Egg Creek Township


The township is comprised of rolling prairie, but there is a high hill on the east called Buffalo Lodge. The history of the township goes back as far as 1806 when Alexander Henry camped out on the Grass Butte, now known as Buffalo Lodge, on August 4th. In his journal, he wrote, "Upon the whole I found this place the most delightful spot I recollect to have seen in any part of the meadow country." He said that he had liked the place so much that he set up his campsite at about noon.

Continuing, in his journal, he said, "On the left, the country is one level plain with many small lakes about which numerous herds of buffalo feed. On the right, the plain is also level for about three leagues, which it rises into many high sandy hills. Stunted willow and poplars grow in the valleys but the barren summits display only white sand. In this direction, I saw no buffalo, but numerous herds of cabbrie (antelope) supplied that deficiency. Southward stretched an extensive plain with many small lakes and buffalo moving in every direction. The view was only bounded by the small rising grounds we started from this morning."

Henry also said that the area was the hunting grounds of different Indian tribes. The only trail leading through the land was an Indian trail between Buffalo Lodge and Center Lake, one which was used by Indians during their trading trips. Henry referred to Buffalo Lodge as Grass Butte, while the Indians called it Big Medicine Lodge. It was the only easily recognizable landmark in the area.

The Great Northern Railroad came through in 1886, crossing the southeast corner of Egg Creek Township. The Granville-Sherwood branch was built in 1903, crossing the southwest corner.

The railroad brought more settlers. Among the first to file claims wre Fred W. Hines, George Grogan, F.W. Cowell, and Margretha Christenson, who built the first permanent house. Most of the township's early settlers had come from Iowa, although a few came from Missouri.

The first white child born in Egg Creek Township was Gladys M. Cooper, who was born on March 16, 1901 to Mr. and Mrs. H.D. Cooper.

The first schoolhouse was built in on the southeast corner of Section 3 in 1901, and its first teacher was Miss Lulu Loomis. At that time, the township was part of the Oak Valley School District, which was comprised of Egg Creek, Hendrickson, and Granville townships. The school director from Egg Creek was C.C. Wold. In 1903, a petition was granted that set Egg Creek apart as School District No. 35. The district officers elected on November 17, 1903 were W.H. Barkus, W.W. Peck, and T.H. Gard, directors; D.E. Covell, treasurer; and W.B. Loomis, clerk.

The school house doubled as a place of worship. Church services that were held in the summer of 1902 were officiated by the Reverend Olson. Sunday School was organized by Miss Ida Ward. Christian Scientists met at B.F. Moffat's home, and were led by Mrs. Emma Pierson.

The first mail service in the area was at Devils Lake. Later, a post office was established in Velva, then Granville. A mail route was set up in 1905, and the first mail carrier was Mr. House. Early ranchers in Egg Creek Township had to travel to Devils Lake for supplies.

The organization of Egg Creek Township was petitioned by T.H. Gard and others, and was granted by the county commision on January 5, 1904. The township was named for the creek by that name, which had itself been named by Miss Loomis for the egg-shaped pools in its course.

The first township election was held at Egg Creek School No. 1 on March 15, 1904. The meeting was called to order by C.C. Wolf. James A. Crain was elected chairman. Fred Hunt was judge of the election. W.H. Barkus and W.B. Loomis were clerks. J.A. Crain, D.E. Covell and W.W. Peck were elected supervisors. W.H. Barkus was elected assessor. George Taylor was elected constable, and B.F. Moffatt was elected justice of the peace. D.W. Potter was elected treasurer. Twenty votes were cast.

Around Buffalo Lodge was a large lake, which would shrink considerably during years of drought. The first settlers found the lakes full of water and with an abundance of fish. In 1907, this was laid out as Buffalo Lodge Park by Joshua Smayle, with boating and fishing being the chief recreational activities.

During years of rain, the high water in the sloughs made it difficult for people to travel from one place to another. Thus, the township has several bridges leading from one high ground to the next.

The first club formed in Egg Creek Township was the Wide Awake Club, which was followed by the Alfalfa Mead Club in the winter of 1915.

The first telephone line was installed in 1906, and the Egg Creek line was put in by local farmers in 1909, and homesteaders built several miles of grade roads, and planted groves of trees. A CCC dam was built in Buffalo Creek in 1935.

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