Knox Township

From the 1882 and 1907 Pottawattamie County Histories

Knox township in 1882 was considered the second most important township in Pottawattamie County, next only to that of Kane Township, because it contained the largest town in the county after the city of Council Bluffs. Not only that, but the main line of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad passed directly through it. It is bounded on the North by Shelby County, the south by Valley township, east by Layton Township, and west by Pleasant township, and constitutes a full congressional township of 36 sections. The Nishnabotna River wanders freely through the valley generally entitled, “Botna Valley,” and was the site of numerous early mills and settlements. The largest town within its borders eventually became known as Avoca.

Early township officers were: Henry Weis, Hugh Pritchard, and James Wilson, trustees; J. B. Grimson, clerk; Theodore Rohlfs, justice of the peace; Jos. Trobaugh and Rickliff Plahn, constables; and, L. C. Ward, assessor


  • Settlers: Washington Lewin (1851); William Henderson (1851); Joshua Headlee and his two sons, William and James, Joseph Headlee, Jackson Headlee, Joseph A. Bunnell (1852); Ira Baker and Thomas F. Davis (1853); Joseph Losh (1854); Josiah True, & Cyrus True (1879); Jonathan Hall, John Krutzinger, Henry Brown, J. A. Sinclair, Henry Peterson, J. Winland, John Wood, John Nelson, Joseph Crews, Buck Townsend
  • Death: George Headlee in 1854
  • Railroad: Rock Island
  • School: In a log cabin built by Joshua Headlee. First building 1858 constructed by Cyrus True
  • Teacher: R. M. Donahue
  • Marriage: George White and Mary Townsend
  • Birth: a son to Joseph Headlee and wife in 1853
  • Churches: Methodist Episcopal Church held by Rev. Moses Shinn;
    United Brethren Church with Rev. J. M. Dosch as first pastor of the society.
  • Mills: John Krutzinger (saw mill) on the Nishnabotna. Seth Hunt and Sons built the 2nd Mill (flouring) on the same river.
  • Road: First State road was from Iowa City to Council Bluffs and passed through Newtown. It was better known as the Ballard State Road.
  • Bridge: On the same road across the Botna and constructed by James A. Sinclair.
  • Post office: Newtown
  • Postmasters: John Wilson, Cyrus True, and James A. Sinclair
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