Franklin County History

County Settlement Timeline

1849- Platting the county townships begins
1852- Settlement at Maynes Grove in SW Reeve Twsp. By John Mayne
1853- Lewis H. Morgan settled near the Iowa River in Morgan Twsp.
1854- Job Garner settled by Squaw Creek, Sec 28, Washington Twsp.
           Settlement at Tharp's Grove in Sec. 1, Marion Twsp. by William Tharp
           Settlement along Iowa River in Oakland Twsp by John Popejoy
           Maysville platted east of Maynes Grove in Reeve Twsp. by William May
1856- County seat founded and named Benjamin but later named Hampton
1857- Otisville platted
           Chapin platted in Richland and Clinton Twsp. by J.B. Grinnell
           Shobes Grove settlement on Richland, Sec 1, by John Shobe
1858- Settlement in Sec 30, Geneva Twsp.
1871- Geneva platted in September along Iowa Central Railroad
           Chapin Station depot built along Iowa Central Railroad
1872- Chapin Station platted on Sec 29, Ross Twsp.; then later became Chapin
1873- Depot built in Sec 32, Ingham Twsp.
1874- Sheffield platted by Iowa Central Railroad
1878- Faulkner platted by Iowa Central Railroad
1880- Hansell platted
           Settlement along proposed Chicago Great western Railroad in Sec 31, Marion
           Carleton platted and later named Popejoy
           Dows platted along Rock Island Railroad
1882- Latimer platted along Iowa Central Railroad in Sec 19, Marion
1885- Alexander platted around railroad station in Scott Twsp
1890- Burdette platted along railroad
1891- Coulter platted
1906- Bradford

Ghost Towns

Chapin, Burdette and Maysville are the three ghost towns of Franklin County.

Maysville lost the competition against Hampton for the Franklin County seat, due to its central location. In 1870, Maysville was missed by the Iowa Central Railroad and eventually, Geneva sprang up leaving Maysville a ghost town. All that is left of Maysville is the stone school, which is located five miles south of Hampton and the cemetery along US highway 65.

Burdette was a station on the Rock Island Railroad that traveled west from Iowa Falls to Popejoy, Dows and Belmond. Primarily, it was a shipping point. It was first known as Hazel Boddy's Switch, then Elevator's gap and finally as Burdette.

Chapin was platted by J.B. Grinnell, founder of Grinnell and Grinnell College in Iowa. It was first called Four Corners, Ross and Saratoga until 1859. When a new school was erected and the 500 pound bell was donated by his wife, the town was named Chapin for her maiden name. When a place was being selected for Grinnell's college, eight communities replied and Chapin was considered "too far west". Today, only a stone marks the location of the town and one half mile south is the Old Chapin Cemetery. The current Chapin actually started as Chapin Station.

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