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

Volume 1.


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The surface of Union Township is quite rolling and is well drained by numerous streams.  The principal one of these waterways is the Grand River in the northeast part of the township, on sections 1, 2, and 12.  The west branch having its headwaters in sections 9, 8,and 17 flows east and southeast through sections 9, 16, 15, 14, 13 and 24, on the way to join the parent stream.  Three Mile Creek, rising on the township line near the west line of section 7, flows in a southerly course, and makes its exit from Union Township and Adair County on the southeast quarter of section 32.  Numerous other streams run through all parts of the township.  The soil is rich and is of sandy loam.


The pioneer comer to this township was Charles Wilson, who came here in the Spring of 1853, being among the early settlers of the county.  He was a native of England, and came to this country when he was eighteen years of age.  In Adair County he located on section 12 and pitched a tent in which he and his family lived for four months, when he erected a log cabin.  He became well known in the township and held several positions of trust.

The next to locate in this township was Christian Gerkin, a native of Germany, having been born in that country in 1816.  He located on section 2.

William Schweers settled on section 34, this township, in 1854,  He was a native of Hanover, Germany.  He died in the year 1882.

Robert Wilson was the next to locate here, taking up a claim on Section 12, in 1854

L. R. McWhinney, in 1867, settled in the township and developed a large farm.  He was a prominent member of the board of supervisors was much interested in progressive development.  He was afterward compelled to leave the farm and then moved to Creston, where for a time he owned an elevator.  He also built an elevator at Spaulding.  He died a few years ago.

Thomas K. Wilson, another early resident of Union Township, served in the War of the Rebellion and afterwards in the Indian Wars, winning commendation for bravery and gallantry.  He married a daughter of  L. R. McWhinney and retiring from the farm which he still retained, moved to Creston and engaged in the insurance business.  He was a director in the Adair Country Mutual Insurance Association at the time of his death.

Jerry W. Wilson was another settler of the township, a man of unquestioned integrity, prominent in every good work and a veteran of the Civil war.  He acquired a large amount of land when it was cheap and became very wealthy.  He served the county as supervisor for several years and one term in the General Assembly, refusing a second term.  He was a large shareholder in the national bank at Macksburg, Madison County, and was president of the board of directors.  He was largely instrumental in getting the railroad from Creston to Macksburg.  He was killed by a lightning bolt while going to his home.

O. W. C. Brown, a Campbellite preacher, was an early resident of Union Township, living here until his death.

Another prominent farmer of this township was A. S. Lynn.  He helped to raise an endowment of $50,000 for Palmer College, at Le Grand, near Marshalltown, Ia.  He was the most important factor in the building of the Creston and Macksburg Railroad.  His daughter, Victoria, is a noted elocutionist and has been in the employ of a Lyceum for the past few years.


The first birth in Union Township was that of O. H. Greer, son of Alvin Greer, in 1854.

The first death was that of R. A. Wilson, who departed this life in December, 1855.

The first school was taught by William Kivet in 1857 in a school house built the same year on section 12.

The first marriage in the township was that of George Harmon and Anna Schweers.

In 1875 a cemetery of about six acres was set aside on section 16.  The first interment was that of the two children of George Schweers. 


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