Ohio Township

Ohio township

The settlements in this township were made at quite an early period in the history of the territory now within th limits of the county. The time is fixed by the fact that Samuel McEldowney, now deceased, was born on Buckhill bottom, in 1794, and was four years old when his father, Robert McEldoney, moved to Fishing creek bottom, in Wetzel County, West Verginia, then Ohio County, Verginia. The next settlement was made on what is known as the Frail farm, below Baresville. There was in improvment there with a log cabin upon it, into which Abner Martin moved about the year 1802. Buckhill bottom is so called in the United States surveys, made in 1801. A very large buck was killed near the mound on this bottom, at an early date, by Wm. Henthorn and a Mr. Twible-- Reported to have weighted 387 pounds--hence he name, as is belived, Buckhill. Jacob Ollom is thought to have been the next settler, followed soon after by Bailey, Scott, Starritt, Smith, knight, Bare, Nicholson, Hicks and others; but the order in time of the settlement is not known. The names of those settlers were obtained from Mrs. Anna Howell--herself one of the first settlers in the county--who died several years ago at the advanced age of 106 years. The history of the firstGerman settlements is given elseware herein, to which the reader is refered.

No information is at command by or from which any extended history can be given of the churches in this townshiop. There are three or four Methodist Episopal churches, two or more Lutheran, and one Mennonite, or Baptist Church. The first German Sabbath school was organized by Father Jacob Tisher, in 1825, and in 1837 he organized the first English Sabbath school in Baresville. He wasthe first Misshonary for the German work of the Methodist church, and traviled in this and the adjoining counties. His cercuit was nearly two hundred miles in extent, which he made, on foot, once every four weeks. He was very successful at organizing socities, and laid the foundation of a work now embraced in many circuts and stations. He died some years ago, at the advanced age of 86 years.

It may be here added that Samuel McBride settled on the Baresville bottom in 1802; Jacob Bare, Henry Harter and James Starritt, from 1806 to 1808; after whom the following persons, in the order named; James Johnston, Earl Sprot, Christian Staley, Humphery Finch, James Hepburn, Jare. Wilson, and Jacob and Abraham Fisher.

After Jacob Ollom became a settler, about the year 1800, he engaged in the buisness of packing salt over the Allegheny Mountains, on pack hourses,. He went to Williamsport, on the Patomac river, and distace of about 200 miles, takiking with him skins and furs, and returning with salt--camping wherever night overtook him. He thus continued supplying the settlers with salt, and some other articles, for several years, receiving for his salt from three to four dollars per bushel.

Near where Abner Martin settled, now on the Albert Bridgman farm, was a flat rock near the base of the hill, upon which were impressions or prints of human feet--large and small--tracks of dear, bears, turkeys, birds, squirrels, raccoons, ect. The tracks were very plain and distincly shown in the rock. Our informant supposes them to be the work of Indians. Some years ago, a Mr. John Heathorn, needing some building stone, used up the rock for that purpose.

Oppostie the Frail place, on the Virginia side of the river, several years ago, two sons of Samuel McEldowney found a brass crucifix, about six inches in length. It was in a good state of preversatoin, and was found on the river bank where a mound had caved in. How came it there?

Ohio Township was organized October 18, 1818, and is composed of parts of the original townships 1 and 2, of range 3, and parts of townshiops 2 and 3 of range 4. Sections 22, 23 and 24, in township 1, of range 3, and sections 8,9, 14, 19 and 20, in township 2, of range 3, are fractional--laying on the Ohio river. It is bound on the north by Salem township, on the east by the Ohio river, and on the south by Lee township, and on the west by Lee and Greene. Along the river border it has a large area of rich alluvial valley land. The hills back from the river are very high. The northwestern portion of the township is drained by Opossum creek, which flows in a general Northeastern direction, and empties into the Ohio in Salem township. A large porportion of the population are Germans, who are excellent farmers, and the cultivation of the soil recives careful attention. The production of cheese is an extensive business-- larger than in any other township in the county. For the year 1881, this product amounted to 177,924 pounds.