HISTORY OF CLEONA TOWNSHIP
"From History of Scott County, Iowa 1882 Chicago: Interstate Publishing Co."
The township of Cleona is an exclusively agricultural one, there being neither village nor postoffice within its boundaries. It comprises congressional township 79, range 1 east. It is wholly prairie, there being not more than 15 acres of timber in the entire township. Notwithstanding the late date of its settlement, in comparison with the townships lying along the river, it is now all under fence, and under a high state of cultivation. There is practically no waste land in the township.
The first entry made in the township was by Jacob Royal, Sept. 15, 1851, and comprised the southeast quarter of section 25, township 79, range 1 east. The last was by Ebenezer Cook, Feb. 28, 1856, the north half of the northwest quarter of section 34.
The first settlement made in the township was in 1851. In April, 1852, Robert Johnson and James Paul entered the west half of the southeast quarter of section 23, and the southeast of the northeast, and northeast of the southeast of the same section. Mr. Paul alone entered the northeast of the southwest quarter of section 23. At that time the only house in the township was John and Joseph Sinter's, on the northeast quarter of section 12.
Early in the spring of 1853 Robert Johnson built a house, hiring the Sinters to help him, and boarding with them while the work was being done. Thomas Johnson, the father of Robert, went on his claim in April, 1853, and during the same year broke 20 acres of land. James Paul broke 30 acres in the same time.
In the fall of 1853 William Paul, a brother of James, with his family came out, and James erected a house on his claim, in which his brother lived until 1858. The Suiters came to this country from England. Joseph is now dead, and John now lives in Hickory Grove Township. The Johnsons and Pauls came from Ireland. James is yet living in the township, and William is in Cedar County. Thomas Johnson and wife died in Walcott in 1875. B.P. Putnam came in 1854 from Ohio and settled on section 19. He is now dead. Jacob and George Wetherhold came as early as 1854. They were from Germany, and were the first of that nationality to settle in the township. Jacob moved to Crawford Co., Ia., and George is now living at Durant. Ephraim Ellis, an Englishman, came in 1854, and after remaining here some years moved to Linn Co., Ia. Samuel Leamer came here from Pennsylvania in 1856 and broke prairie, returning to Pennsylvania the same year. In 1857 Samuel and Washington came for permanent settlement. Samuel returned to his native State in about two years, while Washington remained here, and in 1861 enlisted in the army; served three years, and then went back to his native State. John and Conrad Le Grange settled here in 1856. Conrad now lives in Pleasant Valley, while John resides in Iowa County. Franklin Ball located here in 1856, but left soon after. His present place of abode is unknown. John and Joel Olds settled here in 1857. John is dead, and Joel removed to Kansas. William M. Murray came about 1857. He is now dead, as is also his wife. Charles Steer came about 1856. He now resides in Guthrie Co., Ia. Henry Egbert came in 1856, and was prominently identified with the township for some years. He now resides in Davenport. C.M. Stevens, wife and son Morgan came in 1856 from New York. They are all dead. Gothardt Moeller, from Germany, broke ground here in 1856, and settled on his claim in 1857, on section 24. He has retired from active business, and resides in Walcott.
The first marriage in the township was that of John Jamison, of Le Claire, and Annie Johnson, who were united in 1854. The first birth was John Suiter, in 1852, a son of the first settler in the township. He is still living, and resides in Hickory Grove Township. The first death was a daughter of Gothardt Moeller, in 1857.
The first step in the educational progress was in 1857. Robert Johnson, Washinton and Samuel Leamer, B.P. Putnam, Ephraim Ellis, Franklin Ball and James Paul met for the purpose of deciding upon a location for a school-house. After voting several times, it was found no agreement could be reached at that meeting, so it was adjourned. Franklin Ball then, without authority, had it built on section 28, but it was soon after removed to section 31, where it yet remains. The first teacher employed was Harriet Callen, who received $16 per month for her services. The second school-house erected was in 1861, on section 24. The Board o Directors at this time was Henry Egbert, Johnson J. Young, E. Lincoln and James Paul. There are now in the township eight sub districts, each having a frame school-house, the total value of which is $4,050. The school census of 1881 shows 310 persons between the ages of 5 and 21.
The first religious services held in the township were by Rev. W. G. Shand, in the first years of the settlement of the township, but no organization has ever been effected, or house of worship erected. surrounded as it is on every side by villages in close proximity, the citizens of the township have worshiped with those denominations nearest their homes.
The township of Cleona was organized in 1857. The name was suggested by B.P. Putnam, the meaning of which was said by him to be fair or beautiful country, a name well applied, for, as originally seen, it was beautiful indeed; the grand prairies covered with luxuriant herbage, the many-colored flowers with which they were decked, all tended to make it fair to behold. Now that it has been cultivated by man, it is no less fair to behold, and is such a country as one is pleased to live in.