Switzerland Township

Switzerland Township

Switzerland Township was organized on January 1, 1827, containing 28 square miles. It embraces 12 sections of original Township 4 of Range 4 and 12 sections 15, 21, 27, and 33 and parts of other sections. It is the Northeastern Township of Monroe County.

Big Run and Johnston's Run empty into the Ohio River and drain the Eastern part of Switzerland Township. Cumming's Run empties into the Ohio River in Salem Township but has its source in Switzerland Township. Negro Run and Payne Run, branches of Sunfish Creek, drain the Southern and the Western parts of Switzerland Township. Cat's Run, a branch of Captina Creek, drains the Northern part of Switzerland Township.

The soil in Switzerland Township is formed largely of disintegrated shale and sandstone. It is naturally less rich than most limestone soils but the German and the Swiss farmers did wonders with the cultivation of the land, making it the best farm land in the State of Ohio. In 1880, almost every farm had a small vineyard of fruits. In contrast with the slovenly character of much of our native American farming, there is an air of neatness and thrift.

Early settlements of Switzerland Township were made in the Valley of Big Run and along the Ohio River. John Keller was engaged in opening an improvement on the head waters of Big Run soon after settlements were begun in this Township. At that time, he lived in Belmont County which was some distance from his place of employment. His two daughters, aged eight and ten, carried his dinner to him. One day, they missed the right path and became lost in the forest. People from the surrounding settlements searched for them and, after three days, found them on Negro Run, not far from Sunfish Creek. In their terror upon finding they were lost, they dropped the basket containing the dinner and lived on roots for three days.

The Saint John's Evangelical Lutheran Church was the first church erected in Switzerland Township. Reverend J.J. Bidman was serving as its pastor in 1880. The German M.E. Church, situated in Section 5, West of the Center of the Township, was the second church erected. Reverend Charles Koch was serving as pastor of this church in 1880. Both of these churches had neat parsonages and cemeteries with a large membership.

Bigham Postoffice was located in the Northwestern part of the Township on Cat's Run. Switzer Postoffice was located in the Northwest corner of Section 35. The Township of Switzerland manufactured 52,485 pounds of cheese in 1880. At that time, there was a population of 1,226 people in Switzerland Township.

The school statistics for Switzerland Township were as follows: Total amount of money received within the school year -- $3,875.38; Amount of money paid to teachers within the school year -- $2,016.35; Amount paid for fuel and other utilities within the school year -- $267.80; Balance on hand -- $1,591.23; Number of schools -- 11; Value of school property -- $4,474.00; Average wages per month for ladies -- $33.00; Average wages for gentlemen -- $30.00; and the total number of pupils enrolled within the school year -- 367.

Frederick Zessiger, George Schafer, and Aaron Headley were serving as Justices of the Peace for Switzerland Township at that time.