Early accounts of the settlement of the area that is now Climax Township refer to many Indian burial mounds and other earthworks. One account describes an “Old Fort” on a high knoll southwest of the Village of Climax and garden beds laid out in tracts, separated by trenches. All or most of these traces of earlier occupation were obliterated by the turn of the century. In the fall of 1826 Colonel John Mullet, a surveyor, became the first white visitor to the prairie. The following spring another surveying party headed by Robert Clark sectioned the prairie. The prairie was ideal for farming, and settlement began in the early 1830’s. One of the early settlers, Daniel Eldred, is credited with naming the area by stating “This caps the climax of everything I ever saw.” Eldred also served as the area’s first postmaster, beginning in 1836. Then known as Climax Prairie, the postal station was renamed Climax. The Village of Climax was incorporated in 1899.
Another of Climax Township’s early settlers was Hiram Moore, who invented a combine for the harvest of grain. Moore’s machine combined the functions of the reaper, for which Cyrus McCormick is credited, and the thresher. Granted his first patent in March of 1836, Moore successfully cut and threshed grain in the field north of the Village of Climax using the machine and a team of 20 horses. Moore’s machine was eclipsed by the reaper developed by McCormick and was eventually was destroyed by a fire caused by an overheated bearing.
Two men in two-wheeled sulkeys completed the first rural free delivery mail in the state on December 3, 1896, another landmark event in the history of the area. Three hundred farms received mail in the first delivery. Prior to the inauguration of rural free delivery, any enterprising individual could pick up rural families’ mail at the post office and require a fee upon delivery to the farm.