In 1867 northern Crawford County, Iowa was frontier land. Property titles were vested with the railroad land companies, veterans of United States military campaigns, political insiders, and futurists who had the vision to see the possibilities and opportunities this land provided. One of these visionaries was a Baptist minister named Rev. Denison who as on-site agent for a group of Rhode Island investors called the Providence Western Land Company had the foresight to aggregate land holdings in blocks. One of these blocks was several sections of land between the Boyer and Otter Creek valleys.