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


In the eastern part of the county is located Pleasant Township, which has for its northern boundary Competine Township, western boundary Dahionega and Agency townships; on the south is Washington Township, and on the east, Jefferson County. It is composed of all of congressional township 72, range 12, except sections 19, 30 and 31. The township was organized June 3, 1844 The first election was held at the house of John McDowell Sr. The judges of election were Charles Colman, John Clarke and John McDowell.

The prairie land composing Pleasant is equal to any in the county. It is drained by Cedar, Jordan, Bush and Buckeye creeks. There are about nineteen thousand, one hundred and sixty acres of farm land, which produce fine crops of corn, oats, wheat, hay, potatoes, apples and other fruits. The raising of stock is also an important industry. The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad enters the township on section 6, and running due west, leaves it on section 32.

Among the early settlers were George Harman, John Henderson, James Hill, John Murray, John Huffstetter, James T. Colman, Lewis F. Temple, Thomas Larwood, Samuel McGee, Thomas Brumsley, Manley Blanchard, John Phillips, Calvin Carson, Hiram Fisher, John McDowell, Templin McDowell, John Clarke, Thomas Bedwell, Hugh Conley, Moses Luther, Abel Marsh, John O'Bryant, J. A. Hartman, Thomas Nelson, Thomas C. Carman, Nathaniel Sands, W. F. Parker, Jacob Dailey, Jacob Myers, James Burhage and L. Z. Rupe.

Jacob Dailey, an Ohioan slipped over the line and into Wapello County, the night before May 1, 1843, the time set for the opening of the "New Purchase," and staked a claim in sections 15 and 22, in the future Township of Pleasant - not, however, before he and others had been driven back by dragoons, or border patrols. Mr. Dailey had his family with him, and built a log house. One side was left open, before which a fire was kept burning to frighten animals and discourage mosquitoes. The first night the women and children were left alone, while the men were on picket duty some distance from them. When disturbed from their sleep by the barking of dogs, the women were greatly alarmed upon discovering a number of snapping, snarling wolves, which were prevented from doing any damage by the presence of the camp fires and the dogs. Jacob Dailey, Jr., was at this time about sixteen years of age. He married Angeline Wright, daughter of Thomas Wright, who entered a quarter section of land in sections 15 and 22, at the same time as the Daileys. Representatives of these to old families are living in the county at the present time.

John H. McDowell was a pioneer of 1843, coming to Pleasant from Indiana, and taking a claim on section 17, which he entered in 1845. Mr. McDowell was a good farmer and lived on the homestead over sixty years, and reared a large family of children.

B. J. Harman was an early settler. Coming from Ohio to Jefferson County in 1842, it was but a step into Wapello, which he made in 1843, at the time his father entered, a tract of land in Pleasant Township, part of which afterwards came into his possession.

John Murray, a Virginian, married Catherine Whitmore and in 1841 moved to Iowa. In the spring of 1843, at the opening of the "New Purchase," they entered a farm on section to, Pleasant Township. Mr. Murray became a substantial citizen of this community. He died in 1878.

Jacob Myers settled here in June, 1843, and P. C. Shaw came the same year.

Samuel Marsh was born in Tennessee and became a settler in Wapello County in 1844

In the year 1840, James Burbage left his native "Albion" and landed in New Orleans. Four years thereafter he was a citizen of Wapello County, having located in Pleasant Township. Here he carried on farming for a period of twenty three years, when he removed to a smaller farm west of Agency.

L. Z. Rupe, a native of Ohio, settled in Keokuk Township in 1845, and engaged in farming. He was justice of the peace over a quarter of a century, and also held other offices, His son, John M., and other members of his family, were born on the homestead in section 27.

Edward Carman, of New Jersey, came to Iowa in 1846, and upon seeing the land in Pleasant Township, his fancy was pleased and he at once settled on section 27. He lived on the farm until his death, which occurred in 1875. Mr. Carman was no small factor in the development of this section of Wapello County. He was a good man behind a gun, and when a squatter attempted to jump his claim, the Carman keen black eye and unerring rifle immediately induced the intruder to peacefully leave the claim unmolested.

S. B. McClung was a resident here in 1847.

Benjamin Alverson was a native of Kentucky. He located here in 1848, and was justice of the peace a number of years.

H. Creamer left Ohio in 1838, and lived in Illinois until 1848, when he located on section 34, Pleasant Township.

John O'Bryant came from Ohio in 1849, and settled in this township on section 20.

Joseph G. Hannah came from Indiana to Wapello County in 1849, and located on section 18, Pleasant Township. His death occurred in two. William Sliumaker became one of Wapello County's prosperous farmers. He was a pioneer of 1850, locating that year in Pleasant Township, on a farm of 160 acres. In 1861 Mr. Shumaker removed to Agency Township, but returned to Pleasant in 1891, taking up his residence on section 11. Washington J. Warren resided in Ohio until twenty one years of age, and moved to this township in 1850. This was his home one year, after which period he became a citizen of Washington Township, where he purchased a farm on section to. Mr. Warren served his country in the Civil war, after which he returned to his farm and made a success of his undertakings.

William H. Dillon came here in 1850, and Mason Fling in 1853. G. R. Hanna was also here in 1850; J. T. McMinn, in 1857; T. J. Nelson, in 1851; Lyman Perry, in 185t; M. C. Warder, in 1852; Norman Reno, in 1855. He married for his first wife, Mary E. Gillis, born in Wapello County in 1845; for his second wife he took Matilda Smith, born in this county in 1852.

John H. Carter settled in Wapello County from Indiana, in 1852. He married Martha Harman, who came to the county with her parents in 1843. Mr. Carter acquired several hundred acres of land in this township.

John Reno, of Pennsylvania, engaged in farming in this township in 1854, and at the time his son, Norman, was seven years of age. Both became substantial citizens and Norman made a good record as a soldier in the Civil war.

William Campbell was a Pennsylvanian, who settled here in 1855 with his family. Mr. Campbell represented the county in the State Legislature.

The first schoolhouse was a log building and fashioned like the others described in this volume. The children of Thomas Brumsley, Hugh Conley, Thomas Bedwell, James Kennedy, Thomas Larwood and others, were taught the rudiments of an education in this primitive school. Who taught it and when it was established has not been determined even by the most diligent research.

Julia Brumsley, who became the wife of Warren Riffle, died in the residence which her husband had built on the school site after it came into his possession.

The society of the Christian Church built the first house of worship in the township at Bladensburg, in an early day, and among the early ministers were Revs. Uriah Long, William Spurlock, and G. T. Johnson.

George Harman was one of the first wagonmakers in Pleasant Township, building his shop on sections 5 and 8. At one time a sawmill and grist mill was owned and run by Elijah Eggers and David Bedwell. The old industry is a thing of the past.

Bladensburg is an unincorporated village, which was laid out on parts of sections 9 and 16, on the 18th day of March, 1853, by George D. Hackworth, for Artemus Cockran and William Wright. The place never grew to be of any great importance as a trading point, and now has but a few inhabitants. It has a church and near the village is a schoolhouse.

W. F. Parker ran the first store.

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