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


Highland Township is composed of congressional township 73, range 13, and contains 19,126 acres of good farm land, with considerable timber in the Cedar bottom. The territory is drained by the Cedar from the northwest to the southeast, and is crossed diagonally by two branches of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, both of which enter at section 31. Highland Center, a village having a general store and a church and schoolhouse close by, is a station on the Milwaukee road, located on the line between sections 15 and 16. It has but a few inhabitants. The township was organized January 3, 1848, and the first election was held at the house of George Godfrey.

Among the early settlers of Highland Township were: J. W. Carpenter, George Godfrey, William Evans, James West, Jedediah Scott, William Harris, Washington Williams, George Robinson, James Van Winkle, M. W. McChesney, Lewis Cobler, Joseph Kitterman and Elias Kitterman, who first located in Dahlonega Township, and then removed to this locality. His son, George, who is still living, was the first white child born in the township, his birth taking place November 5, 1843.

Lewis Cobler was born in Ohio. He early was stricken with the western fever, and when this part of Iowa was opened to the white man and civilization, he was one of the multitude which entered Wapello County in a rush on the first day of May, 1843. He entered a quarter section of land in Highland and Dahlonega townships, as then formed, and with his son, David, who was six years of age, in 1843, improved his farm and prospered.

Joseph Kitterman was among those who settled in Wapello County in 1843, and experienced all the hardships of a pioneer's life. He located in this township and became known as a good farmer and citizen.

Beniah Dimmitt settled in Highland Township in 1844, coming from Indiana. He was a prominent farmer and stock raiser and passed away in 1875. A son, Beniah Dimmitt, was born on the homestead in 1864 and became well known as a teacher. He was elected county superintendent of schools in 1899. A daughter, Olive, married George Phillips, who was also county superintendent of schools.

John G. Baker was one of the first men with a family to locate in Highland Township. He arrived here with his wife and four year old boy, J. J. McCoy Baker, in 1847, and located on a claim, which lie farmed until 1860, when he moved to Ottumwa and became prominently identified in the hotel business.

William Robertson came to Vapello County from Indiana in 1847. He located in Highland Township and reared a large family of children.

W. H. Stevens was brought to Wapello County in 1847, being at the time but three years of age. The Stevens family located on a farm in Highland Township, and he remained there until 1873, when he came to Ottumwa and formed the grocery firm of Stevens & Dennis.

John G. and Thomas R. Gray located in this township in 1848.

A. V. Stevens, of Indiana, located here in the spring of 1848, and was the parent of thirteen children, among whom was B. I. Stevens, born in Wapello County, June, 1848. He married Mary M. Phelps, who was born in the county in 1855.

Silas Osburn was born in Kentucky, came to Wapello County in 1849, and became prominent in public affairs. He served in the Indiana Legislature, and as county judge for Wapello County six years.

Abraham Davis settled here in 1819, coming from Indiana. He was a man of progressive ideas and believed in education. He helped build the first schoolhouse in Highland Township in 1850.

Wade Kirkpatrick came from Ohio to Wapello County with his parents in 185o, and located in Highland Township. Within a year the family were residents of the county seat. Wade Kirkpatrick was a veteran of the Civil war, and after leaving the army ran a saddler's shop in Ottumwa. He served as a postoffice clerk under General Hedrick several terms, was county recorder, and was city treasurer.

In 1852, at the age of twenty, James Davis settled in this township. Joseph Davis came a year later. James Davis settled in Highland Township, on section 23. He was a lover of fine horses and cattle and for many years engaged in the breeding of shorthorn cattle.

John McCarty settled in Highland Township in 1853.

Henry Kitterman, born in Virginia, came to Wapello County in 1853 and began farming in this township. He died in 1877. Samuel Kitterman, a son, was eight years of age when he came to the county. He grew to manhood, was a veteran of the Civil war, and then took up farming in Richland Township.

Benjamin Dimmitt was an early settler in this township, and on the home farm, on section 33, his son, Samuel Dimmitt, was born in 1866. The latter married Louise Schertz, who came from Germany, and in 1854 settled in Dahlonega Township.

Peter Craft settled in the county in 1855 and was for many years a resident of this township, living on section 1.

William Evans settled here in 1856 and became independent as a farmer.

Highland's first schoolhouse was, like its neighbor's, built of logs. It was presided over by James Davis, among whose pupils were quite a number of Kirkpatricks. This schoolhouse was located about a half mile south of Highland Center and the school was maintained by subscription. Other children who were taught the three Rs here were Abram and Benjamin Stevens; William and Robert McCormick; George Travis; James, Guy, Amanda, Francis and Martha Gray; Rhoda and Mary McCormick; Sanford, Mary J., Wade, Elmira, Abel and Thomas Kirkpatrick. Sanford (Sant) Kirkpatrick represents the sixth congressional district in Congress.

The first church society organized in Highland Township was the Baptist, who held their first meetings in the schoolhouse. Reverend Morrow preached the first sermon. The Baptists then built a church which was part log and part frame. The first minister to preside here was Rev. Bird Baker.

The Methodists built a frame church at Tabor, 30x40, in 1860, and its pastor was Rev. Joseph Flint.

The first marriage to take place in Highland Township was that of Mary Jane Gray, who became the wife of a Mr. Brown.

The first child born in the township was Gwin Kirkpatrick, a son of Minor and Hannah Kirkpatrick.

The first deaths were those of Eden Lowe, Mrs. Ewing and Mrs. Shank.

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