History of Green Township, Wapello County, IA
From: History of Wapello County, Iowa
By Harrison L. Waterma, Supervising Editor
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. Chicago 1914

GREEN TOWNSHIP

Green Township was organized June 4, 1844. The first election was held at the home of Richard Jackson. The judges were David Glass, Benjamin Hammitt and Richard Jackson. The township is composed of all of congressional township 71, range 14. It is bounded on the north by Center, on the west by Adams and on the east by Keokuk townships. Its southern boundary is Davis County. The land is drained by Little Soap, Brush and Village creeks, and is very fertile in the bottoms. Grasses grow in luxuriance and corn is practically a certain crop. The township contains about sixteen thousand five hundred acres of tillable soil, from which were produced in 1913, 87,50o bushels of corn; 25,600 bushels of oats; 5,540 bushels of wheat; 2,870 tons of hay; 1,000 bushels of potatoes; 2,500 bushels of apples, and there were also raised here 1,540 head of hogs and 1,355 head of cattle.

Among the early settlers in this township whose names can now be recalled were: J. A. Parker, Lee J. Michael, J. W. Hollingsworth, D. H. Michael, once sheriff of the county and member of the board of supervisors; Benjamin Baum, William C. Thompson, Ezekiel Rush, Benjamin Powell, Isham Higdon, A. J. Redenbaugh, Fred Harness, Levi Orman, A. K. Houk, David Hughey, James Plunkett, Benjamin Hammitt and David Glass, some of whom came in 1843 when the "New Purchase" was opened. Others came in 1844 and later on.

J. A. Parker, a native of Maryland, was in Wapello County as a settler in 1843, locating on a farm in section 7, Green Township. He afterwards dug for gold in California, worked at teaming in Ottumwa, and then fanned for many years. He married Pherryha Wellman. daughter of Madison Wellman, a pioneer of 1843, who permanently settled in Adams Township. Mr. Parker died on his farm in 189o.

Lee J. Michael was born in Indiana. He came to Iowa and settled in Wapello County in 1843, engaged in farming in Green Township, served in the Civil war, and was mustered out with the rank of captain. He also served as sheriff of the county from 1888 to 1890.

J. W. Hollingsworth settled in Green Township in 1844, and engaged in farming and milling.

D. H. Michael settled in Green Township in 1845, and located on section 1. He was sheriff from 1853 to 1854; supervisor several years, and held various township offices.

William C. Thompson was born in Ohio. He came to Green Township with his parents in 1848, and engaged in farming and teaching until 1873, when he removed to Ottumwa and was identified with the Ottumwa Business College. Served as county clerk from 1879 to 1885.

Samuel Spangler was a native of Ohio. He came to Wapello County in 1853, and located on section 30, in Green Township, purchasing the farm which was thickly covered with brush. Soon the land was cleared, good buildings appeared and prosperity came in due time. A son, Louis, took the home farm, on which he was born, upon the death of his father in 1877.

Daniel Neil came from Ohio to Wapello County in 1856; purchased land and farmed in Green Township; sold the land and moved to Ottumwa, where he operated a flouring mill and a transfer line for several years, and then returned to farming, this time in Keokuk Township.

The first schoolhouse, a log structure, was built about one mile west of Ormanville, in 1857 or 1858. It was taught by one of the Redenbaughs. The pupils were John Henry, Gideon and Mary Ann Harness, Jim and Will Hendricks, Elnora and Alice Goldsberry, Eliza McKee, Mary, M. L. and Lizzie Reed, Mary, daughter of James Hendricks; the other Hendricks children are of the L. Hendricks family; Willoughby, Mary and Martin Orman, Ferdinand, Margaret and Starling Owens, Pauline and Catherine Terry; children of the A. K. Houk family; George and Flisha, members of the Adam Houk family; George and Eli Hughey. These were the first children who attended school in Green Township.

The only industry Green Township has ever had was a flour mill, a frame structure, 120x40 feet, and three stories, built about 1855, by Levi Orman, who was also the miller and did grinding for the settlers living within a radius of fifteen miles. Mr. Orman also owned a sawmill, which he built out of native timber.

There were no roads in this township to speak of until about 1865, and the beasts of burden were principally oxen. The first road, however, surveyed in the township was in 1885. Ten years later bridges were built by driving piles into the mud. These were washed away by the first rain of any proportions.

Reverend Polk, a United Brethren clergyman, is said to have been the first one to deliver a sermon in this township, and when Sarah Overman died from scarlet fever, he attended the funeral and preached the first sermon of that character. The deceased was buried in the Ormanville Cemetery, which was laid out by Levi Orman.

The first marriage to take place in Green Township was performed by Rev. George Holliday, at the home of Levi Orman. The couple united was James Plunkett and Anna Owens.

The town of Ormanville was laid out by David Orman on section 33 and at one time was quite a bustling little business point, but now there is but one store and a church. It had at the apex of its prosperity some fifty residences, three stores, a drug store, three blacksmith shops and a church. There were also two saloons there about thirty five years ago.


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