Belknap Township

From the 1882 & 1907 Pottawattamie County Histories

Belknap township was established on September 6, 1872, and called such after General W. W. Belknap, an Iowa soldier who became President Grant’s Secretary of War, upon the death of Gen. John A. Rawlins.

It was carved out the township of Center, and it’s present limits are: Township 72, Range 40, Sections No. 1, 12, 13, 24, 25, & 36, and the southeast of the northeast quarter of Section 26, and the north part of 75, in Range 40.


  • Settlers : Orrin Belknap, who came from Ohio; G. A. Slocum, born in New York.
  • Marriage: March 1857 between Sylvadoy Slocum and Marilla Belknap.
  • Birth: Samuel George Slocum, son of G. A. Slocum on Nov 7, 1854
  • Deaths: Michael Beard, died 29 Aug 1854 in Center Twp.
  • Second death recorded: Mrs. Orrin Belknap in 1856
  • Schools: Taught by William Lyman, Sr., in the beginning of 1858
  • Home: First house in Big Grove, now Oakland, was built in 1856 by William Walker.
  • Bridge: Begun in Dec 1855 and finished in March 1856 across the Nishnabotna River
  • Murder: Committed by James Vest in October 1868. (He killed Edward M. Benton)
  • Newspaper: The Acorn , began in May 1881 by John C. McMannima & John G. Julian.
  • Churches: Big Grove Missionary Baptist Church of Jesus Christ, organized 11 Aug 1861; Congregational Church – 16 Sept 1881
  • Businesses: Potter & De Graff ; G. W. Cooper & Co., Estes & Hislop and Bates & Reed (Dry Goods & Groceries); Norton & Bryant (Hardware and Furniture); strong & Huff (Hardware & Implements); George H. Nash and E. G. Bailey (Agricultural Implements); L. B. Robinson & Co., (Drugs); A. M. Louie (Grocery); D. H. Morrison (Restaurant); Dennis McGath and Nathaniel Young (Hotels); W. S. Bedford (Jewelry); Mary Ellis and Mrs. Moses (Millinery); William Stotes, and James Storey (Harness Shop); Henry O’Neil (Clothier); and various others.
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