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

Rutland Township was created from the surplus of Union township April 2, 1872, and the order reads as follows: All of township eighty nine, range forty three, be detached from Union township and formed into a new township to be called Rutland township." It is bounded as follows: Plymouth county on the north, Wolf Creek and Kedron on the south, Union on the east and Arlington on the west. Rutland was one of the latest townships to be settled, and not until about 1869 or 1870 were there any permanent residents within the territory now comprised in the present bounds, although it is claimed, that to take it throughout, it is the best township in Woodbury county. It is high lying and consequently dry, but not too dry, as the gently rolling nature of the surface, which has no large stream, retains the moisture without retaining too much, as is the case with flatter lands. There is one section for which is claimed the distinction of being unique, and standing alone, among all the sections of the county, in two or three regards. Section sixteen can be plowed over its entire surface and not leave an inch that may not be turned with the plow. There is not a rock, tree, stream or anything else to obstruct, only pure, unadulterated land. Two or three small streams start on their oceanward course, just outside the limits of this highly favored section, but do not dare to overstep the line. The township is well watered, however, as Pierson's creek, Booth creek, Wolf creek and Rock creek all have their bead waters in Rutland, some flowing easterly to the Little Sioux, and others westerly to the West Fork. Very little timber, in fact none, that can be so called exist here. There are very good sand and gravel pits on the property of F. W. Joslyn, near Pierson. Cattle, hogs and corn are the crops.

Andrew Baker, Thomas Frazier and Thomas Welch are conceded to be the first actual settlers, and a Mr. Landon followed about 1870. B. Dayton came about 1872-73. There is a considerable number of Germans in the township, a very thrifty class of citizens, most of whom are members of the Lutheran church. The balance of the population is American.

The first preaching that took place in the township was by Rev. Benton Seilman, a Methodist Episcopal minister. He delivered a sermon in a school house in 1870. The German Lutherans contemplate erecting a church about four miles southwest of Pierson, they having already erected a parsonage. The first school was taught on section nine. The township cemetery lies about four miles south of Pierson.

Pierson is strictly a railroad town and a busy little one it is. There seems to be a life about it that some of the other towns in the county could well imitate. It is a station on the Sac City branch of the Chicago & Northwestern railway, and has in addition to telegraph facilities and express, telephone service. A great deal of corn is handled here, keeping three elevators busy. Following is the business, etc., of the village:

Bank of Pierson, S. F. Benson, cashier; elevator, M. D. Stevens, Chicago, managed and run by W. W. Burgess; elevator, dealers in coal, etc., Vorhes Bros.; elevator, H. Keeney & Son; general stores, J. H. Keyes, J. C. Mills, William Southall & Co.; drugs, A. Anderson & Son; hardware, William Mann & Sons, also dealers in farm machinery; harness and shoe repairing, R. Pattison; dealer in live stock, William Southall & Co.; lumber, building materials and coal, D. Joyce; insurance, E. Paddock; meat market, J. B. Opdycke; wagon maker, R. Messerole; blacksmiths, B. Dayton, H. Riser; hotel, G. B. Baker, proprietor; livery stable, I. J. Ellis; physician, Dr. W. J. Efner; Pierson Tornado band, leader, J. W. McGuire; postmaster, J. H. Keyes.

Rock Branch postoffice was established 1880, at which time John F. Wood opened a store, which he still continues. He is postmaster as well as merchant. There is a Methodist Episcopal church here, also; pastor, Rev. F. W. Ailnut. There are four schools in the township.


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