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History of Pickaway County

 



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This file was contributed for use in the OHGenWeb Pickaway County by Lorriane Newsome.


 

Formation of Pickaway County


First settlements in the territory comprising the county were in 1796 or 1797, the first cabins being those of squatters built in the Pickaway Plains on the "trace," leading from the crossing of the Hockhocking (now Lancaster) by the plains to Chillicothe. The first town was laid out at Westfall on the site of an old Indian town, the land secured by Abel Westfall. The territory was then within the limits of Hamilton County, and the plat for the town is recorded in Cincinnati. By 1798, a few cabins were erected 6 to 8 miles apart on the "trace" leading from Chillicothe by way of Westfall, to Franklinton (Columbus) as early as 1798.

All of the territory on the east side of the Scioto River was Congress Lands, while the land west of the river was within the Virginia Military District. Surveyors began their adventurous task in the Spring of 1787 west of the river. The VA Military Land was at first in greater demand than the plains and other land on the east side. The By 1801 the Land Office was opened in Chillicothe and sales of Congress Land commenced. Settlers came in very rapidly and by 1810, the first census of the county, the population was 7,124.

Pickaway County came into existence March 1, 1810, by act of the General Assembly of Ohio in session at Chillicothe on January 12, 1910. In the formation of the county, one township, Salt Creek, was taken from Fairfield County; the remainder was set off from Franklin and Ross Counties.

The name Pickaway (originally Piqua) which was adopted was of Indian origin. It is said to have been the name of a numerous family of the Shawnee tribe who occupied the plains, known as the Pickaway Plains when the first white people came there.

The house of Henry Nevill, was appointed as the place to hold courts in the new county until the permanent location of the county seat, the village of Jefferson. Jefferson was about 2 miles south of Circleville, a trading post at that time. The town disappeared as Circleville grew and became the new county seat.


 


First Settlers of Pickaway Co.

 

The following list is of the first settlers (1787-1820) in Pickaway County.

Key to Source Abbreviations:


PKH = History of Pickaway County, Ohio and Representative Citizens, 1906, Hon. Aaron R. Van Cleaf
F-PH = History of Franklin and Pickaway Counties, Ohio, 1880, Williams Bros.
D = Deed Volume/Page Number
 

 

Settler

Origin

Settled

Year
Settled

Source /
Researcher

Notes

Apple, Pete

 

    by April, 1810 PKH p. 18 elected Commissioner
Ater, George

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 1st grand jury
Barr, Samuel

 

  Jefferson by July, 1810 PKH p. 20 tavern license
Barr, Thomas

 

    by April, 1810 PKH p. 19 Common Pleas Judge
Bennett, John

 

    by April, 1810 PKH p. 19 guilty of manslaughter
Bodkin, Charles

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 tavern license
Brotherlin, Christian

 

    by June, 1810 PKH p. 18 Road committee
Burget, John

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 1st grand jury
tavern license
Cade, Charles

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 1st grand jury
Cherry, Reuben

 

    died by April, 1810 PKH p. 19  
Creighton, Hugh

 

  Harrison Twp. by June, 1810 PKH p. 18,20 1st grand jury
tavern license
Decker, Luke

 

  Madison Twp. by June, 1810 PKH p. 18  
Denny, James

 

    by June, 1810 PKH p. 19 Surveyor of road
1st Clerk of Courts
Douglas, Richard

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 1st prosecuting attorney
Dresbach, Daniel

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 1st Director of courts
Emrey, George

 

    by Feb. 1811 Gordon Emery Md. to Isabella Smith on 18 Feb 1811 in Circleville
Ensworth, Andrew

 

    by June, 1810 PKH p. 18 Road committee
Ernest, Christopher

 

    by June, 1810 PKH p. 19  
Fox, Arthur

 

Virginia   Spring, 1787 PKH p. 22 Surveyed VA Military Land
Hedges, Joseph

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 store license
Hepner, Benjamin

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 1st grand jury
Holmes, Jonathan

 

    by April, 1810 PKH p. 18 elected Commissioner
Hosselton, Jacob

 

    1804 PKH p. 88 More Info
Jorden, James

 

    by June, 1810 PKH p. 19  
Kinnear, David

 

    by April, 1810 PKH p. 18 Hist. p.18 elected Commissioner
Lippencott, Samuel

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 store license
Litler, Elisha

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 1st grand jury
Ludwig, Daniel

 

    by June, 1810 PKH p. 19  
Lybrand, Samuel

 

    by June, 1810 PKH p. 18 Hist. p.18 1st Assessor
Marquis, William

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 1st grand jury
Martin, James

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 1st grand jury
Massie, Nathaniel

 

Virginia   1788 PKH p. 22 Surveyed VA Military Land
McNeal, John

 

    by April, 1810 PKH p. 18 elected Coroner
Miller, West

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 1st grand jury
Miller, William

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 1st grand jury
Morris, Ezekial

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 1st grand jury
Nevill, Henry

 

  Jefferson by 1801 PKH p. 18 Hist. p.18 1st Treasurer 1810
1810-store license
O'Bannon, John, Maj.

 

Virginia   Spring, 1787 PKH p. 22 Surveyed VA Military Land
Pontious, George

 

    by June, 1810 PKH p. 18 Road committee
Puthuff, William H.

 

    by April, 1810 PKH p. 19 1st Recorder
Reed, John

 

    by June, 1810 PKH p. 19  
Renick, James

 

    by April, 1810 PKH p. 18 Hist. p.18 1st elected sheriff
Renick, Jonathan

 

  Darby Creek 1800 PKH p. 18 Hist. p.18  
Renick, Thomas

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 1st grand jury
Renick, William

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 1st grand jury
Robinson, John

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 1st grand jury
Row, Peter

 

    by June, 1810 PKH p. 19  
Seals, James

 

    by June, 1810 PKH p. 19  
Seymour, William

 

    by April, 1810 PKH p. 19 Common Pleas Judge
Shanton, Abraham

 

  Deer Creek 1800 PKH p. 18 Hist. p.18  
Shelby, David

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 1st grand jury
Shoemaker, Jacob

 

    by April, 1810 PKH p. 19 Common Pleas Judge
d. 1843
Slycer, Samuel

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 20 tavern license
Straus, Philip

 

    by June, 1810 PKH p. 19  
Timmons, John

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 1st grand jury
Westfall, Abel

 

  Westfall, Hamilton Co. ca 1800 PKH p. 18. Hist. p.18 1st secured land
Williams, Edward

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 1st grand jury
Williams, Isaac

 

    by July, 1810 PKH p. 19 1st grand jury
Zeiger, Jacob, Jr.

 

  Circleville by March, 1811 PKH p. 19, 20 1st court house
wife, Susannah md. 2nd
Jacob Shoemaker

 

 


DARBY TOWNSHIP

 

Darby Twp. is located in the extreme northwest corner of Pickaway County. The boundary lines of Darby Twp. were not finalized until 1878 on the eastern side. Until then Darby extended east of Darby Creek, however its eastern border is now at the creek, with Scioto and Muhlenberg Twp. to its eastern side, and Monroe and Muhlenberg meeting the southern boundary. Greenbrier Run is a tributary of Darby Creek; Opossum Run and Van Buskirk's Run empty into Deer Creek. About 1800, at the time of the early settlement, the land was covered with forests of oak, hard maple, hickory and red and white elm.
The first settlements were made chiefly by Virginians, on large tracts which were leased to tenants. The pioneers never wanted for fresh meat as deer and wild turkeys abounded in the forests as did predators suchs as wolves, wild cats and wild boars. A village of friendly Wyandotte Indians lived within the township on land which later became the farm of David Davis.

Church meetings abounded within the township in early days. The first was a Methodist denomination begun by Thomas Reynolds, an exhorter, soon after 1800. The Free Will Church, for any denomination, was formed at an early date and meetings were held in homes and barns until a log meeting house was built in 1844. Rev. Isaac Henry started a Baptist church in the northwest corner of the township around 1807. From about 1844 until about 1860 there was a class of United Brethren in Christ located at Era, then known as Palestine. A Methodist Episcopal Church was formed at Derby after it became a railroad station. In addition, the population at Derby later organized a Disciples' Chapel. Era also supported a Methodist Episcopal Church.

It is believed that John Poulson taught on of the earliest schools about 1815. Era (Palestine) organized a school which was kept by Miss Emmerett Moore. The first physician who settled in Palestine was Dr. Olds in 1830; and Dr. C. W. Higgins was most likely the first physician to located at Derby.

The Harrisburg grist mill was erected by Joseph Chenoweth on Darby Creek around 1830, where he had previously established a saw mill. Elijah Chenoweth and Alfred Bird built a carding mill at the same place. Two others mills were built and operated by James Kepler and John G. Garrison.

In 1906 Era was the name of the village previously called Palestine, situated on Deer Creek near the Madison County line. It was laid out around 1829 by Josiah Rush and George Alkire who opened the first store. One of the first buildings erected was a tavern established by Messrs. Mitchell and Pritchard. These were soon followed by various other stores operated by JohnV. Davis, Samuel Diffenderfer, Thomas Fellows, Joseph Tenney, Jerrold Sweetland and George Neff & Son. Joseph Tenney was the first postmaster. Derby was a station on the Baltimore & Ohio R.R. located in the center of the township, which prospered with a variety of stores and businesses.


DEER CREEK TOWNSHIP

 

The following township history was submitted by Clark Edwards, clarkedw@cpcug.org, whose 3rd great grandfather, Ebenezer Davis, settled in Williamsport and built the 4th house in the village. Thank you, Clark!


Deer Creek township took its name from the creek which flows through the level landscape of what is now the southwest corner of Pickaway County. The township was originally in Ross County, formed out of part of the Virginia Military lands. Pioneer settlers came largely from Kentucky and Virginia. Among the first settlers were Simon, Michael, and Isaac Hornbeck, who came up from Kentucky in 1797. Other family names appearing before or near the turn of the century included Alkire, Ater, Baker, Cade, Colven, Davison, English, Hanson, McCollister, Myers, Phebus, Rector, Reid, Scott, Smith, Starbill, Taylor, Wilson, Wolfe, and Yates.

The first birth in the township was probably Nancy Alkire, daughter of Michael and Dorothy Phebus Alkire, born in 1803. The first death was probably Mrs. Davison, mother of Edward Davison. She died in 1803, soon after the family's arrival in Deer Creek Township. The first suicide was probably that of John Redin, who set fire to his house before taking his own life, in 1813.

Reverend Barton W. Stone arrived in the township in 1803, after having been a leader at a camp- meeting, held in Cain Ridge, KY, where the meetings had been characterized by vigorous bodily contortions. His sect, called New Light, met at the home of George Alkire. In 1804 the name was changed to the Later Christian Church. The first meeting house was built in 1810, close to the Tipton residence. In 1816 a larger meeting house was built on the Christian Cemetery property, and soon there was another, larger meeting-house. In 1869 an even larger structure was built on land donated by Ebenezer Davis.

The Deer Creek circuit of the Methodist Episcopal Church was formed in 1826. Members met in various dwellings, first at the home of Samuel Parrott and later mostly at the homes of Peter Hunsicker and James McFarland. A meeting house was built in 1841; Reverend Francis Wilson preached at the opening. A larger meeting house was built in 1864.

1826 also saw the first meeting of the Mount Pleasant Methodist Episcopal Church. Meetings were held at the homes of Henry Rector and Jacob Terwilliger. A frame meeting house was built in 1838. A larger meeting house was completed in 1859.

The first orchard was established by P. H. Baker by 1810. George Reid planted an orchard about the same time.

The flowing waters of Deer Creek provided labor-saving power to the early settlers. Pennell H. Baker's grist mill, built in 1812, was followed by other grist mills and by saw mills. McGath imagined that the waters of the large pond then located just east of the creek could supply permanent power for a mill located on the creek a few hundred yards from the pond. However, the pond was drained dry in a few days of operation, and the major benefit to the community was an increase in the supply of good farmland. Most of the mills were short-lived, suffering from fire, flood, or disuse.

The first distillery was built around 1815 by David Yates. Deer Creek distilleries provided export goods; customers came from other townships to trade grain for whiskey. However, this trade was eventually abolished and liquor could be obtained in the township only for medicinal purposes. All out war upon hard liquor was conducted by the Sons of Temperance and Good Templars; the Alpha Grange, No. 59, Patrons of Husbandry, was chartered on June 3, 1873.

The first store was operated on Water Street in 1815 by Mr. Foresman. This store closed in about a year, and the village was without a store until Joseph G. Dodridge opened one in 1822.

The first hotel was operated by John Wilson. Later, one was kept by Ebenezer Davis and, still later, one by John Harmount.

The first postmaster, John Williams, was commissioned in 1816, but he soon resigned and the office was held by Ebenezer Davis, who turned the office over to his son, Ebenezer Sigler Davis, in 1835.

The first school in the village was taught by Mr. White in 1818. Some twenty-five scholars met in a small log house located on the property of Ebenezer Davis.

The first election of officers for the township was apparently in 1816.

Williamsport was platted on February 27, 1818 and incorporated about 1842. At first, annual elections were held, but village leadership was indifferent and the incorporation lapsed. The 1858 elections revived the community until another lapse during the civil war. A third organization, on July 2, 1866, was accompanied by the addition of 20 lots on South Water Street. While this organization managed to survive, village officers continued to display a degree of indifference for some years after the war. Wartime price levels were held for years as trade drained away to nearly centers, including Circleville. During the 1880s business leaders began to develop local and export trade and the village became more lively.

The Williamsport Cornet Band was organized February 5, 1876, led by Captain William B. Davis. It's 13 members had a fine set of instruments, costing some $325.

There is a chalybeate spring near Williamsport. The water tasted like iron, and was said to have medicinal properties. It attracted users from miles around.

 


HARRISON TOWNSHIP

Harrison Township was a part of the Congress Lands and was not open for settlement until 1801, however, squatters began settling here as early as 1798 and made improvements which entitled them to first choice at government land sales. The township is bounded on the east by Walnut Creek and on the west by the Scioto River. Fish were plentiful and the settlers created seines of grapevines and brush to reap this harvest. The bottom lands south of South Bloomfield were treacherous during early floods in 1805 and 1814. It is reported that the flood of 1805 saw all of the land between the Scioto and Walnut Creek covered with flood waters. The land at this time was covered with a dense growth of hardwood timber, except for the plains around South Bloomfield.


The erection of the township government took place on June 15, 1810, and the first election was held June 23 of the same year. The vote was cast at the home of Hugh Creighton, whom became one of the first Justices of the Peace. In the year 1807 Michael Millar, of this township, and John Davis, from near Columbus, took a boatload of pork from below Chillicothe to New Orleans by river, returning on horseback. The first mail route through South Bloomfield was established prior to 1812, which was carried by post-boys on horseback from Chillicothe to Franklinton. Later stage coaches carried the mail. The Ohio Canal was built through this township between the years 1825 and 1830 which employed many of the settlers. In 1804 James Short built a still-house below South Bloomfield. Simon Headley built a grist-mill near the South Bloomfield bridge which continued under the proprietorship of a Mr. Van Gundy. A ferry was established above the mill dam for people from the west bank to cross the river to the mill with their grain. In 1809 a saw and grist-mill on Walnut Creek was owned by James Short and a Mr. Shafer built a horse-mill in the eastern part of the township.

In 1812 two distilleries were built near Ashville and were owned by William and Richard Stage. The land that is now Ashville was at that time primarily the property of Richard Stage. After many years he sold his distillery to Mahlon Ashbrook, who did a large business. He also built a grist mill on Walnut Creek about 1845 and owned a large store until about 1855. A few years later the distillery was also closed. From then until the construction of the Scioto Valley Railroad through Ashville and the advent of a depot, business was slow at Ashville. George C. Morrison became its first postmaster after 1874. Ashville was incorporated in 1880, with the first mayor being W. R. Julian.

The first church in Harrison township was a Presbyterian Church organized in 1814 by Rev. William Jones. Around 1833 Methodist meetings were held at the home of Daniel Millar at South Bloomfield during which time services were conducted by circuit preachers on the Pickaway Circuit. The first church building was constructed of brick in the year 1837 on land donated by William Renick. In the eastern part of the township Asbury Chapel of the Methodist Church was organized in a log schoolhouse about 1835. The Ashville Methodist Church wasn't organized until around 1885 and was a part of the Ashville Circuit which included Hedges Chapel and East Union M.E. Churches in Walnut Twp. The Ashville U.B. Church was originally built in Section 6 east of Ashville, but was moved to town after its formation. In 1887 the Ashville Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized in a building on Long Street.

South Bloomfield was platted to include 40 acres in 1803 by David Denny who employed General James Denny to make the survey. During the time of stage coach travel, South Bloomfield prospered, but with the advent of the canal, one mile to the east, and the railroad, two miles to the east, traffic through South Bloomfield dwindled. Hugh Creighton opened the first store there in 1804, William and John Bradshaw started a second one as well as established the first post office in 1810. The village was incorporated in 1833, with it's first president being Thomas Burrell. In 1906 the town had both the Bell and the Citizens' phones and was lighted by seven patent gasoline lights. The population in 1900 was 223, which supported a general merchandise store, a grocery store, a meat shop, two shoemakers, a harness and leather worker, 3 blacksmiths, an undertaker, a veterinary surgeon and a feed stable. The Harrison Twp. Cemetery was originally on land donated by Jams Short, to which William Millar added two acres in 1850. The oldest stone was probably the daughter of Jonathan and Rachel Holmes, Sarah Holmes, who died in October, 1801, aged 2 years and 5 months.

The first log schoolhouse was built in the eastern part of South Bloomfield in 1808. In one end of the building was the door, and at the other end was a massive fireplace which extended the width of the room and was fueled with long logs. The window was an opening created by removing one log the length of the building, and covering the opening with a lattice-work of sticks. Over these sticks oiled paper was attached which allowed filtered sunlight into the dark schoolroom. A frame schoolhouse was built in 1817 and was supported by subscriptions.

Harrison Twp. had a large number of societies and lodges which were typical of communities in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Pickaway Lodge, No. 747, I.O.O.F. had a membership of almost 100 in 1906, as well as its afilliated auxiliary organization, Linden Rebekah Lodge, owned the Odd Fellows' Building at the corner of Long and Bortz Streets. Palmetto Lodge, No. 513, K. of P., had a membership of approximately 100 and owned its own building. Ashville Camp, No. 4,635, M.W. of A., was established in 1897 and in 1906 boasted a membership of about 65. A tent of the Knights of the Maccabees No. 560, had 30 members after only one year. Smaller societies included the Ashville Lodge, No. 3,005, K. of H.; Morral Post, No. 167, G.A.R.; Morral Women's Relief Corps, No. 112; Ashville Lodge, No. 490, I.O.G.T.; and one which had ceased existence by 1906, the Knights & Ladies of Honor, Union Lodge, No. 1795. In addition to the above societies there were two organizations of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, one in Ashville and one in South Bloomfield.

One of the earliest physicians of Harrison Twp. was Dr. J. C. Thompson who located in South Bloomfield about 1837 and practiced medicine until his death in 1889. Another long-standing physician in Ashville was Dr. Charles Steward whom also conducted a drug store and was proprietor of the Opera House, which had a seating capacity of 500. The Citizens' Bank of Ashville was organized in 1894 and the Ashville Banking Company was established in 1906. In the spring of 1899 the Ashville sweet corn canning factory, a part of the Scioto Canning Company was built. It had a capacity for making 50,000 cans a day during season. Other industries included a saw mill, two grain elevators, and a brick-yard. In 1906 there were more than 50 other businesses in Ashville in addition to one newspaper.

Located on the Ohio Canal between Ashville and South Bloomfield is Millport, so named because of its large mill. As early as 1810, Stephen Short erected a distillery here, and by 1837 Richard Stage laid out lots for the village. Stage also established a pork-packing business and a warehouse near the canal. In 1906 the village still supported 3 groceries. Duvall, in the northern part of the township, was a station on the Norfolk & Western Railway which had a population of about 50 in 1906. Also, one grain elevator, a tile factory, a general merchandise store, a dealer in agricultural implements and hardware, and a blacksmith shop were all contained within the village.
 


JACKSON TOWNSHIP

 

It is said that the earliest survey in the state was made in 1774 in Jackson Twp. by John Joliff, a private soldier in Lord Dunmore's army. This survey encompassed 4,000 or 5,000 acres and was later confirmed by the courts and was made without compass or chain. Jackson Twp. lies west of the Scioto River and east of Muhlenberg and Monroe townships. Darby Creek passes throughout from the northwest to the southeast and supported numerous grist mills and sawmills, the earliest built by William Marquis. The older mills had disappeared by the turn of the century, however mills built as early as 1833 continued their operation until near the end of the century mark. Because of its location within the Virginia Military District many of the early settlers were from that state.


The Presbyterians established Florence Chapel in 1877, a small branch of the Circleville Presbyterian Church. The first meetings of the Methodists were held at the cabin of John Rush on Darby Creek and at the home of William Littleton on Lick Run. As the membership grew meetings were held in a school house until a building was erected in 1864. The Renick Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in the early 1880s on the Florence Chapel turnpike. Later the Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized on Lick Run.

Tombstone inscriptions begin in 1807 in a cemetery on the bank of Darby Creek, one of several small cemeteries in the township. A larger Jackson Township Cemetery was established around 1880. The year 1826 was a hard year for the pioneers of Jackson Twp. An epidemic which they called a malignant sickness known as the 'cold plague' swept throughout the township and caused the death of many family members and neighbors.

The first road built in the township was the old State Road which ran from Franklinton (Columbus) to Chillicothe. Over this road the first weekly mail arrived in Jackson township. The coach left Franklinton on Friday, stopped at Marquis' mill overnight and reached Chillicothe on Saturday, returned to Thompson's on Darby Creek for Saturday night and then returned to Franklinton on Sunday. A post office was established at Marquis' mill and at Westfall.

The first schoolhouse in the township was erected out of logs just below John Renick's home in 1807. This was near what the settlers called "Strawberry Prairie." In 1906 Jackson Twp. had eleven school districts with 277 students. By the turn of the century the only hamlet in the township was named Fox and had a population of about 25. The business conducted there consisted of Trimble Brothers store, first run by James Trimble and later his sons; and a blacksmith shop.

 


MADISON TOWNSHIP


Early settlement in Madison Township was made on small tracts, as Madison was included in the Congress lands which were not sold until 1801. The township is in the northeastern part of Pickaway County, bordered by Franklin Co. on the north, Fairfield County on the east, on the south by Walnut Township and on the west by Harrison Township, Pickaway Co. It was established on June 5, 1810, and is the smallest township in the county.

Walnut Creek is the chief stream which flows through the western half in a southerly direction. Slate Run and its branches run through the eastern portion, and empty into Walnut Creek. The soil is uniformly good, consisting of black loam and gravel on the lower lands and clay on the hills with many banks of gravel. Hills rise from the eastern side and slope to lowlands in the west which were swamps in the early days, abounding in ducks and geese. The forests were the home of deer, turkeys, pheasants, rabbits, squirrels, and bears were occasionally seen. Many Indian artifacts have been found in the township, relics of the villages that once occupied the forest.

Early Lutherans attended church in Fairfield Co. until St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church (at what was then called Teegarden, now called St. Paul) was established in 1834, Rev. Joseph A. Roof being appointed their first minister, where he continued until 1855, and returned for a term in 1860. Their first church building was built in partnership with the German Reformed congregation. Trinity Lutheran Church was organized in 1856 in Section 25 on land given by Jacob Brobst. The Pleasant Grove Methodist Episcopal Church was organized about 1844 by Rev. Isaac Hunter, but disbanded by 1869 or 1870. The Madison Presbyterian Church wasn't organized until 1895.

In the center of section 17 was located the first cemetery, on land owned by a non-resident, Jacob Behenstaugh. No stones were left there in 1906. In 1843 a cemetery was started by Z. H. Perrill on the old Perrill farm, Nathan Perrill being the first burial. Other cemeteries exist in the township also. In 1906 six school districts were in use, including Madison High School. The high school was established in 1883 at St. Paul, and later a building was constructed in the center of the township which consisted of two rooms.

Early mills in the township included an oil mill erected by Jacob Shook, which extracted oil from flax seed, and he later built a saw mill. The first grist mill was owned by Luke Decker, in 1816 or 1817, and continued operation for 25 or 30 years. Jacob Shafer established a tannery after 1810 and a small horse-powered mill for grinding. Stills were operated to manufacture whiskey by William Bishop, Jesse and John Reed and Enoch Henry; a copper still and mill was operated by William Teegardin. Stone quarries were opened, but the quality of stone was not profitable. The merchants of St. Paul consisted of G. A. Knepper and John R. Teegardin's store, which was in turn owned by Teegardin and Julian, Teegardin solely, next in partnership with his brother, George Philip Teegardin, passed on to John's son, John, and the same establishment was owned by H. H. Teegardin in 1906. In 1906 Harley Gatten ran a blacksmith shop and George Bowers a shoe shop. Rev. J. A. Roof was the village's first postmaster from 1859 or 1860 through 1902 when rural free delivery was begun from Ashville.
 


MONROE TOWNSHIP

Monroe township is surrounded by Perry, Deer Creek, Muhlenberg, Jackson, and Muhlenberg townships, and bordered by Fayette and Madison counties on the west. Deer Creek forms a majority of the southern boundary, and Clark's Van Buskirk's and Mud Runs cross through the township. The soil is mostly clay and the land mostly level. Monroe was organized after the erection of Pickaway Co.

Churches in the township include the Hebron M.E. Church located in the southwestern part which was formed soon after settlement in 1799. Meetings were held in log cabins of the settlers and in the log school-house near Foster's, and was attached to Deer Creek township's circuit, the early ministers also serving the church at Williamsport. Their first church building was built in 1838. The Greenland M. E. Church, also known as Timmons Church, dates to about 1834 when a class was begun by Revs. Philip Nation and Joshua Boucher of the London circuit. Later Greenland became part of the Mount Sterling circuit. Pleasant Grove M.E. Church at Five Points, was also originally part of the London circuit and later Mount Sterling. The first meeting of eleven members was held in 1849 at the home of John C. Berry. Another Methodist Episcopal Church, Yankeetown, was established in later years. Clark's Run Christian Church was formed as early as 1822, but was no longer active by 1906. The Christian Church at Five Points was formed by Rev. Caleb Morris in 1864, and the Renick Church was moved from Darby township into Monroe after 1900 to be used by the Holiness Church.

School districts numbered 14 in 1906, and all but one building was constructed of brick. Five Points is located several miles southwest of Darbyville. The first store was established in 1849. In 1851 a post office was established which served the community until 1906 when residents received their mail by rural free delivery from Mt. Sterling and Williamsport post offices.

 


 

MUHLENBERG TOWNSHIP


Muhlenberg Twp. was erected 08 Dec 1830, and formed from portions of Jackson, Scioto, Darby and Monroe townships. It is the 2nd smallest township in the county. The first survey for a township was made by Judge William Florence in 1826 or 1827. A change was made in its boundaries in 1851. It is believed the first election was held in 1831. In 1875 a town house was built on the main street in Darbyville for $1,200. Darby Creek flows from northwest to southeast through the center of the township and is the only stream of any size. Darby Creek derives its name from an old Indian chief who lived on its banks at an early day. Two small streams are known as Dry Run and George's Run. The land was covered with a heavy growth of timber: walnut, maple, ash, elm, honey-locust and sycamore in the black loam of the bottoms and oak on the uplands' clay soil. This land was cleared by felling the trees and burning the logs or girdling the trees to expedite the cultivation of the land. Small tracts on the western side were covered with luxuriant wild grasses that sometimes reached to a man's shoulders while he was mounted on horseback.

When Virginia ceded this portion of Ohio to the federal government, the lands west of the Scioto River were reserved by the State of Virginia for her Revolutionary War soldiers as a reward for their services. Of this military land, Gen. Peter Muhlenberg owned some 1700 acres; Henry Baldwin 1200; Henry Massie 1200; while Carter, Copeland and others owned large tracts. Gen. Peter Muhlenberg was one of the most ardent patriots of the Revolutionary War. He was a minister when the war broke out, but quickly became a valiant soldier. The township of Muhlenberg is named after his youngest son, Francis who settled here in 1820.

This section was the home of the Shawnee Indians. At an early day small bands of these Indians lived in various parts of the township, even after the country was partially settled. The Shawnee returned in the spring for the purpose of making maple sugar. A short distance above Darbyville, along the creek, was located a large burying ground in the rear of the old camp of the band to which the Chief Darby belonged. At an early day an Indian duel took place just below Darbyville at another Indian camp.

A legend has been handed down in the township history of the excursion of Isaac Van Meter, then well along in years, who mounted his horse and rode into the woods to gather in some of his hogs that had been fattening on 'shack,' as acorns and beechnuts were called. He was gone much longer than was expected and it was not unusual for settlers to become somewhat lost when the traveled away from a path. His family called for some neighbors for help and they found him 3 miles from home. He had dismounted and tied his horse to a bush and was engaged in whipping a pole-cat around with a little switch. When asked what he was doing that for, he declared that he was so cold that it occurred to him that he would warm up if he would whip that pole-cat for a while. His neighbors escorted him home, but kept a fair distance from his downwind side.

A Baptist Church was established around 1820 but wasn't in existence long. A branch of the Presbyterian Church was organized around 1825. Services were held in member's homes in the winter and in a pleasant grove during the summer. Logs were rolled together for seats for the congregation. In 1842 a church was erected in Jackson Twp. near the Muhlenberg township line, and Presbyterians of Muhlenberg attended church there. The Darbyville M.E. Church had its beginnings around 1826 at Mr. McKinley's house. Another Methodist church, the Pherson M.E. Church was established in later years. The African M.E. Church was organized in the spring of 1878 at Darbyville.

At an early day there were several cemeteries established, most of them family and neighborhood burial grounds. In 1879 there were eight of these in existence. In 1875 Darbyville bought 5 acres of ground for a township burial ground.

 


PERRY TOWNSHIP

 

Perry is the township lying in the extreme southwest corner of Pickaway County. Originally included in Deer Creek Township, it was detached in the early 1820s. Deer Creek forms the northern boundary of the township, while Hay Run and Hamilton Run traverse throughout. The surface is broken by numerous ravines near Deer Creek and the bottom lands produce abundant quantities of grains. The township also contains areas of black loam which are well adapted to corn. New Holland and Atlanta served as stations for the C&MV Railroad.

The township was settled mainly by Virginians beginning around 1799. The Methodists were the first to hold religious services in the township, establishing six churches, three of which were no longer active in 1906: Cedar Grove, the Methodist Episcopal on Hay Run, and the Locust Grove M. E. Church. The Methodist Churches still in existence in 1906 were the New Holland M.E. Church which was organized before 1825; the Dublin Hill M.E. Church was established around 1858 and reorganized around 1878; and the Atlanta M.E. Church which was organized by 1896. The New Holland Disciples' Church began around 1857 with meetings held at the home of T. Hess before the construction of their frame building. A large brick church was built in 1901. The New Holland Presbyterian Church was founded in 1863 and was in existence only a few years.

The plat of the village of New Holland was acknowledged before Alexander Rowen, Justice of the Peace, on 02 Sep 1818. The description as recorded in Book B of the Pickaway Co. Deed Book shows the name was then Flemingsburgh. The village was incorporated March 9, 1835. Rev. Francis A. Wilson was elected as the first mayor, and D. Blue, Jacob Hosselton, Reuben Lloyd and Alexander Cochran were the first trustees. Charles Green was one of the first merchants at New Holland, dealing in groceries and whiskey while entertaining travelers. George Bohrer built the first brick block and was a pioneer merchant. The oldest working mill in the township was Crownover Mill which was first run by a man named Baker in 1812.
 


PICKAWAY TOWNSHIP

At the time the army of Lord Dunmore came into this country, in 1774, there were a number of important villages on the Pickaway Plains, specifically in Pickaway Township. In this vicinity were Cornstalk's Town and Grenadier Squawtown, Camp Charlotte was situated on Scippo Creek in the southwest quarter of Section 12, and the encampment of General Lewis was on the southeast quarter of Section 30 on Congo Creek. On the farm later settled by the Boggs family, later known as Elmwood Farm, was located the large elm tree where Chief Logan is said to have delivered his famous speech. The Indians lingered around the region for some time after white settlers arrived. Their contact with the settlers was uniformly friendly and no trouble or annoyance was caused by their presence.

The Pickaway Plains makes up the greater part of the township, and it was the plains that attracted the first settlers of the area because there was no forest to clear before the first crops could be planted. The first settlers found a thick grass growing on the plains, so tall that it could be tied over a horse's back. Soil was so black and fertile in these plains that the early years produced 100 bushels of corn per acre and 50 bushels of wheat, and thus, the early nickname of the "Garden Spot of Ohio." The plural "Plains" stems from the fact that there are two parts: the upper and the lower plains. The surface of the 47-square-mile township is chiefly rolling outside of the Plains, which is almost perfectly level. Scippo Creek enters the township in Section 12, and flows throughout the northern part of the township to the Scioto River. Congo Creek flows through the southern part and unites with Scippo Creek a mile above its mouth. The Kinnickinnick is another stream worthy of mention.

The first cabins were erected in 1796 or 1797 along Zanes' Trace, which led through the plains from the crossing of the Hockhocking River (now Lancaster) to Chillicothe. It is believed that Caleb Evans was the first white settler, and his daughter, Mary Evans, was the first white child born in the township, and probably the first in the county, her birth date being June 8, 1798.

The first Methodist class was organized at Salem, now known as Meade, as early as 1802 or 1803 when a log meeting house was built. This was replaced with another log building in the fall of 1816. Emmett's Chapel Methodists organized on the plains and held meetings alternately with the Presbyterian Church which organized in 1808.
 


SALT CREEK TOWNSHIP

One of the earliest settled townships of the county, Salt Creek Township comprised territory taken from Fairfield County to form Pickaway County in 1810. The land in the township was not for sale by the government until 1801, however, squatters came before that, attracted by the fertile lands along Salt Creek. Some remained and purchased the land they had made improvements on, while others moved to other territory.


It is six miles square and is bounded on the north by Fairfield County, on the east by Hocking County, on the south by Ross County and on the west by Pickaway township, Pickaway County. Salt Creek is the principal stream running throughout the township, with tributaries of Laurel Creek, Moccasin Creek, Pike Hale Run and Plum Run. Scippo Creek a branch of the Scioto River crosses sections 6 and 7 in the northwest corner of the township. Prairie lands make up part of the township as well as forested foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Wild game consisted of turkeys, deer and small game. Wolves were annoying to the settler with their constant howling and sheep attacks. The last bear killed in Pickaway County was shot in Salt Creek township in 1840 by Jonathan Dreisbach and John Reichelderfer, who shot the animal simultaneously after it had been treed.

On April 6, 1810, William Drury and Jacob Lutz were appointed Justices of the Peace. Part of Adelphi was attached to Salt Creek on March 7, 1843.

Early churches abounded in Salt Creek Township. As early as 1805 the Salt Creek Baptist Church was organized in the southwestern portion of the township, the name being changed in 1812 to Union Baptist Church. Until a meeting-house was constructed of hickory logs in Section 28, services were held in the log cabins of the settlers. About 1841 a church building was erected at Prairie View (now Whisler), and was no longer in existence by 1880. The German Reformed Church was organized at Tarlton about 1807 by Rev. George Wise of Lancaster. About the same time the German Lutheran society was formed and the two united in the building of a log meeting house, which was replaced about 1830 with a combination log / frame building. In 1861 the Reformed congregation built a brick church and the Lutherans built a frame building, and later changed the name to St. Jacob's Church. Rev. Samuel Jacobs converted to Cumberland Presbyterians, taking most of the congregation with him, which later became the Tarlton Presbyterian Church. . The Presbyterian members prevailed in the ownership of the building and the Reformed members built a frame church which existed until about 1875. St. Jacob's Evangelical Lutheran Church at Tarlton was organized November 8, 1861. The Whisler Presbyterian Church began as a Cumberland Presbyterian congregation in 1859, meeting in a frame schoolhouse. Jerusalem Church, or Stumpf Church as it is frequently called, was organized about 1820 as a German Reformed society by Revs. George Wise and Jacob Leist, one of the earliest pioneer preachers of that time. Services were held in a schoolhouse until 1831 in the southeast corner of Section 26, when a brick church was built, replaced by another brick church in 1877.

In 1819 or 1820 German Reformed and Lutheran classes in the western portion of the township joined to build a log meeting house which later became United Brethren Church. The Dresbach U.B. Church was formed about 1820 at the home of George Dreisbach. First members were George and his wife, Henry Dreisbach and wife, John Dreisbach and Elizabeth Whitesel. In 1829 the brick building was built on the north line of the township adjoining Fairfield County. The Tarlton U.B. Church was organized about 1840 by Revs. Lewis, Ambrose and Joshua Montgomery, and meetings were held at the home of Jacob Larick until a building was erected about 2 years later. The Tarlton M.E. Church was organized before 1825, the first meetings being held at the home of Abraham Monnett, progressed to a log schoolhouse until a church was built in 1840. The Whisler M.E. Church, earlier known as the Oak Grove M.E. Church was formed in 1858 by union of the Warren schoolhouse class and that at Hallers Chapel. Union Chapel of the M.E. Church was situated near the home of S.S. McClelland. The English Evangelical Lutheran Church at Tarlton was formed in 1835 by Rev. Nathan B. Little, occupying the church building of the Old School Presbyterians until about 1841 when the society erected a new building. In 1875 a church of the Evangelical Association was formed at Pleasant View, 2 miles north of Whisler, and later split into two societies who shared the building.

Stumpf burying ground is the oldest known cemetery in the township, the first person buried there was Jane Defenbaugh who died October, 1804, the ground donated by George S. Dunkel. The Dresbach U.B. Church is also one of the oldest cemeteries. Mound Hill Cemetery near Whisler is located near the center of the township. There are a number of family burial plots scattered throughout.

In 1803 or 1804 the first schoolhouse of the township was built on the southwest quarter of Section 24. Soon after a log structure was built in Tarlton, with a man named Mitchell teaching the first term. In Section 33 a log schoolhouse was built on land owned by Joseph Schoots, Timothy Beach being an early teacher. By the end of the century, the township had 9 districts. Dr. Otis Ballard located at Tarlton in 1817 and practiced medicine until 1842. Tarlton Lodge 218, I.O.O.F. was established March 6, 1853.

Pioneer industry was established first by John Lutz with a sawmill on Moccasin Creek. In 1810 or 1811 Abraham Barnet erected a sawmill at Tarlton which was improved to a flouring mill in 1815 by George Wolf, who introduced steam power about 1830. Sawmills on Salt Creek were established by Dunkel and Stumpf near Adelphi, and John and Christian Reichelderfer. Crouse's mill handled the milling needs of the first settlers near Chillicothe, later at Van Gundy's mill on the Kinnickinick. Jacob Strous built a water powered grist mill in 1820, a saw mill in 1825, replaced the original grist mill in 1831 and added a carding machine in 1834. A steam sawmill was built at Tarlton in 1849.

Newellstown was the first name for Tarlton, named after Benjamin Newell who laid out the first lots about 1801. Christopher Myers erected the first log cabin here and the first store was kept by a Mr. McLane. Jacob Sayler started the next store. Successive traders were Samuel Lybrand, William and Stephen Julian, and Singleton & Carr. John Shoemaker kept the first tavern in his log dwelling and later built the first frame building, and a Mr. Markwood began his tavern soon after Shoemaker, followed by Adam J. Nye after 1812. The road through Tarlton was the principal road from Kentucky to the east and General Jackson and Henry Clay stopped frequently on their way to Chillicothe. The postoffice was established prior to 1812, Samuel Lybrand being the first postmaster, succeeded by Adam J. Nye. Other smaller villages in the township are Whisler, Stringtown, along the Circleville and Adelphi Pike, and Leistville.

 


SCIOTO TOWNSHIP

Originally a part of Franklin Co., Scioto Township's borders changed often with the organization of Jackson Twp., Muhlenberg Twp. and Darby Twp. It is presently bordered by Franklin Co. on the north, the Scioto River on the east, Muhlenberg and Jackson townships on the south and Muhlenberg township and Darby Creek on the west. At an early date traces of earthworks indicating a form of defense and burial mounds were found on the bluffs of the Scioto. Settlement in Scioto Township was delayed because of dense forest growth and the lack of prairie lands. Land was sold in large tracts here, which limited the numbers of settlers per farm. Most of the early landowners were from Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Nathan Rawlins was one of the first justices of the peace and lived on the Franklinton Pike. He kept his ledger on a hewed log in his house, below the joist where the upper floor was laid. About 1808 a ferry was established near the South Bloomfield bridge to enable the settlers to cross the Scioto to Crampton's mill on the east bank of the Scioto. Jacob Fishel was the first blacksmith in the township, establishing his shop by 1811. Robert Seeds fired the first brick around 1815 or 1816. The first sawmill was built on Edward William's farm about 1808. Distilleries flourished in the township in the early days. A grist mill was built by Van Gundy on the Scioto and two were run on Darby Creek by Thompson and Kepler. Early school teachers included Mr. Perkins, Mr. McGinnis and "Jack" Stinson. William Herbert taught school about 1814 in a log schoolhouse on the Edward Williams tract. In 1906 the township had 13 districts .

Wiley H. Beckett came from eastern Virginia in 1829 and settled on a 238 acre tract west of the present Commercial Point. In 1841 he laid out a town which he named Genoa. James H. Burnley came from Virginia in 1832 and laid out a similar town east of Genoa and called it Rome. The first store was established in 1844 by Wiley H. Beckett. Genoa was incorporated in 1851, which encompassed Genoa and Rome. The name of the village was changed in 1872 to Commercial Point. Orient was established later in the 1800s as a station on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in the northwest corner of the township. A small settlement of about 50 inhabitants in the western section of the township was originally known as Jacktown and later called Matville; while another small settlement was made in the southern part which was called Robtown.

Churches in Scioto Township included the Commercial Point M.E. Church, established in Scioto Township between 1829 and 1834, in a log building called Point Pleasant Church. In 1854 a small brick church was built, a portion of the walls and roof were blown down in 1873 and a new building was built in its place. The Methodist Episcopal Church at Orient was established around 1890. Three miles east of Orient is the King's M.E. Church of Darbyville Circuit. A Baptist society was organized about 1829 at Darbyville, and was moved to Matville in 1874, 2 miles west of Commercial Point. The Scioto Chapel class of the United Brethren in Christ was organized at Robtown about 1843 in an old log schoolhouse which was replaced in 1875 with a frame structure and renamed Scioto Chapel. It is a part of the Ashville Circuit of the U.B. Church. About 1829 the Presbyterian Church was organized at the home of James Miller, a mile north of Commercial Point. A log church built on a lot later used as the township cemetery was erected about 1835 and used until 1857 when a frame church was built.

The first burial ground in Scioto township was on Thompson's Hill and the first burial was that of a Mrs. Welsh, mother of James Welsh, date unknown. The first marked grave is of William Mires who died 22 Sep 1819. Several small family cemeteries included the Foster burying-ground near Orient. In 1845 John and Jane Mundell deed a 2-acre lot to the Presbyterian Church for burials. The first burial was that of Thomas Fullerton in 1835. The oldest person buried is Mrs. Margaret Shannon, from Scotland, who was aged 103 years at her death. She was proud of the fact that the last person she danced with before leaving Scotland was Robert Burns.


 


WALNUT TOWNSHIP

While there were trappers camping here prior to 1797, the first permanent settlement was made in 1797 or 1798. Walnut Township's organization existed before the formation of the county in 1810. The western boundary of the township is Walnut Creek which divides it from Harrison Twp. and the Scioto River, Walnut Creek and Madison Twp. on the north, Fairfield County on the east, Washington and Circleville townships on the south. Tributaries of Walnut Creek are Little Walnut Creek and Turkey Run.
The land is a rolling surface, the highest point being at East Ringgold (once known as Grand View, now Ringgold), several hundred feet above Circleville. The native timber consisted of walnut, butternut, hickory, maple, oak, buckeye and wild cherry trees. Near Ringgold are 3 mounds, of a conical shape, extended in a nearly straight line from east to west with only a few yards between and were 15 to 20 feet in height.

Settlements in Walnut Township consisted of East Ringgold (Grand View), in the southeastern portion of the township; Walnut in the southwestern corner of the township; and Brinker's Corners where Jonathan Brinker sells buggies, wagons and farm machinery.

The manufacture of whiskey was one of the leading industries in Walnut township in the early days and continued through the building of the Ohio Canal, until the construction of railroads opened up a means to transport surplus corn. It was once said that from a certain vantage point on a farm in this township, the sites of 34 former distilleries could be seen at one time. The first sawmill was built by Richard Ward in 1811 or 1812 on Little Walnut Creek. As early as 1816 a second one was built, as well as a grist mill, by James Bell on Turkey Run; another one was built by William Williamson by 1825. John Hager, Sr., who came in 1803 built a small log grist-mill on Little Walnut a few years after he arrived and another mill about 1814 which was re-built by his son, John in the 1850's. Subsequently Samuel Campbell purchased it and it became widely known as Campbell's Mill. David Glick had a grist mill on Little Walnut. In 1838 Hugh Creighton & Son built a sawmill on Big Walnut, in 1846 putting in two run of stone for a grist mill. In 1879 there 4 sawmills in the township, three of which were operated by steam power. Aaron Stuckey built a sawmill at East Ringgold in the early 40's which was purchased by Absalom A Peters in 1871. He replaced it with a new one and sold it to his son-in-law, A. L. Peters. Mills owned by Lewis Scothorn and Emanuel Westenhaver were both built in 1877.

Early churches include Hedges Chapel Methodist Episcopal in the eastern part of the township, its meetings held in homes in the community. It was not until 1843 that a chapel was built on land donated by Cyrus Hedges. The East Union M.E. Church was organized between 1825 and 1830 with 12 members, and in 1835 erected a brick building for which William Tallman gave the land. Two churches in the township were associated with the Evangelical Association. Mount Zion's Church (Zinser Church) was organized in 1830 and a frame building built on the south line of the township in 1840. It was the first church edifice erected by the denomination west of the Allegheny Mountains. The first Ohio Evangelical conference was held in a barn on a farm owned by Solomon Moyer. This church was abandoned in the 1880's. Emanuel Church of the Evangelical Association was formed about 1832 and a building erected in 1848 in the southeast corner of Section 28.

Mount Hermon United Brethren Church was organized in 1833, meetings being held at the house of James Ward and in log schoolhouses. It's first church building was built after 1845 on top of a mound in the southeast part of Section 17. The East Ringgold class of the United Brethren Church was organized in 1865, and purchased a frame church which had been erected by members of the German Reformed Church at the Ritter burial ground, and moved it to Ringgold. Bethlehem class of the United Brethren Church was organized at the home of John Hager in 1835, and a structure was built in 1840. Other United Brethren classes existed in the Pontious neighborhood which disbanded in 1845, and one which was formed in 1838 or 1839 at the dwelling of John May, moved to the Albright Church on the town line, and in 1874 joined the Bethany Church in Washington Twp.

The Warner Church at East Ringgold was built in 1839 on land donated by Henry Warner. The congregation consisted of German Reformed and Evangelical Lutheran denomination members which united. Because of differences in forms of worship, the German Reformed faction erected a frame building at the Ritter burial ground one-half mile northeast of Ringgold. Later another union was made at the Warner Church between German Reformed and Evangelical Lutheran. In 1842 a German Reformed clergyman named Strickland organized a society and then returned to the East. A Rev. Phillips took up duties there and the North Union Church was built in 1844. In 1851 a United Brethren class was formed and used the building for many years. The building is located 2 and one-half miles north of Nebraska, and adjoined a small burial ground.

The first burial ground was in Section 16, and the first burial was probably that of a child of Cornelius Williamson prior to 1800. Around 1900 the oldest inscription was that on the tombstone of Mary Ward, daughter of William and Nancy Ward, who died September 20, 1802 at the age of 21 years. Reber Hill Cemetery, one-half mile south of Nebraska, originally contained 32 acres donated by John Reber. The first burial was that of William Parsons who died July 4, 1877 and the second person was Samuel Weaver (son of D. F. Weaver), who was buried on Christmas Day, 1877. Many small burial grounds were removed to Reber Hill.

Before 1810 a school was held a short distance north of the old graveyard in Section 16, and shortly afterward a log schoolhouse was built. In 1810 a schoolhouse was erected on the line between Sections 22 and 23, the first teacher being a man named Mr. Addison. A school was kept as early as 1823 in a little cabin on a farm later owned by William Reed. By 1900 the township consisted of nine school districts, each having a well-constructed brick school house.

Nebraska Grange was organized June 16, 1873, for the purpose of promoting improved agricultural conditions and better farming methods. It was often the social center of the area. Annual picnics and outings were attended by 1,000 people.

 


WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP

Washington Township is bounded on the north by Walnut Twp., on the east by Fairfield County, on the south by Pickaway Twp., and on the west by Circleville Twp. It is 24 square miles, 6 miles long by 4 miles wide. Originally, the township extended to the Scioto River and included present Circleville Twp., which was set off as a separate township in the spring of 1833.

The streams in this township are Hargus Creek, Hominy Creek, and Scippo Creek. Native timber varieties were oak, ash, beech, hard and soft maple, walnut, hickory, butternut and elm. The soil is principally gravel and sand, with a smaller proportion of good bottom lands suitable for raising corn than are found in most of the other townships. The first road was the old Lancaster road or Westfall road as it was originally called, which crosses the northwest corner of the township. The southwest corner is cut by the turnpike from Circleville to Adelphi.

The churches of the township were the Zion's Evangelical Lutheran Church, organized as a German Reformed and Lutheran society in 1808 or 1809. The first preacher was a Rev. Foster. The first meeting house was a two-story log structure and its replacement was a one-story structure. The St. Paul's Church of the Evangelical Association was organized about 1830. Meetings were held in homes until their first church building was erected in 1849 or 1850. The Pontious U.B. Church was organized about 1830 at the home of Daniel Pontious. In 1848 a church was built on land donated by Mr. Pontious. The Morris U.B. Church, located in the southern part of Washington Twp., near Thatcher, was organized about 1842. Bethany U.B. Church was formed in 1838 or 1839 at the house of John May, subsequently at the Evangelical Church on the southern line of Walnut Twp., until 1874. Grace United Evangelical Church was organized in 1893, a frame structure being erected at the junction of the East Ringgold Turnpike and the Lithopolis Road.

The first burying ground in the township was the Zion's Church grave yard, laid out as early as 1809, and the first burial was a child of Andrew Leist. There were also cemeteries in connection with St. Paul's Church and the three United Brethren churches.

Washington Township's first school was held in an old cabin of George Hoffman. Later on a school was kept in a log house on the farm owned by Jacob Greenough. In 1835 or 1836 the township was divided into six districts.
 


WAYNE TOWNSHIP

The smallest township in the county, Wayne was named after the Revolutionary War General and Indian fighter, Anthony Wayne. The township lies west of the Scioto River, is bounded by Ross County on the south, Deer Creek Township on the west, and on the north by Jackson Township. Plum Creek flows through the county and empties into the Scioto River at Westfall. Yellow Bud and Wolf Creeks are in the southwestern portion of the township. The Ohio Canal crossed the Scioto River from Circleville into Wayne Township. The surface is level except for along the water courses. The soil consists of sand, gravel and clay, conducive to wheat and corn crops.
Wayne Township was formed prior to the organization of Pickaway County. The township records were destroyed by fire so much of the early history of their organization is lost. The first settlers arrived around 1798.

Churches in Wayne Township include a Methodist Episcopal class which was formed very early, and was held in the home of John Hubbard. Preaching was performed by Revs. Samuel Parker, Henry B. Bascom and Charles Wattle. In 1830 a frame building was built on John Hubbard's homestead which was used until the completion of Union Chapel. The Union society was organized on May 6, 1855, under the pastorate of Rev. Zachariah Wharton of the Williamsport circuit. In 1859 a beautiful frame building was erected at a cost of $1,600. In 1818 a Baptist society was formed at the schoolhouse of District No. 3, which held meetings for only a few years.

The first school in Wayne township was held in a 5-cornered log building in 1814 and was taught by a Mr. Hunt. The structure was indeed primitive, the children using for seats the timbers intended for the support of the floor. In 1817 plans were carried out to build a structure strictly for school purposes which was occupied until 1860, when it was replaced by a brick building. Around 1900 the township had six brick school buildings in their six districts.

Early industry included a number of distilleries, among which were those of Abraham Stipp, a Mr. Hamilton, John Fleming and Steely & Morris. The first two mentioned were in operation before 1810. Around 1828 a small carding establishment on the canal was put into operation by a Mr. Sanford from Chillicothe. William Fleming purchased it some years later and installed the machinery to manufacture cloth. A horse mill for the grinding of coarse feed was built early on the Chillicothe road. In 1817 or 1818 Henry Nevill of Jefferson built a large flouring mill on the Scioto River near where the old dam is located. Another flouring mill had been constructed in 1812 on the river opposite Circleville by William Philip Foresman. This property, known as Pickaway Mill, continued in business until 1905 with improvements to the mill made over the years.

Abel Westfall laid out the plat of the village of Westfall, which is recorded in Hamilton Co. Although at one time Westfall had every promise of becoming a thriving village, the location ws found to be unhealthy and the town decayed. Another town that has disappeared is Montgomery, which was one mile south of Westfall on the canal.