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Transcription contributed by Martie Callihan 27 March 2005


The History of Warren County Ohio
Part IV Township Histories
Massie Township by Hon. Thomas M. Wales
(Chicago, IL: W. H. Beers Co, 1882; reprint, Mt. Vernon, IN: Windmill Publications, 1992)


This is the township seat and principal village of the township. It is situated on the east bank of Caesar's Creek, at an elevation of over 100 feet above the level of

the stream. The land on which it now stands was entered by Colonel Abraham Buford, August 6, 1787. It was afterward owned by Rhoden Ham, who located on it in March, 1815. William Harvey, after whom the town was named, became the proprietor in 1827. He platted and laid out the town in 1828, and recorded the plat on the 8d of January, 1829. According to this plat, the town lay along the State road and contained forty-seven lots, numbered consecutively from number one to forty-seven. There were twenty-five lots six poles wide by twelve poles long, seventeen lots six poles by six poles, two lots five and four-tenths by six poles, one lot three by ten poles, two large, irregular-shaped lots, and a church lot. The State road formed the principal street, and the road to Middletown the principal cross-street. There were also South Street, one cross street not named, and three cross alleys.

The town is in a healthy location, and is surrounded by fertile and productive farm lands. It is noted for the philanthropy, enterprise and morality of its inhabit: ants. For many years pork packing was carried on extensively within its limits, as was also the traffic in wool and grain.

In the early history of the town, Dr. Jesse Harvey erected a carding mill on the bank of the creek, where he carried on the business of carding for many years. He disposed of his business to Joseph Cobner, who moved the mill into the town.

Jesse Paskill was the first wagon-maker of the town. He was succeeded in his business by Aaron Benham, Benjamin Cannon, J. G. Stevenson, and J. H. Lippencott, who still follows the business. David Macy was an early settler; he was a harness and collar maker. His son, William Macy, is a shoemaker.

William Ham, a son of the original proprietor of the land on which the town was built, was the first blacksmith. He, with Larkin Edwards, carried on the business for many years. Darvin Harris was also an early blacksmith.

Soon after the town was laid out, Joseph H. Burgess started a tannery, which he conducted for many years in connection with boot and shoemaking. William Harvey opened the first store. He was succeeded by John and Jesse Hare, Simon D. Harvey, David Harvey, A. L. Antram, Robert Lafetra, Reuben Thompson, Allison Hill, William & Isaac Coffee, and Joseph Wertimer.

The cooper business was carried on first by Jones Sons, who were followed by Mahlon Cadwallader and his sons William, John and Achilles, the latter, at times, employing ten and twelve journeymen.

The first schools of the town were taught by Richard Clegg, George Badly, Dr. Jesse Harvey, Simon D. Harvey, Charles Mills, and others. The present schoolhouse was built for a seminary by a stock company. Among its first teachers were Dr. David Burson, Wilson Hobbs, Israel Taylor, Oliver Nixon, and Wm. P. Nixon. The building was afterwards purchased by the Board of Education, since which time the district school has been taught in it. There are now 160 scholars, presided over by a principal and two assistants. About 1831, Elizabeth Harvey opened a free school for the colored people. This is said to have been the first school for this race in Ohio. From the opening of this school to the present, the colored people of Harveysburg have had no lack of educational advantages. They now have a district school set apart for them, with two teachers.

Harveysburg now contains six churches—two Friends (one of each branch), one Methodist, one United Brethren, and two colored (Methodist and Baptist); two Masonic Lodges, (one white, which received its charter in 1839, and one colored) ; three drygoods stores, three groceries, one bakery, two drug stores, and three physicians. The town has recently had telephone connections established with Corwin, Waynesville and Lebanon.

For thirty-five years there has not been a saloon or public tippling-house in the village, and the sentiment of the people is such that there is not likely to be one opened there soon.

In 1870 the village purchased a fire engine, and built a large and commodious engine house, thirty by fifty feet, with firemen's hall in the second story.

In the early history of the town, John Scroggy built a saw mill on the creek at the foot of the hill; its place was supplied by a steam saw mill, built by George Carver on the lot now owned by Mary Edwards, but afterward was removed to the east end of town by Thomas Wilson, who attached a planing mill to it, and operated it successfully until his death, which was caused by an accident in the mill.

The post office was established in Harveysburg in 1839, with Robert Lafetra as first postmaster. He has been succeeded by Budd Scroggy, Mrs. Fannie Taylor, George Scroggy, Gus. Lloyd, Hiram Madden, and Miss Eliza Nedry, the present incumbent.

William Harvey, one of the founders of the village, was for many years its most prominent business man, being largely engaged in the pork business. He afterward moved to Parke County, Indiana, where he remained for a few years, when he returned to Harveysburg, and there died in December, 1866. His widow, Mary Harvey, lives with her daughter in Harveysburg.

Simon D. Harvey, a brother and partner of the above, sold his interest in the village and removed to a farm in Clinton County, but after a few years' residence there, returned to the vicinity of Harveysburg. He was of a religious temperament, and frequently accompanied ministers in their visits to the different sections of the country. In 1841 he traveled with David and Druzella Knowles through Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and the Cherokee Indian Reservation, after which he accompanied them to their home in Canada. In 1856 he and his wife became missionaries to the Shawnee Indians in Kansas, where they remained two years. They some time afterward spent two years more in the same service. William and Simon D. Harvey were sons of Isaac Harvey, who spent the latter part of his life in Harveysburg. A full account of him is given in Henry Harvey's "History of the Shawnee Indians."

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This page created 27 March 2005 and last updated 26 November, 2012
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