History of Townships in Dickinson County,
From: History of Emmit County and
Dickinson County, Iowa.
The Pioneer Publishing Company
Chicago, Illinois 1917
[ Also see the City of Spirit Lake on a seperate page. ]
DICKINSON COUNTY TOWNSHIPS
When the county of Dickinson was organized in the year 1857 there were no township divisions formed and no township
officers elected. Two years later, in 1859, the county was divided into two civil townships - Spirit Lake and Okoboji.
The bridge at the straits between East and West Okoboji Lakes was the dividing line.
SPIRIT LAKE TOWNSHIP
The tax list of Spirit Lake Township in 1859 records the following names of persons living in the township and
paying taxes that year: W. J. Adams, Benjamin Adams, Harvey Abbott, A. D. Arthur, W. B. Brown, Henry Barkman, William
Barkman, F. A. Blake, James Ball, M. A. Blanchard, J. M. Blanchard, Dan Caldwell, J. A. Cook, William Carsley,
Leonidas Congleton, William Donaldson, S. W. Foreman, H. Frantz, Lawrence Ferhen, J. P. Gilbert, C. F. Hill, S.
Humphrey, J. D. Howe, J. D. Hawkins, Isaac H. Jones, R. Kingman, A. Kingman, William Lamont, David Maxwell, Frank
Moore, W. D. Moore, William Miller, F. Palpuman, Jareb Palmer, Ebenezer Palmer, J. S. Prescott, James Peters, B.
F. Parmenter, Charles Richards, George Ring, F. S. Robb, George Rogers, R. A. Smith, M. J. Smith, John Smith, William
C. Swett, George E. Spencer, L. E. Strait, J. H. Schuneman, H. E. W. Smeltser and R. U. Wheelock. By 1860 the following
names were added to the foregoing list: H. D. Arthur, Walter B. Brown, Charles Carpenter, Phillip Doughty, William
T. Doughty, William Jordan, John Johnson, Hans Johnson, Peter Ladu and Norton Warner.
This division of the county at first comprised one half of the county, the other half being Spirit Lake Township. The tax list of 1859 gives the following names of the then residents: B. Adams, G. H. Bush, Levi Daugherty, George Detrick, L. Morse, Moses Miller, William Oldham, Joseph Pasti, J. S. Prescott, It. Perigo, P. H. Risling, William E. Root, F. Webster, Philander Webster, Martin Webster, A. Wagoner, William Wisegarber, G. Mattison, A. Olson, M. P. and J. M. Webster. Prominent among the settlers prior to 1870 were: Levi Knowlton, C. A. Arnold, J. B. Florer, D. T. Janes, William Patten, John Matthesen, Halvor Knutsen, Samuel Waller, Thomas Barcus, Homer Calkins, Ed Miller and L. F. Griswold. The township was named by R. A. Smith. Like Spirit Lake Township the early settlement has been noted elsewhere.
Under the heading of Tusculurn Township, or East Okoboji Township, appear the names of the following taxpayers: H. D. Arthur, William Barr, C. Crandall, O. Compton, Arthur Dodge, Nathan Esty, John Francis, John Gilbert, Allen Gould, James Johnston, William Jenkins, William G. Jenkins, John Jenkins, P. Ladu, John Loomis, J. T. Loomis, William C. McClellan, B. Marvin, James Pollard, F. D. Reilly, C. Reid, L. A. Stimpson, Seth Thomas, C. Thurston, William Uptagrafft, C. Warner, Consider Yarns.
The original taxpayers in Center Grove Township, as it was first formed, were: W. B. Brown, G. C. Bellows, G. Blackheart, H. Barkman, F. A. Blake, G. Clark, O. Crandall, H. Crandall, O. Compton, F. Doughty, Aaron Dixon, Jesse Doughty, Phillip Doughty, James Evans, N. O. Eastman, E. C. Ellis, A. B. Ellis, C. Evans, Elihu Ellis, E. D. Howell, David Jenkins, G. H. Johnson, George Kellogg, G. Kingsley, E. C. Lowell, J. B. Mack, A. A. Mosher, A. S. Mead, H. C. Owen, E. Palmer, A. E. Peck, Samuel Rogers, John Robertson, O. Rice, M. J. Smith, G. W. Sherman, John Strong, James Skirving, R. A. Smith, J. A. Van Ada, T. Wyckoff and L. W. Waugh.
The first settlement in what is now Lakeville Township was made about 1866, when a party consisting of Joshua A. Pratt, George W. Pratt, Joseph A. Green, A. Price and others came in, and located at Lakeville, at the site of the three lakes - Pratt, Silvan and Pillsbury. The tax list of 1871 for Lakeville Township gives the names of the following residents: John Atwood, W. B. Arnold, C. L. Aldiñ, J. S. Anderson, G. Anderson, W. H. Anderson, Charles Betts, S. B. Betts, W. A. Blair, J. M. Brown, Ole Bjornson, T. N. Boyle, J. H. Beebe, W. Berg, F. Brown, Daniel Bennett, H. J. Bennett, J. H. Carpenter, J. A. Casey, J. Covington, Richard Campbell, Samuel Campbell, Harrison Campbell, S. M. Fairchild, Joseph Garrett, Alfred Goss, James Grant, William Gerhart, Foster Gerhart, J. A. Green, E. F. Hill, Oscar Hooker, G. W. Heard, J. W. Hopkins, James Heidridge, Samuel Hutchinson, Nathan R. Jones, David Kenn, R. P. Kingman, James Kilpatrick, John Kilpatrick, William F. Lewis, William S. Leggett, John Lawler, F. M. Lawton, A. R. Lawton, J. J. Mosher, G. S. Myers, S. P. Middleton. H. J. and Daniel Bennett and Rev. Samuel Pillsbury came to the Lakeville settlement in the year 1868. A postoffice was established at the site and kept for several years by H. J. Bennett. H. J. Bennett and J, Heldridge suggested the name for the township.
It is said that the name of this township was given by W. B. Flatt and recognized by the trustees. Some of the first settlers in the township were: E. V. Davis, William Campbell, W. B. Flatt, J. C. Davis, Randolph Freeman, David Farnham, G. W. and H. N. Morse, Gid Mott, Jacob Groce, N. J. Woodin, F. N. Snow, G. Patterson, Aaron Shultz and Simon Young. Most of these settlers, however, did not remain here permanently. The grasshopper raid demoralized the settlement. The tax list of 1873 for this township gives the names of: R. R. Andrus, William Campbell, W. A. Davis, Walter Flatt, R. Freeman, D. Farnham, Jacob and John Groce, Joseph Howell, Gid Mott, Henry Morse, Wark Morse, W. A. Morse, G. W. Morse, G. Patterson, William Patterson, Aaron Shultz, Lucian Stewart, F. N. Snow, N. J. Woodin, William Young, Thomas J. Stone and David Kinkade. Much swamp land is listed in this township in the early '70s.
This township was named in honor of John Lloyd, one of the first settlers within its boundaries. The first settlement was made in 1869, the first corners being: John B. Smith, John Lloyd, John Wilkinson, Ole Gilbertson, Joseph Kinney, A. G. Saxe, J. Johnson, Berg Bergeson, J. S. Bingham, R. R. Haugen, A. Dodge, G. S. Randall, M. Chappell. The majority of the settlers in this township were Norwegians. The tax payers in the early '70s were: Jull Arneson, B. Bergeson, E. Brenmon, Asa Benedict, J. L. Bingham, H. N. Chappell, M. B. Chappell, George Danford, Paul Doffenson, Erick Ellingson, Benjamin Felt, H. W. Foster, Tollif Fode, Joseph Gallop, Ole Gilbertson, Egbert P. Haugen, John Jarvis, Jacob Johnson, Tollif Knudson, Joseph Kenney, Charles Knowlton, John Lloyd, Peder Oleson, R. Oskatabo, Lars Oleson, Gulick Oleson, Ole askatabo, Iver Oleson, John Peterson, William Randall, George Randall, W. T. Smith, John B. Smith, David C. Shepherd, K. T. Sandesson, Henry Schambaum, Frank Truhn, Peder Thompson, Peter Uldnekson, John Wilkinson, B. Whitcome.
The first settlements in Diamond Lake Township occurred in 1869 and 1870. Among the first settlers were: M.
W. Lemmon, P. P. Pierce, P. Nelson, A. J. Welch, O. W. Savage, O. Sanford, Peter Vick, J. R., J. T. and H. Tuttle,
L. H. and William Vreeland, G. Horn, S. W. Harris. Most of these settlers left during the time of the grasshopper
raids upon this county. Lemmon, the Vreelands, Horns, Vick, Welch and several others stayed through the attack.
The first settlement in Superior Township was made in 1867 by Robert McCulla and his sons. McCulla had the distinction
of having twenty three living children at one time. Others who came shortly after McCulla were: Oscar Norby, R.
S. Hopkins, Gilbert Anderson, Alfred Davis, M. and C. Reiter, Fred Jacobs and John Morgan, also the Everett family.
R. S. Hopkins is given credit for naming the township.
SILVER LAKE TOWNSHIP
The first settlement made in Silver Lake Township was by George Nicholson in August, 1868. He homesteaded his
claim here. His coming was for this purpose - that of getting his claim in shape, and then he returned to the East
for his family, returning in the late fall. Andrew Cloud came with him and also entered a claim, which he disposed
of a year later to C. B. Knox. John Dingwall and James Acheson were other settlers of the year and were followed
in 1870 by Alexander Robertson and John Dickerson. Later arrivals were: J. B. Drew, who bought out Nicholson, Robert
Fletcher, C. Lewis and John K. Robertson.
The first settler in Milford Township was A. D. Inman in 1866. Some other claims were entered that year, but
were never improved, nor is it certain who made them. The year 1869 brought in a large number of homesteaders,
however, among whom were: Andrew Blackman, R. C. McCutchin, Z. Slayton, C. Christensen, John Allar, Homer Wise,
S. E. Inman, G. P. Clark, Hiram Ogg, H. H. Shipman, the Reeves brothers, C. Tinkham, E. Freeman, Eli Miller and
a few others.
As before stated, Excelsior Township originally embraced all of the present Westport Township, their division occurring in 1875. The first tax list, 1873, names the following persons as holding land within the township: J. S. Anderson, G. Anderson, W. H. Anderson, John Allman, Samuel Bartlett, Frank Boyd, J. H. Beebe, R. S. Beebe, R. Campbell, Samuel Campbell, H. Campbell, James C. Conkling, W. H. Coltrien, John Decker, Alfred Goss, James Grant, B. E. Hutchinson, George W. Hurd, Samuel Hutchinson, J. W. Hopkins, John T. Jewell, N. R. Jones, John Lambert, William F. Lewis, C. Lowder, Joseph Lucian, Charles Ladd, S. Middleton, R. A. McCutchin, M. McGhan, D. C. Moore, R. Nicol, C. D. Nicol, G. S. Needham, J. Putman, A. Peck, S. O. Pillsbury, Norman Phillips, D. Phillips, Lewis Potter, Edward Parker, H. C. Partridge, Randall Root, James R. Sloan, F. H. Stone, Thomas H. Stone, Leonard Smith, Eldis Smith, D. C. Shepherd, G. W. Smith, J. Smith, William Stillwell, A. S. Smith, Samuel Trindle, Lewis Taber, J. R. Upton, A. D. Wilson, Samuel Walker, John C. Work, H. W. White, W. O. White and G. Wilbur.
When the first tax list under the heading of Westport Township was compiled the following names were given: Henry Barkman, Frank Boyd, James C. Conkling, John Decker, John Giles, Samuel Hutchinson, J. W. Hopkins, Nathan R. Jones, J. T. Jewell, W. F. Lewis, John Lambert, J. S. Lucian, C. H. Ladd, Charles Lee, James, Hugh and Alexander McCutchin, R. B. and C. S. Nicol, Leonard Pearson, J. Putnam, Samuel Bartlett, Randall Root, D. C. Shepherd, Alex Smith, G. W. Smith, J. D. Smith, Samuel Trindall, Lewis C. Taber, W. O. and H. L. White. Most of the above had been previously listed in the township of Excelsior. The list is of the year 1876.