Matthew WINTON came very early, and settled near Seven-Mile. He built a one-story stone house where the depot is now, and so pitched his foundation that one could escape from St. Clair to Wayne Township by simply going through the house. It was built just on the line. He was an eccentric Irishman, and held the office of chief magistrate for his township for a number of years. Among other possessions of his was a "corn-cracker," just south of where the town is now. It was then the first and only mill of that vicinity, and answered the purpose of a grist-mill, but instead of grinding it simply cracked the grain. The citizens from the WITHROW settlements, tired of making the circuitous route by his house to get to the mill, cut a road through. It was shorter and better, but nevertheless displeased the Hibernian, who felled the trees across the highway to prevent people from passing. The citizens would assemble at night and remove them, and the same thing was repeated the next night, but as often were the trees and logs removed.
Among the early settlers was James WITHROW, from Nelson County, Kentucky. He came to the wilderness as early as 1800, and settled on Section 33. His wife was a Mrs. ROBINS, and he had five children, -Samuel, John, James, Nettie, and Susie; all are now dead. He built for himself a hewed-log house, which was then considered more than ordinarily fine. He was a lover of stock, and raisd horses and cattle in large numbers. He would sometimes have thirty of forty horses and a large herd of cows. Samuel, his son, lived to be eighty-four years old. John WITHROW, his brother, followed James in November of that same year. His wife was Miss Ann POTTENGER. Its is a large family now and a very prominent one. His children were James, Samuel P. (then two-and-a-half years old, and still living), John, Robert, James, and Dennis. He settled on Section 34, where James WITHROW now lives. The WITHROWS were originally from the Carolinas, and went to Kentucky, partly in love of adventure, it being n the days of Daniel Boone, when all was wild and the country full of Indians.
Captain Samuel POTTENGER came from Maryland to Kentucky, where he built a "fort" on POTTENGER Creek, in Nelson County, six miles from Bardstown. It was here that the WITHROWS and POTTENGERS met. Mrs. Ann WITHROW, whose maiden name was POTTENGER, had three brothers--Dennis, John and Robert - who came two years afterwards to Ohio, but subsequently settled in Preble County. There are now many of this family in Wayne Township. Robert GILKE and family, the PADDOCKS, the BUCHANANS, the CORNTHWAITES, were also early settlers. Edward CORNTHWAITE settled near Seven-Mile, and built a mill just below the town. His frame house still stands. The mill and house were in St.Clair Township.
The township was organized in 1805, and was takend from St.Clair. The population of the township in 1820 was 1,552; in 1830, was 1,513 and in 1840 was 1,562. The early settlers of the township were the ANDREWs, BRELSFORDs, BAIRDs, BURNSes, BROOKSes, CORNELIUSes, CRAIGs, CONARROes, CARTERs, DUFFIELDs, DAVISes, FOXEs, FORTs, GREENs, GRAFTs, HUTCHINSes, HAWKINSes, JONESes, KELLEYs, KIRKPATRICKs, MATTIXes, PHARES, POTTENGERs, PAGEs, ROBINSes, RHEAs, STUBBSes, SMITHs, SQUIERs, WILSONs, WEAVERs, WITHROWs, and others.
The following have been the justices of the peace; Charles SWEARINGEN, Nathan STUBBS, 1806; the same, 1809; Charles SWEARINGEN, Samuel HUNT, 1812; Charles SWEARINGEN, Nathan STUBBS, 1815; Charles SWEARINGEN, Samuel DAVIS, 1818; Charles SWEARINGEN, Henry BAKER, 1821; Samuel DAVIS, Henry BAKER, 1824; John K. WILSON, Samuel DAVIS, 1827; JohnK. WILSON, Samuel DAVIS, 1830; Anthony BURNS, John K. WILSON, 1832; Anthony BURNS, William J. HENRY, 1835; Henry ANDREWS, John WEAVER, 1841; James GEORGE, 1843; John L. RITLER, Amos HURSH, 1844.
The following have been the postmasters:
Jacksonburg ---William PHARES, June 29, 1818; John CRANE, May 26, 1825; John K. WILSON, March 3, 1828; John H. THOMAS, March 23, 1833; John SHERWOOD, October 15, 1851; James M. STOKES, November 27, 1854; John M. SHAEFFER, October 1, 1855; Andrew J. DINE, October 29, 1855; Benjamin MARGERIM, June 16, 1858; John S. HIGGINS, May 25, 1859; Benjamin MARGERIM, December 21, 1859; Obed SPENCER, January 7, 1861; Samuel H. MARTIN, October 4, 1861; William W. MILLER, January 31, 1861; Joseph S. BENNETT, July 3, 1863; Johnson I. PHARES, March 7, 1864; Simon SHAFFER, January 24, 1867; Henry KARR, March 20, 1871; William W. MILLER, April 29, 1872; John W. WOLVERTON, April 28, 1873; William B. THOMAS, March 4, 1879; Hiram GUDGEON, May 8, 1879. Discontinued June 29, 1881. Re-established July 19, 1881.
Seven-Mile.--John BOLYARD, May 11, 1838;Squire L. HITTELL, July 21, 1840; David JACOBY, April 13, 1842; George JACOBY, May 17, 1844; David JACOBY, January 28, 1846; Jonathan SORBER, March 27, 1848; Martin KOCK, December 28, 1848; Frederick B. LANDIS, April 16, 1850; Reuben M. WILDER, August 8, 1853; Thomas BREADEN, November 14, 1854; David M. WIEDER, April 24, 1855; James D. GARY, June 9, 1858; William A. LIGHTSINGER, January 11, 1870.
One railroad passes through a small portion of the township, the Cincinnati, Richmond, and Chicago; and there are two villages, Jacksonburg and Seven-Mile, the latter lying also partly in St. Clair. The township is named after General WAYNE, who marched pu to the north in 1794, through its western portion, traversing Sections 32, 29, 19, 17, 18, 7 and 6, then entering Preble County.
Benjamin VANCLEVE, the brother-in-law of John BAIRD, John CRAIG, and Henry WEAVER, came early and purchased the land in and about Jacksonburg. He settled where Mr. BRUENBEAHER now lives. He bought for the proprietors of the twon, CRAG, WEAVER and BAIRD, who laid the village out, February 19, 1816. John BAIRD took fifty acres, running up to the south-east coner of the square, on which corner he built the tavern which he conducted for full thirty years thereafter, and which made for him a fortune. The tavern is now owned by H. HAIRZMAN, who came in possession of the property some eighteen years ago. He has considerable increased the size, and made some imporvements in the property. BAIRD built the present bar-room portion of logs, and it has since been weatherboarded. Dr. MILLER built the west end projection. John BAIRD kept the first hotel and his brother-in-law, David RUNYAN, kept the second.
Henry WEAVER took the land, one hundred and twenty acres, on the south-east of the public square, and built the house now occupied by W.F. SHEARARD. John CRAIG took the land on the north side of the town, one hundred and sixty acres. The second house built in Jacksonburg was on the north-east corner, being now owned by William MILLER. William W. PHARES kept the first store in the town, in this house. He came to Butler County in 1805, and clerked for a while for John SUTHERLAND, of Hamilton. He became an honorary member of the Miami Commandery, at Lebanon, No. 22. He died January 16, 1875. Following PHARES in the store were John CRANE, Hiram POTTER, William EMERY, Jame GARY, and Jacob RUSH. Mr. MILLER bought this property in 1879. It was the first frame building in the town. The house that Mr. WEAVER bult on the south-east corner of the square was kept, first by Henry EARHART and his partner Captain John CRANE, then by SNYDER & WELLS, and then by John H. THOMAS. The building is still standing, but is used as a billiard-saloon.
The house on the north-west corner of the square was built still later, by George W. RODGERS, who came to the town with some money, but failed. The house was built of brick, in 1832, and in 1833 was used for a hotel by RUNNELLS, and afterward by William SHAFFER. It is now owned by the son of the latter, the lower part being kept as a store. George BANKERS, a German, kept hotel here when Martin VANBUREN was President, in 1836. William SHAFFER kept hotel after this, nine years. Matthias MILLER moved near te village in 1840. Henry S. EARHART, now living in Hamilton, was in business here nearly sixty years ago. He came with a stock of goods, furnished by John L.C. SCHENCK, from Warren County. Here he did a flourishing business for four years, then removing to Hamilton.
In 1824 the town was probably in the most thriving period of its exsistance. At that time, Mr. John THOMAS, POTTER & PHARES, David PATTON, and Isaac SOUTHER were keeping store, Hiram POTTER was packing pork, and there were also three tailors in the town. These and other enterprises were carried on, and in all a good business was done. The travel at that time was also good. The four and six-horse teams, with their tinkling bells and old-fashioned Pennsylvania wagons, would fill the town at night. The old BAIRD tavern could not accommodate the crowd unless they used the floor. The stables did not pretend to furnish the teams with stalls, and the teamsters tied their horses to their wagons. Those who remember those times state that frequently there were as any as fifty teams at a time putting up for the night in the town. As soon as the canals and railroads were built, of course this mode of traveling was abandoned.
Dr. J. B. OWSLEY is a practicing pysician, having an experience of some eighteen year in this locality. J.H. YAGER is a wagon-maker, as is also Mr. SHAFFER. Mrs. SHAFFER'S son deals in groceries. The council consists of six members: Benjamin MARGERIM, ISaac PETERMAN, James m> SHAFFER, Samuel MILLER, George W. SPEER, and W.B. ThOMAS. There has always been some manufacturing done in Jacksonburg. Chalres WELLS kept the first blacksmith's shop, and remained i the business probably thirty years. Mr. Benjain MARGERIM owns the lot on which the shop stands. Thomas HARTLEY had the next shop. This was on the plce where William SHAFFER & Sons carry on wagon making. These latter men have been in the business for a number of years, and have much to do.
John H. YAGER bought his lot and built his shops--blacksmith, paint and wood shops--in 1870. He manufactures wagons, buggies, his patent harrow, and rollers, and does custom work. He is also agent for the "Champion" harvester. His patent adjustable harrow is coming into general use, and also his patent section rollers.
The Union Church of Jacksonburg was built by John THOMAS and James CRAIG, in 1843. It was Methodist in point of doctrine with the builders, but free to other dominations. These noble men received some aid from outsiders, but the burden of the debt rested upon themselves. It is a building thirty five by forty feet, which cost about fifteen hundred dollars. In 1865 Jcaob EMRICK and his followers purchsed the CRAIG interest, and in 1876 the UNITEDBrethren (virtually the only congregation that now assembles there) purchased the THOMAS interest. The first pastor of the new Church was Frank KUMLER, who is still the minister to this flock of about sixty souls. Gilbert COX, Joseph KUMLER, and Henry J. KUMLER are and have been, the trustees of the Church. Gilbert COX is superintendent of a large Sabbath-school of this Church.
The Presbyterian Church of Jacksonburg was established in 1872. Theodore MARSTON and James M. STOKES were elders. The dEACONS were Martin BEVER and Samuel KEPLER. There were but sixteen members of the new church, but accessions have since been made to the number of fifty in all. The pulpit was supplied by the Rev. Messrs. SWIGGETT, KENDALL, and Caleb E. JONES. The building was erected during the Summer of 1879, at a cost of fiteen hundred dollars, and was dedicated in March, 1880, the Rev. Mr. COOPER, of Cincinnati, preaching the serman. The present elders are James STOKES, H.H. LONG, Calvin HUNTER, and W.W. MILLER. The deacons are Eli MARKS and Francis CORNTHWAIT. The society is in a flourishing condition, and has a good sabbath-school.
Shiloh Church was built very early. It was at first a log structure, and later was changed into a schoolhouse as well, with services occasionally. The Shiloh Church is near the famous camping grouns of the noted Killbuck, the Indian Chief, who kept his clan at the mouth of the stream which empties into Elk Creek here. At the burial grounds of this place, Dame Rumor states, the Indians once surprised a party while interring one of their number, and scalped one or two. Killbuck was about half-civilized, and when his warriors left refused to go with them. He afterward went to Indiana.
The grave yards of this township are numerous, there beings as yet no township cemetery. Among those whose names should be perpetuated in remembrance, and whose inscriptions are fast becoming obliterated in consequence of many years of exposure to the weather, are:
John THOMAS, who died April 4, 1856, age 56. Eleanor, his wife, died March 24, 1873; aged 75. Gilert COX, died November 22, --; aged 85. Ana COX, died October 28, 1862; aged 76. James CRAIG, died March 31, 1872; aged 71. John CRAIG, died December 4, 1840; aged 78. Craig was a Revolutionary soldier. James TODD, one of the first blacksmiths in Jacksonburg, died February 27, 1850; aged 61. John BAIRD, died September 3, 1855; aged 69. Nancy BAIRD, died december 3, 1862; age 74. Samuel STOKES, died October 11, 1860; aged 66.
The foregong were buried at the old yard of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Jacksonburg.
In the Shiloh burying-ground are:
George KELLEY, died March 25, 1830; aged 61. Elizabeth KELLEY, died October 16, 1850; aged 49. Isaac ALLEN, died August 1, 1849; aged 85. Elizabeth ALLEN, died December 4, 1848; aged 77. Isaac WOLVERTON, died February 25, 1859; aged 71. Catherine WOLVERTON, died August 30, 1849; aged 56. Joseph KELLEY, died July 9, 1857; aged 88. Elizabeth, his wife, died July 9, 1857; aged 75. John LESLIE, died May 5, 1855; aged 81. Rumor says that the last was the first white man married in Cincinnati.
The Old BRELSFORD grave-yard contains:
John BRELSFORD, died October 13, 1833; aged 42. Pierson BRELSFORD, died October 5, 1848; aged 65. William HUTCHINS, died March 18, 1822; aged 63. Catherine HUTCHINS, died August 2, 1823; aged 77. Chloe BATES, a young lady, who committed suicide, died February 17, 1833; aged 15.
Rickus HUFFMAN had one of the first still-houses in the township. He was required to go to Cincinnati on foot for his yeast, which he usually brought in a jug. On one of these trips home he was crossing the last hill, just in sight of his hoe, when, by accident, the jug fell and was broken. He, nothing daunted, turned on his heel once more, reached Cincnnati, and then returned to his own home, performing the whole journey and making the two trips in an incredibly short space of time. It is probably safe to say, from what old citizens state, that Wayne Township had at least one still-house for every section of land n the township.
John CORNTHWAIT also built a saw-mill and grist mill half a mile south of town in a very early day, perhaps 1820. Franklin, his son, came into possession of the property. His brothers John and Edward each reveived farms. Franklin sold this mill to kenry KARNS, who carried on the business extensively. He sold it out in 1849, to John K. FLICKENGER, who still owns it.
The town of Seven-Mile was not laid out until in the year 1841. At that time john Walter laid out Walnut and HIgh Streets, and one twelve foot alley. The first lot was sold to F.B. LANDIS in 1847. Half an acre was given to the United Brethren Society in 1844; and after 1851, additions were laid out by F.B. LANDIS, SURBER, BOBBENMEYER & SURBER and WEIDER.
In the Spring of 1838 there were but two houses in seven-Mile. They were the frame part of the old store tavern, part of which is now still standing, and is used as an ice house, and a blacksmith's shop that stood just opposite.
John BOLIARD at that time owned the store and shop. He bought the store of Stephen EMERICK, the first merchant of the town. John BOLIARD was the first balcksmith in the town. He sold the tavern to Henry JACOBY, and built the present brick in 1840. Henry JACOBY came early and bought a large tract of land from the POTTENGERS. His son David fell heir to the hotel. It is now owned by Adam HEILAND. John WALTER bought the blacksmith's shop in 1838, and added to it a wagon-shop, where Jacob's shop is now. Jacobs has owned this property since 1850, and the shop still does a good business. The property of Fred BERKE ws built in 1851 by Nathan HELLER. Henry JACOBY, a son in law of Peter HELWIG, it is supposed, built the old tavern sixty five or seventy years ago. He was a cabinet maker. A MR. KRAMER, another son in law, ran the new hotel a while.
The town of Seven-Mile was incorporated in the Spring of 1875. The officers of the first organization were W.E. KUMLER, mayor; John C. RICHARDSON, Clerk; E. SAMUELS, treasurer. The councilmen were David EDWARDS, W.F. GRANSFIELD, John WALTER, J.A. YAGER, and Dr. R.E. PRIOR.
The liquor traffic question has been the one principal absorbing thereme of the magnates, and some considerable good has been accomplished. The present executive officers are Dr. M.H. HAYNES, mayor; J.C. RICHARDSON, clerk; E. SAMUELS, treasurer.
An academy was established in 1858, and was a stock affair, William K. WALTER being president; Dr.E.C.WOOLEY, treasurer; D.M.WIEDER, secretary of the company. I.N. HUGHES, with an assistant or two, opened up that same year with an attendance of about sixty pupils, and for a couple of years the institution was very successful. Mr.R.B. HANBY, author of "Nellie Gray," succeeded Mr. HUGHES. B.STARR had the last school in 1866, when the building was bought by the school diestrict of Seven-Mile for $3,500. The building cost $7,000, and the four acres of ground bought of Jacob SPEER cost $600. The house contains four fooms, and is two stories high.
The Presbyterians of Seven-Mile organized their society in 1878. There were then about fifty members of this Church in the twon and vicinity. Burns WILSON, Dr.R.E.PRIOR, David SCOTT, John SMITH, Wilson B. SMITH, and Samuel FLICKINGER were the principal men wo secured the organization. The church building ws not erected until in 1881. They worshiped prior to this time i the German Reformed church. It is a handsome structure, thirty-six by fifty six feet, two stories high, having a basement of three rooms. The Church servcice is now held in this part. The first supply to the pulpit was the Rev. Mr. KENDALL. Following him were Mr.SWIGGETT and C.E.JONES. It is now vacated. The elders of the Church are Burns WILSON, Dr. PRIOR, J.D. SMITH, David SCOTT, John WILLIAMSON, and Samuel FLICKINGER.
The United Brethren Church was built in 1844. Jacob and Samuel FLICKINGER and John PRICE were the trustees. The building was of brick, one story, thirty by forty-five, and cost about $1,500. The first pastors were the Rev. Theophilus RORK and his assisstant. It was then a circuit. The membership of the Church at that time consisted of the FLICKINGERS, PRICES,FLENARD, ADAMSES, BREUBARGERS, and FELLERS. In 1847 an extensive revival took place, when the WALTERS, SHAFFERS, and LUCASES and others joined. The old church was taken down and a new erected in 1859. It was dedicated January 1, 1860, buy Bishop Edwards. It is thirty seven by sixty feet, one story high and twenty-two feet in the clear, and cost $5,000. The Rev. William LANTHERN was the first pastor, and served two years. The Rev. John WALTERS preached from 1865 to 1870, and the Rev. John KILBOURN is the present pastor. The membership is thirty.
Dr. Joseph HIPPART was the fist physician that settled in Seven-Mile. He came here in 1848, and died of the cholera in 1849. He was a brother of Dr. James HIPPART, of Richmond, Indiana. He was a young man of the regular school of practive. Following HIPPART came HALDERMAN, BERCHARD, John IRWIN, E.C. WOOLEY, D.H. KUMLER, William DAVIES, HAYNES, and PRIOR. Dr. KUMLER practiced here a number of years. He died in December, 1881. Dr. DAVIS was a United Brethren preacher also. He went to Iowa and became president of a college, dying in 1880. Dr. N.E. BROOMBAUGH, an eclectic physician, came in 1861. He went as lieutenant in the Eighty second Regiment, and was here after the war. Dr. PRIOR, a graduate of the Ohio Medical College, came in 1875. Dr. HAYNES came in 1859, and is here yet. He graduated in the Ohio Medical College, and also in the Miami Medical College, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The turnpike running through Seven-Mile, from Eaton to Hamilton, was built in 1833 and 1834. The pike was made wide enough for three teams to pass, and was sixty feet from one side of the road to the other. The building of it was unnecessarily expensive, so much so that it has always been a poor investment. The first officers were John WOODS, president, and David BARNETT, James BARNETT, ALbert HAYNES, Stephen INGERSOLL, and Andrew MCCLEARY, directors. It was not an unusual sight to see foty teams stopping in Seven-Mile over night at a time, so great was the travel.
A select school was established by Prof. B. STARR in 1870. He came to Seven-Mile four years previous to this time and took charge of the academy. He is a graduate of Middletown, Connecticut, and taught in the Wesleyan Female College, Cincinnati, and Hamilton, prior to his coming to this place. His school is for boys only.
The first hotel was built by Peter HELWIG, as early as 1810 or 1812. he was a son-in-law of Henry JACOBY, and was wealthy. He and JACOBY came from Pennsylvania. He also built a mill in St>Clair Township, near the line, but sold it to a man by the name of FLICKINGER. He was a carpenter, and sold out the hotel to his father-in-law. Henry JACOBY built the brick hotel just a few years before the pike was constructed. John BOLLINGARD, a Pennsylvania German, kept the first store in the town. It was a small affair, and of a general character. It was established before the first hotel was built, and after the coming of Henry JACOBY, the store was bought by him and considerable enlarged. He only remained a few years. Wilson CLARKE and William LIGHTSINGER each have good stores in place now.
The first school was taught by William GARRISON, a lame man. The school-house was half a mile east of Seven-Mile. The building stood on the farm now owned by Robert WITHROW, and was one that had been lived in a few years. The first building wsa very early. The second building was erected in 1830, and the third house was put up in 1878.
Bethel is a church building erected about the year 1852, by both the German Reformed and Lutheran societies. Jacob BARTCH, Nathan, George, and Henry JACOBY, JR. Charles WIEDER (Who donated the ground), Reuben WIEDER adn Jonathan SOERBER, were the leaders in the movement. Each society contributed its share towards the enterprise, and both together control the Church. The building is a one-story brick, and is sixty-two by forty feet. The Rev. John VOGT was the first pastor, and remained four or five years. He was succeeded by a man who stayed but a short time. The present pastor, the Rev. Joshua Meckling, has had the pastoral care twenty-five years. The society consisted first of over a hundred members. It is now quite small.
The Cotton Run Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in Seven-Mile in a very early day, but no house of worship save the cabins of the settlers existed previous to the year 1831, when the leading members too the matter in hand and built a church. Prominent among these few was Samuel P. WITHROW. He was not then a Church-member, but with a heart in the work shouldered the chief responsibility, and through his efforts maily the house of worship was built. He burned the brick, hired help, and did most of it himself. His father, John WITHROW, donated the lot of an acre of ground, on the corner of his farm, now where James WITHROW lives. Daniel SHORT and Reuben KERCHIVAL were also prominent in this movement. The Rev. Joshua HOLLAND was the first pastor. Samuel P. WITHROW soon after joined the Church, and was made leader of a class immediately, which position he has held ever since that time. He has also helped to build other churches. The Rev. Mr. BRECOUNT is the present pastor, and the church has a membership of seventy.