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

ROCK TOWNSHIP, at least that portion of the original Rock comprised in the present township, was of comparatively late settlement. When constituted. it was a considerable portion of Correctionville township, which comprised one fourth of the county. The order for the creation of Rock was passed June 3, 1867, and reads as follows: "All that tract of land of Correctionville township lying and being south of the 'correction line' and belonging to Woodbury county." The remaining portion of Correctionville to be as heretofore. The election for officers took place October 8, 1867. The judges of the election were George Everts, John Kohlhauff, C. W. Hepburn; clerks, W. J. Hepburn, A. B. Barker. The officers elected were: Supervisor, A. S. Bacon; justices of the peace, Joseph A. Bush, J. H. Cornell; township clerk, O. Plato. The township is bounded on the north by Ida county and Union township, on the south by Morgan, on the east by Ida county and on the west by Kedron township. The surface is generally rolling prairie land, slightly broken in the central and northern portions. It is well watered by Wright creek, which flows westerly through the center, and Bacon creek through the northern tier of sections. Minor streams empty into the two streams named, which supply sufficient water, and make Rock township one of the best in the county. Wheat, corn, oats and the small fruits are raised, though corn, of course, is the principal crop. Some fine cattle and hogs are also produced, and large shipments made from Correctionville and Cushing. A portion of Correctionville lies in Rock township, and there is a mill about three fourths of a mile beyond the southeastern limits of that town, that was built in 1862 by Jacob Cornell. It is not in operation at the present time, and has not been for several years.

The first settlers came not earlier than 1856 or 1857, and the causes of this have been related in other portions of this work. Richard Gendreau was here about as early as any one, coming in 1857. John Kohlhauff and E. Robey came in 1863, and the year following, 1864, came N. B. Banning, Ellis Hogue, Charles Hepburn and others. The first settlers of Rock were among those upon whom the savages, engaged in the Spirit Lake massacre, committed their first depredations in 1857. In passing through this township from the vicinity of Smithland, where they had encamped during the winter, the party of red skins under Inkpadotah, stole considerable stock from the unprotected settlers of the upper townships, and committed other outrages. The murderous villains had not as yet worked themselves up to the massacre point, when they passed along here, or the settlers would have felt their tomahawks and scalping knives. But it is probable that fear of pursuit prevented them from any killing until they reached a safer northern distance. Not only in Rock but in Kedron a number of valuable horses were stolen and cattle killed and their best portions carried off. It was during the night that the Indians passed through, and the settlers were not aware of their losses till next morning.

The first white child born in the township was Jeanette Gendreau, a daughter of Richard Gendreau, but the exact date is forgotten, possibly about the fall of 1857. John Kohlhauff, in 1864, built and started the first hotel in Rock township and called it "Travelers' Rest." It was located in the southeastern part of Correctionville. He ran it till some time during 1882. The history of this township is so closely connected with the adjoining ones of Union and Kedron that nothing new can be said in that regard.

The village of Cushing is the only postoffice in the township. It is a station on the Chicago & Northwestern railway, and is an enterprising, growing little town, and considerable business is transacted there. A great deal of grain is shipped, there being an elevator and accommodations for handling stock and grain. Considerable building material is sold to all sections of the township, as well as to the adjoining county of Ida. It has a very good location and will undoubtedly grow. The business of the town is comprised in the following list:

General store, Meek & Seitz; general stock and furniture, S. H. McCarl; grocery, C. B. Daniels; drugs, R. R. Rogers; hardware, C. Ruggles; harness and saddlery, Robert Milne; grocer and butcher, T. D. Lake; C. D. Sanborn deals in farm machinery and runs an elevator; lumber, etc., D. Joyce; Mr. Vorhes runs an elevator; stock dealer, W. H. Gilman; physician, Dr. Smith; postmaster, C. B. Daniels.

There is also here a good hotel, livery stable, barber shop, blacksmith shop, wagon repairing shop, a fine uniformed band, with Dr. Smith as leader, and a newspaper, called the "Cushing Paralyzer," with C. D. Sanborn as editor and proprietor.


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