Seneca Township

Seneca Township

Seneca Township was organized on July 19, 1815 and it is the Northwestern Township of Monroe County. It is watered by several branches of Will's Creek. These branches rise in the highlands of the East and of the Southeast in Summit Township and in Malaga Township. The valleys are beautiful and are very fertile. The hills have enough limestone to make the hillsides very productive.

Among the first settlements in the County were settlements at Calais. The first improvement was made by Andrew Dilley from Dilley's Bottom in Belmont County around 1798. He cleared a small field and built a log cabin at Calais but he left Monroe County and returned to Belmont County. In March, 1802, John Dailey, from the mouth of Captina Creek, moved into Andrew Dilley's cabin and became a permanent settler. Among other early settlers were James Dailey, the father of John Dailey; Robert Carpenter; Mitchell Atkinson; Isaac Atkinson; William Dement; Christopher Haines; Barnabus Crosbay; Samuel Danford; the Rucker family; the Brister family; the Rufus Hall family; Vincent Dailey; Joseph Baker; Samuel Pryor; Elijah Stephen; Samuel Stephen; David Watson; George Miller; Daniel Bean; Jesse Bean; William Kent; and William Cousins. The dates on which these people settled is unknown.

An obituary notice which was published at the time of Mr. Dement's decease stated that he came to Monroe County in 1802 from Ohio County, Virginia, where he had been Clerk of the Court. It also stated that he carried the first mail from Pittsburgh to Marietta in a canoe.

Many of the settlers were first squatters on Congressional land but they soon became the owners of their improvements.

It has not been settled as to where the first election was held. Some people believe that it was held on the farm of William Danford and that William Danford, Mitchell Atkinson and William H. Philpot were elected as the first Trustees of Seneca Township. Others believe that the first election was held at the home of John Dailey -- which property was later the location of the M.E. Church in Calais.

On April 2, 1805, Elijah Stephen and Mary Dearth were united in marriage by David Ruble, Justice of the Peace. It is not known whether or not they lived in Seneca Township at the time of their marriage. If they did, however, their son, John Stephen, may have been the first child born in Seneca Township. It is believed, however, that Margaret Dailey, the daughter of James Dailey and the wife of James Brister, was the first child born in Seneca Township. It is also believed that the first child was born to George Miller.

The first marriage in Seneca Township united Jacob Dailey and Mary Watson in 1812 or 1813. The first death was that of Christopher Haines in 1810.

It is believed that William Dement and Cornelius Bryant were the first Justices of the Peace for Seneca Township.

The first grist mill was built by Philip Allen and Abner Wing in 1814. It was located on Fort's Fork of Will's Creek about two miles from its mouth. It later became the property of William Kent. It was made of hewed logs and it was about 25 feet by 30 feet in size. Mr. Kent also built the first sawmill which was attached to the grist mill.

The first school was taught on the land of Daniel McVicker. The first teacher was Mitchell Atkinson and the second teacher was Michael Danford. The building was similar to other primitive schools with the exception that this school had five corners. The first school in Seneca Township was located near Calais and the first teacher was Mitchell Atkinson. The second teacher was Barnabus Crosbay.

Calais was organized by John Dailey in 1837. There was once a post office on the farm which was later occupied by Lewis Groves, called Batesville. Timothy Bates was the post master.

The first sermon was preached at the home of William Dement in 1810 by Reverend Samuel Dement. A society of the M.E. Church was organized in 1818 and services were held at the homes of William Kent and Samuel Danford. Reverend Jacob Young, Reverend Thomas M. Cleary, Reverend David Walker and Reverend Charles Elliott (Who had been a missionary among the Indians) were the first ministers. Among the first members were Mr. and Mrs. William Kent; Mr. and Mrs. John Fowler; Mrs. Nancy Danford; Rebecca Danford; Mary Danford; Rachel Danford; Sally Kent; Marietta Kent; James Danford; Sidney Roe and others. John Fowler was the leader of the first class followed by Joseph Stewart, Thomas Donahue and Julius Rucker.