Washington Township

Washington Township

Washington Township was organized on June 5, 1832. Among the first settlers were Joseph Cline; other members of the Cline family; Philip, David, and Joseph Allen; James Scott; Abner Powell; Ezekiel Blair; James and Isaac Rinard; Jacob Flint; the Knowlton family; the Dougherty family; the Bever family; and Baldwin Cox.

The first cabin was built in 1816 by Joseph Cline along the valley of Clear Fork. There may have been some improvements made prior to this time by squatters but there were no settlements made prior to this time.

The first child born in Washington Township was Joseph Cline, a son of Joseph and Sarah (Linn) Cline. The first couple married in this Township was Isaac Cline and Mary Cline.

The first grist mill was built by Isaac Rinard in 1818. A saw mill was also built in 1818 by Baldwin Cox on the Little Muskingum. The first saw mill on Clear Fork was built by Philip Allen (date unknown).

A school house was built around 1820. The location of the school house and the first teacher is unknown. It is known, however, that James Scott taught school on the Clear Fork in 1825.

The first church was organized at the house of Joseph Cline by members of the M.E. Church in 1817. The first sermon was preached by Reverend Robert C. Hatten. Among its first members were Joseph and Sarah Cline; Isaac and Nancy Brown; Thomas W. Groves and his wife; and a woman by the name of Mrs. Dailey. The second church was organized at Graysville by the Baptists.

The population of Washington Township in 1849 was 533. The churches in the township at that time were as follows: Low Gap; Christian Union, Thomas Cline being the minister with a membership of 35 persons; Methodist Protestant Church, Reverend Donnelson being the minister with a membership of 52 persons; Graysville Christian Church, A.A. Bunner being the minister with a membership of 65 persons; and the Graysville Baptist Church, Henry Lyons being the minister with a membership of 20 persons.

The first Sabbath School was organized in 1841 by Peter McGowen with 25 scholars attending. The Sabbath schools in the County in 1880 were as follows: Low Gap, Isaac Cline being the Superintendent; the Methodist Protestant, Ezra Massie being the Superintendent; the Graysville Christian Sabbath school, John McCarty being the superintendent; and the Graysville Baptist Sabbath, Thomas Hickenbottom being the Superintendent.

Isaac Brown, Joseph Cline, and William Cline settled in this township in 1804. John Cline lived in Virginia, about three miles above Sistersville, in 1804. He had raised a large crop of hemp and sold it at Marietta. With the proceeds of this sale, he made his first payment on the land which he entered as Congress land in Section 25 in 1805.

George Cline, the father of the above named Cline's, and his wife came from Germany and settled in Pennsylvania. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. After the settlement of Marietta, he moved West and settled near what is now known as Grandview in Washington Township. The first cabins were built by Isaac Brown and Joseph and William Cline in 1804.


The first child born in this settlement was Mary Cline, born on April 5, 1805, the daughter of Joseph and Sarah Cline. The second child born on this settlement was another daughter, also named Mary Cline, to George and Christina Cline on April 6, 1805. The first marriage was performed in 1806 uniting Solomon Tice and Rosa Cline. The first person to pass away was Johnny Cline, the son of William and Polly Cline, who passed away about two years after the first settlement. He was supposed to have been bitten by a poisonous snake in the night and he died the next morning.

The first election in this township was held on September 7, 1851 in Brownsville. The first officers elected were as follows: John Hensell, Trustee; Jacob Cline, Trustee; Jonathan Harris, Trustee; Major B. Ray, Clerk; Charles Algeo, Treasurer; Simon Whitney, Assessor; Israel McWilliams, Constable; and Samuel H. Cline, Constable.

The first grist mill was built by John Cline in 1810 at the mouth of Big Lick Run. It was destroyed by fire in 1816. In 1817, Mr. Cline built a saw mill where Ring's Mill later stood and, in connection with this mill, built his second grist mill.

The first school was taught in a small log cabin by Henry Bower in 1813. Another school session was taught in 1815 by William Knight in a log cabin. William Knight was the father of Lemuel and Valentine C. Knight, who lived many years in Wayne Township. Lemuel, Valentine C., and another brother were printers.