History Cono Township, Iowa County, IA
From: History of Iowa County, Iowa And its People
By: James C. Dinwiddie
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. Chiago 1915
As early as the year 1843 William Foster came and settled on section 8, township 81, range 11, and afterward
went to Keokuk County. Andrew D. Stephens came about the year 1844 and located on section 1. He was a native of
Ohio. Isaac Craig arrived about 1843 and took a claim in section 9, but did not stay very long. John Adams came
about 1843 also. It is said that he was the first settler in what is now Cono Township. He went to Iowa City in
'46. It is probable that he built the first house, of rails and sod, in the township. Robert Furnas came from Miami
County, Ohio, in 1845 and in the fall of the year reached Keokuk County. The next spring he went over into Johnson
County and on July 4, 1846, commenced laying the foundation of a cabin in Cono Township. In September he brought
his wife and family. William Greenlee, of the Buckeye State, settled on the northwest corner of section t in the
fall of 1846. J. W. Athey came from Indiana at the same time and took a claim on section 8. He later moved to Marengo
and there died. Squire Brown also came in 1846 and settled in the north part of section 8. He was from Indiana.
Alexander Hutson arrived in the spring of 1847 and located on section 6. He died in 1875 and was buried in Dayton
Cemetery. He was a native of Maryland. Elijah Trueblood came from Indiana in 1846 and settled near the center of
section 3. He was from Indiana and afterward went to Benton County.
Squire Brown and Judson W. Athey both entered land on July to, 1846, the former in section 8 and the latter in section 6. Following them came: William Greenlee, February t, 1847; Robert Furnas. February 8, 1847; Elijah Trueblood, July 7, 1848; William Alvey, July 18, 1848; Richard B. Groff, October 12, 1848.
Cono Township was organized by official order on March 3, 1856, and the first election was held at the brick schoolhouse on the first Monday in April, 1846. At this election the following were elected: trustees, Robert Furnas, William Fumas, R. M. Merrifield; justices, Alexander Hutson, S. T. Coats; constables, F. B. Merrifield, Robert Pearson; clerk, David Furies; assessor, J. W. Athey.
This town was laid out by William Greenlee on June 27, 1857. It was located in the southwest quarter of section 1, township 81, range 11, and named Dayton in honor of William L. Dayton, who was republican nominee for vice president with Fremont in 1856. It became quite a flourishing country village at one time, but there is nothing resembling a building left at this time.
CONO TOWNSHIP REMINISCENCES
The tribes of Indians most prominent in this territory were the Musquakies and the Pottawatomies. In the memory of John R. Brown there was once quite a tribe of Sioux Indians encamped near his father's home, staying there all the night. After they had gone in the morning another bunch of Indians -Musquakies- overtook them at Knapp Creek. Both sides had whiskey with them and were in all degrees of drunkenness and sobriety, so naturally a fight started. The settlers who were friends of both took a hand in the fight and quieted them. As a rule, however, the Indians were peaceable. There was a white man named Henry Sprague who sold them whiskey by the barrel, and on occasions the red men would get offensive. Billy Greenlee took the Musquakies to Kansas, but after a time they came back and located at Tama.
Mr. Brown's father came from Ohio, when he was but twelve years of age; in fact, many of the settlers of Cono
came from the Buckeye State. There were very few of the settlers from foreign lands. Land was first settled along
the stream, for the reason that the eastern people had always been used to timber and believed that the timber
land would be the most valuable. Then again, they were handy to water and fuel. Many of the settlers located on
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