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The population of the township by the census of 1880, was 692. There are two postoffices at two small villages in the townshipKendallville and Plymouth Rock.
The village of Kendallville, which by the census of 1880 contained 75 inhabitants, is on the southwest side of the Upper Iowa River, is two and a half miles from the west line, and three-quarters of a mile from the south line of the township. It was originally called "Enterprise," and was located on the claim of Mr. Shesmadine. S. G. Kendall came to this county from Mississippi in 1860, commenced the erection of a flour mill and other improvements, and started the mill in operation in 1862; the village from that time was called Kendallville, and the postoffice was changed to this place from Twin Springs, one mile north; the plat of Kendallville was recorded September 9th, 1874. George Potter was the first postmaster.
The first store was kept by David Bennett. A Grange hall was built January, 1868, two stories high, 20x50 feet, is still conducted by the society of Patrons of Husbandry, and is one of the few lodges in the state in a flourishing condition. The mill passed from Mr. Kendall's hands to Mr. Lawler, of Prairie du Chien, and from him to John McHugh, of Cresco, who still owns it. Kendallville has two stores, one by J. L. Daskam, the postmaster, and one by R. Barnes; J. H. Stockman has a blacksmith shop. It is 21 miles from Decorah and eight from Cresco, with which it connects by a tri-weekly mail. The extensive Kendallville stock farm of John McHugh is located near here.
Plymouth Rock village and post office is within half-a-mile of the south sline of Fremont township, and 11 miles from the east line. It was platted in September, 1855, and the plat recorded January 15, 1856. The siding for the Winneshiek House, built in 1854-5, was obtained from what was known as Carter's Mill, at Plymouth Rock. It has a population of about 30, and is about 19 miles from Decorah, and 10 from Cresco. It has a tri-weekly mail. G. V. Puntney, postmaster, runs the flour mill; L. Wanless has a general store.
BURR OAK TOWNSHIP AND VILLAGE.
Burr Oak is the second from the west in the northern tier of townships. Geo. V. Puntney, now of Plymouth Rock, settled on section 30, in 1851. "Burr Oak Precinct" for several years embraced all the northern tier of townships. For its several divisions, see County History. Burr Oak village is on Silver Creek, near the center of the eastern side of the township, and about three-fourths of a mile from its eastern line. It was platted by S. Middlebrook, May 16, and plat recorded July 14, 1855. Samuel S. Belding was proprietor of the town plat; Manning's addition was recorded October 15, 1856. By the census of 1880, Burr Oak
township has a population of 826, and the village 199. It is about 12 miles north of Decorah, with which it is connected by A. M Preg's daily mail and stage line.
A. J. Cratsenberg is postmaster and has a good general store. S. H. Willets is another merchant, and there are several other branches of business. There is a good hotel, the American House, kept by J. H. Porter. There are three church buildings, the Methodist, Congregational, and Second Adventists, and an Odd Fellows lodge of 40 members, with a hall of their own. It has limestone quarries, and the surface of the country is rolling and fertile, and well settled by intelligent farmers. In the fall of 1881 a five per cent. tax was voted for a railroad through Burr Oak, known as the Minnesota, Iowa & Southwestern, running from La Crosse southwest, and there are prospects that it will be built, and increase the importance and business of the village. In the southern part of Burr Oak township is the famous Cold Spring cave and underground lake described in the preceding chapter referring to pleasure resorts accessible from Decorah. Judge M. V. Burdick thus writes of Burr Oak in 1853:
"When I saw its location, the beautiful groves that surrounded it on every side, the undulating country in every direction, the limpid stream of pure and sparkling water, cold and clear, that wound its way through the place, I could not fail to admire the judgment and discernment of the men who decided upon the place for a site of a town. In after years I became better acquainted with the resources of the country, its exhaustible supply of timber, and its two excellent quarries of blue limestone unsurpassed for building purposes.".
HESPER TOWNSHIP AND VILLAGE.
Hesper Township, in the northern tier of the county, adjoins Burr Dak on the east. Benjamin L. Bisby settled on the southwest quarter of section 29, in 1850. The next year brought in quite a number of settlers. The first permanent settler, E. E. Meader, reached his new home there on the morning of April 12, 1851, and settled on the southeast quarter of section 10, where his present residence stands. Mr. Meader came to Iowa in the fall of 1850 from his home in Maine, stopped in Clayton County, and meeting a man named Frazier, from Wisconsin, they came together, looked over the lands, were pleased with them, and in March, 1851, came with teams and prepared building sites. A. M. Waterman had, several weeks previous, encamped on a part of section 11, engaged in making sugar. Having cut and hauled logs for their dwellings, Meader and Frazier had to go eight miles for hands to help them put it up. Mr. Waterman provided the meal at this pioneer house raising. Having split out boards to roof their buildings, they piled them up, and started for the Volga
settlements for their families. Mr. Meader and family came alone, however, in April as above stated, Mr. Frazier not coming till fall.
“Late in the evening of April 11, 1851, they reached Ackerson's, about four miles from their destination, where they were pursuaded to pass the night. But early next morning, without stopping for breakfast, they pushed on to their new home, set out the cook stove beside the unfinished house, and there, in the open air of the chill April morning, Mrs. Meader prepared and set before her husband and 5 children, the first of many thousands of meals which she was destined to serve upon the same spot. The walls of the house had not even a doorway, and the first proceeding after breakfast was to cut an entrance, and then to put on the roof, for which purpose a supply of nails had been brought in the wagon. By night the family had a shelter overhead, and a loose, temporary floor of split boards; but the walls being entirely without chinking, and only a blanket hung across the doorway, the first night, which was stormy, with wind, rain and snow, was cheerless enough. By a Jint of hard labor, patient endurance, and the advance of the season, they were, in the course of a few weeks, settled in comparative comfort.
D. D. Huff and his wife Anna, settled on sec. 29, on the 26th day of April, 1851.
"In the summer of 1853 there was quite an influx of settlers, among them Tristram Allen, a member and minister of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, who, with his family, came from Michigan, in August of that year, and bought out Frazier's claim, upon which he settled and lived for almost twenty years, or until a short time before his death, which occurred in 1873. Two months later several other families of Friends came from some part of Michigan and settled some of them within the limits of this township, and some just over the line in Minnesota. Thus was begun the nucleus of the Quaker Settlement at Hesper, which has ever since been one of the prominent features of the place. Among those who came at this time was Geo. N. Holway, a native of Massachusetts, but for a time before his coming to lowa a resident of Michigan. He purchased and settled upon the claim located by Larsen, on section 9, where he lived for a number of years, and then removed to Decorah. Also Joseph Gibbon, D. Allan, Ansel Rogers, and Abraham West. In the spring of 1855 was held the first regularly organized meeting of the Society of Friends in the new settlement, and in the course of the summer, a number of families of that persuasion came in from Vermont, adding materially to the 'Quaker element and to the prosperity of the settlement. Among these were Russell Taber and his brothers, who. having purchased the claim originally located by Waterman, began to make preparations for erecting a steam mill. This they got in running order, so as to do sawing, before winter set in. This mill, with its subsequent additions and enlargements, still stands on the north side of the village of Hesper. During the winter a small building was put up, a stock of goods procured, and the first mercantile establishment in the place was opened, by H. H. Whaley, on the corner now occupied by Meader's store.
With opening spring came another influx of immigrants, among them, several families of Friends, from Indiana, and in the course of the summer of 1856, the members of that society erected a meeting house, on the southwest corner of section 10, from which place it was, a year later, removed to a lot within the bounds of the town, then being first laid out. On the third day of July, 1856, T. N. Wilson arrived with his family from Jackson County, where he had stopped for two years after coming to the state, from the East. Immediately after his arrival he began preparations for erecting a house. On the last day of July, the building was so far completed that the family moved into it, and on the the third day of August it was first opened for the entertainment of travelers. The next year still more marked advances were made in the way of enterprise and improvement. In April, the first Methodist Quarterly Meeting was held in Wilson's house, and the Rev. Mr. Lease, then quite a young man, was placed upon the charge as minister. In the summer a school house was put up on a lot