History of Ohio Township, Madison County, IA
From: History of Madison County, Iowa
And it's people.
By: Herman A. Mueller
S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. Chicago 1915


It is easy to see where this township got its name. As many of its first settlers came from the State of Ohio, it was but fair to attach the name of that great commonwealth to this community, so thereupon, when it was organized, March 7, 1857, the name by which the township is now known, was attached.

Ohio Township is bounded on the east by Warren County, on the south by Clarke County, on the west by Walnut Township and the north by South Township. Its surface is drained by South River and a number of small streams, and the general topography and character of its confines is that of beautiful prairie land, finely adapted for agricultural purposes. Along the streams is a grove of timber, and back of them, high rolling prairie of the richest soil. Water is to be found in abundance and some of the springs that here abound never cease to flow. The Keokuk & Western Railroad, which is part of the Burlington system, enters the township at the extreme northwestern corner of section 3, and taking a southerly direction, has a station at Truro. It leaves the township at section 24, first making a bend into section 26.

One of the first settlers in Ohio Township was James McNeeley, who was born August 16, 1816, in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, was married to Jane Delong in 1840, and came to Madison County, settling on Buckeye Prairie in Ohio Township in 1853. He died in Winterset, May 14, 1897. Mrs. Jane McNeeley died February 19, 1913, and both are buried in. the Rock City cemetery near Winterset, Iowa. Mr. McNeeley was a member of Company K, Tenth Iowa Infantry.

Solomon Delong, the father of Mrs. Jane McNeeley, also came to Ohio Township in 1853 with a large family, where they lived for many years.

Among the first settlers in this township were the Holmes, Cregers, Bradshaws, Youngs, Porters, Delongs, Martins and Farsons, all of whom came about the year 1854. Here is located the Oak Run meeting house of the famous Quaker settlement, where for many years worshipped the Moorman, Simmons, Painter, Mitchner and Ellis families: In more recent years there was a new invasion from Ohio, when the Worthing, Mitchell and Patterson families arrived, members of which made their influence felt on the politics of the county, more particularly G. W. Patterson and Richard Mitchell.

Charles H. Young, a local preacher of the Christian Church for many years, was one of the most characteristic specimens of old time virtue, finding an abiding place here. He was a good farmer and an equally expert blacksmith and pulpit orator. Mr. Young left his Ohio home in the fall of 1853 and reached Eddyville, Iowa, in November, remaining there until June of the following year, when he reached Madison County and entered a tract of land on section 14, in this township.

With the Youngs when they left Ohio were Henry Creger and family, John Creger and family, John Porter and family, John Creger, son of Henry, and family, and Reuben Creger and family. Samuel Douglas, Brown Douglas, a Mr. Collier and family and Reverend Douglas, a Presbyterian clergyman, were here as early as the above mentioned settlers, but left the community at the beginning of the Civil war.

David Bradshaw was a Pennsylvanian by birth and removed with his parents to the State of Ohio when nine years of age. From there he immigrated to Iowa and after remaining a short time at Eddyville, he located in this township on section 4, in the fall of 1854. J. W. Bradshaw, who succeeded his father on the old homestead, was with the family at the time of its arrival.

S. M. Creger and R. A. Creger also located in Ohio Township, in April, 1854. R. J. Foster was from Tuscarawas County, Ohio. He immigrated to Iowa in the fall of 1853 and in the spring of 1855 located on section 12, Ohio Township. He was one of the frugal, industrious men of the community and made a good record as a soldier in the Civil war.

J. D. Hartman and family traveled by wagon from Indiana to this county in 1855, and in 1857 located on section 21.

Arch Holmes left Tuscarawas County, Ohio, in 1854, and spent two years in Wapello County, Iowa, from whence he came to Madison County and located on section 22, this township.

Isaac Holmes, also of Tuscarawas County, Ohio, left his home in the Buckeye State in 1854, when he came to Iowa with his parents and lived three years in Van Buren County and then located in Ohio Township. James Hull married Miss Jane Holmes in Tuscarawas County, in 1855, then came to this county and located in Ohio Township in 1857.

Valentine McPherson, of Tuscarawas County, Ohio, located here in May, 1857, and became one of the substantial farmers of the community.

John Mann was raised in West Virginia, where he remained until seventeen years of age and then came with his father to Madison County in 1855, settled in this township, and in course of time was elected county superintendent of schools.

Jonathan Roby, of Jefferson County, Ohio, located on section 15, Ohio Township, in 1856. His wife was Lucinda Creger, whom he married in 1854.

James D. Houlette was another quite early settler of Ohio Township, coming in 1867, but in 1879 moving to South Township. Mr. Houlette was born September 4, 1816, in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, and died July 27, 1909, in his ninety third year. For sixty five years there was not a death in his family of seven children.

Charles H. Young, Henry Creger and John Creger built the first houses in Ohio Township. Charles H. Young established a blacksmith shop in which he worked at St. Charles from 1855 until 186o. His first wife died in 1854, which was the first death among the Ohioans in the township. Mr. Young's second wife was called away by death in 1893, and both were buried in the Young cemetery, where there are over one hundred graves.

The Oak Grove Church of Friends was organized May 18, 1871, with the following original members: T. C. Moorman, R. A. Moorman, Mary Hiatt, E. Hiatt, David Ellis, M. E. Ellis, Calvin Ellis, E. Ellis, William Woodward, E. Woodward, J. Simmons, E. J. Simmons, W. H. Bishop, M. Bishop, Q. Pierce and Virginia Pierce. The first church building, which had formerly been a schoolhouse, was purchased by the Friends of the district and was dedicated for religious purposes in 1877.


Truro is a thriving little village of about 325 inhabitants, situated on the summit of the divide between Clanton Creek and South River, overlooking a most beautiful, fertile and well improved farming district. It stands on section 15 and near the center of Ohio Township, on the line of the Des Moines & Kansas City (Chicago Great Western) Railroad, and was laid off and platted August 3, 1881, for the owner, James Hull, by R. A. Patterson, surveyor. In 1902 the town was incorporated and the first mayor was W. W. Atkinson.

This stirring and progressing little trading point was first named Ego, but that seemed too bombastic or egotistical (no pun intended), and the change was made within a short time to the present name. As in the township, the village has splendid schools, taught in a modern two story brick building; church societies, whose places of worship are neat in appearance and commodious, and all well attended. As a trading point the town stands high and with good railroad facilities has established a reputation as a shipping point for grain and live stock.

The first postoffice was established February 10, 1862, but was located near the west line, in Walnut Township, in the vicinity of Ebenezer Church. The office at this point was discontinued in 1889. J. W. Smith and S. M. Walker performed the duties of the office, in the store of the place, nearly twenty years, and when the office was abolished Fred Beeler had been the postmaster eight years.

An office was established in 1881 at the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of section 21, and named Reed. Isaac Holmes was appointed postmaster. In 1882 the office was moved to Ego, and the name became Truro in 1884. Isaac Holmes remained in the office for some time after the change. Then followed G. N. Skinner, George Patton, J. D. Hillman, Ella Earl, J. W. Smith and others, among whom were the early business men of the town.

Probably the first person to engage in business at Truro was J. W. Smith. He settled in Walnut Township with his parents, John and Rebecca Smith, in 1854 coining from Illinois "that year. He married Belle C. Walker in 1870 and for a number of years was a teacher in the public schools. Mr. Smith was elected county treasurer in 19o1 and served five years, and afterwards engaged in the grocery business. He died in 1914 at East Peru, and was 'buried in the Ebenezer Cemetery.

The Truro Savings Bank is one of the institutions of the town that has secured a firm footing in the confidence of the community. It is an outgrowth of the Truro Bank, established in the spring of 1899 by J. W. Likens and W. M. Steer, who began business in a one story brick building erected for the purpose. Here the business was continued as a private bank until April 10, 1911, on which date the Truro Savings Bank was organized by J. W. Likens, W. M. Steer, W. O. Creger, J. T. Creger, J. C. Reed, C. N. Reed and Benton Jones, with a capital of $20,000. The first officials were: President, W. M. Steer; vice president, J. W. Likens; cashier, J. E. Walker. In January, 1913, J. W. Likens succeeded W. M. Steer as president and J. C. Reed was elected vice president. Mr. Reed died May 31, 1914, and was followed in the vice presidency by Benton Jones. The present official list is made up by J. W. Likens, president; Benton Jones, vice president; J. E. Walker, cashier; A. C. Holmes, assistant cashier. The capital stock is $20,000; surplus, $10,000; deposits, $105,000.

The Christian Church was organized in the winter of 1856, by A. D. Kellison, at the home of Ephraim Delong, about two miles south of the present Town of Truro. For some time the meetings were held at private houses. Later, after schoolhouses were built, the meetings were held in the Banner schoolhouse, two miles northeast of the center of Ohio Township. Later, in the early '7os, the meetings were moved to a schoolhouse one mile south of the center of the township, known as the Hartman schoolhouse. In 1873-6 the society erected a church building 30x40 feet, three fourths of a mile south of the center of the township and about 1884 the building was moved to Truro and was remodeled in 1893. In June, 1898, the building was struck by lightning and burned. The society received $I,000 insurance and the same year a new church was erected and dedicated. in the spring of 1899. The value of the property at that time was about two thousand two hundred dollars. In 1911 the church was remodeled at a cost of about one thousand two hundred dollars. The present value of the property is about three thousand two hundred dollars. Among the charter members of the first organization were Ephraim Delong, Hannah Delong, Jesse Delong, Betsy Delong, R. A. Creger, Mary A. Creger, Jane McNealy, Rhoda Delong, John Creger, Mahala Creger and Risby Creger.

Those who have served as pastors of the church are: Revs. A. D. Kellison, William Deal, J. Z. Bishop, J. H. Creger, R. A. Creger, Joseph Anshultz, C. C. Rowley, A. Bradfield, A. H. Chase, S. O. Calvin, W. C. Smith, W. B. Golden, J. L. Towner, J. O. Elwell, E. Fitzgerald, Lamb, P. W. Jellison, John Reed, O. E. Brown, A. Thomas, William Bagley, A. C. Burnham, D. W. Thompson, A. W. Ricker, R. C. Helfenstein, D. Powell, E. E. Bennett and F. W. Hagen.

Truro has not yet given itself over to the organization of fraternal societies to any great extent. However, it has two or three which may be mentioned. There is Ivy Lodge, No. 483, A. F. & A. M., which was organized on the 8th of June, 1887, by S. M. Cregcr, who was the worshipful master; G. W. Patterson, senior warden, and J. E. Worthing, junior warden. Truro Lodge, No. 330, IC P., was organized on the 11th of August, 1898, by C. W. Young, B. R. Rankin, J. W. Likens and twenty two others. The Woodmen of the World is also established here in Truro Camp, No. 9823.

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