ARLINGTON TOWNSHIP was created by order of the supervisors April 5, 1871, as follows: "All of township
eighty nine of ranges forty four and forty five, be and is hereby detached from the townships to which the same
now belong, and formed into a new township to be called Arlington township." At the time of its creation,
it will be noticed that Arlington comprised two congressional townships, one of which it lost by the detaching
of Banner township in 1879. The present boundaries are Plymouth county on the north, Moville and Wolf Creek townships
on the south, Rutland on the east and Banner on the west. The first officers elected after the passage of the order
of creation, were James E. Gordon, justice of the peace; township clerk, M. Baumgardner; constable, Charles F.
Like the adjoining townships, Arlington is slightly broken in certain sections, but the general lay of the surface
is rolling. This rolling character is highly advantageous during dry seasons, as it retains the moisture far better
than the flat, and at the same time it is never liable to be too wet. The West Fork passes through the township,
which with Booth and Mud creeks supply plenty of water. A number of minor brooklets and branches traverse almost
every section. There are also a number of small springs in various localities throughout the township. Sand and
gravel beds are reached by going down tolerably deep, and rock is almost an unknown quantity, there not being one
larger than a bushel measure, they being boulders. These are found at the bluffs, where they stranded hundreds
of years ago. Arrow heads are occasionally found on the bluffs, lying, possibly, where they were shot by the aborigines
ages ago, the arrow to which they were originally fastened having rotted away long since. Timber, also is a scarce
commodity, at least timber that can be classed as good. The usual cottonwood, willow and a few of the softer kinds
of tree growth may be found along the larger streams.
Peter Van Norman is acknowledged to be the oldest settler of the region where he now resides, having been here
before the organization of the township. He lives upon a very beautiful farm just west of the town of Moville.
Isaac Long was one of the very earliest settlers, and it is said that he constructed the first dugout, in which
he lived for some time. Anderson Wright was one of the first to come in and make a settlement, and he is said to
have built the first frame house in the township. A. H. Roberts, E. H. Booth, William Jackson, M. E. Twitchell,
John Grosh and the Thomases are looked upon as early settlers, as well as W. W. McElrath, who came in at a comparatively
late date. The township having been settled up at so late a date, as compared with some of the others, genuine
old settlers are scarce in Arlington. The east and west road between Correctionville and Sioux City passes along
the southern boundary of the township, and at a point on section thirty six, the southeastern corner, there formerly
was a postoffice known as Wolf Dale, which was canceled some time since, and removed to Wolf Dale township several
miles south. At this point some years ago, Jacob Grosh kept a tavern, which is also discontinued.
The nationality of the population of Arlington is mostly American, some of the inhabitants coming from Pennsylvania,
Illinois, Indiana, the New England states, New York, Kentucky, etc. There are a few Germans and Norwegians, also.
The principal industry of the township is farming and stock raising, cattle, hogs and corn being produced in abundance.
Considerable flax is raised, one firm at Moville having shipped in 1890, over 2,000 bushels of flaxseed, and another
firm about 1,000 bushels. Supervisor W. W. McElrath has one of the largest and finest farms in Arlington on sections
nineteen, twenty and twenty one, comprising some 1,500 acres of land in the county. In addition to the usual farm
products of this section, Mr. McElrath handles about 400 bead of cattle yearly. The first store was kept by Frank
Thomas on section thirty two.
Moville. - This business like and growing town is the present terminus of the branch of the Chicago & Northwestern
railway projected to run westward through the townships of Banner, Floyd and Woodbury to Sioux City. It is the
shipping point for a large extent of country, and has some very good mercantile establishments.
On May 27, 1889, the district court of Woodbury county, in respouse to the petition of W. L. Sanborn, B. E. Boyd,
W. H. Dewey, and others, asking the incorporation of the town of Moville, the court, after due examination of the
premises of the petitioners, ordered that W. L. Sanborn, B. E. Boyd, W. H. Dewey, J. W. Hipple and A. B. Thatcher,
be appointed commissioners, who shall at once call an election of the voters residing in the territory to be embraced,
the limits being the southwest one fourth of section twenty nine, township eighty nine, range forty four. The election
to be held on Saturday, August 10, 1889. Notice of the election was published in the Motile "Mail." At
the election seventy four votes were cast, fifty for incorporation, twenty three against incorporations, one vote
reading "against." At a subsequent election held August 29, 1889, for corporate officers, the following
was the result:
Mayor-H. S. Becker.
Recorder-A. B. Thatcher.
Trustees-W. L. Sanborn, W. H. Dewey, R. M. McCarter, J. W. Hippie, B. E. Boyd, C. A. Beard.
Rules and regulations were formulated and passed at a subsequent meeting. At the same meeting W. J. Welch was unanimously
elected marshal, and J. IV. Mohler, treasurer. The present officers (1890) are:
Mayor-C. A. Beard.
Recorder-A. J. Seem.
Trustees-W. H. Dewey, L. Case, R. M. McCarter, H. S. Becker, J. M. Emmick, J. W. Hipple.
Marshal - I. L. Foltz.
Treasurer-W. E. Hall.
W. W. McElrath erected the first store building in Moville in 1887, and B. E. Boyd put in the first stock of
goods. The first hotel was kept by L. Case. The business and other interests are as follows: Steam elevator, W.
W. McElrath, dealer in grain, livestock and real estate; steam elevator, W. L. Sanborn, dealer in cattle, hogs
and grain; general merchants, Varley & Son, W. H. Lee, J. M. Emmick; Farmers' Alliance have a co-operative
general store; grocery, J. C. Guinn, George McMaster; hardware and farm machinery, Beem & Bevelhymer; agricultural
implements and hardware, R. McCarter & Son; jeweler, Frank Dewey; drugs, Hipple & Gibson, W. H. Dewey;
saddles and harness, John Harney; furniture, W. E. Hall; millinery, Mrs. W. E. Hall; boots, shoes and clothing,
J. A. Huston; lumber, building materials, coal, wood, etc., Redmon & Moore; lumber, coal, wood and building
materials, J. & W. C. Shull; wagon shop, F. F. Hall; blacksmiths, G. R. Dennin, E. B. Ray, Sam Laugh ery; livery
stables, A. L. Brockway, John Rounds; butchers, Beard & Paris; restaurants, C. A. Herrick, John Rounds, Samuel
Jenner; shoemaker, J. W. Gibson; barber, John Cook; Farmers' Bank, R. McCarter, president; N. M. McCarter, cashier;
real estate and loans, R. C. Sherrard; lawyer, C. R. Metcalfe; physicians, W. H. Dewey, J. W. Hipple; postmaster,
B. E. Boyd.
The Moville "Mail" is the title of a very neatly printed and ably edited six column folio newspaper.
A. B. Thatcher is the editor and proprietor, and he is a live go ahead young gentleman, who not only runs his paper,
but is a justice of the peace, which makes his police reports come at first hands. The "Mail" is now
in its fifth year. It was started August 1, 1887, by O. M. Thatcher, and the present proprietor took charge in
There are three hotels: Northwestern, Mark Traves, proprietor; Case House, L. Case, proprietor; Fargo House, S.
E. Smith, proprietor.
Moville cornet band, Ed. Ray, leader.
Congregational ministers have been visiting Moville for many years. Rev. Mr. Sinnett was one of the first who came.
They preached in school houses and at private residences at first. In 1887 the society, which had existed for a
long time, built the edifice which stands in the town. Rev. Francis Lawson is the present pastor. They formerly
had a church near the cemetery, about a mile from town. It was just about completed when a stroke of lightning
set it on fire and it was consumed.
The United Brethren in Christ have a very neat church edifice in Moville. It was built in 1889, and Rev. A. J.
Patterson was instrumental, largely, in the building of this church. He preached the first sermon in it. The present
pastor is Rev. William H. Adams.
There is a Methodist Episcopal church society here, but they have no church building. They use the United Brethren
church, through courtesy of that denomination, every other Sunday. Rev. C. W. Cobb is pastor.
The Roman Catholics hold services in Moville, in the school house, every four weeks. The priest in charge at Kingsley
conducts the services.
A Methodist Episcopal church congregation exists in the northern part of Arlington township, but they have no church
building. The cemetery near Moville is under the control of the township authorities. The
Motile high and primary school is known as independent school district number one. Prof. A. F. Bryant is the principal,
and Mrs. Mattie L. Bryant is assistant. The attendance is about ninety. The school was organized March 1, 1889.
The directors are R. M. McCarter, John Harney, J. W. Mohler. There are seven schools in the township in addition
to the Moville school. A very good library, known as the Parmele library, is maintained by the citizens of
Motile. Moville Lodge, No. 509, I. O. O. F., was instituted May 14, 1890. The charter was issued to James Farrar,
N. G.; H. M. Thomson, V. G.; F. J.
May, secretary; A. J. Herbert, treasurer; A. B. Thatcher, P. S. Meets every Wednesday evening.
A Farmers' Alliance was started in April, 1890, and has gathered in quite a respectable membership.