, then moved to Kansas. In 1876 Henry C. Potter located upon Section 15. He was from Illinois originally. Alfred Dyke made a 'settlement within the township in 1878, choosing land in Section 16. Afterward he returned to Wisconsin. Frank Heal was another arrival in 1878.

The first birth in the township was that of Eliphalet Clark Daggett, son of John B. and C. D. Daggett, on June 13, 1873. On the 10th of June, 1874, this same child died, which was the first death here. The first couple to be united in wedlock was August M. Moncelle and Elizabeth Orthel, the license being issued on May 24, 1883.


All that portion of Hancock County contained in Congressional Township 94 North, Range 24 West, is known as Twin Lake Township. Most of the early settlers in this township were preemptors, locating only for the sake of selling out their claims to others. The first man, however, to make a bona fide settlement was William Arnett, an Englishman, who, with his son and son in law, Thomas Summerill, took up claims in the year 1855. They constructed a log cabin for shelter. Arnett was subsequently caught in a blizzard and frozen to death.

Henry Overacker and L A Loomis settled in this territory in 1856 and remained for several years. In 1858 Abner Stamp, a native of Pennsylvania, settled on Section 30. He did not stay on the frontier long, however, but returned to his native state. John A. Bailey and wife, with two sons, Lambert B. and Rolla E., E. C. Packard and wife, the latter a daughter of John A. Bailey, were the next permanent settlers in Twin Lake Township. All of them came from Waupaca County, Wisconsin. Here they took up claims upon Sections 6 and 7 in 1864.

For three years these were the only settlers of the township, the settlement being very slow on account of the land being in the hands of speculators and other emigrants going farther westward where cheap land could be procured from the government.

Packard remained on his farm until the fall of 1883, when he moved to Belmond, Wright County. The next settler to take up land in this township was Jonathan Butterfield, who located on Section 14 in 1864. He died in 1880.

The first birth in the township was that of Bertha M., daughter of E. C. and C. N. Packard, on May 28, 1866. The first death was that of Mrs. Henry Langfelt, in October, 1869. She was buried in the Belmond cemetery. The first marriage was contracted between Lambert B. Bailey and F. A. O'Cain, in November, 1864.

The township of Twin Lake was set off during the summer of 1882 and was organized at the general election of October 7th following, when the following named officers were chosen: James Wilson, J. D. Bailey and Levi Gartin, trustees; Eugene Gartin, clerk; E. C. Packard and J. D. Barnham, justices; S. D. Rathburn, assessor; Joseph Brown, constable.

The first postoffice in the township was called Bailey's and was established in April, 1879, with E. C. Packard as postmaster. The office was located at Packard's house on Section 6. N. D. Welch succeeded Packard in this position in September, 1883. Four weekly mails were brought here.

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