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Early Settlements


Transcription contributed by Martie Callihan 12 March 2005


The History of Warren County Ohio
Part IV Township Histories
Deerfield Township by Louis F. Coleman
(Chicago, IL: W. H. Beers Co, 1882; reprint, Mt. Vernon, IN: Windmill Publications, 1992)


To whom is due the honor of being the first settler in this township is not definitely known, as persons settled early in different localities. The forfeitures in Symmes' Purchase are explained in the general county history. There were many of these in Deerfield Township. The first settlers of the township located on these claims and were generally of the poorer class. Joseph Coddington and Peter Tetrick were undoubtedly the first white men who made their homes in the township. Coddington settled on the forfeiture of Section 35. He was a Pennsylvanian by birth, and settled here about 1795; his first house was made of bark built against a log, and in it he lived while making his improvements. Having cleared some land, he raised corn and carried it on his back to Columbia to be ground, being gone some days at a time for this purpose. He afterward built a log house and continued his improvements. He shot deer and wild turkeys from the door of his cabin and had adventures with bears and wolves. He had a family of ten children who grew up, married and raised families. His descendants write their name Corrington. Joseph Coddington and two of his sons served in the war of 1812.

Peter Tetrick settled on the forfeiture of Section 27, where he built a rude house and lived by himself ten years before he was married. He came from Virginia quite early and stopped at Fort Washington before coming to this township. Failing to secure a deed for his forfeiture land, he purhased land from Thomas Espy upon which he lived and raised a large family. He married a Miss Lowry.

Benjamin Morris was probably the first settler in the immediate vicinity of Twenty Mile Stand; he settled on the forfeiture in the northeastern part of Section 20, for which he received a deed in 1798; he afterward removed to Turtle Creek Township.

William Wood settled on the Little Miami about 1797, and built his mill in 1798 or 1799.

Robert Witham settled about 1798 on the eastern half of Section 28; he was the ancestor of many families of Withams now found throughout the township.

Moses Kitchel was the first to receive a deed from Symmes. His farm
was on Section 18, upon which he settled about 1796. He was a man given to much speculation and traded continually in land; he was from Wales.

Thomas Espy, Jeremiah Morrow and John Parkhill, having selected lands in the same vicinity, came up from Columbia to survey them in the winter of 1796-97. They encamped in the woods; the weather was extremely cold, and Mr. Parkhill, having his feet frozen, they were detained for some time in the wilderness. Gov. Morrow was at that time a young unmarried man, and boarded at the house of Mr. Espy, in Columbia, and followed the business of surveying. Espy and Morrow came to Columbia in 1795.

Thomas Espy settled on Section 21, and built his cabin about one-half mile north of the site of Twenty Mile Stand, on a stream then called Espy's Run. Morrow and Parkhill settled on Section 15. Soon after, David Espy, a brother of Thomas, purchased the lands where Twenty Mile Stand now is, and began a settlement there, where he continued to reside until his death, at an advanced age. Parkhill and Morrow were brothers-in-law, and lived as near neighbors until their death, and died within two weeks of each other, in 1852, both over eighty years of age. David Espy was a Swedenborgian. Thomas Espy, John Parkhill and Gov. Morrow were members of the Associate Reformed Church and assisted in the establishment of a church near Glendale, Hamilton County, which was the first church of this denomination in the Northwest Territory. Morrow was the father of eleven children, Parkhill of fifteen and Thomas Espy of eleven.

John Patton settled on the forfeiture of Section 34.

Thomas Crawford settled on the forfeiture of Section 22.

Ruloph Schenck was one of the earliest in the western part of the township, settling on Section 6, now the Voorhis place. Being Indian-like in most of his ways, caused him to be known as the "Old Injun."

Stephen Bowyer, a Virginian, came here in 1798 or 1799, and settled on Section 16.

Before 1800, James McCready settled on the farm, which is still in the family name, in Section 14. About the same time, James Ross settled in the central part of Section 20.

John Bigham came about 1798, and settled in the central part of Section 35; he was from Ireland.

John Briney settled on the forfeiture of Section 6, which passed into the hands of John Randall, who came shortly after 1800, and was quite a prominent man in his day.

Sam. Bouseman settled the forfeiture of Section 5, which is now known as the Harper farm. The forfeiture of Section 33 was settled by a man named Powell.

Three brothers by the name of ClarkJohn, Elisha and Brazilla—located in the eastern part of the township in the early part of the century. John was a local preacher of some prominence, and is the ancestor of the Clarks now in the township. The other two lived but a short time in the community.

John Meeks, about 1797, lived for a short time on the Crawford farm near Union. Maj. William Mason emigrated to Ohio about the year 1795; at an early day he was made Major in the Ohio militia, and served in Harmar's campaign against the Indians; also in the war of 1812. Upon his arrival in the township, he purchased a section of land upon which he settled, and, in time, laid out the village of Palmyra. He raised a family of four children, all of whom married and remained in the township.

One of the most prominent men of the northern part of the township was Judge J. D. Lowe, who came to this community about 1800; he was an Associate Judge from 1803 to 1824; he speculated much in land and became the

owner of several large tracts; he gave a lot for the Unity Church and graveyard; he located on the hill east of Students' Hall, where he kept an important stopping-place for travelers and where a post office was soon stationed. His family consisted of six children, and, when they became grown, he removed with them to Dayton, where some of them have been quite prominent in the legal profession, and one has been Governor of Iowa.

Joseph Scofield was among the settlers about 1800, who located south of Mason. A man by the name of Keelor settled the extreme southwestern section of the township; which is now known as the Morrison farm.

Among others who owned lands in the early part of this century, and have no descendants now in the township, were Ralph Phillips, John Gano, Jedediah Tingle, Benjamin Scudder, Benjamin Stites, John Shaw, Patrick Shaw, Ralph Hunt, David Flynn, John Cain, Piercy Kitchel, Garrett Peterson, John Howard, Luther Ball, David Enyart, John Glass, James Fugate, Henry Houk, Jedediah Hewett, John Trimble, Dick Compton, H. Cole, Dr. Cazad, William Kendall.

John Seward,. the father of Mason Seward, a prominent man of Mason for many years, emigrated here in the first decade of the century and located just east of town.

The Cline family came from Pennsylvania a short time after 1800 and settled on Section 22, To Frederick Cline, who is still living, we are much indebted for valuable information.

The Dodds family first settled north of Lebanon, but came to this township in 1808, and located south of Mason on the Jos. Dodds farm. Benjamin Dodds, the father, was a man of energy, and raised a family consisting of eleven children, most of whom remained in the township and became the heads of large families.

The Wikoff family came from New Jersey in 1810, and settled on the Coulson farm southwest of Mason.

The Voorhis family first settled west of Lebanon on the Snook farm. Of the children that became grown, Alfred located on the old Schenck farm, which he still owns.

The William Coulson family came from Pennsylvania to this township in 1811, and settled on the farm north of Mason, which is still in the family. Mr. Coulson was quite a prominent man during his years of activity; his family was large, most of whom remained in the township.

James Johnson came about the year 1806, and settled on Section 18; his family consisted of eleven children, most of whom arrived at the age of maturity.

In 1816, a family of eight orphans, by the name of Dill, came from New York and settled on Section 17, where the John Hoff farm now is.

The Thompson family came some time in the decade of 1820, and located in the neighborhood of Socialville.

John Randall settled early on a farm west of Mason. For many years he was the Treasurer of the county, being regarded by all as a man of honesty and integrity.

Some other early families can be named, as David Slayback, Morrison, Baxter, Hageman, Irwin, Monfort, Rynearson, Voorhees, White, Scott, Bercaw, Baysore, Van Horn, Argendine, Hoff, McClung, Bursk, Bennett, Vandyke and Smith, who came at a later day and are at present well represented in the township.

FOOTNOTES: [a place to add additional information that you might want to submit]


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This page created 12 March 2005 and last updated 25 January, 2015
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