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

Wolf Creek Township was constituted June 2, 1868, being formed out of portions of Correctionville, Rock, Woodbury and Sioux City townships, and was bounded and described in the order of the supervisors of the county as follows: "All of townships eighty eight and eighty seven, range forty four, and all of sections one, two, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, twenty three, twenty four, twenty five, twenty six, thirty five, thirty six, township eighty nine, range forty live" It has since been curtailed, until it is but one complete congressional township, number eighty eight, range forty four, bounded on the north by Arlington and Rutland, on the south by Grant, on the east by Kedron and on the west by Moville. The first officers were: Justice of the peace, M. B. Keister; and the township clerk, F. A. Dawes.

The first settlers to come to Wolf Creek township were Ben Blathers, Jake Thomson, Doc. Thomson, W. J. Hines, Sam Hardin, E: C. Bennett, Henry Gillette, and two or three more who lived a little remote from those whose names are mentioned. They came to the then wild region, determined to carve out a home for themselves and families. They left comparative comfort behind them in their old homes, for the rude fare and ruder surroundings of an untrod wilderness, where none but the Indian and his wild brute game ever trod before, unless, to trap or hunt, the white adventurers of this upper country had passed along here. But those old pioneers of the early past knew no fear, dreaded no hardships, and were ever ready to lend a helping hand to their needy neighbors. Except in fancy, one can not realize what the vanguard of civilization has to contend with, what he has to battle for. As though nature had not placed upon him burdens enough in the struggle for life with the elements and for bread, the relentless savage must be added to the discouragements of his situation. He must carry his gun with his plow, for, from out the tall grass may peer the head of a wily Indian, ready to kill and scalp the moment the pioneer is off his guard. And the wife and children at the rude cabin near by, what must be their feeling when their protector is away, or when, in the silent watches of the night, unusual sounds are heard stealthy, and well recognized as the sneaking redskin on the hunt for his prey, the white man?

A little later along than the coming of the very first settlers, came N. Conaway, in the spring of 1868, who settled on section twenty four. Lewis Peck came about the same time as Conaway, but in consequence of some technicality he lost his claim, a party coming in and jumping it. Peck shortly afterward left and never returned. Samuel and Rufus Conaway, brothers of N. Conaway, came shortly after the latter arrived, and both settled near him. John T. Thatcher also came in the spring of 1868, and settled on section twenty two. About this time three brothers, hearing of the fine land open for claimants in northwestern Iowa, came out for the purpose of casting their lot with some friends who had already reached their future homes. These were Henry, John and J. N. Dicus. Henry settled on section twenty three, and the others near by. William Graham also came in 1868. The first death that occurred in the township was that of Mrs. Dicus, the wife of the eider Dicus. She died in December, 1868, of small pox. There was a slight epidemic of that fearful and disgusting disease in the winter of 1868-69, and considerable of a scare, but only one death resulted from it. It was supposed that some new comers had brought the germs of the disease in their clothing, the person bringing it, not being susceptible to it, having been vaccinated. The person who was first to fall ill declared, and her friends knew, that she had not been anywhere where there was small pox prevailing. It was a year's wonder where the first patient contracted the dread malady.

The Conaways, soon after coming in, built a dug out, in which they lived for several years, and this only twenty two years ago, shows the primitive state of affairs, for Conaway was one of the best off of the settlers. A Mr. Wetmore built the first house in 1869. E. T. Armitage also came in 1869, and J. P. Bowers a little later. A man by the name of Perkins, some years ago started a store on section twenty five, but he soon gave it up, there not being business enough to justify even the small expenses he required. There has never been another store opened in the township since, the people doing their trading at Moville, Lucky Valley, Anthon and Correctionville. There is no mill, or other enterprise of any importance in operation in the entire township. The first school was taught on section twenty three. A small house was built for the purpose by private subscription, and the first teacher was a Miss Brush. There are now eight good schools in the township.

One of the oldest roads in the county passes along the upper edge of Wolf Creek township. It is the Sioux City & Correctionville road, which was laid out about 1855, for, be it remembered, that the same company which founded Sioux City also laid out Correctionville. These two places occupy, or originally did occupy, the same relative positions, respectively on the east and west ends of the "line of correction" of the surveyors, within the bounds of Woodbury county. This old road, as straight as a surveyor's line can make it throughout its entire length, with the exception of a few miles as it approaches Sioux City, was the great thoroughfare east and west in the early days, and is yet a much traveled road. There was formerly a postoffice called Wolf Dale, on this road on the Arlington side above section five of Wolf Creek, but it was discontinued. On January 10, 1890, a postoffice was opened on section sixteen of Wolf Creek, and the name Wolf Dale was adopted. J. M. Wade is postmaster, and this is the only postoffice in the township.

The first sermon delivered in Wolf Creek was by Rev. J. Brush in 1869, in William Graham's house, and the first church organization was effected in 1872, in school house number three, by Rev. James Patrick; but as yet they have no church. There is a Methodist Episcopal church on section one, with Rev. Mr. Allnut as pastor, and another congregation of the same denomination hold their services in school house number eight, with Rev. C. W. Cobb as pastor. There was a Roman Catholic church on section thirty five, built in 1883, but the building was removed to Anthon, and remodeled and erected in that town in 1890. A cemetery belonging to the township is located on section one, and the Baptists have one on section twenty two. A Farmers' Alliance, with a membership of about fifty of the best citizens of the surrounding country, meets at school house number five. The nationality of the citizens of Wolf Creek is mostly American, and a thrifty population it is, too, as their fine farms attest.

The surface of the township is rolling, but inclined to be rough in some sections, especially in the southern portion, although there are not many elevations of any height. This roughness, however, does not detract from the producing quality of the soil, as Wolf Creek is highly fertile, and this same broken character lends a charm to the landscape that does not exist in the plain prairie country, where the eye tires with the monotony of the landscape. The township is extremely well watered, and there are more streams that take their rise within the limits of Wolf Creek than in any other township in Woodbury county. Nearly all the small branches that unite to form Wolf creek originate in the many springs to be found in the thirty six sections of this township, and there is not a section but what has its little stream. Some of the springs are of good size and furnish the finest water. Beds of clay and sand can be reached not far below the surface. The township has never been visited by any very serious disaster, with the exception of a very severe hailstorm in the early days, but, as there were very few settlements at the time, a corresponding lack of damage was done. The lively grasshopper, of course, paid his respects to Wolf Creek, but he had to live on plain prairie grass and cottonwood, mostly, as he came before there was much population here. Stock raising, cattle and hogs, and corn producing, are the principal industries of the township. It is well supplied with schools, there being six in operation.


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