History of Grange Township, Woodbury County, IA
From: History of the Counties of Woodbury and Plymouth, Iowa
A Warner & Co., Publishers
Chicago Illinois, 1890-91

Grange Township was created by the board of supervisors on October 20, 1874, the order reading as follows: "The east one half of township eighty seven, range forty six, be detached from West Fork township, and that the west one half of township eighty seven, range forty six, be detached from Liberty township, and that all of township eighty seven, range forty six, be formed into a new township to be called Grange township." The boundaries are as follows: Floyd township on the north, Sloan on the south,West Fork on the east and Liberty on the west. The first election was held in the Bayne school house October 12, 1875, and the judges of the election were James Waddle, W. O. Sluyter, M. W. Metcalf, and the clerk, L. Burns.

Grange varies from the three townships that lie west of it, in that about one half of it is level prairie or bottom land and the other half rolling and slightly broken. It is well watered with a number of small streams, most of them flowing into the Whiskey slough, which traverses the township from the northwest corner to the southeast corner. This slough is supplied with water from the Big Whiskey, Little Whiskey, Elliott and Camp creeks and other brooks and runs as stated. The creeks named are all outside of Grange, being in Woodbury and Floyd. The township was, until lately, rather too wet, but measures have been taken to effectually drain it, an account of which will be found farther along. There is one small lake on the Garrettson ranch, which is nearly dry, except in wet seasons. The landscape begins to assume more of the rolling prairie type as one goes northeasterly, where the most of the little streams appear. Along the edge of the bluffs are a few bowlders, none of them rounded, however, thus showing less glacial action upon them, or a lesser distance from whence they were torn from the parent rock. There are some fine clay beds in the bluffs, which have been pronounced excellent for brick or pottery; also sand deposits. Some tolerably fair timber may be found along the streams, but it is mostly cottonwood and willow, with here and there an elm, to break the monotony. There is still a fair showing of game, such as prairie chickens, quail, jacksnipe, etc., and an occasional wolf is shot for his scalp, the county still offering a bounty on the varmints, just as they did thirty five years ago, when they were numerous and destructive. The principal products of Grange are corn, of course, and cattle, hogs and hay. The country being open to the westward, gives some liability to the cyclone, but no particular damage has been done. The first settlers who came into Grange township and made improvements were James Waddle, John Hunt, Morris Metcalf, Henry Bayne, John Huston and Charles Brown, who were followed by Adam Woodruff, George Silvers and some others. Charles Brown constructed a dugout, in which he lived when he first came. It was the first dwelling place of a white man in the township. The first white child born in Grange was a son of Morris Metcalf, and the first death was, probably, Charles C. Metcalf. On the road, which runs through the township from Sioux City to Smithland, there used to be an old tavern, a stage station, kept by Harry Adams. Before the advent of the railroads, the old stage line did a fine business, carrying passengers from the southeastern section of the county to the settlements in the northwestern portion, and along the Big Sioux and Missouri rivers. About ten years ago there was living at the tavern a Dr. Grosvenor, the first physician to take up his domicile here. The first postoffice was also at the old tavern, established about twelve years ago, and Dr. Grosvenor was the postmaster, who at the time kept the hotel.

The first preaching in the township was by Rev. George Clifford, presiding elder of the Methodist Episcopal church, and Rev. I. K. Fuller, of Sioux City: also Rev. Mr. Plummer. They all preached in the old Bayne school house, as that was the only place suitable. There is a Baptist church at the foot of the bluffs in the eastern part of the township, near the old Grange hotel. The first minister of this denomination to preach in this church was Rev. Mr. Jones. The settlement thereabout is generally Baptist in its faith. Rev. Mr. Jones is the regular pastor in attendance. The Bayne school house was built about seventeen or eighteen years ago, and Miss Luella Read and Miss Eliza Bayne were, possibly, the first teachers in the township. There are now six school houses and another school taught at a private house. The Methodists of the eastern portion of the township hold services in the Bayne school house, and Rev. Mr. Lougell preaches for them. There is another Baptist congregation, which assembles in the Camp creek church, a small structure on the stream named, and Rev. Jones also officiates there.

Grange is noted for the fine cattle, corn and hay, which are its principal products. A. S. Garretson's cattle ranch is a well known enterprise throughout the northwest. This gentleman has 3,000 acres of as fine land as there is on the continent, and his improvements have been made regardless of expense. The ranch is located mostly in the central portion of the township, Luton being located on its western edge. His water supply is complete in all particulars and its cost alone was over $3,000. The main barn is 540 feet in length and sixty feet in depth. He has a herd of Hereford cattle, recorded animals; also a herd of Polled Angus, and some Holsteins, keeping usually seven and eight hundred head. His cattle have a reputation in all western markets.

Strange's hay ranch is another large enterprise, located in the vicinity of a sub station known as Strange's Siding, where the immense quantities of hay which the firm, Strange Bros., of Sioux City, raise, is baled for market. Two steam presses are constantly running for about six months, and the view from this station leaves the impression that nothing but hay is raised in the county, for on all sides little is to be seen but stacks of hay dotting the prairie as far as the eye can reach. The ranch is located partly in the southern portion of the township.

D. T. Hedges has annually over 3,000 acres in corn, most of which is in Grange, the balance in Sloan township. He has put up twenty five buildings on his land for the use of his workmen, and quite a community is collecting in consequence.

The Big Whiskey slough alluded to previously, so called from the creek of that classic title emptying into it, runs diagonally across the township, and has always been the cause of making the soil too wet, and injuring much of the growing crop. Recently, however, a remedy for this state of affairs has been applied. Messrs. Garretson, Hedges, Strange and Marsh have had a ditch dug through the center of the slough from Elliott's creek to the southeastern corner of the township. This ditch is thirty five feet wide and eight feet deep, and effectually drains the entire township, much land being now dry that formerly was wet at all seasons of the year. It is a commendable piece of work on the part of the capitalists who have accomplished it, and deserves mention here.

Luton, in the western part of Grange, is one of the projected railroad towns, it being a station of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad. It is the only postoffice in the township, and has a store, blacksmith shop, church and school house. Considerable corn, cattle and hogs are shipped from this station. B. F. Bayne is a dealer and shipper of cattle at this point. Greenholder & Phillips deal in hogs and run a general store and the postoffice. The church, which belongs to the Methodist denomination, was built in 1889, and the pastor is Rev. Mr. Luce, who resides at Salix, he having three charges.

The township officers (1890) are: Trustees, W. O. Sluyter, H. C. Bayne, Aaron Wilson; clerk, G. N. Holder; assessor, Robert White; justice of the peace, E. S. Phillips; constable, J. E. Inley.


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