Clay Iowa Early Residents

Amos S. Chase came here in 1848 attempting a permanent settlement, but due to the spring floods, he decided to relocate in Little Sioux Township. His claim was utilized by Seth “Spanky” Chase.

In 1853, Stephen A. Hester and family came from Jones County and settled on Hours-Shoe Lake.

Job Ross, and his father’s family on there way to Oregon stopped in Council Bluffs. They heard about the wonderful land in Harrison County, and came to see, decided to stay, and settled on Horse-Shoe Lake.

John Sharpnack and T. A. Dennis arrived in 1854 and in 1856 organized the township under Judge James Hardy’s administration.

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T. A. Dennis and Stephen Hester constructed a sawmill in section 27, where they did an extensive business, Mr. Dennis sawed immense quantities of railroad ties for the Missouri Pacific Railroad and was a brother in law of the noted railroad man John I. Blair, of New Jersey.

Thomas Duhig, George Burcham and Levi Motz settled in 1854. Levi Motz made the claim that he killed more wild turkeys tan any other man in Harrison County. His brother, Jerry Motz came to Clay township in 1865 and became a well to do farmer and respected citizen.

W. H. Bourne effected settlement in section 24in 1855.

Jacob Antabus settled in section 14 in 1855 and died for his country in the Civil War.

Thomas Whitcomp an Englishman and old railroad engineer came in 1856 and while here build a windmill with which to grind feed. Later he added steam power and ran a regular set of mill stones.

In 1856, came Mike Wallace to section 7. He started a wood yard and operated a sawmill during the Civil War. It was after this man that “Sandy Point” took its name, his hair being the color indicated. His brother, Tom came the same year, served and died in the war.

Timothy Duhig came in 1856 but moved on the California just prior to the war.

Isaac Tice located in the eastern part of the township in 1857 and remained there until his death.

Henry George died in the service of his county

Theodore Heiman settled here also.

Horatio Caywood moved from Magnolia Township to Clay but decided to go on the Arkansas where he died in 1888.

Enos Cole operated a sawmill in 1858.

Benjamin F. Alexander came to Harrison County in 1869 settling Clay Township.

Baker Butts and family came from Indiana in the spring of 1858.

Josiah Tuffley also came in 1858, remained ten years then moved and located it Taylor township.

John Durmon came in 1859 and stayed until his death.

Jacob Utzler purchased property in 1858 and remained until 1880 at which time he moved to Nebraska.

Jacop Killen and John Parsons arrived during the 60’s.

Samuel Vittitoe came just after the close of the Civil War. First locating Clay, then bought land in Taylor where he resided until 1881, then sold and returned to Clay.

After a short stay in Taylor Township Sylvester J. Linn settled on a farm in Clay. He was a millwright by trade and for short time worked at it.

Baker Butts and family came form Indiana in the spring of 1858.

Josiah Tuffley also came in 1858, remained ten years them moved and located in Taylor Township.
Peter Hauger came in 1871.

Jonas A. Johnson settled here in 1873, was engaged in farming and operated two sawmills.

Theodore Parshall came from Ohio during the war and located in section 25.

James Skelley, a railroad engineer turned farmer, came from Pennsylvania in 1862.

The Union Pacific Railroad Company operated at one time four portable sawmills, sawing ties for the construction of their road.

Other mill owners were Messrs. Motz, Caywood, Frederick, Morrill, Johnson, Powell, Cole and Whipple.

A ferry boat, operated by Mr. Ellis was started in 1855, plying the waters of the Missouri River opposite Clay township. A mail route was established from Cumming City, Nebraska to Magnolia and the mail was transferred over this ferry line.

About 1886 Jap Hester and William Samples undertook to operate a steam ferry boat from section 30, but their engine was too powerful for the size of their boat, the project was abandoned.


White, Judy Wallis. Harrison County Iowa Genealogy.

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