At the November lection, in 1861, the question of the adoption of township organization was submitted to a vote of Mason County, and carried in its favor, by a vote of 1,030 for, and 860 against.|
On the 4th of December, 1861, the County Court appointed B. H. Gatton, Lyman Lacy and Matthew Langston, Commissioners to divide the county into townships according to law, and make a report to the March term of court.
On the 3d day of March, 1862, the court met, received and adopted the report of the Commissioners, concluded its business on the 5th of March, and adjourned, never to meet again for the transaction of county business!
The commissioners divided the county into eleven townships, as follows: 1. Mason City; 2. Allen's Grove; 3. Salt Creek; 4. Pennsylvania; 5. Mason Plains; 6. Manitio; 7. Quiver; 8. Havana; 9. Crane Creek; 10. Bath; 11. Lynchburg.
The commissioners fixed the boundaries of these several townships, which we do not think it necessary to give, as they are the same as now, except the formation of Sherman out of Havana and Pennsylvania, and Kilbourne out of Bath and Crane Creek, and some slight changes in township lines, that have since been made.
On the 12th of May, 1862, the newly elected Board of Supervisors met and organized for business, assuming the official control of the affairs of the people of Mason County.
The new system seems to give general satisfaction, especially to those who aspire to be Supervisors, and other township officials. There can be no doubt that the system has added vastly to the county expenses, as may be seen by a comparison of the cost of county assessments under the old and the new order.
In 1841, the amount paid for the entire assessments of the property of Mason County, by Ira Patterson, was $24.50. The amount paid J. R. Teney, the last Assessor under the old system; for the year 1861, was $565, more than double the amount paid for any other year's assessment up to that time. That, however, was the last chance, which made it a "ground-hog case!" It may be that Patterson was looking ahead to the time when he might be Governor of some State, and Teney was not! Which makes a difference.
The total cost of county assessments in Mason County, for the twenty-one years under the old system, was only $3,948.81, and the average yearly expense, $188.04!
Under township organization, the amount paid for the first year's assessment in all the towns, was $195, a very favorable contrast with the cost of the year before. The business was a growing one, however, for it ran up gradually and rapidly, until the year 1871, when it reached the sum of $1,224.50. The amount paid out by the people of the county for the assessment of property, from the year 1862, to the year 1872, both inclusive, was $7,915.25, making an average yearly expense to the people of $719.57, for the first eleven years, under township organization. Since the year 1872, the law requires each township to pay it own Assessor, and we have not any information as to the cost of assessments in the several townships since that date. The presumption is that it has not been materially diminished.
The following is a list of the Supervisors that have been elected and served on the several townships, and also of the Justices of the Peace that are now in office.
The townships are given in the order of their creation as precincts or townships: Havana-1862, Alfred Biggs; 1863; Alfred Biggs; 1864. John D. Cory; 1865, Thomas A. Dixon: 1866, George A. Blanchard: 1867, George A. Blanchard; 1868, Robert S. Moore; 1869, John L. Mowder; 1870, James H. Hole; 1871, William Waugh; 1872, Judson R. Foster; 1873, Richard R. Simmons; 1874, Robert Schofield; 1875, James F. Kelsey; 1876, J. F. Kelsey; 1877, Marcellus Dearborn; 1878, J. F. Kelsey; 1879, J. F. Kelsey, present Justices of the Peace, Jacob Prettyman and A. D. Hopping. Police Magistrate of Havana, John S. Kirk.
Bath-1862, James H. Allen; 1863, J. H. Allen; 1864, B. H. Gatton; 1865, Charles S. Thompson; 1866, C. S. Thompson; 1867, John H. Schulte; 1868, B. H. Gatton; 1869, B. H. Gatton; 1870, B. G. Gatton; 1871, B. H. Gatton; 1872, B. H. Gatton; 1873, Gerard H. Havinghorst; 1874, Robert Pierson; 1875, Robert Pierson; 1876, Robert Pierson; 1877, John H. Dierker; 1878, J. H. Dierker, and 1879, J. H. Dierker. The only Justice of the Peace now in office in the township is Leland Carpenter, who has served continuously since 1854.
Salt Creek-1862, Selah Wheaden, Chairman; 1863, Selah Wheaden, Chairman; 1864, Jacob Benscoter; 1865, A. H. Fisher; 1866, Joseph A. Phelps; 1867, C. L. Montgomery; 1868, J. A. Phelps; 1869, C. L. Montgomery; 1870, J. S. Black; 1871, A. Thompson; 1872, A. Thompson; 1873, Aaron A. Blunt; 1874, A. A. Blunt; 1875, A. A. Blunt; 1876, Abner Thompson; 1877, H. C. Burnham; 1878, L. C. Agnew; 1879, H. C. Burnham. The Justices of the Peace now in office are H. C. Burnham and Joseph Silvey.
Lynchburg-1862, Isaac Sarf, elected and resigned, and Henry Abbott, appointed and served in his place; 1863, John J. Fletcher; 1864, J. J. Fletcher; 1865, Isaac Sarf; 1866, Isaac Sarf; 1867, Isaac Sarf; 1868, R. J. Phelps; 1869, William Ainsworth; 1870, William Ainsworth; 1871, William Ainsworth; 1872, William Ainsworth; 1873, J. H. Layman; 1874, William Ainsworth; 1875, William Ainsworth; 1876, William Ainsworth; 1877, William Ainsworth; 1878, J. H. Layman, and 1879, J. H. Layman. The only Justice of the Peace now in office is John J. Fletcher. Amos Smith was the first Justice elected in the precinct, in 1841, and he served until his death, in 1851.
Quiver-1862, Aaron Little; 1863, A. Little; 1864, A. Little; 1865, A. Little, Chairman; 1866, A. Little; 1867, A. Little; 1868, A. Little; 1869, A. Little; 1870, John McReynolds; 1871, A. Little; 1872, Pollard S. Anno; 1873, John McReynolds; 1874, James W. Kelly; 1875, J. W. Kelly; 1876, J. W. Kelly; 1877, J. W. Kelly; 1878, J. W. Kelly; 1879, J. W. Kelly. Philip Brown is the present Justice of the Peace, and John W. Downey is a Police Magistrate in Topeka.
Crane Creek-1862, James L. Hawks; 1863, James L. Hawks; 1864, J. L. Hawks; 1865, J. L. Hawks; 1866, Harvey O'Neal; 1867, J. H. Baker; 1868, H. O'Neal; 1869, J. L. Hawks; 1870, J. L. Hawks; 1871, C. L. Agnew; 1872, C. L. Agnew; 1873, N. R. Murdock; 1874, J. L. Hawks; 1875, J. L. Hawks; 1876, J. L. Hawks; 1877, J. L. Hawks; 1878, W. J. Estep; 1879, J. L. Hawks. The Justices of the Peace now in office are John Yardly and John T. Tomlin.
Allen's Grove-1862, James Legg; 1863, James Legg; 1864, Jonathan Corey; 1865, Isaac Reed; 1866, Isaac Reed; 1867, James Legg; 1869, James Legg; 1870, James Legg; 1871, William M. Duffey; 1872, William M. Duffey; 1873, W. M. Duffey; 1874, William Smith; 1875, William M. Duffey; 1876, E. W. Nelson; 1877, E. W. Nelson; 1878, E. W. Nelson; 1879, B. W. Taylor. Justices of the Peace, Albert McCallister and John M. Catheart; C. J. Dillon, Police Magistrate in San Jose.
Manito-1862, Matthew Langston; 1863, M. Langston; 1864, M. Langston; 1865, M. Langston; 1866, William M. Ganson; 1867, William M. Ganson; 1868, William M. Ganson; 1869, J. G. Spates; 1870, J. G. Spates; 1871, William Rodgers; 1872, M. W. Rodgers; 1873, M. W. Rodgers; 1874, H. F. Briggs; 1875, H. F. Briggs, Chairman; 1876 M. Langston; 1877, M. Langston; 1878, M. Langston; 1879, J. C. Perkins. The only Justice of the Peace now in office is William B. Robinson. Ruloff S. Aiken is Police Magistrate in Manito.
Mason City-1862, R. A. Hart; 1863, B. A. Rosebrough; 1864, John S. Wilbourn, Chairman; 1865, J. S. Wilbourn, Chairman; 1866, J. L. Hastings, resigned, and C. Hume appointed in his place. January 28, 1867; 1867, C. Hume; 1868, J. S. Baner; 1869, Israel Hibbard; 1870, D. E. Lesourd; 1871, D. E. Lesourd; 1872, William H. Mitchel; 1873, D. E. Lesourd; 1874, Angustus Green, Chairman; 1875, Patrick Norton; 1876, B. A. Rosebrough; 1877, B. A. Rosebrough; 1878, B. A. Rosebrough, Chairman; 1879, B. A. Rosebrough, Chairman. Justices of the Peace, John P. Hudson and Isreal Hibbaed. Joseph C. Johnson is the Police Magistrate for Mason City.
Forest City-which was named "Mason Plains" until 1874-1862, S. H. Ingersoll; 1863, S. H. Ingersoll; 1864, S. H. Ingersoll; 1865, S. H. Ingersoll; 1866, W. A. McHarry; 1867, S. H. Ingersoll; 1868, S. H. Ingersoll; 1869, D. C. White; 1870, D. C. White; 1871, S. H. Ingersoll; 1872, S. H. Ingersoll; 1873, S. H. Ingersoll; 1874, S. H. Ingersoll; 1875, S. H. Ingersoll; 1876, S. H. Ingersoll; 1877, S. H. Ingersoll-Mr. Ingersoll died November 30, 1877, and S. T. Walker was appointed to fill the vacancy-1878, S. T. Walker; 1879, S. T. Walkeer. The present Justices of the Peace are Thomas H. Gibson and Mayfield Gordon.
Pennsylvania-1862, John Mathers; 1863, D. V. Benscoter; 1864, D. V. Benscoter; 1865, D. V. Benscoter; 1866, D. L. Ray; 1867, J. H. Mathews; 1868, John W. Pugh; 1869, J. W. Pugh; 1870, J. W. Pugh, Chairman; 1871, John W. Pugh, Chairman; 1872, J. W. Pugh, Chairman; 1873, J. W. Pugh, Chairman; 1874, W. E. Dolcater; 1875, G. W. Benscoter; 1876, J. W. Pugh, 1877, John W. Pugh; Chairman; 1878, J. W. Pugh; 1879, J. W. Pugh. The present Justices of the Peace are James M. Harris and Andrew J. Cates.
Sherman was organized September 12, 1866, with the name of "Jackson Township," which was changed to Sherman on the 28th of January, 1867. Supervisors-1867, M. H. Lewis, Chairman; 1868, M. H. Lewis, Chairman; 1869, M. H. Lewis, Chairman; 1870, M. A. Kisler; 1871, Thomas Lucas; 1872, Thomas Lucas; 1873, T. Lucas; 1874, Alfred Athey; 1875, Alfred Athey; 1876, Alfred Athey; 1877, A. Athey; 1878, Alfred Athey; 1879, Alfred Athey. The only Justice of the Peace now in office is Isaac W. Depue.
Kilbourne, the youngest of the thirteen townships, was organized in 1873. Her first Supervisor was, in 1873, A. S. Blakely; 1874, A. S. Blakely; 1875, A. S. Blakely; 1876, A. S. Blakely; 1877, William Dwyer; 1878, James M. Hardin; 1879, J. M. Hardin. The Justices of the Peace now serving are J. S. Bingham and C. L. Newell.