History of Meadow Township, Plymouth County, IA
From: History of the Counties of Woodbury and Plymouth, Iowa
A Warner & Co., Publishers
Chicago Illinois, 1890-91


THE extreme northeastern subdivision of Plymouth county is known as Meadow township. It was originally included in the domain of Fredonia township, but became a separate organization June 5, 1878. As now constituted, it comprises congressional township ninety three, range forty three west, hence contains a territory six miles square, equal to 23,040 acres. It is bounded by Sioux county on the north, Cherokee county on the east, Remsen township on the south, and Fredonia on the west. The line of the Illinois Central railway touches three sections on the south line of the township, the town of Bemsen being the nearest market place.

Meadow township is a beautifully rolling prairie territory, and is well watered and drained by Deep creek, which courses its way from the northeast to the southwest portion of the township. Whiskey slough meanders through the southeastern sections. Besides these streams are their numerous little tributaries, all of which are well bridged at the highway crossings. In 1885 the state census gave it credit for a population of 436, of which 256 were American born. Germans and Canadians predominate among the foreign born.

The First Settlement - Meadow township was first settled upon by a man named Herman, who claimed a portion of section fifteen in 1873. He improved the place, traded, and left the county in 1874. He was a miller by trade and went to Sioux City. He sold his place to John Herron, and it is now owned by John Beck.

The next to settle in this township was Joseph Bauer, who came from Dubuque county, Iowa, in March, 1873. He had been here in 1872 and bought railroad land on section five, at $6 per acre. The year he settled he built a house, and broke fifty acres of land. At present he has a fine, large, well tilled and well stocked farm. Fred Lane came from Fredonia township in 1874, and took land on section nineteen of Meadow township, where he still lives. Henry 'Winner came from Dubuque county, Iowa, in 1875, and purchased railroad land on section twenty one. He still lives on the original land. With him came Mike Forbes, who took land in the same section, but now lives on section thirty one.

William Neuschwander came from Clayton county, Iowa, and settled in September, 1876, having been out the previous May and bought railroad land on section seventeen, at an average of $7.50 per acre. He purchased three fourths of a section, and now has one of the finest farms to be found in Plymouth county. "Col." Clark, a single man of considerable means, came from New York City in 1876, and took laud on section thirty two, where he still owns a half section. He now resides at Le Mars. J. H. Beam bought the north half of section thirteen, in 1876. John Steinforth was a settler in the township in 1874. He claimed land on section twenty one, but now lives at Le Mars.

From 1876 the township was settled very rapidly, and to trace out the coming and going of these later settlers is almost impossible; nevertheless, we refer the reader to the personal sketches of the men, at another place in this book.

Public Worship. - The township has no church organization or building. The people mostly worship at one of the two churches at Remsen.

Schools. - The educational matters of Meadow township have ever kept pace with those of other townships in Plymouth county. In 1879 the township took its present bounds, and a school house was erected on section twenty eight. Miss Mary Malory taught the first term of school there. A private school was taught the same year, on section eight, by Aggie Klein.

At the present time Meadow township has six sub-districts and six frame school houses. The enrollment of pupils is now 150. Aground the various school houses there are forty five shade trees.

Early Hardships. - The early settlers in this portion of the county endured many hardships, on account of being so far away from good market towns, and on a new, wild prairie country, with no timber to speak of. The streams were not bridged, and the roads were very bad. To show that it was indeed wild, it needs only to be added, that deer and elk were not infrequently seen, and wolves abounded everywhere for the first five years of the township's settlement. The grasshoppers devastated this section in 1874, 1875 and 1876, and in 1879, also, did much damage. One farmer, who had nearly a hundred and forty acres of wheat, harvested only thirty five bushels from his whole crop.

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