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History of Adair
County, Iowa,
and its People.  1915.

Volume 1.


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Washington Township embraces all of congressional township 74, range 33.  The township is well watered by the Nodaway River and its branches, along which at one time considerable timber was found.  The soil is very rich and productive.


Washington Township was the first in Adair County to be settled.  During the early days the pioneers were obliged to go to Maryville, Mo., to do their milling, a distance of over one hundred miles.  During the dry season, when the water was low, they had to go still farther, to Rochester, Mo.

The first man to come to the township, with the intention of making therein a home for himself, was Thomas Johnson, who settled upon section 4 in the spring of 1849.  He erected a small log cabin and broke some ground, upon which he raised a small crop of wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, etc., during the first year of his settlement.  He emigrated from Lawrence County, Ind., in 1841, to Page County, Ia., where he remained until he came to this township.  In 1861 he removed to Oregon.

James R. Campbell was another prominent early settler of this township.  He entered land on section 3 in the spring of 1850.

In June, 1854, a man named Bowers came to the township and settled upon the farm afterward known as the Shelby Garner place.  Shortly afterwards he opened a blacksmith shop at this place, which was the first business of the kind in the county.

In July, 1854, James and John Standley settled in the subdivision of the county now known as Washington, on section 3, but John afterwards moved to Adams County.  These brothers were natives of North Carolina.  Their father was a minister of the Disciples denomination.

At the same time as the Stanleys,  Ambrose Jenkins made a settlement in the township.

Monroe Winn came in 1854 and settled on section 31.  He was a native of Hancock County, Ind.

During the summer of 1854 Thomas Thompson,  David,  Samuel and Henry McClure entered land in the township.  Samuel moved to Jackson Township, while the other two subsequently moved from the county.

In November, 1854, Washington received another citizen, named Shelby Garner.  He was born in Wayne Country, Ind.

Samuel Thompson, a native of Montgomery County, Ind., came to Adair County in the fall of 1854 and located upon section 16 in Washington Township.  In the fall of 1865 he removed to Jackson Township.

Elijah B. Sullivan, a native of Indiana, was another of the first comers.  In December, 1854, he entered land on Section 16 and erected a log cabin and in January, 1855 he moved his family to the township.  With him came his brothers, Titus H. and J. B.

Peter Steckel and family made a settlement in the spring of 1855.  Boyd C., their son, was elected as the first prosecuting attorney of the county, although not a qualified lawyer.  He afterward enlisted in the army during the Civil war and gave up his life on the field of honor.

J. M. Leeper,  Robert Snodgrass and James Bradley came in June, 1855.  The two latter gentlemen afterward moved to Oregon.

John Ammon made a settlement during the year 1855.  He was a member of the first grand jury of the county.  He afterward moved to Missouri, where he died.

Titus Sullivan was another of the early settlers of Washington.  He entered land in the summer of 1855.  He then changed his residence to Summerset Township, where he passed his entire life.

In the year 1855 John Ireland settled in the township and was sheriff of the county at one time.  He left the township and while on his journey to Washington Territory died.

William and Francis Corr made a settlement before the fall of 1855.  Francis held the office of county judge and treasurer at one time.

Hugh McCall entered land on section 25 in 1855.

Joseph Dunlap settled on the northwest quarter of section 24 in 1855, entering the land.  He was born in the State of New Hampshire.

Another settler of the township was D. M. Strong, a native of New York State.  He became a successful farmer in Adair County.

S. J. Casteel came to this county in 1865;  B. W. Witt in 1875;  Thomas Kembery in 1861;  J. G. Hendry in 1869;  Henry Griffin in 1864;  Royal Guile in 1865;  S. C. Bloom in 1865;  James Moar in 1872;  Benjamin Briggs in 1870.


Washington Township is one of the oldest townships of the County of Adair, having been organized in 1854, the same year that the county itself was organized.  At that time the county was about equally divided into two townships -- Washington and Harrison.  Washington was gradually diminished by the setting off of other townships, until it is now a congressional subdivision, technically known as township 74 north, range 33 west.


A mill was erected at an early date by Thomas Johnson, which was the first in the township.  Their principal business at that time was grinding corn, although there was a bolt for wheat, which was operated by hand.

The first marriage in the township was that of Manoah S. Sullivan and Sarah A. Standley on November 7, 1855.

The first religious services were held at the residence of Thomas Johnson on section 4 in 1858.

The first birth was that of a daughter to Thomas and Rosa Johnson.  She was born in May, 1850, and was named Margaret.

The first death in the township was a child of Thomas and Rosa Johnson.

The first postoffice in Washington was kept by Thomas Johnson at his house on section 4.  He received his commission in 1855.  It was known by the name of Adair postoffice.

The second birth in the township was that of Ann, the daughter of John Gilman, in the year 1851.


James H. Hulbert was one of the early settlers in Washington Township, where he improved a large farm and raised stock extensively for a number of years.  He had a store at his place, called Avondale, and bought corn in large quantities for feeding purposes.  He later moved to Fontanelle, about twenty-five years ago, and engaged in business, dealing in lumber, grain, stock and real estate.  He moved to Galesburg, Ill., where he remained for two or three years, returning to Fontanelle, where he built several fine residences which he sold and a costly one for his own use.  He bought a quantity of land in Washington State and lots in Vancouver.  To his Washington estate he bought in Michigan and shipped two carloads of recorded Holstein cows and established a milk ranch.  He was for six years a member of the board of supervisors of Adair County and carried on a larger business in various lines than any other man in the county for many years.  He died at Fontanelle in 1912.

Jay S. Hulbert was connected with his brother, J. H., in stock feeding operations in Washington Township and conducted a large farm there for twenty years or more.  He was treasurer of Adair County for two terms, afterwards president of the First National Bank of Fontanelle for some years.  He moved to the State of Idaho, where he is now engaged in farming.

The Sullivan families, Elijah,  John,  Titus and Jahn were early settlers of note.  Elijah and Jahn settled in the timber of Washington Township;  Titus and John near Fontanelle.  Titus and John were Mexican war soldiers.  All raised children and the families have been prominent in the early history of the county.  John and family moved to Nebraska in the '70s.  Jahn is still living at Bridgewater.


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