Scott Co, Iowa USGenWeb Project
HISTORY OF HICKORY GROVE TOWNSHIP
"From History of Scott County, Iowa 1882 Chicago: Interstate Publishing Co."
SURNAME LIST: Carter, Baker, Porter, Binford, Spicer, Schuck, Freeman, Benedict, Wells, Grace, Emery, Cartwright, Martin, May, Campbell and Schultz.
Hickory Grove comprises township 79, range 2 east, and was first settled in 1836 by Alfred Carter, who made claim and began improvement on the northwest quarter of section 16. Mr. Carter was from Wayne Co., Ind., but was born in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. He was one of the first three conunty commissioners, and served until his death, which occurred Nov. 8, 1841.
Other Early Settlers
Philip Baker came from Muskingum Co., O., in 1837, and settled on the southwest quarter of section 9.
Jonathan Porter, from Muskingum Co., O., came in 1837; Daniel and John Porter, Mr. Binford and others came about the same time.
John Spicer came in the fall of 1836, from Muskingum Co., O., and settled on section 9. He returned to Ohio a few years afterward, where he married. Subsequently he went to Illinois, where he lost his life a little later by falling on a circular saw, which was in motion. Wm. and Daniel Porter also came in 1836.
George Schuck came in 1838, from the same county in Ohio, and settled on the southwest quarter of section 10, where he died in 1848.
John Schuck came in the fall of 1838, from the same place, and settled on section 15; built a hewed log house, which still stands and is occupied. In the fall of 1859 he went to Nemaha, Neb., where he yet resides.
Samuel Freeman was born in New London, Conn., on the 13th of November, 1800. At an early age he removed to the state of New York, where, in 1828, he married Melinda Benedict, who died in 1866. In 1834 Mr. Freeman moved to Kalamazoo, Mich., then on the outskirts of civilization. He decided to make another westward move in a few years, and so on the 3d day of December, 1839, he landed in the village of Davenport, and remained a short time; then settled near Kirtle's ferry, on the "Wapsie," making a claim, and as he hoped, locating for life; but when the lands came into market, his claim was entered over his head by some one having more money than he possessed, and thus he lost his all. With the pluck and energy of a true pioneer, however, he went to work, and before a great while was the owner of two or three yoke of steers and an old breaking plow. Then he commenced anew his struggle for a home. The old settlers say it is an undoubed fact that Mr. Freeman, with his steers and plow, turned up to the bright sunlight more acres of the virgin soil of Scott County than any other man that ever followed a furrow within the county's limits. By this means he gathered enough money to purchase a farm near Slopertown. Selling this in a few years, he bought another farm near Hickory Grove, which he owned and occupied until the day of his death.
In his young manhood Mr. Freeman was a Whig, and a very ardent one. He was one of the first men in Scott County to unite with the Republican party, and from the first was a staunch supporter of its principles. He was the father of five children, three of whom died in early life. He died when 72 years of age, and now lies by the side of her who shared all the trials and struggles of his pioneer life.
The first birth was William H. Baker, son of Philip and Catherine Baker, who was born Nov. 10. 1838. He is now a farmer in Audubon Co., Ia.
The first death was Alfred Carter, who died in 1839, and was buried on section 16.
The first marriage was that of Alexander Wells and Julia A. S. Carter, in the house of Philip Baker, by Mr. Grace, a justice of the peace in Walnut Grove. The event was solemnized in 1842.
The first school was in the winter of 1837,'38, at the house of Alfred Carter, by George F. Emery.
Rev. Peter Cartwright was the first to preach the gospel in the township.
The educational work of Hickory Grove Township began in the winter of 1837-'38, at the house of Alfred Carter, George F. Emery being the pioneer school-teacher. The school was only for the benefit of Mr. Carter's children. Mr. Emery, the teacher, was an old bachelor, who settled in Allen's Grove in 1837. He was a native of Boston, Mass., and was highly educated. He went to California in 1849, and started on his return home in 1850 by water, and died on the ocean before he reached Panama.
There are now in the township three districts, one sub-district, with a school-house valued at $500. The county superintendent, in his report for 1881, speaks of this township as an illustration of the peculiarity of the school law of the State. The township district is composed of only two and one-half sections, but having all the officers that are necessary and prescribed by law for a full township district; and all to govern one small school. In addition the township has three independent districts - Maysville, No. 1; Linn Grove, No. 2; Fairview, No. 3. In these districts are seven school-houses.
That great apostle of Methodism, Rev. Peter Cartwright, was the pioneer preacher in this township. Some time in the year 1838 he preached a sermon at the house of Alfred Carter. Other religious bodies have since promulgated their doctrines in the township, but only two are now represented by organizations - Methodist Episcopal and Chtistians.
The Linn Grove Christian Church was organized in Allen's Grove Township, Nov. 10, 1851, by Elder Jonas Hartzell, now of Davenport. It was then known as the Allen's Grove Church of Christ. It was removed to Linn Grove in 1858, and its name changed to suit the locality. Both in Allen's Grove and in Linn Grove the congregation for a number of years worshiped in school-houses, but in 1866 a frame house of worship was erected at a cost of $1,700. Services are held monthly, and a Sunday-school is continued in summer. Elder J. Moore now officiates as pastor of the church.
At the time Alfred Carter settled here wolves were very troublesome, and often came in daylight and carried pigs from the dooryard, while chickens, notwithstanding they roosted between the chimney and the wall of the house, were carried off by wildcats. Deer were also numerous, and it is said as many as 100 could often be seen in going to or from Hickory Grove to Allen's Grove. There were at the time the Carters settled here no mills in the neighborhood, and they at times had to grate corn on a coarse grater, and in making bread to make it adhere mixed stewed pumpkins with it. On one occasion, soon after his arrival, Mr. Carter had to go to Henderson Co., Ill., for provisions. While gone 10 Indians came suddenly upon the family and asked for a night's lodging. They were entertained, but not without some fears. They were often seen after that. Mr. Carter had a fine patch of watermelons, of which the Indians were quite fond. They would often be found lying in the patch at daylight, waiting for some of the family to come out and trade with him some melons for venison. Alfred Carter and his sons, Charles P., John and Martin, often hunted deer with some of the Indian chiefs and braves.
There are three groves in the township, Hickory, Pilot, and Linn, the latter comprising only 80 acres of timber, linn, or basswood, oak and elm being the varieties. In the two former, hickory, oak, basswood and elmwood.
Mud Creek runs through the township, heading on section 13, and running almost west to section 8; then running north, passes out of the township from section 5.
James May, in the summer of 1856, had surveyed and platted by William P. Campbell, then County surveyor, "part of the southest quarter of section 15, township 79, range 2 east," the plate being recorded Aug. 3, of that year. To this village was given the name of Maysville, in honor of its owner. The desires of Mr. May have hardly been realized, the village never having grown to any extent, its proximity to and not being on a line of railroad operating against it.
The postoffice is known as Amity, and was established in 1849 Philip Baker being the first postmaster, since which time there have been five different postmasters. The present one is Henry Schultz.