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

Volume 1.


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There are two main streams of water in this township, Turkey Creek and Middle River.  Middle River enters at the northern line of section 3, takes a winding course in an easterly direction, passing out of the township at the northern line of section 2.  It enters the township again at the extreme northwest corner of section 1, flows in a southeasterly direction, making its final exit into Jefferson Township on section 12,  Turkey Creek has for its source sections 15 and 16, passing through sections 14, 23 and 25 into Jefferson Township.  The soil is dark and sandy loam.  The surface is rolling and what timber there is may be found along Middle River.


Charles Smith, one of the pioneer settlers of Walnut Township, emigrated with his family from Marion County, Ind., to section 4 in October, 1855.  He was a native of North Carolina.

Lewis Underwood came to the township with his family in April, 1854, from Henry County, Ia.  He was a native of South Carolina, but had lived for some years in Randolph County, Ind.  He settled upon section 12, where he built a cabin.  He died here in 1867.

A. G. Weeks, a Mormon preacher, a native of Polk County, Ind., settled upon section 3 during the year 1855.  He remained here until 1863, when he disposed of his property to R. H. Marshall.

James Thompson came to the township in 1855.  He was a native of North Carolina.

Isaac Arledge arrived shortly after the settlement of A. G. Weeks during the year 1856.

In 1863 R. H. Marshall emigrated to Walnut Township, buying forty acres of land on section 3 of A. G. Weeks.

Abram Rutt, who came in 1866 and entered land on section 16, was another of the early settlers.

Another early settlement was made in this township in 1868 by Moses Stockwell.  He was a Kentuckian.  He settled on section 4.


A cemetery was laid out in 1860 on section 2.  The first interment was that of the body of Mary Thompson, March 16, 1860.

The first marriage was that of Joseph Betts and Cornelia Thompson, by Squire Root, in August, 1856.

The first death was that of Mary Thompson, March 15, 1860.

The first log cabin was built by Lewis Underwood during the winter of 1854.  In 1855 James Thompson erected the second cabin.  The first frame building was a schoolhouse.  Moses Stockwell erected the second frame house.

In the spring of 1855 James Thompson planted the first corn.  Charles Smith sowed the first wheat in the spring of 1856.


A very small strip of the Town of Casey overlaps into Adair County from Guthrie.  The major part of the town is on the latter side.  Capt. Joseph Rutt came to Casey about 1872 and for a time managed the large farm belonging to his brother, Abram Rutt, afterward buying and developing a farm for himself.  He served on the county board of supervisors for two terms.  He died in Casey some years later.  One of his sons is the manager of the Abram Rutt National Bank of Casey.

R. W. Hollembeak settled early in Walnut Township and engaged in raising fancy stock, having a large herd of Hereford cattle at one time.  He served as representative in the General Assembly.  He was accidentally killed at Casey by a railroad train while he was crossing the tracks.

Abram Rutt was born in Lancaster County, Pa., October 8, 1831, a son of Samuel and Susan (Whistler) Rutt.  He was educated there and in the fall of 1853 came west, and in the spring of the next year located in Adair County.  Here he helped to lay out Fontanelle, the first county seat of the county.  In the '70s he engaged in the lumber business.  In February, 1906, he organized the Abram Rutt National Bank of Casey and was first president of this strong institution.  The bank opened for business in March, 1906.  The bank is now erecting one of the handsomest banks in the state outside of the cities.  Mr. Rutt married Sarah Valentine of Adair County in 1866.  He also founded the Farmers Bank, a private institution, in February, 1886, which was merged with the Abram Rutt National Bank in 1906.  "Uncle Abe," as he was known, passed from this earth on January 6, 1913, after an honorable and noble life.  In his will Mr. Rutt bequeathed several thousands of dollars to various educational institutions.

William Valentine was born May 6, 1843, in Tippecanoe County, Ind., the son of John W. and Rebecca (Kinkennmon) Valentine.  In 1855 he went west and bought cattle on an extensive scale, and in 1863 came to Fontanelle, Adair County, with his brother, J. K.  At this time he pursued the agricultural vocation, continuing until 1877, when he went to Casey and engaged in the lumber business, in which he has remained until the present time.  In 1866 he married Naomi I. Taylor, of Fontanelle.


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