Lakin's Grove, Iowa - A Hamilton County Settlement
Lakin's Grove - It was common for the early settlers to locate along a river where they could find water and timber. This village started on the banks of the Skunk River at NW Sec. 24-87-24 in 1854. It was named for the first settler, Luther Lakin. He was accompanied by Elisha Lakin, Oscar M. Lakin, and Dr. Cochran. All four men entered land and then returned back east to get their families.
Luther married and returned to start the first home in Lyon Township. He was accompanied this time by Elisha Lakin, B. A. Lakin, and E. P. McCowan, who settled in a grove of trees which became known as Lakin's Grove. Luther built a log house which took him three months. In the meantime his bride cooked in a "bark shanty" which was a wooden framework of twigs and branches covered with tree bark.
Today, a similar structure can be seen at the Indian Village at the Living History Farm in Clive, Iowa. The family slept in a covered wagon.
The post office was established on Sept. 15, 1857, when William B. Patrick was named postmaster. By 1870 the population had reached 188. This village served for a time as a stage stop for the line from Newton to Nevada to Skunk Grove.
On June 15, 1878, after some discussion as to how little mail business was generated, the post office was closed and moved to Callanan. It was suggested in the newspapers that the Callanan postmaster was a scoundrel and deliberately withheld mail from going to Lakin's Grove to make the count appear lower than it actually would have been.