The Townships of Montgomery County, with Their Pioneer History.
This township was named in honor of a militia field officer. Butler and Randolph were originally one township. But when each territory became somewhat thickly populated, they each claimed a polling place, and this caused the division.
The first actual settlers were Henry Youst, Thomas Newman, George Sink, and John Quillan. They erected the first dwelling houses-two near Little York, and two near Stillwater River. At that time this stream was known w the north-west branch of the Big Miami.
William, son of John Quillan, was the first white child born. The first wedding and first death is not known to us.
The first school-teacher was Mr. Edward Eaton. He taught the "young ideas how to shoot,” in a log cabin that was used temporarily for a schoolhouse; It was used afterwards as a stable It stood near Mr. Waymire's residence.
Daniel Hoover enjoyed the reputation and title of the first store keeper.
The first church was formed by the Friends, at a point near Little York. Abijah Jones was the expounder of the gospel.
Abijah O'Neale caused the first saw mill to be built. Joseph Cooper was the builder and architect.
Andrew Waymire built the first grist mill.
The timber of this township is composed of oak, walnut, beach, and sugar maple.
Excellent stone quarries are found here also.
The soil, both bottom and undulating, is very fertile and productive.
The villages are as follows, to-wit: Vandalia, Tadmor, Little York, and Chambersburg.
This township derived its name from the soil. Joseph Mikesell. sr., gave it the name. He also kept the pioneer store. It was situated in the village now called Brookville.
The first grist mill and saw mills were built by Jacob Gripe.
The first white child born in the township was his son.
The Methodists built the first place of Christian worship.
Abram Wambangh was the first preacher. This was in 1854.
The first school-house was situated about one mile from Brookville. It was built, as usual, of logs, and the principal of this primitive institution of learning was known as old Mr. Campbell.
The first death was that of Mrs. Rhynhart Gripe. She was also the first bride. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Heidrich.
Michael Baker settled here in 1805. He came from Pennsylvania, and settled one and a half miles north-east of Brookville. He always followed the life of a farmer. Hi« descendants still live in the township.
The first house in the village of Brookville was built, by John McClennan. It still stands as a relic of departed days.
The villages are as follows, to-wit: Brookville, Dodson, Arlington, Bachman, 'West Baltimore, and Phillipsburg.
This township was named in honor of General Jackson. Jackson and Jefferson were originally one. In 1815 the territory was divided. The western part was this township.
In 1818 settlers began to arrive, and then the busy and hardy life of the pioneer began.
In 1816 the first frame house was raised by Stephen Miller.
Adam Swinhart built the first saw mill.
The first church built was known as Stiver's Church, from the fact that he built it. It was of the Lutheran faith.
Christian Fogleson was the first white person to die.
Oliver Dalrymple was the first merchant. His store was situated on the present site of Farmersville. He also laid out Farmersville, and sold town lots to the farmers, and this gave it the name it bears.
The markets of Farmersville were not equal to the production of this locality, and thus the surplus was taken to Cincinnati.
The soil is black, mixed with clay, and is quite fertile.
The villages are: Farmersville—with Johnsville and New Lebanon on the line between Jackson and Perry.
This township was settled as early as 1801. A Mr. Post enjoyed the fame which an early day gave to the pioneer store-keeper. His store was situated on the four corners of the roads leading from Dayton to Pyrmont, and from Liberty to Union.
David Ward’s house was the scene of the first birth.
A Mr. Soules built the first barn.
The quiet and industrious Dunkards erected the first meeting-house, and expounded the first doc-trine of religion. This pioneer temple of worship was situated on what is now the "Wolf Creek Pike.
A Mr. Bowman, from Pennsylvania, was the first preacher.
Joseph Flickerstaff died from a severe attack of fever. This was the first death.
The first regular physician was a Dr. Ripley.
Daniel Miller built the first grist mill. It was located on Wolf Creek.
The villages in Madison Township are as follows, to-wit: Trotwood, New Germany, Post Town, Springtown, Air Hill, and Amity.
This township originally formed a portion of Jackson. Settlers began coming about 1819.
The southern part of the township was the scene of the first house. A log cabin was built by Andrew Clemer. He also built the pioneer grist mill.
The first white child born was Joseph King.
A Mr. Miller was the first school-teacher.
The United Brethren caused the first meeting-house to be built. The Rev. Mr. Bonebrake was its first minister.
The first mill was built near Johnsville. Its steady and monotonous noise was "sweet music" to the owner and his neighbors, as it spoke of civilization and plenty.
The first death was that of Betsey Houser.
The villages arc as follows, to-wit: Pyrmont and Johnsville.
This township derived its name from the river that courses through it by that appellation.
Mr. Hamar built the pioneer log cabin. It was located on the south side of Mad River.
The pioneer grist mill was built in 1805, by Mr. McCormick.
The Presbyterian Church was the first one organized. The Rev. Mr. Thompson expounded upon the merits of true religion to the sturdy pioneers in a log cabin. Undoubtedly they, in their small number, gathered together in their small and crude place of worship, felt the power of Christ to as great an extent as does the fashionable congregation of to-day, who listen to the flowery eloquence of the well-fed and high-salaried ministers of the present generation.
Mr. Beck taught the first school.
The soil is very fertile, and considerable gardening is done, as the markets of Dayton afford ready sales.
The villages are as follows, to-wit: Harries Station, Harshmansville, and Oakland.
In 1802 this township was formed. Philip and Matthew Swartzel, R. and J. Harden, J. Eastwood,
J. Porter, J. Griffith, and B. Smith settled in this township the same year. Each year brought new and enterprising pioneers, and soon the entire township was populated with good and able farmers, and they soon had the township under a good state of cultivation.
The first edifice erected for the worship of the Lord was in 1804. It was of the Lutheran faith.
Twin Creek was the scene of the first mills. This was in the year 1806, when a grist and saw mill were built. This was at a point where Germantown now stands.
In 1815 the good people were amazed by the building of a brick store and dwelling, the first in the township.
In 1814 Germantown was laid out by Philip Gunckle. The population to-day is about twenty-five hundred inhabitants, and is considered a brisk little town.
The principal towns in the township are Germantown and Sunbury.
Randolph was first settled-in 1800. The first store, however, was not started until 1810, when John Bench began mercantile life at Salem Springs.
The original school building was situated near Salem, and was built of logs. The teacher's name was Amos Edwards. The tuition was fifty cents per scholar.
The German Baptist Church was the first one organized in this township. This was in the year 1810. E. Flory was the good man who taught the sturdy pioneers the precepts of religion.
In 1806 John Bench built the first grist mill.
The first distillery was built by Benjamin Lohman.
The early settlers had considerable trouble in settling this township, as the Indians were a source of much anxiety; but success finally attended them, and to-day Randolph Township is the pride of those now living who assisted in making it what it is.
The principal villages-are Salem, Harrisburg, and Union.
In 1800 Anthony Chevatier, an old Revolutionary soldier, and others, settled in this township.
They selected the northern part as the place of their choice.
Miamisburg was first owned by a man named Hole, and it was known for some time as Hole's Station.
The first grist mill was erected on Hole's Creek, by a man named Lamb, as early ns 1800. Tradition says this Mr. Lamb built a dwelling house-without the use of nails or spikes.
The proverbial log school-house was erected at Alexandersville.
The pristine meeting-house was built near Miamisburg. It was of the Lutheran faith, and the Rev. Mr. Dill was the primal minister.
The township was organized about 1830, but Miamisburg was originally laid out by one Mr. Stine as early as 1818.
E. Gebhart was the first Justice of the Peace.
Henry Huest built the primal frame house.
Probably no township in the county afforded as much wild fruit and game as did Miami. Plums, grapes, and small berries grew in great abundance. "Wild bees were to be heard in all parts of the forest as they plied their active every day business, and those who enjoyed piscatorial pleasure found delight in baiting the hook, or drawing the seine in the streams coursing through this fertile region.
Squirrels were so plentiful that the farmers offered a reward for each tail brought in, while the deer, turkeys, and wolves roamed through the boundless forests in droves.
The principal villages in this township are: Miamisburg, Danville, Carrolton, Alexandersville, and Bridgeport.
This township received its name from our first President, General George Washington. The first settlers being of old Revolutionary families, held this name in honor and esteem, despite the manner in which, at that time, it was assailed.
The first settlers were Doctor Hole, Aaron Nut, General Mauger, Judge Malby and Esquire Russel. About 1799 came the Sunderlands; and in 1800 the Harries, Kelses, and Hatfields.
About the year 1802, Rev. Charles McDaniel was sent out as a missionary by the Baptist societies of England, and he located in this township, though his circuit included many surrounding townships and a portion of the adjoining county of Greene.
The first white child born in the county was named Charlotte Jones, a daughter of William Jones, who subsequently removed to Kentucky. This child was baptized by Rev. Charles McDaniel, This clergyman was a most enthusiastic and devout worshiper, and his untiring labors gained for him a place, not only in history, but in the hearts of his people, who appreciated his efforts and warmly seconded them by their own. No privations were too exacting, no efforts too laborious or difficult in the cause to which he had devoted his life. It is a well-known and authentic fact that he often traveled twenty-five or thirty miles to speak, thinking no exertion too great to achieve a good result and his success was unlimited. He acquired a great influence over the Indians, who trusted him as their friend, and followed his instructions. He died at his post from disease contracted during the fulfilling of the duties of his calling.
The first child born in this township was Frank Nut, and the first marriage in the township was that of Peter and Nancy Sunderland.
The first death was that of Mary Stamell.
Arthur St. Clair built the first road (Macadamized.)
The people of this township are among the most industrious and respected people of the county.
The Baptist Church is the best sustained in this section.
The village of Centreville, so named from its central location, lying as it does, about midway between Dayton, Waynesville, and Franklin, is the largest village. The site upon which it stands was formerly owned by Benjamin Robins and Aaron Nut. Woodburn may also be mentioned as one of the villages of this township; but this village is gradually falling into decay. One of the most prominent of the early settlers, Dr. Isaiah Hole, resided until his death near this village. He descended from an old Revolutionary family, and was very well-known as a physician, and much esteemed as a citizen.
This township was originally a part of Dayton, and its early history is identical with that of Day-ton. The earliest records are traced to the year 1808. The township is one of the finest in the county.
The farmers are prosperous, and their productions are some of the best, as the lands are well watered and productive. The township is thickly settled and prospering.
Immediately south of Dayton will be found one of the most productive townships in Montgomery County. Inasmuch as the oldest inhabitants are dead, and no record of this township has been kept, it is an utter impossibility to discover who were the first settlers, or, in fact, anything pertaining to its early history. The township receives its name from Martin Van Buren, our eighth President.
The soil is especially adapted to the growth of grain and grass, which thrive in great luxuriance.
The principal towns are: Oakwood, Beavertown, and Shakertown.
Like Harrison and Mad River townships the early history of this township is intimately connected with that of Dayton, from which it was organized, so much so, that a repetition is unnecessary.
The soil is exceedingly rich and productive, and the township well populated.
The principal town in this township is Taylorville.
Samuel A. Andrews was one of the first settlers. He located in the south-east part of the township. He lives in Dayton now.
This township was named after President Jefferson, and settlers began locating here as early as 1804. The surveying of this township was superintended by Mr. Fulcus.
The first cabin was erected on what is now known as Section 17, on the south side of Bear Creek. It was built by Mr. Gripe. The second cabin was put up on Section 18, by Peter Weaver.
The first saw mill and grist mill were erected by a Mr. Weaver.
The first white person born in the settlement was Peter Weaver.
The first frame building is traced to Peter Hiesten, and it was built on the present Section No. 18.
The name of the first schoolmaster was — Oblinger, who taught both German and English in a log cabin which had been abandoned by one of the pioneers for a better one. Their reading-books were the Bible and Testament. Webster's Spelling-book was authority for hard words, and Talbot's Arithmetic completed the "course."
For some time the little circle of neighbors and friends, drawn still closer together by their combined efforts to erect homes for their loved ones, and to make these homes the scene of contentment and industry, was unbroken. But at last grim death claimed his own, and the first victim was a man named Hepener.
The first church was organized in the settlement of Gettersburg. It was a Lutheran church, and the first minister was one Mr. Decheron.
The soil is good, and in early days much wheat was grown. It will be a matter of no little surprise to the wheat growers of to-day, and to those who make and lose a fortune in a day in speculating with this product, to learn that in that early day wheat sold for twelve and one-half cents per bushel.
In 1815 one George Patten hauled ten barrels of flour, a distance of one hundred miles, going and returning to Cincinnati, and sold it for one dollar and a half a barrel. This may serve to show the farmers of to-day the difficulties of their pioneer fathers, and tend to increase the appreciation and reverence in which we should all hold the efforts of our predecessors to establish the towns and cities in which we live to-day.
Hon. John Turner was sent to the Legislature from this township.
The principal towns in Jefferson township are Gettersburg, Liberty, and Lambertine.
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