Places of Kossuth County, Iowa, past and present

Compiled by Richard Schiek as part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Kossuth County and the "Kossuth on State" project, dedicated on July 13, 2001.

The early settlement of Kossuth County brought settlers that not only had the intent to settle in the county because of the rich soil that was conducive to farming, but it also brought investors and speculators who came to make their fortune by buying cheap land and platting towns which would permit them to sell lots at a great profit. Needless to say, not all succeeded. The first four towns platted in Kossuth County in the order they were filed for record were Irvington (1856), Algona (1856), Ashuelot (1858), Cresco (1859).

Later town sites were scattered about Kossuth County and were originated as the county became settled. Some of the towns exist, many do not. Some of the towns were never officially platted but were merely the pioneer convenience stores of the middle to late 1800's. Some towns were just post offices and a general store or a station or siding along the railroad, used to load livestock, grain, beets and hay. But all were important to the early pioneers for receiving their mail and securing the supplies that they need to exist at that time. As the railroads came many new towns were established and the existing towns that were bypassed by the railroads usually came to a quick death, as the railroad was the vital lifeline for a community to survive and flourish.

The county seat is Algona, a town of about 5,700. Ambrose and Asa Call were the first settlers in Kossuth County, arriving on July 10, 1854. They settled on the bluffs around the Des Moines River and made claim to the land that would become the town of Algona. Their original settlement was in what is today known as the A.A. Call State Park. The Call's named the original settlement Call's Grove, but the name was changed to Algona by Asa Call's wife, when she arrived in the fall of 1854. Mrs. Call chose the name "Algona" which is an Indian word signifying Algonquin waters, or the lakes and streams that belong to the Algonquin tribes, not because of any link to the Algonquin Indians but because she had read the name in a book and thought it was lovely. Zip code - 50511 City of Algona - Chamber of Commerce -,_Iowa

Bancroft - The arrival of the railroad prompted the platting of the Town of Bancroft. The town site, located in Section 24 of Greenwood Township, was surveyed in the fall of 1881 by the direction of the Western Town Lot Company and Ambrose A. Call. The plat was recorded on September 23, 1881. Ambrose A. Call is credited for the naming of Bancroft, named after the American Historian, George Bancroft. He persuaded the railroad to give it that name instead of Burt, which the company proposed. The Post Office was opened on November 17, 1881. Zip code - 50517 -
Burt - D.A. Buell, Ambrose A. Call and the Western Town Lot Company filed the original plat of Burt for record on September 19, 1881. The railroad had just come through the township and the plat was laid out in the vicinity of the depot grounds in Section 24-97-29 (Burt Township). It is said that the town was named after a conductor or engineer on the new Northwestern railroad, known for his friendly, kindly demeanor, In the book "From Ackley to Zwingle", it states that the town was named after Horace G. Burt, the chief engineer for the Northwestern Railroad. Zip code - 50522 -
Fenton - The first location of the Fenton post office was in Section 26 of Fenton Township. It opened on January 5, 1874 and was closed on July 28, 1875. It had been formerly named Darien. The Fenton post office was reopened September 23, 1880 and was located at the exact center of Fenton Township, in the Northeast corner of Section 21 of Fenton Township. The 1896 plat book shows the post office, a creamery and some other houses or businesses at that location. The present town of Fenton came into existence as the result of the Fox Lake Branch of the Northwestern Railroad being run through the township in 1899. The Western Town Lot Company filed the plat of record for Fenton on April 21, 1899 and the post office was moved from section 21 to the new town (Section 18) in 1899. Fenton is named after former Governor and US Senator Reuben Eaton Fenton of New York. Zip code - 50539 -

Lakota - The present town of Lakota was originally named Germania. The original town site of Germania was surveyed and filed for record by the Northern Iowa Land and Town Lot Company, August 26, 1892. The town received its name from the German heritage of many of the early settlers in the area. In 1918, the hysteria of World War I was sweeping the country. Residents couldn't change their origin to protect themselves from the popular hatred of the time, but they could take the stigma of all things German from the town by wiping its name off the map, which they did. An election was held on October 1, 1918 to vote to change the name of
Germania, Iowa to Lakota, Iowa. A canvas of the votes showed there were 48 yes and 32 no votes cast. Mayor J. Gus Thaves filed the certificate changing the name to Lakota at the Kossuth County Courthouse on October 16, 1918. However the name was not officially changed by the post office until August 5, 1919. The town was renamed Lakota, an Indian word with several different translations. Some say Lakota means "beautiful prairie" or as other translations say Lakota means "plenty", others say it means "allies". Zip code - 50451

Ledyard - The first plat for the Town of Ledyard was files by the Western Town Lot Company on June 25, 1884, but lots weren't offered for sale for a number of years. Later plats were filed in 1891 and 1892. Ledyard is located near the center of Section 4 of Ledyard Township and was incorporated in 1895. As with many other towns in the county, Ledyard had its beginnings as a haying camp, sue to the natural abundance of hay available on the prairie. For many years Ledyard was very prosperous with many businesses and, at one time had five churches. The grain elevator at Ledyard was for several years one of the top five or ten largest shingle car shippers on the Northwestern line. There was one year that they were the largest single car shipper on the entire line. The land upon which Ledyard was platted was owned by State Senator William Larrabee, who two years later became Iowa's twelfth governor, serving for two terms. Mr. Larrabee named the town after the town of his birth, Ledyard, Connecticut. Zip code - 50556

Lone Rock - The original community of Lone Rock was located 1 1/2 miles north and 1/2 mile east of the present town. There was a creamery, a general store, a post office and farmhouse at the original settlement. The town was given its name by Mrs. Will (Lillie) Thompson. Mrs. Thompson suggested naming the community after the extremely large boulder that lay nestles in the prairie grass on a nearby farmstead. The boulder was used as a landmark for travelers in that part of the county in the early days before any roads were established. In the summer of 1899 when the railroad passed through the township, the town moved south to be located along the new railroad and of course, took the name with them. The plat for Lone Rock was filed by the Western Town Lot Company on April 24, 1899. In 1974, the Lone Rock Development Corporation decided that they would move the large boulder from which the town received its name to the present town of Lone Rock. It was no small task but after 75 years of separation, the "town" and the "rock" were once more reunited. Lone Rock is split down the center with the east side being in Burt Township and the west side is in Fenton Township. The post office was established on 1896. Zip code - 50559

LuVerne - The town of LuVerne was platted March 28, 1881. The town was platted near the intersection of the M. & St. L. and C.N.W. Railroads. It is located on the Kossuth-Humboldt County line and is in Section 31 of LuVerne Township. When the railroads first came through the township, the M. & St. L platted a town on the Humboldt County side and named it Vernon, filed for record on November 9, 1880. The C.N.W. had already platted a town half a mile north of Vernon on February 1, 1880 and called it Whitman. Shortly after Vernon was platted, George Hanna and B. Bliss decided they would plat nine blocks between the towns of Vernon and Whitman and name their town LuVerne. After LuVerne was platted there were three towns within one half mile of each other. In the three cornered fight to see whether Vernon, Whitman or LuVerne would be the surviving town. LuVerne scored the knock-out blow as their proprietors had the foresight to have the post office established at their location and named LuVerne. The post office was officially established on January 27, 1881 and the plat of record for LuVerne was filed on March 28, 1881. On July 6, 1887, at its incorporation LuVerne was officially chosen as the name of the town Whitman and Vernon lost their identity. It is said that the name for the town was chosen from a number of suggested names furnished by the Washington, D.C. Post Office, and George liked LuVerne the best.
St. Joseph, or St. Joe to the locals, had its beginning as Hale's Post Office (or Hale, Iowa) which was established on April 10, 1871. The name was changes to St. Joseph on September 10, 1878. As far as the records show, the town was never platted but grew but evolution. The Saint Joseph Parish, after which the town received its name, had its beginnings as far back as 1868, at meetings in the houses of John Mahahe and John Devine. The St. Joseph Catholic Church was organized in 1871 and the first church edifice was built. The present church, built in 1876, was the reason the community grew and prospered, as there was no elevator or railroad located there. The first school was added to the back of the church and in 1938 a new school was built. The first graduating class was in 1940. The school was a full 12 year institution until 1959 when the district merged with Bishop Garrigan High School in Algona. The school continued as a grade school until 1970 when it merged with St. Cecelia elementary district in Algona. At that time the St. Joseph School continued, teaching grades six, seven and eight for the merged districts. The school was closed at the end of the school year in 1991, and classes were relocated to Seton in Algona.
Swea City - The town of Swea City was originally named Reynolds when first established. The town site of Reynolds was surveyed by order of Northern Iowa Land and Town Lot Company when the railroad passed through. The plat was filed for record on July 23, 1892. Soon after the site was surveyed, RM. Richmond, by purchase, became the proprietor of the town. It is speculated that the town was originally named Reynolds after R.M. Richmond's mother's maiden name. As a newly platted town, Reynolds was desperately in need of a post office. However the federal government would not grant them one since the Town of Swea had one six miles northwest. Petitions were passed and efforts were made to have the post office moved from Swea to Reynolds. This angered the Swea folks who had worked so hard to build their town but, realizing the town by the railroad would prosper while theirs wouldn't, finally reached a compromise. If Reynolds would change its name to Swea City, Swea would give up its post office. In February of 1893, the name was officially changed from Reynolds to Swea City. (see Swea, farther down the page). Zipcode 50590
Titonka - The coming of the railroad branch line from Garner in the fall of 1898 gave rise to the town of Titonka. Surveyor C.B. Hutchins began laying out the town on October 27, 1898. The plat of Titonka was filed for record by Thomas A. Way on January 4, 1899. Originally there was a movement to have the town named Ripley but the postal authorities would not approve the name as there was another town in the state named Rippey and they were afraid the names would be confused. It was then suggested by Capt. W.H. Ingham that the town be named Titonka in remembrance of a buffalo hunt that took place in 1855 when W.H. Ingham, A.L. Seeley and Thos. C. Covel had killed a buffalo in the vicinity, which had prompted the naming of the township. In the language of the Sioux, tonka means big and ti, black, and hence Titonka signifies the big black (buffalo). Zipcode 50480

Wesley - The Milwaukee Railroad began grading for the railroad through the area in 1869 and trains passed through in the fall of 1870. In the fall of 1871, J.B. Jones surveyed the plat of Wesley for J.H. Merrill, though the plat was not recorded until October 10, 1873. The generally accepted version of how Wesley received its name is that the town was named after John Wesley, who was a mechanic and foreman of the railroad who had helped build the depot. Another version is that it was named after Wesley Bennett, the son of a surveyor who was working with the surveying crew that laid out the railroad route. Zipcode 50483

West Bend - The West Bend area was the settlement in Palo Alto County, the first settlers arriving in 1855. When the railroad arrived in 1881 they located a station just inside the county line in Palo Alto County. The railroad named the station "Ives" after the president of the railroad company. However the settlers of the area did not approve of that name. The township where the town was located had been named West Bend, which is derived from the sharp turn that the Des Moines River made toward the West at a point southwest of the town site. Since the township had been named West Bend and also since the first post office was located on the bend, the people wanted their new station named West Bend. The efforts of the local people were successful and the railroad consented to the change. The town of West Bend grew over the years and part of the incorporated town is now in Kossuth County. Zipcode 50597

Whittemore - The Milwaukee Railroad, which had been completed to Algona in 1870, reached the western edge of Kossuth County in July of 1878. This inspired W.H. Ingham and Lewis H. Smith to plat the site of Whittemore in August of 1878. The plat was filed for record on April 12, 1879. The town of Whittemore received its name from that of Don J. Whittemore, who, in that early day, was the chief surveyor of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad. Ingham and Smith, who owned the land on which the town was to be built, selected the name. Zipcode 50598
While many of these small towns and villages are gone, some can still be recognized as a community.
Ashuelot - The plat of the town was filed by George Brizee on July 30, 1858. The plat was located in the North 1/2 of Section 15-97-28 in Portland Township and contained 320 acres. There were 117 blocks with one block reserved for churches, one designated "Kossuth Square", one "Locust Park and another "Walnut Park". George Brizee was a questionable land speculator from Chicago and he had great plans to make his fortune selling lots in his new city. He put up three or four cabins on lots in Ashuelot before returning to Chicago. Back home, he printed up brochures and advertising showing a very attractive new Iowa town. Steamboats were shown landing with crowds of people milling about. He actually sold many lots to unsuspecting buyers who soon found that Ashuelot wasn't quite what the promoter had advertised. However in time his scheme failed and the town sank back into the wilderness. The town site was declared vacated by a district court order on May 7, 1888.
Buffalo Fork - Buffalo Fork, sometimes referred to as Buffalo Forks, was truly and early pioneer convenience store and post office. It is assumed that it received its name from the proximity to Buffalo Creek. The Buffalo Fork general store provided the needed staples to the settlers in that area of the county. The Buffalo Fork post office was originally established October 23, 1863 and located in Section 10 of Portland Township. It would have been the post office that Ashuelot would have had if Ashuelot had survived. Later, the Buffalo Fork post office and general store moved to Section 13 of Portland Township. After the railroad came to Titonka in 1899, the Buffalo Fork post office was closed and Buffalo Fork ceased to exist.
Call's Grove - See Algona
Chamberlain - Chamberlain is shown on an 1872 ma of Iowa, located along a proposed railroad route where the town of Whittemore is now located. At that time the railroad had only been constructed to Algona, but the map makers took liberties in an attempt to give the impression that the territory was more settled than it actually was. When the railroad was constructed west from Algona, the town of Whittemore was founded and it appears that there was never an actual town of Chamberlain.
Collar's Corners - Collar's Corner was located in Section 24 of Ramsey Township. Norm Collar was the first settler in the area when he homesteaded on Section 24, July 13, 1867. His home was built of sod and known as the "Sod Tavern". Collar's Corners was located on the Algona to Blue Earth stage route and provided overnight accommodations and meals for travelers, hunter and homesteaders. As the area became settled the town of Ramsey was founded about a mile to the North in Section 13 of Ramsey Township.
Cook's Siding - Cook's Siding is shown in the 1896 plat book of Kossuth County, located on the Northwestern Railroad between Sections 19 and 30 of Ledyard Township. It was about one mile south of Gerled. J.C. "Judge" Cook, a prominent lawyer from Algona had a summer cottage in Gerled and he raised thousands of heads of cattle to feed on a ranch known as the Mike Kevel Ranch. He was very interested in railroads and built a siding to load his cattle to be shipped to Chicago and various shipping centers.
Cresco - The town of Cresco (I grow) was distinctive among the early towns platted in Kossuth County, as it did not grow. The plat of Cresco was filed for record by Henry Kellogg on September 19, 1859. Mr. Kellogg was also a land speculator hoping to sell the platted lots for a large profit. Cresco was located in the south half of Section 26-95-29 (Cresco Township) and contained 320 acres. Mr. Kellogg built a small house on the property but he did not perfect title to his claim, no deeds were ever recorded in Cresco, and the town site was vacated. The Cresco post office was established on August 30, 1856 and continued until February 3, 1862. What was to have been the Town of Cresco never materialized and returned to plain farmland without the bother of collecting quit claim deeds to vacate the town site.
Cutler - Cutler was a rural post office that existed for a little more than one year. Postal records show that it was established on May 12, 1892 and was closed on August 5, 1893. The exact location of Cutler is unknown, but a map of the state of Iowa that is in an 1896 plat book of Kossuth County shows Cutler located in Northern Harrison Township.
Darien - The Darien settlement was the first settlement in what is now Fenton Township. The first settlers came into the township about the first of September 1868. Nine men came to settle in Kossuth County after driving their teams across country from Darien, Wisconsin. They settled in Section 26-97-30, now Fenton Township. Eight of the men homesteaded 80 acres each, thus securing the entire section. Nearly all the men were married but their wives had been left behind until suitable houses could be built. The Darien post office was established there on August 29, 1870 and was closed January 4, 1872. Postal records show the post office was reopened at or near the original location on January 5, 1874, but it was renamed the Fenton Post Office. It was then closed on July 28, 1875. For a short time there was also a Darien Township in Kossuth County. Darien Township included what are now Fenton, Burt, Union and Lotts Creek Townships. It existed from October 18, 1869 until September 19, 1870.
Eagle Lake -. The post office at Swea was renamed Eagle Lake Post Office on October 25, 1893 and was closed on January 13, 1899. (See Swea, farther down on this page)
Fine - The Fine post office was the successor to the Kossuth Center post office. It was located in Section 4 of Plum Creek Township. The Fine post office was established July 25, 1883 and was discontinued July 10, 1886.
Galbraith - Galbraith was located in the NW1/4 Section 9, Sherman Township. Galbraith was a station on the Northwestern Railroad and most likely was named for the owner of the land where the station was located, G.L. Galbraith. An 1896 plat book shows this as Morton Siding, but obviously it was changed to Galbraith at some later date. The post office at Galbraith was opened April 17, 1902 and remained open until September 15, 1913. There was a large hotel, a store, an elevator, a depot, coal yards and a hay and stock loading facility. There were also several residences located there.
Gerled - Gerled was never incorporated as a town but it was an important junction of two main railroads serving northern Kossuth County. It was a very busy and popular place for hundreds of travelers and for mail service, with 10 passenger trains daily. The east-west Rock Island line had an elevated crossing of the north-south Northwestern railroad at Gerled. A large depot (Union Station) was located there, which served as a waiting room and storage for people traveling and transferring from one rail line to the other. Gerled received its name from the two nearby towns of Germania (now Lakota) and Ledyard. The "Ger" was taken from Germania and "led" from Ledyard. Even after receiving the official name of Gerled, it was commonly called the crossing by the people living in the area. Union Station was located near the northeast corner of Section 19 of Ledyard Township. The post office was established on June 7, 1902 and was closed May 1, 1951.
Germania - (See Lakota)
German Valley - German Valley undoubtedly received its name from the heritage of the early settlers in the area. German Valley had its beginnings in 1891 when a general store was built. As the town of Ramsey failed, the new business was begun at German Valley. The German Valley post office was opened December 26, 1890 and a creamery, blacksmith shop, and livery stable followed. At one time the population did reach 30, but when the railroad came to Titonka, German Valley began its decline. The post office closed February 28 1900 but the German Valley store remained in operation for many years after.
Grant - The Grant Township Consolidated School was the first rural consolidated school in Kossuth County. A vote was held on February 24, 1914 and approval was granted to consolidate all six districts in Grant Township and build a new school located in the southwest quarter of Section 22. There was much skepticism from county and state educational leaders that a school, such as Grant, was feasible in a rural area where no town existed, but the school flourished for many years. A general store and gas station were built across from the school in 1935. In the 1950
Greenwood Center - Greenwood Center was located in Sec. 21 of Greenwood Township. The post office at Greenwood Center was established on May 13, 1870. It is one of the better-known early settlements in the county as it was from here the attempt was made to establish Crocker County. If Crocker County had remained on the map, the history of the north part of the county may have been written quite differently. Greenwood Center had been chosen as the county seat of Crocker County, and the railroad towns in northern Kossuth County had not yet been built. Surely, when the railroads were constructed through the northern parts of the county they would have passed through the county seat town. However, Crocker County did not survive and when the railroad was built, the town of Bancroft was established. Greenwood Center then had no chance for survival and the post office was closed on November 16, 1881 and reopened the next day at Bancroft.
Hale - (See also St. Joseph) Hale, later named St. Joseph, was located in Section 35 of Riverdale Township. It was never a platted town but it had its beginnings as a pioneer hotel and post office. It was called Hale's Post Office or Hale, in honor of Oscar C. Hale who owned land in the vicinity. He was an active man in public affairs and had come to the county in 1865 immediately after leaving the army. He also served for many years as county surveyor. The post office was officially established on April 10, 1871. The post office was changed to St. Joseph, or St. Joe to locals, on September 10, 1878.
Hanna - The plat of the town of Hanna was surveyed in June of 1893, but it was not filed for record until May 9, 1895. The plat consisted of only three blocks and was located in the NW1/4 of the NE1/4 of Section 22, LuVerne Township. On May 26, 1896 the Ames addition to Hanna was filed for record. This subdivision was 40 acres located along the railroad in the NE1/4NW1/4 of Section 22. It is assumed that the town was named after George Hanna, a large landowner in the township. The Hanna Post Office was established Oct. 24, 1893 and closed Oct. 15, 1896 and reopened Oct. 28, 1898 and closed for the final time on July 14, 1906.
Hatch - The Hatch Post Office was first established on June 13, 1871. It was located in the SW1/4 of Section 32 of Lotts Creek Township about one mile north of the present town of Whittemore H.P. Hatch was a well-known man in the county who came to Lotts Creek Township in 1865. The Hatch Post Office is shown on many early maps of Kossuth County. One map shows the proposed route of the railroad west of Algona, running about a mile north of the existing route and passing through Hatch. However, when the railroad was built it was built about a mile south of Hatch, which led to the demise of the Town of Hatch.
Hobart - (northwest side of the tracks) The plat of Hobart was filed for record by John Grove on July 9, 1894. The plat was composed of eight blocks and one out lot. The town was located in Section 5 of Cresco Township, on the north side of the railroad right of way. This is just north and west of the present Hobarton. The post office at Hobart was established on August 31, 1892 and was discontinued July 15, 1911. There were a few stores and residences built at the town site of Hobart but the town failed to grow and the town site was officially vacated in November of 1904.
Hobarton - (southeast side of the tracks) The village now called Hobarton is located in Section 4 of Cresco Township. It is directly across the road and to the south of the original town of Hobart. It is not known exactly what year or why the name changed from Hobart to Hobarton. Postal records show a post office at Hobart 1892-1911, and in Hobarton 1916-1924. In the 1920's & 30's Hobarton had a general store, barber shop and a post office all in one building. There was also a blacksmith shop, creamery, a large stockyard, a train depot and a grain elevator.
Irvington - (see also Irvington Station) The first town platted for record in Kossuth County was Irvington. The site was surveyed by Lewis H. Smith on September 21,1856 and was filed for record on September 27, 1856 by George Smith, L.L. Treat and Kendall Young who were investors from Webster City. The town was named after Washington Irving. The original town plat covered 240 acres and was located just north of the present town of Irvington Station. The town failed to grow as it had lost the battle to be named the county seat of Kossuth County. The Irvington post office was established May 21, 1857 and continued until October 7, 1878 when it was closed. The original town only survived about ten years and was eventually vacated.
Irvington Station which is known today as Irvington was platted when the Toledo and Western Railroad ran their railroad through the township in 1881. The Western Town Lot Company platted the site and recorded the plat on September 24, 1881. The Irvington post office was reopened on June 1, 1882 and was closed for the final time on December 3, 1965. The present town of Irvington Station (Irvington) is located just south of where the original Town of Irvington was located.
Johnson Settlement - Listed as a post office in Kossuth County in 1856, but the location not found.
Kossuth Center was an early post office named by William H. Ingham and was located for many years at his home in Section 4 of Plum Creek Township. The Kossuth Center Post Office was first established December 27, 1858 and was closed on January 14, 1863. It was reopened again on September 7, 1866 and closed for the final time on October 15, 1877. In 1883 another post office was opened in Section 4 of Plum Creek Township but it was given the name "Fine".
Lotts Creek - The town and township of Lotts Creek takes its name from the creek that passes through the township. The creek was named after Henry Lott, who murdered the old Indian Chief, Sidominadotah in the winter of 1853-1854 in Humboldt County. The town of Lotts Creek was located at the corner common to sections 2,3,10 and 11 of Lotts Creek Township. There were two general stores, one with a pharmacy, a hardware store, blacksmith shop, a creamery and several residences. The Lotts Creek post office was opened January 13, 1892 and was closed July 15, 1905. The Lotts Creek Immanuel Lutheran Church was organized in 1875 and the first church was built in 1882. The church and the congregation are still active, but have had a series of many hardships. The first church was destroyed by a tornado. The second church was built in 1884 and was struck by lightning destroying the steeple, which was rebuilt. A Lutheran school was built in 1896, then in 1898 the church and school were destroyed by a tornado. The church and school were rebuilt in 1899. The third school was built in 1930. The Lutheran school was a grade school teaching to the eighth grade. The school was closed in 1966 and the school building was sold and torn down in 1983. On October 10, 1990, the church was once again completely destroyed by fire. However, the congregation rebuilt the church once again in 1992.
Moore's Siding - Moore's Siding was located along the Northwestern railroad in the Northwest corner of Section 26 of Springfield Township. Moore's Siding is shown on a 1948 map of Kossuth County.
Morton's Siding - See Galbraith
Mott's Settlement is shown on some early maps of the State of Iowa, published by A.J. Johnson. It is shown along the Algona-Blue Earth stage route near the southern boundary of Township 98 North Range 28 West, which is now in Ramsey Township. From examination of the map it appears the settlement may have been located in section 34 or 35 of Ramsey Township.
Noebla was a pioneer post office located on the Hiram Norton farm located a half mile east and a half mile north of Burt, in the SW1/4 NW1/4 of Section 19 of Portland Township. The Norton's were one of the best known pioneer families in that area. The Noebla post office opened July 10, 1874 and was discontinued July 28, 1875.
Plum Creek was a station and elevator on the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, and was located in the NW1/4 NE1/4 of Section 30 of Plum Creek Township. The post office at was established December 6, 1902 and closed February 13, 1904. The Plum Creek station received its name from the stream running through the township that was named by A.L. Seeley and W.H. Ingham on account of the plum trees growing along the stream.
Rahm - The Rahm post office was the predecessor to the town of St Benedict. The post office was named in honor of Martin Rahm, an early settler in the township and a prominent farmer and businessman. The Rahm post office was first opened July 12, 1888 and was closed December 16, 1889. It was reopened again as the Rahm post office on April 12, 1892 and was closed for the final time on May 25, 1894. After the town of St. Benedict was plated in 1899, the post office was reestablished as the St. Benedict Post Office.
Ramsey - The first settler in the area of Ramsey was Norman Collar, homesteading on Section 24 of Ramsey Township in 1867. His home was built of sod and known as "The Sod Tavern". It was a half way house for the Algona-Blue Earth stage. The actual community was located near the center of Section 13, Ramsey Township. The roots of the town go back to 1877 when the Rev. J. Liesveld founded a Presbyterian Church at that location. The Ramsey post office, a school and a blacksmith shop were all established in 1877. The lots for the businesses and residences were sold piece meal and the town was never officially platted. However, in 1893 the county auditor ordered a plat made since the original owner of the land had failed to do so. Even so, the failed to grow and the final blow to Ramsey was when the railroad went by way of Germania (now Lakota). The post office was closed July 23, 1899 and eventually Ramsey faded away. Ramsey received its name in honor of Wayne Ramsey, President of the First National Bank in Madison, Wisconsin, who owned a large tract of land in the township.
Reynolds - (See Swea City)
Rich Point was never an incorporated town but was a station on the M & St L Railroad branch line, built between Hampton and Algona in the late 1800's. It was located in Section 9 of Irvington Township. There was an elevator at the station that was a loading zone for the area farmers. Later a sugar beet dump was put in. It was originally planned to continue the railroad from Algona to Estherville, but those plans never materialized. Rich Point was short lived as the railroad was not profitable and soon ceased operation. It is said that the station was named Rich Point because the territory from which the grain was delivered to the elevator was a rich, fertile, grain producing area.
St. Benedict - The roots of the town of St. Benedict go back to 1877 and the St. Benedict Catholic Church. A general store was later built near the church and a post office was opened in 1888 and was named Rahm. On July 3, 1899, after the location of the new railroad was made known, the town was platted. The St. Benedict post office was opened in 1899 and remained open until April 19, 1957. For many years St. Benedict was a thriving community with several businesses including a bank, hardware store, lumber yard, elevator, creamery, blacksmith shop and general store. The St. Benedict Catholic School was built in 1889. In 1899 a new Catholic school was built and it remained open until the end of the 1973-74 school year.
Seneca - The community of Seneca was located in the center of what is now Seneca Township. There was a large creamery (once considered the second largest in the state), two general stores, a post office, a consolidated high school, a Methodist and Lutheran Church and several residences. The post office was opened May 7, 1867 and was closed August 14, 1905. The consolidated school was built in 1917. All but two districts in the township joined in the consolidation and it was the first four year high school in the area. The school operated for several years until rural school reorganization came about in the 1950's. In 1953 Seneca Township joined with Fenton and Lone Rock Townships in forming a new school district to be known as the "Sentral School District".
Sexton - The town of Sexton is located along Highway18 in the northeast corner of Section one of Irvington Township. When the Milwaukee Railroad graded its road through the present location of Sexton in 1869 and started operating trains in 1870 the town began to grow. The town was platted and filed for record by Col. Spencer on December 6, 1889. At that time there were many settlers who had been drawn to the area to harvest the abundant wild hay growing in this section of Iowa. Col. Spencer donated land along the railroad and platted Sexton to provide services for his hay business. Prior to the village being platted and named, it was known as "Hay Town". The town thrived for many years with several businesses, a church and a dance hall/skating rink. By 1912, Sexton had a population of 112 and prospered through the 1920's before starting a decline. The post office was established August 20, 1888 and was closed on May 24, 1974. A number of conflicting versions have been given as to how the town received its name, but one which was most often mentioned is that some of the railway mechanic or official gave the name to Sexton.
Stevens - The town of Stevens was filed for record by A.K. Anderson in December of 1925. It was located along the Northwestern Railroad in Section 35 of Hebron Township and was once a thriving little town. It was a place where farm families could meet as they delivered grain and beets, bought groceries and supplies or just stopped for lunch or refreshments. St. Matthews Lutheran Church was moved to Stevens from its previous location two miles north in 1935. In 1946 the elevator failed and was destroyed in a New Years Eve fire. It was never rebuilt and this was the beginning of the decline of the town, with first one business and then another closing their doors. The general store was the last survivor of the business that had been in Stevens and closed in 1950. The church remained for several years thereafter. The idea of starting and naming this town in Section 35 of Hebron Township was apparently conceived by Judge Stevens in 1923. Stevens, Iowa history on IaGenWeb
Swea - Captain Jeanson, a Swedish emigrant, is the man who founded the Swedish colony of Swea in 1872. The name Swea is derived from the Swedish word "Svea", an affectionate term for Sweden. The Swea Post Office was established November 11, 1872. Swea was located in the Northwest corner of Section 10-99-30, four miles est and two miles north of the present Town of Swea City. A plat of the town was filed in September of 1890. Swea was a growing and prosperous community during the years of 1872 to 1892. When the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern Railroad laid their tracks across what is now Swea and Harrison Townships in 1892, the town of Swea was two miles away from the new railroad. Railroads were a lifeline to a town and were the difference between flourishing or going out of existence. Without the railroad, the town of Swea disappeared. Many of the businesses then moved to Reynolds, later known as Swea City. The post office at Swea was renamed Eagle Lake Post Office on October 25, 1893 and was closed on January 13, 1899.
Whitman - (See LuVerne) Whitman was platted and filed for record on February 1, 1881. It was platted along the Toledo and Northwestern Railroad and it is now a part of the town of LuVerne. It was located in what is now the northwestern part of the town of LuVerne. Whitman received its name in honor of an official of the Northwestern Railroad.
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