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Appanoose County >> 1913 Index

Past and present of Appanoose County, Iowa: ... 
L. L. Taylor, editor.  Chicago : S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1913. 

Johns Township

Biographies submitted by Alice Wayne Daniels.

Page 404
Johns was organized in the early ‘50s and is an entire congressional township. The surface is quite level, mainly prairie and is probably the best farming land in the county. All the cereals adapted for production in this latitude grow here in profusion and prosperity is the result. Stock-raising is also engaged in to quite an extent. Fine homes and other farm buildings prevail.

Johns township is bounded on the west by Wayne county, on the north by Independence township, east by Bellair and Walnut townships, and south by Lincoln township. The land is cut into by Big and Little Walnut creeks and the south fork of the Chariton.

Tranquility was an ancient hamlet that had a store and postoffice at one time.

Page 405

was laid out and the plat was filed for record, November 21, 1879, by F. J. and Emeline Steel. The village lies on section 21. It is a station on the Missouri, Iowa & Nebraska Railroad.

There are no data at hand relating to the first settlements in this township. The first comers were here, however, in the ‘40s and found a fertile soil and other conditions that were satisfactory and conducive to a permanent stay. One of the pioneers of the township was Joel Elan, who came from Illinois with his wife and family in 1846. There were but three families in the township at the time. Jesse Day arrived from Davis county in the spring of 1850, and located on a farm of two hundred and forty acres in sections 14 and 24. He was one of the thirteen men who organized the township, seven of whom had the name of John attached to their family cognomen; hence, Johns township. Mr. Day took a great interest in the breeding of fine cattle and English draft horses.

Nathan M. Jones came with his parents, William and Abigail Jones, and others of the family, from Indiana in the spring of 1851, and settled on section 7. William Jones assisted in organizing the township. Nathan located on section 9 in 1856, and was elected sheriff that year. In the fall of 1857 his official duty required him to hang William Hinkle, who had been convicted of murder in the first degree, the victim being his wife. Mr. Jones had three sons, William J., born in 1856; Lafayette, born in 1860; and John L., born in 1867. All were born in this township.

William Jennings, of Kentucky, married Christina Shultz, of Pennsylvania. In the summer of 1854 they left their home in Ohio and coming to Appanoose county, settled in Johns township, two miles south of Plano.

John Duvall was born and reared in Pennsylvania. There he married Sarah Crawford in 1843, and in April, 1857, settled on a farm in Johns township, first living in a log cabin. He was a man highly esteemed by his neighbors.

David Peugh was a Virginian by birth. When ten years of age his parents moved to Indiana, from which commonwealth David immigrated to Iowa in the spring of 1854 and settled on a farm in this township, on section 15. The residence he found here was of log construction. He became largely interested in sheep-raising.

Samuel P. Wailes came to the county in 1854. He married Lucinda Wailes, daughter of Leonard Wailes, who was an early settler of the county and died in 1872. Samuel P. Wailes was the father of Dr. L. C. Wailes, a former well known physician of the county.

George N. Wailes located here in 1854, and in 1855 married Ellen Mitchell.

Henry Frank Shoemaker located in section 14, this township, in 1854 and died in 1878. Mr. Shoemaker was an excellent farmer and one of the best of citizens.

Page 406
Michael W. Thomas came to Appanoose county in the fall of 1851 with his father, Henry L. Thomas, and entered one thousand acres of land, part of which was in section 31. At the age of eighteen Michael married Malinda Pendergast, daughter of Samuel P. Pendergast, an early settler of the county.

Moses A. Ferren, a Pennsylvanian, located in this locality in 1853 and by thrift and good business judgment became owner of several hundred acres of land.

David Haines was a settler of 1856.

John Hudson, of North Carolina, is a “Forty-niner” of the county.

John A. Pierson located here in 1856. He served on the board of supervisors and in the lower house of the state legislature.

A. A. Adams came to the county with his father, Hugh Adams, in 1856, and in 1858 married Nancy A. Moreland, daughter of William Moreland, who located here in 1849. Mr. Adams became prominently known in the township and was a member of the board of supervisors.

John H. Close and his wife, Mary, came here in 1850 and built for themselves a new home in a new country. Mr. Close died in 1873.