The villages of the township are Middleton, Amanda, Excello, Lesourdsville, Monrow, and Blue Ball. The beginning of setttlement was on the Little Prairie, a natural meadow that extended on both sides of the river, more than a mile in length and half a mile in breadth, the nothern end coming up to where Middletown now is. The rest of the township was covered with great forests. Symmes's northern line is in the south part of this township. He was finally allowed as much territory as he had paid for, and the dividing line is two miles and a quarter north of the south line of the township, and is a little south of Dick's Creek. When Daniel DOTY moved in this neighborhood there was a block-house inclosed by pickets, and a few cabins on the south side of the prairie, near Dick's Creek, a little west of where the crossroads now are. His neighbors were Mr. BRADY, Mr. CARSON, John REED, and John HENRY.
Thomas IRWIN entered and settled, in the spring of 1795, on the farm which he continued to own and on which he died in 1847. The lands comprising the greater part of the farms now owned by Abraham SIMPSON and Daniel MCCLELLAN, and all the farm belonging to the heirs of Robert CARR, were entered by David LOGAN about 1795, and were settled and improved by him. These lands lie south and adjoining the IRWIN farm David LOGAN sold to Andrew CARR (father of Robert CARR alluded to above) in 1806. What is now called the DENISE farm and also the MARSH farm were entered and settled by Joseph WILLIAMSON in 1796.
John FISHER, father of Robert FISHER, who died in Middletown about fifteen years ago, at a very great age, entered and settled that part of the SIMPSON farm which lies west of the IRWIN farm in 1806. The farm recently sold by Abraham SUTPHIN to George W. MARSH, immediately west of what was the WILLIAMSON tract, was entered and settled by Alexander MCCONNELL in 1796. The half section immediately west of the MCCONNELL tract was entered and settled by Moses ROTTER.
James MCCLELLAN entered and settled the half section south of the MCCONNELL and WILLIAMSON tracts in 1807 or 1808. Several of his descendants now own and live on these lands, which they have rescued from an apparent worthless swamp, by a system of extensive draining, and brought to the highest degree of fertility. Thomas VAIL built a log-house at what is now the Blue Ball, in 1821, and kept entertainment. He sold to Jonathan EMMONS in 1823, who erected a sign in front of his house, which was simply a round ball painted blue. The place derived its name from this circumstance. The blue ball has been conspicuously displayed continuously ever since.
The earliest church in this township was the Little Prairie Church, of the Baptist denomination. Its site is now unknown. Local antiquaries, however, believe it was either near Mr. James BAIRD'S place, north of Middletown, or at the lower end of the prairie, not far from Amanda. There is a discrepancy in the date of the admissionm of this church. Judge DUNLAVY makes it 1800, and the minutes of the Old School Baptist Association places it in 1801. In the latter year, according to the minutes, it had eleven members. The messenger was Philip SUTTON. In 1805 difficulties existed between this church and Elk Creek Church, now at Trenton, which the association could not settle. This appears to be the last notice of its existence. The present Baptist Church of Middletown was organized three years later, and has no knowledge of any earlier organization.
David HEATON was born in Morris County, New Jersey, December 15, 1742, and married Phebe JOHNSON, of New Jersey, in 1776 and in 1778 removed to Martinsburg, Berkeley County, Virginia, now West Virginia where James HEATON was born, January 15, 1779. David HEATON, with his family removed about the year 1783 to Greene County, PA, where his son James HEATON received a common school education and studied surveying. He was married January 22, 1801, to Mary MORRELL, born December 11, 1782, daughter of Jacob MORRELL of Chatham, New Jersey, and sister of Dr. Calvin MORRELL of Shaker notoriety near Lebanon, Ohio. Hannah W. HEATON, daughter of James and Mary HEATON, was born in Greene County, PA December 14, 1801 and afterwards married Rev. Henry BAKER in 1821 and resided for many years in Lebanon, Ohio where she died August 11, 1839.
In the fall of 1802 David HEATON and James HEATON with their families removed to Butler County, Ohio traveling in what was known as the "Family Barge", a flat-bottomed boat down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh, Pa, landing at Cincinnati, Ohio--quite a perilous trip in those days--and soon after settled in Butler County, near Middletown, where Mr. David HEATON purchased an eighty acre farm, partly improved where he resided until his death, which occured on the 11th of September, 1839, aged ninety-six years and nine months--a ripe old age.
James HEATON with his family also settled temporarily below Middletown, near Dick's Creek, where for a year or two he taught school, then removing to Hamilton, and entering the service of John REILY, clerk of the Circuit Court. Here he remained for several years. About the year 1808 or 1809 he was elected a justice of the peace, and in May 1811 was appointed to succeed John REILY as recorder of the county of Butler; he also at the same time held the office of county surveyor.
In the War of 1812 he entered the army under Gen. William Henry HARRISON, but under the immediate command of Brigadier-general John WINGATE. While in the army he was on the 8th of April, 1813, appointed by General Wingate brigade quarter-master. The army under command of General WINGATE was stationed at Fort Saint Mary's, Ohio; and on the 13th of May, 1813, a garrison order was issued, by command of the general, creating a court-martial for the trial of such prisoners as might be brought before it. The court consisted of Lieutenat Thomas KIRKPATRICK, president; Lieutenant James SHERRARD and Ensign Lewis MOORE, members; and Major James HEATON, judge advocate. On the back of this order is found, indorsed by the judge advocate, "On the trial held on Thomas SPENCER for mutiny, etc. He got clear, thank God!"
On the 24th of August 1814, he was appointed brigade quarter-master, by
James MILLS, brigadier-general; and again on the 25th of October, 1816
was appointed to the same office by Daniel MILLIKIN, brigadier-general.
Indorsed on the back of this appointment is his resignation, as follows:
"To Daniel MILLIKIN, brigadier-general, Third Brigade, First Division, Ohio Miltia:
"Sir,--Please accept this as my resignation of the office of brigade quarter-master to said brigade. Reason 1st. Because it is out of my power to procure the necessay equipage appertaining to said office, as pointed out by teh adjutant-general. Reason 2. Because I can not see the likeness, similitude, nationaltiy, or appropriate relevancy that cockade has to our national flag. Which reasons with me are weighty. Knowing there are gentlemen with whom my first reason would be no inconvenience and who have no scruples as to the second, the general will not hesitate to accept my resignation." "May 16, 1818
"Accepted January 6, 1819"
"Daniel MILLIKIN, Brigadier-general."
He was also appointed September 4, 1819 by Ethan A. BROWN, governor of Ohio, paymaster of the First Regiment in the Third Brigade and First Division of Ohio militia. He was also a member of the Ohio State Senate at the time the seat of government was located at Chillicothe, and for several years after it was removed to Columbus. He was also one of the presidential electors on the Henry CLAY ticket in 1824, and was appointed by the electors to convey the result to Washington City, D.C., which was done on horseback.
James HEATON with his family in 1823 removed from Hamilton to the farm on which his father, David HEATON, resided near Middletown, to take care of him and his wife in their old age, where he resided until his death, March 3, 1841, in the sixty-second year of his age. During all the course fo his active life, and in all the different positions he was placed and in the fulfillment of all the duties of the various offices which he held, there were many to commend and none to censure.
James and Mary HEATON had born to them thirteen children, but two of whom are living. Charles M. HEATON was born at Hamilton, Butler County, Ohio March 7, 1805 and is now residing in Washington City, D.C. James HEATON Jr., was born at the same place, November 20, 1808 and was lately residing in Crawfordsville, Indiana. He died on the 5th of July 1882. David HEATON was born at the same place March 10, 1823, now deceased entered into public life more conspicuously than either of his brothers. He received an academical education, read law, and ws admitted to the bar. In 1855 he was elected to the Ohio Senate; in 1857 removed to Minnesota and was chosen to the Senate of that state; was twice re-elected; was also postmaster at Minneapolis. In 1863 he removed to Newport, North Carolina, where he held a position as special agent to the United States Treasury Department. In 1867 he was elected a delegate to the State Constitutional Convention and in 1868 was chosen a representative from North Carolina to the Fortieth Congress, and served on the Committee on the Census; was re-elected to the Forty-first Congress , and served on the Committee of Elections, and was chairman of that on Coinage, Weights, and Measures. He was renominated fro the Forty-second Congress without opposition but a few years before his death, which occurred in Washington, June 25, 1870. His last words were, "God bless the colored people!"
John REED, teh grandfather of William REED and the ancestor of the REED family in this neighborhood, cut his way through from Pennsylvania first to Kentucky, in 1793, settling near Crab Orchard. His wife's brother, whose name was BROTHERTON, was killed in the Tories in the Revolutionary War. He remained there but a year or two and then, with his wife adn family struck out for Cincinnati. This was in 1797, and from here he moved up the Miami, and here, three miles below Middletown, at the mouth of Dick's Creek. The children were David, Robert, William, and John, Jane, Christian, Margaret, and Martha.
David REED the father of William REED, was married in Pennsylvania to Miss Ruth CARRICKS, September 30, 1766, while yet in Pennsylvania. Her people were from Ireland. Their son John, their youngest child, was born in 1794, when they went to Kentucky on horseback. They brought some fine horses with them to Ohio, but four of these were stolen one night by the Indians. David, Robert, and their father followed them two days, but failing to catch the thieves, Robert and the father returned home and David continued the search singly for three days longer, and ws gone five days and nights. Upon reaching the Miami River at night, on his return, having no skiff, he took off his clothing, lashed his gun, powder-born, and clothes off his back and swam across the stream. He was not fond of the noble red man, and, it was said, would occasionally shoot them down without much provacation. He died in 1812, and left five sons and four daughters: John, Thomas, William, Robert, David, Margaret, Jane, Elizabeth and Ruth.
John, born 1794, was soldier of the War of 1812. He was a stock raiser, giving his attention to thoroughbred animals only. Thsi was so of all his animals horses and cattle, sheep, fowls, hogs, and everything even his dogs. He raised the best breeds to be found in America and in this way did much to elevate stock raising in this country. Thomas C. Reed, the next son, was born September 3, 1797, and was reputed to be the first male white child born in the county.
This idea was erroneous, however; he was the earliest born in Lemon Township. He was a carpenter, and was also a fine raiser of thoroughbred stock. He married Polly DICKEY, and died in 1876. Robert REED was born in 1804. He was also a lover of thoroughbred stock, and took a herd of short-horns with him to Illinois. He afterwards moved to Kiokuk, Iowa. William REED was born November 5, 1802. David B., the youngest, born June 12, 1812, is a farmer in Sangamon County, Illinois. Elizabeth, now living near William REED, was born May 27, 1806. She was never married. Jane, Margaret, and Mary are dead. Three out of the five of these brothers were ruling elders in the Church to which they belonged.
William REED was born November 5, 1802, on the REED farm, in Lemon Township. He was married to Miss Margaret SIGERSON, March 28, 1820. She was a daughter of Captain Robert SIGERSON. He commenced housekeeping with the usual outfit, a spinning-wheel, a few split-bottomed chairs, a large chest, and wooden mould-board plow, but still they were happy. He subsuquently purchased the farm of his uncle Robert REED, in full view of where he was born, and paid about forty dollars per acre for it. He raised a family of seven sons and three daughters: Mary, David Wallace, Robert S., Martha E., William, Nancy M., Thomas E., Jane E., and Alexander C. Mary died of typhoid fever when eighteen years of age. Robert S. was in Sherman's army, and was taken prisoner and starved in the Andersonville prison, from the effects of which he died July 27, 1865. Three years ago William REED and wife celebrated their golden wedding. This was March 29, 1879. The children living were all present, except Robert S., and family of Collinsville, Illinois, and Mrs. Bradshaw of Mattoon, Illinois.
Mr. REED is one of the oldest men living who were born in th county, and the venerable couple have undergone many hardships not dreamed of by the present generation and there are few women today who can show finer specimens of linen, blankets, and coverlets, spun and woven by her own hands, than Mrs. William REED can do. Mr. and Mrs. REED have been consistent members of the Associate Reformed Church near Monroe. Mr. REED formerly had a distillery, but being satisfied of the evil of intemperance, abandoned the business, and became an organizer of the temperance movement. He also quit the use of tobacco, and has lived to see his six sons grown to manhood free from the vices, and to fill places of honor and respectabilty.
Mrs. REED'S grandfather was John WALLACE, who was born in 1782. He left his birthplace in Virginia in 1788 and went to Kentucky, where he remained until 1800, when he came to Ohio, and settled two and half miles south-east of Monroe, on a farm subsequently belonging to John ROBINSON. Polly WALLACE married Captain Robert SIGERSON in 1801 and raised five children. The WALLACE family is a large one and now considerably scattered. They were prominent settlers in Butler County in the early days.
John Parker REYNOLDS, an esteemed citizen of this township, was born in the town of Nine Partners (now Amenia), Dutchess County, New York, September 21, 1782. His paternal ancestors came from Devonshire, England, about 1650. They were stout defenders of liberty of conscience and some of them Friends, or, as we now say, Quakers. His father, the Rev. Parker REYNOLDS, a Baptist clergyman, settled at Saratoga, New York, about 1790, in time for the subject of this notice to see and recollect the placing of a potash kettle to separate the water of the celebrated Congress Spring from non-medicinal water flowing into it. He was a sturdy boy, fair complexion, large, dark grey eyes, auburn hair, and a temperament of delicate sensibility. Thrown upon his own resources at an early age, though not until he had aquired a fair education, he entered the printing office of Southwick, Bostwich & Co., of Albany, New York, in which he found a fellow worker and life long friend in the late John C. WRIGHT, of Cincinnati. While becoming a skilled practical printer, he studied the higher mathematics, some of the languages, law, and music.
In 1805 he became the proprietor of what in that day was a large printing and publishing house, with bookstore attached, in Salem, Washington County, in that State, and started a newspaper styled the Washington Register, continuing it until 1817--the work all being done upon the old-time Ramage press. A Jeffersonian Democrat in politics, he adhered to princiole, ultimately becoming a Whig. When leaving for the West, the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons conferred upon him as a parting compliment the degree of Knight Templar, Chancellor LIVINGSTON being then the order of the State of New York.
In 1818 he came with his wife to Lebanon, Warren County, Ohio, and in 1820 to Middletown, in this county, there entering into the hotel and soon afterward into the first forwarding and commission business in the place. As a man and a citizen he was distinguished for his uncompromising integrity, practical common sense, intelligence, philantropy, conscientious discharge of every moral obligation, and most thorough contempt for any thing mean or questionalbe; and no public enterprise was undertaken without his participation and assistance. He retired from business in 1839, removing to Cincinnati in 1845, remaining there until 1849, after which he made his home in Hamilton until his death, March 21, 1858. His life was a useful one of precept and example; his cast of mind judical, reflective, and philosophical. With, doubtless, the frailities of human nature, in all matters of conscience he was emphatically the "stuff of which martyrs are made," never hesitating at any sacrifice when duty called. He was a thorough believer in the doctrine of personal individual responsibility, both here and hereafter, a strong religious feeling manifesting itself, not in ritual, but by deep reverence of God and most practical philantropy.
In the year 1827 the Legislature passed a law authorizing Jonathan MARTIN, Robert L. CAMPBELL, James F. DEATH, John P. REYNOLDS, John SHAFER, Carlton WALDO, and Israel F. GIBSON to build a toll-bridge over the Great Miami River at the town of Middletown. Afterwards, in the year 1829, an amendatory law was passed, changing the place at which it was to be erected, and in the year 1830 another amendatory law was passed, which resulted in the building of the bridge.
The following have been the justices of the peace: Henry WEAVER, William McCLURE, 1803; William SQUIER, SQUIER LITTELL, 1805 Ezekiel BALL, William BARKALOW, 1806; Thomas C. WADE, 1807; Stephen CLARK, James TAPSCOTT, 1809; James CLARK, Daniel STRICKLAND, 1810; William HARVEY, 1813; James CLARK, 1814; William HARVEY, James CLARK, 1816; William HARVEY, James CLARK, 1819; Ezekiel BALL, 1821; William McCLURE, James CLARK, 1822; Thomas IRWIN, 1823; Israel T. GIBSON, 1824; James CLARK, 1825; John CLARK, Thomas IRWIN, 1826; David CARKSON, James HEATON, 1827; Thomas IRWIN, 1829; James CLARK, James HEATON, 1830; Thomas IRWIN, 1832; James CLARK, James HEATON, 1833; Thomas IRWIN, 1835; James CLARK, Israel T. GIBSON, 1836; William COTTERELL, 1838; Thomas IRWIN, Hugh ALEXANDER,1839; Benjamin COX, 1840; James COOK , Hugh ALEXANDER, Anthony NOBLE, William W. LIGHTFOOT, 1842; David H. TULLIS, 1844; and since that date, James COOK, Anthony NOBLE, William LIGHTFOOT, David H. TULLIS, John H. GORDON, John L. TODHUNTER, David HEATON, P.P. La TOURRETTE, Daniel HELWIG, Samuel B. HOLMES, Thomas N. RUSSELL, A. M. SENTNEY, John McCLELLAND, A. CRIDER, R.D. BOOTH, M. SIMPSON, H. L. HENKLE, John S. TODD, Edward KIMBALL, W. B. HEDDING, James A. JOHNSON, F.W. WHITTAKER, William M. MURPHY.
The postmasters have been:
Middletown-- Ezekiel BALL, April 6, 1819; John HUGHES, April 11, 1825; John SHAFER, September 1, 1827; John M. BARNETT, June 24, 1841; Jacob P. ACHEY, January 12, 1823; John J. STORMS, January 13, 1844; William S. STORMS, August 24, 1844; Issac ROBERTSON, March 8, 1845; David HEATON, April 27, 1849; John HARNISH, December 24, 1852; Charles H. BROCK, April 3, 1861; Lewis L. LAMBRIGHT, February 5, 1872.
Blue Ball-- Robert McCHESNEY, August 15, 1844; John AULD, November 1, 1845; James R. MORRISON, January 19, 1853; James LOGAN, September 4, 1854; Jesse BOND, July 30, 1858; Jones LOGAN, May 6, 1861; Benew D. SHURTE, February 28, 1868; Elder W. PIPER, June 22, 1868; Peter D. McCHESNEY, May 10, 1869; Sanford YOUNG, September 9, 1870.
Clinton-- James AYERS, May 17, 1826; Discontinued November 27, 1827. This post-office was erected at the solicitation of Colonel James AYERS and other contractors on the Miami Canal, and moved with the work.
Excello--J.T. GARDNER, November 10, 1870; discontinued September 11, 1871; re-established October 12, 1881; Robert Y. MAGENERTY, October 12, 1881.
Lesourdsville--Benjamin LESOURD, May 11, 1838; Thomas WARD, Sen., August 28, 1839; discontinued February 4, 1842; re-established May 11, 1850; John S. HANKINS, May 11, 1850; Wesley B. HEDDING, April 3, 1851; Jacob SIMPSON, July 9, 1853; Lewis EMMENS, October 10, 1855; John S. McCRARY, September 3, 1857; Squire BERRY, December 27, 1859; Perry WRIGHT, January 7, 1861; James K. WEBSTER, July 30, 1862; discontinued April 23, 1864; re-established November 10, 1870; Albert POTTER, November 10, 1870; discontinued September 29, 1871.
Lemon-- Joseph S. PAGE, March 18, 1878.
Monroe-- Andrew BOYD, May 22, 1822; George P. WILLIAMSON, October 27, 1825; John P. WILLIAMSON, January 12, 1831; Rueben THOMPSON, April 30, 1833; George P. WILLIAMSON, August 9, 1833; Thomas ARMOUR, August 8, 1835; William A. SACKETT, July 27, 1837; William W. CALDWELL, September 16, 1841; Peter VLEREBORNE, June 3, 1845; Edward KIMBALL, October 24, 1849; Peter VLEREBORNE, November 21, 1853; Abraham HOAGLAND, January 5, 1858; Reuben V. ROLL August 9, 1859; Samuel W. WILSON, February 14, 1872; Henry C. HILL, April 13, 1874; David KEYT, November 5, 1874; David CALDWELL, April 28, 1875.