Jackson Township

Jackson Township

The first settlement of the County was made in this Township. In 1791, Philip Witten and his family settled on the Ohio River bottom (opposite what is now known as Williamson's Island) -- having moved there either from Short Creek, Virginia, or Wheeling Creek, Virginia. He had five sons and one daughter: Thomas, Joseph, John, Peter, James, and Virginia. Thomas married Sarah Buchanan of Virginia early in the 19th century and, soon afterward, settled in Guernsey County near what is now Byesville. Joseph married Nancy Scott, the daughter of Arthur Scott who was an early settler. John married Susan Ruby of Salem Township. Peter married Rachel Bowen of Salem Township. James married Margaret Scott, a sister of Nancy Scott, Virginia married Nicholas Wells of Virginia. For many years prior to the erection of Monroe County, Philip Witten was a Justice of the Peace for the township in which he lived, then situated in Washington County. John and Joseph both lived and passed away on Fishing Creek bottom, Wetzel County, West Virginia. When the family came to this territory, they brought their slaves with them. The last survivor of them, Sol. Hooper, was an old fiddler. He furnished music for the dances held in the rude cabins of the early days.

A man by the name of Mr. Ramsey, in 1801, settled on an improvement which had been made prior to that date below the mouth of James Run, settled opposite of Sistersville (then Ezeklielton) which had been settled several years prior to 1800.

Soon after Philip Witten settled, his brother-in-law, Henry Dickson, and Mr. Abbot settled in Section 23 -- later known as the Russell and Trippet (Tabbott) farms. A man by the name of Mr. Stanley settled on what was known as the Stewart farm and a man by the name of Mr. Kimple, from Ezekielton, started a store in 1804. Around 1800, Azariah Hoskinson, Arthur Scott, Baziel Barnett and others settled on this bottom. John Bridgeman and his son, John H., came from New England in 1818 and settled on the River above Witten's. A man by the name of Mr. Barnes, for whom Barnes Run was named; David and James Harrison; Thomas and David Evans; John Knight; Felix Sigler; the Applegates; and the Vargesons were very early settlers. James Hissom, at the age of 103 years in 1881, was a pensioner of the War of 1812. At that age, he rode horseback to Woodsfield (a distance of about 16 miles) to cash his pension check.

Jackson Township was organized on July 19, 1815. It is one of the four townships into which the County was first divided. A post office was established on the Witten farm in 1833 and was called Witten's. James Witten was the first postmaster. He filled this position until his decease around 1865. The Village of Cochransville was named after Thomas Cochran in 1846.

As far as is known, the first schoolhouse was on the Bridgeman farm as early as 1831. John A. Musser was among the first teachers. Religious services were held in this schoolhouse by Reverend Joseph DeWitt and Reverend Dunham of the Presbyterian Church. At an early period, Reverend Joseph Junior Smith of the Baptist Church, ministered to congregations in the Township.

In Jackson Township, sixty-five years ago, there were three Methodist churches -- Stewart Chapel, the German Methodist Church on Trail Run, and the M.E. Church at Cochransville. There was also a United Brethren Church about two and one-half miles behind the Stewart Chapel