History of Cook Township, Sac County, IA
From: History of Sac County, Iowa
By: William H. Hart
B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana 1914


Cook township is on the western border of Sac county and is the second from the north line, with Eureka and Eden at its north, Boyer Valley at its east, Richland township to the south and Ida county at the west. It comprises all of congressional township 88, range 38 west, and its north line is the "correction line" of the northern portion of Iowa. Here the jog in township surveys varies three miles, the townships to the north of this lapping by to the west that distance. This civil township was once included within Boyer Valley township, but in 1876 was created into a separate township. In 1880 the census showed the population to be about four hundred, while it is given as six hundred thirty five by the 1910 United States reports on enumeration. The first settlers were, inclusive of William Cory, 1868, J. E. Sanborn, Joseph Dick, Charles Prentice, for whom Prentice schoolhouse was named, and it was the first in the township, erected in 1872. Other settlers in Cook and Boyer Valley, some one side the line and some the other, were Elias Powers, Dr. Warren, H. A. Wilson, Hiram Sweet, J. Shelmerdine and a Mr. Hays.

Cook has no towns or villages and many large farms. A few of its small streams, mere prairie creeks, run toward the west, but most all flow to the east and finally find their way into the Boyer river.

Early, Schaller and Odebolt are all sought out by the residents of Cook township as trading and market towns.

It was in this township, but before it was divided from Boyer Valley, that C. W. Cook, for whom the new township was named, commenced in 1873 to improve his great farm, known as the Cook ranch, or stock farm.

Of the excellent educational advantages afforded by the nine public schools, the Educational chapter will fully treat, in a general way, with the other districts of the county.

This township is well settled, highly cultivated and its people, both foreign and American born, are among the prosperous and contented portion of the population of Sac county. Here nature did much and man has improved such spots as needed improvement and utilized the fertility of the soil in the production of immense crops that have never failed to bring reward ample and sufficient to gladden the hearts of the husbandmen, who fully appreciate the fact that their lines have been cast in pleasant places.

P. W. Lashier became the pioneer settler in this township in 1870. H. A. Wilson, the Gardners and others soon followed him into the township, which at that time was a part of Boyer Valley township. The first trustee to serve in Cook as well as in Boyer Valley was P. W. Lashier, a man of good judgment.


The Inter-Ocean of Chicago, in its issue of April 16, 1873, has this concerning the opening up of the great Cook ranch in Sac county: "A large sale of Iowa land was consummated yesterday, by which a Chicago resident. Mr. C. W. Cook, became the sole owner of twelve sections of farming lands in Sac county, Iowa. The purchaser proposes to convert the entire property into a mammoth stock farm. This tract embraces seven thousand six hundred and eighty acres and the amount paid was five dollars an acre, making a total of thirty eight thousand four hundred dollars. The sale was made by J. B. Calhoun, land commissioner of the Iowa Railway Land Company." This land, we believe, all lies in West Boyer township. "This makes two seven thousand acre farms in Sac county. Better this size than none at all. We welcome Mr. Cook, and hope he will make a good farmer and get rich." - Sac Sun, 1873.

An advertisement was run in the local paper in Sac City in 1874 thus: "We have two hundred thousand acres of land all in Sac county, Iowa, and not to be excelled in any state of the Union. Prices of wild prairie average from three to six dollars an acre. - D. Carr Early, Real Estate Dealer."

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