All the territory of this
County that originally organized from Lucas was styled York Township, which
was afterwards since 1837 organized into the various subdivisions as now
exist. In all probability Valentine Winslow, David Hobart, and Jacob
McQuillin were the first resident white men in the now present limits of
Fulton County, followed soon after by Eli Phillipps and wife, they settled
in Royalton and are now residing upon the farm first settled upon.
Messrs, Anson, Willard, James Trowbridge, and Wm Fraker in 1834 settled
near Delta, York Township. Robert A. Howard, Daniel Knowles, John
Scindell and James Dixon settled in what is now PikeTownship. Joseph
Applegate, Nathaniel S. Ketcham and William Smith (Sometimes called Uncle
Billy) followed soon after by George Welch, Butler Richardson, Henry Jordan,
Snow Carpenter, Jared Hoadley and Eli Phillips, who settled here in June
West, the nearest white settlement
was seventy miles and south at Waterville, on the Maumee.
M. D. Hibbard, J. J. Schnall, J.
Walters, - Bennett, William Hoffmire and Pilu Lott, with some others settled
Spring Hill, now in the Township of Dover, about this time; Judge Ambrose
Rice, uncle to our late deceased brother, M. D. Hibbard, surveyed this
territory. He was a bachelor, a very intelligent and estimable man.
It is said that disappointment in early life caused him to leave the society
of civilization and lead the life of a recluse as it were. His profession
as a surveyor confined him to the woods, for which he had as strong an
attachment as the native of the forest. In summer, sleeping in the
forest with the green carpet for his couch, and the clear canopy of heaven
for his covering, and in the winter, bark and log huts hastily constructed,
as security from the keen winds. It was through his influence that
our late townsman, M. D. Hibbard came to this County, and by him was furnished
a house at Spring Hill, where he spent some of his life.
As near as can be ascertained, George
Wiers was the first white person born on the territory, and lived on what
is now known as the Mullen Farm, in Pike.
A nephew of Lyman Parcher with a
daughter of Auretus Knight were united in marriage by our venerable townsman
Daniel Knowles J. P., in the very early history of the territory and probably
the first, or at least among the first marriages that took place among
the whites in the now present limits of this County.
Some among the oldest settlers of
Swan Creek Township were David Williams, Thomas Gleason, William Sheffield,
Aeldes Ney, and Thomas Fraker. Shortly after followed Hon.
S. H. Cately, and others.
Swan Creek was organized from York
Township in 1836. Franklin township was organized in 1842, while
under the jurisdiction of Lucas County. As it now exists with the
addition from Williams County, would comprise as its first settlers, Joseph
Bates, Bruce Packard who settled on the Creek in 1835. John Shaffer
and Adam Poorman in 1835; Joseph Ely, Asher Bird, S. B. Darby and William
Youngs next followed in 1835 to 1837. Shortly after the arrival of
Bird, he built a grist mill on Mill Creek, the ruins of which may be seen
at this time. Among some of the other early settlers of Franklin
were John McLaughlin, Leonard Whitmore, John Bowser, Ozias Barnes and John
J. Clark. Ransome Reynolds and Pollonia Crandall were the first persons
married in Franklin township, were married by Mathews Borton, Justice of
the Peace, of German. The first preacher upon the soil was John Bowser,
United Brethern. Samuel B. Darby and Leonard Whitmore each in the
early times in this County, kept a store on Bean Creek. Franklin
was organized from German and Gorham Townships and additions since from
Mill Creek and Brady Townships, Williams County.
A sister of John McLaughlin, away
back in those early days, in preparation for the marriage, which was as
natural then as in these times, done a washing in the morning, shelled
one half bushel of corn, carried it on her head to Bird's Mill, a distance
of two miles, had it ground, brought it back in the same manner, and from
it baked a pudding for the feast the same evening-and was married the same
Fulton Township was organized at
a very early date, embracing Amboy Township. Among its first inhabitants
were Hiram Bartlett, John Blain, William Blain, and Charles Blain,
the mother of whom lived with her son Charles and died some three years
ago at the ripe old age of one hundred years. David and Jerry Duncan,
Tunis Lewis, John Lewis and Charles Welch were among the first.
An incident in the life of Hiram
Bartlett is here worthy of note; He early learned the hatter trade,
and on arriving at twenty-one years of age (as it was customary to have
birthday parties) he had a party to commemorate the event. Rum was
customary at the side board and was drank freely by all members of the
society in those days. On that day he took a bottle, filled with
rum --no fictitious stuff-- corked and sealed it, and then and there declared
before the company present that he would never taste any alcoholic drinks
during his life, unless to save his life, and not then until it was decided
by a council of five doctors that it was necessary, if so decided that
it was necessary, the bottle was to be opened and the prescription to be
made therefrom. He died last fall. The bottle remains unopened
and is now in the possession of his son Russell Bartlett.
Chesterfield Township was organized
in 1837, embracing the now township of Gorham or all that part east of
the Williams County line. The first man in the township was Chesterfield
Clemens after whom the township was named. Amaziah Turner came from
Putnam County, New York. I believe he settled here in 1835.
Martha Turner, daughter of said Amaziah, was the first child born in the
township. Alfred C. Hough and Harlow Butler were among some of the
first settlers of this township.
Gorham was organized in 1838,from
Chesterfield, and among its first pioneers were Gorham Cottrell and family,
James Baker, George D. Kellogg, a man by the name of Worden, Philander
Crane, Levi Crifford, Benjamin F. Dee, and others. The most of the early
settlers of Gorham Township were poor and endured all the privations incident
to a new wooded country. Their place of trade for Gorham, Franklin and
German in those days, was done at Adrian, Michigan, and for milling at
Medina and Canadaguia just over the line.
German and Clinton were organized
at a very early date, the time of which and their settlements and by whom,
I have been as yet, unable to obtain a correct history, such as I in confidence
could present to the people. York township was the first organized
township in the County having its organization while it belonged to the
County of Wood. Its history within its present limits I know but
I found 2 different
histories of German Township of Fulton County Ohio
in the local
newspapers. One was published in 1870 and the other in 1877.
some interesting reading.
here to view a German Township history that was published in the
Newspaper on February 10, 1870
here to view a German Township history that was published in the
Newspaper on January 25th, 1877
The first village lots laid out
in this County were Aetna, in the township of Pike, and a man named Wilkinson
with Edward Howard (Father of D. W. H. Howard) built thereon a block house
as a trading post with the Indians. That same Block House is still
standing at Aetna, but since boarded over upon the outside and new roof,
and bids fair to be a monument of early pioneer life for some time to come.
You of this period have but a small conception of the hardships of those
early pioneers. Many living in rudely constructed cabins, ten by
twelve feet or less, without any windows save the pulling out of a few
chincking, with rudely constructed bed steads, using in many instances
but one post with bed rails inserted in the logs in some corner, on which
the slumber of your fathers and mothers was sweet as yours to day upon
your spring couches and your carpeted rooms.
The growing strength and beauty
of the County is in its agricutural interests, its wheat, corn, oats, hay,
etc. The purity of its morals is maintained by the virtue and dignity
of its women and the excellency of its schools; all of which is its present
glory and future hope. May we ever look with feelings of pride on
the American flag as it waves over a free people to day, beneath whose
grateful folds, we have for one hundred years found a home, and may we
be enabled to transmit this heritage to future generations, that the future
prospects of the next Centennial year may be as propitious as ours is to
day, for the future.
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