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History of Townships

Ross County, OH


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Buckskin Township (organized August 10, 1807 [formed from Paint Twp, Concord Twp]) - Greenfield city (pt), Harper, Lyndon, New Salem, South Salem Village, Thornton, Thrifton.



BUCKSKIN TOWNSHIP.—Buchskin townhip was made up from a part of Paxton and Concord townships, and organized as a separate township on the 10th of August, 1807. The township derived its name from the fact that hollow sycamore was found full of deerskins in process of smoking, at the time the whites drove out a party of indians. The first election was held at the house of John Robbins. The surface of the land is undulating—soil good Buckskin creek is the principal stream South Salem and Lyndon are two very nicely located little towns.  The Salem Academy under the present system of management, with Mr. Dague as principal, deserves n hearty supper and liberal patronage. The farms in this township are nearer in uniform size than in eithier of the other townships west of the Scioto river.  The father of Henry Haute emigrated from Pennsylvania in 1804, and settled in what is now Buckskin township. Other early settlers : James Wilson, John H. Wilson, Frederick Parrott, John Wallace, S. Scott,  J. McGinnis.  The first house built in South Salem was in 1846, by M. Douglas. Rev. Jas Dickey was the first pastor at Salem where he remained for twenty years. Dr Hamilton settled here in 1869, from Pennsylvania — was educated at Jefferson College Penn.  John Vanderman came from Pennsylvania in 1800 and served under General Washington in the revolution.  Ezra Lucas moved to Ross county in 1811; his father was at the battle of Bunker Hill. Robert Wilson born near Pittsburg in 1781, bought his present farm in 1804, and has lived on it ever since.


Colerain Township (organized June 11, 1804 [from Green Twp]) - Adelphi village, Feightner, Hallsville.


COLERAIN TOWNSHIP.— Colerain township was formed from a part of Green, June 11, 1804. The first election was held at the residence of David Dawes. The surface is rolling, and watered by Walnut and Kinnickinnick creeks, whose high and craggy banks afforded hiding places for bear, panther and wolves as late as 1805. Adelphi and Hallsville are flourishing little towns. Hon. Daniel Karshuer settled in this township in 1796; he was a captain in the war of 1812, and represented Rosa county in the state legislature in 1836—died in 1844 at the age of eighty-four, leaving three sons, Daniel, John and Elisha. Among the early settlers were Elias Henton, Martin Dreshack, Jos Aaron and Wm. Bookwalter, John May. Frederrick Poutious, Henry Strauser, Capt J. Patterson and Mayor Engle.  John Beach was the first hotel-keeper.  P. Marshall kept the first boot and shoe store in Colerain township.


Concord Township (organized May 10, 1803) -  Austin,  Frankfort (aka. Old Town or Old Chillicothe, Heglers, Lattaville, Musselman, Roxabell.


CONCORD TOWNSHIP—This is the largest township in the county- The towns of Frankfort, Roxabell and Lattaville are the principal trading points. The soil is good and well adapted to raising fruit and grain. This township was, in past ages, a favorite hunting ground of the Indians "Here," says one writer, "the northwestern tribes annually met to hold their convocations; here once burned their council fires ; and here the clear shrill voices of their chiefs, braves and orators once was heard; here was their home alike in war and in peace." "Old Town," their ancient metropolis, on passing into the hands of the pale face, was called Frankfort. It was here that they collected in 1774, to prepare for the memorable battle of Point Pleasant It was near Old Town that Daniel Boone made his escape from the Indians in 1773. Among the first settlers were M. Wiley, J Southerland, R Stewart, F. Wells, J. McNeill, P. Putman, and Frederick Berley who was chief spy in Earl Dunmore's war of 1774, was in the revolution of 1776, and in the Indian war of 1791.

Deerfield Township (organized July 7, 1804 [from portions of Concord Twp, Pickaway Twp, Union Twp] - Brownstown,  Carey, Clarksburg village.


DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP— Deerfield township was formed from territory taken off from Union and Concord townships, July 7, 1804. The first township election was held at the house of J. Davis. The surface of this township is but slightly undulating and the soil is very rich.  Clarksburg and Greenland are the trading points; the former took its name from Col Wm. Clark a veteran in the war of 1813. Among the early settlers were Capt Clement Brown, who emigrated from Delaware in 1802 and settled on Deer creek, where be purchased a very large tract of land He was married in 1803 and lived to the advanced age of eighty years. Ill ISO.'! Edward Tiffin located in this township and served in the war of 1812. Rev. Stephen Timmons emigrated to Deerfield in 1802 and was the first minister to settle on Deer creek. It was said that Rev. Lorenzo Dow preached here in a barn in 1828. Levi Noble settled in 1800; Jas. Templin in 1796; John Foster in 1802 and taught the first school in Deerfield township. John and James Tootle were large land owners. David Jones was chaplain to General Wayne in 1793-6. Joseph Conrad had at one time three wives and yet lived to the advanced age of ninety-nine years.

Franklin Township (organized Sept 9, 1806 [formed from Scioto Twp and Pee pee Twp, Pick County) - Antonis, Deadman Crossing, Higby, Pride, Three Locks.


FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP -Franklin township was taken off from Scioto and Peepee Townships September 9, 1806.
The Scioto river forms the eastern boundary. The Ohio and Erie canal passes through this township, following down the west side of the river. The land in broken and presents a group of almost endless hills, but the view is relieved by an occasional slope or valley of excellent land, indeed the slope off toward the Scioto, at the southeast corner of Franklin township, is a most beautiful scope of country, with some as fine farms as lie in Ross county. Richard Foster was the first settler in this township.  Colonel Foster's father came to Ohio in l798; the colonel represented Ross county in Legislator in 1848. John Foster has lived in Franklin Township for seventy years; Lewis Foster was born December 26,  1760, his father was one of the two white men who first rowed a canoe up the Scioto river.  T. C.  Foster now owns a part, of the bottom land in Franklin; also, Messrs Higby, McGuire. Hays,  and Wright own fine farms here.


Green Township (organized May 10, 1803 ) - Courtright, Delano,  Kingston village (aka Ingston till 1816), Kinnikinnick, Metzger.

GREEN TOWNSHIP— Green lies on the east side of the Scioto river, and is one of the most wealthy townships in the county. Kingston near the Pickaway line, is a thriving town and second largest in the county.  The surface is rolling, with some beautiful valleys of rich and productive soils; some of the finest farms in the entire valley may be seen in this township.  Among the first settlers here was Capt.  John Boggs of Virginia, in 1778, He descended the Ohio to Portsmouth, then passed up the Scioto in a keel boat to Chillicothe and selected a farm at the base of the Pickaway plains, later known as the Crouse and Renick farms; here he erected his cabin near the elm tree under which the illustrious chief Logan delivered his celebrated speech in 1774. John Crouse built the first mill on Kinickinnick run. Edward Ostrander was the first physician.



Harrison Township (organized December 9, 1812 [from portions of Jefferson Twp] ) - Charleston, Mooresville, Tuscon.


HARRISON TOWNSHIP—The township of Harrison was organized from a part of Jefferson, December 9, 1812. The first township election was at the house of John Comber. Mooresville and Charleston are located in this township and are thriving little villages.  Walnut creek and Sugar run are the principal streams. The surface is rolling, with some high elevations. Rattlesnake Knob I believe is the highest point. Mr. Hanson, it is said, here killed here a racer snakke sixteen feet long. The indian chief "Big Foot" called this the bad ground—the habitation of bad spirits.  In 1805 it was considered unsafe to pass over, either afoot or on horseback; but time brings its changes.  Many good farms are now to be seen on the slope and in the valleys. Among the early settlers were S.  Harrison, Geo Stanhope, Jos. Vangundy, G. Bishop, D. Ream. Colonel Wm. Johnson, Capt. A Moore and Mayor Lewis. One McClundy, a companion of Daniel Boone, in a thirteen days hunt is said to have killed in this township, thirteen bears, nine wolves, six panthers and three wild cats.


Huntington Township (organized March 5, 1811 [from portions of Scioto Twp) - Alma, Brownsville, Denver, Farmersville village, Harris, Knockemstiff, Minnehan Bend, Newingburg, Yankeetown.


HUNTINGTON TOWNSHIP.- This township was erected March 5, 1811, out of a part of Scioto and Twin townships. The first election was held at the house or Charles Mitchell. Farmersville, located in the southern part, is the only village.  This township has more hill land than any other township in Ross county. On some of these are valuable fruit farms. Many of the hills are very high and covered with second growth hickory, now becoming very valuable.  Paint creek is the northern boundary; it was on this creek, near Rock Rapids, that Daniel Boone made a temporary encampment September 7, 1789, when on his way from Manchester to Fort Clark on Mad river. This was once a great field for hunting. Robert Bishop has been a citizen of this township for sixty-four years—he came from Virginia in 1805. Henry Wilt was in the war of 1812, still living. John Long was among the early settlers. Hon. I. J. Finley found his way from this retreat of hills to the legislature of Ohio in 1868-9.


Jefferson Township (organized 1798 ) - Canada, Richmond Dale (aka Moffit's Town, Richmond), Rittenours, West Junction.


JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP—This is the southeastern township of Ross county. Richmond on the west bank of Salt creek is the only town.  The surface of the soil is very rolling, and in places broken and abrupt, but there are some
excellent farms of bottom land on the west along the Scioto river. Pilot Knob, near the line of Jackson county is the highest elevation. The township was settled by Quakers from North Carolina. The Cox's settled near Richmond in 1798, though the town was not formally laid out till 1811, The Moffitts located the town. Meeker, Stratton and others were from Connecticut.  This township was once a favorite hunting ground—the game has mostly disappeared except rattlesnakes.  This township too claims the tallest man in Ross county—his name is J. A. Stanliff is six feet seven and a half inches high.


Liberty Township (organized 1822-23 [from portions of Jefferson Twp] ) - Lickskillet, Londonberry (aka Gillespieville), Poe Valley, Rupels (Peppers), Schooley, Vances, Vigo.


LIBERTY TOWNSHIP.—This township contains the village of Londonderry, and also a smaller village by the name of Londonderry Station located on the Marietta & Cincinnati railroad. The surface of the township is rolling and the soil generally good. Walnut and Dry creek pass through this township to the Scioto river. There is a high table land in this township originally called "The High-bank Prairie," on which some of the very firstl settlements in Ross county were made.  Corn was raised on this prairie as early as 1789, by James Kilgore. Thos. and Zebulon Orr.  The land was still owned by the Government, but many settled here with a view of buying the land when offered for sale. That portion along Walnut creek was covered with a heavy growth of walnut, hickory, ash and yellow poplar trees, these were often from two to six feet, in diameter. Thos Jones, A Claypool and Amos Taylor
were among the earliest settlers.


Paint Township (organized 11 of June, 1818 [from portions of Buckskin Twp, Paxton Twp]) - Fruitdale, Humbolt.


PAINT TOWNSHIP.— Paint Township was struck off from Paxton on the 11 of June, 1818; a part of Buckskin township was added to Paint the following year. This township contains no town or village.  There are some fine farms along Paint valley, and on Buckskin creek, but the surface is generally very rolling, with some tremendous  elevations.  Paint creek forms the west boundary. There are two streams of less note,. Buckskin and Cliff Run, that pass through the western part and empty into Paint creek. Cliff Run winds its way through steep and craggy cliffs of limestone rock, covered with trees and shrubs in the wildest possible profusion, and since it became the scene of the noted Blackburn tragedy, has been the wonder of many curious visitor.  The descendants of Colonel Jelahiel Woodbridge were the earliest settlers of this region. Christian Bonner, Thos. Edminston, Zachary Taylor, J. Ogle, settled herein an early day.


Paxton Township (organized around 1800 [from parts of Highland and Fayette counties ) - Bainbridge village, Dills, New Amsterdam.


PAXTON TOWNSHIP— Paxton is the southwest township of Ross county. Bainbridge the only town, is located on the south bank of Paint Creek, and is the largest town, except Chillicothe, in Ross county.  Paint valley at this point is about a mile wide and reaches the entire length of the township. The soil is deep and in fertility has hardly a parallel in Ohio. Back from the valley the land rises gradually in as an ocean wave into lofty range of immense hills. Most of these hills are well adapted to fruit growing. Joseph Rockhold settled in Paxton township in 1800.  His wife Mary Rockhold was still living in 1871 and was then ninety-four years old.  Among the early settlers were J. Gault and E. Kelly.  Abraham Pepple settled here in 1808; C. Platter in 1800; Robert Dill, son and Thomas Dill in same year, and built one of the first cabins in the township.  It was on Paint Creek, in this township that the celebrated Indian battle of "Reeves Crossing" was fought in 1795.


Scioto Township (organized April 16, 1803) - Belleview Heights, Brewer Heights, Chillicothe city (pt.), Massieville, Nipgen, North Fork Village, Randall Terrace, Renick, Renick Junction, Riton, View.


SCIOTO TOWNSHIP.— Scioto, in which Chillicothe is located, is the oldest township in the county, and derived its name from the Scioto river which, in part, passes through it. The soil, though in places broken, is generally of an excellent quality, being composed largely of Scioto and Paint Valley Bottoms. This township has not been behind in furnishing her share of professional men, politicians and statesmen. It has been the home of three Governors of Ohio. Hon. Duncan McArthur, Hon Thomas Worthington, and Hon. William Alien our present Governor, who resides on the celebrated "Fruit Hill" farm, once owned by Governor McArthur.  Surely " Fruit Hill," of all the hills in Ohio, is most productive of Governors, Chillicothe is the second oldest town in Ohio; was the seat of Government for the North-Western territory in 1800; was incorporated as a town in 1802; as a city in 1818.


Springfield Township (organized 1809 [from parts of Green Twp]) - Chillicothe city (pt.), Delano, Eustis,  Feightner, Hopetown, Jarvis, Mooresville, Pleasant Valley, Schrader, Seymoreville.


SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP.-Springfield township was organized in 1809, out of portion of Green township. The surface is rolling, and watered by Lick Run and Dry Run. Hopetown is but a small village. Chillicothe is the principal trading post. Michael Cryder was among the early settlers, and came to the Scioto valley in 1796; Jacob Mace in 1788; F Overly in 1797; Colonel Sifford at an early date, and was a man of much influence and enterprise. Casper Senff, grandfather of Michael Senff, came from Germany in 1773, was a King's hunter, and served as a spy
in the revolution.  In this township is located the celebrated Mt Logan, in its stately grandure overlooking the city of Chillicothe at a distance of nearly three miles. There is a beautiful valley stretching along its base, presenting a most pleasing view covered with ripening grain.


Twin Township (organized February 20, 1805) [from portions of Concord Twp, Union Twp, Paxton Twp]) - Bourneville, Ebush, Pleasant Grove, Spargursville, Storms, Summithill.


TWIN TOWNSHIP.—Twin township was organized February 20, 1805 out of the territory taken off from Concord, Union and Paxton. The first township election was held at the residence Joseph Elliott. The surface of this township is widely diversified, rising from the beautiful valleys of both branches of Paint creek, some places gradually and some places very abruptly in the most lofty ranges of hills. These valleys are very fertile and have produced corn for over sixty years. The soil is from three to ten feet deep.  Bourneville the only town, is a lively little place containing about one hundred and fifty inhabitants. Amoung the early settlers was Hugh Cochran, who
migrated  here from Lexington, Ky., in 1797, his sister Elizabeth was married to George Kilgore in 1798.  "This" says Howe, in his Historical collections of Ohio, "was the first marriage celebrated in Scioto valley."  Gideon Coover settled here from Pennsylvania in 1800.  Wm. Campbell was a resident of Twin township sixty-five years. Daniel P. March from Maine, settled here in 1817—was a judge of the court for many years. George I. Moore, father of David Moore, came from Pennsylvania in 1813.  Michael Dolahon from Virginia in 1802, Thomas Hanks in 1790.
Colonel John McDonald was one of the most useful men of his  day; he was born January 28, 1775 in Pennsylvania, and entered the Army under General Wayne before he was twenty; was with General Wayne in 1794, and came to
Chillicothe in 1796; was married in 1799. In 1814 he had command of a regiment of troops at Detroit; in 1817 was elected to the state senate.


Union Township (organized around 1800) - Anderson, Andersonville, Greenland, Maple Grove, Slate Mills, Sulphur Lick, Yellowbud.


UNION TOWMSSIP.— Union township ia
bnuinlrii on llie east br tlie Scioto rivrr. niong
wliifli i'h-h ;i atft'lf." of beautiful liottom liind.
tlirouuli wlik'ti lli4i Oilio and Erie ciiiml jian8e8.
Tliin iri tlir mont wealthy townslii|i in Rosa
county, tin- reu,l BHtate in I H7H wbh vnliie<l at
$l,r)44.a9-2 U« AiiderBonville, Yellow Hiid and
Li>wintitn m'i' itn towns—are Hinall The new
county Intirinan ia liring built in this township,
ais milen u|) tlie Scioto river from Chillicotlie.
Tlie Innrmary farm coiitiuiui Sfi4 acres, and ia
nne farmiiig land
Levi Hurst waa amony the curliest settlers; was
horn in 177(1, He built the drat hewed lop house
in Union iluwiialiip. John Rodgera helped build
llie first cabin in Chillicothe. He drove the flrat;
cattle fi-om Kentucky to Chillicotlie.
The house in which Mr Smith Purset now
lives is a brick and waa built over seventy years
The flrat shingle roofhouae weat ofChilJicothe
waa immediatelv weat of Mr. Piirael'a present
residence, built/in 1800.




Township History Source: Illustrated Atlas of Ross County and Chillicothe Ohio From Surveys and Official Records Drawn and Compiled by, Hueston T. Gould, M.A., published by H. T. Gould & Co., Columbus O. 1875