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


On the north line of the county, and the second from the eastern line of Sac county, is Delaware township, formerly a part of Douglas township. Douglas township bounds it on the east, Buena Vista county on the north, Eden township on the west and Boyer Valley and Jackson township on the south. It is all of congressional township No. 89, range 36. The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad traverses the township from section 5 to section 36, almost in a direct line, with a station point in the center known as Nemaha. The Coon river flows through its eastern sections and the territory is drained by this stream with its numerous small tributaries. The land is excellent, and all is now well improved and valued at from one hundred and forty to two hundred dollars per acre. The present population of the township is about seven hundred. The school and church history of the township is included in separate chapters on these two topics in this work. Delaware was created in 1876.

The first settlers, as near as can be determined by pioneer homesteader Truman Tole, now past eighty years of age, were as follows:

In 1866, during the spring season, Mr. Tole immigrated from Boonesboro, Boone county. Iowa, and took up a homestead of land in the northwest quarter of section 34, township 89, range 36, consisting of a hundred and sixty acres. He remained there until 1903, when he retired to the village of Nemaha, where he now resides. He saw many hardships, in the settlement of this township and, being poor at the date of his settlement, he was compelled to drive oxen, and was only too glad to have that good a team. He kept a few milk cows and made butter, the surplus of which he took, by means of his faithful ox team, to Newell, on the Illinois Central railroad, in Buena Vista county, where he frequently disposed of the same at from six to seven cents per pound. From 1866 to 1873 there was but little money in the county and homesteaders had hard work to live and meet expenses. The only thing that saved them was the fact that they had no tax to pay on their claims until they had proved up and received a deed from the government at the end of five years. Grasshoppers invaded this township, with others of Sac county, in the seventies and injured the growing crops materially, though not totally. The eggs of the winged pests hatched out one spring and when large enough ate much of the spring wheat, as it shot through the soil.

When Mr. Tole (sometimes spelled Towle) first came in with his family, in the autumn of 1866, he thinks that in what is now known as Delaware township (then in Douglas) there were no other settlers. The same fall, however. came in, as homesteaders, Charles Manska, in the northeast quarter of section 28, who remained long after he had proved up on his claim, making a good and worthy citizen. Louis Moine also came to the township that fall, settling in the southeast quarter of section 28. George McGeorge located along the western line of this township, or possibly over the line, in Eden township. There were but few others to add to the settlement until after 1871, when they came in more rapidly, continuing until the free and cheap lands were, for the most part, all taken by actual settlers.

The first schools for the township were the terms taught in the edge of Douglas township, along the river, where the timber lands had been settled for a number of years before this prairie portion of the county was utilized. It was not over three years, however, before a frame school house was erected in Delaware township. The law then permitted school districts to be organized when there were but few scholars to attend, and in instances only two pupil attended a school in a regularly built school house. The non residents were taxed for such improvements, and just and right this was, too, for the pioneer made the county worth something to the Eastern land owner.

The first mail facilities were afforded by going to Sac City, but as early as 1870 Scohara postoffice was established, but was discontinued not many years later.

The first meetings of a religious nature were held by the Presbyterians. The first Sunday school was formed by Mrs. Truman Tole. The only churches in Delaware township now are the two at Nemaha, the Methodist and Presbyterian.


Nemaha was platted October 2, 1899, by the Milwaukee Land Company in section 22, township 89, range 36. Among the first business men was a Mr. Smith, who conducted a general store for a time. Before that date many of the settlers went to Early and Sac City to do some of their trading, but for a number of years the larger transactions were had at Sioux City. The name Nemaha is from the Indian dialect. A postoffice was established with the construction of the railroad, and the postmasters have included Messrs. C. A. Lowe, Charles Howe, Addison Domino and the present incumbent, Fred Mack. A union school house for the whole township was dedicated early in 1914, the same being located in Nemaha, and cost about ten thousand dollars. (see Educational chapter).

The business of Nemaha in February, 1914, was in the hands of the following persons and firms:.
Banks - The Nemaha State Bank.
Barbers - Harvey Ferguson.
Blacksmiths - J. E. Van Vleet.
Drugs - A. B. Patterson.
General Stores - C. C. Keeney, Fred Mack, Nemaha Co-operative Company.
Grain Dealers - Farmers' Elevator Company and a "line" grain company.
Lumber Dealers - A "line" company.
Physicians - Dr. Boherns.
Veterinary - Dr. Ed. Hann, V. S.
Lodges - Yoeman and Woodmen.
Furniture - The Nemaha Co-operative Company.
Feed Store - F. J. Mabie.
Cream Stations - Two in number.
Livery and Auto Companies - Mr. Bell, Clyde McDermaid and M. Abernathy.
Meat Market - Fred Mack.
Hotel - The "Lidsey."
Restaurant - Mrs. Wilco.
Hardware and Farm Implements - Harter, Wilson. Brownell & Company.
Postmaster - Fred Mack.
Depot Agent - G. S. Ferguson. for past fifteen years.
Stock Dealer - Ed. Burner.
Insurance - The Farmers Mutual Hail Storms Company, with the eight Rutledge brothers as proprietors. They are represented in every township in the state of Iowa, and carry millions of dollars worth of insurance on growing crops. Nemaha is the home town of this company.

The population of Nemaha is less than two hundred.

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