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First Germans And Swiss

In April, 1819, ten German and Swiss families embarked on a flatboat on the Aar River at Berne under the leadership of Jacob Tisher. They descended the Aar River to the Rhine River and continued to the city of Antwerp where they boarded a French ship, Eugenius, for New York. After traveling 48 days, they landed at Amboy, New Jersey, where they purchased teams -- six of the families starting to travel to Wheeling, Virginia, The little colony now consisted of Father Jacob Tisher, Abraham Tisher, Jacob Tschappat, Daniel Fankhauser, Nicholas Fankhauser, Jacob Marti (together with their families), and Jacob Nisperli, single. After a tedious journey , they reached Wheeling and again embarked on a flatboat -- their destination being the Great Kanawa River.

Upon landing at the mouth of Captina, they found two Pennsylvania Germans, George Goetz and Henry Sweppe, who told them that there was plenty of Government land in Monroe County. Part of the colony were induced to stay. Housing room was not available for everyone.

On September 15, Father Tisher and part of his little band continued further down the River to Bare's landing, a distance of sixteen miles. Jacob Bare, an early settler from Maryland, could speak German and received them kindly -- persuading them to settle there. Thus, the two bands, at the same time, began the first German-Swiss settlements in Monroe County -- one party being in Switzerland Township and the other party being in Ohio Township. On the hill in Salem Township (now Switzerland Township), Daniel Mallett built a log cabin. This improvement was purchased by Jacob Tschappat, Sr., who moved the same fall. The other band settled on Congressional land the following spring. At that time, the Township was almost a wilderness -- only a few small improvements had been made. The Blares, Hendershots, Lemleys, and the Smiths had settled on Big Run.

In Ohio Township, settlements were made back from Buckhill Bottom on French Hill by Mozenette Harrison, on Opossum Creek by Jacob Dennis, and on the hill South of Bare's Run by James Ferrell. Shortly thereafter, Christian Regsegger, a native of Switzerland, settled on the hill back of Baresville. The rest of the Township was an unbroken forest. Immigration from Germany and Switzerland had now set in and these fertile hills had become the happy homes of an industrious and a prosperous people. Improvements were mostly confined to the river bottoms prior to these settlements.