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


LITTLE SIOUX TOWNSHIP, the second division of the county created in 1855, originally comprised, as shown in a preceding chapter, all that portion of Woodbury county lying east of the west fork of the Little Sioux river, but, by a gradual partitioning off and subdivision, it has shrunk to its present dimensions, one congressional township, the same as nearly all of its sister townships. Little Sioux retained a size of twice the bulk of the other townships till 1884, when Oto township was created from its ample substance. It is the third running westward of the southern tier of townships, and is bounded on the north by Grant, on the east by Oto, on the west by Willow and on the south by Monona county. The surface is considerably broken, and ranges of bluffs traverse many portions of it. The land, however is extremely rich, especially in the valleys, and very varied crops may be raised. Wheat is well adapted to the soil, or the soil to wheat, and oats, barley and all small grains, as well as corn, are produced to perfection, corn, of course, predominating as a crop. The soil is a black loam, easily cultivated and practically inexhaustible in consequence of its freedom from any extraneous constituents not needed for plant growth, and from its depth. The same fields, in many instances, have been put to the same crops for many years successively, and today yield as abundantly as they ever have. Below this fine deposit of surface soil, lies a stratum of clay which will produce the best of brick, and there must also be a stratum of pottery and tile clay, as there are in many of the bluffs throughout the county. There are also fine beds of sand, some of it as excellent as any to be found in Ohio or Pennsylvania, used in the manufacture of glass. The township is well watered, the Little Sioux river running through the southeastern portion, and the Lynn Hollow, Weber and Cottonwood creeks watering other sections of the same. There are numerous springs here, and one of them, known as Medicine spring, on the property of M. L. Jones, at Smithland, was thought by the Indians to possess great healing properties, as they used to come long distances to bathe themselves in its waters. Timber is more plentiful in this section of the county than in any other, and is more varied and of better quality. Very excellent bur and red oak, are to be found here, as well as walnut, elm, hackberry, box elder, maple and basswood, or linn, while some of the hardier small fruits are produced in Little Sioux township, and throughout the Little Sioux valley generally. Game of all kinds has always been plentiful, and fish are to be caught in abundance in all the streams, such as buffalo, pickerel, pike, suckers and catfish. Stock raising is carried on to a considerable extent, and fair quantities are shipped over the Cherokee & Dakota railroad, a feeder of the Illinois Central system.

The scenery in Little Sioux township is very beautiful, and reminds one, more than any other portion of Woodbury county, of the eastern or middle states' landscapes. The quiet little valleys and the thickly wooded hills, between which run gurgling streams, afford a very pleasant contrast to many other portions of northwestern Iowa.

There has been some controversy among old residents of Woodbury, as to who was the actual first settler of the county, and some have claimed that it was Orrin B. Smith, who at present is residing in Florida, but the claim is not supported by sufficient evidence to make it tenable. The facts, so far as they can be ascertained, are as follows: William White, Curtis Lamb and J. Sumner, known at the time, as apostate Mormans, left the Mormon settlement at Kaneville (now Council Bluffs), and came to the Little Sioux valley, where they squatted upon land, one of them upon the site of what is now Smithland, and the others in the vicinity. Just what time these three men came, is not now known, but it must have been about 1850 or 1851, possibly earlier, for in the fall of 1852, Orrin B. Smith, his brother, Edwin M. Smith, and John Hurley came from Council Bluffs to this section on a hunting expedition, and upon their following up the Little Sioux river, they were surprised to find the three white men named above, living comparatively comfortable in the then wilderness. They stopped with Sumner a short time, as he had made some improvements on his property, and then proceeded on their way up the river. On the return of the hunters, Orrin B. Smith, who was so struck with the beauty of the location where Sumner had squatted and held two claims, that he made the latter an offer for his rights in them, which was accepted, the sum paid being $100 in gold. Smith took possession and shortly afterward returned to Council Bluffs, where he sold one of the claims to Eli Lee, who, with his family, came out in the following February, 1853. Smith moved his own family out shortly after the date named, and the little settlement began with these six, some of them with families: The two Smiths, Lamb, White, Lee and Hurley. What became of Sumner the writer could not ascertain. The settlement at first was known as the White settlement, so called for William White, who, however, afterward moved to Monona county, and was drowned in Silver Lake. He put in the first ferry across the Little Sioux river.

Following those named in the preceding paragraph, came, about the middle of August, 1853, William Turman and John McCauley, then John Turman. In 1854 M. L. Jones and John B. Pierce came in, as well as Joseph and Thomas Bowers, Alvah North, James McDonald, Martin Metcalf and two or three others. Metcalf was a Methodist exhorter and it might be claimed that he was the first person to conduct Christian religious exercises in Woodbury county. Pierce was a native of Canada, and died many years ago. Ira Price came in 1854 or 1855, but went to Nebraska in 1856. Alvah North went to Salt Lake City in 1857. George Coonly was an early resident of Smithiand, but he got tired of the west, and finally went back to New York. There is a grove near Smithland which is still called by his name. John Howe also lived at Smithland, but went to California at an early day. Ebenezer F. Petty was a resident of Little Sioux township, and did the principal tanning of buckskin. He is said to have been "constitutionally tired," and that he was very much opposed to hunting, because it required too much exertion, but that he was an excellent fisherman, enjoying the shade of a tree to perfection. Albert Jones came to Smithland in February, 1855, and afterward went to Pike's Peak, on the tide of 1859, remaining in Colorado until 1884. He is, with his brother, M. L. Jones, in the merchandising business in Smithland. T. Davis was one of the early ones. C. A. Cobb came in 1855, and died in 1860 with heart disease. He was a cousin of M. L. Jones. It. H. C. Noel was a resident of Smithland, and ran for county judge in 1855. He remained only about one year, when he went to White Cloud, Minn. Noel was a highly educated man and a talented lawyer, but with no energy. Seth Smith, who lived across the line in Monona county, but who was identified with Little Sioux in all things except actual residence in that township, was from Ohio, and had been in that state a militia major. He brought with him a full suit of regimentals, cocked hat, gilt epaulettes, glittering sword, and split tail coat, and these insignia of greatness made him a man of mark. It elevated him, of course, when the occasion came, to the captaincy of the party who waited upon the Indians in the winter of 1856-57 for the purpose of inviting the red skins to evacuate that neck of woods, some of the details of which will be given farther along.

Wild fruits of many kinds were very abundant in those early days, and game, the best in the land, was to be had by shooting or trapping. Along the streams beaver, mink, otter and other aquatic animals were very plentiful, and many an old hunter reaped a rich reward from their skins, which sold as high as $8 and $10 in some sections. In occasional pair of buffalo would stray down the valleys, and even a moose from the upper regions would graze along southward till he was in sight of the settlements, when he would spring, tartled, back toward his northern prairies, as though he had been absent minded and forgotten where he was, in his enjoyment of the rich grasses of the untrod hills and dales of the Little Sioux region. Droves of elk, also, as well as deer, would sometimes be seen feeding along the slopes, but this animal, so wary of the approach of man, and so fleet of foot, could but seldom be found on the homely boards of the pioneers. A gentleman, whilst traveling along the prairie not far from Little Sioux township, in 1857, thus describes a scene that he witnessed: "In ascending a little bluff, as I reached the top, before me stood 100 elk of various sizes. As I approached they crossed the road a little in front of me, then formed a ring, the mothers with their fawns within; the males with their great horns completing the circle without. There they stood, in this fortified position, until I was out of sight. This was the grandest horned battalion that I ever witnessed, and was worth a journey to see. I stopped my horse for some time to look at this living fortress, but they faced me with a look of defiance, as much as to say, come on if you dare!' "

The first birth (or births, for twins were born) was two children born to Edwin M. Smith, in 1854, and the first death was that of one of these same children, who did not long survive its entrance into this world. The first marriage was that solemnized on July 4, 1855, between Morris Metcalf and Melinda Hatch. If a minister married them it must have been Rev. Mr. Black, for he was the only one in the county at the time. A justice of the peace possibly tied the nuptial knot. The first store in the township was opened in 1855, in the then newly laid out city of Smithland. Howe Brothers, who came from Massachusetts, were the proprietors. The first hotel was started in the same city by William Jackson, in 1856, and the first log cabin in the entire eastern half of Woodbury county was that put up jointly, it is supposed, by White, Lamb and Sumner, before 1853. The first mill, a steam saw mill, was put up in 1856, within what is now the corporate limits of Smithland. It was owned and operated by Swett, Baker, Smith and Wellington. During the year of its erection, Smith accidentally fell upon the saw and was killed. The first physician to do any practice was Rev. Mr. Haven, a Methodist minister, who had studied both professions. He did not regularly practice, but his knowledge of the healing art was used by the early settlers, and it came into good play in that primitive time. The first postoffice was established in Smithland, in 1855 or 1856, and the postmaster was Orrin B. Smith. A mail route had been established about that time, which ran from Fort Dodge to Sioux City. The first roads to run through the township, was the Panora and Sergeant's Bluff, and the Reel's mill and Correctionville road. The first fine large barn erected in Little Sioux township and for ten or a dozen miles around it, was built by Orrin B. Smith. It still stands within the corporate limits of Smithland. This barn was inaugurated, or dedicated, by a dance, which was attended by old and young for many miles around. Everybody took a hand, or rather a foot, in the frolic, and the"fiowin' bowl" was passed around pretty lively, but as a general rule, there was very little drinking along the Little Sioux. The settlers there left that to the French-Canadians, half breeds and Indians, over along the Big Sioux and Missouri rivers. The first school in Little Sioux was presided over by Miss Hannah Van Dorn, in 1855, and the first schoolhouse, a small log structure, was erected in Smithland.

The first minister to preach in Little Sioux township was Rev. Mr. Black, who came to Woodbury county in the fall of 1855. He was at Smithland the following spring of 1856, and went out to meet Rev. Landon Taylor, the presiding elder, who had just been appointed as such by the Iowa conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. Taylor was accompanied by another minister, Rev. D. J. Havens, son of the noted old time Methodist preacher, Rev. James Havens, of Indiana. The younger Havens had come with Taylor, presumably to take the place of Mr. Black, as the latter left shortly afterward, and we hear no more of him in this region. The two new ministers were conducted by Mr. Black to the house of Mr. Van Dorn, near Smithland, where they remained over Sabbath, and on that day, the presiding elder preached his opening sermon on his circuit, in the cabin of Orrin B. Smith, and at night Rev. Havens filled the primitive pulpit, figuratively speaking, for the only pulpit visible was a rough kitchen table, and a modest chair of homely fashion. But the surroundings of the man of God made no difference in the unction with which he expounded the gospel. The people of the settlement turned out their full number, and no matter to what particular branch of the Christian church they held allegiance before they came out to the wilderness, they united as one in giving the brave old pioneer preacher a hearty welcome and a rich response to the "glad tidings" he brought them. In a frontier settlement, where each must cling to the other for mutual protection and sympathy, all creeds and special formalities, great and small, are, as they must be within the Pearly Gates, dropped or buried out of sight. Rev. Taylor was called the "weeping prophet," from the fact that he always cried when he preached. The father of the young man, Havens, the old itinerant of Indiana, worked in the same or similar fields as the Rev. Peter Cartwright, and he could, as well as Brother Cartwright, not only bang a Bible, but the eye of any border bully who had the temerity to interrupt him during his religious services, and the young man is said to have been a chip of the old block. Mr. Havens, whilst in charge of the Smithlaud circuit, was making a convert of the lady whose husband was killed by falling on his circular saw some time previously, and in due course she changed the plebian name of Smith for that of Havens, at the residence of Doctor Yeomans, in Sioux City. The happy couple left for "other fields and pastures green," in the course of a year or more.

As an illustration of the trials and hardships of the pioneer minister, the following experience of Revs. Taylor and Black, after leaving Smithland, at the close of their pastoral engagements in Woodbury county, is given: "We came to a large stream, widening out ten or twelve rods, and now what was to be done? Brother Black, my traveling companion, can not swim, the water is too deep to ford, some of our articles must not be wet, and now I will test its depth by wading through. Carrying our blankets in my hands, extended upward, I started for the other shore, and found that I could just go through, the water coming over my shoulders. Safely landed, I deposited my load on the bank, and then swam back after the second. Thus I continued wading and swimming alternately until all were over, excepting Brother Black and the buggy. Well, what disposition is to be made of them? Fortunately for us we have a rope on hand, and so I fasten this to the shafts of my buggy, lash the preacher fast to the rear, and Fanny, my mare, brings all over in safety. It was amusing to see a very short man rolling and whirling in the stream, but it was the only hope."

Rev. George Clifford succeeded Mr. Taylor in his work here. When Mr. Taylor left in 1858, the state of the Methodist church on his circuit was as follows, which will give an idea of the sparse population: Members, 141; probationers, 36; baptisms, 24; churches, 1; Sunday schools, 6;. scholars, 158; preaching places, 10.

In 1855, at the creation of Little Sioux township, the trustees elected were: Township trustees, William Turman, James McDonald, Mendal Metcalf. Metcalf lived in that portion of Little Sioux now comprised in Oto township. In 1858, at the April election, O. B. Smith, the founder of Smithland, had submitted to the voters the important question whether they desired an addition to that embryo city. The sovereigns decided that they wanted the addition, which was accordingly recorded. The judges of this election were E. Todd, William Turman, Daniel Metcalf and the clerk, E. M. Smith and C. A. Cobb.

The cyclone, at least by its comparatively modern name, was not known in the early days of Woodbury, although evidences of its visit are not wanting in some sections of the county. That great terror of the "wild and woolly west" of the present day, might jump down on a prairie or on to the summit of one of those smoothly shaven and beautifully rounded bluffs, and stand on its hind legs and howl for a month, and nobody would have been the wiser, simply because nobody was near enough at the time. The increase in population in the cyclone belt during the last thirty years, has brought the monster into notoriety. The blizzard, also, by name but not in fact, was conspicuous by its absence. This hyperborean fiend was simply called a heavy snow storm. But when those of northwestern Iowa said "heavy snow storm" they meant what they said, and those who were in this section during the winter of 1856-57 will never forget their experiences with one of the kind indicated. There was great suffering all over the state, and those who lived along the Little Sioux and were partially protected by the hilly nature of the country were no exception to the general rule. Families were so cut off from neighbors that they were on the verge of starvation. Many of the settlers lived on corn and potatoes for weeks at a time, and numbers of persons had limbs frosted, resulting in one or two cases of amputation. A writer who resided in the county at the time, gives so graphic a description of the state of affairs during the great storms of wind and snow during the winter indicated, that one can do no better than give his own words in regard to it. He says: "On the 2d and 3d days of December one of the most terrific snowstorms that ever blew out of the heavens, swept over this section of country, hurling snow into every crack and crevice that air could penetrate, and into drifts of fifteen and twenty feet in depth, burying cattle, sheep and other stock so deeply that hundreds perished from the extreme cold. On the 7th day of February following, another severe snowstorm, nearly equal to the one of December, added much to the distress of many of the settlers of the northwest, as but few were prepared for it. The snow was now about four feet on the level, which completely hemmed in some settlers who were living remote from the more populous portions of the county, and whose stocks of provisions gave out before it was possible to get more. Some killed their cattle and subsisted upon them for days after their flour and meal had given out, whilst others lived upon parched corn." A man who had built a small cabin in one of the little valleys along the Little Sioux, about fifteen miles from the nearest purchasing point, managed to get through the drifts to that point, where he paid $10 for a small sack of flour. The same writer quoted from above, says in relation to the party just mentioned: "By the time the flour was consumed, the snow had increased in depth, and he and his wife were so afflicted with scurvy that he could not go for more flour." They were compelled to kill a poor starving cow, all bones and no flesh, upon which they managed to subsist for several days, when succor arrived. Their firewood also had given out, and they had to go a long distance to timber. After consuming all the wood in their reach, they attacked the walls of their cabin by chopping and splitting blocks from the logs. In this manner they managed to pull through; and to add to the distress and hardships of the hardy and honest old pioneers, when the snow began to melt and the ice to thaw in the streams, torrents of water rushed and foamed along every river and creek and run in the county. The Little Sioux and West Fork were swollen far beyond their banks, and great damage was done by the merciless waters.

Truly the trials and tribulations of the early settlers of most portions of the great west were many, but the foregoing were not all they had to encounter. The devastating fires that would break out every autumn among the rank and dry grass of the prairies, would send a chill of horror to the heart of many a lone settler in his little log cabin as he saw the distant smoke and watched with eager eye to ascertain whether the wind blew toward his humble home, or whether there was a likelihood of its doing so, if it were in another direction. He well knew that no power he or his neighbors could command would arrest the fiery demon in his merciless march. Powerless he was, indeed, when in the track of the roaring, raging, irresistible storm of flame, and all that was left him to do was to grasp his child in his arms and his wife by the hand, and fly for life from the onward rush of the surging simoon of death. And the grasshopper, too, had to come to plague the luckless soldiers in the vanguard of the army of civilization, but the little pest did not come in such force on his first noticeable visit to this section in 1858, as he did later on. He only gave a foretaste, or rather took it, of what he might be capable when he would get on his war paint and get his appetite up to its normal condition. The first visit was bad enough, but he seemed only to be reconnoitering, or skirmishing about the camp of the enemy, for he confined his captures to garden truck almost entirely. He may have been more dainty then, in the selection of his bill of fare than he was in 1864, when saw logs, Des Moines radishes, trace chains and Council Bluff's beef, stood no more chance than a stranger in Omaha with $4.25 in his pocket in the shades of evening. In the two most noted visits, the first in 1864, as stated, great destruction followed in the path of the innumerable millions of these insects, but fuller accounts will be found elsewhere in these pages.

In 1855, a Californian named Ordway, who had made his pile in the golden state, came to Smithland on a land buying expedition and obtained accommodations at the cabin of Orrin B. Smith. Mr. Smith was not home at the time, but his wife took charge of a heavy valise the traveler carried and stowed it away at the head of a bed. About the same time a man named Wilbur Eddy arrived with a wagon and team, and, it being snowy, stormy weather, was permitted to put up his team in Smith's yard. He also had a bead or two of cattle which he turned loose to graze. All went to bed as usual at night, but in the morning the valise was gone, which the traveler said contained $3,500 in gold. The man Eddy said, also, that his pants had been stolen. He was suspected, however, of the main theft, and M. L. Jones and others commenced to investigate matters, when they found a track that led down to the river, following which they discovered the valise, emptied of the money, and the pants stuck under the ice among some brushwood. In going back to Smith's house Eddy said that his cattle had strayed away up the hill into the woods, and he started in that direction. He was followed at a little distance by Jones who kept behind the trees, and was rewarded for his detective service by seeing Eddy kicking the snow up against a hollow tree. When Eddy passed on, Jones crept up to the hollow tree and took out a package that contained every cent of the $3,500. The thief was arrested as soon as he came back, and taken to Sergeant's Bluff, the county seat, but a lawyer got out a habeas corpus, and, no witnesses appearing, he was discharged from custody. Mr. Ordway, now a wealthy old gentleman, paid a visit to Smithland in remembrance of the adventure, in the summer of the present year (1890).

The hard winter of 1856-57, together with the stringency of the times and the Indian scare induced by the Spirit Lake massacre, caused many of the settlers along the Little Sioux to leave the county, and either go farther westward or return to their original homes. The killing of Pennell, for which Shook was tried, also had some effect on the settlers farther up the river. Some of these returned and others did not. Land fell in price, and there was wide spread depression. The Civil war coming on a few years later, and the increasing boldness of the Indians of the northwest, added still more to the retardation of speedy settlement. Not until about 1866 or 1867, did the tide turn, but when it did, the increase was healthful for many years. Some few came in during the war, but very little increase in population occurred till the latter dates mentioned above.

In the late fall of 1856, a band of renegade Indians, headed by Inkpadotah, came into Little Sioux township and camped. There were twenty two of them, all, or nearly all of them, being outcasts from the Sioux and Winnebago tribes. At first they were comparatively peaceable, but as they gradually discovered that their numbers were about equal to the able bodied men of the white settlement in their vicinity, they began stealing corn, or anything of that kind easily unrecognizable, until finally, they got to stealing an occasional hog or steer, and still later, shooting cattle without any apparent fear of being molested, but the pioneers, after complaining to several of the leaders about their depredations, resolved to take stronger means to rid themselves of the thieves. So they got together, twenty one of them, and made Maj. Seth Smith, who lived just across the line in Monona county, captain of their party, in consequence partly, because he was a good man for a leader, and partly because he owned that magnificent suit of regimentals, with its quivering epaulettes, gaily bedecked cocked hat and flashing sword. These would strike terror to "the souls of frightful adversaries." The party consisted of the twenty one mentioned, and below are the names of eighteen of them, as furnished the writer hereof, by one of the number now living on the Little Sioux; the other three our informant could not remember:

Seth Smith, captain.
Eli Lee.
John Howe.
Eli Floyd.
Jim Kirbey.
M. L. Jones.

O. B. Smith.
William Turman.
Ed. Howe.
John Kinnea.
Thomas Nagle.
M. B. Mead.

Thomas Davis.
Welsey Turman.
John Floyd.
Thomas Bowers.
Jonathan Leach.
A. Livermore.

This party proceeded to the Indian camp, but some of them were away. Capt. Smith demanded that the Indians should leave that vicinity, when they replied that the snow was so bad up north that they could not get anything to eat there. They, however, said they would like to go down to the Omaha reservation and shake hands with them and bury the hatchet. The whites of course did not care where they would go, but they wanted them to "go - go at once, and not stand on the order of their going," and that they would help their red brothers to get to the Omahas in the morning. Capt. Smith and his warriors, however, in leaving, thought that a little precaution might be a good thing, so they took the guns from the savages and carried them home with them. In the morning when the whites went to the camp to assist the Indians in getting off, and restoring to them their guns, they found that they had left during the night. The Indians fled to the northward, committing depredations everywhere, which finally culminated in the horrible butchery known as the Spirit Lake massacre, a recital of which is not in place here, it having happened outside the territory comprised in this work. There have been many versions of this affair, but the above facts were obtained from parties who were concerned in it. It might possibly be, as one writer states, in an endeavor to palliate the atrocity, that individual Indians were whipped at Smithland, but one can feel assured that if such were the case, the red skins deserved it. That was not a sufficient motive for the crimes they afterward committed. The same writer says that the great mistake of the whites was in driving the Indians away. One of the gray haired old veterans who helped to form the famous twenty one, told the writer that the only mistake they made was that they did not shoot the whole party of red devils when they had them in a trap.

Smithland. - Orrin B. Smith first surveyed this town in 1855, but it was not recorded. In 1856 it was again surveyed and platted and put on record. It was incorporated in June, 1890, and the first mayor was R. C. Rice, and the present mayor is C. Ashworth.

The present business of the village is as follows: General merchants, M. L. Jones, J. J. Ryan & Co.; dealers in coal, lumber, hardware, farm machinery, wagons, etc., Jones & Parlier; druggist, R. C. Rice; groceries, R. C. Fisher, Mrs. McKenzie; furniture, J. C. Ruthroff; harness maker, L. G. Garnet; millinery, Mrs. W. J. Wolf, Mrs. C. M. Foster; livery, John R. Oldis, Tadlock & Merritt; bankers, Rice & Smith; training stables and veterinary hospital, conducted by C. H. Hidden; meat shop, John Yothers; meat and notions: Frank Young; restaurant, J. S. Wise; physicians, Charles Rice, C. P. Ashworth; attorney at law, J. A. Prichard; hotels, St. George, John H. Oldis, proprietor; Central house, Charles Edgar, proprietor; two blacksmith shops; Smithland Mills, grinds grain and saws lumber; Smithland Butter & Cheese Manufacturing Association, separator process, capacity 1,000 pounds butter per day, president, M. L. Jones, secretary, F. H. Smith.

About 1871-72 the "Little Sioux Valley Reporter," a weekly newspaper, was started by R. C. Rice, who ran it about two years. The "Smithland Advertizer" started in the spring of 1887, published by the Advertizer company; it was run for nearly a year. The "Smithland Exponent" was started November 24, 1887, and name changed to the "Farmers' Exponent" in the spring of 1890, proprietors, Jenness & Hills. Smithland high school is a very fine institution of three grades, the principal is C. F. Clark; intermediate department, Miss Rosena Warne; primary department, Mrs. Helen Morgan. There is a very flourishing Farmers' Alliance, a W. C. T. U., a lodge of Knights of Pythias and a lodge of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons. There is also a very beautiful cemetery at Smithland, but no church, no postoffice, and no mill or other industry outside the village.

There was, as has been shown, preaching by Methodist ministers way back shortly after the first settlement of Little Sioux township, but no church building belonging to the denomination till about ten years ago, when the present edifice was dedicated in the spring of 1880. Rev. I. B. Kilburn was the pastor when the church was dedicated. The present pastor is Rev. Freeman Franklin.

Adventist preachers have visited this section and held services at various places for many years past, but about fifteen years ago they purchased the old school house, and have used it since as a place of worship. Ministers of that faith occasionally come along and hold services. The proper name of the denomination is Seventh Day Adventists, and their belief is considered peculiar, but it may not be more ultra in that direction than some of their sister churches. They keep Saturday as the Sabbath, and work on Sunday when they feel like it.

There was no Congregational preaching in the township until within a few years. Rev. Mr. Herrick, of Cherokee, first came, about June, 1887, and was followed shortly afterward by Rev. Mr. Towle, from Grinnell. There were a few Presbyterians and some others who did not affiliate with the other denominations, who resolved to form a society. There were eleven, and they met in the Adventist's church. Rev. Herrick preached the first sermon. Rev. Mr. Skinner, pastor at large, preaches every four weeks. They have a Sunday school attached.

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