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Franklin Township

Franklin township

This township was organized March 4, 1822, and embraces sections of 30 and 36, in original towship 4, of range 6; sections 31 and 32, in the towsip 5 of range 7, and twenty sections in township 6, of range 7- in all twenty-six sections. It is the middle township on the western side of the county, and bounded on the north by Seneca and Summit townships, on the east by Summit, Wayne, and Washington, on the south by Bethel township and the Noble county line, and on the west by Nobel county. The land in the north part of the township is high and devides the water of the clear fork- a branch of the Little Muskigum-- from those of Will's creek, which flow northward. There is considerable limestone to be seen, and the soil is generally productive, and especially so along the borders of the Clear fork. Professor Andrews says; "The Cumberland seam of coal, which extends so generally through Nobel county, and which is found in the hills at Carlisle, is found in the neighborhood of Stafford. The larger developments seen were on Roadfork, and they may be located just over the line in Elk Township, Noble county. Here the coal is four feet six inches thick. The creek at Okey's mill, on Clear fork is reported to be fourty feet higher than Road fork at the wollen mill, but the coal at both places is covered by the same buff of limestone. In section 7, the coal of the Cumberland seam is reported to be only one foot eigh inches thick."

The first settlements were made on the Clear fork by Martin and Fredrick Crow, as early, it is belived, as 1805, or 1806. David Sutherland was an early settler, so were the Forshbeys, Carmichales, Hines, McVays, Hooldens, Hales, Dearths, Wilsons Wells and others.

There is said to have been a Methodist Church, or rather a church organazation in this township, as early as 1829--probably, the chruch on the lands of Joseph Hines was afterward erected by this congragation. The second church organized was the Sutherland M. E. chruch. The present church is a wooden building, 38x48 feet, with a 17 foot story, with seating capacity of 350. It was build in 1873, and decicated, September 12 1847, by Rev. S. M. Hickman, presiding elder; Rev. Luther Timberlake was the paster at that time; membership, 50. Present paster, Rev. Geo. M. Wilson, recording Steward, Thos. Wilson, junior; trustees, Isaac Hanson, Jacob McVay, Joseph Hogue R. E. Carpenter, Edward Okey, Jesse Miracle, and David Stallings; class-leader, Thos. O. Cline. The third church organized is the M. E. Chruch, at Swasey. It was organized about the year 1835. Prior to this time kserverces were held at the school house. The frist building was a hewed-log structure, about 25x30 feet in size, and located on the site of the present church. The new chruch was erected in 1855. It was dedicated by Rev. James Henderson, and is a frame building 36x45 feet, with a 16 foot story; seating capacity 350; membership, sixty. Officers, class-leader S.l W. Gibson; trustees, Richard Gibson, S. W. Gibson, Wm. Gibson, Samuel Gibson, Wm. M. Danford, Alex. Pickens and Joseph Draper; present pastor, Rev. A. W. Gruber. The old members of this chruch, among whom will be found the names of the many early setlers of the township, were Benj. Thomas and wife, John Antill and wife, John B. Kean and wife, Wm. Draper and wife, and Levi Robbins and wife. They held their meetings at the house of John B. Kean and Johnathan Wise. Rev. Edward Taylor was the minister that preached for this class. There are eigh churches in the township--six M. E. Churches, one Christian Church, and one Free Methodist Church.

The town of Stafford was laid out by John Jobes about the year 1834, or 1835-- the precise year is not known. It is situated in the southwest quarter of section 8, and on the dividing ridge between the warters of Clear fork and Dutch creek. When laid out it was called Bethal but when a postoffice was established there, called Stafford, the name of the town was changed. The tow, with some surrounding territory, forms a seprate school district. The population of Stafford is reported at 172, in 1889, and the township, including the town, by the census of 1880, is 1,251.

The school statistics for the township, for the year ending August 31, 1881, are as follows: Amount of school moneys recived within the year, $3,654.89; amount paid teachers $1,483.00; paid for sites and buildings, $257.33; amount paid for fule, ect., $153.99; balance on hand September 1, 1881, $1760.57; No. of school houses 7; value of school property, $2,500.00; No. of teachers necessary, 7; average wages of teachers per month, gentlemen, $27.00; ladies $20.00; No. of pupils enrolled, 265. School Statistics of Stafford, for the same period: Amount of school moneys received, $859.98; paid teachers, $390.00; for fuel ect., $140.81; balance on hand September 1, 1881, $329.17; No. of school houses 1; No. of school rooms 4; value of school property, $2,500; No. of teachers, ladies 1, gentelmen 4; average wages of teachers per month, gentlemen $30.00; ladies $20.00; No. of pupils enrolled, 161.

The present justices of the peace are W. B. Neiswanger and Thomas Wilson.