Poweshiek County was named after Chief Poweshiek, the chief of the Fox Indians who lived on the Skunk River in the southwest corner of the county. Chief Poweshiek signed the treaty that ended the Black Hawk War and opened up Iowa for settlement. In 1848 Poweshiek County was legally organized. The county's first trading post, Montezuma, was designated the county seat.
One of the earliest settlers in Poweshiek County was Henry Snook who staked a squatter's claim in the spring of 1843, about 5 miles east of the future town of Brooklyn. In that same year, Richard Ogden settled near Forest Home about 7 miles from Montezuma. John J. Talbott, with his wife and thirteen children, came in April of 1846 and was the first to purchase land from the government.
Grinnell is the largest town in Poweshiek County. Montezuma is the county seat. Other towns are Brooklyn, Deep River, Malcom, Hartwick, Guernsey, Searsboro, Ewart, and Carnforth.
Bear Creek was a post office from 1849 – 1865 near the edge of Bear Creek township about one mile northeast of Brooklyn. Blue Point was a post office from 1860 – 1872, located in Washington township. Little is recorded about the town and all that remains are two cemeteries, Lower and Upper Blue Point Cemeteries. The Lower Blue Point cemetery was moved to Heritage Park at the Grinnell County Fairgrounds in 1990. Brownsville or Browntown was located sin miles south of Montezuma. The name of the post office was Sherman, lasting from 1864 – 1895. The main street had several dozen houses, two general stores, a combination post office and doctor’s office, a wagon maker’s shop. Two blacksmith’s shops, a tavern, and two churches. Chester Center was a post office from 1877 – 1903. A church and cemetery are all that remain. Clearfield was a post office from 1869 – 1872, located in the northern part of Madison township. Dresden was a town about one mile east of what is now Deep River. The name of the post office was Deep River and started about 1854. One of two stage coach lines ram through the town. There was a general store, wagon factory, blacksmith shop. Shoe shop. Drug store, harness shop, hotel, and livery stable. Dresden reached it’s peak in the early 1880’s when it had about 140 residents, two churches, a school, and the shops mentioned. The coming of the Northwest Railroad in 1884 caused its removal to the new town of Deep River. Stores and shops from Dresden were taken apart and rebuilt in Deep River. Forest Home was a town in Union township about seven miles from Montezuma. The post office was in use from 1858 – 1902. At one time, the community consisted of a population of 70 to 80 residents. It contained a post office, M.E. Church, school house, blacksmith shop, and general store. All that remains is the cemetery which is a quarter of a mile west of town. Greenville was a town laid out in 1849. It did not last long and the town of Brooklyn was platted several blocks east just a few years later. Brooklyn eventually grew to include the land where Greenville existed. Jacobs Switch, in Washington township had a post office from 1896 until about 1928. There was also a creamery there. Manatt was a post office for a short time in 1884 near the railway station of Carnforth. Mill Grove had a post office from 1856 – 1872. The village was in Sugar Creek township on the north bank of the North Skunk River. Sheridan Center had a post office from 1877 – 1883. It continued as Sheridan until 1902. There is still a store and a church and cemetery to the west about one half mile. Stillwell or Moore Station had a post office from 1892 – 1914. When it was laid out for a town, there was a lumber yard, two stores. One of which housed the post office, a school, a church, and a cemetery. Sugar Creek, in southwestern Grinnell township had a post office from 1849 – 1862 Tilton was located in Deep River township at the Poweshiek/Keokuk county line. The post office was there from1871 until the Depression when it was move to Gibson in Keokuk county. By 1940 little was left of the town. Tyro was a post office in Washington township from 1862 – 1873. Verona had a post office from 1870 – 1885. It was located in Lincoln township southeast of Guernsey. At one time, Verona had a population of 100. Westfield, formerly known as Lattimer’s Grove was located southwest of Grinnell. The post office address was Sugar Creek. When the railroad went through Grinnell, the town slowly disband. The church and cemetery are all that’s left.
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