SwedeBendIowa.com

                                                    1861-1870

Two events occured in this decade that directly affected Swede Bend:  The War Between the States (aka The Civil War or as some called it The War of Northern Aggresion) 1861-1865, curtailed both foreign and domestic movement to the Swede Bend Area.  The Swedish crop failures of 1867-1870 hastened emigration by many Swedes during the last years of this period, some came to Swede Bend.

In doing the analysis of the 1870 Census several things come to mind.  Although the Swede Bend population is increasing, both Swedes and others, some early settlers moved on.  A number of Swedes left Swede Bend
(most if not all from Hardin Township) for Crawford County.  In 1867 a Swedish Settlement was started in the Kiron area.  Cheaper (and more) land was available.  Some Swede Bend residents sold their holdings and
moved on.  A list of the people who went to Crawford County can be found on the "Kiron Kountry" website.  Google Kiron Kountry then go to the  Library Section.

A new township, Lost Grove, was established in Webster county immediately west of Dayton Township which was overwhelmingly populated by Swedes.  Based on the ages of their children, and their place of birth, it
appears most of them arrived in the late sixties.  They had a West Dayton post office.

The railroads will not arrive in Swede Bend until the early 1880s and there was no new urban development.  West Dayton, Homer, Hooks Point Ridgeport, Belleville and Tyson's Mill (Lehigh) were still the closest
things to civilization.  The Des Moines River will not be bridged in Hardin Township for another two years.

Compared to the 1860 census, the 1870 census indicates changes in the makeup of the area are taking place. Professional people (doctors and lawyers) have arrived.  Occupations and trades other than farming are beginning to appear (carpenters, blacksmiths, domestic servants, teachers, merchants and clerks, farm laborers, hired hands, draymen, a saloon keeper, and someone who actually listed his occupation as a speculator).  Farm laborors and domestic servants are living on the employers premises. More women are being listed as head of household along with their children.  Dwellings are now being rented by the occupants.  Single settlers are arriving and hiring out their labor.

The population increase at first glance indicates people are pouring into the area.  Well yes and no.  47.9% of the total population in Swede Bend are age 15 and younger.  The land area is not overpopulated
although some of the dwellings may be.

The reference to "family units" as used in the 1860 analysis is changed to "dwellings" in the 1870 and subsequent analyses. This change recognizes that  all dwellings are now just family units.

                                              Analysis

                       Boone County, enumerated August-September 1870

Dodge Twp.  The population more than doubled since 1860 from 557 to 1,228 (659 were 15 years of age and younger) living in 226 dwellings.  The Swedish population (defined as adults and children born in Sweden, plus children born in the U.S.) grew from 21 individuals to 171 now living in 31 dwellings.

Pilot Mound Twp. The population increased even more dramatically from 157 in 1860 to 747 (371 were 15 years of age and younger) living in 148 dwellings.  The 21 Swedes in 1860 now number 352 living in 71 dwellings versus the previously 5.  Grant Township immediately to the west of Pilot Mound Township has not yet been established.  I suspect the people living in this area were enumerated with Pilot Mound Township.  When Grant is established and the railroads come to the area, Boxholm will become the trading area.  This census lists the Pilot Mound Township postoffice as Perry, Dallas County.

                               Hamilton County, enumerated July-August 1870

Clear Lake Township.  The population increased from 76 to 131 people (64 were 15 years of age or younger) living in 24 dwellings.   No Swedes were enumerated as living in the township (as yet).  Interestingly, of the 55 person increase, 42 were from Norway (including their 21 children 15 years of age or younger plus 4 in one household born in the U.S., living in 6 dwellings, per the census sheets!! The childrens ages indicate that all but one family arrived during the latter part of the decade.  The census taker, one F.A. Clark did history no favors.  The handwriting leaves much to be desired, with the clearest entry being the
census takers name.  Stanhope will be the trading center in the future.

Marion Township.  This township also had a dramatic population increase from 194 to 885 (415 were 15 years of age or younger).  Hooks Point, established sometime between 1856 and 1863 (Post Office established in 1863), located north of present day Stratford was one of the few trading centers in the Swede Bend area.  There were 169 occupied dwellings in the township, with 404 Swedes occupying 80 of them.  The railroad will be laid south of Hooks Point which will then be dismanteled and moved, becoming Stratford.  F.A. Clark strikes again.

Webster Township, Hamilton County.  Population went from 253 in 1860 to 811 (382 children 15 years of age or younger).  While there were no Swedes in the township in 1860, there were now 11 living in one dwelling plus a hired hand on a non-Swede farm.  The town of Homer in the northwest corner of the township was laid out in 1852 with a post office established in 1854.  Homer became an important town in the early days, almost the county seat of Webster County before Hamilton County was formed.  Because of its location, Homer was also a trading center for Yell and Webster Townships in Webster County. For the third time, F.A. Clark scribbles his way through this township.

                                   Webster County, Enumerated July-August 1870

Dayton Township.  At this census, the Swedes and their U.S. born children, became the majority ethnic group in the township. 304 in 1860 now 580 out of a total of 975 people, (including 417 children 15 years of
age and younger). West Dayton, the name of the post office, has grown into a town with merchants, a physician, and a smithy.  As an aside, a Swede, one Martin Oleson listed as an "agricultural dealer" and a E.
Cadwell from Vermont, listed as s "speculator" shared a dwelling.  There was no person who was listed as a schoolteacher.  The newly established Lost grove township also used West Dayton as their post office and trading center.  This sensus taker, W.T. Somers, with very few exceptions, decided to simplify his task by only entering the last name and initials of everybody.  His penmanship while better than Mr. Clark would still not
stand up to Miss Sarsgard's standards in her 3rd. and 4th. grade Palmer Method penmanship classes at the Stratford grade school.

Hardin Township. The cradle of the beginnings of Swedish immigration to this area.  Of the 422 people enumerated (including 145 children 15 years of age or younger), 404 were Swedish born including their children born in the U.S. living in 80 dwellings out of the total of 88.  In 1860 there were 28 non-Swedes in the population.  In 1870 this had shrunk to 18.  The population, while growing was proportionally smaller than the other townships.  The map shows that about half the township is timber and river.  Today some of the timber land has receded due to timber usage but the bottom river land, while excellent for crops  was (and still is) iffy due to the frequent spring flooding of the river.  I wonder if Mr. Somers was spoken to as this township contains the first names as well as the last. (one of the last townships he enumerated).  The Hardin
Township Post Office has been changed from Mineral Ridge (Ridgeport), Boone County to Hooks Point, Hamilton County.  The township cannot be divided into east and west as Hooks Point is designated as the post office for the entire township.  Although the river is not as yet bridged, there was a crossing place up river from where the bridge will be placed known as Peterson's ford (per the Webster County Engineering office).

Lost Grove Township. A new township.  Lost Grove adjoins Dayton Township immediately to the west.  The 1870 census lists the population as 119 individuals.  This township is almost pure Swedish.  The census lists
119 individuals (52 children 15 years of age or younger.  110 are Swedish born with 17  U.S. born children.  There were 21 dwellings of which the Swedes occupied 19.  The ages and birthplace of the children
indicates that most of these were late comers to the U.S.  Their post office is West Dayton.  When the railroads arrive Harcourt will be the trading center.  Mr. Somers is back to his old habits and all inhabitants are identified only by last name and initials.

Webster Township, Webster County.  The township population increased from 155 to 520 (including 289 children aged 15 years of age or younger residing in 100 dwellings.  As in 1860, no Swedes (as yet) are found in the township.  Mr. Somers does provide the first names of the inhabitants.  Webster Township is a partial township with, as in Hardin and Yell Townships, the river and timberland traversing the township.  Thank you Mr. Somers for including the first names in the census.

Yell Township.  The population increase was only up from 204 to 349 (including 170 children 15 years of age or younger) in 1870.  There is still only one Swedish family which has increased to 4 people plus another
Swedish farm hand residing with a non-Swedish family.  The name of the post office was listed as Hesperian which was the name of the post office at Burnside.  Again, the river and timberland accounting for a large
portion of the township.  Mr. Somers again provided the first names of the yellites.

                                                   Summary

                 

 Total PopulationUnder 16DwellingsSwedishSwedish Units
BOONE COUNTY
Dodge Twp1,228(659)22617181
Pilot Mound Twp747(371)14835271
County Total1,975(1030)374523102
 
HAMILTON COUNTY
Clear Lake Twp131(64)2410
Marion Twp885(415)16940480
Webster Twp811(382)141121
County Total1,827(861)334417
 
WEBSTER COUNTY
Dayton Twp975(417)203580131
Hardin Twp422(145)8840484
Lost Grove Twp119(53)211101
Webster Twp520(289)10000
Yell Twp349(170)6251
County Total2,385(1,074)4741,099216
Swede Bend Total6,187(2,965)1,1822,039399
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