Grove Township

From the 1882 and 1907 Pottawattamie County Histories

Grove township was included in the territory of Macedonia township until September 15, 1858, on which date, by authority of the county judge, the territory consisting of congressional township 74 north, of range 30 west, was declared a civil township and election precinct and ordered that officials be elected. The following officers were chosen: George B. Otto, clerk; E. W. Knapp, justice of the peace; Cornelius Hurley, constable; David Watson, assessor; Thomas Conner, A. J. Field and S. M. B. Wheeler, trustees.

In 1907, the township officers were: L. A. King, J. A. Mitchell and A. C. Bissbe, trustees; Thomas Morgan, clerk; Harvey Bolton and E. V. Winans, justices of the peace; and John A. Knox, assessor.

The present boundaries of the township are Center on the north, Waveland on the east, Montgomery on the south, and Macedonia on the west. It is serviced by Jordan Creek and its tributary, Spring Creek; Farm Creek; and Graybill, or Second Creek, all of which supported the usual mills of the early days. It is named in honor of S. M. B. Wheeler. Mr. Wheeler settled in Section 16 of the township and before long was joined by Mr. Orman, George Graybill, Jacob Anderson, and later, A. J. Field, J. R. Traver and Thomas Connor. These early pioneers were all among the first settlers of the community known as “Wheeler’s Grove.”

Wheeler’s Grove became a favorite stopping place for many Mormon families who briefly paused in the township, raised a crop or two, and then followed the march of their leader to Salt Lake City, Utah.

The most devastating event in the history of Grove Township occurred on 9 June 1880, when a deadly cyclone swept through the prairie killing the family of Mr. Osler, and claiming the lives of Mrs. Paist and her son.


  • Settlers: 1848: James Watson; George Owen; George Taylor; John Jordan; Jacob Anderson. 1849: John Winegar and David Bagley. 1851: David Stedman and S. M. B. Wheeler
  • Mills: was built and owned by John Smith in 1853, and located on
    Farm Creek. This was later washed away and in 1856,C. Hurley, Sr. built another one. This too disappeared with the spring melts and in 1858, J. S. Watson located his mill about two miles farther down stream.
    In 1859, S. M. B. Wheeler built a mill on Jordan Creek. Orman Osler built a grist mill but it too was destroyed.
  • Road: The old Mormon Trail
  • Bridge: At the Jordan Creek on the old Mormon trail
  • Schools: 1850 — Dr. Williams was hired to teach a school in a room of Jacob Anderson’s home. The second term was taught at the home of S. M. B. Wheeler by John Day. 1854 — taught by Mr. D. T. Kelly in a log cabin east of Wheeler’s home. First building erected in the township for this purpose was built in 1855.
  • Churches: Latter Day Saints established by E. W. Briggs and W. W. Blair; M. P. Church in 1865 at Wheeler’s Grove; C. P. Church of Pleasant Grove organized 1 July 1876 by Rev. J. W. Carter; Christian Church was organized by Rev. Cephas Ellis and Rev. Samuel Johnson and by 1881 they constructed a frame building.
  • Birth: 30 Sept 1863, the wife of Isaac Denton gave birth to three sons which died shortly after, and then in 1864, Mrs. Denton gave birth to twins. They also died.
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