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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Warren County Towns And Villages

Dallas Bogan on 29 September 2004
The following is taken from Dallas Bogan's book, "The Pioneer Writings of Josiah Morrow."
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan

Towns and Villages In Warren County--When and by Whom Laid Out.

A Chronological List of Towns of the County Regularly Platted, Giving the Names of the Original Proprietors and the Number of Lots In the Plats as Was First Recorded.

May 7, 1908

The dates of the organization of the townships and of the laying out and platting of the various towns in the county are to be found in the official records of the county and I have taken pains to make the following list accurate.

The Townships.

Warren county was organized out of Hamilton county by the first legislature of the state of Ohio. The act organizing the county was passed March 24, 1803, and took effect on May 1, 1803, and with this latter date the history of the county as a civil division begins. The first official business of the county was transacted at the tavern of Ephriam Hathaway in Lebanon on May 10, 1803, when the three associate judges of the county, appointed by the legislature, divided the whole county into four townships. New townships have been organized from time to time by the county commissioners or by special acts of the legislature and there are now eleven townships in the county. The dates of their organization are as follows:
Deerfield, May 10, 1803.
Franklin, May 10, 1803.
Wayne, May 10, 1803.
Hamilton, May 10, 1803.
Turtlecreek, August 15, 1804.
Salem, June 24, 1813.
Union, January 3, 1815.
Clearcreek, October 17, 1815.
Washington, June 8, 1818.
Massie, October 10, 1850.
Harlan, March 16, 1860.

A township called Eaton was organized June 28, 1806, composed of territory then in the northeast part of Warren county, but four years later when Clinton county was formed, this territory became a part of that county and Eaton township became extinct. In December, 1806, James Murray laid out the town of Oakland, Clinton county, in this township, containing 72 lots and the original plat of this town is found in the land records of Warren county.


In the early statutes of Ohio when a piece of ground was divided into lots, streets and alleys; a town was said to be "laid out." A law of the Northwest Territory, passed in 1800, required the proprietor or proprietors of all towns so laid out to have an accurate plat or map thereof recorded in the recorder's office of the county where the same is situated. Under this law the plats of the three oldest towns in the county Deerfield, Waynesville and Franklin, were recorded at Cincinnati and all three were recorded in the year 1802. The plat of Lebanon, the fourth town in the county, was recorded at Lebanon and was the seventh instrument recorded in the land records of Warren county.
On February 14, 1805, the Ohio legislature made it unlawful for the proprietor or proprietors of any town laid out in this state to sell any lot in the same before the plat of the town was placed on record, and fixed the penalty for such sale at ten dollars for every lot so unlawfully sold. The town plats in this county often state the date of the survey and after 1805 when this is not stated, the date of the filing of the plat for record may be taken as approximately the date of the laying out of the town.
Except in the case of Deerfield, the dates given below are all from official records. It should be borne in mind, however, that the sites do not give the first settlement of the locality, nor of the springing of the locality, nor of the springing up of a village, but of the regular survey and platting of the town. The oldest towns were laid out before the first settlement in them was commenced. In later years sometimes a cluster of houses, called a town, had gathered about a mill or a tavern or the crossing of roads before there was any regular division of the site into lots and streets. In other cases the proposed town has never had an existence except upon paper and its site today is nothing more than a field or road crossing.
Dates of the laying out of the towns of Warren county, the names of the original proprietors and the number of lots in the original town plat follow:

Deerfield (now South Lebanon) 1795. John S. Gano, .Benjamin Stites, Jr., proprietors--144 lots, 29 of which were given to the first settlers for building houses or cabins.
Waynesville, February 1796. Samuel Heighway, John Smith and Evan Banes, proprietors--88 inlots and 19 outlots. The town was laid out into 11 squares which were named and each square contained 8 inlots numbered 1 to 8.
Franklin, 1796. William C. Schenck and .Daniel C. Cooper, proprietors. In 1800 William C. Schenck bought out Cooper's interest and became sole proprietor--128 lots with several outlots.
Lebanon, September, 1802. Ichabod Corwin, Silas Hurin, Ephriam Hathaway and Samuel Manning, proprietors--100 lots. No outlots. Samuel Manning owned but a small portion of the original town plat. Ichabod B. Halsey was the surveyor.
Ridgeville, 1814. Fergus McLean, father of Justice John McLean, proprietor--20 lots and three streets.
Unity (north of the site of Mason), 1814. .Jacob D. Lowe, proprietor--16 lots. Afterward vacated.
Palmyra (Mason), 1815. Major William Mason, proprietor--16 lots. The name was changed from Palmyra to Mason by the legislature in 1839.
Gainesboro (at the site of Kings Mills), 1815. .Ralph W. Hunt, proprietor--140 lots. Afterward vacated.
Springboro, 1815. Jonathon Wright, proprietor--86 lots.
Freeport (Oregonia), 1816, proprietors--27 lots.
Morristown (at the Green Tree Tavern north of Union Village), 1816. Joseph Kenan and John Wickersham, proprietors--32 lots. Vacated in 1853.
Salem (Roachester), 1816. Mahlon Roach and James Roach, proprietors--40 lots.
Westfield (Red Lion), 1817. Abner crane, proprietor--36 lots.
Fredericksburg, on the north bank of the Little Miami opposite the mouth of Todd's Fork, 1818. Nathan Harrell, proprietor--14 lots.
Crosswicks (Wayne township), 1821. James Janney, proprietor--12 lots.
Edwardsville (Harlan township), 1824. Edward Thomas, proprietor--42 lots. Vacated in 1868.
Harveysburg, 1829. William Harvey, proprietor--47 lots.
Mount Holly, 1833. Jacob Pearson, proprietor--25 lots.
Middleboro, 1838. George Bowman, proprietor--31 lots.
Black Hawk, 1838. .George B. Whitacre and Elisha Barber, proprietors--26 lots. Vacated by order of court in 1879.
Osceola, 1838. Lewis Fairchild and Benjamin Baldwin, proprietors--41 lots.
Butlerville, 1838. Butler-.Abram B. Butler, proprietor--24 lots. Additions to the town were made in 1839 and 1841.
(The last four named towns were all platted within a few months of each other in 1838. In no other one year were so many towns projected in the county. The four towns were all in Harlan township, on the line of the Goshen and Wilmington turnpike then in process of construction, and only about two miles apart.)
Morrow, 1844. William H. Clement, George Keck and Clark Williams, proprietors--49 lots in the original plat; several additions were platted within the next few years.
Corwin, 1845. John Johnson and Joel W. Johnson, proprietors--13 lots.
Hammell, on the L.M.R.R. opposite Millgrove, 1845. Enoch Hammell, proprietor--17 lots.
Fort Ancient, 1849. .F.B. Howell, proprietor--132 lots.
Maineville, 1850. Silas Dudley and Seth G. Tufts, proprietors--69 lots. The place was named long before it was platted.
New Columbia (Pleasant Plain), 1852. Samuel Craig proprietor--32 lots.
Raysville (Lytle), 1855. M. Mills and others proprietors--22 lots. The place was called Raysville long before it was platted.
Carlisle Station, 1863. Executor of George Carlisle, deceased, proprietor--30 lots.
Cozaddale, 1871. .John J. Cozad, proprietor--129 lots.
Kings Mills, 1893. King Powder company, proprietor--265 lots.
Fort Ancient Heights, 1896. W.H. Carney, proprietor--78 lots.
Avalon Heights (between Lebanon and South Lebanon), 1904. .Herbert W. Smith and .Florence A. Smith, proprietors--162 lots.

Incorporated Villages

Lebanon was the first town in the county to become a municipal corporation, being incorporated January 9, 1810, less than eight years after it was laid out. Franklin was incorporated January 11, 1814, and Springboro, January 31, 1831. I do not have before me the dates of the incorporation of other villages. The large majority of the towns of the county have never become incorporated.
In 1880 the incorporated villages and hamlets of the county, named in the order of their population were: Lebanon, 2,749; Franklin, 2,385; Waynesville, 745; Morrow, 708; Springboro, 553; Harveysburg, 539; Mason, 431; Maineville, 324; Butlerville, 167; Roachester, 116.

Unincorporated Villages in 1880

The enumerators of the census of 1880 were instructed to make separate returns of the population of the unincorporated places, but some of them failed to do so, and the list of such places in Warren county is not complete in some cases there was doubt whether what had formerly been called a town was still to be so regarded. The figures given as the population of such places were at best only approximations, as the limits of such places cannot be well defined, and in all cases some of the neighboring farming community was included. The following was the list of unincorporated places in the county and their population as returned by the census takers of 1880:
Clearcreek township; Red Lion, 163; Ridgeville, 74.
Deerfield township; Foster's Crossing (part in Hamilton township), 202; Socialville, 59; Twenty Mile Stand, 47
Franklin township; Carlisle Station, 197.
Hamilton township; Cozaddale, 143; Dallasburg, 49; Hopkinsville, 67; Murdock, 31; South Lebanon (south of the river), 42; Zoar, 23.
Harlan township; Level, 46; Middleboro, 45; Pleasant Plain, 151.
Massie township; None reported.
Salem township; Fredericksburg, 52.
Turtlecreek township; Genntown, 99; Union Village, 175.
Union township; Deerfield, 311.
Washington township; Freeport, 85; Fort Ancient, 34.
Wayne township; Corwin, 188; Mount Holly, 165; Raysville, 110.

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


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