Union Township History
Union Township covers an area of approximately 23 square miles and was organized May 7, 1848, from Seal and Beaver Townships. An election was held the following month at the home of Bennett Sailor.
There are no villages, this township being timber and farm land, but a post office was established in 1853 with Abisha Rockman appointed Postmaster. In 1883 it was known as Galford Post Office and kept by H. S. Galford, who succeeded Mr. Rockman.
The earliest township officers listed in the History of Lower Scioto Valley were in 1870. At that time the trustees were H. S. Galford, Anthony Rader and Louis Shy. The treasurer was John Schramn, the clerk was Michael Peters, the constable was William Kirkpatrick and H. S. Butcher was the assessor.
The first settlers in this area came from Virginia and Pennsylvania in the early 1800ís. Alexander Collison was probably the first to arrive, in 1808 or 1809, although others swiftly followed. Reuben Slavens came soon after the Collisons, and William Galford cleared land and built his log house in 1817.
H. S. Galford was born in Greenbier County, Virginia, in 1811 and came with his father, James Galford, to the area of Union Township in 1817.
Alexander Collison is given as the first adult dealth. The first marriage was that of Elizabeth Southworth and Ezra Rockwell Jan 20, 1822. She is buried in Owl Creek Cemetery.
Churches were established early among those making their homes on the frontier. Beaver Chapel was a Methodist Episcopal Church organized in 1825. The building was made of logs, etc. constructed in 1872. The first trustees were Jeremiah Sailor, Peter Shoemaker, Abraham Burner, John James, Sr and John James, Jr. Most of these men are buried in Beaver Chapel Cemetery.
In 1833 the Pleasant Valley Free-will Baptist Church was organized at the home of Richard Wells. The congregation met there and in other homes until a log school building was purchased.
By 1860 many new families of German immigrants had purchased farms in Union Township as well as other parts of Pike County. They organized a German Lutheran Church in that year, with forty members. Among the first members were Nicholas Lochbaum and his wife Katharine Elizabetha, who emigrated to America in 1851. They were married in 1837 in Schwegenheim Reinkreis, Bavaria.
Some other German families were Kroger, Brust, Schramm, Rothmeyer, Fellenstein and Spoor.
As we traveled around the township to the various cemeteries, it was hard to imagine the wilderness the early settlers found. Prosperous farms have replaced the early clearings. Well kept houses and lawns abound where once a few log cabins stood. This is the legacy left to us by the hardy pioneers, many of who are buried in these cemeteries.
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