ROCK CREEK TOWNSHIP.
By J. D. Hamilton.
On February 15, 1872, a petition was presented to the board of county commissioners, asking that a township
to be called Rock Creek be formed out of the territory described as follows: Commencing at the southeast corner
of section 36, township 2o, range 4, thence running north on section line six miles, thence east nine miles, thence
south six miles, thence west nine miles to the place of beginning. The petition was granted, and the residence
of John Wilson was appointed as the place for holding elections. The first officers were: A. T. Havens, trustee;
Benjamin Thomas, treasurer; P. Dillman, clerk; W. S. Wilson and G. W. Wakefield, justices of the peace; John Beard
and Thomas Campbell, constables.
The first land upon which final proof was made, according to the records here, was in section 32, for which a patent
was issued June 13, 1870, to Parlina A. Kinder. Among others making final proof in the early seventy's were Chester
Briggs, R. A. Taylor, William Cousins, C. R. Guyot, J. J. and J. W. Plummer, Amos Stewart, George W. Burk, James
B., Gilbert L., and M. M. Walker, O. B. Lent, S. W. and John A. Adams, S. F. Gibson, E. M. Denton, L. W. Benepe,
John Crowe, Joseph Matheny, J. E. Valkman, Charles M. Little, J. I. Hall, A. B. Woodruff, Henry Bally. Those who
still own their original claims are W. G. Cousins, C. Guyot, Amos Stewart, G. W. Gibson, Joe Hall, and others whose
names I can not recall.
Rock Creek is one of the best townships in the county. Having no city, there is not so much attention given it.
Two creeks, Muddy and Rock Creek, pass through it, one on the north, the other on the south, which gives it a good
water supply. Many acres of the most fertile land in the county are found here while the uplands are fine for stock
raising. Ed Gussman, John Bush, E. Dornboss are extensive stock raisers and shippers, and many farmers raise hogs
and young stock, and when you speak of the hen, Rock Creek scores ninety eight and one half per cent. There are
more women raising more chickens and selling more eggs here than in any other township in the county. There are
more eggs laid in one day in Rock Creek than are laid in Rhode Island in a month. More roosters crow and wake up
more farmer boys' at four o'clock than they do in North Dakota. In fact, Rock Creek has them all skinned a city
block, on the chicken question.
There are eight school houses in the township used for churches as well as school, and one church, the McCabe Chapel,
owned by the Methodist Episcopal denomination. They have a registered minister every Sunday. Union Sunday school,
all the ladies' accessories, children's and mothers' day, and even the ever present Ladies Aid Society. As I stated
before there are no villages in the township, but Smiley and Welch have a general store seven miles east of Douglass,
and a hall that would make Augusta jealous. Talk about your shallow test; Smiley and Welch have an oil well on
top of the ground. The place is called Smileyberg on account of Smiley having the store, and Barney, who runs a
blacksmith shop, sharpens tools, has a gasoline engine and furnishes the hot air for the town. A good time is to
call on Barney, just before dinner and you will have a square meal.
Some of the older citizens that are yet living are Pete Dillman, Hank Johnson, W. O. B. Lent, Mrs. Amma Doyle,
widow of the late Patrick Doyle. The Doyle family are some of the best citizens. Henry Bally, Isaiah Stevens, G.
W. Bibson, James Glaves, family have all been good citizens. W. H., the father of Bare Boy, Amos Whitney, Robert
Briggs, C. E. Sleece, Stevanson, Houser, and many others I could mention, have all helped in the uplift of this
One of the old landmarks of Rock Creek township is Mount Tabor school house which has been used for church and
school purposes for forty years, and children that got their education there have been called to the four winds
of the earth. C. R. Johnson, one of the most prosperous farmers, lives north of it and has 240 acres of land. Mack
Phillipa is also a prosperous farmer and good trader. Steve Long bought the Heshly estate and for a small sum a
few years ago and made a good farm of it. John Haggard, from Germany, and his devoted wife, have a fine farm.