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

Sloan Township, up to the time of its creation, on June 8, 1875, was a portion of Lakeport township, which was the first subdivision after the late war, in 1867. The order of the supervisors reads as follows: "All of township eighty six, range forty six, be detached from Lakeport township, and formed into a new township, to be called Sloan township." The boundaries are: Grange on the north, Monona county on the south, Willow on the east, and Lakeport on the west. The first election was held in the school house in the town of Sloan, October 12, 1875. The judges of the election were F. O. Hunting, Dennis Collins, J. Washburn; clerk, J. R. Coe.

This township is peculiar in its lack of several features common to all and every one of the other townships of Woodbury county. It has no stream of water, no lake, no spring, nor is there any timber that can be called such; originally there was not a tree, and what few there now are, have been planted of late years. In all the other townships streams, varying in size from the Big and Little Sioux and West Fork to the smallest branchlet, are found; yet, here in Sloan there are none. Yet the land is as rich and productive as any on the globe. As explained in a previous sketch, the depth of soil is so great that it retains moisture for months, and imparts it when a dry season occurs. Water for ordinary purposes is obtained by drive wells, and the windmill is a familiar object in the level landscape This township is Missouri river bottom, pure and simple, as flat as a floor, and tropical in its fertility. Corn, cattle and hogs seem almost of spontaneous growth; these, of course, being the principal products. If it lack water in the ordinary manner of nature's provision, it does not lack wind, as the cyclone occasionally makes a hurried visit, two of those disasters having occurred within the past ten years. No loss of life, however, has as yet happened, owing, possibly, to the knowledge of the monster's habits by the population, and consequent avoidance of him. The first cyclone struck the township some six or eight years ago and blew down several houses, and in 1889 another, more severe than the first, struck the town of Sloan, demolished the Congregational church and knocked the chimneys off of several other buildings. Some years ago a man was killed by lightning. The population of Sloan is mostly American - from the New England states and New York, with a few from other points, Illinois, Indiana and Pennsylvania. The roads of the township, which are quite numerous, are all straight lines, running between the sections, with the exception of two or three short stretches, on sections twenty, twenty eight, twenty nine and thirty five. The Sioux City & Pacific railroad, a branch of the Northwestern system, passes over the southwestern corner of Sloan, and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul over the northeastern corner. The former has a station at Sloan, but the latter has none in the township. There are three school houses here, including one large one at Sloan.

The first settlers, or at least a number of them, who were here at quite an early day, are comprised in the following: Joseph Gravell, Frank Moorehouse, Joseph Coe, John Coe, Sidney Curtis, Robert Murray, Jesse Washburn, Ed. Haakinson, George R. Beall, John Flitcroft, Andrew Fee, And. Chapin, Flavius O. Hunting and others. The wife of James Johnson has the honor of having the first child born in the township, and Capt. Rufus Beall was probably the first white person to die here. George R. Beall was the first actual settler to come in and remain. Some others came but left soon afterward. The first postoffice was established at Hamline and Joseph Gravell was postmaster, but when Sloan Village sprang up the office was discontinued at the former place and one opened at the latter, with James B. Johnson as postmaster. The first school teacher in the township was Miss L. Homer, and the first church building was erected in 1881. Ed. Haakinson, now of Sioux City, where he is engaged in the packing interest, opened the first store in Sloan, where the brick bank now is, at the time the railroad was completed to the village. The first hotel was opened in Sloan by Fred Evans about the same time that Haakinson started the store. It was called the Evans House. The first house erected in the township was by either George R. Beall or Barnard. The first physician to locate was Dr. O. N. Ainsworth, and the first newspaper was published by Charles Hunting, if it can be called a newspaper at all. It was small and was not printed in Sloan. Joseph Gravell kept a stage station at his house at an early day, and the mail was left with him.

Sloan, the only village in the township, is a station on the Northwestern railroad. It is the greatest cattle handling center of any town of its size in the northwest, the population being about four hundred and fifty. Sioux City alone exceeds it in the county. The town is well improved with good sidewalks, and everything has an air of progress, prosperity and thrift. It has a country surrounding it which gives assurance of certain success to the endeavors of its enterprising citizens. They have telephonic and telegraphic service, a good town hall, fire apparatus, a brass band, and a number one local newspaper.

The village was incorporated in 1883. In pursuance of the petitions of citizens of Sloan, the circuit court of Woodbury county passed an order on September 7, 1883, for the holding of an election to take the sense of the voters in the matter of the incorporation of the town of Sloan, and the commissioners appointed were J. B. Crawford, W. D. Buckley, T. J. Mitchell, W. R. Barnard and F. E. Chapin.

The result of the election was a vote of fifty four, forty two for incorporation and twelve against incorporation. An election for officers was held November 5, 1883, but in consequence of the notice of election not haveing been published in the Sloan "Star" as ordered, the election was declared void. Another election was held on November 26, 1888, which resulted in a tie vote for mayor and several trustees. The two candidates for mayor, J. S. McSparran and Joel Bird, drew lots, and Mr. Bird was declared elected. The trustees elected were C. A. L. Olson, F. E. Chapin, T. J. Ainsworth, L. A. Mercure, J. W. Pike and D. E. Hubbell; recorder, W. R. Barnard. The board of trustees elected J. W. Whitten as treasurer.

A set of rules and regulations were formulated and passed for the governing of the meetings of the board, and ordinances were enacted for the government of the town. The mayors in succession have been: 1884, J. B. Crawford; 1885-87, T. J. Mitchell; 1888, J. W. Whitten; 1889, T. J. Mitchell; 1890, D. D. Searles. The present officers are: Mayor, D. D. Searles; recorder, J. S. McSparran; assessor, M. B. Hiltz; treasurer, J. W. Whitten; trustees, J. R. Dobbs, W. L. Koon, George S. Jeffrey, C. W. Lewis, F. W. Schreiber, George B. Wall; marshal, George Armstrong.

Following are the business firms, dealers, etc., of the town:
W. L. Koon & Co., elevator, shell and grind corn; general stores, Hendee & Wall, T. R. Brader, J. W. Whitten, C. A. L. Olson; hardware, August Olson, W. D. Utter; Farmers' Bank, George S. Jeffrey, cashier; Sloan State Bank, J. W. Whitten, president; O. J. Irish, cashier; furniture and confectionery, L. A. Mercure & Co.; grocery, D. Backer; harness, Plye & Chandler, George Allen; millinery, Napier & Denham; dressmaking, Miss Linda Page; drugs, G. D. Montross; blacksmiths, F. W. Schreiber, Law Bros; hotel, Mitchell House; books, stationery, etc., J. S. McSparran; shoe dealer, P. A. Finney; jeweler, Richard Lee; barbers, F. H. Farley, Richard Lee; butchers, J. It. Dobbs, J. T. German; liverymen, S. K. Williamson, Will G. Lee; lumber, coal, etc., S. L. Spencer; live stock dealers, O. J. Irish, A. W. Chapin, Olson & Evans, Smith & Co.; real estate and insurance, W. D. Buckley, who is also a lawyer; physicians, O. N. Ainsworth, M. B. Hilt; E. D. Frear; brass band, J. J. Hook, leader; Sloan Fire Co. have a hand engine, ladders, hose reel, etc., fire chief, C. A. L. Olson; postmaster, J. S. McSparran.

The "Sloan Star" was started in the fall of 1883, by A. B. Thatcher, who ran it about five years, when J. S. McSparran & Co. purchased it, in September, 1888, and continue to be the proprietors.

The first sermon in Sloan township was preached in 1869, by Rev. Mr. Crane, who came from Maple Landing. He delivered his sermon in a store, kept by Beall & Evans. There were at that time (1869) but two Methodists in the township, the wife of George R. Beall and the wife of R. C. Barnard. Mr. Crane preached occasionally, until the present Methodist Episcopal church was built and dedicated, in 1881. The first stationed minister was Rev. Mr. Faucett.

Congregational church services were held in the school houses before the church was built in 1883. Rev. A. M. Beaman, from Waterloo, Iowa, who was stationed at Sergeant's Bluff, preached at stated times. In 1889 a cyclone blew the church down, when the present edifice was built. Rev. A. A. Baker was in charge of the first church, having this and Sergeant's Bluff congregations to attend to. The present pastor is Rev. John Gray. The membership is about seventy five.

A fine school building, wherein is conducted an excellent graded school is the pride of Sloan. It was remodeled in 1888. Principal, Prof. J. M. Jayne.

Sloan Lodge, No. 465, I. O. O. F., was organized June 21, 1883. F. W. Schreiber, N. G.; T. J. Mitchell, V. G.; J. E. Mitchell, see.; S. L. Spencer, rec. sec.; T. R. Brader, treas. Membership is forty five. The lodge meets in Odd Fellows hall every Saturday evening. Present officers, July, 1890, George Armstrong, N. G.; James H. Heenan, V. G.; W. G. Butcher, sec.; C. C. Ashby, rec. sec.; J. W. Owen, treas.

Sloan Encampment, No. 71, I. O. O. F., was instituted April 2, 1888. Its officers were T. R. Brader, C. P.; T. J. Mitchell, S. W.; C. W. Lewis, J. W.; H. G. Wilmot, H. P.; W. L. Koon, scribe; C. A. L. Olson, treas. Present officers, C. A. L. Olson, C. P.; George Armstrong, S. W.; C. W. Lewis, J. W.; B. S. Moore, H. P.; C. C. Ashby, scribe; W. L. Koon, treas. Its membership is twenty, and the lodge meets the first and third Wednesdays of each month.

Attica Lodge, No. 502, A. F. & A. M. - A dispensation was granted by the Grand Lodge in November, 1888, under which the lodge worked till June, 1889, when a charter was issued to J. W. Owen, F. H. Farley, William G. Lee, J. B. Crawford, B. S. Moore, E. D. Frear, A. J. Moore, J. T. German, John Walker, T. B. Beam, W. D. Buckley, W. H. Bigelow, D. Backer, A. Hollenbeck and W. D. Utter - fifteen. The first officers were: W. M., J. W. Owen; S. W., F. H. Farley; J. W., William G. Lee; sec., B. S. Moore; treas., J. B. Crawford; S. D., E. D. Freer; J. D., A. J. Moore; tyler, T. B. Beam. The present officers are W. M., J. W. Owen; S. W., E. D. Frear; J. W., David Barker; sec., F. Schreiber; treas., J. B. Barnard; S. D., J. M. Jayne; J. D., J. D. Edgecombe; tyler, W. D. Utter. The members meet in Odd Fellows hall on Tuesday on or before the full moon. The membership is thirty five.

Star Lodge, No. 511, I. O. G. T., was organized December 7, 1889, by W. W. Andrews. Its officers were: C. T., E. D. Frear; V. T., Maggie Montross; S., L. B. Chapin; F. S., D. M. Utter; M., A. Bird; G., Ella Olson; S., Ernest Smith; C., J. S. McSparran. The present officers are C. T., J. S. McSparran; V. T., Maggie Montross; S., C. F. Montross; F. S., Sallie Kennedy; M., L. H. Irish; G., Susie Farley; S., John Hunting; C., Rev. J. E. Ray; P. C. T., E. D. Freer; S. J. T., Mrs. F. E. Chapin. The membership is forty seven, and the lodge meets Monday nights in Odd Fellows hall.


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