MONMOUTH, was organized as a township April 4, 1854, taking its name from the city of Monmouth, which is situated within its territory. The election was held at the court house with John Leeper as Moderator, and B. F. Corwin, Clerk. At this meeting, the following named citizens were elected the township officers: Joseph Whitman, Supervisor; Samuel Wood, Assessor; James McCoy, Collector; A. S. Gilbert, Clerk; A. C. Cregg, Overseer of the Poor; C. W. Hunnicutt and W. N. Smith, Justices of the Peace; James McCoy, Constable; C. V. Brooks, R. S. Hall, and James McKemson, Commissioners of Highway.
This township is numbered 11 north of range 2 west, and is bounded by Spring Grove on the north, Cold Brook on the east, Lenox on the south and on the west lies Hale Township.
It is pretty well watered by Cedar Creek, and its numerous little tributaries, which afford also ample drainage facilities. The face of the land is mostly undulating, with some level prairies. The soil is rich and susceptible of high cultivation. Bordering the streams there is a very liberal growth of timber, and within the township are some very fine groves. Three railroad lines pass through it; the main line of the C.B. & Q. R.R.. enters on section 36, deflects a little to the northward and passes through sections 26,27,28,29 and 31. The St. Louis branch enters between sections 2 and 3, runs south through the city of Monmouth and passes out of the township on section 31. The Iowa Central passes diagonally across the southwest corner.
Mrs. Talbott and son, from Kentucky , were the first settlers in the township, and the county in 1827, locating on section 2. Mrs. Talbott died in Monmouth, about the year 1849, aged 80 years and John B., mentioned very often in the history of this county, moved to Oregon in 1850, and was living then near the mouth of the Columbia River. With the Talbotts came Allen G. Andrews, who settled on Cedar Creek, section 6. He was an educated man and a good Spanish scholar, and took a prominent part in the public affairs of the township and county. He died at his home some years ago.
Abraham Swartz and his wife came in April, 1829, locating about a mile north of Monmouth. They moved soon afterward to Knox County. Daniel McNeil, Jr., John Pence, Joel Hargrove, Isaac Hodgins and Robert Wallace moved in, in the early part of 1830. During this year also came Hezekiah Davidson, wife and 10 children--Alexander, Elijah, Helena, Irene, Benjamin F., James W., Cornelia Ann, Solomon P., Ellen S. and Thomas H. They located on section 16. Of this family only Thomas H. and James W. Davidson are living. (See biography of these two sons.) Later on William Causland, E. Rodgers, Adam (Black) Ritchey, cousin of Adam (Sandy) Ritchey, William Corwin and William S. Paxton were added to the settlement.
Robert Wallace put up the first grist mill, or corn cracker, in the township. It was a small affair, and was located about four miles north of Monmouth. The next grist mill was put up by Aniel Rodgers, in 1832. It was located about four miles north of Monmouth, on Cedar Creek, section 7. Mr. Rodgers afterward sold out to Olmstead & Avery. It had two run of stone, and was a great accommodation to the people. Without this mill many a pioneer would have been deprived of the luxury of sitting down to a corn cake. In addition to the grist mill, a saw mill was put up and attached to this power, and considerable lumber was cut for the settlement. This mill was burned in 1837, and was subsequently rebuilt by William S. Paxton, with an increased capacity of two stone. It is still running, and owned by Peter Oswell. It is claimed by some that Adam Ritchey built this mill and sold it to Aniel Rodgers.
Monmouth Township is one of the most thoroughly cultivated and largest producing townships in this county. Its population, including Monmouth City, in 1880, was 6,420. It is estimated that there has been since that time an increase of 600.
The early history of this township is so closely identified with that of the city of Monmouth, as well as that of the county, that it has been found difficult to separate the two, and for further particulars, the reader is referred to the history of Monmouth and of Warren County.
The County Superintendent is her report for the year ending June 30, 1885, has the following items regarding the public schools of the township:
In the 15 districts there were 4 graded and 11 un-graded schools; 3 brick and 12 frame buildings, with a property valuation of $29,850. Of persons under 21 years of age, there were 3,918 of whom 1,860 were scholastic age, 1,397 being enrolled. The highest wages paid teachers was $90 and the lowest was $25. The tax levy for this township was $12,742.49.
From the Assessor's report for the year 1885, the following items are taken:
Number of acres of improved lands: 21,233; value of improved lands, $461,010; total value of lots, $578,210; number of horses, 1,286; cattle, 1833; asses and mules, 22; sheep, 143; hogs, 3,372; steam engines, 6; carriages and wagons, 506; watches and clocks, 455; sewing and knitting machines, 404; pianos, 158; melodeons and organs, 116; total cash value of personal property, $325,178.
Monmouth has honored the following citizens with the office of Supervisor:
Josiah Whitman ... ..1854 Amos Buford, Asst.. ..1872
Samuel Hallam .. 1855 Chancy Hardin . ..1873-4
J. Leeper ..1856 Alex. Ankin, Asst . ..1873-4
Hiram Norcross . .. 1857-8 Chancy Hardin .. .1875
John G. Wilson 1859 John B. Meginnis, Asst.. .1875
Samuel Hallam . 1860-1 Geo. Sickmons . ..1876-7
Samuel Hallam .. ...1862-3 Samuel Douglas . .1878
Josiah Whitman, Asst . 1862-3 O. S. Barnum, Asst 1878
Josiah Whitman .. ..1864 Samuel Douglas 1879
John Brown, Asst . 1864 Alex. Rankin, Asst .1879
James T. Owens ..1865 Samuel Douglas .1880
Wm. Clark, Asst ..1865 Geo. Sickmon, Asst ... 1880
George Sickmon ..1866 Samuel Douglas ... ..1881
Wm. P. Sykes, Asst .1866 Amos Burford, Asst ... 1881
John G. Wilson 1867-8 C. A. Dunn .. 1882
John F. Owens, Asst 1867-8 C. P. Averill, Asst .. 1882
Thos. Averell .... 1869 J. R. Hanna .. ..1883
N. A. Rankin, Asst ...1869 A. T. Bruner, Asst .. 1883
N. A. Rankin 1870 Sipher Moses . 1884
W. A. Grant, Asst .1870 A. T. Bruner, Asst .. 1884
W. A. Grant ..1871 G. W. Claycomb 1885
C. V. Brooks, Asst 1871 A. T. Bruner, Asst .. 1885
W. A. Grant ...1872