Nathan Brown -- Early Settler and Eponym of Brown Township

   Nathan Brown (1761-1842) is one of two Revolutionary War veterans buried in Linn County, Iowa. Nathan; his second wife, Tamar; and their three youngest children, Harriet, Amanda, and Horace, arrived in Linn County, Iowa Territory, May 17, 1839. They settled on 80 acres about a mile southwest of present-day Springville, in Brown Township. (The legal description of Nathan’s property is the southeast quarter of the west half of Section 32.) The township’s name, dating from 1841, commemorates Nathan Brown.
   When Nathan died Nov. 25, 1842, at age 81 (80?), he was buried in the rural Paralta Cemetery, about two miles south of Springville. His grave later was moved to the Springville Cemetery. . .     Read more

We Invite You to Join the Springville Area Historical Society

    We always welcome new members into our organization.  We would appreciate your support and involvement in support of our preservation mission.  SAHS annual membership categories are individual and couple.  Annual dues are $10 for an individual and $15 for a couple.  Life membership categories are individual and couple.  Life membership is $75 for an individual and $100 for a couple.  To join please contact SAHS Publicity Director Beverly Franks at

Do You Have Historic Photos, Documents, or Stories about Springville?

   Do you have historic Springville information or materials that you'd be willing to loan or donate to the historical society to document for posterity?  Our collection is an important capsule of our community's past that will be available to generations to come.
   We are interested in photographs, journals, books, newspapers and scrapbooks, historic artifacts of most any type.  We have also been recording oral history interviews with some of our seasoned citizens.  If you are interested in telling your story, through a filmed or audio-recorded interview session, or even though an emailed account - Please contact us via one of the methods listed on the About page.  Read more

The Story of the Butlers

   The name Butler has been entwined with Springville’s history since before the town began. In 1840, Col. Isaac Butler, 46; his second wife; and several children were the second family to arrive. (Nathan Brown’s was first, in 1839.)
     Isaac and Susan Browning Newman Butler came here from Wisconsin. With them were Susan’s son by her first marriage, Calvin Newman; their own four children; and some, possibly all, of Isaac’s five offspring from his first marriage, including Joseph Samuel Butler, 19. Three more daughters were born here.
    It was Col. Butler who named the fledgling pioneer settlement Springville, for its many natural springs. He was the first postmaster (in 1842 or 1843; sources differ) and first justice of the peace, as well as operating the first store in one room of his home.
    Thirteen years after arriving, and three years before the town was platted, Isaac, Susan and most of the children moved away in 1853. They settled in Tama County, where Isaac started the town of Butlerville, near present-day Montour.    Read more