Government surveyors Andrew Leach and Samuel D. Woodworth located this township. Mr. Leach ran the township lines in November 1848 and May 1849 and Mr. Woodworth made the subdivisions in September 1849. The township remained unsettled until J. D. Spaulding and E. J. Emmons located there in June 1867. There was not a tree in of any kind in the township when the men arrived. Shortly after their arrival, they located on section 11, built a house with lumber hauled from Des Moines and began breaking the sod.
In the fall of 1867, George Carter and D. Hodges settled on section 29 and the following year petitioned for a road running east and west across the township. The first near neighbors to Spaulding and Emmons were J. V. Hoskinson and J. A. Johnson, coming in 1869. After them came Henry Toy and William C. Wood who settled near the center of the township. Alvin Bryan came from Monmouth, Illinois and built a house on the northeast corner of section 11. After his death, caused by an old wound received in the Civil War, the family moved to Creston where his son, James, became a well known resident.
Among other early settlers to follow were J. R. Powers, C. Sheridan Sr., G. A. Pierson, J. Hinchey, Charles Sundblaw, A. F. Harsh, J. M. Joseph, R. Scott, R. W. Whittlesey, John Brown, H. Bartlett, Edgar Hunt, William Danielson, William DeVoe, Timothy Downey, J. W. Gentle, Nicholas Geis, J. B. Hagen, Andrew Hosier, Jeremiah Hurley, w. Klingensmith, Henry Kloss, T. G. Mulligan, Joshua Pierce, Joe Pischk, W. H. Ross, Robert Scott, B. Sheridan Sr., David Coffeen, M. Jadelman, Victor Hall, M. D. Hayes, E. Lewis, W. A. McGrew, A. R. Peterson, B. Sheridan Jr., James Sheridan, A. Shushank, R. Ward, James Walsh, R. S. Williams, C. A. Wood, J. S. Vandoren, R. L. Thompson, Dudley Walsh.
On 06 September 1870, the township was organized from the north half of Douglas Township and named for J. D. Spaulding. At the organization there were eleven persons, the entire voting population of the township, barely enough to fill the offices.
The first railroad station north of Creston on the Creston and Cumberland branch of the C. B. and Q. was a part of the farm of J. D. Spaulding when the railroad was built in 1878. The town, Spaulding Station, plat had eightly-six lots laid out by the railroad engineers. The post office was established in 1879 and served the township until 1933 as well as a general store, lumber yard, telegraph, telephone along with the railroad, a church and school. Information from 1908 Union County History by George A Ide.
Spaulding Township has two cemeteries; Prairie Lawn Cemetery and Spaulding Center Cemetery.