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Benton Township

Benton township

This township was organized after the erection of Nobel county, and was the last one erected by the board of county commissioners. The date of the organization is March 27, 1851. It embraces the 12 northern sections of the original township 2, of range 5, added to this county at the time Nobel county was erected, and the 12 southern sections of same range, being 6 sections long from east to west, and 4 sections wide from north to south. It is drained by the waters of Muskingum creek, which enters the township in section 8, and flows in a general southwest direction through the northwest corner of section 36 into Washington township. The writer will here remark that it is not very well settled where the Muskingum waters take the name Little Muskingum river, but he believes the better opinion is, that after the junction of the Crane's Nest fork and Rich fork, in Wayne township are: trail run, which has its source in Jackson Township, and empties into the Witten fork in Section 8, which joins Muskingum creek in the same section. Big Lick run, which has its source in Washington county, flows north and empties into Muskingum creek in section 19. Old Camp run has its source also in Washington county, flows through the southwestern part of the township, and empties into Muskingum creek, in Washington township. There are also Rock Camp run, Brown's run, and the mouth of of which Isaac Brown, and old settler, lived, and George's run, on which George L. Cline lived. The names Trail, Big Lick, Old Camp, and Rock Camp, sufficiently indicate why these run were so called.

The township is bound on the north by Perry township, on the east by Jackson, on the south by the Washington county line, and on the west by Washington township. From the numerous streams within its borders its surface is necessarily very broken, but on the ridges the surface is comparatively smooth. Soil, sandy clay, Professor Andrews says: :"No very interesting geological facts are obtained here, the only coal stream missed so far as could be learned, being on of the higher ones. On the land Eli Eddy, section 11, the seam is mined, and found to be three feet thick. The seam is believed to be the same as that found in section 34, Jackson township. About thirty feet below the coal in Jackson township is found nodular iron ore. It is worth looking for the same geological horizon in Benton township, for it may be found to exist in a regular seam of much value.

In this township some of the earliest settlements in the country were made, Isaac Brown, Joseph Cline, and William Cline settled in 1804, and John Cline in 1805, all in section 25. John Cline entered the first congress land. In the year 1804, he had lived in Virginia, about three miles above Sisterville, where he had raised a large crop of hemp, and sold it at Marietta, and with proceeds made the first payment on the land he entered in section 25. George Cline, father of the Clines above mentioned, and his wife, came from Germany, settled in Pennsylvania, was a soldier in the revolutionary war, and after the settlement of Marrietta, removed west and settled near what is now called Grandview, Washington County. The first cabins were built by Isaac Brown, and Joseph and William Cline in 1804.

The first child born in this settlement was Mary Cline, April 5, 1805, daughter of Joseph and Sarah Cline; and the second, Mary Cline, daughter of George and Christina Cline, April 6, 1805. The first marriage was that of Soloman Tice and Rosa Cline, in 1806. the first death was that of Johnny Cline, a child of William and Polly Cline, about two years after the first settlement. It was supposed to have been bitten by a poisonous snake in the night, dying next morning.