History of Waverly Township

Waverly township, with the exception of the northwestern part, lies on a gradual elevation which finally terminates in the hills. Two-thirds of this township is fine tillable land, the remainder good grazing land, being well supplied with, water. In the eastern part of the township there are two deep gulches or coulees about one mile apart and both running west. They must have contained very heavy timber years ago, judging from stumps still remaining, several feet in diameter. Wood contractors gobbled it, hauling it to the fort. What remained was taken by the settlers from all parts of the county.

In August, 1882, Samuel Denton, Josiah True and Robert Lemon, all from Avoca, Iowa, came here looking for a suitable location. Denton and True located on sec. 8. Robt. Lemon selected a claim on sec. 7, but afterwards settled near Andover. Sam Denton put up the walls of a sod shack on his claim, and J. True built a sod house 19×24, digging all the sod with a spade. The walls were three feet thick, and only those who have tried the business have a conception of the hard toil required.

Jay King, Frank and Lew True, Will Adams and Tom Lemon arrived here August 27, 1882, from Avoca, Iowa. They walked from Webster to Fort Sisseton, a distance of twenty-four miles, and there Capt. Vander Horck took them with a government wagon to Josiah True‘s. Will Adams located on sec. 5, Lew True on sec. 30, Jay King on sec. 23, in what is now Lowell township.

In September they all returned to Iowa, and in the latter part of October Jay King and J. True returned to remain all winter. They purchased an ox team at Webster and brought a load of lumber with them to cover True‘s sod house. Frank Ford in Pleasant Valley was their nearest neighbor. They were twelve miles from the fort, and spent the winter hunting and occasionally going to the fort, where the writer made their acquaintance, all being snow-hound during a blizzard, Nov. 12, 1882. They also made their own furniture and spent much time selecting claims for their relatives and friends whom they expected the next spring. In February, 1883, this township came in market. King and True filed on their claims and returned to Iowa to prepare for moving out here early in the spring.

In March S. A. King, father of Jay and Horace, chartered eighteen emigrant cars and a coach to carry their colony to Andover. The eighteen freight cars were filled with stock and emigrant movables. The coach contained thirty-six grown persons, twelve or fifteen children, besides a half dozen dead beats bound for the land of promise. They were six days coming from Avoca to Andover. The majority settled in Waverly and Lowell, while others settled all along from Britton to Andover.

S. A. King located on sw. ~ sec. 19. He built the first frame house in the township, also a good barn. He brought considerable stock with him and is making farming and stock breeding a success. He was appointed commissioner of Day county in 1884 and refused a nomination for the same office that fall. He in 1884 traded with his son Horace and settled in Lowell, where he now resides, where he has better water and stock advantages than formerly.

Mr. King was born in Orange County, Vermont, 1826; in, 1839 moved to Huron County, Ohio; and to Rockford, Illinois, in 1846. In 1853 moved to Tama County, Iowa, and later to Avoca. Has six children, Will and Lizzie are at home. Horace, the oldest son, lives in Hickman; the others live in Lowell township. Will was married to Miss Alma A. Moore, of Day county, July 5, 1886.

Daniel Greenhalgh and John Brunskill, from Avoca, Iowa, came here in the spring of ’83 and settled on sections 19 and 20; also secured claims on sections 29 and 30. In 1884 they fenced about 500 acres for pasture and brought in a drove of nearly one hundred horses, mostly brood mares. They built a large bank barn the same year; also brought with them an imported Clydesdale stallion, the first one in this part of the country, and a high grade Norman. Wm. Titsworth, of Avoca, Iowa, is interested with these gentlemen in their horse-raising business. The writer recently visited their ranch and was surprised to see the many fine large colts of various ages. They have, all told, about one hundred and ten mares and colts at present, and question if any other county in Dakota can show up such a ranch stocked with such choice animals.

Daniel Greenhalgh, from Manchester, England, has mined in California, and in 1877 went into stock business with his present partners in Wyoming. In ’83, as stated, located his home here and soon after married Miss Annie Chase. Was elected treasurer of our county last year.

Jno. Brunskill was born in Durham, England, and in 1859 came to America. Has been a miner in Colorado, New Mexico and Black Hills. In 1862 he was among the first to prospect in Montana. He has been in Alaska and South America, and since 1877 has been engaged in horse and cattle business in Wyoming, Iowa and here.

G. W. Chase and Chas. H. Woods, from Cherry Creek, New York, settled on sec. 18.
R. R. McNab, from New York, sec. 9;
Jno. Erickson, from Mercer County, Illinois, sec. 20, bought out Suttenger and Chase in 1885;
Chas. Nelson from Winona County, Minnesota, sec. 21;
Frank Parks, from Cherry Creek, New York, sec. 17;
Jno. Linder, from Stearns County, Minnesota, sec. 21;
Fred Messerschmidt, from Wisconsin, sec. 22;
James Ringer and his son George, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, settled on sections 9 and 17;
Wm. W. Reed, from Waseca County, Minnesota, sec. 10;
Henry P. Ellsworth, from Waseca County, Minnesota, sec. 15;
Wm. Wolven, from Big Rapids, Michigan, sec. 15;
Geo. M. Steele, from Avoca, Iowa, sec. 10;
Jno. and Andrew McCarron on sections 10 and 11;
David Freeman, from New Brunswick, sec. 3;
Frank Allen, from Michigan, see. 3;

Chas. Vander Horck, a son of Capt. Vander Horck, post trader at Ft. Sisseton, settled on section 4, and built one of the first frame houses in the township.

During the absence of Capt. Vander Horck on a trip to his native home in Germany, Charles had charge of the business at the fort. For some unknown reason he deliberately committed suicide last May, by shooting him self through the heart. He left a wife and three children to mourn his loss.

Arthur Wood, from Avoca, Iowa, sec. 9;
Frank Schimtz, from Ft. Sisseton, sec. 4.
H. G. Crawford, from New York, settled on sec. 18, and in 1885 sold out and went east.
Frank Crowell, from New York, sec. 7;
Miles B. Winslow, from Pope County, Minnesota, sec. 7;
Samuel Carr, from Avoca, Iowa, sec. 7:
John A. and Ed. Butterfield, from Granby, Canada, located on sections 31 and 32;
Miss Mary Harting, from Kansas, sec. 32;
Ernest and Nelson Hicks, from Minnesota, settled on sec. 33;
S. Longmore settled on sec. 31 in 1885; came here from Avoca, Iowa.

W. W. Osborn, from Buchanan, Michigan, settled on sec. 28 in 1884. In 1883 settled on sec. 7 in Hickman township, and the next year was elected county commissioner of his district, which office he held until Marshall county was organized after the division.

Ezroe Boyd, from Avoca, Iowa, sec. 29.
Jacob Wolf and his sister, from Keithsburg, Illinois, settled on sections 28 and 33.
Mr. Whitford, from Michigan, sec. 34;
Wm. Berdine, from Wilmot, Minnesota, sec. 22;
Wm. Chambers, originally from Ohio, sec. 27;
Alexander Chase, from Avoca, Iowa, sec. 27;
Evan Paynter, from Wisconsin, sec. 22; died in spring of ’86.

Samuel Denton now lives on sec. 5. He was for many years a railroad surveyor and was elected county surveyor of Day county in 1884, and in 1885 was elected county surveyor of this county. Mr. Denton served in the army, and is a genial, jolly, irrepressible joker.

H. E. Henry, on sec. 30, has recently started a nursery to supply the settlers with home-grown trees and shrubbery, etc. We regret that time did not permit us to learn more concerning this worthy enterprise.


Hickman, George; History of Marshall County, Dakota: Its Topography and Natural History, and Sketches of Pioneer Settlers, with the Names of Actual Settlers where They are From, and where They Live; Also the Military and Sisseton Reservations; J.W. Banbury, 1886.

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