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EARLY SETTLEMENTS


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Transcription contributed by Arne H Trelvik 27 May 2003

Sources:

The History of Warren County Ohio
Part IV, Township histories
Hamilton Township by Horace Clinton
(Chicago, IL: W. H. Beers Co, 1882; reprint, Mt. Vernon, IN: Windmill Publications, 1992)

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606

Many Virginians having land warrants had, prior to this time, come down the Ohio to possess their lands, but the hostile attitude of the savages induced them to settle temporarily at Columbia, White’s Station, and other points near Cincinnati. The treaty of Greenville, by giving assurance of permanent peace, opened the way for settlers, and emigrants came rapidly to the Miami country. Probably the very first settlement in the county south of the Little Miami river was within the present bounds of Hamilton Township. Seemingly well authenticated tradition says that William Mounts’ and five other families settled on lands now owned by his grandson, William P. Mounts, in October 1795, and built their cabins in a circle around a spring, a few rods west of where the residence now stands. It was then called Mounts’ Station. The names of the families thus early locating in the unbroken forests of Hamilton Township were, as remembered, William Mounts, wife and six children; Thomas Forsha, wife and children; Thomas Leonard, wife and six children; Thomas Watson and family. These lands were purchased of Robert Todd, by William Mounts and Martin Varner.

The following is a copy of the obligation of purchase – omitting the
description of two tracts not situated in the county, to wit:

This shall oblige me, my heirs, etc., to convey by deed, with a general warrantee, to
Martin Varner and William Mounts, as tenants in common, the quantity of 1,200 acres of
land, on the Little Miami River, in three tracts – a tract of nine hundred acres – that lies about three miles and a half below Todd’s Fork, of the L. M. R., which 900 acres is to contain a better bottom than any of the three next below O’Bannon’s Creek. For the performance of this, my obligation, I do bind myself, my heirs, etc., to the said Martin Varner and William Mounts and their heirs, in the penal sum of five hundred pounds, lawful money of Pennsylvania. As witness my hand and seal, this day of October, 1791.

Robert Todd
[Seal]

Witness: {John McCabe,
              {James Graham.


The extreme northern and extreme southern parts of the township were earliest settled, while the central part was not opened up until a later date. Their is some uncertainty as to the year in which the first settlement was made in the south, but there seems to be no doubt that the first settle in this section was Theophilus Simonton, who with his wife and two children, came from North Carolina and settled near the Clermont county line, and on the farm now owned by Dr. Donough. The time of Simonton’s arrival at this place is fixed, by tradition, in the fall of 1796. At that time he had no neighbors within the present limit of the township; save those at the Mounts’ settlement, and an

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unbroken forest of many miles lay between them. In 1797, Simonton was favored with a nearer neighbor, in the person of Joseph Hill; who settled about forty rods south of the Hill Graveyard, and near Clinton’s farm. In the year 1799, Samuel Hill settled on the Gillispie farm, now owned by Henry Peachy. About the same time, Daniel Ertel located near the Little Miami river, where the family of Solomon Ertel now resides. These probably were the only settlers in the southern part of the township prior to 1800. We have no reliable information of any settlers, except those already mentioned at Mounts’ Station in the northern or southern part of the township before the year 1800.

A full list of names of later settlers – say down to 1810 – would doubtless be of much interest, but, after a lapse of seventy years only a few can be given.

In the fall of 1800, Philip and Benjamin Hill, of North Carolina, came to and settled in southern Hamilton, the latter where the old stone house now stands, a half mile east of Loveland, and near the Murdoch pike. The former settled a little further east, on what has been known as the old Phillip Hill farm. The cabin in which he first settled stood some twenty rods north of the present brick building, on the farm owned by Daniel Shields. In 1802, Samuel B. Walker and Isaac Spence settled within the present limits of the township, but this was not Walker’s first visit to the wilds of Ohio. Early in the spring of 1798, Walker, than about twenty years old, in company with John Mahard started from Loudentown, Penn., and turning their faces westward traveled on foot to Pittsburgh, a distance of 150 miles. At that time there was no wagon road over the mountains of Western Pennsylvania, only a pathway traversed by pack horses; this trail they followed. On arriving at Pittsburgh they secured passage to Columbia on a flat-boat, agreeing to assist in the work as compensation for their passage. In due time, they landed at Cincinnati, and here they parted. Walker found his way out to Gen. Ludlow’s place, and engaged in his service. He was possessed of a good practical education, including the theory and practice of surveying. This enabled him to be of great service to Ludlow, who took him with him, in the summer of 1798, on a surveying expedition up the Little Miami to Yellow Springs, thence across to and down the Big Miami, occupying some two months’ time; after which he worked some six months on the farm of Gen. Ludlow. In March, 1799, Walker went up to Williamsburg in Clermont county, to make his home with William Hunter, whom he had known in Pennsylvania. Here he met Gen. W. Lytle, and was employed by him to assist in pointing out and subdividing various bodies of land (owned by Lytle) to suit purchasers. In this capacity he was through our township when there was not a solitary settlement between Deerfield and the extreme southern part. The writer copied the following from a small memorandum book in possession of T. D. Walker. “Came to William Hunters on Friday, 29th of March, 1799. My horse was stolen by Indians on Wednesday night, the 22d of May, 1799; also Robert Dickey’s stolen the same night.” On the same book we found the following: ”Robert Dickey’s horse returned on Saturday, September, 1799.” His own was returned at a later date. Walker, while living, related that these horses, with many others, were returned by the Indians, in response to a proclamation by the Territorial Governor offering a reward for the return of stolen horses. Previous to this time his father, Samuel Walker, of Pennsylvania, had contracted with Gen. Lytle for eleven hundred acres of land, to be selected from a tract near Williamsburg, in Clermont County, or if these lands on view were not satisfactory, then was Walker to have his choice out of some three or four other tracts.

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In the spring of 1799, the father came on to see the lands and to consummate the purchase. In company with his son, he met Gen. Lytle, at Squire Hunter’s, and being dissatisfied with the tracts in Clermont County, he, after some hesitation, accepted a deed for eleven hundred acres, situated in southern Hamilton Township, and upon which his son Samuel B. Walker– as has been already stated – settled in1802. The consideration named in the deed was $2 per acre. This tract embraced farms now owned by A. J. Walker, Mrs. Foster, William Merrill, Mr. Kay, Ellon Walker, heirs of M. Ertel, Daniel Shields, James Swank, Mr. Skillman, Milton Spence, O. R. Reeves, T. D. Walker and some other smaller lots. Soon after completing the land purchase, Mr. Walker, the father, went back to Pennsylvania. The son also went back some time in 1800, to return in 1802 and take up a permanent residence. The first cabin occupied by Walker stood some thirty rods northwest of Christian Stock’s house. In 1804, he commenced the building of a hewed-log house, situated on lands now owned by Thomas D. Walker. This house was not finished until some years later, and still stands a landmark of early days. In 1803, Colen Spence moved from Pennsylvania, and settled in the township, on the farm now owned by Mrs. Foster, near Bethel Graveyard. William Spence and mother settled in 1802 or 1803, near Cozaddale, on the farm no owned by Samuel Spence. Isaac Clinton came from Kentucky and settled in the year 1807 on the farm now owned by John Clinton. Alex Hall, from Kentucky, settled, in the year 1807, where James Hall now lives. William Newel came from Pennsylvania and settled in the year 1807 in the same neighborhood. John Creamer came from Kentucky in 1805 and settled on the old Creamer farm, one mile north of Cozaddale. Adam Snell came from Kentucky in 1805 and settled on the farm now owned by Capt. Wiley, near Cozaddale. In about 1803 or 1804, Gabriel Morgan bought a tract of land, where Thomas Spence now owns, and moved into a cabin on it. In 1802, Francis Eltzroth, of Maryland, settled on the farm now owned by Benj. Eltzroth, near Camargo. In 1808 or 1809, Elijah Mounts came from New Jersey and settled near Camargo. Among the very early settlers we omitted to mention in the proper place, was William Burton, who came from North Carolina, and settled near the Phillip Hill farm, in the year 1802. In 1806, John Gilles settled near Salt Springs. In 1804, Abraham Haney came from Pennsylvania and settled in the northern part of the township, near Hopkinsville. In the same year (1804), James Hopkins came from Kentucky and settled on the old Hopkins’ place a little south of the village. Judge Michael H. Johnson, at an early date, settled on the Grandin farm. Robert Shields came from Pennsylvania in 1810, and settled below Hopkinsville, and in 1811 moved into a cabin on the farm now owned by Mrs. William Ertel. The Bakers, Kibbys, Kellys, Rosses, Roats, Stevens, Ludlums, were also among the early settlers, and they and their posterity are closely identified with the affairs of the township. Many other names of early settlers deserve honorable mention, but want of information of details forbids the attempt.

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

     

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This page created 27 May 2003 and last updated 6 December, 2008
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